About 18 inches.

What kind of title is that!?!? Well, if you read this post, you will find out.

The Word – Vanquish

The Worth – vanquish, from dictionary.com

verb (used with object)
1. to conquer or subdue by superior force, as in battle.
2. to defeat in any contest or conflict; be victorious over: to vanquish one’s opponent in an argument.
3. to overcome or overpower: He vanquished all his fears.

  • Some days, I just don’t win. Even though I have tried, nothing seems to work. I am nowhere near being victorious.
  • There are also days of big wins. Me and God were kicking butt all day long!
All those different types of days are the facts.
Yes, I made a mistake. Fact.
I won the battle that day. Fact.
I lusted in my heart. Fact.
I fought well today. Fact.
But the truth of the matter is that God has already vanquish my foe.
Here are 3 verses from the second chapter of Colossians:
“13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made youd alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.e”
The truth is that God has already won. He beat the bad guys, took their weapons, and showed them off in a parade!
That does not change…no matter how we feel from day-to-day.
I know that this is true. It is in my head. I have read those verses dozens of times. They are stuck in my brain!
The Work – What is my part in this if God has already won?
Let the truth of God travel 18 inches. Move it from your head to your heart. Knowledge is one thing but faith (and the accompanying action) is another.
18-inches
In the movie Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, there is a short conversation between Gandalf and King Théoden. Here are the two lines that are important.
Théoden: “Dark have been my dreams of late.”
Gandalf: “Your fingers would remember their old strength better — if they grasped your sword.”
Once Théoden was free of the evil in his mind, he began to see the truth.
You and I can be victorious over the enemy if we see the truth. The truth that God has already done the vanquishing! We just need to live it out in our hearts!
So if you are not feeling the victory, take up the sword of God’s word and start swinging!
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Feeling the pressure…

If you have been following me this year, you have been going through the alphabet with me. I call it Alphabet Soup. The first post of 2017 was on the letter A. You can read it here.

My math tells me that I could post every other week and that would get me to the letter Z by the end of the year. Well…I am only at U! Pressure!!!

No worries though. I am excited to finish this series so I can begin to look ahead to 2018.

And without further delay…

The Word – Underestimate

The Worth – The Christmas story can be found in Matthew and Luke. And it was in Luke’s writing that the inspiration for ‘underestimate’ hit me. Here is Luke 1:26-38:

“26In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be calledb the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37For no word from God will ever fail.” 38“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”

Dwell on this angelic visit for a minute. An angel comes to speak to Mary. Mary is probably around 15 years old. She has never had sex. She is also engaged. The angel tells her that God’s son will be born of her. I personally cannot fathom what types of thoughts were racing around in Mary’s brain.

I do know one thing though, Mary underestimated God. How do I know?

Let’s look at two verses.

Verse 29, “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.”

Verse 34, “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 

Mary was questioning the purpose of God (v. 29) and the ability of God (v. 34).

Have you and I ever underestimated God?

Why is God doing this or that?

Why isn’t God moving?

Will you ever hurry up, God?

Why me?

And the list could continue.

We know the rest of the story. Mary did not, however. She questioned and the angel replied. Something happened in verses 35-37. And then we get to verse 38.

Mary comes around. She may still have doubts but her faith is bigger than her fear.

The Work – We need to come around like Mary.

I don’t always see the why, when, or how of God. And that is cause to be joyful.

I am not God! I do not have to know everything!

Be encouraged that God really does have everything under control. There is a current of Godliness that continually flows. It is an ever-moving river.

I say we jump in that river and enjoy God and what He is doing today!

can saying

 

 

Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58

I was a little frustrated with the letter T. At first, I thought that there would be many eligible words that begin with this letter. I mean, in Wheel of Fortune, it is one of the pre-selected bonus letters!

letters on wheel of fortune

However, I wrestled with which word to choose. No worries though. I feel as if God showed me this one personally.

The Word – timeless

The Worth – As I have stated before, I work as a waiter at the Olive Garden. Although it is a good job, it puts me smack dab in the middle of my comfort zone. And that is a problem. I wrote about this a while back…Bad Words #1.

I kept using the excuse that I cannot see how this future is going to work out. There is a calling on my life. This I know to be a fact. Undeniable and completely real. Here is another post with more on my calling. My Haiti Experience, Called!

