Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Getting back in the swing of doing the reps...

Greetings everyone.. I hope and trust everyone had a fantastic Christmas and New Years. We most definitely had a wonderful time. I cannot believe its been (3) years since I launched this blog. Man time sure does fly.. Alot has occurred in that time, some good and some not so good. Regardless I am renewing my commitment to this passion of mine. Now its time to awaken from the holiday stooper, and put down the treats. The simple fact is: the New Year is here.. I have one question to ask you. What are you going to do with the blank slate that lies before you? Are you going to do more of the same? Are you going to continue to bask in the ambiance of mediocrity? Or are you going to really get after it? Last night on the way home from a basketball game my eldest son was disappointed in his performance. As any good Dad would do I listened to him and helped him flesh out his frustrations. Man, I was looking at him and remembering those childhood challenges I faced. I heard my own  Father in my words of encouragement. I felt sadness in my heart for him. I never want my kids to experience any pain or frustration. This is not reality. However, I can walk along side him and be there for him. I can show him how to overcome, teach the necessary skills, and practice until perfect. But the one thing I cannot do is do it for him. He must do the reps. I did the reps and now its his turn. Walking down memory lane got me thinking about where I am and where I am going. I want to change and I will change. Yet as time passes, I have forgotten that I have to do the reps too. I cannot simply wish for change to take place. I have to do the reps to make the change take place. This is my encouragement for you today. If you are contemplating making a change, great.  Figure out what change you want to make and then establish the necessary steps for accomplishment. Then do the reps. If you are unsure what the steps are then seek guidance. Once you have the plan in place take the necessary actions everyday to complete. If you find yourself struggling to get it done daily then find an accountability partner. This partner needs to be the kind of person whom will hold your feet to the fire. Don't settle for mediocrity. Don't settle for more of the same. In the immortal words of Rocky Balboa, "Go for it". Either way do the reps. You will be glad you did.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where do you go for help?

When trouble rears its ugly head where do you go for help? Do you try to solve it yourself? Do you seek Your spouse? Do you bolt to your friends and family? Man, I would try everything from jedi mind tricks to council from Dr. Phil. Yet, I would not seek our Heavenly Father first. I would pray for help but usually after "better" options were exhausted. The primary strategy of the enemy is to deceive and nothing satisfies him more than watching us wander aimlessly in search of resolution. The enemy does a spectacular job in convincing us to go everywhere but to the Lord first. The enemy knows that as long as we are not wholly trusting Christ as Lord over our lives, the advantage is his. I am convinced most of us won't go to Jesus first because we don't really believe He will come through for us. We can't wrap our arms around the fact that He will show up and act on our behalf. In John 11 :1-6, we find Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Mary was the one who anointed Jesus with expensive oil and wiped his feet with her hair. They were from Bethany. Lazarus fell ill and died. The sisters sent word to Jesus that "He whom you love is sick". Mary and Martha went to Jesus first with their problem. The sisters did not bother with every other option under the sun. Mary and Martha went to Jesus first because they expected Him to come through for them. The sisters knew who Jesus was and no doubt saw some of the miracles He performed. They lived with expectant hearts. Someone with a expectant heart is one who calls on the Lord first in times of need. The sisters not only believed in Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life, they also believed Jesus would come through for them. They just did not know how He would do it. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus answered their request and solved their problem in a way they could not imagine. They had no idea He was going to raise their brother after four days in the grave. The point is to rely on the One who can and will answer you. Call on the One who sympathizes with you and will fill your need. I am ashamed that I did not learn this truth sooner. I praise God that I do not have to live like that anymore. I can go to Him first and know that He will answer me. He will never forsake me or leave me. He is always there. I want to encourage you to seek Christ first not only when trouble comes but in everything that happens. I want to encourage you to patiently wait for His answer. He is never early or late with His response. He is always right on time. He always knows what's best for us. Thank you Lord, for taking the pressure off me and showing me through you word how to rely on you wholly.

