Re-Post – “Only God Is Awesome!”

I dug up some of my old blogs from a year or two ago. As they are like journal entries, that everyone could see, I thought it was kinda cool to read some of them – and kind of difficult to read others….

Still – I thought it might be cool to share some with you here. Enjoy!

Only God Is Awesome! – Originally posted September 21, 2009

Think about that. I’m not awesome. Neither are you. You might be pretty cool (I think you are, anyway). But not awesome. Yet – if you are like me, you throw that word around for everything – from a great concert, to a cool baseball game, to something you just at at McDonald’s. Well – maybe not McDonald’s – but a great meal. Awesome?? Does a great meal inspire awe??? I’m not so sure it does. While fireworks are cool, and we “oooh” and ahhh” over them – do they inspire awe? Do they inspire “an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like”? (from Dictionary.com)

Not quite. Not for me anyway. The only thing in my life that inspires such awe – that is so truly awesome – is God. He is and ever shall be the only thing that brings me to my knees. That humbles me. That REALLY should be given the respect and glory. Yet – like many, I throw that word around for almost anything. And I need to stop doing that.

I was convicted of this habit of mine last weekend. In a loving, yet firm way. And I will do my best to not carelessly use that word anymore, when it should be reserved for our Lord alone.

I was thinking of how I would best articulate this in a note to you. I can’t.  I’m not smart enough to get the point across. If you will, however, please pray about this and see what God says about using this word for anyone or anything besides Him. What do you think He thinks about us using such a term that should be reserved for Him and Him alone for such trivial things in our lives?

It was almost two years ago, in Dodge Center, where I was convicted of this.  It’s also there that I was given the word that I am to “contend for the glory of the Lord”.  Tonight, I return to play to some amazing people and share in adoration of our Lord and King, Jesus Christ.

Re-Post – “I’m a Whosoever”

I dug up some of my old blogs from a year or two ago. As they are like journal entries, that everyone could see, I thought it was kinda cool to read some of them – and kind of difficult to read others….

Still – I thought it might be cool to share some with you here. Enjoy!

“I’m a Whosever” – Originally posted September 14, 2009

My good friend Marty said that to me last week. And it just struck me. Yeah! I’m a whosoever too!

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life”.

Me? Really? Little old me?

Yes – ME. I’m a whosoever. I confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I’m who He came to die for. I’m who He conquered death for. ME.

And YOU. And it’s unconditional. All you have to do is accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

But wait – isn’t that a condition??? I have to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior??? How then is this unconditional????

Free will. One of the greatest gifts God gave us (other than grace maybe? Or salvation?). We can CHOOSE not to receive this gift of eternal life. All we have to do is – NOT believe. NOT accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. NOT allow Him in to our heart. Revelation 3:20 says “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me”.

See – He will not just open the door and come in. But He IS knocking. I know He was knocking at my door for many, many
years, before I finally opened it. But I did open it. And my life has been changing daily ever since.

It’s kind of sad really, to think that some would turn down this gift. Or some would think they are not worthy of this gift.

But that’s the thing – NONE of us are worthy! Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. ALL have sinned. Every one of us. And just one sin removes us from the glory of God. Just one sin ensures our spiritual death. And know that this death isn’t here on earth. This life is short – and we all know we will die some day. But this death mentioned (“None shall perish”) is an eternal death. This death is Hell. One sin is all it takes……

Yet God does think we are worthy! He SO loves us, that He came to earth, humbled Himself – the King of all Kings – became a man, just like you and me, and DIED an excruciating, painful death. For us. For ALL of us. For whosoever believe with their heart – TRULY believe with your heart – and confesses with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. To pick up your own cross daily and follow Jesus. To allow Him to transform you – oh, how you will be AMAZED at how He’ll transform you! All that garbage in your life – it’s not what is meant for you. You CAN put it down. His way is easier. Jesus says in John 8 “If you hold on to my teachings you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”.

And better yet – He conquered death! Yeah, He’s God, so He’s all powerful. So big deal – of COURSE God can conquer death. But the point is – He was fully man while on earth. This means He was subject to all of the temptations we are subject to. Yet He overcame. Read Matthew 4 for an account of how satan tempted Jesus, and How Jesus prevailed. WE can do that too. We can, in Jesus’ name. And we can have eternal life in Jesus’ name as well! For God SO loves us!

I’m a whosoever. And I want you to be one too. Will you? I pray that you will.

Re-Post – “WE WIN!!”

I dug up some of my old blogs from a year or two ago. As they are like journal entries, that everyone could see, I thought it was kinda cool to read some of them – and kind of difficult to read others….

Still – I thought it might be cool to share some with you here. Enjoy!

