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A Warning To My Enemies…

To those who have been in my way for so long…you are my enemy!  You have tried to block me, stop me, haunt me, taunt me, belittle me, embarrass me, and forget about me.

It is not working.  It will not work.  May the lyrics of the song “I Want It” by my fav band, Blue October, teach you why you have failed…and any further attempts from you, my enemy, will never succeed!

To all of you in the way
I push you aside
Flames burn down together
I refuse to ignite
I won’t walk away (that is not in me)
I’m here to stay

So I raise my hand in grace
Pray for the ones I wish I could erase
Cause we are who we are and we’ll be who we’ll be
Live for the moment and the mystery of everybody owns a scar
To show us how we got this far
Cause we are who we are and we’ll be who we’ll be
Don’t ever think you’ll take away the fight in me

I want it…
I want it more then you ever did…

Here’s to starting over
I heard you’re shutting down shop
Boy I’m taking it over
I’m never gonna stop
Here’s to the ones who said that you couldn’t win
Here’s to the crazies getting under your skin
They’re always gonna talk
But I’m never gonna stop
I won’t walk away
(I want it, crave it, bottle up and save it)
I’m here to stay
(I want it, crave it, I won’t behave I’ll turn it up more)

So I raise my hand in grace
Pray for the ones I wish I could erase
Cause we are who we are and we’ll be who we’ll be
Live for the moment and the mystery of everybody owns a scar
To show us how we got this far
Cause we are who we are and we’ll be who we’ll be
Don’t ever think you’ll take away the fight in me

I want it…
I want it more then you ever did…

In case you are wondering who my enemy is…let the Holy Word of God make it clear…know-your-enemy3

12 “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”  Ephesians 6:12

To the reader of this short blog.  Your enemies are not people! There is one thing I am positive about.  Every one of us are fighting a battle. Please make sure you are not confused as to who the real enemy is.  Kick your enemy’s butt, by wanting “it” more. Jesus is THE ultimate “IT” factor!! The devil is defeated by the power and blood of the Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ!  If Jesus lives in you…then welcome the scars…He has them too.  They make us better.  They create the story that inspires the life change in others.  Fight the good fight…never give up.

If you need to go further and read more from the Word of God, then click these passages below for further battle prep…

Ephesians 6:10-17

Romans 8:31-39

Philippians 3:12-21

Philippians 1:21

If you have other Bible passages that encourage you and strengthen you, then please add them to the comments section so that others may benefit from them too.


In search of a Church where i can best use my strengths…my wish list…

I am in search of a Church that will allow me to lead them in honoring God’s will.

I have a Wish List…If the Church isn’t committed to the point of writing this wish list as its upmost importance, then I must decline leadership in it.  I do not want to just LEAD in it…I want to incarnate it and vice versa.

The Wish List…wishlist

I want my family to be a part of a Church Body that...

1.  …is fully committed to the acknowledgment that there is no difference in our spiritual and secular lives 7 days a week.

2.  …doesn’t rely on a church building, me, or the people up front to be the primary source of growth.

3.  …will disagree well, because our common enemy is the devil, not each other.

4.  …is devoted to the restoration of people who are hungry, thirsty, lonely, or have shattered lives.

5.  …will agree that the Lord is worthy of excellence and only the excellent will be used in public worship gatherings.

6.  …has an aggressive pursuit of Health, Growth, and Love, founded in the Teachings and Commandments of Jesus Christ.

Bonus items…

Will no longer have the Lord’s Supper be a short pause with a little cracker and cup of juice during a worship service, but will meet once a week in homes and have a full supper together.  The Supper is a focused appreciation of common fellowship, Bible Application, prayer, and focus on the Lord’s body and blood.

Every member will be committed to baptizing at least one person a year with whom they have built a trusting and loving relationship with.

Every member will meet regularly with 2 other friends for accountability and prayer.

There is a Church that exists with this focus out there, and they are looking for a leader like me to join them…I just know it.  If not…I’m going to start a brand new one.


Your Greatest Battle…right now!

You will become what you are becoming right now.

