Monday, December 28, 2009

Video of our Thanksgiving project...

video

Here's something a little new for everyone to check out...a video! I just learned how to put a video together on the computer, and this is the finished product. It shows how a few from our weekly Bible Study who didn't go home for Thanksgiving or have family in the area to celebrate with came together to feed 32 different homeless people right in our little suburb of Studio City. A big thanks to Scott and Tara Blacquiere for heading up the project!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ministering in Orlando, FL...

Tomorrow morning I leave for Orlando to speak at a Bible Study luncheon run by my friend Jeff. I've spoken there a number of times and always look forward to it. This evening has been a little unusual as I am writing this from a friend's house because Holly and I can't get to our apartment! The street has been totally blocked off because some man on our block has a gun and is threatening to kill himself. It's all over the news and it's only 2 buildings from ours...welcome to Los Angeles!
Please pray that the Holy Spirit empowers me and speaks through me to the hearts of these people...thanks!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Traveling to Tucson, AZ...

Please pray for me as today I leave for Tucson, AZ to visit a couple from the bodybuilding industry. Please pray for safety and wonderful time of fellowship and encouragement....thanks!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving project...




Even though Holly and I were not able to travel to Indiana to see family this Thanksgiving, we had a wonderful time here in LA helping with a project headed up by a couple from our Bible Study group. Both Scott and Tara have a heart for the homeless and have participated for a number of years in homeless ministry. So for those of us from the Bible study who didn't have family to celebrate with, we came alongside and helped in whatever way we could. It was such an awesome experience as we were able to bring a great Thanksgiving meal to 32 people in our little suburb of Studio City! In addition to giving them food, we also asked if we could pray for them. Many said yes and were greatly blessed by it. One person came up to us who was homeless, but looked very clean and mentally sound. But he had a drug habit that was ruining his life and his family's life. When we asked him if we could pray about anything in particular, he opened up and revealed everything to us. I knew that Jesus wanted to set him free, so I prayed for him and then had him pray out loud, asking Jesus to forgive him, cleanse him, free him, and take his life to use for His glory. It was a powerful time and all of us were pretty emotional experiencing the power of God in that way.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My knee is HEALED!!

Praise the Lord!! I went to have my MRI today, and when the doctor looked at the results, he found no damage to my knee! It was such a miracle and such a faith-stretching experience for me. Sometimes it's easier to believe God for someone else's healing than it is for your own. But these experiences make our faith stronger. I want to personally thank everyone who lifted me up in prayer! Your prayers were powerful and effective!! I thank God that He is a gracious and loving God who longs to give good gifts (like healing!) to His children....what a mighty God we serve!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Knee MRI tomorrow...and new opportunities!

Thanks so much for all of your prayers concerning my knee. It continues to feel better each day and we are praying that God will heal it completely. Tomorrow is my MRI, so please pray that the doctor finds the knee healed when he looks at the MRI results. I will let all of you know the results when I get them.

Some exciting opportunities are beginning to pop up for the coming year in the entertainment industry. I can't be specific at this time because I want to make sure that these possibilities become realities. There have been so many opportunities through my years here in Hollywood that God has closed the door on, so having patience and waiting on the open door is a must. However, these doors are the most significant that have ever surfaced for ministry here. We are praying that God's will is done, and we would greatly appreciate your prayers for the same thing...

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! God has been so good to us all...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

knee injury...

Well, the news I have isn't great news - it looks like I'm going to need knee surgery. I've already had 2 knee surgeries on my left knee, and a few weeks ago, I twisted it. The orthopedic surgeon diagnosed it yesterday as a torn lateral miniscus. Please pray for me during this time. It was kind of disheartening to hear that diagnosis, as it will mean 6 weeks on crutches after surgery and no hard lateral movements for 6 months. And then the financial strain of a surgery that will cost thousands of dollars is difficult to swallow as well. Just alot going on in my heart and mind today. I want my life to be a blessing to others and give God glory. I pray that He uses this seemingly unfortunate and trying circumstance to bring Himself glory. And may He give Holly and I the strength and provision to make it through.

We greatly appreciate your prayers and support in this time...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pray for protection!

