Posts Tagged 'Fear'

Chasing Jesus

I am proud to present to you a guest blogger. Richard Gill. Yes Richard is related to me. He is my youngest brother in whom I am very well pleased. Not to take away from his bio, below, but his story is one that is quite a journey. A true chief of sinners to righteous servant story. A man after God’s own heart!

Biography:

Richard Gill lives with his wife and family on a small ranch in Oroville, CA. He enjoys riding his Harley, spending time with family and tinkering with the endless building projects that are required around the ranch and at his work as a contractor.

His heart’s desire is to help other men like himself to recognize and then answer the warrior call of our one true King…Jesus Christ.   http://ransomedhope.blogspot.com

Chasing Jesus

Life is so hard at times that I wonder if I will ever make it through to the 555352 squinting eyeend. God says in his word that he is here for us, but at times it seems like he is nowhere to be found. Those same men that promised me in the past that they would be there for me have all instead chosen to judge me. Every step I take seems to end with more questions than answers.

If God does care as he says then why have I ended up here?

In life it is not easy to pursue Jesus. To be passionate about Jesus we have to give up everything of who we are, and deep down inside, most of us don’t want to do that. But God will accept nothing less than our complete surrender to his Son.

Jesus requires us to be who we have been created to be. He doesn’t promise us it will be easy, only that “there” is where we will find true joy. Notice that he doesn’t use the word comfort.

The first thing that happens in our pursuit to find Jesus is he will bring up the sin in our lives so that we can repent and let go of the past. Then he places a new hope and promise before us and expects us to step up and do what we have been created to do. With Jesus there can be no half way, he always expects us to be the “us” that God created us to be. Just as with his disciples he will accept nothing less, he expects our best not our worst.

To chase Jesus is the easy choice, to find him is much harder. The more we pursue Jesus the more we see our inadequacies. Sadly, for many these inadequacies are too hard to face, so many will choose to leave that area untouched inside of them, so they can pursue a more normal relationship with God.

The problem here is this new relationship is not with God at all, it is with an idol they have placed the name of God upon, called religion.

To chase or pursue Jesus requires everything from us. With Jesus there is 1313655 roman helmetno “other way” to go; only his way matters. This is why so many fall away, they see his way as to hard.

What does the word warrior bring up in your mind when I say it? For most of us I think it is a picture of a strong man with big biceps, wearing armor, and either swinging a sword or shooting a gun. This same man has to continually be able to be placed in the most dangerous places and situations, usually around those that want nothing less than to kill or torture him.

Sadly to say many choose the easy road before they have ever been in even one battle.

God is calling out his warriors, not those that have chosen the easy road. Jesus is training an army for war and, make no mistake, you will either learn to fight or you will be left for dead. To use our armor as his chosen warriors we need to know what weapons have been given to us to use.

How do you think that we find this out?

Jesus walked this earth, Gods very Son, to show us the way. All through the New Testament his words are recorded so we can know him better. So all we have to do is read about him, listen, and meditate on his words. Then we can model ourselves after what he said we should be.

To know Jesus is to know the father, to know the father is to know our true selves.

So now we have no excuse, no easy way out, no man made kingdoms to hide in. Jesus died and requires all of this from us and much more, because he knows anything less will lead to our destruction.

By the way it will be hard for us to pursue Jesus, but it will also bring us more joy, happiness, and peace then we have ever had in our lives. To accomplish this will take everything that you have inside. It will require you to give up friendships at times, to give up money, to give up fame, to give up yourselves.

In days of old, even in recent times, to be called a warrior meant that you have been judged as worthy to hold such a title. It meant that you have on your body and mind the scars from training that made you who you are today. It meant that you would be trusted with protecting the kingdom. In many civilizations there was no greater honor then being 1057875 chatrapati shivaji maharajchosen to be a warrior. In fact many kings were actually proven warriors seasoned in battle.

The battle being lost meant more than just defeat, it meant that your family and friends would be placed in bondage for years or even their lifetime under the enemy’s control.

This is why it is so hard, you will have to fight…

You will have to forget about the past, so you can see the future that God has for you.

One thing is different though, with Jesus we have been given something that other warriors didn’t have, a King that will fight for us, when the battle is at its fiercest.

So today my hope for you is that you will fight with everything inside of you, to be the warrior that Jesus has called you to be. The warrior that God himself created you to be, even before you were born.

