Hungry? Let’s Fill Up.
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
Well it is again Sunday morning and my blood is flowing, how many people can get excited about going to church? I really didn’t want an answer it was just something I see in movies where the parents have to force their kids to church. Luckily I don’t have this issue, my young one is just as excited and it could be that she is one of the puppeteers in her Sunday program and the youth pastor gives candy at the end of each service. Now back to my Sunday service. We opened with the first praise song “No other name”, which was POWERFUL!!! Worship ended with “Amen”, the lyrics “Victory has a name and it’s Jesus”, choke me up and today was no different. The second portion of service was on the final sermon of Dreams – The Life of Joseph. Below are some cliff notes to guide us through this week’s discussion.
Pastor said today’s sermon will contain some important key factors.
Acts 2:23-24 (NIV)
23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[a] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
TUG OF WAR
The message: Its in our power to make a daily habit to seek GOD and obey him.
The desires of the flesh and blood are real. Mine was revenge on my earthly fathers. Are you fighting a fight thats not GODly, questioning GOD “why am I feeling so weak?” Are you fighting a man made religion, a man made theology? If you are, STOP! The work of the Holy Spirit is sent to fill us and save us. The Holy Spirit doesn’t speak about himself but of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts us and guides us at the same time and every single believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. It took me over 30 years to believe in a power greater than myself and drop my denial that I was not hurting. My Pastor is a very wise man, he says as a believer you have the assurance of salvation and you are adopted into the Kingdom of GOD. The Holy Spirit reminds us of the promises of GOD. The GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac and the GOD of Jacob is the same GOD that indwells us. Don’t be fooled and try to overcome man made struggles by man alone. The rope I was holding onto was taunt and heavy. I was loosing the tug of war fight. Submit and walk in the Holy Spirit were the words I heard in a sermon I believed was directed for me. Pastor Spivey has been anointed by the Holy Spirit. Wise and funny at the same time but don’t let the occasional humor fool you. There is no nonsense in his voice. So how do we walk in the spirit? We must be sensitive to the word! We all have a conscious that helps to direct us in our daily routine. Raise your hand if you can hear your conscious daily. Ok…….Now listen to what Pastor Michael Spivey said in his sermon. “How can you listen to your conscious , your gut, your mind and your heart if you don’t have your bible open?” “Don’t ask me why GOD isn’t listening to you or things are not going right in your life if you don’t have your bible open and reading the word”. The tug of war lifestyle ends today if you let it. Drop the rope and stop struggling. In my life I wanted revenge on my earthly fathers. So much pain dwelled in my life and it took over. When my step father said I was worthless and I would amount to nothing I worked harder than any son should have to to prove him wrong. I worked from morning to night to make my name for the company I worked for. My accomplishment…..I run the Shipping company I used to load flatbeds for. Regional Distribution Service Manger……. My failure…….I denied my family. I provided the money and luxury I fought so hard to prove to my stepfather I was going to and in the process I felt guilty for missing out on my kids life. It took many years to let go of the rope (anger and guilt)I used to play tug of war with. When I started going to People’s church in Recker HWY in Winter Haven Florida I felt like I found a place where a new me was born. GOD grabbed my life and washed the old me and I was indwelled with the Holy Spirit. My only advice that I am qualified to give is “Let it go”!!!!!! It works!!! Celebrate Recovery and Church are where you are reminded that GOD exists yesterday, today and tomorrow. Wake up tomorrow and be part of the “Let Go” movement. GOD is waiting for you as he’s never forgotten his promise and let us not forget as well. Until next time we meet share a cold refreshing diet Pepsi with someone you care about. Love your family, neighbor and GOD.
