“But Wait There’s More!”

01Ever watched an infomercial—a 30-minute commercial disguised as a TV program? I have! In fact, I know all about the Veg-O-Matic and the Pocket Fisherman. And who could forget the Ginsu Steak Knives? I’ve yet to be coaxed into calling and placing an order for items like these, but on occasion I’ve found watching infomercials to be the right “entertainment” when sleep was hard to find at 2 a.m.

The pitch lines for infomercials make me laugh. “Call right now and we’ll double your order” is a classic. To sweeten the deal, one advertiser even offers to throw in a set of knives that will cut through brick (or so they claim).

Perhaps the most used pitch is “But wait, there’s more!” This sort of high-pressure sales line reminds me of the angle Satan took with Eve back in the garden of Eden. First, he emphatically declared that Eve would not die if she ate fruit from the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:4). But he didn’t stop there. On top of eluding death, Satan went on to claim that consuming fruit from the forbidden tree would cause her to “be like God” (Genesis 3:5).

Satan’s offer sounded sweet and convincing to Eve. But instead of being the real deal, the whole thing was completely bogus. The truth? Eve was already like God. He created her and her husband Adam “in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). There wasn’t more—at least not in the way Satan implied. In fact, things couldn’t have been any better. But Satan still craftily offered more—lies that actually led to less.

*Photo(s)/Resource(s):   jeff olson

 

The Dad Chronicles of Pregnancy (19 weeks)

Daddy’s Log, Stardate 18 weeks, 6 days, 3 hours & counting: Having come to our third doctor’s appointment at the OBGYN office for my wife’s & mine pregnancy. We are officially one day away from 19 weeks. Today we journey pass the borders of the unknown and found out what we are Xenomorphhaving a (Klingon or Ewok)? I’m just joking it’s a Xenomorph (an endoparasitoid extraterrestrial species that is the primary antagonist of the Alien film series). HEY! Wouldn’t that be awesome? A high-yellow Xenomorph with hazel eyes and dimples! But I digress! But the force is strong in my young padawan! Their cells have the highest concentration of midi-chlorians I have seen in a life-form!

My wife won’t let me say, she’s planning a HUGE reveal party this weekend so I can’t tell you just yet.

As soon as we got there she checked in and when the receptionist at the OBGYN office calls our name to come my wife did the usual HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY dance.

Skipping man gif

I was like WHOA! We were called back so quick I didn’t even get a chance to brace myself for what I thought I was about to see. Prior to this appointment, the ultrasound process consist of a device that looked like a “Mr. Microphone” and the nurse would insert it into my wife’s “NO NO) place. Much to my delight, I never saw a device that looked like a microphone, and there was no awkward moment with my wife’s vagina hanging out. She simply unbuttoned her jeans, and the nurse spread the warm jelly-substance onto her belly. Ironically, it looked a little like the substance that got us into this whole mess too begins with.

The Sonographer then rubbed the external ultrasound device until she found this small black blob, well actually it look like static from an old black and white TV. Like when TV went off the air after the Johnny Carson show. That’s what the Jay Leno show was called before Jay Leno. We didn’t always have 24/7 cable (If your too young to understand that TV actually went off the off after 12 midnight, Google it!)

Apparently our baby was hanging out but decided to start sliding all over the place trying to hide from us. The nurse said basically our baby is inside there and couldn’t slide to far, she was going to get their pictures. Then the sonographer told us to look closely at their little feet, figures, toes, arms, we even got mooned! One picture it looked like they were weaving at us or maybe they were giving us the bird, it was hard for me to tell? Then came the BIG moment, the nurse OKAY your baby’s gender is….

I told you in the beginning of this blog, my wife you KILL ME DEAD if I revealed the gender before her reveal party. But I will say it’s a 50/50 chance it’s a boy or girl. lol!

Isn’t XXXX cute? 18 WEEK 6 DAYS

Don’t wish your baby was hot like mine?!?! Don’t ya?!?!

Below are a series of pithy comments illustrated with well-chosen GIFs. (For the uninitiated, GIFs are those funny little animated images you’ll sometimes come across on the web. They tells my journey of his wife’s pregnancy through the last 19 weeks!

I’m going to be in trouble when she see these! Keep me in prayer!