Today raise up the battle standard with the name of Jesus upon it, this is why we are here, for this is why we were created, and for this is why we will fight.

The Name of Jesus…..

Philippians 3:13 (nas)
Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Just Another Magician

Just before the turn of the 19th century into the 20th century, there was a young man by the name of Erik Weiss. Erik was born in Hungary the son of a Rabbi, and immigrated to the United States, with his family, one of 7 siblings. The family settled in the state of Wisconsin, and later moved to Harlem, New York.

At the age of 9, Erik took a job as a trapeze artist and called himself “Erik, the Prince of the Air”.

As a young teen Erik became interested in the art of magic. He started out with simple card tricks and soon found himself performing in dimeking spades museums and sideshows. To earn a little extra cash, he often doubled as “The Wild Man” at the circus.

Erik’s proficiency in magic increased and his tricks became more and more complicated.

At the age of 25, young Erik met a man who would change his life forever. This man was a talent manager who was impressed by a trick in which Erik would escape from a set of handcuffs. This talent manager advised Erik to concentrate his efforts on escape acts and booked him on the Orpheum vaudeville circuit.

After many years of exceptional stage success, Erik Weiss died on October 31, 1926, from a ruptured appendix. Thus ending the life and career of “The Great Houdini”.

Contrary to the belief of many, Houdini spent most of his life debunking the claims of magicians who claimed their powers were supernatural in nature.

houdinichains4sm smallIn the end, the memory of The Great Houdini became synonymous with the very thing he fought against. An annual séance in conducted, to this day, on October 31, Halloween, in an attempt to raise the spirit of Houdini.

Houdini’s vocation is representative of a long line of magicians, sorcerers, and witches that can be traced back to the Chaldeans of ancient Babylon and ancient Egypt before that.

In ancient Babylon a young Jewish boy given the Babylonian name of Belteshazzar was counted among the magicians, sorcerers, and Chaldeans serving King Nebuchadnezzar.

In this story, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him deeply. He called his most trusted magicians to him and demanded they not only interpret the dream, but that they also tell him what the dream was in the first place.

When the magicians could not do it, the King was angered and ordered all the magicians killed. Young Belteshazzar was counted as just another magician and thus included in the order to be killed.

But Belteshazzar was not just another magician. Belteshazzar was known, in Hebrew, by the name Daniel, and was gifted by God with the ability to interpret dreams.

We all know how it ends, Daniel goes before the King, accurately and in much detail describes the dream, gives the interpretation to the dream.
Daniel and his three friends are placed in positions of high leadership to rule over much of the kingdom. They are spared the death ordered for the magicians.

In our society today, we are all asked to be magicians of one sort or another.

At work we are all being asked to perform magic and do more work as those around us are downsized due to declining business. And in cases where the business is growing, we are asked to do more as the business can’t yet afford to hire more help.

In our private lives, we are asked to do magic with our shrinking paycheck. The price of groceries, gas, clothing, and other life essentials continue to soar and our paychecks don’t.

Today we can choose one of two routes. We can be like the magicians called before King Nebuchadnezzar and cry out that there is no hope. It is an impossible task and no one is able to succeed under those demands. Or we can be like Daniel.

We can refuse to be counted as just another magician and take those things to God in prayer.

In the end, God is the Creator of all things. He is capable of stretching our paychecks and He is able to turn our stressed work situations into blessings beyond our wildest imaginations.

Of which will you choose to be counted? As just another magician, or, to be a definer of dreams and a ruler of nations?

The choice is yours.

En servicio como Padre

Dave

MEDIOCRITY

Mediocrity is something I have struggled with most of my life. It is something that has created many missed opportunities and immeasurable heart ache for me and my family.

Recently, a good friend approached me and asked if I would accept a guest on this blog. This is something I would not do lightly. But Colonel Paul Longgrear, US Army retired, is a man who shares my heart for the fathers of this age.

Paul is a true American hero and I recently had the honor of attending his induction into the Army Ranger Hall of Fame. His story is an extraordinary one and one Google search will show you why I enthusiastically said yes to Colonel Paul’s inquiry.

Please read his words and insights closely. He is a man I have personally learned a great deal from.

En servicio como Padre

Dave

MEDIOCRITY – Paul Longgrear

Years ago our family lived in a county with two school systems. The two high schools were only four or five hundred yards apart and from the start were arch rivals even though one was only nine years old.

