Monday, December 28, 2009
This is a true story that someone shared with me:
That's what my father did. Dropping a fly ball may not be a big deal to most people, but if you are thirteen years old and have aspirations of the big leagues, it is a big deal. Not only was it my second error of the game, it allowed the winning run to score.
I didn't even go back to the dugout. I turned around in the middle of left field and climbed over the fence. I was halfway home when my dad found me. He didn't say a word. Just pulled over to the side of the road, leaned across the seat, and opened the passenger door. We didn 't speak. We didn't need to. We both knew the world had come to an end. When we got home, I went straight to my room, and he went straight to the kitchen. Presently he appeared in front of me with cookies and milk. He took a seat on the bed, and we broke bread together. Somewhere in the dunking of the cookies I began to realize that life and my father's love would go on. In the economy of male adolescence, if you love the guy who drops the ball, then you really love him. My skill as a baseball player didn't improve, but my confidence in Dad's love did. Dad never said a word. But he did show up. He did listen up. To bring out the best in others, do the same.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Friday, December 18 2009
If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend. - Psalm 55:12-13
"You will always be attacked in the place of your inheritance," said the man sitting across the breakfast table. "God has called you to bring people together and to impact other people's lives as a result of this anointing in your life. You must make sure that you seek to maintain righteousness in all of your relationships." Those words came from someone who had the wisdom and authority to speak them to me.
I have had a number of close relationships that ended in betrayal. I am very loyal to my friends and those with whom I have covenant relationships. Yet there are times that no matter how righteous you are, when someone means to betray you, he will do it. Loving those who betray you is "graduate-level Christianity." The religious community and one of His closest friends betrayed Jesus. Those who were closest to David betrayed him. Joseph's own family betrayed him. Loving our enemies cannot be accomplished by mustering it up. It can only happen when we have come to a death in ourselves so that Christ can love through us. It is truly one of those acts of identifying with the cross.
If you are a leader, you can be sure God will allow you to experience betrayal. It is one of those courses in the Kingdom that may not be required until God has seen that you have successfully passed other tests. It is the most difficult and most gut wrenching of all tests. A godly response goes against all that is in us. Our natural response is to protect, retaliate, and retain unforgiveness and bitterness. Our natural response is satan's most powerful weapon; to overcome it requires much grace from God. Ask God to build His nature in you now so that when such attacks come, you will be aware that it is a test and you will respond in righteousness.
Please pick up Mike Willard in your prayers, he is doing well but under attack and dealing with some transportation issues.
Please pick up John as our leader and friend he is always under attack because the enemy does not like what he is doing and we need to pray a special hedge of protection over him and his family.
Pick up Scuba Dave who is traveling and is covered in snow, I can just see him standing in the snow with his Yellow Krocks. May his trip be safe and enjoyable.
God Bless You all,
Friday, December 18, 2009
by Max Lucado
Does Jesus have anything to say about dealing with difficult relatives? Is there an example of Jesus bringing peace to a painful family? Yes, there is.
It may surprise you to know that Jesus had a difficult family. If your family doesn't appreciate you, take heart, neither did Jesus'.
"His family ... went to get him because they thought he was out of his mind" (Mark 3:21).
Jesus' siblings thought their brother was a lunatic. They weren't proud—they were embarrassed!
It's worth noting that he didn't try to control his family's behavior, nor did he let their behavior control his. He didn't demand that they agree with him. He didn't sulk when they insulted him. He didn't make it his mission to try to please them.
Each of us has a fantasy that our family will be like the Waltons, an expectation that our dearest friends will be our next of kin. Jesus didn't have that expectation. Look how he defined his family: "My true brother and sister and mother are those who do what God wants" (Mark 3:35).
When Jesus' brothers didn't share his convictions, he didn't try to force them. He recognized that his spiritual family could provide what his physical family didn't. If Jesus himself couldn't force his family to share his convictions, what makes you think you can force yours?
Having your family's approval is desirable but not necessary for happiness and not always possible. Jesus did not let the difficult dynamic of his family overshadow his call from God. And because he didn't, this chapter has a happy ending.
What happened to Jesus' family?
Mine with me a golden nugget hidden in a vein of the Book of Acts. "Then [the disciples] went back to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.... They all continued praying together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and Jesus' brothers" (Acts 1:12, 14, emphasis added).
What a change! The ones who mocked him now worship him. The ones who pitied him now pray for him. What if Jesus had disowned them? Or worse still, what if he'd suffocated his family with his demand for change?
He didn't. He instead gave them space, time, and grace. And because he did, they changed. How much did they change? One brother became an apostle (Gal. 1:19) and others became missionaries (1 Cor. 9:5).
