Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not one of the 12 disciples were alike...

So, we have ventured enough to find that the Lord's creations, ourselves, are quite different. Man's thoughts and feelings, the ways of his heart or the theories he may possess differ than those of another brother...
Good, it shows we have variety! We will not always agree and I could guarantee you that if we had to spend an abundance of time with one another we would really see how completely different we all are.
The one area we all agree, the absolute best one of all, that Jesus Christ was beaten, scourged by man, carried the cross, and stretched His arms as far as He could to the east and west before they pulled them even further, then chose the nails for every sin ever committed by us. With the flicker of an eye lash He could have summoned legions of Angels to aid Him in destroying them all, instead He felt the pain due all of us knowing He could end the agony at any moment He wanted. Enduring it all, He loved us like no other would ever, before we were born and knowing fully what we all would do to Him and His Father again and again and again!
Yes we all agree on that!
I'll tell you what I was thinking last night, three words; courage, tact, and passion. David may have had a different opinion on our latest study and that's fine. He also shares something with everyone in that room too, grace...
We keep our hearts and minds on the above and they will show us what to do and what not to do every time.
"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3 niv

Faith, Hope, and Love... The greatest is Love!


"Out Back" camp-out...

Hey "Wild Men,"

The "Out Back," camp-out will take place March 20th-21st , Friday-Saturday, in the lot behind Woodland the Community Church. As always, new people are welcome to join in the fellowship... This will be a tremendous opportunity for all of us to share in deeper conversation of the love of Christ and the grace of our Father!
If you have a young man in your family or anyone you feel would be comfortable with our band of brothers, please include them as well, after all it will be a great bonding time for all involved! There is no gear list, no maids, and no commanding officer to tell you what to do so figure out what will sustain you for the duration and lets "Git-er-Done!"
Always remember, "only you can prevent forest fires!" Smokey is now retired and fretting about his 401-K so, we have to be responsible and recognise that it is the dry-season. No major league bon-fires... We will have to keep the flames low and for cooking use. HAVE FUN! Alright, after being at our meeting on 3-3, John says were burning for Christ and were burning some fire @ the camp-site so bring it!!!


Today's Word from Joel and Victoria

Today's Word from Joel and Victoria

When God puts a dream in your heart, when He puts a promise on the inside, He deposits within you everything you need to accomplish that dream. He wouldn't give you the desire to do something without giving you the ability to fulfill it. In fact, the scripture tells us that God gives us the desires of our heart. In other words, He puts the desire inside of us and then works with us to bring it to pass. Oftentimes, people set out to accomplish their dreams, but they face a setback or disappointment, and then they feel like their time has passed. But let me tell you today, no matter where you've come from, no matter what's happened in your past, God wants to make you new.

He wants to give you a "do over," a fresh start. If you feel like you've missed opportunities in your life, if you feel like your time has passed, remember, today is a new day. You are a new person, and God has new opportunities in store for you. If one dream has died, it's time to dream a new dream.

A Prayer for Today
Father in heaven, thank You for making all things new. I give You this day and invite You to have Your way in every area of my life. I choose to receive all the promises You have in store for me. In Jesus' Name. Amen

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Help I need a church


I need a good church for my Mother and niece in Baltimore Maryland, near Timonium would be great. I am hoping that I can help them get into a great Bible based church with a strong program for Teen Agers.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions, or call me at 941 907 4132.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Let someone lean on you...

This week I had the privilege of helping a young family move and re-locate to a new home. They had been through a great deal of pain and suffering that will leave scars on their hearts for many years if not a life-time...

