Wednesday, December 5, 2012
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
So this issue comes more alive to me during the holiday season when we turn Thanksgiving day into a brawl for a new TV or toy. And for my wife and I we have a sons birthday to celebrate just a week before Christmas. We have discuss how to go about this and one suggestion was to buy for him only on his birthday and very little or nothing on Christmas so he can be taught the real reason for Christmas and buy for others who have little or nothing. The problem with that is between family and friends he may get "everything and then some" for his birthday and he wouldn't even realize he didn't get gifts for Christmas.
God this is a struggle for most of us and it shouldn't be. You indeed have place before us an offering of the most precious gift in the world. And yet whenever we find ourselves wanting more its saying that Your gift does not satisfy. This time of year may our hearts truly look to you and may others see in us the contentment that this world could never offer but found only
Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches,but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. - Proverbs 30:7-9
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Recently a video by Ann VosKamp was brought to my attention. She shares where a friend challenged her to see if she could list a 1,000 things to be thankful for and she offers back that she could not stop at just a 1,000. As I listen to her I was thinking surely she has been through some very harsh things in life or else this would just be too "cheesy" for me. And indeed she does share that she saw the death of her younger sister happen right before her eyes, said goodbye to her mom as she was locked away in a pysch ward, cut herself because she just wanted to bleed out of her own skin. captive by panic attacks and has agoraphobia a fear of being in places where it is hard to escape, or where help might not be available and she reveals "its been my own skin difficult to escape" (I love those words as it reflects what many if not all of us struggles with as well).
Its not that bad things don't happen to me and so much more bad happens to others around me. And I wish it wasn't so. I don't deny such happens but at the same time I don't want to get caught up in it. Because I know I have been blessed. And I tend to forget that and I let the things of the world take me away. I'm blessed to have my family. A wife and son that are beyond my expectations and dreams. Blessed to live in the USA where as a family we have been blessed that we may bless others. Family, Friends,Health,Shelter,Mission Trips, Vacations...the list goes on and on. And I didn't plan for this to be a repeat from March but more of reminder for me and you the reader to focus on giving Thanks. Thanks to God and also those around you. There is a lot to be thankful for.
EUCHARISTEO-to give Thanks. A life that would focus on Thankfulness.Again this is reminding me that I need to put words into practice that they would become my ways. There is a saying Believers throw out there "Life isn't fair but God is good". I say throw out there because in all honesty we tend to use cliche sayings to explain things away that simply put cannot be explained away. But for me in the same breathe I wish things such as cancer didn't exist and we lived in a world of praise reports. I also know my life reflects Grace for there are people, things in my life that I have despite things I have done, despite being who I was and who I am. And for that and so much more I am Thankful. Now as I go and see if I can come up with a 100 and along the way go for the thousand. I will close with these words from Ann VosKamp.
"In silent times Seek God in painful times Praise God in Terrible Times Trust God and at all times (at all times ) Thank God"
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
The following is the personal testimony of Norm Miller, head of Interstate Batteries. What you will find is a man who doesn’t judge you for what you’re doing but instead offers hope that you can break the destructive patterns in your life. Feel free to visit them at Interstate Batteries Mr Miller also supports I Am Second Pass this testimony onto friends and family. It’s good when consumers can support companies that not only sell a great product but also offer hope and purpose. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Battery System of America, shares the kind of wisdom you’re not likely to hear from many top executives in the business world. For one thing, he is a believer. He believes in the American Dream because he’s lived it. From a humble beginning as a traveling salesman for Interstate, he worked his way up through the ranks to become CEO and chairman. Norm Miller is also a believer in God’s power to change lives, because it was that power that turned his own life around after years of drinking as hard as he worked.
That was the beginning of many changes in his personal and professional life. At the same time, there were some things about Norm Miller that stayed the same. His creative energy never flagged, and his willingness to dream up and try new ideas remained his hallmark. As a result, Interstate Batteries is now one of corporate America’s stunning success stories, a robust company that enjoys an unparalleled reputation for excellence and honesty. Candid about his failures, overflowing with a wealth of practical advice, and always colorful, Norm shares what he’s learned along the way in three exciting and successful decades at Interstate. Norm Miller is Interstate Batteries Chairman of the Board. He is also a board member for Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas Seminary Foundation, and the Overseas Council. He is cofounder of the Great American Race, America’s premier vintage car event. He and his wife, Anne, have two children, Tracey and Scott, and five grandchildren.
