Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Shared from City Pastor Greg Rogers: Hope 4 My City

I have an old wooden handled one wheeled plow.  It doesn’t’ need an ox or donkey to pull it.  There is no engine to turn a set of blades, it only has one curved blade.  It’s designed to be pushed, pushed back and forth to move the earth of dirt below.  The first year we planted a garden at this home, I tilled the plot with this plow.  I removed weeds, grass, and lots of rocks with a lot of back and forth effort. Now the ground was reading to receive the seed.

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
    for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
    and showers his righteousness on you.  Hosea 10:12

Breaking up the fallow, unplowed ground of your heart is not about working for your salvation.  It is not trying to make a better you.  It is preparing a suitable place for God to work and produce fruit in your life.  It is about recognizing that the normal flow of our lives is toward a self-centered complacency that hardens our heart by the comfortableness of unconfessed sin and a slow building resistance to the Holy Spirit’s nurturing.
So what may the breaking up the fallow ground look like?

1.       It requires tangible effort.  Just knowing the terminology does not mean that you have done the work.  Looking at my plot of untilled soil and thinking about the work that needs to be done, did not make it happen.  I had to put my hand to the plow and exert energy.  I sweated a lot and my hands blistered.  Many are familiar with the verse and think they have fulfilled it by “being open”.  It’s not your brother, or sister, but it is me o Lord, standing in the need of prayer.  When do you give God time to search your heart to see what does not belong?
2.      Expect resistance.  There are weeds that have taken root.  There will be a pattern of living that you may be unwilling to part.  Don’t settle for the “this is just the way I am”.  The ground must be broken in order for the new fruit of the Spirit to be prosperous in your life.  If you are comfortable with little white lies, STOP, because God is NOT.  He can give you the ability to speak the truth.  Deceitfulness flows in the direction of Satan, remove it from your heart.
3.      Expect a harvest….in time.  We are such a quick fix, gotta have it now, and see immediate results culture.  But God’s principles of harvesting and nature require order and time.  The ground is plowed so that the earth is ready for the seed.  But fertile soil produces an abundant harvest.  So also, give the Holy Spirit time to help you identify and remove sin and its effects in your life.  One right decision leads to another right decision.  Walk in step with the Holy Spirit and you will not carry out (bear the fruit) the desires of the flesh.

The end result is a more intimate relationship with the Father.  Our verse says that you will reap the fruit of unfailing love.  You will know that even though God does not approve of any sin, He is deeply committed to you.  There is pain to know that we have chosen so many times to reject God’s way.  But a restored relationship has great joy when the offensive obstacles are removed.  

David confessed  and asked that God would restore the joy of his salvation and take not the Holy spirit from him.  Tenderness toward our savior is one benefit from breaking up the fallow ground.

Jesus said the one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God.  Your fruitful life is before you.  God has great plans today, and the next days for your life.  O that we could see how He plans to use us each day for His glory.

Adapted and Shared from the writings of Pastor Greg Rogers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Monday, March 13, 2017

[P]ainful Reality: Making Extraordinary Ordinary (leaders of all kinds)




Recently my wife and I surrendered to a deeply personal and insightful assessment of our life, leadership, marriage, ministry and preparedness for church planting. You may not care about ministry or church planting, but all of us care about personal and professional development, about family of whatever nature we live family, and about leadership. So, this applies to everyone. 

After 3 days of deep-dive-interviews and assessments, we came out with more information than we can process in a week. So, we are taking time to process together and decide what the information tells us. In general, however, we came away with one huge glaring reality. The reality was not a surprise, but a confirmation and reminder, both to us, and in regards to most people around us. The reality is...




This is not low self esteem. This is not overly critical. This is possibly one of the most important realities we can have in a society that magnifies and celebrates fame over familiar. See, you may connect with this conclusion when I say, I don't sing or dance great, I don't dunk a basketball or make blockbuster movies. I don't get invited to speak to nations or create life changing medical solutions. I can't cook very well and I only type 40 wpm. Truth is, my knees hurt most days and my hair is falling out, my kids don't always like me and I'm pretty sure my computer is about to crash. 