You, at this very moment, are in the greatest battle you will ever wage in all your life. You are fighting for what, one day, you will become.

wagingwar

There are forces, seen and unseen, clashing for influence in your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  These forces can typically go unrecognized by you.  You might or might not feel the stress of the war being waged.  You likely won’t understand the battle until you are able to look back on the whole thing, years from now…and see what you’ve become.

You can influence this war’s result.  You can influence what you will become.  You are becoming it right now, whether you feel like it or not.  The people who have become something remarkable…the people who have become something extraordinary…they are not better than you, smarter than you, and most definitely not luckier than you.  No, they just chose to notice the battle being waged. They made a choice to influence the outcome of what they become.  They made a decision to influence the minute by minute battle waging on them, right now.

They accepted the fact that they will become what they are becoming right now.  They chose to deliberately steward what the end result would be.

What do you want to become? end-result-wide

 

Until you can answer the question above…you will be at the mercy of the consequences of the war being waged on you right now.

It’s kind of like a summer boat party that happens everyday in your town’s closest lake.  If you’ve got several friends, then the odds of you being pushed out of the boat and into the lake everyday are highly likely.  If you know you are going to get pushed into the lake everyday, then you can predetermine how you are going to respond to that spontaneous splash everyday.  When you predetermine how you are going to respond, then you will control your response when it actually happens.    fall-in-water-660x371

Everyday, you get pushed. You get pushed in areas of life way more important than boat parties and lakes.

If you don’t predetermine how you are going to respond when you get pushed, then you will be at the mercy of emotion and other external forces that want to determine how you will respond.

This is the same as your end result as a person.  What do you want to become?  Predetermine it and don’t let any other forces determine your end result.

This is easier said than done.

If you want to be a person who determines your own end result…then you can only be successful at becoming that end result when you have clearly defined the end result you desire to become. (Maybe read that again…)

What do you want to become?  Write it down.  Clearly define it. Then make minute by minute decisions that help you become it starting right now.

Maybe that is what God had in mind when He had Jesus say, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

You will become what you are becoming right now.

 

 


Thoughts – Decisions – Reputations…Oh my!

I recently tweeted out a thought that was inspired by a fiction book I’m reading called “The Noticer Returns” by Andy Andrews… “Your thinking leads to your decisions which leads to results.  These 3 work together to create your reputation.  Guard your thoughts. Phil4:8”

As I prepare to teach another year at Joy Christian High School, I will also be taking on the discipline of students as part of the administrative team.  I’m thinking that not one single student should have to be disciplined.  The choices of the student is what leads to discipline having to happen.  I say the same thing about the incarcerated.  Every prisoner made a choice that led them to be in prison. Our prisons should be empty.  What choice did that student or that prisoner have to make that landed them in prison?  They weren’t forced.  They didn’t have to make the decision that landed them in trouble.  They chose to make the decision.  They chose to be in trouble. They chose to be incarcerated.  Again, they were not forced to make a decision that resulted in trouble.

This has me thinking about why people do what they do.  

I think there are some key words we must fully define before we can implement into our lives this phrase I tweeted out, referenced above.  We must define words like Integrity, Morality, and Character.  At first glance, I think these three words all seem to be the same thing.  Below you will understand this to be quite untrue. integrity

I think Integrity at its foundation means to be capable of doing what you were created to do.  A bridge can have integrity.  A seat belt can have integrity.  The chair you sit on.  Integrity deals with trustworthiness and reliability.

morality-logoI think Morality, at its foundation, means to be a person who is doing no wrong.  A moral person will not cheat, or steal, or lie. This is a great trait, but in my striving to fully grasp my tweet, we must get very technical.  One can be a very moral person and do nothing.  I can stay in bed all day, doing nothing, and still be a moral person.

So…are you grasping with me that a person can have great integrity and morals and do nothing?   Integrity is capable. Morality is doing no wrong. Character is where the magic starts to happen.

I think Character is active.  Character is defined in action.  Character is doing the right thing.  We actively build character. Character-Building

A person of integrity can see an injustice, not get involved, and still be a moral person.

