Saturday, October 2, 2010

Time to Take a Break

     John Piper (the Pastor of a very large church in Minneapolis, Minnesota), announced in March of this year that he was taking an eight month sabbatical from preaching, speaking, and writing.  The sabbatical began in May and will continue through December 31st, 2010.  You can read his official statement at this link: john pipers upcoming leave .  This includes no book-writing. No sermon preparation. No preaching. No blogging. No Twitter. No articles. No reports. No papers. And no speaking engagements.  Instead, he would use the time to invest in his relationship with his wife and family.  He basically said that he needed the time to do some spiritual soul searching and resting without the pressures of ministry.  This is a pretty big event in the life of his church and his ministry.  It was also the first one that I have ever heard about to this magnitude. 

I don't know a lot about John Piper myself.  I have really only become familiar with him over the past two years.  But I do know that the life of a full time Pastor/arthur/international speaker is a stressful one for them and their family.  Indeed, many times it is the family that suffers the most.  Think about the big names in ministry and social justice.  Both Billy Graham and Martin Luther King Jr.  spent more than twenty days out of each month traveling and speaking all over the world.  Both of these men left wives and children at home to fend for themselves while they did what they believed God was leading them to do.  This leaves a major strain on a family.  I have also watched local pastors wear themselves out on a daily basis for the sake of their calling.  Even without traveling extensively, most Pastors I know are on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.   Some of them even sleep in their offices at the church sometimes because they stay at the office working so late into the night.

And the danger of overworking yourself while neglecting your family doesn't just exist in ministry.  The business world creates the same type of workhorse as well.  The average NFL coach works a twenty hour day!  The average US worker probably works a fifty or sixty hour week as well.  While we are chasing after the brass ring at work, we are allowing the garden of our homes to be overgrown with the weeds of stress and frustration without us being there to tend them.  Again, I have seen these examples in person where one spouse is away on business constantly while the other spouse stays at home taking care of the rest of the family.  If left unchecked, this constant stress will lead to affairs, divorce, or resentment by one or both parties. 

Genesis 2:2 shows us that God rested on the seventh day after the creation.  Luke 5:16  shows us that Jesus took time out to rest and refocus after teaching and healing the people.  If the Father and the Son can find time to rest; then certainly we can as well.  Don't get me wrong, not everyone will like the fact that you take a break.  On many occassions, the disciples and others would get upset with Jesus for not being available when they thought he should be there.  Martha (the sister of Lazarus) told Jesus to His face that her brother would not have died if He would have been there in time.  But Jesus knew the importance of taking time away.  We should use His example in our own lives.  Make sure that you take time out to nurture your garden.  Others may not like it.  But the gardens of your life will be so much healthier as a result.

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Proper Prayer Acronym (A.C.T.S.)

I was trying to remember this acronym while writing about prayer the other day.  Then I heard it on the radio when I was driving to work this morning... Thanks Chip Ingram!

The proper prayer includes A.C.T.S.

A- for adoration
C- for confession
T-for thanksgiving
S-for supplication

Read this link that I copied off of  I think it says everything properly.  Please note that everything below this line was taken from the site.


One structure for prayer is given by the acronym "ACTS", representing adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication (or intercession.) This is one order, where we start off focusing on who God is, and praising him for that. Others find a CATS pattern helpful, beginning by clearing out of the way the things that sadden God in our lives, before we can go onto praise him. Let's look briefly at each in turn :

Adoration is to adore God, to worship him and to fulfil the commandment to love him with all of our heart, mind and soul. As we spend time in adoration, we praise God for who He is - our Creator, our Sustainer and our Redeemer. (more about praise and adoration.)

Confession allows us to clear away the things in the relationship between you and God which are displeasing to Him. All of us have sinned. St John writes in his epistle "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (I Jn 1:8,9) (more about confession.)

Thanksgiving. From childhood we are brought up to say "Thank You" when someone does something for us, or gives us a gift. Each moment God is blessing us, every minute we can recall the wonderful things that God has done for us, and the gifts that we have been given. And so, we need to be constantly thanking God for his blessings. In writing to Timothy, Paul makes it clear that we also need to be giving thanks for everyday, worldly things " I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." 1 Tim 2:1. (more about thanksgiving.)

Supplication or Intercession. Finally we come to ask God for our needs and the needs of others. There are many demands on our prayer time - many topics and issues that we could pray for, so we need to choose, and to be specific. (more about topics to pray for)

Pray for others. In the epistles of St Paul, we read of him praying for those he has led to faith, and asking them also to pray for him. So, you too can pray for other Christians, and encourage them to pray for you. Pray for your familiy members, and for neighbours and friends. It's also good to pray for those who don't know Jesus to come to faith - many Christians have come to believe in Christ through the prayers of others.

Pray for world issues : for peace in difficult situations, for leaders and those in influential positions, for global issues such as care of God's environment, justice for the poor, relief of suffering in less developed countries, and other issues that come to you.

Pray for your own needs too. It's easy to neglect this, but Jesus encourages us to do so in the Lord's Prayer - the model for prayer that He gave us.

Pointers for Prayer : The ACTS pattern - Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication - has been a helpful structure for many Christians. You can either use this pattern in an unstructured prayer time, or you could use a daily pattern for prayer that combines a structure with the freedom to pray by yourself..

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Album "Rehab" Coming this Tuesday From Lecrae

I'm always excited to let you know about new Christian Rap.  Music my six year old and I can jam out to...

Lecrae’s highly anticipated fourth album REHAB is now available for pre-order!  The album features Tedashii, Trip Lee, Sho Baraka, Sonny Sandoval, Anthony Evans & more. REHAB hits stores and will be available on iTunes on September 28. Place your order today and be among the first to receive your copy and also qualify for a chance to win an exclusive pair of REHAB Nike Dunks! Pre-order here.

To listen to the latest singles go here

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for awhile; but it’s a very crucial time of the year for me. It’s FOOTBALL SEASON!! Mainly I haven’t had anything to say lately. God has blessed me to be able to get some things out of my system through this medium and it has definitely been therapeutic for me. But after watching the first two weeks of the season I had a thought and I wanted to share it with you. Many football fans watched with great interest to see if two phenomenal players would play this year. Darelle Rivas of the New York Jets held out almost the entire training camp because he wanted a new contract. And Brett Farve of the Minnesota Vikings waited until the end of camp to decide whether or not he wanted to come back for a 20th season. Both men were highly desired for by their respective teams and both men eventually reported to camp. Revis got his deal; and Farve decided that he did want to play after all.