When God is moving powerfully and opening up new avenues of ministry, one can usually expect something to happen: our enemy will attack. And that is exactly what has been happening over the last 3 weeks for Holly and myself. A string of obvious attacks have occurred, but the awesome thing is that God has sent encouragement and confirmation throughout the attacks that we are on the right path. We have to realize that when you are in a war (like all Christians are), our enemy the devil "comes to steal, kill, and destroy." Or in modern combat terms, he shoots not to wound, but to kill. That is why it seems that when an serious attack comes, it's not just one thing, but thing after thing after thing that tries to take you out. Here in LA, Satan doesn't even try to mask his tactics, he just comes at you with a full frontal assault. That is why Holly and I need all of you to pray (especially considering Holly is pregnant) for protection over us and our home in the name of Jesus. We know that we have nothing to fear, but Jesus - when asked by the disciples how to pray - said that we are to pray for protection and deliverance from the evil one. We are thankful that God has given us many people to be our covering in this time, and we need you all to be faithful in prayer on our behalf.

Will you take time this week to lift us up?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Encouraging gathering...

Last Thursday was a very encouraging prayer gathering with the Hollywood pastors! More and more churches here in LA are hearing the voice of God calling them to restructure their entire system to focus upon small group communities. These groups go beyond just having another Bible study to actually working on living out the gospel in the community in which you are planted. We as Christians have heard so many sermons over our lifetime, and many of them are simply forgotten once we walk out the church doors. But what if we taught people with not only an emphasis on putting what they've learned into practice, but also an opportunity to do it? As one pastor recently revealed to me, "We as small group leaders don't move on to our next lesson until all of us in the group are putting the previous lesson into practice in our everyday lives."

What makes this so exciting for Los Angeles is that this city lacks "community" among believers. People go to church to get something for themselves and then leave. But what most of us who have ministered in this city for awhile have found is that "community" is exactly the thing that most people here long for. What if the church became that place where individuals found community -- all through the love, forgiveness, and grace of Jesus Christ? What if we became like the Church in the book of Acts and actually took care of one another's physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual needs? I am thankful that God is not only putting these very things on me and my wife's heart, but also upon the hearts of others in our area. May God guide us as we work His will out for His Body....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Great weekend in San Diego...

It was a blessing in many different ways this past weekend at Jon Lindsay's Border States bodybuilding competition. Having all of the Stronghold team members there was so encouraging to me. We had an incredible team meeting while we were there, discussing the future of Stronghold and what God wants us to accomplish. I love and respect everyone on this team and pray that God continues to use us in this industry in an increasing manner for His honor and glory.

Fred Krause (one of our team members) competed in the competition and received a 2nd place in his class. He represented the Lord well, performing his routine to a song that revealed his love for Jesus. Way to go Fred!!

It was also a growing time for me as a leader of this ministry. I feel that at the Olympia and this show, God allowed me to learn so much and overcome some obstacles at the events. Please pray that God gives me the wisdom to do HIS will with Stronghold Ministries. I know I have alot to learn, but I also know that God will be faithful to teach me everything I need to know. Praise God!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

San Diego this coming weekend...


This coming weekend, the entire Stronghold team will be ministering at the Border States bodybuilding show in San Diego promoted by Jon Lindsay (www.musclecontest.com). Jon is not only one of the top bodybuilding show promoters in the country but also has been very supportive of all that we do at Stronghold. A big thanks to Jon for his kindness...

We are also blessed to be supporting one of our team-members Fred Krause as he actually competes in the contest. It should be a great weekend! Please pray for God to move in people's hearts and guide our steps as we minister. Also pray for God to give Fred the strength he needs to compete.

Then on the Sunday morning after the contest, we will be having a bodybuilding team meeting to strategize and pray for the 2010 bodybuilding season. Please pray that God gives us His heart concerning the needs for this industry. Thank you!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Olympia 2009!

What an amazing Olympia this year! Not only were the competitions the closest they had ever been, but more importantly, God moved in mighty ways! It was an exciting year for Stronghold because we had all six of our team members ministering for the entire weekend, which challenged me to grow in my leadership and administration skills with them team. I desire to use each individual in the greatest way possible, allowing them to use the gifts that God has uniquely given them to reach people. Yet when the team is that large, not everyone can go to the same hotel room and pray for an athlete. I had to learn to delegate responsibilities evenly, and hopefully I did!

