The long anticipated second part of an interview I did with Howard Storm. I kind of forgot about posting this. Truth is, I got discouraged by the lack of support and then got sick with walking pneumonia. And then there was the jail time I had to serve, then the stint in rehab, and my dog ate my homework and… okay fine, no more excuses. I failed you. I’m sorry.
Tricia and I start off by talking about her Feb 15th 2019 appearance on the Dr Oz Show and her book about her NDE, Angels in the OR. I was shocked to learn that I had interviewed both the guests from this Dr. Oz episode right here on Sozo Talk Radio, Tricia and Sharon Milliman!
What Can We Learn From NDE’s?
The biggest message I have learned from my extensive research into NDE’s is exactly what the Bible teaches: God is Love. Infinite, Unconditional Love that Never Fails. No one can ever be separated from this love according to Romans 8.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What does Unconditional Love mean to you?
“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16
Finding Your Mision
I talked with a lady the other day at a nursing home who had a near death experience. When she died she was embraced by SO much love and desperately wanted to stay. She was brought back and when she woke in the hospital she was so mad she said she could have slapped someone.
I told her, You are still here for a purpose, you are on mission.
Everyone has a mission, first, to bring more love and kindness into this world. All else is secondary but also important. What path does God have for you to partner with him in? Where do you find flow?
The theologian C. Baxter Kruger has a great deal to say about the value of every persons mission. A botanist is partnering with God in his passion to preserve, study, and care for plants. The farmer partners with God to bring food from the dirt!
Everything is sacred!
I asked Tricia what she would tell others that might help them to partner with God and the angels to find purpose and their mission?
Encounter With Jesus
I was delighted when Tricia shared a very profound encounter with Jesus. He brought her so much healing in his affirming and loving words. It’s worth the listen.
ps. I am continuing to work on my book, The Christian Mystic – Encounters With Jesus. Stay tuned and subscribe if you haven’t already.
“This is the story of a journey towards spiritual change. We invite you to join a conversation that is discovering God is better than we have ever imagined.”
John MacMurray, A Spiritual Evolution
When I was recently introduced to John MacMurray I thought, “Wait a minute. I know that name. Donald Miller!” Indeed John MacMurray cowrote a book originally called To Own a Dragon with one of my favorite authors Donald Miller. I learned that Don even lived at the MacMurray home for about four years!
For several years now John MacMurray, Wm Paul Young, and C. Baxter Kruger have been hosting the Open Table Conference (www.opentableconference.com). They discuss radical orthodox happy theology, which is basically what his book A Spiritual Evolution is all about.
I say “radical” because this means “roots”. MacMurray, Baxter, and Young are returning to the glorious roots of the Christian faith. Besides good and happy theology is rad dude!
I say “orthodox” because this means conforming to established doctrine. Doctrine is another word for the solid teachings of Jesus Christ Himself.
I say “happy theology” because this is God we are talking about. Can you imagine a more joyful Being in all the universes than God? He is the very definition of pure, exquisite, ‘bursting at the seams’, joy inexpressible and FULL of glory!
Be sure to subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on subsequent parts of this interview and to stay connected to these groundbreaking interviews!
I remember well when I said “Yes” to forgiveness. Bitterness had tormented for years. It contributed to depression and anxiety as I rehearsed all the negative and hurtful things a certain someone had done to me. I didn’t see my condition as bitterness or unforgiveness – I saw it as self-defense. I thought I was protecting myself from future wounds. So I reminded myself often of what they had done so I wouldn’t let myself get too close and be wounded again.
“I forgive them from my heart”, I said, after watching this short film. It worked like magic.
All of a sudden that person became human again. They were no longer demonized in my mind. I recognized that they were a broken person in need of grace and forgiveness just like me. What I perceived as a mountain of offense suddenly became a mole hill. I began to see how they were suffering and because of their own pain and dysfunction they ended up wounding others. As the saying goes, “Hurt people, hurt people.”
“Nobody gets away with anything. Everything bears consequences. I’m not asking you to excuse what he did. Im asking you to trust me to do whats right and know what’s best. Forgiveness doesn’t establish relationship. It is about letting go of his throat.”
Forgiving others means letting go of our resentment and surrendering our thought for revenge. As pointed out in an article from the Mayo clinic, “Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.”
Forgiving actually set the forgiver free.
Here’s the miracle: I found that when I forgave, it not only healed my heart, but it also protected my heart from future wounds! The person didn’t change. They still said hurtful things and treated me the same way but now it was like water off a ducks back.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a solid book about forgiveness then I would recommend picking up Reckless Grace by Bill Vanderbush and Brit Eaton.
