You Are God

You Are God

Encouraging Yourself in the Lord

Today we are going to be talking about the story behind my song, You Are God, from the recording Here In Your Presence. I received this particular song on August 6, 2008.

For You are great and do wondrous deeds;
You alone are God.
Psalm 86:10 NASB

 
"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
Acts 4:12 NASB

Because of the nature of my story - leaving the homosexual lifestyle and identity for that of a heterosexual new creation in Christ - I am often referred to as a hater. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. I happen to believe, based on the Word of God and upon my own experience, that with God nothing is impossible. My calling is to tell the world what Jesus has done for me. If we who have been redeemed do not declare what we have been redeemed from, how in the world are those trapped in the same sin going to know change is even possible? 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 puts it this way:

[1Co 6:9-11 NASB] 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor [the] covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Such WERE some of you! It seems God has been setting people free from their old identities for quite some time now, doesn’t it? Add this to the mix and you can understand how this song came to be born.

[Psa 107:1-2 NASB] 1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say [so,] Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary.

In other words, how can I keep silent about all God has done for me?

In spite of the fact that God has set me free, I still find myself ridiculed and mocked and derided as a hate-filled person. What does that mean to me? I am note defined by what others call me or by what others think of me. Just as King David encouraged himself in the Lord when he led his men into battle only to return to their camp to find their wives and children captured by the enemy, I have learned to encourage myself in the Lord.

[1Sa 30:6 NASB] 6 Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

Just how does one encourage or strengthen themselves in the Lord? One practical application is to remind myself of the Truth about Who God is and declare that He is int control even when the world around me is falling apart.

When all around us seems to be falling…when the world calls what is right wrong and what is wrong right…when storms assail us…when the enemy lies…when nothing makes sense…we have need of something bigger than ourselves and bigger than our circumstances. We need a Rock. We need a Defender. We need someone who is there when no one else is around. I have chosen to praise God in spite of what my earthly eyes might see. Sometimes what I see leaves me feeling fearful, but that fear is silenced whenever I remember the Rock that I stand upon does not move and is unshakable.

This song is a song of warfare and declaration. It reminds me of David’s incredulity at Goliath for the way he mocked the God of Israel…David’s faith was in God’s strength and might, not his own. When in battle it is best to remember that we are not God – but we ARE his children…and He jealously defends His own. Praise God and watch the enemy tumble and fall.

As you listen to or read the words of this song, I urge you to encourage yourself in the Lord. Speak truth into the dark places of your life and soul and you will speak life into death and you will speak light into the darkness.

You Are God

Verse

Holy and righteous in all of Your ways

You are mighty and awesome and can’t be contained

You are God! Almighty God!

Holy and righteous and totally pure

You are steadfast in power

So faithful and sure

You are God! Almighty God!


Chorus

I will humbly bow before

While proclaiming You are Lord!

You are God and You alone!

He Who sits upon the throne!

You are Lion and the Lamb

And the Rock on which I stand!

By the power of Your blood

And the measure of Your love

You are God

Verse

Mighty in power, the Champion and Lord

Like a thundering Warrior

With lightning Your sword

You are God! Almighty God!
You are Lord over heaven and Lord over earth

You are Lord of Creation and Lord of new birth

You Are God! Almighty God!

[2Co 2:14-17 NASB] 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? 17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.

I urge you to encourage yourself in the Lord today by simply proclaiming Who He is to you…and to your own soul.

Dennis Jernigan

To listen to the podcast version of this teaching, go to http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/you-are-god/

You Are God

Words & Music: Dennis Jernigan

Received on August 6, 2008

©2008 Shepherd's Heart Music, Inc.•3201 N. 74th St. West

Muskogee, OK•74401•www.dennisjernigan.com•1-800-877-0406

Administered by PraiseCharts.com

You Reign Over Me

You Reign Over Me

[Mic 7:8 NASB] 8 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. 

Even in darkness the Lord’s light shines bright. Even in times of spiritual attack and warfare God is in control. Even when death comes our God is about life. Our God is mighty. Bottom line. No argument. Satan is under our feet and we follow the name above all names.

Make no mistake. The enemy of God - the Liar - is real and is ready to pounce on us with his subtle and not-so-subtle little lies concerning the nature of our God as well as attacking us at the core of our identity.

[1Pe 5:8-9 NASB] 8 Be of sober [spirit,] be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in [your] faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

We - even when we are oppressed - are not defeated. Just read the end of the book. We win! Do not let that truth get lost in the fray of war.

[2Co 4:7-10 NASB] 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 [we are] afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

What that tells me is that God wastes nothing. Not even our wounds. Not even our defeats. Not even our times of confusion. From God’s perspective, we see even the chaos of spiritual warfare with victory in mind. We have the choice. We can either see ourselves as victims or we can see ourselves as victors. What does Father God see when He sees us? He gives us grace to endure and sees us through the eyes of grace!

[Jas 4:6-7 NASB] 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore [it] says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Simple ways I use to resist the devil:

• Worship

• Proclaiming God’s Word to my own soul

• Sharing my burdens with others

• Prayer

• Reminding myself of who and Whose I am

• Reminding myself that God reigns - over everything

• Reminding myself that God wastes nothing

[1Jo 4:1-4 NASB] 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the [spirit] of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

God is either in control or He is not. We need to settle that issue and allow Him to reign over our lives and over our circumstances. Again, He wastes nothing!

[Psa 45:6 NASB] 6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

[Psa 47:8 NASB] 8 God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne.

If you get nothing else from today’s teaching, get that: Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world! That is Christ in you - the very hope of glory! Believe it and receive it and walk like you believe it today!

Dennis Jernigan

To listen to this teaching by Dennis Jernigan, go to http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/you-reign-over-me/

We Will Overcome

We Will Overcome

We, as new creations, are called to be overcomers; to be victors rather than victims; to be more than conquerors! To help illustrate what I mean, today’s teaching was inspired by the story behind my song, We Will Overcome, from the recording Here In Your Presence. I received this particular song on September 29, 2008.

[2 Cor. 2:14-15 NASB] 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing… 

This song came as I listened to the music of someone in the world of pop music - Michael Jackson. Michael was one of those people God led me to pray for quite often through the years and I did so until the day he passed away. Having gone on a 12 year fast from secular music from 1981 until 1993, I had missed most of his music during that period of time - even though I felt led to continue to pray for him. After that fast was completed, God gave me freedom to listen to secular music again so naturally, the music of Michael Jackson was brought to my attention.

One particular song that seemed very fun and catchy was called Black and White. Listening to the words, I realized there was not much of eternal value in this particular song…in fact, the words were almost nonsensical. After this listening session, I could not shake the joyful rhythm of the song. When such times come I know the Lord is probably inspiring something creative in me…so I decided to go with the flow of joy.

Due to the fact that I was in a season of personal spiritual warfare (as is quite usual for me), the song took on a very triumphant nature. We win. That’s the bottom line. Regardless of life’s circumstances or unfairness, we always win in the end! We will overcome! The enemy can throw all his tricks at me and bombard me with tremendous lies…but I still win. My eyes and my heart are focused on Jesus. We will overcome! Rather than face the enemy with despair and dread, I chose to face him and his lies with joy and a triumphant attitude.

Let’s look at the lyrics and the Scriptural truth behind each one:

We Will Overcome - Words & Music: Dennis Jernigan

Verse One

We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb!

By the blood of Jesus In victory we stand!

We have the victory!

We will overcome!


Run to the battle for the victory has been won!

[Rom 8:35-39 NASB] 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Need I say more? Romans 8:35-39 is incredibly empowering truth every believer should latch onto and release in their own life!

Chorus

We will overcome By the blood of the One!

By the work of the cross! It is already done!

We will overcome! To the battle we run

Following our risen King!

Through Jesus we overcome!

Victory is won! We overcome!

[Eph 2:13-15 NASB] 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both [groups into] one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, [which is] the Law of commandments [contained] in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, [thus] establishing peace…

There is power in the blood. Power to cleanse. Power to heal. Power to bring forth life from death. Power to deliver us from evil. Let us remember these truths when resisting the devil. And remember, we are at war…

[Jas 4:7 NASB] 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Verse Two

Even in the battle we grow weary and lose heart

We cannot forget who we serve, who we are!

He overcame sin and overcame the grave!

Our Mighty Champion!

And Lord Jesus is His name!

[Heb 12:1-3 NASB] 1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The only time a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ would surrender is to Jesus - to the will of God. We give up only to Him - regardless of our circumstances!

Bridge

The foe may come against me

And try to bring me down!

Though I be discouraged I will never bow!

I am taking back every inch of all the stolen ground!


There’s no stopping now!

[Joel 2:25-26 NASB] 25 "Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. 26 "You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame.”

Not only is our God the Great Restorer, He takes even what the enemy has meant for evil and uses it for our good and for His glory! Just read the end of the Book! We win!

Regardless of what your particular battle is today, you can do the same. Let us face our accuser with the truth of God’s Word and with the joy of what we know the ending to be. Let me remind you once again of God’s Word on the matter:

[2 Cor. 2:14-15 NASB] 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing… 

O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
 Do not let my enemies exult over me.
Psalm 25:2 NASB 

"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”
Revelation 12:11 NASB

Dennis Jernigan

If you would like to hear the song, We Will Overcome, you may do so on The Dennis Jernigan Podcast at http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/we-will-overcome/

We Will Rise

We Will Rise

Due to sin’s advent in the world long ago, we are guaranteed to encounter various storms throughout our lives. What does one do when a storm blows through? To help illustrate this to you from one who has experienced not only emotional and mental storms, as well as many physically threatening storms in his lifetime, I’d like to share the story behind my song, We Will Rise, from the recording Days of Awe. I received this particular song on May 23, 2013…and it was born under very difficult circumstances to say the least.

I have lived in Oklahoma my entire life. Oklahoma lies smack dab in the middle of what is called Tornado Alley, meaning we experience many tornadic storms each and every year. Through my lifetime, I have seen many tornadoes. This song came as a result of one such devastating twister that struck Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, May 20, 2013. With winds up to an estimated 210 miles per hour, this was one of the most powerful tornadoes on record…an EF 5.

Once the funnel cloud hit the ground, it lasted for 37 horrible minutes and traveled 17 miles…but the worst part? It left 24 people dead and over 200 people injured. Needless to say, our entire state was grief-stricken.

After a couple of days of the sheer devastation sinking in, our governor - Mary Fallin - called for a memorial service to be held on May 26, 2013. It was shortly before the public announcement that Governor Fallin called me and asked if I would lead worship for the service and if I would be willing to minister to the survivors and to the entire state. Of course I agreed to be a part.

As is my custom, I immediately began asking Father what He would have me share by way of songs. Governor Fallin made it easy in a way when she said this to me. “Dennis, I need you to minister to the grieving hearts of our people…and I want you to not be afraid to use the name of Jesus.”

The worship songs I chose were intimate and directed toward Jesus and toward Father God. But my favorite part of song selection came when He gave me a song of deliverance for the people of Oklahoma called We Will Rise

Verse one is basically a declaration of our need…an honest confession of our grief…a basic permission to just let the tears of sorrow flow yet presenting a vision that we would get through this with God’s help…


When the storms of life blow through 


They can knock us to our knees


Leaving life in shambles


Leaving pain and much debris



Time for grieving losses


Time for wiping tears from eyes


Time for getting up from where we fell


And time to rise



Verse two is a call to the people of Oklahoma to remember that even though we feel sorrow and grief and devastation, we always have a choice as to how we will respond…a call to choose to receive God’s grace and mercy and to walk in His truth…


Though we may be wounded 


We are still people of choice


Choosing to give thanks for life 


And choosing to rejoice!



Though our faith be tested 


We have come to realize


By God's grace and by His mercy we will rise!



The chorus is my favorite part because I simply love Oklahoma and its people. By and large, most profess faith in Jesus to some degree so I felt Father wanted me to remind the people that together we would stand and get through this by fixing our eyes on the truth.


We will rise! We will rise!


Sure as sun in Oklahoma skies!


We will rise though the road be rough and long! 



We will rise, live or die,


Shoulder to shoulder, side by side! 


We will rise! We will rise! 
Yes, we will rise! rise!



The bridge of the song is probably my favorite part because I wanted to express the magnitude of God’s massive reach and comfort and hope by naming well-known landmarks everyone in our state would recognize.

From the Cookson Hills to the Kiamichi Mountains


All the way across to the mighty Wichitas, 


Up into the panhandle to the Black Mesa 


Oklahoma people are Oklahoma strong! 



From the Boiling Springs and the Alabaster Caverns, 


From the northern plains to refreshing Turner Falls


Oklahoma people bearing Oklahoma burdens! 


Oklahoma people are Oklahoma strong!



It was during the singing of the chorus to end the song that everyone was standing linked shoulder to shoulder swaying and singing the song in faith and resolute steadfastness that we would get through the fire and through the storm together by God’s grace.


