Vince D'Acchioli of On Target Ministries

Fully Alive:
Becoming The Man God Intended

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On Target Ministries is headed to the bullseye

As I write to you today I am in Temecula, California at the home of our Daughter Kim and her family.  Cindy and I drove here February 6th to discover how a change in elevation might affect Cindy’s breathing. 

As many of you know, Cindy went into the emergency room back in November of last year for a yet unknown illness that affected her breathing.  Her lungs, compromised from her miracle recovery from H1N1 back in 2010, were not producing the necessary oxygen into her blood and she found herself on 55 liters and just short of having to be ventilated.  She was in ICU for three days and in the hospital for two weeks.

The doctors were again surprised by another miracle recovery but it left her with needing to be on an oxygen concentrator 24/7.  At this point many in our medical community were suggesting moving to a lower elevation—7500 feet is pretty hard on already compromised lungs.  We drove to Temecula to see what would happen and how God might lead.  I am happy to report that Cindy is now free from her concentrator.  While still weak and recovering she no longer needs to be tethered.  Please continue praying for full recovery.

Since we have been here we have seen one miracle after another.  In all of this we came to the conclusion that we need to move and move now.  As a result, I will be driving back to Colorado later this week to pack up and get ready for the move.  We will be in Temecula full time beginning April 1st.  Cindy will not be returning with me for her safety and health.  So, that is the really big news and now for the God part of the story.

When we arrived our grandson, Hayden asked me if I would speak to his newly formed men’s Bible study.  The photo above was the scene.  He started just a few weeks ago and is now up to 25 men between the ages of 18-25.  They are finding these guys everywhere and many do not know Jesus.  I am so proud of Hayden and his brother, Parker, who is helping facilitate this hungry group of men.  I spoke to them last week, and 4 men asked the Lord into their hearts along with 8 others who rededicated their lives. 

A few days later we all went to see the new film, Jesus Revolution.  I was emotional and choking back tears practically the whole time, not just because Cindy and I were part of this incredible movement, but because I am sensing it is happening again.  As of today we hear that revival has now broken out on over 20 College campuses.  While talking to these young men I sensed a hunger I have not seen since the 60’s.  I also sensed God saying to me that we were going to be a part of this.  While I am not sure what this will look like I am getting excited.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit my share of California-shaming stories I have told.  I sensed the other day that God was not pleased with that attitude and wanted me to know He was sending me to the front lines—the belly of the beast, as it were.  The Bullseye for On Target.  In the brief time we have been here I have also had the privilege of speaking with several pastors who are encouraging us to consider planting an On Target Institute weekly men’s gathering here for the valley.

In addition to much spiritual confirmation, God has also been involved in the details.  Finding a home to rent here is almost impossible, especially at our price point.  Well, God brought a friend of our Daughter to the table who needed a renter right away for a move they were making.  It is a beautiful home we can not afford made possible by some general financial commitments for the first year.  Cost of living here is very high as you might expect.

Also, our lease in Colorado is not up until the end of June.  So, the next hurdle was asking our Landlord to let us out early with no penalties.  It took several days for them to get back to us but the amazing answer was, YES.  Yet another confirmation.  While this is all bittersweet for us we feel so blessed by our Lord and the many dear friends who are stepping up to help us.  On the financial side we had a wonderful year-end made extra special by a large donation that will help fund some cashflow needs for this year.

We also had a 5,000.00 gift from our former church in California to help with our moving costs.  We are still 8,000.00 short of our goal and sincerely appreciate your prayerful consideration to help if you are able.  For those of you in the Southern California area who want to connect please email me and after we settle in I would love to meet with you.

I am so looking forward to reporting what God is going to do here through our ministry.

A Wake Up Call For An Emerging Christian Generation

NOTE:  Almost daily I pass on Biblical truths and devotionals to a group of young men and women, many who are my grandchildren.  While doing this the other day the thought came to me that if I knew I only had a short time to live, what would I say to them?  This article flows from that question.

When Chuck Colson told the incredible story about his participation in the great Watergate cover up he made an profound observation. In his own words:

I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Everyone was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.