When I poke fun at my pregnant wife but she’s had enough of my shenanigans. She’s like:

Throwing computer gif

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When I hear a name I really like and suggest it to my wife as the name of our future child and she says “Uh, no.” It feels like:

tumblr ma7kbgojXT1rn88ts Dad chronicles pregnancy on hilarious blog

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When we told our friends and family we were pregnant we’re all like:

Nznpx Dad chronicles pregnancy on hilarious blog

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When, in the heat of an argument, I suggest that maybe my pregnant wife’s hormones are the reason why she’s angry with me … and when that last word comes out, I realize what I just said. I’m like:

PW3F8 Dad chronicles pregnancy on hilarious blog

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When I take the lead from my pregnant wife and try describing the stroller & crib we’re looking for to the people at Babies R Us. It’s like:

Being wrong gif

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When I come across a conversation on Facebook between two women about trying to get pregnant and one mentions cervical mucus and I go and Google it. I’m like

irmmG Dad chronicles pregnancy on hilarious blog

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When I tickle my pregnant wife but she can’t get up because her baby belly is in the way. She’s like:

Realization dog

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When the BabyCenter.com weekly update includes a video of a delivery in it and my pregnant wife encourages me to watch. I’m like:

Conan Obrien gif

Two Ways To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

comfort-zoneGetting out of our comfort zone can be a very scary thing.  Outside of our comfort zone is the unknown.  Outside of our comfort zone is uncharted territory (for us anyway).

The trouble is, when we choose to stay in our comfort zone we are missing out on many opportunities.

Opportunities to grow.

Opportunities to be stretched.

Opportunities to make a difference in other people’s lives.

2 ways to get out of our comfort zone

1. We need to get over our “buts”.

Big But – The Veracity Project from Do Something Church on Vimeo.

There are always going to be a “buts” when we are deciding to get out of our comfort zone.

“But it is going to be scary.”

“But I have never done this before.”

“But I could fail.”

But, but, but …

We can’t allow our “buts” to stop us.  We need to recognize that our “buts” are not the last word.

2.  We need to get over our naysayers.

outside-comfort-zoneJust as there is always going to be a long list of “buts” there is almost always going to be naysayers as well.  When you choose to get out of your comfort zone it is going to make other people feel uncomfortable.  And because they feel uncomfortable  they will make sure they give you all the reasons you shouldn’t do it.

They will say things like:

You aren’t qualified to do this.

What you are trying to do can’t be done.

Nobody has ever tried this before.

We can’t allow the naysayers to stop us.  We need to ignore them and continue to move forward.

What have been some of your “buts” or what have the naysayers said to you when you have tried to get out of your comfort zone?

RECOMMENDED READING: If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg

*Photo(s)/Resource(s): kevinmartineau.ca

A True Reflection

dog_bone2There is a children’s story that tells of a dog with a big juicy bone crossing over a small footbridge. He stops long enough to gaze down into the pool of water beneath the bridge and sees what he believes is another dog with an even bigger bone!

Instead of being happy with what he has been given, he drops his bone and lunges forward to take the other dog’s bone. But there was no other dog and no other bone. What he saw was his own reflection in the water below. His entanglement with greed and deception caused him to lose what was precious to him.

Many people live their lives in a state of comparison. They look at what others have and want more than what they have been given. Discontentment and jealousy fill their hearts and the result of their attitudes is disastrous.

Once we open a door to temptation, the enemy is quick to respond. Selfishness, envy, and jealousy have one end: sorrow and defeat. If you have allowed any one of these attitudes to set up shop in your life, ask God to tear down the stronghold and forgive you for your faithlessness. He has a marvelous plan for your life, and you do not have to envy the life of another.

Prayer: Lord, cleanse me from all thoughts of envy and jealousy. Teach me to be satisfied with Your blessings in my life. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“I am your shield, your very great reward” (Genesis 15:1).

*Photo/Resources:  Michael Youssef

Are You A God Man?

#egmnt_3-_61My grand father was a God Man, My Pastor is a God Man. King David was a God Man, Elijah was a God Man, Ruth was a God Man, Esther was a God Man. When I ask the question, are you a God man? I’m not only speaking about the male species, but humanity!

These are the words that you don’t want said to you, if you are a God Man “Stand away from me for I never knew you.” As a God Man, I do my best to live my life congruently by the word of God so that I don’t hear those words. The response to the Lord, “Lord we did miracles, cast out devils and we prophesied…” And the Lord will say to those who did not keep his word, “Depart from me for I never knew you.”

Matt 7:21 Not everyone who says to me Lord Lord, will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.

Many will say to me on that day Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will plainly say, I never knew you, away from me you evil doers.

