I want to speak to the fellas right now for a moment…

I want to share something with the fellas right now for a moment on how God has spoken to me today and put this on my heart and mind.

What I am about to share, some may not agree with me, or see it the same way, & that is fine. I am certainly not always right. My perspectives may not be everyone’s “cup of tea”, & that’s fine too. You, or I were not meant to be “everyones’ cup of tea” We are all unique & wonderfully made. However, as believers we should drink from the same cup. What do I mean by that you may ask? If you are truly saved, accepting that Christ suffered, died, resurrected & sits at the right hand of the throne of God in intercession for you. That you have asked for forgiveness of your sins, & accepted Christ as your Lord & savior while confessing this with you words, & believing in your heart. Being born again in that you have now been forgiven from your sins, that you have put your sins away, the old ways of the flesh, now striving to the mark, running the race of life, fighting the good fight, to finish the course of your faith in the one true God. You are drinking from a new cup, a cup that fills you up, & quenches the thirst. The cup of salvation, the cup of communion in recognition for the blood spilt for you, & all who believe.

Pretty deep for a Friday morning, eh? What I want to share with all of you men, is that there is a war going on all about you, as well as in you. The enemy wants to put fear & doubt in your minds, hearts and souls.

The enemy wants to wreck your marriage as it is the example of one of the strongest examples of the covenant of God. The enemy wants to go after you at work, with peer pressure, enticing you to compromise, & destroy your testimony among others. The enemy knows that as men, we tend to clean to our careers and work to define us on who we are. The enemy likes to take advantage of that.

The enemy wants to come between you and time with the Father. He wants to put enticing entertainment & activities in front of your time in prayer, reading the bible, & going to church. Whether it may be sports, watching TV, movies, concerts, drinking with the boys, meaningless projects, a different book or magazine, and more.

The enemy knows your weakness and strives to capitalize on it. Whether it is an addiction, a discipline, or idols. And not all addictions are of alcohol, or drugs. Addictions come in many shapes and forms such as pornography, work, fitness, social media. Idols can be anything that takes precedence over your time & resources with and for God on a regular basis.

The enemy knows your past and will use circumstances, examples, people, and even “things of the air” (as the enemy has been called the “prince of the air.”) against you to seek to convince you that you are weak, un-qualified, a poser, a fake, a fraud. The enemy will use this and what ever device available to sow seeds of doubt to turn you away from the light, the truth and the love of God.

The enemy will not only use your weakness, but those around you whether it be a co-worker, or a friend, whether it be your wife, (or girl friend if not married), or for those with a child or children-yes even you child(ren) to get you off course, to get you distracted, to get at your heart, mind and soul.

How do I know this? It has been going on since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden and throughout history to the present day. Do not think for a moment the enemy is a fool. The enemy knows the bible very well, the enemy also knows his/their adversary. Remember the enemy waged a rebellion and war in heaven against the Creator of all. Do not think for a moment the enemy is not a remarkable warrior, general, or strategist.

How also do I know this? I, like some or many of you have faced many battles, some I thought I would never win, or press through. I too have had my fair share of fear, doubt, and failures.

However, our Father is truth, and the creator of all. He does not lie, and He gave us himself in the form of his Son, Whom died on the cross so that we may not perish, but come to a close relationship and understanding of Him, and eternal life in His presence.

So what do we do? Well, we are men. We fight, we protect an we defend. There is a war that the enemy has been waging against the hearts, souls, and minds of men since the beginning. The enemy may have lost the war in heaven, but the enemy knows the best way to get back from that loss, is through what God loves the most, us. So rise in gratitude of the day the Lord has made, be glad in it. Put on the Full Armor of God, and fight the good fight, protect & defend for the Cause of Christ. Run this race of life with perseverance, looking unto the author and finisher of our faith which is Christ Jesus. Finish the course, and finish well.

