More Than Inspiration

Inspiring people.  Inspiring things.  What inspires your?  What makes you say “That is awesome.  That person is awesome.  I want to be like that.  I want to do that.”

Is it a team?  Is it a person?  Is it a work of art?  Is it a book or a movie?  Maybe it is an act of kindness.  Maybe it is an act of violence that you don’t want to see happen.  Maybe you have heard a story of hope.  Maybe you have heard a story of encouragement.

Inspiration is all around us.  It is there when you look for it.  It is there when you don’t look for it.  It is in all shapes and sizes and color.  It can come from someone older or even from a newborn baby.

Life is full of inspiration.  Right now you are inspiring someone.  You are making them want to be better.  You might not even now it.  Even if you are not behaving properly, you are inspiring someone.  Hopefully you are inspiring them to not be like you.  I hope you are behaving properly and inspiring great things.

You don’t have to write a book.  You don’t have to write a blog.  You don’t have to make a movie, win a championship, or even make millions of dollars.

What inspires me?  Who inspires me?  People who show up no matter what.  Here are three examples of so many.

Example 1: My Dad.  Here is a man who worked hard for us.  Here is a man who took care of my Mother as she battled with cancer.  Here is a man who will do anything he can for his family.

Example 2: My Mother.  Here is a woman who battled cancer.  She fought and I am pretty darn sure never lost faith.  Not faith that she would live, but faith in the Lord.  Faith in Jesus.  She did not lose her life to cancer.  She won her life with Jesus Christ.  She has inspired my faith.

Example 3: Jesus Christ.  (He is always first.)  He was an innocent man, put to death.  He knew it was going to happen.  He let it happen to be a sacrifice for all of our sins.  He died so we can repent and have hope.  He carried His cross, after being flogged so much His bones were showing.  Then they nail Him to the tree.  Many horrible and bloody things were done, yet,  as it is written in Luke 23:34 , Jesus said “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  And He also came back to life three days later.

What do you face in your life that is harder than what Jesus went through?  What is so bad that you complain on facebook about?  Can you get inspired to be better?  Can you get inspired to overcome your situation? Can you find more than inspiration?

Jesus is more than inspiration.  He is the way, the truth, and the life. John 14:6

Whether you believe or not, why would you not want to live like Jesus?  How can you not be inspired to live a stronger life through Jesus?

2 Timothy 2:1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

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Thanksgiving Means Food and Football

I always love Thanksgiving because it means food and football. But more than that, it is a time for family to get together.  It is a time to thank people in your life for helping you be who you are.  It is a time to thank God for everything, and I mean everything.

I know it is hard for some people to gather with their family because they may not like some of the people.  You may be holding a grudge against another family member for something they did yesterday, last month, last year, or ten years ago.  Well, I recommend finding a way to forgive them.  It is really holding you hostage and not them.  (The forgiveness blog is for another day.)  For tomorrow, just please try to find a way to be in the same area as them without causing a riot.

We should be thankful everyday and not just on the holidays.  Everyone in your life has made a difference, whether the relationship with that person was good or bad.  You are who you are because of that.  Ultimately, you are who you are because of God.  He has given us life.  He gave us His Son.  He has a plan.

The challenging part is to thank Him in the bad times.  We want to praise Him when good things happen.  Some use Him as a lottery ticket and throw Him away when our numbers don’t come up.  Realize that those moments of loss, those moments of failure, those moments of frustration are building us up.  They are great time to turn to the Lord and say “Please help.  Please Lord be with me.  I know you are here God.  I know You have a plan.  I trust You.  Thank You for giving me breath so I may live to rise to this challenge with You leading the way.”

Here are some people I want to thank for all they do for me and my family.  I thank my parents for raising me and the moments in time with my Mom on earth and her continual spirit I feel with me.  I thank my Dad for being my hero everyday.  I thank my sister Nancy for always supporting me.  I thank my wife Karen for never giving up, even though I give her plenty of reason.  I thank my daughter Eleanor, aka Roo, for teaching me new things everyday and for being my princess.  I thank my business partners Rose and Beth for being family and looking out for me.  I thank all the family members at United Strength Academy for showing up to life and not just sessions.  I thank my new 217Church family and West Windsor small group for helping to keep my faith strong as I do my best to follow Jesus.  There are many more and if I didn’t list you I apologize.