God Bless you all....
Until next time.....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Never To Late

I am learning scripture as a requirement for a Discipleship group I am involved in. I knew some scripture but never really took the time to delve deeper. I am learning Isaiah 53:3-12 as part of my memory verses. Isaiah 53:5 tells us" But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed". Verse 6 continues by saying "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned-everyone-to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all". We all have heard some of this before but have we ever looked hard at it. Please take a moment and read this prophetic verse about our Lord. Jesus took the full fury of God's wrath on His shoulders for everyone once and for all. A single payment for all of mankind. He lived a sinless life, yet he suffered a criminal's death. Jesus was also the example by which we should live. He was the epitome of love, mercy, grace, kindness, forgiveness, service, and patience. He knew he had a job to do, the price had to be paid and He did it. When the time came God the Father showed Him no mercy. Wow, I mean how can we take one more breath and not respond to that with utter reverence. Christ lived, suffered, died, and was victoriously resurrected so we can have life. In Ezekiel 18 :32 God says" For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn and live." God does not want any of us to experience spiritual death. God wants us to live. God wants to live together with us. We alone cannot repair the damage done by sin. We can only accept Christ's permanent payment for us and share the joy of this message. True life begins when we accept Christ as our savior and the Lord of our lives. If this did not happen we would have NO HOPE, NO REAL LIFE, NO TRUE JOY, and NO PEACE. Praise God, He was willing and able to accomplish this impossible task by human standards. I want to encourage you today to take a moment and Thank our Heavenly Father for sacrificing His Son for you and for me. Its time we all start living for HIM, and say no to our evil selves. The Bible says, we are all born in sin and if we die in sin without a personal relationship with Christ we are doomed. If you don't realize you are rotten to the core then there lies the problem. How in the world can we know for sure we have a personal relationship? We start by dusting off our Bible and opening the door of your hearts. If you listen you can hear Christ knocking at the door. Will you let me in He says? Well, will you?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How do you measure success?

How do you measure success? Do you look at success from the "World" view? Do you look at success from God's view? The "World" view is the here and now. Its what we can touch, taste, wear, smell, and drive. The "World" view is what advertisers want us to see, feel, need, and crave. Its keeping up with the Jones's. Its what we ought to have or what we owe ourselves. Is that the right way to measure success? I know we all have desires in our hearts. We all want the American dream. We all want to live in big houses, drive nice cars, have wallets stuffed with cash, eat great food until we are sick, be popular, have great kids, have great looking spouse's, and incredible careers. Is that you? Is that me? The answer is yes. Its me and its you, whether you want to admit it or not. We all want those things and much much more. God's view on the other hand is laid out for us in His Word. Joshua 1:8, says, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." God is telling Joshua that I am all you need. God is saying remember My Words, My commands, keep your eyes fixed on Me, your trust wholly in Me and you will succeed. All we need to know about success is clearly spelled out for us in God's Word. God has given us the key to success. It's right here. Paul tells Timothy in 1Timothy 6: 6-10,"Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows." I used to live under the most ridiculous delusion. I lived by the credo that I HAD to make and keep the line share of $20 million dollars before I was 40 year old. (Please don't laugh at the absurdity of this.). I reflect on this now and get sick to my stomach. I have now through the Lord's help rid myself of this horrible goal or whatever you want to call it. I am now living comfortably inside God's contentment mentioned in Timothy. I know now that its about spending time with my healthy children, snuggling up with my beautiful wife, and enjoying my family and friends. Its about having food in the pantry, gas in the cars, clothes on our back. Its about taking time every single day and thanking God for all of these things and many more. It boils down to being content and thankful for where you are and what you have versus what you don't have. I realized I was focusing on the wrong things. I was looking for satisfaction in things that were temporary. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was building a business. In a short time I was making more money than I had ever made. It was at this point that things began to spin out of control. God was teaching me something that I did not realize at the time. After much prayer, reading, council, and getting quiet before God it started to make sense. I was measuring success with the wrong glasses on. I was living for the wrong reasons. I was living only to engage my fleshy desires and not living out the purpose with which God had given me to do. We should be focused on doing the tasks that God has called each of us to do. I was living my life with the"Worlds View" driving me. I recall feeling pressure that was choking at times. The drive to compete with the Jones's was and is way to much. Our real work is helping our brothers and sisters in need. Its witnessing to the lost, and providing for the orphans and widows. Its all of this and more, much more. Paul continues telling Timothy "Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. Trusting in money is temporary at best, but Trusting in God is everlasting. So, do want to put your trust in something that is here today and gone tomorrow, or do you want to put your TRUST in the ONE who is eternal? I want to encourage you to let this resonate in your hearts and minds. It has opened the eyes of my heart. I hope it will open the eyes of you heart as well. Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew "Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. So how do you measure success? I measure it by the completion of the good work God is doing in, for me, and through me. When that job is done then I will have lived a successful life. I am confident if we will wholly submit our lives to Christ, He will take care of our every need more so than we could ever ask. I trust Jesus to supply all my needs. Do you???

