What do you believe?

November 21, 2011

Man_Up

Why we act on and what we act on in faith is determined by what we believe. The word declares that what comes out of our mouths is an expression of what is in our hearts. The same can be said of our actions. We act out what we believe. It is just that simple. God wants us to understand that so we can recognize for ourselves about ourselves and others.

You might want to ask yourself this question. Do I show the most emotions about concerns of the things I feel most strongly about? Do I show the most emotional outbursts when dealing with issues I feel strongly about? Most of us would probably answer yes to that question. We would agree that the issues that we feel more strongly we are naturally going to be more animated in our responses. By those responses we should be able to determine what we really believe. If what we really believe is not right or has become unhealthy for us we should make arrangements to deal with it appropriately.

Do you react to situations because of what you believe or do you pass off your reactions by declaring that is just your nature? Sometimes we overlook opportunity to take advantage of what God is trying to show us about ourselves by explaining things away. Sometimes things are supposed to hurt. Sometimes we are supposed to be uncomfortable. Without the pain and discomfort we may not give due attention to what God is trying to establish in us. That attention allows us to establish what we believe and why we believe it. What we must be careful about is not allowing emotional outbursts to become our nature. We must not forget about self-control.

Take time to examine yourself and determine by applying the word to your life what and why you believe.

Man_Up and be the man God wants you to be.

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Follow God’s Leading

September 28, 2011

Man_Up

Have you ever considered the many ways God speaks to those who will listen?

Or maybe by chance have you considered how many different ways He leads those who choose to follow Him. I by no means declare to have all the answers. Neither do I claim to understand everything. However I do know this. God knows where He is taking each of us and He is well able to get us to that spot.

I find in the word that His direction came as a directive, a necessity, an option, and as an unwanted forced participation. Each of us have experienced all of those things happen in our lives. So how are we to know what God is saying and when He is saying it? How are we supposed to know what to accept and what to resist? That is a good question.

I suppose that is what makes this a walk of faith. I am fully convinced at this point that sometimes we don’t know the answer. We just know what is in our heart. We allow the feelings and emotions involved with the experiences we encounter often times to cloud our sensitivity and interrupt our ability to think clearly. We just know we don’t want to hurt any more. We just know we don’t want to miss God. We just know we don’t want to guess on what to do and it messes with us.

So how does God lead? Even better how do you know how to follow? Do what you can. Don’t be too disappointed when you face things beyond your control. There will be things that you absolutely are required to participate in and some of them you may not be given a choice. Part of life you will even enjoy. Stay faithful. Establish yourself and maintain a life of holiness. Above all trust God.

Man_Up and be the man that God wants you to be.

God Wants You

September 26, 2011

Man_Up

What kind of man are you going to be? What kind of influence are you going to be? Where will that influence take place? Life is full of questions and those particular questions can often times be overwhelming. I don’t believe anyone in their right mind wants to miss God. We want to be sure of direction as well as taking advantage of opportunities as well. That will mean getting close to God.

God said that He looked for a man to stand in the gap and make up the hedge for the land that He would not destroy it but He found none. Is that not disturbing? It is not that He didn’t find a man, for the word declares that man existed at the time. It is not that people were not “spiritual” at the time for they were offering their sacrifices and observing the Holy days. The problem was their relationship with God was lacking. They served God with their mouths and not their hearts. This is an intolerable act with God.

It does not take a rocket scientist to see that there are a lot of things in this world that has not changed. There is a large portion of society today that does not believe, trust, or follow the teachings of Christ. Even among believers the views on critical issues such as salvation, maturity, and commitment vary. Some who consider themselves believers do not accept the bible as the infallible word of God. Many consider good works enough to secure eternal salvation as others hold fast to confession while treating their neighbors like trash.

God is still looking for a man who will believe and follow Him. God is still looking for a man who will trust and commit to Him. God is still looking for a man who will dare care for his neighbor and the world around Him. God is still looking for a man who believes that he can positively affect this society. I hope that person is you. That person can be you.

Man_Up and be the man God wants you to be.

Stay hooked up

September 25, 2011

Man_Up

What a day to be alive. What a day to be saved. What a day to be called. We should above all things do our best to stay optimistic. I understand that every day is not a honeymoon even as a Christian and there are things we have no control over. Just try to remember to keep things in proper perspective. We may not be in control however the one who is promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Trust Him.

When called of God for any particular area of service we have a tendency to have high expectations concerning accomplishments. If you are called to pastor you expect to see church growth. If you are called to the office of evangelist you would expect people to be saved. If you are called to witness you would expect that as you were faithful doors would continue to open. If you were given the gift of healing you would expect to see people healed. Such expectations are normal. With any calling that involves positively affecting the lives of others one should expect to be accepted. That just comes with our influence of others.

