What have WE done?

I have two little girls.  Aside from my faith in Christ, my daughters and Kristy are the most important things in my life.

I will lay down my life for these girls if need be!

I will stop at nothing to protect them!

I often wonder how their lives will unfold before my eyes.  Have we made the right choices and decisions that we could?  Have we given them the opportunities that we could to the best of our ability?

It was early one morning while I was talking to God.  I asked him why I had not heard him as clearly as I once had.  Of course I knew the answer.  The reason was because I was not carving the time that I needed daily to spend with him in His word and in prayer.  Aside from my failure I heard him loud and clear that morning.  It was what some of you may say is a coincidence and others may just brush it off.  But, I have learned that God speaks to us.  If we don’t hear him it is often because of us…..perhaps that is a topic for later.  I walked into work, where they were showing pictures from a family event that weekend.  What I saw saddened me.  I saw a picture of a young girl wearing a shirt saying “perfect boys only exist in the movies”.  I do not know this person but I immediately thought of my girls.  Now I know what many of you are thinking….Chill out it’s just a shirt.  BUT…. We now live in a society where our daughters expectations are (but better not be) harvested in the media.  Ok Ok Ok …I get it its just a shirt.  I mean for real, I used to rock a shirt that said “pooter” and another that said “dingleberry”, but think for a minute about that statement…..

The fact is there are not perfect boys.  No perfect person except for Christ has ever walked this earth

So there are no perfect boys….EXCEPT IN THE MOVIES?  So there it is….There is our daughters goals and ambitions of their future husbands….movies….

Do we just accept that?  We don’t guide, teach, and point them in the right direction?

These are actual questions I am asking people…I am the furthest thing from an expert on these subjects.  Ask my wife, I am the best at opening my mouth and having the completely worst timed responses come out.

The point I am hoping to make is this….Are we raising a generation of children that know they are loved?  Are we raising a generation of children that know they are beautiful?  We better be!  If not then they will look for it in other places!

Lets pause for a minute and think about what is all around our girls.  Look at the media, what do you see?  Really, I am asking this question!  Because what I see is pure CRAP!  I see images of half naked lies!  I see lust wrapped in abandonment!  I see illusions of drink and drug induced fantasy.  What is worse….I see people fueling this fire of lies!  I see little girls that are buying into these lies and that is what they should be reaching for….these are our daughter’s goals in life….ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

GUESS WHAT?  MEN…..IT. IS. OUR. FAULT!

It is far to past time to stand up men!  We have set idle by on the bleachers of life for far too long!  It is time to take back our families!  It is time to take back our communities!  It is time to take back this nation!  It is time to take back this sitcom called life!

Man…. I am not playin..I am not just trying to just make something sound like a good idea.  I am talking about an actual movement that needs to happen in this country!  The question is what are you going to do about it?

MEN are you the head of your house?  Do you show examples of what is right and wrong?  At work do you speak up to ill fouled jokes?  Do you turn your head when someone puts a picture of a half naked girl in your face?  Do you speak up when you know you need to speak up?

Dads…..Are you investing in your girls?  Are you letting your girls see you respect their mom and all other women?  Are you letting them see you stand up for what is right and wrong?

Proverbs 31:30-31(NLT)

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
    Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

I make it a point to tell them everyday that I love them and that they are beautiful.  Actually right now I have to say Awesome in place of Beautiful.  I tell them they are Awesomely Beautiful!

If I could…or if you would…let me pray this…

Father God,  You are amazing!  No one could ever show as much love as you have for us!  You have written down instructions for how we should live not because you want to tie us down or hold us back, but because you love us and you know what ugly and hurtful things happen when we chose not to follow them.  Father I pray for this nation of young girls.  I pray that they will know they are beautiful and loved.  I pray they hear these words from a mom or dad that can show them the true meanings of love and beauty.  God, you know my heart and you know my passions.  I pray for a movement of difference makers in this nations.  I pray these things for one reason only and that is so that your kingdom will advance.  Start to pull and tug at the hearts that need to hear this.  Flood mens hearts who are in a position that can take a stand and listen to the changes that need to happen in this country.  Let us show love and mercy, let us be full of your grace, and let us be real and consistent.  God, you are awesome, I love you, and thank for loving me in the biggest way possible!  IN YOUR AWESOME SON’S NAME I PRAY THIS….AMEN!