WE WIN!! – Originally posted October 14, 2008

A few weeks back, I was at church listening to a pastor preach on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, about the “armor of God”. If you don’t know it, read it (Eph. 6:10-18). I’ve loved this verse for quite some time, thanks to a good friend of mine who first brought it to my attention. But I’ve always thought of it as OUR battle with the enemy. This pastor shed a new light on it for me. It’s not OUR
battle. It’s HIS battle with Satan. And it’s already been won! What an exciting thing! We’re on the winning side! Let’s face it; we all like to be on the winning side.

When I was a kid, I was a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I loved them!  Mean Joe Green, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, and Lynn Swann – the entire team. Loved ’em! Why? Because they were the best team in football. For years. I loved them because they were winners. I obviously wanted to be on the winning team. My love of the Steelers eventually faded away, as did their “dynasty”.

I don’t think I’m much different than most. We laud our football teams when they win, and quickly desert them when they lose (’98 Vikings anyone? I’m not saying it wasn’t deserved, or that we did anything wrong – just interesting how many Vikings car flags could be found on the streets of downtown Minneapolis after that loss….). We build up celebrities, and dump on them when they screw up. We do this with our politicians – and we’ll certainly rub it in your nose if our candidate wins the election in November and yours loses, won’t we? 🙂

We just like to be on the winning team! Well fellow believer – you ARE on the winning team. The only one that matters. All the others will fade away, or lose some day. But with Jesus, it’s everlasting! How exciting is that!

So – long diversion from the topic – sorry…. I’m back now.

K- If He already won for us – why do we need armor? Why the shield of faith, the belt of truth, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit? It’s already won! Very confusing…..

Not really. He did win. But someone hasn’t accepted the loss yet. satan does not give up easily. he simply will not concede. But he does know that he can’t defeat God head on. satan’s only recourse is to attack the Lord’s most prized possessions – us. And he does every day. At least in my case. Every day. And I am far from perfect. I’m broken. I’m weak. So the enemy can easily get his claws in to me. And THAT is why I need God’s armor!

But – what is His armor? What are we talking about here? It’s not something physical, obviously. It’s His word. It’s His faithfulness. It’s His will. We need to put this on every day – And I often find I need to put it on several times a day. 🙂 – But once we have it on? Once we have the sword of the Spirit, then what? We STAND. We don’t have to fight – remember it’s already been won!
We simply stand. Stand in His protection. I like that a lot, personally. This pastor I referred to pointed this out to me a few weeks ago – and it has helped me comprehend this so much more than I thought I could.

He mentioned that when we try to “fight” or actually do something to defeat satan – we’re not putting our faith in our Savior at that point. We’re trying to take the enemy on by ourselves. And by ourselves, we will surely lose. I don’t mean he’ll physically defeat us or injure us. I mean spiritually.  It’s in these times, when we let our human egos take control, that we give in to the enemy’s temptations. And as we do this, we feel guilt. And when we feel guilt, we tend to hide from God. And when we hide from God, we are in the dark.  And the enemy preys on this. And we give in even more to his temptations. And the downward spiral continues.

But when we STAND – knowing the battle has already been won – we don’t have to feel like we have to do anything. It’s been won! We are under God’s protective shield. And the enemy cannot penetrate that! What an incredible thing! Praise God! We are on the winning side!

But what if you don’t believe, or are skeptical? I by no means want to rub it in your face, like I might if my football team beat yours. This is not some “bet”, and I won. I didn’t win anything. Remember – Jesus won, not me. And I want you on His side with me. And more than that – HE wants you on His side. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”. See, you may not be sure you believe in God – or maybe you don’t believe in Him. But know that He believes in you. Even “the hairs on your head are numbered” (Luke 12:17). He sent His own son, to die for us! Even though we cheered at His crucifixion. Even though we are not worthy – and I’m not judging you, I’m right there with you my friend – it’s His desire that we all have eternal life. We just have to believe. And put on the armor of God to protect us from the enemy.

Friends, I certainly don’t mean to offend you with this post. Don’t take it that way. But if it does – I pray that it makes you think about it a little. Or – you may want to confront me on this personally. I would encourage that, and would love to discuss face to face with you. I am by no means an expert – I don’t even pretend to be that smart! But I would encourage a conversation that might spawn some thought on this topic – who knows how God may use that! And I will pray. That is all I can do – but that is huge.  Because the One I am praying to is faithful. And He’s already won!

Re-Post – “I AM A WARRIOR”

I dug up some of my old blogs from a year or two ago. As they are like journal entries, that everyone could see, I thought it was kinda cool to read some of them – and kind of difficult to read others….

Still – I thought it might be cool to share some with you here. Enjoy!

I AM A WARRIOR – Originally posted August 20, 2009

Two things immediately come to mind:

1. No, not like Patty smyth!

2. If you know me, you know I can’t even fight.

But I am a warrior. I have a battle to fight. The good thing is – it’s already won! But that doesn’t mean I can slack off, or cower behind my Savior. He trusts me to go to battle for His glory! And I do not take that lightly.