During each ordeal I listened to talk radio as the “experts” discussed why it was important to get both players to camp as soon as possible. They basically said that it was important not to miss training camp because training camp was the time to get into football shape. Being in football shape is different than just being in great shape. For a defensive player like Rivas, you have to get used to running and cutting and hitting people and being hit. For an offensive quarterback like Farve, you have to get your footwork and your timing down in order to throw the ball efficiently to your receivers. The radio pundits expressed concern that both players would have issues due to missing so many days of camp. And after the second week of the season, it would appear that they were correct. Darelle Rivas pulled his hamstring during the Jets’ game last Sunday. The injury is not too serious, but it might cause him to miss a couple of games. Brett Farve’s Vikings are 0-2 this year and he admitted after the game that his timing was off. He also said that it would take some time to gel with his receivers. The pundits say that both situations could have been avoided if the men would have been at training camp the entire time. They said that the time spent at practice would have made the difference in both situations.

How can that be a lesson to us? Let’s look at our life as our football season. And just like a football season, our life goes through ups and downs, successes and failures, good times and bad times. The way that we react to life when it happens depends on what we have done to prepare ourselves for the situation before it occurs. What do you do when a crisis occurs? Do you depend on God? Or do you depend on yourself? How would you know what to do in said crisis if you haven’t practiced what to do when the crisis is upon you? As Christians, we should be prepared for the ups and downs of life because we have a proper action plan. And that action plan is through prayer.

Prayer is simply talking to God about what’s going on in our lives. It is also listening to hear God’s voice as He responds to our prayer. We need to pray to God every day; especially during the good times. This allows us to hear God so that He can guide us in our daily lives. Praying to God even when nothing is wrong strengthens our relationship with God. He begins to recognize our voice and our relationship with Him grows stronger. Then when the crisis occurs, we don’t have any problem with trusting in God or wondering if He hears our prayer. We will have already established a relationship and our prayer can consist of asking for advice or wisdom as opposed to saying, “I hope you’re listening up there”. God wants us to depend on Him for everything and He wants to help us through our difficult circumstances. So when we build up our prayer life, it’s very much like going through training camp with God. We learn to gel with God as we get ourselves in spiritual shape. And the better shape we are in, the better we can perform and allow God to perform in our lives.

So how do you pray? Jesus used the Lord's Prayer as a guideline for those who desired to pray properly. It is the perfect example of the ideal prayer. It includes praise to God for being our Heavenly Father, it includes confession of our sins, and it asks God to provide some things in our lives. If you have never prayed before or just want to start over with a good guideline; this is the way to go. You can also check out Breaking Down the Lord's Prayer and Let's Break Down the Lord's Prayer for more information. So get to work and practice well. It’s almost Game time!

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike

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Saturday, August 7, 2010


Those of you who know me and my church will recognize these hands immediately.  They are the hands of our head musician.  I am told that he has been playing for our church for at least the last twenty years.  You can usually find him at the church during the week working with the choir members.  Sometimes he holds rehearsals for the individual sections.  Sometimes he holds the rehearsals for individual members of the choir.  But he is always working on the music for Sunday morning worship.  He has the ability to pick songs that match the theme of the service even within the midst of the service.  And he is always bringing in guest musicians and singers in order to add to the worship service.  He is a pure musician in every sense of the word. 

Working with him is like working with any other musician that is good at his craft.  Because he is a perfectionist in the way that he wants the music presented, he demands the best from every member of the choir.  If you mess up the song, you will be informed.   You may have to have one quick rehearsal between Sunday School and Morning Worship... just to make sure you've got it right.  But behind all of this is a gentleman that truly has a passion for his gift and the way that he uses it for the church.  He also has a passion for the people of God too.  I have heard numerous stories of him "popping" up a someones house because he didn't see them at service two weeks in a row.  And he is faithful no matter what has happened to him in his personal life.

What do you think would be a devastating event in the life of an organist/pianist?  About five years ago, he had a stroke and lost the use of his right arm.  He was out of action for a few months, but returned to lead the choir again while directing and playing with only his left hand.  He is still demanding.  He is still a perfectionist.  And he is still a better musician with one hand than most people with both.  And by doing that, is has been, and will continue to be an inspiration to others.  Thank you Brother A.

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Getting To the Heart of the Matter

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I Samuel 16:7

Have you ever been driving through a neighborhood and seen one of those "Yard of the Month" signs posted at one of the houses?  The winner is typically picked by the Homeowners Association, the neighbors, or a combination of both.  They usually have certain criteria that they look for in their perspective winner:
  • yard cut and manicured properly
  • trees and hedges trimmed and cut
  • flowerbeds free from weeds
  • attractive painting and landscaping
  • free from trash and other debris
I put the phrase, "criteria for determining the yard of the month" in my search engine and found a common trait in many of the criteria lists.  The judging was restricted to lawns in front of the house and along the side of the house.  The back yard was not included.  This means that your front yard could look like this:

And your back yard could look like this:

and you could still win the yard of the month.  The opposite side of the yard of the month award is the "You Need To Do Something About Your Ugly Yard" letter.  This is the letter that you receive when your front yard looks like second picture and the beloved Homeowners Association tells you in a firm tone that they have found your front yard to be unacceptable and that they want you to make it look better.  If you are unable to make it look better within a certain number of days, they will gladly make it look better for you for a small, outrageous fee to be added to your yearly neighborhood dues.  I have received a couple of these letters before and I noticed that the complaint had nothing to do with the back yard.  It only dealt with the front yard and other areas that everyone could see from the street.  The Homeowners Association was only concerned with the outside front yard.  It also mentioned nothing about the inside of the house,  In theory, I could have had a dog, a cat, a pony, and a family of possums inside my house with no bathroom and no one would care as long as my hedges were properly cut. 

It's very similar to the way that the world views people.  Some people don't care what type of person you are on the inside, as long as you look good on the outside.  If you don't believe me, try this experiment.  Go to work in a nice suit and tie on one day; then go to work in a pair of shorts, a ragged T-shirt, and a pair of old tennis shoes after cutting your yard of the month.  Watch and see the reaction of your co-workers as you explain that you are the same person no matter what you wear.  They will tell you that you may be the same person, but they would rather deal with the guy in the suit than the guy in the Bermuda shorts.  In most of the world, the look is more important than the inner content.  Here's another experiment.  Ladies, which of these gentlemen would you rather have dinner with?

