Spirit’s Bride: Shade Release

Consumed Publishing’s latest offering – Spirit’s Bride: Shade by David Michael Halvorsen – will be released on June 24.

A gripping tale of loss and love, vengeance and sacrifice-when Ma’shi’yach calls, how will He be answered?”

Pre-order your copy today…








Race to Her

Our friend Nicole Smith is running (literally) a campaign this summer as an extension of our friends at Dribble the World. I could write here why Nicole is dribbling…yes dribbling a basketball in four 1/2 marathons this summer but you can listen to her give her own description to the Twin Cities when she was interviewed on the local news morning show on Friday, June 3.

Kare 11 Morning Show

I have three daughters. The thought of them ending up in some human sex trafficking ring makes me literally want to vomit. I am supporting Nicole’s efforts by participating in one of the races this summer. You don’t have to run and/or dribble to assist her in the quest of ending human trafficking. There are many other ways to participate. Find out more at the Race To Her Facebook Page

A Vision that Motivates

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”

– Paul, to the church of Corinth in his first epistle, chapter 3.

I was sitting with a follower of Jesus this morning and he referenced these words of Paul. He described to me a vision that motivates him to invest in the lives of his family, friends, and church. In this vision, he imagines sitting amongst the crowds at the great judgment seat of Christ. His hope and prayer is to see these people, one by one, that he loved and impacted stand before Christ. As the consuming fire of judgment falls on all they did with their lives he desires to see many of their works in life still there…ready to reap rewards. Then he envisions these people, those he discipled by pointing them to a life centered in Christ, casting those awards and accolades back at the feet of Jesus…the only one deserving of worship. What a vision!

May we focus on what matters most today – the great Kingdom of God. May we store up “store up treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal”. May we all have this vision my brother in Christ shared…both for our lives and the lives of those we love!

A prayer for the next generation…

I just finished reading through the book of Joshua. Many aspects of this piece of literature struck me. I was amazed at how much God did for the people of Israel at the expense & devastation of many other nations. I also was impressed with the leadership of Joshua. I feel at times Joshua is kind of this forgotten leader. Moses, well is Moses, and fairly soon after Joshua we read of Samuel and David in the Hebrew Bible. These were two foundational leaders for God’s people. But Joshua was the man God chose to fulfill His promise to Abraham concerning the land. Joshua stepped into amazingly big shoes and led the people with strength and conviction as they inherited their promised land. And as God instructed him in the first chapter of the book he did it “strong and courageously”.

But then in Judges 2 we have this recorded:

“The people worshiped God throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the time of the leaders who survived him, leaders who had been in on all of God’s great work that he had done for Israel. Then Joshua son of Nun, the servant of God, died. He was 110 years old. They buried him in his allotted inheritance at Timnath Heres in the hills of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash. Eventually that entire generation died and was buried. Then another generation grew up that didn’t know anything of God or the work he had done for Israel.”

These words saddened me greatly today. How could the generation that followed Joshua know nothing of God or the work He did for them? Did the generation before not clearly communicate or did their stories fall on deaf ears? One thing about reading Scripture is that it allows you to step outside of time. In the matter of a few verses you read of one generation passing on and another generation coming to fruition. It is difficult for us to process this at times because we rarely think of what will happen on earth after our deaths. I know I desire to leave this world a bit more like God desires it to be when my time is up.

Today as I read this passage in Judges I became passionate for the generation that will come after me. This generation that will include my 3 daughters, my nieces and nephews, and my friends. Will they “know anything of God or the work He has done” for them? Will my girls follow Christ in all areas of their lives? Will they follow Christ with more reckless abandon than their mom or dad did? Will they imprint on their children (my grandchildren) the way of Jesus?

