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If I could just go,

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If I could just go,

Those words strike home.  Most of us like to give our time, talent, and treasure where we have gone. Nothing wrong with that.  That is good.

But, really, I don’t want you be addicted or desperate or incarcerated or abused or assaulted.  But, I do want you to come with me to those that have and are living in hell.

If you could come to hell for five minutes and come to heaven for five minutes, how would you live the rest of your life?  Come with me.  I invite you.  They live in the same room.

Two years ago, I packed a bag and took a trip to hell. I thought I was headed to heaven. On a prayer and a challenge I travelled to North Texas.  With less than half the money needed just to pay household expenses, I took the trip and take it every week.  And I live in hell alongside new friends for all that time.  I invite you to come with me.  We can bring them heaven.

August 9th starts a new group of families looking to improve communications.   August 10th starts theavenandhellwo new groups (25 preregistered) of people on probation for a myriad of reasons. They look to improve life in every aspect.

Come with me.

There is a doorway through which every person comes in Gainesville.  When they walk through the first time, they are cocky, frightened, anxious, angry, or aggravated.  They expect an AA atmosphere or a dressing down.  We give them Jesus. Oh, not the bible versed, KJV, sanctified, Sunday morning Jesus. We give them open arms, take you as you are, talk beside the well of life for a little while, Zacchaeus’ living room Jesus.  We give them wisdom rewritten in conversations, instructions and stories relevant today out of timeless truth.   It is researched and evidence based.  Truth works. And hell begins to look a little more like heaven.

Over the ten weeks of transformation, they walk through the door differently. They come early to sit and talk.  They laugh and sometimes dance.  One will come in so excited, we have to halt class to listen to a testimony of achievement.  I laugh and think of what Jesus felt when the seventy returned from their trip with stories of demons lying down and disease being conquered.  One tells how she is talking to her daughter in prison for the first time in years.  Another brags that her children have been returned.  A man boasts that he is having great conversations with his teenagers for the first time.  Another laughs that his wife wants to come because she is curious what is changing him into this new person.  Another has conquered another month of sobriety.

Old things pass away. Life becomes new.  This is the gospel of Life Skills and Family Builders.  This is Jesus. And we party for graduation.  Family comes. Grandma visits. Kids sit beside changed parents.

In the private times, my phone rings and we visit one on one.  We pray and cry over cancers and conflicts.   We dig into deep stories of pain and angst no one should ever have lived. We open a bible and let the love of Jesus shine in faith.  In class, we never preach.  In private, we always pray.  No one is required to believe, everyone is offered the fullness of Jesus.  But, they have to ask.

Come on a short term mission trip.  This is missions.  Once we begin a class, there are no visitors allowed, so August 10th is your opportunity to see a beginning.  Come spend an evening watching miracles.

Can’t come?   Scratch in a Wednesday luncheon with me in Moore, Ok in August.   Visit our new headquarters. We will be starting the same thrust into hell for the OKC area soon.

If you can’t give your time for these, then give your treasure and talent.  All the instructions for online or mail in are at www.communitytransformationinitiative.org/the-giving-page . My wife and I still live on just not enough and dip into savings meant for retirement. I dream of having sufficient for someone to do the books and cut the grass and expand to teach more groups.   We believe that God has other missionaries, who will join with the Jesus you can touch approach. I am believing for four missionaries.  It all belongs to Him.  Many missionaries wait until they have a fund off of which to live.   Others just go.  That’s me.  Every month is an adventure.

Come sit in hell with me and watch heaven unfold.

Phil, Director

Community Transformation Initiative –

Educating, Encouraging, Engaging – Fathers, Families, Leaders

phil@shepherdok.com

405.388.8037


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