Before sharing the point, let me share this leadership lesson from a recent book I reviewed. Then, I will share my punch line at the end. 

In reading leadership books, which I do somewhat regularly, I have fallen in love with most everything by Patrick Lencioni. 

I largely love his work because of how he presents his conclusions, through story. He tells what he calls "leadership fables", where most of us who have been part of a team, can find ourselves somewhere in the story. Even if we have not been part of a corporate team, we can imagine the teams he tells us about, and find application in what he teaches. 

That being said, I also want to learn to apply the proven ideas he shares, to my everyday life, even if I'm not the high caliber leader he seems to write about. 

In one book I reviewed recently titled "The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive", he shares about four simple but proven and profound practices that could transform our life. However, I want to learn to apply them even if I'm not the Extraordinary Executive. 

The Four Obsessions are.....disciplines...

1. Build and Maintain a Cohesive Leadership Team. 

2. Create Organizational Clarity.

3. Over-Communicate Organizational Clarity.

4. Reinforce Organizational Clarity Through Human Systems.

The Four Obsessions are....disciplines...

Be Cohesive
Be Clear

There are tons of details inside the four obsessions, the four disciplines, and we will only understand and apply them if we study and be honest about where we can improve. But, believe me, this material is worth it, and very helpful. 

THE be the best ordinary we can be, the best normal we can be, the best me I can be, without the intimidation and pressure of being extraordinary, according to the mystical and famous definitions the world tens to feed us. 

Remove the pressure of becoming an extraordinary fitness model with perfect abs, arms and butt. Insert a powerful goal of being the best "healthy person" you can be with disciplines of exercise, healthy diet, reasonable sleep and friends to live healthy with. That sounds very different now doesn't it. So, why don't the magazines sell us that second version of life? 

Remove the pressure of becoming an extraordinary father, mother, pastor, manager, artist, teacher or factory worker. What about the goal of being the absolute best YOU and what about growing and changing and improving with a never-ending diet of learning. That sounds doable. 

Remove the pressure of becoming something you are not made to become, but raise the bar on our daily disciplines that can produce the greatest YOU possible. 

BACK TO ME AND SHANNA: We are indeed, extraordinarily normal and ordinary. However, we serve a truly extraordinary God, with a call for us to aim our heart, home, life and career toward transformation and growth, to the Glory of God, In Christ. So, we look into the Word of God and the History of the Church and find challenges to grow and to serve this extraordinary vision of an extraordinary God. But, we have to be real about where we are and where we need to grow, not hold up the perfect template of what Extraordinary might look like and make that our idol. 

I pray and hope we all can challenge ourselves without the voice of a false god and enemy telling us to spend our days becoming something we are not and probably will never be.

We are not taking the low road, actually, we are setting the bar higher and higher, however, we are just setting the right bar for us, not the bar the rest of the world tells us we have to reach.  


Thursday, January 12, 2017

DAYFOUR [Janurary11] #ReImagine21Days2017

I am a day behind on my blogging.

So, today I will share Prayer Requests for you to add. 

The Ramsdell Family
(Faith, Finances, Health, Unity, Power, Emotions, Anointing) 
Billy, Shanna, Elizabeth, Hosanna, Benjamin, Victoria, Elias

The Church
(Team Members, Finances, Plans, Logistics, Goals, Anointing)

The Church Team
(Leaders in Children, Worship, Admin, Seniors, Singles, Military, Outreach, Teaching, More)

The City & Pastors
(Unity, Hope, Church Planters, Gangs, Schools, Military, More)

Please keep us all in prayer during this 21 days. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

DAYTHREE [Janurary10] #ReImagine21Days2017

Image result for expectations

Today is day three of our 21 days of prayer and fasting with #ReImagine21Days2017

Planting a church is an up and down experience already. I joke that my emotions used to flux up and down every few months, but now they do so every three days. 

Shanna and I make fun and share sarcasm about our experiences, but truth is, we are very serious about our future and the expectations we throw and speak into our future. 

This week, as I spend extra effort pressing in to find and hear and see what God is speaking to me, I am thankful he is not silent. 

