Tears from the Soul

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In describing how to bring a sense of “Awe” back into worship, Matt Redmen recently was quoted saying, “Everything has been so minimized and over-familiarized and a lot of the mystery has been sucked out of our culture and everything has been made easy by the touch of a button….how can it be that a God that made and sustained the universe and spoke the stars into being….How can it be that he’s interested in me?….I heard recently that writer Bruce Springsteen liked to take peoples lives in his music and take them from ordinary and make them extraordinary….I just worry that we have made many of our Christian songs and taken the extraordinary and turned them into just ordinary.”

When I first heard this, my tears began to well up in my eyes.  What a powerful saying about our pattern of worship.  Not to say that all people are like that, but think about this; he also said remember when “the heavens were open, all the people ever sang was ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!'”  Their minds were “souly” focused on the Lord.  All they wanted was to be close to our Father.  Notice I said...OUR FATHER….not just Matthew, Mark, Luke or John’s Daddy….but OUR DADDY!

Lately my heart is aching.  My soul feels incomplete.  My life feels in a constant spin trying to find a stopping point where my focus will come into just that….FOCUS!  For the past few months, since I ceased being the interim pastor of a church I was in love with; my life has been in a deep search mode.  What has my life become?  Why do I continue to feel secure, yet unstable in my life as a “Bugman”?  I love to serve others; I love to study His word and all that surrounds being more like Him.  I love to speak His truth and encourage and motivate people!  The fact is, I made a goal/promise to myself a little over a week ago:  I want to be public speaking full time by age 40.  Not just sermons, but be good enough to be at conferences.  I have a lot to say about Jesus and I want to serve Him FULL-TIME!  I’m 37 right now almost 38; that gives God and I just over 2 years to figure it out.

Taking care of my two ladies, providing for them and making sure this house is cared for and livable is what I have felt over and above much of my “career” is what I’m suppose to do first.  This concerns me that I am falling into the scope of making my “extraordinary” life God could give me and making it “ordinary” because of not feeling I’m good or worthy enough.  Every moment I hold that spray bottle in my hand I ask, “Is this it for me Lord?”  “Is this all I’m meant to do because of the choices I make?”  I want more than ANYTHING to serve with all my life, all my efforts, all my gifts to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  With all that desire, WHY must my journey be so difficult to get into where I want to be?  I don’t want to worry about finances or what direction I may go; if we’ll have to move and sell our home or what roles would be asked of me.  I am in love with my SAVIOR!

Alone with God

Sounds like an awesome happy ending right? The conclusion to a real tough story where triumph excites and motivates the audience! If only that was real for me. You see, every time I express this passion and desire for Christ, I continue within the same breath showing my acceptance to the world. I feel exactly like the Apostle Paul describes in Romans 7:15-20, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Being born into sin it constantly reminds me that this body I live in, though it is Christ’s temple for the Holy Spirit , longs and seeks to do what is against God’s will! This causes the hostility that Paul later describes in Romans 8:7, “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” Notice the key body part that is hostile? THE MIND!! This is where the whole problem with me and my desires comes from! What I want I sabotage by what I want! Did you get that?? Every time my heart, eyes and MIND are focused on God; my worldly infection surrounding me causes my MIND to wonder on sinful things….sabotaging a moment with Him! For example, one of my two biggest sabotages is having a passionate praising moment with God and BAM! There goes an attractive woman….eyes detour towards her direction leaving the praise muted and me feeling it was half-hearted! The second is verbal. Thinking and speaking God to someone or around someone and then a car cuts you off or someone is a jerk to you….my mouth quickly fires negativity and sometimes cursing. My mind is so jumbled and the only time I am happiest and most focused is when I am surrounded by God (& I acknowledge him) all the time of my day!

We are all there….we ALL struggle and fall short of the glory of God, scripture tells is that; however I constantly wish I could see inside how people like Paul and even Billy Graham today faced the sinful infection surrounding our bodies and minds. Even pausing to type this I stop to look at girls walking by and I FEEL my focus clouded for that moment! I HATE IT WITH A DEEP, SUFFERING PASSION!! I’ve heard from others I’m just making excuses for my sin and God wants to see action, not complaining out of you! I’ve heard the famous, “Give it to God!” and even “maybe you’re ignoring what He is really trying to tell you! Oooo I hate those comments!!!

