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Showing posts from 2006

God's Sense of Humor....

I am always surprised when God uses me to talk with His people. 2 weeks ago I spoke to Elkridge Baptist Church. I had prepared a message entitled, "God Loves Skeptics". I had written out word for word what I would say. That is something that I usually don't do. I wanted to appear prepared so in I went with my 5, count them five, pages of sermon. I stood up before the people and began...

...When all was said and done God had spoken a powerful word to His people. I however had said nothing that was on my paper. It was amazing. All of the material was covered. The scripture references were the same. I just didn't use any of my own words. Isn't that awesome. God said exactly what the people needed to hear.

After the service the Head Deacon thanked me for letting God work through me. I said that I am glad that God's way always prevails. One of the members also spoke to me and said that I specifically addressed her issues. I told her that God is alwa…

God Loves Skeptics Part 2

Skeptics have always been around. God is not afraid of our questions, He welcomes them. If we look back in the Old Testament we can see God taking the time to talk questioning children. In the Book of Habakkuk we find a prophet in a rather heated exchange with God. He cries out, "How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds." Questions facilitate conversation and without honest communication any relationship would die. As a skeptic I am always asking questions about something. While this can often lead to better understanding it can also lead to analysis paralysis. That's when we think something to death. God is not angered by our questions but he does not want us to get stagnate because of over-thinking.

Many times this is caused by fear.

God Loves Skeptics Part 1...

I'm going to flesh out my sermon for this weekend. I am so excited to be standing in for Professor Bridges.

God Loves Skeptics part 1
Scripture: John 20:24-29


We are all children of God and he loves us in ways that we can never truly understand. He accepts us when we stray. He listens when we call for Him. He delights in each of us. He is a devoted Father. And like a father He has to be confident enough to handle questions from His children. That's why I know that God loves the skeptic.

Take a look at Thomas here, he gets a special mention in the bible as well as a unique visit from Jesus. 24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, an…

Professor Bridges

My former professor asked me to preach at his church this Sunday. This is a huge honor for me because Professor Bridges' class was one of my favorite. He taught my world religions class at Villa Julie College. During that time, my walk with God, was very sporadic. I was searching for truth in so many different places. Eastern Religions was my particular flavor then and that was where I focused my attention.

There was one thing that still holds my attention though. In the first class Professor Bridges asked the class, "Who wants an A in this class?" Of course this grabbed everyone's attention. He took out a small rectangular box that appeared to be wrapped in scotch tape. He showed it to the class and passed it around so everyone could examine it.

He then said that anyone who could guess what was in the box would receive an A. This caught everyone by surprise and then people wanted to really look at the box. He passed it around the room again and as it got …

God-Filled Life...

What does a life lived for God look like?  Is it a filled with adventure?  Is it stocked with exploits of mountain moving faith?  Is it filled with little tasks that often goes unnoticed?  The bible shows us that a life should be lived two ways.

The first way is in service to others.  God clearly showed time after time that a service-oriented life is preferred.  Jesus himself showed the perfect example when he washed the feet of His disciples.  Jesus' ministry was all about service.  One of His earliest miracles, where he turned water into wine, was a total act of service.  His sacrifice on the cross, feeding the five thousand, healing the sick, raising the dead, everything he did was in service to the people he had chosen to dwell among.  Now before you pull out the  "He's God" card, there are plenty of other examples of service-oriented men and women in the bible.  Noah, David, Paul, John, Daniel, Ester, and Ruth among others served their God and the people.  The ot…

What is NaNoWriMo

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The wife and I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month. We have always toyed with this idea and now we have a format. The NaNoWriMo is a contest that begins on Novemeber 1st, 2006 and runs until Novemeber 30th. The goal is to write a complete 1st draft by contests end. The novel must be 50,000 words (175 pages) or greater and needs to be logged into the system by 11:59:59 on Novemeber 30th.

Prv and I are nothing if not competitive. Keep us in your prayers.

God's Man

PS. You still have time to sign-up and join the fun.

How Do You Respond to Life's Toughest Questions?

I have been listening to a sermon series entitled Life's Toughest Questions. The pastor is Erwin McManus from Mosaic Church in Los Angeles, CA. This series came at a strange time for me. My wife and I, in following God's prompting, left Texas. We have moved back to my hometown of Hanover, MD.

I knew that this wouldn't be the easiest transition. We would be moving back in with my parents while we finalized the sale of our home in Texas. It is hard to go from having a 1700sqft home to living in a basement. It is hard go from being solely responsible for decisions and now having extra eyes and ears. It has made me question myself. I have always wanted to have an impact on the people around me but right now I don't feel that I am impacting anyone.

