Manning Up… Introduction

Manning Up… Is multiple part series on what I have learned, and know, over the course of my lifetime thus far of what a good man, a good father, a good friend, and a good husband should be, or at least strive to be. Please keep in mind, there is no perfect man, nor perfect father, nor perfect friends, or perfect husband as we are all human, make mistakes, and yes fail. The key here is strive to be, to learn to be, and to learn, grow and improve by learning from our mistakes, and failures while gaining wisdom along the way, and then teaching that wisdom to others, especially our loved ones, and those that authentically seek out that wisdom, and strive to practice it in their own lives.

So with this multiple part series, I start out with, The Introduction

Looking at myself, and my life as a boy growing into a man, I have often had the mindset to always improve, to grow as a person and as a man. I wanted to be the best version of myself, and later as my faith grew as I got involved in church, and ministries, to be a better man of God.

Raising two daughters and one son has been an honor, privilege, and blessing. Unfortunately most of it was part time as a divorced dad with the ‘Standard Order of Parenting” being about 4 days a month, three hours on Wednesdays and 5 of the 10 weeks of summer. However, I made the best of it and strived to make the time attentive, engaging, educational, fun, nurturing, and rewarding. To be the very best dad every moment that my children were with me. I wanted to be the manly example my daughters would eventually seek out in a man to future husband, and a manly example my son would seek to become as a man. Did I get it right every time or every moment? I would say I probably didn’t. However, I did my best, and let God take care of the rest. If I made a mistake or failed in some manner, I owned it, sought out forgiveness if and when I was wrong, and strived to always learn from my mistakes and failures. I have and still do teach this perspective to my children as well.

Fatherlessness is also a frightful epidemic that has decayed both the family model, and moral decay of society. It is often overlooked, but the statistics of fatherless homes is alarming which contributes to teenage crime, alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, and suicide. I will expound upon this topic in more detail later in this series, however, here is a link to a good article on the subject: https://www.fatherhood.org/father-absence-statistic

This is also another reason I place quality time with my children as a priority, nearly above all else. In a divorced situation, please remember the children didn’t divorce their parent. It is, and was not, their fault. They should enjoy both parents, and enjoy simply being a kid in which has a very actively engaged parent, both of the mother, and of the father.

To my friends, as I matured, I sought to be the best friend a person could have. To my male friends, I strived to demonstrate honor, loyalty, and respect. Some appreciated that, looked up to me, and we shared knowledge, wisdom, commadary, accountability, and grew in our friendships, while others took friendships for granted, disrespected not only my time, but their own time, and were not loyal, did not understand the concept of respect, and neither demonstrated or knew the deep meaning of honor.

Throughout my life growing up from a boy, to a teenager and then to a man, I have had a lot of “friends”, and my circles were large. Some may say having a lot of “friends” is a good thing. However, that is not typically true, as your own time is limited, and becomes more limited as you marry, advance in your career, and have children. Remember there is only so much time in a day. Time is priceless and precious and once it elapses it is gone. You cannot buy more time, and you cannot go back in the past. If you say you have a very large circle of friends, then I would say how would you be able to invest quality time with so many others, while investing quality time with your spouse, children, education, hobbies, self-improvement, and in your career?

There are friends that will be by your side for a season, possibly for a reason that could be spiritually orchestrated. There are friends that will be in your life through your ups and downs providing you encouragement, inspiration as well as accountability, then there are friends whom were not truly friends at all that sought to leverage or use you for their own gain, or when tough times come, they are not by your side, gone, or even betray you, and your trust. I have a very small circle of friends now and over the last decade or so, not just because time is priceless and precious, but having friends is not about the quantity, it is about the quality. In addition, remember that a person becomes an average of their 5 closest friends. With that being said, and known, we should all choose wisely.