                Brad Pitt?                                  or Brad Pitt?

Yeah.  I thought so.

Here's the point.  It's very easy to manipulate your outer image.  You can be a horrible person on the inside, but fool the entire world by your actions and outward appearance.  And by putting on the false appearance, you will probably achieve some level of success in the outside world.  But eventually, someone will find out about your true nature; and you will have to deal with those consequences.  There is an old manager of mine that was recently fired because his bosses finally figured out that he was not the person that he appeared to be.  He reached a point where he could no longer hide his true self and the bosses discovered that his true self was not what they wanted in their company. 

As children of God, we should be loving, gentle, kind, and compassionate.  You can be none of those things if you have a heart filled with deceit and malice.  No matter how good you look or act on the outside, if your heart is not right, you will not be able to continue the false appearance forever.  You will also find it difficult to please God or be an effective witness for him.  So I leave you with this simple question:  What do you spend more time working on?  Your outward appearance or your heart?  God already knows the answer.

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Christian Rapper of the week: Trip Lee

The new Trip Lee album just dropped yesterday.  I scraped my Itunes pennies together and purchased it last night.  Very excited to get some new music from him.  Enjoy.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

My Dad, James Thompson Sr.

I didn't really know my father that well.  My father got involved with alcohol before I was born and it pretty much took him from me and my family before I had the chance to get to know him.  I've said it before on this blog that my brother taught me almost everything I know about being a man, husband, and father(read Father Figure).  I  say that my brother taught me almost everything about being a man, husband, and father because I am still learning what it takes to be all of those things.  Two things that I have recently learned from older fathers when I have asked for advice:

1.  Don't give your kids everything that they ask for.  Instead, make them earn some of the things that they want.  That way they don't feel entitlement to receive things without working for them.

2.  You can work 5 jobs to provide all the material things in the world for your children.  But they want your time and attention more than anything else.

But I am also happy to say that I have learned some things from my father as well.  My father died about six years ago from terminal cancer.  But the man that died in Birmingham, Alabama was completely different from the man that I met for the first time at the age of three years old.  From what I have been told, my father met his father again for the first time later in his own life.  He also met a brother and at least one sister that he did not know were even living.  My father went from being an angry man without a link to his past to a man that was described by his pastor as a "peacemaker".  My mother (whom I adore for her sacrifices) went to my father's funeral with me, my brother, and my sister.  She, like myself, had not seen my father in over 10 years (they were divorced) and she was amazed by the descriptions of the person laying in the casket.  At one point in the service she leaned over  and whispered that she did not know the man that everybody was talking about.  He had changed that much over the years.

one of my dad's sweaters that
I obtained after his funeral

But unlike some people, my father changed for the better.  I am told that he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior late in his adult life and became active in his church.  He became a better man and took responsibility for his actions.  He tried to improve his life and he allowed other people to help him improve.  Even as he got closer to death, he continued to live each day as fully as he could.  It was because of him that I am here.  And it is his testimony that I can use to improve myself.  My father was not a perfect man.  He was not always a good man.  But he was a man that learned from his past.  And he used it to improve his future.  And for that, I will always be greatful.  Thanks Dad.

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Father's Day Shout Out

This is just a thank you to all the men that have made an influence in my life.  Some of them taught me what to do.  Some of them taught me what not to do.  But all of them have been a blessing in my life in one way or another.  Here they are in no particular order:

James Thompson Sr., James Thompson Jr., Larry Coppage, Floyd Stinson, Henry Barber, Wilbert Ellis, Mr. McDougal, Clarence Hicks Sr., Harold Clay Sr. , Anthony(Top) Dowell, O.D. Thurman, Mr. Pervis Carter, Otis Mitchell, Kenneth Allen, Larry Anderson Sr.,  Roy Mayfield, Felix Goins Sr. and Jr., Joseph Goins, Robert Lee Goins, Alvin Bradley, Jerry Bawldwin, Leon Martin, A.J. Green, Charles T. Lewis, Joe Henderson, Kevin Harris, Clarence Thompson, Charles Martin, Benjamin Martin, James Keown, James Miller, Clyde McCray, Reginald Wade, Clyde Parker, Willie Culpepper Sr., Al Thurmon Sr., and others.

Time has taken away some of the names from my memory, but I will continue to add names as I remember.  Take time out to think about the men that helped to shape you.  You will be blessed by the experience. 

Peace and Love,

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

He Who Finds a Wife...

Proverbs 18:22 (New International Version)

22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.

I met a remarkable woman the other day at work. She was in her late 60's or so and she was telling me about her husband. He was terminally ill and had to be taken care of day and night. She and her sons took turns watching over him, bathing him, feeding him, and changing his clothing. He had not been able to do anything for himself for the past year because he had a stroke. So his family was taking care of him. He also had diabetes, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer's disease. When I commented on how much of a blessing she was to him, she simple stated that he had taken care of her and the children for over 40 years and it was her pleasure to take care of him now. She told me that he had always been an excellent husband and father and that he had done everything that he was supposed to do as the head of the house. She even told me that other people had advised her to put him in a nursing home but she didn't mind doing everything for him. She said the key to her not minding taking care of him now is because he had been such a good husband. "You have to be a good husband first," she said as she shook her finger at me. She told me that she would have put him in the nursing home immediately if he had not been a good husband. She was a good wife.

My conversation with her made me think about another couple in my church back in Louisiana.  I never knew them personally, but I never forgot them either.  You see, the husband was confined to a wheelchair and the wife would bring him to church every week.  They were always dressed immaculately too.  He would be wearing a suit, and she would have on a nice dress with heels and stockings.  She would drive him and their two children in the specialized van with the ramp for his wheelchair.  She would park the vehicle, lower him down, and wheel him into the building.  Then she would sit in a folding chair next to him during church.  I imagine that she did a lion's share of the work around the house which obviously included taking care of him and the kids.  But they always looked pleasant whenever I saw them.  She was a good wife.