This led me to Paul. I started to think about his dry season (in the wilderness). Did he get frustrated? Did he cry out to God asking when? Did he think he was making the wrong decisions time after time? Or That it …

Never waste a moment...

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On September 17, 2006 my grandfather Carlton B. Matthews died. Thanks to everyone that prayed for us and for the many kind words. My grandmother asked me to speak at his funeral. I wasn't sure if I would be able to do it. I was very close to Pop-pop, especially in the last few years. I wish that I had a few more years with him. He was an awesome man but there was one thing that I almost never knew.


These were my remarks at his funeral.



Reflections of a Life Well Done…

I stood before the Father today surprised by what he said
“Well done”, he said, “Faithful one come in”
Before my enemies you never fled.

Here lies Carlton “Collie” Matthews, a son, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, a husband, a brother, a friend. No matter what you knew of Pop-pop, what you saw was what you got. I would often tell my friends about Pop but I could never capture everything that he was to me. I would tell them that he was a man from the “Old School.” There wasn’t a stronger man that I knew. …

Will you pray for me?

My wife asked me to pray for her the other night and I could not find the words to express out loud and so I focused inward. I let my heart pour out to God everything that I was feeling. I am always surprised when I go to God this way. I never know what will come up.
The Holy Spirit interprets for us. So even when you don't have the words he will make your petitions known to God. I am always awed by what comes up into my mind when I do this. I don't banish this as a product of a random mind like I used to do. I see now that these things need to be addressed so that my prayers are not hindered.
I laid many things at God's feet. I asked Him to forgive me of the mistakes that I have made. The one that stood out to me was a statement that I made to my father. When Prv31 was in a bible study at our new church he commented that she was with her boyfriend. I told him that the only man that I have to be worried about is Jesus Christ.
He let it go there but I continued roll…

Lost

Today I was totally lost.  I actually thought that it was Tuesday and was bothered when someone corrected me.  I mean how do you lose an entire day?

Isn't that our nature?  God gives us this gift of life and we get so wrapped up we forget what is truly important.  No man knows the number of breaths that he will take.  And we through worry cannot add a single hour to our day.

Make sure that you are doing the most important thing possible at every given moment.

God's Man

Temple maintenance

I need to treat my body like the temple that it is. I want to provide my children with a good healthy example. I am ready to change my eating and exercise habits today.I will lose 100 lbs in the next 12 months. See more progress on: lose weight

Time to Follow My Own Advice

The next few posts here on this site are the result of of some serious discussions that God had with me. I have been in the business of teaching and training other people to achieve their goals and dreams. I currently have 3 people that I have mentored into million dollar business deals. I have shown folks how to create plans of action to improve several areas of their lives. In the midst of all of this my own world has gotten more and more out of control. God gave me a shot last week and said that I need to follow my own advice and get myself together.

I won't get into reasons why and make excuses. I have always been no nonsense my my "students" and now it is time to be that way with myself.

Who Are You Influencing...

This was sent to me by one of my students from Houston. He and I had some very heated discussions about my belief in Christ. I think it is significant that he sent this to me and so I am breaking my rules against forwarding emails so that I can ask all of you this question. Are you going to just leave His gift on the table?

DON'T LEAVE IT ON THE DESK
(LONG, BUT WELL WORTH THE READ)

There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States. Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course his freshman year, regardless of his or her major.

Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously.

This y…

Smoke and Mirrors...

I'm remembering that verse in Ecc chapter 2:
"Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun"

The revelation in Ecc is that if everything ashes in the wind why not focus on what matters. God gave us specific goals to hit. Put Him first, build the kingdom, rely on Him to provide. Everything is folly and foolishness.

Here's the rub though. We as finite humans focus all of our energy on the matters at hand instead of the matters of import. The "rat race" of society keeps us unaware of the promises of God and even His presence.

We've got to get out of day to day living and focus on a lifetime of service and blessing. Then we can break free of this "wheel of empty struggle".

This message is more for me than you but I cannot keep God's messages to myself.

With love I share,
God's Man

Are you Open??

Challenge: Are you open as a parent? Are you available? I learned/am learning that I have to be “on purpose” about being open and available to my daughter. She has to KNOW from experience that she can come and talk to me about ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING. Any subject, challenge, issue, anything under the son. But in order to do that I have to be open, receptive, and prepared to stop and listen. Joyce Meyer said this morning that our kids pick up things from us that we don’t like about ourselves. Then, when they resemble that behavior, attitude, etc we begin to not like them, distance ourselves, and resent them for feeling unloved, unappreciated, etc. I thought that was so powerful! I wonder if we as parents are willing or even strong enough to allow God to work on us and REALLY MOVE some mountains out of our lives, I mean REALLY fight against some mediocre attitudes, behaviors, “stinking thinking” so that our children don’t have to go through exactly what we are dealing with at this exa…

REJOICE...