We will rise! We will rise!


Sure as sun in Oklahoma skies!


We will rise though the road be rough and long! 



We will rise, live or die,


Shoulder to shoulder, side by side!


We will rise! We will rise! 
Yes, we will rise! rise!


God’s Word says this:

For You have been a defense for the helpless,

A defense for the needy in his distress,

A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat;

For the breath of the ruthless

Is like a rain storm against a wall.

Isaiah 25:4 NASB

After the song was over and while the tears were flowing, I asked all those who had lost loved ones to the storm to stand so I could sing over them. Many many stood and were immediately surrounded by praying people while I sang the song It’s Gonna Be Alright over them. God was very present in an obvious and healing way. I was so very grateful to have been able to be even a small part of the healing process of God for our wonderful people of Oklahoma.

Whether or not you are from Oklahoma or live nowhere near Tornado Alley, we all go through storms of life. Storms are inevitable. It is good to seek shelter from and through such storms. We must simply choose to remember that we never go through a storm alone…and we must choose to see each and every storm from God’s point of view. It is good to see each and every storm from His point of view…and we do that by drawing near to Him during the storms of life and by asking Him to let us see what He sees. Therein lies wisdom. Therein lies hope.

Dennis Jernigan

To listen to the teaching and song, go to http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/we-will-rise/

You Are God and I Am Not

You Are God and I Am Not

Today we are going to be talking about the story behind my song, You Are God and I Am Not, from the recording Days of Awe. I received this particular song on October 3, 2012.

As I was preparing for the upcoming NGCI - Next Generation Creative Institute - a three day gathering of worship, ministry, and inner healing that meets in my home twice a year, I was in the mode of listening for any words the Lord might have for me and those who would be attending. In addition, I was contemplating the many varied complexities of life and just how quickly I can allow circumstances to bog me down. It is in such moments that I have learned to see life from the King's perspective -- and that foundational perspective? He is God and I am not!

As I began to meditate on that simple truth, I began to think about the fact that I am a new creation yet that I still traverse this life as a human -- a needy human at that! The realization of my weakness, when juxtaposed with His strength, became the basis

of this song. At times, I run from Him...but He runs after me. At times, I hide...but He is always leading me to honest revelation and healing. I cry...He brings laughter.

He is God and I am not. It is when I remember this foundational truth that the circumstances begin to become nothing more than brief, momentary annoyances that remind me how much I need a Savior!

It is when I walk in fear that I feel the need to try and control my life. It is when I feel emotional pain that I try to meet my needs in my own ways. It is when I try to meet my own needs that I fail miserably and fear and pain are only compounded as a result.

For You are great and do wondrous deeds;

You alone are God.

Psalm 86:10 NASB

Let’s take a quick look at the lyrics and see what I am talking about.

I run. You run after.

God pursues us - always!

I hide. You reveal.

Honesty leads to truth and truth leads to freedom.

I cry. You bring laughter.

Laughter does the soul good and heals like a medicine.

I hurt. You heal.

God is always healing - even when we don’t know we need it and even when we don’t see it happening the way we would like.

I, weak. You are able.

When I am weak He is strong.

I lack. You're enough.

Human wisdom always falls short. His presence fills the gap and connects my heart to His even when I do not feel adequate. He is always adequate.

I turn. You're still faithful.

He loves me even when I turn from Him.

I need Your love.

It is His perfect love that casts out fear and sets my soul and emotions free.

I need. You're Provision.

He is always providing and meeting my needs even before I know I have them.

I’m lost. You, the Way.

I did not find Jesus. He found me!

I’m confused. You are wisdom.

My point of view always falls short. His point of view always helps me see the big picture where I am no longer a victim but have become victor.

I leave. You stay.

He is faithful even when I am not.

I fear. You fear nothing.

Fear comes as a result of me not seeing life from my Maker’s perspective. His perspective begins and ends with Hi perfect holy love for me.

I’m blind. You can see.

I see through a glass dimly but He sees each situation of my life fully and completely. He sees the finished version of who I am.

I reject. You are loving.

I reject His love yet He keeps loving me.

You just love me.

Bottom line: He loves me right where I am but loves me enough to not leave me there.

Chorus

You are God! You are faithful!

You are strong and You are able!

You are God and I am not

And Lord, I need You!

It is when we let Him be God that we step from the throne of our own hearts and He is able to sit there enthroned on our praises for Him. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way toward allowing Him that place in our hearts.

You are God! All I'm needing!

My Redeemer, come redeeming!

You are God and I am not

And Lord, I need You!

You are God and I am not

And, Lord, I need You!  

Here is what I believe - what I see as the bottom line of my life: Jesus is the ultimate answer to every need I could ever have. In Him I live and move and find and experience my being.

Dennis Jernigan

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8: 28 NASB

To listen to the teaching and song, go to http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/you-are-god-and-i-am-not/

I Will Run To The Arms Of My Father

I Will Run To The Arms Of My Father

So much of a person’s identity comes as a direct result of what they experienced relationally with their father - or not. In my own life, this has held true. What I have learned is that there is no perfect father - save One. And that I always have a choice as to how I will respond to the way my earthly father fathered me - or didn’t. I wasted far too much time fretting over the way my earthly father related to me when I was growing up but was rescued from the futility of such stinking thinking in this area by the Truth of my heavenly Father and the way He relates to me.

Suffice it to say, when God began to reveal His Father heart to me, my entire attitude changed toward my earthly father…so much so that my dad worked for me and with me in my ministry for the last 25 years of his life. God is Redeemer and He wastes nothing!

To help illustrate the Father’s love for us, I’d like to share with you the story behind my song, I Will Run to the Arms of My Father, from the recording Days of Awe. I received this particular song on March 9, 2012.

I was fortunate enough to attend and minister at a conference - Legacy 2012 - in Houston, Texas honoring one of my fathers in the faith, Jack Taylor. One of the speakers was Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA. He spoke of the Kingdom of God in his first session and how we must come to the Father in the attitude of little children. He told a story of God gracing his own life with evidence of His power and love in a very specific and child-like way.

One day, sitting by a lake, he began throwing small pebbles into the water. As he did so, the small fish began to eat them and spit them back out, thinking they were small bugs. Bill wondered to himself as a bee flew into his sight, "I wonder if a fish would eat a bee." At that very moment, the bee promptly fell into the water - and a fish ate him! Bill was overwhelmed with God's love and power in that instant. His heavenly Father was so intimate with him that He answered a simple thought Bill had thought to himself!

As soon as Bill told this story, I was reminded of how many times I have had similar occurrences - and how I take those moments as little surprises of God's love for me and presence with me. I missed Bill's next two sessions because I was so consumed with receiving this song.

I found a piano and poured my heart into this. This is one of my all-time favorite songs God has given me. Yes, I know that 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” But we must also remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:3. He said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” So how can both be true?

I believe that as I mature in Jesus, I put away childish self-focused attitudes and replace them with focus on God and others…but I do that with a child-like sense of wonder. I still love to star-gaze and wonder at the immensity of God. I still love to look for shapes in clouds with a child-like wonder at God’s creative power. I still revel in child-like wonder at the way God so wonderfully intervenes in precious moments of surprise in my life. Like a child I love God just for Who He is…and like a child, I walk in a heart of gratitude for the joy of knowing He is simply with me. Basically, I am a man who walks in maturity of faith with a child-like attitude and sense of adventure! Life with Jesus IS an adventure and not a drudgery to be endured.

Let’s think about this. We make life far too complicated. When is the last time you stopped and put down that cell phone and simply waited on God like a child waits on a parent to come home? We must remember why we were created in the first place: to have fellowship with God. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” That’s Ephesian 2:10. Simply put, when was the last time you simply came to father as a son or daughter and said, “Father, I need to be with You?”

A lost child cries out for and runs toward their father. Our Father is always waiting to pick us up and receives us gladly as He lifts us joyfully into the air. Like a child, we trust Him to throw us high and catch us, as we squeal with delight in that moment. Being a good Father, He cannot get enough of us and thoroughly enjoys just being with us…laughing with us…crying with us…dreaming with us.

He loves with love that will not let us go. He loves us in the fiery times and through the stormy times and His love is mighty and unending…like a river that is clear and deep and fun and refreshing…a river of love where we can literally get lost in a good way because we get lost in His all-encompassing, healing embrace of love.

I love just being with my own children and I love blessing them - and I am an earthly father - so how much more does our Father desire to just be with us and to enjoy OUR presence? Think about Whose you are and who you are as you listen this song...and enjoy the Kingdom you are a citizen of! To listen to the song I Will Run to the Arms of My Father, click on the link provided below.

Dennis Jernigan

[Jesus said], "Permit the children to come to Me; do not 
hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as
these. "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder
them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
And He took them in His arms and began to bless them,
laying His hands on them.
Mark 10:14-16 NASB

http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/i-will-run-to-the-arms-of-my-father/

The Table of the King

The Table of the King

Today we are going to be talking about the story behind my song, The Table of the King, from the recording Days of Awe. I received this particular song on March 19, 2012.

Far too often we think all we deserve is to sit beneath the table of life and settle for crumbs when, in reality, our Father has set a feast before us in the very midst of our circumstances. We are joint-heirs with Christ, entitling us to all the Kingdom has for us -- in THIS life. Unashamedly have a seat at the table and partake of God's presence. Settle for nothing less than God's best. This song came as I thought about the vast expanse of God's Kingdom available in this life...that I do not take advantage of. I am who my Father says I am - and He says I am a joint-heir with Christ!

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies...

Psalm 23:5a NASB

For far too long I sat beneath the table settling for the crumbs of God’s presence that mercifully fell from above. Believing far too many lies concerning my God-ordained identity. Since I was conceived in my mother’s womb, God has been calling me to come to the table…but I thought I had to earn my way there…and I believed I could never measure up to the requirements…could never do enough to earn my place at the table. Reality was that He had set the feast and had patiently kept calling me to the table even during my efforts to try and earn His acceptance. It was a free gift laid out before me. All I had to do was sit at the table and take and eat of His presence.

I first realized this way back in 1981 and have been fully embracing the truth of what this means for my name and for my life ever since. I stopped performing for His love and began performing BECAUSE He loved me. Big difference. I began to refuse to settle for anything less than God’s best for me. That’s why one of my personal rules is that Dennis Jernigan does not get to call himself something His heavenly Father does not call him.

By sitting AT the table WITH my King in the very midst of my enemy - in the very midst of whatever my circumstances might be - I began to claim the authority given to me by my Maker. Authority over the enemy and His lies. Authority over my own choices. Authority as a son of the Most High God! Life began to change from one of performing for acceptance and approval and a drudgery into a grand quest for life where joy rules the day and where God wastes nothing. Not one thing.

Here are some of my personal declarations that came out in the form of this song:

I am an heir with the Risen King!

I have a place Father set for me!

I will taste the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!

I will take the Bread of Life and eat!

I will take the Living Water, drink deep!

I will taste and see that the Lord, that the Lord is good!

My soul hungers!

My soul is thirsting for the presence of my King!

As you listen to this song, I urge you to see yourself seated AT the table WITH the King and I urge you to boldly take and eat of the feast of His presence. Be the overcomer Father says you are!

Dennis Jernigan

To listen to the song, The Table of the King, you will find the above teaching along with the song at The Dennis Jernigan Podcast at the following link: http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/the-table-of-the-king/

Breathe

Breathe

In 2010 I embarked upon my first-ever forty day fast. Why? Within a three week period I had major surgery, married off a daughter and watched her move to Australia, and then recorded a live album. By the end of that period I was emotional and mental toast. The Lord softly called me to reboot my system with a fast. I received a song a day over those forty days. This song came on day two...when I felt I needed to simply catch my spiritual breath, as it were. Breathe deeply...

As I began the fast, I knew I was to meditate on Psalm 40 and Isaiah 40 - and the promise from God that He would give me a song a day to get me through the entire fast. This is the story behind one of those songs. To be completely honest with you, I didn’t even know exactly what I needed to regain my strength. All I knew is that the Answer would be found in my relationship with Jesus. On May 25, 2010 that was how the day’s prayer and a new song began…me simply saying to him that if I knew nothing else, I knew I needed Him. As the fast began and physical hunger set in, I found the most amazing thing begin to happen. My physical hunger began to be replaced with spiritual hunger. Like a man in the desert who thrust after that next drink of water, I found myself thirsting for God’s presence in that same way. Like child needing the validation of his father, I began to seek my validation in Father God;

One of the underlying themes of the song for me personally is the fact that I had allowed the darkness of the world cloud to my vision. That I had allowed the busyness of life to choke out the life-giving relationship with Jesus. As I began the fast, I discovered that I could see more clearly when I cut off the other voices and that I could hear more clearly as I began to simply breathe in God’s presence.

