The Causes of Spiritual Blindness

As we contemplate the state of things in the world today, it becomes clear that our root problem is spiritual blindness. It is a plague that infects our lives and spreads to the nations with incomprehensible speed. It seems apparent that many of the ills and troubles of our time are traceable to this central fact. The masses are blind, most leaders seem blind, and many Christians are blind to spiritual realities and scriptural truths. From both the Bible and personal experience, I see 10 major causes of spiritual blindness:

  1. Sin –“Those who have never seen, that need salvation.” These are blinded by original sin, so as Jesus said, “If the light that’s in you is darkness…how great is that darkness.” They are free to choose what they want, but not free to want what is right or true. In modern terms, “The Matrix is real!” Did you ever think something’s wrong…with me, the world, and you don’t know what it is? It’s sin…the matrix…it is everywhere, it’s all around you, and within you. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes.
  2. Satan –“Those that need deliverance.” Spiritual blindness is spiritual. Wow! 2Cor.4:4 says, “The god of this age has blinded” them. This blindness is not only natural…it is supernatural. And, according to these Bible verses, it pollutes the mind…tainting our views and darkening one’s thoughts. It is the work of the Devil. Satan’s power is directed at men’s view of reality and is purposed to control our minds and blind us to the gospel and glory of God in Christ. We must fight the good fight of faith, and know that it’s a costly thing to seek spiritual understanding. That’s why there’s always spiritual warfare and conflict related to revelation, faith and godly vision.
  3. Syncretism –“Those who are not seeing very much, or very clearly.” These are the cultural Christians that have had a touch from Christ Jesus, but “still see men as trees walking.” A touch is not enough. Mixture and collage of belief systems means seeking the God we want rather than the God who is. This “shortsightedness” blurs everything you see. Tending towards shallow theology while being ½ hearted and culturally relevant…this deception views ultimate things in a “Que sera sera…whatever will be” way. This don’t rock the boat, politically correct ruse simply says “Whatever!” to what matters.
  4. Secularism –“Those who assume that this world –the material world –is all that there is.” It means “this worldly,” and refers to the belief that all that is real is here, now and physical. From Hellenistic Epicureans and Hebrew Sadducees, to our Modern atheists and Darwinian naturalists, these skeptical views deny the supernatural (spiritual) and the immortality of the soul. This endeavor to remove God and Judeo-Christian values and influence from the public arena is the first step on a slippery slope to “unmanageable evil.”
  5. Fear & Unbelief –“Those whose perspectives and thinking are tainted by doubt.” Insecurity and intimidation can twist perceptions until we’re convinced of illusions…haunted by what might happen. Fear is not an absence of faith…it is faith in the wrong thing. It’s clear from the scriptures that the major hindrance to Israel in the days of Moses, religious leaders at the time of Christ, with opposition to Paul’s gospel, and among modern Jews and secularists is the blinding power of unbelief. “If you would believe, you would see!”
  6. Pride & Prejudice –“Those who have seen, but have lost spiritual sensitivity and vision.” What they once had is gone, and like Samson with his shorn locks…they don’t even know what’s missing or lost. To lose spiritual sight is to lose the supernatural and spiritual distinctions of the spiritual life. This is the tragedy of Laodicea. Truly, there is much that needs to be said and seen related to this Laodicean condition that so characterizes the western church today. However, we will simply focus on the roots of this which are: indifference, self-sufficiency and self-righteousness. When this is our state, the Lord says to us, “I counsel you to buy of me…and anoint your eyes with eye salve that you may see!”
  7. Greed –“Those who are blinded by covetousness and the desire for personal gain.” This is the “way of Balaam,” and is one of the most powerful influences in our world today. When your attention is constantly bound by thoughts of personal gain or loss, you may quickly become blind to the Lord’s presence and purposes. In Job 2:4, Satan shows both his contempt for and conviction of the nature of humanity and the character of Job. The world and Devil are utterly convinced that humans will only act selfishly! When motivated by supreme self-interest, we are bound by considerations of “What’s in it for me?!?” Ambition and avarice brings addiction to a quality of life mentality. This makes us totally predictable to the enemy, and leads us blindly into the trap of the Evil One. There is more to life than money and things…you cannot serve God and Mammon.
  8. Religion –“Those blinded by religious zeal, and performance orientation.” This was Saul of Tarsus before meeting the Living Christ on the road to Damascus. In Acts 26:9 he said, “I thought that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus.” What a shocking discovery, to find out that the things you thought (opinions and traditions of men),…and ethically, morally believed you ought to do to please God, be acceptable to HIM, and to have a clean conscience, were actually opposed to God. There is no greater blindness than religion. It substitutes zeal for intimate relationship, soul for Spirit, tradition for truth, works for grace, bondage for freedom, and often leads to meanness or militant inquisitions.
  9. Discouragement – “Those so hurt by people or circumstances that they lose hope and the ability to discern accurately.” This was the condition of the disciples after the cross and burial of Jesus. For them, pulverized by pain, desensitized by the shock of death, and gripped with the debilitating power of despair…Jesus and HIS promises were unrecognizable (Lk.24:16). Grieving loss, shattered dreams (ideals), chronic pain and unrealized expectations have the potential to paralyze and blind you in hopelessness and depression.
  10. Hatred –“Those with jealous envy and anger toward another.” Love is not blind…hatred is! And, it is one of the forces behind the increased violence and murders of today. 1Jn.2:11 says, “Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness…he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

