Archive for April, 2011

Week of April 17, 2011

Relevant:

“Things are not as they seem…”

Isaiah 55:8-9

Once while on a trip with my family, the check engine soon light came on in our car. I didn’t think much about it until we started on the trip home. We hadn’t gone 5 miles before the car began to act up. I wasn’t going to take a chance. I took my family back to our relatives’ house and then took the car to a repair shop that had been recommended to me by an auto parts store. The initial indications revealed a potentially costly repair…well over $600. I was a bit discouraged but rather than get upset, I realized there wasn’t much I could do about it and began to pray and ask God to reveal why I was there. I knew there was a reason, I just felt it. After replacing the components that the computer scanner said was defective, the problem codes remained. It was somewhat comical as I told the shop owner just a few minutes earlier that it would be funny if after 4 hours of work the problem remained. It did. Come to find out, after some further diagnostics and voltage checks, the problem was found…a blown fuse. Needless to say, the repair was not as costly as anticipated. And even though every indication and troubleshooting result said one thing, the actual problem was something completely different…and much more simple. The mechanic was embarrassed but there was no need. He did all he knew to do and followed the obvious path resulting from what the indications told him. During my time at the shop and through our conversations, I realized he was a man of faith…affirming that I was there for a reason. To make a long story short, as we were wrapping up I was able to share with him about Servant Warrior Ministries, give him some Full Armor prayer cards that he could pass onto others, and hopefully gained a new friend. Why did all this happen? Why that shop and not another? I still don’t know. I hope that one day I find out. One thing I do know is that it was God working in and through me that kept me from losing my cool. Additionally, I am pretty confident that what happened at the end of my 5 hour visit to the repair shop would not have happened or would likely have had no impact if I hadn’t been open to God’s prompting and whisper…realizing that all was not what it seemed.  We never know how God will orchestrate and use circumstances. We just have to always be ready.

Challenge: None of us know the future. Nor are things always what they seem. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher your your thoughts.” Every day, it seems, we face trials and challenges that often generate an initial response but when all is said and done render our first response inappropriate or unwarranted. I am one of the world’s worst at reacting before everything plays out. The challenge this week is to allow things to play out, especially those that have the potential of being less than optimal, and ask God to show Himself and His will through the circumstance. Trust me. You will be amazed at the result…and at His faithfulness.

Prayer: Lord, I am so grateful your plan is perfect…and for your forgiveness. I need your help as there are times that my reactions are dictated by the immediate issue or issues in front of me rather than how you are using the issue or issues in furthering your will. Lord, please give me perspective and discernment as I never want to miss an opportunity or hinder your work through me…because of me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Visit www.servantwarriorministries.org. Servant Warrior Ministries is a Real…Radical…Relentless…Relevant movement to reach men of all ages, where they are, and share with them the love of Jesus Christ.


Advertisements

April 16, 2011 

Radical

Message of April 20, 2012 Servant Warrior Radio Show:

“Hangin’ with sinners”

Matthew 9:11-13; John 13:34, 15:12,17; Romans 5:8

There have been times in my life where I have been cautious myself and cautioned by others about “hanging with the wrong crowd”. In fact, one thing that my mother always told me was that “I am known by the company I keep.” How true that is. I have held that as a tenet of mine throughout my personal and professional life. However, I am so thankful that Christ didn’t hold that sentiment as His mantra.  How often have I come across people or hear of people who have lied, cheated, broke the law, even murdered or raped, and casted them aside? If what I hear about someone or group and/or know myself that what they have done is true, I should see a person that is in need of experiencing and knowing the grace and unconditional love of Almighty God. I don’t have to condone the sin to love the sinner (a label that I carry as well). I must accept the reality that if I am going to be true to the calling God has put on my heart, to reach men of all ages, where they are, share with them the love of Christ, and love them as He loves them (which I am commanded to do in John 13:34 & 15:17), then I don’t get to be particular about who I minister to or reach out to. Do I engage or take part in what the other person is doing? If it breaks the law or goes against God’s Word, absolutely, NOT. Do I pray for them and do what I can to show and share with them the love of Christ? Absolutely.

Challenge: Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He didn’t spend all of His time with “church” people. In fact, when the disciples were asked by the Pharisees why Jesus ate with tax collectors and ‘sinners’, Jesus overheard and responded by saying, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt 9:12 NIV).  Our challenge this week, and every week, is to be open to opportunities to share the grace and unconditional love of Christ and the Message with other sinners.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for Your love and grace, neither of which I deserve. Forgive me for judging others. Please help me to look inward before I look outward. Please give me a humble heart and spirit so that I see the plank in my eye before I see the sawdust in my brother’s. Help me love as You love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.     

 The mission of Servant Warrior Ministries is to reach guys, from 5 to 105, where they are to impact and empower them to be who God created and called them to be. For more information go to www.servantwarriorministries.org. Also, check out Servant Warrior Radio every Friday, 6a, CST (7am EST), on KJSL TuthTalk 630 St Louis or worldwide on www.truthtalk630.com. 

