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Showing posts from 2007

Are You An Excuse Maker?

If you have ever said, "I can't do it" or made any similar excuse. You have just been checked.




1 Corinthians 1:26-28 (The Message)
Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God."

Christmas Well Wishes...

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If you are like me, and hopefully you aren't, you might not be aware that we are 2 weeks away from Christmas. My mother and I were having a discussion about setting up decorations and we were talking like we had all the time in the world. Then she looks at the calendar and says, "Oh my goodness, we only have 2 weeks."

It wasn't always like this in our house. When my brother(39) and I(30) were small we were fanatical about Christmas. Shortly after Thanksgiving we would start the countdown and we would start dragging the ornaments out. We would unravel the lights and test them. The entire atmosphere in the house would change. It is surreal to have been caught off guard by Christmas.

God is interesting like that. I mean this is exactly how things were in Israel at the time of Christ's birth. Life was going on in a normal fashion. People went to work and operated as they always had. And then out of nowhere the entire would changed.
“Therefore the Lord himsel…

Wondering…

I wondered while you were asleep.
Why do we cry? Why do we weep?
Or Lord above has seen it all
And if we His children answer His call
Don't we have access to His awesome power?
He values us above all His flowers.
We should not worry, fuss and fight.
For death could come this very night.
And while we would be in our Lord's Hands,
We'd leave the other on sinking sand
So let us not get lost in sadness.
For the victory is ours and Jesus is our gladness.

The Simple Answers

“Thank You for that lesson Job. You’ve given us a lot of food for thought. One more thing before we finish up, “What should we always keep in mind as new Heroes?””

“That’s also an easy one, constantly remind yourself:

I am Accepted
(John 15:15) "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”I am Secure
(Romans 8:28) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.I am Significant
(2 Corinthians 5:17; 20-21) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”“Thanks Job. I appreciate you talking with us today.”

Poor Me Attitude...

"I got caught up in a Poor Me attitude. I asked God some very heated questions. It really boiled down to this though. I wanted to know

“Why Me?”“Why Now?”“Why This?”I cursed the day of my birth, focused on what I had lost, and lamented my new circumstance. But at the end of the day those questions were irrelevant."

I asked, "What would you tell someone who has those same questions?"

“I would answer their questions with a question. Why Not You? Why Not This? Why Not Now? I mean who would you rather this happens to? Is there someone you would like to dump your tests onto? Is there a better time for you to go through the storm? Is there some other test that you would like to go through?” Lean on God and endure,
(2 Corinthians 1:8-9) We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we fe…

Loss of Health...

“And the last loss?“

Loss of Health

“I was a pretty healthy guy. I ate what I was supposed to and there I was sick and in serious pain.”

“I won’t ask, You Praised Go, Talked with Him and Asked Him what next… Right?“

“Actually, I was mad at this point. I started talking with Him. I questioned God pretty seriously. I wanted Him to come to me and explain why all of this was happening to me. Instead of focusing on His promises I wanted Him to explain Himself. I should have stood on
(Psalm 41:3) “The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness.I should have turned to the wall like Hezekiah
(2 Kings 20:1-6) Remember, O God, who I am, what I've done! I've lived an honest life before you, My heart's been true and steady, I've lived to please you; lived for your approval.You should embrace the Savior sacrifice
(1 Peter 2:24) “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wound…

Loss of Love...

(continued from our interview with Job)

“What was the next loss you suffered?”

Loss of Love

“This loss I suffered is two distinctly different ways. The loss of love is always a tough one to deal with. I had a great family, children who loved and respected me as well as each other. And then like that they were gone…”

“What did you do? How did you survive that?”

He replied with a smile, “Easy answer. Praise God, Talk to Him, and Ask what now?”

“How can you possible say that? I mean couldn’t God have kept them safe. Couldn’t He have stopped it?”

“I came into the world with nothing and when I go there will be nothing. The only thing that will last is my God who loves me.”

“People might say that that is a pretty cavalier thing to say.”

He responded by saying, “The only one who was there for me in my loss was my God. My wife, my friends, everyone was gone. But my God was still there.

(Deuteronomy 31:6) “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD y…

Loss of Opportunity...