 

meandkids

 

Disclaimer….Normally Kristy will make sure I have not said anything overboard….words like “pooter” and “dingleberry” might not have been approved.  Sorry.

FREE CHARLES MANSON

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US IS BORN WITH A HOLE IN THEIR HEART.  A hole that in fact will prevent you from being whole!  It is a scary freakin hole people.  I am not trying to woo you with play on words.  I am telling you about a real, physical, deep hole.  One that can and will in fact kill you and send you straight to HELL if what you put anything other than what is TRUE, PURE, and FULFILLING!  Ding Ding Ding you got it people….I am only speaking of JESUS.

Man….right now I am so pumped but I know I have to slow it down because I have just really lost the few people that clicked on this link wondering what kind of freak would say FREE CHARLES MANSON (be patient, I am getting there!).

Ok.  Over 2000 years ago my LORD and SAVIOR stood before Pilate being charged for “stirring up the people all over Judea by his teachings” (AMEN!).  Ahhh heck lets listen in so you can stand right there and put your self in the shoes of the masses….. or sandals….

Mark 15:1-15

Jesus’ Trial before Pilate

15 Very early in the morning the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law—the entire high council[a]—met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

Then the leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?” But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.

Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner—anyone the people requested. One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising. The crowd went to Pilate and asked him to release a prisoner as usual.

“Would you like me to release to you this ‘King of the Jews’?” Pilate asked. 10 (For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.) 11 But at this point the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. 12 Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”

13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

14 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

15 So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

Here is the point.  All throughout life we try and we try to fill this hole in our hearts with things of this world.  Let me spell it out in words that may be uncomfortable for you to hear but maybe GOD is using this to put it in your face again.  Drugs.  Sex.  Alcohol.  Pornography.  Lust.  Stealing.  Gambling.  Adultery. And a World Full of others!  Sin is sin is sin is sin people.  It is all an ugly cancer that will rot you from the inside (read Frank Peretti’s book The Oath).  Fact is for a season these things might actually seem to satisfy….but then that hole grows deeper and what happens?  More.  More.  Right?  The drugs just don’t feed the demon anymore.  So what do you do?  You look for stronger drugs or more of whatever it is…you fill in the blank.  We all look for something that will satisfy and the the fact is that only CHRIST can fill that hole so that you will be made whole.  There are those of you that know what I am talking about.  There are some of you that are on one side or another.  Some of you are still running and experimenting with crap that wont fix you and only makes you more broken.  Some of you have been through it and gave it all up because you experienced the awesomeness of our CHRIST.  I think about Jesus as a parent in these situations…Begging you to quit keep chasing your tail with these worldly things that will not make you happy.  I can hear him saying “Son/Daughter…you don’t need to experience the world, I did it for you and its ugly.  Come to me and I will fill you in a way that you will never want again!”

We were all there shouting to release Barabbas instead of Jesus.  Wait for it…You still can not wrap your head around what just happened can you?  Ok, let me make it a little more modern for you…..

You were not shouting for Jesus!  You, instead, were shouting for Charles Manson to be set free in place of Jesus!  You then demand that Jesus be crucified!  What relation does Charles Manson have to this point?

Sin may start out simple and seem innocent.  But what happens when it does not feed the appetite?  It grows.  The same thing is true about Charles Manson.  The sin kept growing and growing and consumed his entire body making him a killing almost nonhuman being.

Ted Bundy….Simply started out as a kid searching through trash cans in his neighborhood looking for naked pictures of women, to looking in windows, to overtime as that sin grew more and more to becoming a horrible serial killer!

Would you stand there screaming to free Charles Manson and crucify Christ?  We did people…thats what we did.  We gave into earthly reasoning.  2000 years ago the people before Pilate proclaimed that they had a Barabbas (Charles Manson) shaped hole in their heart!