Image result for expectations
Expectations, Hunger, Thirst, and Desperation are all words in my Holy Ghost Vocabulary this week. 

A friend from Bible College (20 years ago) and I were having a FB conversation about Expectations. I wanted to share what I wrote to help you move forward in this new year and to shake of shame, doubt, hate, bitterness, distractions and boredom. 
Image result for expectations

Here you go.   Joshua 3:5 "....Consecrate yourselves...for tomorrow...something amazing will happen....." 

1. I am not advocating for the lies that "More and Better" in worldly terms is our target and goal. 

2. I am not the Holy Spirit, who is our teacher and who will interpret God's Word and the world around us to us, way better than I can, especially in a personal contextual kind of way. 

3. I believe church people and professing Christians in the US are largely stuck in Egypt. They love the comfort it provides and are deceived about the slavery to stuff, media, food, entertainment, and someone else telling them how to live. They have yet to cross the river into the promise land, never to look back, and to learn to see, hear and follow God on their own. 

4. That leads me to this question, in light of expecting more, I would ask, "what is the Spirit of God saying". 

5. Expectations, Hunger and Thirst are the lifeline that attaches us to our faith journey. When we found salvation through Christ, we were hungry for change and we expected God's Grace and Love to fill our hearts as we confessed and believed and repented. (Most didn't repent). But, we believed the preacher-man when he offered eternal life. Our expectation of eternal life and a life filled with love on this earth went up, so we turned to him. It's our Conscience saying to, run to the cross. If a person is not hungry for the salvation offered through the cross, running to the cross means nothing. If I sit at the table to eat dinner, have a plate put in front of me full of food but I am not hungry enough to eat, I just don't value the dinner nor do I eat. 

6. Expectation, in my opinion, is the breeding ground for what God wants to do in our future. It's were we meet the promises of God and activate them in prayer before they even take place. We begin to hear the Spirit of God about our future and we begin praying into it and expecting it. Not in terms of material things...while that could be an area we see, but in terms of our future. Our health, our job, our family, our city, our assignment, our friendships, our money, our hope, our character, our wisdom, our church, etc...... 

Henry Blackaby taught us to see where God was at work and join him. Why would we do that if we did not expect something amazing and Godly to happen. We wouldn't, and many don't. Those who here that teaching and say..."Yes, God is doing something great and I will just see where he is working and join him".... they have to activate expectations and act on a hunger and thirst for God in order to join God in what he is doing, in a meaningful way.
Lastly, we expect so little from God. We think he created the family, the nature, the church, the Bible, the government, etc.....but, we act like he is too small to fix any of it or use any of it. We live in fear, opinions, arguments and ideas, instead of faith that God is in charge of EVERYTHING and actively involved in EVERYTHING. 

Research: Ask 20 people to stop right now and write down what they hope and expect to happen in the next 24 months. Give them categories of areas of life to help. Most of them will create a "wish list" at best. They expect little of their future, and mostly, when they get there, little will be waiting to meet them. Wow, that was not short....
LikeReply14 hrs

Click for a Praise Video that Helps Build Expectations

I am expecting greater moves of God in my future. Not something to happen to me, but for me and those who do life with me to BE the move of God our homes need, our city needs. 

I hunger for his presence and thirst for his love. I hunger and thirst for wisdom and insight, for the power of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus, to once again fill me. 

My name is Billy and I am addicted to the love of God through Christ, and I can't do anything about it. 

Billy Ramsdell @ ReImagine Church

Monday, January 9, 2017

DAYTWO [Janurary9] #ReImagine21Days2017


Someone asked me yesterday why Fasting was so important. 

Well, the wind was violent last night and turned over my trampoline in the back yard. We are trying to tie it down so it doesn't crash into the neighbor's house. 

My car was wrecked yesterday. My daughter was 5 hours late getting back to college, 4am. My other daughter who wrecked the car is having health issues but going back to school with a very demanding week she cannot just stop. My hair is still falling out, my bank account is not always where I want it to be and my foster puppies seem to think going to bathroom in my house is an Olympic Sport. 