The highlight was riding with the young boy, an eight year old. He was the same age as I was when my dad left to go be with another man. This boys face hung like one familiar to me, and his eyes had the blank stare that I'm sure too many youth have had in the worlds history. He seemed excited and scared at the same time, thrilled to be away but in a puzzled wonder that it could happen again. I watched the smiles come and go with traces of new hope-filled dreams and also the dreaded anguish of a young boy that has probably seen the un-cut version of "Cops" before the film crew arrives. I tried to build up the occasion with the reminder of new friends, a room , and school then, he hit me with it, "we're gonna have a new dad someday." "We're leaving and he can't know where we're going." He paused the amount of time needed to draw a question looking at me the whole time so I asked,"why?" He said, "because he'll kill us all." Tears lay on his cheeks like chains and his chin hit his chest. I thought I might have to pull over. I swallowed back my tears with all my might knowing I had to do the talking for a while. I told him that a new world was opening up for him, a chance for him to be whatever he wanted and to put all the pain away and that it was time to feel love, real love! He began to tell me exactly what he had witnessed and though our stories were different, I couldn't help but notice the sorrow that shaped his face was much like the kind that had distorted mine so many years earlier. That boy reached down and spread his ribs wide open for me to see his heart and he didn't miss a beat doing so. I guess I expected a somewhat longer passage and to my amazement, the boy just handed himself to me like a broken toy.
We continued to talk and finally reached our destination. The work got done and it was time for me to leave. I had to leave and that boy came running to give me a hug that matched the ones I receive from my own children. The drive was long but, it wasn't long enough for me to do what I wanted to, I hope it did some good for the short time he had to lean on me... I don't remember having anyone to do that with when I was his age. It was one of those times to give something you didn't get...

In Him, Michael...

Monday, February 16, 2009

What is a Blog?


One of the things that I noticed is that we have a ton of visitors and readers of the blog but hardly any "Comments". For most of us (myself included) we unfamiliar with Blogging, women do it to the tune of 50 million blogging but for us guys it is something new and different.

Blogging is an opportunity for us to share information, thoughts etc, and what makes it great is that if you read something and you want to comment, good or bad at the bottom of the post is a link for you to post your comment.

Please next time you read something that moves you, take a second and let other know. This is what helps a blog to grow and become dynamic. It is the difference between what we do as a group on Tuesday and going to a Lecture and being spoken to. A blog gives you the opportunity to talk back and share your opinions.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Created in His image...

You see the stars, the mountains, the wonders under the sea, and all the incredible scenes on the earth. The Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Barrier Reef, the Swiss Alps, the Amazon jungle, and too many to list.

Yes, wondrous creations abound all over our world but, none really as incredible as us. He orchestrated His masterpiece with the finest craftsmanship known, forging through His infinite wisdom He created us in His image for His pleasure. Though He knew our fate in advance, He thought all of us to be pleasing to Him and His purpose. Take in the functions of the human body and mind, I mean really consider the intricacy, the meticulous nature, the perfect combination of cells and molecules to form humanity. We breathe without thought, we talk, we eat, we feel emotions, we love...
We do all of these things and operate in magnificent fashion and we do it surrounded by all of the beauty He created for us to marvel at and enjoy. I think we tend to overlook ourselves. Each of us different, no one alike, made to worship Him and to be in a love relationship with Him. The variety He has in us, He doesn't compare any of us or anything else He's made to the other. Why do we?
Your unique, and so are all of us. I can't wait to see what He really had in mind before we got in our own way... Recently we talked about Eden and what it must have been like before evil was unleashed to spoil the purity. I wonder what man will look like eating all pure fruit and living the rest of our days tearless!
See you on Mount Everest or the thirteen-thousandth rock from the sun...
Wanna race?


Friday, February 13, 2009

Tool to help in the Job Search


For anyone looking for a job or thinking that they maybe soon in the market for one I have a recommendation. You need to join this is a site that allows you to build an online business contact network.

Today it is not what you know, it is who you know and this will help you build a network of contacts that you can communicate with and hopefully find a new job. The other advantage is that unlike a Resume which should only be one page on Linked in you can develop a nice profile of all your accomplishments as well as have recommendations posted about yourself.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Judas was a "good" guy...

As I was doing my quiet time this morning (reading Mark 14), the Lord showed me something that may be obvious to some, but had never occurred to me this way.

So many of us think of Judas as the ultimate traitor, the man who betrayed Jesus. It was even prophesied in the Old Testament, in Psalm 41:9, that Judas would betray Jesus. "Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me." But what many of us forget, is that Judas was chosen from among all the disciples of the Lord to be one of the Twelve. (Matt 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16)

There were many who followed Jesus closely. There were at least seventy disciples that He sent out according to Luke 10, yet He chose Twelve to set apart from all the others as a special group of men; men who would literally eat, sleep and spend just about every waking moment with Him.

