Posts Tagged With: religion

Combat Ready Devotional # 9

Do not fret when wicked men seem to succeed!  Do not envy evildoers!For they will quickly dry up like grass, and wither away like plants.

Trust in the Lord and do what is right!

Settle in the land and maintain your integrity!

Psalm 37:1-3

Trust in The Lord

We see it every day; people who don’t love God succeed in every thing they do. They are very successful on the outside but we never see the turmoil in their hearts. Just because we fail at something doesn’t mean God isn’t with us. Just because someone else succeeds doesn’t mean God is with them.

Trust in the Lord and do what is right. Don’t worry about the riches of this world because there are far better riches in heaven. Don’t worry about how the wicked men and women prosper. Only worry about doing the right thing and living inside God’s will.


This is an excerpt from the upcoming companion devotional to Combat Ready. These devotionals are not in the same order as they will appear in the printed book and may not be in the final form. To read more devotionals click here. To purchase the original book, Combat Ready, click here or go anywhere else books are sold.

Categories: Being a Christian, Devotional, Psalms | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Combat Ready Devotional #7

When the people saw that Moses delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Get up, make us gods that will go before us. As for this fellow Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him!”

Exodus 32:1

Wait on The Lord

And Aaron complied with the people. He made a golden calf. The people worshipped the calf and made it their god. The real God got angry, Moses interceded, and Aaron made an excuse (I put the gold in the fire and out came this calf).

Oh, how easy it is to do it our way when we get tired of waiting on God. We think God has abandoned us so we take it upon ourselves to proceed without Him. If God doesn’t give us what we want—He must not exist then and we will go about on our own. That’s how many people think.

The Bible doesn’t teach us to do things on our own and disregard what God wants. The Bible is filled with stories of patience, probably one of the hardest things to do. Be patient and wait for The Lord. I promise you His plans are better than yours.


This is an excerpt from the upcoming companion devotional to Combat Ready. These devotionals are not in the same order as they will appear in the printed book and may not be in the final form. To read more devotionals click here. To purchase the original book, Combat Ready, click here or go anywhere else books are sold.

Categories: Being a Christian, Devotional, Exodus | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Three Leadership Qualities – Part 3

Before reading this be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2

This is the last section and probably the most important quality in Christian leadership. You can be the most competent leader in your field. You can act with integrity more than anyone else. But, if you don’t display concern for the well-being of others then your leadership status with others crumbles. This may not be true for all types of leadership but it is true for Christian leaders. Let me break it down for you…

Display Concern for the Well-Being of Others

Display – make a prominent exhibition of something where it can be easily seen by others (dictionary definition). We are on display for the world to see. If you haven’t noticed, people love to talk bad about Christians. They love to point out our flaws, as if we are to be perfect. Leaders are in the light even more. Your attitude and your actions are on display whether you want them there or not. Everyone is looking to you since you are the leader.

Concern – A matter of interest or importance to someone; to involve oneself in the life of another. You can’t fake this. To be concerned about someone means you have to go out-of-the-way for that person. You have to care for them. I think of Robin Williams’ suicide the other day and how many thousands more we never hear about. They probably didn’t feel like anyone showed any concern for them. Being concerned about someone is genuine. It is taking out of your own life and time and priorities to see about someone else.

Well-being – A state of being comfortable, healthy, and happy. We always want to make sure we are in this state. But, how often do we care if someone else is in this state? Being comfortable means we aren’t anxious. Being healthy means we aren’t sick. Being happy means we aren’t sad or depressed. This is a lot of work just for ourselves. How much more time and effort do you think it takes to care for someone else’s well-being?

Others – Used to refer to a person or thing that is different or distinct from one already mentioned or known about. That is, someone other than yourself. We already love ourselves. Why not love others too.

You put all this together and it seems like a monumental task. And, it is. Being unselfish is the hardest thing you can ever do in this world. Caring about others is draining and time-consuming. “My commandment is this – to love one another just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:12

Look at Yourself

Leaders must be willing to sacrifice their lives for their friends. Their friends would be anyone who they are leading. Do really display concern for the well-being of others? Do you go out of your way to make sure those you lead are okay? Do you take time out of your day for people other than yourself? Would you drop everything for someone in pain that needs help? Robin Williams death should remind all of us to look at those around us and care for them. Show them the love of God in us. You may be the most charismatic and qualified leader in the world. But, without love, everything you do is fruitless (1 Cor. 13:2).