People…Dont think you can control it or that we are exempt.  You can not!  Only Jesus Christ can!

I gladly proclaim that I do not have a Barabbas shape hole in my heart!  My heart is filled with with my Lord and Savior!

Give Me JESUS!  Nothing else compares!  The shape of the hole in my heart is that of Christ….oh yeah….and it is filled yo!

freemanson

 

I really don’t know what to say…..

I know right?!  If you know me even a little you are probably thinking that you have just witnessed a miracle.  Me….not knowing what to say….The truth is I know exactly what I want to say!

If you have ever happened to click on the about tab you will see that I am doing this because I DO BELIEVE that God is going to use me.  Maybe not in this moment, or this hour, or whatever fill in the blank that would make sense!

I am doing this because I want God to know that I am faithful.

Even if no one ever reads this!

It does not matter.

Truth be told I may be the one who gets the most out of what God has put on my fingertips.

I have said this before but I MUST say it again….GOD SPEAKS….we MUST listen!

See….I really don’t know what to say!

However, what I am about to say is about to come at you from what I feel GOD, MY SAVIOR, MY LOVE, is pouring out of me right now.  For me.  If you happen to wonder upon a page called bacon and beet juice then perhaps God will use this to touch you.  That is one of my many prayers about this post.  Please, however, be warned.  There will not be much proof reading.  If it has a red line under it, I will change it….or get it close to a word that sounds right!

When God moves….what are you going to do?  Are you going to sit there on your hands?  Are you going to listen to the DOUBT?  Are you going to crumble with fear?

Been there…Done that!

So this past weekend I was apart of something very special.  I was apart of the New River Valley Walk To Emmaus  Number 63, Table Of Mark.

I spent 72 hours away from my family.  At the start I was scared!  Fact is I was terrified!  At that point I did not know why.  Yeah yeah…of course the fact that you know nothing about what you have signed up for scared me too.  Truth is, I spent 72 hours with Men in CHRIST, 72 hours in Worship, 72 hours finding out just how much I am LOVED!

Don’t worry, I am not going to give anything away…..

But what I will tell you is that if you have grown up in a church setting, church camp setting, mens retreat setting, or whatever, and have been offered the ability to search your soul as to what God is telling you….WOW.  I have been to that alter many times.  Many of my sins I have confessed, ALL of my sins have been washed away!  This weekend was different.  As I examined my heart I started to see it….Remember my fear and doubt from before???  Ding Ding Ding…you got it!  God had revealed to me my fear, my doubt, my sense that I was incomplete!  Whoa….Whoa….I am telling you people!  So go ahead…ask it…What was I afraid of, what did I doubt, and what was incomplete about me?

Ok….I will tell you…

Fear.  I was sooooo sooooo afraid that I would fail my family as being the spiritual leader in my home.  I was afraid that I would be financial failure.  I was afraid to step out of a comfort zone….yeah I know….that might be the biggest shocker…but I gotta keep it real!  Fact is, I was still that scared, afraid little boy I was when my dad died.

Doubt.  I constantly doubted myself.  In so many ways.  I doubted many of the same things I feared.

Incomplete.  I pray you do not understand this, but I pray even harder if you do that your eyes will be opened and your heart strings will be a tuggin’…..The doubt builds on top of the fear and eventually it leaves you feeling incomplete.  I felt like a constant failure….Ok God….I hear ya…So yeah, let me tell you a story.  It was a Wednesday, whatever day it was that they come around and shut off your water….(oh, are you getting where this is going?).  Kristy calls me at work and says…our water is off (she thought the pipes were frozen, but deep down I knew better).  Of course what I heard was…our water is not working, that would take the blame from me to the greater good of the water department.  “oh, no!” i said “well I know I paid it, let me look real quick and I can tell you”…….Nope……I didn’t…..Money was there, but I simply overlooked it.  Now Kristy was awesome, she did not get mad, frustrated, or anything to make me feel like I had failed.  Nope, I was doing a good enough job of that….OR SO I THOUGHT.  Fact is it was not me, it was SATAN.  I am telling you I felt that a loser and a failure.  It was not the first time I had lost that battle.

