39

Contemplation is a gift…for some. For me? – it’s a never ending cycle of self examination. Constantly examining and re examining myself ,my life , my experience and what I can do with it all to help others…but the truth is , I can only help myself. If I am being intellectually honest , the only person that can benefit from my past experiences  is me…To take the lessons learned and be a living example in a very true sense The truth is no one may ever benefit from the things I have to share about my life and mistakes I’ve made or the love that burns within me for my God who bought me back with the blood of his son… But If I am who I believe I am  , from all of this self contemplation and self examination I subject myself to , then I HAVE TO TRY.

I turned 39 this past Friday…This truly was a day I thought I would never see 20 years ago , and yet it came and went  and I am now 2 days into the last year of my 30’s… and then came the thought – What now? Have I done enough? Can I do more?..As the progression went I finally came to the big question –

“Is God pleased with me?”

Then I was quiet for long time…

IS God pleased with me?… I wanted to believe so , but based on what? My faith? My Love? My Hope? My obedience? My knowledge and application of his teachings?The number of people I have helped? – What?… My reputation?

In the book of Revelation Jesus addresses the church at Sardis and their reputation by saying at the end of verse 1-3 “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. “…

Though their reputation was good  ,  they were DEAD… Why?

Because their works were incomplete – How?

Because their HEART WASN’T IN IT. – “Verse 3 –Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. “

John 4:24 tells us “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”… if you are just going through the motions and your heart ain’t in it – It AIN’T TRUTH…And just like the church in Sardis  , you are DEAD…

So as I begin my 39th year of life – I will give nothing less than MY ALL  to WAKE UP and STRENGTHEN what remains so that my works are complete in the sight of MY GOD.. and I will REMEMBER what I have RECEIVED and HEARD but most importantly  – KEEP IT..

As far as my reputation goes -who really cares  , if God doesn’t? That’s not why I do this..I do this because I JUST CANT HELP IT… Because I was worth saving…and so is everyone else…

WHAT we do is never as important as WHY … And in ALL I do – My God deserves nothing less than ALL of my heart…

The invitation to study the Bible is STILL open… 😉

Read Ephesians 3:16-18

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The Good Fight..

“… With a simultaneous flash of red light coupled with the sound of crunching teeth , the fall to the ground was welcomed . The abrupt collision with the dirt would give me the benefit of a second or two to figure out what just happened to me… And then came the taste… The unforgettable taste of blood – my own blood , and plenty of it seemingly… I had been sucker punched by a sucker , but  I was on the way back up to return the favor … and then some…”

This is one of my most vivid memories. Although it is not a fond one , It’s one that has sculpted a certain part of me, my personality and for all practical purposes shaped my innate desire of confrontation.. To put it plainly I grew up fighting and I love a good fight , therefore – I am a fighter.

In some respects it has been a valuable gift … In my younger years , I was never bullied more than once by the same person due to my over eagerness to reciprocate the aggression shown to me ten fold  , and so it gave me a confidence in myself that NO ONE could take from me.. NO ONE. In stressful or high pressure situations it provided me a cool mindedness and bulldog like tenacity because I KNEW ultimately I could handle whatever was hurled in my direction ,and I could beat it with a ear to ear smile on my face… and did – EVERY TIME. Even in my darkest days when addiction had its hold on me , once I decided to fight it – I fought it with ferocity and fervor that paralleled that of a Gladiator fighting for his life in the sand of the arena…after all , it basically was a fight for my life.

There always seemed to be a roaring lion living in me that just couldn’t be silenced… until I gave myself over to God . Even then however, the desire for confrontation continued. It seemed the roar of the lion had been tamed but not silenced. Over the next several years I took my new found faith and ever-growing knowledge of Gods word and set out on a journey to take that word to the lost and dying world that so desperately needed him like I did (and still do)…A few years later  -enter Social Media.

With the new way of reaching masses of people via Facebook ,Tumbr , Twitter etc. My desire to take the words of life to people was magnified to a nearly unbearable intensity for those close to me , and the roaring lion of confrontation inside me had been revived and was back on the hunt with an insatiable hunger to prove the TRUTH and SEEK the LOST…no matter the cost.