Want to learn more about this war, and how to fight it? How to protect and defend? Then start on your knees first in prayer. Get prayed up, & pumped up. Learn the key elements of the Full Armor of God and use them. Use them for your family, loved ones, and neighbors. Get active, whether in a Men’s Small Group or other local church’s small group. Gather in your local church to worship, learn, grow, become equipped, serve, and be sent out. Go to the hedges and highways with another and be real to others. Demonstrate the realness of the love of Christ to others in a relatable manner in pairs or more. Get read up, & listened up with the Word. If you are not a “big reader”, (which may be something you may want to overcome), there is plenty of audio & digital sources of the Word, & devotions. It’s 2018, brothers, information is available at a touch of a button streamed on any device, in your vehicles or a headset.

The important thing is do not just sit back and let the enemy take territory over your heart, mind, soul, family, loved ones, friends or neighbors. Do not be a reclining chair observer or bench warmer. Get into the game! You have the best Coach, Team Owner, and coordinator in existence; God the Father, the Son, & the Holy Ghost. However, you must train, and train some more, then get into the game, catch the ball, and run it into the end zone for not just one touch down, but many. Is it the 1st quarter for you? Or do you feel as though you are in the 4th quarter? Are you at half field or in the Red Zone? Is the enemy in the lead and it seems like there is only moments left on the clock? Or has God allowed you to have the clock reset, and the score is 0 to 0? If Christ handed you the ball right now, what are you ready, and willing to do with it?

How is your Armor? Who is ready to fight to win? Who is ready to get into the game with me? Who are our quarterbacks, running backs, half backs, wide receivers, guards, tackles…

~ DW

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Diet products & plans; a $70.3 billion industry…

The diet products & plans result in a $70.3 billion industry. However, diets may not have to be expensive, nor extremely difficult. If we were to eat as we did a few thousand years ago, with the activities we had to do to sustain ourselves, we may all be a bit more at our ideal weights, & enjoy a long & much healthier life given our modern advances in medicine.

Personally I was blessed with certain genetics to where I never worried about being over-weight until I hit my 30s. A lot can change in your 30s such as metabolism, stress, over work, family, rushed dead lines, & more.

However, I believe adjusting to that metabolism change, eating better, & enjoying a more healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be as difficult, or as expensive as some may think.

Here are some tips, & strategies that have worked for others, including myself:

Time to ride yourself of soda pops. Even the diet sodas that can sometimes be worse than regular sodas. Try fruit infused water, real fruit juices. It you like the “fiz” in your drinks, then simply add carbonation.

Stay way from enriched breads, & pastas. Go instead with whole grains & genuine whole grain breads. Pastas are even made out of vegetables in addition to whole grains.

Step away from the sugars. If you prefer to sweeten something up, try organic raw honey instead. Or fruit or real fruit juices. Remember high fructose corn syrup is not your friend. It can be your enemy. Anything overly processed or chemically changed, enhanced or overly preserved is not typically a good thing. Read those labels. The canned good labels too. It may be better to simple crush your own salsa, & sauces, and flash freeze fresh fruits & vegetables. This can be fun, and very experiential too.

Fried has lied. Although fried foods may taste good, and tempt your taste buds while being prepared or smelled. Most are typically not good for you.  If you cannot resist the occasional fried food, then stick with olive oil in preparation, and use something other than enriched bread crumbs, or flour for the breading.  Dried vegetable crumbs may often be a great substitute for bread crumbs or other flour related breading or crusts.

Step away from the Sodium Chloride, aka Table Salt. If you like to flavor things up, then choose Sea Salt, and real pepper. add a variety of fresh peppers to spicing things up.

Go Green, Orange & Red. Eat those colorful vegetables as much and as often as possible. Try to choose organic if possible.

Go nuts. There are so many varieties of nuts out there that are very tasty.