This reminded me that the number one rule for a scuba diver is to keep breathing…that the number one rule for staying alive is to keep breathing…that I needed Jesus more than the physical air I breathe. As the fast began, rather than allowing the physical hunger to overwhelm me, I reminded myself to just keep breathing. Sounds simple, right? But how often do we forget to take time to breathe in the simple truth of God’s presence in our lives?

The more I sought God in the fast, the more specific my prayer became. The chorus of the song sums it up quite succinctly:

Lean so close that I feel You breathe.                                                                                            

Lean so  close You quench this thirst in me!                                                                                  

Lean so close You loose these chains in me!                                                                                    

Set me free so I can breathe!

As you listen to this song (a link to The Dennis Jernigan Podcast is below), shut out the other voices vying for your attention. Focus on leaning in to God’s presence to such a degree that you can hear Him breathing next to you…in you…through you. Allow Him and His presence to satisfy your deepest hunger and to quench your deepest thirst. Give Him the freedom to loosen the chains of any lies you are believing. Simply breathe in His presence…take in a good long deep breath….just breathe.

Dennis Jernigan

 

The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4 NASB

24 "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all [people] life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one [man] every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined [their] appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist…” Acts 17:24-28 NASB

To listen to The Dennis Jernigan Podcast detailing the story behind the song, Breathe, simply go to http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/breathe-1531851359/

To purchase the mp3 of the song, Breathe, simply go to https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3515

Songs of Deliverance

Songs of Deliverance

I’d like to tell you about the story behind my song, When the Night is Falling from the recording First Love.

Whenever someone asks me what is my favorite song I’ve ever received, this song is always in the top five just because of all God was doing in my life during the days it was born.  This song came over a two-day period - November 7th and 8th, 1989. Even though I had grown up in the church, I knew little about the Word of God - especially the Old Testament.

Even my favorite Christian band of all time played a role in this song being born into my life. You know how much I love the band, 2nd Chapter of Acts, because of the way God used them to lead me to freedom from my past and freedom from stinking thinking and into the deepest understanding of God’s love I had ever known or experienced up until the day He set me free. A year earlier - that would be sometime in 1988 - they released what was to be their final recording together, called Faraway Places. On this recording was a song called Sing Over Me…and once again, my mind was blown. God was trying to tell me something! In fact, Annie Herring - lead singer and song receiver of the band - had recorded a song called I Can’t Get Near You years before…and that song was from the perspective of Jesus singing over us! She had been modeling the Scriptural Truth for years and it had never dawned on me what she was doing…until it did!

One day, while talking to a friend about this song - his name is Doug Hinkle - great man of God who was always so encouraging to me concerning the Word of God and always so encouraging to me when it came to the songs God was giving me in those days. One day as we talked about the Word of God as it pertains to the depths of God’s love for us, I mentioned to Doug the song by 2nd Chapter of Acts called Sing Over Me and how much I loved that song and Doug said the most amazing thing to me. “You know that they’re singing the Word of God when they say God sings over us, right?” Doug brought up the verse Zephaniah 3:17 and asked me if I knew that God loved me so much that He rejoiced over me in singing - If I knew God sang over me? This was absolutely mind-blowing news to me. I thought about the ramifications of what this meant to my life for the next few days.

Now back to November 7 & 8 of 1989. After my conversation with Doug, I remember sitting in my ‘studio’ at the piano and ‘hearing’ the Spirit sing this melody to me.   Just the part that goes “How I love you, child! I love you! How I love you, child, I love You!” And I remember feeling that I didn’t want to move until I could hear Him sing His love to me – and then realizing that He is constantly singing His love to me and not wanting to move because I love to hear the waves of love rolling over me.  This song brought peace to my heart – the kind of peace that makes even physical death seem like an easy thing…and has brought me deep comfort since losing my dad in 2017. After my friend Doug Hinkle had shown me Zephaniah 3:17, I did a word study and came up with my very own translation just for me.  Little did I know that it would be the underlying theme of the rest of my life! I’d like to read my translation to you. Here goes:

The eternal self-existent God, the God Who is three in one; He Who dwells in the center of your being is a powerful and valiant warrior.  He has come to set you free, to keep you safe, and to bring you victory.  He is cheered and He beams with exceeding joy and takes pleasure in your presence.  He has engraved a place for Himself in you and there He quietly rests in His love and affection for you.  He cannot contain Himself at the thought of you and with the greatest of joy spins around wildly in anticipation over you…and has placed you above all other creations and in the highest place in His priorities.  In fact, He shouts and sings in triumph, joyfully proclaiming the gladness of His heart in a song of rejoicing!  All because of you!
Zephaniah 3:17 Jernigan Translation

God takes more delight in our presence than we take in His. We do not get to decide if God loves us. That’s a done deal. Our only two choices are to either receive God’s love for us or reject it. He loves you and me right where we are - but loves us enough to not leave us there, and He is constantly singing over us. Listen to the song now, but more importantly, listen for Father singing over you.
Dennis Jernigan

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7 NASB

The song, When the Night is Falling, is available for purchase and download at https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3912

Listen to The Dennis Jernigan Podcast and hear the song at http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/when-the-night-is-falling/

You Are My Life

You Are My Life

    On March 9, 2016, as Melinda was preparing for a trip to Australia to be with our daughter for the birth of our daughter’s second child, I asked the Lord how I could bless her in her going. It is my practice to bless my wife  as a way to build her up and encourage her. The honest truth - from my perspective - is that she encourages me much more than I encourage her. On the day this song came, I was simply meditating on ways to bless her…thinking about all the ways she encourages me…pondering what my life would be like without her. Such thoughts reduced me to gratitude toward and intimacy with God. Before I knew it, I was singing the words to Father in praise and singing them over my wife in honest confession. I taught the song to our home church the very night I received it but did not tell Melinda the story behind the song so I could surprise her with the story the day before she left for Australia. I wanted her last thought of me to be one of deep encouragement, blessing, and how much she means to me.

    Yes, this is both a love song to my wife and a love song to my Maker. Melinda is not my Savior nor is she my Redeemer. But my Redeemer lives in and through her and uses her to keep my mind focused on the King and upon the Kingdom…which brings me to think about the things that are necessary to sustain and live an abundant life in spite of our circumstances.

    There are several things necessary for life to be sustained…to be lived fully. We need food to fuel our physical bodies…every aspect and system of our bodies requires fuel. Just as we need food to fuel our bodies, we must also remember that 60% of our human bodies are composed of water. Water is required for every system in the human body from our skin to our organs to our bones and brains. Without food we can survive for about three weeks. Without water we can survive for about 7 days…but there is one component of our existence we cannot live more than three minutes without…and that is the air we breathe. While all those components are needed for physical life to be sustained, we must always bear in mind that we are more than physical beings. We are spirit beings as well. Because we have a spirit at the core of our being, we must remember to take care of our spirit and meet the requirements of every human spirit and soul that has ever or will ever exist…and that is to know and to be known. It’s called relationship. we are wired for relationship with other people and we are ultimately wired for relationship with God.

    This is why this song operates on two levels. I  know I need relationship with God the Father through nurturing intimacy with Christ via the Holy Spirit. Intimacy requires that I not only receive life but that I give life as well. Just as when Melinda and I nurture our relationship on every level, be it physical intimacy or intimacy of the soul, life begets more  life. I give life to her and she gives life to me and our lives are sustained in the process…and not just sustained…but our lives thrive on such deep intimacy. I do not want to simply survive - just get by. I want to thrive. I see the need for human intimacy as just as vital to my life as food, water, and the air I breathe

    As important as nurturing my relationship with my wife, my children, my grandchildren, and my friends might be, none of them can ever replace my need for intimacy with Christ. In fact, I believe every human relationship is enhanced and made to thrive more fully when lived out through a giving and receiving and nurturing my relationship with Jesus Christ. Before I share the song, let’s just quickly talk through the lyrics. Verse one begins…

Just like the air I breathe
I know I need Your love
If I am to survive
Your love is life to me
Like the air I breathe

Just like the air I need
I need to breathe Your love
And You give me Your life
Your love is life to me
Like My need to breathe

    Relationship with Holy Spirit of God is like breathing. It is necessary. I do not think it any coincidence that the word for Spirit in the Word of God is the Greek Word, pneuma which means breath! Just as vital to life as the physical air we breathe is breathing in the presence of God. I don’t know about you, but I want my spiritual lungs to be filled constantly!

Let’s look at verse two:

Just the air I breathe
I breathe in deep Your love
And there I find my life
Your love is life to me
Like the air I breathe
Just like the air I need
I breathe in deep Your love
And there I am revived
Your love is life to me
Like my need to breathe

    Key to my relationship with God is the belief that He loves me. If I did not believe God loved me I would not be able to bear the sorrows and trials of life…but because I am convinced He loves me and wants nothing but what is best for me, I believe there is nothing I cannot endure in this life. Like the air I breathe, I breathe in deeply of God’s love for me. Moment by moment until I do not even have to think about it anymore. It’s as natural for me as taking in a physical breath of air. Life is good knowing I am loved…regardless of what comes my way.

The chorus of this song is my favorite part. It says…

I could not survive without You
I could never thrive without You
I could not feel alive without You
You are my life
I’d be left behind without You
I think I’d lose my mind without You
So lost no one could find without You
You are my life

    I believe life is meant to be an adventure. I believe that life will not be easy at times. Sorrows come. the enemy sends temptations my way. We are in spiritual battle for our very thoughts. I believe life is meant to be abundant in spite of my circumstances and like I said before, I do not want to simply survive. My desire is to thrive! Life is meant to be enjoyed. As you listen to the song, You Are My Life, take time to breathe in deeply of God’s presence and love for you. He is as close as your next breath!
Dennis Jernigan

…for in Him we live and move and exist…
Acts 17:28 NASB

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Jesus
John 14:6 NASB

You can listen to the podcast version of this blog along with the song, You Are My Life, at http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/you-are-my-life/

The mp3 of the song You Are My Life is available for purchase and download at https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3908

A Father's Legacy

A Father's Legacy

A Father’s Legacy

The following is a Father’s Day letter I wrote to my sons and sons-in-law. As a dad - both physically and spiritually - I have been given the privilege and duty of bestowing identity and blessing upon my sons and my sons-in-law. The power of life and death is in the words we speak. I want my sons and sons-in-law to know exactly what I think of them. I thought it might bless someone else out there.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue…
Proverbs 18:21a NASB

    Father’s Day in 2018 has me pondering what it means to be a father…to be a dad. This is the first Father’s Day I have experienced since my father went home to be with the Lord on August 31, 2017. While I still find myself mourning this loss from time to time since that day, the grief is giving way to little reminders that death is not the end. In fact, if truth be told, I believe my dad is more alive than ever before in his eternal state. Though he was able to leave no earthly inheritance, the legacy he did leave was beyond measure. As I have had time to reflect upon what his legacy was to me, I cannot help but wonder about what legacy I want to leave my children.

    Just what does legacy mean? Legacy is something handed down from the past; an inheritance…or even a physical or personality trait…or a spiritual treasure chest of truth and wisdom. When I think about what my dad left me, my mind goes to a variety of wonderful and weird places. When I sneeze, I think of my dad…because I sneeze just like him. When I play the piano, I often think about the musical gifts of my dad who played both piano and guitar when I was a boy. When I sing, I can’t help but think of my dad being the first man I ever heard sing and how he could drop down an entire octave if a hymn he was leading became too high for him to reach the notes. I think about the time we grew a basketball goal from a seed (read the book The Incredible Growing Basketball Goal if you don’t believe me!). I recall the first ride I ever took on horseback with my dad and how much I love to ride as a result. Oftentimes, when I cast a lure into the water and begin reeling it in, I think of how my dad taught me to fish.

    When I look in the mirror, I see reflections of my dad in my physical body. When I feel melancholy, I recall the times when my dad seemed melancholy…yet kept plugging along, never letting his feelings sway him from doing and being what was right.

    Dad taught me to work hard and not to expect something for nothing. He taught me to drive the hay truck at around age 8 - bolting pieces of wood to the pedals so my feet could reach them. He taught me to drive a tractor, to rake hay and plow the ground. Taught me how to sharpen blades and change a flat tire. I never went without a job each summer from the time I was 8 years old until I went away to college because my dad taught me to work for what I wanted.

    Dad did not say the words ‘I love you’ to me until after I was married, but when I asked him why, he said, “My dad never told me, so I didn’t know how to tell you.” One of the greatest legacies my dad left me was in being willing to make things right. From the day I asked that question until the day he passed away, he spoke those words to me more than enough to make up for all the times he hadn’t before. In fact, the last coherent thing he spoke to me was the words, “I love you.” Precious to me.

