THE ULTIMATE FATHER

FATHER PIC

1 John 3:1(NLT), “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.”

How many people grow up without a Father?  How many people had a Father in the home  growing up but he wasn’t really there.   How many people had a Father growing up, but only saw him every other weekend or so, plus summers and holidays.   How many people as adults today do not have a relationship with their Father?

Many people can easily answer at least one of those questions about their Father, or multiple.  No matter what our relationship is like with our earthly Father, our heavenly Father is always their!

My parents were divorced when my twin brother and I were 6 months old, and our mom received custody.  I don’t remember much of my dad before the age of about 4 years old.  From that age on he was there for us on the weekends, holidays and summers.  But there were times in my childhood  that he wasn’t there for awhile.  In my teenage years, he was distant.  When my brother and I were 13 years old, our Dad got a job at KBR as an Army contractor in Iraq.  He worked overseas from then until we were 18 years old.  During that time, he would work 6 months, come home on R&R, then go back to work.  Sometimes he would work a year straight.  When my brother and I were 16, midway into our sophomore year of high school, he moved in with our Dad, stepmom and little brother.  Even through all this, I still looked at my Dad as a hero.  You could say I idolized the man.  The summer before my senior year, I too moved in with my Dad, to try to grow closer to him.  Things didn’t work out.  By the beginning of 2010, my twin brother and I moved in with our grandparents, on our dads side, and were set to join the active Army.

I was saved at ten years old. I knew Jesus as my savior, but something wasn’t right.  I didn’t have that intimate relationship with Him.  Mainly, I really only hung out with him at church and when I was in a tight spot in life.  It wasn’t an everyday deal.  I realized something when God changed my heart in basic training.  As a kid; as an adult in the Army and after, I tried all I could to grow closer to my earthly Father, when my heavenly Father was right next to me the whole time!  When I found God’s Fatherly love, my life changed!  I love my Dad with all my heart.  He’s not perfect.  But God is.  Today I don’t seek my earthly Father’s love anymore.  I have fully embraced the love of my Heavenly Father!  I seek Him each and every day.  And every day He meets that need for a Father in my life!  Not only is He my heavenly father, but He’s also my best friend.  Embrace God’s love today!  Seek Him!

Keep digging in God’s Word.  Keep praying.  Stay in Faith.  Walk by the Spirit.  HAVE A BLESSED AND FAVORED DAY!

 

FAITH ENVIRONMENT

Matthew 7:7-8(NLT) “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

 

Proverbs 18:21(ESV), “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  God can speak to you through scripture, revelation from the Holy Spirit, a sermon or simply a friend encouraging you.  When God does speak to you, it empowers you and lifts you up.  Never will God condemn you.  It’s so important that we put ourselves in a Faith filled environment.  Sometimes that can be nearly impossible depending on where we work or live, but we can certainly try to find light in the darkness.  If your surrounded by negativity, look for the positive.  On the flip side, don’t just be the one receiving faith.  Pass it out to others.  Speak life into the people around you.  

 

Six months before moving back to Houston, I was praying about my decision to join the reserves.  After two visits with the reserve career counselor I still hadn’t received the answer from God.  I was determined to wait patiently on God’s voice for the right decision.   About 1 or 2 weeks away from another reserve appointment, I was sitting on battalion staff duty, when a buddy of mine who was getting out of the Army, walked in.  For some reason, there isn’t a lot of encouragement offered to people who want to separate from Active duty Army.  There is however plenty of, “You’ll end up flipping burgers,” talk.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t sacrifice 3 1/2 years of my life to flip burgers.  I have dreams and ambitions that I want to achieve.  Active Army was just a stepping stone.  Saying that, I tried to talk to people who shared my desire for freedom.  So my buddy and I talked about the reserves and other branches of the military.  While we were talking, something clicked.  The Holy Spirit quickened my spirit about the decision on joining the reserves.  I knew right then, who I wanted to trust.  You see the reserves were offering a pretty sweet package.  I could finish my 4 1/2 year contract as Chaplain Assistant, plus receive financial, education and health care benefits.  Also, If I did a 6 year contract, I would receive a $5,000 bonus.  On the outside it was a savory deal, but on the inside God was asking me, “Who do you trust?”  To me that was an easy question.  Peace filled my heart.  I waited on God and He gave me an answer

Where ever you are in life, look for faith.  Whether your a Christian or not, look for that light in the darkness.  Try to surround yourself around faith filled and motivated people.  People that have passion for life. Then, turnaround and bless others with faith and life.  Most importantly look to God.  God is the ultimate motivator.  God is a Father, friend, coach, and counselor.  His love is unconditional.  