Welcome back as we discuss what the Almighty Lord has put on my heart this week. Have you ever thought “If I had a time machine I would go back and change ________(insert answer here).” Another thought we’ve had is if I could redo a part of my life I would change…? We’ve seen the movie “Back To The Future” where Marty McFly goes back in time so he can change his outcome in life. In the process he’s created more problems that have to be fixed along with the original task at hand. In my childhood-days I wished I had never seen the anger or abuse between my mother and stepfather. A child should never have to endure such images. Past emotions of revenge and thoughts of “what if my mom never met my stepfather” run through my mind. Only issue is if that part of my past changed then I would have never moved to Florida, met my wife, never had my kids, who knows what job I would have, I would have never met my friends and would have not met my close friends in CR and Church. CR friends are anonymous but church friends are David, John, Ryan, Carl, Aaron, Donovan, Mikey, Steve, Kevin, Michael, Rodney, Bryan, Butch, Don,……you know I can keep going because the Lord has blessed me with a large group of men. That’s a great place to be. In the movie Marty put a lot of time and energy trying to change the future only to be stranded in 1955. See Marty tried changing the world on his terms. In my life I promised myself I would treat my kids better than I was treated, that I would provide for my kids and give them what I was denied as a kid. I put so much effort into changing the way I grew up with my kids that I wasn’t focused on the character of Godliness that would send me on the path to righteousness and would then overflow to my kids. Instead I showered them with gifts and the best clothes and games that I wanted as a kid. I worked day and night to make this happen, Overtime day after day, weekends and holidays. The outcome…….I lived up to my promise but was denied the fatherly time needed with my kids. God’s plan for us is to prosper in his name. To live a life of Spiritual richness that overflows to our youngoness and in turn their young ones.
There was a part two and a part three to the Movie. In part three of BACK TO THE FUTURE Doc leaves a detailed note for Marty on where to find the Time Machine and and they eventually find their way out of a jam and back home. In the Bible we read of Abraham, Abimelech, Jacob, Joseph, Pharaoh, Samuel, Solomon, Daniel, Zacharias, Joseph, Ananias, Peter, Paul (reading today) and John, these are only a few of who GOD gave visions too and showed them the metaphorical Delorean. We can spend a lot of time thinking of our past wrongs, sins or hurts but the reality is, its done. We need to focus on what GOD is telling us now and how we can better ourselves today using Church and the remnant he has placed in our lives. Join us on Sunday morning as we listen to our Pastor Michael Spivey deliver a thunderous sermon as GOD speaks through him to us. I used to be proud of being a leader and yes I say it’s great to lead your family but continue to be a follower of GOD. Mrs Jennifer has taken me for a ride this year as we read the Bible in chronological order and only have a few days left to complete the Bible in one year. I challenge you to accept the next Bible reading as it has done wonders for me in 2019. Its put my perspective on my future by getting to know our history and the story of Jesus. My life in 2019 has changed for the better but it happened through GOD’s will. I just had to learn to listen. Life slowed down some and I got rid of time wasters in my life and dropped some programs and picked up others that He called me too. I will with his grace and patience continue my path he laid out for me.
Today’s take-a-way, GOD has the right to accept our follies and our victories. He has the honor to accept our will of our lives. When we fully surrender to him, our lives changes. We move forward and live a better today which leads into a wonderful tomorrow. Pastor Michael Spivey asked this question, “Can we fully accept to give up our old lives to save it?” Let’s meditate on this. Until we meet again please keep loving GOD and our neighbors. Offer up a cool Diet Pepsi to someone in need.
Lord, thank you for the pillar of cloud you provide during the day and the pillar of fire you provide in the night so we don’t lose your way. So many times we hope we could have changed our past but this same past has brought us to you today. Let your will be done and not ours. We love you and thank you for all the miracles you placed in front of us. AMEN!!!!!