A person of morals will not do wrong.

A person of character cannot sit still and do nothing…ever. Character has a spine. Character has action.  Character will still experience fear, but pushes through it.  Character cannot sit still.

A person of character uses their capability (integrity) and righteousness (morality) to DO!

Doing what is right is a result.  Results create reputations.

I could take the negative route here and show that just because there are results doesn’t mean morality and character are present. ie…Adolf Hitler produced many results.  But…I want to focus on the positive results…aka…holiness.

Integrity = Capability.

Integrity + Morality = Capability.

Integrity + Morality – Character = Capability.

Integrity + Morality + Character = Results.

It is not a compliment to be told that I am a person of potential.  Potential means capable, but capable doesn’t equal results. A person of potential means they have integrity and morals, but lack character.  Lacking character means lacking action.

A lack of character/action, I believe, simply demonstrates how you think about yourself.

A person of great potential is a person of integrity and morals but not action.  This could mean the person thinks poorly of themselves or of their abilities.  This could mean the person has allowed the world or someone in it to influence their identity instead of Jesus.

Jesus is your identifier.  He is the one who died so you could live.  He is the one who tells you how capable you are.  He is the one who tells you how moral you can be.  He is the one who created you to be of great character, thus action.  He is the one who commanded you to “Go” & “Do”.

This is all about your thinking.

“Your thinking leads to your decisions, which leads to results.”  This all creates your reputation.

I can’t think of a more important passage to back this all up other than Philippians 4:4-8.

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Take a minute to double check the character that is splashed all over that passage.  Remember, character is action.  So look at the last four words of verse 9.  “Put it into practice.”

Put what into practice?  Your thinking…as long as that thinking is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy!

Put your thinking into character, is exactly the same as putting your thinking into action.  I suppose it could be strangely translated to say, “put your integrity and morality into character!”

Since we are in Philippians 4…I can’t help but point out verse 13…

“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”

all things

Do you believe you have that much character?  Do you believe that you can do all things?  I believe you do.  Way better yet…Jesus knows you do.  He made you that way.

We all know Philippians 4:13…and it can be intimidating, because our stinking thinking many times will tell us that we cannot do all things.  The problem is that we read verse 13 and then stop.  We read it as if it says, “I can do all things.”  But it doesn’t say that!  The rest of verse 13 & 14 dilutes the individual factor.

13b “through Christ who gives me strength.” &

14 “Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.”

Please note…Nothing in that verse says “I” can do all things by myself.  It says “I can do all things with Christ.”

The Apostle Paul didn’t make it just a Jesus and “I” thing.  It is clear in verse 14 that Paul and Jesus shared in Paul’s troubles with the people of the Church in Philippi.  Paul didn’t do anything by himself.  Verse 14 basically says, “thank you for sharing my troubles with me.”

They did it together.  You were never created to go it alone…in anything.  Check your thinking on this.

Your thinking matters.  Your thinking is what creates your results/reputation.  Your thinking defines your integrity and your morals.  Thinking. Integrity. Morals. Character. They matter deeply because they create results. But…

When Jesus returns…I believe He will not judge us by our results…no…He will judge us by our thoughts.

How you think…is everything…It is your thinking that leads to the character you make everyday.

 


Why are there earthquakes and climate/global changes? (A faith perspective)

My soul will never allow me to let science overrule the Word of God.

I think that science and the Word of God can work together beautifully.  However, time has proven, that most choose to honor/worship scientific explanation over God’s explanation.

Why is human nature so against the natural way of God?

If God is the creator of all, then He is the “go to guy” when it comes to trying to understand the why and how of things.  While reading the Bible this morning I was reminded of God’s design of things and it made me want to write about what this post’s theme is.  Here is the simple passage I read…

“Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,earthquake
    at the presence of the God of Jacob.
He turned the rock into a pool of water;
    yes, a spring of water flowed from solid rock.”

