Look, there are so many vessels…

We are truly vessels. From the day we were born, to the day we are called Home. We may allow that vessel to be filled with garbage that spills over, & pollutes, or we may allow it to be filled with water that is clear, clean & powerful that with the Right Force it can cut through granite, yet clean the dirtiest Streams. We have that ability on how it is filled, & how it is used. Are you going to keep loading on the garbage or are you going to take the garbage out, & let pure water in?

~ DW

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“Oh, you are one of those weak Christians”

“Turn the other cheek”, “Aren’t you ‘Christian’s supposed to be meek & full of love?” “Christian’s are simply gullible” “Christians are weak & blind followers”
Ever heard any of these similar statements? Any of them make you little angry?

I was saved around the age of 15, but didn’t truly come into a deeper understanding & level of surrender until my 20s. Oh, I have had my ups & downs in my faith. Seen & experienced a lot in my personal, professional & spiritual life. With this history and experience in mind, I have tended to arrive at the below.

Here is some of my thoughts, perspectives as well as beliefs around some of those statements above. Jesus Christ, was a man. He was certainly not a weak man. He was a carpenter. I would likely assume he had some muscle, & grit to him as well. How many men (especially hard labor workers) do you know that could withstand such journeys He took, as well as the suffering He took and the death on the cross which is one of the worst ways any human may suffer and die? In other words, Christ was no “wimp”, & certainly not weak.

I also believe the verse that includes, “turn the other cheek” is often taken out of context. One pastor & leader I know has stated it more refers to condescending words. The old, ‘sticks & stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” In other words, take an insult on the cheek, even let another come by, & respond in love & wisdom as they are only words. However, as for me & my house, if someone does strike me for no reason, they will get stricken back. And if an enemy is within three feet of me, I will certainly advise them to step back, or I will defend myself, & those I love with all or anything at my disposal. The “turn the other cheek”, I believe is not for men to be push overs, and not defend themselves, their loved ones, & their property. We can find as many verses supporting we are to be defenders, protectors, as well as warriors. Sometimes even “Violent Men Of God” The old testament is full of “righteous battles” Remember, the bible also states their is a time for war, and that God formed our hands for battle. Also, meekness, doesn’t mean weakness. Look it up. You can be meek, strong, and a warrior at the same time.

Keep in mind Jesus did turn over the money collectors tables at the temple and even said to have hit them with whips. Jesus, God’s Son, God manifested in the flesh, also wept. It’s the shortest verse in the bible. “Jesus wept.” Although He knew He would resurrect Lazarus, He wept over the sadness and grief of the loved ones, family and friends of Lazarus. He became overwhelmed with humanities sadness.

In regards to being “gullible” Well, I believe if you do not stand for something, you may fall for anything. Some of the wisest, and most intelligent people I know are strong people of faith in the one true God, and His son, Jesus Christ. History is full of them, especially our own American history.

I do believe we may have blind faith, however we are not to be blind followers. Remember, there will be many false teachers and prophets. If we truly follow God & His words, it will make us wise. Proverbs is a great book to start.

Yes, I believe we are to be the “salt and the light” However, salt has both flavor and strength that cuts through the cold and ice. Light is not dull, nor weak. It is bright, strong & lights up the room and others.

If you know me, you know that I am rather outgoing, however I seek to listen more, than I talk. I am also very empathetic, not judgmental. Remember, there is not one righteous, not one. All have come short of the kingdom of God. I also do not follow a person(s), a church, a movement. I believe I am to follow Jesus. If it doesn’t line up with the Word, then it doesn’t line up with me. In addition, I can be rather analytical. I prefer proven science over guess work. Yet, I know there is a God. I believe in the bible. I have seen faith and miracles in action. I strive to be more like Jesus and yes, I fail. But the drive is to strive, learn & grow.

What are your thoughts, perspectives and opinions? I would enjoy hearing yours.