I realize I didn’t share many Bible quotes on leadership. So, next week I will have a blog post with nothing but Bible verses that relate to leadership.

Categories: 1 Corinthians, Being a Christian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Moving on…

Chaos

My life has been utter chaos over the last 18 months or so. If you have followed my blog you know that I was involved in an exciting church plant in California last year. I went from disappointment to excitement to being crushed. The amount of stress put on my wife and I has been tremendous. We moved from Michigan to California (with our own money) then from California to Texas (again with our own money). We couldn’t afford to get all of our stuff to Texas so we had to put it in storage. Which meant making a trip back to California in a plane and another driving trip to Texas.

People often ask me ‘Why would you ever leave California and come to East Texas?’ That’s a very good question indeed that has a complicated answer. First off, why did I even go to California in the first place?

Just four short years ago I was living in Virginia, running my own successful home improvement business, working part-time as a youth pastor with some awesome teens, and going to school part-time. Things were going great but they couldn’t last long.  I had to eventually move to Michigan to complete my Master’s degree in Divinity. So we moved to Michigan in December of 2010. It’s important to note that I know God called me to go to the seminary.

I had one year of school left when I got an amazing offer to work at a church plant (January 2013). I had been frustrated with school (I’m not a fan of homework) and with the fact that everyone in that little town in SW Michigan were “Christians” but not many people wanted anything to do with reaching out to non-Christians. I saw a huge disconnect between what the gospel teaches and what the thousands of Christians there practiced. I was frustrated and was ready to leave.

Back to the offer to work in a church plant. Not only was it a great opportunity to reach people for the kingdom of God, we were going to work with our two best friends and their families. This seemed like a dream come true. Well, we worked together for six months last year. It wasn’t what I was expecting. We had good times, but it was mostly frustrating. The head pastor who invited us there had no experience with working in teams and couldn’t handle us. His leadership was very poor and things quickly got out of hand.

Loud Mouth

I have never been the one to keep my mouth shut. I have always had problems with authority. So when things are wrong I say something. So, I did. I confronted him on all the things going wrong. I’m sure I said things wrong or said things I shouldn’t have. Eventually, I guess he got tired of it. He told me that I was never really a part of the plans in that church. He felt sorry for me (I still don’t know why), so he decided to invite us out but withheld vital information from me, which, if I would have known, I would have never left Michigan.

They said I didn’t know how to get along with non-Christians. I find this odd since all of my best friends have always been non-Christians. I didn’t grow up as a Christian. I’ve always been around non-Christians. In fact, I find it harder to get along with Christians. So, the church planting organization didn’t think I was worthy to be a church planter but they didn’t tell me that until after I left school with one year left. After I spent $3,500 of my money to move halfway across the country. After I sold many of my possession to work full-time in a church with only part-time money. After I got my hopes up with the people of that city.

I was crushed. I was angry. No, I was furious. I was angry at the people who lied to me, who deceived me. I got even more angry when they refused to acknowledge it and take responsibility for their actions. I got even more angry when they lied to our friends. And, I was angry at myself. I was angry because I realized I disobeyed God. I was never supposed to move to California. God called me to go to Michigan to finish my degree. I didn’t. I would be done by now. Now all my friends have graduated and I’m stuck in a rut.

My Point

This post isn’t to get you to pity me. It isn’t about lashing out at people. It is a warning to everyone following God. In fact, I guess I can say I am grateful for what I have been through. God disciplines His children (Hebrews 12:5-13). I’m grateful because I know I’m a child of God.

Please learn the following five lessons before you make any important decisions. I am hard-headed. I learn through experiences and mistakes. I want you to learn from my mistakes too.

  1. Listen to other people who are connected to God. Never ignore godly counsel. I was counseled to stay in Michigan and finish my degree. I ignored it.
  2. Always fulfill what God originally asked of you before moving on. I forgot that God called me to go to Michigan. I was selfish and ignored God. I thought I knew what was best for me and my family.
  3. Allow God to lead you no matter what. Even if you don’t like what is happening or know what is going on. Just because things get difficult doesn’t mean you need to move on. I was hating school when I decided to leave. I should have pushed through it like everyone else.
  4. Take a lot of time seeking God’s will before making any major decisions in your life. We decided pretty quickly that we were going to abandon the seminary and move to California. There was a seminary there I transferred to. There was evangelizing to do there. We were going to work with our friends. It seemed like the right thing to do. It seemed like God was approving of the move.
  5. Don’t forget who you are and know your value. I know God called me for a certain task. I let that escape me. God has a plan for me and for you. No matter how much or little you have accomplished in this life, you hold a lot of value in the eyes of God. Never allow others to diminish that.