The Lord did not know them in the body of Christ. As you know, intimacy means: very close or familiar. “In to me see,” is the way I say it. He did not know their works or their fruit was not congruent to his word. This fear of the Lord “keeps me” fear of his judgment and a Godly fear of falling short. I believe humanity needs a large dose of Godly fear. This scripture does that for me. Matthew 7:21

OUR COVENANT

You know when you accept Jesus and agree to follow Him, you are in covenant with our Lord. You may know already, a covenant is an agreement, compact, to promise by a covenant, to make a covenant.

So, this covenant is a promise between you and the Heavenly Father, you promise the Lord that you will serve him faithfully and follow after him hard and to do your best to obey his word. And in return the Lord says that he will cover you and hide you under his wings, shelter you, protect you and your house in his mighty fortress and when your enemies attack you and get strong against you, He will give them trouble all of their own.

I’ve said in my writing that a Christian should always check themselves; this is really one of those times. We should examine ourselves before the Lord has to. For on that last and final day God will and by then it will be to late. So we should all do the things of obedience more and more. You know, pray and do the work of Christ while it is still day.

Now I look at this situation of the fruit of the people. They felt they were doing pretty good. They told Him they had prophesied in His name, cast out devils and preformed miracles. If you look at the Church, the body of Christ today and I mean all denominations, Baptist, Catholic, Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal, etc. Most of those churches believe and do those works they mention prophesy, cast out devils and miracles.

But with these people the Lord described in Scripture with their works, he had to say, “Away from me! I never knew you.” It was because of their disobedience. It could be scary if you are not walking with obedient faith.

So my thinking goes this way, “What about the part of the body of Christ and the individual that has none of the basic fruit operating in their life? I wonder what then? What will be said to them on that dreadful day? Will it be said, “Oh, that’s ok. It’s alright you can come in fruitless. It was not your fault anyway. It’s ok that you buried the seed that I gave you because of fear.” I’m being a little facetious; but you know I am very serious. I’m saying that we see from Scripture some of them were doing the basic works of Christ or at least they thought they were and yet they did not enter in. What of the Christian that shows no works or fruit, what then? Will you take that chance?

There’s a solution. If you are a God Man, it’s better to be obedient to the word of God, walk in step with His Holy Spirit and bear fruit that when it is tried in the fire it will not burn up. Take up your cross and follow hard after the Lord. This is a life of hope and faith that we are walking out so we must do it trusting in a loving God. And He that has started a good work in us will complete it.

*Photos/Resources: htp://armorbearers.net/termsofuse.htm

The Daniel Fast – it’s so much more than the food!

fasting“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”

——Daniel 10:2, 3

The Daniel Fast is a powerful method of fasting! I believe it’s bringing hundreds of thousands of men and women into the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting since it’s a partial fast and some foods can be eaten. Many people would not be able to fulfill the demands of their daily obligations if they were to go without food for 21 days. But the Daniel Fast allowed us to have some foods while others are restricted.

I am concerned about a trend that seems to be happening in the Daniel Fast genre. And it has to do with so much attention being put on recipes and cookbooks and what we can eat and what we can’t! The Daniel Fast is so much more than food! And when we keep our focus on the food, it seems it’s just another way to feed the flesh rather than denying it!

Don’t get me wrong, I know we need to have good recipes for the Daniel Fast. After all, this is a partial fast where some foods are restricted and other foods are allowed. But the Daniel Fast is not a plan to merely replace all the foods we enjoy eating all the time with a vegan variety!

With that said, I do believe God is using the Daniel Fast to bring more of His people into a healthy way of feeding the Temple of the Holy Spirit – a temple He has entrusted to our care. And with the health crisis in the United States and other countries in the world, it’s critical that we start eating good foods designed by the Creator for the bodies He created! But I encourage all those who use the Daniel Fast as their method of fasting to examine your heart as you try to figure out ways to satisfy the flesh by going to great lengths to serve up some alternative.

Again, please don’t misunderstand me. I know we need good recipes. I know it’s okay for us to enjoy the food the Lord created for us. But I also know that we need to keep things in balance and not get our eyes so much on the food that we miss the purpose of fasting. It’s a spiritual experience where we put our whole beings under the submission of the Lord. And I do believe there is a danger in going too far in satisfying the flesh by focusing too much on food and missing out on the vital

The Daniel Fast is amazing as it affect the whole person – spirit, soul and body. And part of fasting is putting our flesh in submission as we come under the Spirit of God and allow Him to reign in our lives. Again, I call all of us to balance. Yes, it’s okay to prepare meals that are pleasant, filling and nutritious. That’s what God wants for us all the time. But we need to institute balance by not catering to the flesh.

