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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Ten Marks of A Prophet

The office of the prophet is probably the least-understood and most-neglected ministry office in the Church today. If we refuse to receive an apostle, we refuse order. However, if we refuse to receive a prophet, we refuse destiny. Where there is no destiny there is no future. The Church then becomes relegated to the narrow existence of the here and now. The prophet is the key to the Church’s destiny and power.

The Church today needs to recognize and receive the ministry of the prophet and to pray that God will raise those with the prophetic gifting into their proper prophetic office. Those who hold the office of prophet form a charismatic order to which a recognized position should be given in the Church. A special recognition and authoritative status should be conferred upon those who have manifested certain gifts in a prominent and/or continuing manner. The prophet is the Lord’s instrument, one of several means by which Jesus Christ leads His Church. In the power of the Spirit, the prophet manifests the character of the Lord, who is the prophet of the end time.

The Authority of the Prophet

When a prophet is recognized and comes into his office, he brings with him an authority from God that accomplishes two things in the Church. First, it helps us to realize that God is a God of the now. A prophet is always reminding us that God is, not just that He was; he tells us what God is doing, not just what He has done. Knowing what God has done throughout history is important; it is a powerful legacy for us. However, we also need to know beyond doubt that the God of the Bible is the God of today; that the God who blessed Moses, helped David, and anointed Jesus will also bless, help, and anoint us. Our God is a now God, and the prophet helps us to remember that.

A prophet has the ability to see things that are not seen. He focuses not on the circumstances, but on the God who rules the circumstances; not on the mess of today, but on the solution that God will provide down the road. The office of the prophet is to speak to us continually in the here and now.

The second thing that the authority of the prophet accomplishes in the Church is that it brings back the fear of the Lord. The sad truth is that there is very little fear of the Lord today either inside the Church or outside. There was a time when a church could be left unlocked 24 hours a day, seven days a week without fear of someone stealing the sound system, vandalizing the building, or spray-painting graffiti on the walls. Now many churches have to allot a significant portion of their budgets to security systems and higher insurance coverage. There was a time when only “essential services” were open for business on Sunday. Now our society treats the Lord’s Day as just another day of the week. Gone is the general civic understanding and belief that the nation that honors and serves God will be blessed by God.

Fear of God is lacking in the Church, too. Many believers have only a shallow and immature commitment to God that allows them to constantly rationalize and justify attitudes, behavior, and lifestyles that go against God’s will as revealed in His Word. Because there is little understanding of what God expects and requires, there is little fear and a limited sense of awe and respect for His holiness and glory.

The prophet in his office, however, gets our attention and brings us back to a holy fear of God. The Lord is looking for a holy Church, a pure and spotless Bride of Christ. A restoration of the fear of God in the Church is necessary if the Church is to grow into full holiness.

The Marks of a Prophet

There are at least ten distinguishing marks of the prophetic office; these characteristics in the lives and ministries of believers identify them as prophets. These traits should be evident in varying degrees in the life of anyone with a prophetic gifting who is attempting to grow and develop in that gifting. They are most fully developed in those who have been raised into the prophetic office. Whenever we see any of these qualities displayed in someone’s life, we should encourage that person to grow and develop their gift.