It is not ME who loves the world and it’s temptations, but the SIN living inside of me that thrives for it! I don’t ask to have the temptations and weaknesses, my crappy infection mind wants them! Call it my ADHD as a child or whatever you want that prevents me from gaining control….I don’t know; but know this is NOT WHAT I WANT!!! I see a Francis Chan, Andy Stanley, Kyle Idleman and even a Billy Graham and I see that I could do that kind of work for God! Yet I am lost to know who could ever want to hear what God has to say through me…..when all they see is my failures and judgements?

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God I PRAY that those taking the time to even read this can FEEL what I FEEL and if they too even have a hint of the same struggles to be open, be honest and CRY OUT TO JESUS and not be ashamed, not be embarrassed or NOT be disappointed in admitting these frustrations and struggles!! Being “OK” as a Christian or even being complacent with your walk is NOT what were designed for. This body, this mind, this existence on earth might be bound to here….BUT WE ARE NOT IF WE HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST!! This is not my home, and I certainly don’t want to bury anymore roots into it spiritually!

To think that even though I suck as a Christian compared to the Disciples Jesus wants us to be; fail every single day and lust for all the wrong things….AND HE STILL LOVES ME AND WANTS ME?? Is completely unheard of in this world….WHY? Because silly people!! We are again, NOT OF THIS WORLD!!! What oh Lord, MUST I do, must we do….to live as if everyday we are extraordinary like you designed us to be!!?? I don’t want gain this stinkin world and lose my soul because I decided “lukewarm is the new Jesus follower! Uh-uh! No way!!! I feel inside a burning, scorching passion for Him and I will be damned (literally) if I believe I’m gonna let it blow out!!

Hook me up to your yoke oh Lord! This burden has been too much for me and I need your yoke because it is LITE! Together we can tread through all rough areas this world makes us walk through and show your way for them and me to your promised land! No fancy quotes or pep talks, no mediocre fellowships, no self help books over your word….just ONE-ON-ONE….mono-e-mono! I wanna see this world and ACT in this world through your eyes! I want to respect the sacrifice you made on that cross even for this guy! No more spitting, no more flogging, no more whipping, and no more nails driven!!! GOD, I NEED YOU! Every hour I need you….

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Father (repeat after me if you need to), I’m dying inside. The longer I am away from you I feel suffocated. I no longer am myself in your glorious image, but the self I’ve allowed Satan to make me believe through this world. I am your child. I am not perfect, but your grace finds me no matter how far I run. I need your help. I need my mind to be consumed with you. Visions of you, sounds of you, thoughts of you. I want to overflow with Jesus more than myself. I love my family Lord, but they are not you. Only after you, can I be the person my family needs me to be. Take this life and MAKE it be an offering for you everyday. If I am never called for ministry specifically in a ministry setting, make my setting I am in a sanctuary for your glory beyond any boundaries of this world. Father I need this. When it is my time Lord to join you someday, may my life die serving you and only you for I want my life to outlive my legacy of sin and only tour legacy of love & grace be seen forever. These are the tears from my soul oh Lord and to you I pray….in Jesus name, AMEN.

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Confronting the Lie: God won’t give you more than you can handle

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A Well-Trained Pinball

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Ever had “one of those days“? What about one of them weeks? Well, for many of us, myself included, life can seem like one of them….PERIOD! With the weight of the world on our shoulders as God’s children; why does life have to also bang us around like a pinball machine!?

Within the last few weeks I have observed much about my life in general concerning this feeling and others around me. We all experience hills and valleys, ups and downs, and the ever popular phrase, “roller coaster ride”; yet if you imagine the experience that little silver ball takes as you shoot it into the chaos of the game; the pinball itself is one to be shown great empathy!

