Adventure, Teaching, TravelsAugust 30, 2020

You can reach your Pinnacle

Create feathers out of failures and turn your wounds into wings.

A “pinnacle” is the highest peak of individual fulfillment. Ever since childhood we each hope for such fulfillment.  But bad things can happen that make us feel like our dreams are lost. But I am living proof that all things are possible for him who believes.

Pin·na·cle / pinək(ə)l/ Latin- pinna: wing

1. A towering peak, as of a mountain, or rock high above the ground.
2. The word used to define greatness, to be the best. The highest point or the culmination of one’s potential.

I know an inmate from a 3rd world prison. He was falsely convicted of a capital crime and headed for Death Row. Imagine: His hands and feet were shackled as he shuffled past cages with a stench like a zoo and sounds of shouting, crying and screaming. So I’d like to start here, at the bottom of life. 

The word “Truth” comes from a Greek word: alethea. It means REALITY. It is an illusion that happiness rules this world. The truth is that suffering rules this world. Injustice, corruption, greed, lust, rage, divorce, drugs, homelessness, orphans, financial ruin, sickness, physical and mental scars are reality. Every single on of us deals with our own level of unique pain. But the abyss of hopeless despair is the same.


Imagine a carpenter in his workshop. One day, Jesus is working on a table for a neighbor. He strikes a nail with His hammer into the wood from a tree he cut down. Suddenly, His mind launches into anguish of thoughts over the pain of nails piercing His own very hands and feet as He is soon to be sprawled out upon a cross. He can’t escape the living nightmare because He knows it’s real. It’s going to happen. He is no longer “there” as Josephs’ son, but transfers into the contemplation as the Father’s Son. He ponders His purpose, His mission, His agony.

“Can I endure it?” He wonders. “I must… I will.” Jesus knows He is our only hope. He knew He would carry heavy wood, step by step, up the hill, that would become the very altar upon which He would sacrifice Himself for us. So right then, right there, in those moments, in his carpenter’s workshop, Jesus forged THE ATTITUDE He needed to make it through the life He chose to live. This is how you make wings. You forge them in His “workshop” of anointed heart and mind contemplation in His Holy Spirit (Jn.14:23).

It is not up to God to equip you to serve Him. You see, my friend, this is what it means to make wings. It’s about you. Your will. Your choice. Jesus was able to ‘fly above’ death itself because He forged such will. You must learn to use your faith to draw upon this same attitude of His Spirit: WINGS.

Isn’t it wonderful that God designed the heart not as a pre-molded mechanism. It can grow and expand in its capacity as large and even enormous as we so choose the right decisions for redemption. God doesn’t create our wings. We do. Jesus says faith is like a tree that starts small but can become huge (Mark 4:31).

I sometimes recall the night I was face down in a jail sewer hole. I saw into the abyss of my nothingness. It scared me. I felt as a slain soldier looking for a place to crawl off the battlefield of life. A few weeks later my college football buddies and I were downing beers and eating cookies that my mom sent in a huge box.

All of sudden “BOOM!” My buddies fled like a hand grenade landed at our feet. A little book appeared in that box that scared them silly. But I refused to let the refusal of others, to be real, keep me from finding reality. I began to read that little book and it began to lead me down the path to my pinnacle.

You must fight, like your life depends on it, because it does. 

When God came to earth, He didn’t come in a circus act as a ‘fat cat’ in fame and fortune. That would have given us false happiness. You see, my friend, Jesus is that prisoner I mentioned above on Death Row, in my opening. He chose the bottom of life, so He could show us that He can lift anyone to their pinnacle, no what their circumstances are on earth, no matter what our past has done to us.

Wings are portrayed as a Hollywood gimmick or fantasy. But I’m here as your brother who loves you, like an archer with a loaded bow, to pierce through the lies with a straight arrow of absolute truth: WINGS ARE REAL!

Let your light shine before men (Matthew 5:14-16). Above my family and I are taking a creative photo in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Our goal is to be as those who search out and rescue anyone lost in the vast wilderness of this dark world.