One of my kids vomited at the neighbors house, I need glasses to read small print these days and my right knee really hurts when I run and twist on it. 

I could go on and on. 
But, how does this relate to Fasting. 

These days and weeks will come and go. Drama, celebration, sadness, pain, prosperity, laughter, hate, joy, anger and confusion will always be with us. Life will move up and down, slow and fast, left and right. 

But, when do we ever get intentional enough to focus on the giver of life, the creator of all? We know our problems well, our opinions, our ideas, our hurts, pains, successes and failures. We talk about them, think about them, work on them and become experts on them. But, when, just when do we say the truth about where we really are, even if we doubt or disbelieve, and when do we try to seek the one who has spoken the world into existence? When do we admit our dependence on the comfort life in this country allows us, with the love for our stuff and our pleasures, more than the one who gave us the freedom to enjoy those pleasures. Even if we struggle to believe, when do we stop to address the struggle. 

Even if we don't know how, if we are not sure we believe, even if we are inexperienced at this level of purpose and focus, here are some reason to think about a dedicated time of prayer & fasting. 

First: In general, some amount of fasting from foods has proven to be healthy and cleansing to our bodies, even at the cellular level. And, just look around, most of us could use some days passing by the drive thru - if you know what I mean. I seem to gain 2-3 pounds a year, and my body tells me it feels toxic, so general fasting helps me and you, to be more healthy. But, that's not why we are fasting. 

Second: Fasting for some is a ritual, a tradition, a practice that fits inside a belief system that is usually religious in some way. There is meditation, sacrifice and focus that comes from these dedicated times of self denial, and for the value of turning away from indulgences to isolate, meditate and contemplate, I align. The religious motivation for me is different, meaning I fast not for tradition or to gain status or value, rather, I attempt to bring my religion to life, by passing on from words to actions. 

Third: Most personally and importantly, the type of fasting we encourage is done in quiet, with personal dedication as it's primary goal. Not to get on the good side of God, but to get myself on the side of God. Not to earn the right to be holy, but to be holy. Not to please God by denying myself and causing myself displeasure, rather, to deny myself, incidentally, causing my flesh displeasure, only to find myself pleasing to the God I say I love and serve. It's personal. It's the opportunity to draw close, not unlike a honeymoon, a retreat, or sabbatical. It's a time to say no to the most earthly demands of my daily life, in order to say yes to the most divine and spiritual source of life to ever exist. Before I knew God, I would have discounted the idea and even mocked it. Today, after serving the God of the Bible, of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, the God we call Elohim, Adonai, and Jehovah and the Son he sent to live, die and rise from the dead, for my salvation, the one we call Yeshua, Emmanuel & Jesus, for over 25 years, today, I still find myself desperate for his wisdom, grace, power and hope, I just want to spend time with HIM, HE is the reason.

HE is why it is so important to fast. 
HE is the object of our affection. 
HE is the source of our hope and encouragement. 
HE is the center of our universe. 
HE is the only compassionate savior. 
HE is the prophet, priest, king, friend, teacher & redeemer. 
HE alone is my God and Jesus is my Lord and the Spirit is my comforter, teacher, friend and power. 

Knowing HIM and his fullness is the reason we fast.

Fourth: Yes, it's personal, but it's also corporate. Meaning this. We seek to know God more on a personal level, but we seek the move of God in our group, our city, our homes and our nation on a corporate level. As a people, a team, a church, or a family, we can harness the power of unity and collective focus to defeat the works of darkness and ignorance through seasons of desperate cries for help. We are not begging. God is not deaf to our prayers. However, the intense nature of fasting and prayer seems to have always been a way to create special attention to and from the God we together serve. 

Historical Evidence of Fasting. 

Joel 2:12 - God gives a people who are destructive and prideful an opportunity to receive compassion and mercy through brokenness and a changed heart. The prophet calls the people to "return" to God, with all their hearts and the process of focus would be with fasting, & weeping & mourning, not merely over the effects of sin, but over the heart of pride and wickedness they had developed. 

Jonah 3:5-9 - A City is called to fast. 