  1. Preaching that exhorts and strengthens the disciples. The prophet’s message always builds up the lives of disciples; it never tears down. A disciple is a student; someone who is learning, maturing, and growing up in the Christian faith. These are the ones who are encouraged and strengthened by the prophet’s message. Those believers who have refused to mature, on the other hand, may find the prophet’s message to be harsh and painful. It always hurts to be outside of the will of God. A prophet’s word always builds up those who are striving to grow in Christ.
  2. Character that is true, honest, faithful, and holy. A prophet points to and reminds us of our destiny in Christ. Therefore, his life should display the character of Christ. While this is true of all believers, it is particularly critical for those in the prophetic office. The Old Testament prophets were held to a very high standard, not only by the people but by God. Moses was a prophet (see Deut. 34:10); yet one lapse on his part in representing God before the people resulted in God denying him the opportunity to enter the Promised Land (see Deut. 32:48-52). Character matters.
  3. A message that appeals not to the flesh but to the spirit. Growing disciples want messages that challenge and stretch their spirits. Babes in the faith who have no interest in growth usually don’t like prophetic preaching because it brings them under conviction. They are more interested in gratifying the flesh. The message of a true prophet always speaks to the spirit directly and without compromise.
  4. Prediction and fulfillment of prophecy. In other words, a prophet speaks something concerning the future, and God fulfills that prophecy. It could be a prophecy spoken into the life of an individual or an entire congregation. Whatever form it takes, such a prophecy will be specific in nature with clearly measurable fulfillment. Once the event comes to pass we know that God has raised that prophet into office.
  5. Spiritual discernment in the lives of others. This one sometimes makes people nervous, particularly those who know that their lives are not what they should be in the Lord. A prophet has the ability in the Spirit to discern spiritual reality in the lives of others, good or bad, and speak concerning that reality. This prospect creates anxiety in some people who fear that the prophet will uncover all the mess they have allowed into their lives. Have no fear. A mature prophet will never publicly uncover mess because God does not embarrass people. The prophet may address the problem privately with the person, if the Lord leads that way. However, he is more likely to exhort the person to follow God’s will and obey what God has told him to do.
  6. Declaration of divine judgments when needed. This is another one that makes people nervous. Sometimes a situation is so bad or has gone on so long that the word of the Lord through the prophet is one of judgment. Prolonged rebellion or disobedience to God, or refusal to heed prophetic warnings or respond to calls for repentance, will ultimately bring about God’s judgment. No one likes these kind of pronouncements, least of all the prophet, but sometimes they are necessary.
  7. Willingness to suffer for speaking the truth without saving self. A mature prophet has long since committed his or her life totally into God’s keeping and has recognized that suffering is an “occupational hazard.” Speaking the truth for God is more important than personal comfort. Sometimes suffering comes as a result of declaring divine judgment. Jeremiah spoke the truth about God’s coming judgment on the southern kingdom of Judah and was convicted of treason and imprisoned in a dry cistern. A true prophet is not afraid to suffer for the truth.
  8. A message in harmony with the Word of God and the known will of God. A prophet’s message will never, repeat never, contradict the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word always agree. Since a prophet is a “pneumatic” (Spirit-person), his word will also be in agreement with the Word of God. A message that goes against God’s Word is a sure indicator of a false prophet.
  9. Employment of symbolic actions. Prophets preach with pictures. Jesus used this method all the time in His teaching, painting pictures in people’s minds through the stories and parables He told. Prophets use pictures because that’s the way God reveals His will and His Word to them. A prophet sees how things are done in the natural and applies it to the spiritual.
  10. Ability and authority to judge the manifestations of prophetic gifts. A prophet serving in a recognized and acknowledged prophetic office has the ability and authority to identify and judge the presence, display, and use of prophetic gifts in others. In other words, a prophet has the ability to recognize and identify other prophets (both true and false).

Robert Stone, author of Gifts From the Ascended Christ

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

Making A Difference in the Lives of Others

 

Each of us were meant to make a difference in the lives of others. This includes the people with whom we interact with on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You see God meant for each of us to live a life of divine purpose. Our greatest purpose in life is to share in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. His ministry (lived through us) is not just for those who have a church position, a seminary degree or a license to preach. Ministry is for all of us. It is about fulfilling the specific mission God decreed over our lives even before we drew our first breath.

 

Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

 

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I believe that David’s declaration about “the days written about us” specifically includes us making a difference in the lives of others. What will the Lord be interested in when we stand before Him? Will He be concerned with how many degrees we obtained? Or, how much money we made? Or, how many businesses we ran? I think not!

 

When our works are thrust into the fire of His Presence, all that will endure is what we accomplished for Him! To accomplish His will for our lives, we must grasp the importance of His manifested Presence ministering from and through our lives! It is the overflow from His glory that ministers best to those around us. His Presence flowing from us enables others to be touched, healed and changed!

 

It is important that each of us learn and embrace these five statements concerning our purpose in life.

1. We all have been given a purpose and destiny that includes making a difference in the lives of others.

2. We are most fulfilled when we are fulfilling our purpose and moving toward our destiny.

3. Not everyone uncovers or realizes their God-given purpose. We must be diligent (this is the reward of those who diligently seek the Lord) in our process and progress.

4. Our purpose will be revealed as we embrace and enjoy God’s personal design for our lives. Our purpose is not found in the opinions of others (no matter how well intentioned).

