Category Archives: Personal

The Stakes are high, and it is evident that we are at WAR!

I can thank my pen for dissapearing on me tonight.  Otherwise, I would be writing this in my journal.  So, because I didn’t want to forget what God spoke to me today, I decided to write it in my blog instead.   What follows is what I learned today.

The stakes are high.  In a recent interview Toby Mac shared something that motivated him to write the song “If I lose my soul” with Kirk Franklin.  He shared that his father used to have business cards with the words “What profiteth a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul”? printed on the back.  Toby went on to explain that he never understood why and what that really meant, but he does now, more than ever.  He continued to share how the world and its desires pull us away and that we need to realize and be aware of the struggle.  That wonderful question has been popping up in my heart and my head lately.  The world is so aluring.  She can be so beautiful and she can bat her eyelashes at you the whole time she is stealing your soul.

“I began to flirt with ideas, dreams and then disaster struck.”

So why did this move me so much?  Well, lately I have been flirting with the idea of getting back into acting, and other passions that I thought I completely left behind when I became a christ follower.  I allowed some movies to remind me of what I used to love.  I allowed myself to be sucked into the world of movie stars and fame all that entails.  Before I knew it, I had opened a door to my heart that I thought was closed.  I began to flirt with ideas, dreams and then disaster struck.  I literally began to listen to the Devil whisper, “so where is God?”, “why are you still in the proverbial desert?”, ” maybe you are just talking to yourself, and there is no God?”.  Before I knew it…I had entertained ideas, and acted on thoughts that pushed God away.

Mark Hall wrote a song called “Slow Fade”.  In the song his main theme is that a man doesn’t crumble in a day, it is a slow fade.  He doesn’t just wake up one day and commit an affair on his wife..  He slowly makes compromises that lead him away.  The bible says that “a man is tempted when he is dragged away by his own evil desires”.  So true…

And lately, this is more evident then ever.  Today I read a sobering reminder of what happens when you have an affair on your wife and commit moral failure.  Recently a pastor admitted to his congregation that he had been having a “emotional and physical affair” with his assistant.   He asked for forgiveness and admitted that he fell into sin and apologized for giving the “world” more ammunition against the Church of Christ.  I was captured by this confession.  Why, because only days earlier he was blogging the typical “brain dump”, where he listed all the great things going on in his life and how God was moving and bring people to jesus and how he was excited…blah..blah..blah.

“Somewhere between killing himself and draining himself to “preach” and “pastor” that growing church he lost touch with God”

What occured to me was that he had been having an affair the whole time…emotionally at least.  The specifics are not important. But I just got to thinking about how it all must have happened.  Recently our Pastor, Stovall Weems, preached on how to plan NOT to have an affair.  I thought it didn’t really apply to me at the time, but now I realize how much it does apply.  See, that preacher in the above story did not wake up and decide to cheat on his wife and break her heart.  It was a slow fade.  Somewhere between killing himself and draining himself to “preach” and “pastor” that growing church he lost touch with God and I am sure that his marraige was being stressed for sure.

I realize that while I am not married, God is showing me all this so that I can plan NOT to have an affair on God and never on my future wife and family.  I need to realize, and we need to realize that the stakes are HIGH and we are at WAR!

“There is a spiritual battle going on and we, me especially, need to realize it.”

In Ephesians chapter 6 Paul talks about the armor of God that we should put on so that we will be able to withstand the fiery darts of the evil one.  We are warned over and over in the bible that we are at war!  There is a spiritual battle going on and we, me especially, need to realize it.  Pastors everywhere are failing morally.  The pastor that had an affair recently said in his blog that many many pastors that are currently failing morally wrote him anonymously.  That does not shock me.  So, let me say it again, we are at war!  Pastors everywhere need prayer and we need to realize this a battle that has already ultimately been won, and that knowing that we have the victory should change our demeanor and give us the ability to fight the good fight day after day.