It was also interesting in terms of spiritual warfare. I thought for some reason that this year, more so than years past, had some intense times of attack. I'm not sure why this was the case, but regardless, we had to really rely on the Lord the first couple of days because we couldn't afford to be discouraged. But then after two days of struggle, the doors seemed to open and people's hearts were really open to Jesus. I think Galatians 6:9 was really important to me over the weekend: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." God was faithful to His promise!

Please continue to pray for Holly and the baby that is coming in March of 2010! Pray also for me, that I would be a good and supporting husband throughout the duration of this pregnancy.

Thanks for all your prayers and support!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unity work continues & Mr. Olympia in Vegas!

Thursday was a great day! In the morning, I met with various ministry leaders representing 6 major parts of the city to worship together. This may not sound that profound, but the purpose of these meetings is to begin "Altars of Worship" all around Los Angeles - meaning worship nights bringing all the churches in an area together to lift up the name of Jesus. How powerful will this be when God's people assemble together to worship?! Please pray for continued wisdom to know how to proceed with these events...

Then Thursday afternoon, the Hollywood pastors gathered together for prayer for the Hollywood area. We have now been meeting for over 2 years in prayer, and pastors are more connected than ever. But we must continue to press for greater unity. Please pray that even more pastors join us in prayer for this influential city...

Friday I was ministering on the movie set of Rough Hustle. It was a really good day...

This coming Wednesday through Sunday, Holly, myself and the entire Stronghold team will be heading to Las Vegas to minister at the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding and fitness contest. We are all excited, but we really need your prayers for favor and the power of Holy Spirit to move through us. We pray that many hearts are opened to Jesus and that lives are changed. May we have wisdom from God to speak only His words...thank you for your prayers!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Monica Brant FEM Camp...

Every year at about this time, fitness athlete Monica Brant and her friend Lynda Thoresen put on one of several FEM Camps for women who either desire to compete in the fitness industry or simply want to become more fit themselves. And every year, Monica and Lynda are kind enough to invite me to come and speak to all of the women about their faith in God. Psalm 139 mentions that all of us are fearfully and wonderfully made by God - knit together perfectly according to His will for us. We are a beautiful creation to Him, even though the world may say we aren't what we should be. However, to see ourselves as God sees us, we must have a personal relationship with Jesus. We must give our lives totally to the One who "knows all of our days before one of them comes to be." I pray that God spoke to these women's hearts and that they truly think about their relationship with God.

It's been a very busy week and kind of stressful. Please pray for strength to tackle the tasks that are ahead of us this week...thanks!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Prayers answered!!

Thank you all so much for your prayers for my leg. God totally healed it without the use of oral antibiotics! It was so amazing! I praise the Lord for his healing power.

It was an exciting week as one of the people I had been ministering to from a movie set I was on decided to accept Jesus as his Savior! Please pray that this individual is able to get plugged into a good church and grows in his faith. Being in the entertainment industry can be a difficult place to live as a young follower of Christ because so much spiritual attack can happen. May God protect him and bless him with strength and passion for Jesus!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Need some prayer...

Back in March, I had an interesting trip to Columbus, OH for a bodybuilding show that ended in the ER at the Ohio State University hospital. There was an abscess on my leg that turned into staff infection. Thank the Lord that we caught it early enough that no major damage was done. After some heavy antibiotic, it was gone. Well a couple days ago, I noticed another spot on my leg that kind of looks the same as the other abscess did at the beginning stages of its growth. Sometimes, staff infection will lie dormant in your body and then rear its ugly head. Please pray that God heals the spot and that it isn't staff infection. Thank you so much for your prayers!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Birthday!!

Yesterday, August 18th, was my birthday! It's hard to believe that I am 33 years old. And for those of you who do not know, I will be a father in my 33rd year on this earth - Holly is pregnant! Words can't express how excited we are to bring a child into this world. We need much prayer for wisdom and strength to raise this child in the ways of the Lord. What a blessing that God has bestowed upon us.

Please pray for our Hollywood Pastor's Unity Prayer we have tomorrow noon. Pray that God would reveal to us how we should pray for not only this city, but also for our hearts - that God would change us pastors to be more like Him. Without HIS perspective and His power, we will never see a change. God, please let the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ be released in Los Angeles!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Powerful weekend....