The Main Thought that came through my message is:

When the storm comes… Respond don’t React.

Job Shows Us how to handle loss. These are the types of loss that he experienced as told through the interview that we shared.

He said, “I’m not sure how much of my story you know but I once thought I had it all. At one time I was on top of the world. I loved God and He loved me. My family and marriage were great. My business was thriving and friends were always coming to me for counsel. Life could not have been sweeter.”

His facial expression changed and I stammered out, “then what?”

He said, “There are going to be storms in your life son. There is nothing you can do to change that. However you can control how you let the storm affect you . I had everything and then I lost it, but that is ok, because everyone experiences loss. However there are some things that cannot be lost. And that is where your strength comes from. That’s where I found the strength to make it through. My losses c…

Job’s Simple Power - Part 1

Update: The sermon went very well on Sunday. God moved during our worship in a mighty way. I'm removing what I posted over the weekend and sharing some excerpts.
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In a world full of complex problems and complex peopleTechnologyPoliticsRelationshipsThe EconomyEveryday the world tries to bog us down in seemingly complex issues.People cry out for a simple way to navigate this world.Overwhelmed by the myriad of seemingly contradictory choices we try to find balance. We become the Jack-of-all Trades in order to make sense of it all. We read book after book, watch show after show and listen to Radio in search of answers. Or to just drown It all out. Getting lost in all of these choices is so easyAsk people what they want and get vague answers or blank stares. There is no more black and white. No more right or wrong. No more Yes or No.Shades of gray cloud every issue and situation. Maybe, perhaps and possibly are the answers we get …

Ordinary Heroes for God...

I will be speaking this weekend at Living Hope Church during our Heros Sermon Series. I will be speaking on Job and his Simple Power.

I'll be sharing my notes as I finalize them. Have a great friday.

What Are You Telling Yourself?

What are you telling yourself? When you got up this morning and looked in the mirror what did you see. If you had to describe yourself what would you say? If you remember back to the post on Right Thinking we learned that we need to line our thoughts up with God’s. So what does God have to saw about who you are? First:
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God; children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. – John 1:12-13God is clear. Those that have received Him through His Son Jesus have the right to be His children. Once this has been achieved than you can truly accept what He says about you. If you are unsure about your relationship with God; now is the time to clear the air. Ask God to forgive you of your sins and ask Jesus to come into your life. If you honestly prayed that simple prayer, than I welcome you into the family.

I found this wonderful resou…

The Truth About You

Do you know who you are? Do you know whose you are? I’ll let you in on a secret. I know everything about you. I know who you are and whose you are. I know the most important things about your family. I bet you wonder how I could possibly know these things. Well I could tell by looking at you.I couldn’t help it. You see the family resemblance is remarkable. You my friend are a child of God. Now that’s quite a family. Do you even realize the inheritance that has been left for you? Let’s take a look at what God decided when he made you.

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, And, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth." God created human beings; he created them godlike, Reflecting God's nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsib…

Words of Comfort

I’ve been asked to give words of comfort today at my Great Uncle David’s funeral. This is what I have prepared to say. Unless God gives me something else to say…
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Today we are here to celebrate the ascent of one of our own David Eldridge. While I am sad at his passing, I am glad to know that Uncle Dave knew where he was going. He knew what Jesus described in John 14:1-4:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going."
Jesus made a place for Uncle Dave just as he has made a place for all of us.
When Cheryl asked me to give these words this morning I was embarrassed because I remembered Uncle Dave from my childhood but not as an adu…

Positive Thinking - Negative Thinking - Right Thinking

What are you thinking? Right now? What is going through your mind? If you spoke truthfully
would you be surprised by what your heard? Would others?
The Choice
When I looked at the title of Chapter 1 of Beyond Positive Thinking : "Positive Thinking - Negative Thinking - Right Thinking"

The first thing that came to my mind was this passage from Genesis:
"Then God planted a garden in Eden, in the east. He put the Man he had just made in it. God made all kinds of trees grow from the ground, trees beautiful to look at and good to eat. The Tree-of-Life was in the middle of the garden, also the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil." -Genesis 2:8-9(MSG)
There we have it. Choices. It always comes down to choices. Adam was given a choice Knowledge or Life. The choice is not explicit. God never says, "Adam you can either eat from the Tree of Life or the Tree of Knowledge." The choice is implicit in that God never forbids Adam from the Tree of life. Adam fails in …

Gearing Up...

