Will You Realize Your Potential This Year?

Will You Realize Your Potential This Year?

 

Nehemiah 2:17-18 says, You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me.  They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

 

The story of Nehemiah returning to Jerusalem to rebuild and restore the City of Jerusalem gives us several principles for realizing our full potential. When it comes to people realizing their full potential, all people choose one of two things. Either they choose the pain of discipline and discipleship, which is a result of commitment, sacrifice and growth, or they choose to live with the pain of regret, which comes by taking the easy road and refusing the opportunities given to them.

 

There is a large difference between a person being interested in something and being committed to it. When most of us are only interested in something (such as prayer, Bible study or church attendance), we participate in the aspects of it only when we find it to be convenient. On the other hand, when we are committed to something, we accept no excuses whether they come from within or without. Why is that? Because everything worth having costs something and the first price is the price of commitment.

 

 

Several years ago I attended a leadership seminar led by John Maxwell. John is a very gifted and anointed leader. For hours that day he taught on the principles of leadership. But it was the first principle that truly impacted my life in a dynamic way. He said, “if you don’t know where you are going…any road will get you there.” In other words, if you can’t lead yourself, it is impossible to lead others. And, to lead oneself takes a commitment. It takes a commitment to the goal and the journey.

 

David said in Psalm 37:5, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” His son Solomon said, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)

 

 

Without commitment we are doomed to an aimless life. In the New Testament Paul said that the gospel had been “committed to him.” (1 Corinthians 9:17). In his statement Paul used the Greek word, pisteuo.  Pisteuo speak of something that one thinks to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in. In other words commitment takes belief, confidence and conviction.  In the moral or spiritual sense, the word speaks of the trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul.

 

When we are committed to reaching our potential, our inner man “aims” toward the fullness of that potential. By being committed to becoming all that we can be in Christ Jesus, our inner man “believes” that the Lord will help us and that the Holy Spirit will be our Guide. This “faith” pulls us toward our destiny. The destiny for each of us is to become all that we can become in Christ.

 

Pray this prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, You were so committed to obeying the will of the Father and paying the full price for our salvation. You are committed to interceding for us at the right hand of the Father and sending the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us and encourage us along the way. Help me to be committed this year to Your will and Your way. I commit myself to you, to understanding Your will and realizing my full potential in You. (Ephesians 5:17-18)

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Find Your Spiritual Trysting Place

In my book, The Altar of His Presence, we studied some of the geographical places where altars were built and graced with the Lord’s manifested Presence to those of precious faith. These hallowed sites are known either because of the divine revelations or angelic appearances that supplemented the building of an altar. Mostly for sacrificing, sometimes only as a memorial, altars were named.

 

Moses named his Jehovah Nissi, and Gideon named his the Lord is Peace. Others, like the one built by the leaders of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, were not for burnt offering, nor sacrifice, but as a witness and testimony (see Josh. 22:26-27). Altars were made only of earth or unhewn stone on which no iron tool was used and without steps going up to them (see Exod. 20:24-26). With each of them there was neither spectacle nor decoration allowed. The altar was to be plain and simple, for it was the meeting place between God and man and therefore a place of shedding of blood without which there is no remission of sin (see Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22). The altar is a place of interaction with the Lord for us only through the offering of an innocent life.

 

From our solar system’s blazing hot sun to the tiniest moon in Jupiter’s orbit and everything in between, God has places. An altar is a place of purpose that conveys this truth—the Lord wants to meet with us. What could be the purpose of human beings having a meeting place with God? For what purpose would God choose the altar as His place to meet with man? Perhaps you have similar questions about the possible alien visitations or odd manifestations found at Stonehenge or Easter Island.

 

Apparently, the early patriarchs found the real answer. Surviving worldwide flood, generations-destroying famine, and the loss of mankind’s righteousness for sin, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Elijah all built altars. Upon these altars these men of faith offered sacrifices to the Lord as an offering of thanksgiving and praise for the Lord’s guidance, protection, sustenance, strength, or blessing. Each one found the altar’ed life as promised in Exodus 30:6.