Bouncing and banging from one obstacle to another sometimes multiple times at once; the pinball rolls on trying to exit past the batting arms reciprocation! You see, we are like the pinball in many ways. If we fight or try to go our own way, the batting arms bounce us back into the fray of the chaos. If we quietly submit, the same occurs, yet with less batting around most of the time!

Recently my family went to see everyone’s favorite mouse and characters on ice….Disney on Ice. Even though I had seen this kind of program before, it was for my daughter thus (submitting) and going along anyway for her enjoyment. I was amazed as I (in my ho-hum-ness) watched the other families interact just how much how I felt and acted was the norm with most of the other men there!

The women and the kids seemed to run the night! Wives and girlfriends telling their other halves to hold this and buy that! Kids yelling and screaming, running amuck and uncontrollable….the men kept looking as a pinball banging back and forth. This is only my observation, not that men are innocent in making wives a pinball! Disney on Ice seemed like a breeding ground for chaos and frustrated spouses!

We tend to not realize over the course of a marriage that typically both spouses are being “trained” by the other in some way or another. The most commonly joked about phrase is, “Honey, I thirsty.” Picturing if you will, both are sitting on the couch, the wife by distance is closer to the kitchen; yet the husband, typically without even pausing a thought, jumps up and gets the drink! We are trained!

What bothers me about this is the unappreciation that follows the training and ultimately we bang and clang against these as annoyances. We see these moments of servanthood meant to be out of love, become the annoyances of laziness or expectations….not LOVE.

In our relationship with God the same things occur. We chose our own paths and bang were bouncing off that and heading to another area. Then after a moment….bang! Another bounce to another direction; all of these repetitive in hopes of finding a comfort in Christ.

Whatever your situation, whatever your direction in life currently; remember, ponder, reflect, and pray earnestly these words of the Apostle Paul in protecting yourself from the banging in your life as Satan attempts to play a game with your life!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:10-20 NIV)

Stay strong! 🙂

Single, or Not Single?

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The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18 NIV) Early words from God Himself when He decided to remove the man’s rib and create the woman. Have you ever wondered though why God stated it wasn’t good for man to be alone? That He made man a suitable helper….in the making of woman for him.

Why though? Why right when God made man in the same image as Him did He feel that he needed a suitable helper? If you continue to read scripture, God wanted the man to procreate and give honor to His creating of them both together as they are united as one flesh. However, do to the sin choice of Eve to eat the apple off the tree of knowledge, the corrosion of sin tainted the beauty in God’s intention for man and woman. In fact, God put that as part of their consequence for sinning! “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 NIV)

One word in that verse that stands out more than any of them….the word: ENMITY! In definition terms; He will put “a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity or antagonism.
“. This could be seen as the beginning of man’s need for courting women and ultimately competition! The natural resistance and enmity between sexes now makes the original desire of God’s for man (& woman) to have a suitable helper a real struggle and in some cases (because of sin) near impossible.

Another interesting point to think about concerning why we have this “checkbox” mentality of what our future mate must meet on our list of wants is HOW Adam & Eve respond to their “openness”. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” (Genesis 3:7,10 NIV)” Notice their openness the apple gave them in sin was blindness to God’s perfection?? What God originally saw as good and not needing attention, SIN showed us shame; showed us imperfection in one another.

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So are you meant for real Godly companionship? How do you know you have a “suitable helper” in God’s eyes? Millions of people are unmarried living a single life because they have either chosen that way of life or the search for a companion has left them alone in failure. Even though God’s intention was not to have man left alone; many chose to be single for many reasons. In my opinion, based upon the followed scriptures, choosing single life for a closer intimacy with God is acceptable!

The Apostle Paul writes “I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:7-9 NIV) If your struggles lie within sexual temptations and your craving for companionship revolves around your uncontrolled desires for such; than your image of a suitable helper is severely tainted!