    When I learned that his dad had never said those words to him, it dawned on me that in spite of not hearing those words as a child, my dad still expressed love to me. In fact, is not the greatest expression of love the laying down of life for another? My father did that in countless ways. Providing for my mom and my brothers and me. Being at every sporting event I was ever a part of. Coaching my little league team. Making sure we were involved in church. Praying over every meal. I can still recite the meat of his prayers to this day:

    “Dear heavenly Father, we ask Thee to bless the food we are about to partake…and ask Thy forgiveness where we’ve failed Thee…ask these in Jesus’s name. Amen.”

    From the early 1990s until shortly before he went home to be with Jesus, Dad worked for me in my ministry. He and my Mom would haul products to every concert and ministry time, driving from coast to coast on more than one occasion. One of the things I miss most is hearing him answer the phone. “Shepherd’s Heart Music! This is Robert! Can I hep ya?” Whenever I had car trouble, I called my dad. On more than one occasion he came to the rescue when I or one of his grandchildren were in trouble. Seems he was always there. Seems he would always be there…until he wasn’t.
    
    During the last couple of years of his life, my dad did something very special for me. Whenever we would come to Sunday lunch at my folks’s home - which is almost every Sunday - my dad would ask me how things were going then take my hand and squeeze it. The first time he did this my mind was flooded with healing from the days when he never knew how to say the words. Again, one of the greatest things I learned - inherited - from my dad was that love is more than mere words. Those hand squeezes said it all in those moments. My dad was not perfect…but he was there. The more I reflect on his life, the more of him I see in mine…and in a way, he is still right here with me in little treasures he left along the way. My Dad was a good father.    
    
    Just what is a father? In its most simple definition, a father is the male parent of a child, but in a spiritual sense, a father is one who prepares his child for life. As I look back, I see that all the negatives are difficult to recall while all the wisdom and good things have risen to the surface. Even now I hear him saying, “You can’t have a champagne taste on a beer budget” meaning don’t live beyond your means (said the man who never smoked or cussed or even let a drop of alcohol touch his lips!). Simple wisdom in a lasting legacy.

    The legacy of my dad extends further back into history the more I reflect on how my father got to where he was. This causes me to think about his father, Samuel Washington Jernigan, who served in the cavalry in WWI (my dad left me the bits from my grandfather’s  horse with the letters “US” stamped on either side) and who rode a horse all the way from Mississippi to Oklahoma in the 1930s where he raised my dad and his two daughters. Legacy can be passed down in oral history, proving the power of life and death is in the words we speak.

    The story is told in our family about how much my grandfather loved me. Even though he died when I was one year old, my grandmother Jernigan told me many times of how he would take me with him around to the oil leases he oversaw in the county. These were the days before car seats and laws concerning such matters. With me sitting on the truck seat beside him, whenever he would see a neighbor or an acquaintance, he would pull the truck over and take me out and proudly show me off to whoever would listen! What a legacy this leaves in my heart to this day…and I do not recall the memory yet I see it clearly in my mind.

    And my Mom’s dad - grandpa Herman - taught me so much about a lot of things. He taught me how to be an entrepreneur. He offered me a nickel for every terrapin or box tortoise I could find so that he could go to flea markets and re-sell them for a quarter apiece. Grandpa Herman was a pastor…I can still smell the old wooden floors and furnishings of the little country church he pastored in Liberty, Oklahoma…the church that he left to go pastor another church near Tulsa only to have the Liberty Baptist Church family move all their things from their new home back to the parsonage in Liberty because they loved them so much and did to want them to leave!

    You’ve probably heard it said that any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad. When I think of my father’s legacy to me, I think my dad was pretty special. Reality is that my legacy is long and storied and enduring and reassuring and peace-bringing…and rich beyond measure. One thing that leaves a great feeling of legacy from my dad to me is the memory of seeing him pick up my son, Israel, for the first time…and love on him! My selfish initial thoughts were “Where were you my whole life?” and then to repent and see that my dad was indeed loving on me by loving on my son. In that moment, my heavenly Father began to do a deep work in my mind and in my heart of how He was able to restore to me the things I felt had been robbed from me as a child.
    
    This brings me to think about my own sons and what I want my legacy to be to them. For my daughters I want the same, but since this is about the legacy of being a dad, I wanted to focus on my boys for this prose…but will be doing the same for my girls in the very near future. My hope is that my children would be granted the power to forgive my shortcomings and to embrace the good and right things I did…that they would never forget how wanted and how loved they were by me…that who they are is more than they can possibly see right now…that their potential is as far-reaching as they can dream…and that my hope is that they would be better dads than I was…from generation to generation.

    Following are excerpts from blessings I spoke over my sons and sons-in-law. Out of respect for them - to protect their privacy - I have removed their names but still wanted to communicate how simple it is to bless your children…even if you have messed up royally in the past. As long as you and your child are still breathing, there is hope…

    To my first-born son. When I think of you I cannot help but remember how much you desired to please me when you were growing up…and how much I wanted you to know how pleased I was with you just because you existed. You are one of the kindest men I know. You’re one of the smartest men I can think of. I trust you with my life and with the legacy of the name Jernigan. You are a massively wonderful dad to your girls and a massively wonderful husband to your wife. I cry when I listen to your silly songs because I know how precious they are to your little ones and that they don’t even have a clue as to how blessed they are to have you. I am so proud of you…

    My second-born son, when I think of you I cannot help but think about the awesome and incredible gift you are to our family - to the world. You are one of the most creative men I know. Your loyalty and patience are a beacon of hope to any you come in contact with - whether you see it or not! When I look back on the past two years of your life and how much you have had to endure and how much you have overcome to where you are now, I cannot help but think about how awesome and wonderful God is! You are blessed beyond what you realize concerning the deep loving heart God has given you. I love you just because you exist. Everything else about you is icing on the cake for me. I am so proud to call you ‘son’.

    To my third-born son…when I think of you I miss you incredibly…incredibly. I love your musical giftings and your sense of humor. As with your brother, I have watched you endure pain and sorrow and suffering with great endurance and strength beyond what I think I could have handled at your age…and I have praised God for His faithfulness to bring you back to where you are right now. I miss hanging out with you and going to the movies with you. I miss the annoying way you would sit on my lap and rub my cheek - no matter who was around! While I may appear embarrassed (which I’m sure is your evil plan), I actually love those moments of silly love. I love everything about you. I love you simply because you exist…and I am proud to call you my son.

    To my fourth-born son…I look at you and see a bold man of God, willing to do whatever is necessary to preserve your family…from wife to us. A real man walks with a repentant heart and you are a real man, son. You are just fun to be around…fun to be with. You go out of your way to make me feel smart even when we both know I know nothing when it comes to the digital age of music and recording. Your willingness to be patient with me during such moments is life to me and peace to my soul. Your talents are leap years ahead of where I was when I was you age and your maturity makes me feel so proud to be your dad. I am proud to call you ‘son’.

    Not only have I been blessed with the most amazing sons, but I have been blessed with equally amazing sons-in-law. Though not born of my flesh, you have each been born like sons in my heart…and you are a part of my legacy as I hope you count me a part of yours. I feel like the richest man on earth because of my nine children and their amazing mother…so add you men into the mix…and my grandchildren…I am beyond billionaire status in heritage!

    Son-in-law one, you are the hardest-working man I know. Your reputation precedes you. I love it when people ask me if I know you…often referring to what a great job you have done for them. I pop a few buttons during such moments, my chest becomes so puffed up with dad-ly pride. Thank you for laying down your life for your wife and children…and for the way I have watched you weather the storms of your life. You are a great man and I am proud to call you ‘son’.

    Son-in-law two, when I think about all that God has done to get you to where you are in this life, I stand back in amazement. Your early life was anything but easy, yet by the love and grace of God, He has brought you out of a great deal of darkness and pain and granted you a wonderful family of your own. I am proud of you for your overcomer’s attitude…and even enjoy your dad jokes. Thank you for laying down your life for your wife and children. You are a strong, good man and I am proud to call you ‘son.’

    Son-in-law three, your attention to being a great husband and great father is amazing to me. Not only do you work hard to provide for your family, but you lead them to a kingdom understanding of who God has called them to be. I cannot ask for more. You are a champion to your girls…a defender of your wife and daughters…a godly man I respect and admire. Thank you for laying down your life for your family. You are an awesome man and I am proud to call you ‘son’.

    Son-in-law four, your heart for God is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of you. The fact that you lead worship makes it easy to love you and understand you because we are similar in that respect…as well as alike in the Achilles tendon saga. Yes, I may be a bit biased when it comes to my sons-in-law, but it’s true! Your diligence to seek after God does my heart good. Thank you for laying down you life for your wife. You are an amazing man and I am proud to call you ‘son’.

    Jernigan men and sons-in-law, I worked hard at being a dad…and plan to work as hard at being a granddad. My goal? To leave such a legacy for the kingdom of God and the generations to follow that Jesus would be easily seen and remembered in my life. You are each - whether you like it or not - part of my legacy…and my dream is that you would each dare to leave such a legacy for those who follow you. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all your needs - and the needs of those you are responsible for - will be met. And how do we seek first the kingdom? By seeking first the King. The kingdom of God? He rules it all - even when the world thinks it rules! God causes ALL things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. My greatest joy? Knowing you love and seek Jesus and knowing you love and lay down your life for your own families just as Jesus did for you.

    When I think of you, I see a great legacy that was granted to me in spite of me…
Thank you for being my sons. I love you…
Dad…Papa J…Deege…Mr. J or whatever you want to call me!

The Middle of Nowhere Project

The Middle of Nowhere Project

If you know me, you know my message is freedom through relationship with Jesus Christ. In many ways, I find myself feeling more and more isolated from the world because of the nature of my story, but the more troubling aspect of my life is that I am feeling more and more isolated from the church for the same reason. This is not a pity-party. Quite the contrary. People reach out to me online daily and I minister to hundreds weekly online. Most ask for help concerning their identity. Many tell me they feel as if they are trapped in the middle of nowhere…between a world that defies their very desire for freedom and a church that dares not broach the subject matter. The need for the message of freedom and hope is greater than ever.

For these reasons, I am beginning work on a new recording I am calling The Middle of Nowhere. My vision is that it be produced with a level of excellence on a par with - or a cut above - that of the world. Because I am an independent artist, I must fund each recording myself. To produce such a recording will cost at least $50,000.

This is where I am asking you to help me. Would you consider being a part of a project that will minister to the lives of people long after I am gone from this world? If you feel this is a worthy cause, I ask you to give whatever you can afford, no matter how small. Every dollar helps. For being a part of the recording, I will list your name as one of the producers (unless you tell me otherwise) on the album credits. In addition, I will see that you receive a copy of the finished project.

To whet your vision and to thank you for taking the time to consider helping me out, I have provided a link to the demo of the title song below as produced by my friend, Joe Sicurella, in New York City where the recording will take place. The recording is being produced as an outreach of the ministry of my home church - which literally meets in my home - called All In All Church. To give toward the project, go to https://www.allinallchurch.com/donate-online/
Blessings,
Dennis Jernigan

Listen to the demo of the title song at https://youtu.be/AcP1zf58fn0

 

 

 

Everything We Need

Everything We Need

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Jesus
Matthew 6:33 NASB

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” Jesus
Luke 18:17 NASB

   Have you ever begun a project and found you did not have everything you needed to complete it? My wife, Melinda, creates beautiful artisan pieces of jewelry. When working on a specific pattern like a signature bracelet called 'Beautiful', she depends on the supply of gems and crystals needed to complete the bracelet. If even one bead needed is not in her inventory, she cannot complete the project. Our friend, Joanna, when building a cake, cannot complete the cake if even one necessary ingredient is not in her cupboard. My son-in-law is a builder. If he is awarded a contract for a project, he must have all the materials required to bring that project to completion. Do you ever feel as if your life is missing certain pieces necessary to live that life abundantly? Dare I say that if we are in Christ we do have everything we need to do just that?! In the moment we stepped into faith in Christ and were born again, we were ushered into the kingdom of God...lacking in nothing we need to live an abundant life!

    What is the kingdom of God? It is God’s rule and reign in the here and now, past and future, spanning the universe. God is in control, pure and simple, causing all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. To enter that eternal kingdom requires child-like faith in Jesus. An exchange of our life with His. A child trusts implicitly. When I was a small boy, I can recall standing atop a fence rail and my dad extending his arms toward me, beckoning me to jump. I did not hesitate. Why? Because I trusted him to do what he promised - to keep his word - that he would catch me. And he was true to his word. He kept his promise…and he was an earthly father, so how much more can we trust our heavenly Father to keep His promises…to keep His Word? We will never know if we do not trust Him.

    I entered the kingdom of God on November 7, 1981 when I trusted Father God with my life by confessing my sin and receiving the work of the cross. I was born again. In that child-like step of faith, I leapt from the fence-rail of my old identity and into the arms of the One Who gave me my existence in the first place, allowing Him to show me who He intended for me to be all along. In a very real sense, He exchanged His life for mine and I exchanged my life for His. The old me was crucified and buried and the new me was made alive to God, my slate wiped clean and my eyes opened to the grand possibilities and wonders and mysteries of the Kingdom of God!