Try Vegan. I try to go on a 21 Day Daniel Fast every 3 to 4 months, and I enjoyed all the fruits, vegetables, nuts, & beans out there. Even bean and veggie burgers were very tasty. With this diet, you must stick to vegetables, fruits, nuts and beans. Nothing associated with animals, or dairy. The results have been impressive for me in not just physical and mental health, but Spiritual as well.

Take a trip to the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean Diet that is. I have found this is one of the most easiest diets to stick with and potentially make it a lifestyle. Rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, oils, fresh poultry & fish. You can also enjoy some good wine here and there if you drink or like wine.

You cannot stand still. You must exercise. However, you may not need to join an expensive gym or buy a bunch of hardware. A brisk walk each morning. Add set ups, push ups, squats, leg lifts can do wonders. Get a bike, ride it for a few miles each morning. Go walk in and around a park. Your mind, & body will thank you and you may feel better, look better and think much better.

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Do not be hypnotized…

Do not be hypnotized or brain washed by your environment or perception thereof. You have the freedom of choice on what environments you are subject to, & how they affect you. You have the power over your perception. Remember that.

You can rejoice in the day that God has gifted you. You may count your blessings, naming them one by one. You can take the hand that is dealt to you, & play it to the best of your ability with the gifts God has blessed you with.

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Believe in God even if

BelieveInGodEvenIfItCostYouEveryThing_Tebow

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You may be the most influential player

I strive to give my very best in what I do & have a passion for. I teach my children the same. Why do a job that is associated with your name, half way? If there is something you believe in/about with all your heart, why would you consider doing it half hearted?

Life is tough, & life is not fair. However, you do have a choice on how you start each day & the attitude you approach it. Anything worth having takes a lot of work, anything worth having is worth working for. When you feel as though you have nothing left, that you cannot take another step; that circumstances/events have taken the best of you, don’t give up.

You are not alone. You are loved, not just by other human beings, but by your Creator. Listen to that quiet voice that says, you are my child, wonderfully made, keep going, don’t give up, don’t quit.

You are the most influential player in life that your children may know, & others may see. Give this day YOUR BEST, & let God take care of the rest.

~ DW

 

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Going to get “REAL” for a moment or 3…

Going to get “REAL” for a moment or 3 that it takes to make this post.

I look at my life after 5 decades, as maybe sometimes some of you do too, & say what have I done with those years? What have I accomplished? Will I leave a legacy? Have I made a difference?

When I was younger I thought chasing position, promotions, titles, nice things, a big house was what defined success. I thought if I just get this or that, I will be happy. I was rather task oriented back then, nearly a workaholic, & I like money. Actually there is nothing wrong with liking & striving for success, doing well, & reaping the rewards of your labor. Granted I did accomplish many of my goals, promotions & nice things. However, material things will fade & rust. Money can be earned as well as lost. Great health can be achieved, yet lost in a blink of an eye. I have experienced those as well.

The thing I have realized over my decades, the legacy I leave, is the life I live today. You may have heard me say it, “The good life isn’t about how many toys you have or money you make, it’s about how many lives you touch & good you create” Think about when you were growing up. What are the things you remember the most? Was it the nice toys, or elaborate gifts or was it the precious memories you had with you mom, dad, siblings?

You see life isn’t about arriving at your destination, it is about the journey. Will people remember you for your titles, awards, or money, or will they remember that you were kind, loving, supportive, engaging, and present? The things of this world are temporary. Our lives pass so quickly. There is profound truth in the quote by Charles Spurgeon, “A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” So how are we carving hearts? Are we investing quality time with our children & loved ones, serving others, or are we working too many long hours, accruing things or unmanageable debt, as our children grow up in the blink of an eye. Is our time spent more on our devices, or vices, than with our children, spouse & other loved ones? Are we calling or visiting our friends just to say hello or tell them we were thinking of them? Are we growing our souls, & minds, as much as we are growing our bodies or muscles?

