The Unseen Story



(Listen by clicking the white play button. You can read the transcript of the story below.)

I’m Bob, I’m from Carlsbad, California and one of the things that really defines me is persistence. And it really comes from that, that verse to press on, to never give up. We shouldn’t be quitters. We just, persistence defines me, pressing on and seeing, seeing, you know, the impossible becomes possible. It’s always good to kind of go back to the beginning of the testimony is the power of the whole thing. That’s God’s story, right? What is He done in my life and how is He used my life to impact other people. 

So I grew up… my father is a pastor. My dad has a gift of evangelism, missions work, traveled the world as well as having a home local church. My parents are amazing people, and I’m super grateful. They’ve been to 99 countries preaching the gospel faithfully. So I grew up in that environment. But I was born in Los Angeles, 1966, September 12. I came into the world, at Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles, the City of Angels. So I’ve spent most of my time in Southern California. I was saved, I’d say around the age of 12. But you know, I didn’t have you know, a relationship. And honestly, that’s really, if you want to boil it down…He’s a good, He’s a father. He longs to have a relationship and there’s nothing that He won’t do to try to get that. 

I did well in high school, I was gonna study to be an attorney. I thought, you know, I was really interested in politics, I thought I would run political campaigns. I went off to college and I actually graduated. But turns out that God had a different, you know, plan for me. So I got a job up in Los Angeles, and I was in the real estate information and technology space for 25-26 years. And it wasn’t until I got married in the early 90s…I have two wonderful children, Megan and Jack, Megan is now 21 years old, and my son is 18. But I went through a really tough divorce, which started around 2004 and was finalized in 2007. It was really, I know looking back now that the Lord used that experience to finally break me to a place of surrender. That, you know, quite frankly, I didn’t know if I wanted to continue in life. It was, financially it was devastating. It just brought me to my knees. I was crushed. He was calling me to return to Him and develop a relationship. You know, surrender is the gateway – Lord, I’m not going to do it my way. I surrender everything to You. And by the way, that’s a daily process.

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So I had a decision, you know, I was gonna continue to try to do it my own way or, you know, just show up at a church. I was living up in Palisades in Los Angeles and I got on the internet and I found Presbyterian church called St. Peter’s by the Sea Presbyterian Church. And I ended up walking in there and the coolest thing happened – I love sharing this story. It was a Saturday night service, very casual, tables, worship band, you know, I felt the presence of God. People were super warm, and inviting, and I met a lot of people that night, but there was a woman there that, you know, I just kind of saw from a distance, didn’t know anything about her. That when I walked into the room with my two kids, Megan and Jack, the Lord spoke to her. This has never happened in her life before. He said to her, “That is the man you’re going to marry.” She didn’t know if I was divorced. She didn’t know anything about my story. But it was such a strong word to her from the, from the Holy Spirit. That it just, it broke her heart open and she went home that night, broke up with her long-distance boyfriend, and then started journaling prayers for an entire year. She was about ready to give up and through a series of events, we ended up starting to date, just about a year from almost the day that I walked into St. Peter’s. And she’s been such a, so instrumental in being a stepmom to my, my, my kids. She was such an encouragement to me. We continued to, you know, grow in our faith at St. Peter’s by the Sea. We ended up getting married in January 2009. 

As I look back, you know, God’s always got more for us. He’s, there’s, there’s always growth ahead of us. He’s got abundantly more, as it says in His word, than we could ever imagine. So it’s definitely been a journey that didn’t happen overnight. But the encouragement that I have, for anybody listening to this, you know, just keep stepping towards Him. It’s amazing what He will do. So we think this is our plan, right? And He has a, He has a better plan. So we moved down in June of 2015 to San Diego. Carlsbad is the name of the city that we live in, which is the most wonderful place you could ever imagine living in and, you know, we prayed, you know, Lord, help us find a church that, you know, we could go to. And turns out, you know, less than a mile away, there’s this church. And I’d say that’s where the growth really accelerated. 

The first small group that I ended up going into, I’ll never forget. I went to a men’s group and it was about hearing God, because the Lord was saying, “I want you to hear Me.” Like, I didn’t know, I thought you just read your Bible. You do, you know, kind of the religious side of it. But I didn’t know that He wanted to know me intimately, like I want to know my son and my daughter, I understand that relationship as a Father. Like, you do anything for them, you lay your life down for them. You want them to succeed, you want them to prosper. Your rules are not meant to harm them. They’re, they’re done out of love, because you want to protect them. And I did start to hear God through that process. 

