How I came to know the Messiah

How I came to know the Messiah

My guest today is Dr. Phil Gigliotti. He is a retired medical doctor, teacher, speaker, and lover of the Messiah. He teaches the Jewishness of Scripture online at the Messianic LAMB Network as well as He also has class at Calvary Chapel of Cleveland. #OneinMessiah

We had a wonderful conversation about Phil’s amazing redemption story, and how the Lord led him to a Messianic congregation as a Gentile, and we talked a lot about Scripture. You won’t want to miss it!

The Jewishness and Meaning of God’s Name

The Jewishness and Meaning of God’s Name

Carl Gallups and I talked about, Yahweh, God’s Name–The Tetragrammaton–the reason we call on Him, the importance of His Name, and the Jewishness of His Name.

Carl Gallups is a critically acclaimed Amazon Top-60 bestselling author. He is a former decorated Florida law enforcement officer, the long-time senior pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church (since 1987) on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and the internationally known radio talk show host of Freedom Friday with Carl Gallups. Carl also serves on the Board of Regents at the University of Mobile in Mobile, Alabama. Carl frequently appears in television, radio, and print media interviews as a commentator and pundit for all things geopolitical, biblical, and prophetic. He is also a well-known biblical conference speaker. Carl was featured on the Fox News Business Report as an “influential evangelical leader.” Carl was asked by the Trump campaign to open the internationally broadcast Trump for President Rally in Pensacola, Florida, in January 2016. Pastor Gallups lives in Milton, Florida, with his wife, Pam. 

You can find one of Carl’s many books here.

A Scenic Overlook and Mountain Experience

A Scenic Overlook and Mountain Experience

Have you ever wished you could have a scenic overlook of your life—a past, present, and future look to see why you’ve experienced the failures, grief, and struggles? Wouldn’t it be nice to see the bigger picture and understand what God is doing?

The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference

A Writers Experience

When I went to the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference last week I was able to visit the scenic overlook at the top of the mountain where we stayed. There were beautiful sunrises and picturesque views, and I took lots of pictures.

While it’s so good to catch up with writer friends and make new ones, the conference can feel like you are drinking from a fire hose.

I took classes on marketing my book, starting a podcast, and branding, as well as how to join various groups that help you become a successful author. I’m still praying about how much to spend in these areas and which of them God is leading me to do.

Then there are the contests…I have a love/hate relationship with them. It’s nice to win an award, but the sting of not placing is tough. Contests are an affirmation for me. It’s nice to know your peers like what you’ve written enough to rate your piece high enough for an award. Contests can also make you feel like you are on the right track.

But what happens when you don’t place? Does it mean that everything you write is bad? No, it doesn’t. We have to trust God with all we do. Our writing, our art, our promotions and jobs, and our education.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:6-8 ESV

The Scenic Overlook

The Mountain Experience

As I drove my friend to the airport, I said, “It would be nice to understand what God is doing!” Of course, she agreed and said, “Wouldn’t we all like that?” It’s true.

I stopped at a scenic overlook on my drive home to Ohio. While there was a steep path going up to the overlook there was another path at the parking lot level to see the same view. Of course, I took the steep path. I didn’t even see the other deck until I was walking back to my car.

As I looked out at the mountains, I couldn’t help but feel small. They were so far away and so high. The trek I made up the path was nothing compared to climbing one of those mountains. We often think of mountain experiences in our Christian walk as highs or the happiest moments in our lives.

However, when I look at these mountains, how often do we think about the trip to the mountain? Only those who prepare for it get there.

The Trek to the Mountain

Six essentials we need before climbing a mountain

!. Equipment: the right boots, outerwear, pants, and layers of clothing for the heat and the cold weather.

2. Food and water: That kind of hike would take a lot out of us physically. We would need to carry enough food and water to stay hydrated.

3. Protection: We would need bear spray at least to protect ourselves from any predators that might follow us or block our path. Also, there might be underbrush. We would need to have a knife to get through the undergrowth that may hinder or prevent us from getting where we need to be.

4. Rest: We could not do that hike in one day. We need to rest.So we would need to have a sleeping bag and/or tent to camp out in.

5. Preparation: That hike would not happen in a few hours or a day. A trip like that could take days. Be ready for the trip. Rest up and exercise to prepare your body for the climb.

Do you see the parallels in our Christian walk?

Spiritual Mountain Highs

Six essentials before we get to that Mountain High

What do we need to prepare for a spiritual mountain high experience?

1. Equipment: Prayer and God’s Word. We need the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts and the Word of God to equip us.

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21 ESV

2. Food and water: Jesus. He alone can keep us going in our Christian walk—whether it is a mountain high or a valley low.

Jesus. He alone can keep us going in our Christian walk—whether it is a mountain high or a valley low.

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35

“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

3. Protection: Satan is our predator. He lies in wait to overwhelm us or convince us to stop so we will not make it to the mountain. Are you ready with God’s armor? In the Old Testament, men in a covenant relationship switched their armor with the other. God has given you His armor to fight satan’s attacks.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11 ESV

4. Rest: Our “walk” with Christ is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to rest–that’s why He gave us the Sabbath.

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.” Hebrews 4:9-10

5. Preparation: Just as we wouldn’t climb a mountain without preparing, we can’t have a mountain-top experience with God without some preparation.

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. “ 1 Peter 1:13 ESV

Heaven–the Scenic Overlook

So, while we don’t get that scenic overlook experience in this lifetime–a chance to see and understand all God is doing, we will someday in Heaven. Everything we have gone through will make sense. God was working on your mountains and in your valleys, He is working now and will continue to do a good work within us until the day we die.

Which filter do you use?

Which filter do you use?