Pslam 114:7-8

When the earth trembles, it’s an earthquake.  The rocking and rolling of the very foundation we rely so stably on.  I have experienced an earthquake while in California.  It is a strange and insecure feeling when the solid floor beneath your feet begins to rock and roll.  Insecurity takes over when the foundation is moving beneath your feet!   When insecurity starts to rule, we naturally start grasping for answers.  Our culture and nature have taken us to rely deeply on science to give us those answers. Science seems to have stolen the throne from the Creator…the Father…the wold party host, the know all.

People love science, because it seems to give secure answers to questions we worry about.   But, science uses human knowledge to understand the mysterious and difficult things that God has created.  I don’t blame anybody for being curious.  I don’t blame people for desiring security even if its the false kind.

I’m a why guy, so I am always thinking through the “layers of why” that ultimately are the cause of anything.  So, I think God smiles at science.  Why?  Because God is the ultimate parent.   Any good parent loves to see his/her children play hide and seek during a party gathering.   I think it gives our Father in Heaven great pleasure to see his children seeking after the things that He has hidden.  I think He hid things to keep us busy during this giant earthly party we all attend.  The childlike nature in me sees this world as a giant hide and seek game.  Even Jesus said He came to “seek”.

It all seems fun…right up to the point where the Father no longer gets the credit for his masterminded plan for the party.  The party gets going to the point where the party attenders no longer desire the party planner to be a part of the party. This kind of party never ends well.

A hide and seek game can get out of control when the planner, who has the answers, is no longer around to share the hints.  It can become a form of a quiet riot, where the party bully shouts…

“you gotta fight for your right to paaarrrrttt-ay!” 🙂

 Without the party planner and host, the party becomes unpredictably dangerous, and the bully tends to take over. Depending on what the bully believes and does, is what sets the tone for the rest of the party and party attenders.  If you don’t agree with the bully, then you are also asked to leave the party, or at the very least, belittled.  Most people love a party, so they don’t question the bully for fear of being asked to leave.

I am in awe of the Creator of the party, for allowing his creation to push Him out.  That is a loving God who honors the choices of His creation.  God is not a bully.  God doesn’t force Himself on anyone at the Party.

If we ask God, the great party planner, to step out of the party … then He steps out… and then we are left to the mercy of the bully.  Bully’s don’t have much mercy.  It can be brutal to live in the shadow and the dominance of the bully.

Who is the bully in this “One Nation under Godlessness”?  The bully is the one who controls the information outlet.  The bully is the one who has the ability to get the most attention in our homes and minds.  You decide who that currently is.  I think it is obvious.  But I won’t be a bully.

So…here’s my deal…

I’ve never been a party fan.  I would prefer to leave the party early.   Once I have honored the party host and arrived to show the host my appreciation, say hello to some good friends, and catch up a little….I then prefer to leave.

In this great earth party I’m talking about, the host isn’t welcome anymore.  If the host isn’t present at the party, then I have no desire to attend the party and listen to the bull of the bully.  I despise the bully.   I’ll call the police on the bully when the party gets out of control.  I’ll throw the bully under the bus and point out where the party has gotten dangerous and is causing damage to the people at the party.  At my worst/best…I will walk into the party again just to get in the face of the bully and call his bluff.  I hate this kind of party and therefore I don’t get drunk on the bull of the bully.

What about you?

Are you drunk from the bully at the host-less party?  Have you drunk the spiked kool-aid to the point where you won’t even pick up the party manual anymore? Are you so drunk from all the bully’s bull that you don’t even remember the party host?  Have you taken your drunkenness to the extent that you have allowed the bully to attach you to the IV where you now just allow the drip-drip-drip of information, not found in the party owner’s manual, to fill your veins and control your mind?  Have you become a host-less party junkie?  Are you a part of the quiet riot?

I write the analogy above to say this…have you, even unknowingly, asked God to step out of the party and bought the bull?  If  you have questions and curiosity, do you first turn to the drip-drip-drip of the science and the bully, or to the Party planner’s manual?

God, the Party Planner, is so kind and good that when He was asked to leave the party, He made sure to leave the Party Manual behind.  The Bible is the manual to all things life.  If God did the hiding and the creating of the mysteries that keep us so curious, then He also gave us the “secrets and hints” book….The clue book that leads us to the thrilling discovery of truth.  The truth to how this party is supposed to be run.

