Life and Thaaangs

Lately I’ve been thinking about where I’m going in life.  I want to do something meaningful to help change the world.  Right now, it just feels like I’m going through the motions, everyday is pretty much the same and not really making an impact on the world except using the resources of this world.

I don’t just want to live, but I want to live for Jesus!  I want to use what I have to give back to others in Jesus’ name.

But how…

So some thoughts have come up about sharing positive stories.  You know… like the News, but POSTIVE.

Here’s an acroynom I came up with for NEWS:

Negative
Edition of
Worldy
Stories

It seems everywhere I look:  Newpapers, News Channels, Online News feeds… It’s all negative.

But what if we had a FREE edition of positive stories?  You know, like a newspaper that gets delivered to your mailbox… but instead it would be a PEWSpaper (Positive Edition of Wonderful Stories).  It would all be positive uplifting stories… and it would all be faith-based with Jesus at the center!

It could have little Bible Studies, a section for kids, etc.  The ideas are endless.

So that’s what’s been on my mind lately.  But how to get started… I’ll have to look to our Father in Heaven for that one!

If you have any ideas then feel free to let me know!  🙂


“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” -Romans 12:2

One Little Flame Can Light The Whole World

I’ve been reading in the Bible a lot lately about being a Light in the world, and my thoughts have sifted to 9 years ago.

Nine years ago I went to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky (I highly recommend going if you’ve never been there).  It’s this huge cave system which you can explore (of course, there’s a path and stairs you need to stay on so you don’t get lost) with a group.

Just for giggles… me at Mammoth Cave in 2008

Well, one of the places in the cave was this huge room that had seats (large boulders) that about 50 of us were on.  The ranger asked everyone to put lights and phones away.  Once everyone had done that, the ranger turned out the lights and the cave was pitch black.  You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.

Just then, the ranger lit one little lighter and you know what happened?  That one little flame light up this whole room, and I’m not talking about some little bedroom or living room in a house, but a huge cave!  Just one little flame!!

And you know what, that’s all we need to be a light in this world.

Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

You are a light of the world!  You really can change the world with one little flame.  All you have to do is light it…

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” -Jesus (John 12:46)

 

Jesus Realized Different Levels Of Spiritual Commitment

So I’ve been reading Rick Warren’s book, Purpose Driven Church:  Every Church Is Big in God’s Eyes, and two things Rick said really stood out to me.

It’s about talking to people about Jesus.

Here’s what Rick first said:

“Jesus began at the level of commitment of each person he met.  Often he would simply capture their interest and create a desire to know more.”

You don’t need to use big fancy words, or even be a know-it-all when it comes to sharing the Gospel.  What you need to do is capture people’s interest and then create a desire for them to want to know more.

This reminds me of what Paul says about planting the seeds and Apollos watering the seeds, and then God makes it grow.  It’s our job to capture people’s interest and create the desire, while God makes it grow in their hearts!

Here’s the second thing Rick said:

“Jesus took into account that people have different cultural backgrounds, understanding, and levels of spiritual commitment.  He knew that it doesn’t work to use the same approach with all people.”

I love this.  What works on one person may not work on another person.  You’re not going to talk to a believer the same way you’re going to talk to an atheist.  Likewise, you’re not going to talk to an atheist the same way you’re going to talk to a seeker.  Right?

So remember… capture someone’s attention, create desire for them to want to know more, and don’t use the same approach on everyone!

Now let that soak into your noggin’!

Jesus: The Finisher!

On Sunday my Uncle John and I were having a deep spiritual conversation about life.

Where are we headed?  What’s our purpose here?

One thing I normally dwell on is marketing.  I love marketing.  I have even started some projects but never finished them.  Got them started, but never kept the momentum going.

Well… that night I asked God to help me finish what I start.

What happened yesterday morning?  Whoa!!!

I read a Prime Time with God Devotional I get via email and it was amazing.

The subject line:  “Jesus:  The Finisher of Our Faith.”

Finisher??  I was just asking God to help me be a finisher.  I must read on I told myself.

The devotion started with a Bible verse and then God REALLY spoke to me.  Here’s what the devotion said next:

“Jesus is the Finisher of Our Faith.  If you are good at beginning new projects, but you are a poor finisher, look to Jesus, the Finisher of Our Faith.”

wow-Wow-WOW!!!  God speaks!  And answers prayers.

We just need to keep looking to Jesus IN all I do and seek his direction.

Forgive Or Your Heavenly Father Will Not Forgive You

I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme that comes up whenever I talk with my family about “forgiveness.”

The ones I’ve talked to about forgiveness always say they could never forgive someone if they harmed someone they love.  They say they would HATE that person.  Some said they would even like to kill that person.

Yikes.