 

Each altar had one ultimate purpose. That purpose was to create a meeting place with the Lord God Almighty. The Hebrew mind viewed the altar as a place where men and women came to worship. It was the place where the passion for and the movement toward the Lord came together. At an altar, Abel offered his finest lamb, while Noah’s provided a sweet aroma that rose to the Lord. Where Abraham’s altar saw the salvation of a promised son; Joshua’s celebrated the entrance into the Promised Land. Gideon’s altar saw deliverance, and Elijah’s changed a nation.

 

Through the day where is the place that you meet with the Lord? Can you sense the sweet stirrings of the Holy Spirit there? Are you tired of living without passion or unfulfilled purpose? Does your heart still thirst for the living water of the Spirit as the deer pants for a cool mountain stream?

 

If you haven’t found a trysting place, do so now. Find an uncommon place, either in space or time, to get together with the Lord and His people. Meet regularly. Wait patiently. Call expectantly. Pray unceasingly. At the altar, the Lord will meet you. Every meeting you have with Him will alter your life toward the divine plan and purpose given to you by the Lord.

 

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Having a Heart After God

Earlier this month the Holy Spirit opened my understanding concerning the altar. He began by leading my time of worship, prayer and meditation to a specific idea. That idea was that the Altar of Incense was the “heart” of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. In the outer court stood a priest, the brazen altar and the laver. The Holy Place, which was filled with the light coming from the Golden Candlestick (to the far right) and the smell of fresh bread off the Table of Shewbread (from the far left), had at its center, the Altar of Incense. Behind the Altar hung the heavy and wide curtain separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant.

 

But, if you look upon that which Moses built, i.e., the Tabernacle vertically instead of horizontally, it forms a symbolic cross with the Ark at the top. And, in the middle or heart of it…the Altar. The Altar was Jehovah’s meeting place with Moses (Exodus 30:6)and as I have shared throughout my latest book, the Altar is where the Lord desires to meet with all of us. For the Altar was first a place, then a Person–in the Lord Jesus Christ and finally, a people–in the people of God.

 

The Altar of Incense was the “heart” of the Tabernacle. And like the heart organ in the center of our physical bodies, the spiritual heart described in Scripture stands for the center of our moral, spiritual and intellectual life. It is the meeting place between the Lord and the believer. In other words, the heart is our “spiritual core or center.” Perhaps that is why many believers learned the following song as children; “Into my heart. Into my heart. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Come in today. Come in to stay. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.”

 

How important is it to have the Lord in our “heart?” Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” (Matthew 5:8) and “For where your treasure is, your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). From these and other Scriptures it appears, in the words of Owen: “The heart in Scripture is variously used, sometimes for the mind and understanding, sometimes for the will, sometimes for the affections, sometimes for the conscience, sometimes for the whole soul. Generally, it denotes the whole soul of man and all the faculties of it, not absolutely, but as they are all one principle of moral operations, as they all concur in our doing of good and evil.”

 

The Bible speaks to the importance of having the Manifest Presence of God in our heart. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” And David said, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26). And Jesus told His disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me (John 14:1).

 

There are specific reasons for “having a heart after God” (filled with the Manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit).

 

A Contrite Heart.

 

First, when we encounter His Manifest Presence, we are made to realize our need of salvation. That realization takes place in our heart. Then, the more we experience His Manifest Presence, the more we want to experience Him. Such has caused me to realize my shortness and His fullness, which I believe has resulted in me being broken and possessing a “contrite heart” before Him.

 

During my prayer time the Lord has repaired, revived and restored my heart by turning my heart even more toward Him. Isaiah 57:15 says, “For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” A “contrite heart” seeks after the Lord through prayer, worship, the study of the Word and the Person of the Holy Spirit. And, like the blood that pumps from the heart through our body, a contrite heart sends the nourishing Presence of God into all areas of our lives.

