Sometimes We Fly

With all your heart

you must trust the LORD

and not your own judgment.

Proverbs 3:5

I was on my way to the airport today and I began to think about life. You see, our life is one big trip. We all have a destination but we all have different ways of getting there. Today my first destination was the airport, now I live about 45 minutes from the airport so I had to drive there. I’ve been to the airport many times so I know how to get there and about how long it takes with traffic. The trip was pretty uneventful and I made it on time for my flight. Once I got to the airport I had to find my gate, board my plane and wait. This is the part I really don’t like.

Waiting… Seriously, who likes to wait?

You see in life we take many trips and we have many destinations. Everyday we’re traveling somewhere, the store, school, work a friend’s house, and each trip is different. Now most of our travels are made by car, bike, foot, but sometimes we fly. We are a people who like to be in control of most things that we do but some things we have no control over.

You see God has given us several assignments in life and he has given us a map to navigate them all. Some are short and sweet and some are long and enduring. In our everyday life we tend to get comfortable and kind of cruise through our daily routine. Every now and then we have to take a trip to the airport where we have no control. Our entire trip is in the hands of the pilot.

You see some trips in life can’t be made without God carrying us. I mean, I know that in everything we are supposed to rely on God but do we really? Do we really trust in him for every journey we take?  Most of us think that we can get to most of our destinations on our own, I mean we may pray and seek God’s council but let’s keep it real. Some journeys require us to fly and without a pilot we aint going no-where. The trick is to allow God to be our pilot through life, Flying is so much easier than driving or walking all we do is get on the plane and trust the pilot to take us where we are going. Our final destination in life is to be joined in paradise forever with Jesus Christ, but while we are here on earth we really need to learn how to let God be our pilot.

When’s the last time you flew?

Taught by God

But Christ has blessed you with the Holy Spirit. Now the Spirit stays in you, and you don’t need any teachers. The Spirit is truthful and teaches you everything. So stay one in your heart with Christ, just as the Spirit has taught you to do.

1 John 2:27 (CEV)

This is one the most instrumental scriptures to my spiritual growth.  You see, the Holy Spirit is everything that we need to teach us and to guide us.  His wisdom is the exact thing that we need to learn and to grow.  It’s not saying that we shouldn’t listen to man…it’s just saying that when we are filled with God (Holy Spirit) then we will be able to recognize the Holy Spirit when he speaks to us, even if it’s through someone.

So keep Jesus close to your heart and be teachable. And remember the Holy Spirit will teach you, all you have to do is ask.

Think about it…

Is Hell Real?

So what if you’re wrong?

I recall a conversation I had several years ago with my cousin.  She was very passionate about life, everything she did was all out.  When she set her mind on something it was very difficult to convince her otherwise.  So one day she called me up and we began to talk…you see my cousin had her  own beliefs about heaven and hell.  She believed in heaven but she believed that hell was a metaphor.  She didn’t think that hell was a real place, therefore she believed that when she died the worse thing that could happen to her is that she would return to the ground…and the best thing that could happen is that she would live forever on the new earth.

Hmm…

Actually that’s not so bad.  I mean if the worst thing that can happen to us after we die is either nothing, or eternal life on the new earth.  That sounds like a pretty good deal.  Live life how-ever you choose and end up either dead without life or knowledge of anything, or live forever on a perfect earth.

You see, she and I would go round and round with this discussion.

Here’s the problem with her belief system–it has no foundation. She claimed to believe the bible but she didn’t want to accept hell. Jesus Christ said;

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.                                                                                               Luke 12:4-5

Jesus describes hell as the place “where the fire never goes out” (Mark 9:43) and hell is also described this way;

“In hell, where he was in torment” (Luke 16:23).

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”                                                                   Matthew 25:46

Okay…I believe that hell is a real place that people who don’t accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior are sent to for eternal punishment. I believe that scripture is clear regarding hell and we have all been made aware of it.

So…what if I’m wrong and my cousin was right?  Well the worst thing that can happen to me after I die if I don’t accept Jesus is, I go back to nothing, no feeling, no knowledge, no nothing.

But what if I’m right and she was wrong?  Then the worst thing that can happen to me after I die if I don’t accept Jesus is,  I live forever in eternal punishment, separated from God forever.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to take that chance.  I would rather live believing that when I die there’s a hope of a better life after this life.

Sometimes this earth feels like hell, but the cool thing is, it’s the only hell that I will ever know.

You see… my cousin has found out the truth already, she was murdered at the age of 31.  I often wonder where she is today and my hope is that while she was still alive she found the truth.