These two ladies remind me of my wife and the way that she takes care of me.  I told you about the time that I was in the hospital (Week in the Hospital IWeek in the Hospital II).  Well, my wife would come up to visit me, take care of our son, and keep me updated on what was going on at the house.  Even though I was only in the hospital for six days, it seemed like years.  But after that moment of sickness, I knew without a shadow of doubt that my wife had my back no matter what.  It made me trust her more.  And it made me want to do even more for her and my son on a daily basis.  She is a good wife.

So what's the point?  Men should make sure that they pick the right women when they look to get married.  Then they should make sure that they do their jobs correctly as husbands.  Take care of your wives at all times and they will take care of you at all times.  The return on investment is more than you could ever imagine.

Peace and Love,

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Behind the Fence

Take one turtle...

Place it behind a wrought iron fence.....

and I promise you that God can make a good analogy out of it.  
So here goes...

I was going to pick up a customer a couple of weeks ago and was sitting out side of his house when I noticed something in the yard next to the house.  The yard was closed off by a wrought iron fence (kind of like the one in the picture above), and there was an unhappy turtle in the yard on the other side of the fence.  How do I know he was an unhappy turtle?  His shell was blue!  Ha ha ha get it? OK... never mind.  I figured that he was unhappy because he was trying his best to get out of the gate.  He was trying to maneuver his body through two of the iron bars, with very little success.  Even though it was obvious to me that he was never going to get out of that fence, he kept trying.  After maneuvering for a couple of minutes, the only thing he could accomplish was to get his head and one leg through the the bars.  His shell was easily twice the size of the space he was trying to squeeze through and it kept banging up against the fence.  The turtle was bound and determined to get through that fence and it was abundantly clear that it was never going to happen. 

As I sat in the driveway watching poor little turtle mcshell trying to escape; a thought flashed into my mind.  I could help the turtle to get free!  All I had to do was turn the latch, open the fence, and let my little hero in the half shell walk right out of the yard.  He would then be free to walk down the driveway and into the street where he would probably be killed by one of our friendly Texas drivers.  As I shuddered at the possibility of his little turtle death, I decided not to free him.  I figured that it would be better to leave him inside the fence where he would continue to be frustrated, but safe.  If I would have had time to do so, I would have picked him up and driven him over to a nearby pond and set him free in a safe location.  But since I didn't have time, I decided he was better off in his current situation.  When my customer came out, I told him about the trapped turtle and he said that he would tell his neighbor to get him out. 

Here's the analogy.  Sometimes we can see right where we want to go and we see the path that we want to take to get there.  Just like my little turtle friend was trying to squeeze through the poles in the fence, we try to force our way into the direction that we want to go.  And God is sitting there the whole time watching us struggle; yet continuing to protect us from the dangers that we don't know are out there.  God has the ability and the desire to let you out of one situation so that you can continue on your journey.  But he also has the desire to see that you remain safe until He can move you to a safer location later on.  Just as I knew I couldn't keep the turtle safe once I let him out, God knows that you will not be safe outside of His protective hedge.  So He leaves you where you are; just like I left the turtle where he was.  I felt bad that I had to leave the turtle inside the fence.  But competing against the bad feelings were the satisfaction that I had in knowing the turtle (though frustrated) was safer inside the fence than outside the fence.  God feels your pain when you are frustrated, and it does grieve Him to see you unhappy.  But He looks over all of that frustration because He knows that you are better off where you are at the current time.  But don't lose heart!  There is a reason that there is a latch on the gate.  It is not God's intention to leave you behind the fence forever.  He is simply waiting for the right moment to free you and put you in the exact place that you belong.  A place where you can prosper, grow, and continue to do His will. 

God places the fences in our lives for a reason.  Just as the turtle could see a better place out there, God allows us to see a glimpse of a better situation than where we are.  And I believe that he allows us to get that glimpse to build a desire in us to go to that next place in our lives.  The fence is different from a closed door.  God places a closed door in front of you to make you change direction.  But a fence is different.  God places a fence in front of you so that you can see through the fence to the place where you want to go.  And once we see that place, we want to get there as soon as we can.  But we have to be patient.  And we have to use this time behind the fence to prepare ourselves for what we have to do when the fence is open.  So for now, enjoy the view.  Prepare yourself for the trip.  God is giving you the resources where you are right now in order to get you ready for when He releases you.  And when he does, you can continue the journey on the path that He has placed before you.

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Training Your Heart: Why We Must Evangelize

This is a paper that I wrote for the Evangelism class that I am taking at a local church. 

The day a person receives salvation is a wonderful day. We are very excited about our salvation and we bask in the glow of our direct experience with Jesus Christ. At this point, we usually do one of three things:

1. We run out and tell everybody that we know about Jesus.

2. We take all of that joy and excitement home with us, lock the doors, and wait for the rapture to come.

3. We do both. We start out excited. We go and tell a couple of people about Jesus. Then somewhere along the way life takes some wind out of our sails, and we begin to hold on tightly to our salvation as though it’s the only thing of value that we have in this world. We’re still saved; but we don’t tell anyone about it. We simply hold onto our gift, suffer in this “mean old world”, and wait to die so that we can finally be happy with Jesus in Heaven.

But no matter what we do, very few of us die immediately after salvation. That’s a good thing. The reason we don’t die immediately after salvation is because we have work to do. We have the wonderful opportunity to follow the mandate of The Great Commission. You can find The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. It says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (niv).” The Great Commission gives us our purpose after salvation. We are to make more disciples so that as many people as possible will have the same opportunity that we did to receive the gift of salvation. The Great Commission gives us everything that we need to complete this task. It gives us the job requirement. It gives us instructions on how to complete the job requirement. And it gives us the support structure needed to motivate us while we are doing the job. It is these three things that I have chosen to focus on.

Our job requirement is 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”. As a born again believer, it is our job to go back out into the world and make disciples. How do we do that? We simply tell everyone that we meet about the plan of salvation. We are required to tell the world that the wages of sin is death, but that the gift of God is eternal life. We need to let the people that we interact with know that they are a sinner, just as we are sinners. But we also need to let them know that they have the same opportunity to be free from that sin just as we are now free from that sin. This requires us to let down our own walls in order to show the other person exactly where our lives were before we were in Christ; and where our lives are now. It is important to understand that it is not our job to force them to accept Christ. Our job is simply to expose them to Christ so that the Holy Spirit will have an opportunity to convict them.