Everyone knows that the labels men put on other men make them feel “better”, while degrading the victims with twisted facts and accusations. The truth is we are all offenders, all the same, potential “drug addicts”, “murderers”, “perverts”, “drunks”, etc. and God loves each one of us. No one is “better” than anyone. God does not see lust, booze or drugs as hereditary, personal, “addictions” but as the result of isolated pain and our desperate need for salvation by the revelation of His love.

Depression is not a unique “personality disorder”. It is a common struggle resolved by understanding and “seeing” human nature as God does9. All thoughts can and must be deactivated by truths (2 Cor.10:3-5).  

God is not a Monster spewing wrath but a compassionate Father waiting to help you find your greatest gift. Wings are the unparalleled capacity to see divine reality and by this “seeing” to be empowered to act accordingly. And by this personal dynamic, we learn how to transform our own wounds to rise above everything we face. You don’t need a doctor, church, pastor, drugs, therapy, etc. You need to change.

If you cannot LEARN you will not fly. If you will not LEARN you can not fly.

Ignite your will. Wake up my friend before it is too late. If you think “Oh no problem. I can be truthful” then you ain’t got a clue to the truth. It is in fear and trembling that I must fight to reckon myself to the cross so that the Spirit of Truth might have His way. Doing what you know you should do is what you must DO (Hosea 4:1). It starts with one step. Step by step, results in getting to your pinnacle! Let the wind of the Spirit kiss your face with the vision of eternal life.

Wings begin as you begin to turn away from phony pretense to gut-wrenching truth of who you are. My friend, your life can become INCREDIBLE. I hear thousands of people tell me the same exact line of regret over the time waisted and the wish that they could go back and do it over. God says you must not think like this ( Ecc. 7:10,8:12 / Rm.8:28/ Eph.1:11).

If you can read this…You can yet reach your pinnacle.

You can turn your failures into feathers by allowing your suffering to crush your pride and release your faith.

What is your “True Grit”? If you are willing to switch natural instincts for trained responses, you can elevate your 5 senses to see, hear, touch, sense and taste divine reality. You must take divine promises and put them into your daily thought process. In order to make a delicious meal a chef must take ingredients off the shelf. He uses his own ingenuity to put together a meal to eat. Spiritual ideals do no good sitting ‘out there’. You must take them from being “out there” and put them into practice.

My story is not born from an “altar call” or “sinner’s prayer”. It is born from above, where eagles glide in the freedom of open skies. Jesus says “Unless a man is born from above he cannot SEE the kingdom of God”24. I was in the football stadium of Notre Dame when I RESOLVED to follow Jesus. I didn’t demand or expect any “experience”. I just conceded to what my conscience had long craved. What is there to lose if you know you are nothing?117 Jesus says “the truth shall set you free”(Jn.8:32). I ‘died’ to take a chance. Now

I see… therefore I’m free.

Faith is not fairy dust or wishful thinking. It is calculated resolution of individual heart. It is intimate engagement between you and God alone. It is acting according to God’s Word. Faith is like an instrument that God created. But He leaves it to us to compose our music.

Dealing with both sides of crime, both criminals and military, is an amazing place to understand the ways of human nature and God’s unconditional love. All of us are bound by the same INSTINCT of pride but each of us can choose to RESPOND different.

It has been 45 years that I have been making decisions of how to turn my failures and wounds into feathers and wings. I have spent day after day, night after night, in deep fellowship with Jesus, exchanging attitudes of failure and wounds for feathers and wings. David says he learned to fly “under the shadow of His wings”.

People ask “How can ancient Scriptures impart wings?” They don’t. It is by our faith that we “see”, beyond the black letters on white pages in the heart of the living Jesus Who and are thus compelled by His Spirit to act.  Feathers are offered in the “I see” moments of Biblical revelation. Jesus says “My burden is LIGHT…”. 80 You can replace a heavy heart with this “feather” of God’s Word. The impact of your life depends on the degree you expend of your will power (Mt.11:12).

We can heal our own sorrows, regret and pain by a simple choice of individual faith. We can choose to touch, taste, feel, sense, and see; to BELIEVE in the reality of the living Jesus, more than what our physical or emotional senses dictate our situation should be. 

When you hurt someone or are hurt by them, humility is reconciliation. 9 You have hurt God, and been hurt by Him. The wounds that break you can also provide the wisdom to learn to “see” your failures and His redemption; wings (Read Jeremiah 30:12-17).