Why do you think Paul says that it is good for the unmarried and widows to STAY unmarried as he did? Think about it logically…..even spiritually….he devoted his life to having only intimacy with God! He came across in that scripture that having another person in your life relationally would cause your control to waver. Now don’t read into that statement defensively! I believe Paul is saying that the nature to be with that person is to procreate like God intended and our desires naturally will overshadow our devotion to the most high God. This to be right in the eyes of God, they must marry so that their passions are justified.

So your still single right now, but have a desire to be with that “right person” who God has for you….now what??
What do you think God is trying to tell you or show you during this “single” time? Looking at scripture again we can begin at Proverbs 24:27, “Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.“. Work in order and fields ready? Does this mean you have to work until your career is over or until your field is harvestable? Not at all!

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What I do take from this Proverb is that we need to take care of ourselves outside of God; meaning whatever we harbor as weeds in our wheat or thorns around His fruit; we NEED to prepare it for harvesting God’s intentions for our life! Only AFTER we do that can we build our house for His honest and real glory!

Instead though many of us, myself included, rush our feelings, manipulate our boundaries and “close our eyes” to imperfections all for the sake of “LOVE!” Unfortunately after-the-fact when all our emotions and hormones calm down, we’re realizing the bigger picture….”Oops”. An “oops” that has completely shifted your foundation in Christ and altered your commitment to what we desire to be for God. This is why Paul states in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?“. Think about it….once we’ve compromised our beliefs in any way, it gives Satan the control to keep wedging the distance and focus on God’s desires for us farther and farther apart. So we can’t allow our passions to sway our priority of God above all else!

Finally I want to tackle the assumption some may have about their (for lack of a better word) entitlement of a spouse. What do I mean by this? A dear friend of mine, a Godly man whose single and loves his God and daily attempts to devote himself to living for God….is constantly waiting for God to bring him his “perfect wife”.

Much of his viewpoint could stem on God’s original intention for man as spoken in Genesis; however he has stated he believes, “I’ll only give up being single for an exceptional woman. I deserve, as a child of the Most High God, to walk this Earth, and into Heaven, with a spectacular woman.” At first I didn’t know whether it was cockiness or expectation; however he described it as confidence. Yet the problem doesn’t necessarily lie in the personality of my friend, but in the word deserve.

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What makes it deserving? Since the fall of Adam & Eve as we have seen, once SIN entered the equation, the deserving went out the door in God’s eyes as a punishment to sin. “It is not good for man to be alone…I will make him a suitable helper” isn’t a deserved reaction from God the Father; He just simply saw that a man needed a helper, a mate, someone to love & procreate with. He wasn’t deserving of that kind of purity once sin came in! We are still children of God’s, but we are sinful minded by our nature and this we can’t expect God to just give to us the same original level of relationship as the beginning when we’ve placed shame upon it.

As much as we naturally, physically and even spiritually desire companionship with the opposite sex; it isn’t about that relationship that should define our motivations or overall perception of God and how He loves us or lack there of. I’m desiring diligently to NOT sound judgmental towards my good friend, however I truly feel that God doesn’t just hand us over a perfect mate like He did Adam before the apple incident. In the same way Jesus spoke to His disciples about who is greatest among them in Matthew 20:26-28, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.“. It could be seen in this scripture and applied to this scenario that if my friend wants to find a “spectacular” woman, than she would be a servant/slave to Christ. In the same way, HE needs to be the same first for Christ before he would ever be great to the Father and in my opinion, be ready, great, good-enough…..whatever for that kid of companionship that God will bless!

To feel he is entitled to have a great woman because he is a child of the King is very selfish sounding since I’m sure the over 60% of the U.S. nationally today wanted that and felt they too deserved it originally before their divorce occurred. Those people even like Charles Stanley felt he had that Godly desired relationship and he serves The Lord in the light of the world more than even my friend and I combined; and he has suffered the sin of divorce the world spins!

