I just want to be living and growing in this truth, right here, right now…

To God be the glory forever and ever amen.

1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

1 Corinthians 14:1 Let love be your highest goal!…

The other day I had the privilege of freely going to church on Sunday to give praise and to worship our Father in Heaven. I had the freedom to do this alongside other Believers. May the Lord be with our fellow Christians, the Church, throughout the world who are not experiencing that same freedom, those who are persecuted for their belief in Christ. If this is you, I know the Lord is with you, for you were Chosen by our God long ago, for the bible says this:

Ephesians 1:3-6

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5. he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Know that you’ve been adopted, you are a son, you are a daughter.
And He will be with you, even to the end of the age…

And if you are living with persecution I want to also make note of Matthew 5:10, which says: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

May those of us who have more freedom in expressing our beliefs, express it with boldness – and never hold back. May God through the Holy Spirit lift us and move us and may we always be sensitive to his leading. May we always act in love and not be blindsided by the endless number of distractions that come our way.

Jesus served right before He went to the cross. He served his disciples by washing their feet. May we serve others in love and put others before ourselves. I sometimes struggle with this, putting others before myself, especially when they rub me the wrong way. May God help me to continue growing in this area of love and humility, and to always see these situations for what they really are. A test, and perhaps an opportunity to imitate Jesus, as He calls me to do so. I want to learn how to walk more like Jesus as I follow him and his ways.

Phillipians 2:1-4:

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Let’s imitate Christ in our walk today.

This song reminds me of my childhood, growing up in the Church of Christ. This is where it all began for me. I have a mountain of respect for so many people from those earlier years. I’m very glad I had the opportunity to get to know and experience life with the Church. I look back now and think about those who were involved Sunday after Sunday, Wednesday after Wednesday, continuing to teach us about God and the lessons found within the Bible. I’m sure some of my Teachers thought everything they taught was going in one ear and out the other. Just know your involvement then has made an impact on my life.

And it doesn’t end with the Teachers. Whether you were committed to bringing the message, some words of encouragement, or simply a loving heart – you were a great example.

You were, and still are, the Church.

Remember that old saying, it takes a village… Actually, It takes a Church. 🙂

Thank You.

Today I got derailed by frustration in the work place….

Sometimes you start the day off strong, but then something happens. You get derailed. Frustration and irritability begin to sink in, and at this point, oddly (for some of us) the last thing you want to do, in that moment, is pray. And that’s what was going on with me. But I was fooled, its a trick.

If you want God to grant you freedom from this, one thing you can do is go into a quiet place and pray for a heart change. Pray for peace, clarity and maybe even a little humility. I find that during times like this, this is a prayer that is often answered quickly.

Hope you have a good day!

Before God said let there be light, he knew about Adam and the fruit and he knew there would be a day on the cross. He also knew you would be born several thousand years later. He knew. He knew where you would be at this very moment. Before he created the world, he already knew about the good days you would have as well as the struggles you would face. If you haven’t took that step yet, he very much wants a relationship with you, he wants to work in your life. Check out this amazing verse below, I underlined some key terms…

Ephesians 1:4-5
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—

It gives me chills because I know that if you happen to receive this message and decide to turn to God, it was in his plan for you to receive this message long ago. He cares for you and loves you so much.

Lord, I’ve learned that your plan for me is so much better than my own. I’ll do my best to empty myself daily by not letting my own choices, actions and desires get in the way of the more effective plan you have for me. Thank you for all your grace and love. Thank you for bringing me joy. Amen

Mark 12:41-44
The Widow’s Offering
41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.[a]

43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”

Jeremiah 29:11-14 (ESV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Has someone you loved, or someone you don’t know all to well, manage to get under your skin a bit?  Maybe they seemed a bit rude in one way or another.  This happened to me recently.  It wasn’t really the words that were said but the tone and body language used.  In psychology it is believed that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken

So you continue on and in the back of your mind you’re thinking, “Man, that person isn’t who I thought they were”, or “I wonder why they were rude, was it something you did or said?”  In the back of my mind I was asking the whys.