We are all created in the image of God, and God is eternal.

We will live forever… somewhere.

Where will you spend eternity?

Think about it…

In memory of Shani Renee Holloway

Words to Live By…Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

If we set our sight on God then we will never go blind.

Think about it…

TRUTH

In times of despair we have opportunity for greatness.  I just watched the news and I saw houses burning and flames over 300 feet tall. It seems that a gas line exploded and a whole neighborhood in San Bruno California went up in flames.  Sometimes life gets serious very quickly.  I don’t know what you believe but I’m sure the families of that disaster would appreciate your thoughts and prayers right now.

One minute we’re planning  our future and the next second we are faced with disaster. What would you do in this situation? When disaster strikes will you be ready?  I don’t know if any of us could seriously answer yes to this question.  We all would love to think that we are prepared for hard times. But are we? This reminds me of a story.

There was this man named Noah who began to build an ark. He built and built for over 100 years. All the people thought that he was crazy because he told them that a great flood was coming and that water would fall from the sky.  The people ignored him and they kept living their lives as usual.  You see in the days of Noah it had never rained before, so when he warned them that water would fall from the sky they scoffed at him.  I mean, what would you do?  I probably would think that he was crazy too.  Well the day came when the ark was finished and the rain began.  It rained for forty days and forty nights. The entire earth was covered with water.  Only Noah and his family survived.

Here’s the point, we can go our entire lives hearing the truth but never believing it.  So if we don’t believe it, does it change? Does truth change?  One thing is certain,  time can’t change truth. Truth is truth.

For those families in San Bruno the truth is their lives will never be the same.  Some have lost everything that they own. Others have lost loved ones. You see in life there are no guarantees for tomorrow.  We have never been promised that we will live to see another day.

So what do you believe and are you willing to die for it? The truth is that there is a God that created you. He loved you so much that he sent his son Jesus to die for your sins and for mine. If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior then you will one day be joined with him in paradise forever.

That’s the truth. Now what are you going to do with it?

Vision…

I was having dinner the other night with some friends and the subject of helping the needy came up.  My friend got real excited as he began to layout this plan to feed the nation.  He started breaking down how our government subsidizes the farmers and how we have silos of grain rotting and going to waste.

I mean he was really into it.  He had carefully thought through everything he needed to do to accomplish his task.  It was pretty intense.  This guy had a plan and a vision.

That reminds me of a scripture;

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.  Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

Let’s talk about that.  You see if you don’t have vision, or revelation from God then your life will be out of control. If you aren’t in tune with God’s purpose, or his laws then you will spiritually die.  But if you are in tune with God’s vision for your life and with his purpose and you let them guide you, then you will thrive.

You see God has created us to have a vision in life, to have a purpose for life. But it’s his vision for us, not our own.  Do you feel like life is going no-where? Do you feel like your constantly spinning but getting absolutely no-where?

If so, you may want to have your vision checked.  Are you in tune with the leading of the Holy Spirit? Are you listening to the guidance of God?

You see God created us to thrive, to overcome, to be more than conquers.  If those things aren’t happening in your life, then maybe you’re going blind.

How’s your vision?

The Impossible

It was early in the year 2003 and I remember this overwhelming desire to pray for my city.  You need to understand something, I’m not just talking about… Oh Lord bless my city kind of prayer.  I’m talking about something that I could never imagine doing.  Have you ever been asked to do something that you knew was impossible?  Something that you knew was just too big to tackle.

You see when I accepted Jesus as my savior, I told him that I would do anything he asked me to do.  I told him to send me to do the work that the others refused to do.  I told him that I was one of “the few” that he had referred to in the book of Luke .

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.                                       Luke 10:2-3

You see, “like lambs among wolves”, this was serious stuff. Let me give you a little history about me and my wife. In 2001 we founded a ministry and we felt that God wanted us to trust in him for everything. Now I know that sounds simple, but it was harder than we thought. In September of 2001 I lost my job and we felt that I was supposed to work the ministry full-time without pay and just watch God provide. That’s another blog in its self.

So here we are feeling like God wanted us to pray for our city, but what we heard was pray through the entire city, down every street.  What!!  Every street?  That could take days , even weeks! How could we do that?  The answer is, we can’t, but…”Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

You see sometimes God asks us to do the impossible so he can show himself to us.  My wife and I prayed and prayed and God was faithful to give us the plan.  We assembled a team and we fasted and prayed together.  We chopped up the city into sections and on a Saturday morning we met at the park and all 14 of us took our section and off we went.