INCOMPLETE

FEAR

DOUBT

Satan was about to get a kick in crotch….

I gave that up.  At the foot of the CROSS JESUS took those heavy boulders I was too blind to see that I had been carrying around for so long!  Let me tell you right now people, or person, or screen….I have no more fear, no more doubt, and IN JESUS’ NAME I AM MADE COMPLETE…..AMEN!!!!!

You want to talk about some belly fire….whoa boy, let me tell you.

Can I just tell you, that the sky was bluer, the grass was greener, and GOD….GOD….MY SWEET SAVIOR had removed all the crud and replaced it with LOVE.  Let me scream it people, person, or screen.  I AM LOVED.  Truth is, I have always been loved.  I had just let all that crud over power everything else.  But LOVE.  WOW.  I encountered countless acts of love in 72 hours.  If you have been there, you know what I am talking about, if you have never been, you should, and if you are going, then…..don’t anticipate!

Let me just say this so there is no fear, doubt, or incomplete thought…..

I WILL RAISE MY FAMILY AND BE THE MAN THAT GOD IS CALLING ME TO BE!  I WILL SERVE HIM!  I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT GOD IS A WORKIN’ SOMETHING AMAZING!  I DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS….AM COMPLETE…I DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS ……AM LOVED!

Yes….oh yes, I will fall, but I will get right back up  AMEN!

So when I went later that night to alter, I sat there….You know what I did not feel?  Man you all are getting good….No fear, No doubt, No feelings of incompleteness.  You know what I did feel?  Peace!  I had not felt  like that before.  I did go up to that alter, praise God, and recommit my life and my family to CHRIST!

Oh brothers and sister, if you are still with me, Bless you!  I know it has been a bumpy grammatical error after another but there is much more to the story and it all occurred within less than 24 hours of my walk….

It will have to wait till later for me to explain…..

Don’t anticipate

 

 

Speak, your servant is listening

So for some time now I have been reading THE RESOLUTION FOR MEN.  I have been reading for some time because 1. I am a very so reader and 2. It is the best book I have read in a very long time and I am digging into every bit that I can in scripture.  I recently finished the chapter titled RESOLVE TO LIVE WITH HONOR.  I tried to explain my passion to Kristy why I felt I must write this post on this chapter.  She told me that the passion I had would be hard to convey without people knowing the context.  I married such a smart woman!  So please let me try and set the context for you!  In this particular section discipline is being discussed in relation to being a disciple.  “But disciplining your children takes discipline.”

“So a father’s job is to take the long view, not the short one. Discipline withheld may seem momentarily pleasant to the child and the parent.  But many fathers-even good men like Eli in the Old Testament, the wise, priestly mentor to the young prophet Samuel-are failing to heed God’s warning not to “withheld discipline from a child”(Proverbs 23:13).  God said of Eli, “I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because he sons brought on themselves and he did not rebuke them“. (ISamuel 1:13)”     (p.124)

While I have been reading this book, I have tried to stop and read each bit of scripture that I come to.  The point of this post is not for me to tell you that we need to discipline our children.  The point of this post is not for me to try and give a bunch of props for a book I am reading.  The point of this post is not for me to be funny or cute.  Honestly the point of this post is for me to give God some major praise in what I feel he has revealed to me.  The point, I pray, Is that you who reads this, will celebrate with me that fact that there is some really awesome points to scripture, and if we do listen, then GOD DOES SPEAK.  So if you are going to read this…..I mean really read this, I am going to ask you to do me one favor.  STOP!  Get your Bible right now!  Follow along with me!  Like Lamar Burton used to say “don’t take my word for it”   I know right here I have lost a majority of readers but if your still with me lets roll…..

I wanted to understand the whole picture of what 1Samuel 3:13 was about.  While the sins of Eli’s sons are recorded in 1Samuel 2 I wanted to know more about chapter 3.