“He will cover you with His pinions and under His wings you may seek refuge” said David. What specifically was David thinking in his language of wings? It was not mere poetry. David knew something profound to which he had access (Psalms 91:4,17:8,36:7,57:1,63:7).

The strategy of hell is to take advantage of self-pity and ignorance, and thus cripple our mind with confusion and subtle accusations against God. Slowly this can harden our heart. Our will falls limp, and we give up. This is the strategy of the devil by which he wins countless souls. No one else knows it or sees it but God, and you. But we can turn off the dripping faucet of negativity by engaging our will, intelligence, and shut down thoughts from the abyss.

Jesus conquered The Abyss and every hellhole on earth (Rev.9:11). So He can cover every aspect of every struggle. There are not 10 abysses. There is only one. We see into it through the hole in our heart. Jesus can reach into this “hell hole” because He overcame the human wound of sin with His new divine wings of a resurrection heart.

This is exactly WHY I dare to fly. I know how to transform my failures into feathers. My wings grow bigger because His love has no measured limit.

Someone is waiting for you to tell them that God loves them. Anyone around you, like even those “rioters” on the streets, who are suffering from no purpose or love. Can you reach deep and expand the capacity of your heart? They may be about to fall off the edge and God’s love moving you to love them, can not only spare them, but lift you closer to your pinnacle.

There is something terrible “in the air” (Ephesians 2:2). The bothersome depression “I just can’t ‘put my finger on it” is designed precisely to keep you from doing so. We are subject to a fierce unseen battle of hostility and hatred. The Scriptures warn “in the last days lawlessness will increase… ” and “Satan prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour” (Mt.24:12/1 Pt.5:8).

The pinnacle of your will is required to triumph in these last days. Please, listen to me.

You can’t change or eliminate evil. It’s not going to go away or get better. But you can learn to cover, compensate and rise above it. This is the endeavor to build-out WINGS. God does not drop His power out of the sky. We must each learn how to receive and express His love out of which comes the desire and investment of will to build our wings.

We each choose our level of response to Jesus. Thus, I create my individual manner of tone, vocabulary, sensitivity, creativity, investment of my own belongings and personality to express my love for God and each person I meet. I choose the level of my energy in how, or what, will be most effective. His love comes under me and I choose to sprout my wings. We choose every aspect of who we are. What I’m saying is that God does not give us wings. We must learn how to create them.

If wings can lift someone out of the worst situation how much more anyone in a lesser situation?

No greater love than a man lay down his life…. Antwon is ecstatic about just being released from prison. David was able to help him get a place to live.

Reach for your pinnacle, and find something you never imagined. If you won’t try to find wings, you can’t deny that they exist. “Oh, but you don’t understand how bad I got it”. You’re right. No one can, but the Father does. His love can redeem even the worst situation (Rm.8:28) 

In conclusion, my friend, I ask you to ponder that facial look of unflinching courage on the face of an eagle. This is the attitude we must build within our will, to build our wings here and now. God cannot lie. He “swears” to “bless” (total package of help, grace, strength etc.) to create your wings in The Pinnacle of His Son (Hebrews 6:13-19).

 God told Ezekiel ‘I have made your face harder than your enemies…like a rock’ (Ez.3:9). This is godly defiance. To defy yourself and this world for the sake of faith in the living Father; Abba! Daddy! It is the very first thing a man receives, and proof of, the Holy Spirit (Galations 4:6).

In the cold shivering of this brutal world, the Father calls you by name. He yearns for you to understand the language of “Abba! Father!”15 It is the Eagles screech that God teaches us as we learn to build our wings. This prayer is the language of desperation. Begging is the norm. Like a majestic eagle on high, His silent voice screeches across the blue skies…

‘Why do you say that the justice due you escapes My notice’…Lift up your eyes and see Who created the stars…because of the greatness of My power not one is missing…Behold, the Lord God will come to you with might…His reward is with Him…Like a shepherd He will gather you under His arms…though you grow weary and tired and stumble badly yet those who EXPECT the Lord to come will mount up and ascend on high with wings like eagles’ (Isaiah 40) .