I am going to participate in this years National Novel Writers Month (www.nanowrimo.org) starting on November 1, 2007. My wife and I attempted to do this last year and we failed miserably. I only got a few thousands. The goal is to knock out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It boils down to a little less than 2000 words per day(1666.66). My goal is to do 2000 words per day. In order to gear up I have given myself a writing assignment. I welcome anyone else out there to join me in this. Here it isCreate a series of blog posts using the chapter titles from your favorite books.I have decided to use one of my favorite self-help books, Beyond Positive Thinking: A No-Nonsense Formula for Getting the Results You Want by Dr. Robert Anthony.

Here is the Chapter Breakdown for the book along with where I will be coming from scripturally:
Positive Thinking – Negative Thinking – Right Thinking (added 10-12-07)

Genesis 2:9
The Truth About You (added 10-26-07)

Genesis 1:28
What Are You Telling…

Are You Ready...

"My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven..."I decided to pick apart the quote that I got on Saturday and look at what God gave me. No matter how God speaks it is always rich.

My face is set
I often comment to people, "You say that you are doing well/are blessed/happy but your face is telling a different story." You face/body language is such a better communicator than you think. You can tell people that you are happy but if you are downcast and sad looking than what do you expect people to see. In Nehemiah King Artaxerxes said , "Why is your face sad, since you are not sick?" The King even diagnosed the problem by saying, "This is nothing but sorrow of the heart."

When it is time to make a move whether it is something specifically for God or not. You've got to get ready. One of the things they tell athletes is to get their "Game Face" on. The game face is the picture you present to your enemy across the battlefield…

Out of the Blue...

I got this quote in my inbox today. I wasn't really looking for anything. I wasn't really interested in anything. I just wanted to relax on a Saturday, do nothing, be nothing. When BAM! God dropped on on my spirit. Check this out and see if it doesn't kick you out of you malaise:
"My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate... at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in a maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, let up, or slow up."~ Robert Moorehead

I've hit a wall so to speak in my life right now. Not the kind of wall that makes you want to stop but the kind that you want to scale. Have you ever been there. When you know tha…

Reality Check...

Time for a reality check for your humble author.

God walked me back over my life. He showed me His hand all over my life. God reminded me in not so gentle terms that He has always had my best interests in mind. I was the one who ignored or slapped away His hand. I was the one who decided to move away from Him. But even though I scorned Him, He still wants me.

Walk with Me is what He has told me. Walk with Me and see where I am taking you.

God's Main

Job Moment...

I've been wondering if I am really being authentic. I am currently experiencing moments of great triumph. I am also experiencing times of personal failure. I wonder if I am walking the right path. I feel the full weight of my responsibility to my wife and children. Am I doing right by them? I don't know anymore. I really haven't written much about what is going on in my world recently. I started this blog to capture my personal thoughts and to discuss God's place in my life.

I feel stuck right now. I am having a Job moment right now. I want God to come down and tell me what is going on. I want Him to explain why my life is going the way it is. I just want to understand why I can't overcome certain aspects of my life. I want to know why things are not coming together for me as I planned. It is weird. I have spent so much of my life telling people to not complain, to focus on where you are going, to put God first; however I don't see things falling…

A Leaders Burden in Spider-man 3...

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am a nerd, and proud of it. Spider-man was a great character, one of my favorites, and I have been happy with Hollywood depiction of the story. Do not read ahead if you haven’t been to see this movie and are planning to.


In the movie Spider-man is struggling. He is struggling to understand his role as a leader, trying to be a hero, and later trying to overcome his own dark side. During the story Spider-man gets infected by an alien life form named Venom which released the dark side of his nature. It made him extremely angry and narcissistic. His anger led him to destroy the reputation he had built up. As leaders we have to be careful how we act. There are so many eyes on us and there is always someone out there trying to tear us down. We also have to be careful with whom we share our burdens and this is what I pulled from Spider-man 3.The scene that exemplifies this message comes when Spiderman is trying to rid himself of his demons. He goes, surprisingly enough, into the belfry of a c…

Maximum Impact...