Will Stone’s Testimony is by far one of the most amazing things on the internet! Jesus visited Will Stone as he prayed in his room. His testimony video was one of those I have revisited from time to time. I shared his story with my daughters and part of his testimony became a thing we say around the house from time to time. Jesus said to Will when he met him:
“Will, What’s up my dude?”
It’s pretty cute hearing my three old say, “What’s up my dude?”
Some of the comments in his video comments included:
“Best thing on the internet”
“I can see the joy of Jesus in your heart”
“Your testimony moved me”.
Will Stone’s Testimony
Will was an atheist as a teenager. He thought those Christians were crazy and had nothing to do with them. And then God showed up in his life. God spoke quite clearly to him, “Will, I want you to follow me.”
Will knew that this was God and said, “Bad timing dude. I’m just about to go to college and live the party life.” God respectfully left.
Will then pursued drugs and girls and made a complete mess of his life and broke his own heart with his sin.
When he was at a very low point Will prayed, “Lord, heal my mind, heal my soul heal my body, heal this place.”
After praying this for a short time he looked out the window and saw a peculiar light. A being floated in on a beam of light right into Will’s room.
“Will, What’s up my dude?” Jesus said.
And he was like, “Woah, it’s Jesus!”
“Yea Will, it’s me, and I am the great problem solver.”
He was shown a vision of rubics cubes all lined up on a table that stretched out as far as the eye can see and as soon as a stopwatch was pressed, Jesus was at your side saying, “Done!”
“I can solve all the problems in your life. Just give them to me.”
Pretty awesome right?
Unless we are new wine skins we will burst and be ruined when God pours out the new wine… and he is pouring it out. Are you ready for it?
Question: I would love to hear your story Brad! How did you grow from religiosity into the liberating joyful faith that now possesses you?
Dear listener: If you think anything we say or talk about is scandalous, believe me we are barely scratching the surface of how scandalous the truth really is. No one can overestimate how good God is or convey the depth of his love or how scandalous his reckless grace really is!
Jesus Christ is Perfect Theology
God is like Jesus. God has always been like Jesus. There has never been a time when God was not like Jesus. We have not always known what God is like— But now we do. – Brian Zahnd
“We all have holes in our theology: Two in the hands, two in the feet, and one in his side.” – John Crowder
6 He (Jesus) existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. 7 Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! 8 He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion![f
9 Because of that obedience, God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! He has now been given the greatest of all names!
10 The authority of the name of Jesus causes every knee to bow in reverence! Everything and everyone will one day submit to this name—in the heavenly realm, in the earthly realm, and in the demonic realm. 11 And every tongue will proclaim in every language: “Jesus Christ is Lord Yahweh,” bringing glory and honor to God, his Father!
Because of God’s promises to us we are partakers of the Divine nature. As the Scriptures say, “Christ in us the hope of glory”. (This means we have “the confident expectation that we WILL give a correct estimate of Perfect love”).
As John wrote in his letter, we live like Jesus did. As he is so are we in this world. Like mother Theresa we will pour out our lives in other-centered self giving love. It’s not a mold we have to force ourselves into but to simply allow Christ to flow out of us because we have LOVE living inside of us and we are made in his exact image and are now One with God (John 14:20). One with Love
In conclusion, your primary responsibility is to allow God to love you. You can’t help but be healed and transformed by his love. You will reveal and display love as you simply let God love you.
Have you ever wondered how the wrath of God fits within the Love of God?
If “God is love” as the Bible says, is God’s wrath an expression of His Love?
Have we been looking at wrath and judgement and even hell with the wrong paradigm all along?
These questions and more are the subject of this interview with Paul Young the author of the Shack, Crossroads, Eve, and Lies we Believe about God. Paul has been a major influence in my life. The Shack gave me a liberating new perspective on who God really is. I began to experience God, His love and his grace in beautiful ways ever since.
Forgiveness in The Shack
In the interview I talk about my own experience of how reading the Shack helped to heal my relationship with my father.
Here is the forgiveness scene from the movie The Shack between Mac and his dad:
In the movie the Shack there is another beautiful scene where Papa is encouraging Mac to forgive. Papa wanted to free Mac from the enslavement and self inflicted torture that unforgiveness brings.
“So you would just let him get away with it?” Mac asks.
Papa responds, “Nobody gets away with anything. Everything bears consequences. I’m not asking you to excuse what he did. Im asking you to trust me to do whats right and know what’s best. Forgiveness doesn’t establish relationship. It is about letting go of his throat.”
