Category Archives: Friendship

The Gift Of Choice!

The reality that I am created in the image of God still blows me away. And if I am honest, most days, I don’t even come close to even come close to getting what that reality really means. What I do know is that it means that God loves me BIG and has given me this human experience as a gift to grow in my relationship and understanding of Him.

When we actually take the time to step away from the busyness of life, we can’t help but to think about all the gifts God has given us to be thankful for. I encourage you to take time everyday to think about some of the great blessings God has blessed you with and take the time to show some gratitude by saying thank you.

Out of all the great gifts that God has given, one that amazes me to my core is the gift of choice. God has given each one of us the gift of being able to choose for ourselves the life we will experience and live. When we stop and think about it, that gives us great reason to rejoice and be happy, because with that choice comes great power to decide and determine the direction of our life and living.

The thought of this great gifts makes me think of the tremendous responsibility we have been given to be the “master of our fate and captain of our soul” as talked about by William Ernest Henley in his classic poem “Invictus”.

Invictus

“Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

So what are we to do with this great gift of choice? We are to choose wisely to live the life of blessing we were created for and we would do well to learn as quickly as possible that our choice do indeed have consequences. So, let’s start off with an extra positive choice:

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” -Philippians 4:4

Once again, we see the tremendous power we have at our disposal. We have the ability to choose who or what is going to be the focus of our lives. Others do not get to decide this for us, unless we give our power of choice away to them. It is our power and our choice – what we will focus on. I want to encourage you to focus on the God Who made you and His amazing plan for you to live a life of blessing made up of living, learning, laughing and loving.

You’ve got the power – will you use it? That’s the BIG QUESTION isn’t it. We have the power, but most of us never ever get around to using it. We might every now and then tap into it, but for the most part, we tend to wander around aimlessly, just getting by. You have the amazing power to choose the life you will live – choose wisely!

It is interesting to me that Philippians 4:4 tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord” two times, almost as if there is some understanding that we are not really going to get it the first time. When it comes to choice, we can be happy or sad, mad or glad – the choice is ours. I choose to rejoice in the God, Who gave me the power to choose for myself and look forward to growing in the blessing of that incredible power that changes everything…

Why I Do What I Do!

I still remember taking those test in High School that are supposed to tell you what you are supposed to be when you grow up and mine always indicated that I had the potential to be and do a lot of things, but no real desire or focus in any single direction. I remember thinking, I just wish someone would tell me what to do?

What I really loved was the spiritual life and the idea that we can have friendship with God, but back in those days, there were not many people big on the “personal relationship” part. The focus was more on getting you saved, baptized and into membership of the local church.

I could not really see myself being a Pastor/Preacher/Teacher,, because I just did not think of myself as being intelligent enough and I absolutely hated studying. I thought maybe God wanted me to be a Youth Minister. Down deep in my heart, I knew I was called and gifted by God to be a Pastor/Preacher/Teacher, but I felt like everyone else would judge me as inadequate, because I certainly did not feel that I was qualified or could even become qualified.

I remember a traveling evangelist coming through town and he came and spoke at our school. The story he told was that back in his younger days he had been running with the wrong crowd and one night he was with some guys that decided to rob a store. They all got caught and he went to jail and while he was in jail, he met Jesus and accepted Him as his Savior. The relationship with Jesus changed his life and he was so on fire because of the amazing relationship he had with Jesus. He was in our town for about a week and I remember going to hear him preach every chance I got. I do not remember his name, but I do remember how God began to deal with me and my future in a very real way during that time. For the first time, I knew what I felt in my heart about growing in a personal relationship with God was of vital importance to the Kingdom and we’ve got to start talking about this.

I had accepted Christ at a young age and had been a pretty good boy growing up. My family and church had raised me to know the difference between right and wrong. I generally chose right, because I wanted to be pleasing to God and especially because I did not want to disappoint my Granny or Mother. A lot of the teenage temptations did not interest me, because I cared more about what other people thought and that often kept me on the straight and narrow. (Not for the right reason, but it worked for the most part.)