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It’s good to have a good teacher…

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/7-traits-of-false-teachers/

 

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Dining Room Table Discussions…

DINING ROOM TABLE DISCUSSIONS: When was the last time you & your children sat down at the dinning room table & had enjoyed meal together, talked to one another with all the devices on silent & put away? Personally, just about every time my children & I eat a meal, we eat together at the dinning room table. One thing I make sure we do on our weekend together is have a family meeting & a “Show & Tell”, after we eat. Usually Friday night. Each one of us has the undivided attention of the others as we share something we experienced, or have, or received over the past week or two. Neither person is interrupted as they share, & each one gets a turn. We also discuss things that may be on each others minds, or hearts. Whether it is something that happened at school, home, church, community, or country. We talk about it with grace, & love. The thing is, as parents, our children are facing a lot. News, gossip, rumors arrive 24/7 by the speed of the Internet. Peer pressure & bullying still occur. Our children should be comfortable in having a voice, we as parents should be wise enough to first listen, seek to understand, & then wise & loving enough to advise, & instruct with love.

DW

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Running The Pigs (Pt 1)

via Running The Pigs (Pt 1)

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Are we “aggressive” enough?

For the last few weeks, I have heard & seen messages on being an active, engaged, & aggressive believer. From messages at church, things on the radio, verses I read, & topics of some discussions with others of faith.

Why do you suppose prayer was taken out of schools? Why do you suppose how the verdict of Roe vs Wade came to fruition? How do you suppose that we are shortly becoming a nation of Political Correctness or everything that seemed to formerly encompass family values has become offensive? How is it I discover speaking to several believers they cannot remember the last time they led someone to being saved through the belief in Jesus Christ, especially when approximately 80% of the US claim to be “Christian”? How do you suppose the 10 commandments have been removed from many establishments? How do you supposed political leaders are elected more because of their looks, how many movie stars/musical artists they hang around with? How is it now that movie stars & music stars now “speak for the people.” How is it that when I was a child we had gun racks with guns in our pick up trucks but never worried about anyone ever getting shot in school? How is it when I have usually always carried a pocket knife in my pocket that it now alarms people, and a doctors office is demanding I remove it before being seen?

I guess I could go on, but I am not on a political rant. I strive to stay out of political banter. However, I am proud to be an American, I stand for the flag & the national anthem & kneel at the cross. I say yes man, yes sir & strive to respect my elders. I say grace. I gladly go to church to assembly, learn, serve, worship & grow. I say God bless you & I will pray for anyone at any time. I support our Constitution & Bill of Rights. I pay my taxes, strive to provide for my children & pour as much love & wisdom I can into them.

Some of this may offend some people. However, I am neither ashamed, nor apologize for those characteristics of who I am, and to Whom I serve, nor for He Whom I believe created the heavens & the earth, nor the patriot I am, nor the good things my parents taught me. I consider myself neither a “zealot”, “Apologist” nor “religious” To me it is about a relationship, & not religion. I believe a church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. I believe we are all imperfect human beings saved by grace, belief, acceptance, & repentance. I believe as believers these messages are speaking to me & others to be more engaging, more active, more involved, and yes more aggressive with love, determination, compassion & passion to take action, to stand firm, be courageous & fight the good fight.

~ DW

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What do you say?…

When you first meet someone, one of the typical questions are, “So what do you do?” So what is your typical answer? Mine often goes something like this, “I am a father/brother/son/friend that pours love & wisdom into my children & strives to make a positive impact in other people’s lives” Often I get a pause, or a deer in the headlight look, or better a smile. You see, the questions wasn’t what do you do to earn an income. The questions was, “What is you do?” Making an income just helps facilitate some of what I do. So let me ask you, What is it that you do?

Other than the question people often ask you, other than, “So what do you do?” when you first meet them. They make ask, “How are you doing” Unfortunately, it may often be a rhetorical question in passing. With me, regardless, I may respond with,”I’m learning, serving and growing, because if you are not learning, serving, and growing, you’re not living” If it is someone I know well; I may say, “I am surviving. Would you like to know about some of my techniques as I am interested in learning some of yours” Another response may be, “I am blessed and highly favored.” Again, all of these responses may again get that pause, deer in the headlights look, or a smile. However, with either of these responses, it often opens an opportunity for dialogue for engagement and/or connection with the other person or at the very least, a smile.

 

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Are you familiar with a “Mission Statement?”