>We will have more on these in the days ahead…”Oh Lord, open our eyes!”


The Tragedy of Spiritual Blindness

On March 2, 2003, I was in Tallahassee, FL. to preach a Sunday sermon titled “20/20 Vision.” Just before leaving for church, I sat a moment with a cup of coffee and opened the newspaper. The headline jumped off the page, and I quickly found myself mesmerized as I took in every word of Lost in Plain Sight: “The Legacy of Florida’s Foster Care System.” This article shocked me as it shouted outrage at a system that lost sight of the value of human souls, and questioned who is responsible. What a tragedy to be the responsibility of the state and federal government, and to be both ignored and forgotten. It was more than ironic…I knew it was prophetic, as I glimpsed over at the message outline that was prayerfully prepared 2 weeks earlier. The 1st principle said, “Our Tragedy: Understanding our society’s loss of values, human dignity and moral conviction is due to spiritual blindness.”

How could someone…anyone…you or I lose sight of what’s so valuable? There is nothing stranger today than “the importance of unimportant things; except of course, the unimportance of important things.” Well, that’s it. You lose what you don’t believe is important. If it’s not valuable to you, then it will neither be seen when there, nor be missed when gone. Where and what your treasure is… there your heart’s affection (love and worth-ship) is…there your life’s attention stays. When you think it matters, your appreciation produces a determined pursuit. Job 28 speaks to this amazing yet contradictory point, that man has an almost infinite capacity to overcome insurmountable odds to discover what he deems valuable (mining, engineering and technology feats); but cannot find the lasting riches of wisdom and understanding because they begin with the fear (reverence and worship) of the Lord God.

Do you notice the difference of value produces both a different point of view and pursuit? The Bible speaks to this throughout the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. Is your ultimate value the things of the earth, your efforts and way; or is it to know and worship God…and learn HIS perspective and ways? The first one produces a life of futility (carnality and religion), while the other makes a life of fulfillment. How strange to choose futility over fulfillment, to choose death over life…materialism over spiritual reality…but I see people do it all the time.

In our age of information and day of supposed unequalled education, our blindness to spiritual realities and inability to accurately assess the reasons for our cultural crises has reached epidemic proportions. It ought to be clear by now that we can not educate our way out of something we believed and behaved our way into! The catastrophic effects of denying spiritual and scriptural truths are now plaguing every segment of society. When you take away the supernatural, what remains is the unnatural. When you stop caring for God, you will stop caring for the image of God –your fellow man.

I believe most of the troubles of our time are traceable to the root of spiritual blindness. I am utterly convinced that: 1) There is nothing more important than the spiritual realm. 2) There is nothing more essential or adventurous than faith and family. 3) And, there is nothing more vast and valuable than a human soul. Jude Law’s opening line in the movie “All The King’s Men” applies here, “To find something, anything...a great truth or a lost pair of glasses, you must first believe there would be some advantage in finding it.” If you “see” it (the value, advantage, worth), you will seek it! Remember, the Holy Spirit is our advantage (Jn.16:7). Isn’t it time we set out once again for the discovery and recovery of the spiritual things that matter most.