God loves us all unconditionally. He desires to redeem his lost son, the murderer, just as much as he does for Mackenzie. Watch the scene here:
Who is God, What is “He” Like, and Can we get along?
Jesus gives us the clearest picture of the Father and represents him perfectly. I think of the prodigal son story.
God is Love and His love drives ALL our fear away! Inspired by the Shack and 1 John 4 “God is Love” passage, I wrote this song Your Love Drives My Fear Away:
C. Baxter Kruger has written many profound theological books (including THE SHACK REVISITED) and essays on the nature of the Trinity and our interwoven identity in and among the Trinity. John 14:20 was a very profound Scripture for him (and me):
“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” John 14:20 NLT
Paul and I talk briefly about the nature of Christ’s Atonement. Which is the main subject of the article above as well. Who didn’t Christ’s atonement cover? What was the point of the cross? To appease an angry God? Nothing could be further than the truth.
Many unfortunately still believe that Jesus came to try to change Gods mind about us when the truth is exactly the opposite, Jesus came to change our minds about who God is. By the way this describes the very definition of repentance (Greek: metanoia = change of mind).
THE WRATH OF GOD = LOVE OF GOD
“This is not a God who will stand idly by while anything that is not of loves kind remains in you” George McDonald
How is the wrath of God is an expression of the Love of God?
God’s wrath is always for you and never against you.
His judgement is a good thing. It is a cleansing thing. His judgement is always redeeming. He judges in favor of his saints and who doesn’t he want for a saint? God is not willing that any should perish but all should come to metanoia (transformation, change of mind, repentance).
Is there a redemptive nature to the Biblical words regarding judgement?
THE CURATIVE AND RESTORATIVE QUALITIES OF “HELL”?
Both Paul and I have read Brad Jersaks book Her Gates Will Never Be Shut: Hell, Hope, and the New Jerusalem. It helps give a much needed perspective on how broken theology has influenced mistakes in how English translations deal with the subject of hell. I will be interviewing Brad Jersak so please subscribe either here or on facebook so you don’t miss it.
We briefly discuss deception by the spirit of the Antichrist and who and what the AntiChrist really is. I loved Pauls response. He talked about how none of us have that kind of clarity about the depth and magnitude of who Jesus is so we are all to one extent or another worshiping a false idea of Jesus. Paul said, “I don’t worry about that. We are all in process and Holy Spirit is working all that out for all of us. It’s not even how I think about Jesus, it’s about the reality of that relationship that has a a hold of me.”
I love how down to earth and human Paul Young is. What an example for “Loving the person you are with in the moment as we go through our life.”
Paul Young Quotes on PARADIGMS:
“When Jesus showed up he was not recognizable inside the paradigm that religion had constructed.”
“Your paradigm will change the words right in front of your face. You will read it the way your system believes it should be rather than what it truly is. How do we read law into words of grace? How do we read performance into unconditional love?”
“God will go down any road to find you. He has come for every last one of his lost kids. Jesus didn’t come to make people Christians or to start a new religion instead he came to destroy religious thinking by introducing relationship. Relationship always moves you away from control and into mystery. The mystery of relationship.”
“It always hurts to get kicked in your paradigm.”
Blogs I have Written about The Shack and Wm Paul Young’s Other Books:
Be looking for my upcoming book, The Christian Mystic – Encounters With Jesus and His Love. This book will feature many stories of people I have interviewed (including Brian Simmons and Lisa Perna) who have had amazing life altering encounters with Jesus and His Love!
Lisa Perna possesses that kind of childlike spirit and deep relationship with Jesus that I am growing toward so help me God. She has that infectious wonder and joy in the person of Jesus. In this interview Lisa shares how she encountered Jesus face to face and even danced with him!
Dancing With Jesus
After hearing about her dancing with Jesus and what Jesus told her I began to pray, “Jesus I want to dance with you.” This became a metaphor for finding that flow in partnering with Jesus and enjoying abundant life in His Presence. But we must let him take the lead in this Divine dance!
“Now repent (change your mind) of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets.” – Acts 3:19-21 NLT
We were created to enjoy an intimate relationship with our Loving heavenly Papa and our Creator Jesus Christ. In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, Holy Spirit informs us that we were created by Jesus and for Jesus. Like the prodigal son of Jesus story we too need to return home and when we do, we will find the Everlasting Father (Jesus himself according to Isaiah 9) running out to meet us and scooping us into his arms and twirling us about.