I hope this message today encourages you to look up into the heavens and not here on earth. My prayer today, is that we would get our priorities straight and rely on Christ the Rock. If you enjoyed this message please pass it on to someone else.

Until Next Time!!!

God Bless!!!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Additional thoughts on afflictions

I want to share additional thoughts on the topic of afflictions. Taking another look at the verse:
Psalm 119:67 " Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word". The psalmist is saying that Everything God says is Right. God is right 100% of the time, in all things, and in all ways. We may not like that statement b/c it cuts us to the core. We like to think we are in charge of our lives. The fact of the matter is we were never in control in the first place. Its interesting to listen to the Tony Robbins of the world say "Take control now!" "Its up to you to seize the day". The only thing that I am in control of is my attitude, and that's it. I choose to respond positively or negatively to all the circumstances and events that occur in my life, and so do you, period the END! God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 "I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans for your welfare and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" This is one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible. God, is saying to me "Alan, I have a plan for you that is right and perfect in My will. This plan has inside it a future and a hope just for you. MY plan has nothing but MY best in mind for you." He had my plan and your plan laid out long before the beginning of the world. We chose to get off that plan by engaging in our fleshy desires. We choose to not listen to His wise teaching. We choose to sin. There is a intersecting point where the right path and the wrong path reconnect. It's at this point where we transfer from our "worldly" path to the HIS path. God is working in and through our points of affliction by helping us realize He is all we need. I know this goes against the grain and its the opposite to what we think we need. You and I could agree that when we pray sometimes we pray for God to change a circumstance, a issue, or whatever we desire, but the reality is God doesn't always move when we ask. For example, we could say " Lord, change my spouse", "Change my financial situation so I can pay my bills", or "Change my health so I can feel better". I am confident what we should be praying is "Lord, Teach me your Word." Its seems to me that if we would let Him teach us and if we will hide His word in our hearts like He tells us we would be far better off than doing things our way. Have you ever thought that maybe God is looking down on us saying Why don't they trust Me? I have given them so many blessings. I have been there for them so many times. If they could just see what I see they would understand. We could all be living lives of victory and doing the work He intended us to do. One reason you may not have seen the change in your life just yet is because HE FIRST WANTS TO CHANGE YOU! He changes us by using our afflictions as a means to get our eyes off of ourselves and onto HIM. I believe this is very reason the Lord told Joshua to keep His commandments. God said to Joshua to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses gave to you. This book of instruction MUST not depart from your mouth; and you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. (Joshua 1:8). Here is the only key to true success, HIS WORD. God tells us exactly what we need to do in order to become successful. Forget success measured by worldly terms.

I hope this posting encourages you. My prayer today is that we learn to look through our trials, afflictions, and circumstances to see the hand of our King working. We can trust He is right 100% of the time regardless if we understand it or not. I appreciate you all. May God bless you and keep you and your families.

Until Next Time!!!

God Bless You All!!!!


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trials are not about us there about God!