"The Need for the Hour"

Q-The need for the hour, the need for our day, the need in this generation…and of every age? Yes, and we are being made more and more aware in our time of this fundamental and universal need. We could even say that there never was a time when there was a greater need for people who could say, “I see!”… That is the need!

Hope for us hangs on this, that there would be people in this world, this dark world of confusion, self-interest, chaos, tragedy and contradiction; a people that can say, “I see!” In all the geo-political, educational-economic, spiritual-religious, ethnic-environmental, marriage-family, military-energy, youth and leadership crises; there must arise a people that will face these challenges, and meet these needs. And, I dare say, they must be met in a spiritual way with strategic thinking by people of influence that can say, “I see!” It is this “seeing factor” that makes all the difference…and is the great need for our hour.

The initial inspiration for “20Twenty Vision” as a ministry came as God began to open up Jn.9 in the Bible to me. This story of the “man blind from his birth,” arrested my attention, and launched me forth on a mission to “recover spiritual sight.” Elton Trueblood once said, “True recovery is never a matter of going backward for the sake of re-establishing an older pattern, but rather of uncovering (re-discovering) what has been hidden or overlaid and therefore forgotten.” Randall Jarrell said, “Soon we shall know everything the 18th century did not know, and nothing it did, and it will be very hard to live with us.” We have lost some essential things, both culturally and in Christianity, and we desperately need to find them again.

We do not just seek for a new revelation, or even suggest that you have to have extra-Biblical or some new Biblical thing. We do however claim that there is a vast amount of life changing truth and experience in relation to the Spirit of Christ, the Christian life, and the Word of God that we have never seen, which we may yet see. For so many of us, there is a vast realm Divine thought and scriptural insight and purpose that still waits for a deeper and fuller work of the Spirit within us. We are not seeking to change old truths or have new truths, but for spiritual sight into the truth. And perhaps, most of all, what we are actually missing and seeking is experiential Christianity …personal faith and 1st person perspectives that are God centered. With that in mind, I am utterly convinced that this blind man encountering Jesus is a modern day parable, loaded with the principles, problems and purposes that are both prophetic and pertinent to the issues and needs of our day.

It is now time for the Christian church and both its’ leadership and people to “recover the testimony of this blind man.” The Christian life begins here, spiritual growth happens here, mature ministry flows from here; and in all facets, through every season of our faith journey…spiritual life must have this secret in it, “I see!” There is no more pressing need today than for men and women who can stand spiritually as this man stood and proclaim, “One thing I know: I was blind, and now I see!”

To keep us going HIS way, to be a part of what HE is doing in the earth, the LORD is constantly bringing us into situations where it is absolutely necessary for us to see HIM! This provokes us to seek HIM that we might experience and know the LORD in a new and Living way. The whole matter is summed up in us seeing, first that we are sinners that can’t see and don’t really know; and, then by us seeing and knowing Jesus Christ. Oh how we need to be aware of the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives in this way. How often God providentially leads us in and through a series of crises to release fresh vision…a series of crises of seeing and seeing yet again, as the LORD opens our eyes and we can say as never before, “I see!”

It is not just our study, our past experiences, our learning or book knowledge, but … “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the (intimate and personal) knowledge of HIM; the eyes of our heart being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of HIS calling, and what are the riches of the glory of HIS inheritance in the saints (you)!” How effective a witness …how transformative to our world if we once again brought with us this authenticity and authority that is so needed and required today. The need for the hour is for a people to stand and say, “One thing I know: I was blind, but now I see!”


"What Do You See?!?"

In the search for understanding to gain God’s perspective, I’ve thrown my life into Bible study, prayer, worship and reading. During seasons of study in the early 90’s and 2007, the story of the Israelite’s spying out their promised land (Numb.13) repeatedly grabbed my attention. This narrative provided a constant challenge to my perspectives while confirming some of my own insights.