 

A Heart Full of Faith and Assurance

 

Secondly, as our hearts are filled to overflowing with His Presence, a “heart full of faith and assurance” develops. This heart enables us to overcome doubt, fear and unbelief. Jesus told His disciples in Mark 11:22-24, “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Having the faith of God is a result of being filled with the God of faith! When our hearts are filled with His fullness we reject timidity for the spirit of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). We no longer talk “about” the mountains we are facing, but by faith, we speak “to” the mountain and the mountain moves!

 

A Hearing Heart

 

Lastly, having our heart filled to overflowing with His glory enables us to have a “hearing heart.” This term describes the Lord Jesus during His time on the earth. The King James Version of John 4:3-4 says, “He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria.” By having a “hearing heart” our Lord “knew” that He was to “go through Samaria.” Jesus knew He was supposed to take a certain path because there was a certain woman with a certain need. We don’t know if He knew that He would meet that specific woman at Jacob’s well that day. We do know that He was led by His heart to that specific well and woman. His hearing heart resulted in a whole city getting to hear the Good News.

 

This level of spiritual relationship with the Lord causes our ears to hear and our hearts to understand (hearing and understanding). Being able to know the direction to go, or the words to say, or the actions to take in a certain situation, enables ministry on a whole new level. When we are able to hear what hasn’t been heard, or to see what can’t be seen or to know what we cannot possibly know in the natural realm, we are spiritually enabled to share spiritual wisdom and understanding with those that are in great need.

 

How can we develop the heart that I have described? This is my story. I find a quiet place to wait upon the Lord. At least once a day I find a place where I can be physically, emotionally and mentally quiet. I then turn off the media, the internet, the cell phone, the television and move away from the noise of life. This enables me to move away from anything that is confusing or distracting and to focus on being filled with His Manifest Presence.

 

I encourage you to do the same. And to meditate on His Word. Mull over a specific passage or Scripture verse. Spend the time singing and making melody in your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to pray for and through you. Pray that your heart and mind be filled with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, in Jesus’ Name.

 

And remember, The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who wait upon and hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31.

 

 

I love you!

 

Robert

DEVELOPING YOUR INNER LIFE

When we pray and meditate consistently on God’s Word there is emotional and spiritual space created in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit fills this space (OUR INNER LIFE) for the purpose of creating a greater level communion with us. He seeks inward fellowship with us.

 

I was encouraged early in my ministry to read The Art of Prayer (Faber & Faber). The Art of Prayer is concerned in particular with the most frequently used and best loved of all Orthodox prayers – the Lord’s Prayer. It deals also with the general question ‘What is Prayer?’, with the different degrees of prayer from ordinary oral prayer to unceasing prayer of the heart, with the dangers of illusion and discouragement, and the need for seclusion and inner peace.

 

(See https://www.faber.co.uk/9780571191659-the-art-of-prayer.html)

 

There is an excerpt that describes the holy need for developing our inner life through prayer and meditation. The excerpt reads, “There are many among you who have no knowledge of the inner work required of the man who would hold God in remembrance. Nor do such people even understand what remembrance of God means, or know anything about spiritual prayer, for they imagine that the only right way of praying is to use such prayers as are to be found in Church books. As for secret communion with God in the heart, they know nothing of this, nor of the profit that comes from it, nor do they ever taste its spiritual sweetness. Those who only hear about spiritual meditation and prayer and have no direct knowledge of it are like men blind from birth, who hear about the sunshine without ever knowing what it really is. Through this ignorance they lose many spiritual blessings, and are slow in arriving at the virtues which make for the fulfillment of God’s good pleasure.”

 

To develop inwardly and walk the path of spiritual growth, we must first be willing to grow in our devotional, relational and personal commitment to worship, prayer, study of the Word of God and to our relationship with the Holy Spirit. The initial steps to such growth happen naturally as we seek to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and stay committed to our own personal growth.

