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Thursday, July 28, 2011

What to do when God says go forward but You need to know more.

So I am at a really pivotal time in my life right now, a time of change and transition. And as is the nature of us human beings, this can be a very uneasy time, where when we need to see things so clearly theybare often not that at all.

But nevertheless, God continues to tell me and you to GO FORWARD! I was read ing in Exodus 14 today as the children of Israel were fleeing Egypt and they approached the Red Sea ahead of them and Pharoah and his goons behind then and they started to despair again. They, much like us, were faced with the perceived uncertainty of what lied ahead, and the perceived comfortability or security of what was behind them. In the midst of this all, their leader Moses went to God to pray and God says, why are you crying to me, get up and go forward (Exodus 14:15 my paraphrase). But he doesn't tell them how they will get through what's ahead of them until after he tells them to get moving. I believe the next verse, when God instructs Moses to lift up his rod and part the Red Sea (Exodus 14:16) wasn't spoken until after they started moving again.

I am learning more and more that this is one of the ways God works, he gives us an instruction and once we start to follow it, he opens up doors to make it possible. I know to us this is a little unsettling and for this of us who tend to be more practical this can seem crazy, but it's proven in scripture over and over again. I would tell you where, but you might need to study a little on your own to show yourself approved, LOL.

But seriously, the next time God asks you to move forward on a command or promise without giving you the whole plan, and you require the full layout first, remember, that may be your way but not his and it may make no sense to you, but all the sense in the world to Him. When we face these times it's important to remember what the Holy Spirit said through Isaiah in
55:8-9 his ways and thoughts are different from ours, but not only are they different they are "higher" or BETTER. Take his way, it always works better than your own.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Get Up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joshua 7:10
10 So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? 

Have you ever had one of these moments with God? I have, as a matter of fact I just had one that motivated me to write this.

So for context purposes, Joshua and the children of Israel had just taken the city of Jericho and in the midst of the victory Achan had defied the Lord's command and kept some of the spoils for himself.  After Jericho was won Joshua set out to defeat Ai, which should have been an easy feat according to the spies he sent out, but unbeknownst to him they were in trouble due to Achan's disobedience. Let me pause right here and say, be careful because the disobedience of others close to you can cause you trouble too. Back to the story, they went out against Ai and they got whooped(Reuel's paraphrase).


In response to the loss Joshua came before the Lord in what he thought was a prayer and began to sob and complain and ask questions like:
"Alas, Lord God, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all—to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us?" (Joshua 7:7)


And he made silly statements like:
"Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan!"(Joshua 7:7)

Then he began doubting God as if it was his fault they lost saying:
For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear it, and surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great name?” (Joshua7:9)

And all this he did while laying on his face as if he were in prayer and worship before God.  Well God definitely didn't see it that way as we can tell by his response. If God spoke like us, which i am glad he doesnt, he would have said something like, "Joshua shut up all that crying and moaning and get up". He wenton to tell Joshua what their problem was and how to solve it.

Im not coming down on Joshua, because God knows we have all had our moments of complaining to God and calling it prayer, as I said I just had one. But right in the middle of it I could hear the Holy Spirit say get up, repent and begin to decree and declare victory over this attack of the enemy.


We have to remember that when there is a setback in  our lives or the enemy attacks and we react in the wrong way, its not the time to whimper and cry, but the time to stand up and "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" not in the weakness of our strength.

A Word On Courage

Courage, a word often used but seldom lived. Webster's 1828 dictionary defines courage as:
 
"Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution. It is a constituent part of fortitude; but fortitude implies patience to bear continued suffering."

In the 1st chapter of the book of Joshua God tells Joshua to be strong and of good Courage 4 different times (Joshua1:6, 7, 9, 18) , and two of those times he uses the phrase, only be strong and have courage (Joshua 1:7, 18). 

We all have purposes in life and though to you, yours may not seem as important as Joshua's, to God no one of us or our purpose is anymore important than the other. But one thing remains true, whatever God has called you to do, he has put within you the gift and ability to do it, but you must have Faith in God and the COURAGE to step out on that Faith and do it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Are We Christians Limiting Ourselves?!?!

I was at Bible study last night and the speaker made a comment that has been ringing in my ears ever since.  He was speaking on making the impossible possible in our lives, just the type of message I love to hear. While in the middle of building our faith he challenged us to not be like most Christians that;

Think too small...
Aim too low...
and Quit too soon...