As we are completing the job requirement of making disciples, we will begin to perform the second part of The Great Commission. We begin to “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you”. In this phase of the process, we need to train the new disciples to live the life that we are living (should be living). And how do we do that? We need to make sure that they are growing in their spiritual walk with Jesus Christ. They should be growing and maturing a little bit every day just as we should be growing and maturing. It is very important during this phase of the process that we let the new disciple know that there is not a point of completion in our walk with Christ until we get to Heaven. We should be learning about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. This helps us to improve our relationship with God and understand the will of God in our lives. It is also important to let the new disciple know that we don’t have all of the answers. By revealing our struggles and successes we give the new disciple the freedom to make mistakes. But we also give them the opportunity to get up, dust themselves off, and continue the journey of their own spiritual growth.

The third part of the process is the most exciting part. It’s the part where Jesus tells us, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. The first two parts of The Great Commission tell you what you are supposed to do. The third part tells you what Jesus is going to do. This life can be unfair, unkind, and unsupportive. Sometimes, it does not even appear that we have any support from our family or our friends. That can be discouraging. And it can also make us question if it is even worth it to continue trying. But Jesus said that He will be with you even until the end of this age. That means we have the strongest support structure in the world! We are not expected to complete this task by ourselves. We have the one and only Son of God with us, around us, and in us to help us complete the task. That also means that we are guaranteed to have the victory over this world because Jesus has already overcome the world. So as we continue to make disciples, teach disciples, and train disciples; we are assured that our support structure (Jesus) is there to equip us with the tools that we need in order to be successful in everything that we do for the Kingdom.

So as you go back to work for the Kingdom of God, I want you to remember these three things. Remember that you have the job requirement of making disciples. Remember that you have the instruction to teach them all the things that Christ is teaching you in order to continue spiritual growth. And remember that you have the best support structure in the world in Jesus Christ. As we and the new disciples continue to follow Christ, we will all continue in our spiritual growth with Christ. Lastly, understand that as long as we are diligently following the instructions of Christ, He will be with us. And if Christ is with us, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish for the good of the Kingdom. So go back into the world! Share the good news of Jesus Christ with everyone that you meet. It is a wonderful present from God that you can constantly give away, yet never run out of. It is eternal life!

Peace and Love,

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Help Me! I'm a Pornaholic!

That got your attention, didn't it?  The pornography business is a multi-billion dollar industry that makes a lot of money selling the fantasy of sex.  But when the fantasy is over, it leaves behind the reality of pain, suffering, dysfunctional relationships, STD's, suicide, and other negative consequences including death.  The church itself is no exception.  Many men and women in the church are dealing with porn in their homes, and it is destroying their relationships and their family life.  And since you can't really have honest, no-holds barred conversations about sex in the church, a lot of people in the church are suffering just as much as the rest of the world.

I've found some sites that I think may be of help to anyone that is dealing with pornography.  There are a lot more out there than just these three, but I think they are a good start.  Please be advised that some of the content is really graphic.  But we have to remember that sin is a war against the devil.  Sometimes we have to stop being nice and just get straight to the point.  Here they are:

1.    XXXchurch is designed to bring awareness, openness and accountability to those affected by pornography. We are an online community that tours the world speaking at colleges, churches and community centers. exists to help those who are in over their heads with pornography, both consumers and those in the industry.

2.  The Pink Cross Foundation-  Our mission is to share the good news of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. We also combat community deterioration due to pornography and prostitution through attempts to educate legislation in order to enforce health and safety laws within the pornography industry, to protect adult industry workers from sexually transmitted diseases and other job-related abuses, to ameliorate the secondary negative effects of pornography on the general public and to toughen laws to protect children from accessing online pornography.

3.  The Prestige Ministry -a ministry that helps women get out of the sex industry (located in Atlanta, Ga).  Prestige is a program designed to help empower and build the self-esteem and self-worth of women who are involved in the sex industry, including, but not limited to, prostitutes and exotic dancers. Our goal is to demonstrate the love of God to these precious women and reach out to them in a non-judgmental and accepting way.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Something Lite: The Insinkerator and the Popsicle Stick

This is a story in the life of my family.  Our garbage disposal stopped working about a week ago.  Not all at once, but over a couple of minutes.  I was running it and heard an interesting noise coming from the inside of the sink.  It sounded like the sound me having to spend money to repair something.  Then it went silent.  I flipped the switch a couple of times and nothing happened.  "Oh great,"  I thought.  "Something else to fix."   I decided to not touch it for a couple of days and pray that it would just decide to work later.  Two days later, my wife Stacey decides she really likes the concept of a working garbage disposal in the house.  So she tells me to call our home warranty company.  You know who they are don't you?  They are the people that charge you $60 per visit just to tell you that you should pour vinegar down the pipe. 

Well, I didn't want to spend $60 dollars.  So I did the one thing that threatens the peace of any family home.  I pulled out the toolbox.  And Stacey left the room.  I have to tell you that I currently have a thirty minute rule when it comes to figuring out how things work around the house.  If I can't completely figure out how to fix something within thirty minutes, I call someone who can.  The thirty minute rule is a direct result of my trying to replace the door frame in the pantry by myself.  Let's just say that the two months that we didn't have a door in place was not a good time for me and my man ego.  But I won't tell you that story yet. 

So after spending some time messing with the wrong end of the garbage disposal, I went to one of my favorite sites in the world. It's called If you ever have to figure out something, go to this site. At the very least, it will point you in the right direction. The first thing that I discovered there was that there is a cut-off mechanism on garbage disposals that recognizes when the disposal is clogged up with an item that it cannot not easily cut. In this case, the item was a wooden popsicle stick that a certain six year old threw into the sink (he's helping).  This keeps your garbage disposal from burning out the motor (very smart). There is also a reset button that allows the disposal to run again. That is found under the bottom of the garbage disposal. I did not notice this button before because I can honestly say that I have never looked under the bottom of the disposal before.  And then there is a hole in the bottom of the disposal. This hole is where the garbage disposal wrench goes. And what is a garbage disposal wrench? I'm glad you asked that question! It is this thing:

The InSinkErator WRN-00 JamBuster Wrenchette is basically an allen wrench with an extra bend in it.  It is larger than your standard allen wrench because the people that make the garbage disposal have to have another way to make money off of you.  So they created this "special tool" with the name etched on the handle that you can only get from Home Depot for $6.75.  So it's 9:30 pm on a Thursday night and I'm on my way to get the tool that I have never heard of so that I won't kill my son for throwing his popsicle sticks in the garbage disposal and won't have to sedate my wife because there are pipes on the floor because I had to take apart the pipes to take the garbage disposal out but I didn't really need to take the garbage disposal out and I hope I didn't mess something up and I have to get up at 5:30 tomorrow morning to go to work and she's starting to get nervous because she doesn't want me to break anything else and I know this is a run-on sentence but you get my point and what is that string of black gunk that I just pulled out of the pipe and is Home Depot still open? 