So with all of this I write a prayer for the future leaders of the global church:

Children born and children to come – I pray for you. May God’s Spirit illuminate your hearts so you know, believe, and follow Jesus all of your days. May you teach the way of Jesus to your kids and grandkids. Jesus promised that He would build His church and the gates of Hell would not stand against it. May you be used of our great Lord & Savior to advance the church in the darkest, most hellish of places. As the years roll on and you wait for the return of Christ may the Father’s Kingdom & will be a reality on this earth just as it is in Heaven. I pray you know the love of Jesus. I pray you know the life He offers you. I pray you love God & people with all of your heart, soul, and mind. I pray you finish strong and leave a lasting legacy for generations to follow. I pray you forgive my generation of our faults and model Christ where we fall short. I pray all of these things for the glory and renown of our great God. He is a great God! Amen”

PA TRIP – Book Release & Alpha

The trip was a whirl wind but I mean that in a good way. When you take out all of the traveling ramifications we spent about 36 packed hours in PA. Those hours were filled with the book release party, meetings with potential authors and board members, catching up with friends, and participating in the weekly Alpha gathering. I always return from trips like this refreshed. My physical body is always a bit tired from traveling and lack of sleep but my soul is regenerated. I love seeing how God is working in other parts of the world. These trips expand my vision and gives me the proper perspective that God is doing stuff beyond my little world. I am tapped into a greater story and that excites me!

The book release was a joyous celebration. Thank you to all that attended. If you weren’t able to make it (I know geographically it was impossible for most of you) I encourage you to order your copy of Carol King’s The Empty Cross from our website. As she read a few selections from the book I was reminded of the power of poetry. Psalms are filled with people’s expressions to God. It is amazing to hear and read the modern day Psalms ofpresent day saints.

Alpha was nothing short of amazing! Packing 60ish kids into a basement that are all hungry for God can’t be anything less than Acts 2-church kind of goodness. I tried to encourage those present from Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman in John 4. I am praying many of these students will actively be looking for people to initiate friendships with that do not look or act exactly like them. Who knows what God may do through these committed followers of Jesus!

2017 brudklänning på nätet att välja sin egen brudklänning, vitt siden flygande i vinden, att bröllopet flickan springa fritt i skogen, höjde slöja hög, som en guide-liknande eterisk söt Bröllopsklänningar.

The Empty Cross

Consumed Publishing is proud to release our latest project – The Empty Cross, by Carol King. The release date is set for Tuesday, March 8 but you can pre-order your copy now. This is a great resource for the upcoming season where we remember both the death and resurrection of Jesus.

From the author:

Words are like paint – the right ones line turquoise skies and fair weather and hope and orchards of lush peaches and fields of plump blueberries and baskets of juicy red tomatoes onto paper. Other right ones paint heavy grey skies, black nights, brown leafless trees, empty but for the granite tombstones, cemeteries.There is not one right word, as there is not one right color. One color only serves the other colors – the understanding of all each one signifies. So I paint with words, some yellow and orange and vermillion and some scarlet and violet and indigo.

I hope as you journey through these pages that you see the colors and listen to the words and, most of all, the God behind them who created them. We create in His image as the first Creator. And though I create in only the dimmest of reflections of His creation, these colors and words are my offering, first to Him and then to you.

Fantastic wedding denna serie. Varje flicka var en gång fantiserat om Prince Charming och prinsessans bröllop. Bröllop brud liv kan vara den dyraste plagg, det var i jakten på vackert bröllop Slida brudklänningar

Ball for Lives

One of the privileges I have in life is the honor of serving on the board of directors for Ball for Lives. You may remember that last summer I (Jamie) dribbled the Twin Cities Marathon to raise funds & awareness for stopping the sex slave trafficking that exists in this world. Ball for Lives is the organization we ran for. They truly desire to see the love & justice of God permeated into every corner of earth. There are many great ways to participate with them. NO…you don’t have to dribble a half or full marathon to join in with them. There are other less painful ways (physically speaking) to partner. Take a moment and check out what they do. You will be glad you did!

Does Prayer Change God’s Mind

The title is the question I was asked to answer for a blog my friends at Winona State University run. This was a question asked by a student at Winona. There are several questions like this one and they asked different people to tackle the questions…doing their best to answer them. I was chosen to answer this light question on prayer (insert sarcasm). This was the answer I submitted them. I am open to discuss…

DOES PRAYER CHANGE GOD MINDS?

In January of 2009 I was rocked with the news my wonderful sister Penny had been diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer. There were only 22 recorded cases of this cancer at the time and the prognosis wasn’t favorable. Upon this news I cried out to God like many of the Psalmists did thousands of years ago. I prayed similar prayers to God like David & Moses did:

“God – hear my cry for help. Heal my sister Penny! She is way too young and has four beautiful children. This is an injustice! Save her from this wretched disease!”

