Mind Your Head

20140427-075610.jpgUsually, when I sit down to write something I’ll do a couple of things. I replay the tapes of my life in my head for the previous couple of weeks. I’ll try to remember the things God has been speaking to me and how that might be helpful to share with others. Sometimes I’ll pray about it and wait for God to help me with what to write. The Holy Spirit will prick my heart about something in particular and a few hours later… a blog post.

The truth about the last couple of weeks for me is that they have been all over the place. Traveling, training, family members being sick, temptations, and trials. Probably sounds familiar. These are things we all face. Right?

The one message that has been coming in loud and clear for me is, “Nothing can separate you from the love of God or your Salvation”.

I have been participating in the daily prayer for the last three to four weeks. It’s a way to verbally commit and center yourself around God daily. I pray it over myself and my family. In the prayer, as I read aloud the Ephesians 6:10-20, the Helmet of Salvation sticks out.

Through the trials of the last few weeks, I have been given reassurance from the Holy Spirit that nothing can separate me from my Salvation. Just as a helmet protects your noggin, so does your Salvation protect your spirit, soul, and body. Your heart, mind, and will. God has equipped you to withstand what this world can throw at you. You need to know that.

Take a few moments today and read the Daily Prayer (out-loud) and specifically Ephesians 6:10-20. (Don’t worry. It’s included in the prayer so it’s not double homework.

Do you agree/disagree that nothing can separate you from your Salvation? Tell us about it in the comments below. What’s your take?

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Comeback Power

Happy Easter! I hope these words find you and your family happy, healthy, and in pure awe that our Lord has risen today! For a lot of us we’ll spend this morning in our churches and then our afternoon watching our kids hunt after those candy filled eggs. We’ll eat too much ham and deviled eggs, and we’ll look good doing it all in our Sunday’s best…..

The internet is a powerful tool……. It’s so powerful that there will be people that will read this today, but they won’t “LIKE” us on Facebook, they won’t “SHARE” this with their friends, and they will not “COMMENT” about what they’ve read here. Every time I write one of these I wonder if what I feel, what I write, what I think out loud, etc. will ever matter to anyone other than me. The other day I was wondering what to write about and with one nosy Google inquiry it came to me…..

I’m dedicating the rest of this to my hero….. My mother is going through a very personal hell right now. To keep the story short and to to keep my emotions under control I’ll give you the short version. Over the past about 70 days my mom has been sick….. Colon cancer, two surgeries, 24 days in the hospital, and as she sits in front of me right now she’s home, hooked up to an IV that supplies her nutritional needs 12 hours a day, and other details that I won’t describe, but that gives you a snapshot of my hero’s status. So….. As I began to prepare to deliver some sort of “Easter” message to you I stumbled across a website that was bashing Christianity and I found an article about the worst Easter sermon of 2009. The sermon, titled, “You Have Comeback Power,” caught my attention first because I thought it was the perfect message for my mom, knowing she’ll comeback from her health ailments, but then hearing these words nailed it down for me……

“God will not let you go through more than you can handle……”
“Extra ordinary people face extra ordinary difficulties, but the good news is we serve a an extraordinary God…..”
“He has you in the palm of His hand…..”

The point of this “Christianity Basher” was that this sermon was so bad because “Jesus didn’t die and rise again on the cross so that you can have ‘come back power over life’s set backs’. He said that the pastor completely missed the point of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and as a result he missed the entire point of Christianity.” He went on in the article to say that he wasn’t surprised that the pastor was the first winner of this award. He called this pastor the Tiger Woods of his profession and said that he takes false teaching to a whole new level.”

My hero….. My mother….. She has comeback power…… I’ll take her odds over the Christianity Basher’s, just as most of us would take Tiger Woods’ odds over the field on most Sunday’s. I like my odds with the pastor of this “Worst Sermon of The Year,” in 2009……. Joel Osteen.

Personal Journal Excerpt: Be Gentle Not Violent

20140413-075953.jpg2014 began with our 21 Days of Reflection. This was a time that we dedicated to a time of reflection with God. During that time I was also studying I Timothy 3 with my study group The Kings Men. The following is and excerpt from my personal journal during that time. While preparing for this post I felt the Holy Spirit guide me to release this. I hope it reaches its intended destination.

