Posted in Accepted, Change, Confidence, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, Fear, Forgiveness, freedom, God, God's Promises, Happiness, Jesus Christ, Life, Light, Love, Prayer, Progress, Relationships, Uncategorized, Worship

Too much wind for ya??

It has been a while since I expounded on God’s word so I would like to share Matt. 14:23-33.

In this passage of scripture, Jesus was with a multitude and once he sent them away he went up on the mountain to pray alone. By the time he had finished it was getting late and the ship where his disciples were was in the midst of the sea being tossed around about by the waves and the wind.

Jesus comes toward them walking on the sea (yes, he was actually walking on the sea as if there was a makeshift walkway) and his disciples saw him and were afraid as they thought he was a ghost. The savior calls out to them to let them know it was him.

Astonished, Peter was the brave soul to take it a step forward when he asked for proof that it was in fact Jesus. His proof was that Jesus would allow for him to walk on water and meet him. The creator granted Peter’s request and here is where we get the meat for this story.

Verse 30 says that the wind was boisterous. That means it was loud and forceful, but this is something the text says Peter saw, not heard. Peter first saw Jesus walking on water and he was afraid. He also “saw” the wind boisterous and was afraid.

Which do you think scared him the most?

The assumption here is that when he saw Jesus and realized that it truly was him, he wanted to do what Jesus was doing. And he actually did walk on water.

But the wind’s actions were accompanied by force and it stood in opposition of what Peter wanted to do, Peter backed down because he felt he was no match for the wind. He knew that the force of the wind was far greater than he was. When he began to sink he cried for Jesus to save him and immediately the text says He did but asked Peter why did he doubt.

The lesson: The wind represents everything that is against us here from trials and tribulations to sin. Jesus is still Jesus in this lesson and Peter represents us. Jesus did not save Peter because they were good friends. In fact, any of the disciples could have done what Peter did. Peter just happened to be the one bold enough to ask. The assumption is that if you asked the question, the answer should have produced faith. In other words, Peter said Lord if it is you, then let me come to you. By the fact that Peter was able to come meant that it was in fact Jesus and now your faith will be made perfect in your work (walking on water).

Am I going too fast?

Faith without works is dead. Peter’s question was answered and he began through the work to demonstrate his faith, but the wind (trial) was too much. And even though Peter did nothing to earn his salvation, Jesus saved him anyhow. Why? Because he is God and that’s the business he is in.

Dear reader, do you believe that God will save you? Have you come to him in obedience to his will and allowed your faith to grow through your works?

Or is there just too much wind???

Posted in Change, Fear, freedom, Happiness, helping, judgment, kindness, Life, Relationships, Uncategorized, Working together

Being emotionally aware of emotional poverty

It seems that uncontrollable outbursts would be embarrassing, but for some it is absolutely not embarrassing! Some people could care less how they are viewed by others so as a result they show out anytime someone does something they don’t like.

These are the type of people who would get loud in a crowded restaurant or in another place of business because someone crossed them. They would have an outburst in church (if they went regularly).

Grocery stores, department stores or any heavily populated place would not escape this disruption. You see the more the people the greater the show — and someone emotionally disturbed would not want to disappoint a good crowd.

Emotional poverty is when you are unable to handle life’s challenges without self destruction. You may have seen people at work who you avoid because you know that if you get into it with them it would be ugly. It’s the person that could take you to that emotional destructive place you used to go to back in the day.

People respond to pressure a number of different ways. Sometimes they react and don’t understand how or why they took things so far. By the time they realize they went too far, it’s too late. The solution is not as easy as you think. The emotionally poor need response help from someone who is the opposite. To move forward they need a mentor or good friend who can help them model better behavior — I call it loaning them some scratch!

It’s not enough to just be aware of bad behavior, but take responsibility for those we love who suffer from emotional poverty. I am my brother’s keeper!

Posted in Accepted, Confidence, Determination, Forgiveness, Happiness, Mind Power, Perseverance, Progress, Relationships, Self, Success, Taking Responsibility

The psychology of disappointment

So you had an expectation of something — that’s how it starts. Then you feel that you deserve that expectations fulfillment. Excitement follows. Expectation grows and an adrenaline rush ensues.

Then suddenly something unexpected, uncontrollable or undeserving happens and all you were left with is disappointment.

Disappointment is hard to swallow. It doesn’t go down easy. It causes heartaches.