The 2009 Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Show was definitely one to remember! God afforded Stronghold Ministries new opportunities that we have never had. First off, I want to thank contest promoter Tim Gardner (in the top photo) for allowing us to have a booth at the show where Stronghold Ministries handed out free waters to athletes, fans, and officials. It was a huge success and many people who didn't know about Stronghold became aware. Not only that but Tim also allowed me to stand up at the Saturday night show and speak to the crowd about Stronghold and its mission. Tim, thanks so much.

Also a huge thank you goes out to Tom Toy, who put together a visit to the Tampa Bay Boys and Girls home with some of the athletes. It was a big success as well, as the video from that outing was played in front of all the fans at the Saturday evening show. The video can be viewed on you-tube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTk5cMaMVMk

Tom also was the one who organized and purchased all the waters for the event and had Stronghold Ministries labels made for each individual water that we handed out. Not only that, but he also had members of his small group fellowship help work the booth, all wearing Stronghold Ministries t-shirts. It was absolutely amazing! Tom, may God bless you for all your hard work. It is so much appreciated!

And on top of all that, God worked in new ways in so many people's lives! In fact, I only got a couple hours of sleep on Friday and Saturday night because of all the people that God had us minister to. Keith Jones (in the bottom photo) was ministering with me for the weekend, and God used him to touch many as well. Keith is such a blessing for Stronghold, and every weekend he ministers with us, it becomes more evident. Thanks for being such a blessing in my life Keith!

And a big thank-you to everyone who prayed for this weekend. Your prayers were powerful and effective!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Leaving for Tampa...

Please pray for me as I'm heading out the door for the airport to fly to Tampa, FL. There is the Tampa Pro bodybuilding show that Stronghold will be ministering at as well as speaking to the Tampa Boys and Girls Club on Thursday afternoon. Please pray for a powerful weekend where the Holy Spirit moves mightily and changes many lives! Thanks!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Exciting times in Vegas...

I love it when God surprises us! And that is exactly what happened in Vegas over the weekend when Stronghold ministered at the USA bodybuilding championships. Our outreach in the bodybuilding industry focuses mainly on the professional athletes, so at an amateur event like this, we meet with the pros who come to watch or work for their supplement companies to sign autographs. However, with the economy, many of the supplement companies are choosing not to spend the money to fly their athletes to the events if they aren't competing; instead, they use locals to work their booths.

Well the first night we were there, we were able to minister to a few of the industry people we knew, but overall, it was a relatively quiet night. Naturally, I thought Saturday would be the same, but it was totally different! God just started sending people our way - some that we knew, but also some that we didn't! From noon Saturday until 11pm that night, I don't think Fred Krause (a Stronghold team member) and I stopped talking! It was simply amazing how God showed up and allowed us the opportunity to speak into so many people's lives. God is definitely alive and moving in the bodybuilding industry!

And on another note, today was the first meeting of local pastors in the San Fernando Valley (northern LA) to pray, and it was such a joy to be a part of it! Now there have been prayer meetings and gatherings started in 3 major areas of LA - the West Side, Hollywood (the one I organize), and the Valley. Unity is a very difficult path, but God is proving faithful to move powerfully if we unite and begin to act like the unified body of Christ. Please continue to pray for direction and more pastors to join together...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Heading to Vegas...

Please pray for me and Fred Krause as we head to Las Vegas for the USA bodybuilding championships. It is the largest amateur bodybuilding and fitness show in the U.S. We will be there Friday and Saturday praying with the athletes, reading the Bible with them, encouraging and counseling them, and simply showing them love. Please pray for the love of Christ to be evident in us and that we would have the exact right words to speak to everyone we come across. As always, thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back to LA...

It was a great time of being home in Indiana, spending time with family and friends. It always encourages me so much when I hear of all the people who are praying for us and this ministry! It truly is what gives us the strength to press on, knowing that we are not alone in this journey.

One of the highlights of the time was being able to perform the wedding of my best friend Andy Steiner. His wife Deby is from Bern, Switzerland, and she is such a blessing to Andy. I pray that God gives them many wonderful years together in serving Him.

While I was home, I made a brief trip to Tampa, FL to speak to Team BodyTech. It was amazing to see and hear the responses of the athletes as I talked about Jesus our Savior who washes away our sins and gives us Life! I believe that God changed, encouraged, and strengthened many lives that night. Praise God!