Dating, and marriage is not what it once was or thought to be in today’s society. I could write an entire novel on this subject and my own personal experience, and what I have witnessed with other friends, family and acquaintances whether Christian or not. Please keep in mind, just because someone says he or she is a Christian, doesn’t mean their marriage is “Christian”, or will last the test of time. Many people have rushed into marriage over a fleeting crush, hormones, looks, perceived image, and emotions with out taking into an account what the covenant of marriage truly is and means. Speaking from a man’s perspective since this article is titled, “Manning Up”, a man needs to first know who he is, where he has been, where he is going, what he is about, and to Whom he serves before he should even consider marriage or a serious dating relationship. Some may say to me, “what makes you an expert, especially since you have been divorced?” My reply would often be, “that is a good question, and I would have to say something like this; it’s by my mistakes, learning and growing from those mistakes, and working with men’s groups, men’s divorce recovery groups, deep studies on relationships, psychology classes, a mental health certification, and a deep self discovery held over years learning who I am, what I am about, and to Whom I serve which included learning my Spiritual Gifts well, my 5 love Languages, and my Meyers Briggs Yungs Typology Personality has provided some expertise and has helped me make better decisions in relationships, and advising or counseling others in relationships. Besides, if you make a few huge mistakes in your life, you tend to strive not to make those mistakes again, or at the very least learn well from them and be rather cautious and discerning. And if you do not learn from those mistakes, that is simply being foolish to potentially repeating them.

In this introduction I must begin with what 10 characteristics, or marks of a good to great man is. To provide some insight on how this series will unfold, allow me to share those 10 characteristics below which precedes a video devotional I did several years ago.

It seems many boys strive to seek their masculine identity starting around as early as the age of 10. If they do not find it at home, they will find it somewhere, in something, or someone. So as a man, a father, a soul that desires to chase the “Beautiful Outlaw” in Jesus Christ, what do I think are some great attributes of a good male role model? In other words, what do I ardently believe, from my years on this earth, think the Marks of a Great Man are? I agree with much of what Pastor Brian Tome shares in his book, “The 5 Marks of a Man”, as well as what Author John Eldredge and the leader and founder of Ransomed Heart Ministries, shares in many of his books. However, I am going to list my opinion, perspective and thoughts in a Top 10:

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  1. A Man is a man of his word. His word is his bond. He exudes integrity in all that he says and does.The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” — Proverbs 11:3. “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” — Proverbs 12:22.
  2. A good Man is not a harmless man, a good man is a very dangerous man that has it all under voluntary control. “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;” — Psalm 144:1. “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe” — Luke 11:21. “When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” — Nehemiah 4:14
  3. A Man loves his wife and children in words, actions & deed.Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” — Ephesians 5:25. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” — 1 Corinthians 13:4–8. “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” — Romans 12:9
  4. A Man can admit where and when he was wrong, apologize & seek forgiveness with humility.Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28:13. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” — James 5:16.
  5. A Man strives to learn from his mistakes and improve.For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity” – Proverbs 24:16. “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” — Philippines 3:13
  6. A Man takes a minority position for what is honorable, true, and right even if he has to stand alone.Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” — Deuteronomy 31:6
  7. A Man has a vision. He regularly sets goals, strives to achieve them.May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”- Psalm 20:4. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” — Proverbs 29:18
  8. A Man is a provider and a protector. “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” — 1 Timothy 5:8
  9. A Man is a team player. He realizes to be the best he looks to not only a core team, a close and wise circle of influence, but thinks more of those around him, and the team, than he does himself only, be encouraging, inspiring and helping one another with accountability. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” — Proverbs 27:17. “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” — Proverbs 18:24
  10. A Man works and takes pride in what he does as it is good to work, no matter what job, career or position, he works hard as to the Lord and not unto mankind. He ardently pursues excellence in his work, at home, and whatever he lays his hands to, but not perfectionism. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going” — Ecclesiastes 9:10. “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[a] serve the Lord.” — Romans 12:11.  “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” – Colossians 3:23

My hope is what I have written so far is a good introduction and sets the tone for this multiple part series. I may add to this “Introduction” to touch it up a bit along the way, so check back.

I will expound upon fatherhood, true non fair weather friendship, relationships, dating, marriage, in what I deem in a masculine manner. I will share what I truly believe a good man is, should continually strive to be, and what masculinity is, and what it is not, in the following parts of this series. I will invite male guests to contribute, which may include women guests to provide a female perspective, opinion and input. I may add audio podcasts, and videos similar to above along the way. So book mark this page, subscribe to this blog, subscribe to the podcast and YouTube Channel, and let’s walk this series out as a journey together.

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Why Get Fit and Stay Fit

On this video devotional below, “Bro 24” talks about why to get fit, be fit, and remain fit.