Now What?

Back to my first question, why Texas? We both have family within two hours of here. The economy is great here. I got a job after being here two days. But, the biggest thing that drove us here was the realization that I disobeyed God. The longer I was in California the more I felt disgusted. I had to get out as fast as possible.

Yes, we miss our friends. Yes, we are still hurt by everything that went down. But, now is our time to reconnect with God, stay away from church people, and heal.

Categories: Being a Christian, Church Plant, Hebrews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Stop being a baby!

A bible from 1859.

A bible from 1859

“So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes.” Ephesians 4:14

I have been reading the fourth chapter of Ephesians for the last week and a half now. This chapter is filled with tons of info. Probably enough to preach every week for the entire year. I decided to settle on verse 14 to talk about today because it seems to embody the rest of the chapter.

Think about it for a minute, how easy can we be deceived by someone reading the Bible to us? It doesn’t matter what denomination or church affiliation you are a part of. You can easily be fooled into believing something that is not biblical. Sometimes it’s done on purpose, other times it’s not.

Verse 14 is in the midst of Paul talking about what Jesus did for us and how He gave us all a certain ministry gift. We are to use those gifts to unite the Christian world. After the verse, he talks about practicing what is in the Bible—not just hearing it or teaching it. “Practice the truth in love,” Paul says.

FEED ME

Someone must feed babies for them to survive. When you first become a Christian you are a baby. You have to be fed the Truth to understand it. But, like babies, we need to learn to feed ourselves. Can you imagine a grown man, who is mentally capable, but refuses to feed himself. Paul is talking about the spiritual equivalent to this example. As you grow in your Christian faith you MUST feed yourself.

FEED YOURSELF!

We become spiritually mature by doing the things Jesus commanded us to do. We become mature by reading and intimately knowing the Word of God. By knowing and doing God’s Word, we won’t become deceived by others who are teaching the gospel falsely.

Instead of focusing on how others are wrong, or judging others for their beliefs, or diluting the gospel for the sake of unity, focus on living out the gospel in your own life. Come to a full understanding of God’s word; not by what others teach you but by reading and studying the Bible for yourself.

Please share with us how often you read the Bible. If you don’t read it much, why not? Eternal life is found in the words of Jesus. I urge you to grow into spiritually mature Christians who know the Bible well and have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Categories: Being a Christian, Ephesians, New Testament, Pauline Epistles, Scripture of the day | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

6 More Weeks!!

IMG_0750

Yes, I am counting down the weeks now, not quite counting down the days yet, until we move to California. Packing has started, as you see to the right. Preparations are being made. Plans are being planned. Money is being saved. God’s will is being done.

My wife and I and our other friends are extremely excited about the church plant we will be working at in Redding. But, I am also getting a bit nervous. You see, I won’t be getting paid. This means it’s harder to find a place to live and harder to find a job because I will be growing God’s kingdom with most of my time.

I am leaving it up to God. I know He will provide for my needs because He has done it in the past. Even with knowing this, I still foresee hard times, struggles, and stress. But, like Paul, I can say I rejoice in my weaknesses because when I am weak, then I am strong. I am grateful to have this great opportunity to rely on God’s strength and power. I look forward to the Holy Spirit showing off in my life and sharing my testimony with everyone.

I know money will be really limited once we get there but my friend and I are devising a plan to make money and do ministry at the same time. More info about that is coming in a future blog post. Also, I will be having my first video blog coming out in the next few days as well.

If you want to hear about and watch a personal testimony of how God is moving and the spreading of the gospel, keep following my blog. If you have any questions or something you would like to hear more about, just ask. Pray for me and I will pray for you. Visit my prayer requests tab before you go!

Categories: Being a Christian, Church Plant | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Journey Begins

As I start my foray into the world of blogging, I invite everyone to join me in this journey. I will be blogging about Jesus, how to be a Christian, church, sports, politics and controversial issues. I look forward to interacting with fellow bloggers!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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