Then the other group they had was this Freedom Group. That was really eye opening. It’s a 12 week curriculum. Our church was a member of the ARC church, which is Association of Related Churches, started by Chris Hodges. He has one of the fastest growing churches, Church of the Highlands and this Freedom Group is the foundation. And you know, I’m like, freedom, what? You know, Hey, listen, I live in a free country with this whole freedom thing about? Like, I, you know, I’m free to go here. I’m free to go there. We live in a democracy. I didn’t understand what spiritual freedom that just really opened my eyes. 

So it’s a 12 week course. And basically, it’s about like, peeling back the onion, all the hurts, the wounds, the things that have happened to us, and it ends in a conference, which is a supernatural conference of a lot of worship, a lot of declarations, and a lot of prayer. What I think the greatest thing is, I felt His, like liquid love all over me, that I was His child, that He created me for a purpose. I mean, it was just such an emotional experience that I will never, ever forget. The Holy Spirit touched me in such a way that, that was, it was the, I call it the game changer. So then, you know, I started to lead the Freedom Groups. That was amazing, because I got blessed way more than the people that got blessed through it, you know, and I realized that it’s a two way street. That when I’m blessing somebody or giving to somebody, that I get so much more in return. 

But then we really had a hunger for the supernatural. To learn about it, to study it, to understand it, because we’d heard about some healings and, you know, as I read more about it, I go back to Isaiah 61. You know, Jesus took Isaiah 61…when He came into the temple…It says that He came out of the wilderness, He went into his own town, He has to unroll this, that particular scripture, and He read it, He sat down, and He said, “I have fulfilled this in your presence.” And it just dawned on me that that’s the calling of all believers. That’s it exactly, no religion, nothing. 

The true disciple understands how to do all of these things: to present the gospel, our faith, to heal the brokenhearted, to set the captives free, and that He went and He didn’t just train His disciples on how to do this, but He sent them out, right, two by two. He said, you don’t even need to bring anything with you, just go and if they don’t want to hear you, just move on to the next person, you move on. And the simplicity of the true gospel is we’re supposed to go out and do all these things. So we just started doing them. People started getting healed. Sometimes it was spiritual healing, physical healing, and sometimes it was just…There was a demon involved and being, you know, learning how that all works and being trained by somebody that, God brought us somebody that we did an afternoon training [with]. It was radical. It was amazing. So he did teaching, and then he said, “Okay, now it’s time to pray for people.” And we did. And it was like, we saw things that I never thought were possible, but people got free in just learning how to do that. So, and you know, now it’s just passing it on to people. 

And so we spent three half years at the church that we went to, and then God called us into another church called Awaken Church – That’s where we go now. – that fully operates in the gifts of the Spirit. We have, Tuesday mornings, we have a men’s prayer group that meets at 5:30 in the morning. Yes, men do get up at 5:30 in the morning, and come pray. In fact, I can tell you, we average between 150 men to 200 men for an hour and a half and we start off with worship. We bring in personal testimonies and then we break up into three or four or five people and we pray for each other. And you know, there’s no limitations. We don’t put any limitations on the Holy Spirit. We do not put Him in a box, there’s no restrictions. If people need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, they need to be delivered. It’s awesome and it’s growing, too. We’ve seen so many amazing things. 

We had a small group in our house, and we just, God just brought us amazing people and one guy was Bill Do and I didn’t know Bill, but another woman in our group was like, “Hey, I know a guy that’s, you know, we’ve traveled with around, that was trained by Randy Clark.” And so he came, he taught on healing and then you know…I love when it’s the teaching like Jesus did, because He was the rabbi, the teacher and then was like, let’s do it. So he asked, “Does anybody need prayer for anything?” And I raised my hand, I said, “I’ve had acid reflux for and I’ve taken pills for 15 years, I’ve been awake, up in the middle of the night, and all that stuff. And, and could you guys pray for me?” And they did. And it felt like, like a surgery that wasn’t painful or anything, like zip, zip, zip, zip. You know, that was it. That was the last day, two and a half years ago, that I’ve ever taken a pill. Yeah, never, and, and by the way, I didn’t, you know, change my diet. In fact, I ate more spicy stuff, just to make sure. 