To me the Apostles represent what each and every one of us who call ourselves Christians ought to be like.  My concern is that sadly most Christians today, especially our younger generation, resemble the Watergate figures who caved.  The reason this is true is simple really.  The Apostles relationship with Jesus was intimate and deep—they walked and talked with God.  The Watergate figures gave up at the first sign of persecution because there was not a cause worthy of dying for.

I have a quote that many of you have heard me use…We have moved from the home of the free and the brave to a land filled with slaves and cowards, we are ideological slaves and practical cowards.

Part of this is happening as the result of the death of absolute truth, but rather than unpack that I would like to focus on the great dangers we are facing as the Body of Christ in our nation moving forward.  I am persuaded that most Pastors, leaders and in particular younger Christians, have their heads in the sand when it comes to discerning what is coming our way.  We have been spoiled and basically left alone to believe anything we want with little or no consequences. 

The Apostles were able to face intense persecution because they knew Jesus.  It begs the question; can we do the same when the vast majority of us simply know about Jesus.  Remember the illustration with Peter and his denial.  He did not have the necessary level of depth and commitment to withstand the test.  And the Rooster crowed.

I am deeply concerned that an incredible number of young Christians today are not prepared to face what is coming.  The statistics regarding the number of young people who enter college as believers in Jesus and turn to atheism after the first year is staggering.  The pressure being put upon our culture today to deny Jesus and really anything having to do with absolute Biblical truth is intense.

How about a 20 year old new police officer who posts his support for traditional marriage on Face Book and is told by his employer to take it down or be fired?  What about people who are condemned or let go for not affirming the LBGTQ agenda?  Did you ever think you would see a day when an entire professional sports team would be required to wear the rainbow on their jerseys to celebrate homosexuality?  Out of that entire professional Hockey team only one player refused and he was a Russian Christian.  I wonder how many other Christians were on that team?

My friends, this is just the beginning.  Intense persecution is coming and as the Body of Christ we are not prepared!  The secret to not falling away lies in who is possessing your life.  The Apostles, because they literally walked and talked with their Lord, were ultimately able to be His incredible witnesses.  But, therein lies the formula—they walked and talked with Him.  The relationship was so intimate that they never considered giving in.

All of that brings me to what I want to say to the many young men and women who would call themselves Christian.  Like Peter, you may think you are prepared…ready for whatever comes your way.  YOU ARE NOT! 

So, my last words, if this is what this is, would be to start by examining who and what possesses your life.  You may think you have the Holy Spirit but how much of you does that same Holy Spirit have?  No matter how hectic your school or work life is right now, you must carve out time to become intimate with your Lord.

Find like-minded believers you can meet with weekly and commit to grow deep in your walk together.  You will need these men and women in your life to resist the pressures that are coming.  Read the Word, Pray and Worship every day.  Always remember there is a profound relationship between obedience and power.  The minute you let your guard down the enemy takes over and the Holy Spirit is quenched. 

If you do these things God will give you the same courage He gave those Apostles that enabled them to face anything that came there way.  Our world has gone mad and God has brought each and every one of you here—right now—for such a time as this.  Meditate on these verses and Be Strong! 

  • For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  2 Timothy 4:3
  • Guardthe good deposit that was entrusted to you, guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in you.  2 Timothy 1:14
  • When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise— in God, I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56:3-4
  • For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, andself-discipline.  2 Timothy 1:7
  • Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13
  • Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Musings From A “Hayfordite
In Loving Memory

Pastor Jack Hayford

Vince D’Acchioli

My journey and memories of Pastor Jack began in the earlies 70’s when Cindy and I began attending this little church in Van Nuys, California called The Church On The Way.  Married at that time for about 8 years and raising two precious little girls we decided it was time to get serious about our relationship with the Lord.  Though unfamiliar with the Charismatic movement I knew I was in need of more of God and was just coming out of a messed up life that included dangerously close encounters with the Mafia.

