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HYDRATE — Winning from the inside. (xtra post) Psalm 119:109 “Spiritual Tightrope”

When was the last time you thought about TIGHTROPE performances.

My life constantly hangs in the balance,
but I will not stop obeying your instructions.
Psalm 119:109

I’m breaking the rules of my Hydrate Series where I said each blog post is about a Teaching or Command of Jesus from the New Testament. This segment is from the Old Testament. I will not number this teaching, but feel lead to include it in the series. I hope it challenges you like it does me.

I have seen a few tightrope performances. Some at circus events I’ve attended, and a couple via television as I watched someone cross the Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

Personally, I’ve never seen a person fall from the times I’ve watched any tightrope performances. So, after I decided to use the word tightrope today, curiosity lead me to research the subject. I came across a family of tightrope performers nicknamed “The Flying Wallendas.” (Very popular in the 1940’s) They are known for not using a safety net in their performances. They have fallen multiple times and some have died or been paralyzed, but they still refuse to use a safety net. They have a family slogan; “If we fall, we die.” The leader and founder of the tightrope performance, Karl Wallenda fell to his death at the age of 73 from a 10 story tightrope performance in Puerto Rico in 1978. The winds were blowing 30mph that day. The family still chooses to perform without a safety net. Its incredible.

Isn’t it interesting that of all the tightrope performances that exist, I chose to use this family as our example. I chose to talk about them. Why? Because they do it differently. Their performances take your breath away. If they fall, they die. Crazy? Yes. But when was the last time you ever talked about a tightrope performance? If not for their risk, they would be just an average, invisible, non-interesting and forgettable performing group. But because they have the element of life or death…here we are still talking about them!


You walk it everyday. Its a “fine-line” between holy living like Jesus and giving in to the desires of your flesh and thus living like the rest of the world.


You walk it everyday. Its a fine line between inviting someone to Church and giving them a chance to meet some incredible people and Jesus Christ, or just walking on by and ignoring the opportunity to possibly change their eternal destination.

Maybe it would be a good slogan for our personal lives as spiritual beings/Christians. “If we fall, people die.” You don’t die, if you fall into temptation. You must repent and ask for forgiveness, and Jesus says He will forgive you. But, that is because you have the Holy Spirit living in you, because you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. SO WHO DIES IF WE FALL?

Other people.

If we fall from the tightrope walk of Loving people who are far from God, therefore not inviting them to be a part of Church…the bride of Jesus…well…these people can’t be forgiven…they don’t have the Holy Spirit living in them. How terrifying to be unforgiven…eternally. How terrifying for us to fall from our tightrope and the consequences of not inviting, or losing our credibility with other other people, influences their eternal death. The Apostle Paul loved people who were far from Jesus so much that he said he would be willing to spend eternity away from Jesus if all others would believe in Jesus as Lord. (See Romans 9:3) Talk about walking a tightrope! Jesus gave up His very life so that others may live in Him. Talk about walking the Tightrope!

You are walking a serious tightrope and Heaven and Hell are in the balance…FOR OTHER PEOPLE! The consequences are life or death…ETERNALLY.

There is no safety net. The stakes are way higher than being paralyzed or death of the physical body. This is spiritual eternity we are dealing with….for others!

Worst they can do, is say no.
But then you just invite again, later.
And again.

Spend time with unchurched people. They need you. Please do not let ALL your time be spent with circles of other Christians. I created a new “ROUTINE 2013 booklet, where there are 13 challenges. One of the challenges is to try 13 things you’ve never tried before. If you sign up to learn something new…I challenge you to learn it from a group of non-christians. You’ll develop some friends and it will give you a chance to walk the tightrope of impacting their lives eternally. Please don’t just sit in Christian circles the rest of your life. Please don’t create a bunch of programs at your church where just your Church members get together all the time. Its not wrong to do that, but what does it do? It will cost others their eternal lives.

Walk the Tightrope. There is no safety net. Get in the circles of non-Christians.
Its walking a tightrope!
If we fall, people die.

Love you all.
My family and I are walking the tightrope with you.


HYDRATE — WINNING FROM THE INSIDE 24 (Mt. 6:1-4) “Secret Service”

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:1-4(NIV)

After being away on business, Tim thought it would be nice to bring his wife a little gift.
“How about some perfume?” he asked the cosmetics clerk.
She showed him a bottle costing $50.00.
“That’s a bit much,” said Tim, so she returned with a smaller bottle for $30.00.
“That’s still quite a bit,” Tim complained.
Growing annoyed, the clerk brought out a tiny $15.00 bottle.
“What I mean,” said Tim, “is I’d like to see something really cheap.”
The clerk handed him a mirror.

The story above is supposed to be a joke. Albeit, its probably got a lot of truth in it. What motivates you to give? When you give, how do you do it? Would you be seen as somebody who is a great giver? Average giver? Cheap giver? When you give, do others role their eyes as you give it, or do people whisper about the gift, wondering where it came from?

