Tag Archives: Come Alive

Still Buzzing! Unforgettable Time

How in the world do I even begin to describe the elation, excitement, and joy that I have felt this week since this past Sunday.  As I shared last week, I was afforded the honor of baptizing my wife, Amber, and our three teenagers on Sunday.  I’ve spoken in front of various sized groups in the past on different things, but this experience was something that was so different.  It was by far the largest crowd I’ve ever been in front of.  People I know and love.  Usually nerves would hit me with something like that, but in this case, it was was like the Holy Spirit took a hold of me and led me through it all.  I had no worries, no nerves, just pure excitement and joy.

What was even bigger was the impact, not only in the statement we made as a family and I as the head of my home, but in the way this ministered to so many people who needed something like this.  My friend and pastor, Tim, called me afterwards telling me that this would go down as the most memorable moment of my life and the power of the moment was huge.  The impact that this moment made to people was immense.  God really used our family to send a message that we can be united in Him.  We can come alive in Christ and forge ahead as a family and with our own individual identities in Christ.

I write this and share this not to boast about my own doings, but to share just what the power of the Holy Spirit and being fully surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus can do, not just for your life, but for others.  It has made my family light-up and I firmly believe that this one act.  This 5 minute moment sent a ripple effect that I’m certain will last across the Body.

I’m standing on cloud nine from the events of this week. I look forward to a continued life of growth and sanctification with my wife and as our children move forward.  I’m glad to have been able to share this and I wanted to share this with all of you as well.  God Bless!

Through It All, My Eyes Stay Fixed

I have lived through many challenges over the course of my life.  Many of them are from my own decisions and others through circumstances and struggles that come through the result of others.  It’s a mix bag as it is for all of us.  Many of these challenges resulted in my own wounds and sins, some that festered for years and years, although I became good at hiding behind my false self.  Jesus did something in me though.  He brought me to the end of myself.  He brought me to the end of my self-reliance and self-righteousness.  I realized that no matter what I struggle with and what may come in the future, I can stay present in the presence of Jesus Christ and in his holiness and righteousness.  I can now thankfully say that I am dead to myself, to sin, to my flesh, and to the enemy.

Now with that said, we know very well there will be continued strife in this life.  Continued trouble.  Continued bouts with evil, with the flesh, and this world.  There’s a realization I’ve learned and now feel it whenever these things encounter me again, I can stay remained fixed on Jesus and bring all His works over my life.  His life, death, resurrection, and ascension.  His life is the example we have of how to live a life fully fixed on God and for His glory and His glory alone.  His death on the cross is the atonement for all of our sin as He willingly shed His blood for us to bring us forgiveness for our wins.  His resurrection brings us to a new life as Jesus conquered death being raised to a new life and now we are alive to God through Him. His ascension to the Father’s right hand gave Jesus full authority over the heavens and earth and Satan has been cast down so we now can live in the authority of Jesus Christ.

Think about all of those elements.  It is simply amazing and powerful.  Because of all His works, we can now live free from the struggles of this world.  By this I mean, we can now live a life that is fixed on Jesus above all and we can bring Him and all His work over our lives.  So through all the struggles of this world, we can keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and we can live free.  He is the one and only answer for all that we face in this life.  As the song says, in Christ alone, my hope is found.

Augustine stated that, “Nothing whatever pertaining to godliness and real holiness can be accomplished without Grace.”  This is powerful.  We are alive through God’s undeserved Grace.  Paul said in Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.” It has been revealed through Jesus and all His works.  Without Jesus, we are nothing in this life.  What would the point of anything if we did not have faith of the hope of the grace and love that is anchored in Christ alone.  So many people try to figure out there life and their circumstances on their own and are lost to the hope of in Jesus Christ.  It can’t be done.  Maybe temporary, but in the end, without being fixed on Jesus you will eventually fall right back.

Keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus through everything we encounter now is the only hope I have left in this life and let me tell you; it’s all I need.  Having a God that is willing to walk with me through all of my pains and struggles of this fallen life gives me so much joy and hope.  I know the inheritance that awaits in Jesus and I pray I can cross into eternity be able to hear “well done faithful servant.”  So thankful to have been called into service for the Kingdom and with my heart and eyes on Jesus I am ready to take it on.

I know what it is like to not live my life with eyes on Jesus.  It’s empty.  I have lived there in this life and I never want to go back there again.  Jesus has brought me to life and I can live my life through Him now with the armor and strength to take on the evil of this world and whatever the enemy will try to through my way.

So look to Jesus in your life and through all that you struggle with.  When you learn to let go of yourself and live for Him, it is a game changer.  Choose to be a game changer.  Choose to be different than whatever anyone in this world tells you.  He is all that matters.  All eyes on Jesus.

“Live as though Christ died yesterday, rose from the grave today, and is coming back tomorrow.”  – Theodore Epp

I’m Alive…Because He Lives!

I was driving back home from the gym this morning and this song came on in my truck from Matt Maher called “Because He Lives.”  I’ve heard this song numerous times and everyone morning I workout I have worship music or some Christ center hip-hop blaring.  A great way to get motivated, start the day, find clarity, and get the heart and mind focused on Christ for that day.  Can’t just do it Sunday morning.

Anyway, when this song came, it just hit me hard.  I could feel the Holy Spirit fill me and my heart leaped with joy.  The words of this song are a stark reminder of the offer of life that we have in Jesus Christ.  The chorus says…”Amen, Amen, I’m alive, I’m alive because He lives.”  It’s quite amazing how God will use certain things to fill you and remind you even when it’s things that are a little more common in your life.

The words of this song were a stark reminder of that because of Christ we are alive.  This is such an awesome and powerful thing to think about for our lives.  We are alive through Christ.  Paul said in Ephesians 2:5,”He gave us live when he raised Christ from the dead.”  If it were not for God’s love and grace, we were dead.  We would be doomed to our sins.  There would be no life.

Because we have this offer of life, what else do we need to worry about.  Yes, we face struggles, we face difficult, pain, suffering, and heartache.  That’s a part of the evil of this world and our fallen nature.  But with all that, if you know Christ and know that He is victorious and is alive so that we can live, we have much greater things to live for.  What a glorious and awesome thing it is to have a God that loves us so much that He was willing to go to the depths of hell in order to rescue us, and bring us back to the life that we were always meant to have.

I’m going to keep this short today, but this is all so simple.  We are alive in Christ!  We are alive because He lives!  When we recognize this and learn that we can now live for the life that Christ has for us and live a life with our hearts full turned to God, what else matters.  Let’s live the life that Christ offered.  He offers life and life abundantly (John 10:10).  It’s right there for us.  We have to chose to accept that offer, stop living for this world, living a life that self-reliant and self-driven.  Live today.

What Kind Of Man Do I Want To Be?

Ephesians 5:16 tells us that we should make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.  The problem that many of us have is that we let opportunities that come our way just pass right by and we do not do anything about it.  We spend our days in our own small story and hide from opportunity.  It could be right in front of our face, yet we do nothing.  I can speak all about this, because I have certainly been guilty of this in my life.  Truth is truth and it’s not worth hiding from.

In John Eldredge’s book, “Free To Live – The Utter Relief Holiness,” he shares something we all struggle with in our life’s.  It has to do with how we hide in our lives.  We are all guilty of this in someway.  We have that fig leaf that protects us in our small story.  Here is what John shares:

One of the strangest quirks of life here on this planet is the fact that the one face we hardly ever see is the one closest to us: our own. As we move about in the world every day, our face is always right before us and always just beyond us. Somebody could write a fairy tale about that. It would be an allegory for how rarely we see ourselves, who we truly are, the good and the bad. But in unexpected moments we get a sideways glance, as when passing by a plate glass window downtown, and most of the time we don’t like much what we see.