Today I am taking part in a Maximum Impact Seminar.  The title of this is called the Influence Index: Increasing a Leaders True Value.  It is being simulcast from my church.
More To Come Later...
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Top 5 Recent Movies that Have Influenced Me Spiritually...

As part of the Top 5 Writing Project over at Problogger.net I am jumping in with my list. So here it is. Over the next few days I will be adding deeper explanations. For now here is the list and bible verses to whet your appetite. See you later.

Spiderman 3 - A Leader's Burden1 John 2:9-11 (New International Version)

300 - Discipline, Standing by your Beliefs1 Corinthians 9:24-26 (The Message)

Babel - No one is Isolated, Let God Plan
Genesis 11:1-9 (New International Version)Deuteronomy 31:6 (New International Version)Jeremiah 29:10-12 (New International Version)
The Last Mimzy - Child Like WonderMark 10:14-16 (New International Version)

Shawshank Redemption - Hope, Attitude2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (New International Version)God's Man

Update:
A Leader's Burden in Spider-Man 3 added

Where do you see God?

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I find God in the most unusual places. I am a self-described movie hole. I love movies. I love going to the movies. I devour movies. This is probably because I am a story teller. I've always been interested in how people tell stories. For me movies have evolved for me. I no longer "take a vacation" and just watch a movie. I stay engaged and allow God to teach me. You have to be careful because Hollywood sometimes has an agenda that they pour into you while you are check out.

I learned this the hard way when I took my daughter to see the movie,"Happy Feet" . I loved the first part of this movie. The music was awesome, the dance sequences were also amazing. As a 3D animator I was impressed with the technical skill it took to create this movie. What caught me off guard about the movie was the flaming environmental message in the movie. The movie would have been so great without the second half of the film.

Anyway I am going to spend the next few post…

Artist/Tech

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I'm going to peel back the veil and let all of you in on a secret today.
I...
am a raging...
uncontrollable...
unrelenting...
.
.
.
.
NERD.

I love technology. I love computers. I love video games. I love books and reading. I am an equal opportunity nerd. I am technology agnostic. I love my Mac and my PC. Even though I lean towards my Mac. I love programming and I love graphic design. There used to be a web comic that I enjoyed called Life of Riley. In it there was a character named Dan who achieved superhuman powers by becoming a living paradox.


He was able to create art and work with technology. The jokes assumption was being artistic and nerdy were mutually exclusive.I've wondered about that for a long time. I've always loved music, singing, art just as much as I love technology. I have always loved to create, whether it is applications or poetry.

When God created us He knew exactly what he was doing. He created each and everyone of us in His image and that means that His divine sta…

Men putting on the Armor of God

This weekend I will be speaking at St. Mark's United Methodist Church for their Men's Day Celebration. I am excited about this because this is the church that I grew up in. My family has been worshiping here for generations. Even though I am not a member there I feel honored to stand there where some of my ancestors have stood. No matter what, I want God to get all the glory. Here are some snippets from what God is preparing for me. Check back for updates.

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Men’s Weekend 2007
Theme: Men putting on the Armor of God
Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-11

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.”

Power Tip: How you do anything is how you do everything!

Last weekend was my 5 year anniversary and you know where I spent some of it? The mall. So there we were in a department store looking at dresses and suit sets, blou…

Overcoming Fear...

Fear is such an empty emotion. It tells us that we can't do something, that it is too hard... But it is a lie. Today I saw fear in a very real way, in Isana's eyes. She wanted to try the monkey bars on the swing set. She was expecting our normal answer of no. I told her that I would have to remove the swings first. She watched me take each one off chain by chain. Finally it was clear and the ladder that we have watched her go up and down on seemed so tall. She decided she didn't want to do it anymore...

Aren't we like that some times. We say, God open this door. But when the door is finally open we slink away because now we have to stretch.