The older school dominated the younger school all nine times they played in football. The old school played for the state championship three times and won one of them. At one point they racked up a 29-1 record and won seven region titles. They excelled at football and the newer school was only mediocre.

In spiritual parlance we might consider the word coined by Jesus, “lukewarm”. If one is not going to do his best at something, he might want to not attempt it in the first place. Does this mean mediocrity is bad? Is striving for excellence always good?

If one has to revert to the flesh to achieve excellence; excellence would probably be bad.

Is it better to be a sluggard or turn to sin to win?

Behavioral performance can be based on genetic influence or it can be learned through environment. If a man is born into a family of over achievers, he will be influenced just by being a member of that family. On the other hand if that same person is born into a family of under motivated members he again will be influenced by that environment. He may flow with the character of the family or he may defy the norm and be just the opposite in either case he is influenced by that environment.

Whatever the influence or cause, excellence is refusing to settle for less that one’s best. Mediocrity, on the other hand, is settling for the minimum that will suffice. “If the deadline is 3:00 P.M. why get it completed earlier”, the sluggard might ask.

When I decided to leave my home state of Arkansas to seek my fortune, I followed Horace Greely’s advice and went west to California. Within a matter of days I had a job at a large Los Angeles area lumber yard. Because I had a couple of years of college, the boss put me in charge of the stall that contained small lumber and ply wood.

He assured me it was a mess and challenged me to try and get it straightened out within a couple of weeks, if possible. I had two summers of experience in the lumber yard business and within three days had everything in order. Why did I do that? My mother raised me to work hard and she was the hardest working person I knew. Hard work was not an option in our family, it was the expected.

My wife and I raised three children who were all very good workers and have done very well for themselves. I was always a poor performing student because I was academically lazy. As a result, I was determined my children wouldn’t be.

Our oldest child was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, the second child never had to crack a book in school and the third labored to meet his, self-imposed, classroom goals. I am honored to say that all three are college graduates and one has a doctorate in education. The one with the learning disability was assured that she was as smart as her brothers and the same results would be expected of her.

Which of them do you think has the doctor’s degree? The laborer, he refused to be mediocre.

We had the same standards for each of them; do your best! I learned as a child that too much pressure to perform could cause a student to cheat. Life taught me, excellence can never be achieved by lowering moral standards.

There are no shortcuts to excellence. Diligence and determination mixed with perseverance are the ingredients necessary to fulfill what God has placed in all of us. It should also be noted that talent will not assure excellence. If very talented people accept less than their best for themselves, they are mediocre.

Remember the schools we mentioned at first. The difference was attitude. When the two schools walked on the football field it was obvious which team thought they would win and which team only hoped they would win. The coaches convinced the first team they were going to win every game because they were prepared to win through work and preparation. During the week they practiced smart, hard and long.

Leadership is the key to creating an environment of excellence and overcoming mediocrity. Whether one is a manager, a coach, the parents of children, or commander of a military unit, leadership is the key.

Leadership is nothing more than motivating someone to do what they are supposed to do. How well they do it is determined by how motivated they are.

There are only two ways to motivate; inspiration or intimidation. Think about by which of these ways you are motivated. Now think about how you motivate those around you.

We will discuss this in the near future.

Monotony breeds familiarity

A few days ago, my wife and I were talking about some of the people we have met. You know who they are, the people who have lived their whole life in the same area. They have never traveled outside their state, many not outside the county, and a few not outside the city they live in.

In the course of our discussion, my wife expressed something that pricked me deep in my soul. She said “monotony breeds familiarity.”

As I pondered this thought, the picture of these people came to mind. rocking chair They seem to have a very limited view of the world, in many cases they have a negative view of people outside their general area, especially those from outside their geographical region.

The monotony of seeing everything the same way day in and day out has created a familiarity with the things around them that breeds distrust, even anger, with that which is different.

I am reminded of Saul in the book of I Samuel. In this story, Saul comes to a woman who has a familiar spirit in an attempt to get in touch with the prophet Samuel who died earlier.

Saul sunk deeper into disobedience with this action and it cost his life and that of his sons.