What do you do when you know the words that you are have to speak is not words that will be joyously made over? Do you sugar coat them? Do you hold back? Do you work on being accepted first? Or do you bow your neck and plow forward. Sometimes as a preacher you may prepare yourself for no shouting. As a business man you may prepare for a cold shoulder. As a parent you will face times of no words or harsh words and later have to forgive and forget. As a spouse you may face manipulation and other deceitful means that you never dreamed you would face. As you find yourself facing such odds and believing drastic means are needed to prevail, you must be a man who expects to not be accepted. You must be a man who will stand for what is right. You must overcome. You must be willing to trust God regardless of what might happen.

Ezekiel said he looked and saw a hand with a scroll and on the scroll was written front and back words of lament and mourning and woe. He knew the task would not be easy. He knew his only refuge was God. In Him he did trust. And so can you.

Be a man who knows God is on his side. Be a man who knows he can succeed regardless of what things look like. Be a man who is willing to not to be accepted by others. See how God will comfort you. See how God will bless you.

 

Man_Up You can be the man God wants for you to be.

Try the Two minute Tie-In

September 21, 2011

Man_Up

I recall the words of a wise man who once told me “if you are going to stop don’t start and if you are going to stop don’t start.” I took them as a wise statement to remember at the time. I have even made it a point to intentionally look at them from time to time. Incorporating them as rule to live by has been sometimes difficult. The challenges and difficulties in this life have been more than I have wanted to bear at times. That’s life. Be a man.

Ezekiel was warned early on by God that he was being given an extraordinary task. Excuses were not going to be tolerated. The message was going to be plain and direct. If he waivered with the message and they died in their sin, he would be held responsible. His emotions would be tried. His compassion for others would be put to the test. His anger would be tempted. The requirement for him would be to finish the task.

Situations and circumstances in this life seem to try to interrupt the tasks that we engage in. Emotions can get in the way. We do not want to appear to not be compassionate. We must be careful about allowing anger a place. Being pulled in so many directions will cause you to think about terminating the mission. Focus on the task at hand. Learn to recognize and appropriately deal with distractions. Finish what you have started.

Every successful person has had to deal with the distractions of life and every successful person has met the requirement of overcoming things that were meant to detour them. It is through the challenges of life that we are able to progress to the success that God wants in our lives. Challenges in life are not only possible but they are necessary for our growth.

Start and don’t stop.

Stay focused. Stay connected. Stay linked with God. Implement the Two minute Tie-In.

Man_Up and be the man that God wants you to be.

Two minute tie-in

September 20, 2011

Man_Up

There comes a point in every man’s life that he must accept his place in God’s plan for his life.  After a lifetime of watching and observing others in that step it is still mind boggling considering the different responses people choose.  Some walk through calmly like it is no big deal while others struggle with every decision.  Yes, I said decision.  It is a sovereign decision.

It is a decision because of the interruptions and distractions that the involvement in this life offers. The distractions and interruptions offer differing interpretations to reason or meaning to our life which has the potential to cause confusion. It is possible to get caught up in fighting battles and forgetting about the war. God sent Abraham south. If he was required to go East or West because of terrain unable to be navigated there was a point he had to filter all of his decisions with respect to traveling South.

 

We are no different. We must filter all our choices with respect to what God is doing in our lives. There is always going to emotions that try to influence our decision making process. There may be some things we can do to encourage and maintain a sense of sanity to our lives. Taking some time daily to keep ourselves linked to God is one of the disciplines necessary for purpose of developing a life not tossed by every wind or doctrine. Even a relatively small portion of time will contribute greatly to unmovable faith.

 

Try the two minute tie-in. Take just two minutes to read something positive to tie you to believing and building your faith in God. Two minutes may not seem like much time. Realistically it is not. Most people are discouraged because of being overwhelmed by not being able to maintain a rigorous schedule because of interruptions and distractions. Just two minutes is a good place to start.

Try it daily. Try the two minute tie-in.

 

Man_Up and be the man God wants you to be.

Man_Up

I am not a gambler. My wife says that not only am I not a gambler; I’m not even much of a risk taker. She should know. I have, however, on occasion run across a poker tournament on television and stopped to watch. It is both puzzling and intriguing to observe some of the decisions that are made. Some are made purely out of desperation by people who believe they have no other choice. Other decisions are made totally out of conceit by people who believe they are invincible or they just can’t do anything wrong. There are on some occasions decisions made out of stupidity. Even in poker there are few rules. The successes in this walk we call life will be dictated by the choices we make also.