Please pray for me and Holly as we jump right back into work here. We ask for wisdom for our tasks and power from our God to carry them out. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Family Vacation!!

Holly and I are so excited to be heading back to Indiana to see our families! Every year over the 4th of July, we go home and celebrate with loved ones. Thanks for your prayers for safety and rest...Los Angeles is a great place, but there's no place like home!

Please pray for me as I do have a little work on vacation (I know, you're not supposed to do that!). I will be flying down to Tampa, FL on July 8-9 to speak and then returning to Indiana to finish our vacation. I am excited to see what God does while I'm there...

This will be the last post until I return from vacation....love you all

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back from Austin, TX...

I just got back from Austin, TX on Monday evening after spending a weekend with a dear friend from there. Not only was I blessed by spending time with my friend, but the church that he and his wife attend named "River in the Hills" was simply amazing. A missionary from China shared, and to hear his stories not only about amazing successes but also about times of frustration and weariness really hit home in my heart. A quote that I will always keep with me: "If you hit a rock long enough and hard enough, it will eventually break." Sometimes the work here in LA seems really frustrating and hard, but this weekend made me really think about Galatians 6:9 = "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." I know God is working right now in this city and that foundations for great things are being laid. We can't be discouraged in laying foundations, because the stronger the foundation, the higher the building can go.

A prayer request for healing would be much appreciated. I have a sinus infection and feel wiped out right now...thanks!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Our 3rd Anniversary!

Holly and I just got back from having an awesome day together for our 3rd anniversary! It's hard to believe that we've been married for that long already...A big thank-you to all you who pray for us and our marriage! Ministry can be very difficult on a marriage, but God has blessed us in so many ways and continues to guide and protect us. I look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries with the love of my life...

Please pray for the Hollywood Pastor's Unity Prayer meeting we are having on Thursday @ noon. So much has happened over the last 6 months in regards to unity among ministry leaders in this city. But we must keep the momentum going, and summer can be difficult for that. Pray that men show up and that the Spirit leads us in how we should pray...thanks!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Indian Wells, CA....

Holly and I just returned last night from a weekend in Indian Wells, CA (right next to Palm Springs). Monica Brant-Peckham and her friend Lynda run FEMCamps (fitness camps) all over the country, and they will occasionally ask me to speak if I'm available. So Holly and I had a wonderful night at the resort and then spoke Sunday noon to the girls at the camp. God moved in a number of the girls' hearts in powerful ways! In fact, one of the ladies called me afterwards and said that she had bitterness in her heart towards her husband, but God helped her to forgive him completely! Thank you Lord for touching people's lives with your love and healing...

Friday, June 5, 2009

In FLEX magazine...

There was a message left on my phone to check out the latest FLEX magazine, so I stopped by the newsstand to look at it. On page 40 in the editor's column, there is a picture with me, the editor, and bodybuilder Silvio Samuel! A big thanks to Editor-in-Chief Allan Donnelly for the inclusion...

Also, please be in prayer for a particular movie that is close to getting the money needed to begin shooting. It will be a powerful movie that helps proclaim the message of Christ to the world. Pray that the investor who desires to fund the film goes through with it.

Thanks!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Film set wraps...

The movie set that I ministered on the past couple of weeks officially finished shooting production and now will enter post-production. It was a great set with great people who were very kind and loving towards me. I was able to talk to a few people about their relationship with God and was very encouraged by their openness with me. It was also great to meet a married couple who came onto the set the first day I was there. They are both Christians who have been in the industry awhile but just got saved last November. They are so excited about living for Jesus in this industry!! I pray that God continues to build them up and give them strength to be an example of Christ right where He's put them.

Please pray for a movie whose producer I met with this morning. It looks very positive that the money needed to shoot his movie could be coming in this month. He's trusting God and His timing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

LA Pastor's Prayer Summit today...

Today is exciting because there will be pastors from all over the city praying today at the Life Connections International Pastors Prayer Summit in Malibu. Pastors will be praying together today for God to change people's hearts in their territories, this city, and this nation. It will also be a great time of unity among the spiritual leaders of Los Angeles. Please pray that we are able to discern God's will and plan as we seek Him with all of our hearts. God is continuing to do great things in LA...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On a film set tomorrow...

