Set Apart… what does that mean?

Original Post:  August 2006

Well, it is official…or am I official?  I’m not really sure which one.  On August 13th, I was ordained.  That means set apart to do something for God.  Well, here is what I want to do for God.  I want to love Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind, body, and strength.  That is not easy to do by no means.  Much of my life has been tormented by the sins that I so rampently let run in control of myself.  To be the man that God wants me to be means letting go of all those things and sins that so easily ensnare us with guilt and burdens.  They slow our life to a hilt and make our heart feel as though it may burst from the struggles.  I don’t mean just the ten commandment sins either.  I know that I have broken my share of those, but I also mean the sins that I have allowed in my life that begin the path towards breaking the heart of God and the hearts of others.  The same sins that are made popular by the 90’s movie “Seven.”  I’ve been reading a book about these.  If you don’t know them, they are Pride, Anger, Envy, Slothfulness, Lust, Gluttony, and Greed.  You see, over the past year God has been getting my serious attention and I am more different then i was a year ago, 8 months ago, heck even from 4 weeks ago.  Those dates were not chosen for any particular reason except to say that God has been making me face the fact that even if I have been “set apart” I myself am able to accomplish no good thing…certainly no great thing.  Sure I may be able to do “something,”  but without Him, it is not what would be considered a good thing.  I want my life to be different!  Please God!

I want to Love my Jesus with my all, somthing that I know I haven’t done in a long, long time.  I’m thankful He forgives us when we allow ourselves to be forgetful of who He is.  Pray for me as I continue to grow in Him.

I want my wife to know that I love her with a new grace and affection that pours not out of myself, but from the relationship I’m building with the God who has blessed us so abundantly.  I’m thankful for new beginnings in which each day looks to what it brings and not to what the past has held.  I love you Melinda and I will strive to be the man God meant for you to have by your side.  Thank you for always sticking with me even in struggles.  I want to be your knight in shining armor because you are the beautiful damsel of my dreams that has made my heart soar for a greater love.

I want my daughter to know that she is “Daddy’s Little Angel.”  When I say that I mean that she has brought so much inspiration to overcome in my life.  I want to be her guardian, her father, her hero, and the model of what a man should look like.  Because of her she should have no fear of whether her daddy loves her because I will give up all I can in order to protect the relationship we have and the family we come together under.

I want my church to know that I love them.  Thank you for encouraging me when I have been really stupid and absent-minded.  I want more than anything not for you to see another leader that is stepping up to something more, but a man that hopefully shows you more of the hope of God and the heart of God than the actions of myself. 

I know that I began by saying that I was officially set-apart on a certain date, but to me, being set apart means that I’m set-apart from my old self, from the ordinary life, from a purposeless existence, to a new place that is amazingly extraordinary because of Christ Jesus whose grace is so incredibly sufficient.  “He is able to do abundantly and exceedingly more than we could ever imagine”…or accomplish on our own.

Things That Change Your Life…

Original Post:  April 2007

Well, today i’m sitting in my office with all kinds of thoughts floating through my head and heart.  I was jst thinking about the fact that I’m not the same person I was 1 year ago…2 years ago…5 years ago…and certainly not the same as I was 10 years ago.

I want to tell you something you already know…Life changes us.  More importantly…God uses life to change us and to bring us closer to Him.

Things that have changed me:
When I was 12 years old…I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.  That means I knew that I needed Him to be my rescuer and save my life from myself.  I wasn’t sure about what all the difference it would make in my life…but it did.  From that point on it was like there was this light going on and off that signaled right and wrong…guidance and conviction.  Jesus was now in dwelling in spirit in my heart.  He was now closer that I had known someone could be.  He has to be close allowed to dwell in your life to save you from yourself.

When I was 19 years old.  That is 7 years later, something new happened.  My world was shaken up by turmoil in my family and by the breakdown of health with my grandmother.  I had lost sense of the person I was and God was working on bringing that view closer.  I was in college and dating.  With those two I was making huge mistakes because I wanted to take in everthing that i thought would make me happy.  As the world fell around me, I found myself broken under that heap of pain.  It was only because Christ, had brought new friends in my life that I would be encouraged not to give up.  It brought me to a place that I had never known.  I learned the joy of being a God follower…not just a God believer.  This is where true Christianity is more than something you claim…but something you live.  I’m not talking about perfection because even after this I have made some very big mistakes along with the small ones.  But it is when you know you need to make Jesus the Lord He is over your life.  When you live like He is your King.  The next thing I knew, two years later I was being called to follow into full Christian service.  This doesn’t make me any better than anyone else or holier than anyone else…it’s just where i desire to serve career wise.

The 3rd huge change came when I met and married my lovely bride.  This has been a fantastic journey.  I just wish that I could have shown her everyday that I love her…because there have been days in that first year of marriage…that I didn’t show it with my full heart.  I’m sorry, I took you for granted then, but those days are behind and I have devoted the past 2 years to trying my best to show that i love her with everything inside of me.  Our 3 year anniversary is coming up.  I hope it is just a small mile marker on a long road together.  Melinda makes me want to be a better man…a man for God.

The 4th huge change of course is my little girl.  Whether i like it or not…she is not the baby she once was.  She is growing up on me fast.  I know that she is only a year old, but she makes me want to be a better leader.  She inspires me to have joy and laughter and at the same time to walk a line of inspiration or her.  I pray that I never fail even though i know I may falter…I will still cling strong to what I can be for her.