Are you familiar with a “Mission Statement” do you know what “Ikigai” means? Do you have a “Purpose” or know what your “Purpose” is? Do you have a “Vision”, “Goals”, “Aspiration”, “Dreams”? Do you have a personal & family Missional Statement?

ikigaiSome people go through life & may never discover their purpose or “Ikigai” Years ago I began a journey of “self-discovery” Some were provoked by life events, others by questioning what is it I like the most, what is it I may good at, who am I best teamed up with…. So I took the Meyers Briggs Typology Test, (and other Personality, Character, as well as Psychology Tests), I went through a 10 week study by Networks to discover what my Spiritual Gifts are, I even read the 5 Love Languages & took it’s test… I arrived at my purpose & knowing I am a Father, Son, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Employee, Friend; my purpose is to pour as much love & wisdom into my children & make a positive impact in the lives of others for the Cause of Christ. I strive to launch each day with this understanding & to begin it with purpose, navigate with principles & explore with passion.

I measure my days if I adhered to or did not adhere to this purpose. I took it a step further & discussed & collaborated with my children to discover & write out our Family’s Mission Statement too. I have discovered what I am best at, where I may need to improve, as well as where & whom I need to surround myself with others & their talents & wisdom in areas I lack. (Christ Himself was surrounded by 12 disciples, & every good leader has an accountability team of wise people or a board) I now gear my ministries, serving, work, & career around those discoveries so that I may be best be utilized, enjoy, & succeed.

How about you? Do you know what your purpose, or “Ikigai” is? Do you have a personal and/or family Mission Statement? Would you like to discover, write one out, & live it?

vmp

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Weight Loss New Years Resolution…

weightlossI hear it all the time from others, and even have said it myself. This year I am going to lose weight, eat healthier, and exercise.

However, why is it that most of us fail? Or within months or weeks give up our goal and efforts to accomplish that New Years Resolution?

Some say it is so easy and quick just to eat unhealthy.  Or the cravings got the best of me.  Or I just do not have the time or energy…

Actually if we think about it in todays world, with all the information we have, it actually is not that difficult to eat more healthy, and find some time to exercise. We all often may find time for what is truly important to us. Is our life and better health important to us?  If is important to those we love and that love us?

First of all, almost every fast food restaurant these days have menus that are healthier. From that grilled/baked chicken and fish; or to many choices for salads and fruits. So instead of getting that double decker greasy cheeseburger on white bread, choose a grilled chicken wrapped in lettuce or pita/corn wrap. Instead of that sugary soda, drink water or juice instead. In addition, why not take 10 minutes before you go to bed and pack your lunch with a turkey, chicken or tuna sandwich on 100% whole wheat/whole grain bread. Add some fresh fruit, raw vegetables and natural fruit juice? Get baked vegetable chips as snacks. Add some nuts too.

I understand finding time to exercise can be tough. There is only so much time in the day. The thing is a person does not necessarily have to have this time consuming exercise plan or an expensive membership in a gym waiting for a machine or weights to be available. A simple morning walk mixed with some sit-ups, push ups, and squats could suffice for beginning a routine and habit. A 30 minute work out such as this may make a monumental difference. Whether it is the first thing in the morning or in the evening when you come home. Instead of getting into the car to drive a short distance, hop on your bicycle and ride to the store or a friends house.

Some may be saying this all sounds good, but this doesn’t work for me. I am just too over weight and have too many things going on. First of all, unless you have an illness or a physical situation, disability or handicap; you can do this. It is said it takes about 21 days to develop a habit. Simply try some of the things I am outlining for 21 days.

The objection may be, you do not know me. It cannot be done. Well, let me share some things with you. About 4 years ago or so, I weighed 260 lbs with a 46″ waste. I am now 215 lbs and a 36 waist standing 6’2″. I have maintained that range for several years. So what changed? I decided my health was worth it. I also decided my children deserved a healthy father.

I began juicing, fasting, and exercising. Not immense exercising or weight training. It was similar to what I eluded above. I bought a Ninja Bullet frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables and drank that as a smoothie each morning. I also added plant proteins to my smoothies and took natural vitamins and minerals. Although I had and still have some health limitations, I did sit ups, push ups, squats, some free weights like dumb bells and bought a bicycle to ride as often as possible.