I grew up in Galveston, Texas. My dad ran a Gulf service station and garage, so I’ve been around cars for as long as I can remember. I guess that’s how I ended up in the battery business. But I inherited something else from my dad—drinking. On Saturday afternoons at about two o’clock, he and others at the station would set up a little bar in a back room, and all the regular customers would go back there and drink. I remember him saying he just wanted to have a little fun. Often along about eight o’clock the other men would have to carry my dad home and put him to bed. Well, I followed in his footsteps and started drinking in junior high school.
I can’t remember not having “partying” as my major game plan, so I gravitated around the type of people who drank a lot.This was easy to do in Galveston, because it was a tourist spot—a big party town. Somehow I made it to college and just went on partying, only I began to drink more. I never had been much of a student, so it wasn’t long before I started thinking about dropping out and moving on. But I realized that once I was out I would be competing against people who had finished school. So I completed college, got married and eventually ended up working with my dad and brothers at an Interstate distributorship out of Memphis, Tennessee.
Two and a half years later I returned to Texas to work directly for Interstate’s national office located in Dallas.That meant I was on the road a lot, traveling across the country. That first year I was away from home more than eight months, which freed me up to just keep life simple—drinking, partying and selling batteries! After several years, my wife had decided that sooner or later she was going to leave me. Her father had been an alcoholic, so she knew what she was up against. Now remember, I’d been getting loaded at least once a week for 20 years, often drinking to the point of blackout. Fridays were the worst. I would always drink and party on the plane ride home. In fact, once I’d had two or three drinks, I’d want to go until everything shut down and/or the bottle was empty. Later I’d feel bad about it, but drinking seemed to ease a pressure that would build up in me every four or five days.
One night back in 1974, I ended up drinking as usual until the bars closed at two o’clock in the morning. Afterward, as I was driving home, I got pulled over by the police. I already had been convicted of two DWIs, but somehow I talked my way out of getting arrested. When I woke up the next morning all hung over, I called in sick to work. Then as I lay there in bed, the truth overwhelmed me. I was an alcoholic just like my father. I’d lost control of my life. That was a frightening realization! At the very instant I realized I had become an alcoholic, I blurted out in a half-yell of desperation, “God, help me! I can’t handle it!”
I’ll never forget those words, because He took the compulsion to drink away completely. It was over right then. I realize it doesn’t happen that way for everyone, but it did for me, and I’m eternally thankful. The weird thing is that if you’d asked me the day before if I believed in God, I would have told you that I didn’t know—that I hadn’t given much thought to it.Alcohol is not the only thing that can enslave a person. It enslaved me, but you may be the prisoner of something else. That something else may be gambling. I know guys who can’t get through a week without laying down serious money somewhere. Their lives are out of control and they’re miserable. But they’re hooked. Or how about drugs? Or pornography? Or even food or tobacco? My point here is not to preach or lay a guilt trip on somebody. It’s just that I believe a lot of people can point to some area of their lives where they’re not free. They’re caught up in a life-wrecking compulsion. Something else is in control. When I was drinking, for instance, I never meant to drink too much, but I always did. The stuff had me. I wasn’t free.
Now here’s where the gift of freedom comes in. Living the way I was, you can understand that I almost never went to church. Religion meant nothing to me. But along about this time, a friend of mine began telling me what the Bible had to say about life and living it. I quickly cut him off: “If you can show me how I can buy the Bible as the TRUTH, logically with my brain, then I’ll pay attention to what it has to say. Otherwise, as far as I’m concerned, it’s just another old book, a bunch of people’s outdated philosophies or whatever, and I don’t need it.” I thought I was throwing a big challenge at him, but he met me head on. He got me some documented books, and I began to research the validity of the data supporting the Bible as God’s truth. It was objectively overwhelming, especially in three major areas: archaeological discoveries, the history and weight of manuscript authenticity, and most of all, from the proven fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy in the New Testament hundreds of years later. I went over and over that. The supporting evidence was so strong that I began reading the Bible and attending a Bible study.