Matthew 6:16-18 - Correct ways to approach fasting. 

Ezra 8:21-23 - Seeking God in Prayer

Daniel 9:3-5 - Seeking God through repentance 

Nehemiah 1:4 - A response, turning toward God

Acts 14:23 - When making big decisions with spiritual authority needed

1 Corinthians 7:5 - For times of focus, managed properly

There are tens of thousands of documented moves of God in the world through a people who pray, fast and seek his will. I only hope to join the ranks of them who have seen God move in extraordinary power and love. 

I'm just one man on the journey. A New Creation in Christ and I want to receive all God has for me and to be HIS instrument for life and change in the world of growing darkness. Use Me!!!

Billy Ramsdell @ ReImagine Church

Sunday, January 8, 2017

DAYONE [Janurary8] #ReImagine21Days2017

I am trying something new today. Beginning 21 days of prayer and fasting, I am doing liquid only, and not the fun liquids like Mountain Dew or Adult Beverages. 

I was up praying, reading and writing most of the night, so I am also short on sleep. 

Key Thoughts

1. Theme Verse is Joshua 3:5 

AMP: "And Joshua said to the people, Sanctify yourselves [that is, separate yourselves for a special holy purpose], for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."

KJV: "And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."

NIV: "Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you."

NASB: "Then Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."

2. Consecrate myself "TO" something, not just away from something. Sanctify, Consecrate and Separate myself "TO" a special holy purpose in God. 

3. Pray over Categories: the names of God and truth of God over my life in categories and write them down. 

a. Family (home, wife, kids, culture, environments, plans)

b. Finances (producer & giver, not consumer & hoarder of things, strategies & plans to leave legacy & give generously)

c. Faith (personal, family & church to grow in a powerful faith that is not boring or based in tradition, but based in revelation and experience and truth and love, active and producing results of supernatural)

d. Future (to see, hear and speak what God is saying for the future in every category)

4. Worship & Preaching: I am using YouTube to listen to worship, Elevation Worship and others with powerful lyrics and cries for God's heart.  I am listening to Cory Russell from IHOP's, One Thing Conference. 

5. Praying & Meditating on who God is. 

a. Elohim "The Strong Creator God"

b. Adonai "Master Over All" 

Friday, January 6, 2017


Are you Broken?  I am Broken. 

My college daughter, Hosanna, and I talked this week about helping Broken people. We talked about the pain, addiction, betrayal, abuse, hurt and loneliness experienced by Broken people. Truth is, as we reflected on the idea of "What is Broken" and who are the Broken people, we concluded that most of us are Broken, some just don't admit it, or some cover it up by the mask they put on each day. 

Over the past weeks, in particular, as we transitioned from 2016, which was a year of highs and lows for me, I am reminded, I AM BROKEN. I don't want to just BE Broken, I want to realize, confess, repair, mend and heal my Brokenness and help others do the same. I also want to protect myself from unnecessary Brokenness, self inflicted or something done to me. 

As we begin the new year, I am experiencing a new level of Brokenness. I don't often talk about it. I guess it makes men look and sound weak when they talk about their problems. My Brokenness is less about my own problems and more about what my heart is doing in response to my own sin, the situations I see every day around me and the land I have been assigned to. There are a few larger issues that cause deep Brokenness as well, some of this I can't even find words for. But, I will try. First, I want to define what I mean by Brokenness. 

Today a family in our State of Colorado is broken over the death of their small son who apparently drowned in a frozen pond near their home. 
That is one kind of Brokenness.

A friend in Florida battles for her marriage. There has been unfaithfulness, financial struggles and serious illness. The marriage has seen better days and they are trying to hold things together, but everyday is a battle. 
That is another kind of Brokenness. 

Another friend has spent a large part of his life going to church and doing church life with his family. He even went to a Christian College and helped start a new church.  Now, he has decided his faith in God was misplaced and has come up with a new version of faith, a random set of conclusions that are really fluid and not helpful when asking the harder questions in life. He is broken in his heart and has tears and sadness when talking about hearing God and following Christ. Something caused a serious set of doubts to come in, now a sadness looms every day. 
That is another kind of Brokenness. 