These types of prayers continued on for weeks as Penny began chemotherapy and radiation, but then the theological questions started creeping in. Questions like:

• Does God already know what is going to happen?
• Will my prayers change anything?
• Should I even be asking God to heal Penny or should I simply pray “Your will be done”?
• Is Penny’s future determined yet and will my prayers help God make up His mind?

From January of 2009 until February of 2010 when Penny lost her battle with cancer I prayed for healing, even though these questions plagued my thoughts. And to be completely honest with you today, there is still a part of me that is haunted by these questions. But one thing I know is that it is acceptable to ask God questions. God is confident enough in Himself for us to ask these tough theological questions. Asking questions leads us to understanding and a greater dependence and trust in God.

Volumes upon volumes of books have been written on prayer. There is no way I can adequately answer a question like, “Does prayer change Gods mind?” in one simple blog entry. Questions like this should be discussed multiple times over many pots of coffee and cookies (me likey cookies!) but I live in Bloomington, MN and I assume you, the reader of this blog, are currently living at or near Winona State University. So my hope is that this entry gets you thinking and possibly raises more questions for you. I pray this post is honest and faithful to the Biblical text. I will check the responses to see if further questions are asked and I will do my best to address as many of these questions as I possibly can.

So let me get back to the original question – “Does prayer change God’s mind?” Ready for my answer? Here it is – “I don’t know”. I honestly and truly don’t know. This question raises so many questions nut just about prayer, but also subjects like God’s sovereignty, open theism, etc. I am not nearly adequate or interested enough to write about these immensely deep topics here. I have discussed these subjects with people until all parties involved were blue in the face, but at the end of these conversations there were always questions people couldn’t definitively answer regardless of which side they fell on.

I think the important question to answer here is – “Why pray?” If we are unsure whether or not prayer changes God’s mind is there any real purpose to having an ongoing conversation with God (what prayer really is) anyway? Since I am taking the time to write this entry I am assuming you know that I believe: we absolutely should pray. Prayer is vitally important to our lives as followers of Jesus. Prayer in the spiritual sense is as important as breathing is in the physical sense. If we do not pray, our spiritual lives will suffer immensely. Prayer is a primary vehicle for our walk with God growing on this earth.

So why pray? Let’s let Jesus answer…

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”Matthew 6:9-13

These words of Jesus were spoken during what we call the “Sermon on the Mount” recorded for us in Matthew 5-7. This teaching of Jesus is the longest recorded one we have. Many call this teaching the core of Jesus’ Kingdom proclamation as Jesus explains in these verses the very essence of what it means to follow him. In the middle of this teaching Jesus spoke the above words regarding prayer.

“This, then, is HOW (my emphasis) you should pray” – Notice Jesus assumes these followers are praying. He doesn’t say, “If you get the chance to pray”, or “If you think it is important enough to pray”. NO…Jesus simply says, “this is how you should pray.” Jesus knew and emphasized the importance for every child of God to pray.

“Our Father in heaven” – Jesus says when we pray we should address God as “Father”. How awesome is that! When we talk with God we are privileged enough to call him “Father”! Paul wrote in Romans that we can call him “Abba” or in the English “Daddy”. From the start of Jesus’ model prayer he is beginning to unwrap the purpose of prayer – Prayer is a chance for us (God’s children) to talk with our Father. I am a father of three beautiful little girls. Nothing gives me greater joy than talking and spending time with my kids. God desires to talk with you too!

“Hallowed be your name” – This Father of ours is not like our earthly father. Our Father in Heaven is “hallowed” or “sanctified”, or “holy” or “highly venerated”. He is all knowing, all-powerful, all majestic, amazing, wonderful, and like no other!

“Your Kingdom come, your will be done” – Prayer allows us to reconfigure our lives with the purposes, plans, and strategies of God. Prayer is a chance for us to say to our Father – “What you desire trumps what I desire. Your plans and ambitions are greater than my ambitions and dreams. I submit my life to your will. I trust that what you will accomplish is much more magnificent than what I can accomplish on my own.”