Then soon after, the day was over and the morning came.  I awoke this morning to make up some hours I lost at work.  Before going in I decided to get into prayer.  Sometimes I forget but I need to do this every morning.  Sometimes I remember on the commute.  Anyways, I got into prayer and during my prayer the thought of this person came to mind.  It was in the moment when I was praying with thanks.  I began praying for this person and thanking God for this person, for all they do…

I didn’t know at the time but doing this freed me from wondering about the whys.  We are all human and we can all be a little quirky at times.  I should always give people the benefit of the doubt and always be quick to forgive.  Love bears, believes, hopes endures – all things.

These experiences we have may seem peculiar at times, but there always seems to be a lesson to learn.  And by keeping this mindset we can continue to grow.


The other day my wife and I had the pleasure of listening to a man by the name of William “Jerry” Boykin. What an awesome experience that was.

William G. “Jerry” Boykin was the United States Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence under President George W. Bush from 2002 to 2007 and is a conservative Christian political activist. During his 36 year career in the military he spent 13 years in the Delta Force, including two years as its commander, and was involved in numerous high-profile missions, including the 1980 Iran hostage rescue attempt, the 1992 hunt for Pablo Escobar in Colombia, and the Black Hawk Down incident in Mogadishu, Somalia. He is an author and teaches at Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia. He is currently executive vice president at the Family Research Council.

Jerry talked much about his faith walk during his time in the military and some of the experiences he’s went through. Jerry would often lead a prayer with the people he served with, before going into a combat situation. We heard testimony after testimony of how our powerful almighty God worked in the life of Jerry and the people he served beside through his career.

One of the last testimonies he told just left me in awe of God and I feel like if I talk about it, I wont give it the justice it deserves. I recommend you buy his book, Never Surrender, and hear it straight from the man who experienced it.

Here is a video of Boykin talking about the Black Hawk Down incident.

I recently listened to another sermon on loving each other. In the sermon the speaker put emphasis on a verse from 1 Corinthians 13.

I mentioned this verse in an earlier post, verse 7, which talks about how love:

7. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I suddenly realized something. I read that verse as an instruction of how to love my wife, my kids and people in general. The lesson was about loving each other. But how about God? We are to love our God with all our heart soul and mind. My love for God must always bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things. When I am tested I must bear through it with a great love for God, believe that God is handling things, sometimes on a level I cannot understand, hope that the choices I make will only give glory to God, and endure with God by my side when I am challenged in this life.

There is nothing more we love than those moments when God blesses us. Sometimes he’ll do it over and over in the same day or week, almost as if he’s making a point to you, letting you know he’s there. It’s an amazing experience when this happens, even more so when you open your eyes to take notice.

I remember one week bills stacked up and we had to pay them which left us with limited funds, limited to the point of, alright, I need to go buy some groceries to get us through till payday.

I didn’t know this at the time but, to make matters worse, the money I thought I still had in the account was lost due to fraud. Later I found out someone bought a bunch of game credits, using my stolen card info, for some online star wars game. So instead of going in with x amount in my account, I literally only had now only the 10 bucks that was in my wallet.

Luckily, I had planned to go to the grocery store only to get a few things we needed, like bread and lunch meat (about $30 worth). So at the cash register the Clerk rings me up and I slide my card. “It’s coming back insufficient funds” he says. I know I have enough money on this account. I try again, except for this time, I slide the card faster, like that will help. Once again it comes back declined. So I go into my wallet and begin pulling out ones until I have about $10 bucks lying on the little cashier counter. The amount due is about $30 some and I’m now at a loss for words. I go on to tell him, “Can you put this (the groceries) on the side…, I know I have more I just need to go across the street to the bank”. And that’s when the guy in line behind me says, “Just put what you have there and I’ll get the rest.” I reply, “I couldn’t ask you to” then he cuts me off to say, “How much do you have there?” I reply, “like 10”. Then he says, “I’ll take care of it, just do me a favor, pray for me tonight”. I answer, “I will, what’s going on?” I guess I was looking for the content for my prayer. With an awkward look he replies, “ugh, I dunno.” Then I said my thanks one more time and continued on. I did make sure to mention him in our prayer before dinner.