Keep digging in God’s Word.  Keep praying.  Stay in Faith.  HAVE A BLESSED AND FAVORED DAY.

 

THROUGH THE FIRE

FURNACE 1

1 Peter 1:7(NLT), “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

Have you ever noticed that when you get away from habitual sin that you’ve struggled with for so long, that God starts to dig at your flesh and grow your faith?  I have.

For many years I struggled with pornography and lust.  So long that my faith was held back because of my struggle.  My healing process began when I rededicated my life to Jesus in basic training.  For at least 2 months I was out of bondage.  My spirit was open to God’s sculpting. Week after week, my faith was put to the test.   I started to noticed the fruits of the spirit in my character.

After basic I continued to struggle.  On FT Hood, God continued to work on me.  He provided me with an accountability partner and friend that I could meet with on a weekly basis. I also installed a filter on my computer.   Though I still struggled, I was making progress because I had accountability.  There were times that I would go, 2 to 4 weeks without messing up.  I noticed, like in basic, God would start working on me in other areas.  He would dig at my flesh.  I would start to understand what it meant to walk in the Spirit.  Then I would mess up again, but I relied on God’s grace and love to pick me back up.  From dating, engagement and through marriage, I struggled, but made strides along the way.  I learned that every time I was tempted, it was test for greater faith.  It was chance to seek a way out and grow spiritually.  I have failed many  tests, but I’ve also passed many more.  Not too long ago I had to finally put a filter on my iPhone.  Today I am a few weeks clean.  In that time, God has been putting me through the fire.  He’s been putting me through tests for the other areas that I need work on, and trust me there is plenty!  All the while my flesh is screaming inside me!

What do you struggle with?  What’s holding you back in your faith?  Ask and let God heal you.  When we separate ourselves from sin, it dwindles our flesh, and strengthens our spirit.  Let God dig at your flesh.  Let Him put your flesh in a fiery furnace, and trust Him like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did in the Old Testament.  Trust Him like Daniel did, when you feel like your surrounded by lions in the lion den.

Keep digging in God’s Word.  Keep praying.  Stay in Faith.  Walk by the Spirit.  HAVE A BLESSED AND FAVORED DAY!

SATAN IS THE KING OF DISCOURAGEMENT

SATAN IS THE KING OF DISCOURAGEMENT 

 

Philippians 4:4(NLT), “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!”

 

Nehemiah 8:10(ESV), “Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

In early April, God revealed to me to start a lawn care and pressure washing business.  This was an answered prayer from when I was in the process of getting out of the Army, when I asked God to show me the best way to use my entrepreneurship spirit.  A couple of weeks later as I was walking Landy around the neighborhood, I was led by the Spirit to write down the office numbers from the real estate signs along our  path.  I called 4 numbers.  Out of those 4, 2 Re/Max offices were interested.  The first Re/Max office I called, the receptionist offered to gather my information and send it out to the real estate agents through email. Then she blessed me and the business venture I was seeking.  Her blessing then gave me confidence in the second Re/Max call, with my suggestion, also sent out my information. God was moving, and I was pumped!

Satan doesn’t like it when we get fired up for God.  He doesn’t like when God is moving in our life.  A few days later, satan started attacking my mind with negative thoughts, condemnation(dwelling on the past), and etc.  The attacks continued, until the National Day of Prayer event at Houston City Hall.  Hundreds of people gathered to seek God in prayer, and to lift Him up with praise.  When we lift God up in praise and rejoice in His name, satan has to flee!  Satan had to put on the brakes and God lifted my spirit!

When I arrived back home, God moved again.  A woman named Stephanie, who works for an agent at the League City Re/Max office, called me and wanted me to cut her grass the next day.  Booya!  She agreed to pay me $30 to cut her front yard.  From the moment I started mowing the grass the next morning, satan was trying to steal my joy.  My lawn mower was running rough, and I cut the curb lot shorter the rest of the lawn. So of course I was feeling discouraged, but I shook it off and started praising God!  While I was still mowing the grass, Stephanie handed me $40.  I knew God’s favor was around me!  All I could do was praise God!  

Stay encouraged.  Do not let the enemy steal your joy.  Joy in the Lord is our strength!  Joy in the Lord helps us persevere!  Joy will get you through those crazy days.  Stay in communion with God.  When satan comes to steal your joy, persevere and give God praise.  If life throws down a straight flush, let God reveal a Royal flush!

