Archive for September, 2011

September 25, 2011

Relentless:

Letting Go

2 Cor 12:9

We have all heard the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” It is right up there with “Pull yourself up by your boot straps.” As guys, we are very familiar with these sayings and attitudes. There is absolutely nothing wrong  with this type of relentless approach and tenacity when facing obstacles, hardships, or challenges. How many  times have we tried to take things on ourselves, in our own strength, and come up short? How do we feel?  Inadequate? Weak? Not up to the challenge? Even the fastest race car and most formidable land mover machines  don’t finish strong without fuel and/or the right operator. I’ve never heard of something that can move tons of  earth with ease referred to as ‘weak’ or ‘inadequate”. And neither are you. Jesus Christ said “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9. Don’t feel you have to take on the challenges of life alone or in your own strength. Let the Omnipresent and Omnipotent God work through you and on your behalf.

Challenge: This is not lip service. Try leaning on God and asking Him to help you with some of your challenges and obstacles. For many of us who find it hard to let go of things or feel the need to maintain control, “letting go and letting God” is one of the toughest things we will come up against. Rest in the fact that the Almighty is up for the task. He wants to show us how faithful and capable He is.

Prayer: Father, I am so thankful that You care about the challenges and struggles in my life. I am also thankful that you are capable of handling anything and faithful to never let me down. Please give me the strength, Lord, to allow you to work through me and on my behalf. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

For more information about Servant Warrior Ministries, visit www.servantwarriorministries.org.   

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September 18, 2011

Radical:

“Life Uncompromising”

Daniel 1:8, Ch. 3, 6

It has been said many times that character is what happens when no one is watching. That is absolutely true. Unless we have the self discipline and the inner fortitude to do the right thing when no one is watching (of course, there is One who sees everything), chances are much greater that we will not have what it takes to stand our ground when it counts, when others are watching. In today’s world of instant gratification and eroding ethics, maintaining a high level of principles and living an uncompromising life is deemed, well…radical. The stories of Daniel and the lion’s den and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, being thrown into the fiery furnace are two of the most told stories of the Bible. Both stories end with God showing His faithfulness to those who love Him. But we sometimes forget how they ended up in the lion’s den and the furnace. Both situations resulted from an unwillingness to compromise principles and a commitment to God, despite the potential repercussions. In both stories, it could be argued that their (Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) compromise could be justified given the societal perspective and potential outcome …death. That sentiment of “acceptable compromise” is alive and well today. For the majority of us, we will never face a situation where our choice of whether nor not to compromise meant the difference between life and death. However, we have all faced the choice between what we know to be right and what we know to be wrong, despite the choice’s level of “worldly acceptance”.  When there is an audience of only one, the One, it is sometimes easier to do what is right. But when we are out in public, with a group, or even our family, and presented with a choice of whether or not to stand our ground, maintain our principles, doing what we know is right is sometimes more difficult, especially when the only other person in the group that agrees with our position is God.

 Challenge:   Peer and societal pressures, eroding values, and the aforementioned sentiment of “acceptable compromise”, put significant pressure on all of us, especially young men, to maintain a Godly perspective and stand firm in our principles and values. Every day, it seems, we hear of men, many prominent and respected men of faith, succumb to the pressure and compromise their values and ethics. Our challenge…bottom line: “Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9. And how do we stand firm? In the power of Jesus. “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.

Prayer: Lord, every day I face choices. And even though I want to make the right ones, the ones that You would want me to make, I don’t always do it. I am so thankful for your grace and for the fact that there is nothing that could ever separate us from your love. (Rom 8:39). I ask for your power so I can stand firm in my faith when faced with choices large and small. Thank you for your promises. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

September 11, 2011

Real:

“Genuine, imitation…”

Ps 139:13-16

I always smile and laugh a bit at the description of anything that starts with “Genuine, Imitation…”. What does that actually mean? That it’s a genuine…fake? Is that a good thing? I make light of it but when it comes to us, as people, it is no joking matter. Take a fake Rolex watch, for instance. On the surface and at a quick glance, it may look real…genuine. But after a closer look, when it’s really examined, its true identity is revealed. I have to admit that I have a fake Rolex that I bought while on vacation. It’s a fairly nice watch and it looks a lot like a real Rolex. At a quick glance, I may be able to pull it off. However, if you know what to look for, it’s obvious it’s not the real thing. I know it’s not real. And I am even reluctant to wear it in case someone sees it and thinks it’s real. However, I wear it as a reminder that I can fool anyone at first glance, maybe even for a little while, but at some point I’ll be found out. I’m talking about me as much as the watch. And once I am found out, I have lost any and all credibility. When all is said and done, the only thing I set myself up for in trying to be something I am not is failure and let down.

Challenge: In today’s world of maintaining a certain look, status, or lifestyle, we can find ourselves trying to pull off a “genuine, imitation” something as the real thing. Why? Are we trying to be accepted? Fit in? What happens when we are found out? How viable is our credibility? And if by some chance we are able to live out the charade without anyone finding out, it’s all for not because we know the truth. And so does God. Proverbs 10:9 states, “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” Be who you are. Who you are is exactly what God created. And what He created is perfect. You have an important purpose and a calling.

Prayer: Lord, I face all kinds of pressure to meet certain standards, a lifestyle, or a status, in order to be accepted…to fit in. I know in my heart who I am but sometimes I don’t think it’s good enough. When I have these doubts, remind me of your words in Psalms 139, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful…”…”your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Please give me the strength to be who You created. 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.