Our marriage not doing well, I remember with great fondness our first, and only, marriage counseling session with a precious man who was one of Pastor Jacks close Associate Pastor.  It led to our signing up for a marrieds class which a few years later we ended up leading.  During those years I was mentored by my dear friend Pastor Jack Duitsman.  He and his wife, Mary led the class at that time.  In their transition out they recommended us to Pastor Jack to lead the class.  Pastor Jack also asked us to lead the couple’s ministry for the church.  That class ended up with 4-500 people in attendance every Sunday. 

From there we were invited to enter the two-year Discipleship program which was a prerequisite to future eldership in the church.  That program was ahead of its time and probably the equivalent of theology degree.  It later led to an invitation to become an Elder and my being appointed to one of nine members of the church council.  An amazing honor.  During this time my personal relationship with Pastor really grew.  He blessed me many times by asking me to consult on organizational dynamics and structure.

During these years we had so many occasions to be with Pastor Jack and his wife, Anna. Cindy and I remember times after church at their home eating Tomato and Mayo sandwiches and trips to Solvang, one of his favorite places. Needless to say there are so many significant and profound stories I could share.  Here is an example of just one: 

It was in the early 80’s, while on a quest to see myself through the eyes of significant people in my life, that I decided to ask my pastor, Jack Hayford what his perception of me was.  If you happen to know Pastor Jack you are probably smiling right now and thinking, that is a very dangerous question.

It turned out to be a pretty long lunch.  When I asked Pastor Jack for his impression of me I remember a blank stare and an uncomfortable period of silence.  Then, he reached over and grabbed the salt and pepper shakers from the side of our table.  He took the pepper shaker and said see this…this represents product.  You like product.  Nodding, but not really knowing where this was going, he continued.  You know why you like product?  I said no and he continued—you know how to purchase the raw material, you know how to manufacture it, you know how to package it, price it, display it, sell it—you can control product.

At this point I am thinking I may not like where this is headed but was still clueless.  He then grabbed the salt shaker and continued.  Vince, this is fruit.  You don’t like fruit.  It just so happens I really don’t like fruit but I had a good idea that was not what he meant.  He then added, do you know why?  It’s because fruit grows the way it wants to grow.  Then, he began to describe from the cellular level the incredible nature of fruit and all of its nourishing attributes in ways I had never heard.  And then came the clincher—Vince I see you as a Tiger becoming a Lion.

It was at this point I had to call a time out—Ok Pastor Jack, help me understand the zoological implications of that one?  He did—he went on to talk about the differences between a Tiger and a Lion in ways that blew me away.  Remember, this is the man who wrote the powerful song, Majesty.  He talked about how the Tiger is a skilled hunter, like the Lion, but that they hunt singular—they are not familial like Lions.  He talked about the majesty and patience of the Lion and then said, Jesus is not referred to as the Tiger of Judah, but the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

He encouraged me by letting me know how much he believed in me, but recognized I needed to rely much more on the Holy Spirit in my life then on my human ability to control.  He concluded by saying he saw me as a marble that God wanted to turn into a grape.  He held out his hand and used his thumb to demonstrate pressing down on a marble and reminded me that when the pressure is exerted the marble escapes—it will not be crushed.

On the other hand, he suggested that when you become that precious and ripe grape, submitted to the will of your heavenly Father, that same pressure now reveals the sweetness from your life that will extend to strengthen and nurture the lives of others.  What a powerful picture I received on that memorable day.

One of the hardest things I had to do was resign my position on the church council in 1991 to move the ministry of Every Home For Christ, to Colorado Springs, Colorado.  There is no doubt that was a call from God and just a few years later we felt the Lord calling us to start On Target Ministries. 

Not only did Pastor affirm our call to ministry to men he also invited me to come to a pastor conference back in 1994 and introduced our ministry to over 1000 pastors from around the world—it literally put this little known new ministry on the map and launched us into what is now an almost 30-year incredible journey.  Tens of thousands of men have been saved and equipped to become The Man God Intended as a result.

Pastor Jack remained a close friend, mentor and confident until his health began to fail.  I can honestly say I do not know where I would be had God not allowed me the privilege of knowing this man.  No person this side of Heaven has impacted and shaped me more than Pastor Jack.