 

David didn’t want to accept that Saul wanted to kill him. Jonathon said let me talk to him and I will inform you of his intentions. In conversation with Saul, Jonathon learned of Saul’s desire to kill David and showed David the sign he told him of. That sign was to inform David to run. To stay meant putting himself at risk. David had been anointed by Samuel to be the next king and now God was protecting David until his appointed time. He could’ve out of conceit or arrogance made the wrong decision. He could’ve out of desperation chosen to act. Thank God that the steps of a righteous man are ordered of Him. Nothing will ever take the place of sound counsel and the wisdom to follow it. Sometimes we need to choose when and where to fight the battle.

 

Make the right choices.

Man_Up and be the man God wants you to be.

Man_Up
God saved me because He wanted to. I wish I could say that I chased God because I knew
He could heal and save me but that is not true. He chased me. I gave Him no reason to. I
certainly did not deserve it. He chased me. I finally gave in. He has forgiven and saved me
because He wanted to.
When He saved me He saved me. I was changed. I did not want to be the same again.
There were still a few things (okay a lot of things) that God had to help me deal with. Even
though I had entered into a new and real relationship with Him, I was not perfect. Fear was one
of the bigger issues that needed to be dealt with.
As believers God desires a healthy, dependent, sold out, realistic relationship with us. The
depth of our relationship is going to be directly proportional to our comfort level during
interaction with the Holy Spirit while engaging in worship. It is during these times that we may
experience conviction or discomfort. We may also experience God’s presence in such a manner
that an expression of emotion is manifest. It is very common that during this time of drawing
close to God He chooses to lead by the Holy Spirit. During this time we are required to choose
to act on His command. That can be a fearful situation.
I have been there. When I would sense the presence of God and the stirring of His Spirit I
would become gravely afraid. I would become so afraid that I would have to get up from where
I was and move. God by His grace helped me in overcoming that fear. I knew I had overcome
when I could do whatever God asked of me and not do what He didn’t ask while enjoying His
presence. It is important not only to do what God asks but also to not manufacture something
out of our own minds. It is so much more enjoyable to worship now.
It is during these times of decision we will determine – where’s the man.
Man_Up and be the man God wants you to be.

Crowded Places!

March 26, 2011

Man_Up

Have you ever been in a crowded place where the atmosphere was chaotic. I mean a place where it seemed that all anyone else was concerned with was their own agenda with no thoughts of how it affected anyone else. People can be rude, overbearing, hateful, and just down right mean. That is the world in which we live.

I have to be honest although I hate to. I don’t always handle those situations correctly. Sometimes I get angry. I consider pushing back or committing some act of defiance. Sometimes I take the attitude that I just won’t put up with this junk any longer. I have come to the place where I rarely say anything because I know if I speak anything it may be the wrong thing. I am working on learning to reign in my emotions and ignore what is going on around me and take care of my own business calmly.

We are going to be placed in situations and we are going to face circumstances that have the purpose of distracting our walk. I know we all know that but in the heat of the battle it seems we rarely recognize the truth. Practice slowing down and bringing things back to a pace we can comfortably operate. Our minds work at an incredible pace but sometimes things need to be thought through. Practice holding your tongue. Speak intentionally. Learn to assess the situations you find yourself in adequately so you can function appropriately.

It is about allowing the word to change us. We know we are changed by the actions we take. We can actually track our progress by paying attention to how we react. There may be situations we can’t control but we can influence them by our actions. This life may be difficult however it can be won. Learn to adequately assess where you are in your relationship with God. Maybe you will want to ask yourself this question. Where’s the man?

Man_Up and be the man God wants you to be.

 

Greater Day to be Alive

March 14, 2011

Man_Up

I woke up this morning to the disturbing news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.For the next several hours I suppose we will hear of the potential for disaster and damage inthe rest of the world. After praying for the safety of those affected and God’s intervention withthe people involved I began to think about some things in my own life. I doubt that manypeople went to sleep last night in Hawaii thinking they would be awakened in the middle of thenight to a tsunami warning. It most likely was a surprise. Most are. There is a question that mayneed to be considered. Where’s the man?

Most would agree that it is important to be consistent and respectable in the way thatwe live. Good works will not get you into heaven however they are a requirement that declareswhere you are in your relationship with God. We can receive from the word of God directionfor our lives. What I mean is that we can find instruction on how we are to orchestrate our dailylives. We learn how to communicate effectively, love successfully, and accomplish God’s willand purpose in our lives by applying the truths we find in the word.

Because the word has the potential to change us it also can be used as a map. What Imean by change is lead us from where we are to where God intends for us to be. When werecognize that there is something contrary to the word in our lives we need to change. Whenwe recognize that there is something we need to add to our lives we work on making thatchange. A map not only shows us where we are going but shows us where we are. The way wereact to the circumstances we encounter determines where we are in our relationship withGod. Where we are in our relationship with God will determine our future. Maybe we shouldconsider the question. Where’s the man?

Man_Up and be the man God wants you to be.

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