Jesus called the Twelve, and they all answered His call. Just that fact alone sets them apart from many others. For example, we see in Luke 9:59-62, not everyone He called responded by following Him immediately.

Jesus chose Judas as one of His disciples. Judas answered the call. Jesus chose Judas as one of the Twelve, which means he walked closely with the Lord for over three years. Judas experienced and witnessed all the sermons, lessons, miracles and teachings that the Twelve did in that time. He had a close personal relationship with the Lord.

Judas was called, accepted the call, and walked in the Lord's ways.

He healed the sick, cast out demons and preached the Gospel after being sent by the Lord (Matt. 10:1-8, Luke 9:1-6). Judas was a "good" guy.

Surely, Judas did all the things we look for as outward evidence of a person being saved. There is no mention in Scripture that the others suspected Judas wasn't walking as one of them. At the Last Supper, on the night be was betrayed, the disciples asked increduously who would betray Jesus. No one said, as we might in the same situation, 'I bet it's Judas, I never trusted that guy'.

Yet he betrayed our Lord, his Lord, his friend. What happened? Some would say Judas had no choice, that he was "pre-destined" to betray Jesus. That brings up the problem of free-will. If we truly have free will, then all of us, including Judas, have the ability to choose our actions.

So what caused Judas to commit this infamous betrayal? John 12:6 tells us that Judas was the "keeper of the money bag" and that "he used to help himself to what was in it". So he became a thief. It was he who questioned why the oil was wasted annointing Jesus instead of being sold to give the money to the poor. The same passage tells us he didn't really care about the poor, but was only interested in lining his own pockets.

Was it the temptation of being responsible for the disciple's money that led Judas into temptation, or was he that way when Jesus called him? Scripture doesn't say, but there is an important lesson that even when you are walking closely with the Lord, you can be corrupted by the "love of money" which is the "root of all kinds of evil."

Judas sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver (which was also prophesied in the Old Testament). Afterwards, when he became filled with remorse, he tried to give the money back, but the religious leaders would not take it back, and Judas, presumably consumed by guilt, took his own life.

So Judas was called by Jesus, walked with Jesus and other Godly men of his time, performed miracles and even felt remorse after he betrayed Jesus. Some argue that the only reason he betrayed Jesus was to force Jesus' hand to usher in the Messiah's Kingdom.

So it could be said that for all intents and purposes, Judas was a "good guy". Certainly he did more than many churchgoers do today.

And that is the point.

Maybe we haven't betrayed Jesus to be crucified, but if we have put something, anything, before Him, then haven't we in fact betrayed Him just as much as Judas did? If we are good, go to church, do good deeds, is that enough?

The core of Judas' sin is not his betrayal of the Lord, but in his betrayal of the relationship they shared. I believe the Lord would even have forgiven him, if he had but sought forgiveness.

Too many of us are "good" Christians. We try to do all the right things, we donate to charities, we try to live in peace with our neighbors. Well, the time is coming when we need to remind each other that being a "good" Christian may not be enough. How about the "good" guys on your street who are decent people, but don't know the Lord? What will happen to them? What is our responsibility to them?

In Matthew 28, the Bible says to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Are we preaching the Gospel, and I don't mean in Africa, I mean in our neighborhoods, to our friends, in our own family?

Don't assume the "good" guys you know are okay. Judas was a good guy.

A must read the Shack


I am reading the book The Shack and it is Great.... If you were with us for the study last year about our fathers this book is a must read.

I have never read a book, except the bible that has touched me so much. At a time when I feel God is trying to draw us closer this book has some great incites.

The story is about a man and his daughter that killed by a serial killer and the mans struggle to understand how God could let this happen and his depression.

One of the things that Wildemen and our studies has done for me is help me better understand my relationship with God the "Father" and if you are like me looking for answers this book is great.

Todays TGIF


I enjoy reading Oz Hilliman and todays message was a good one and I wanted to share it with you all. At a time when we are all being challanged finacially this may help you.

