December 12th, 2017

Have you ever had someone tell you, “I may be spiritual, not religious”, “You wear your religion on your sleeve.”, or better yet, “You’re too religious for me.” ? I have heard all 3, & more. I have even been passed up for promotions, excluded from events, lost friends, & even dates because of it. However, my faith to me is not about religion, it is about a relationship. A relationship I desire to have with the Creator of the universe.

The fact is if you read the bible, no matter the translation, Jesus had issues with the religious of that day. To them He was considered an outlaw. The author & ministry leader of Ransomed Heart, John Eldredge, calls Jesus the “Beautiful Outlaw” Besides, it is not necessarily me these people who may have said these things do not relate with, it is God in me. He said people will reject you, & even persecute you because of Him, & Him in you. Jesus came into this world of lowly means, born in an animal barn with the just rags to cover him. During His teaching, leadings, as well as serving, He did not boast of Himself, he was humble & boasted of His Father who sent Him. He hung around some of the most sinful of sinners, served, taught, & healed them & led them to the path of forgiveness, repentance & a new life of freedom.

No one is perfect, we all fall short, & a church is not a museum for saints, rather a hospital for sinners. Yes, I have faith & seek & strive to have a relationship with Jesus. I cannot separate my faith from who I am, & to Whom I seek to serve. However, I do not take assignment that I am “religious.” To me it is about a relationship & not religion.

We are approaching the birth celebration of Christ. What does this season mean to you? What is your reason to celebrate? Do you believe? Do you have your doubts? Do you feel as though you have faith? Do you struggle with faith? What challenges may you be facing as we approach the Christmas celebration & New Year?

not about religion

 

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“The Drowning Man…”

drowningman

“The Drowning Man”
A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

This “Christian” joke is actually more profound than some may realize. Sometimes what we may be asking for, or have been praying for might just be right in front of us. We may just not be looking through the right “glasses” We may not be being still enough and listening well enough.

We as believers pray for many things, however are we looking through the eyes of Jesus for what we may already have, or that He is seeking to give to us, but we are looking through too darkened of a glass. Are we judging or vetting situations, circumstances or people through our past?

Are we first realizing how blessed we are today or at the moment?

Did God send that special someone into our lives and may it be possible that we have been so hurt from our past, that we were not open enough to see it and experience it. To use our Spiritual Gifts to discern enough to invest our whole hearts into the possibilities, or did we vet this person through the pains and heartaches of our past?

Were we filled with fear and doubt as not to take that new job, go on that missions trip, take that exciting risk for the potential of a substantial gain, or support that ministry because we did not believe we had the time, talents or treasure to do so.

Jesus may be answering our prayers, but we may not be still enough, open enough, prayed up enough, or brave enough to see or realize it. He may have already blessed us with what we are asking for, but we may have been too busy, or closed up to realize it.

Just a thought and perspective to consider on this SONday.

So what now? What do we do?
The bible speaks about us looking through a clouded glass. That God’s ways are not are ways. That God works in mysterious ways. He also asks us to be still, and listen and to know He is God. That he does not have plans to harm you, but to give you hope and a future. He also says to be grateful and be in prayer in thanksgiving on a regular basis. In addition to fear not, which is mentioned in the bible 365 times in which I believe it is for each day of our lives in a given year. I encourage us as believers to listen for the Holy Spirit, and be open to the possibilities of what God has in store for us. To not hold onto bitterness of our past, and certainly not vet everyone through failed relationships of the past to where we do not see all the good in the person of today, or the future. To not let failures of the past, whether in business, relationships of finances cast a dark shadow on the possibilities of today and the future. What you may be looking for, seeking, and desire for the good, may very well be right in front of you or just around the corner.

Remember these verses:
“Seek ye the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33 KJV

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jer. 29:11 NIV

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 – NLT

“Let go [of your concerns]! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth.” Psalm 46:10 Gods Word Translation

“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?” Matt. 7:7-11 MSG

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7 NIV

Have a blessed day.

DW

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“Where are all the good people…”

Where

Sometimes while I cruise through Facebook I see a post every now & then by single women stating, “Where are all the good and real men?” or even by single guys stating, “Where are all the good women?”

I know it’s somewhat of a personal question to post on Facebook, but some people post much more personal questions & things, it seems, at times. I have personally experienced this question/quandary myself at times. In my free & personal time, I am around a lot of people through church, ministries or non-profit/charities. In my career, I am in a people oriented profession too. One ministry I helped lead was a somewhat large Men’s Divorce Recovery & Re-Building Group, as well as a couple other Men’s ministries & even a Singles Group & Single Parent’s Group. And often the question is brought forth, “Where are all the good people who still believe in true love, commitment, loyalty, chivalry…?”