But I am afraid the cost may have been greater than I hoped.

You see , because of my love for confrontation – I became a bully… By seeking out every debatable topic and controversy  ,then beating people up with my faith. Proving that what they believed was wrong and what I believed was right… and in doing so pushing them further away from God than they ever were , and making myself EXACTLY what they think of ALL of us who have named the name above all names… and  I was wrong …and I am sorry -truly.

As Christians , we talk a lot about “Fighting the Good fight”. By standing up for what we know to be the truth and doing our best to live according to his commands for us , but fighting that good fight is  NOT about fighting at all..not with others anyway.In 1st Timothy 6 :11 it tells us But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.” In the first part of the verse it says to “flee these things” – what things?…they are listed earlier in the chapter as controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions… Words that Paul used to describe to Timothy the False Teacher..Had I become a False Teacher?…yes  I had  – in a sense. Not in doctrine -but in spirit. ..

You can have all the truth in the world and be right as rain in WHAT you teach , but be as wrong as the day is is long in HOW you teach it.. Verse 14 of that chapter Paul tell Timothy alsoto keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,”… and that my friends is NOT possible if you are beating people over the head with it.

SO – do I still believe the same things are wrong that I did before?- Absolutely..Do I still believe that the same things are right that I did before? Absolutely.. Are there still people who need to hear the Gospel of Christ ? Am I STILL seeking the lost?- YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!…so what’s changed?…. My heart has..

Fighting the Good Fight is about “Preaching  the word; being ready in season and out of season; reproving, rebuking, and exhorting, with COMPLETE PATIENCE and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”(2 Timothy 4:2-4)… But NEVER … NEVER bullying ..This goes against everything that God is and it’s WRONG… My God is not a bully – so NEITHER SHOULD I BE..

There are many who make the claim and wear his name ,calling themselves Christians… We had better be acting like it.

 

The invitation to study the bible is still open… 😉

 

Read Romans 12:14-18

A much needed 2×4 to the face..

There’s a Hole in my Sidewalk“, by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1.

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost…
I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I cant believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… its a habit.
But, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5.

I walk down another street.

GO

A punch in the gut… That’s probably the best way to describe it. I read so many posts here and that is the overwhelming feeling that I’m left with from most of them – a winded and slightly sick feeling .. The kind that comes from a blindsided sucker punch that only a COWARD could deliver…

I believe the Bible word for word… I believe it says exactly what it says , NO EXCEPTIONS … and I do my best EVERYDAY to live those things out to the best of my ability and then at the end of the day get down on my FACE and my thank my creator that his grace can fill in the gaps that my faults create…

I believe…and it demands something from me.

In Mathew 28:18-20 it says “  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. “GO” therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in  the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe ALL that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”… It doesn’t say “preacher go” – it simply says “GO“…  So I GO... I go seeking  “The Honest Hearts” who are seeking the truth..

But this is what I mostly find –

The “Angry Hearts” who would rather lash out with malcontent than accept an honest gesture…“The Antagonist” who believes that acting like an Atheist makes him cool and edgy when in truth he is afraid and alone… “The Atheist” who has read just enough Darwin to convince himself he is an expert , when in fact he knows that it takes more faith “NOT” to believe than “TO” believe because it will change everything if he gives in… All of which approach and attack me and my convictions with the combat ethics of a wild boar , but only after they finish blogging their “You must accept everything about me or your a hateful bigot blog”… but these aren’t even the worst.

The ones that really take my wind are the ones who are convinced that they are “Christians” – but in fact make hypocrites out of those of us who do earnestly seek God by making a mockery of his grace ..

..And I love all of them STILL – Because I BELIEVE HE LOVES ALL OF THEM STILL…

When Christ died , he did so for ALL – even those who spat in his face… Not so they could continue to do so – but so that someday ,something may be said or done that would change their heart… and the “Angry heart” may be silenced and the “Honest Heart “ may be heard…

But I cant convince anyone of anything – no one can. They must convince themselves..

And when they do , I will be here looking for them  –  because I “GO”…. because I Believe…. STILL.

The Invitation to Study the Bible is STILL open…  😉

Read Mathew 5:44 and Romans 12:14-21