Below are the associated bible verses:

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:1-2

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

“Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ “ – Deuteronomy 1:13

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,” – Hebrews 12:11-12

“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.” – Isaiah 35:3

“A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might,” – Proverbs 24:5

“At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food.” – Daniel 1:15

Today’s worship music selection is: Hollyn – Love With Your Life (Official Lyric Video): https://youtu.be/XfVetZeaxuc

“It’s Not Magic It’s Diligence”: “Bro 24″‘s Get Fit and Stay Fit Plan that was started 1/1/2020 (also includes 21 Day Daniel Fast outline & Mediterranean Diet) may be found at this link: https://bromartin.medium.com/its-not-…

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For some the holidays are so merry…

Please keep in mind every human being on this planet is often fighting a battle we know nothing about. “Bibbers” and I was just recently talking about that every one has a story. Often those stories are filled with set backs, tragedy, and loss. Some are filled with pain, and not all physical pain.

These holidays are not always fun, or merry for everyone. As I have shared in a previous post, some are facing the holidays without dear loved ones. Some may be going through a painful separation, or divorce. Some parents have very ill children or family members. Some good parents are being alienated from their children, to whom they love unconditionally. Some are in financial duress due to an accident, illness, or job loss…

So may I humble ask, as I am asking myself, to extend a bit more patience and grace to others. Others that may not seem as jolly, lacking patience, or even seemingly rude as we do not know how their day is going, their week has gone, or even the year or two they may have lived through. Maybe instead we express an authentic compliment, leave a tip with a note of encouragement, or simply ask them how they are doing, and if you may pray for them.

Maybe you whom may be reading this is hurting, whether physically, emotionally, or financially. Maybe you yourself have run out of patience, or you are angry or overwhelmed with sadness that you cannot seem to bring forth a smile, or extend a word of encouragement to others, as you are too discouraged. I want you to know that I get it. However, know that you are not alone. That others have been in your shoes, and God knows your pain. Jesus wept over the anguish and sorrow you have or are enduring. It’s the shortest verse in the bible in the book of John, but for one of the most profound meanings. May I humbly ask that you allow others to come along side of you, to provide a listening ear, to provide friendship, and to pray with and for you. Allow them to express and share wise words of comfort, and encouragement. Do not with draw and put yourself in solitary confinement. Do not push that anger, and sadness down to where it becomes a root of bitterness that later blows up, or chokes the life out of you.

If you have read this far, thank you. My goal in most all of my writings, podcasts, and youtube channel is to somehow encourage, inspire, and entice others to think a bit deeper about their eternal souls, as well as their physical, mental, and spiritual health. To share whatever knowledge and wisdom I have gained through my years on earth in an authentic and relatable way, in addition to sprinkling a bit of humor as laughter is good medicine.

I often do not know what impact my writings, and media has on others. My YouTube channel only has 256 subscribers and 90% of the viewers are not, or do not subscribe. Unfortunately, most “Christian” related podcast and YouTube channels do not get many subscribers, or views, and shadowing banning is a real thing.

I have thought to hang it all up wondering if it is all worth the efforts. At one point I did for months after investing over 5 years in a ministry I felt called that ended in a disappointing and somewhat both shocking and heartbreaking manner. Then someone reaches out to me to say a story from SATURDAY SIT DOWN changed their life, or at least their perspective on it. Then someone told me that the videos helped them through a divorce, while another stated it helped them “off the edge”. Another said they learned a great deal about books of the bible and living out a life closer to God, and wondered why I had stopped. Others have shared it made them smile, laugh, or simply made their day and that they looked forward to each podcast and youtube channel video for the inspiration. Then when I did, or at times thought of hanging it all up, I think of those whom shared those words with me, and the two Christian friends whom reminded me that if just one life is improved, or one soul comes into, or back to a relationship with the Creator, then it is all worth it. We as believers, whether we are content creators, pastors, or in any occupation, hobby, or gift God may have bestowed up on us, we do not do it for the approval of humanity, or to our own selves, or “fleshly” gain; we are to have our focus that we do it unto God.

Therefore, for those whom may be struggling, below is a video devotional that I did a couple years ago while touring parks that I would like to share with you. I share some bible verses, a story, speak about pain, both physical, and emotional. May it, the verses, and the worship music video, (link in the description), encourage you, as it encouraged me during what I called a “Perfect Storm” in my own life. Maybe share it with others, and know that you are loved by a Heavenly Father in and through your storms of life. And this holiday season may we all extend more grace, and kindness while realizing we do not know what battle someone else may be facing or enduring.