Isn’t that how many of us feel about our future? We don’t see how it works out.

The big picture? Yeah, right!

Does the canvas tell the artist how or what to paint? Not!

Does the 2×4 tell a carpenter how to build a house? Whatever!

I want to know the future. It would be great if we could see what is coming ahead.

But we can’t see the future. But God can.

And you know why God can see the future?

Simply because He is already there.

God said in Exodus 3:14, “I am that I am.”

That was all Moses needed to hear.

Jesus said in John 8:58, “Before Abraham was, I am.”

You can hear the proverbial pin drop. Jesus just said that he was alive before Abraham. A rough estimate puts Abraham being born around 2000 BC. Jesus would have been really old. I guess one does not age that much when you are eternal, or for this post, timeless.

i-am

The Work – Jesus is timeless. He has been around forever.

So the next time you get frustrated with a problem or you find you are stuck in your comfort zone, remember that God is already in your future. He sees where you are headed. This should give you amazing assurance.

Move forward in confidence fellow soldier. God is out in front paving the way!

 

Surprise!!!

You know that moment…the lights are off, people huddled in every corner of the room. The unsuspecting victim walks through the door and with the turning on of the lights, everyone yells Surprise!!!

I was that ‘victim’ on my 40th birthday. Without all of the details (which would take way more time than two minutes), my wife threw the biggest surprise of my life.

I walked into the large room at our church and there were over 100 of my friends and family waiting for me. SURPRISE!!! Totally and completely surprised. I had no idea.

surprise

The Word – surprise

The Worth – Why is it that we are surprised when God does something great?

Sure, it is understandable when the Red Sea parts. Exodus 14

Or when the walls of Jericho fall down. Joshua 7

Or when the bush is on fire but not burning up. Exodus 3

Or when Jesus turns water into wine. John 2

Or when Paul prays and the boy returns from the dead. Acts 20 

In 1 Thessalonians 5, there is a single verse that has had my attention for many years. I would say it is in the top three of my favorites.

vs. 24 “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

Or, in my translation, “If God said it, it will happen.”

It may not happen when or how we would like to see it but God is sovereign. It will happen as He said it would. So I ask again, why are we surprised when God moves?

The Work – Can I challenge you? This is a challenge for all who follow Jesus.

Live in such a way that you are not surprised when God does something awesome.

God gives us so many promises in His word. We can count on every one of them. So when you pray, let your faith expand. Know that God will accomplish what He said.

And don’t need to be surprised when it happens. =-)

Stranger Things

Stranger Things. If you like suspense, fear, and intrigue with a strong dose of fiction, then  the show, Stranger Things is for you.

My wife and I really enjoyed both seasons. Try it! You just might like it too!

stranger-things-titles

In the show, there was an alternate universe. Some of the characters called it ‘The Upside Down’. It was the same yet different. The buildings were there but there were very few people. Again, the Upside Down was the same but yet, strangely different.

I understand that I am being very vague and ambiguous with the description of the show. All I really want to communicate is that there was another world, a world different from the reality in which the people were living.

The Word – reality

The Worth – We live in this world. But I feel like we are not always living in reality.

Acts 17:16-31 is a passage of scripture that describes Paul while he was in Athens. The people are accusing Paul of speaking about ‘strange things’.

So Paul, as was his custom, began to preach. He was explaining how the people were worshipping many different idols and gods. They even had an idol to an unknown god. I assume they were covering all of their bases.

He then turns the conversation around to God. And in verse 28, Paul hits them with the truth. “For in him we live and move and have our being…” 

In the original language, the word being means simply, “to exist.”

Substitute the word reality for the word being. We exist, we live and breath, in fact, our very reality is in God! If God is removed, we cease to exist!

All of the idols and gods the people of Athens were worshipping are not reality!

In November of 2017, are we just like the people of Athens? Too many times the answer is…yes! We worship so many things and can be oblivious to the reality that is God!

The Work – What is your reality? Do you find that your life is filled with many things, that you are religious, that there are idols present?

If you answered yes then you might need a reality check.

reality check sign

Stop and take time to ask God what is reality. What is real?

Perception is truth. What you see you take as truth. Ask God to help you see, feel, touch, and perceive His reality. That is the truth we all need.

It might take a little getting used to but it will be worth it!

I conclude with Paul’s words, “For in him we live and move and have our reality!”