So….after all this to ponder and pray diligently on….how do you feel about your relationship currently (if you have one)? To stay single or not to be single? Well, if you’re married and God is your true and real foundation….you have a glimpse of what God intended for Adam & Eve. If you’re single and wondering….Where is God in your total devotional lifestyle? Is He the center? Do you claim Him but not live as a servant for Him?. If you desire God’s love connection for yourself, I believe you’d better get busy listening and doing instead of sitting and waiting. You might die disappointed as He will be in you! 🙂

I Am Merely Wrinkled Duct Tape

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I Am Merely Wrinkled Duct Tape

Frustrated with my brokenness I cry out for repair.
Impatient with my length of wondering I search for alternatives.
Impaired by the solutions surrounding me, I reach for the well known “fix all”.
As if the situation warranted hastiness; I pull out the solution that covers all faults.

Only to feel its fight wrestle against my desires.
One finger pulls away from its grasp only to have more intertwined.
The once all together fix is becoming stuck on itself; taking the focus off of the solution ahead.
Our manipulation entangles its goal to rid us off a broken soul.

We accept its presence how we’ve made it be; clinging it into the mess for everyone to see.
Confidence within its make is now mocked at and groaned; too consumed within its self to see what need it holds.

I am merely wrinkled duct tape; a mess that I have created.
I am merely wrinkled duct tape; a half done fix for what Christ can truly take.
I am merely wrinkled duct tape; I am hiding what I do not see that isn’t really worth the time that has escaped me.
I am merely wrinkled duct tape; a fasod of the potential I could be, if I would only let Christ stick to me!

Jesus is perfect; smooth and with intent….yet we make our purposes nothing about what He meant!
We pull and tug and stretch Him too far; by this I mean He’s like a wish upon a star.
We try to force His will and them call it our own; then in turn realize the picture of healing has a wrinkle of its own.
No smoothing nor cutting can make it His way; unless you sacrifice it all in admittance today!

The “quick fix” and “fix all” is not a solution to call; getting healed in whole is the only prevention to the fall!
You may piece the brokenness or seal an imperfection; yet a seal not eternal will display its ugliness.
You do not have to be mere wrinkled duct tape; you can live with security in JESUSand not be FAKE!
Peal back the stick that makes your life sick; utilize the Savior’s life within to bring you back to LIFE again!

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Duct tape is great and yet man-made; Jesus though is the GREATEST and with you the price was paid!

The “I’m a Christian” Perception

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Recently I was hit with a deeper conviction of what it was like to be working within the “world” as opposed to working within “the church”.  It was during this event I partook in that I realized the tragedy that is the term “Christian” more now than ever.  I have always looked at the term “Christian” and been bothered by the constant misuse of the word when you ask others if they go to church or are apart of a church denominational “body”.  More over, when you ask others if they have a “relationship” with Jesus Christ….the answer is typically the same!  Do they even know the difference between the two?  Better yet, do WE know the difference enough between the two, to explain the value of one over the other?

I love the picture I placed at the beginning of this blog.  “Are Christians more like Jesus or more like the Pharisees?”  How interesting a question to ponder!  You might be thinking to yourself that there is NO WAY you would be a Pharisee because Jesus is in your life….however, is Jesus an ACTIVE ROLE in your life everyday, every hour, every minute!?  Pharisee’s like to talk the talk and not walk the walk when the circumstances facing them warranted a loving Godly response.  They, in my opinion, would rather share their book knowledge than share their LOVE ACTION.  Remember Jesus’ words, “Dear children, don’t just talk about love.  Put your love into action.  Then it will truly be love. (1 John 3:18 NIRV)”

Love shown by a true follower of Christ, not just a talker of Him; means that every moment seizable a love expression is shown THROUGH Christ!  You cannot speak the love of Christ and make it meaningful to one’s heart while you’re embracing the world.  One of my biggest struggles in my faith and being Christ’s vessel each week is that my worldly embracing is still apparent.  There are aspects of this world that still have its reign over my life.  To say I love Jesus and want to walk with Him to eternity and still hold the world close to my heart by my ACTIONS; is completely hypocritical and Pharisitcal!

You are creating your own Pharisee for today’s audience!

build-a-phariseeNothing bothers me more I think than hearing people or seeing people say they are a “Christian” or love Jesus; yet smokes, drinks, cusses regularly, beats their kids, worships porn, sleeps around and then judges others through gossip and back stabbing with their words….are you really IN LOVE with Jesus Christ….like HE is with you???