From DAY 10 of 21 Days of Reflection Journal 1.22.14
When I think of Jesus being gentle, I think of that picture we’ve all seen with Him and the children. Or the one where He’s holding a lamb. Jesus is obviously more than just some guy walking around being sweet and gentle all the time. So what does this mean? This “being gentle and not violent”?

Didn’t Jesus get mad? Didn’t He get violent in the Temple? Didn’t He clear the marketers and lenders from the Temple courts with a whip made from a bundle of cord? Think about that… Ever braided something? Takes a little time. Jesus had to think about how angry these people made Him while He braided a whip together and cleared the Temple courts. He then turned over their tables scattering their money and goods everywhere. (Mat 21:12-13, John 2:15, Mark 11:15). Yeah… that sounds gentle [insert sarcastic face crinkling here]

That incident makes it clear. There is a time to be violent. Yes… a time and a reason. I believe there is a time and a place to show your teeth, but it is not in your everyday life. If someone threatens your family that is time to be violent. Seriously, you’re probably not going to talk a crazed burglar into singing hymns with you. Your actions may need to be violent in order to stand up for what is right on behalf of the Kingdom of God. Or perhaps to stand up for others who are unwilling because of oppression. Maybe for the defenseless as well. I think what is meant by be gentle and not violent is in our everyday lives. Something as simple as not being so harsh with one another just because it is our nature.

I think this direction from I Timothy 3 is more about gentleness and less about violence. It’s about treating others well and not responding in every moment with harsh words or fists.

When it comes to being a father I believe it means listening instead of accusing. Helping my children understand and discover the right path to take. Isn’t that what Jesus does with us? Doesn’t he listen and guide us by the Holy Spirit to the paths we should take? Doesn’t Jesus put us on his lap and say, “What about this way? If you go down this path what will happen? Do you think that’s the best idea? What is the fruit of this situation?” Doesn’t He treat us gently and not violently?

This gentleness does NOT mean to roll over like a doormat. Being gentle does not mean putting up with violent attacks on us as humans. We must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and submit to Him. We must treat each other with gentleness and be ready, willing, and able to defend those that belong to God. Trust Him and He will show us the gentle road. Being gentle does not mean hanging up our sword. It means carrying our sword and shield with honor and knowing when to use them. Only when The Lord commands.

After all the shield is our Faith. The sword we carry is the Word of God. These weapons should only be used against evil and only in the Spirit of God. (Eph 6:10-19)

Prayer Request:
Readers, please keep Brian’s mom in your prayers. If you have been following Brian’s Mom Updates on Facebook you know. She is dealing with some extremely difficult circumstances to say the least. Please pray with me to ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen her with God’s strength and give her a cheerful heart.

In addition to that request I ask you to be praying for my friend Heather Dawkins and her family. They have suffered a tremendous loss with her father’s passing. Pray for God to strengthen her family through this time.

God Bless…

30 Days of Hustle….

A few weeks ago I committed to doing something new and as the start date approached a lot was going on in my life and I wasn’t sure I’d follow through with it. So April 1st showed up and so did I! I decided to go for it and to use these 30 Days of Hustle to do just that to HUSTLE!

30 Days of Hustle is based on one simple idea, Get Stuff Done. Did you know that 98% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. Not this year. Using scientifically proven methods to knock out our goals, this group of Hustlers will be collectively storming through 2014. We get tasks emailed out to us daily. The group is private, but at the end of every 30 day cycle newbies have a 24 hour period where they can be added to the next round. Sound interesting?

I won’t share everything here, because I’d really love for you to join me, but here is a sample…… Pick one (1) goal, make it challenging, but at the same time obtainable. In the first three days we set a goal and committed to the WHAT, WHY, and the HOW. I was amazed how it felt to share that with our group….. Speaking of group, our Facebook group has 6.676 members (writing this on 4/3) and it’s just an awesome group of Hustlers.

One last thing…….. I shared my goal, my WHAT, my WHY, and my HOW. Someone shared this verse with me and it’s absolutely perfect.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.