Notice how we are in elevators: No one makes eye contact. No one wants to acknowledge that we are seeing and being seen. In a moment of forced intimacy, almost claustrophobic intimacy, we pretend we aren’t even there. The reason? Most times we just don’t know what to do with what we see. About ourselves, I mean. It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winner to see that something dreadful has happened to the human race. So we look at the ceiling or our shoes; we watch the numbers report the passing floors; we hide. This is how most of us approach our entire lives—we hide what we can, work on what we feel is redeemable, and despise the rest.

There is a better way.

There is most certainly a better a way.  I can totally relate to this.  I ride an elevator to a 21st floor office and it has often been an awkward time.  I find myself staring up, staring at the floor counter, or my phone.  I know I’m not the only one either.  If you think about we are hiding.  We hide from opportunities to fellowship, know others, and from exposing anything about ourselves.  I’ve been coming to great terms about the false story I’ve lived in and hid behind.  I have a great deal of work to do, but the Lord has been revealing so much about who I am and who He is calling me to be.

It begs the question of what kind of man do I want to be.  Do I want to be one that stays in my hidden small story and behind my fig leaf or do I want to put off the old man, the poser I’ve been and come alive for my God and for His kingdom.  It takes a great deal of courage to come out from behind our fig leaf.  It is so easy to be stuck in that world and in that life and be perfectly content with just getting on life.  As for me, I not live in this small and false story any longer.  God has shown me who I am and I know I cannot go back.

Ephesians 4:24 says to “Put on your new nature, created to be like God.” God is calling all of us to a larger story.  He is calling us into his kingdom.  To leave our sinful nature behind and live for him and under his undeserved grace and mercy that we have through Jesus Christ.  When we learn to leave this old nature behind, the opportunities that will unfold through our faith will be enormous.  With our real identities in Christ, we can truly move forward for the kingdom.  We all have gifts and talents we’re blessed with.  It’s a matter of whether we decide to put them to us.

In now living our life through Christ, we can share our faith with others.  As my Pastor shared with us, we can extend the love of God to others.  Jesus extended compassion to everyone.  The lost (Matthew 9;36:37), the sick (Mark 1:41), the adulterous, and the demon possessed (Mark 5:19).  We all have an opportunity, through Christ to share that same compassion and love to others.  We all have a number of different ways that God is calling us to do this.  We are not saved by our good works, but since we are saved, we have the opportunity to do works that God calls us too.

So in returning to the question, what kind of man or for you ladies, what kind of woman do you want to be.  Do you want to hide behind your fig leaf, or do you want to answer the call God has for all of us?  Do you want to be on the sidelines out of the game, or do you want to be in the game?

I know this all sounds easy, but if you turn to the Father in prayer and daily communion with Him, He will Father you through this.  He is wanting to raise the fatherless place in all of us to restore us through Christ Jesus so that we are now alive and equipped for the race.  Armed with the full Armor of God and ready to get your hands dirty and into the battle. Remember, the Father is orchestrating a rescue of all of us.  You have to make the choice of whether you allow Him to rescue your heart and bring you to life.  The free will choice is always ours to make.  Will you choose God first or this world?  I used to choose the world first and hide just as Adam did.  I no longer want to be that man.  My new heart is in Jesus and my desire is come alive in Christ and walk with God in discipleship and love.

What Are You Chasing?

We all have heard people talking about finding their calling.  Many people are spending their life trying to search for the calling they have and a lot of times it is their career choices.  I know I have been down this path quite a bit in recent years, myself.  There often comes that point in your life where you find that this is just not me.  I am not where I know I should be.  This is not my calling.  So when those moments of realization happen a number of different things happen.  The individual can leave what they’re doing and jump into something that speaks to them in that moment.  They can just accept the security they are in, whether it’s life sucking or not and just deal with their circumstances.  They can seek God and see where He leads them.  Follow me here.