Chasing disappointment is anger. Anger allows the feeling of disappointment to linger. The greater the expectation, the greater the disappointment. You can experience periods of sadness, depression and resentment.

It’s as if disappointment laughs at you. It calls out to you saying, “who told you to have expectations?” Disappointment burns.

To protect ourselves we need to stop having expectations for anyone but ourselves. The likelihood of you letting down yourself should be less.

Do yourself a favor and don’t desire something to a level that leads to greater expectation and possible disappointment. Your emotional orientation takes a hard hit everytime you do.

Posted in Accountability, Change, Death, Determination, Fear, Free Will, freedom, friend, Generosity, Giving, Happiness, Health, helping, History, judgment, Life, Progress, Relationships, Self, Sharing, significance, society, Success, Time, Truth

We were robbed!

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Happy New Year!

This is the time for reflection and change in our lives and hopefully life’s lessons have taught us well enough that we are heeding the call and understanding what we must do to be better. By heeding the call I mean you are actually listening to your inner reflections on your past and adjusting accordingly.

It seems that for some of us our inner voice is “spot on” with reality and helps us out greatly in our decision making. Then there are others who’s inner voice is wounded and we need a little help to make sure what is said is correct and not detrimental to us.

This is all important because we live among thieves. Thieves are all over the place and we all have a little thievery in us. We all don’t loot or rob people at gunpoint, but what I mean is we steal another persons time, energy and space. We rob people of their joy and happiness and we steal ideas and concepts, friends and lovers and items of clothing like there is no tomorrow. It’s hard to be angry with someone when at some level you are doing the same thing. However, as we mature our thievery should subside. We should not be as taxing on our friends and families and we should be more giving with our own resources.

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So when you evaluate the people in your life, this tends to be a common denominator when deciding who should stay and who should go. As we get older it becomes more difficult to deal with theft. So we excomunicate them from our lives.

To help you with this task of elimination, I submit four categories of thieves. The first is called commensalism and these are the thieves that are like suckerfish who ride along with the shark to grab his leftovers. These fish do not bother the Shark, but they exist and thrive because of the shark. These would be your family, particularly your kids (17 and under) and older parents. There is such an obligation to help this bunch that this really becomes a labor of love. In addtion, you may have brothers or sisters in Christ who you have helped them get out of foolishness in the past and since they continue to get better, you continue to help them progress in anyway you can. This group will burn a lot of your energy but the results are priceless.

The next group is parasitism and these are the folks are flat out selfish. Family is not excluded from this category. These folks do almost everything at your expense. It is their consistent selfish behavior that makes them so toxic that you have to decide how much more you can take. With this group, over 90 percent is them taking from you. It is even possible for you to be in denial of this and allow them to continue.

The next group I refer to as spitefulism. I may have invented this word but the meaning is real. This is when two people are together and their brain’s pleasure center allows them to be so taxing on eachother that both are suffering from the interaction. I have seen these couples in counseling. They have come to me and neither party wants to give up anything. This proves that some people should have never hooked up. How do you stay in a relationship where both people are miserable and neither wants to get help. This behavior leds to eventual self-distruction.

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The final group is mutualism and this is exactly what it sounds like: Both parties benefit from eachother. In this relation you don’t mind giving so that there is no thievery. This can be with a spouse, sibling or friend.

So now you have been blessed to see another year. The longer we live, the better life should get. If life is not getting better, this is the first indicator that something is wrong. Choose this day who will be in your life. Part of our free will is having the choice to chose our circles. Choose wisely my friend. Because although there is not a precise measure of your stress to life ratio, what is certain is that stress is killing you. Not only is stress killing you, but there are already people plotting for your stuff.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Confidence, Discipleship, Faith, freedom, God, Happiness, Honor, Life, Prayer, Progress, Relationships, Religious Freedom, Self, society, Success, Taking Responsibility, Worship

We owe him praise

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It seems as though God should get praise and glory for the things he has given us and done for us. No one would argue that we serve an awesome God who can do everything and has everything.

Well, he has definitely blessed his people, but sometimes his people will not tell the tale about what he has done in their lives. It’s like some of us are ashamed to be blessed.

We want to help out in secret. We want to keep quiet the excitement in our hearts when God has shown up and showed out.

Nicodemus was not without reason when he had Jesus over in the evening. You see he was a Pharisee and they refused to believe who he was. Nicodemus saw Jesus do enough things that he wanted to get to know him, but not at the expense of his relationship with the religious sect.