Have you given any thought to where you’ll be at financially when you retire? Most of us have, and it’s sometimes nerve racking to figure out if we’ll have our homes paid off, making sure you have a good vehicle before you retire as to avoid breakdowns, enough money in our bank account (not to be rich) to live comfortable and a healthy body to wake up to everyday. I’ve been at my Job for a long time and December 2nd will be 25 years of honest work and loyalty to my company. I’ve always believed if I’m going to do something I’m going to give it all I have. Let me brag here and say other than my surgeries I’ve never called into work mainly because I was raised to work and always told in order to be a good provider you have to struggle through the tough moments and just suck it up and work. It paid off as today I manage the Distribution Center, a long way from pipe cleaner when hired in 1994. The downside…I worked from dawn to dusk so I left for work when my kids were asleep and came home when my kids were asleep. I wouldn’t give this advice to anyone as my relationship with my older kids lacked time. One of Pastor Spivey’s sermons (September 29, 2019) he mentioned it’s so important to be mindful on where we invest our time. Saying yes where we needed to and no when we have to. It made me think of how I invested my time away from my family. Then he said these words, “No one ever said on their death bed, I wish I spent more time working”. In actual when I reflect back on my time at work verses home I had my heart in the right place. I had two little ones, my wife was managing them and the house and I needed every bit of overtime to pay bills and put food on the table. Could we have gone without a house phone or cable. Sure we could have but my priorities back then didn’t see it. I was so used to being a worker bee I didn’t realize what I was investing in or what I was not investing in. Celebrate Recovery has helped me understand that we can’t live for the dollar, but that doesn’t mean let your work responsibilities go either. There’s a fine line and you have to discern what it is. In the 25 years with my job I am vested with a pension plan, a 401k, insurance and a payback program. If I am blessed to retire at my job I should have built a retirement plan that will help in my golden years. In this same manner I ask my self…..am I vested in with the Lord? Have I put in the time, works, tithes, charity, loving my neighbors, my family, have I read the Bible enough? Will GOD/Jesus know my name when I leave this earth? Job was a loyal servant to the Lord and trusted him even when life wasn’t going right. I am in that position right now. My life is going ok but it could be better. If I knew where my son’s mindset is at when he’s making his decisions it would help me understand how to help him but unfortunately I can’t. I learned to put my faith in the Lord and I believe with all my energy that HE will save him. This year I made a difficult decision to let some things go in order to pick up some others that will fill my day. I am learning to invest my time and not spend it. There is now more bible reading time, more talking to GOD time, taking care of me time and most of all investing time with my last child who will be off to college in a few years. Will I get the recipe right? Only time will tell. I will one day be accountable for what I was given by the almighty.
Today’s take-a-way, begin each day with the Lord, submit to his will and ask him to direct your steps. I am looking for Pastor Spivey to keep Shepherding his flock which I am part of. On our Bible reading for day 320 it reads
1 Thessalonians 3:8 (NLT)
It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord.
Thank you, for letting me share. I’d like for you to leave a comment on how many years you have invested in your job. Just a number will do. I’m a statistics and percentage guy. Until we meet again stay Strong in GOD, love yourself and offer your neighbor a cold Pepsi.
I’ve written in the past that my Pastor knows exactly what song to play for me on Sunday morning as if he looked into my brain and plucked out the song that hits me right in the heart. Let me tell you there are times where during the song the words cease to come out of my mouth and I start to tear up. “What is this wet stuff coming down my cheek?” says the tough guy that can bench press 300 pounds and willing to fight a bear to protect his family. I’m about to fall to the ground in weakness of body control! Does this sound like you? Well it definitely is me. I may be biased here but our worship team is running on all 8 cylinders. If you have not heard them in action then please join us at Peoples’ Church in Winter Haven Florida, look us up you won’t be disappointed. GOD has anointed this remnant of talented folks. Mrs. Jennifer’s Blog reads that GOD has given gifts to several different folks whether it be singing, writing, preaching GOD’s word, playing instruments or helping others in recovery. Let me take you through a few songs and some of the folks who shared their thoughts this Thanksgiving.
GOD has never given up on us he “WONT STOP NOW”, (I give you glory for all you brought me through, and now i’m ready for whatever you wanna do). I heard from a dear friend that this song allows him to vent spiritually with tears, it’s so powerful to him. Ryan B.
I’ve been stuck idle in a part of life that made me feel down, so I found prayer and GOD will will see me through, I asked GOD to make me (Ralph) strong today, tomorrow and the next day. “DO IT AGAIN” (you made a way, where there was no way. And I believe, I’ll see you do it again), “GOD knows you and he wants us to have repetition in love and faith daily. John B.
“You say I am loved when I don’t feel a thing, You say I am strong when I think I am weak, and you say I am held when I am falling short.” “YOU SAY” “Even when I don’t see or beleive more than a mustard seed, HE is always working things out for me.” Kelly K.
When I feel like I’m alone in this world GOD reminds me “YOU WON’T RELENT” (My heart is yours, you won’t relent until you have it all). Moments like this where the voice inside of you speaks to reclaim your love for yourself. GOD loves me and I will be ok through him. Brian B.