Remember the story…2 years after crossing the Red Sea, the children of Israel were now at the oasis of Kadesh-barnea. Although only an 11 days journey, God had planned for the Israelites to spend 1 year camping at Mt. Sinai to learn His laws and build the Tabernacle. It was the school of the wilderness that God ordained to remove from them a slavery mentality, worldliness and carnality while producing a new way of life. This life was based on a covenant and new perspectives gained from worshipping a Living God and learning His word and ways. Now, for the 1st time, it appeared an end of their nomadic wanderings was in sight. This scene in their journey was about a 40 day venture by 12 tribal leaders that would test the people’s faith to discover if God’s preparation would effect what they see, say, and decide to do. This intense moment, charged with emotion and expectancy then became dramatically magnified by disagreements among the “spies.” The people would now have to choose to believe a “good report” or a bad one…with life and death, blessing or curse, 40 year consequences.

The writer of Hebrews comments on this story, using the reaction of the spies to this investigation as an illustration of the tendency for the hearts of God’s people to fall short of God’s desire for them. These scriptures warn us to fear lest we come short of a promise given to us…because “the word (good report) preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Heb.4:1-2). None of the 12 spies denied or disagreed with the reports of an “exceedingly good land,” or of the difficulties ahead of them. Their only argument was that it was an impossible situation for them to handle. The poison of fear entered in, and a plague of unbelief quickly spread through the ranks. The facts were accurate, their hearts were off, and so their perspectives and conclusions were wrong! They were calculating without God, and this caused them to mistrust their own abilities rather than trust in the Lord’s. There has been in most generations this tendency in God’s people to draw back from the fullness of the Promise because of the smallness of ourselves or seeming bigness of obstacles and opposition.

George Otis, Jr. wrote of this event, “Of far more importance to God (and this was, of course, His real purpose in sending out spies in the first place) was what else the Hebrew scouts would see in Canaan. The final scorecard? All saw giants; most saw grasshoppers; two saw God.”

This whole scene of scouting out the Promised Land with Caleb and Joshua in faith while others are in fear and unbelief is extremely important to where we are going (as Christians and churches). God desires us to see as HE sees…to have a Biblical Worldview and gain HIS perspective. The “bad report” was factual – correct in its description; but it didn’t take into account God’s promises or power. We must not have a low line of sight, a grasshopper identity or mentality because of intimidation or insecurity. Instead, we must lift up our heads and eyes. We must look at things, and then look again with the eyes of faith. “What else do you see?”…that’s the issue.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the evidence of Things not seen.” With Joshua and Caleb, there was nothing visible or in natural circumstances to convince others of their “good report.” Also, as with most people in the Bible with promises from God, there looked to be much to go through that would be hard and uncomfortable for the flesh. Amazingly, things not seen seemed to matter more to Joshua and Caleb than things seen. We all must look, not just at the seen, but to the Unseen. “For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2Cor.4:18). With spiritual vision we can “endure as seeing HIM who is invisible, Unseen” (Heb.11:27).

How often we find ourselves confronted with an “evil report” that calculates using our inadequacies and intimidating opposition. This tempts us to doubt, fear, and discouragement while bringing an oppressive paralysis, self-pity or even panic. Oswald Chambers asks the question, “Have you been bolstering that stupid soul (self-life) of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God?...(the Israelites did)…all our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.” As Christians, we should take no account of evil, and always bring the Living God in as the greatest factor in all our calculations. If you have heard God’s promise, seen the “good land,” stared at giants, walls and strongmen to the point of personal insecurity or even hopelessness, and can still see God…you are in position for a Divine reversal and generational blessing.

The old Sunday school/camp song sums this up… “12 men went to spy on Canaan, 10 were bad, 2 were good. What do you think they saw in Canaan, 10 were bad, 2 were good. Some saw giants big and strong; some saw grapes with clusters long, some saw God was in it all! 10 were bad and 2 were good.” Remember, all see giants, most see grasshoppers, but few see God. The question of the hour is, “What do you see?!?”


"Gaining God's Perspective"

One of my favorite things to do on vacation is to sit at a table with a scenic view, a favorite drink, some great music and work for hours on 1000+ piece puzzles. Yes, it’s true that few supposed relaxing or recreational things may seem as daunting or feel as frustrating at times; but, that’s why I take frequent walks outside. However, don’t forget the thrill of returning to the puzzle table with fresh perspective or a new angle that reveals a wrongly placed (forced fit) piece, and causes a wave of progressive connectivity. There’s something so satisfying about concentrating on small pieces, connecting and contextualizing them (little by little), and ultimately completing the task of re-presenting “the big picture.”