 

For we who want to go deeper in our personal growth need spiritual guidance from the Holy Spirit. He truly desires to lead us into an intimate and exciting realm of spiritual learning. Like attending any school, be it elementary or college, it is best to set a fixed time each day to worship, pray and study. It is best that during this time we allow no interruptions. If we remain committed and consistent in such disciplines, our spiritual life will become deeper and more glorious. The result will be a new found awareness of God’s Presence and power.

 

I encourage you to start with three mornings a week and then add a morning each week until every morning begins with Him. There are many of testimonies of people who chose to meet with the Lord each morning. This practice has resulted in the majority of them (from St. Francis to John Wesley to Billy Graham) experiencing marvelous spiritual experiences, including victories, miracles and great joy.

 

In my own life, I have found the continual development of my inner life to be encouraging, exhilarating, and very satisfying. I am reminded even now of the words to an old hymn. These words are the theme to the development of my own inner life. They are the goal to all I desire to become and I hope they inspire you as well.

 

“To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus. All I ask is to be like Him. All through life’s journey, from earth to glory, all I ask…to be like Him.”

 

 

Why I chose to write The Altar of His Presence

I want to thank everyone who had ordered a copy of my new book, The Altar of His Presence. I encourage you who have read or are reading your copy to review the book on either Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

 

Many have asked why I chose to write The Altar of His Presence. My answer is that I wanted to give people a unique look at the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I truly feel that there are many people who are looking to deepen their spiritual lives and are spiritually hungry to have an intimate encounter with the glory of God. I also feel that it is important that we continue to grow in our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the best way to do that is embracing the Holy Spirit in His person and purpose.

 

Jesus told His disciples the night He was betrayed that the Holy Spirit would lead us to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth. He said the Holy Spirit would also give us divine strength and enable us to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the Lord’s divine kingdom. We, who have been called and chosen by the Lord Jesus, must choose to fully know the Holy Spirit and become acquainted with Him in an intimate and personal way. In my own life, this kind of spiritual knowledge has resulted in the Holy Spirit leading me in thought and deed. Paul noted the importance of such in Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

 

By being led (by the Spirit and as a son of God) I have truly experienced His rest. I believe that is it possible for any of us to experience the rest Jesus mentioned in Matthew 11:29-20. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” His rest is “found” when we “learn” and such learning is “given from” the Father and “sent into” our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit remains, abides, stays and tarries within us, the rest Jesus promised can be ours.

 

One of the results of this rest is the Holy Spirit being experienced as the Spirit of Truth. When rest comes, struggle ends. There is no need to “struggle to know God.” Why? When we rest in the Spirit of Truth, we are made to know what is true in things appertaining to God (hidden from the minds of men—see 1 Corinthians 2:9-16). He also reveals to us what is true in things that have a bearing on to our duties toward God and others (which we were blinded to prior to our coming to Christ—see 2 Corinthians 4:4).

 

By resting in His truth, He enables us to oppose the superstitions of everyone without a relationship with Jehovah (i.e., the Gentiles) and to expose the inventions of those chosen by Jehovah to reveal God to the world (i.e., the Jews). The Spirit of Truth also exposes the corrupt opinions and ideas of historical and modern false teachers while enabling us to be free from worldly affection, pretense, simulation, falsehood and deceit.

 

I believe The Altar of His Presence articulates this kind of rest. In His rest we can experience a new level of spiritual intimacy. In fact, the cover of my book is a snapshot of such and was designed to quickly attract the attention of its intended target audience. As you can see, it has a very distinctive design that speaks to those seeking to cultivate their relationship with the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Our publisher (Destiny Image) is confident that the book’s people-friendly style will inspire people toward biblical truth and practical application.

 

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Please pray with that that the book will make a difference in the lives of people. Rather than the typical 175 plus page Christian Living “self-help” book that seems to be filling the market these days, the book is a people-friendly devotional book, designed to help people move forward in their spiritual lives by experiencing the manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit.

