Monday, December 2, 2013

Man in the Middle

But he knows not that the shades of the dead are there [specters haunting the scene of past transgressions], and that her invited guests are [already sunk] in the depths of Sheol (the lower world, Hades, the place of the dead).  - (Proverbs 9:18)

This scripture sounds like a scene from an old horror flick. I see it as a warning; there is an evil that is subtle as a ghost. The definition of ghost in this particular scripture is: a returning or haunting memory or image.

Our Christian life can be a living dichotomy. We have this lingering ghost that follows us and his name is “the past”. On the other end of the spectrum we have a future named “freedom”. And there is a campaign we vaguely understand raging between the two. It’s a battle not fought with swords or guns. It’s a tug of war… in your mind. A reckless jerking of faith and fear like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind until we are at the verge of abandoning all hope for our God given future.

Picture yourself with your arms fully stretched out. In one hand you are holding the end of a rope that is pulling you toward an extraordinary future. A wondrous life specifically designed for you and offers everything you need to live a full life. In the other hand you are holding a chain that’s pulling you toward a fiery furnace that consumes any sign of joy, peace and hope. You lean toward the “freedom” but keep holding on to “the past”.

Revelation 3:16 (The Message) You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit.”
Adam Clarke writes in his commentary about this scripture: “It’s a state of confusion and being unsure of how to act or proceed; undecided where you are with God.”
Unsure of where you are with God positions you to be the man in the middle.  Holding on to “the past” makes you stale and stagnant and makes the Lord sick to His stomach. I believe the Lord is sick to His stomach because He knows we cannot effectively live the full life He has for us while holding on to “the past”.

[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].  James 1:8 (AMP)
This scripture describes much of my past as a Christian. I was the man in the middle. I could see my future, but the past kept luring me back to the ashes of condemnation. This lead to an irresolute, undecided and careless thought process. I wanted more for my life but never made a solid plan to move forward.

Do you feel like the man in the middle, stale and stagnant? Are holding on to condemnation and guilt (the past)? If so, here are some suggestions to help you move forward.

+ Recognize you are stuck.
   If you are not moving forward, you’re stuck.

+ Fight condemnation.
   Holding on to your past is like being mentally abused and not doing  
   anything about it.
   Spend time in prayer and meditation and speak against           
   condemnation using the Word of God. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

+ Resolute that you will move forward.
   Colossians 3:2 (Amp) says: And set your minds and keep them set on 
    what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.” 
   In other words, don’t let your mind hang out with “the past”. 
   “The past” is dead and in the depths of hell, attempting to drag you 
   down with it.

I encourage you to take a good look at your walk with the Lord. Ask yourself, “Am I a description of what James wrote? Am I a person of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides]?”

If this describes you, be courageous and fight the battle that wars in your mind. Use your faith and believe you have been given “freedom”. Do the work it takes to let go of “the past”, set your mind on giving God your all and no longer be being the man in the middle.

Please share this if it helped you.

If you want help to find and develop their purpose, contact me at 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Architect and the Builder

Architect: One who designs and supervises the construction of buildings or other large structures.

Builder: One who builds; one who develops or gives form to according to a plan or process; create.

Many years ago (more than I want to admit) I was in the construction business: block laying, carpentry, superintendent, but was mainly in the residential concrete business. When working in all phases of construction, you have to be able to read blueprints. If you can’t read and understand them, you will fail to correctly do your job. In turn, your work may not pass inspection or worse, the building may suffer structural damage in the future.

For many years I had a misconception concerning my part with my daily walk with the Lord. I didn’t have the attitude of living life on purpose for a purpose. I mainly read my bible and prayed for direction. Most of my life I lived passively. I let my career and financial life suffer all for the sake of waiting on the Lord. I lived mostly in the wishes and dreams realm and not the action realm. Both are important and both are needed to fulfill all God has called us to do.

Paul wrote in Philippians 2:12 (KJ) :Wherefore, my beloved… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. The word work in the original language means: to accomplish, by implication to finish, fashion, cause, do, perform, work (out). This is a strong action word. Clearly we are to participate in our own life after salvation. Adam Clarke writes in his commentary on this subject, “We must be workers together with Him, that we receive not His grace in vain; because He works in you, therefore work with Him, and work out your own salvation.” We are not to be passive in our walk with Christ as I was for so many years.