So I go to Home Depot and they have the InSinkErator JamBuster Wrenchette in stock.  Yes!  I look at it and say to myself, "I can't believe that I have to pay seven bucks for a allen wrench with a handle on it.  But I do.  And as I am driving home, I'm hoping that this stupid thing will allow me to go to bed without tearing up the foundation of the house.  Because I will if I have to.  Thankfully, the wrenchette worked.  Two quick twists, and the disposal was HEALED!!  THE CRISIS IS OVER!!

And then we went to sleep.

Peace and Love

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Christian Rapper: R Swift

I have been hearing R Swift as a guest rapper on some of my other CD's and finally had the chance to showcase him.  Another example of exceptional talent.  Enjoy.


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Every Christian an Evangelist

There is a doctirne in the United States Marine Corps that is known as "The Rifleman's Creed". It states that every enlisted Marine, regardless of their military specialization (MOS), is trained first and foremost to be a rifleman. And every Marine officer, regardless of MOS, is trained as an Infantry Platoon Commander. This doctrine is in place so that no matter what happens in combat, every Marine and officer is prepared to continue the mission to close with and destroy the enemy. This way if a cook is in the kitchen and a fire fight breaks out, he or she can stop cooking, grab a rifle and help their fellow Marines deal with the adversary.  Hoo-rah!!

The Christian should have a similar mentality in life.  We should use "The Evangelist's Creed".  That means that every Christian (whether a Pastor, Deacon, Elder, or Layperson) is first and foremost an Evangelist.  We should all be able to communicate the plan for salvation to our peers, regardless of our age, position, or location in the church.  Evangelism is not just the job of the Pastor.  It is the job of every born again believer to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone that we run into.  We should not only be prepared to witness to the world, we should desire to run into unsaved people so that we can share the good news with them.  Notice that I did not say that we had to convert everyone that we ran into.  It is ultimately up to the individual whether or nor they accept Christ.  But we have to actively expose them to Jesus so that the word of God can penetrate into their heart.  How can we make sure that we are prepared to do this?  We need to know the truth for ourselves.  We need to spend time with God ourselves.  And we need to want the person to receive salvation. 

Just as the Marine is always ready for combat, we should always be ready to witness.  It is the only way that we will be able to defeat the enemy.  Hallelujah!!

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Modesto Manifesto

Do you have any idea who this energetic gentleman is? 

I'll give you a hint.  He is one of the most respected evangelist in the country; if not the world.  That's right.  These are pictures of a young William Franklin Graham Jr. (AKA Billy Graham).  These pictures are from the 50's.  I had never seen them before this week.  It's quite a difference from the gentleman that I remember. 


I found this information at the Lifehouse Church website. It is something that I think every Ministry Leader should read.  You can click HERE to to see the information in it's original form. I copied it directly from the website.

Modesto Manifesto
(A plan for holiness)

Perhaps no other leading church figure of the past 50 years commands as much admiration and respect from both the Christian and non-Christian world as does the Rev. Billy Graham. While he has suffered some criticism over the years, no scandals have rocked his ministry - and it has been intensely scrutinized. One of the major reasons Reverend Graham and his associates have avoided pitfalls and scandal goes back to November of 1948 and what took place in a hotel room in Modesto, California. It was there The Modesto Manifesto was birthed.

Graham and his associates, Bev Shea, Grady Wilson, and Cliff Barrows, were just starting to get involved in evangelistic meetings. At the time, many traveling evangelists were crossing the country. And a number fell to scandals - moral, ethical and financial. In a desire to see their ministry remain above scandal, the men met to discuss the problems evangelists faced. They came up with four problems to avoid and ways to avoid them.

1. Money
It was common practice among evangelists to put a lot of emotion and flourish into taking love offerings. This could bring unnecessary criticism - and temptation. The men vowed not to emphasize the offering. To avoid criticism they would always have the local campaign committees oversee the offerings and disbursements of funds - they would accept a straight salary regardless of how high the offerings were.

2. Immorality
Religious leaders especially those who traveled were regularly falling to this temptation. The men agreed continually to pray for God to guard them from it. They also set up some rules to follow. They would never allow themselves to be alone with women - lunches, counseling sessions, or rides to auditoriums or airports. And they would always get their hotel rooms close together as another safeguard.

3. Exaggeration
The phrase evangelistically speaking has been coined to label exaggerated figures of the number attending meetings or the number saved. The men vowed not to fall to this practice. If numbers were mentioned they were the ones generated by the local police, fire departments, or arena managers.

4. Criticism.
Often evangelists would criticize local pastors and churches from pulpits. The men vowed not to do this, nor would they ever criticize pastors who openly criticized them.

Now back to me!  As the article above noted, this Manifesto was written in 1948.  Look at the timelessness of these four simple things.  How many strong ministries have been crippled by Money, Immorality, Exaggeration, and Criticism?  Too many.  I'm going to make sure that I always have a copy of this somewhere.  I would advise the same for any ministry leader. 

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Image is Everything

Do you know what this shoe is?  It's a brand called Starbury; and it was designed by professional basketball player Stephon Marbury a few years ago as an alternative to the expensive basketball shoes that were being marketed to young urban youth at the time. I say that they were an alternative because he wanted to sell the shoes for less than $20. His reasoning was that he wanted to provide a shoe that working single mothers could buy for their children without spending over $100 per pair. The shoes looked nice enough, but didn’t attract main stream appeal.

And why do you think that was? I asked some of the kids in my church if they would buy a pair of Starbury’s and it took me about 10 minutes to get an answer from them. The reason it took me that long was because it took them about 10 minutes to stop laughing at me. The kids told me that they didn’t want to get clowned (made fun of) by their friends for wearing such a cheap shoe. Now some of the kids that I know are fortunate enough to be able to able to get a pair of $100 shoes. Many times the children have more money in their pocket than I do. But that’s not the point. For these kids and many others, it wouldn’t matter if the cheaper shoes were better in appearance and quality than the more expensive ones. The fact that their peer group would know that they bought the cheap shoe would destroy the image that they were trying to perpetuate.