For much of my life, I’ve felt like one of those force fit puzzle pieces…a square peg in a round hole. It wasn’t environmental, A.D.D., or an identity crises, I simply possessed a prevailing sense of the world focused and awed at a puzzle put together wrongly. Have you noticed that our world is constantly separating things that obviously were meant to be connected; and, connecting stuff that’s definitely to be separated? Something was off. People around me seemed to have or perceive everything backwards. Like a crowd starring at a Picasso or Dali as if it were reality and life was fantasy; the world (at best) seemed convinced of trivialities and confused on absolutes, or (at worst) didn’t care about their inaccurate, incomplete view of life. Most of them were focusing and prioritizing wrongly, and were blinded to or ignoring the things that matter most. “There is nothing stranger today than the importance of unimportant things. Except, of course, the unimportance of important things…modern man is now committed to the exaltation of very small and secondary matters at the expense of very great and primary ones” (G.K. Chesterton).

Since I became born again (summer 1981), an almost overwhelming, instinctive urge has compelled me to seek wholeheartedly for the “Gaining of God’s Perspective.” This internal conviction has driven me to swim upstream against the raging currents of cultural correctness, present circumstances and Christian nominalism. While a dead thing can go with the stream, only a living thing can go against it. This was not a search for salvation, but the pursuit of God to receive HIS Heavenly Vision. On this journey, the Spirit of Grace and Truth has faithfully guided me through the dangers of humanism, the toils of religion, and the snares of man-made traditions. Like a salmon in spring, I knew somewhere behind and beyond the torrential floods (the accepted and deficient ways of the world) lies the place of my destiny.

Behind the surrealistic puzzle/picture of life, beyond the conventional currents of selfish and secular perspectives was more than meets the eye…and I had a passion to discover it. Behind it all, I knew there was something real, true, eternal, tangible…Someone transcendent and larger than life itself, yet immanent-actually there. As Francis Schaeffer once said, “HE is there and HE is not silent.” Behind it all was not a place, but a person. Jesus Christ is more than a savior. HE is the “Great I AM”, the revelation and message of God, “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of HIS nature, upholding all things by the word of HIS power.” Jesus is the picture for the puzzle pieces of the human heart and life.

By seeing and knowing Jesus, things begin to look different. You become suddenly aware of people and particulars that were missed before. This new sensitivity brings with it a longing to know what it all means. Soon, my longing to know and search for understanding gave way to regularly experiencing “Aha!” and “Oh, I see it!” moments. Faith in God, intimate relationship with Jesus, and the pursuit of HIS heart and eyes brought stunning new insights…causing me to discern misplaced or missing things. The scriptures are the key to collecting and connecting these clues of life until there’s a coherent pattern or whole picture. They provided me more than a sketch of reality –they revealed where each piece of life’s puzzle went to re-present the big picture…helping me make sense of it all. Most questions can be answered, many puzzles solved, and personal hope for wholeness and vision restored by reading the Bible. Biblical truths are the keys that fit the locks of life…opening the doors to the world around us.

By the daily guiding of the Holy Spirit through the Holy Scriptures, I was now seeing reality more accurately. I came to understand that what was off or missing was due to the world’s rejecting and neglecting of spiritual realities and scriptural truths while putting the comforts of the body over the care of the soul. This is faith in the material to the utter neglect of the spiritual…which is none other than covetousness or idolatry. Through the eyes of selfishness, everything we see is distorted, as our pride and prejudices pervert our perceptions.

Gaining God’s perspective allows us to see as HE sees. It is catalyzed by the revelation of Christ, cultivated through spiritual discernment and a Biblical worldview, and made accurate through the proper conception and care of the soul. By seeing these ultimate truths/realities, we are freed from slavery to the immediate. Then we can be prophetic –interpreting life from the perspective of faith and love and under the aspect of eternity. This type of vision is accompanied by the desire to help “all men see the fellowship (connections) of the mystery”… that they may turn the things of their lives around and put them back together rightly. Like the sons of Issachar, our understanding is always with an eye to what we should do, and not simply know. May the God of Heaven invade your life that you would be captured by HIS presence, captivated by HIS enduring vision that is born of a different perspective and commitment. “Oh, Lord, open our eyes to see!”