Thank you.

Blessings and Shalom

Numbers 6:24-26

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People are what make a church…

I just would to express something; please keep in mind that brick and mortar doesn’t make a church, people do. People can also divide or break a church too.

You may hold a church service anywhere at any time. At a coffee shop, on a park bench, on a motorcycle, online, in your living room, on your back deck… And we all should and need to attend church, please see my article at this link: https://purposeprinciplespassion.com/2020/05/20/3502/

Some churches or denominations and “Boards of Elders” and/or “Deacons” do not get this. It is the gathering of believers seeking knowledge, wisdom, repentance, to learn, serve, grow, get equipped and go out to make to Disciples whom make Disciples. Granted we need the biblical organization and storehouses as described in the bible. However, NEVER forget people are the church!

I personally have been a Deacon, an Elder, a Church Treasurer, a Sunday School Teacher, a Missionary, a Ministry Leader of multiple ministries, a Pastors “right hand man”, and been involved in church for a very long time. Church was never meant to be a museum for saints, artifacts, fancy worship theatrics, craft coffee, man made doctrine, human bureaucracy, clicks, favoritism of the whom has and whom has not, for whom tithes more and whom tithes less, whom has recognized talents and whom does not, whom may have a certain social class and connections and whom does not. We are all human, we all bleed the same, and we are all sinners only saved by grace.

We are to love others to the cross by our Godly wisdom, not of our human flesh. We are to love the hell out of others with empathy, love, mercy and grace. It is not about organized religion, or being adhered to a man made doctrine or denomination. It is about building, delivering, or sending a hospital for sinners, and we are all sinners, to love others, accept them, and walk along side them to lead them to the cross and an understanding of what a relationship with Jesus Christ is all about. To have Jesus as our example to strive to be like. To speak, lead, serve, teach, and love like Jesus. And to me it is not longer the acronym of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do), it should be DWJD, (Do What Jesus Did).

I’m not perfect here, by far. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve failed and offended. But I have learned a bit along the way and read, feel, believe with both head and heart knowledge that I know what the Gospel says after over 30+ years reading. studying, and humbly trying to mold it into my life; while being involved in church more than half my life; that more than not a lot of churches simply do not get it.

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“You can’t handle to truth!’

What’s wrong with people these days?! Some will ask for help, want the honest truth, nearly plead for it and when it’s provided, even delicately, respectfully and em-pathetically they still get offended. Sometimes irrationally or aggressively offended.

Sometimes and even often, wisdom and truth is not always easy to accept but that still doesn’t make it untruthful and without wisdom. I know from first hand experience that the truth can be a hard pill to swallow it, but when I ask for it, I will swallow the pill. I’ll also ask for wisdom from those I trust, respect, admire, and accept it from them when given. It’s called being a man or an adult.

In addition, for me personally, tt is has not, and still isn’t easy for me to ask fro help. However, when I do, I really need it, and will respectfully welcome it when I ask.

#TooManyTooEasilyOffended #DontAskIfYouCannotReceive #SMH

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Please pray for discernment and wisdom…

I want to preface something before you read on though this post; I am not, nor do I claim to be perfect. I have made many mistakes, said the wrong things, and do not claim to be anywhere all knowing, or maybe even half knowing. However, I do know this that I can be forgiven, and I am forgiven by God through Christ in asking for forgiveness, repenting, and learn from my mistakes, grow, and improve. I also know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So if I have ever hurt you by my words, or actions, that were not logically merited, please forgive me. If they were logically merited and you were still hurt. Let’s try to work it out and through it as it is aligned in the bible such as in the book of Matthew.

With that preface paragraph, some of what I wish to unfold in this post may offend some, and some may not agree. Some may say I am out of line, and being too overly critical. First of all, this would not surprise me a whole lot as we seem to reside in an overly easily offended society these days. Some people seem to have gotten their skins thinned, or back bones weakened. Furthermore, some have no capability to apply wisdom, or agree to disagree with grace and humility. What I would like for a person to consider is what I am about to write, not accurate? Is it not biblically sound? Are not certain signs of the times rather apparent?

Look about you, around you, on-line, on social media, on the TV. What are you reading, seeing, listening too, and witnessing? Is it fact or fiction? Is it reality or is it delusion? Is it good, sound and moral, or is it manipulation and deception? I read, see and hear that what was once wrong is now right or at the least okay. What was once considered all good, sound and moral, is being said now as divisive, wrong or wicked.