5. We will be held accountable concerning our obedience to the purpose to which God has called us.

 

Remember: The gifts and callings of God are irrevocable (Romans 11:29).

 

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In the Bible we see at least four different ways God revealed a person’s purpose in life.  This purpose is usually realized as:

 

1. A DIVINE LIGHTNING BOLT OUT OF NOWHERE.  Example: the Apostle Paul. God revealed his purpose and destiny in a moment of time on the Damascus Road. It came by a supernatural event and was instantly clear. Paul remembered this moment the rest of his life.

 

2. WE WALK THROUGH THE DOORS THAT ARE OPEN BEFORE US. (Example: Queen Esther). God revealed her purpose and destiny by ordering her steps. the Lord began by opening the door for Esther to become Queen. He then took something bad (Haman’s plan to destroy the Jews) and turned it into something wonderful. Esther learned her purpose by moving ahead step by step. Greater understanding was given to her as she embraced each new opportunity.

 

3. THE DIVINE CALL TO MINISTRY FROM BIRTH: (Example: Jeremiah). God revealed early in Jeremiah’s life his purpose, call, ministry and destiny. Jeremiah 1:4-7 says, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” Jeremiah was moved toward his destiny even from before his birth (as was John the Baptist) and his ministry was set in motion in a divine manner.

 

4. GROWING AWARENESS: (Example: Joseph). God reveals purpose and destiny for many people in a general sense. As we move toward our purpose in life, He provides the details. The idea of such comes from the Greek word: kaleo. The word is used chiefly in the writings of the Apostle Paul (though the idea and term are found also elsewhere). George Henry writes that Paul realized “the invitation given to men by God to accept salvation in His kingdom through Jesus Christ. This invitation is given generally and outwardly by the preaching of the gospel, inwardly by the work of the Holy Spirit. With reference to Israel, it is on the part of God irrevocable, not repented of. Having in His eternal counsel called this people, He entrusted them with great gifts, and because He did thus enrich them, He also, in the course of time, summoned them to fulfill the task of initiating the world into the way of salvation, and of preparing salvation for the world.”

 

Paul also wrote that this “high calling” in Christ is made in and from heaven by God on account of Christ (Philippians 3:14). Similarly it is a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1) as well as a holy calling, holy in aim, means, and end (2 Timothy 1:9). Paul told the Ephesians that every Christian is to walk worthy of this calling (Ephesians 4:1) and to be encouraging others to live in such a way that God will count them worthy of their calling (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

 

I ask you to consider this…

 

ARE YOU MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS?

IF NOT, WHEN WILL YOU BEGIN?

IF YOU ARE, ARE YOU ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO DO THE SAME?

 

I encourage you to do your best to make a difference in the lives of others–today and everyday!

 

I love you,

 

Robert

Moving Into New Spiritual Dimensions

If we are going to fully understand the relationship between the spiritual environment we live in and the advancement or lack thereof of personal growth, we need to look at nature. Such an observation was made by a man who makes his living by diving for exotic fish. The fish he catches are used to fill large aquariums. According to him, one of the most popular aquarium fish is the shark. The reason for this is that sharks adapt easily to their environment. The size a shark becomes is determined by the environment it lives in. If you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium in which it lives. Sharks can be six inches long and yet fully mature. But turn them loose in the ocean and they will grow to their normal size.

 

The same is true of most people. Some people live in a spiritual environment that causes their opportunity to “become” small. This is generally due to them living in a spiritual setting that is filled with disagreement, fear, doubt or unbelief. This type of spiritual atmosphere continues to focus on what God cannot or will not do. Rather than experiencing growth, their lives suffer spiritually causing them to remain small and underdeveloped. While we cannot always control the environment around us, we can choose to stay or leave. Each of us can decide to be open to new theology, new spiritual experiences and to experience new horizons.

 

One of the reasons I wrote, The Altar of His Presence, was to help people move into a new spiritual environment. Such movement usually requires people experiencing the glory of God on a new and intimate level. Such experiences inspire the kind of spiritual growth that transforms the heart and renews the mind. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

 

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How can The Altar of His Presence assist you in becoming all that God has planned for you to become? Reading, embracing and experiencing this kind of devotional material will help you to examine your own desires. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart.”