"A Word to the Wise"

In August of 1995, I included this as a part of a newsletter I was sending out. I came across it in an old file of papers while moving into my new office in the basement of my home. Now, in 2008, the relevancy of this word and call to wisdom seems magnified.

“He that has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches…knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Rom 13:11-14).

All throughout this land of ours, the trump of God is sounding an alarming ring…it’s a wake-up call. As the late Leonard Ravenhill, I am convinced that the Church has never faced a greater challenge than she does today. We need a baptism of honesty in the courts of the Lord. Honesty means truth, and truth can be painful. We must face the fact that (with all our mass evangelism; with all our compromised presentation of the Gospel; the billions spent on radio and TV preaching) we have not made a dent in the moral corruption of the nations.”

In this season of harvest preparations (the Feast of Trumpets): 1) We must REALIZE our present corporate condition (We are still a valley of dry bones-Ez.37:1-3). 2) We must RESPOND to God’s clarion call…“AWAKE, AWAKE”…(Is. 52:1-2, Eph. 5:13, 1 Cor. 15:32-34). 3) We must REVERENCE “the Word of the Lord”, for it alone is our light and salvation, needed more than our necessary food. Oh God speak…we need to hear from you (Mt. 4:4, Is. 51:4, Ps. 119 – please read this). WE must REACT in swift obedience to His Word (Heb. 10:7, 1 Sam. 15:22, Zech. 6:15, Is 50:10).

As we awake from our sleep, and rise to trust and obey “HIM with whom we have to do”…we will find ourselves as jurors in what may be the worlds’ most publicized, disdained and influential cultural crimes trials. As syndicated columnist Cal Thomas aptly said, “when the evidence is weighed, the verdict is irrefutable…like the war crimes trials of the past, the testimony of victims will be damning.” May we stand and proclaim God’s generational judgments and eternal truths…redeeming the past, prophesying the present and restoring a future to a generation lost in the wilderness. Know this, “God is seeking for true worshipers… those with a desire to be faithful, to honor and please HIM in everything and in every way. The whole hearted love for HIM, singleness of eye, purity of heart…ones that do respond (continually) to apprehend HIM, believe and trust HIM, judge HIM faithful who has promise. May we HIS people serve HIM without fear, in holiness and righteousness all our days, that in the ages to come HE might show the exceeding riches of HIS grace for HIS Holy Name’s sake. Oh, how unsearchable are HIS judgments, and HIS ways past finding out…

"In the Name of Jesus"

This book has greatly impacted my life and ministry. I originally read and studied this book, and wrote these thoughts in 1999; and they are more clear and convicting today than ever before. Henri Nouwen’s honesty, perspective, and simplicity (“his unadorned self and truth”), have served to confront my mindsets, challenge my philosophy of ministry, and catalyze a searching of Jesus temptation story to understand and become a man of integrity, vulnerability and practicality.

By confronting the temptations and bent for Christians and leaders toward relevancy, popularity and power (pride and position), Mr. Nouwen successfully removes common deception and myopic narcissism. This allows for honest examination and openness for realignment with Christian foundational ideals and essential leadership characteristics such as: humility, honesty, loving confrontation, authentic relationships, servant leadership, confession and prayerful reflection, and devotion.

After studying this book and the temptation of Jesus in the Bible, I have realigned and refocused myself to the principles he established as foundational and primary for my leadership in the next 20 years. I must never yield to the temptations of using position, trust, or authority for my personal gain or control by seeking personal relevance, popularity or power. Instead, I must seek to grow in and understand humility, honesty, simple devotion, and hearing/learning. In doing this, one may become authentic/vulnerable and produce/receive the blessing of working relationships with God and people. The truths learned here are absolutely necessary for ministering incarnationally/meeting and connecting with people in the real world (life, issues, and circumstances). In honesty and humility, we take on His yoke and learn of Him-JESUS. Possessing His treasure and power in our earthen vessels, overcoming the urge to carnal selfishness – we may be servant leaders with outstretched hands – praying, vulnerable and trusting.