Here’s the difference between He and you….no matter how much you fail, He loves you unconditionally.  When others look wrong, smells wrong or acts wrong in your eyes; your LOVE for others doesn’t measure up.  Is that wrong?  I don’t believe so; UNLESS you allow that ill-defined love redefine your thoughts on Jesus’ love towards others.  What I mean by all this is simple:  You accept Christ, You define His love for you, You redefine your love for Him with lack-luster commitment, and you never gain the real relationship with Him.

Somewhere along the way (as is always said when no one knows when), Christians have decided that since grace was given to us for free; maybe not worrying about our behavior has made us all have a lukewarm mentality about servanthood.  than many people care to admit when reading this.  As a Christian who has decided years ago to TRY and serve his Savior as obediently as I can, I will admit I have failed miserably.  I am human.  I am sin-stricken.  I am one to whom He died for on the cross over 2000 years ago though….that means something to me enough that my behavior, though not always consistent, is DRIVEN to be more like Christ!  When I say that I am a follower of Christ, I mean I am a follower of Christ in a ACTION sense of the word!  Being “Christian” means many different things and unfortunately in the world we live in today; it doesn’t always mean anything more than you are AWARE of the person Jesus Christ and believe He existed.  Not a set-your-life-aside DISCIPLE OF JESUS holding strongly to the Great Commission to, “GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES (not Christians) OF ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND TEACHING THEM TO OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED YOU (not make your own rules or commands)….”  They two phrases stated by Jesus here that in my opinion is most detrimental is GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES and OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED YOU; both terms have ACTION needed to be taken for them to be reality!

The biggest eye opening experience in my scarred memory of my past came from my junior year in college.  I was involved in a committed relationship with a girl from a group I attended on campus and both of us were professing “Christians” and attended church, talked-the-talk, etc.  But one evening in my dorm room while we were living as we wanted to sexually, a portrait of Christ hung above my bed and I locked eyes with it….in that moment!  Nothing but conviction, guilt and an image of me spitting in His face raced through my mind and ultimately it scarred my soul.  Scarred in a good way though as from that moment on my “open sexuality” as a “Christian” changed forever.  He got to me.  Jesus reached through that picture somehow and got me.  That’s when I realized my open door to my heart I had back when I was 16 and asked Jesus to come take residence there, REALLY came true and I felt it!

Have you FELT the presence of God in your walk daily?  When you try to fit in the the crowd around you; whether good people for Jesus or lost people from Jesus, did you acknowledge your place He has in your heart?  If you did….fantastic….but let me paint another picture to clarify:  When you acknowledge Him to the others, however you did the acknowledging; did you INTRODUCE HIM to them from your heart or did you just tell them of His name on the list of occupants that take up that space?  You know, the space that covers:  addictions to the TV, Internet, Games, PORN; or maybe the space that work has and the closet your family has. What about them priorities?  You know, the space for sleep instead of communication; the space for projects instead of time with your kids….and don’t forget the space for the lust you hold for gazing, observing, gawking, staring, double-taking or even engaging in affairs with other women (or men) other than your spouse!

Jesus is an ALIVE person in your life when you truly invite Him to your life.  But be aware!  You must make room for Him there….you can’t have Him sit amongst all the garbage of the world you still hold on to.  You must hire the “Repentance Extraction” service to help you make His home in your life the most comfortable and profitable for you both!  Once you rid your life of the control of these areas cluttering up your life; Jesus begins the process of making your a real follower of His ways.  Making you desire to be with Him all the time; share Him with all around you above all else, and ultimately being a DISCIPLE of His where nothing the world gives is more enticing, or involving as TIME….TIME….TIME….let me say again….T……I……M……E, with Him!!  Stating simply that you are a “Christian” won’t even come out of your lips.  You’ll just say I have relationship with my Savior and I would love for you to know Him like I do!!