In this teaching of Jesus, it seems His focus is on motive. The first sentence of this teaching has a critical word structure to it that should give us a hint towards what Jesus is trying to say. Jesus says, “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, TO be seen by them.

Jesus is not concerned about us doing acts of righteousness in front of people. How do I know this? Because He says so in another passage of Scripture. In Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Motive matters to Jesus. He makes it very clear. If we do any acts of kindness for the purpose of being thanked, or to get attention of any kind, then that is the only reward we are going to get. I sense a hint of sarcasm in Jesus when he refers to the “hypocrites” around the synagogue and on the streets. I think He is referring to the Pharisees and religious leaders. These men had created a pretty strong negative stereotype with the common man of Jesus’ day. I don’t want to be judgmental, but it seems these people, that Jesus calls hypocrites, might be comparable to the stereotype of a politician today whom enacts laws for the public but doesn’t have to follow them himself. There is a strong push in our country right now about creating a 28th amendment to the constitution that basically declares that congress cannot enact a law unless they have to obey it themselves. I think that would be a good amendment. Without something like this, it becomes very easy for leaders to become hypocrites and act in ways that are embarrassing to themselves and the system that allows it to happen. Jesus can’t stand hypocritical behavior.

Jesus is warning His followers to be people who give and do good deeds for the purpose of honoring the Father Heaven, period. Jesus tells us to do it in secret. I think that you will agree with me that anonymous giving is mysterious and fun. Too often, when we give, and the receiver knows we are the ones who gave it, it turns into an uncomfortable situation where the receiver feels obligated to say thank you and maybe even feels obligated to pay you back in some way or another. I think the best way to avoid this uncomfortable situation is to simply give it anonymously.

Is it wrong to give to the church and in return have your name inscribed on a brick paver, or on a plaque so that everyone can see that you gave to the project? No, it is not wrong. Jesus simply warns us by telling us, that brick or that plaque with your name on it, is the only reward we are going to get for that specific gift. That’s a good reward, but at the cost of a great reward. I love to say, “The enemy of the great, is just the good.” Another good example is this whole idea of thank you cards. My grandma is the queen of giving gifts and expecting thank you card immediately in return. I have even received phone calls from my grandma because I didn’t give her a thank you card for the 20 dollar bill she gave me for a birthday present. That’s an awkward phone call. There is nothing worse than writing a thank you card because I am expected to. I want to write thank you cards, but not because I’m supposed to or expected to. This concept seems to have crept into birthday parties as well. Birthday parties used to about inviting your friends and they would bring some fun gifts. Today it seems that the parents of the kid having the birthday, are required to give party favors and gifts to those who show up. It all seems like a grand showcase to see who can outperform who, so pictures can be taken and pinned on Pinterest or updated on Facebook for the days bragging rights of best giver and provider of a soon to be forgotten experience. All for what? To get up tomorrow and do it all again. I don’t trust the motives behind it all.

Jesus tells us, in other passages of the Bible, to store up for ourselves treasures in Heaven. Heaven is eternal, and there is a reward system for all who live eternally in Heaven. Think of it this way with me. Imagine Heaven having an enormous bank in it. You have an account in this bank. I don’t know what form of “reward material” there will be in the bank. That’s what money, in the form of paper and coin is, right? A reward material. So imagine with me that there is a bank in heaven. It is currently accepting unlimited deposits. Everyday, you, through your acts of kindness…done in secret…are depositing into your eternal bank account. When you secretly give a bike to a kid in the neighborhood, Jesus, the banker in Heaven, notices and puts a deposit in your eternal bank account. Every dollar you give towards the work of the Kingdom of Heaven, and given discreetly, is a deposit in Heaven. I personally think, when you give a kind word to somebody discouraged, and you do it without seeking any reward, that Jesus puts a deposit in your bank account in Heaven. When you pull over and help the stranded stranger on the road fix a tire. When you pull the weeds in your neighbor’s yard without anyone seeing you do it. When you pay for the meal of the person behind you in the drive through. When you volunteer at your local church. When you send money to a foreign missionary. When you give a drink of water to a homeless person. When you visit a stranger in the hospital or in prison. The list is unending. These acts of kindness are causing deposits of treasure that is being stored in Heaven for later use! Eternal use.

jesus says, store up for yourself treasures in Heaven. Jesus says, when you give, do it privately, for if you do not, whatever earthly reward you received for giving, is the only reward you will get. Thus, you didn’t get a deposit in your heavenly spending account. Randy Alcorn actually wrote a book about this called the “Treasure Principle,” that I would highly recommend to you for reading. He also wrote a book titled, “Heaven,” that might help you understand what I’m talking about when it comes to “banking” in Heaven. I have found the Bible teaches Heaven in a very different way than what the average person thinks Heaven will be like. Randy Alcorn’s book called “Heaven,” will help you piece it all together from a biblical perspective, and not some false teaching of what others say it is.