Think about the changes in your life.  Sure, all the wrinkles are not ironed out yet.  But press on knowing that one day, God will reveal His ultimate gift to those who love and live for Him.

How Far Am I Willing To Go?

Original Post- November 2007, moved from my myspace account:

On my heart this week is the big thought of…”what happens next?”  What is the next step in our journey with the King Supreme?  Well, I guess that all depends.  Every step forward in a journey or quest begins with a question looming in our minds.  At least I hope this question is there, because if it isn’t then we are walking without aim, knowledge, or faith.  

The question is “how far am I willing to go?”  I know that when it comes to travel, I want to see it all, and when it comes to my family, I want to be there for it all.  But when it comes to our walk with Christ…what is mine and your limit? Is it like that of a martyr to be willing to die?  I think that sounds like the noble and honorable thing to say.  The truth is the our answer to the question of “how far am I willing to go?”…should be something like this (and this is where I hope I am, and if I’m not, I want to be there)…I will live for Jesus, even if it kills me.  That means, we may think death is a noble sacrifice, but life lived for Jesus…that is something very different.  

This is something that  takes limitless devotion.  It takes a person that says i’m willing to give every breath over to my God even if it could be my last.  WOW!  I’m not sure i live that way.  I want to live that way, but i know that i’m not always that person.  What would it look like if this became the cry of a generation?  What if we began to live like this for the one we call our KING…Jesus Christ?  

I think then, people would begin to know…that we really believe He is who He says He is and that He does all that He promises to do.  I also believe that when they see this….they will see the truth,and the truth will se them free.

Honor the Price

Original Post December 2007- moved from my myspace account:

What is your favorite gift?  What is the most hoped for thing on your Christmas list?  What is the fondest Christmas morning you’ve ever had?  What is that one present that you’ll ever throw away because it was so incredibly special?  It is amazing to me how some gifts…we could careless about and yet we somehow needed them.  

There are also those gifts we have received that we don’t care to mention because…well, It just wasn’t our cup of tea….let’s face it…you might as well have gotten a partridge in a pear tree they were so useless. However, there are those gifts we never forget and we try to hold onto forever.  These could be some favorite toy or whatever from our childhood, and it may be something we talk about all the time.  We hold a special place of honor for these gifts. (Meaning they are valued much more than the packs of socks and underwear we got).  

But what about God’s gift to us.  Do we honor it?  Do we value it for the price that was paid for it?  How much do we care about the present Jesus offered us?  I think we really need to study what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 to see what He says about honoring the price paid.  It will sure keep us out of the refund lines after Christmas, but I hope it reminds us…that we are not our own. We were paid for with a price….that means God considers us valuable to Him.  How do you honor the price?

What it Do?

Original Post Date July, 2009 from my myspace account:

Well, what it do?  
It’s a funny statement don’t you think… I know I do.  Yet, I ask this question often about things placed in front of me… especially car parts…but I’m learning.  Anyway, many times we have to know what it does before we’ll ever trust it.  I can honestly understand this because it is only natural for us to think like this.  And many times, we can figure out exactly what is going to happen or how it is going to function.  
There are only two places in life that I think we can never truly narrow this question down and always know…  I believe that the will of God is so able to be understood… and yet not.  He gives us clear direction and guidance through the Scriptures about His will, and yet, he personally will sometimes do things in our lives or show us things that are beyond comprehension.  
Like in my life, i sometimes understand His grace and forgiveness for the times my integrity has not been as solid as it should be.  It is hard for me to grasp why He would forgive me… but then to bless me more than I can possibly ask or imagine… I know that is Scriptures promise… but it blows my mind and melts my heart and moves my soul.  God is great, but sometimes we lose sight of how great and marvelous He is.  It reminds me of all the things that i have taken for granted.  
So i guess the second place that is unsearchable is the human heart in the hand of an intimate God… you’ll never fully know how just a true moment with Jesus can intersect us and move us in ways and to places that just don’t seem normal.  So what it do?  sometimes I don’t know… but i enjoy the adventure of how He does all these things.  Peace my friends.

The Courage To Dream

This post is from August of 2008…moved from my myspace account which i never use now.

You know, life is pretty funny sometimes. I think that is because our Lord has a sense of humor that boggles our frail minds. What I mean by that, is when I see God, I feel like I am completely unworthy of Him doing anything significant in my life. Then, He ends up doing exceedingly more than i could possibly ask or even imagine. I know that I don’t deserve to have the beautiful wife that i do, but Jesus brought her to me. I know that i don’t deserve my adorable and hilarious children, but He gave them to us. I certainly know I don’t deserve to be forgiven and then to even have the grace (favor) of God placed on me. I mean i keep messing up everyday. 

Then, i get to be a person that is called to be a representative for His name… I mean what is that? Certainly, not worthy…but i think it is very funny. Because He makes me smile… You should think about what God places in your life to make you smile. And one of the many things He places within us… is our dreams. God places our dreams inside of us to accomplish. I don’t mean the fleeting fancies of wanted pleasure. I mean the absolutely huge yearning inside that longs to come out and be God sized… yet fear usually keeps them squelched. The kind of dreams that if God doesn’t lead you through them, they would fail. And that is what we are so afraid of… failure. 

Sometimes failure is going to happen. Sometimes the obstacles are going to seem big. The children of Israel didn’t go first into the promise land because of the fear of defeat (failure). It cost them a generation. Joseph had to go through extreme obstacles which had to feel like failures before the dream inside of him was accomplished. All, i’m going to say is this… the only way to have the courage to dream is not just trust in your dream… but in Christ Jesus that placed it there.