Week of April 10, 2011

Relentless:

“The Pursuit”

Matthew 5:6, 6:33; Galatians 2:21; 2Timothy 2:22; 2Peter 3:11

What is it that we pursue? Fame? Success? Possessions? Power? A woman? The perfect golf swing? There are so many things in this life and this world we pursue that we often lose sight of what is truly important, what will have lasting impact, and what will not fade away. In fact, those things we find hardest to attain are the very things we pursue with a relentless tenacity comparable only to that of a heat seeking missile. Status, wealth, accomplishment, recognition, and possessions are natural pursuits for the human spirit. It is that spirit of pursuit that resides in all of us. It is how we are wired. And this spirit of pursuit can be found both inside and outside the walls of the church. God gives us a hint in His word how to attain all that we pursue. But, be ready. His ways are not our ways and our ways are not His.

Challenge: King Solomon, the man who literally had everything, said, “Meaningless! Meaningless!… Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). We are told in God’s word to pursue righteousness and not the things of this world. We are told to seek first the kingdom of God… and the things that we need will be given to us (Matthew 6). We are also told to ‘delight in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our hearts.’ (Psalm 37:4). The challenge this week is to commit to pursue God and His righteousness…first. If this is new for you, don’t worry. We all crawled before we were able to run.

Prayer: Lord, Your word tells me that if pursue You, You will give me everything I need. Sometimes it is hard for me to focus on You first when all of my needs are staring me in the face. You also tell me that if I keep with You, I will get the desires of my heart. Lord, I am so grateful for your forgiveness because I need it. Because if I am honest, with myself and with You, sometimes, maybe a lot of the time, I have a hard time going after what You want me to rather than what I want to. Please help me to look upward before I look forward. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Visit www.servantwarriorministries.org. Servant Warrior Ministries is a Real…Radical…Relentless…Relevant movement to reach men of all ages, where they are, and share with them the love of Jesus Christ.

Make sure to listen to this message on Servant Warrior Radio, Friday April 13, 6:00am CST (7:00EST) on KJSL TruthTalk AM 630, St. Louis, MO, or on the web at www.TruthTalk630.com

April 8, 2012

Radical:

“Rabid Fans…”

Romans 12:11

I am stoked as the start of college football’s 2011 campaign is upon us. As a fan, coach, and player growing up, I find myself becoming engrossed in coaching my kids, watching games, and just enjoying being a fan. That’s how guys are wired. We aspire to be a part of a team…a part of something. It doesn’t have to be sports. It can be anything. And as guys, we can sometimes be tagged with the label of being “rabid fans” of our particular team, driver, game, etc…That kind of passion and enthusiasm is great and what draws us into being fans. What if we put the same kind of rabid passion into being fans of Jesus and His team? For many, the perception is that it’s not the same. I have seen fans of opposing teams, especially of college teams, get into fights in defense of their unyielding devotion and passion for their school…their team. How many times have we seen that same unyielding passion and devotion in defense of Jesus Christ? No victory on any playing field compares to His over death. And no other victory past, preset, or future, will ever have such an impact on our lives, for eternity, as His. Think about it. I love my teams as much as anyone…maybe more so than most. But if I am honest with myself, I don’t think any of them would be willing to die for me…whether they knew me or not. But they get my enthusiasm, my allegiance, my passion.

Challenge: Sports, athletes, entertainers, and so many other things get our passion, our loyalty, our devotion over the One who bore the sins of all of humanity, past, present, and future, and died for us so that we can have eternal life. And He did it for all. Romans 5:8 provides some perspective: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God is your biggest fan. Give Him some of your passion…your “rabid fanaticism”. Remember, with God, you are guaranteed a win. You can’t say that about any other team.

Prayer: Lord, sometimes I forget the magnitude of your victory over death…and what it means for me. Please create a fire in me that will fuel my relationship with you and my “rabid fanaticism” for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

For more about getting involved or supporting Servant Warrior Ministries, visit www.servantwarriorministries.org.   

Week of April 3

“Rabid Fans”

Romans 12:11

I am stoked with the coming of spring as the return of baseball and many other sports is upon us. As a fan, coach, and former player, I find myself becoming engrossed in coaching my kids, watching games, and just enjoying being a fan. That’s how guys are wired. We aspire to be a part of a team…a part of something. It does not have to be sports. It can be anything. And as guys, we can sometimes be tagged with the label of being “rabid fans” of our particular team, driver, game, etc…That kind of passion and enthusiasm is great and what draws us into being fans. What if we put the same kind of rabid passion into being fans of Jesus and His team? For many, the perception is that it’s not the same. I have seen fans of opposing teams, especially of college teams, get into fights in defense of their unyielding devotion and passion for their school…their team. How many times have we seen that same unyielding passion and devotion in defense of Jesus Christ? No victory on any playing field compares to His over death. And no other victory past, preset, or future, will ever have such an impact on our lives, for eternity, as His. Think about it. I love my teams as much as anyone…maybe more so than most. But if I am honest with myself, I don’t think any of them would be willing to die for me…whether they knew me or not. But they get my enthusiasm, my allegiance, my passion.