So, back to  my point about earthquakes.  Can you really give me the why behind an earthquake?  Do you rely on the bully and his/her information to give you the why?  The bully of science is loaded with answers that tease you to thinking you have security.  Don’t buy the bull.  I have no security about my next 5 minutes.  So..I trust in the party planner.  My security is in His hands.  All my answers are in His hands.

Why wouldn’t you seek your answers about why an earthquake happens from the creator of the earthquake?  He gave you a manual with answers to your questions.  Or has the bully got you to thinking that the manual is fiction?   “Drip-drip-drip-drip-drip…  … … … … … … … Please…pull out the IV and seek the owners manual.

According to the passage above, the earth trembles because of the presence of the Lord.

The following passages in Scripture are accounts of actual earthquakes and why they happened.  You read and you decide. (Just click the link to read the Bible verses)  Put science away for a few and just soak in the owners manual.   There are 9 earthquakes clearly mentioned in the Bible…it could be more…but I only picked the very obvious earthquakes.  I will only give the references for you to click on or look up in your own Bible and you can choose to read the individual accounts or not.  I will also share a quick paragraph below that summarizes the why of the earthquakes.

Genesis 7:11

Exodus 19:18

Numbers 16:31-33

1 Samuel 14:13-15

1 Kings 19:11

Matthew 27:51-54

Matthew 28:2

Acts 4:31

Acts 16:26

A review of the 9 earthquakes listed above shows that virtually the entire story of the Bible can be summarized by its connection to acts of God.  If you think about the stories above…I’m sure the scientist of the day tried to explain why the earthquakes were happening….they probably blamed it on global warming! 🙂 LOL  But, only a few knew the real reasons as to why.  We are fortunate to have the historical record in the Bible…the Owner’s Manual.  The specific Biblical events emphasized by earthquakes are Noah’s Flood, the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, authentication of the leadership of Moses, the crucifixion of Jesus in Jerusalem, the resurrection of Jesus, the ministry of the apostles and the church.

Earthquakes have been used by God to highlight some of the most important events of world history.  The three main purposes for biblical earthquakes are judgment, deliverance, and communication. The lesson seems obvious to me—significant things in “nature” happen as an act of God to tell us something important.  God is always speaking and working and demonstrating His power and love.  Are we paying attention anymore?  Have we asked the creator of this giant world/party to shut up and leave the party?

In our fast-paced, man-centered, technology-based society of the twenty-first century, God would have us pause and consider His world party leadership nature.  His purpose…His plan.  Whether you like it or not…whether hundreds of thousands are hurt or killed in these earthquakes…God is still God.  Jesus is still Jesus, and if Jesus is who He says He is…then He is returning whether you like Him or not…believe in Him or not.  He will have the final say.

Are you sure you want to rely on tectonic plates and science as the main reason for earthquakes?

Might God be trying to say some things, while too many are no longer listening?

Are you regularly using the owners manual/Bible to understand how the world, nature, global changes, your personal relationships, and even your very own heart, mind and soul, work? … Or are you going to rely on science and human wisdom?  (I warn you to not rely on human wisdom…The Bible says something about that too…read it here 1 Corinthians 1:18-29

It is possible to use both…but both only work together when they invite the creator of the party to continue to lead the party.

Are you regularly spending time reading the owner’s manual to how this Giant Blue Planet and the little tiny things that live upon it, work?

The creator and His one and only Son want to move into your soul and lead your life and all your understanding.

If you let them in…you will never be the same and you will never view the world the same.

If you have asked God to leave your world…please invite Him back in.

God loves you….so do I.  If I can help you with anything, just ask.  I’ll do my best.

I’d like to end with this Bible passage… Pslams 117 (The shortest chapter in the Bible)…unlike this blog post! 🙂

“Praise the Lord, all you nations.
    Praise him, all you people of the earth.
For his unfailing love for us is powerful;
    the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.  Praise the Lord!”


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