Monday, December 7, 2009
This reminds me of "Doubting Thomas". Thomas walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, ate with Jesus and ministered alongside of Him but just couldn't get past the fact that the Messiah had rose three days after the crucifixion. His faith could only take him so far. Thomas refused to believe the resurrection story until he placed his finger into Jesus' side. Jesus told Thomas "Because you have seen, you believe. Blessed are those who do not see, yet believe." Many of us are like Thomas. We believe in God's promises but for whatever reason we get into a mindset that just because we can not physically see God, he doesn't know what we're up to. This mindset can lead us into a lot of sin issues if we are not careful.
The number one sin issue facing God's church today is sexual sin. Leaders have fallen due to it, congregations have split because of it and families have been broken over it. While many Christians may feel uneasy renting a porn movie or purchasing a magazine, the internet affords the opportunity to view porn in relative obscureness at no cost. Just as fuel is to fire, so is pornography to sexual sin. A fire can only get so big and go so long until it needs more fuel to feed it.
If your dealing with sexual sin in your life, know that you are still worthy and that God loves you but He also gave you a free will which means there has to be personal responsibility on your part. God knows what you do behind closed doors. Maybe it's time you get real with God and put your finger in His side.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The role of father teeters on the edge of extinction in our society. Much of this is due to the overall breakdown of the family unit. According to www.divorcestatistics.org, approximately 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Those stats increase with each subsequent marriage thereafter.
The divorce dilemma is a more obvious cause when we consider how a father can adequately fulfill his role seeing his kids every other weekend which seems to be a common visitation schedule put in place by many domestic relations judges across the country. Just like many social ills facing our society today, the role of father is often a generational issue that can be traced back through a family's history or like the old saying goes "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
When God created man, He instilled within us a purpose to work:
"When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground.." Genesis 2:4-5
Immediately after verse 5, God created man to tend His creation. It's clear in this passage that from the start, God's intention was to give man a purpose rather than a mere existence.
Because men were created to work and that desire to succeed and accomplish tasks is deeply rooted within our genetic makeup, some men can be prone to extremes falling short of being a father and a husband at home, which is our most important job, while striving to leave their mark in their careers. Many children are being raised as orphans in homes where fathers and mothers are present. If we do not fulfill our God given mandate to first lead in our homes…MTV, celebrities and pop culture will.
As I have had the opportunity to speak with many troubled men over the years, I have found one overwhelming common denominator, they did not have their father present to help mold and shape them into responsible young men.
You can be a successful father on the other side of divorce. You can be a champion for your kids and be a champion at work. You can be a great father even if yours was not. You don’t need Oprah or Dr. Phil. I would like to suggest the best book on the market for being a daddy. The author is well known. He is the Author of Life.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The victim was transported by medics to the hospital. I was instructed by my sergeant to follow the medic to the hospital and sit with the man until the detectives arrived. This is common practice as we have to maintain a chain of custody. At the time, the victim was evidence and it is law enforcements duty to ensure that no evidence is corrupted until the detectives take control of the evidence and do their thing.
I have seen a lot of death in my career and this was no more unusual than any other shooting I had been involved with in the past. Well, at least I thought. Upon our arrival to the hospital, the ER doctor pronounced the victim dead. We have now left the realm of felonious assault and had entered into a homicide case at that point. The trauma team placed the deceased in a body bag and wheeled him to a room as I followed closely behind.
This may sound cold hearted to the average person but remember, it's just another day on the job for me. When you are in a high stress environment such as a police officer, firefighter, doctor, soldier, etc., you learn to emotionally distance yourself from the situation, otherwise it would eventually break you. After the hospital staff left the room, it was just me and him for the next few hours sitting in this small room waiting on dectectives to arrive. Fortunately, there was a tv so I began channel flipping to pass the time.