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB

    I can look at my physical body and see reflections of my earthly father, from my body type to my personality and musical abilities. Every time I sneeze, I hear my dad! So much of who he is is in me that even my sneezes stir up the realization that I am more like him than I ever realized! Why? Because his DNA flows through my physical veins. Why do we not think about our spiritual DNA in the same manner? Either we have our heavenly Father’s DNA flowing through our spiritual veins or we do not. If we do, that changes everything! When Jesus exchanged our life for His on the cross, we were granted access to this DNA change. When we were born again, our spiritual DNA was forever changed as well!

    By virtue of this exchange of life by His divine power, I was granted every single thing I would ever need pertaining to life and to godliness…to living abundantly and to thinking and acting like my Father. Every single thing I would ever need! That is an amazing statement! It is through knowing Christ and being born again that I was granted such magnificent provision.

    This is a promise from God we can take to the bank. It is when we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness that all our needs are met. That’s Matthew 6:33 in a nutshell. We were granted access to the kingdom by a step of faith and once we were planted in said kingdom, we were called to live out our lives to the glory of God - to live in an excellent way. He has promised us a way of escape when temptation comes. We are no longer children of the flesh, ruled by lust. We are children of the Most High God and partakers in the divine nature of our Father, His spiritual DNA flowing through our veins! And just how do we live that out? By believing and trusting with child-like faith.

    Just what is our DNA? We find a great deal of what our spiritual or kingdom DNA is in 2 Peter 1:1-11. Let’s take a look at what we find there. This is my interpretation of what this passage says about who I am:

    He placed within us the desire to seek Him with all diligence. To seek Him with diligence is to seek Him with earnest haste. As new creations in Christ, we are to think his thoughts because we were given the mind of Christ when we were born again…whether we walk in it or not. Why do you think we must be diligent in the renewal of our mind? To stop thinking in our old sinful thought patterns? To exchange those wrong thoughts with right-thinking according to the way our Father thinks?

    To seek Him with diligence means we seek Him quickly as if our life depends on it…because it DOES! As we seek Him with child-like faith we gain everything we need by simply believing His promises to be true - then walking in them! When we realize we have believed a lie and then renounce that lie and replace it with the truth, our feelings change. When our feelings change, our attitudes change. When our attitudes change, our behaviors change. Why would we not seek Him and to think like Him with all diligence?

    We walk by faith and not by what we see with our physical eyes. According to Hebrews 11:2 NASB, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Our hope and assurance are in Jesus - THE living Word of God. We walk in faith by walking intimately with Jesus. We walk intimately with Jesus by receiving and believing He is with us and in us.

    We diligently step out in faith and apply to our faith moral excellence. Moral excellence is purity of thought, thinking holy thoughts just as our Father thinks.

    To our moral excellence we add knowledge. Knowledge is the understanding that we see life and the world from God’s point of view. This is called wisdom.

    To our knowledge we are to add self-control. Self-control is simply applying the rule of God to our own thoughts and to stand as a guard over the choices we make. Self-control is the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions. My personal belief is that in the kingdom way of thinking I submit my will to that of the Father and the result is self-control.

    To our self-control we are to add perseverance. Perseverance is patient continuance in spite of the circumstances or sufferings one must face in life…like keeping on heading toward Jesus through the storms of life…like continuing to cut one’s way through the dense jungle life can be at times. According to Strong’s Concordance, perseverance is “the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.”

    To our perseverance we are to add godliness, Godliness is simply believing we are the sons and daughters of the Most High God and that we are like Him in the very essence of our identity by virtue of His spiritual DNA flowing through our spiritual veins. Godliness is reverence and respect for who and Whose we are!

    To our godliness we are to add brotherly kindness. Brotherly kindness is simply loving the family of God. As kingdom seekers and kingdom dwellers, we are to recognize no man according to the flesh, but rather, we are to view them as Father views them. This means extending kindness to those who don’t have a clue as to Who Jesus is by seeing them as Father does: potential children of the kingdom. This also means extending kindness to brothers and sisters we may not agree with. Blessing those who curse us. Loving those who hate us.

    To our brotherly kindness we are to add love. Love is the Word agape, which means the love that lays down its life for a friend. This love flows through our spiritual veins! This is part of who and Whose we are!

    If we are in Christ, then all these qualities are already in us! This means that if we are breathing we are of great use to the King and to the kingdom! By simply existing and believing we are who Father says we are we are called to extend the kingdom of God WITH Him! We are called to share the Gospel and to make disciples. We can all do that!

    The only conclusion I can come to after reading this passage is that I have everything I need to conduct the kingdom business with my Father…but it is up to me to walk in it…up to me to receive it and believe it. What does this passage tell you about your spiritual DNA? It’s already in you. It’s up to you and me to release it…but in so doing, we also walk in the reality of having all our needs met because our Father keeps His promises. Remember:

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Jesus
Matthew 6:33 NASB

Dennis Jernigan

2 Peter 1:1-11 NASB

1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:

2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of [the] divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in [your] moral excellence, knowledge,

6 and in [your] knowledge, self-control, and in [your] self-control, perseverance, and in [your] perseverance, godliness,

7 and in [your] godliness, brotherly kindness, and in [your] brotherly kindness, love.

8 For if these [qualities] are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 For he who lacks these [qualities] is blind [or] short-sighted, having forgotten [his] purification from his former sins.

10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
2 Peter 1:1-11 NASB

 

Default Setting

Default Setting

    Recently, I upgraded to a new smartphone and, as always, when it came time to update software in my new phone, several glitches began to occur within varying apps. Similarly, I tried to update the software for my work computer and found that much of my software was not compatible with the new operating system. In both situations I had a choice to make. I could either throw the device against a brick wall and be done with it or I could go through the process of restoring the device to its intended settings. In the world of computing and smartphones, what do we do when we have a problem with said device? We restore it to its default settings. In the simplest of terms, that means I restore it to its original and intended operating settings put in place by the manufacturer.

    In the battleground of our minds - in our hearts and souls…in the way we think - why do we not do the same? As you may or may not know, grief over the loss of my dad in August of 2017, set in motion a glitch in my thought process - especially in the way I think about myself. Rather than restore my mind to the default settings Father intended for me, I allowed the lies of the enemy to take me further down the rabbit-hole of stinkin’ thinkin’.

    Here are a few of the lies I had believed in no particular order of importance: I have been abandoned by the church which led me to an inability to trust others; I am irrelevant and no longer needed; I am utterly alone, an embarrassment to the body of Christ and an anathema to the world; I am not worth pursuing.

    Stinkin’ thinkin’ is simply believing a lie the enemy has planted in my mind that is contrary to God’s default setting for me as a new creation in Christ. If not corrected, one lie leads to negative feelings of being ‘less than’, negative feelings lead to attitudes of failure and failure leads to patterns of wrong behavior, and wrong behavior leads to system failure. So what do I do when I find myself in system failure? I reboot the system. I reset my thinking to the default setting provided by Father God. And just what is the default setting provided to each and every believer in and follower of Christ? We find our default setting in the Word of God…specifically in Matthew 6:33.

    “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33 NASB

    What does it mean to seek first His Kingdom? To me, that means simply ‘God rules’! God is in control even when the world around me is losing its collective mind. It is the basic operation system afforded us by the work of the cross and makes Romans 8:28 make even more sense.

    And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 NASB

    Either God is in control or He is not. From this point of view, my circumstances become opportunities to see the Kingdom of God come to pass in my life. Feelings of fear reveal my need for the King’s point of view and are quelled by receiving God’s deep, abiding love for me…in just LETTING Him love me!

    Feelings of loneliness reveal the simple fact that I have taken my eyes off of the One Who never leaves and never forsakes.

    Feelings of hurt and abandonment reveal my need to forgive and that I have no real right to be offended in the first place. An added benefit of forgiving those who have wounded me is that the wounds are healed the more I lavish love on the very ones who hurt me…and I am able to receive more of God’s love for myself!

    Feelings of irrelevance reveal the very reality that as long as I have breath in this physical life I am needed.

    Feelings of wallowing in grief reveal my lack of faith that I will see my dad again…that he is more alive than me!

    By seeking first the kingdom of God, I reboot and reset my operating system - the way I think - and go back to the operating system within which I was intended to live my life all along. By seeking first the kingdom of God, I infuse Jesus into each and every situation. Bad moods or feelings of hopelessness reveal the state I would be in had I never been pursued by Jesus in the first place.

    Seeking first the kingdom involves repentance. Repentance is simply changing the way one thinks! Repentance is a good and wonderful thing…for as a man thinks in his heart, so he is according to Proverbs 23:7! Feelings always betray our thoughts. Feelings can be altered by altering the way we think. Think about the way God thinks about the world and about yourself and repentance comes quickly and always ushers in more freedom.

    Seeking first the kingdom and His righteousness means God is in control and that His righteous justice will always prevail in spite of what happens around us.

    Seeking first His kingdom leads to having all our needs met. What does ‘all these things will be added to you’ mean, after all? ALL THINGS!

    Feeling wounded? Seek the kingdom and grace will lead you to forgive and to love.

    Feeling alone? Seek the kingdom and you will find the presence of God with you and in you.

    Feeling irrelevant? Seek the Kingdom and you will find purpose and a mission.

    Feeling defeated? Seek first His kingdom and put off the lie and replace it with the truth that Jesus is your victory.

    Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and repent of the lies you have believed. Believing a lie leads to wrong attitudes. Wrong attitudes lead to wrong behavior. Wrong behavior leads to the enemy building a stronghold in our minds. Resetting our minds to the kingdom default settings tears down the strongholds because we have been given the mind of Christ and the weapons of our warfare are not of flesh and blood but are mighty through God to the tearing down of strongholds, to the casting down of imaginations, to the bringing down  the idolatrous heights of human thinking that exalts itself above the thoughts of God, giving us the power to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. And we don’t stop there. When we have obeyed God by resetting our thoughts, we are then to exact recompense on the disobedience of the enemy by taking down the accuser and his lies and sending them back to hell where they belong. That’s 1 Corinthians 10:4-6 way of wiping the hard drives of our minds clean and getting back to right-thinking.

    We can all use a little resetting and retuning…and in God’s view of things, we see more of the big picture…so why would you not take time to assess your own thoughts each and every day? When in doubt, reboot the system rather than allowing it to lead you to system failure. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness by seeking first the King and getting to His point of view.
Dennis Jernigan

Show Me Where It Hurts

Show Me Where It Hurts

The Healing Aspects of Worship   

    3 John 1:2 begins with this simple prayer. “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” As a worship leader, that is a significant prayer to have in my arsenal of spiritual weaponry…the simple understanding that leading people to a prosperity of soul will lead directly to prosperity in not only other areas of their lives but in their physical health as well. The word prosper in this passage literally means to have a successful journey. This is a very significant thought when used in relation to the healing of wounds through the process of worshiping God. Healing is a process…a journey!

    Because I have come through the healing of very deep emotional wounds in my life, I tend to attract emotionally wounded people. When they hear my story they tend to think ‘If God could heal Dennis Jernigan, then maybe He could heal me, too’. It is one of my responsibilities as a worship leader and minister of reconciliation in the body of Christ to share my story for that very reason…and by the way, we are ALL called to be ministers of reconciliation….and we are all called to worship God with our entire being. Yet, how can we do that unless we open our entire being to the Father in honest confession?

    We find Jesus has something to say about honest confession in John 8:32 when He says "...and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” We can quote that verse all day long and never walk in freedom. We only get to freedom when we take the first step truth requires, and that is our own honest confession.
    
    What keeps people from confessing their wounds or their sin? Fear of being shamed causes us to allow pride to keep us from being honest. What will people think if I confess my sin? Fear of more wounding causes us to not get honest about those wounds. Truth brings healing and freedom and the first step toward truth is our own honest confession.

    Here’s a great example of what I am talking about. If we go to the doctor with a wound that we know is going to kill us, the first thing the doctor will do is ask us to show him where it hurts. To not do so out of fear of what someone else might think and to walk away from that encounter and die would be foolishness. Yet we do that all the time in the church! One of my greatest responsibilities in leading worship is to remind people that God is there whether they feel Him or not…that He sees the things we think we hide and He loves us anyway. As I lead people to simply acknowledge the Lord’s presence in spite of how or what they feel, I lead them as a shepherd leading sheep. This begs the question, “Do you know the needs of your flock?”

    Whenever I prepare to lead worship, I do not ask the Lord what songs I am to choose. I ask two simple questions. “Father, would you give me a sense of what the flock needs right now?” and “Father, would You allow me to feel towards Your sheep what You feel towards them?” Once I have received His leadership and answer to those two questions, I then ask Him which songs will lead the people to the place of having their needs met.