Warning:  I am about to get excited!  Excited, like if you could see me I would be wanting some Amen’s, Sweating, and Stomping all over the place….

1 Samuel 3

New International Version (NIV)

The Lord Calls Samuel

3 The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.

Right there!  Do you see it?  IN THOSE DAYS THE WORD OF THE LORD WAS RARE AND THERE WERE NOT MANY VISIONS…..Sounds a whole lot like these days….(that would be the que for the first of many Amens people!)  Why do we not Hear God, why do we not See God?  Take it back to the history of the Israelite’s…..It’s the circle of we screw up and seek other things, God lets us have our selfish desires, we realize that we are completly lost without God, we ask for God to save us, God comes in like a super hero…Sorry not “like” a super hero, Hello, GOD IS THE SUPER HERO! (AMEN).  Anyone like to take a guess where we are a nation in that circle?  YUP…we as a nation are seeking what ever makes us feel good.  So no wonder we do not see God as much or hear God as much.  Thats right!  WE DO STILL SEE GOD AND HEAR GOD but we have to have eyes open and ears open!

2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was.4 Then the Lord called Samuel.

Eli could barely see….I would be scared if I was Eli!  This is warned of in 1Samuel2:35

“The Lamp of God had not yet gone out”  This tells us that it is still night because it was a violation for this flame to go out before the morning.

Yeah those two points are not that cool….But check it out….Dude Samuel was sleeping in the presence of the Lord!  Not sure about you, but talk about feeling safe while you sleep!  The CRAZY part is that he did not even know God yet….Think about that….I mean I can not even give you a good analogy…but you know I am going to try.  It would be like waking up next to your new best friend, that had the mega bucks lotto ticket, that…yeah I got no good comparison……..

Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

Do you think that Eli, knowing that Samuel was sleeping in the presence of the Lord, should have known it was God calling Samuel?  Do you think that this show Eli’s “unfamiliarity” with the Lord?  Think about that…..

6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

The Lord reveals himself in some pretty earth shaking, radical, awesome ways!  From a Burning Bush, to a Pillar of Smoke and Fire, to a Ram in the thorns.  The list goes on but catch what is about to happen…….

8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

THEN….Hello….How many times does GOD do something so obvious that it could only be him and what are we doing?  Yep that’s right SLEEPING!!!!  THEN Eli realized.  Not sure about you but that is a good word for my lack of getting it the first time!

10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

WHOOOOAAAAA there it is dude…you see that….I got goose bumps!  The LORD CAME and STOOD THERE, CALLING as at the other times, Samuel! Samuel!  Do you think that Samuel knew something was getting ready to go down?  God called him twice.  Perhaps Samuel knew the history of all the people God called twice and that something big was about to happen. 

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

BOOMSHAKALAKA….come on people…you see this right?  God said Samuel, Samuel, and then the boy that did not know the Lord yet became his servent in less that 5.4 seconds.  This is real stuff people!  How awesome is to have faith like that!  God revealed himself and Samuel was ready!  Eli knew the Lord but was going blind and could not even realize that God was calling the boy.  Samuel got it the first time after God had revealed himself to him! (AMEN?)

11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 

Just for the record.  I have never been to seminary and people may say I do not know what I am talking about.  But….FYI….on the scale of ear tingling I am pretty sure this is on the side of something bad is about to go down!

12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God,[a] and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”

Eli’s sons messed up big time.  Eli did NOTHING ABOUT IT.  How many times do we not correct our children when we know we should?  It is not just the children who are accoutable, its the parents too, if not more so! ” Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”-proverbs 22:6

15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”

Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

See, Samuel is the man!  I would have faked sleeping or something.  I would not have been looking forward to telling Eli that guilt of his house caused by his sons, and not punished by himself, was not going to be able to be atoned for.

17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.”

Eli knew what he had coming to him.  See me, myself, I would have felt out the vibe a little.  Kinda ask Samuel, “oh, morning, how did you sleep?  Anything cool happen?  Oh, you have to tell me something, man you don’t sound to happy about it….ummm let me hit you up later I really need to go and wash these sandles…..” 

