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Enter the Wild Wonder of Prayer

Enter Rest - Lower Life's Volume

Carlos concedes that it’s easy for believers today to blame the fast-paced, technology-laden world we live in for our own failure to slow down and spend time with the Lord, resulting in lives lived “to the half.” He recounts the time a few years ago, when he was frazzled with way too many things to do, and a friend invited him to Montana to flyfish. He quickly declined the offer and humorously recalls the reason: “Well, because I’m a half-black, half-Mexican born in East LA, and my people, we really don’t do that.  Flyfish.” The friend persisted, Carlos went, and he found himself relaxing more than he had in years. “I had become a version of myself that I didn’t even know existed. (It) was not simply that I felt ALIVE, it was that I found the space to hear from God in ways I hadn’t before. I lowered the volume of life, and the volume of God went up.” He points us to God’s admonition in Psalm 46:10: Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth!” 

Enter War - Pray The Promises

As an eight-year-old, Carlos was full of faith, believing every word that Mrs. Sullivan, his Sunday School teacher, said about the great stories from the Bible. Life later began to challenge his faith and subtle anxiety crept into his thinking. His faith became what he calls, “mild.” After Carlos married Heather and they had children, the many pressures of family, finances, and career took their toll on his spiritual vitality and left him riddled with anxiety. That led to his having heart palpitations, which made him even more anxious about his health. Desperate to calm his mind and body, Carlos eventually started to self-medicate with inappropriate online content and virtual relationships. When Heather found out, it nearly destroyed their marriage. Carlos went for counseling for a long time, and learned healthy ways to deal with his anxiety.  Heather decided to stay with him and their lives became much happier for many years. Then Carlos relapsed, and Heather gave him an ultimatum. He went to a theophostic counselor who helped him get to the root of his anxiety and all the damage it had wreaked in his life. The key turned out to be forgiveness; forgiveness from God, forgiveness of others, and forgiveness of himself. When Carlos was shown how to apply the promises of God’s Word to his hurt, shame, and guilt, their power was dispelled in his life.  In the past, Carlos admits, “My prayers were filled with ‘Woe is me’ instead of ‘Great is He.’”  He repeated the problems and how they made him feel rather than God’s promises to be and provide all that we need.  

Another example comes from the summer of 2018, when Carlos was scheduled to go on tour with a band for two months. He would be sharing the gospel and promoting his book, Kill the Spider. At the last minute, the tour was cancelled right along with two months of income for his family. Carlos panicked. When his eleven-year-old son, Losiah, asked about the look on his dad’s face, Carlos tried to brush it off as nothing. Losiah persisted until his dad told him what had happened, and then asked his dad if he’d asked God for the money. Carlos had to admit that he was too busy trying to figure it out himself and had not. His son suggested that they pray together right then, which they followed by reading a long list of Scripture verses on God’s provision. Before Carlos put his head on the pillow that night, he received an invitation to speak from a large church, which offered nearly the same amount of compensation as his entire tour. Ecstatic, Carlos woke his sleeping son to tell him the good news. Carlos also emphasizes the importance praising and thanking God in all circumstances.    

Enter Wild

“Entering wild” is how Carlos refers to amazing answers to prayer when we seek, trust, and obey God. He says we can go from worry to wonder, and from anxiety to amazement. An example from his own life is when he felt God wanted him to transition from singing and leading worship to speaking. Carlos cancelled a number of  bookings to lead worship, and assumed they’d all be turned into speaking engagements. None were. When a couple weeks went by with no invitations, Carlos found himself in tears in a Home Depot parking lot, getting ready to fill out an application. Then his publicist called and told him he’d received an important email that he must have missed. “What?!” he responded. Turns out, Carlos had inadvertently deleted an email invitation from The White House, asking him to speak and sing before President Obama and a group of 100 other religious leaders. Carlos quickly accepted the invitation and soon found himself at the White House doing just that. “Enter Wild,” he says. Needless to say, opportunites to speak have abounded since that time.  

Viral Instagram Post

On June 9, 2020, Carlos posted a video on his Instagram and Facebook pages which has spread like wildfire. He had assumed the elderly, white man across the street didn’t like black people because he’d never said a word to Carlos, or responded to his many waves and smiles. Then the day before the post, he saw the man walk out of his house with a paint can and brush, and paint one of the two large, white, porcelain bunnies in his yard -- black. Carlos was intrigued and decided to walk over to ask him about it. The neighbor, Jim, turned out to be a kind man who wanted to do something to promote racial unity in these tense times. He further explained that when he was a boy, his mother hired a black woman to help with things around the house. She had not only lent a hand with the family’s laundry and cooking, but she helped raise Jim, who clearly felt deep affection for her. Carlos found, to his surpise and delight, that the man was not racist at all, and that he had unfairly labeled him. The post ends with a photo of the men standing side by side, smiling.  

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