Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Thou You Slay Me" - Soul Encouragement I Needed Today


This morning a good friend from my life group sent me this video to encourage me. I had texted him for some prayer since I've been feeling down about some things recently. The song and sermon audio brought tears to my eyes. God is good, all the time. And I'm grateful for friends who love Him and encourage me to walk faithfully in Him.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Recognizing the Kind of People Circling Around You




This morning on the way to work I listened to a sermon by Pastor Ed Young (from Fellowship Church in TX) called “Shark Weak.” It was the first sermon in the series and Pastor Ed laid out the idea that all around us in the world are sharks. These sharks are things like addictions, finance problems, sin patterns, bad relationships, health issues.  Sharks are out to kill and take away our life. Everyone faces sharks and so the series is meant to teach people how to deal with them in Biblically faithful ways, relying on Jesus.  You can watch the sermon here.

In the sermon I listened to one thing Pastor Ed said caught my attention.  He talked about 4 different kinds of people we interact with in our lives. I have since added a fifth kind.

1.       People who are “With” us
2.       People who are “For” us
3.       People who “Use” us
4.       People who “Betray” us
5.       People who are “Against” us

As I have been thinking about it this morning I’ve realized there is a lot more to consider with this. It is important to recognize what kind of people we have around us in our lives. It is also to meditate on and strive to implement the behaviors of Jesus as he interacted with each of these groups. The Bible says that Jesus walked among all these people.  He had disciples (with us), followers (for us), the crowds (use us), Judas and Peter (betray us), and the Pharisees and religious elites (against us). And in his dealings with each group Jesus leaves for us an example of how to treat others.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Helping My Son Transiton Into Manhood



Parenting is a trip isn't it. Especially when dealing with the first born child. You get no guidebook and no practice. Every developmental stage is trial and error, learn as you go. Mostly you throw in a bunch of prayer, trust Jesus and see what happens. Our oldest turned 11 on Sunday and right before our eyes he is turning into a little man. As exciting as the transformation is, it doesn't come without its challenges.

My wife sent me a link to a great article by Amy Roberts about "Boys and Their Attitudes." Here is a quote I found interesting and worth being mindful of.


Boys go through hormonal changes, but they also go through dominion changes.  Honestly, I think all boys have an innate sense that they are supposed to conquer something.  Often, the first manifestation of this need to conquer starts with those closest to him…his own family.  In boyish foolishness, he sets out to be in charge.

Amy goes on to share a few helpful thoughts on how to help boys make the transition into manhood. Give it a read. Lots of good stuff there.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

To Act Like Men, Men Act Like Jesus.



Came across this quote yesterday in a post by Ed Stetzer. It comes from this blog post by Pastor Eric Mason. Pastor Mason is a man I've been following and listening to for the last few years. He's a great preacher and pastor at Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia.  I have also read and enjoyed his book Manhood Redeemed.

Perhaps, then, men are so unclear about who they are supposed to be because we in the church have failed to give them a true picture of the ultimate man Jesus Christ. This man alone was unflawed and untouched by the destructive properties of sin. Yet this man was still born with all of the limitations and temptations of humanity (Heb. 4:15). Jesus, and Jesus alone, has exemplified manhood. If we want to be conformed to His image, most especially as men, we need to understand this example more deeply.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Enough With the Ray Rice Video



Yesterday, Janey Rice, the wife former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice posted this message on her Instagram account,

"I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I'm mourning the death of my closest friend. But to have to accept the fact that it's reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that the media and unwanted [opinions] from the public [have] caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing... What don't y'all get? If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all the happiness away, you've succeeded on so many levels."

 In his ESPN article Jason Whitlock writes,
"Let's end the assault on Janay Rice by taking the elevator video off the 24-hour, TV hamster wheel. The video no longer holds probative value. Its use now is sensational at best, exploitative at worst -- and is, more than likely, damaging to the victim. It's contributing, in my opinion, to Janay Rice's inability to properly assess who is responsible (Ray Rice) for the chaos and pain in her life."
Later he says,
"It's time to move beyond the video. It has done its job. It's awakened those of us who naively didn't fully comprehend what domestic violence looks like. It has forced Roger Goodell and the Ravens to take Ray Rice's misdeed seriously. But now we are using it, unwittingly, to bludgeon the victim, to force her deeper into a bunker where she blames herself.