Let me ask you…If you know of a worship song that grabs you even if you’ve just heard it for the first time, what’s the thought that comes to mind? Who sings it? I wonder if this song will be a top 10 hit? Will this song be a money maker? I don’t think any of these questions truly come to mind. My guess the Who’s who among artist has no say in what the song says to you. If you have the same burning fire and Holy Spirit filling, i’m fixing to jump out of my skin feeling then the author of this song has no meaning because the focus at that moment will be GOD is speaking to me through this song.
When I joined the church a few years ago I had to approach the Pastor to help me realize how to praise GOD during worship. I would see folks raise their hand, sweep their arms, cup their hands, pound their hands, grasp their hearts and weep. I didnt know which method to use and when to use it. Was there a blueprint that explained this? Pastor sat me down and said, I won’t tell you how to praise GOD but what I will do is give you a 5 disc CD set that explains it all and if you have questions come back and we can discuss. Pastor Spivey explained I can hold the CDs until I get it. One year and several months later I gave the CDs back to him. He actually forgot I had them and was thankful to receive them back so they could be heard by others in my same situation. I’ll come back to this shortly.
Worship makes you raise your hand and “TOUCH THE SKY”, (What fortune lies beyond the stars, upward falling, spirit soaring I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground). Imagine falling to your knees while you are being lifted higher by the second. “Only through this Author of salvation will we find peace.” Donovan D.
While attending church and Celebrate Recovery you learn very quickly if the Pastor says “Come to the altar if you need to lay your problems at GOD’s feet” that you take advantage of that. Take it from me I know it’s scary and you tell yourself if I go to the altar then someone at church will wonder why I’m going up there, will they think I’m broken and what could he possibly be going up there for? So many questions so you don’t go, you hold yourself steady and fight the urge to climb that mountain between your seat and the altar. Then several weeks later you hear “OH’ COME TO THE ALTAR” (Are you hurting and broken within? Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin? Jesus is calling!) See it wasn’t the words that Pastor said when he said come to the altar, the song said JESUS is calling. when I finally went up to the altar I didn’t even know how I got there, I was in another mindset, the Holy Spirit set upon me and my broken self felt whole again. I was given a chance to survive my troubles and leave my sin and hurt at GOD’s feet. “It always gives me the Holy Ghost goosebumps.” Carl B.
After that magical Sunday of kneeling to GOD I felt that there are truly “NO OUTSIDERS” (When I was a sinner running from your grace you called me friend. There are no outsiders to your love.” I want GOD to know me and call me by name. It’s truly a multiple choice world we live in but being around the right people and attending Church and Celebrate Recovery has made this transition easier for me as the days whiz by. “It doesn’t matter where I’ve been or what I’ve done, GOD has an open door for me, I am not an outsider to his love.” Aaron C.
I learned a lot by attending church and one of the first things that made me feel comfortable was when Pastor said to just come as you are. One of my first thoughts when attending was how will I be accepted when I am full of sin and don’t know GOD. I learned that GOD doesn’t punish us for not being perfect, he doesn’t abandon us when we abandon him. Praise GOD who offers us “THE SINNER’S CURE”, (When evil roars and darkness rails, When night’s so long, when everything you tried has failed, There is still return, there is still love, There is the sinners cure!) This song makes me feel Good and hopeful. Jackie M.
Worship music has put me in a place where I can reflect on my life and forget about the rest of the world that is still moving fast around me. I told myself in 2019 I will slow down and in the process I will disappoint people but I am building Ralph’s life closer to GOD not anyone else’s. I make sure I put my time in every morning and every evening where GOD has my full attention. It Brings me to the song Mrs, Jennifer Spivey has picked out, “ENDLESS ALLELUIA”, (From this moment on, Join with Heaven’s song, Singing out an endless alleluia, alleluia). “Goodness, that’s tough. How about a few choices? I couldn’t narrow it down to one” Jennifer S.
Call me weird but I can’t wait until Sundays so I can experience Worship with my church and my GOD. I want GOD to hear me praise his name because today I am a believer, I am his remnant who will go out and preach his word to the next person who needs to hear it. Thank you People’s Church for opening your doors to people like me who are not perfect. I love to take in Pastor Spivey’s sermon and put my “takeaway” on it, You can read his sermon notes on this Blog in the section titled “The Peoples’ Shepherd”. Leads me to this worship song, “IS HE WORTHY”, (Is anyone worthy, Is anyone whole, Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll? The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave, He is David’s root and the lamb who died to ransom the slave, Is he Worthy?, Is he Worthy? Of all Blessing and honor and glory, Is he worthy of this? HE IS!” “This song takes our eyes off of us & lifts them to GOD alone, that’s what worship ought to always do!” Michael S. A side note here: David L also picked this song and it helps him to remember there are bigger things than ourselves out there.