After the evangelist left town, I really began to grow in my devotional times with God. I began everyday in His Word and I journaled and did my best to pray without ceasing. I can still remember going out at night to have long walk and talks with Jesus. Trying to figure out what He wanted me to do with my life. I remember praying one night: “God if I have to go to jail in order to find your will and serve you, then I am willing to do whatever I need to do.” Looking back, this was the very first time that I truly began to acknowledge God’s call upon my life.

As I grew in my faith and relationship, God began to also make it clear that He wanted me to be a Pastor/Preacher/Teacher for Him and His Kingdom. He showed me that a big part of what I was supposed to do, was just share the relationship and help others get into it and grow through it. So that is how it all started. There is a lot more to the journey, but that will be for another time.

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, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. -Philippians 2:1-4

Today I was thinking about my “WHY?” Why am I a Minister (Pastor/PreacherTeacher)? Why am I a Master Life Coach? Why am I a Mentor? And here are Seven Reasons That Make Up My Why!

1.) God has called me and gifted me to do what I do!

2.) There is a much bigger picture of God and I really do want everyone to get it!

3.) The Bible is more than a book, it’s a love letter full of directions, guidance and instructions for living the blessed life we were created for.

4.) The Church is God’s best plan for us doing life together so that we can encourage, grow and motivate one another.

5.) A Relationship with God really does make all the difference and someone has to believe that, share that and help others get it right.

6.) I’m not perfect and I don’t have to be, because God actually wants to use my imperfections to bring greater glory to Himself and encouragement to others.

7.) I’ve given God plenty of opportunities to give up on me, turn His back on me and/or zap me with a lighting bolt, but every time, He reminds me that His GRACE is sufficient…

WHY CHURCH?

The CHURCH is not a building. To think of the church as a building is to limit it in so many different ways. The CHURCH is the physical gathering together of spiritual believers. We gather together, because we’ve been brought from death to life and our spirit is empowered to help us live life at a higher level. We gather together to worship the ONE , Who has made it all possible. We gather together to study, learn and grow as disciples set apart to something better than just getting by. We gather together to bless, encourage and serve others, because when we do this we are serving the ONE, Who makes everything possible. We gather together, because we are better, stronger and more powerful together than apart.

Coming together on Sunday is about accountability, community, connection, encouragement, growth, networking, relationship and so much more. This face to face, heart to heart and spirit to spirit interaction accomplishes things that nothing else can. It’s God’s designed way for us to become all that He has created and crafted us to be and then some.

“Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhort one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” -Hebrews 10:25

Why Church? Because Church Is Ministry We Are All In Need Of…

The Ministry OF Relationship! We are a part of something much bigger than ourselves. We belong to a spiritual family that loves us at our best and worst. We are united together as the family of God, a group of men, women, boys and girls who believe in the Gospel “good news” that God made a way where there was no way, so that we might have abundant and everlasting life.

The Ministry Of Example! We need one another to grow spiritually the way God designed us to grow! When we do life together we learn from each other’s failures and successes. We see how “not to do it” and how to “do it”. Learning from failure and success are both important and the good news is: It is not dependent upon you being perfect and never making a mistake. It is just simply dependent upon you living your life, learning along the way and sharing the journey with others.

The Ministry Of Presence! We grow one another! The best way to learn is from one another. When we come together in unity, in spite of all that tries to divide us, it is a brilliant testimony to the rest of the world that there is something (SOMEONE) greater that unites us and ties us together. Young, old and in-between, from every socio-economic background, all colors and creeds, from every walk of life – united in Christ, yielded to the Spirit and in love with God our Creator.

I want to encourage you to find a church that you can be a part of, because you have blessings that someone else needs and somewhere there is someone waiting on you with a blessing you’ve been looking for…