An important verse for me was, “Seek and you shall find…” I told God that if He was for real, I was a “seeker” and I wanted to find the TRUTH. So I kept studying. The Bible says that “Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” It teaches that we’re all “slaves”—not just to alcohol and drugs, but to sin. Each of us has sinned against God and gone our own way, independent of Him. With a self-centered, do-our-own-thing attitude, all of our lives have fallen short of God’s intentions for us. Just as the Bible says in the book of Romans (3:23), “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”I knew that was true for me! But the good news is that “the Truth shall make you free,” and Jesus Christ is the Truth! So I accepted Him just as the Bible teaches: as my Lord and Savior, as God’s own begotten Son who died as payment for MY sins. In Him is the forgiveness of sins and the power of self-control in being freed from the bondage of sin.
Jesus is the gift of freedom, the power for living, and He gives eternal life! You can accept Him right now, just like I did, by repeating this prayer and making it the commitment of your heart. Just pray… “Dear God, I want freedom from the slavery of my sin. I believe Jesus is the Truth, and I accept Him now as my Lord and Savior. I ask you for forgiveness of my sins, because He paid for them for me. Please give me the power to live a life pleasing to You. Thank you for this gift of new and eternal life in Christ! In Jesus’ name, Amen!” If you prayed this prayer, I’d like to send you some additional information that will help you grow in your understanding of Christianity and in your faith in God. Write to: Norm Miller, “Growth,” 12770 Merit Dr. Suite 1000, Dallas, Texas 75251.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Sitting here tonight with a little buddy, this statement is running through my mind. Just when I think I know the answers, somebody changes the questions. I’ve seen friends go through struggles. I’ve seen turmoil and strife. I’ve seen heartache and heartbreak on every side.During times of uncertainty, I fall back to my certainty. During times of shakiness, I run to my Rock.
When I don’t know what else to do, I rely on what I know is proven.Last week I was blessed to be a part of a wonderful Mennonite fellowship and was able to worship and receive the Word with my brothers and sisters. During worship we sang a song that is familiar to me from my childhood.
I Know Whom I Have Believed
I know not why God’s wondrous graceTo me He hath made known,Nor why, unworthy, Christ in loveRedeemed me for His own.
Refrain But I know Whom I have believèd,And am persuaded that He is ableTo keep that which I’ve committedUnto Him against that day.
I know not how this saving faithTo me He did impart,Nor how believing in His WordWrought peace within my heart.RefrainI know not how the Spirit moves,Convincing us of sin,Revealing Jesus through the Word,Creating faith in Him.
RefrainI know not what of good or illMay be reserved for me,Of weary ways or golden days,Before His face I see.RefrainI know not when my Lord may come,At night or noonday fair,Nor if I walk the vale with Him,Or meet Him in the air.
These words from this hymn came back to my mind as I struggle to find the answers. Taken from the words of St. Paul to Pastor Timothy. Locked up in prison, not sure of what could take place at any moment, Paul could only go back to the One he could trust. His statement of faith is one that we should all grab ahold onto. With unsurety about our nations future and what will happen within each of our own families, we must look to Christ…the Author and the Finisher of our faith. Paul encouraged Timothy and himself by saying…
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
Whatever you’re going through today know that He is able to keep what you have placed in His hands. Place your entire life in His hands and He will be sure to keep it safely until the day of His return. This is what I do know!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
....to express gratitude, appreciation, or acknowledgment to
So much to be THANKFUL for and yet I know down deep (perhaps really deep)I tend to let my days be filled with complaining,grumbling,sighing,etc. The thought of not being Thankful enough popped in my mind this morning and I know this is true. And there is no one who likes a "grumbler/complainer". Your Creator or your fellow human being even if he is one he doesnt really want to hear yours. Like on Valentines day shouldnt be the one "main" day you express Love. Nor should Thanksgiving be the one day to "give thanks". so in the midst of our 24/7 days let this be a reminder to self and those who read this to give Thanks..and to start out here is just a few things I am thankful for..
God, His Love for Me
Freedom to live as I please
My Family Wife, Son, Mom Brothers, Sister, In Laws..
Living In the USA
Being Bless that we may bless others
Mission Trips (friendships,experiences)
shelter (basic needs overlooked)
Somebody to Thank..
etc.etc..(to be continued)
Meanwhile What are You Thankful for?..