“I love you, Lord. For your mercy never fails me, all my days. I’ve been held in your hands, from the moment that I wake up Until I lay my head. Oh, I will sing of the goodness of GOD!” I am probably like a million other people who love COuntry music and the hair bands who gave us “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “Sweet Child of Mine” but nothing compares to Praise and Worship music that allows us to know there is a GOD who loves us and offered his son for our salvation. What a gift, so this song “GOODNESS OF GOD” grabs at me and there are times while singing where I lose all voice and nothing comes out because I am touched by the HOLY SPIRIT. Ralph M.
Thank you for those who offered their favorite songs and what it meant to them. I am truly Thankful today that there are second chances out there for everyone and People like Michael and Jennifer and Carl and Rosa who give their time and heart to those who need it. GOD has truly blessed us.
Someone told me along time ago “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”. This is an age old cliché that has been told, phoned, texted, tweeted, chap snatted, and I’m sure at one point sent via pigeon. When I think of the times I could have indulged in the act I get cold sweats….I have to remind myself it’s ok to be different even if it means to be different in a weird way which entitles me to be a leader and not a follower. Give me a few minutes and I’ll get to the point just work with me here. Growing up I’ve seen people take it for granted, accepted it as a gift just to hand it off as a regift to someone else, I’ve seen it be used as a door stop, I’ve seen it be ridiculed, down graded, trashed, made ugly faces to it and even gone as far as accepted in haste. I once heard it was used to stop a burglar during a robbery and knocked him unconscious until the police came. What do I speak of? Well the answer is none-other than the brilliantly choreographed, ingredient filled, well balanced solid mass of goodness that is anticipated for 11 long months and sought after for its complex taste yet simple method of administering to the masses in chunks, hunks, lumps, wedges, cubes, bricks, slabs, bars or even as pieces. Not to mention the delectable mouthwatering exquisite texture that if had to be explained in one word would be… no it would have to be two words because one word does it no justice…..”buoyant content”. That’s right I said “content”. A small word with such a thunderous meaning. A meaning that could only hold up to the subject matter at hand. If you guessed it by now then you know I am talking about the one thing that very few people admit too especially this time of year. The big, in the closet secret, the 5 million pound annual production that is discreetly devoured…..usually in denial. The creation of an immigrant named Tos who immigrated to America from Italy, a man with a vision. Tos moved to New York and later found his way to GA where his name would later be recognized for a wonderful invention we know as…….well that’s if you agree with me and I’m sure half the readers won’t. Let me get back to the New York portion…..At one point Tos knew the lively big city lights was too much to handle so he decided to make the venture into a small Georgia town that had nothing more than an ice cream shop for its rendezvous point. This same town also holds rattle snake round ups and his invention would be used to restrain an out of control rattle snake by knocking the snake over the head with it rendering it unconscious. (you seeing the trend here). That ice cream shop was to become the bakery that gave birth to a delectable house hold name product that would stand the test of time. That’s right I’m talking about…….ok I almost forgot, this item is just as durable and delicious as they come. Once produced it can be out of the refrigerator for months without spoiling and can be eaten months later preferably by yourself without friends who will later judge you for eating this product. I’ve seen my Pastor speak of this and was later shunned from church by most of the congregation for 38 seconds. It was the most nerve racking time I’ve had at church. Today we are a little lenient to his taste and are told in the Bible in Colossians 3:13
13 “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” So true and for this reason I purchased one for him today. He will be ecstatic, he will be friendless for a few days but ecstatic. By now you must know I’m talking about the raisin filled pecan sprinkled colored pineapple goodness called the fruit cake. That’s right the almighty Fruit cake! If I’ve captured your attention I have a 79 page explanation on why fruit cake should be a staple of everyone’s home. Visit my page at “totally nuts/gone fruity.com”. To join this site you have to register your insanity and pay $1,000 fee and be willing to admit you have a problem. So to reiterate my point. The expression “you can’t have your cake and eat it to” was not referring to the fruit cake. You can have it and eat it too. Apparently no one else will or admit to it. So eat it, and plenty of it and know that we are the few who can have our cake and also eat it. A small yet privileged group who will later have to Join Celebrate Recovery to get rid of the shame of having eaten one. If the fruitcake doesn’t do you in then GOD bless you and remember Coca Cola goes great with fruit cake. But for every other meal and dish in the entire world drink a Pepsi. Until next time please stay GODly, love yourself and your neighbors.