Let me bring this back around to “The Architect and the Builder”.

Fortunately, I’ve had a change of perspective in my career and financial life. I now see my life like a builder builds a house.

Building a house all starts with an architect having a thought or picture in his mind of the final product. He then with a team, starts implementing his thoughts by creating blueprints or plans. After the plans are complete with every detail drawn our, they go to a builder. The builder starts the process from the ground up to build the architect’s vision.

One thing I didn’t see on the construction site was an architect. The architect did his part with vision and plans. He may occasionally consult on the project but he doesn’t grab a hammer and nails to work on the house. The builder does the work with the detailed plans to complete the project.

We as Christians can use this analogy to help us complete the call on our lives. We know that God has work for us to do. Read what the Apostle Paul told the Ephesians: “…. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” (Eph 2:10 Message) We also know that He has already laid out good plans for us. (Jeremiah 29:11) These plans are written on the tablets of our heart. (2 Corinthians 3:3) It would do us well to spend more time listening to the desires of our heart for out of it flows the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23) Listening to our heart, in part, is listening to God’s plans for you.

God is the Architect.
We are the builder.

Too many Christians are falling short of God’s best because we haven’t read the Architect’s plans.

What about you?

Where are you at in respect to “working out your salvation”?

Are you a passive bystander or a builder?

If you want to learn to be a builder, here are some steps to take.

Decide today you will do what it takes to be a builder. You will need this in your spirit because it will take some work to shift your mindset. Your mind will still want you to be passive but your commitment will help you push forward.

Set a daily time and place for you to get alone with God. Make it a time of reflection, intimacy and study. Don’t get stuck with the idea that your time alone with God will look and feel the same every time. Some days just read the bible, others days pray and listen. Be flexible and enjoy your time with God.

Writing is a gateway to your heart. So write down your desires, passions and visions. Write on a grand scale as if the whole world was yours to create with a pen. Be completely vulnerable to your own desires. There are no boundaries or rules when you write. It’s not about grammar or spelling, it’s about opening up the floodgates of freedom in your life.

Remember that this is a progressive learning process. In time you will begin to see the Architects plans. It will be up to you to implement them and create the life God has called you to live.

Now go and get your nail bags on and start building.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Run for Your Life

One warm day while walking on a trail, I saw an etched message carved on the path. It read, “TURN BACK”. For a moment I actually felt a touch of concern. Then I had to laugh at the humor.

But isn’t this what we often hear in our minds when we want to try something new or when the Lord is showing us a bit of our future. I’ve heard this voice many times in my life. It was loudest when I went parachuting. Everything inside of me yelled, “STAY IN THE PLANE!” Obviously, it was a false alarm.

I remember opening night of a play in which I had a lead role. It had a cast of 200. Music, acrobats and swordsmen were involved in this elaborate production. An audience of over 3,000 showed up. It was a dream come true for me but it all came with a few personal complications. I’ve never had formal training in the art of acting and I would be working with skilled entertainers and musicians. The only thing I had to offer was my willingness to take direction, energy and enthusiasm.

 I could have turned back and turned down the opportunity but that would have put me in a position to justify the act of turning back to familiar territory, and not moving forward to unchartered territory. If I had turned back, I would have been denying the very core of who I was created to be in that time in my life. It would have been disobedience, which is simply not complying with God’s will and purpose for our life. Disobedience keeps us from enjoying the good life God intends for us. But there is a much deeper downfall to turning back and disobedience. Much, much deeper.

Let’s look at the story of deliverance of Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah.
(Gen. 19 Message Bible)
Before God destroyed the two cities, He chased Lot and his family out first by sending angels to hurry them out. The directives from the angels were; “Now run for your life! Don't look back! Don't stop anywhere on the plain—run for the hills or you'll be swept away." (Verse 17) These are very strong statements.

But in spite of these statements, after the cities were destroyed and everything about them was destroyed, Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. (Verses 25-26)

This story makes me wonder, “What was she thinking? Didn’t she take the angels and situation seriously?” I have come to realize I wasn’t much different than her.
Let me explain. In this text I see the story of redemption not being taken seriously by those who know better. I had been like this for many years of my life. Often times I would agree with condemnation though the bible says I am free from that. God was serious when He said, “THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus…” and yet I would turn back and gaze at the past as if it were real. Jesus was serious when He said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”, and yet I would still look at my deep failures and decide it wasn’t for me. I had often turned back to the pains and problems of my past and used them as an excuse to not move forward. I’d turn back to the utter fallen state of my pre-redemptive life and agree with its vile lies. And just a Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt so did I. I became bitter with life, self-righteous and self-loathing. I failed to hear the seriousness of the call of freedom that was before me.