Some may have injuries and bad backs. Trust me I understand that challenge. I completely tore my rotary cuff and dislocated my shoulder in the marital arts. I damaged my back and neck in a car accident many years ago. I also broke 15 bones back in 2016 and in a wheel chair for 3 months. Just consult with your doctor, and take his advise as well as stretching and strength building advice. My orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine professionals, and neurosurgeon outlined several stretching techniques, strength building, and exercises to build up around areas of injuries and the muscles that support it that made a world of difference.

The Fasts I did were the 21 Day Daniel Fast, and interjected the Mediterranean Diet in between at times. I strive to do a 21 Day Daniel Fast every 4 months. I cut out as much white bread as possible and only eat whole wheat and whole grain if I can help it. I rarely eat potatoes, and strive to drink bottled spring waters like Voss, Fuji, Ice, and other vitamin enriched, electrolyte infused, and natural fruit infused waters.  I rarely eat desserts, when I do its a special treat. Certainly not at every meal.

Some people have said, it costs to much to eat healthy. Not really unless you go out and buy a bunch of “fancy” diet meals, “organic” labeled food at your local “yuppy” grocery stores. Simply buy more fruits, vegetables, and nuts, especially when they are on sale. Instead of that fatty cheap beef, get as lean as possible if you feel your craving is so strong that you must eat red meat. Buy more chicken and fish and grill or bake it. If I can help it, I do not eat fried foods. Stay away from fried foods, and if you feel you have no choice, then fry with 100% Olive Oil. Granted I have a weakness for chicken wings, and ribeye steaks but am trying to gear that down for just special treats. When you have to get “fast food” do not order those sugary drinks, order a courtesy cup of water. Often you save $2 right there. Order salad, fruit and off the grilled menu and remove the white bread.  Subways has a healthy menu that describes the contents and calories in their meals. (So do many fast food restaurants these days) You can get a foot long sub on whole wheat for $5. Eat one half for lunch then the other half for dinner, drink water, or electrolyte and vitamin enriched naturally flavored waters instead of sugary high calorie sodas.  If you have to snack, do it with raw vegetables, fruit and nuts. Drink plenty of water. At one point in my life, I was able to eat on about $7 a day for weeks.

Buy whole grain or vegetable pastas. They are available at any grocery store instead of that “enriched” white pasta. Switch all of your “enriched” white breads to 100% whole wheat/whole grain. Eat smaller portions. You do not have to eat until you are “stuffed” eat until you are simply content and fed adequately. Eat smaller portions and meals more often.

Some may say there are just a few vegetables, fruits or nuts out there and I will get tired of them. What? There are a lot of vegetables and fruits out there, and I wager more selections and uniqueness than any meat. There are over 20,000 editable plants in the world. Every fruit have hundreds to thousands of varieties. There are estimated to be about 7500 types of apples and 1600 types of bananas alone. To put that in perspective, if you ate a new type of apple each day, it would take you a little over twenty years to try them all. For the bananas, it’s a little over four years. This goes similar with nuts and beans.

There is a saying that we are what we eat and a body in motion stays in motion.  It is true. Try some of these ideas and practices I have eluded. It may work. It did and does for me. Try some of them for 21 days and develop a habit.  This habit may decrease your weight, make you feel better, help you sleep better, and increase your energy levels. It did for me.  However, always first consult your physician before any diet changes or physical activity changes.

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Are you contagious?

Optimism is contagious, conversely, so is negativity.

Don’t believe me? Try it. When you go to work tomorrow, or with a crown of people. Try saying something positive, praise someone or something, Share a positive story or how you have been blessed lately or thankful for something. Another day, complain about the weather or something wrong/negative that happened to you. Then sit back and see what happens.

The Law Of Attraction is a real thing. Try focusing on the good & see how it may return. Bless someone & see how you may be blessed. Count more things that you are thankful for, vs things you are not.

Optimism & Positively is contagious, so go out & catch that bug.

Blessings & Peace.

DW

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