P.S. if you read this give your Pastor a big and let him know he’ll be ok. Not everyone can be perfect.
Have you heard the saying, “ How much more does someone need to be happier?” The answer? Just a little more…….always a little more. As a child I considered my life as a poor one. I received clothes from my mom’s friends for school and always had free lunch and my shoes developed holes which if I walked at a certain angle and didn’t lift up my feet completely my shoe wouldn’t flop and no one would be the wiser. That only lasted a few weeks, while lifting up my foot one day the front shoe lip caught the ground and folded the sole completely back and it broke. I walked home from school thinking of a way to explain to my mom that I needed a new pair and knowing my stepdad he would question why I needed one and might repair as he did in the past with duct tape. It’s ok to laugh at the time it was embarrassing but today it brings me a giggle. That day I needed more. The outcome was good, off to Wally world for a new pair of shoes no questions asked. Today it seems we as a society are living beyond our means, spending money as quick as we make it. Let’s see if I make sense here. Sometimes not having enough is the best thing for you. It lets you appreciate when you do have enough. Not having enough let’s us struggle and brings us closer to GOD. When we don’t have we worry, when we worry we pray, when we pray we come closer to GOD, you see the pattern? In my childhood years I depended on my mom and stepfather for guidance and protection. As an adult I’ve learned to depend on GOD, but in my early Christian years everything seemed to be falling out of place and I didn’t pray much. When life started spiraling out of control I was on my knees praying daily and conversing with GOD, I didn’t know how to pray but as time went on and with guidance from my Pastor I was able to talk to GOD and thank him for what he provided me with. I learned not to beg, I learned I couldn’t make a promise and negotiate with GOD. What I did learn and use to this day is to pray even when days are good not just bad and to trust GOD in prayer. GOD won’t answer my prayer with what I want but will answer with what needs to happen. Will I understand maybe not, but I will agree that trusting GOD has seen me through times where I wanted to give up and scream. What I didn’t know was that GOD had me come to church and prepare my armor so when my storm arrived I would be able to stand strong. What was your storm? What did you do to prepare for it? Jesus in Matthew 26:39 said, “ My Father, if it is possible let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” What a power prayer to GOD from his own son. I think back of what my suffering was and it was nowhere near that important as I thought. So I ask myself now. How much more do I need?
Unless I’m barefoot I won’t be praying for a new pair of shoes. I’ve been given so much, today’s prayers are thankful for my health, my Family, my church, for CR to prosper and for my close circle of friends that GOD has provided in my daily walks. Thank you for letting me share. Until we meet again enjoy a nice brisk
Coca Cola Pepsi, Love GOD and love your neighbors.
“Follow me” says Jesus,
What is it for you that is binding you up that you would love to say enough? Is it a pattern of thinking, a way of living? Let’s take that something to Jesus and lay it down at the cross, lets let it die and from that something beautiful will grow. Jesus takes what the enemy meant for evil and turns it for good. He turns it for good, who else can do that for you no matter what stage in life you are at without question or fail.
