The D word…

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This is a letter to all of those who don’t feel like they measure up because of that big fat “D” word that has continually crippled so many people…

The D word that I am referring to is divorced.

How many of you have walked away from God, from the Church, from your friends, etc… How many of us have ran from our callings & feel like that word will always define us? I know I struggled with it for a long time. I struggled with the condemnation that comes with that word & the lack of self-worth that comes with feeling like a complete failure, feeling like I am not good enough and that I am no longer worthy of what God has for me in this life…. We are all called to serve and love those around us to the best of our abilities.

Who do I truly think that our God is? Is God really put in a box that something can happen to us that “disables” us from being able to preach His Gospel to everyone? Goodness, it is foolish to think that. It is foolish to believe that we are defined by one word outside of the name Jesus.

JESUS is the word that defines who you are… Not divorced. Jesus is your Redeemer, the Redeemer of ALL things this world can throw at us. Being divorced does not disable you to be able to minister and love on other people in the world that are broken and need Jesus. In some cases, it enables you to be able to shine a bit brighter for other believers who have experienced the unfortunate hurt that comes with being divorced.

The church as a whole has done a terrible job of meeting people in the midst of a struggle & trial. Just like when dealing with homosexuality, murder, adultery, etc… We as believers must always approach every situation with love & grace followed by the truth. The same love & grace that we have been given. The truth is, we should learn to embrace our past and thank Him for bringing us through that, or thank Him that He WILL bring you through it.

It is never too late to start again. Each and every day God’s mercies are made anew for us all. He is a redeeming God. We are all sinners in need of grace and God is working on all of our hearts… I myself am a divorced man. A man who deals with the hurts and “demons” that come along with living with that word in my “resume”.

The enemy has used that word to try and destroy everything that God has in this life & at times I forget that that is no longer a “wound” in my life but actually a “scar” that tells a story.

Friends… Our scars tell a story about all that the enemy has tried to destroy in our lives but was unsuccessful. That’s a fact. It’s a fact that the enemy threw one of the deepest possible “disablers” at us. It’s a fact that although no one truly knows the deep hurts that come with each individual scar that ultimately God does.

Embrace your scars. Embrace them and be proud of the story that is being told by the scars where the enemy TRIED to destroy you but did not succeed. You are loved by Him. Regardless of the choices, you have made, or the choices another made.

Love wins fam…. Grace wins…

#VOD: Ephesians 5:3-4

Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.” (Ephesians 5:3-4 NLT)

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There are a few things that could easily be focused on with this verse. Especially talking about sexual immorality, impurity, greed, etc… BUT one thing I wanted to talk about is focusing on being thankful to God. 

You see, it’s easy for us to get so wrapped up in the things we shouldn’t be doing, and the shortcomings of us all. I am a firm believer that actions like that only bring more despair and struggle. When we focus on the negatives we become consumed by the negatives. It’s so easy for us to get focused on those things and become more and more consumed by our shortcomings. One of the main things that have helped me overcome the different addictions I have battled throughout my walk is to focus on the positives. Paul talks about it in the book of Philippians where he says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT).

When we choose to focus on the positive things it fills & strengthens our souls. All throughout the scriptures, you can see how the mighty men and woman of God started to do amazing things when they focused on how great our God is. When they dwelled on their shortcomings and focused on that it only led to despair and struggle. We all must thrive to have a healthy view of our God.

As we go through this day, I challenge you all to focus on the great things about life and our God. Let there be complete thankfulness to Him. Even in the midst of the trials & tribulations. We don’t thank God for the trials, sicknesses, poverty, etc… We thank God THROUGH those trials because we know He is working something great throughout it….

We all need faith… Praise Him through the trial and thank Him…

 

Love wins fam… Grace wins…

#VOD: 1 John 3:13-15

“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us; He has given us of His spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His son to be the savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.”

