Love – What it Really Means

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The Love of many is waxing cold. That statement comes from a very popular scripture in the bible. The more that I live the more I find out that the saying is so true. People are more cold now than I have ever seen. There is a lack of compassion for others which introduces a strong strain of judgement and condemnation. We have become a selfish generation that only thinks about themselves and no one else. With all of that being said, I’m not surprised that the bible suggest that if you really want to know who is a Christian or not, inspect the way they love each other.

Isn’t that amazing that the contrast wasn’t based on how many times you go to church in a week or the amount you put in the collection container, but the contrast between followers of Jesus Christ and others is LOVE! Love – out of all of the things! If you are not “showing” love then anything you do is in the Name of Christ is null and void. Now I put the emphasis on “showing” because love is an act. It’s more than speaking to the lonely visitor on Sunday during fellowship time, it’s a consciousness that exudes into your lifestyle. You become love and everything you do surrounds it.

How does your love meter add up? Are you erring on the side of the world or the side of Christ. Don’t let your dedication to the work of God feed you a false sense of eternal security and make you think that you have a sure ticket into heaven. If you are not BEING or BECOMING love, you are not being Christ’s example on the earth and could risk your entrance into Heaven!

Honesty

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What Does it Take to be Honest?

We live in a society that appreciates the person who puts on good appearances. Due to the popularity and necessity of social networks and reality TV etc. what’s real and honest can be easily traded for what is superficial. Operating under this consciousness over a period of time knowing or unknowingly creates dissociative behaviors that if not recognized, can become clinical. Going against the grain and demanding that you live in truth and tell the truth, will inadvertently set you against the masses of this culture. Below are 3 of the many things you have to have to be honest.

  1. It takes a security in who you are and what you are to be an honest person.

You have to be comfortable saying things that are opposite of the opinionated majority. If you don’t like confrontation, or you are overly concerned with other’s opinions of you, it is very likely you are not as honest as you think you are.

  1. You must be secure in the meaningful relationships in your life.

Many times people are dishonest because they are afraid that relationships will be ruined by truth. The reality is, if telling the truth can ruin a relationship, then your relationship is more than likely false. Real relationships are based on likeness and secured in truth. Let’s take a test, practice being 100% honest in all of your relationships. The results might be very telling!

  1. You must be dedicated to the truth whether it’s for you or against you.

Do you know that one person that dishes out the harsh-full truth at others expense, but require love and delicacy when they are being confronted? Yes, I do too! That person is not a person of truth. They are a hypocrite at best. To be honest, you have to be dedicated to the truth whether you are giving it or receiving it. Proverbs 21:2 states in the IES version, “Every man’s lifestyle is proper in his on view, but the Lord weighs the heart.” The first part of this proverb screams to me that we can fool ourselves into thinking we are right when we are not. If you are not a person that is open to letting loved ones offer you corrective criticism, then you are person that is blind and full of character inefficiencies. OUCH! Yes, I know that hurt, but I am just being “honest”.

Let’s try honesty on for the remainder of the year and see how it looks on you. i have a feeling it will look great!

What Death Taught Me

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One thing that has stood out to me as I ponder over 2015 is the untimely deaths of loved ones this year. This has caused me to shed tears that I preferred not to have shed. If you’ve been reading my blogs for any length of time you will understand that I’m always looking for a lesson out of everything in life. We talked about this on the last blog as well, no matter whether it’s good, bad, or ugly – finding the lesson is essential.

As I pondered on the lives of the individuals, all in which left us too soon, what they did – how they lived their lives – how old they were, I instinctively thought about my life. See, there are a lot of us that are still breathing and going about our lives, but really we are the walking dead. We are rotting with issues of the past, hurts from loved ones and unspoken secrets. We are living, but full of dead issues. Now I’m going to say this and it might sting a little bit so brace yourself – are you ready?

What better off are you than the those who are no longer with us if we are so full of negativity and darkness that we can’t produce real true life?

(Let’s take a moment and let that sink in)

I want to challenge you before the turn of the year – DO SOME HOUSEKEEPING! Don’t carry the dead stuff over, confront, deal, do whatever you have to do to make it right so that you can LIVE!

Sometimes you have to get dirty with it!

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Hello family!

I hope you guys have been well over the holiday weekend.

You know a lot times as Christians we put a lot of emphasis on staying clean, and to that point we push everyone around us to be clean just like us (or just like we desire to be). First of all, let’s define the meaning of clean. When I say clean, I’m speaking of those set of spoken and unspoken rules that you better not break or you just might not make it in to heaven. You know “those” rules.