 

Our research to-date has indicated that there is a sizable market out there for a book just like this. Many who have read the book have been thrilled with the step-by-step approach. They have said the message has helped them experience the dynamic Presence of God in new and exciting ways.

 

If you have not purchased your copy, I encourage you to do so today. If you have read or are reading your copy, please remember to write a review and share with others that they can purchase a Kindle copy at Amazon.com or at www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

 

Have a blessed day. Robert

A Tribute to My Dad

This coming Sunday is Father’s Day here in the United States. Father’s Day is always celebrated the third Sunday of June. It is a day in which we give honor to the dad or dads that raised us. Today I would like to tell you about my dad and invite you to purchase a copy of my new book on our new bookstore website.

 

Fourteen years ago today something very special and odd happened to me. While I was picking out a Father’s Day card in a card store with my wife Susan, the manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit overwhelmed me. Standing there in His Presence, He spoke to me. I have heard Him speak to me several times, but I have seldom heard His voice that clear. In fact, His words were so clear, I immediately turned away from the card stand. Hot tears filled my eyes as I turned and walked directly outside.

 

ScannedImage Dad, Mom and We Boys in Our Sunday Best!

 

What did the Holy Spirit say that day? He said, “This will be the last year you will buy a Father’s Day card for your dad. Choose wisely.” Over the years I have forgotten the name of the store and its address. I will never forget that day. I first hoped I was imagining things. That is why I walked out of the store. I wanted to make sure I had heard correctly. A minute later my wife Susan, who had followed me out, asked me what I was doing walking out of the store without giving her even as much as an explanation. When I shared what I had heard with her, she asked, “are you sure?” Yes, I said. I wish I wasn’t. But, I was sure.

 

Fifty-one weeks to that day later I conducted dad’s funeral. And, like I shared at his funeral, I want you to know that my dad was a good man and a godly man. He was married to my mother for forty-eight years. With mom, he raised three boys and spent most of his life working in a bakery. For most of his life dad’s skin smelled of flour, of the shortening that he fried his donuts in and of fresh baked bread. He was up between one and three a.m. most mornings and asleep in his chair by eight most nights.

 

Wayne Stone was born during the Great Depression to tenant farmer parents who lived about forty-five miles south of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The youngest of six children, my dad’s early life was extremely difficult–to say the least. These were the days of the famed Dust Bowl. Dad’s father then had a stroke when dad was only five. Because of his father’s paralysis, the family had to leave the farm and move to another state where they could be near his mother’s family. Little work, food being in short supply, worn out hand-me-down clothes and the beginning of World War II created more stress than the little family could almost take. But these circumstances were used by the Holy Spirit to bring dad’s mom to the Lord Jesus Christ. And, when my grandmother, Mae Stone, was gloriously saved, she immediately led my dad and her other children to the same saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

ScannedImage-65 Dad and Mom in Later Years

 

Dad served the Lord Jesus every day of his life. To dad, Jesus was more than his Savior. Jesus was Lord. Dad loved his wife and family with all of his heart. An avid church goer, dad served as a deacon, softball coach for the church’s women’s softball team and substitute Sunday School teacher. One of dad’s finest moments came when he was voted “Father of the Year” at our home church in Nampa, Idaho. He loved being outdoors. He loved hunting, fishing and riding his motorcycle. But most of all, dad loved the Lord Jesus.

 

It has been thirteen years since dad went home to be with the Lord. I still miss him. I miss the funny way he looked when he wore his Bermuda shorts and cowboy boots (at the same time, no less). I miss his pudgy build and “bird legs.” I miss his whistling. I miss his kind words. I miss fishing with him on the middle fork of the Salmon River in late August and hearing about a new kind of bread he had learned to make. But more than anything, I miss listening to dad pray.