Please, for the love of all or anything good in the world, use discernment, apply wisdom, do your own research. Verify and validate facts, and utilize your bibles! I am amazed, as well as concerned on how many “Christians” go to church to set back and listen to sermons, and teachings without bringing their bibles. They may seem to be on auto pilot. Maybe someone doesn’t want to carry a big bible around at church. I can understand that sometimes, as I do not carry around a big KJV bible either. However, do people not know that their smartphones have free bible apps, and a note taker on them? A person can have a bible with them at all times, simply pull up the app, and make sure to follow along with the sermons, preaching, messages and teachings, and always pray to God for wisdom and discernment.

I have attended and have been a member of a variety of churches. I have also been hurt by the “church.” I have been attracted to churches and pastors by their dynamic messages, emotional sermons, and they way they seem to teach, preach, and lead their lives. However, wisdom dictates that we are not to follow a human being, we are to follow God, and to study to show ourselves approved by rightly reading the bible.

If your pastor is not speaking, preaching and teaching the truth from the Word of God, and in proper context, then what are they speaking, preaching, and teaching? If they are not striving to live out what they say and do in church, the other six days of the week, then that may be a sign of flawed teaching. Look, we all know none of us is perfect, or we should; Christian or non Christian. And we all know, “Judge not lest we be judged” sayings. I get it, I am no ones judge, besides someONE already has that job, and I surely wouldn’t want it. However, we are to lead others in truth and love. We are to disciple others, so in turn they may disciple others. The bible is also full of scriptures that we are to admonish, teach, instruct, correct, and bring the fold back in line with the truth, with wisdom, in love. And sometimes love, also needs to be tough love. Imagine if you have a friend, whom has an addictive nature or past, starts drinking a lot, or doing drugs. He or she starts driving while drinking and on drugs. Maybe he or she starts gambling on a regular basis, blowing near entire paychecks at the casinos. Maybe your brother in law or sister in law starts looking a bit too much at another, speaking of how cute or handsome they are, then they start imagining dating or being married to that other person while being married to your own sister or brother… I think you may get the point here. You would certainly advise this friend or loved one onto a better path. You would caution them, and help prevent them from a path of destruction, right?

So with that being said, I and others have been hurt and misled by the church, particular denominational formats, and not just emotionally, mentally, or spiritually, I have heard true stories of physical harm as well. So I want to encourage any one reading this to make sure you are reading and studying your bible on your own. Do not entirely depend on a pastor, preachers, or evangelists to be the ones giving you the messages. Follow along during the messages in your bibles or your devices with the bible on it. Study on your own, and ask God for discernment and wisdom. And if the church you are attending doesn’t seem to align with the bible, and biblically sound doctrine, then it may be a sign it’s time to speak up, try to make a biblical sound change, or dust your feet off an move on.

As I shared, a variety of pastors, preachers, and evangelists have caught my attention along my journey of faith. They sounded great with their more modern approach, theatrics, attire, and prosperity messages. Whether they were wearing fashionable “skinny jeans” and fitted athletic shirts, or three piece suits, or a harley t-shirt, leather jacket and loose jeans. Remember it matters little on what is on the outside, it matters more on what’s in the heart. The enemy is a master war strategist and he can deceive, and manipulate any wrapper, to help deceive and manipulate you. I have had experience and witnessed these “pastors”, “preachers”, “evangelists” preach division, separatism, and even hate. I have seen cliches, favoritism, and even ostracization on a scale that should never be in a church. I have personally witness a pastor to whom had not formal medical, psychiatric, or psychology education tell his congregation that depression, anxiety and mental illness is of the devil, and that a person with it may be possessed, or lack faith all the while knowing that there was a woman in the congregation whom suffered from a mental break down and depression and still on medication. He was so ill informed and lack enough knowledge to realize 1 in 5 American adults live with or are suffering from a diagnosed mental illness which is 20% of his own congregation.

I have stopped following several pastors, speakers, teachers, and evangelists after seeing, and listening to their messages for a while, all the while researching the scripture on my own. Reading not just single verses, but many in context all the way to the beginning of the chapter to the entire book. Sometimes breaking out the study bible and a variety of concordances. Now do I always get it right myself, no I do not. However, I do pray for discernment and wisdom even when I myself prepare to speak or teach a message, or do a video whether it is a home group bible study, or FAITH in FIVE video, to a deep dive bible study or devotional video.