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, July 1, 2008(I mention it was a repeat)
Wide Awake in the land of Nod
A few of my friends suggested I start posting some of my "ramblings" so lets start the Blogging with 16 days away from our trip to Kenya. But first I just want to "ramble" about life in general. Based on a book she recently read my wife suggested "Beautiful Ache" as the title for the blogs. I was going to use "Live Laugh Love" but I think "die, cry, hate" would have been more eye catching and just as true, as in its all part of life. Life is a Beautiful Ache, we indeed are living in the "Shadowlands." My friend "D" and I ramble via emails about life, from God, religion to music and the best places to eat. There's definitely a beautiful ache in all of us and its all around us but most of us are so caught up in self and the things of the world that we miss out on this thing we call life. I realize there's a slim chance no more than a few actually reading this, but in case this gets a following I know there will be Christians saying "whats wrong with him?' and non believers saying "Wow, now he wonders why Im not a believer?". So let my first blog clarify this one thing: I believe in God aka Jesus Christ. He is the Creator behind this beautiful creation. But His people including myself have the tendency to represent Him about as well as a bad used car salesman or one selling an Encyclopedia set door to door. So in saying that now I can continue to ramble on....I have been on several mission trips and all along volunteer at a local youth center. And in all these years there are those who wonder why we go overseas when there is such need here. And at the same time the need here remains a Need in a land of plenty. Again one doesnt have to go overseas to be a missionary. Matter of fact it seems much easier for local Christians to enter a third world country then to work inside a youth center with aircondition and heat. I still cant figure that one out. Maybe its because we can come back with some cool pics and impress others that "the natives are friendly and we changed the world" That is of course until we have a concert then the bandwagon is filled and people having their spiritual pennants and poms poms to cheer us on. They even say they are on the same team. But they never show up for "another game". And I've said off and on for years Im burned out but NO I now realize its not that its Im just TIRED of people, religion, Self (Yea perhaps even you) to quote my friend.. "I'm tired of church. I'm tired of church politics. I'm tired of religious people getting upset because a man preaching has a tattoo or a piercing. I'm convinced that if Jesus walked in to most churches, no one would recognize Him. The man that they say they strive to be like they would treat like the plague. I'm tired of humanism. We build up self esteem to let the soul die in it's sin. I'd shut myself in a cave if I wasn't afraid of spiders. God has to be God or He can be anything else. If God would open the earth and swallow people, the world would say that God is not a God of love. However, when we declares His love, the church say that God has to judge sin. What do they want? Everything?" I do wish You and I were "wide awake" to know what it means to love Christ and to live every moment cause most of us (including myself) are not fully convinced this could could be our last day and so much of what we give our time to has little eternal value. So 16 days till Kenya then hopefully I can blog daily on our stay there meanwhile any topic by suggestion or burden will be blogged. I will close with the words of C.S. Lewis. "We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
The following is an article I came across that was written by Keith Green. Keith was a man that some said was ahead of his time. Regardless, his message still rings true today. I encourage you to take a few minutes and read the article and then ask yourself, "Why do I do what I do?"
So You Wanna Be A Rock Star
by Keith Green
For as long as be could remember, Keith Green's greatest dream was to be a musical success. After be gave his life to Jesus, however, he felt the need to surrender those dreams and aspirations by laying down his music...perhaps never to perform publicly again.
Ironically, when sometime later he felt God release him to pick up his music again, he soon had a recording contract and his first album soared straight to the top of the Contemporary Christian Music charts.
The following message was birthed out of Keith's encounters with those who approached him, usually after a concert, to ask how they too could "make it big" in Christian music.
Today, so many people ask me if I can tell them how they can start or enter into a music ministry. At concerts I get countless questions about this, and I also get lots of letters and even some long-distance phone calls from many people who feel they are only "called" into the music "ministry." One day I began to ask myself why so few have ever asked me how to become a missionary, or even a local street preacher, or how to disciple a new believer. It seems everyone would prefer the "bright lights" of what they think a music ministry would be, rather than the mud and obscurity of the mission field, or the streets of the ghetto, or even the true spiritual sweetness of just being a nobody whom the Lord uses mightily in small "everyday" ways.
Are You Willing?
My answer to their question is almost always the same. "Are you willing to never play music again? Are you willing to be a nothing? Are you willing to go anywhere and do anything for Christ? Are you willing to stay right where you are and let the Lord do great things through you, though no one may seem to notice at all?" They all seem to answer each of these questions with a quick "yes!" But I really doubt if they know what their answer entails.
My dearest family in Jesus...why are we so star struck? Why do we idolize Christian singers and speakers? We go from glorifying musicians in the world, to glorifying Christian musicians. It's all idolatry! Can't you see that? It's true that there are many men and women of God who are greatly anointed to call down the Spirit of God on His people and the unsaved. But Satan is getting a great victory as we seem to worship these ministers on tapes and records, and clamor to get their autographs in churches and concert halls from coast to coast.