I remember my wife and I and 3 of our sons driving down each street praying.  It brings a smile to my face as I write this because it took us 10 hours to complete all the sections that we had, but God’s grace was so good, our boys never cried or complained.  That in it self was a miracle!

Next time you feel a passion or a stirring for something to big to be you, or to big to do.  It might just be God calling you to do his work, calling you to do the impossible.  Are you willing to be the answer to prayer?

Think about it.

Are You Ready For Some Football?

I remember sitting on my couch watching as the ball passed through the goal post.

Suddenly it got real quiet in my house. Let’s rewind…when I was about three years old my grandfather used to get me up every Sunday morning. He would go into the kitchen and get a cup of coffee, then he would prop me up onto his lap and we would watch football. My grandfather was an awesome man, he was the only real male role model that I had growing up. I remember sipping coffee with him (that explains my 5 cup a day habit now). As the years passed by I would always like the team in the purple…little did I know then, how much pain they would cause me later.

My grandfather was a big Raiders fan and if you haven’t guessed it by now I am a huge Vikings fan. When the Raiders and the Vikings met in the Superbowl I lost a whole dollar to my grand father. Yea, those were good times. You see football and sports have always been a big  apart of my life.

Back to my opening statement…so the ball passes through the goal posts and just like that the season is over. Once again my Vikings have failed me, they gave me a great season but they just couldn’t finish strong. I am so glad that God isn’t like the Vikings. You see God would never fail me, as a matter of fact here’s a quick story of his faithfulness.

In 1997 my grandfather was dying. I was newly married and just recently accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  As far as I ever knew, my grandfather wasn’t a spiritual man, I don’t ever recall him telling me about God or making God a priority in his life.  But that day when we were in his hospital room, I asked him;

Donald, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?  He replied…Well sure I have Chico. Those were the greatest words I have ever heard him speak.

You see,  God never quits, He’s always working to bring us back to Him.

So as another football season begins I am prepared for Brett Favre and the Vikings to break my heart, but who knows maybe this is the year that they too, will finish strong.

The Big Picture!

Remember the last time you went swimming? How did you enter the water?  Did you put your toe in first to check the temperature, or are you the type to jump right in?  I was at a baptism this weekend and it was real cool to watch the people enter the pool, some would move slowly, others got in quick. But one thing was the same, they all went in without much care for the temperature of the water. I mean it could have been freezing and they would have all still went in.  Because every one of them were focused on the big picture.

You see when we’re focused on the big picture we don’t let stuff we go through to get there stop us.  To often we lose  focus of the big picture and we let the stuff along the way kill the vision or the dream. In the case of the people being baptized, they all knew that God wanted them be baptized. So despite the water, despite all the people watching or even being dunked in backwards, they all just jumped in.  Life is too short to stand on the deck and watch everyone swim. What do you have to lose? So worst case scenario you fail.  So what, it’s not the end of the world, just get back up and try again.

Why are we so scared to fail? I mean really, what’s going to happen if we do? We’re not going to die. We need to focus on the big picture. For me the big picture is  life after this life and the work that God  has for me to do while I’m here. It reminds me of a missions trip I took. I was flying with a group of men to Mexico.  One of the men that I was with was scared of flying. With a nervous voice he asked me if I was scared to fly. My reply was “Jesus told me that I was going to Mexico to build a house , so I must be going to Mexico to build a house.”

Here’s why I believed that I was going to Mexico.  Jesus and his disciples were in a boat and Jesus told them that they were going to the other side. As they were sailing Jesus fell asleep and a huge storm hit, the disciples started to panic and they cried out to Jesus, they woke him up and said that they were going to drown, Jesus got up and he calmed the storm, but the interesting part is what Jesus said next, he said,  why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith. (Mark 4:35-40) You see when Jesus says we’re going to the other side, then we are going to the other side. No storm, no person, no circumstance can stop us. With Jesus leading and directing us there is no risk. So next time the storms of life come, remember, we’re going to the other side.  Focus on the big picture and all the stuff along the way will be a piece of cake.

Where Are You?

Sometimes I wonder, I mean I know I’m supposed to have faith and that I’m supposed to believe but I see the children crying and dying inside. What am I supposed to tell them , what am I supposed to do? Where are the mothers and where are the fathers? It feels like we are losing the fight, it feels like all hope is gone. I know that I should tell them that you are the answer and that you are with them, but if they can’t see you, how will they know? The hurt and the pain is too great. When they talk their words scream for love and affection. When they cry their tears flood the land. It just feels like the world is winning. You sent me to them, you told me to go to them. You said that you would show me what to do and what to say, but I have no words for them and I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m dying inside because I just can’t help them.  Where are you?