 

In the introduction of my new book, The Altar of His Presence, I write about dad and what it was about his praying that touched my life. As I said earlier, dad loved meeting with the Lord. In the church I grew up in my dad could be seen sometimes before, always after, and from time to time during a church service kneeling with his handkerchief out, tears flowing down his cheeks with his heart open to God. I heard Dad pray thousands of times at church, at home, before a meal in a restaurant and even before he died. His altar time was always filled first with thanksgiving and praise for the Lord and Savior he loved, honored, and adored. Within a minute or two from the start, Dad’s voice would break and tears would fill his eyes and begin spilling down his cheeks. Dad’s tears were seldom a result of sadness. Sadness held no place with Dad. His brokenness was a result of his having a contrite spirit.

 

ScannedImage-11 Dad and His Boys a Few Weeks Before His Death

 

Dad’s prayer time wasn’t filled with fear or remorse over some terrible secret sin that had infected his life. No, his brokenness came from spending time every day in the manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit. To begin, Dad would recall how his Savior’s love had changed his life, his mother’s healing of milk fever, and his gratefulness to the Lord for giving him his wife and sons. Decades after his salvation, Dad would consistently thank his Lord for bringing about the circumstances that brought his family to God. His thirst for more of the glory of God was born out of his desire to be filled to overflowing with the righteousness, peace, and joy that only the Spirit of the living God could bring.

 

It is no wonder that I identified the altar with being in God’s Presence. During our nightly prayer meetings I came to understand the need to be filled full of God’s grace and glory. It was with dad in the secret place of the Most High that I was first given experiential knowledge of the Holy Spirit.

 

So today I honor my dad, Wayne Stone. I honor him for the example he set before me. I ask you to honor him too. How? You can honor him by reading more of his story in my new book, The Altar of His Presence. You can also purchase your copy of my book at our new website: http://www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

 

If you choose to purchase eight books we will not only pay the shipping and handing, but we will include our new revised version of my book, Gifts from the Ascended Christ.

 

Take time to honor your dad this week. If he is still with us, take time to tell him how much you love him and thank God for him. If he has passed away, honor him by telling others admit him. Again, don’t forget to visit our website by clicking on the book cover below or by going to: www.thealtarofhispresence.com today!

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A Tribute to My Dad

This coming Sunday is Father’s Day here in the United States. Father’s Day is always celebrated the third Sunday of June. It is a day in which we give honor to the dad or dads that raised us. Today I would like to tell you about my dad and invite you to purchase a copy of my new book on our new bookstore website.

 

Fourteen years ago today something very special and odd happened to me. While I was picking out a Father’s Day card in a card store with my wife Susan, the manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit overwhelmed me. Standing there in His Presence, He spoke to me. I have heard Him speak to me several times, but I have seldom heard His voice that clear. In fact, His words were so clear, I immediately turned away from the card stand. Hot tears filled my eyes as I turned and walked directly outside.

 

ScannedImage Dad, Mom and We Boys in Our Sunday Best!

 

What did the Holy Spirit say that day? He said, “This will be the last year you will buy a Father’s Day card for your dad. Choose wisely.” Over the years I have forgotten the name of the store and its address. I will never forget that day. I first hoped I was imagining things. That is why I walked out of the store. I wanted to make sure I had heard correctly. A minute later my wife Susan, who had followed me out, asked me what I was doing walking out of the store without giving her even as much as an explanation. When I shared what I had heard with her, she asked, “are you sure?” Yes, I said. I wish I wasn’t. But, I was sure.

 

Fifty-one weeks to that day later I conducted dad’s funeral. And, like I shared at his funeral, I want you to know that my dad was a good man and a godly man. He was married to my mother for forty-eight years. With mom, he raised three boys and spent most of his life working in a bakery. For most of his life dad’s skin smelled of flour, of the shortening that he fried his donuts in and of fresh baked bread. He was up between one and three a.m. most mornings and asleep in his chair by eight most nights.