Please pray for me as I am on a new film set tomorrow shooting in downtown Los Angeles. Please pray that God guides me and leads me to people who need a touch from Him. Also pray that I have the words to say in any and every situation. May God fill me with His Holy Spirit and may lives be changed!

Thanks!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Family in town...

Holly and I are excited to have her brother and girlfriend here in LA for a week visit. It is always fun to take people to see the different sites and enjoy the many beaches here. It is such a switch from the slow-paced atmosphere of Indiana which they come from! May God keep us safe as we travel...thanks, as always, for your prayers!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Preaching tonight at our church...

Please pray for me as I preach, that God would fill me with His Spirit and give me the words to say. It will actually be more of a teaching message dealing with hard questions that people may ask us about our faith. Questions such as, "Don't all religions lead to God?" and "Is the Allah of Islam the same God that we as Christians worship?" or "How do we know that the Bible is Divine rather than human in origin?" and even "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?"

These are important questions that we as believers need to have an answer for, not only for the person who asks, but also for ourselves. Doubt about our faith can creep into our hearts when someone asks a difficult question which makes our Christian faith seem like every other religion. Not that we can or would ever want to argue anyone into believing in Jesus, but there are ligitimate questions that people seeking the truth need to have answered. Hopefully, there will be believers who will walk away tonight encouraged to talk to others about their faith in Jesus!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Better reaching an industry...

An exciting idea has popped up in better ministering to the bodybuilding industry! One of the challenges not only for us who minister in the bodybuilding industry but also in the church at large is to properly disciple and mature believers in their faith. In bodybuilding, many of the athletes travel extensively on the weekends, so making it to a church on a regular basis can be difficult. Furthermore, the athletes don't live in one central location; they live all over the country! But recently, a couple of dear Christian brothers from the Tampa, FL area brought up an idea which would help reach and disciple these athletes all over the country in a close, personal, and intimate setting. Please pray for Stronghold Ministries as we prayerfully consider what part we are to play in the implementation of this strategy.

Jesus told His disciples to go and make other disciples - not simply converts. We have to create a way to better meet people's individual spiritual needs and grow them up. And hopefully, this method can be part of this taking place...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

back from Florida...

Orlando turned out to be a great trip! I really got to further many relationships in the bodybuilding industry as well as create some new ones. It is so neat to be able to help answer some of the questions that a new Christian asks or even someone who doesn't know the Lord may ask. In their hearts and minds, finding answers to these questions is vital to whether they pursue God and a deepening relationship with Him or not.

I also got to spend time with my friend Jeff, who was in the hospital. He's been through alot over the past 2 years that I've known him, and yet his faith continues to grow. Please pray that Jeff's body is healed and that the desires God has placed in his heart would come to pass.

And lastly, I'd like to thank Scott and Monica Brant-Peckham for just being an unbelievable blessing in my life. They have been so kind to me and my wife since we first met them. Seeing them this past weekend and spending some time with them greatly encouraged my heart. The bodybuilding and fitness industry is definitely a better place because of their presence in it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leaving for Orlando, FL...

Today, I will be leaving for Orlando, FL to speak tomorrow at a men's Bible Study/luncheon put on by my friend Jeff McCarrell. I will then be staying there through the weekend as there is a pro bodybuilding and fitness contest at which I will be ministering. Please pray for God to move through the power of His Holy Spirit in the lives of everyone I meet. May God give me His words, and may I trust completely in Him for everything this week.

Also pray for Holly as she is not coming with me. She has to work everyday this week, so pray for strength; but also pray for peace as she will be alone. May our Almighty God protect her in all her ways while I'm gone.

Thanks for your prayers and support...

Friday, April 10, 2009

God is moving....

It has been an amazing week! God is really stirring in alot of people's hearts out here, especially among the spiritual leaders in LA. God is showing all of us that it won't be one minister or one ministry that will bring about God's will for LA; it will be as God's people unify and work together that many people will repent and give their lives to Jesus Christ! I have had a number of encouraging conversations with people who now understand this and want to begin to take action on this God-given idea. Please pray that God gives wisdom and insight into what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and who is of the same heart and mind. Thanks!

Also, praise the Lord that He miraculously met a big need for us this week! God is good!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Obedience...