I will sum it all up by thanking the One and only Being that makes this all possible, my Heavenly Father.  God, I thank you for everyday I live.  I give my life to You.  I pray that my ears, eyes, heart, and mind will always be open to Your word.  Jesus, I truly desire to take up my cross and die so I may follow you.  I do not want to chase you, although I will until I am always just walking behind you.  Thank you Savior for dieing for me and giving me hope.  Please continue to give me the opportunity, wisdom, and courage to encourage others to come to you and say “Jesus, I have sinned. Please forgive me.  I want to know you.  I want to follow you.”  In your name Jesus I pray.

Happy Thanksgiving

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

TITL

Reminder: this is not a blog just for Christians.  The intention is to take you along on my journey of trying to follow Jesus Christ.  I want to show you a way to live your life stronger.  A way to live your life for more.  A way to live your life for Jesus.  A way to take up your cross and die for Jesus.

I read my Bible everyday.  I am still learning from the Word of God.  I hope to expose you to His word and maybe you will get from it and more importantly, give from it.

Please watch the video to find out a little more of my testimony.  I want to show you inside my journey a little more as I continue to, what I call,  chase Jesus.


Some don’t trust in God because when they pray their prayers are not answered as they expect.  Well, God has His own plan for us.  When we pray for things he will answer them how He sees is best.  We often do not understand because we are not made to understand.  That is where we have to TRUST, be patient, and we must always PRAISE.

We have to TITL (Trust In The Lord) I first saw this acronym in an email from my friend Steve Dey. Thanks Brother.

Here is the joke as told in the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness” delivered much better than I did.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Chasing Faith

I get a little nervous just before I post something about faith or scripture on social media.  Right after I post I am glad I did because some of the people who like the post or comment surprise me.  Then why the nervousness?  Then why the slightest doubt?

I was not sure until I thought for a little bit.  It may be the same reason why people are trying to take “In God We Trust” off of our money.  It may be the same reason why “The Pledge of Allegiance” battles to stay the same in our schools.  It may be the same reason why it is more acceptable to pray to the universe than it is to pray to God.

The evil one whispers in our ears and we are constantly battling against him.  The material things of the world and political correctness have come way to the wrong side.

I do not want to offend anyone.  I just want to inspire.  I know what the Word of God is doing in my life, so let me be honest.  I was the one praying to the universe.  I was the one wondering why the dollar still said that.  I was the one following false prophets.  I was the one not believing.  I was the one not following.  I was the one looking around instead of looking up!

I recently started reading a book called “Not A Fan” by Kyle Idelman.  He writes about how most of us think we are following Jesus Christ but are really just fans.  He explains how some people think by going to church and putting a fish on the back of their car it makes them a follower.  Meanwhile, they keep doing the same sins without repentance.  They keep taking from the world without making deposits.  Yet they feel they are following because they know what Jesus said and how He lived.  But they do not live as Jesus lived. They do not love as Jesus loved.  They do not know Jesus.

I feel like a fan most of the time.  I feel like I make too many withdraws and not enough deposits.  I feel I do not really know Jesus.  I am reminded of this when I go to post something that I know might help someone and I think “what if people are offended?”  I think “what if they don’t believe like I believe?”  I think “what if they are suffering and what I post will push them farther from God?”

I am so thankful people didn’t think of this when they talked to me about faith.  I am so thankful they had their Faith, and in my suffering, gave me Hope.  God’s love poured in their hearts through the Holy Spirit because of their Faith.

Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Sometimes I feel, in those moments of doubt, that I am not following Jesus.  I feel more like I am chasing Him.  He is just walking at the same pace but I fall behind.  I keep running to catch up.  He is right there and I slip.  I hear Him call me and I hesitate.  Then I realize He is with me and it is ok. He gives me strength.  And I run to catch up.