Can't you see that you are hurting these ministers? They try desperately to tell you that they don't deserve to be praised, and because of this you squeal with delight and praise them all the more. You're smothering them, making it almost impossible for them to see that it's really Jesus. They keep telling themselves that, but you keep telling them it's really them, crushing their humility and grieving the Spirit that is trying to keep their eyes on Jesus.
Ultimately, what we idolize we ourselves desire to become, sometimes with our whole heart. So a lot of people who want to become just like their favorite Gospel singer or minister, seek after it with the same fervor that the Lord demands we seek after Him! And again, we insult the Spirit of Grace and try to make a place for ourselves, rather than a place for Jesus.
A Thankless Job
How come no one idolizes or praises the missionaries who give up everything and live in poverty, endangering their lives and families with every danger that the "American dream" has almost completely eliminated? How come no one lifts up and exalts the ghetto and prison ministers who can never take up an offering, because if they did they would either laugh or cry at what they'd receive?
How come? Because (1) we're taught from very early on that comfort is our goal and security… and (2) that we should always seek for a lot of people to like us. Who lives less comfortably and has had less friends and supporters than the selfless missionaries who have suffered untimely, premature deaths trying to conquer souls and nations for the whole glory of God? Do you really believe we're living in the very last times? Then why do you spend more money on Gospel records and concerts than you give to organizations that feed the poor, or to missionaries out in the field?
There are ministries all over the world where "penniless" people are being saved and transformed. They are broken people who have promise and qualities, but just need someone to bring them God's light during the times when their lives seem so completely hopeless.
I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy (Romans 11:11) or to sell out more completely to Jesus!
Quit trying to make "gods" out of music ministers, and quit desiring to become like them. The Lord commands you, "Deny yourself take up your cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 9:23). My piano is not my cross, it is my tool. I'd never play it again if God would show me a more effective tool in my life for proclaiming His Gospel.[God gives us each our own unique tools. But we may never use them if we become more interested in someone else's. Seek God, ask Him for His plan for ministry (true, God glorifying ministry) in your life.]
To finish, let me say that the only music minister to whom the Lord will say, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant," is the one whose life proves what their lyrics are saying, and to whom music is the least important part of their life. Glorifying the only worthy One has to be a minister's most important goal!
Let's all repent of the idolatry in our hearts and our desires for a comfortable, rewarding life when, really, the Bible tells us we are just passing through as strangers and pilgrims in this world (Hebrews 11:13), for our reward is in heaven. Let's not forget that our due service to the Lord is "... not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake"(Phil. 1:29).
Amen. Let us die graciously together and endure to the end like brave soldiers who give their lives, without hesitation, for our noble and glorious King of Light.
Friday, January 27, 2012
PS For those wondering no I haven’t read “Not a Fan”, Yet.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
When did our lives become so busy? With all of our technology, our lives are suppose to become easier. What it's done is make us spoiled.
How long is too long to wait at a red light? When did 3 minutes become a lifetime? I'm guilty of getting anxious when I have to wait for more than 30 seconds for a light to turn green.
Remember dial-up on your computer? I remember waiting minutes to download a picture years ago and I didn't mind because before that, someone had to mail it to me. Now, if it takes more than a few seconds, we think something is wrong with our computer or we call our internet provider to complain of the slow service.
We have become a nation of instant gratification. We want everything as soon as we demand it. Coffee in an instant, microwaveable meals, news as it happens, cell phone coverage at all times. We are spoiled.
Take a few minutes...because that is probably all the time we can devote to one thing....ask yourself when was the last time you spent some prolonged quality time with a friend, your spouse, God. Many people think Facebook time is quality time. Uh...no! Do these four steps 1. Turn off Facebook, your laptop or iPad, your cell phone. 2. Meet someone face to face. 3. Spend more than five minutes together. 4. Repeat as often as possible.
Oh, and while your at it, Super Bowl Sunday is coming up. Quit staying at home and join the folks from Fire Escape at Believer's Fellowship and be a part of something great than just a championship football game. Contact us for more info or look up the Fire Escape on Facebook. Lol.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
PS By the way a good resolution would be to read these blogs and reply to let me know you are reading them...