When confronted by Samuel with the question; “why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul’s response was interesting. “I am in great distress” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has turned away from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets of by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do.” (I Samuel 28:15)

Saul was acting the same way and making the same choices for so long king spadesthat he no longer was aware of how he was conducting his business. His life entered into a form of monotony. He came to the point that he could not make a decision for himself. When his prophets no longer could advise him and Samuel was dead, he turned to a familiar spirit to come up with answers.

Websters defines monotony as 1: tedious sameness 2: sameness of tone or sound. (m-w.com)

When we become so accustomed to the same things, actions, places, words, etc, life becomes tedious. If we don’t take reasonable action to change monotony, we become indifferent to the things around us. As a result of this indifference, we let our guard down and our enemies take advantage of us.

We don’t see it or hear it because of monotony. By the time it becomes apparent to us, we have no idea where to turn. This is where familiarity becomes our enemy.

We choose the comfort of familiarity and reject a new or different way of approaching our issues.

God created man in His image. (Gen 1:27) As such, He endowed us with all of His attributes, including the ability to create. Satan, on the other hand, was not created in the image of God. He doesn’t have the ability to create and must use what already exists, that which he is familiar with.

If the enemy can keep us tied up in familiarity, he can keep us from realizing the victorious life that God has created us to live.

Monotony breeds familiarity, and familiarity coaxes us into a life of inactivity and, ultimately, a sub-optimization of what God has created us to be.

Wake up! Break out of monotony before it is too late.

En servicio como padre
Dave

The secret of tears

I watched from a reasonable distance as a family, I recently became acquainted with, wept tears of mourning for a wife and mother lost to cancer a few days earlier.

Having been an acquaintance and not fully a part of the inner circle of this family, I was torn on how to respond.

It was easier in the days and months that preceded this event. I could stop by, offer words of encouragement, perhaps offer a prayer or two, and offer to help in any way I could, but in the end the result was the same, a family struggling through their own “vale of tears.”

Tears that would forever change the lives of every family member, and many of those who were in the family’s circle of friends. Tears that in some cases, represent the deep regret that, perhaps, they did not spend more time with their loved one. Other tears may have been of anguish, knowing the one they loved more than anyone would not be there when the awoke the next morning. Still others could be tears of relief, as they watched the long progression of the disease and the slow decline of a once vital person.

When I was a child, the thought of the day was that men should not cry. It was considered a sign of weakness. Young boys were chided for expressing their fears, anger, sorrow, or any other emotion, through tears.

As I review my life, I can honestly say, I never saw my father cry although I have no doubt he shed them in secret.

We were a family, like most, who had our issues and co dependencies, but we were a family who operated with the knowledge of love. My father and mother loved each of their eight children with unconditional love, but tears were not part of my father’s repertoire.

My mother, on the other hand, was not afraid to show her tears. She was a strong woman who could be stern in her discipline, but she was also a woman who learned the value of tears.

Psalm 56:8 says; “you number and record my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle – are they not in your book?”

God, our perfect Father, captures our tears and records each one they are so valuable to Him.

The Apostle Paul, one of the toughest men to ever walk the face of this earth, in my opinion, refers to himself as “serving the Lord in all humility in tears.” Acts 20:10

As modern fathers, we must recognize life is not always going to be a rosy picture for us. We will face adversity, pain, and suffering. We will experience apparent defeat and sudden setbacks. In all these; tears are a valuable part of our healing.

Likewise in times of celebration, our personal and family success, major accomplishments, etc, can bring you to tears of joy and excitement.

I contend to you, fathers, that tears are not at all a sign of weakness. Instead, they are a sign of a truly healthy heart. For each tear carries with it such great emotion and the tools by which the Holy Spirit can cleanse, repair, and build the compassionate heart of a true father.

Take the risk, your vale of tears is one of your greatest assets.

En servicio como Padre

Dave

Your Favorite Veteran – Veterans Day 2009

Remember your Veteran

Once again this Veterans day I am providing a place for readers to tell the story of their favorite veteran.

Most of us had the unfortunate opportunity to have the ultimate sacrifice veteran have made over the years clearly broadcast and brought to mindcapt through the Fort Hood attack and the resulting memorial service. Horrible as it is, it was a clear reminder to all Americans.

Before you go, take a moment to comment on this blog about Your favorite Veteran. My readers and I would be extremely grateful and proud capt.e02fef37ab6a4123a0b6980f5717f832to read about those who have and still are putting their country ahead of their personal ambitions to make our lives a little safer.