I know we all fall down sometimes.  I know we all hesitate.  I know we all have those moments when the world and the evil one whispers in our ears telling us lies!  I suggest to you, and myself, to just put in our ear buds, lace up our sneakers, and run to Jesus.

Because as it is written……

John 14:6-7 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.  From now on, you do know him and have seen Him.”

I Know Who To Trust

“Best of luck to you, it is a rough $#%+¥ world out there!”

This was at the end of a facebook message I received last night.  Let me set the story for you.  As you know today is election day. A friend of mine posted something about the election and this other person commented “It doesn’t matter who is president and that it is sad and the world is a sadder place.”  I do not know this person but I commented that “If it is sad then do something about it”.  I then messaged her and apologized for getting on her and not knowing her situation.  Everyone has a story of why they think the way they do so it wasn’t fair of me to get on her without knowing.

Well, she accepted my apology and at the end of her message she wrote the quote above.

I am not here to judge.  I do not know this person’s story.   If they wish to share I would listen.  I would simply listen.  This world may be sad. Just look at the north-east coast in the United States right now.  There are people without homes because of the storm. But if people just think it is sad and do nothing then they make it sadder.

We need peaceful action.  Voting alone won’t change anything.  Do not put it on the politicians.  Do not trust in them.  While there may be a few that are for justice, peace and the people, we will not know them.

There are about 11 people running for president.  Why do we only know about two?

Does it really matter?

The president is not in control of my life.  I trust in One, no matter what the outcome I trust in One.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5

Yes, this world is rough.  Yes, there are terrible things that happen.  But if you have faith, I mean real faith, not this “I go to church and I am good and I believe so why don’t good things happen to me,” faith.  I mean “nothing will take my love for Jesus away faith,” the world will not be terrible.  Afterall, He overcame the world.  Jesus is Lord no matter who is president.

Please do not get me wrong.  I did vote and I love this country.  God graced me by allowing me to be born here.  As Chritians we have the ability and responsibility to make the world a better place when we see it as sad.

 God Bless you all.

Perseverance

Perseverance: 1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

2.Theology . continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation

My area of the world has been hit with a huge challenge.  I am not going to pretend that I was personally hit hard by Hurricane Sandy but I will say my state was.  All of the North East Coast was rocked beyond belief.  Towns like Point Pleasant, Belmar, Seaside Heights and even world-famous cities like Asbury Park and Atlantic City will never be the same.  Up north in Long Island, NY, many people not only had flood and wind damage but they also had a huge fire that burnt a town to the ground.  There are many more towns and people who will never be the same.

What will happen now?  What will people do?

Many are just thankful they are alive as well as their families are alive.  I do send my condolences to those who lost loved ones.  People will pick themselves up.  They will rebuild.  They will now become stronger.  They will PERSEVERE.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Again I will not pretend I know what these people are going through.  I only lost power and a tree.  I do know that this is just a trial and these people will be stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually if they hold on to hope and hold on to faith.  They will succeed at rebuilding their houses, lives, and homes.  They will not be alone because they will have help from their brothers and sisters.  We will all pull together and persevere.

So here is what we can do.  Donate……. Money, Items, Time!  Any will do.  Something as small as a clean pair of socks can go a long way.  There are many organizations collecting items right now.  I will list some here that I know of.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/134282933386328/

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=tn_tnmn#!/events/191327464325617/

http://www.facebook.com/events/501536356532394/?suggestsessionid=1351903573

http://www.facebook.com/events/501536356532394/?suggestsessionid=1351903573#!/events/417299598325338/

217Church at the AMC Hamilton will be collecting Sunday November 4, 2012 10am Service and 11:30 Service.

I know I am very fortunate, by the Grace of God, to not have had my house taken from me.  I also know that if I do nothing then I waste God’s Grace.  I must act!  I must help my brothers and sisters.  I will not sit on the sidelines.  I will get in the game and help others PERSEVERE.

James 2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Let us do good works for our brothers and sisters so they may have faith.