Why is it that sometimes we are more excited about being obedient in "bigger" things and less concerned with obedience in the "small" things? So quickly we forget Jesus' commentary about such flawed thinking: if we cannot be faithful with little, then we will not be entrusted with much.

This truth has really hit home in my heart the past couple of weeks. I have been procrastinating on finishing up a devotional I started writing 1 1/2 years ago. I'm 1/3 of the way done but have just let it sit for a long time now. It's gotten to the point where every time I pray for God's leading, He gently leads me back to this. The only thing left to do is to repent of my procrastination and simply be obedient. If I truly desire God's blessing in my life, the least I can do is be obedient - even in the "little" things. So next time you see me, ask me how the devotional writing is going =)

Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

In With The New...

This is an exciting weekend for 2 reasons! In 1 hour, we leave to pick up Holly's father who is coming to town for a few day visit. Living 2200 miles from home means you don't get to see family very often; so when they do come, it is very exciting and encouraging. Pray that Holly's father is also encouraged and strengthened as he sees what God is doing here in Hollywood.

Secondly, our church is moving into its new home this weekend!! After almost 3 years of sharing our current location, we are finally spreading our wings and having a place of our own! It is a beautiful building and is only 8 minutes from our old church. On Saturday, we have a work day, and many people are coming to help clean, load heavy things, paint, or just lend a helping hand wherever needed. Praise the Lord for this new season we are about to begin as the local body of Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Artists in Christian Testimony...

For those of you who wonder why you send your donations to Artists in Christian Testimony and not to me out here in LA, I want to clarify. Artists in Christian Testimony is the missions-sending agency that Stronghold Ministries is under. Byron Spradlin is the founder and president of the organization, which focuses on sending out "ministers of Jesus Christ" who desire to serve God outside of the traditional avenues of ministry. Just as artists are creative, so are the creative callings of those under the banner of ACT. I have been with ACT since 2003, and were it not for them, I would probably have not even come to Hollywood! They have been such a God-send to Stronghold, providing us with not only our tax-exempt status, but also book-keeping, accountability, and encouragement.

Yesterday, Holly and I literally spent the whole day with Byron and other ACT ministries from the LA area (10am-9pm). It was an encouragement to hear what God is doing through other people and callings. We thank God for ACT and all it is doing for the kingdom of God. Please visit their website to learn more about this wonderful organization: http://www.actinternational.org/

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic...

(Sorry to everyone for not posting this before I actually went to Columbus, OH to minister at the Arnold Classic.)

Wow! What a week it's been! I left Tuesday, March 3rd for Columbus. But first on Wednesday, I officiated the wedding ceremony of my best friend Andy Steiner and Deby Tonini in Indiana. Andy has ministered with me at Stronghold from its inception in 2002. I am happy for both of them and pray God's richest blessings on them in the days to come.


Then on Thursday, Andy, Deby, and I drove the 179 miles to Columbus to meet up with Keith Jones, another minister who helps with Stronghold. The weekend was amazing as God gave us divine words to speak into people's hearts. I would literally walk through the athlete's hotel room door and God would put a certain scripture passage in my mind. And sure enough, God's word would penetrate their heart, giving them new insight and encouragement to live their lives for Jesus.


On Saturday night, I had an unexpected trip to the Emergency Room. An ingrown hair on my leg over the period of 1 week had progressed into an absess and staff infection. Praise the Lord for Dr. Dave Ryan who helped guide me through what I needed to do. Dr. Ryan is an awesome man of God who helps so many in our industry. Now my leg is healing fine thanks to the healing power of Jesus Christ!


Then on Sunday, Andy, Deby, and I drove back to Indiana where we spoke at a church concerning what God is doing through Stronghold Ministries. It was a great encouragement to hear about all of the people who are praying daily for this ministry. May God richly bless you all for your constant prayers and support!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

God answers our prayers...

Your prayers for us have been so powerful and effective! We have been praying about various ministry opportunities within the entertainment industry, and God has been revealing His will to us!

With regard to one of the films, the actor who was my connection to get on the set was suddenly let go just 3 days before rehearsals started! That's almost unheard of, but it was a clear sign that this movie was not where I was supposed to be. The Lord clearly let His will be known!

