Imagery Un

I saw this post on the Internet and was absolutely captivated by this picture.  It’s hard to explain what emotions and ideas it generated.  Freedom, fear, life, and so much more just from starring at this.  It’s so much to take in and it’s almost hard to imagine what it would be like to actually be in that position. I’ll let you take a look.  Let me know what you think.  5 thumbs up on my behalf.

Should I Jump?

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The “New Year’s Resolution” Post

Many are going to say that this post is late. I can understand that. Its January 21st of the New Year and I’m just now getting around to it. Seems lazy on my behalf. The reason that I’ve delayed posting anything on this popular topic is because I entered 2016 with the real desire to “think” a little.

Many are going to say that this post is late.  I can understand that.  Its January 21st of the New Year and I’m just now getting around to it.  Seems lazy on my behalf.  The reason that I’ve delayed posting anything on this popular topic is because I entered 2016 with the real desire to “think” a little.

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CrossFit Training Push Ups

I can remember the last few years I have taken a trip on a lot of bandwagons.  Since 2010 or so I have pledged to exercise more and get “into shape”.  If Im completely honest…this has not happened.  I have a grin on my face as I admit that.  Doesn’t hurt me as much as I thought to say it.  The youth of my church play a lot of sports as it is but I have not really made it a daily goal to “look for” physical fitness.  Although its not something that a lot of us enjoy, this is the undeniable requirement – it has to be everyday, on your mind, a part of your life.

Although fitness of the body is great and all, I thought that this year I would try to also direct my eyes to the heavens for inspiration.  Why don’t we make it a New Year’s Resolution to not miss or skip out on church services?  What if I dedicated myself to participating in every church activity in 2016?  When before I could not find the enthusiasm and drive to attend, this year I am going to make a conscious effort to be there.

I realize at this point in my life that all the activities that our churches hold, especially the General Services, are planned out by God for our lives.  I want you to look down at your phone.Dead-battery-charge  Yes.  The phone that you undoubtedly have sitting in your lap, or in your pocket or purse, or on the desk just under your nose.  See it?  Good.  What happens if that phone is not connected later tonight while you sleep to its charger?  You will wake up to find it at at 75% battery life.  If you fail to connect it yet again the next night, the most probable thing is that you will wake up to find it at 50% battery life.  Sooner or later that phone will not turn on at all.  Aaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!  I know…. nightmare.  Wednesday night service, Friday night service, and Sunday morning service all have one thing in common – they keep you connected.  They help to pry you away from your own self and think a little about what God wants for your life and his church.  It all helps us to remember that WE ARE WAITING FOR HIM.  Needless to say our devotion and interest should not stop at the days we go to church.  Secret of the year…. ready?   When you look for the Lord at home you WILL find him.

That said, we get back to the topic on hand.  This year I am going to make goals that involve the Kingdom of Heaven.Cool-Bible-Photo-1024x768  I am going to rededicate myself to finding him.  God is gracious and so loving that he knows that we have other things going on.  But the word says, “…fix your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”  Hebrews 12:2  So we can’t put anything else in first place because that belongs to Jesus.  After that we can look for health, play music, read, sew, run, jump, spin, and hop as much as it benefits us in his will.  “Gospel” w/ some “everything else” = on the “right track”.  For a lot of individuals the equation looks as follows – “Everything  else” w/ some “Gospel = ?  All Im trying to say is that we should have our priorities straight where they really matter.

This is a conversation that can go on and on but Im really not hear to do that.  This is just a seed that was planted on New Year’s Day by my Pastor.  Its a seed that I decided to water or meditate about.  I feels like it’s sprouting and I just wanted to share it.  Its a new perspective for me.  This is why I treasure it and will hold on to it all year, So help me God.

 

“Brother” by NEEDTOBREATHE

The song “Brother” by NEEDTOBREATHE should be on everyone’s playlist.needtobreathe_album-coverbear

I don’t start this post in this fashion so that the band can recognize it or acknowledge it.  That is not at all the case.  I say this because the lyrics of this song rang so true with me the first time I heard it.  Musical talent aside, the message that NEEDTOBREATHE expresses is one right from the lips of the Savior.

One day a man came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?”  Jesus answered, “If you want to have eternal life, obey the law’s commands.”  The man replied, “I have obeyed all these commands.  What else do I need?”  Jesus answered, ” If you want to be perfect, then go and sell all that you own.  Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven.  Then come and follow me!”  When the man heard Jesus tell him to give away his possessions, he was sad.

Jesus was trying to test if this man loved his neighbor more than his house.  Jesus wanted to see if in fact this man was ready to do what he needed to reach the goal of being Jesus’ disciple.  This was a man that had obeyed all of the laws because Jesus would have called him out on his lie if he was lying.  But with all of this, he did not know how to love his neighbor.  He did not love his brother.