“Give us today our daily bread” – We should depend on God for all things…including our daily provisions. When we ask God for our “daily bread” we learn to trust our Father more. We loosen the stranglehold on our personal lives and we invite our Father into every aspect of who we are and what we do. Our faith become increasingly holistic and less compartmentalized when we lean on our Father for everything.

“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” – We are in need of the forgiveness of God and our Father provided that forgiveness through the death and resurrection of Jesus. All of our past, present, and future sins are taken care of. Prayer allows us to live and breathe in the forgiveness of God without the condemnation of our enemy. Prayer also assists us in forgiving those who have wronged us. We must release them from their transgressions against us and release ourselves from bitterness, rage, and hatred.

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” – Prayer to our Father enables us to stand firm against our enemy as we resist the darkness of his ways. Just as any earthly Father desires to protect his children from evil, God desires to give us freedom and victory over the evil in our lives.

In this prayer I see Jesus saying to those original listeners – Prayer is vital because it is your conversation with your Father. When you talk, meditate, and focus on God the Father (prayer), you develop a sense of trust, love, and connection with him as Father.

So back to the original question – “Does prayer change God’s mind?” I think the more important thought is this – Prayer changes you! I know when I pray, my heart changes. I love my Father more and I trust Him despite the horrendous things that could be going on in my life.

I am continuing to learn and grow in prayer, but what I learned as I prayed for my sister Penny during her fight with cancer is this – My Heavenly Father wanted me to talk with Him about it. He wanted me to talk about all of it. So I prayed to Him daily and said something similar to this:

“Father, I know you care about Penny because you are her Father and you care for her much more than I could ever begin to know. Father I can’t begin to understand all of what you desire to do in and through Penny and our family as she battles this disease. Father I desire for your will to be done in this situation. God I know that when you created the earth it was created free from disease and death. We brought death and destruction into your wonderful earth when we sinned. Thank you for initiating your redemptive plan to allow us access to you as Father…ultimately through Jesus. Father I honestly don’t know what will happen with Penny. I don’t know if you will heal her, if you know if you will heal her, of if you may change your mind. But I do know this – you care about Penny and regardless if she is healed on this earth she, as will I, spend all of eternity with you. Father, I ask you to heal her though. Do a miraculous work in her body for her sake and for your glory. God give Penny everything she needs today. Provide her the strength and patience to endure. Give her the perspective to see your hand in her life. And Father, protect her from the enemy! This disease is attacking Penny’s physical body but she can have victory over the evil one and resist the attack of her soul. In the name of Jesus I refute the enemy’s ways and tactics upon her soul. May she cling to you and know that you are good no matter what. I pray these things in the name of Jesus, Amen.”

As I mentioned in the beginning of this entry the reality is I can’t fully answer all of the ramifications of this question in one post (or in one book or a set of books for that matter). But I hope this was at a minimum somewhat helpful. If you have questions, post them here and you will hear back from me in the near future. And if you are ever in the cities, let’s get that coffee and cookies!

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Blessings!

Jamie

NC Visit

Gretchen and I were blessed to travel to Raleigh, NC last weekend to be a part of the life of Hope Cafe. Eric & Lisa Beavers serve at this church and it was wonderful to see how God is using this church to reach their community. The church facility is not a church building in the traditional sense. They have a store front property in the form of a coffee shop. Throughout the week Hope Cafe is open for business. They have open mic night on Friday evenings, concerts on Saturday evenings, and the church gathers on Sundays for singing, prayer, and teaching. Gretchen and I met many people in the church on Sunday and was a part of the young adult Bible Study that meets at Eric & Lisa’s home. I wrote in the last post about how much Consumed values relationships. I trust this is just the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship between Hope Cafe & Consumed Ministries. I pray the result of this relationship is seeing God’s Kingdom & will done on earth as it is in heaven.

I had the privilege of teaching a few times while we were there. You can find the link to one of those times on the HOPE CAFE PODCAST PAGE

(Open Mic Night at Hope Cafe)

(Gretchen enjoying some journal time on the Beaver’s patio)

(Lisa was excited to take us to a local Raleigh favorite – LOCOPOPS. An entire store that sells nothing but popsicles.)