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Monthly Archives

October 2018

What Defines Us

By | Food for thought | One Comment

Every day each of us has to choose who or what defines us. There are a mountain of temptations vying for that place in our lives – political opinions, personal problems and challenges, the pressures of life, the past, the present, and on they go. Who or what we allow to define us determines who or what controls us. Some people are controlled by their political party. They do exactly what that party tells them to do no matter how ridiculous or unethical. Some allow the past to control them. And while I understand and sympathize with it, the past all too often takes its liberty to recreate the past’s pain repeatedly. Others allow the opinions of radio hosts, Hollywood stars, and pundits to define them, almost like a puppet to the puppet master. Drugs, fear, our insecurities, critical and negative people, and the incessant desire to please others; these are just a few things off the top of my head that I know can define people.

So, the question is, who or what really deserves to control us? Who or what deserves to define who we are?

The Creator is the only One who has the right to control us. He earned that right by sending us what no man ever has – Himself. He bore all the ugliness and sin known to man so we could be free. And His control is not like that of a slave to his or her master. His control is the essence of love. Under His control, our worldview and actions are the result of the absorption of the truths left to us in passages inspired by the Creator.

If we make it our number one goal to put Him in that position, we are PROMISED hundreds of times in scripture, that our lives will not only be better, but blessed.

PICKING A FIGHT

By | sacrifice | No Comments

In the movie Braveheart, change didn’t occur in Scotland until the hero, William Wallace, forced himself into the midst of the “nobles.” These men loved their titles, wealth and prestige, but they had no will to fight. Every time the tyrant English king wanted to take more freedom from them, they responded by making a truce. Their problem was they loved the status quo more than a life of victory.

But, as is often the case when week men rule, God raised up a real man. William Wallace, a man of no nobility, rose up in their midst and called them out on their weakness. One day while facing the British army Wallace and his men took to the front lines. Their only mission was to fight. And while the weak nobles were only there to increase their lands and titles, Wallace and his men knew that as long as evil was left unabated, the people would continue to be oppressed. Wallace galloped into the “negotiations” and onto the battlefield and PICKED A FIGHT!

He was not a man of compromise because he had learned a powerful lesson. Peace cannot come through truces but only through victory! While the nobles were perfectly happy making truces with the enemy, Wallace determined that he would never accept a truce with the tyrant king, Longshanks – no matter how outmatched he was in battle!

One man’s courage caused those who loved compromise to fight like they were supposed to. One man with a heart for freedom raised the bar for everyone around him. Wallace’s heroism brought the fight back into the Scottish people. It gave them hope and a reason to live. It caused them to regain their dignity and honor.

Questions: What status quo do you have around you needing a hero to expose? Are you willing to be the one who picks a fight? Are you willing to lead the way?

This is the story of Christ. He came to this earth to free men. But to do so he had to pick a fight with men who loved the status quo, as well as the author of compromise, Satan. He then led the way to true freedom.

World View

By | Mission Force | No Comments

In the past couple years, I (along with my wife and family) faced some unimaginable tragedies. Dealing with each of them, I was faced with a decision, to move forward and stay in the fight, or close my eyes to the world and the responsibility I have to reach it.

Jesus commissioned us to go into all the world. This call NEVER came with a promise that in doing so we would be protected from loss, pain and suffering. But it did come with a promise, repeated over and over again. A faithful man will abound with blessings. There is something supernatural which happens when we “go.”

We simply won’t be satisfied in our faith without the whole world in our view. In the past two years I have traveled to Ukraine three times; Israel five times; the borders of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, France three times; London 4 times; Ferguson, MO; Cambodia and Nepal. Each of these trips were made in times of war, disaster, riots and poverty. If I learned anything in my numerous trips, it is we are never to be out of the fight. The BEST place for us to be is in the fight. And this is among the suffering, wounded, and those hungry for the true God. This is where our lives and faith can carry the only hope available to the world.

With this mindset, we may take a hit or two as the enemy fires at us. But the heart of the warrior stays with us whether we are conscious or not. All of us are God’s voice to a world hungering to hear Him. We have a duty to carry on with the mission declaring defeat to the enemy by saying what God says. We carry the sword of the Spirit and must run to the battle and fight. That is the mission. That is the call.

On the mountain of transfiguration, a Voice came from heaven and said, “Hear Him.” Our mission is to hear, and then boldly and in faith declare (to both our community and the entire world) what God has to say.
Today I pray that your eyes would be opened to what God has on His heart. May we replicate the fire that began at Pentecost and fan those flames into an all-consuming fire.

Manhood

By | sacrifice | One Comment

We do not have to look too far into history to see an example of what real manhood is. In World War II, men from their late teens to their forties flocked to protect a nation and fight tyranny. Boys from farms to the big city didn’t have to be convinced or coerced to join the military forces and fight. They willingly left weeping parents and ran to the fields and waterways of war. It was not in their DNA to do anything else. And so many died a good death in that war, giving it all so that others could live. But something began to happen to men after that. In the decades since the World War I and II, most men have become acclimated to activities that keep them from engagement in righteous conflict. And technology has helped them.

When a person gives their soul to fantasy, they effectively surrender to ineptitude. Video gaming companies make billions of dollars producing visuals intended to occupy a person’s God-given need to fight evil.

Imaginary wars control the lives of millions of men. Sitting at a computer and losing oneself in fantasy roles have become a favorite pastime. “A questionnaire asked gamers found on video game websites what they got out of the gaming. They got a huge number of respondents: over 1,600. The survey justified stereotypes: Participants were 87 percent male.”

The apostle Paul said, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child: now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 (AMP).

A Band of Brothers

By | Mission Force | No Comments

“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ (I Corinthians 12:21)”

It is possible to live, work, and play among many people and still be alone. I know this because for many years I was that man. From the age of 12 when my mother died, I made an unconscious decision to need no one and could do everything on my own. In my mind, I had two choices- live as a victim and whine about my difficult life or get through life on my own. The problem was, for many years I wasn’t aware of this mindset until God revealed it to me, required me to face it, and, by His grace, overcome it. Being healed from that mindset was a life-changing experience.

Many people today attend church and do the “Christian thing”, but they don’t want anyone to get too close. They manipulate their lives in such a way leaving an excuse to keep others at bay. While we all have the choice to live this way, it is not the way we were created by God to live. Additionally, living that way guarantees we will not reach our full potential as an individual.

Whether we like it or not, we need others to be complete, especially if we accept God’s call to be warriors in this life. We are created this way. We are a part of the Body of Christ. When we find our part, life for us will change for the better, and we will be more fulfilled than we can imagine.