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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Bored?

When I hear someone say or post, “I’m bored”, I’m rather surprised & puzzled. How can a person be bored in 2018?! I have not said something like that in over 3 decades. Besides, if I said it to my mom or dad, they would put me to work doing something. There is too much to see, do, experience & explore. Too many books to read, projects to get completed, people to visit, exercise to do, sights to see, parks to visit, people to positively impact, experiences to take in, miles to put on the bike, places to hike, food to taste, places to camp, great movies to watch, music to listen too, sports to watch…. the list goes on & on. If you are truly bored, then I am going to say you are not truly awake. Wake up, open your eyes, look what the Creator has made for you, see the sunrise & sunset?, see your children? see your wife? see your friends?

not bored

not bored

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They are watching…

Parents know our children are observing us. They will learn how do be an adult, a spouse , a responsible adult citizen from us & our actions. However did you know other children & parents are observing us too? Other children will observe your interactions with your children & see how a father or mother is to be with his or her children. Likewise other parents may often observe you too on how you interact with your children & may learn by your example. Something to think about. Some men and women may have not been raised by a believer. May not know how to love in words, actions & deeds. As children of God, we are the Salt & Light to a broken world.

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I’m not interested whether you have stood with the great…

sat with broken2

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A Warrior does not give up what he loves

“A Warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds the love in what he does”

What is it that you love? Can you define love? Maybe you love your wife, your job, your friend, your neighbor, God..?

Do you give up on your wife if she get’s sick, gains weight, becomes physically unappealing to you, she becomes weak & slips into sin? Do you give up on your job because you had a bad day/week/month/year or your boss is a jerk? Do you give up on your neighbor because he/she borrowed something & never gave it back? Do you give up on your friend because he/she doesn’t call you, go to church with you, or fallen into sin? Do you give up on God because you do not “feel” like going to church, or reading your bible, or striving to demonstrate love to those that are hardest to love?

Do we strive to be believers after God’s own heart as David, able to slay our Giants with faith & determination? What type of Race are we running? Are we Fighting the Good Fight? Are we finishing the race? Will we finish the race well?

cw2

 

~ DW

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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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