So, why do you give?
What motivates you to give?

The answers to those questions determine your eternal rewards and the amount of your eternal rewards that are being stored as treasure in Heaven.

I encourage you to be motivated more by long term investing in this case. The short term investment, the earthly reward, is so short lived.

I want my Father in Heaven to see my secret deeds and then receive the reward from Him.

Something about that thought, makes my heart beat faster.

May your life be filled with anonymous giving and quiet encouragement. Be a sly and sneaky giver. How fun!
What an impact you will make.
The rewards will be even better.

Retweeting Jesus “RT@JesusChrist #7”

Pray that you will not give in to temptation. –JC
Luke 22:40(NLT)

What do you do to prepare yourself so you won’t give in to temptation when it presents itself? Jesus says you should pray. Have you tried this? Let’s play this out in our heads. You get up in the morning and you get on your knees and you clasp your hands together in the way people who pray do and you close your eyes… You say, “Dear God, help me today to not give in to temptation…In Jesus name…Amen.” You get up off your knees and you are prepared to fight temptation all day long. Porn, Violence, Greed, Selfish Ambition, Gluttony, pride, gossip, etc.

It won’t work will it? Why? My opinion is that we have the concept of prayer all messed up. In our western culture we have sub-consciencely made convenient what Prayer is.

The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17… “Pray continually.” Some translations say, “Pray without ceasing.”

How is this possible!? If prayer is something you clasp your hands and close your eyes to do in the morning…then you CANNOT do it without ceasing or continually! You would kill somebody while driving. You would drown while swimming because your hands would be together. You would trip over the curb on your way to the grocery store. You would be considered rude greeting someone because you couldn’t shake hands. All because you were “praying” without ceasing. Ridiculous…I know. Since I’m being cynical, I want to put a few other things that drives me crazy about what people think Prayer is. NOTICE…I said things that drive me crazy. I didn’t say they were wrong. So if I offend you, please lighten up and relax and try to chuckle because you know I’m right. LOL
Why is it that in Church services we have to start playing some soft music in the background when the preacher starts praying? Prayer is conversation right? (Can you imagine having a conversation with your kids teacher, but before you started to talk, a musician positions himself behind you and begins to strum his guitar or play his piano as you “converse” with the teacher?) Another thing that drives me crazy about people who pray. I could have a conversation with somebody all day long and they never use big demonstrative words in their chat with me. But then we close the day with prayer and they begin to use words that I need to get a dictionary to define. Another one is when, throughout the prayer, they continually use the word “Father/God” over and over interspersed through the “conversation.” Can you imagine the conversation with your own dad on the phone and you used his title over and over. “Hey dad…how are you dad…Father Dad…I so appreciate you dad. You are the greatest dad….and dad, thanks for the gift you gave me dad.” Maddening isn’t’ it? How about one more and then I’ll knock off the attitude. It drives me crazy when a preacher prays and they preach a mini sermon in the “prayer.” I mean come on…prayer is supposed to be talking to God, right? God knows everything about himself and He is the one who wrote the Scriptures, so why does a person praying “remind” God about who He is and what He wrote in the Scriptures. It would be like you talking to your Mailman (I know that title is not PC) and saying to him/her, “Hey Mailman…you are the great mailman, you open the mailboxes with such eloquence and you place the mail in the box with such expertise that I am so inspired. I want to have your skills mailman. And Mailman, your policy states that you must deliver the mail and not open any of it as the mailman, Oh great mailman. You are to drive carefully when you go from Mailbox to Mailbox. Thank you for being a great mailman, in the United States Post Office Name I pray…Amen.” Did I go overboard on that?

So…what is prayer…that when you do it…it helps you NOT give in to temptation?

Prayer is focus. Prayer is attention. Prayer is conversation. Prayer is communication.
If your desire is to honor and love your earthly dad so much that you want to not give in to the temptations that would upset your dad. Not offend him. Not hurt him. Not let him down. Then what you would need to do is continually stay in the presence of your dad. Keep talking to him. Take him with you when you drive and play and sing, and work and relax. Take your dad with you to the coffee shop, the school, the ball fields, the trips, the vacations and hotel stays and business meetings. Get it?

If you took your dad with you to every life thing you do and you knew he was always in your presence…wouldn’t it help you minute by minute to make good decision so as not to hurt your dad? If your dad was always with you and you “talked” with him throughout your day…how much easier would it be to NOT give into temptation and hurt your dad? Its more than just minute by minute being with you dad, you also take the time through out the day to have longer conversations with him where you spend time listening undistracted (Bible Reading) to him. You learn more about what he likes and dislikes. Those conversations are special and planned and put on the calendar. AND you take him with you everywhere you go. It would be harder and harder to fall into to temptation and offend him, wouldn’t it?
It would make all the difference.

Pray so that you will not give in to temptation.