I will lift each one up in a prayer of thanksgiving for their sacrifice, and pray for their good health and protection. I further encourage everyone who reads these accounts to do the same. It is the least we can do on this Veterans Day 2009.

God Bless you all and God Bless the United States of America

En Servicio Como Padre

Dave

Thanks to http://www.freerepublic.com for the Picture

H.O.P.E a Pathway to the Future

Over the past few days I have watched the world news with a new perspective. In the past it would just make me angry to see how the people of this world are being manipulated by a few people in high places.

How could the people of today so easily buy into the arguments that are so obviously tainted and presented in a way that supports the views of a few, while the world, as a whole, is in such pain?

Have we no hope? Then, it hit me; there must be a message in hope we are missing.

As I prayed about hope, a new perspective began to form in my spirit. Hope, although a state of mind is also a metaphor for a process each of us must go through. The world as a whole is in one of the steps of H.O.P.E., but each individual must seek to get through all steps if they can fully understand why they are here on this earth.

I will begin by explaining the four steps;

H – Hosea 10:3

“They go around saying, “Who needs a king? We couldn’t care less about God, so why bother with a king? What difference would he make?” (The Message)

In this step we believe we are capable of everything. We have all the knowledge we need and we are full of self love, self confidence, and pride. We believe we have most, if not all the answers and anyone who disagrees with us is ignorant or at least unenlightened. We are the masters of our lives and have full trust in our own ability to govern and direct our lives.

Many people throughout history have been is this step. I believe that is where America was just prior to the Great Depression. Laws had little meaning; authority of any kind was just a hindrance to what the people wanted to do. Spending was out of control and people thought the end of prosperity could never end. But it did.

The people of Germany were in this stage just prior to World War II. They managed to come out of the debt and demoralization of a loss in World War I and were now well on their way to becoming a world power. No one would ever step on them again. The Jewish people in Germany, and all of Europe for that matter, were some of the most prosperous people in the world. Their skills and influence were unrivaled anywhere, no one would lie to them, they were too aware of the world around them. And along came Hitler.

O – Obadiah 1:7

“All your old partners will drive you to the edge. Your old friends will lie to your face. Your old drinking buddies will stab you in the back. Your world will collapse. You won’t know what hit you”. (The Message)

Human failings; those in whom you thought you could trust; let you down. They didn’t just let you down; they dropped you, and then turned against you. In this step you learn about treachery and betrayal. You found that you did not have all the answers as you thought in the earlier step, now you put your trust in someone who thinks like you. Perhaps it was a catchy campaign slogan, or maybe it was similarities in human endeavor. What ever the connection, you put your trust in another person or group. They turned against you like a jackal after a piece of meat.

I have seen a lot of people in this step in the Church. Even more lately in the business world, with the layoffs and the wild fluctuations in the economy. Putting your trust in another man is doomed to turn out badly and leave you hurting.

P – I Peter 1:22

“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart” (NKJV)

In this step you enter into obedience. You finally come to the point that you no longer trust in your own ability to make the right choices. You recognize that there must be something more than what you have experienced in life to date. You have failed yourself, other people and theories have failed you, now you must recognize your weakness and turn to the power of a God who is never changing. Consistency and security are the major drivers for you to seek out some relationship with God.

You are looking for healing and you find it in the arms of a loving God.

E – Emanuel

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel” (which being interpreted is, “God with us”). (KJ21)

This is the realization of hope. When you finally come to the realization that God is truly with us, when He becomes more than a great and terrible entity that no one can look on much less touch, when intimacy with Jesus becomes reality in you life. This is hope.

God with us means so much more than the name Mary gave a baby. God with us was the proclamation of the journey every man must make from that day forward. The journey through every step of HOPE ending with a personal and intimate relationship with the God of all creation. The journey that moves from love of self to real love.

Someone very close to me, who lives on the other side of our great country, must have been touched by the same spirit that encouraged this blog. In her blog, Joy In the Morning, she writes about the death of hope. But it is, in the end, the realization that “the death of Hope in reality is the death of what I thought should happen and the resurrection of what truly should be”.

There in lies the truth about hope; it is a journey from self dependence to complete dependence. This journey is the process called H.O.P.E.

En servicio como padre
Dave

Continue reading ‘H.O.P.E a Pathway to the Future’


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