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So what should our (followers of Jesus—FOR REAL) defense be to those who claim to be a “Christian” and then revert to behavior that makes others turn from Christ because that what they believe He’s all about!!??  Well, I hate to say we can’t mute or denounce all the bad things that people before us have said or done to influence one’s thoughts on who Jesus really is or what even a “Christian” is.  But, we can begin by redefining who Jesus is from the moment you come in contact with them on.  The ONLY way someone can truly know Jesus in the “here-and-now” mentality of today, is to be the HANDS AND FEET of Jesus and LOVE by actions and LOVE by words!  No more Pharistical speaking and not leading.  No more hypocritical doing and not loving unconditionally.  Beyond ALL that this world dishes out to us to try and discourage and frustrate and ultimately doubt the commitment we made to Jesus; we need not to forget the end result for us all:  “But REJOICE inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed….However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name! (1 Peter 4:13, 16 NIV)”  Suffer through the trials with Christ, but don’t turn your back on Him!  Don’t let the world lie to you about what’s best for you!  You don’t belong to the world anymore!!  You BELONG to Jesus and you need to FOLLOW Him; not make fun and mock what He did for you!!

My name is Chad Taylor, and I am a follower of Christ.  Through all trials and tribulations, I will never stop, I will never back down, I will never cease, and I will never stop pursuing to be as close to Jesus Christ as I can.  I am daring my life to be a DISCIPLE for Him forever….will you? 🙂  Love and blessings to you all.

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“Low-Blowing” Standards

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Yeah, I know….just the title alone makes you have that tingle of pain begin don’t it? The impulses within the brain trigger the tensing of the muscles and even though you actually didn’t get hit, you FEEL like you did! A pain indescribable, an embarrassment unrelenting as you cower into non-manhood. So….what did you do to get the unwanted punishment from Hell?

Hopefully if you’ve ever had that done to you….men….that you weren’t being rude or inappropriate to the ladies. Ladies, I also hope you weren’t being overly aggressive and purposely without cause abusive to the men.

Believe it or not, this blog entry isn’t about the do’s and dont’s of low blowing men’s genitalia. It’s not even about being a male and whining about women’s “power” over us by the easily abused target between our legs. THIS is all about how we as Christ-followers allow our standards to be low blowed by Satan and the world’s temptations!

So when was the last time you compromised your standards!? Your goals? Your core beliefs?? Recently I feel that I have not only witnessed these kinds of blows, but have taken some myself as what I think is right is no more than my selfish desires getting promoted above obedience to God. For example, when I desire to help someone only to meet a desire within myself; an ego boost, verbal praise, someone to see me doing it, or even use God as a mean of safety and justification to what I WANT to do!

When we recognize that our standards being met are more ours than God’s, there a spiritual problem! Church is Sunday, but there’s a set of free tickets to a game (WHAM!); the Bible study Wednesday night is awesome, yet your friend invites you to a party (WHAM!); that awesome couples devotional that sits by your bed you really enjoy with your wife, yet Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is on and more relaxing…(WHAM!)

Over and over and over Satan hits you where it’d hurt because he knows that if he hits you in a weak standard area, he’s got you!!

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Least we forget the words of Peter, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NIV)” Why sober of mind? Because a mind poisoned with the unnatural to our spirit, it’s like we’re drunk, disoriented & disorderly!

Stand up for what you believe in! If we can go around as Americans & as Christians with bumper stickers, buttons and t-shirts of our favorite politicians and party; why can we do what more people do each November than others do in a lifetime? SHOW PASSION FOR JESUS CHRIST and fight for His standards!!!???

We are used to the low blows and how they feel and it’s numbed our passion for Jesus’ words, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35 NIV). By THIS….this is LOVE! When we love others as a Jesus kind of love, not a worldly conditional kind of love; we will CHANGE OUR STANDARDS!

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Quit giving in people…..quit giving the devil a stronghold on your standards you gave control over to Jesus to! Remind the evil in your mind that Satan tempts you to believe to remember your power! “The God who brings peace will soon defeat Satan and give you power over him. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” (Romans 16:20 ERV)

STAND UP!!!!

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