Something I would like everyone to consider to remember; Comparison is the thief of joy. Please do not get me wrong, it is good to have wise counselors and mentors. I personally like sports of all sorts and friendly competition is good. However, the best person to be compete with is yourself, and to be better than your past, or the person you may have been the day before.
Skimming through facebook, and most social media for that matter, is not reality. Most people typically post their best pics, at their best times. Some even use filters. (Some use so much filtering they do not even look human). Do not compare yourself with fake reality. Do not strive to constantly please others, or obsessively care what other people think. Again, comparison is the thief of joy, and being a people pleaser is a mentally deteriorating activity. It is impossible to please the masses. Instead, be thankful for what you have, and the priceless (true non fair weather friends) people in your life, and love yourself. Besides, you cannot truly and fully love others, until you love yourself. If you desire a high value relationship or significant other in your life, then find out what that truly means, and be one yourself. How would you expect to attract, and maintain a high value relationship with another, if you are not one yourself?
It is NOT happy wife = happy life. It is also NOT happy hubby = happy life. It is mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy relationship = happy life. You can also find happiness whether you are poor or wealthy. Happiness is not found in things, it is found in knowing the difference between true love, and emotion, obsession, or hormones. The best definition of love is in paragraph form in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Giving love is also not 50/50, as there will be times it is 75/25 as 25 is all someone may be able to give at certain times, in certain circumstances and the other has to give more for a duration or season.
If you have not truly discovered who you are, where you have been, where you are going, what you are about, and to Whom you serve. Then start now, realign you life’s compass, set new goals, and strive to launch the gift of life with purpose, navigate with principles and explore with passion.
Know that you matter, even in your mess. Know that you are also never truly alone with God. Know that you were and are wonderfully, miraculously, and fearfully made by the Creator of all things, for a purpose.
Let go of the mistakes of the past, learn from them, and allow them to be a roadmap for others. Live in the moment. Time is priceless, and once it is gone it is gone. Invest the gift of your presence with your Christmas presents this year.
Make it a great day, because you truly have a choice in making it a great day, and while you are at it, may you launch each day with purpose, navigate with principles and explore with passion!
People have often asked me why I am called “Brother Twenty Four” or “Bro 24”. Well, I am going to try and answer this question as thoroughly and as briefly as possible.
First of all, I am rather confident all of us have had nicknames, whether it is a shortened version of our birth name or something humorous but fitting our friends or family may have nicknamed us. In addition, re-naming someone is quite profound in the bible, and often people, especially men were given new names by God or Jesus such as Simon being re-named Peter by Jesus. Saul of Tarsus being named Paul.
In the motorcycle club community, often men are given what is called a “Roadname”. It is an honor to be given a Roadname by another well respected member of a motorcycle club. Often it is a name fitting to what that man has done, or consistently does in honor of a bikers code, or demonstration of loyalty, honor, and respect. In addition something as profound, or humorous may be tied to that Roadname. Once a motorcycle club member is given this Roadname, this is what he is called moving forward in most all engagements with the motorcycle club, their brothers in the club, their brothers family, and the rest of the motorcycle club community. It is also sewn written on a patch and sewn on the motorcycle member’s vest, or what is often called a “cut”.
I started riding motorcycles around the age of 12 with mini-bikes, and dirt bikes. I got my first street bike at the age of 18 which was a Kawasaki Ninja. I sold that bike, and then bought another Kawasaki Ninja. I enjoyed riding with friends, and racing it on the race track. I sold that bike, and then bought a Honda Shadow. Unfortunately that bike was totaled in an accident to where I was hit by a negligent driver to where I broke 15 bones, was in the hospital for a month, a wheel chair for 3 months. After I was given the miraculous gift of being able to walk again, that day, I walked into the Harley Davidson dealership and purchased the Harley Davidson I have always wanted. From that point on I invested over 5 years in the Christian Motorcycle Club Community. I was part of a local chapter. Later joined another Christian MC, later came back to the original Christian MC to help re-start it as a Set Man, later I left and started another Chapter with a different Christian MC located out of state, from scratch as the President. I moved on from there, and although I am still involved with Christian MCs and Christian MMs, I am no longer a member of any Christian MC or Christian MM since June of 2021. However, I am grateful to all the riding, brotherhood building, and priceless friendships I have made being involved in Christian MCs and Christian MMs,. The experience, and relationships gained, has been, and is, priceless. I still ride my Harley Davidson often, most any time the temperatures are at 50 degrees of above. I take long rides, trips, and went to Sturgis in 2021 with my best friend since childhood.