 

Desires can be changed. Sometimes they change because of something we have experienced. Desires can wane or grow. The desires that are in our heart can be ignited by reading a new book, hearing a new message or having a new spiritual experience. And, while it is true that that many people generally do what people see, each of us must decide to go beyond what we have previously known or seen and to be open to new experiences and ideas.

 

It has been my experience that desires change greatly for those who truly delight themselves in the Lord. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, have new and divine experiences in the Holy Spirit, we are given opportunity to respond positively or negatively to the Lord’s Manifest Presence. I encourage you to respond in a positive manner. Why? Because, the Holy Spirit would like nothing more than for each of us to have intimate and experiential knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul said he considered everything a loss in comparison to “knowing” Christ Jesus his Lord (see Phil. 3:8). Such “knowing” can only happen when as we experience Him in spirit and in truth.

 

I encourage you to decide today to contend for the experiential knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear the Voice of the Lord. I encourage you to do so by purchasing your copy of The Altar of His Presence and by choosing to act on that which you read. Take the time to meditate on, digest, respond and reflect. I believe such action will cause you to be delighted in the Lord on a whole new level, cause you to fully desire to know Him and become all that you can be in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Have a blessed day.

Robert

Our New Book Has Arrived!

I am so excited about our new book, The Altar of His Presence. While it won’t be available at Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Amazon and Target until July 17th. But, I have some wonderful news…you can receive your own advance signed copy today!

 

Without hesitation, I can say that the message of The Altar of His Presence will help you find the secret to living the “altar’ed life.” Like Enoch who walked with God, if you are willing to walk with God, He will take you. He will take you places you cannot possibly visit or live without Him. He will lead you into paths of righteousness–for His Name’s sake! He will take you to ascend His holy hill and into His marvelous glory! I can promise that you will find yourself in the very “secret place” of The Most High!

 

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This new devotional book will truly inspire you and enable you to experience intimate encounters with the Glory of God. In the book I lay out a revelatory blueprint for how you can take your intimacy with God to new, marvelous and wonderful levels. I am confident that by reading the book, you will:

 

  • Receive new revelation on how to experience the Holy Spirit more deeply
  • Gain new clarity in how to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading
  • Experience deep spiritual fulfillment as you learn to fellowship with God on a more personal level
  • Enter into greater depths of worship where you can witness God’s glory more powerfully

 

To order your advanced signed copy, visit our online bookstore today at: www.thealtarofhispresence.com

LISTEN TO WHAT MANY CHRISTIAN LEADERS ARE SAYING…

 
“I highly recommend this book both as a study guide and a daily devotion to discover the beauty of God’s Presence more fully. It will truly alter your life.”
– Charles Patterson, Pastor Emeritus, Church of the Hills, Charles Patterson Ministries

 

“I would personally encourage every serious man of God to get a copy of this ever inspiring devotional book. I can promise that you will be blessed each time you read through it.”
– Bishop McOwen Andrew S. Mwale, Senior Pastor of Katawa Jerusalem Temple, Mzuzu, Malawi and a Former Division Director, Northern Region of the Malawi Assemblies of God

 

“The Altar of His Presence is not for those who wish to be motivated by other people’s stories. Instead, Robert Stone skillfully weaves life lessons of his own, richly seasoned with Scripture, in order to lead the reader into an altar’ed life.”
– Ric Shields, President of Doorways

 

“Follow these principles through study and reflection in each chapter and find a whole new way to experience Christ and the dynamic of the Holy Spirit with life changing results.”
– Doyle Fulkes, Superintendent, Southern Idaho Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God

 

“In writing The Altar of His Presence, Robert Stone has put biblical truth at our fingertips. This is a valuable read for all Christians.”
– Fran Bates, Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant

 

“I encourage everyone to read this book with an open heart. I can promise that by doing so they will find that it is not important where we build an “altar” and that by doing so they will be positioned to receive the best of blessings from Him— His Presence.”
– Dwight Karm, Retired Owner, Paramount Construction

 

“In his new book, The Altar of His Presence, Robert Stone provides a pattern and a process to establish a growing, intimate relationship with God by experiencing His Presence.”
– Reverend Alton Garrison, Assistant General Superintendent, The General Council of the Assemblies of God

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!

The_Altar_of_His_Presence_FINALFRONTCOVER