It’s funny how Salina, the Mrs, and I were just talking about this verse in Matthew, Matthew 6:26 where it says, “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” Then later that week a random guy we never met pays for our food at the grocery store and says, “just pray for me”.

Since I came to find God and follow his ways, experiences like this happen all the time. Small glimpses of Him, protecting and taking care of our family in one way or another. It’s been exciting to see the way God has worked and will continue to work in our lives.

I was watching a couple videos last night and wanted to share them with you. I love it when I see people take leaps in their life, which involve overcoming issues of self confidence and fear. This world can be judgmental and cruel to those they don’t understand. I believe we not only need to accept, but also support and embrace people, especially those who may have a unique appearance or those we sometimes shy away from. You just never know the back story.

I had this interesting dream in the earlier hours of this morning. In the dream I was walking down this walkway in a large office building. The walkway resembled an exit ramp from a freeway. The cubicles were large, like buildings you would see when exiting the freeway. Apparently I had just landed a job here. Everyone was welcoming me and encouraging me, “You’ll do great!” they say. As I was walking I began to see these motivational signs.

One sign said something along the lines of, “Let your motivation for professional success be driven by God, and not yourself, your loved ones or earthly wealth.”

Waking up from the dream I felt inspired. I have this entrepreneurial mindset, so I begin thinking of business ideas where the focus would be more on serving God. But then I felt like maybe I needed to stop thinking along these lines for a moment, I’m now feeling like the time is not right for some entrepreneurial endeavor. Then I thought to myself, “but I’m already in my mid 30s, times a wastin.” I know that may sound silly to some, and for good reason. After a little research I came to find that the average and median age of company founders, when they started their current companies, was 40. However, as soon as I said that to myself, “times a wastin”, then another thought instantly crossed my mind, “if it’s for God, my age shouldn’t matter”. Later that morning I considered, maybe it’s my work today that I should be thinking about.

It’s not until I give myself completely over, my full and complete trust, that I may do the best work I can ever do for him, regardless of the job given. If I don’t focus on growing in my faith, and giving over the wheel to him and trusting him so he may direct me on this path he has set, it’s possible that I may get in the way of succeeding to my full potential for his glory.

Often times our motivation for business success or success at work comes from the bills we have to pay, keeping our family supported, and other earthly goals such as saving up for that trip, that car, that piece of furniture, or even financial security. I don’t think it hurts to have goals, as long as our love, trust and faith in him continues to grow and take priority over the rest.

Mark 12:30-31
30 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” No other commandment is greater than these.”

Colossians 3:22-25
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. 23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. 25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.

Matthew 6:33
33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

After the dream, a couple more questions came to mind…

Does my motivation for success derive from earthly things or heavenly things?

Do I have earthly goals or heavenly goals?

I started out this morning watching a program by Joyce Meyers with the Mrs.

Joyce’s message helped me ask myself this question, “Are there areas where I need to work on self-discipline”. The way she defines discipline is going through a little pain now for pleasure later. She talked about how many of us want the pleasure without the discipline. This couldn’t be any more true, and yes, there are definitely areas in my life where I need to work on being more self-disciplined.

Hebrews 12:11
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Proverbs 13:4
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

1 Corinthians 9:25
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

I really like these few verses and the last one hits home for me. When you see athletes, whether on TV or in person, their lifestyle both on and off the field conforms to maintaining a healthy, physically fit, body for the challenges that lie ahead. Some runners eat, sleep and breath running in order to be the best at what they do. It’s common for many athletes to check tape (for the younger people that means review old videos), to seek out areas where they can improve.

I know discipline isn’t always about going through pain now for pleasure later, but is about going through something that may not be first choice on the list of things I really want to do at that moment.