(1 John 4:13-15)

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Today I saw a post from a good friend of mine that I work out with in the mornings… This post talked about how we as Christians get upset over the completely wrong things… I’ll post a link to the article at the bottom of this blog, but I encourage you all to take the time to read through it…

If we have truly acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God and asked Him to be our Lord and Savior our lives should be different. In order for us to truly acknowledge who Jesus is and why we need Him, we must first accept that we are sinners worthy of nothing but death… When we truly come to this point of acknowledgment we are able to extend the love & grace to others. The same love and grace that God gave us in that while we were still sinners Christ came and died for us all (Romans 5:8 NLT)

Isn’t that a radical truth we should all come to love and extend grace to everyone. We are all works in progress that are growing each and every day. This verse very clearly states that if ANYONE ACKNOWLEDGES that Jesus is the Son of God that God lives in them and them in God. We are all in need of Jesus and we are all giving our best each and every day. There is a process that each of us goes through day by day to where we become more like Jesus. It’s a process that we will all be going through for the rest of our time here on earth…

Yes, there are some people that take it for granted & do not try to live like Christ. I am not referring to those that have not seen Jesus for who He is. I am referring to those who truly are giving their best effort each and every day. For some, that means only cursing every other sentence, only have one beer, only having one pack a day, etc… We are all in on this journey together and as Christians, we need to come together to encourage those around us and by THAT people will know that God lives within us all. 

 

Love wins ya’ll… Grace wins… We all need Jesus each and everyday.

Here is the link to the article:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2017/06/christian-upset-wrong-things/

#VOD: Luke 6:36

 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

(Luke 6:36 NLT)

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Compassion…. what really is compassion? 

Dictionary.com says compassion means, “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”

That’s crazy right… I always thought to be compassionate meant to just feel bad or sorry for the person who is struggling, BUT there is a second part. It’s accompanied by a desire to help the person suffering! 

Today’s verse says that we must be compassionate just as our Father is compassionate! That’s awesome to read and think to ourselves that our Father is compassionate towards us regardless of whether or not we deserve the suffering. 

Yes, I know that sounds weird to say “when we deserve the suffering”, but the truth is there are consequences to stupid decisions! If we live by this world’s standards then it’s well deserved and we don’t deserve compassion right? When we see someone who is suffering we sometimes either help minimally or we come up with some excuse in our minds as to why they are in the position they are in.

Is that biblical? Is that the compassion God gives us?  No. So why is it that when we see someone who is struggling we do not have deep compassion for them? The word of God tells us that we should! But our flesh gets in the way. Whether it be bitterness, greed, laziness, or just a hard heart…. none of that matters. We are to love & show compassion just as our Father does to us even when we don’t “deserve it!”

The standard that we should base our lives off of is God. The way we should walk and live is the same way Jesus did. HE is our standard. HE is our model. Just as the book of Hebrews says, HE is the author and perfecter of our faith. So when we come across situations where we have a choice to show compassion or to withhold it… think about the verse in Luke that says if we give, it will be given to us! Not only given to us, but given to us as MORE than what we originally gave… 

Let’s choose to extend love & compassion today fam. God gave it to us & we should give it to others. I understand that we have all been hurt in this life, but so was God. He is the lover of our souls and everyone else’s soul. We should all pray that we can see others through Jesus’ eyes and have His heart for them…

Will you join me in that prayer? Here is an amazing song I have been listening to in my time of worship that gets my heart set on the things above as the book of Colossians says!

“Downpour” by Worshipmob

Love wins… Grace wins…

For health or competition

Here are two clips for the standard Olympic lifting movements that are used in weightlifting.