When you think of personal trials what do you think of? Do you think of illness, financial troubles, business in the tank, loss of job, divorce, or even death? I think of these things but I have often wondered why this is happening to me. Why am I having to deal with this issue or that issue? Have you ever said any of the following "I thought things were fine. I thought things were heading in the right direction. I have been blessed. I am on top of the mountain. I am making more money than ever before. It's as if everything I touch turns to gold." I have definitely felt this way and said these very things. I was this person. I was building my business. We were on our way to financial freedom and much success. I began to believe one of the oldest lies in the world. You can do it and you don't need anyone to help you. You are powerful. I had put the Lord on the shelf and didn't want to do what He said. I relied more on my own effort than relying on Him. God showed me I was not in charge by taking it all away from me. He gave it to me and therefore He could take it away at will. God brought me to my knees. In the late summer of 2006 all of that changed. I met God early one morning in August on my patio. It was and is the most amazing moment in my life. My wife and I had recently decided to go back to church. I had just heard a message from the evangelist Junior Hill on humility. I made several comments to my wife that I was feeling things I have not felt before. That morning, I heard His voice say read 1st Peter 5:6. I doubted I heard it so I made my coffee and was about to let the dog out. I heard it again and this time I thought OK I'll read it. Once I read it I burst into tears. He had been calling me to change and I was running as fast as I could from Him. Well, you cannot out run God! It was from that day forward that my real journey began. I was turned upside down in every way possible. I did not know what was happening to me but I knew something was happening. I requested a meeting with a man, whom I love and deeply admire several days after that encounter. We met at my office and during that discussion he told me something that no one else had ever said to me. He said Alan, you have a authority problem. Not with your parents or the government but with God. I was moved so much by the honesty in his voice and the love he had for me to say something as difficult as this. I began to think about that statement. I had never thought of it like that before. He was right. I prayed and asked for forgiveness and my life has not been the same since. I am so thankful that I met God that day. I am thankful for my affliction. It has been through my affliction that God has communicated with me, changed me and begin to use me. He uses pain as a megaphone to wake up a sleeping world. Psalm 119:67 reads, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your Word." What does the psalmist mean by this verse. I believe he means that trials are sent to teach us things about God we would not learn any other way. Martin Luther once said he never learned the Word until he was afflicted. His sufferings were his best teacher. C.S. Lewis said "God whispers in our pleasure but He shouts in our pain." The psalmist is saying that his afflictions led him back to God, whereas he once lived for himself, but now he lived for the Lord. We as humans don't like to think about negative circumstances. I will testify to this right here and now. God worked in my life and continues to work in my life to manifest the needed changes and to encourage me to greater growth in Him. Praise the Lord!!!! God will not stop His work in you until it is complete. If you are in a painful situation right now, look to the Lord. He may be speaking to you. Pay Him the attention He deserves and commands. Trust Him! Psalm 34:19 offers this word of encouragement" Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all."
Remember it not about you or me it's about GOD!! I hope you are encouraged by this message. I pray that God would reveal Himself to you today. I pray also that you would run to the cross and rest in Him. If this message touched your and you believe it would help someone else please forward it to them.

Until next time!!
God Bless You all!!!!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Every Word He says Is True!

I don't know about you but I could use a good ol'dose of truth and encouragement. I have been reflecting lately on God's faithfulness to mankind alike. You know He is faithful even when we are not faithful to Him. It got me thinking about the promises I make and those that get broken and God's promises to us. I make promises and don't keep them for a variety of reasons. Now, I am not saying I am a promise breaker all the time. I am a people person and I don't like to let anybody down. I like to think those promises get delayed b/c I get busy or distracted but truth of it is sometimes I just flat over commit. This got me thinking about the promises God makes to us. There are thousands of God's promises in the Bible. He never breaks a promise never! Every word God says is true.There are many words in the bible for "truth". One of the most important words for truth is the Hebrew word "Emet". Emet means stability, firmness, or certainty. Our word Amen comes from this word "Emet". When we say Amen we are really saying "It is certain!" God's faithfulness means that everything He says and does is certain because He is the truth. God is 100% reliable 100% of the time. He is the only One who says what He means and means what He says therefore doing everything He says He will do. Numbers 23:19 describes God this way "God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?" We won't find anyone in this world who is what he/she claims to be all the time. We'll have to look outside this world to discover that only God is who He claims to be all the time. To say God is faithful goes straight to the center of who God is. He keeps His promises because if He did not keep them He wouldn't be God. If He said it you can bet your life on it. Every part of God's word is true from the 1st to the last, and because God is faithful He keeps every promise He makes. 1st Thessalonians 5:24 says it this way" The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it." I don't know about you but that makes me smile. It tells me that my King is truly sovereign, and nothing He says is wrong, late, early, or a broken promise. My prayer today is that we all seek His face more and more. We need Him desperately in this day and time. We need to trust Him in all things both large and small. We need to REST in the confidence that He does not break promises. He always delivers and Glory be to God for that very thing. If you enjoyed this message please forward to someone else. I appreciate all of you very much.

Until Next Time!!!
God Bless YOU!!!!!!!