I’m Thankful…….As we get closer to Thanksgiving we will be reminded of things we necessarily don’t always think of or slip our mind. Rest… this is something we know we need and want but can’t begin to let ourselves thank GOD for. How can we, we’re too busy praying to GOD about the job he’s given us, the food he’s put on our table, the protection and health of our family. With so many blessings how can we be greedy and ask GOD for one more thing, or can we? See the earth we live in today is a busier and much hurried place than its ever been. Side highlight, when Pastor was speaking about rest I automatically thought, when Church is over I’m headed home and ready to pick out a blanket and lay on the couch for a nice nap, then I heard those words. He said, “it’s not physical rest I’m talking about, its spiritual rest”. This rest we speak of is a rest that puts us back into order with GOD and lets us become servants to Him and not to the world and focus on the main agenda of life, a deep spiritual life. I myself had two or three projects going at once and wondered why I haven’t completed any of them. Jesus says, “Come to me”, that doesn’t mean just on Sunday’s. Jesus says, “Come to me and I’ll give you rest”. Matthew 11:29 NLT reads, “TAKE MY YOKE, upon you, Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest for your souls”. Let me ask you this question that had me pondering while Pastor was giving his sermon. Do you have peace in your heart? Spiritual satisfaction? A relationship with GOD? In John 14:27 NLT Jesus says, “I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give you is a gift the world cannot give you. So don’t be troubled or afraid”. Before I joined the Church and Celebrate Recovery the world was all about me, self centered and filled with all kinds of hobbies and spending. As a child my job was to go to school during the day and work in the fruit fields in the evenings. There was no rest in between, if you weren’t contributing to the family financially you were worthless and my earthy stepfather reminded me of that daily. So today I have to slow down and enjoy my family and friends. I have a buddy who is extremely busy named Lavid Bevins and another buddy named Bohn Jurton who is in a hurry to make every dollar he can for retirement. Both mean well and are really grounded but like me we seem to never have enough time and what’s worse time seems to keep going on even when we decide we’re taking a breather. Doing enough, having enough money and in my case building a spiritual resume doesn’t bring us peace. Jesus is the source of true genuine peace. If we don’t have Jesus to take our yoke then what do we have? Who do we have? No one………Jesus is our relationship that we need to seek and take focus on for rest.
Todays take-a-way, we must believe Jesus is in control of our path, that he is the ultimate rest stop. When Jesus says to give up your yoke don’t negotiate with Him. You CAN have rest, Jesus has given you this invitation. Do not let life label you, let Jesus give you rest and clean you up. Let Him remove the labels set upon you by others. If you don’t accept His invitation you will rest physically and sleep but when you wake up the same labels and hurriedness will remain. Pastor’s advice…..Take a spiritual rest, meditate on Jesus and lay your burdens down. Until next time we meet, open up a Diet Pepsi and hand it to someone who also needs a rest. Love yourself, your neighbors and GOD. amen!
I was watching a movie of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bio played by Calum Von Moger. If you’ve seen Calum he looks like a younger Arnold. I’m talking about big arms, wide shoulders and huge pectorals. Lifting weights, eating better and putting in the time equates to a stronger body. This is a simple program but simple doesn’t always mean easy. Let me see a show of hands of those who started a New Years resolution that said “I will eat better starting January first”, “I will start exercising January first”. Here’s the breakdown, in life you’ll either have a strong body and a weak life or a weak body but a strong life. Don’t we all wish we would have a strong body and a stronger life? Life is going to throw you a curve ball, you will receive bad news, the storm of life will engulf you, no I’m not trying to scare you but what I just mentioned is something you’ve already been through. My Pastor Michael Spivey (People’s Church Winterhaven Florida) gave a parable about a seed planted that grew in different terrains, rocky terrain, in a crowded torn bushed terrain and in sandy soil and finally in deep rich soil. The seed had no chance growing in the rocky terrain, was choked out by the thorny bushes and had no solid root structure in the sandy soil. In this same way our strong body needs the deep rich soil for our roots to grab hold of for stability. This same rich soil provides much needed nutrients to grow strong and set our roots. Pictured on this page is Calum, in order for his body to be built as it is it had to be structured with the right foods and the right environment for it to be stronger and bigger. Here are examples of stormy days.
Ok now that we’ve established the battle now let’s take our muscular body and solve this issue. You flex, you lift more weights, you eat better, you put in extra time in the gym. Ok we’ve solved……..nothing. This is where the stronger life comes into play. Because the outer shell looks strong doesn’t mean you will survive the storm. Look past the body. It’s not if the storms of life are coming it’s when are they coming, these storms will reveal who you are in an instant. Take some time and set your foundation on solid ground. Jesus spoke of many parables and part of these parables were where people battled their weaknesses. Good lesson here….find out what trips you up. Now read the word or hear the word (from Pastor Spivey) and set your foundation on GOD and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not lie or sin, when he was asked a question he was blunt. This is where you find your strong body. Now that you’ve read the word or you’ve heard the word apply it! Become stronger by doing. Build your holy muscle if you will. Bodybuilders have a regimen that stands out using discipline and planning. In this same manner we should apply a habit that leads to daily reading and prayer time. Today I am a stronger person. I’ve made decisions these past few months that were questioned by family and friends but I can say this. Each thought has a deduction of self pleasure and replaced with GODly influence. I build myself up daily with GOD and spiritual friends and Church. I’d like to hear about your stronger regimen and how you refine yourself.