I too, must confess, I have had those questions too, even to this day. I think that all too often people may want too much too fast, or they may have been hurt so deeply from a past relationship(s) they are not comfortable being open enough to give a relationship a chance. In other words, they see their present, and/or future through their past. Or they have possibly become too scarred by the past, to heal for the potential of the present and future. They may begin to see each date, or relationship as a deep vetting process to search for and see all the bad, verses seeing all the good and potential. Then again, with social media, the Internet, 24/7 news, the want it now, have it now, and then who’s next or what can I find that’s better mentality has diminished the importance of deep, true and long lasting relationships. Also a person may say they want a “Christian” person/ a “Man of faith” a “Woman of faith” but want them to compromise their beliefs or convictions for a “pleasure of the moment or night.”

One must realize that people of faith do tend to live (as well as love) by a code or moral compass. So if you are a person seeking a “person of faith” you should not begrudge them for what convictions may come along with that. I believe you should respect and expect it.

Working close within Men’s Groups, I know there are real and great men out there that just want to find a woman who truly loves, and respects them and that they may love, honor and respect too. They are Christian men that do have certain standards, & convictions which may not be for every gal. However, I never consider that a negative in a real man, as I believe real men have strong faith, and are not ashamed of it. They also, typically, know how to love deeply & intently, protect, work, and care for a woman & a family and strive to live by a certain code that in my opinion should be respected and often admired.

If you are a single person and cannot seem to find the “real” and “good people” out there, maybe it might be that you are looking in the wrong places, or around the wrong people, or that you are not being still or quiet enough to listen to what God has in store for you right now or in the future. Maybe you, including myself, have not prayed enough about it, nor been patient enough. The best thing I believe is to always be yourself, the best version of yourself, and who God may be molding you into, as He may also be molding the other person for you to meet soon, maybe even today. It is always best in my opinion to be honest, & true to yourself. It is better to be disliked for who you are than liked for who you are not. If you desire to attract someone that has similar goals, interests, passions and desires, it is always better to be true to yourself first, love yourself, and be your true self. ~ end of deep post. Make it a great day!

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Today is SONday, 11/19/17…

I make it no big secret that I am a biker & that I have a heart & passion to serve & help those who think they have lost everything & without hope or purpose. Those who have sought to find answers & releases from their past, or present pain & circumstances through alcohol or drugs. The thing is that Christ came for all, each & every one. Christ Himself came of lowly means, & served, taught & healed the lowliest, some of the most “sinful” with love in words, actions & deeds. He says, “Come just as you are, skin & bones, & broken heart” Trust me He wants you wherever you are, not matter what you have done, regardless of your past, shame, or regrets. Today, is SONday, just PLEASE simply come, come just as you are.

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How are you going to use your Gift?

You can seize the day or you can let the day seize you. From the moment you wake up you have a choice. You can embrace a new day of opportunity, and count your blessings. Or you sulk in the situation of your challenges, & make excuses. Yesterday is the past, it’s a cancelled check. Tomorrow is worth planning, yet it is only a promissory note. Today, is now, it is a gift, that is why it is called the PRESENT. How are you going to use your gift today?

 

ThePresent

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Do you “get it”?

Visualization, changing your own articulation, & attitude can change your altitude. Say, you “get” to go to work, not you “have” to go to work. Say, I “get” to mow the grass, instead of I “have” to mow the grass. Say, I “get” to go to church, verses I “have” to go to church. Say, I get to exercise & go to the gym, vs I “have” to go to the gym.

Trust me, the person who is out of work, wished they had a job to “get” to. The person who lost their home, wished they “got” to mow the grass. Those is countries without faith freedom, wished they could “get” to go to church in the open & worship freely. The person who has suffered physical injuries or illness wished they could “get” to go to the gym.

Change your thoughts, change your words, may change your life, & then you may say, yes, I GET IT!

yourmind

 

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What is in your back pack?

Purpose Principles Passion

What’s in your back pack?

backpackers3A few weeks ago I joined a rather large group of men on a camping trip. We hiked what we were initially were told “about a mile” that ended up being around three miles one-way. Now it wasn’t so much of the distance that ended up making it extremely challenging, it was the weight of my back pack, and the extra duffle bag and a bulky rather heavier than usual sleeping bag. In addition the hike up and down steep hills in the mud made it even more challenging.

The weight of the back pack I estimated at around 70 lbs, and the duffle bag was at least 50 lbs. Well needless to say I had to take a few breaks until one of the other men had to threaten me to get me to hand over the extra duffle bag and sleeping bag. I…

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A good message on “Margin”

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“I Can Handle It”

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Happiness…

Source: Happiness…

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