I want to close with just one more Pastor Jack story you will enjoy.  It was back around 2013 and I was hosting a men’s ministry leadership event in Fontana, California.  I asked Pastor to be our keynote speaker and took the podium to introduce him.  What follows, though exaggerated and mostly made up, was so funny that it took Pastor several minutes to compose himself from the laughter.  He later indicated he wanted to share this introduction in his memoirs.  Where is my intro:

Pastor Jack needs little intro really.  I served this man for so many years and remember thinking, not only is he an amazing Theologian but also an intellectual.  In fact, we were told that Pastor would require of himself the use of a new word he had never used before in every sermons just to keep himself sharp. 

Those of us who knew this would be waiting for it every week.  We often found ourselves nodding in agreement to comments he would make for which we had no clue what it meant.  I will never forget the first time I heard the word, Juxtaposition.  I silently repeated it and turned to my wife and said, Juxtaposition? 

I said, what does it mean>  she said, I don’t know but if we are doing it and Pastor Jack says it’s wrong…WE NEED TO REPENT!

We love you Pastor Jack

I cannot remember the last time I had such difficulty preparing our monthly TargetPoint article.   As I was praying the other day I felt the Lord prompting me to call my friend, Pastor and mentor, Danny Carroll.  I told him of my struggle and that I wanted to write something that would encourage my readers as we enter this new, and very challenging season.

Danny told me that the Lord had directed him to John 17:11-12.  He said, Vinnie, (he has always called me that), it is interesting that Jesus was always protecting the twelve and none of them knew it at the time.  Pastor Dan’s words that morning have become the inspiration for what you are about to read.  Here is the extended reading of this text for greater context:

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect themby the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.  While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 

I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.  I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.  For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.   John 17:11-19

What is Jesus saying here?  I believe it is profound—follow me here.  First He was acknowledging His departure and asks the Father to protect them (the Disciples).  We are reminded that while He was with them He provided all the protection they needed.  Then, He reminds the Father that He has given them His word and asks again that they be protected and kept from the evil one.  Then finally He asks the Father to Sanctify them by the truth. 

Dear one, you and I are included in Jesus’ prayer here.  We are the 2023 version of His disciples and Jesus is still praying for you and me.  As we enter this new year I want us to consider three powerful ideas from all of this.  First, and of utmost importance to so many in this season, you are protected—He has your back (Prov 2:6-8).  No matter how tough things may seem to be, God is wanting us to be at peace in the knowledge that He is in control and will never allow anything to happen that we cannot handle.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Second, we have been given His word.  Obviously we know that Jesus Himself is the Word, the embodiment of God’s eternal truth.  The disciples had that truth available to them in human form.  You and I, by the power of His Holy Spirit and the written word, have access to all truth which takes us to the third and most incredible thing Jesus says in conclusion… Sanctify them by the truth.  To sanctify means to be made holy, set apart.  How does sanctification happen?  Through and by His truth—the Word of God.

I want to encourage you to commit 2023 to be the year of the word.  To enter this season with the understanding that the past has no power over us and that Jesus has you.  Then, to understand His incredible desire for you and me to be made holy…set apart.  But also to realize that there is no way for that to happen apart from His word.  Let this be a year where we surrender once and for all from our old self and determine to discover a more intimate relationship with our Lord through His word.

You have heard this from me before but it is worth repeating, you will never know who you are until you first discover Whose you are.  Intimacy precedes destiny.  But please don’t forget the second part of what sanctification means…to be set apart.  This is the cool part—God wants us to be set apart and that begs the question, for what?  Answer, for His purpose.  He has a great plan for you and wants you to discover what it is.

In closing let me suggest that that plan is your destiny.  I have never met anyone who does not have a deep desire to discover their destiny.  But remember that it has to begin with intimacy.  Intimacy—identity—destiny. 