Challenge: Sports, athletes, entertainers, and so many other things get our passion, our loyalty, our devotion over the One who bore the sins of all of humanity, past, present, and future, and died for us so that we can have eternal life. And He did it for all. Romans 5:8 provides some perspective: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God is your biggest fan. Give Him some of your passion…your “rabid fanaticism”. Remember, with God, you are guaranteed a win. You can’t say that about any other team.

Prayer: Lord, sometimes I forget the magnitude of your victory over death…and what it means for me. Please create a fire in me that will fuel my relationship with you and my “rabid fanaticism” for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Visit www.servantwarriorministries.org. Servant Warrior Ministries is a Real…Radical…Relentless…Relevant movement to reach men of all ages, where they are, and share with them the love of Jesus Christ.

Detours and Forks

Posted: April 1, 2011 in Articles

Happy April! Spring is in the air (as well as the pollen) and the weather is absolutely perfect for a ride with the top down, sunroof and windows open, or your head out of the window (please not while you are driving).  I certainly do not want to forget the motorcycle enthusiasts and their 2 wheel chariots. You guys are right in the mix. Bottom line: It’s time to hit the road!

A few months ago we talked about getting prepared for the trip. That preparation is essential for us to be able to handle the detours and forks God allows to happen to us in our life. Last month we talked about action and that action on our part is required  if we are to experience all that God has in store for us. Now is really where the rubber meets the road. We’ve planned, prepared, acted, and now we’re on the road headed to wherever it is we are wanting or being led to go. What happens now?

Let’s set it up:  Above you is a sky so bright that it hurts your eyes. The temperature is about 80 degrees. The car, or motorcycle, is washed, waxed, and loaded with essentials for a ride. You drop the top and/or windows, and off you go. There is nothing but open road, fresh air, and…well, you get the picture. All of a sudden, you  see brake lights up ahead…and they are not moving. As you get a little closer you see a  flashing light and an orange sign that says “Detour Ahead”. Man, oh man. Just when I thought  everything was going great, this happens. Sound familiar? By the way, I was referring to your  life. Or how about this? You are driving…same blue sky, same fresh air, same shiny machine,  and you come to a fork in the road. It’s decision time. What makes you take one way or the other? Past experience?  Knowledge of one road or the other or where they end up? Knowing what you will experience or come across if you go one way? Not sure what will happen if you take the other way? No need to answer now. I’ll ask many of these same questions later.

On the road, you never know what you are going to experience and you never know when you will have to take a detour or come across a fork. Sometimes God gives us forks, where we are given the opportunity to choose a direction. One way is the direction that will take us toward Him, another way takes us away from Him, and another takes us back home. Other times, He will drop a detour in our path where we lose a directional option leaving us to go either forward in the direction He has determined or back to where we were. If you are like most of us (hey girls, if you are reading, this can apply to you as well), turning around and going back, or retreating, is not an option anyway.  Nor is stopping the car in the middle of the road. That is, unless you don’t mind a whole lot of irritated people behind you. Can you say “road rage”?  Sorry. In all fairness, however, sometimes turning around and heading back or even pulling the car over on the shoulder, out of traffic, is the right move.  We call the former, in the words of the United States Marine Corps, “fighting in a different direction” or “living to fight another day”. And the latter, God calls it waiting on Him. Any directional decision we find ourselves having to make has puts us in a position to either move closer or further away from God.

Think about some of the detours and forks you have come upon in your life. Each one impacts us differently and causes us to go in one direction or another. Depending on the severity of an event, occurrence, situation, decision, it is often times very difficult to take the road that takes us close to God. If something has happened that really turned your life upside, or that hurt you significantly, or created a circumstance that is very painful or one that if you ever revisit again it will be too soon, choosing to go in a direction that we know will inevitably bring us face to face with whatever it is that caused the course change is, in many people’s eyes, on the side of being a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. God says different.

What are some of the reasons we don’t take the road that leads us to God? Don’t want to relive the pain? Fear of Confrontation? Sense of Helplessness? Fear of Isolation or having to face whatever it is all alone? Feel like no one understands what we are going through? Feel that no one knows how bad it hurt? Yes, guys, I am talking to you. Feel like we can’t forgive? Feel like we can’t be forgiven? Feel ashamed? Feel like there’s no way the other person, or anyone for that matter, can love us? The list can go on and on. I am here to tell you that in His word, God speaks through the Apostle Paul in the book of Romans and tells us that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” (Rom 8:37 NIV) Paul goes on to say that “neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:38-39 NIV). Christ told us in the book of John, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV). I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer but it sounds like to me that Paul covered most, if not all, of the detours or forks I will come to in my life and that the Creator of the heavens and the earth, Almighty God, the Beginning and the End, has my back. Dude, if that doesn’t get you jacked up and encouraged, nothing will!

When you come to a fork in the road…take it. Take the way that will bring you close to God. He wants you to come to Him. He is your refuge, and fortress. (Psalms 91). And when a detour is dropped on you, relish it. Pray about it. God is likely pointing you in the direction He wants you to go. Keep it real…and Armor Up!