Isn’t that what we do as adults? We have an image that we are trying to maintain. We want to be viewed a certain way. Some of us want to be seen as affluent.  Some of us want to be seen as stong.  Others of us want to be seen as wise and respectable.  But no matter what, we have an image that we want to present to the world.  We value the image that we create for ourselves.  And we do certain things to protect the image.  But is that always the right thing?  Let's examine another way of looking at ourselves.

Do you know what Imago Dei is?  It is a concept that asserts that human beings are created in God's image and therefore have inherent value independent of their utility or function.  In other words, we are valuable simply because we are God's creation.  Check out this link at Wikipedia for a little more information.  But the point is this:  it doesn't matter what you wear.  It doesn't matter where you live.  It doesn't even matter what you do for a living.  Your inherent value as a child of God outweighs anything that you could create or achieve for yourself. 
I spend a lot of time thinking about my image and the way that people view me. I  realize that I'm a minister that works in the secular world.  Before that, I am a Christian.  And even before that, I am a child of God that was created in the image of God.  And that is what people should see in me before they see anythng else.  Trust me.  It is an examination that I have to do on a daily basis.  Because if I forget what my true image is supposed to be, I can get caught up in trying to create a false image of myself to please others.  What image do you have of yourself?  It's a question that we should all ask on a daily basis.

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike


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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sho Baraka's New Album Lions and Liars

I picked this album up on Tuesday and have been listening to it nonstop.  Please pray for the entire Reach Records organization and continue to support Christian rap.


Official Press Release
Thats right Sho Baraka's Lions & Liars is available in stores now! Featuring Lecrae, JAMM, Trip Lee, Tedashii and many more. Pick it up your copy at Walmart w/bonus tracks for only $9.99

Also available at:  Family Christian, LifeWay, Berean, and Mardel Christian stores
Deluxe versions are available here. There are five versions to choose from.
For more information on Sho Baraka visit
For promos and snippets go here

Here's the first video from the album. 

And just because I haven't put up any music in a while, here is D.J. Official featuring J.A.Z & Magellan.

This is from the Entermission Album.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Me and Rev. Wade (aka Rev. W.)

This is a picture of me with one of my favorite people.  This is Rev. Reginald Wade, our Emeritus of Pastoral Care and Visitation.  He is the gentleman that I made reference to in my A Lifetime of Ministry  post back in January.  He told me last night that he was a Pastor in Kyle, Texas for over 27 years before serving as the Minister of Pastoral Care for our church.  He he truly a great friend and mentor to me and to others.  I just wanted the world to know who he is.

Peace and Love,


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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Closing Ratio

In the business world, salespeople are usually evaluated by their closing ratio.  What is a closing ratio?   A closing ratio is defined as the number of completed sales that a person makes in relation to the number of sales presentations that he or she makes in a given timeperiod.  As an example, let's say that you speak to 10 people about a product and 8 of them buy the product from you.  Divide 8  by 10 and you get .8 (or an 80% closing ratio).  What if you only sell 1 of them?  Then your closing ratio is 10%.  Guess which closing ratio  would be looked upon more favorably at a sales job; and which one would get you reprimanded?  The 80% closing ratio would be considered a huge success. 

Now, I have recently left the car sales business (thank you Lord!), and an average closing ratio for a car salesperson was about 25 to 30%.  If you were really good, then your closing ratio would be around the 40 to 50% range.  That still means that you had a lot of people tell you no.  Every car sales manager that I know would tell you that your closing ratio is always going to land somewhere around that 25 to 30% range.  That's not a bad thing.  But what that means is you need to talk to a lot of people if you expect to sell a lot of cars.  The sales manager does not expect the salesperson to close every person.  They just expect them to try to sell to as many people as possible.  So if you speak to 100 people and have a closing ratio of 25 to 30%, then you will complete the sell 25 to 30 times.  If you only speak to 20 people, then you will only complete the sale 5 to 6 times.  The key in sales is not always in how many you close; but how many you talk to.

So what does this have to do with God?  Some of us believe that evangelism is like a sales job.  We think that we are only successful if we convert the person that we witness to.  If they don't accept Jesus Christ as Lord right at that moment, then we think that we have failed.  But that's not true.  God does not look at us by our success rate (closing ratio).  He only wants us to tell people about Jesus.  The Holy Spirit is the one that works on the person's heart to change them.  Our job is simply to give the presentation. 

Here is a biblical example.  Jonah was told by God to go to the city of Nineveh and preach against it.  God told Jonah that the city's wickedness had come up against Him.  He never told Jonah to convert the city.  He (God) simply told him (Johah) to tell the people that they would be destroyed because of their wickedness.  After Jonah's disobedience, punishment, and repentence, he did go to the city and preach against it.  When the people heard the word of God from him, they repented.  And God forgave them.  Never once did Jonah try to coerce them into repentence.  In fact, Jonah did not want the people to be saved.  It was because of the Holy Spirit that the people of Nineveh were converted. 

Here's another example.  Matthew 28:19-20 states,  "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  The responsibility is for us as Christians is to go and make disciples.  A disciple, by definition is a follower.  We are to go and make followers of Christ.  If you try to make a follower and the person doesn't want to follow, don't take it as a personal failure.  The person is not rejecting you.  They are rejecting God.  But because you witnessed to them, they have been exposed to God.  And once they are exposed to God, the Holy Spirit has the opportunity to work on them.  And it is the Holy Spirit that closes the deal; not us as witnesses.

So how should you witness to an unbeliever?  One great way to witness to people is by using by using The Roman Road to Salvation.  Another method is to ask five simple questions.  But I've also found that one of the best methods to use in witnessing to people is to simply let them see the love of Christ in you.  The way that you interact with people on a daily basis will have a greater impact on them than anything that you can say.  Simply live the life that God would have you to live.  That will be your most powerful testimony.