A filter is a common word in today’s vernacular. Growing up, it meant a white, paper thingy you used in your Mr. Coffee to keep the coffee grains from getting into your cup of caffeine. Now, we have the French press and the Keurig, and there is no need of the big, white filters anymore.

Filters on our phones and computers make our selfies and pictures look anyway we want. I can make myself look twenty years younger, glamorous, silly, or like a cat, dog, biker, or a banana.

 I have friends and family who love to take selfies with Snapchat. We send crazy photos to each other, laugh at one another, and make comments.

You can turn a color photo into black and white or a vintage-style picture. On Instagram, there are over twenty different filters to choose from to apply to every picture we take.


All of us have filters ingrained within us.

We can have filters for different reasons:

We inherit certain filters, people teach them to us, or they develop in us by circumstances beyond our control.

We had a German shepherd named Olivia who loved us as much as we loved her. She knew we would protect her so she protected us. She knew she could trust us, too. Whenever anyone came over, she would walk up to them and roll onto her back so they could rub her belly. She loved people because no one had ever given her a reason not to. (I realize that is not always the case.)

Our current dog, Sophie, does not trust anyone. To us, she is the sweetest dog, but let someone visit or drop off a package and she will bark and growl at them until we make her stop, which is why she must stay behind a fence.

Sophie has a pancreatic problem which also causes behavior (fear) issues. Before we knew what was wrong with her, she was already starving. Her body did not digest the large amounts of food we gave her so she ate everything she found. Believe me it was not good. She ate dozens of eggs from our chickens and a couple of times she ate the chicken, too. :((

Two dogs raised in the same way, but one loved all people and the other is afraid of everyone.

Just like our phone apps, filters influence the way we see ourselves and other people.

Hurt, betrayal, pain, illness, or any injustice can be a filter causing us to see things a certain way. Our worldview can skew how we perceive God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, or how we read and interpret the Bible.

For example, sometimes I may need to examine why I react to particular things. I have a friend who told me if I always over-react to the same kinds of comments or behaviors (triggers); I can ask God for the cause of this reaction.

He has been faithful to show me why certain things trigger a negative response from me. My trust issues and disappointment with others stem from family dynamics which affected me as a child.

God has done deep healing in me over the years.

I want to see Him without the filters caused by my parent’s dysfunction. And I want to know truth that only the Holy Spirit and the Word of God can teach me without the negative filters of hurt instilled by teachers and pastors through their erroneous teachings.

Ask God to remove your current filters through his healing and truth. Ask Him to reveal the root of those filters.

Be transparent. Remove the filters telling people you are happy all the time and you don’t need anything. Be vulnerable. Let people get to know the real you.

The Lies of Rejection

The Lies of Rejection

I originally wrote this for a friend’s blog. I am reposting here, because today I received my first rejection from a publisher for my Bible study called The Jewels of Hebrews.

There was a post going around on Facebook which stated, “Don’t believe everything you think.” Its truth crashed head on into my thoughts of rejection.

Throughout most of my life it felt as though others rejected me. It’s one of those feelings which is so easy to believe, like fear. We can spend our entire existence thinking people are talking about us, believing no one values us, even feeling sure people don’t want us around.

I can feel excluded when I see my friends on Facebook sharing pictures of themselves having a great time together, wondering why they didn’t invite me. When people don’t attend my Bible study classes, I assume it is because of me. When people won’t buy my book, it looks, feels, and smells like… rejection.

I am not ignoring the fact people have distanced or removed themselves from my life. It hurt when a boyfriend broke up with me because I wasn’t right for him, and when friends thought I was a “Jesus freak”, or a woman didn’t want to be friends any longer.

Even though people have rejected me doesn’t mean I am rejected.

Rejection can become a stronghold in our Christian walk. It is the lie which keeps us captive by Satan, who tells us we are not worthy, wanted, or appreciated.

One night in a dream, I saw myself with different people, in a church, at a restaurant, and in a friend’s home. I saw myself looking down at the ground not making eye contact with anyone, feeling alone, and despised. Everywhere I went people treated me the way I saw myself. I woke up knowing I needed to stop believing the lie that no one wanted me around. If I kept acting rejected not only did I believe it but soon everyone else would as well.

Victory came when I repented for believing the lie that I am rejected. I asked God to replace that lie with His truth.

Psalm 94:14 (ESV) says, “For the LORD will not reject His people; He will never forsake His inheritance.”

We are His inheritance.

God has not rejected us—quite the opposite, in fact. He faced the ultimate rejection by His death so we can live as adopted sons and daughters.

We can turn the tables on Satan by rejecting him and his lies and forgiving those who rejected us. Forgiveness is a weapon for victory. It removes the power of the evil one and frees us from the captivity of unforgiveness. It will allow healing.

 One of the greatest gifts we have is being able to spend time with the Lord. He strengthens us through our relationship with Him. He affirms us and shows us love and patience while healing the hurts of our hearts.

Another source of truth for victorious living is God’s Word. Ephesians 1:4 tells us He chose us before He created the world and Ephesians 2:4 tells us God loves us with a great love.

I love Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV). Let your heart hear God’s love:

“The Lord your God is in your midst,

    a Mighty One Who will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness;

    He will quiet you by His love;

He will exult over you with loud singing.

Scripture memorization means we always have access to the truth even when we don’t have our Bibles with us. Satan cannot steal what is in our hearts. We can repeat verses when the temptation to believe a lie assails us.

Prayer is a mighty weapon for continuous victory over rejection. Be honest with the Lord. We can tell Him the emotions of our hearts and our desire to believe all He says. He wants us to tell Him about our hurts and disappointments. We can approach His throne confidently and we will receive mercy and find grace when we need it (Hebrews 4:16). Continuous conversations with our Father gives us hope and the power to stand even when we feel rejected.

How have you conquered the feelings of rejection?