Growing More Childlike
Isn’t it interesting that growing as a follower of Christ means getting more childlike? I remember hearing Wm Paul Young share this quote by G. K. Chesterson:
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. Could it be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” ― G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
Enjoy the interview! Be looking for my upcoming book, The Christian Mystic – Encounters With Jesus and His Love. This book will feature many stories of people I have interviewed (including Lisa Perna) who have had amazing life altering encounters with Jesus and His Love!
In this interview with translator Brian Simmons we cover these questions and topics:
Is the Bible’s trustworthy? Brians Testimony and Encounter with Jesus! What does it mean that God is Love? What is the meaning of the Revealing of the Sons of God in Romans 8? End times and Prophecy perspectives? How important is it to marinate our minds in the Word of God?
I am currently working on a book about Encounters With Jesus and His Love and so it is a real treat to hear about Brians Divine visitation. I am delighted that he agreed to allow me to publish his story in my book!
Brian came to trust in Jesus in 1971. Brian then married and he and his wife became career missionaries. He planted churches and worked alongside Wycliffe translators serving the Piacuna people group. God directed them through an audible voice back to the United States just prior to a hostile takeover of the village. Sadly, the men Brian had put in place to lead the church were murdered.
Brian and his wife moved to New England where they pastored a church for eighteen years. When the Lord eventually led them to hand over leadership of the church, Brian then asked the Lord, “What do you want me to do next?”
God answered his request with a Divine visitation. Jesus appeared to Brian and commissioned him for the work of making the Passion Translation. He told him he would help him and share secrets with him (we talk more about this in the interview) and that persecution would come.
Watch the Youtube interview or download the podcast and enjoy this powerful testimony for yourself!
“We have come into an intimate experience with God’s love, and we trust in the love he has for us. God is love! Those who are living in love are living in God, and God lives through them.” (1 John 4:16 TPT)
Brian explains how the Scriptures are an on ramp to encountering Jesus and His love for yourself. Love is the Bibles mega theme. God’s mission for each one of us is this:
“Love the person you are with in the moment as you go though life.”
God’s plan to save and change the world is Love. Anyone who doesn’t have love, doesn’t have God. But those who live in love most certainly have God!
OUR MYSTICAL UNION WITH GOD IN CHRIST
Brian and I talk about the importance of a real intimate loving relationship and connection with God. After all, isn’t this what we were created for?
I asked Brian, “What does it mean to be “one with God in Christ?”
“So when that day comes, you will know that I am living in the Father and that you are one with me, for I will be living in you.” John 14:20
Our mystical union with God in Christ is something I’m very passionate about and something God has highlighted for me in one of my encounters with Jesus. I reference this in the interview but unpack it a bit more here:
Brian Simmons Exposed!
In conclusion, it is clear to me that Brian Simmons has been exposed as a lovely man of God who fears and loves God. His heart is centered on opening people’s eyes to the Fathers fiery heart of love for his children in his labor of love, The Passion Translation. Brian is also committed to forgiving his persecutors realizing that they are God’s servants to further refine his character.
What else did we talk about in this interview? Below are some other fine things that on the surface don’t seem as exciting but perhaps necessary to consider for many people:
Is The Bible Trustworthy?
“Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness. Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Brian and I began the interview by clearing through the conspiracy theory fog that claims that the Scriptures have been tampered with. Indeed, it would have been impossible to alter the Scriptures given the amount of copies of the texts that were spread throughout the known world.
The New Testament has been better preserved than any other historical document. Scholars have reconstructed reliable original autographs from over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts. We can trust that the translators are working from documents that reflect with utmost accuracy what the prophets and apostles originally penned by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
In light of the facts and evidence, we can indeed trust the inspired Word of God. But how then do we understand and apply what has been written? The way I see it, we must have the Author, the Holy Spirit, with us to explain it. I thank God that the Holy Spirit is a very willing and available Teacher.
Do Certain Translations Have Weaknesses?
If you think about it, to properly understand the Scriptures, wouldn’t you have to have lived in the culture and be fluent in the original languages in which it was written? We depend on translators who have studied the culture and original languages to bring the nuances and understanding out of the text for modern readers.
All translations have certain weaknesses. For example the manuscripts that the translators of the King James Version worked from had additions of a few extra notes and verses that were inserted by various scribes through the previous centuries. This created confusion as people today have formed a misguided conspiracy about “verses being removed” from modern translations like the New International Version and most others.
Translations are also inevitably swayed by the bias and theologies of the translator(s). Because this is the case, the important question for any translator is this:
Does the translator truly know and love the real Jesus? Are they filled with the Holy Spirit of Truth? Does the translation hold up under the scrutiny of other scholars and theologians?
I think you will find that the Passion Translation has passed the test.