Worthless IdolsTGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os HillmanThursday, February 12

2009"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." - Jonah 2:8
Have you ever exercised your will over the will of God? Have you ever been so willful that you were going to go your own way no matter what God said? If so, you have been at the same place as the prophet Jonah. God called Jonah to deliver a message to God's people as a warning. Jonah flatly refused. It was Jonah's will over God's. Guess who won?

Talk about willpower; Jonah had it! In fact, he was so rebellious toward God's will that he got on a ship to go the opposite direction. But he couldn't go far enough. The omnipotence of God caught up with Jonah, and he was hurled overboard when the seas became rough and the ship's crew figured Jonah was the source of their problems. Overboard he went and into the belly of that big fish.

God has a way of getting us to rethink our decisions, to reconsider our position. In fact, we see the extent of Jonah's willfulness by the amount of time he was willing to hang out in the belly of that fish - three full days. Then, Jonah decides enough is enough! Obedience is better than this fish belly and seaweed.

From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.

He said: "In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and You listened to my cry. You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all Your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, 'I have been banished from Your sight; yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.' The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But You brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God. When my life was ebbing away, I remembered You, Lord, and my prayer rose to You, to Your holy temple. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to You. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord." And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you." Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh (Jonah 2:2-3:3a).

In the midst of realizing his own calamity, Jonah made a seemingly out-of-context statement: "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." Jonah was thinking of the sailors who threw him overboard and how they prayed to worthless idols. In the business world, we rub shoulders with those who cling to worthless idols every day. How tragic.
But this story's primary message is for every believer. And I can identify with Jonah. There's been many a man placed in the "belly of the fish" to encourage him to fulfill the purposes of God for which He called him. Jonah's situation changed immediately upon his obedience. Obedience is a mysterious thing. Jesus had to learn it through the things He suffered (see Heb. 5:8). If Jesus had to learn obedience through suffering, what does that mean for you and me? Sometimes willing obedience requires encouragement.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Word of God...

Recently I discovered through some dialogue with a few un-churched and churched, that there is a theory buzzing around that uses the bible as a tool... The idea that the scripture was written many years ago by many different authors. The common trait surrounding this mind-set was implied that to take the text literally, word for word was somewhat excessive.

Look, from my stand-point and hopefully the opinion of most, the bible is "the Word of God," if He wanted it written any other way He would have had the men writing do so. He does not make mistakes. Buying in to the above mentioned is a prime example of being deceived. It reads just the way He wants. Is there things in there that raise a brow sure but, I'm a man I don't always see things the way God does.

My question to some was, "where does truth come from?" It is always better to leave the answers to God and what He says however, if the Gospel is going to be questioned, where does that leave you? Lost...

The bible is from Him and that's "the God's honest truth!" Just don't take my "word" for it...

Psalm 12:6,Psalm 19:7, Proverbs 30:5, 2nd Timothy 2:15 & 3:16, 2nd Peter 1:21, Jeremiah 1:2, Romans 9:20, Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 119:89, John 6:68-69, Acts 17:11, Revelations 22:18-19

There will be disagreements concerning interpretation and regarding those I say take it into prayer. Always remember at the point of not understanding we need to trust and have faith....

Thirsty? Drink from His well! Michael...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Real talk about real things...

Our study this past Tuesday has hung with me all week. Reflection on subjects are good, they create wonder and intrigue. A topic that warms your heart or stirs an emotion can cause you to search further for more information. I feel that when we discuss the things we do at "Wild Men," the Holy spirit is in the midst. We are gathering in His name to glorify and learn about Him. With this comes a warming comfort and peace, we are experiencing what it is like to be within His flock. "Therefore Jesus said again, I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn't listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture." John 10:7-9 niv
I'm sure Christ lets us know when we are at home in Him. Our study of "Epic" lets us know that there is someone who wants at all costs to keep us out!
The subject that kept me intrigued this week, "Angels" I can't fathom how heroic, gallant, and spectacular they must be. I hope one does knock me to my knees in awe of his presence, then I hope he lifts me up so I can see his face. I'm quite sure we have some things in store for us that will be like nothing we've ever imagined, want a ride?

In His hands,