 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

Eli knew what was said.  Still he knew that the Lord knew best for him.  Even if he may not like it he was ready to accept it!

19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

I think that is a beautiful way to think about God hearing Samuel’s words…..He let NONE of Samuel’s words FALL to the GROUND.

So my point is not some big revelation from this scripture. If you take the time and listen that God will show you come pretty cool stuff.  How awesome would it be to dig into every bit of scripture?!  And what I get out of this may be completely different from what someone else may get.  The word of God is alive man!  Read it, pray about it, ask God to show you things you have never seen before!

Belly Fire

Yeah  yeah yeah….I know…you hear it in songs and there is a movie coming out soon but the reality is…..the truth is….the 100% awesome, I can’t always explain it, gotta put my hands up and scream it, get that fire in your belly….that GOD IS NOT DEAD!!!

But…..

You look at how we worship and you look at how we praise and yeah….it would be easy to say that God is dead.  Hold up, let me say that again for those that are not giving this post their entire attention.  LOOK AT HOW WE WORSHIP…..LOOK AT HOW WE PRAISE…..No wonder people say that God is dead.  In a lot of cases we do not really include Him in our worship.

I need to share this story, this true story!

I grew up in an awesome church.  Great friends, great summer retreats, great family life center that the older ladies would cook some awesome meals.  But, honestly, I did not know how to worship.  I think we were all too scared to clap or give out a shout.  Haha, I could have seen it now….all those heads turning around with eye balls peering over their glasses.  Of course I would have  pointed at my neighbor and be shaking my head.  I say this not to poke fun or criticize the churches that do sit still because that is not for me to judge the way that people worship.  I am sure that a lot of people are filled  with the Holy Spirit  while sitting still.  I know that I have been.  I say this because of the fact that WE as a CHURCH do criticize EACH OTHER!

It is like we as Christians are our own worst enemy.

Let me continue….I have always been passionate for Christian music.  That is one place that I can feel God the most.  But all too often we are scared to really let God be a part of our worship.  What would happen if we really gave it all to Him?  What would happen if we really did not care who was looking, or what people would think, or how we would look?  So, lately the David Crowder song “Oh, how He loves us” has really spoken to me.  I try and listen to it once a day, maybe more, maybe less.  Well, one place I can praise God with out caring how I look is….Ding Ding Ding….You guessed it….The Shower!  You would think I was trying to win a grammy, golden globe, oscar, or whatever they are called.  It is where I can feel The Holy Spirit (don’t run away because I mentioned the Holy Spirit, just keep reading….).  So I kept feeling the urge to step out of my comfort zone and worship God in church like I do in the shower.  I kept getting the urge to call, text, whatever, our praise and worship leader and ask that she would play that song.  AND of course I didn’t.  Next morning was Sunday and we slept in.  We bolted up and within 15 minutes we had 2 adults and 2 children out the door and in the van.  For those of you that do not realize how impressive that is, you will one day, its like running the 40 in 2.5 seconds!  Blah Blah Blah, we got to church and we  started praise and worship.  3 songs.  Toward the end of Amazing Grace, the second song, I started praying that God would take away my excuses.  3rd song starts….yup….David Crowders “Oh, how He loves me”!  My jaw wanted to hit the floor like Sebastian in the little mermaid did.  I felt such a tug that I had no choice but to throw my hand in the air…..wait let me really explain.  I am going to attach a very important video explanation, but I was a classroom, not a hold the baby!  But really who cares!  The point is I was so filled with the Holy Spirit (uh oh, there is that word again) that when I say fire in the belly, I mean FIRE IN THE BELLY!  Kristy said I was shaking, and let me tell you something…being baptized by the Holy Spirit is such an amazing feeling.  I mean really you walk outside and its like you can see clearer, all your senses are amplified.  Guys,  God is ready.  He is waiting on us.  Now sure next week I may be completely back to my hands in my pocket.  Now I have to complete this story and say that God does have a sense of humor.  Because the praise and worship leader came and sat with us during the sermon.  I mean that never happens and I was finally like “Ok  God, I hear ya”.