God is calling all of us into something bigger than ourselves.  He is calling us to a larger story.  The problem is that too many people themselves chasing their calling first.  They see the next new thing to jump at, a lot of times, it is with career choices, and just make the leap.  Only problem is, later on they find it was a mistake and move on to the next or they just don’t have the commitment to stick with their choices and jump around never fully finding their full calling in life.

On the flip side, many people, and I have been in this boat myself, find that they are just unwilling to accept any risk in life and enjoy the benefits of security in working in that stable corporate environment or just meaningless work. They accept the hand that the world’s dealt to them and where the world told them they should be.  This circumstance will often times suck the life right out of someone.  They find themselves isolated.  They are miserable in what they do even though they are good at it.  Even if they are not miserable, they just accept the ride. I know I’m not the only one here.

So what to do instead?  We feel called, but we don’t know what to.  Here’s the plain solution.  Seek God first.  Don’t chase a calling, chase God.  Seek Him everyday in prayer on your own.  Find time to just get by yourself in silence and just talk to Him.  Ask Him where He wants you go.  Ask Him what assignments He has for you.  Give Him all glory and honor no matter where you are in life.  You seek Him first and watch Him work.  He will move you in incredible ways and bring you to what it is that will make your soul just come alive.  Let God guide you first and reveal that calling to you.  I’ve been growing tremendously in my spiritual and prayer life and seeking where God wants me to be and it is absolutely amazing to see Him responding.  He’s transforming my heart and moving me to something new.

Now that does not mean we all just need to quit what we’re doing today.  For many, God may want you right where you are.  For others, He may be wanting you to move.  He may want you to take risks.  He led many people through scripture along through risky situations, but it was all for His glory.  Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, Paul, and of course Jesus.  All of their situations involved risk, but they sought God through it all and wanted to carry out His will.  We’ve also seen the peril of what will happen when God was not chosen first and being passive sets in.  The fall of creation was due to Adam sitting idle and choosing Eve over God.  He was right their by Eve, and allowed her to sin and then made the choice to follow suit.

We have to be willing to take that risk in our lives.  If you feel that God is ready to move you, don’t sit idle and not act.  Be conscious about what He’s telling you. Continue to seek His council through it and also seek the council of people you trust to be honest with you about it.  When God reveals this calling to you and you act, you will come alive like never before.  Chase and choose God first, not calling and then watch Him work in your life and around you in His larger story.

There Is No Negotiating Surrender

We negotiate a lot of things in our lives.  We negotiate when buying a car or house.  We negotiate salaries with our jobs and contract deals.  We even negotiate with the family when trying to decide where to go eat or what to eat (This is a non-stop negotiation in our house).  To put it plainly, there is negotiating in all areas of life when trying to make decisions and commitments and trying to get the best terms and outcomes for us.  Another area that people often try to negotiate is their faith and there surrender to and trusting of God.  I have been guilty of this too.  Making terms like I will trust you but I really need this or that to happen.   We may even get angry with Him if things just don’t go the way we want it go.  Even if when we sin, we often just can’t let go and let God be God.

The simple fact is that we cannot negotiate our surrender to Him.  We cannot be partially committed in our faith and only trust God on our terms.  It does not work that way.  When we are broken, the biggest thing we need to just to let go and let God love us as He does and trust Him fully.  He is after everyone of our hearts and loves each one of us.  He loved us so much that he put on a robe of flesh and became fully man invading enemy territory.  Lived the life that man was meant to live in Christ, and suffered and died for our sins and salvation and was raised to life to open a doorway to Father through Him.  That’s love beyond any comparison.