We gain life-changing lessons while we’re fasting. Developing the fruit of the spirit of self-control is one of the most precious lessons we can receive. Fasting gives us the opportunity to examine our hearts and to make sure our motives are aligned with the men and women of God we want to be  submitted to Him and walking in His ways.

*Photos/Resources: Susan Gregory danielfast.wordpress.com

Think “Smoker” not “Microwave” Dealing with Ministry?

article_images-11_27_OR_Think_Smoker__Not_Microwave_919073857My microwave has this very useful ability to bring food back to life; like, oh, store bought baked goods for example. Have you ever noticed? It’s just better if you pop them in the microwave. You know, nuking it? If you get some of that store bought coffee cake or donuts or muffins, you know, they may not be like fresh from the bakery. But we found that they are so much better if you heat them up. What happens is the heat makes them softer. The other day I had a cookie that was getting a little on the old side, and I put it in the microwave and it was like it came right out of the oven – soft and warm. Sometimes the box will even tell you that you ought to “nuke it.” And sometymes it will say, “Better when heated” or something like that. Actually, that would be true of about half of the human race.

We act like we need to microwave everything.

It’s amazing how subtly our thinking can be shaped. It has been said that we live in a society with short patience and high demands. This combination creates an approach where we want what we want right away. The above quote is an indication of this. It was made to me by a brother I have a great deal of respect for. And he was referencing my desire for a quick turn for implementation on everything, particularly ministry-related items. His point, which has made more of an impact over tyme than it had originally, was that we don’t have to be impatient and rush everything. There is tyme to think it through.

This is very tough for me. When I become convinced of a course of action or when I come up with an idea I just want to go. And go quickly. I have found that this microwave approach seeps into everything. This can be helpful when you need to make a decision and deploy some people for problem solving but it can be dangerous when thinking about the mission of the church.

Let’s take the core mission of a church. We are to make and train disciples (Matt. 28.19-21). By nature is this difficult work. While there is a recipe for this (Eph. 4.11-15) there are a lot of variables (2 Cor. 10.3-4). We cannot zap someone in the spiritual microwave and in 30 seconds have a mature Christian. There is a lot of sweaty human faithfulness and divine power that needs to be expended in the work of the church. This takes tyme.

We live in a microwave society. Everything about our world is geared toward speed: fast food, drive through windows, instant coffee, microwave meals, high speed internet….. We want what we want, when we want it. We also want it easy. Fast and easy, that’s our motto in this day and age. Don’t make us have to work for it, or make it inconvenient. And above all else, don’t make us wait for it!

But God is not a microwave God. He has all eternity at His command; He isn’t interested in instant gratification or making things easy for us. He is interested in patiently shaping and molding us, into the likeness of Jesus. He’s in it for the long haul. He is far more interested in making things that last than in making them fast! God also isn’t interested so much in making things easy for us as He is in making us ultimately better. He is more concerned with our eternity than with our “here and now”. He is far more concerned about our growth as Christians than about making life easy for us.

Instead of thinking of Christian ministry like a microwave we should think like a smoker. We add the rubb, let the meat sit, put it in the smoker and trust the process. In ministry we should do the work and trust the process. It takes tyme, it is hard, and frankly, it is humbling–but this is the way God does it! There is tremendous freedom in trusting the process.

First of all, you don’t have to reevaluate every other day to make sure you are up to date. If you are being faithful, you are up to date.

Second, you are freed up to pray. Nothing will drive you to pray like the feeling that you need God. It is his process. It is his design. It is his work that he calls you to.

Third, it makes it all taste better. You can microwave a plate of ribs (good luck with that), or you can smoke them. Let it go. Watch, wait, taste and enjoy. God is at work according to his means and for his glory.

We don’t like it when we don’t see instant results, and we don’t like it when we don’t get our own way. But we have to believe God, not just believe in God. He never calls us to do anything that He does not give us the power to do, through His Holy Spirit. Believing Him requires putting our faith to work, by being obedient and doing what He tells us. Believing God requires patience. It requires that we keep on doing what we know we should, simply because we know that He is faithful, (see Heb. 10:23) and will do what He has said.

Beside who like Microwave Spare Ribs or Chicken?


*Photos/Resources: Tejado W. Hanchell & Erik Raymond