Keep digging in God’s Word.  Keep praying!  Stay in Faith.  Walk by the Spirit.  HAVE A BLESSED AND FAVORED DAY!

 

THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD VS HEAD GAMES

TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, GOSPEL OF PEACE, FAITH, SALVATION, WORD OF GOD, PRAYER

Ephesians 6:13-18(NLT), “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

 

When Satan sees that whole armor of God around us, he sees Jesus. The key is standing our ground.  Satan is constantly seeking to destroy us.  Probably one of his favorite ways to attack is through the mind.  Satan is the master of head games.

He attacks with anxiety, condemnation, confusion, temptation, depression, suspicion and the list goes on!  These attacks can make it hard to hear from God and walk in the spirit.  Satan wants our minds tied up in knots.  He wants us to have no peace, but God is our peace maker and defender.

Satan was defeated at the cross.  He has no power in our lives, but God gives us a choice. A choice between walking in the Spirit and walking in the flesh.  Walking in our sinful nature is what gives satan power in our lives.  Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer are what make up the Whole Armor of God.  The Whole Armor of God is what gives us strength against satan’s attacks.  Walking by the Spirit allows the Armor of God to work in our lives.

For me, satan loves to attack right before God is about to move mountains in my life. I call them FaithThresholds.  A FaithThreshold is before, during and after a spiritual victory.  It’s something that you are about to face or facing(during) something that only God can get you through victoriously!  When you overcome that obstacle, your Faith will leap because you saw God work wonders!(After)  Before that Faiththreshold, satan will  attack with everything he has!  You have two choices:  You can either seek God’s presence or succumb to satan’s attacks.

I learned through my own FaithThresholds, that we can’t just seek God’s presence during the good times.  When Satan is attacking us, we have to dig in God’s Word. We have to keep praise and prayer on our lips. We have to walk by the Spirit!  Satan will still try to attack, but this time we’re ready Freddy!

If you’re going through a FaithThreshold, do everything you can to seek God’s presence.  Then as you trust God, watch Him do more than you can imagine!

Keep digging in God’s Word.  Keep praying.  Stay in Faith. Walk by the Spirit.  HAVE A BLESSED AND FAVORED DAY!

BE CHRIST LIKE, BE A FRIEND

Matthew 9:9 (NLT), “As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man name Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth.  “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him.  So Matthew got up and followed him.

Proverbs 17:9 (NLT), “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.”

People attend 4 years or more of Bible college to learn how to study the Bible and minister to believers and unbelievers.  The word evangelize means to bring the good news.  That’s what Jesus told his disciples before he ascended into heaven.  Bible scholars can say what they want about evangelism, but the best way to bring people to Christ, is by being their friend.  Look at what Jesus did.  He told Matthew, a tax collector, to follow him.  Soon after, He sat down to eat with Matthew and other sinners.  What does that tell you about Jesus and evangelism?  Jesus loves people, and so should we.  If you want to bring people to Christ, be their brother or sister.  Be there for them!  You don’t need a Bible degree to bring people to Christ.  You need a heart after Jesus.  Keep digging in God’s Word.  Keep walking by the Spirit and Faith.  Keep praying.  Have a blessed and favored day!

 

 

GOD’S LOVE

Ephesians 2:4-6(NLT), “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.”

 

No other love on Earth compares to the love of God.  Some people don’t realize this.  They think that they’ve messed up too much in their life for God to care about them.  If you think that, you’re wrong.  God loves us despite our sin.  

 

God created us to glorify Him.  He created Adam and Eve first.  Look at what God gave them.  The Garden of Eden was Heaven on Earth.  Everything they needed was provided.  Then Adam dropped the ball.  More so than Eve.  Adam let Eve be deceived by satan.   Because they messed up, we are born with a sinful nature.  To govern that nature God created the Ten commandments and the law.  That seemed to make things worse.  All the law did was cover our sin.  Then God sent His only begotten son Jesus Christ , the second Adam, to die on the Cross to be the blameless and Holy lamb that we so dearly needed for our sins.  Our sins were paid for at the cross.  The curse of the law and sin were also paid for; erased!  Because of Jesus, we can have a real relationship with God.  Not Religion or tradition, a RELATIONSHIP!  God wants us to follow Him.  He created us!  He knows the amount of hairs on our heads.  God has a purpose and plan for our lives.  Take up His free gift of Grace and let it empower you everyday!  His love changed my heart.  He can do the same for you.