Like I said it could have ended there. But I wouldn't let Fear stop her growth. I told her to climb up those steps. Then she didn't want to reach for the overhead bars. It was too far she said. I told her she could do it but the fear wouldn't retreat. Even though she had grabbed the bars and was hanging on she …

Are You In Season? - conclusion

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Are You In Season?
Psalm 1:3
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Power Tip:
Every Season of life is precious. Don't rush any of it!

Conclusion
The word of God is rich. So rich in fact that you can look over the same passage many different times and have new revelations. The only way for our tree to truly thrive we have to be rooted in Christ. We have our parts to play too but one thing we've got to have is our relationship with Christ. He gives us a warning that there will be many, that, at the end that He will not know. There will even be those that used the laws that God created to amass great things. He has even said that there will be those that did great things in His name. However without the relationship all of it is worthless.
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdo…

Are You In Season? - part 2

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Are You In Season?
Psalm 1:3
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Power Tip:
Every Season of life is precious. Don't rush any of it!

The Seasons of Life
We often view life as having 4 seasons.
SpringSpring time is your youth. It is the time of flowers and optimism. Where our ideas and our ideals are shaped.SummerSummertime is your early adulthood. Its the time of heat, passion, vitality and stamina. This is where we decide we decide our world view.FallFall is the middle age. This is the time of harvest. Time to slow down and maintain what you have created.WinterWinter is Old Age. This is the time of scarcity. Time slows to a crawl. It is the time of reflection.While these can be an accurate general picture we can see this same cycle repeating itself throughout life. There will be many springtimes, summers, autumns and…

Are You In Season?

I'll be back at Elkridge Baptist Church this weekend. Professor Bridges is under the weather and I've been asked to speak. Keep Professor Bridges in your prayers. Here are some ideas from the sermon I am preparing for Sunday.

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Are You In Season?
Psalm 1:3
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Power Tip:
Every Season of life is precious. Don't rush any of it!

Be a Tree!
What does it mean to be planted? The bible uses the greek word ridzo to describe how we are planted by God. Ridzo paints a picture of something firmly and deeply rooted. So rooted that it has become and object fixed in place, steady, stable and strong.

Trees grow as deep as they are tall. The bigger the tree the deeper the roots. Trees thrive in different environments. God plants us where He will and who better knows where our roots will grow dee…

Dreams

Last night I had a very weird dream. A friend of mine once described dreams as defragmentation of the mind. He said that dreams occur as your mind tries to find the pattern in the seemingly random experiences, thoughts, and actions of your day. I'm going to write down in my notebook what happens in my dreams and ask God to make sense of it. After last night I know that I cannot do it myself.

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People in the Dream:
Me, Virginia Carter, my cousin "Cakes"

Locations in the Dream:
Virginia Carter's House, Villa Julie College (AC Building)

Segment 1:
I learn that Virginia Carter, SNSD in Primerica Financial Services, has gotten married to my cousin Cakes. He is very abusive. He cusses at her and treats really badly. I go and sit down with her at their house. It is huge and very well decorated. She and I sit in a sun room in back of the house. She and I have a light conversation. She tells me a little about herself …

Fortune Cookie...

I ate lunch at Joey Chiu's Resturant today. I thought the food was excellent and the restaurant was very nice inside. At the end of the meal there was, of course, a fortune cookie. Normally I don't focus in on the actual fortune but today's cookie got me thinking.
"Suppose you can get what you want..."This weekend at church we had a visit from Bishop Salamat Khokhar. He is an evangelist from the country of Pakistan. He spoke with us about being in a country where the Christians are in the minority. It was amazing how he walks with such boldness. That is the boldness that I have prayed for. I asked him what was the difference between Christians in the US and overseas. His response was, "The American Christian is lazy."

I thought about that alot. I mean I wouldn't call myself lazy but as I thought about it I realized that yes I am. I mean I don't proclaim the Gospel like I should. I don't go out of my way to tell someone about God.

A…

Won't Quit Attitude - part 1

I have spent quite a bit of time trying to get back on track. I glad to say that my attitude has remained positive during this time. I used to spend a lot of time beating myself up over my failures. Now however God has shown me how to change without regretting lost time. I spoke at Living Hope Church about a month ago. The title of my message was Building a Won't Quit Attitude. The foundation for this message was 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left…