So don't lose heart. God still changes families.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Do you sometimes feel like there is so much on your plate that you are constantly running to get it all done? There are seasons when we need to go the extra mile and give it our all, and there are seasons to rest and rejuvenate. I love what today's scripture tells us—that during those times when it's necessary; we can run and not grow weary!
What are you facing that seems to be taking all your energy? Wait on the Lord today. Expect, look for, and hope in Him. The Bible promises that when you live with expectancy, when you stay hopeful, when you make preparations for the goodness of God, you'll rise up higher. Your strength will be renewed. In other words, you will overcome life's challenges.
You may have difficulties today, but if you can just get up every morning expecting God to turn it around, staying positive and hopeful; then God promises you will rise up higher into the strength and victory He has in store for you.
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
"Father God, thank You for giving me Your strength and power. I receive it right now, by putting my trust and hope in You. I know that with You all things are possible. In Jesus' Name. Amen"
Saturday, December 12, 2009
REAL Men Bible Study
A Prayer For Manasota
Ephesians 3: 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
Ø What does it mean for Christ to dwell in my heart?
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
Ø How am I rooted and established in love?
18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
Ø What difference does this understanding make?
19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ø How in the world can I be filled up this way?
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
Ø What power?
21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ø What about me and my glory?
Philippians 1: 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
Ø How can love lead to knowledge and depth of insight?
10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,
Ø I am just a man; how can any human be like this?
11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God.
Ø What is this fruit?? Why do I even want it?
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
And one more thing... make an effort to invite another man to join us next week. Or call someone you haven't seen in a while and let 'em know you care. The harvest is pleantiful but the workers are few.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I thought I would share a traditional experience my family partakes in every year at Christmas. I pick a good time to settle everyone down, it's a bit tough with children at this time but, I manage.
We sit calmly as I read about the birth of Jesus located in the second chapter of the Gospel according to Luke. I prefer the King James version for this.
This is a fabulous time to remind your loved ones the true spirit of Christmas was born over two thousand year ago and witnessed by a host of angels, three wise-men, and some animals as He was in a barn setting... No hospital, clean sheets, or a call button for Mary.
The Son of all Men born to save us all, and He came with no frills and left with all our tattered souls! What a night it must have been. I bet that star shined brighter than any star we have ever seen...
"Fall on your knee's! Oh hear the Angel's voices!"
Night divine, indeed...........
Bless you brothers!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Click here to learn more:
The Lottery is now open and will close on December 8th. It costs nothing to enter the lottery so I am asking you to put your name in and then pray about going.
This Boot Camp was a “Life Changing” experience for my and as one of my band of brothers I can not encourage you enough to attend.
Things are tight for us all financially, but the bible says:
Ask and you will receive
Seek and you will find
Knock and it will be opened to you.
If you ask God, he can open the door, it will change your life, your relationship with you wife, your relationship with your children and truly enrich your life and your ministry.
You only have a few days to enter the lottery, take a minute and do it….. If you can not work out the details you do not have to pay. As we walk as a band of brothers we are called to grow and encourage each other and this event will take you to another level.
Check out http://www.ransomedheart.com
Friday, December 4, 2009
It has been far too long and the blame is with me. In part, my circumstances are a factor but, I feel with a bit more effort, I could have posted sooner... None the less, it is nice to sit and share with you all now, just prior to celebrating the season of joy centered solely around the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
I always adored the story told of the nativity and that wondrous night that took place so long ago. As a child I always won the job of setting up the nativity seen. I would recall the events in my head as I set all the figures in place. Even as young as I was I knew what happened and knew the significance and yet it didn't take hold of me through the rest of my day's like I thought it should, or did it? What I mean is, I tend to look back on my life as a sometimes waste of good opportunity, poor choices, broken-relationships, and most important, distance from God. Seeds may have been taking root. I might not have applied the levity of what transpired under that bright star, or even though knowing who He was and why He came not having more than a brief warm feeling effecting me at that moment, but perhaps He was doing something.
I have been through some very low points recently, but it dawned on me that He has stayed the course with me regardless of my recklessly abandoning Him time and time again. Later as I grew up, and thankfully became re-born in Him, I asked to be changed from the inside out. That's exactly what He intended to do, He agreed that I must be changed completely. It put a whole new perspective on things for me, that I don't have to be burdened with so much sorrow because I don't have this or that, can't be here or there... Those things are all my wants and not really what He needs for me. Heart change is what He is after, "delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." psalm 37:4, BUT NOT BEFORE HE CHANGES IT! My very good friends who have known me all my life will tell you I wound up in a whole heep of trouble by wearing my heart on my sleeve. Maybe they were right but, I like to think that's alright, I just feel I was wearing the wrong shirt!
I know this, regardless of any pain or suffering I experience now, I know He has me right where He wants me. And I know this because I asked Him to!
"Oh Holy night, the stars are brightly shining!"
Let me be the first to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year!