September 5, 2011

Relevant:

“The 6 P’s…”

Proverbs 16:9

Whether you believe it or not, God is always at work in our lives. God’s word says, “In his heart a man plans
 his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Prov 16:9 (NIV). Think about how many steps we take every  day to get from here to there. Think about the plans, or routes, we make for our lives.  As many of us know all  too well, a plan’s first brush with reality usually ends in horrible failure. Failure according to our perspective,  that is. For a road trip, we check the weather, consider traffic patterns, etc… However, there is no way to plan  for the unexpected occurrences that will inevitably happen along the way. I have hundreds of examples of  things that have happened to me while “on the road”. I have no doubt you do as well. And since we cannot  foresee everything that will happen to us during our trip, we have to get as ready as possible. The key is not simply to plan. The key is to plan properly.

Being properly prepared allows us to experience fully and recognize God’s providence in all of the things that will happen while on the road. Rain, while difficult to drive in, fosters a rainbow when it’s done. And detours, while usually inconvenient and annoying, often reveal a much preferable route with breathtaking scenery and unforgettable experiences. Besides, how boring would it be if all our travels were filled with blue skies, warm winds, open roads, and no speed traps?

Challenge: There is a concept of The 6 P’s: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. For our trip, the destination, conditions, and duration will determine the appropriate gear needed…appropriate being the operative term. Having the right gear will keep us from being forced to create some crazy, but no doubt colorful, story about why we packed what we did or didn’t pack what we should’ve. Been there…done that…got the t-shirt. We must be as prepared as possible in order to be able to handle whatever comes our way, both good and bad.

Prayer: Lord, I know that I don’t know what tomorrow brings. However, I do know Your plan is perfect and that You are never surprised. You tell me in Your word that I look to You in all I do, You will make my paths straight. I trust in that because Your promises are always true. Thank you for Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.   

For more information about Servant Warrior Ministries, visit www.servantwarriorministries.org.   

“Don’t Die Stupid”

Posted: September 1, 2011 in Articles

“Don’t Die Stupid”  by Jeff Searcy

 

Welcome to September. Summer is nearing an end…except for many of us who still are enjoying, only partially I’m sure, temperatures in 90’s. College football is literally knocking down the door. Professional football, hockey, and basketball are upon us. Professional baseball is winding down and getting ready for the playoffs and the fall classic. And school is in full swing for most of the country. Sorry, kids. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year as it marks the end of one season and sparks the excitement and anticipation of a new one upcoming. Enough about fall…on to the matter at hand.

I know that you are probably scratching your head and asking yourself, “What in the world is he talking about…Don’t Die Stupid™?” I truly hope this is not the case but I have to accept the fact that many of you may have taken offense to thetitle and adopted an “I don’t think I like his tone” attitude. Again, I hope not. If I may, this article marks my 1 year anniversary as a contributor to Power Source Magazine. It has been awesome. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to share what God places on my heart with you and hope that I will get the benefit of the doubt and that you will hold judgment until the end. If not…it’s okay. I understand. Pssst…If you want to keep reading, I won’t tell anyone.

Don’t Die Stupid is a saying that has been used by the military for decades. It is simply a statement that makes the point of, well, don’t end up dead because you did something you knew you shouldn’t or didn’t do something you knew you should. In other words, don’t get shot in the head while holding your helmet in your hand. Don’t get shot in the chest with your body armor lying on the floor next to you. Or, don’t get shot in the backside because you didn’t dig your hole deep enough and half of your body could be seen by the enemy. Need I continue?  It is about making sure you do the things necessary to reduce the chances of getting killed in battle. But at the end of the day, dying is inevitable and when God calls us home, we go. However, He also gives us the sense not to assist in a premature earthly exit.

Now, despite the fact that there will be many who may disagree with me, I am convinced there has not been a more important statement ever made…period…by anyone…than the one made by Jesus Christ when He told His disciples, “…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. The Bible is the inerrant and inspired word of God. Spending time in it is how we grow and strengthen our relationship with God and it is how He speaks to us. Bottom line, if nothing else is obtained from time spent in God’s word, you had better get the fact that Jesus is the only way to heaven or else an eternity in Hell will be your fate. Period. End of story. Do not pass go and do not collect $200. Do not let the somewhat lighthearted nature of the Monopoly reference reduce the severity of the dying without knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Needless to say, its importance cannot be overstated.

 If I may, I would like to share some important research findings. Fact: One out of one people die…with  the overwhelming majority having no idea when or where death will occur. Fact: Death is not optional.  However, how one dies is. Of course, I am not referring to the manner in which death occurs, but the  state of the heart. So…Don’t Die Stupid.

This summer, Servant Warrior Ministries launched a “Knowledge Initiative” called Don’t Die Stupid™. Our goal is to reach anyone and everyone, especially the younger generations, and share with them the most important thing they could ever learn…that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, the life, and the ONLY way to heaven. (John 14:6) Whether we choose to accept it or not, we are in a battle of life and death. And if someone knew how to ensure victory in that battle, not to share that information with the world would be a tragedy…not to mention  violate the directive given by our Savior to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19 NIV), and “Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all.” (Mark 16:15-16 MSG)

In his letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul said, “Even though I am free from demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized – whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ-but entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-22). I share his vision. Amen!

Join Servant Warrior in our mission to spread the Message and the life saving News of Jesus Christ. Visit www.dontdiestupid.net or www.servantwarriorministries.org and buy your Don’t Die Stupid™ t-shirt, bumper sticker, or decal. Buy one for a friend or someone you care about because…Friends Don’t Let Friends Die Stupid.

Keep it real…Armor Up.

The above is the content of the article from September 2011 Power Source Magazine. Click HERE for the pdf.