I remember, & as my dad would often say, especially over the last decade, “Yesterday is gone, son. Nothing we can do to change that, the question is, what are you going to do now?” Remember, too, that tomorrow is not promised. Oh it’s good to set goals, & roadmaps to success. However, that’s the potential future. Something to hope for, & yes to work well for, but not sacrifice family or your health for. Today is now, it is a gift that is not necessary promised for tomorrow, that is why it’s called the Present. One of the most valuable things you can gift to your children & other loved ones is your presence, to be in the now. To really listen, laugh, & engage.

~ DW

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Glowsticks

Have you seen those glow sticks you can purchase at most stores? They are available in a variety of colors & sizes. However to shine their colors & glow, they have to be broken, shaken up to be best utilized for the purpose they were created. If you have been on this planet long enough, I am sure you may have not only seen brokenness, but have personally experienced it. Not just the physical from an accident & injury, but emotional & mental brokenness. Some pain & brokenness that we do not understand that may cut us to the core, & challenge our faith. It is not easy to see in the midst of the break & pain. I get it. I understand. However, it is in those times we must seek to remember Jeremiah 29:11, and that brokenness may be to break us, shake us up to be best utilized for the purpose God wants & has created us for so we may shine.

 

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Forgiveness…

Forgiveness. We know as believers, we are to forgive. Especially given that God forgives us as Christ paid the ultimate price so that we may be forgiven. Forgiveness is not exclusive to forgiving others, we may have to forgive ourselves. To let go of those mistakes, learn from them, then give them to God. Sometimes there are people or acts that may seem unforgivable. Especially if the acts that seem unforgivable either cut you to your core, and/or are repetitive. Trust me, I understand. However, the element we should strive to understand is that unforgiving & holding onto bitterness is a prison we create for ourselves. Bitterness is not a root that should be watered. It can entangle into your heart, mind, & soul. It can grow into a large tree that may block your vision & blind you for the plans, love & freedom God has for you.

~ DW

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TGC

Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) reads:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 1599 (GNV) reads:
Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them [b]in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the holy Ghost,
Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, until the end of the world, Amen.


Matthew 28:19-20 (MSG) reads:
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.

I wanted to provide 3 versions of “The Great Commission” as nowhere does it say argue with people to lead them to an understand of the Gospel. Or threaten them with fire & brimstone. Or make them go to a church building, or they are going to hell. Or put a fish on your car, half dozen cross around your neck, have your hair cut above your ears, buy expensive suits and ties and show off your wealth to lead them to the Gospel. Or be in a church building Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night, Thursday visitation, Saturday Group…

However it does say GO, teach, train, instruct, baptize them in the name of the Trinity; and that Jesus will be with you always. Granted some of that will be gathering together to learn, grow, and be recharge. As well as to allow willful giving to help finance learning, serving and funds for giving to others in need. As well as much of the message you may send out, is the way you conduct yourself as each of us may be the only message of Christ and The Gospel someone may see.

~ DW

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au-then-tic-i-ty

au·then·tic·i·ty:, dependability, trustworthiness, credibility;
accuracy, truth, veracity, fidelity.

I remember attending a gathering to where a certain speaker was rather evangelical & charismatic. I was told she is rather prophetic. I was asked to come up after the service & have her pray for & over me twice. Once at the beginning of our gathering & at the end of the several day gathering. She prayed over me as I was going through some pain from an accident & some on going challenges as a result of the accident. However, the most memorable prayer I had with her was the 2nd time. She specifically called me by name, not just my usual name, but that from those of my immediate family & nearly life long friends & started out with, “Donnie, I know you long for & are seeking authenticity. Authenticity & Genuineness in those around you, those you love, those you seek to love, them that say they love you, not just in your professional/work life, but those in your personal & church life. You have been hurt, and I am not just talking about physically, but emotionally too. You seek to see & seek others out that value authenticity as you do….” She went on with this payer seemingly to know me, what makes me tick, & nearly knowing what I may have been through. Not just over the last few years, but perhaps many years. This did surprise me, as she was right, more than I realized.