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike


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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Energy Source

Imagine that you have a brand new home entertainment system.  It includes a fifty inch high definition  television with surround sound and blue ray movie player attached.  It has every possible feature you can imagine a system having along with every cable station you want at a super low price.  It also comes with a unlimited supply of blue ray movies, a super remote control with voice command, and an expresso maker on the side.  Ok, maybe not the expresso maker.  But it has everything else that you could possibly think you need in a home enertainment device.  Last but not least, it has the ability to play Itunes, CD's, HD radio, and satillite radio.  I think it would look a little something like this:

Now imagine that you have all of that available to you for your enjoyment; but with one small problem...

You don't have any electricity in the house.

That would make everything that I just listed pretty useless, wouldn't it?  Yet that is exactly how our lives are if we don't have a close and personal relationship with God.  The one thing that is missing turns out to be the most important thing missing.  

In my line of work, I run into a lot of people who are fairly well off financially. You can tell by the cars, the houses, and the titles.  But more often than not you can see the loneliness, the strained relationships, and the emptiness in their lives as well.  I can remember talking to a gentleman that must have had every materialistic thing that a person could possibly want; yet he still seemed like the most unhappy person in the world.  He had something missing in his life.  I don't know for sure, but I am guessing that he probably sacrificed some relationships (with God and family) to achieve that financial success. 

All I'm saying is check your power source.  Pray.  Study your Bible.  Let the Holy Spirit guide you.  You may not get the super dooper entertainment system.  But what you do receive just might be much more valuble.

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike


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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Bike Ride With God

I heard this on the radio this morning and had to share..

Author unknown
Written sometime between 1910 and 1985.

At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like the president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn't know him.

But later on when I met Christ, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal. I don't know just when it was that He suggested that we change places, but life has not been the same since. When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring but predictable ... It was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds, and it was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness, He said, "Pedal." I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are You taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure. And when I say, "I'm scared," He'd lean back and touch my hand. He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy. They gave me gifts to take on my journey, my Lord's and mine. And we're off again. He said, "Give the gifts away, they're extra baggage, too much weight." So I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him at first, to be in control of my life, I thought He would wreck it; But He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages. I'm learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ. And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore, He smiles and says ... "Pedal."

Better to ride with Jesus than with the mother of Lucy, Linus, and Rerun!

Peace and Love,


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Sunday, February 28, 2010

These Things Take Time

Do you have an idea of what your destiny is?  Have you received an idea of what God wants you to do; yet it seem like God is taking a long time to allow you to completely enter that destiny?  Ponder these things...

Abraham was 75 years old when God spoke to him and told him to go to a land that He would show him (Genesis chapter 12).  He was around 80 years old when God told him that he would be the father of all nations (Genesis chapter 15).  He was 100 years old when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5). 

Joseph was approximately 17 years old when he told his family that he dreamed of them bowing down to him (Genesis 37).  He was 30 years old when he entered the service of Pharoah (Genesis 41:46).  His brothers came to him to purchase food soon after that.

Moses was 40 years old when he slew the Egyptian that was beating his fellow Hebrew (Exodus 2:11).  He then hid in the desert for another 40 years until he met God in the burning bush (Exodus 3).  He was 120 years old when he died just outside of the Promised Land after leading the Children of Isreal out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 34:7). 

King David

David was annointed to be the next king of Israel somewhere around the age of 14 to 17    (I Samuel 16). He killed Goliath in battle shortly after that. He did not actually become king until he turned 30 (II Samuel 5).

Jesus was thirty years old when He began his public ministry.

Paul was said to be around his late thirties to early fourties when he had his Damascus Road experience.  He had lived his life up to that moment as a persecuter of the church.

These are a few examples of God preparing individuals for their destiny.  The things that they did before entering their destiny were neccessary; either for preparation or positioning.  God saw fit to reveal a little of that destiny to them.  Yet He also had to get them ready to enter their destiny.  I feel that God has revealed a little of my destiny to me.  I have to remind myself that this is simply my time of preparation.  I had an idea of my destiny in 2001.  It still has not come to pass.  But I am better prepared to enter my destiny now than I was back then.  I'll ask my questions again:

1.  Do you have an idea of what your destiny is?
2.  Have you received an idea of what God wants you to do; yet it seem like God is taking a long time to allow you to completely enter that destiny?

Take heart.  God knows what He is doing.  And you are further along than you think.

Peace and Love,

Rev Mike


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Get Out Of My Way! I'm Going to Church!

Have you ever cursed at another driver while driving to church? Have you ever fought or bickered with a family member while getting dressed for church? We get attacked by Satan constantly and this is a reminder to us all that Sunday morning is no exception. Sometimes you just have a bad day. Sometimes you wake up late and remember that you are supposed to be participating in a special event at church. Then you realize that you forgot the very thing that you needed to have with you in order to participate in the special event. So you have to turn around and go back to retrieve the thing. Now you are really running late so you have to speed in order to make up for lost time. Then the idiot in the car with the loud music cuts you off, and they only cut you off because they are a sinner and they know you are trying to get to church and "you know I'm trying to be nice Lord" and you just want to scream, "Get out of my way! Can't you see I'm going to church?” Trust me; I know it happens.

I'll give you an example. I was going to pick up a female friend of mine for church when I was in collage. The year was 1994 BC (Before Cell phone). The dorm that she lived in did not allow male visitors before noon, so I could not go inside the lobby to call her and let her know that I was there. I sat in the parking lot for a couple of minutes and asked the first young lady that walked out if she would go back inside and call my friend from the lobby phone. I can't properly explain the annoyance in her voice as she told me to get someone else to do it because she was on her way to church. Now I don't know what the young lady was going through. Maybe she thought I was trying to hit on her. Maybe she was running late. Maybe she just didn't want to talk to anyone yet. But her tone immediately told me that she had neither the time nor the desire to help me out. Now I won't tell you what I said about her mother as she drove off. But eventually, my friend did come outside and we drove to church together. We arrived at the church, parked the car, and walked inside. Guess who we saw on the first pew as we entered? That's right! The same young lady that would not help me at the dorm! I went out of my way to give her a huge Good Morning with a side order of sarcasm. She looked the other way. And Satan was pleased.

Every day we have to ensure that we are carrying the love of Jesus with us. It's common knowledge that we are going to go through trials Monday through Saturday. But don't be surprised if you catch yourself going through some major trials on Sunday. Satan attacks you every day of your life. But God is there to shield you from him. Just remember to use your shield every day. Especially on Sunday.

Peace and Love,
Rev. Mike


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