God bless these men and their works done through them by you...
This is not going to be my typical uplifting motivating post, so sit down and get ready.
Today my friend David was found dead in a hotel room. He leaves behind a wife and triplets. God blessed him with three beautiful children and now at 9 years old they are to grow up with out a father. David has been battling drug and alcohol addictions for the past year.
My heart is broken for his children especially after what we have been learning about the importance of a father. When I first heard I was overwhelmed with grief and guilt… I had spoken to his wife a week prior and learned that she had thrown him out again because he was drinking again. I took down his phone number and had it on my desk to call him.
I had reached out to another fiend the following day to ask about a recovery house and my friend told me that unless he was ready to get help it would not work and David had been in and out of recovery homes for the past 6 months and kept relapsing and not going to his meetings.
David was one of the first people that I shared my testimony with and did little things like gave him the book the shack and the you have what it takes book from John Elderage. Many times I invited him to wildmen but he never came.
The enemy had me feeling guilty that I did not do enough, maybe that is true; would my have making a phone call to him last week change what happened?????????? What troubles me the most is that I do not know if his name is in the Lambs Book of Life and someday am I going to have to answer to him “Why did you not tell me”
Today I woke up again feeling that I could have done more, there is a lesson for me here. In my inbox today was this from Max Lucida please read it?
God Does Big Things with Small Deeds
by Max Lucado
"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin" (Zech. 4:10 NLT).
Begin. Just begin! What seems small to you might be huge to someone else. Just ask Bohn Fawkes. During World War II, he piloted a B-17. On one mission he sustained flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. Even though his gas tanks were hit, the plane did not explode, and Fawkes was able to land the plane.
On the morning following the raid, Fawkes asked his crew chief for the German shell. He wanted to keep a souvenir of his incredible good fortune. The crew chief explained that not just one but eleven shells had been found in the gas tanks, none of which had exploded.
Technicians opened the missiles and found them void of explosive charge. They were clean and harmless and with one exception, empty. The exception contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it a message had been scrawled in the Czech language. Translated, the note read: "This is all we can do for you now."
A courageous assembly-line worker was disarming bombs and scribbled the note. He couldn't end the war, but he could save one plane. He couldn't do everything, but he could do something. So he did it.
God does big things with small deeds.
Against a towering giant, a brook pebble seems futile. But God used it to topple Goliath. Compared to the tithes of the wealthy, a widow's coins seem puny. But Jesus used them to inspire us. And in contrast with sophisticated priests and powerful Roman rulers, a cross-suspended carpenter seemed nothing but a waste of life. Few Jewish leaders mourned his death. Only a handful of friends buried his body. The people turned their attention back to the temple. Why not?
What power does a buried rabbi have? We know the answer. Mustard-seed and leaven-lump power. Power to tear away death rags and push away death rocks. Power to change history. In the hands of God, small seeds grow into sheltering trees. Tiny leaven expands into nourishing loaves.
Small deeds can change the world. Sow the mustard seed. Bury the leaven lump. Make the call.
Write the check. Organize the committee.
Moses had a staff.
David had a sling.
Samson had a jawbone.
Rahab had a string.
Mary had some ointment.
Aaron had a rod.
Dorcas had a needle.
All were used by God.
What do you have?
God inhabits the tiny seed, empowers the tiny deed. He cures the common life by giving no common life, by offering no common gifts. Don't discount the smallness of your deeds.
Our Deeds do have power and I want to encourage all of you to more….. But most importantly if you are lead to help someone trust the Holy Spirit and do it. I think that what I am learning from this is that we have a short time on this planet and we will spend eternity in Heaven, make the most of your time with your family, friends, and others who do not know Jesus. Our charge is to go spread the good news.
My Message is simple; time is not on our side……
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school.
One child wrote the following:
We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa.
They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Arizona.
Now they live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass. They ride around on their bicycles and wear name tags because they don't know who they are anymore.
They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now - they do exercises there, but they don't do them very well.
There is a swimming pool too, but they all jump up and down in it with hats on.
At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it.. He watches all day so nobody can escape.
Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts.
Nobody there cooks, they just eat out.
And, they eat the same thing every night --- early birds.
Some of the people can't get out past the man in the doll house.
The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center for pot luck.
My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too..
When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house.
Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I hope you all had a great thanksgiving...... Mine was special because I have much to be thankfull for. My God My Friend, My family and my band of brothers....
Someone said to me that not sharing Jesus with someone is like telling them to go to hell, and that has really bothered me..... We are only here on this planet for a short period of time but we will be spending eternity with our father in heaven and for us not to help others get their names added to the lambs book of life is one of the worse things that we can do or not do....
An easy way to break the ice is to invite them to wildmen.
I am reminded of the song from smokey and the bandit... a long way to go and a short time to get there...