The statement was hard to swallow as I began to ponder the way I think.  I began to wonder if I was one of those people. Then I decided instead of pondering if I was I would purpose to never be again.

You see, most of us who believe in God and trust in the name of Jesus fail to realize the limitless ability that we possess.  We have the creator of the universe, the almighty God living on the inside of us, and there is nothing too hard for our father God. We profess to know that Jesus died for us to bring us into right relationship with God, but we often stop right there. We often fail to associate the benefits of the death of Christ and the blood that he shed for us, with our ability to succeed right here on earth, and skip straight to heaven. Without a doubt Christ died for our salvation and that will get us into heaven,  but the truth is Christ died for us to have an abundant life here and there (John 10:10).

We have to begin to renew our minds and think big, we have a big God and a larger than life helper called the Holy Spirit.

We have to begin to aim higher, if we are truly Heaven bound then we should be aiming to accomplish things on the way to heaven which is on high not down low.

And we have to begin to stay in Faith and persevere until we see the promises of God come to pass in our lives.  We are Christians, people of Faith, we are not quitters.  When life throws us a curve ball we use our faith and hit that thing out of the park.  We don't quit, we don't get weary in our well doing and give up because we have Faith that in the end we will win (Gal 6:9, 2Cor 2:14)

So to my main point, we as Christians are the ones limiting ourselves. Stop blaming the devil, he doesn't have the power to stop you, all he can do is deceive you. Definitely don't blame God, he already said he gave you all things that you need for life and godliness (2Pet 1:3) along with the countless other promises he has given us that enable us to live wonderful lives. It is us, we are limiting ourselves through our ignorance, laziness, selfishness, and other ways God has given us the ability to overcome.

We need to snap out of it and pursue all that Christ gave his life for us to enjoy.

An Ode to My Wife on Her Birthday...

I don't know why I would title this blog Ode, when I don't posses a hint of poetic ability, but it sounded cool so I went with it.

Anyway, today is a monumental day in my life's history, it is the birthday of the wonderful, beautiful woman that God has blessed me with, Crystal Bianca Williams.


I tried to find a poem on line that summed up my feelings and I couldn't, i tried o find a verse of scripture to do so and I couldn't find one small enough to not make this post unbearably long, so I decided to just write what I felt.  So here we go;

Crystal,
You are a blessing from God in my life, he has truly shown me favor by blessing me with you. I know I have not perfected showing my appreciation for you, but yet you are still here loving me nonetheless. I know we were meant to be because of how God is using each of us to make the other better, and because I don't think there is anyone better suited to put up with someone like me. By the grace of God I am going to give you all that he desires you to have, and more than you could ever want. My love for you is unspeakable and I am grateful to God for this day and the many more we will share together. You have been a friend, a mother, a coach, a supporter, and of course a lover beyond what I deserve or have earned and I am grateful to you for that.

Love,
Your Husband

PS
I was going to throw some Song of Solomon scriptures in here, but they weren't G rated enough...LOL

Monday, July 18, 2011

Moving Forward: My Fitness/Workout Dilema, I think I've figured it out....

Okay so I need to lose some weight, and if you know me personally this is no surprise to you, you might have even said it to me at one point or another. I am by no means obese, but I am overweight and that is neither healthy or a good witness to the abundant life Christ died for me to have.

That being said, I was doing a good job for a while. I was eating less and working out more, and I lost about 15lbs, then I plateaued and now I have gained a few back. I know a part of the issue is my eating habits, sometimes I eat too late and most times I eat too much.  I love food. I love to cook.  These are two facts I have had to face, but they do not make my weight loss impossible, because I have learned that with Christ I can do all things including eat better.

My main problem has been working out.  I go to the gym for a while and then I stop, and then I start again, and then I start again.  I have yet to really get a good consistent routine going. But I realize why now. Whenever I am on that darn treadmill, all i can think about is getting off.  From the moment I program the workout and take that first mechanical step all I want to do is be gone.  Why you may ask? Well if you know me well you know its not because I am lazy and desire inactivity, I am a go go person.  I am always moving, and my energy level is crazy high. The treadmill problem is that I am a forward motivated person and their is no real forward movement on a treadmill. I cant stand walking and going nowhere, looking at the same things in front of me for 30 minutes to an hour while simulating movement.  It is unbearable to me.