    What pastures do they need to feed on today? Where do I lead them to drink today? Where is the place of restoring their souls? How do I present to them Your righteousness in worship? How do I lead them from fear to trust? From despair to hope? How do I lead them to comfort? How do I help them stop settling for crumbs beneath the table of the King and sit boldly at the feast of His presence? What wounds need binding and anointing with the oil of His presence today?

    I select songs that accomplish the answering of such questions. And then I explain briefly why I selected certain songs that day and lead by example as I share honestly from my own needs and how the Lord used the song in my own life. By lifting up Jesus as the Great Physician and then explaining how to express our hurts and failures to Him in complete abandonment in honest worship, the process of healing begins immediately as people sing the lyrics that cause them to take an honest look at their own needs.

    More often than not, after I sense the hearts of the people are ready, I remind them that relationship with God is a two-way street. Not only do we express our needs to Him in song, but He expresses His love for us…in song! Zephaniah 3:17 tells us He rejoices over us with singing. Psalm 32:7 tells us that He surrounds us with songs of deliverance…and this is where the rubber meets the road for me as a worship leader.

    I remind them that Jesus asks us to be honest with Him in our wounding. To do so brings about cleansing and healing and steps toward the Light of His love. I quell fear by reminding them of God’s love for them in that while we were yet sinners, Christ still died for us. I crush shame by explaining the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is the understanding that I have done something wrong. Shame is the belief that I AM something wrong. Jesus dealt with our guilt on the cross. He bears our shame in the same way. To say we are something wrong is to tell God He made a mistake when He made us. You are no mistake or you would not be here…because my God makes no mistakes. No matter how far we have fallen, His love can reach that far.

    To give people the chance to receive this love in a practical manner right smack dab in the middle of worship, I remind them that worship is an expression of relationship between Father and child. We have just talked/sung to Him. Now it is time for us tor receive a song of deliverance from Him. Often, I ask people to sit at this point of worship, but remind them to remain in a worshipful attitude because we are about to do something special. Something holy. Because I have already sensed the needs of the flock I am leading, I simply ask them to be honest with one another…and give them the opportunity to be the body to one another.

    At times, I sense many are going through grief, so I will ask those who are grieving the loss of a loved one to stand so I can sing over them a song of deliverance God has given me. A song of deliverance is generally a song from Father’s point of view that speaks to the need I am addressing in the body. I encourage the body to gather  around those who stood and encourage them to lay hands on those standing and to pray quietly while I sing over their needs. Because I have been honest with my own story and needs, others feel free to be honest about theirs. People will get honest when they feel they are safe too do so. Before I sing, I always remind those standing to disregard me and to hear Father’s heart for them. They know why they are standing…and God knows. That’s a great starting place for healing!

    If we never give people the opportunity to receive healing for their wounds, we never see full release of worship. My belief is that if I lead people to healing and freedom, they WILL worship openly and freely. I have had times when I asked those who were contemplating taking their own lives to stand. On one such occasion I was shocked to look up and find over 50 people standing in honest confession. Other needs I have sung over include the parents of prodigal children; the sexually abused; those going through a divorce; those who feel they were not wanted; those struggling with depression; those facing financial crises; You name it and I have probably received a song of deliverance for it!

    Worship leaders, remember this: healing is a process. To help you better understand how to lead your people via worship through the process of healing, consider reading my book Renewing Your Mind - Identity and the Matter of Choice. Do not be afraid to lead your people to honest confession. I guarantee this from having led worship for 37 years now: Lead people to healing and freedom and worship will be the natural response. Get to know the needs of your flock and lead them accordingly.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
James 5:16 NASB

Dennis Jernigan

To help you develop an arsenal of songs of deliverance, I have listed 2 collections of such songs below. I have also listed several specific songs along with the needs they address:

Songs of Ministry
https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=34&p=386

Songs of Ministry 2
https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=34&p=3238

Grief and Mourning
I Will Be There - https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=529

Overwhelmed, Hopeless
It’s Gonna Be Alright - https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=132
Just Keep Breathing - https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3910

Emotional Wounding
Show Me Where It Hurts - https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3539

Feeling Unwanted or a Mistake
I Wanted You - https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=669

Parents of Prodigal Children
Be My Child - https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3246

Songs of Honest Confession from Us to Father
When the Night is Falling - https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3912
If I Could Just Sit With You Awhile - https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3900

 

The following is an excerpt from the book Renewing Your Mind by Dennis Jernigan which is available at
https://www.amazon.com/Renewing-Your-Mind-Identity-Matter/dp/1613143737/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1521556508&sr=1-1&keywords=renewing+your+mind+dennis+jernigan&dpID=51j6qFZehXL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch


The Process of Healing
    When faced with the need for healing of our minds—the way we think about ourselves—the enemy would love for us to feel overwhelmed by the mountainous terrain that our stinkin’ thinkin’ raises before us. Let us remember that we are on a journey—an adventure—here and that journeys require time and planning. After all, it may have taken years to build up the mountains of wrong thinking you now experience, so it may take years to tear it down. Like a building that we build with our thoughts, we tend to build it brick by brick. When tearing down that building, it is often necessary to tear it down in the same way: brick by brick, thought by thought. Bottom line? Healing is a process. The process of healing was brought home to me through the years in very tangible ways, complete with physical reminders of deep spiritual Truths.
    Many years ago, I was working on my farm with my tractor. Having been grading the gravel road to and from my barn using the box blade scraper, I needed to take the heavy implement off so I could attach the brush hog and do some mowing. A box blade is like a small road grading blade one can attach to one’s tractor and scrape dirt and gravel and the like. While the blade itself is about five feet across and twenty-four inches deep, on the front of the implement are four long spikes called rippers that are spaced in front of the blade. The rippers cut through the ground and break it up, allowing the scraper to then come along behind and scrape the broken ground up. The entire apparatus weighs several hundred pounds.
    In a hurry to get to my next task, and having performed the changing of implements many times before, I did not take the time to go through all the necessary safety steps. As I disconnected the hydraulic arm to which the right side of the blade was attached to the reactor, it slipped off before I was ready—because of the vibrations of the still-running tractor. Before I could get out of the way, the blade fell from the tractor and onto my right leg. The ripper did its job, ripping right into my lower calf and pinning me in a very awkward position beneath the large rear tire of the tractor.
    My first thoughts? I do not wish to die this way. The tractor was still running and the goats, notorious for climbing on any and everything, were nearby. All I could think—and I am serious about this—was my friends would mock the way I died at my funeral! “Can you believe he was killed by goats?” If I ever needed to be in control of my thoughts, it was in that moment. After serval minutes of pleading with the Lord to help me find the strength to remove myself from this entrapment, He came through. As I looked down at the wound, I saw a gaping hole in my leg exposing my tendon, muscle, and bone.
    Not realizing I was in shock, I could only think of covering the wound and getting the flap of dangling flesh back in its proper place. Calmly, I pulled the flesh over the hole in my leg and held it there, walking all the way from behind the barn to the house bent over awkwardly while trying to keep the flesh in place. As I neared the house, Melinda came out and I showed her the wound.
    Wasting no time, she helped me get into the car, and she drove speedily to the nearest ER seven miles away. Nearing the ER, I told her to simply drop me off and park the car while I did the preliminary check-in.
    Approaching the nurse station, I told the receptionist that I had injured myself and needed help. She calmly replied, “You’ll need to fill out some paperwork.” Still in shock, I felt overwhelmed to the point I could do no more. Turning around from the window, I simply slumped to the floor beneath the window—and sat. As Melinda came through the door, she asked, “What are you doing down there?” All I could muster to say was, “I need to do some paperwork.” Bursting through the ER door to the triage unit, Melinda shouted, “My husband needs help!” And help came.
    Two surgeries later, I was sent home to heal. Miraculously, there were no broken bones. Just nerve damage and the wound itself, which had been nicely stitched closed, seemed merely incidental after the fact. A lot of trauma for such a seemingly small wound. Little did I know but that little wound would have a far-reaching effect upon my life—and the way I think.
    After a few days of rest and recuperation, I noticed the bruising around the wound was not getting any better. In fact, the flesh over the wound seemed to be growing darker and darker, fading from deep blue to deeper black. And it began to develop an odor—like rancid, decaying flesh. Since this did not seem right, I went back to the surgeon and showed him my wound. Without saying a word, he simply began to cut away the flesh, once again leaving a gaping hole in my lower calf, revealing the inner parts once again. I asked him, “When can you do a skin graft to cover the wound?” His answer sent holy chills through my being: “A skin graft will not work for this kind of wound. For this type of wound to heal properly, it must heal from the inside out.”
    With those words, “It must heal from the inside out,” I knew in that moment that the Lord was going to be teaching me a few deeper things about healing. Confused, I asked him what he meant. I asked him how that could be possible. He then explained to me the process of healing. His instructions, while simple, were full of profound, life-giving Truth. He instructed me to soak the wound twice a day in a bucket of warm water. In that water, I was to mix a cup of Tide detergent and soak for thirty minutes. His explanation for this? The wound needs to be as clean as possible in order to promote healing.
    As those words sank into my mind, I could not help but think of and relate this need for cleansing to the human need to confess one’s sins. As I have already stated in a previous chapter, you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free…but the first step Truth requires is our own honest confession—or cleansing! And the added bonus? Simply learning to rest in—soak in—God’s presence! Awesome in and of itself, but the doctor was not through.
    Following up the need for soaking and constant cleansing, he prescribed a large roll of gauze, sterile and clean. I was to pack the wound with said gauze as soon as I was through with my morning soak…packing it as tightly as possible so as to not allow any foreign materials into the wounded place. In addition, he instructed me to pull the gauze out before soaking at the end of the day. Curious, I asked him why. He told me that as I pulled the gauze out—which will probably hurt a bit, but will be worth the pain—any dead and decaying material would adhere to the gauze and be removed from the wound, bringing even more cleansing. Awesome! But wait, there was more!
    “As you remove the gauze, make the edges of the wound bleed as much as possible.” What? His words once again sent chills through my soul. “There is life in the blood. The blood will bring life-giving nutrients to the wounded places, and slowly but surely, the wound will gradually close as the flesh grows back.” All I heard was, “There is life in the blood.” Just as with the physical nature of the healing properties of my physical blood, the life of a new creation is healed as the blood of Jesus—the cleansing, redeeming, healing, mind-changing, debt-paying blood of Jesus—is applied to the wounds of our mind by simple faith!
    As time went by, my mind was consumed with such thoughts. As my mind began to heal in new ways, so the wound on my leg began to heal. Pondering this process, I understood the need for cleansing. With honest confession comes Truth. Truth sets me free. As I placed my faith in the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, the wounded places in my mind began to come back into spiritual alignment with God’s Truth.
    Confession and the blood were easy to see, but I still did not fully understand the need for packing the wound. So I asked the Lord what the packing material for my spiritual, mental wounds was. He simply whispered to my mind, “Son, what did you pack into your wound that came as a result of leaving your past identity?”
Without missing a beat, I said to Him, “What shall we say, then? Am I to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall I who died to sin still live in it?” That’s Romans 6:1–2.
    Before I could say another word, He asked, “And what did you pack in the wounded place when the enemy would threaten you with humiliation and condemnation?” Again, without hesitation, I quoted Micah:

Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. (Micah 7:8)