Take this seriously. Your past has utterly been destroyed! Stop turning back. All the promises of God are yes and amen but they are also in front of you, not behind you. Looking back exposes a sense of connection with your past and it keeps you from seeing the truth of your future. We, through Jesus, have been fully redeemed. Through Jesus, God rained brimstone and fire, poured a river of lava out of the sky, destroyed our past and the entire plain of it and everything that grew from it.

Nothing good comes from looking at the Sodom and Gomorrah of your past. God wants us to put it down for good. He wants us to live with the urgency of running from every thought of it. Not looking back and not stopping anywhere near it or we will be swept away from our God ordained future.

Are you serious about what God says about your past and future? If you haven’t been and you want to, begin with these steps.
·        Write down the negative thoughts that come to you regularly.
·        Find scriptures that counter those thoughts.
·        Every time negative thoughts come to you, tell yourself, “it’s not true” and repeat the scriptures several time throughout the day.

This is a process so give yourself time and you will one day notice a change in your thought life.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Take Control of the Keyboard

Once we become "born again" we threw away the old script of our lives that were written from our experiences of pain, sorrow and heartache. But being “born again” gives us the opportunity to write a new story for our lives. 

But there is an opposing factor that will still try to dictate the writings of your future. It’s your old nature or thought process. It will want to continue to write the negative history of your life and not the promised future. It is like opening up a blank word document and letting someone else type in the script of your future life.
In this new life of ours we need to do what any good writer needs to do. Write daily and write often. Just as writers need to learn to write. We need to seriously take a good look at what the bible says about us and rewrite the script for our lives. We need to take hold of the keyboard and write the epic story of our lives.

The story has already been given to us. It’s in our heart. It’s in our desires.  It’s in the restlessness of our soul. Yes, we all know our story but here is the problem. It’s like the big bible in the living room that never gets read. All it does is collect dust. We’ve got to take action and dust off the inner script. We need to sweep away the dust of negativity, oppression and pain.

Think about this for a moment. Take time to remember a book you read or a movie you watched. One that has a victorious ending. It could be a love won or a battle well fought. Were there times in the scenes you thought of something deep down inside yourself that was lost? A dream, a vision or a desire that once gallantly danced in your heart and soul. But as life slowly, or even abruptly, buried your hope the music faded. The dance ended, and now it seems that the dance hall is closed for good. Life since has been a dry dusty desert with only trickles of water to keep you barely alive. Even zombies need water.

So what about this “River of Life” the bible talks about? We could certainly use this “River of Life”. That would wash the dust completely away. The trickle of water we have only makes the dust muddy. So how do we experience the “River of Life” or “life to the full” Jesus referred too? How do we dance again? How do we dust off the book that holds our dreams, visions and desires? How do we awaken the deep aspirations of childhood?

I have a few ideas. This is most certainly not an exhaustive list but it is a start.
        Read highly inspirational books, magazines and blogs.
When the bible tells me I’m more than a conqueror, it inspires me. John Eldredge and Andy Andrews have books that get my heart fluttering. If you don’t read or listen to books, you will have a hard time dusting off the book that reveals your future.

2.        Spend time analyzing your heart.
Proverbs 4:23 (Amp version) says: “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.” I believe this is Christ Himself and all He encompasses. Your heart holds the intimate details that God downloaded into your personality. Your heart leads you to the good works and good life He has planned for you.
Watch an inspirational movie with paper and pen in hand. Write down the different emotions and thoughts that come to you. Don’t be afraid to cry (I’m talking to you guys) for it helps release the pain of the lost dreams. It also helps to sweep the dust off of those dreams so you can feel the depth of your love for those desires. This is good. The desire is not God himself but an expression of Him and how He wants to express Himself to the world through you.