But we have to STOP putting GOD IN A BOX!  I am talking to YOU and ME!  For too long I thought the whole speaking in tongues deal was sometimes fake until I realized something.  I was putting God in a box.  Think about it for a minute, but also think about it often, God has done some pretty amazing things,  hasn’t He?  Oh, I don’t know HE MADE YOU AND I and THE WHOLE WORLD!  Not impressed yet?  Really?  How about the numerous miracles?  Sending his Son to DIE FOR OUR SINS?  RAISING HIM FROM THE DEAD?  The scriptures are filled with the amazing powers that God can, has, and will do!  Are you thinking about it?  So as Kalee would say it would be “easy squeezy apple peezy” for God to send his HOLY SPIRIT upon an entire church!  In fact, shame on us as the BODY of CHRIST if we do not strive for that every day!  As an old pastor of mine use to say “Don’t shut me down when I am speaking good!”

I read something the other night that was perfect for this post:

Nehemiah 9:3

New International Version (NIV)

They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.

A QUARTER OF THE DAY…in case you need help that is 6 hours reading and then another 6 hours (or quarter of the day) in confession and worship!  Huh, and we are tapping our feet and looking at our watches (oh wait…2014 no watches, Phones….we are looking at our phones) waiting for the sermon to end.

I think this should be a reality check for us all!

So I am going to challenge you today to do something:

Pray.  Ask God to show you where you are lacking in your worship.  Listen…..Keep Listening!

I would love to see your comments of how you stepped out of your comfort zone…so please share if you would like!

ZERO SHADES OF GREY PART 2

I feel it very important to start the continuation of this post off with a prayer….

Father God,  Lord I pray that right now you would make your words my words!  Lord I know that some of the topics that are about to be written are very sensitive and scary subjects.  I pray Father that these words would not come across as words of hate but as words of love.  Yes God we are called to hate the sin and love the sinner and I ask for the ability to show that love through written text.  At the same time Lord I would ask that you use these words to hit home for those that need to hear it.  I pray that you would tug at heart strings and that you O Lord would move souls and changes hearts.  It is in your most Holy and Awesome Name I pray, Amen.

Ok lets roll.

So yeah….Black and White with zero shades of Grey.  So lets talk about some specifics.

Get ready because here comes the words that too many are too afraid to speak.  Just in case you havent gathered….I am not scared to speak the words of truth from my LORD and SAVIOR!  I understand I will be persecuted for being a fool for Christ!

In Genesis 18 & 19 God tells Abraham that he is going to destroy Sodom and Gamorrah because of the out cry of sin.  Not 50 nor 40 nor 30 nor 20 nor 10 righteous people could be found.

God’s wrath happened

Black and White

1 Corinthians 6:9

New International Version (NIV)

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men

Black and White

10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Black and White

There are a few things that I want you to take away from this

1. God Loves You

2. God Loves You

3. God Loves You

4. Satan wants you to believe that God does not love you

Remember the story of the forbidden fruit (its not an apple!show me where it says apple!) and how satan disgused himself as a serpant?  Let me paraphrase.

Satan: Yo Eve, What up?

Eve: Oh Um Hi, Who are you?

Satan: Come closer and I will tell you

Eve: Oh um ok

Satan: I am your friend, Hey, Yo, why are you not eating that awesome looking fruit over there on that awesome looking tree

Eve: God said we could not eat that fruit.  We can eat ANYTHING else BUT THAT fruit.  If we do we will surely die.

Satan: What? Pssssh, Did God REALLY say that you would REALLY die?

Eve: Yeah Dude, like I said….Its like he wrote it in black and white for us.  Do not eat the fruit!

Satan:  Whatever! God doesnt know what is best for you and wants to keep all the “fun” stuff for himself!  If you eat that fruit you wont die, your eyes be opened and you will be like God!  You will know good and evil!

wait……hit the breaks…..Dude the Devil, Satan, the Stupid Prince of Darkness (its ok to call the devil stupid, calling each other stupid is bad, but I checked with Grammy on this one…were good!) just said it….all while he was sitting in that tree trying to sell “Grey” to Eve he said you will know good and evil!