Clean and Jerk movement:

Snatch movement:

I have spent almost two years doing Crossfit 5-6 days a week and it has helped me realize a lot of things about my body. During these few years doing Crossfit I have fallen in love with the weightlifting portion of it and have made the transition to doing Weightlifting programming for the majority of my time spent in the gym…

I have been fortunate enough to avoid injury over the last few years of working out and have been blessed to still be able to do Crossfit without any injuries. I spent many years doing the “bro” workouts inside of the gym without many results & definitely no real use when it comes to just being “fit.” Crossfit definitely opened my mind towards the true reasoning of why I want to workout and be healthy which is why I still try and do metcon’s a few times a week because I genuinely enjoy them…

What I wanted to talk about today is something that took me a LONG time to realize: 5 extra pounds or hitting the programmed percentages is not worth the chance of injury. Yup….. SO often when it came to my training I would push myself as hard as I could and was LUCKY enough to not get injured even though my lack of care with my form put me at an immense risk for injury!

When it comes to just wanting to workout for fun, health, or because you enjoy it we should be more aware of pushing ourselves within normal limits. To attempt to push ourselves past our limits at the risk of serious injury is not worth it!

At the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves if we are training each and every day because we enjoy it or if we are training each and every day because we plan on competing. Once we decide where our hearts lie within these spectrums we can train smarter. 

If you have any questions let me know! There are Crossfit boxes and weightlifting facilities all over the world!

#VOD: 1 John 2:5-6 NLT

But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:5-6 NLT)

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When you know that someone loves you it is much easier to listen to what they say… why is this?

I think it’s simply because you know that at the end of the day they wouldn’t tell you NOT to do anything just because they “don’t want you to enjoy life.” We listen because we know that whatever they tell us NOT to do is something that will hurt us and they don’t want us to get hurt…

It’s the same for God and His commandments. We are told not to do certain things because of the risk for hurt, pain, disappointment, etc….

If you look at all the things we aren’t supposed to do you will see that they all have major risks for pain and messing up our lives…

There is not one thing in life that I can think of where I have committed a sin that has ultimately “blessed” my life. It is true that according to Romans 8:28 He is able to work all those things out for my ultimate blessing & His glory, BUT the sinful action and consequences that came with it were not a “blessing.”

God can & will take those sinful mistakes and flip them around to be a blessing for us and bring Him glory….

Besides the simple fact that a majority of the sin in our life does nothing to ultimately bless us, it is a bad testimony to God when we decide to live in that sin. At the end of the day, we have to remember that everything we are doing we should do to bring God glory. Even in moments where things may not seem to be going right and the sinful way may seem to be easier and more pleasing, we have to remember what is said in Romans 4:20. It’s during those moments where we choose to be faithful to God to we grow stronger in our faith and bring glory to Him…

That is what it is all about. Live like Christ to the best of our abilities and lead others to Him through our actions instead of our words…

Are you living the way God would have you live? Can you think of a time when committing a “sin” brought a pure blessing to you? Can you think of a time when honoring and obeying God DIDN’T bless you?

Here is a little worship for you to listen to why you ponder on these things. It’s by one of my new favorite worship bands called, “Iron Bell Music.” The song is called “Fall Away”…Please take the time to listen to it…

Love wins… Grace wins…

#VOD: Mark 8:36 NLT

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?

Mark 8:36 NLT

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Each and every day we walk through life with the ability to make a choice between following the spirit in obedience or follow the flesh in disobedience.

This verse is referring towards gaining all success, fame, wealth, etc… that could possibly be gained at the cost of losing eternal life. Although the term “selling your soul to the devil” seems a bit outlandish, it is a very common thing. Selling our souls does not necessarily mean performing some ritual and meeting with a demon. No no no, it can be much more subtle than that. It IS much more subtle. It’s in the little choices we make each day to follow God and the calling He has on our lives, or to follow our own desires and walk away from what God has called us to do.

I hope & pray that our eyes and hearts will be open to what God is doing in our lives & that over time we would be able to be sensitive to where God is calling us all to be. The truth is, that our spiritual sensitivity is like a muscle to needs to be exercised. Over time we will become stronger and more aware of where God is leading our lives & we will be able to respond to Him at that moment…

Jesus loves us more than any of us could ever realize and for that, we should all choose to pursue Him and what He desires for us. The plans that God has for us all are amazing and will lead to so much satisfaction and joy in this world…

Love wins… Grace wins…