You might ask why should I write? I’ll tell you in a moment. But first, you must know we all have a book inside of us to write. Though I do not believe everyone’s book is to be published. However, writing is a strong way for us to see who we are as individuals. Writing helps us express what is held in our heart. It helps express what we can’t yet say. Writing helps us envision our future and helps erase the pains of the past that hold us back in life. The very act of writing is a gift from God to help us to express what He has put in our hearts.
When you write make it personal. Write one word or a paragraph but write something as often as you can. It will help lead you into the “River of Life”.

I strongly encourage you to take control of the keyboard and write the story of your life. Don’t let anyone else write it. God has already planted the story in your heart. But it is up to you to search it out. Proverbs 3:32 (Amp) says: For the perverse are an abomination [extremely disgusting and detestable] to the Lord; but His confidential communion and secret counsel are with the [uncompromisingly] righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him).

Spend some time with God and He will counsel you in secret and lead you to the good works and good life he has predestined for you.

Now go and write your story.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It Doesn't Matter

2 Corinthians 10:5 AMP
…and we lead every thought and purpose away captive…

Next level thinking will cause you to check your every thought and take it captive until you clear it with a very high set of standards. This can be exhausting at times but very rewarding.

Some things that change as you learn to take every thought through your set of standards.

1. You notice change in yourself
2. You see the world differently
3. You notice more negative and unproductive language in yourself and society.

The bible is clear that the Lords thoughts and ways are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55:8) For us to reach higher levels of thinking, we must realize that we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16(b)

says, but we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. Though our old life is gone (2 Corinthians 5:17), we still need to do all we can to prevent the negative and unproductive thoughts to settle in our minds. We need to renew our minds daily (Romans 12:2) or we will daily face the consequences of an unfulfilled calling.

Jesus wants you to have a full life. (John 10:10) Start today by taking every thought captive. Sift it through the Word of God. If it’s scripture, keep it. If not, cast it down.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mud Man

He must have seen the glory beaming out of the one named Adam. He had to see the sunrise and sunset, creativity and passion, strength and love in the muddy mixture. He must have seen the majesty of untold greatness and the beauty of wholeness in this unfamiliar work of creation. Lucifer, in all his anger, resentment and bitterness must have seen Adam as a reflection of Almighty God. He must have shook in fear as he watched the Creator from a distance form, mold and shape the mud into man. Questions and worry must have invaded his mind as God etched away all imperfections to create His self-portrait. The fallen angels must have been uneasy as they observed the great Artist do His finest work. They must have anxiously paced and murmured amongst themselves. They had to wonder with great apprehension: “What is God up to now?” The scene, I’m sure, was like an audience in a theater entrenched in a movie leading up to the climax of the film. Nothing is more important than knowing what is next.

Then it happens. God, the Father, draws near to the hand crafted form of dirt. He looks deep into the eyes of the lifeless creation. As the fallen one’s silence them-selves in utter anticipation, God breathes deep, as do the fallen also. He releases His breath into His art form. Life giving breath. Not just any life, everlasting Life from the Father of all that is.

The climax has reached its summit. The fallen have reached a point of clamor and riotousness within its camp. Who knows what’s next with God’s making? They sense the atmosphere altering. And in God’s perfect timing, as if He was waiting for the cells, blood, nerve endings and all the infinite details that keep man physically alive, the eyes of His image abruptly open. The body violently gasps its first breath and moments later, softly says, “Abba”.

With a hostile piercing roar, the fallen cry out, “God has released His most glorious composition! More glorious than all that He has created. The music, songs and worship from this mud man will be superior to our Lucifer.”

Psalm 139:13-16(AMP)
13For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery].

If we could grasp, take hold and capture our depth of significance in our God, dramatic shifts in our thought, words and actions would take place. The creation of man and you is not to be looked at moderately, with restraint or with minor importance. You and I were created with the upmost thought and care. We were created with hands of a loving Father, the passion of Jesus and the strength of the Spirit.

Take this seriously.

You are supremely significant to God.

Today, start to read all the good the bible has to say about you and ask the Spirit to ingrain it into you so you can express it in your daily life.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Insecure God…Not!

God may be a jealous God,
But God is not insecure.
He wants no idols before you
because He’s jealous for you.

He knows the price you pay for that idol.
He knows you’re short changing yourself
with other idols.
He knows the idols make you idle in life.
He knows the idols are a covering for pain
or a symptom of addiction.
God may be a jealous God,
But God is not insecure.

He’s jealous for you.