As you consider beginning this process by committing to His word this year let me close with perhaps the most profound verse in the Bible about the Bible:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  
Psalm 119:105

All of us are too inexperienced to try to make it through life without a guide. God’s Word is that guide. Psalm 119 unfolds many of the features of God’s Word, showing how dynamically and practically it will assist us in all of life’s circumstances. However, no single verse clearly illustrates this more than verse 105, which shows how God’s Word lights the way, giving direction for each step (“to my feet”) and giving wisdom for long-range plans (“to my path”).  –Jack Hayford

As you enter this new season please know that no matter who you are, what you have done or where you may find yourself right now…God is crazy in love with you.  Jesus’ prayer is for you.  He wants to set you apart.  His destiny for you is real and He wants you to know that you are being prepared for such a time as this.

One of our earliest childhood memories that come to mind is the familiar Bible story of the three wise men making their long journey to Bethlehem to find the infant King that first Christmas long ago.

They were Magi, descendants of the Chaldeans spoken of by the prophet Daniel.  They were the astrologers and astronomers of their day; unbelievers at best, committed to searching the heavens for signs foretelling the destiny of nations.  Regarded with awe and fear, these men were paid handsomely to know when something important was about to happen, to discern the present or supervise at the coronation of a king. 

For God to get their attention would be no easy task. But He did.  And whether the bright light they saw at helical rise was a miracle appearance or a natural conjunction of stars or planets is of little consequence.  For it was God, who had created the vault of heaven and all its stars that had provided the revelation that was to drive these men to Israel in search of a newborn king.

This star was mentioned in Numbers 24:17 when a traveling soothsayer named Balaam prophesied “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob, a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult”.  Genesis 49:10 also reference a Scepter.  Balaam more than likely was an ancestor to the Babylonian wise men of Daniel’s time.

These wise men would have known of this prophecy and many others from the Old Testament by hearing them from Daniel in Babylon during the time they consulted with the kings.

Few or many, these powerful men left their ease and traveled to Jerusalem to find the one born King of the Jews.  It just made sense to head to Israel's crown city in search of a king.  It is obvious they did not know of the prophecy in Micah 5:2 or they would have known the exact location of His birth was to be in Bethlehem.  They wouldn't have had to receive these prophecies from the chief priests and scribes in Jerusalem.  Their natural inclination would be to talk to King Herod.  But instead of getting excited, Herod sent them to find the baby as he began to hatch a plot to kill hundreds of male infants in hopes of safeguarding his own position.

Yet, the Magi would not be deterred.  How long it took for them to find Jesus is hard to say, but it is a good guess that from the time they left their homes until the time they stood before the young King could easily have been two to three years.

Now the scriptures tell us they brought three notable gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. These three precious offerings were the tools of their trade. They were the most valuable items they possessed. But even with all their knowledge and worldly acclaim they could have hardly known that these gifts would play a greater role in the Savior's life and death.

Gold was a gift reserved for royalty.  Frankincense was a costly & rare commodity, used on the Altar of Incense that when burned gave off a sweet smelling white smoke.  

The Myrrh, oh the myrrh, seemingly the oddest of gifts would be the very fragrant and valuable oil that would be used at his burial.

But there is yet one more gift we often miss.  It is the utmost gift of all.  It is the gift of worship. The scriptures tell us the wise men knelt and worshipped Him!  Whether they did this on their own initiative, or the majesty of being in the presence of the King of Kings gave them no choice, they bowed and worshipped.  These wise men from afar came not just to court His favor and to proclaim Him King of the Jews, but they would be proclaiming Him King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

There is hardly a man or woman when testifying to God’s persistent love does not have a moment when their words are reduced to a stammer and their emotions frayed with un-expressible amazement.  And this is because God is not like us.  He does not pursue for personal gain.  We are not some royal experiment or pawns in a cosmic game of chess.  He does not chase us to fulfill something that is lacking in Himself.  For with or without us, He is perfectly complete.  God’s desire for us is not as a man seeks companionship and a sense of self worth.  His love is not completed in our response.  Ours is completed in His offer.  

With much love we wish you a most blessed and Merry Christmas,

Vince & Cindy