Over the weekend I was reading from the Facebook page of a pastor who betrayed and lied then blamed his church when he got busted. I was part of that church. It was a decade ago and still, when I read about him, I have feelings of betrayal and anger. This is Brokenness, but not because of my angry feelings, rather, because of my Soul being Broken. When my mind, will or emotions are violated or confused, Brokenness is evident. Trust broken is a huge element of Brokenness for us all

I watched some movies over the holiday break, all about justice for slaves or those in captivity. The Free State of Jones, Amazing Grace and other movies that touch the issue of human slavery invoke great passion from me. I want to get up and do something. I read about modern slavery and learn that we have more human slaves alive on planet earth today, than every before. In every part of the world, people, children, are being abused, enslaved and mistreated, for the benefit of other humans making a profit from them. This seems like a social justice issue, and it is. But, truly, it's an issue of the Broken Soul. 

There are acts and attitudes that cause Brokenness in our society. Crime, abuse, lying, bullying, drug abuse, divorce, rape and all other forms of dysfunction in society cause cracks in our societal  foundation and cause us to see Brokenness around us. Just listen to or watch the news, it's all about how Broken we are. However, what we see and hear is normally a cause or result of Brokenness and not the real Brokenness. When a man walks into a store with a gun and robs them, shooting the clerk to death and running out with $500 to go buy drugs, that seems like Brokenness, but it is really a result of Brokenness. 

To Define True Brokenness. 

We get upset over the results of Brokenness. We medicate ourselves, try to fix ourselves, start programs and projects to fix Brokenness, but most never get to the root of the issue. The Brokenness of the Human Soul is the real problem. 

The Human Soul is filled with the Spirit of God, our creator. All of us have the image of God inside us. Our Soul and Spirit are housed inside the Body, with our five senses set as tools to help us relate to the world around us. The design of every human is to be filled with God's Love and Wisdom from the inside out. When our Spirit is alive with God's Love, surrendered to Him in our everyday life, then our Soul and Body are ready to walk in the redemptive power and wisdom they were meant to. 

Instead, our Soul, our mind, will and emotions, stay subservient to our Flesh, or our Unrestrained Body, our five senses. Most of us live our days being dominated by what we see, smell, hear, taste and touch. We rarely pursue a deeper growth of the Soul. We stay Broken in our Soul, it just cannot function the way it was meant to. 

We are bored, we are lonely, we are angry and frustrated. We are hopeless, prideful and mean. 

When we surrender the Brokenness of our Soul to the God who created us, asking him to fill us from the inside out and to take control of our life, we receive a new Grace, in our Spirit, a Power to overcome the Brokenness of the Soul and to exercise self discipline over the five senses that often lead us down paths that are unhealthy in every way. 

The solution for a Broken Soul is a Surrendered Heart. The Heart is where our passion flows in and out. We do what we are passionate about. We love who we are passionate about. We hope for the things that touch a place of passion inside us. Not sexual passion, that is lust, but the kind of passion that would make us sacrifice. 

The solution for the Broken Soul is a Surrendered Heart. Never think we need to stop the process of surrender. It never ends. With the surrender comes a flood of Grace, into our Mind, Will and Emotions, led by our Spirit, and properly utilizing the Body and Five Senses we are given as tools. 

ReImagine Brokenness as your friend. 

ReImagine Brokenness as your foundation. 

ReImagine Brokenness as your honest cry to God

Turn to Him Again Today
He will Fill You
Heal You
Lead You
Speak To You
Pour Grace Upon You

ReImagine Brokenness as your guiding light to the Heart of God and the Feet of Jesus. Finding God's Heart through the Salvation Jesus Christ provides for us who are willing to surrender - this is profound joy from Brokenness - this is supernatural blessing where Christ is the reward your Soul has longed for all this time. 

Psalm 51:17      Psalm 34:18      Proverbs 25:28
Matthew 24:43 (context)
Hebrews 4:12      3 John 1:2

Billy Ramsdell @ RaImagine Church