This Christian Walk is a Fight for Life!  Remember, the stakes are high, and we are at war!

Paralysis from analysis

Sometimes I think we absorb so much information and analyze things to death, to the most minute detail, that we basically paralyze ourselves.  We spend to much time absorbing and not enough time actually doing.  This post should have come before the last one, but that is just how my brain works and how God intended it to happen.  In my life I have tended to analyze everything to a “t”.  I would weigh each and every decision as though life and death hung in the balance.  Where to eat? McDonalds, or Crispers?  What to do first on saturday?…ect  You get my point.  I have even analyzed the thoughts of what it would take to write a book and even delve into the story of a dark part of my life.

So where am I going with this post you might ask?

Jesus says in Matt 5:37 NLT
Just say a simple, `Yes, I will,’ or `No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.”

For much of my life I have suffered from what I have heard many gifted leaders and motivational speakers refer to as Paralysis from Analysis.  This means that instead of just doing something based on a decision you made you instead analyze it further and further until you get to a point that you think you just need even more information to make the decision…and in the end you end up with either lots of good books on the subject or millions of bookmarks saved in your favorite internet application (firefox 3 btw is mine!).  Now, if you do the analysis in your head, well then you have millions on thoughts that probably made their way onto pieces of paper at some point, and they are probably floating around your office or room in no particular order.  One thing God has been showing me is how to be a man of either Yes or No and what it means to trust him to make that decision.
To Trust or Not to Trust?

See, God showed me that Trust is the key.  If I have confidence in who He is and what he has led me to do, then I will walk in that confidence and trust him with the decision.

Charles Stanley puts it like this-

“Simply trust God and leave all the consequences to Him”

For so long I have analyzed things and decisions out of fear of trusting God and the inclinations and confirmation he has given me in the decisions I need to make.  So that covers the big ones right… now for the smaller decsions.  Well, simply, I just decide and let my yes be yes and my no be a solid no.

So in conclusion-

I have decided to do these 4 things.

1. Pursue God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.
2. Plan my life out, by making decisions and sticking with them.
3. Invest more time in the relationships with people that mean so much to me.
4. Start saying “no” to so many things now, so I can say “yes” to so many things later

Now, sure, there are many other thing that could make that list, but those are it.  And after all it is really not worth my time to sit there and analyze and think about what I might have missed, I will just leave that part to God.  I trust Him.  After all that is what it is all about isn’t it?

Look for the next post… where I will be starting to talk about Porn and its effects.

Beginning of a Revelation

So I must be honest and say I have been slacking majorly on this blog.  Not that you can’t tell, right?  The truth is that my mind just gets so cluttered with so many things that I forget all the other things that I want to do, and then when I finally accomplish all the things I need to do, then I try and pick back up on those things I wanted to do?  Following me?  Leading into my main point of posting this post, I had honestly forgotten a big part of my life, a part I would rather not talk about, but it seems God wants me too.  Porn-  Like it, Love it, Need it, Can’t get enough, Hate it, Sick, Disgusting, Demeaning… Those are all various short descriptive words that I would expect to hear in regards to just mentioning the topic.  God has been working on me lately, big time, and a part of my life that I would like to forget, is now becoming more and more heavy on my heart to share.  It had so much to do with pulling me away from God, and yet, also it is what convinced me even more of my need for Christ as my savior.  I will exploring some ideas and topics associated with Porn and its effects in the coming weeks.  I just have to do this, and It really needs to be addressed.  So to all 3 of my readers…( I know what your thinking…wait?  You have readers?)… anyways …to all of my readers, Stay tuned.  And in the mean time check out this blog: www.outsidebutinporn.com

It is by a very unique individual, Justine Jacobs, who is having to live with the consequences of being on a pornographic website.  She has alot of very good comments and hearing her story brings up so much regret and sadness, but also so much Praise…Our God is amazing and changes lives!   Say it with me… “Whom the son sets free, is free indeed!”