But guess what…God knew what he was doing!  He created rules for us so that we would have a much more filled life!  He did not want us not to do certain things because he wanted to keep us from fun (and just for the record a lot, if not most of the a fore mentioned, does not remotely come close to sounding fun!).  In fact God knew what was best for us.

How many times have you seeked after something you knew that God did not want you to do? Been there

How many times did you think that you knew better what was best for you? Uh Huh!

How many times did that area you though was grey ended up not filling that hole in your soul that you thought it would fill?  Oh no look out I think we are getting somewhere

How many times did you just keep piling on the pain and hurt thinking that eventually you would become numb?

How many times did you think that one more just one more, I know God you have more for me but one more, one more time God, I think I hear you, is that you that I feel, one more time God, I’m over here right now and your over there, one more time just one more time, I just need to do me right now God, I need to figure it all out, one more time God, I am over here in this gray area that protects me from feeling guilty, but what is that pain, and why does this grey all of a sudden look black, blacker, blacker….God I can’t see you….God I can’t hear you…….

GOD LOVES YOU

John 10:10

New Living Translation (NLT)

10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Ecclesiastes 12

New International Version (NIV)

13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.

“Everything in a man’s thinking changes when he realizes that he is only one heartbeat away from having to stand before God and give an account for his life. ‘It is appointed for men to die once,’ the bible says,’but after this is the judgment’ (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV)”  The Resolution for Men pg. 65.

Lets embrace the fact that there is right and wrong!  Lets have the courage and boldness to stand up for what is GOOD…what is RIGHT…what is JUST

Are you up to the challenge?

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORM, I AM HOLDING ON TO YOU

GOD LOVES YOU!

ZERO SHADES OF GREY

Cross Drawing1

First off I would like to clear the air that by no way shape or form do I want to give any shout out, publicity, or any credit to the controversial book I am writing in retrospect.  I do believe, however, that it gives light to the title of this post.

Most important to take away from what I am saying:  There is only BLACK AND WHITE, THERE IS NO GREY!

What do I mean by that?

Look at the world in which we live.  Over the past several years it has become the motto of the masses:”Do whatever feels good”, “It’s OK as long as it makes you happy”, “YOLO”, yeah…”You Only Live Once!”  I mean how lame is that, not to mention the fact that these middle age folk running around wearing this on a t-shirt that is normally way too tie-died for their own good.

So the Bible is pretty straight forward when it comes to Black and White.  There is only Black and White! (Unless of course you have the red letter edition.  Don’t lie, one of you was thinking that!)  There is only Right and Wrong.  There is only Good and Evil.  This is not to be confused with the notion of the ying-yang because the a fore mentioned are 100% separate from each other.  There is no Good in Evil, there is no Right in Wrong, THERE IS NO GREY!

God is a pretty cool dude!  He dotted his I’s and crossed his T’s when he set out the be the author of the best “how to” book.  God took all the guess work out.  He laid it all out and he answered all the questions that we need to have the answers to.

Exodus 20

New International Version (NIV)

The Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words:

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

God gave us rules to live by.  PERIOD! Not only did he give them to us but he tells us to follow them!

There have been too many times I have heard people make the statement that “Hey, to each their own”.  That is the most garbage filled statement.  It is a statement that shows that satan is alive and doing his work.  It shows that slowly satan is winning small battles at a time, over running the morality of this nations saying “hey man I don’t care as long as I don’t have to be a part of it”.  It shows that satan is taking away their courage, there strength, their fear in God, and replacing it indecisiveness, weakness, and false truths that all lead to emptiness!  Saying “Hey, to each their own” is anarchy.  What if someone was to get up, knock you up side your head, steal your money, your wife and kids, all that you had.  And as that person was walking away he said “Hey, to each their own right?”

Think about that for a bit……

TO BE CONTINUED…….