You know, we’re all individual creations. In other words, no one’s DNA, in the past, present or future has ever been the same. And science proves that we unlock our iPhones with it, our DNA goes to the moon and back to 150,000 times and it’s written in 4-D. That’s, that’s magnificent. Beyond even comprehension. We’ll never figure that out. So I treat my kids, I only have two, but if I had six or 12, I’d love them all the same. But my relationship with them is different and that’s how the Father deals with us. Each kid is different. I was at a small group, home group about six months ago, and the Lord spoke to me, very specific. He said, “There is no formula so don’t look for one.” I didn’t even, you know – just pray. Like you know, He delivers and sets free people that don’t even know how to pray. Right? 

My friend John, you know, he was addicted to drugs, alcohol, everything under the sun. He took a shotgun – he’s sitting in his living room in the San Fernando Valley – he’s got a shotgun to his head and he just cried out, “Jesus help me.” He got saved and delivered and he’s never been the same sense. Right? There was no pastor, no priest, there was the Holy Spirit. He’s real. You know, He was hovering in Genesis 1:2 right, ready to carry out God’s word. Because that’s what He does. So we speak, when we speak God’s word, there’s power and it never returns void. 

The other thing I’ve really learned is, you know, there’s all, you know, what if He doesn’t show up? What if someone doesn’t get healed? Yeah, what if they will get healed? But what God wants us to do is just be obedient. So Jesus, it was a command, “Do these things that I’ve taught you to do.” God wants much more than just to save, get people in the boat. He wants to deliver them and set them free. It’s always about freedom. When Adam and Eve were in the garden, they were free. That’s why they didn’t have any clothes on. You ever seen kids run around in the summertime and, or at the beach, you know, they don’t have any clothes on because they’re free. They don’t care, right? It’s all the junk of the world gets on us. He wants to take that. It’s all about getting us back to freedom. And so that’s why that verse and that calling is so important to get across to people. Is that, it’s not just about showing up and checking a box in church. It’s not about religion, He never wanted religion. In fact, Jesus was the one to come against the religious leaders, right? Very strongly, always coming. They’re the ones that wanted to kill him, right? Religion is death. Jesus is life. 

We don’t need to understand how it works. There is no formula. But what we’re, we’re commanded to do is to do the things that Jesus taught us to do. The same things that the disciples did. It’s not that, that was then and this is now. Why do we need to understand that? Let’s just do it. Let’s just do it. Like, that’s the great, one of the greatest slogans of all time. Nike had it, they should have never gotten rid of it, “Just do it.” Because anything, I learned something through the Freedom program, that anything we want to control is our responsibility and everything I’ve controlled has been a mess, like 100% of the time. But everything that I’ve given and surrendered to the Lord, not just myself, my family, my finances, you know, everything belongs to Him. So really seizing that, that, you know, I surrender everything that I’ve tried to control now, Holy Spirit, You move in my life. You go before me. 

Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call on me and I will answer and I will show you great and unusual things that you do not know.” The Holy Spirit is the gateway. Let me tell you something, God’s word said Jesus went to heaven. So He sits, Gods on the throne, Jesus is next to Him, and the Holy Spirit is the game changer. The Game Changer is developing a relationship with the Holy Spirit. He’s the one that gives us words of knowledge, words of wisdom. He’s the one that gives, imparts spiritual gifts. So we have an assignment and a purpose, and that we need to carry the gospel, and heal the sick, set the captives free. Just pray. 

You know, I’ve seen people healed and just out of the most simple prayers. There’s so much power in prayer, because it’s the greatest love I believe you could show somebody is to pray for them. Because that is inviting the supernatural into their life. And whoever you’re praying for, don’t give up on that prayer until you see the results of that prayer. You know, sometimes it happens quickly, but sometimes it takes a period of time. But don’t ever give up on your family members, your co-workers, your, the people that surround you, the communities, even if you don’t like your particular politician, pray for then, pray for their salvation. Just pray, pray, pray, because there’s so much power in prayer. That’s where God is invited into the situation and the supernatural can take place.

I learned something through the freedom program that anything we want to control is our responsibility. And everything I've controlled has been a mess, 100% of the time...

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