I have had many nicknames and often write under a pseudonym of “DW”. My nickname of “Brother Twenty Four”, “Bro 24” or for short, “Twenty Four” was given to me as a Roadname, as well, within the Christian Motorcycle Club community by a friend, MC Brother, and Brother in Christ to whom I respect, and appreciate. His nickname/Roadname is “Ox”. In which I gave him that Roadname for a very good and slightly humorous reason.
When he first called me that I was uncertain what he was referring to, so I asked him and he expounded upon it similar to this.
“Twenty Four, it is because your energy, passion, diligence, dedication, and ability to persevere through adversities, challenges, and set back is amazing and impressive. You have the energy of very young man, and seem never to sleep. You seem to be available and up twenty four hours of the day. You have been reachable and accessible at all hours, including weekends. You are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and always eager to learn, grow, apply and teach all you know to others. You have a ridiculous amount of energy and seem to be unstoppable, twenty four hours a day.“
I was unaware I was making that type of impact and to be called “Twenty Four” was from that point forward a honor for me, especially bestowed upon me by this brother. So the name stuck and my vest had a patch with my Roadname and nickname on it, “Twenty Four”. I still have that patch to this very day, and I go by “Bro 24”. “Brother Twenty Four”, or simply “Twenty Four”on most of my personal and ministry social media. The name is also placed on other possessions and is signed that way when visiting, working alongside, serving with, and engaging with the motorcycle club and motorcycle ministry community. I am sometimes called “Twenty Four” or “Bro Twenty Four” in other organizations and fraternities as well.
Although I answer to my birth name, my pseudonym of “DW”, I also answer to “Twenty Four”.
So this is why I am called, “Bro 24”, and “Ox” says every time he hears the song below by Red, it reminds him of me, and that I have been and seem to still be unstoppable to this very day. “Ox” and I are still good friends to this very day. Love ya brother “Ox”
I want to share a specific SATURDAY SIT DOWN episode below.
On this Saturday Sit Down, “Bro 24” sits down with Author, Ministry Leader, entrepreneur, blogger, and founder of The Daughters of Eve, Jill Kaczmarowki.
Jill shares who she is, what she does, how she does it, what she is about and why. Here journey, story, and transformation is a testimony of the power of faith, perseverance, and the power of God, His Son, and The Holy Spirit.
Jill Kaczmarowski, the Founder and Executive Director of The Daughters of Eve. She is a trained peer counselor with the Eve Center, blogger, entrepreneur and dedicated wife and mom. Jill is a Christian woman with a deep desire and passion to help young teenage girls discover their true identity in Christ. She has a heart to encourage and empower these girls, so they can grow into the beautiful, strong, and confident women they were created to be. Through her own struggles as a teen, Jill has answered the call on her life dedicated to helping teenage girls find hope, healing and freedom only found in Christ Jesus. It is in the personal relationship she developed with JESUS, that HIS love, grace and LIVING WORD transformed her. She believes when we truly surrender our hearts we are set FREE to walk in Love. Jill has such a love for God that in her story you can hear the Love God has for her, as He brought her out of darkness and into His glorious light. She is ever thankful for all He has done and continues to do.
I wanted to pause during my lunch break real quick today and share one of my favorite motivational video clips below that I had shared with my son when he launched into his teenage years. I have also shared this video with many others as it is profound for anyone at any age.
Keep in mind, in which you should already know, life is not fair. It can certainly kick you in the teeth sometimes out of nowhere. However, we have a choice to hold onto that adversity or pain, or we can choose to learn and grow from it. Yes, life is not fair, but it is a gift. We can embrace and live it to it’s fullest no matter what adversities that come our way, and learn and grow from those adversities, or we can stay stagnant, sulking in our setbacks and stay in a worthless defeated state.
Life is short. Make the adversities and pain work in your favor to learn, and grow, and be a testimonial and road map to victory for others.
In all of life, please know that you are not alone. Many have gone through the very things you have, and were victorious on the other side. You are not alone as with people of faith, God is always with you and your are loved. You are a wonderfully, miraculous, fearfully made creation of God made for a purpose.
Join me sometime whether with my podcasts, and youtube channel, or reading my articles on medium and blog. Just search Purpose Principles Passion. I am hoping to finally have my book of the same title published in 2023. Maybe look for it too at that time. Make it a great day, because you truly have a choice in making it a great day.
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:
A good 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.
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
A good 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
A good 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.
A good 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
A good 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
A good 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
A good 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
A good 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
A good 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.
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
“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-…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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