Today we don’t have such a dilemma because it is actually fashionable to claim Jesus.

The other issue that I have is that some of us are living a struggle every day of our Christian lives. We are living that struggle so much that it now seems like the norm. If we followed the scriptures, particular the psalms and proverbs we would live better than most people. There is advice in there about finances, folly and females. There is info for personal growth and development, but we must not be reading. So then, to pray to God for something he already granted is vain.

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Not to sound like a complainer, but my only point is that God deserves credit for the things he has done in our life. When you have overcome, it needs to be shared with others who are struggling in the faith. This is something that our fellowship demands and our posterity depends on.

So don’t hold back, share God’s blessing, give your testemony and honor our Father in heaven for he is more than worthy! Amen!

Posted in Change, Death, Discipleship, Faith, Forgiveness, Free Will, Giving, God, guilt, Happiness, Jesus Christ, Life, Light, Love, Obey, Relationships, repentance, Resurrection, Trust, Truth

It’s time for a Crusade for Christ

resurrection-website-imageFor more than 2000 years the gospel of Jesus Christ has been preached to this dying world.

Unfortunately we have preached more of the facts of the gospel, than the application of that gospel. I mean, Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection is very important to know but if it is given without context, where is the power?

We are saved by grace through faith and the bible calls this a gift that no man can take credit. (Eph. 2:8). Moreover, the fact that it is Jesus’ blood that reconciles me to the father and his life that actually saves me (Rom. 5:10) is just the beginning. How this all works together is the crux of the matter and ultimately redefines who I am and my purpose.

To make his gospel come alive, you must believe that it was an act of love on your behalf. Does it matter that Jesus died for you? Does it matter enough for you to die (crucify the old me) for him?

Further, if I say I know and believe in Jesus, does the life I live say the same thing? This is why we need a crusade. We need to be reminded of the facts of his gospel. We need a call back to the original commission to share the gospel with the rest of the world. It’s time to reveal the hope of our calling and surrender God’s truth without apology.

If you are anywhere near San Antonio, TX over the next 6 days, stop by the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown and experience God’s love toward us. Come and hear the story of Jesus presented in a bold and loving way. Come and hear that in the midst of our struggle is when Christ died for us! Come and sing praise to his name because he made it easy for souls in danger. All these souls have to do is look above because Jesus completely saves!

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Change, Discipleship, Free Will, Giving, Guarantor, History, Jesus Christ, Life, Love, Mind Power, Relationships, Religion, society, Truth

The Culture of Christ

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I recently attended a symposium and a question came up about culture to which some answered that the “scriptures transcend culture” and that when it comes to Christ “there is no culture.”

Many arguments were made using scripture and culture was not taken into consideration. Imagine something as important as culture being taken out of the interpretation of scriptures…say it ain’t so.

For the culturally challenged I offer this discord: Jesus gave a great commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel. We would never be effective or even clear in our learning if we attempt to disect cultural understanding from scripture.

Culture is simply defined as the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. There is a pop culture in America that is demonstrated collectively in music, fashion, food and arts. We have culture in religion as the Nation of Islam has several distinctive characteristics that have become their culture.

In the Lord’s church there are many things that have become the cultural norm for the body. These, like other elements of culture, have been intellectual achievements by the masses.

Christ dictates the culture of his people. He said that love would be a definitive way that people will know his people. Unconditional love is an intellectual achievement regarded collectively. We learned the principle of love from the love that God showed toward us. We understand this love and we immulate it to eachother. Forgiveness is another cultural item that defines God’s people. The world has their own reasons for forgiveness and God’s people only have one: We forgive because we are forgiven.

Serving one another, peace keeping, what we eat, how we treat our bodies, or collective feelings about salvation and sin are all the collective achievements as exercised by our intellectual capacity to understand.

I thank God for the culture of the church. Because of it I feel so comfortable with the collective true brotherhood who elevate Christ more than mankind.

I am thankful of the many brothers and sisters in Christ I have who have loved me unconditional, even when I made it difficult to do. I am grateful for all the mature members of the church who treated me like a grandchild and corrected me in love when I was wrong. I am indebted to the teachers of the word who have instructed me in righteousness and taught me the very doctrine of Christ I stand on today.

Culture is where doctrine and application harmonize for the world to see and for God to be glorified.

Comments are welcomed!