I never really knew what that meant. Being a warrior. I mean – I like war movies. But come on. I don’t have what it takes! I know guys who are serving, or have served – and they have what it takes. They are warriors. Not me.

Yes me. And you. God knows we have what it takes. He’s made us to be warriors.  To fight for His glory. He’s equipped us with the armor of God, as it says in Ephesians:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of
truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

I love this scripture. But I used to look at it as “God’s protection”. And don’t get me wrong – it is. But not so that we can hide behind it, much like the coward would try to hide behind a flimsy sheild. If you think of Saving Private Ryan, when the soldiers were on the beach, trying to hide behind anything they could. If they did that, they were sure to be killed. They had a better chance of survival if they got up and pushed forward.  So do we. God gives us this armor, so that we can be bold and stand our ground.  We don’t have to be decieved by the enemy, who tells us we are not worthy, that we are sinners, losers, we don’t measure up. I bind these lies up in the name of Jesus Christ! satan has no dominion over us! It’s time we stopped believing in the lies, and stand on the truth. We are warriors, and this is a battle. And in Jesus Christ we are victorious! Amen!

Oh – and one more thing. For the non-believer. You are not the enemy. I am not fighting with you. I am fighting for you. May God  bless you.

Re-Post – “I’m a Contender”

I dug up some of my old blogs from a year or two ago.  As they are like journal entries, that everyone could see, I thought it was kinda cool to read some of them – and kind of difficult to read others….

Still – I thought it might be cool to share some with you here.  Enjoy!

I’m a Contender – Originally posted August 15, 2010

1 Corinthians 9:24 – Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

I’m a contender
for the glory of the Lord…….

1 Corinthians 9:25 – Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

I’m a contender
for the glory of the Lord…….

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 – Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

I’m a contender
for the glory of the Lord!

Contender (The GLORY of the LORD!)

Marcel, and the Way We View the World….

Marcel was a man I met something like 18 years ago.  He was a very interesting, very smart, older man from Russia (I think?  It was 18 years ago).  He was here in the states because (I think) his son lived here, and he was able to move here to live as well.  He was very well educated, and took a job cleaning refurbished telephones, because that is all he could get for work in the states – for some reason his education didn’t mean anything here.  I can’t for the life of me remember WHAT he went to school for – MAN my memory is bad!

Here is what I do rememeber about Marcel, which is why i bring up this fine gentleman:

While I worked directly with Marcel:

  • He was very friendly and engaging – he loved that I had Polish roots, and often told me of how beautiful it is in Poland.  That “I should definitely visit”
  • His accent was a bit of a language barrier for some – and those that didn’t want to try and understand him were at odds with him quite a bit.  I never understood this…….
  • He was not perfect – he was old and set in his ways.  So he was part of the party, when it came to conflict.  But really – who isn’t, now and then?
  • He reminded me of my grandparents – they being old (of course), and European, their accents and demeaner were very similar.  Something about Marcel just made me feel welcomed

Then I moved to the shipping department, where we would request phones, etc from Marcel and others.  This department had some wonderful people – but they for some reason didn’t get along with Marcel as much….  I think they did not appreciate his differences from us “normal Americans”….  And my attitude towards him changed…..

While I worked in a different deparment:

  • He was argumentative.  He was old and set in his ways.  He was a pain in the butt, to be honest
  • He never got his work done on time, or never did it right – what a pain in the butt!
  • He had terrible body odor!  How did I not notice this before, when I sat right next to him???
  • He was always pestering me about going to Poland.  Come on, man, I am not interested…..

What am I getting at here?  Read my different descriptions of Marcel, and see how they are SO different.  Keep this in mind – Marcel didn’t change.  He was old and set in his ways, right?  No – I changed…..

I became someone who was judgmental.  Too good for him.  Irritated by this kind old man, who was just trying to get by……

And he’s just one example…..

And so am I…..

When we take our eyes of Christ, we can be very easily swayed by the world.  A world, mind you, that WANTS to do what is right (I believe this, even if I am naiave).  But a world, just the same, that has no idea how.  Or worse – doesn’t want to put the effort forth or put their neck on the line……

My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.  If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for someone’s blood, let’s waylay some harmless soul; let’s swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse”— my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood.  (Proverbs 1:10-16)

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

I wonder sometimes, what Marcel may be up to – if he’s even still alive.  I wonder some times if he saw those ugly things in me, or if he still saw in me what seemed to appreciate at least when we first met…..

I wonder how many realize how easy it is for their views of the world to change – and now always for the better….  I wonder if some of those “old, set in their ways” people may have had some things right all along, and were not willing to conform to the pattern of this world……

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.  (Hebrews 13:2)