Another film had an unexpected development. I was talking with the director and he told me that the film planned to shoot in the fall and that he and the producer wanted me to be on location with them. But not only that, he also said that they want to put me into the budget of the film and pay me for ministering there!! Thank you Jesus!

And with regard to a music tour we were praying about, God clearly showed me and Holly (as well as some other people) that I was not to go. But not to worry, because there is now another tour that might be a possibility and I think would be a much better fit. Please keep praying!

I hope that these things really encourage everyone to keep praying. It's exciting to see God work on behalf of His kids!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hollywood Pastors Unity Prayer...

Every month for the past year and a half, I have gathered together pastors from around the Hollywood area for prayer. When we first started, I wasn't sure how people would receive it. Would they take time out of their busy schedules to come? I was pleasantly surprised at the feedback that came from those who did attend. But after a little more than a year of meeting together, I sensed we needed to take the next step in the unity process.

What would it look like for the Hollywood area if we went beyond just praying together to actually working together? What if when we prayed, we fervently asked for the Holy Spirit to raise up a powerful, unified army in Los Angeles that went beyond a single man or a single church? Over the past few months, we as the spiritual leaders in Hollywood have started down that path.

I would humbly ask you to pray that as we meet this Thursday at 12pm PST, that we would hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church at large in Hollywood. May God be glorified as His Church finally begins to work as ONE...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Contacts...

One of the more difficult things about when I first moved to Los Angeles was thinking that every person I met was a contact that was going to lead somewhere. And then, when nothing would happen with that particular person, I would be discouraged and wonder why God didn't do anything. But over the years (and hopefully through maturing in the Lord), I've learned that my job is not to worry about "contacts" as much as it is just being obedient in every relationship He presents. I try not to set expectations regarding any relationship - I just try to love and serve the person as the Lord teaches me.

Well, this past weekend I attended a seminar where I met some very interesting, passionate, and in one case, powerful people involved in the entertainment industry. My prayer is that God would teach me to be obedient in these relationships, leaving the rest up to Him.

God, please give Holly and I pure hearts in all that we do....

Monday, February 2, 2009

Speaking in Orlando, FL...

I will be leaving tomorrow to speak at a men's Bible Study/luncheon in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday. My good friend Jeff has graciously invited me to come and encourage these men who really want to grow in the Lord. Please pray that God gives me His words to speak, and that the Holy Spirit moves the hearts of all of us there! Thanks!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ironman report...

What an unbelievable weekend at the Ironman Pro bodybuilding Competition! God brought a number of divine encounters across me and Fred's path throughout the weekend. One of the greatest moves of God came with an athlete that needed to be free of some things that had entangled them. They desperately needed the deliverance and freedom that can only come through falling before Jesus and accepting His amazing grace. And when this person did that, it was nothing short of a miracle the transformation that came over them!! All the weight was lifted off of their shoulders and the Holy Spirit came upon them! I will never forget the power of God in that moment...
This encounter began the process of 3 more people experiencing deliverance from sin over the next 4 days! Jesus is setting people free just as He promised He would (John 8:36)! Please continue to pray for the Holy Spirit to continue moving in people's hearts. We love and thank you all...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ironman Bodybuilding Show in LA...

Today through Sunday is the first professional men's bodybuilding show of the year, and the great thing is, I don't have to travel far...it's in Los Angeles! This is always an exciting time as many of us in the industry haven't seen one another since the Olympia last September. Please pray for me and ministry partner Fred Krause as we reconnect with the athletes and officials. Pray that God's Spirit goes before us and gives us favor with whomever we speak. What a great way to start the 2009 bodybuilding season!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Grandfather passes away...

Early Wednesday morning, my grandpa Adam Liechty went to be with his maker. He was 90 years young, but had dealt with cancer over the past few years. Holly and I will be leaving for Indiana to attend his viewing and funeral. Your prayers are much appreciated...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bible Study beginning again...

Holly and I are beginning our home Bible Study again on Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm. After having a month and a half break for the holidays, we are ready to charge ahead in 2009. Please pray that God brings people to this study who need to hear His voice. We also pray for new people to come, and that our group can grow close like a family. Many individuals here in LA feel alone, and I believe that Christ's love can change their lives!

Thank you so much for your prayers for Stronghold Ministries in 2009. I feel like God has already begun to do so much...