Remember whom is the “prince of the air “that “walks the earth to and fro to whom he may devour”.? Remember there are ways as written and shown in the bible to detect false prophets and false teachings. Remember, there is only one God, and it’s not any of us. Be read up, prayed up, and ask God in your prayer life for discernment and wisdom. Invest more time reading and studying the bible, not just by yourself, but with your family. Turn off the tv and social media more often and invest attentive, qualify time with your loved ones. Especially the children under your care, and the spouse (your help mate) God has given you.

Don’t be fooled by wolves in sheep’s clothing.

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What’s my story? What’s your story?

People have asked me most of my life where I get my energy, determination, and drive from. I was a rather active or some may say, hyper-active teenager, young adult, and often even now at my age. They have also asked me how have I bounced back from adversity, some very tragic events, trauma, near death experiences, and what most would call dire circumstances. Some have even said that they couldn’t even fathom it, and did not think they could have, or most anyone could have. Some have asked how I got the nickname “Twenty Four” or “Bro 24”.

The answer to all of those questions would take some time to write out, explain, and expound upon. I have several writings, & videos that begin to outline it all that may be found here at PurposePrinciplesPassion.com, my YouTube Channel, Podcast, and Blog. However, short and simple, other than the love of a very small circle of true non-fair weather Christian friends, and the love of my children, it was, and is, The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

So for those positive peeps, those whom have and continue to persevere, what is your reason, your Ikigai? Where do you get your energy, drive, and determination? Tell me your story. Tell others your story, and join me as a guest on Saturday Sit Down.

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“Weight Loss Program”? And Fad Diets…

I see all these solicitations for weight loss programs, and various diets. Many costing 100s to thousands of dollars. Some of them make me cringe, and sometimes even chuckle and how ridiculous they are.

Although I encourage and support having a good certified Personal Trainer and even a good certified Life Coach, (key is good & certified) most of this other stuff out there is “bunk”, and Fad Diets that sometimes you may lose the weight quickly, but it is often not sustainable. And after a person is off this “weight loss” or “diet” they gain all the weight back and even more.

There is no “secret pill” or secret to weight loss. It is not “Rocket Science”. It can actually be rather simple and elementary and you don’t have to waste a lot your hard earned money. Below is a quick Podcast I did outlining 5 tried & true applications that work. How do I know they work? Well, I have been doing this for a while. I have studied and researched a lot from certified Trainers, and Nutritionists, in addition to having my own Personal Trainer for a few months. I also practice these in my own life. I have lost over 45 lbs and kept it off. I am down 4+ waist sizes, lowered my resting heart rate by over 20 pts, gained 1″ to 3″ in muscle size, and I sleep much better. I also feel much younger, nearly as I did in my 20s.

Just please keep in mind, before launching into any exercise program, diet, or change in eating habits, please consult with your medical doctor first.

If you want more details, outlines, and strategies, as well as inspiration and encouragement, just ping me. And no, I do not charge anyone for any of this information. I believe we should all strive to live healthier and more fulfilled lives not just for ourselves, but for our loved ones too.

Here is the key, it will not be easy. There is no growth without discomfort. It will take discipline, and diligence. It will take making it a way of life, for a much better, and healthier life. It will take work, however anything worth having takes work, and anything worth having is worth working for. You are worth it, and so are your loved ones.

Podcast is at the link: https://anchor.fm/purposeprinciplespassion/episodes/Secret-to-Weight-Loss-is-No-Secret—Five-tried-and-true-applications-that-work—Fitness–Get-Fit-Stay-Fit-e1lmdfb

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Have you noticed recently?

Have you ever noticed how many Pastors, Churches, and common people now are casting and streaming bible messages, bibles studies, and devotionals? You may see people from every walk, upload these messages and stream them live. Do you think this may all be a coincidence? Or may this be a Calling to the hearts and souls of mankind to heed to the Holy Spirit of getting the message out for times as these?

Think about it folks, most are not asking for anything in return, not money, or donations. Especially all the layman are not asking for a single thing but to lend an ear. They are investing their own priceless time, energy, efforts to broadcast these messages, bible studies, and devotionals.

