The Silent Killer

I have been going to the gym for over a year now. I really needed to start exercising and had received a free monthly pass in the mail and decided to try it. I joined a class that I really like and it has made this journey more enjoyable. I will admit that while I am very committed most weeks, there are some weeks I barely make it at all. Thank God I have an accountability partner or it would be even worse (Shout out to Dave).

 

I have found that if I miss a few days and then go back for a grueling workout, virtually every muscle in my body hurts. I am always amazed when this happens. How can I miss 4 days and my muscles act like I have never worked them at all? If you have ever worked out regularly, you know what I mean.

 

This is a principle that applies to our relationships as well. Sometimes we ignore others—unconsciously or consciously—and then find out its glitchy, irritable or even painful reconnecting.

 

The number one cause of death to a relationship isn’t the BIG disappointment or betrayal—though those do kill plenty of relationships—but when we simply stop intentionally investing in those we love. Think about all the “friends” you have had over the years that are no longer in your life. How many did you formally notify that they wouldn’t make the cut for the next season in your life? Now, how many of those just faded out of sight because they weren’t maintained?

 

A friend once said to me, “I am low maintenance, but, I am not NO MAINTENANCE”. Let’s not let the relationships we love and cherish die because we did not make them a priority investment. For more on this subject visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS26NTJ9XGs

 

 

 

 

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Stepping Out From the Shadows

You may be reading this as a blog, but I am writing it as a declaration. I am putting a stake in the ground right here—right now; sealing a turning point moment with this writing. I hope it inspires you to do the same. Every dream demands a response. This is my first step.

 

Recently, I wrote a personal mission statement. It included my mission, my vision, what I am called to do, and whom I am called to serve. It was invigorating to find this kind of clarity. Knowing who I am—and who I am not—has brought a dose of energy and excitement that I have lacked for years. I used the book, “The Path” by Laurie Beth Jones as a guide. It gave me excellent exercises and examples of how to hone down my personal experiences and desires into a clear and unique vision for my life.

 

After walking through the exercises of writing a mission statement, Laurie then explains “making yourself visible”. She states that the Laws of Attraction that exist in creation rely on visibility. Male bullfrogs croak loudly. Male Peacocks show off their plume. They step out of the shadows and announce to the world, “I am here”. Obviously, not everyone is attracted to this announcement; it will actually repel some. But, your bold step out of the shadows will also call out those that were destined to journey with you.

 

So, I am clear on who I am. I am clear on why I am here. I am clear on whom I was created to serve. Today, I step out of the shadows and make myself visible! I hope you will do the same. For more on this subject visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ_H4iIMHg8&t=1045s

 

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What are You Holding Out of the Water?

Take a moment and try to recollect your history classes—do you remember who Charlemagne was? Yes, that’s right—he lead a people known as the Franks during the Middle Ages and was one of the great conquerors of Europe. He ruled much of France, Germany, and the Low Countries. Not only did he expand his kingdom but he did so in the name of the Lord and mandated that his soldiers be baptized into the church. In several incidents, whole armies were plunged into a river so that they became God’s servants before they went into battle. But, there was one practice about Charlemagne’s baptism that was different than the way others have done it. He allowed his soldiers to hold their sword out of the water so they were free to be as “un-Christian” with that hand (and sword) as they desired.

 

Fast forward to the present day. I do not know of one pastor or priest that would willingly allow a candidate for baptism to do such a thing. Unfortunately, it still happens all the time, it just happens invisibly in the heart of the believer. Baptism is one of the outward signs of an inward covenant between God and us. A covenant is when one says to God that you exchange all you are, for all He is. How abhorrent it must seem to God when He open-handedly died on the cross for us, yet we hold something out of the water, un-surrendered to Him.

 

In the midst of teaching a sermon series on Generosity, I became cognizant of how many Christians say God is first in their lives, yet hold their wallets up out of the water. I don’t want you to think I desire their money, or them to give to anything I am leading. I want them to know the freedom that comes in receiving everything God has for them from where He is leading.

 

The Bible makes this statement:

 

Matthew 6: 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. NKJV

 

Mammon is the demi-god (god like, but not God) of self-sufficiency—a worldly system meant to replace our need of God. The Bible clearly says we can’t serve this god of self-sufficiency and Jesus. It has to be one or the other. So, when we get baptized and receive EVERYTHING that God has for us, but then hold back in any area—like our wallet—we limit the relationship God wants to have with us, a relationship where He is our all in all.

 

Maybe you surrendered your wallet but held up out of the water your spouse, kids, or career? I want to say, “It just isn’t worth it”. Whatever you are holding on to (or is holding on to you) isn’t as fulfilling as what He wants to exchange you forit! For more on this subject please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slyS_0SkeNQ

 

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