So yesterday for the first time in a long time i did my exercise walking outdoors, and it was great!!! I was able to set a goal for where I wanted to walk to,and I couldn't quit because once i got there I had no choice but to walk back.  It was such a refreshing experience to me, and a great workout at the same time. I told my wife yesterday that I would no longer be attempting the gym workouts, as long as weather permits I will be outdoors making forward progress in my fitness effort.

God is so good, and his timing is so perfect. Yesterday at church a prophetic word came forth that said "God is flashing the green light in front of us to say go forward." That simple word has infected and effected me in so many ways already.
  • I am going forward in the things of God.
  • I am going forward in my pursuit of God's next level in my life and for my family.
  • I am going forward in my pursuit for fitness.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Christians and Tattoos.....

I have always been pretty set in my thoughts on Christians and tattoos.  I thought NO WAY!!! I myself have a few tats but they were done before I had a relationship with Christ or pre-salvation. 

Well I watched this video today by Pastor Craig Groeschel, of http://www.lifechurch.tv/ and it has me thinking about my stance. 

I am not saying that I am thinking of running out and getting a tattoo, I am just prayerfully reconsidering how I might counsel others when I am asked in the future.

Take a look at this video and let me know what you think....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Michele Bachman, Can Christians really win National Elections???

Let me start by saying, I am in no way stating that it is impossible for us as true Christians to win national elections, because nothing is impossible with God. What I am asking is if we can truly stand by our Christian values and walk upright while winning a national election in this dispensation of time?

The word of God makes several things clear to us, but as for the issue at hand it makes these two clear points;
 1) How we should live. Eph 4:22-5:4
2) The world will most likely hate us. John 15:18-25

I was prompted to ask these questions and write this blog as a result of the headlines about Michelle Bachman's clinic and their claims to be able to help homosexuals no longer be homosexuals.  I read headlines like "Pray away the Gay" and "Michelle Bachman's Gay Cure" and the scenic-ism and ridicule in the headlines alone was so obvious I almost needed not read the articles themselves to know that they would make claims that anyone trying to bring deliverance to a person dealing with homosexuality was wrong, dangerous, or nutty. The only thing that was more disturbing than their ridicule was the lines that said Mrs. Bachman would not comment on the claims made by the media and the undercover activists that taped the interviews in her clinic.

The fact of the matter is, that we as Christians and true Disciples of Jesus Christ believe that deliverance from the sin proclivity of homosexuality is just as possible and necessary as deliverance from lying, stealing, hating, and all other kinds of sins we all have dealt with at one point or another.  But if your goal to win the popular vote is going to stop you from saying that, then is that the vote you want to win?

Christ was clear, the world hated him and they will hate us too, because we are NOT OF THE WORLD.  We are to be voices crying aloud and sparing not.  We are to be preaching repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Will this make us popular with the world? NO. John the Baptist wasn't popular, he was beheaded by Government officials, Jesus was killed, Peter was crucified like Christ.  All these were results of them taking a righteous stand for Christ. What makes us think we can take that kind of stand and be elected to office.

Ask yourself, in today's world and the current political climate can a Christian do the following and win a local election, let alone a national one:

  1. "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Eph 4:29
  2. "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice." Eph 4:30
  3. "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." Eph 4:31....What if another Christian is your opponent?
  4. "neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks." Eph 5:4
  5. "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." Phil 2:3-4
  6. "But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil." Luke 6:35  There is no Love for an enemy in an election only the desire to triumph over him.
  7. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:10  "Vote for me, vote for me, i'm the best and he's the worst" Does that sound humble to you?
  8. “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israelt of their sins! Isaiah 58:1 NLT  The world, especially America,  does not want to hear that they have Sin. Will they elect you when  you cry out against their abortion, homosexuality, political corruption, unfair business practices.
When I look at just these few commands from the Word of God, i start to wonder less if we can win a national election and more why would we want to compromise to even try. We have been called to change the world not by invading its government, but by bring Heaven to invade Earth through our Faith, Prayer and Righteous works.  We need to realize our mandate to live for Christ and try to win as many souls as possible not to win as many popularity contests as possible