    And then it hit me. The packing material of my life since being born again had been the Word of God! In every wounded place caused by the lies of the enemy, I had packed the Word of God, and just as with that physical gauze, I would pull the Word out of the wound and drag out more impurities. Then I would repack the wound again and again and again! Healing is a process—and I thought the lessons I had learned from the tractor incident were it…but there was still more.
    After a year of healing in my body and in my mind, I was finally well enough to play basketball again. In my first pickup game since my wounding, I was making a cut toward the basket—when someone hit me on the back of my left ankle with what felt like a baseball bat! Sounding like a literal explosion in my mind, the piercing pain sent me spinning around, crumpled, to the floor. Writhing in pain, I shouted to my buddies, “Who hit me? Did you guys see who hit me?”
    Confused at my response, one of the guys simply said, “DJ, there was no one near you. No one hit you.”
    The MIR later that evening revealed a completely shattered and severed Achilles tendon. Due to the circumstances, we had to wait ten days for the surgery to take place. As soon as I came out from under anesthesia, the surgeon said, “Mr. Jernigan, we did not have enough of your tendon left to put you back together.”
    Before he could continue, I moaned, “Oh, no!” in disappointment.
    Continuing, he simply said, “But we were able to repair the tear.”
    “But, how?” I asked.
    “During the time between the wounding and the surgery, so much scar tissue had formed that we were actually able to harvest some of that material and bridge the gap between the wounded places. We put you back together.”
By whose scars and wounds and own torn flesh was I granted healing that birdied the gap between my wounded, broken places and the Maker of the Universe? By the scars of Jesus I am being healed! Healing is a process…and scars are like altars testifying to the healing power of God! What do my scars represent?
    When I was a small boy, I was in the pasture petting one of our horses. We called him Big Red. As I petted him, he began to nip at my fingers. This caused great fear in my little heart. Spying the mulberry tree on the fence line, I ran with all my might to the safety of the tree as Big Red kept pace with my little-boy run for my life!
    Safely climbing the tree to what I thought would be refuge, I was horrified to realize that Big Red could still reach me! My only recourse? I could jump the barbed wire fence to the safety and security of the other side! If there had been an Olympic event called fence straddling, I would have won gold that day.
    No sooner had I been released from the ER than my mom asked me how I was doing. My response? “I can’t wait to show the scar to my brothers and my cousins!”
A scar is what’s left of a wound as a reminder that says—in a spiritual sense—“Yes, I went through that terrible, horrible, hurtful event…but look what my God did!” That is a kingdom-of-God perspective on the process of healing. Own your scars, but give glory to God. Rather than those hurtful memories being like stones draped around your neck that drag you down to despair and self-focus, cut them away with the Truth that says, “Yes, I went through that, but see what my God has done!” Healing is a process—a process meant to restore hope and bring healing at every point along the journey. Even when pain is involved, joy can be the result if the process is seen from the Maker’s point of view. Who made doctors? Who gave man the wisdom to create medicine? Who is the ultimate Healer? The One who made us.
    One more thing. There is only one time a follower of and believer in Christ should give up hope. We should give up the hope of ever changing our past! Stop trying! It cannot be done. Face it in honest confession and go through the process of healing in the areas of past failure and regret. Allow the Lord to take the rabble and messes of your life and bring something beautiful out of the rabble and the mess! He is able if we let Him see our wounded places. Open up your heart to Him and let Him be the Great Physician. He is a safe place for healing to take place. Soak in His presence. Pack the Word into the wounds of your mind. Apply the healing brunets of His cleansing blood to your wounds and allow His own wounding to bridge the gap between you and your Maker.
    My final thought: I am healed. I am being healed. I will be healed. Where I am is in process…and the process looks a lot like Jesus!

About Time

About Time

How to Live a Timeless Life and Other Thoughts on Time

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16 NASB

There have been times in my life when I have been so overwhelmed with emotional wounds or grief or the lies of the enemy that I have found myself feeling incapable of feeling. Like when one plunges into an ice cold river and for a brief second feels so shocked they tense up to the point of even ceasing breathing. Even when the realities of life leave us feeling plunged into moments of mind-numbing shock, our God is still there. It is when I focus on eternity that I am able to see my way out of the numbness and the blood once again begins to ebb through my spiritual veins…and life is restored. Let us look to eternity today and remember that earthly afflictions are but for a moment in the expanse of eternity. In that place we find grace to thrive…in THIS life.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:19

The things we value are the things we spend the most time on. To look at my life, what do others see? Do they see work as most important? Do they see pursuit of income as most important? Do they see being known as most important? Not that I live by what others think of me, but I am here to represent Christ to the world around me. Therefore, if I am pursuing Jesus daily, the value I place on that relationship will be evident just by the living out of my life. Think about that...and seek Jesus today.

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 NASB

Let us slow down from our busyness today - at least for a few minutes. Before you head out the door, take a few minutes just to wait upon the Lord. As you drive to work or as you head out to do errands, take that time to talk with Jesus. It is as we wait on the Lord that we realize He is the One Who has been waiting on us. We never leave His mind. Make time to wait on Jesus today.

I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1 NASB

God is God. We are not. God transcends time. We are human. We need God. When do we need Him? Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. All the time! If He is not affected by time, then He is able to restore what the locust ate yesterday; Able to meet us in the here and now; Able to be there when we get to tomorrow. He has us covered regardless of our awareness of time and regardless of how shackled to time we feel. If He is not fettered to time, then let us live and think like the eternal beings we are in Him. Think about it...

But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time;
O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness,
Answer me with Your saving truth.
Psalm 69:13 NASB

Time has no power over us whenever we step into the eternal point of view. Getting to that eternal point of view is made difficult at times due to the lies of the enemy. The eternal point of view shows that the Liar ultimately loses...but, more importantly, it shows that we win! Why would we not want to gain and live according to the eternal perspective? How do we do that? We simply seek Jesus and find out what His point of view is in the midst of any circumstance of life! Let us seek Jesus right now!

Seek the LORD while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Isaiah 55:6 NASB

The bottom line is this: God is with us through all time. the truth is - even if we only have a few minutes to spend with him during the busyness of our day - He can expand the experience of those few minutes and give the refreshment of a few hours spent in His presence. Can you spare five minutes? God can multiply those minutes into hours. After all , this is the God Who can suspend time! This is the God Who transcends time! Reality is that we can steal away with Jesus even when in a crowd. He is as near as our next thought. Think about it…that is time well spent…because He is timeless.
Dennis Jernigan

Getting Back to Reality

Getting Back to Reality

It seems as if the entire world is headed off the cliff of virtual reality. By it’s very definition, virtual reality is not reality at all! While entertaining at times, this way of viewing the world is permeating all of our culture and leading mankind to vain imagination…to something that cannot hold up when life gets tough. Vain Imaginations will lead us to despair, but God has given us the remedy for such stinking thinking:

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NASB

We live in a world of superficialities. We live and breathe for someone to like us on Facebook or Instagram or whatever the latest, greatest form of social media offers as reality and key to successful living. Most of the world does not operate in reality. It’s more about image and how the presentation of one’s self is perceived than what is true and utterly real.

This produces a false sense of self and leads to either self-worship and performance or to an attitude of ‘love me as I am because I don’t need to change’. Both lead us to somewhere other than reality. Humanity and the wisdom of man tends to lead with assumptions based on feelings rather than Truth. And just who is behind such false assumptions? The enemy of God - the Liar - Satan.

With the busy schedules most of us live in, it is easy to feel as if we are living in a whirlwind or spinning around on a never-ending merry-go-round. When caught is a whirlwind, I look for shelter. When stuck on a merry-go-round, I simply step off. How do we do that in life? We run to Father and find shelter. We step off and into His presence, regardless of our circumstances or feelings. We step out of the world and into his presence…but how?

What is the world and how do we live in it yet step out of it at the same time? Any part of the system of man that says man and his devices are the solution; Any system that takes God out of the equation is ‘the world’. We step out of that world and its belief system by reminding ourselves of who and Whose we are. By reminding ourselves of why we are here. Here are some practical ways to do that:

Step out of the world and into the Word.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:15

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”
Matthew 4:4 NASB

Look at what you have and not at what you don't have.

25 "For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 "And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
Matthew 6:25-30 NASB

Don’t compare yourself to others. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Joy is based on knowing we are never alone. Walking in this truth leads to contentment - regardless of the circumstances of life.

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
Philippians 4:11 NASB

Glance at the problem but fix your eyes on Jesus.

Stop trying to change your past. It cannot be done.

Forgive yourself and move on down the road toward Jesus.

Live in the moment.

When you just don’t know what to do, seek Jesus. Just call upon the name of Jesus.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10 NASB

When feeling covered or consumed with the residue of the world, call out to Him as…
Jehovah M’Kaddesh - Holiness

When feeling put down by the world for foolishly following Christ, call out to Him as…
Jehovah Tsidkenu - Righteousness

When feeling alone, call out to Him as…
Jehovah Shemmah - Present

When feeling like you are caught up in confusion or chaos, call out to Him as…
Jehovah Shalom - Peace

When you feel like you are lacking in an area of you life, call out to Him as…
Jehovah Jireh - Provider

When feeling defeated, call out to Him as…
Jehovah Nissi - Victory

When emotionally wounded, call out to Him as…
Jehovah Rophe - Healer

When needing personal care and guidance, call out to Him as…
Jehovah Rohi - Shepherd

No man has seen the face of God in this life, yet we see His reflection in every place we look. Look for God’s reflection in the world around you and remember He never leaves you and never forsakes you - in spite of your feelings!

See life from the King’s point of view. He sees through the lies of the enemy and into true reality. That is Solid Ground where I want to live. In so doing, we put down vain imaginations and replace them with the truth - with reality!
Dennis Jernigan

This Is My Faith

This Is My Faith

How to Endure

As a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ, His Word is life to me. That Word of Truth gave me a brand new identity and forever altered the course of my life and message. I believe that Jesus can set anyone free from anything! This belief can get me in trouble sometimes with those who do not view the world from a Christ-centered point of view. It is part of my reality that I face opposition like this from time to time. One of the first things I do is to remind myself of the truth. How do you do that?

Declare your faith to your own soul…

For me, that often comes in the form of a song. One I received recently as a personal tool of declaring what I believe to my own soul is called This Is My Faith.Two nights previous to receiving this song, Melinda was reading some negative responses regarding my belief that God can change one’s sexual identity. Using words describing me as a hater and as a violent person were so far removed from reality - yet the enemy began to use them against me causing me to search my own heart to see if there was any truth in such statements. I found it difficult to sleep with such words echoing through my mind. In addition, California is considering a new law outlawing Christian belief that says one can change one’s sexual orientation, banning any moral point of view other than the LGBTQ point of view as illegal...banning the sale of my autobiography or the sharing of my story in that state. In order to take my thoughts captive to  the obedience of Christ, I began my day by proclaiming truth over my own soul. This song came as a result of those proclamations. But before I share the song, let’s remind ourselves of the truth of God’s Word.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NASB

You will suffer hardship in life. Either you are headed into a storm or you’re between storms. Sin sees to that. The lies of the enemy see to that. We live in a fallen world but serve a risen Savior…

Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:3 NASB

[2Ti 3:1-5, 13 NASB] 1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these... 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

How do we avoid such things as these? Know who and Whose you are…

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
2 Timothy 1:12 NASB

[2Ti 2:8-13 NASB] 8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. 10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. 11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Be collected in spirit…

But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:5 NASB

Deny yourself as the answer. Self is an idol that will always let us down…

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.?
Matthew 16:24 NASB

We know the Answer…and we are not it!

[2Co 4:5-12 NASB] 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you.

Remember God sees the big picture…

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 NASB

Use your time wisely…

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16 NASB

Remember, we win…

And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even [fn]when faced with death.
Revelations 12:11

[1Jo 4:2-4 NASB] 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Dennis Jernigan

To listen to and declare This Is My Faith, go to https://youtu.be/tVi_-6CaCsE

This Is My Faith
WORDS & MUSIC
Dennis Jernigan
April 30, 2018

Verse
I believe that on the cross He bore my sin
I believe that He died and rose again
I was blind but now I see
I believe His blood has washed me clean

I believe that on the cross He bore my shame
I believe that He has broken every chain
I was bound but now I'm free
I believe His love left me redeemed

Chorus
I believe in the name of Jesus!
I believe in the cleansing blood!
I believe in the name that frees us!
I believe in redeeming love!
I believe in the resurrection!
I believe that He alone can save!

I believe in the name of Jesus!
I believe my heart was rearranged!
I believe in the name that frees us!
I believe I'll never be the same!
I am headed in a new direction!
I declare to the world this is my faith!

More Than Enough

More Than Enough

     This past year, I wrote and published a book called Renewing Your Mind - Identity and the Matter of Choice. Little did I know or imagine how much I would need to rely on the Truth of God’s Word and re-apply that Truth to my own soul again and again. I thought my life was in a great place after the process of writing and releasing the book. My marriage was great. My children were great. My grandchildren were  great. Ministry was great. And then my dad died…

     Walking through the dying process with a parent is difficult. Spending time with dad…even in ICU  with the tubes and IVs rendering him incapable of verbal response…even when I could not tell if he recognized me at times…even during the times of watching him finally fall into drug-induced sleep, I was able to grieve along the way. Grief is a feeling of loss. Mourning is the outward expression of that feeling. I was great at feeling the loss…not so great at expressing it.

     He died on August 31, 2017. The funeral was absolutely fitting and glorious, my dad having given me a list of 15 worship songs he wanted at his home-going celebration because he wanted us to be happy for him. Although we could only squeeze 5 songs from his list into that two-hour service, I shared them all in the passing days in live feeds on Facebook, something I think dad would approve of as a practical solution.
Thinking I had gotten all my mourning out of my soul and to prove myself past the bulk of my grief, I dove into an intense schedule of personal discipline to keep my mind focused on the real and on the present and off of the empty place left by by dad’s absence. Here is my actual schedule:

MONDAY
Broadcast on Facebook Live
Write at least 1500 words of either ministry or book material
Answer ministry emails

TUESDAY
Broadcast on Facebook Live
Write and record podcasts
Answer ministry emails

WEDNESDAY
Broadcast on Facebook Live
Write at least one week’s worth of personal daily devotions
Answer ministry emails

THURSDAY
Broadcast on Facebook Live
Write at least 2500 words of a new fantasy novel
Answer ministry emails
Write a newsletter

FRIDAY
Broadcast on Facebook Live
Write at least 2500 words on a new memoir or whatever I feel like writing
Work on marketing and epublishing
Answer ministry emails

     At the end of the first full week of December, my mind began to say ‘no’ in not-so-uncertain terms. One night as I lay down to sleep, I suddenly felt a sense of panic - like being overwhelmed - like falling into a deep hole of fear that kept sucking me deeper and deeper into despair. That first night was miserable. That second night was horrifying. The third night in a row of sleeplessness and its overshadowing fear left me feeling as if I would lose my mind. Melinda would simply speak truth to me from God’s Word. I would read the Word and listen to it through the night. But nothing seemed to help.