Now think about this, why would 12 men of all walks, (fishermen, doctor, tax collector, wealthy and poor), follow a poor, humble man born in Bethlehem? Why would they drop and leave everything and follow Him? Why then, after this man’s death, then go all over to speak, and teach, as he taught, then die horrific deaths as well? May it be that Jesus was Whom He said He was and is?

Not a single person has impacted the world as Jesus did and has. No other writing has sold more copies, survived in tact, and predicted in great accuracy in prophecies fulfilled than the bible. No other leader, or “gods” of any “religion” has suffered, died, been buried, and resurrected as Jesus did. Jesus was prophesized thousands of years before his birth, and all was fulfilled by Him in those prophesies. Yet some, if not many, do not believe. Even though the Hebrews seen the miracles of God, they lost faith many times. Even though Thomas walked, talked, and was taught by Jesus, he doubted and had to touch the hands of the resurrected Jesus. How much more will those be blessed, and encouraged that have not seen, but yet believe?

If you do not believe, if you have not accepted His free gift, do you think that now may be the time? Remember we are not guaranteed tomorrow, we are not even guaranteed this next moment. The time is now.

If you are interested in learning more, if you have questions, if you would like to know more about Christ, God, and the bible and how you may receive this free gift of salvation, I would consider it a blessing and honor to speak with you, engage with you, tell you my story, and lead you to an understanding of the Gospel and a relationship with Jesus Christ. Simply ping me.

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G.R.I.T.

“Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.” ― John Eldredge, “Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul.”

Through my many years in my walk in faith I have either been a part of, helped lead, or have led Men’s Ministries at & in a variety of churches. Unfortunately not many hit the mark of what I believe & think is a “real men’s ministry”. Now those whom know me, or have, or do attend church with me, don’t get all offended. We already live in a way too easily offended society. Think about it honestly. What do men need these days? What are they truly looking for? What makes them come alive, builds them up, challenges them to be better men at work, in the home & in the community? Unfortunately men & fathers seem to be made out to be weak minded buffoons on most television shows. And many churches say that men are supposed to be “good” or “nice guys”. Maybe “seen, but not heard.” “Don’t be overly masculine, someone may label you as rebellious, defiant,” or a “wild card”. Not sure if those that think that men are to be quiet, reserved, or the sub-servant “nice guy” read the same bible that I do. Men are to be raised to be leaders, defenders, protectors, providers, and the example of Christ in the home, as well as violent men of God whom are dangerous, but have it under voluntary control. There is a difference between being a “good/nice guy” and a man of character, integrity, and valor.

Churches have it wrong if their ideal of a real “Men’s Ministry” is to sit around every time they meet to sip coffee and read a few bible verses, without a take away or challenge, then call it a men’s gathering until next week, or worse, next month. Men need challenges, because without challenges there is no growth. Young men need to learn from wise strong men. Men come alive when they are put out of their comfort zone, when they achieve and excel. Sitting around a fire, watching wood burn at every meeting, doesn’t do it either unless there are a bit of a nudge, or challenge, to ask and answer tough questions in an effort to grow, while leveraging the Word of God as the compass.

In my life time, a few, very few churches, got it right, or at least somewhat right. Some that come to mind are those whom utilized outlines from authors, pastors & speakers like John Eldredge, & Michael Thompson.

Personally I am looking for a Men’s Ministry that does similar. That talks real talk, and walks that talk. Leaders that do not operate out of the fear of offending a person or two. (Trust me, Christ & all the Disciples offended many.) Those that challenge men to learn, apply, amplify, and exemplify G.R.I.T. with Grace. Whether it be a rugged Men’s Outdoor Group where we camp for days & nights in tents, Men’s Motorcycle Group where we take long rides, attend bike shows, bike nights, & camp near the side of roads, or Men’s Fitness & Sports Enthusiast Group where we push ourselves mentally, physically & spiritually, etc…

Men need to learn to be men from the bible, from the example of Christ, His Disciples, and other Men of God in the bible. And trust me, none of these men should be determined as weak, simple minded, or “Simps” …. Don’t believe me, truly read the bible, and about all the men in it, for yourself, and while you are at it, grab a copy of “Beautiful Outlaw”, and “Wild at Heart” by John Edredge, in addition to “The Heart of a Warrior” by Michael Thompson.

We need men whom love God, fear God; that have Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity. G.R.I.T.

Shalom.

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