Today’s take-a-way, you’re strength is not found in your muscles but in the relationship you have with Jesus and GOD. Build up your strength one rep at a time. Talk to GOD daily, let some of your day be set aside to Praise Jesus for the sacrifice he did for us.
Until next time we meet stay GODly, love others and drink a chilled refreshing Pepsi. I can’t believe I’m saying this but GO Dawgs!!!
I’m probably coming back to redo this post and remove this portion before the Georgia Fans read it🤮😪, I feel sick just typing it!!!!
Let me take you back a few years. As a kid there were all type of toys and gadgets that caught our attention and pictured on this page you’ll notice a mood ring. That’s right the notorious mood ring. This little gadget was passed around from boy to boy letting us know who was stressed or cool or normal. It was amazing you slip it on and then your attitude was read and that stuck with you until you tried it again hoping it changed so you can be cool. I believe black was stressed, blue was normal and green meant you were in love…..yuk right!! None of the guys wanted to be green. Everyone hoped they were cool or stressed we’d take stress over being in love anyday. Brings me to my topic today……colors. What does a color mean to you? I’m interested in hearing what your favorite color is and what it means to you. Write me back and let me know. As a kid my favorite color was blue the color of Superman’s outfit, the man of Steel. Best superhero of all time! Some might disagree but again it’s my guy and my favorite color. As an adult this has changed slightly. Today the color red brings me solice. Weird red is supposed to be a radiant loud color that sets the mood for excitement. But to me it brings me back to the mood ring. Red lets me know that there is hope, that there is salvation and there is redemption. If I were to slide that mood ring on today I would hope it would stay red all my life to remind me of who I am. Who am I? I am the son of a father I never knew, I am the son of a mother who did her best. I later found out in my late 30’s I am a child of GOD! This was a revelation to me, growing up in an abusive house hold I decided to leave at an early age (14) and make my way in life which led to completing school, learning a trade, meeting my now wife and fathering kids of my own. But my identity was still a mystery. I had no direction. Today I have an identity, I am who GOD says I am, I grew to know who I am through the help of Carl Barker and the Celebrate Recovery Program which consisted of a 12 step and 8 principle lesson system. Pastor Michael Spivey is a godsend, someone who listens and guides you no matter what stage in life you’re in. You talk about a mood ring well these two men from GOD will help adjust your mood by truth and compassion. The color red takes on a whole new meaning for me. See I still consider myself new to the Bible and this year I will have read it through from beginning to end in chronological order. Reading the Bible was brutal for me as I read the Old Testament because I didn’t understand why GOD would let so many people get hurt, killed or abandoned. As I kept reading daily I started putting the puzzles pieces together and the big picture was seen, GOD wants us to be closer to him and if you reject him he will grab your attention by any means possible, GOD doesn’t hurt or kill but if you keep running you could find yourself scared and alone, metaphorically in a dark cave if you will. Could it be I was headed for a path of destruction and our Lord used my childhood as a lesson of some sorts? Today I’m in the New Testament, this brings us to the red letters in the Bible where every word that Jesus said was set ina different tone. When Jesus spoke he didtn’t do so in anger but in love and understanding. The parables he spoke of would stay with me and I use them throughout my daily life. I now know there is a log in my eye that has to be removed, I know the earthly riches will only give me a brief moment of satisfaction, most of all I know that my past doesn’t define who I am today. Jesus made disciples out of the rough edge men who later built churches where we meet today. So when you slip on a mood ring let it be for a good laugh and hopefully you don’t get “you’re in love” cause that’s gross. But when you are in a foul mood or need a mood change open up to the New Testament and get your mood realigned with some colorful truthful loving red letters, join a Celebrate Recovery program or come see my Pastor in Winter Haven Florida.
Today’s take-a-way, there is no giving up, Jesus knew he had to give up his life for a specific reason at a specific time. He didn’t give up and played his hand to completion. Now it’s up to us to complete our story. I’d love to hear yours. Until next time stay true, love GOD and drink a brisk Diet Pepsi.