We can live a life that is “holy” and “sanctified” all we want.  But on that final day the Lord will say, “I was thirsty but you did not quench my thirst.  I was hungry and you let me leave hungry.  I was without shelter but you didn’t take me in.”

If we do not learn to love our brother feverishly like Jesus loved his church, then we are in jeopardy.  We are in danger of thinking that we are walking with Jesus when really we only think we do.

If you have a second to listen to this song I recommend you do.  Pick up their album as I feel that this band is not after crowds but after transmitting something real and honest.  Regardless of who they are, their music connects with what we should be doing here on earth.

Hebrews 13:1-3

“Brother” by NEEDTOBREATHE

The mold in our life…

I recently had a friend over for coffee.  This man works in remodeling and construction of homes in our area.  I had never had the opportunity to give him the full tour of the home that I had recently bought.  I motioned over to the hallway and invited him to come along.

We stepped into the half-bath that is located in the dark back corner of the master bedroom and his eyes lit up.  I asked him what surprised him and he pointed to a few spots on the ceiling over the shower.  He pointed out that the sheetrock was slowly turning black and brown.  This meant that mold was forming in the attic and making its way through the wall.  He nodded his head and said, “This is bad.  You need to get that taken care of right away.  That is not healthy for you and your family.  If you do not address that now, it could make you sick.”

This was  like a kick in the gut for me.  Not because it meant work or spending money on the job.  It was a dart in my heart because here I was comfortable and peaceful, raising my family in this place we called home all the while there was an enemy that was slowly creeping inside with one goal: to hurt us.

This got me to thinking one day.  Could this be the state of some of us spiritually?  My body has this mold out to get me, to hurt my body and those of my family.  Could there be a “mold” that is out to get my spirit, soul, heart, and mind.  Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”  This means that the enemy is out to attack each one of those areas in my life.

I woke up the next morning and took a look around at my room.  I then walked into my office and analyzed everything that was in there.  When I got to work I looked at my office surroundings and took them in.  I asked myself – What are the things in my life that are like “mold”?  Mold grows out of sight and in the dark.  Just like in my bathroom, it grows without you knowing that it is there but you breath it in and out everyday.  It will grow and live until you get rid of it.

I believe that everything and anything can act as “mold”.  If we are not careful with what we touch, hear, or see then we can be effected by almost anything.  In this day in age we are surrounded by the internet.  Its in our phones and computers, at home and at work.  Children as young as 3 are learning earlier and earlier to use it and adults as old as 99 are making the switch to the digital age.  With pornography, music, images, and ideas so easily shared with the internet we must be very careful with what we “consume”.  The internet was not made for this, of course.  But just like with everything in life, Man always finds a way to use the innocent for negative.

It was a scary thought for me to think that I might be acting in a way that is hurtful for my spirit or soul and not know it.  If you don’t agree with that sentence – then that makes two us.  Well, not any more because I came to realize that most times when we are wrong or not doing something right – we don’t even know it.  Its when we try something new that we learn through making mistakes.  The English Standard Version of Lamentations 3:23, “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”  Everyday we live life again and its like trying something new because we move forward as sons and daughters, mother and fathers, uncles and aunts, workers and servants, and followers of Jesus.

If I am a man that is not humble……can I sense that?   If I am a man that that is not merciful and passes judgement on others…..can I hear myself?  If I am unjust with my wife and children……Do I see things through their eyes?  If I hold resentment against those that offend me and don’t pray for them……why can’t I understand my wrong?  Thats because mold grows where you can’t see it, or smell it, or hear it.  If hurts you.  It keeps your spirit from growing. It keeps your soul from drawing closer to God.  It keeps your mind from being renewed by the Word of God and limits your understanding of what his purpose is in your life.  The Bible tells us of a group of people that had to cross the desert to learn what God needed them to learn.  It says that a lot of those people perished because they lacked understanding.

Whenever you identify something in your life that is hurting your marriage, your family, your workplace, your friends and then you recognize that it comes from you – don’t be afraid.  I want to tell you something – there is nothing to be ashamed of.  It is okay and all will be fine.  All things in God are made new and the old things are gone and forgotten.  Its all thrown in the most deep part of the sea.  But you have to get rid of it.  Whether it is a problem with pornography, music, images, etc or an attitude or characteristic, we can ask God and our Pastors for help on what to do.  These things turn into a habit all too quickly and then all of a sudden we become “that guy”.  “That guy…” that gets angry really easy.  “that guy…” that can’t take constructive criticism.  “That guy…” that is sweet to everyone else but is rude to his wife.  “That guy…” that works all the time and pretends to know his family.  “That guy…” that gossips about his Pastor and church.   There are a lot of “those guys…” already folks.  Lets be different like we were called to be.