Though striving to live a clean life for Christ is commendable, it can become a two-edged sword. I have seen church people judge people and even evaluate the measure of Love that God will give an individual based on how they keep the rules or not. I have also seen individuals concentrate so  on getting or staying clean that when they make a mistake they are so guilt ridden and find it hard to grasp the Love and forgiveness of God for themselves.

We can easily start to preach and evangelize this hard to understand, legalistic gospel that leaves very little room for grey. This ideology also affects how we evangelize and who we evangelize to. We tend to shun the person that is “too far gone” The dirtier the individual the less we will embark any kind of evangelism with them.

Hear is what the bible says about ALL of us in Isaiah 64:6

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

So in essence we are all in the same boat, we are all dirty. The difference is those that follow Jesus decides to take part in the Grace of God everyday that keeps our Judgement from our sins remedial and not penal.

Have you been so concerned about living an upright life before God that you have turned legalistic? Are you judging others by those same hard legalistic points of view?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, I want to challenge you to get to know God again. His way is easy and His burden is light!

The Daddy and His Daughter

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I recently read an article where a newlywed daughter gave her father a certificate of purity that her hymen was still in tact signifying that she kept her virginity as promised to her father when she was 13 years old. What a statement of commitment in 2015!

In spite of this piece of positivity, it amazes me that there are still some negative comments surrounding this ordeal. People are saying that it’s a sexist move being that the groom couldn’t prove his virginity, others saying it too extreme. Here’s what I say and want to lift that in my opinion is more precious than the certificate itself – the bond between the father and the daughter. I don’t see in this story as much of a commitment to the groom to present herself as chaste as I see a commitment to her father that was reinforced by relationship and bonding. As fathers, I believe we forget that we are the first man our daughters will ever have real intimate relationship with. Your touch and energy of love will guide her when you can’t be there to steer in the right direction or give your wisdom. All other male relationships in her life will be judged by the relationship she has with you. Do you know what gives me the right to say this? The relationship I have with my daughter – I love her! We travel, have random breakfast and dinner dates, love visiting arcades and are headed to the opera in Chicago in December. This is the energy of kindness, care, and concern that I give her now that will protect her when she is in danger, shelter her when she far a way, and guide her when she needs direction.

If you are reading this and you are a father, be there for your daughter. Show them by example what it means to be a man, your actions will engrave itself in their conscious and will impact their lives forever.

This blog is dedicated to my daughter Tyra – LOVE YOU!

How’s Your Fruit – Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness

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Hey guys we had a great conversation this week about the fruit of the Spirit. My intentions were to just go through the fruit of the Spirit that spoke to me mostly, but at the last minute I figured I would just go over 4 more.  🙂  Enjoy this last installment!

Joy.  To have joy is the ability to be consistent in a state of mind of happiness in spite of what is going on. Joy feeds off of nothing but Faith, your strong belief that all is well no matter what. It’s a consciousness that bleeds into everything you do and say.

Peace.  There is a word that is used often as a phrase and it’s “unbothered” That’s what Peace is. It’s not the absence of turmoil, but it’s a response to it. When you have God’s Peace you are as this generation says. “unbothered”.

Patience. A lot like long suffering, it’s the ability to endure any sort of ill treatment from life without reacting negatively.

Kindness. First of all like all other gifts of the Spirit mentioned, Love undergirds them all especially this one. It’s the ability to adapt- to meet the needs of others. You have to have genuine Love for this gift to properly operate in your life.

Now if you look at the explanation of each fruit, do you get the picture of the life the Christian is suppose to live? When we sway to far from this template for living we actually do God and His agenda a disservice vs service. It’s almost better to put your I’m A Christian banner up until you’re able to arise to as close to this character as you can, then to wave the banner and dishonor His name.

Hope you enjoyed the discussion this week. Looking forward to talking to you guys again next week!

How’s Your Fruit – Love

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This is the strongest 4 letter world in the dictionary – urban, webster or you name it.

Love –  unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another:

So do you have love? Is your love component evangelizing your co-workers, friends, family members, and those your are connected with? You know the love component that is unselfish loyal and has a benevolent concern for the good of another. Or do you leave the four walls of the church every Sunday thinking about yourself, intoxicated with SELF. A lot of us if I ask across the board is your love component strong you will unanimously say yes, but if I ask you are you unselfishly loyal and do you have a benevolent concern for the good of another what will your response be?

To be like Christ is to sacrifice yourself willingly for the greater cause of someone else. Are you willing to take on lies, and accusation for the sake of being a great example?

I’m afraid that we haven’t conquered the most important, viable fruit of them all. I would even stretch to say if you don’t love properly you probably don’t have the other fruit.

I know today’s conversation was a little rough, but remember we are a walking billboard for Jesus. Jesus is LOVE, and if we don’t have proper love we don’t have proper Jesus.