 

Wayne Stone was born during the Great Depression to tenant farmer parents who lived about forty-five miles south of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The youngest of six children, my dad’s early life was extremely difficult–to say the least. These were the days of the famed Dust Bowl. Dad’s father then had a stroke when dad was only five. Because of his father’s paralysis, the family had to leave the farm and move to another state where they could be near his mother’s family. Little work, food being in short supply, worn out hand-me-down clothes and the beginning of World War II created more stress than the little family could almost take. But these circumstances were used by the Holy Spirit to bring dad’s mom to the Lord Jesus Christ. And, when my grandmother, Mae Stone, was gloriously saved, she immediately led my dad and her other children to the same saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

ScannedImage-65 Dad and Mom in Later Years

 

Dad served the Lord Jesus every day of his life. To dad, Jesus was more than his Savior. Jesus was Lord. Dad loved his wife and family with all of his heart. An avid church goer, dad served as a deacon, softball coach for the church’s women’s softball team and substitute Sunday School teacher. One of dad’s finest moments came when he was voted “Father of the Year” at our home church in Nampa, Idaho. He loved being outdoors. He loved hunting, fishing and riding his motorcycle. But most of all, dad loved the Lord Jesus.

 

It has been thirteen years since dad went home to be with the Lord. I still miss him. I miss the funny way he looked when he wore his Bermuda shorts and cowboy boots (at the same time, no less). I miss his pudgy build and “bird legs.” I miss his whistling. I miss his kind words. I miss fishing with him on the middle fork of the Salmon River in late August and hearing about a new kind of bread he had learned to make. But more than anything, I miss listening to dad pray.

 

In the introduction of my new book, The Altar of His Presence, I write about dad and what it was about his praying that touched my life. As I said earlier, dad loved meeting with the Lord. In the church I grew up in my dad could be seen sometimes before, always after, and from time to time during a church service kneeling with his handkerchief out, tears flowing down his cheeks with his heart open to God. I heard Dad pray thousands of times at church, at home, before a meal in a restaurant and even before he died. His altar time was always filled first with thanksgiving and praise for the Lord and Savior he loved, honored, and adored. Within a minute or two from the start, Dad’s voice would break and tears would fill his eyes and begin spilling down his cheeks. Dad’s tears were seldom a result of sadness. Sadness held no place with Dad. His brokenness was a result of his having a contrite spirit.

 

ScannedImage-11 Dad and His Boys a Few Weeks Before His Death

 

Dad’s prayer time wasn’t filled with fear or remorse over some terrible secret sin that had infected his life. No, his brokenness came from spending time every day in the manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit. To begin, Dad would recall how his Savior’s love had changed his life, his mother’s healing of milk fever, and his gratefulness to the Lord for giving him his wife and sons. Decades after his salvation, Dad would consistently thank his Lord for bringing about the circumstances that brought his family to God. His thirst for more of the glory of God was born out of his desire to be filled to overflowing with the righteousness, peace, and joy that only the Spirit of the living God could bring.

 

It is no wonder that I identified the altar with being in God’s Presence. During our nightly prayer meetings I came to understand the need to be filled full of God’s grace and glory. It was with dad in the secret place of the Most High that I was first given experiential knowledge of the Holy Spirit.

 

So today I honor my dad, Wayne Stone. I honor him for the example he set before me. I ask you to honor him too. How? You can honor him by reading more of his story in my new book, The Altar of His Presence. You can purchase your copy today at our new website at: http://www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

 

If you choose to purchase eight books we will not only pay the shipping and handing, but we will include our new revised version of my book, Gifts from the Ascended Christ.

 

Take time to honor your dad this week. If he is still with us, take time to tell him how much you love him and thank God for him. If he has passed away, honor him by telling others about him. Again, don’t forget to visit our website by clicking on the book cover below or by going to: www.thealtarofhispresence.com today!

The_Altar_of_His_Presence_FINALFRONTCOVER