For example, I would not say reading the Bible is painful, but for me it does take some level of discipline.

I don’t just want to be a Christian skimming by, performing to the bare minimum of my abilities – which God has given me. Am I staying physically fit in my faith for the challenges that lie ahead for me? What do I need to work on? Where can I improve? As I hinted above, I know I can be reading my Bible more. I know, although scary at times, I can be sharing my faith with more people. I know I can be praying more. I should be praying with my wife every night before bed, but I can’t say we do.

Sometimes it helps to take a moment and check tape. But don’t stop there. Follow it up with building solutions and making small changes, which may include some self-discipline, to help improve the level of effect we have with our mission and purpose. This will also help us continue growing in our faith.

Have a good weekend!

Do you remember ever playing the game of life, where you spin the wheel and move along a path making decisions such as the type of career you choose, the type of home you live in? I remember playing this game for the first time with a friend when I was 13. I liked how it gave you choices.

Let’s pretend for a moment you are just turning 18 and someone, We’ll call him Ed, comes along the way and gives you this wild opportunity. Ed tells you, “Think of the two favorite cities or places, where you would love to live, the job you would like and the home of your choice.” So you think about it for a minute, and say, “Okay now what?” So Ed says, “Here’s the deal, everything has been lined up for you as far as both homes and jobs. I’d like to give you one year to test living in the first place. After the first year you may try the second place for the second year, or you may choose to stay in the first place as your permanent residence.”

If you were to try the first option and you liked it, would you make your decision based on that experience? Or, would you try the second option also?

When it comes to living Christ-centered, I find that many people out in the world, including myself for the longest time, have only tried living with the first option as being their final choice. I cannot express how much of an impact trying that 2nd option has been for me and my family.

The good news is, if you haven’t tried that 2nd choice, to live Christ-centered, it’s not too late, yet. I encourage you to take that first step today, and continue taking steps to live Christ-centered throughout the next 12 months. I truly believe, if you do this, you will find the only regret you’ll have is not taking this step earlier in life…

I know one of the things I need to work on is the way I bring up my children. Sure, I bring them to church every Sunday and throughout the week pray with them and talk about Jesus with them. But there are some things that I need to work on, because I know I’ve made compromises with them in certain areas.

For example, some of the cartoons they watch and games they play are good while others are questionable. I don’t let them watch any of the cartoons or play games that are obviously vulgar, but then there are cartoons where every so often something is said that they (the kids) don’t catch, but I do. But, one of my biggest concerns is video games. I remember when I was younger, I played some video games that were pretty bad. I have withheld some of this from my kids, but have made compromises on others.

On the one hand I want to be a parent who doesn’t take everything questionable away from my kids for multiple reasons (or excuses), and some of this does have to do with their perception of God. On the other hand there is a way God want’s me to raise our kids. He blessed us with these kids and wants us to manage them per his instructions.

One of my kids recently was having a hard moment and had a sour face. I asked him, “what is wrong”, with that he replied, “I’m bored :(“. I shared with them the idea that when somethings wrong and the reason starts with, I or I’m, that just might be the source of the problem. We are focusing on to much of I and not enough on God.

As you can see from above (in maroon) I wrote, “On the one hand I“. I know I need to work on trusting in God and his ways and not leaning to my own understanding.

Often, in the morning I’ll pick up my Bible and begin reading the red lettering found within the New Testament. I’ll eventually come across a verse that will stop me in my tracks and get me thinking about it. Then I’ll begin writing about it. Here’s the verse that got this post rolling…

Mark 10:42
“And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.

Is this verse focused on those who force Kids to sin or does it reach further to parents who allow a way for kids to sin. I’m thinking both. When I read the verse it says “if anyone causes“. My decisions as a Father can have an impact. I know my kids are not perfect and like any other kid they will make mistakes. But am I allowing anything, not just limited to games or shows, but anything in my home that may be causing my kids to sin? I believe this is a question I need to carefully consider.