Two passages come to my mind every time I hear someone say they couldn’t forgive someone who does something horrible…


“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” -Matthew 6:14-15

and

“Anyone who does not love remains in death.  Anyone who hates his brother is a murdered, and you know that no murdered has eternal life in him.” -1 John 3:14b-15


Jesus is very clear.  If you don’t forgive someone who sins against you, then our heavenly Father will not forgive you.  Jesus isn’t saying you’ll like it.  He’s not saying you have to be best friends with the person, but you do have to forgive.

Even John says, “Anyone who hates his brother is a murdered, and you know that no murdered has eternal life in him.”

Wowzers!  Sounds pretty clear to me, no?

Well, on Friday, my uncle and I were talking about Jesus and the Bible and we started talking about forgiveness.  And guess what he said?!  He said if something happened to me or anyone in the family, or his friends, he would never be able to forgive that person.

I referred him to scripture, but he said he knows he needs to forgive, but he wouldn’t be to do it.

So the rest of that night and Saturday it really got me thinking.  And this verse popped in my head, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18

How could you give thanks in all circumstances, especially some horrible act done against someone you love?

The only thing I could think and what I can start telling people is… If someone did something horrible to me and it ended in my death, forgive them and give thanks to our Father in Heaven that it happened to me and not someone who isn’t saved.

Really… What else could be said?

Now go out and be a Light in the World!

Be Fearless!

I’ve been watching Francis Chan on Youtube lately, and I’m really loving his messages!

The video below really hits home.  It’s about being Fearless… and in this part of the video he talks about giving.  Watch the video and then below I’ll share my story about giving below.

Francis Chan – Fearless

Well, what did you think?  Awesome video, right?!

I remember when I thought I never had enough money to give, heck, I still feel that way.  But, last summer I started giving a little more than normal.  Then I started giving to my church 10% of my checks that came in.  Then… I started giving 10% of my income BEFORE taxes and anything being taken out.

I’ll tell you what, I was scared.  I kept thinking, how am I going to pay my bills.  Well, you know what?  God ALWAYS provided for my needs, and always will provide for my needs.

I remember last month I kept thinking, I’d really like to put some of that money away rather than give it away.  But God kept urging me to give it away, so I did.  And guess what?!  One of my affiliate marketing accounts I have made a huge sale and… it was, get this, 40 cents lower than what I just gave away.

God provided a way for me.  He has ALWAYS provide a way for me.  The more I trust him the more it seems he gives me… and I’m not just talking about money, but time, enjoyment, love, etc.  It’s amazing.

Just remember, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7

Keep on trusting, keep on being fearless, and keep on being a Light in the World!

Walk By Faith

I just wanted to share this awesome song by Jeremy Camp.  It’s called, Walk By Faith, and if you’re walking along a broken road then this song is for you!

Enjoy!

Walk By Faith by Jeremy Camp

It’s All About Taking Action

So for about the past month I could feel God urging me to read the Book of Nehemiah.

It was like I was seeing it mentioned all over the place.  But I just never “got around to reading it.”  Then the other day I felt down and kept saying I need to do something extraordinary with my life.  You know, something to help change the world.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks… the urge to read Nehemiah.  Wow, just wow.

Here’s a short background on the Book of Nehemiah:  Mehemiah was feeling grief over the ruins of the walls of Jerusalem, so he decided to take action and left his home and job to do an “impossible mission” which was to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

So here’s this common, ordinary man who felt grief over where his fathers were buried, constantly reached out to God, and TOOK ACTION.

That’s the key right there… he TOOK ACTION and constantly reached out to God from beginning to end.  God doesn’t want us waiting around for him, he wants us to pray to him and then go take action!

So go read God’s Word, Pray, and put his Word into Action AND be a Light in the World!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2017!

Remember the past is the past.  The only thing we can do is move forward toward the ultimate prize…

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 3:13-14

And as you walk through the new year…

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

Enjoy the adventure God has laid ahead of you.

Be a light in the world!

Slave to Sin OR Slave to Righteousness

This morning my cousin tagged me in an atheist post on Facebook.

It was a meme that said, “If God created man and angels but only gave man free will, doesn’t that mean that the angels are slaves and that satan and his followers fought for their freedom?”

That meme really got me thinking.  I’m not going to go into the ‘free will’ aspects of it, but the ‘slave’ part.

Dictionary.com defines “Slave” as a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant.

No one wants to be a slave, do they?  But are we ever truly free?

If you go through the Bible you’ll discover that everyone is a slave to something.

Here’s what Paul has to say in Romans 6:16-23


“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves.  Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?  Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


Paul is saying you’re either slave to sin or a slave to righteousness.

Think about your life… what sins have you been a slave to?  How did you overcome them?

Regards to the meme, it looks like satan and his followers fought for their freedom from righteousness to become slaves to sin.  Not a good choice.

Would you rather be a slave to the world (which leads to death) or a slave to God (which leads to eternal life)?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Now go out and be a light in the world!