This past weekend, we had a baseball coaches clinic at my church.  My pastor is a former Major League pitcher and brought in Royals Manager, Ned Yost, Hall of Famer, John Smoltz, and former MVP Terry Pendleton.  It was awesome to hear their insights about baseball and coaching tips and above all hearing them in their faith in Jesus Christ.  Ned Yost shared something big about his faith in where he had not fully surrendered and then reached a point where God just told him to let go and trust Him.  A life changing moment for this man and if you follow baseball, you know the Royals did this past year getting to the World Series.

It’s that simple though folks and I even needed to hear this, because I even find myself at times trying to set terms in my surrender.  Just let it go.  Trust God and know that He has a plan for each and every one of us.  He loves us beyond all measure and even when we stray away pursuing things of this world that don’t matter, He is still there pursuing and waiting for us.  He is after each of our hearts.  Don’t try to negotiate your faith and surrender to God.  It just does not work that way.  It’s a life changing feeling and one that’s hit me as well.  If you just trust God, love God, and let go, you can live free, come fully alive and everything will begin to play out according to His decided will and you will be able to discover more and more about His will and calling for your life.

The Lifelong War to Come Alive

Many of you have heard the quote from Saint Irenaeus that says, “The glory of God is man fully alive.”  I use that quote as the banner on this site and on my Facebook and Twitter pages.  It is a powerful statement that speaks to what it is we are created for in living out God’s purpose of glorifying Him through our own lives.  What does this statement mean to you.  Many will look at it and shrug their shoulders at it thinking it’s just another cliche statement that doesn’t carry much weight.  If God is really about us coming alive, then why do we find so much trial and difficulty in our lives that seem to draw us back into a world of heartache and difficulty.  We get bombarded with so many challenges day and night that it becomes difficult for many to see just where God is working.

What I’ve come to realize is that all of this difficulty and struggle comes about because we are born into a world that constantly at war.  We are faced with a world that is full of struggle and difficulty, anxiety, worry, and pain.  Since the fall of man in Eden, God has been constantly waging war against Satan and his demons that are constantly trying to overtake our lives and turn us away from God.  In Exodus 15:3, the Hebrews proclaimed that “The Lord is a Warrior.”  God has waged a continuing battle to win us back every since the fall.  What is He battling for?  For our hearts and that we can turn to Him and finally achieve the purposeful life we were created for.

Now for many, they may see that our faith in Christ grants us life in Heaven.  They miss a key part of what eternal life is about.  Eternal life begins now.  By our faith in Christ we are open to eternal life and fully our full design.  That does not start after we leave here, but it starts now on this earth.  Eternal life means always living, not living after we die.  Jesus came with the promise of life.  In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  Through Christ we have a chance to defeat the evil in this world and beginning to come alive through Him.

Now back to the war I was talking about.  God has been waging a war for us since the fall.  We face so much difficulty in this world because we face an enemy that is trying to always pull us away from God.  You see it today in the media as people are so bent on being in this progressive society and discounting anything that is spoken from The Word.  That is Satan at work.  Jesus told us that we will continue to have trials and sorrows in the world.  Through our faith in Him, we can overcome all of that because He overcame this world and stole the keys of hell and death and was risen to new life securing our rebirth.

We have to always remember that we are at war and God is at war for us.  Jesus has brought us new life and now we have the opportunity to fully come alive through faith in Christ and what He has secured for us.  In the book, “Waking the Dead,” John Eldredge said, “War is not just one among many themes in the Bible. It is the backdrop for the whole Story, the context for everything else. God is at war. He is trampling out the vineyards where the grapes of wrath are stored. And what is He fighting for? Our freedom and restoration. The glory of God is man fully alive.”

We are going to be continually at war in this life.  Don’t let struggles that you face pull you away from your faith.  I know that it will be easy to turn away.  We’ve all faced struggles that make it difficult to see where God is at work.  Trust me, He always is at work and will never stop fighting for us and pursuing our hearts.  That’s how much He loves every single one of us.  We can come alive through Christ and start living out exactly what we were created for in the eternal life that begins now through our faith.