After about 20 minutes of sitting there, I heard a small still voice that was familiar. It was God speaking to me. God and I talk on a regular basis but this time He challenged me to a whole new level that my faith couldn't take me to. He said "Pray for that man and raise him." I replied to my creator "WHAT?!" and He said "Do you have the faith to raise this man?" Now I know I shouldn't argue with God but this was a whole new experience for me. I mean I'm a bible believing, spirit filled christian that believes gifts and miracles are still in operation today but I never thought of myself as a miracle worker.
I continued to argue with God a few more minutes until I decided I wasn't going to win and obedience was my best option. As I rose from the chair and walked to the body, I just thought to myself that I hope no one came into the room. As I stood next to the man zipped up in this body bag, I noticed some blood from his wounds had started to seep through and thought this guy is beyond anything I could possibly do for him. I asked God what I should do and He said to me "Place your hand on his head and pray." I placed my hand on his head and prayed so intensly for 15 minutes that I broke out into a sweat. He was just as dead after my prayer as he was before.
God taught me a few things through that experience:
1) God will not ask us to do something that He hasn't promised us we can do. I know that the Holy Spirit lives within me. I know that power can raise the dead. The problem wasn't that I couldn't do it, I just didn't have the faith.
2) God wants to bring us into such a revelation of Himself that we see circumstances and situations through His eyes. Through His eyes, nothing is impossible.
It is my hope that I will eventually come to that place in my walk where I will see circumstances with the eyes of God. As long as we remain faithful to His call, He will never stop stretching and challenging us. He takes us from glory to glory.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Paul said "I become all things to all people that I may win some." When I read that scripture, it screams flexibility. People with a spirit of religion on their life can not be flexible because of all the legalism issues they must deal with. You will see this mindset a lot in the traditional church because of their "ritualistic" nature. When we place religion above obedience to the Holy Spirit, we have chosen to defy the very nature of Jesus Himself.
I have been a police officer in a large metropolitan area for over 13 years now. I have seen man commit some horrible things against his fellow man. One thing is for sure, when your in that type of environment long enough, you become hardened and cynical. I don't know how I would make it without Jesus in my life and a sense of humor. Divorce, adultery and alcoholism run rampant in the public safety field because of the high stress levels we face. As I go into work everyday, I realize that first and foremost my boss is Jesus and not a man. I must first be obedient to His voice before anything else. If I were so caught up in a religious mindset that even curse words offended me, how could I possibly be an effective witness to citizens and fellow officers on my job? But there are some people out there that have such a religious spirit on their lives that just the mere mention of a curse word and you would think the devil himself manifested. No wonder the world thinks we're a bunch of hypocrites.
What worked in the past is not going to work now. Even Billy Graham himself has said that the way he evangelized 20-30 years ago is not effective in today's culture. If we are so religious that we can not be like the Apostle Paul and "be all things to all people", we have become useless to the kingdom. Lives will not be changed sitting behind the four walls of the church on Sunday morning. Lives will be changed on the battlefield.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
One thing I have realized during my walk is that I'm a christian with a past and a sinner with a future. God and I have been through a lot together and His promises have not failed once. He has taught me over the years that if I will simply be obedient to His voice, that glory will follow.
I have often wondered why God was so specific in His instructions to Moses on the building of the tabernacle. Why couldn't the Israelites just throw up a structure and make a simple box to put the commandements in? God was so specific in every detail. This many cubits by that many cubits. Gold here but not there. This specific type of wood. I have come to the conclusion that God didn't need a high speed palace to contain His glory. He was looking for obedience in every detail.
God doesn't sit on His thrown looking down waiting for us to mess up. God is looking down upon us to see if we are going to make the choice to be obedient to His word. He knows that if we are obedient, glory will follow. That is His desire for His children. He wants us to be overcomers.
The most powerful moments in my life is when I've slayed giants that were pursuing me. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with that but most importantly, that is when we can come to the feet of Jesus without the burdens of shame and guilt on our backs that causes a seperation between us and God.