Like many I know, I have unfortunately been through a painful divorce & financial adversity. Like some I know, I have unfortunately been through a painful accident (or more) & church split(s), loss of loved ones, & emotional heartache that sometimes just did not make sense, even to a believer.

I have been more blessed than I realized with miraculous healing, financial restoration, spiritual renovation, & emotional strengthening. I have also been blessed by true friends & family that truly know what the word, “love”, means. What “let brotherly love continue” or “love thy brother (or sister) as thyself” as it says in the bible as well as what the definition of love means in 1 Corinthians. Authentic love, authentic friendship, authentic love in more than words, that in actions & deeds.

Now if you have lived on this earth a few decades, you have seen people come in & out of our life. We may question why you do not hear from them often, or for a long duration, or maybe ever again. However maybe we should look a bit deeper more on why they came. Was it just an coincidence? One of my close friends & brothers in Christ has said, “with children of God, there are no coincidences, just assignments” It may be either the assignment for these people pushed along by the Holy Spirit, near “angels”, has passed, or the “assignment” was completed, & another task or stage of life was directed, or God wants another person, or influence to take over. Sometimes people may be in your life for a time, or a season for a reason, while some are in your life forever for a reason.

Recalling this prayer from this speaker during this gathering, I am blessed by having some remarkable people in my life that are authentic, while shortly after that prayer with this speaker, some other people departed that may have not been so authentic, even within weeks to several months after that gathering & prayer. Yet, I have more deeply recalled all those that are in my life, & the new ones that have arrived, and have been brought into my life.

I recall during my accident, while in the hospital a month, all those that came & visited me in the hospital, praying at my side, making me laugh (even though it hurt ; ) ), bringing me cards, flowers, food, & my favorite snacks watching sports to the very late hours of the evening. Those that even held Men’s Group, church & communion while right there in the hospital. Friends that came & visited me once released at home, while I was in a wheel chair for the next 3 or more months, making sure I had food in my refrigerator, made it to my doctors appointments, picked me up for church, prayed with & over me in the middle of my living room, while I tried to ignore the pain, or hold back my emotions & the tears. Even some very authentic people that surprised me by helping with critical bills when I never even asked, or when money showed up in my mailbox or doorstep anonymously, when I was distraught & perplexed on how I would be able to even make the rent or buy any groceries being out of work with no pay for so long, while having two minor children to help support. Granted a good portion of these friends & family were from the Southwest, OH area, but not all of them. Some were in national Groups, & Organizations I am involved in across the nation. I was being prayed for & over in & by churches & brothers & sisters I had never met, & didn’t even know.

Even as I woke up from a dream right now, at 3am on a SONday morning, that I know that may be a state or more away, that I am rather confident that would drop almost anything to help me or my children, or send someone or something that would.

These particular friends & family that are in my life are authentic. They do not say ” I love you” just to express a word, & not mean it. They do not say, “I am my brothers keeper” and not know what it means. They do not inspire me with words as a mere exercise, or in passing; nor do they encourage me to be better, & to grow out of some means of vanity or empty vocabulary. They do all this in authentic love. Brotherly love.

Therefore if you have family & friends likes this. Authentic, non fair weather, true friends & truly loving family members like this, then cherish them. They are priceless. In turn, strive to be authentic as well, in your words, actions & deeds. If you call a friend, “brother” or “sister” than truly be a brother or sister. If you say you will pray for them, or do something for them, then do it with eagerly zeal, never expecting anything in return. Be that one phone call or text away. Be that kind listening ear or warm hug. Demonstrate the “letting brotherly love continue” Send out love, inspiration, & encouragement, & it may be returned to you in ways or folds you never expected during times most needed.

~ DW

Numbers 6:24-26
1 Corinthians 13:4-13
Mark 12:29-31
Hebrews 13:1-3
Hebrews 12:1-3

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