....We're airing her dirty laundry (Janay's interpretation) and not only must she be humiliated over and over again by not just the act, but the replaying and analysis of it.
I agree. The constant reliving of the incident really prohibits the ability of the Rice family to heal and move beyond this horrible period of their lives. The opinions and hysteria of the masses have effectively ended Rice's career and who knows the effect it will have on his future.  Not to mention that his child(ren) will have access to more information regarding their dad's past sins then they will ever need. I think it is time to shut it down.  You?

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Need a Fresh Idea? Go Take a Walk



I've really enjoyed reading this article by Ferris Jabr in The New Yorker entitled "Why Walking Helps Us Think."  The article presents some fascinating research related to the connection between walking and creative thinking.  Here's a quote,

"Walking at our own pace creates an unadulterated feedback loop between the rhythm of our bodies and our mental state that we cannot experience as easily when we’re jogging at the gym, steering a car, biking, or during any other kind of locomotion. When we stroll, the pace of our feet naturally vacillates with our moods and the cadence of our inner speech; at the same time, we can actively change the pace of our thoughts by deliberately walking more briskly or by slowing down.

Because we don’t have to devote much conscious effort to the act of walking, our attention is free to wander—to overlay the world before us with a parade of images from the mind’s theatre. This is precisely the kind of mental state that studies have linked to innovative ideas and strokes of insight."

Monday, September 08, 2014

Is This You in the Morning?

“When you wake up, you have this gift of a blank brain. You could fill it with anything. But for most of us, we have this kind of panic. Instead of wondering what should I do, we wonder what did I miss. It’s almost like our unconsciousness is a kind of failure and we can’t believe we’ve been offline for eight hours.”

- Michael Harris "The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection" (quoted in this excellent article)

Monday, September 01, 2014

Pardoned.


I'm not sure who said it but I believe it.

"The declaration of God over the life of believers is not that we are innocent but that we are pardoned."

Pardoned. Set free. Released. Let go. No longer condemned.

This pardoning was accomplished through the death of Jesus Christ and God's resurrecting Him from the dead.

This pardon is appropriated by God to those who, by grace through faith, have declared Jesus as their Lord, Savior, and Treasure.

This pardon is experienced by the Christian who lives in freedom from the curse of death brought about by sin.

Some verses to memorize and sink these truth deep into you heart.

Colossians 2:13-15 "God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him."

Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,"

Romand 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cool Story of God's Work in My Life



I do not believe in fate.  I do not believe in coincidence.  I do not believe in luck.

I believe in providence.  I believe in sovereignty.  I believe in divine orchestration.

Don't stop reading!  This isn't a post about doctrine.  I'm not picking a fight.  I have a cool story to tell.  Press on good friends!

About a month ago I was invited to the table of a discussion about marketing, social media, web design, and online presence.  I was invited because I had shown initiative, skill and passion.  I was asked my opinion, my impressions, my vision and my ideas.  

It was an invigorating conversation that made my mental and creative energy soar.  

I immediately felt God's hand in bringing me to that place, and I prayed that he would continue to bring something out of the conversation.

Well, that one invite brought about two more, and then came a conversation, and now a new opportunity is before me.  It is so exciting.  God spoke a word into my heart in March about trusting in His provision and not manipulating situations to try and achieve blessing.  He told me to trust in Him and to wait for Him to provide.  At the time I figured it would be in the next few weeks but nothing ever came of it.  So I continued to trust and wait.

I believed in the word He spoke to me, and now I can see His plan coming together.

It is so awesome to experience how awesome Jesus is!  I'll share more details later when all the final pieces are in place, but the short story is that I will be using my passion for social media and blogging in order to help grow a business in a way that will require very little tweaking of my current responsibilities.  I believe God has been preparing this convergence of ability, passion, and need for a long time and that he is going to use it to bring a great blessing to our family.  So cool!
 

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