What in the world…

What in the world was my friend thinking?  How can someone grow up surrounded by faith and then just think about leaving it all for the world. ” Why can’t I have it”, he would ask, the world that is.  I am reminded that once again it is not our parents faith that we can live on.  We have to have our own.  We must make a decision whom or what we are going to follow.  We will serve God or the world.  I shared my decision moment(s) of comparing the what the world had for me Vs God.  I can only pray that he got what I was saying.  What in the world could cause someone to want to give up everything they have in Christ for the world.  Then I asked myself this question. – What if I didn’t know Christ?  What in the world…can save us…only Jesus.  Only Jesus.  I told him to cling to the cross and focus on Jesus…the world is only a facade and its pleasures are short lived.  What in the world did I do to deserve a Saviour this awesome?  Nothing.

Peace…

“Peace I leave with you…”. When I think about this verse I think of true peace. When I read about the disciples and apostles in acts, I think about what the word “peace” meant to them. They were not living in fear but they certainly had the right too. After all they surely heard about the persecution in the church and they had been told by Jesus that it was not going to be easy in the coming ages. So what’s this peace that they felt?

I believe God has given me a really good illustration to help me understand the “peace” that he was talking about. When I lived with my parents, there was constant strife and stress and well junk…going on that the moment you walked in you felt burdened. So much struggle and stress and pain makes its home in that house. Moving out for me was a huge burden lifted. At times I felt like it was my job to hold everything together…there was no peace! Now though, as I sit here in my chair looking out the window of the house we are renting I am feeling an enormous “peace” about everything. While the finances are sketchy, I am at “peace”. While my feelings of longing to meet the woman who will become my future wife and best friend sometimes grow into frustration, I am at “peace”. I am learning that “peace” comes from learning to trust God. And I think when we realize that Christ is in control we start to realize the “peace” that the disciples must have felt. We have a God “with us” … when we realize that….how can we not have “peace”?

seeing the light

I have to descibe how awesome, make that stupendously ridiculously awesome it is to witness someone seeing the “light”. It does several things to me: it encouages me and it strengthens my walk, most of all it reminds of when I saw the light. I have had the privelage to have a family member just recently run with all her strength and tear off the curtains of the darkness keeping that light out. That light is Jesus and when he shined into her life, in her words…”I don’t want anything else”. A person who once lived in literal darkness as well as spiritual darkness…its so amazing to see the transformation. GLORY TO GOD. As casting crowns sings…”what this world needs…is a saviour in their time of need”, to change this world we need to be changed and to be changed we need to see Jesus…and we will never be the same. Priase God for the Light! so to all who are praying for the “lost cause” of a person that is so strung and hung out with darkness that they don’t want anything to do with the light….remember, we know the answer and we can show them the answer. so don’t give up, pray, wait, and pray and be the light to a world that desperately needs to see it…point them to Jesus!

Hello world!

“Hello world!” is what my was written for me for my first post, once I signed up and created this blog.  So I figured that the title wordpress chose was perfect.  So there it is, hello world!  I am sitting here typing this as I watch “Walk the line”, the story of Johnny Cash.  The movie is actually pretty good.  It’s amazing though to see someone brought up in a “faith” family and chase after a dream,  only to see the “awe” that was once in his eyes disappear once he realizes his dream.  And not only does it disappear, but when he actually realizes his dream he finds that he needs someone else to make him happy.  The whole time he was sure that it was the dream that would make him happy, then it was June Carter…or some other woman, but that wasn’t it.  It’s the same with me.  I am learning over and over that nothing will make me happy, other than finding that piece I am missing, or is that ‘peace? ‘

In John- Jesus says that he came so we could have life and life abundantly.  That in a nutshell is my discovery.  I have discovered that Jesus has empowered us and given us hope to live ‘Life Alive!’  Until next time…this is living.