I got this great email from my wife today and I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy

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Does anyone have any good things to say about life? (Caveat: I am speaking to myself FIRST!!) When I ask about weekends or vacations most people go to the negative first. Well, do you remember ANY good part of your weekend. Forget that it is “never” long enough. Or that it rained when you wanted to grill or the dog ate you new shoes. How many good things happen in life that we just gloss and glance over without a second thought. The Word says, “Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I say rejoice!!” The emphasis on “Again” has convicted me of the words I allow to come out of my mouth. When someone asks me about my weekend, I usually say good things, but what am I saying about my daily activities of life?? Am I complaining b/c I get requests for information at the last minute or that some co-worker made me mad? OR am I rejoicing in the Lord and being happy on my ability to think clearly, t…

Quiet Time...

I love quiet times. When everyone is asleep or should be. I've been thinking about what it means to be God's Man. I wonder if David sat and thought about what being God's Man really meant. He was called a Man After God's Heart. Abraham was called a Friend of God. Jesus is God!

Where does little Carlton fit in the pantheon of Great Men of God? Where is my place? What is my purpose? How do I cope when my responsibilities seem overwhelming?

It's times like these when I can really hear God. I know that He is reaching out to me. Comforting me. He is in every situation and if we can hold on to that truth we can smile and give Him praise.

I often ask my god-daughter what are you creating? It's time to tap back into my source. The Creative Power of God.

God be Praised. You chose "little" 'ol me. The crazy guy for the Country and stuck me with Your men and said you will do great things indeed.

Good Night All
God's Man

Return to Life...

Sometimes it is hard to write especially when you have been mixed up in one of the most frustrating moves ever. I won't go into all of the details just know that you should never use the company DT's Quick move out of Dallas, TX. I'll get back to proper posting later today. I'll be updating you on everything that God has been up to in my life. Lot's going on.

God's Man

Roaring Lion...

The Word Says,
Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.When was the last time you heard a lion roar? Whether it was at the zoo, at a wildlife preserve, or like my Pastor, on the plains in Africa a lions roar is very distinctive. I mean it is such a sign of power that MGM Studios has been using it to announce the start of their movies forever. The lion's roar is a symbol of power. It is his announcement of authority and a warning to all those within his voice. There is one thing that the lions roar is never... Quiet!

I've been reading a book by Dr. C. Thomas Anderson, called Becoming a Millionaire God's Way, in it he talks about how we become brain dead throughout the day. He talks about how our minds can sometimes go on autopilot and ignore new information until it is too late. I have told my wife this on many occasions. Often our minds shut down when we do things that are routine. This is both a goo…

Are you Sure...

I was talking to a cousin late last week and I he commented on being unsure if another relative who is in the hospital right now is saved. I was shocked. I had an idea in my mind about this person and I am filled with questions. Where will her soul be? Will I see her again when our Father comes for us? It made me sick with missed opportunities to witness. It is true what they say about assuming.

I have a friend who told me a story about a young guy he knew. They always skirted the issue of religion but my friend never pressed the issue (fear). A few months later the young man died in a car accident. My friend was distraught over his death. He wondered where this young man's soul wound up. It hurt him deeply.

I know that this message is not the most coherent. I pray that we will all have the strength to talk to our "chicken list". Whatever negative feelings they may have towards us is nothing compared to what their souls could be in store for.

Be Prayerful
God…

What are you feeling?

I am going through The 100% Brain Course (Master Manual), that a student of mine is letting me borrow. The author, Melvin D. Saunders, gives you 223 creative exercises to help develop 100% of your brain. The first exercise teaches you how to identify your emotional states. I think that this is important for everyone, especially the Christian, to know. Here is an excerpt from the first exercise.
"If you were drunk or addicted to something or mentally aberration, could you recognize that your behavior was different? Do you know what makes you cry or what makes you angry? Unless emotions are intensely experienced, many people find difficulty in describing or relating to their feelings. They sometimes deny experiencing the emotions of love, fear, anger, pleasure, because of the lack of conscious awareness of such emotions. People may even feign love or pleasure to cover up unhappiness and low self-esteem. " When we don't acknowledge our feelings we leave a doorway for the dev…

Dreams...

I've been tasked with developing a section of our Men's Seminar. My section is on achieving your dreams. It's funny how God always deals with me about something right before I'm given an assignment. Here are the different workshops I'll be designing.
Finding your Dream!Funding your Dream!Farming your Dream! Our Men's Retreat will be in July. I'll be sending out invitations soon.

God's Man

Rising From The Ashes...

The great thing about God is that his grace is all sufficient. I'm excited that He has already forgiven me. I have been away from this site for quite some time. God is still in the saving business.

Be on the lookout for God's "more consistent" Man.