     Each night became the same….and the fear soon became ‘I do not want to fear going to bed each night.’ Melinda was so good to keep asking me what lies I was believing, but I could never put my finger on just one lie. I believe the enemy had woven such a web of lies that my thoughts had become so entangled they would never become whole again. Even as I tried to name any lies I was believing and even after putting on the truth of God’s Word, I still experienced panic attacks, leading to several more sleepless nights. During one of those episodes while driving home one night, I felt so overwhelmed I thought I needed to pull over to the side of the road as I cried out to God, “Help me. Father! Help me!”

     That very moment, my phone rang. On the other end was a friend I had not spoken to in years - a friend who happens to be a professional therapist! He simply said, “After all the thousands of people you have ministered to through the years, how many have ever stopped to ask you how you were doing? Dennis, how are you doing?” My mind was suddenly able to gain control at the thought of the miraculous intervention of God in my life in that moment. It truly was supernatural - beyond mere coincidence. My friend talked me through my panic and helped me breathe all the way home. He sang to me and assured me this was part of the process of grieving and that God would be with me through it all. He encouraged me to make a list of the things I missed about my dad and then he encouraged me to sing.

     That moment of God’s very evident intervention in my life helped lasso my thoughts back into reality. That night I mourned the loss of my dad. That night I began taking back the stolen ground of the past few weeks of panic. That night I slept. The next week, I went to my family doctor and told him of my experiences. He told me grief does weird things and shows up at strange moments…like experiencing the first Christmas season without dad. He diagnosed me with sleep-deprivation and prescribed a sleep aid and then he grabbed me and prayed with me for God to intervene and put my mind at rest. I have a great physician and a Great Physician!

     With the help of my wife and children and friends, I realized how loved I was…and the fear began to subside. Rather than diving into work to fill my sorrow, I began to fill my life with things that brought hope - something to look forward to…like fishing with my grandsons…like being with and knowing my wife…like movies with happy endings…like reading the constant family chat my children keep going on WhatsApp…like recalling all I have and not focusing on what I have lost. One by one, as rest and love replaced sleeplessness and fear, I was able to put words to the lies…and one by one, replace each lie with the truth.

     At the risk of being too transparent, I am going to share the brief version of that list of lies along with the truth I put in their place:

LIE: One day I will be strapped to a hospital bed with a tube down my throat, my hands restrained

TRUTH: Even if that were to come to pass, I would have God’s presence and grace to get me through…and if my dad could do it well, then so could I.


LIE: I am no longer needed or necessary, hated by the world and forgotten by the body of Christ.

TRUTH: I am still here, therefore I am still needed…regardless of what the world thinks - and I am still part of the body of Christ no matter what!

LIE: No one loves you

TRUTH: I do not need everyone to love me…just Father God, my wife, my family, and my friends will do!

LIE: You’re getting too old for this. You are a laughingstock - a has-been

TRUTH: I’m just getting started. I am adored by my Father. I am son of the King and will go down fighting for the Truth because the love I know in Christ is worth dying for

LIE: Even the church has no need of your message. The bulk of your income is derived from the churches you minister in and to. Since gay marriage is the law of the land, the church has no need of your message. You need to re-think what the Word of God really says about homosexuality. Get with the modern Gospel. YOU are the hater.

TRUTH: The church is not my provider. God is. I am commanded to ‘say so’ and tell my story of redemption and identity in Jesus Christ. Same sex attraction is a temptation - not an identity. God created us male and female. The world is headed for the destruction of the deception of the enemy concerning who we are intended to be. Confusion over identity has permeated every part of our culture. We need a Solid Rock on which to stand, not a wishy-washy gospel based on false-love. The Word stands forever. I choose to stand there on and with the Word of God…no matter what.

     It was in the midst of making that list (and there are so many more lies I had been believing but will not bore you any further with. As I recently listened to a podcast called Fun Therapy, I began to make a mental list of all my feelings. Any feelings that were fear-based I put in the lie column. Any feelings that were love-based, I placed in the truth column. The words of this song, More Than Enough, poured out as my honest prayer of honest transparency before the Lord. I will not languish in the place of fear any longer,  but I will walk through the process of mourning the loss of my dad by taking the hand of my God and His Truth as He leads me to the place of healing this song left me in. May it do and be the same for you.
Dennis Jernigan

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.
 1 John 4:18-19 NASB

To listen to Dennis Jernigan share this teaching, go to The Dennis Jernigan Podcast at http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/more-than-enough-1516730806/

More Than Enough
January 10, 2018

Verse
Sometimes I feel so broken
I just cannot be fixed
Like two perfect notes that should harmonize
But cannot be mixed
Sometimes I ache
Sometimes the hurt seems too deep to feel
So numb and so cold to find enough strength
To grasp what is real
I have come to conclude
I am never enough
And that is why I know
I need You so much!
 
Chorus
You are enough when I hang by a thread!
More than enough when I cling to the ledge!
You are enough!
You and Your love!
More than enough!
You are enough to quiet my fear!
More than enough! Always closer than near!
You are enough!
You and Your love!
Are more than enough!

Verse
Feelings reveal that somewhere I'm believing a lie
That my God is not there!
That my God does not care!
So just lay down and die
So I fix my eyes on Jesus Christ!
The absolute Truth!
That He wanted me so much that He died for me!
And I'm living proof!
I have come to conclude
You are more than enough
And that is why I know
I need You so much!

Chorus
You are enough when I hang by a thread!
More than enough when I cling to the ledge!
You are enough!
You and Your love!
More than enough!  
You are enough to quiet my fear!
More than enough! Always closer than near!
You are enough!
You and Your love!
Are more than enough!

Chorus 2
You are enough when I'm too numb to feel!
More than enough to bind my wounds as they heal!
You are enough!
You and Your love!
More than enough!
You are enough when my strength has been drained!
More than enough To comfort me in my pain!
You are enough!
You and Your love!
Are more than enough!

© 2018 Shepherd's Heart Music, Inc. Dennis Jernigan
7804 W. Fern Mountain Rd. Muskogee, OK 74401
1-800-877-0406 www.dennisjernigan.com
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The mp3 of More Than Enough is available for purchase at https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=4075

I Am Changed - A Choice In The Matter

I Am Changed - A Choice In The Matter

I’d like to talk with you about choices  we make in life - and whether or not we always have a choice. To better explain what I am talking about, I am going to share the first chapter of my new book, Renewing Your Mind - Identity and the Matter of Choice. This chapter is titled:

Do You Believe You Have a Choice Regarding “Whatever It Is You Are Dealing With?”

The gay identity was one I never wanted, and it dawned on me one day that I should seek my Maker as to what His intentions were for my identity. My plan was to choose what He called right over what my feelings—and the world— called right. I chose Truth over comfort and momentary pleasure and found freedom from my old way of thinking. In the process, I found a heterosexual identity! In a world where a man could say he was born a man but was truly a woman on the inside—and be celebrated for it—one would think a man who did not want a gay identity and found a way to a heterosexual identity would be welcomed...tolerated. But I have not found the world too open about anything other than what feels good is right. Choosing righteousness over license is, in this current culture, not to be tolerated. Enough about that.

People often ask me if I am still tempted with same sex attraction. When I tell them that I still understand that temptation but it no longer has power over me, their reaction is often, “Then how can you say you’re changed? Nothing’s different if you are still tempted.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Honestly, I had no choice in determining what would tempt me, but that in no way negates my ability to choose how I would respond to that temptation! In fact, even Jesus did not get to choose what He was tempted by—and He was tempted in every manner just as we are, yet without sin! We are either always creatures of choice or never creatures of choice. Our humanity has a conscience which gives us the power to choose. If we could not choose, every man would be a rapist. Every person would be obese. Every person would walk in constant anger. Every person would be hopelessly self-focused and full of pride. We always have a choice as to how we respond to a given situation. It just so happens that having a relationship with Christ gives us the power to overcome those temptations and to choose wisely much more easily than in our human strength! If temptation defined us, then we would succumb to the statement that “this is just who I am, so I might as well give in and be whatever my deepest feeling suggests I am.” Temptation does not equal identity.

I did not get to choose what I was tempted by. It was just there. But it was never intended to define me. Even without Jesus, I always had the choice as to how I would respond to any given temptation, be it sexual or otherwise. Always. It was only when I allowed the temptation to define me that I began to walk in failure and allow it to control me—control my life.

I recall the look and sound and feel of temptation in that area; I am reminded of it in the media and in the culture on a daily basis (does every TV show or movie have a same sex storyline these days? Pretty much). It’s in my face. But that “recalling” in no way defines who I am. Temptation is a joy. What do I mean? When temptation comes my way in any area that could lead me to sin, I simply ask the Holy Spirit, “What is it, Lord?” My reason is simple. The enemy—the liar, Satan—desires my downfall. Temptation is intended to lead me to that destruction. I turn to God because the temptation has become my signal that God is up to something. Why else would the enemy be after me in a certain area if not to quell the work of God in my life?

So much time has now passed since I identified as gay that it is actually difficult for me to believe I was ever that way. Of course, the liar does not want me to forget, so he continues to try and trip me up in key ways—not usually of a sexual nature, either. He attacks me in the areas of my continuing vulnerability: my sense of security or my sense of being needed or my sense of the need of affirmation—all of which are now daily met in knowing Jesus. I am now so secure that I do not fear vulnerability, nor do I fear for my security, nor do I fear that others might not think my life significant. Temptation has been relegated to use for the kingdom purposes in my life.

When it occurs, I do not allow it to determine my direction. In the moment of being tempted, temptation is now like a fly that occasionally tries to land on the meal of God’s presence in my life. I shoo the pest away with the Word and continue to enjoy the feast of God’s amazingly abundant presence in my life, whether I receive threats and hate from the LGBT community (and I do) or not. The temptation to fear harm is handled in the same way as sexual temptation. “What is it, Father? Your son, Dennis, waits on You...and while I wait, I will apply Your Word to my existence, bathing my being in being with you.”

People can say I am not changed if I still understand temptation in my life, but for the doubters, here is a brief list off the top of my head of exactly what has changed since coming to faith in Jesus Christ:

My belief system: I once believed I was born gay, until I was born again. I no longer believe I was ever born “that way.”

My mind: I was transformed by the renewing of my mind.

My sexual preference: I used to be sexually aroused only by men. The sexual needs of my life are now met only by my wife, and I crave her body, by the way...

My outlook on life: I once was depressed and self-serving. I now look toward Jesus and lay my life down for the King and for the kingdom.

That’s the end of chapter one, but I wanted to leave you with a song that is very personally important to my own life. It is called I Am Changed. I wrote it on March 20, 2013 in response to someone asking me if I was still ever tempted concerning my old identity. Their implication? If temptation still exists then I have not truly changed. Nothing - NOTHING - could be further from the truth. The song speaks for itself.                                                                                               Dennis Jernigan

To order a copy of the book Renewing Your Mind, go to https://www.amazon.com/Renewing-Your-Mind-Identity-Matter/dp/1613143737/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1523464180&sr=1-1&keywords=renewing+your+mind+dennis+jernigan

To listen to the Dennis Jernigan Podcast on this subject and to hear the song, I Am Changed, go to http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/i-am-changed-a-choice-in-the-matter/

I Am Changed
Words & Music: Dennis Jernigan
March 20, 2013

Verse
Some call me a fool
For daring to say I’ve changed
If that makes me a fool
I wouldn’t trade what I’ve found for anything
I’m changed

Some call me a dreamer
For daring to walk away
From my old way of thinking
My old identity now passed away
I’m changed

Chorus
Changed from who I thought I was!
Changed by pure redeeming love!
Changed from death to life
And freed from every chain!
Changed from old identity!
Freed from lies and free to be
Who my Father says I am!
He calls me changed!
I am changed

Verse
Some call me a hater
For daring to disagree
Come to my own conclusion
Of who my Father says I am called to be!
I'm changed!

Some call me disillusioned
Some call it a mental break
Let there be no confusion
I am fully aware!
Fully awake!
I’m changed

Chorus
Changed from who I thought I was!
Changed by pure redeeming love!
Changed from death to life
And freed from every chain!
Changed from old identity!
Freed from lies and free to be
Who my Father says I am!
He calls me changed!
I am changed