Be You!

Earlier this week Billy Graham passed away as I am sure you already know.

As I was driving and listening to the radio, I heard someone say, “I wonder who the next Billy Graham is going to be?”

My first thought that I shouted out was, “We don’t need another Billy Graham!” And I bet you Billy Graham would be the first person to say that!

What the world needs is you to start being the person God created you to be and not someone else.

I have heard many statements like, “I wish I could be more like King David, or Paul or this person and that person.” Personally, I have said similar things about people I like and appreciate.

Can we learn from other people? Absolutely! Do I like a good sermon from some like Bill Johnson or Kris Vallotton from Bethel Church. You bet!

But at the end of the day, I am not that person. God created me to be me!

I find it exciting that God’s Word says in Psalm 139:16, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

God’s Word also says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

This tells us that we are unique. We do not have to be the same! There is not one type of Christian.  I am learning to enjoy that all the denominations are like one big family at Christmas.  What we need is unity!

The Church can often sound like the political system in place right now. Republicans vs Democrats. But instead of political parties, we can get into needless debates about what denomination is the best! Enough!

We are many parts, but all one body (Church). We need Protestants, Catholics and everyone else to come together and living out who God  created each of us to be. Unique!

Prayer:

Abba, I thank you that we are all unique. That we do not have to be someone else and nor do we want to be. Holy Spirit, help us to realize our true identity of who you say we are and remove lie that that is preventing from us seeing in true identity. Amen.

 

 

A Look into a Balanced Day of Marc’s Life.

Summary: In a world that can pull people in many directions, I would like to share the wisdom God has given me and pass it along in maintaining a well balanced life.

There can be many things that try to pull for our attention. TV, Social media, entertainment, family, work, relationships, and yes even the church. How can we maintain a sense of balance in this world?

First, off I will say, it is a fight! There will be well meaning people that say things, yes even friends, that can create an unbalanced life.

The most important ingredient to a balanced life is a personal relationship with God! So, walk with me as we look into a day of my life over this past week.

1. This past Friday was perhaps the most balanced day of my life….and it all started with spending time with God the first thing in the morning. I do not have a set formula (too religious for me), but it something like, spending time in the Word, worship, praying in tongues and listening to Him.

2. After spending time with Him I like to move into exercise. With the amount of walking I do for work, I am keeping it pretty balanced. No more than 15 minutes of cardio.

3. Then comes eating a healthy breakfast (future blog post on the importance of eating healthy. You are a temple of the Holy Spirit!)

4. Then comes work! There are so many cool ideas God has given to me about work. First off I am able to set my own hours. Instead of working 5 days a week, and longer hours, I work six days a week and shorter hours. God did it in creating the earth and so am I!

I take short mental breaks every hour in a half that helps to keep me balanced spiritually, emotionally and mentally. It has created a much better flow to the day and more efficient at work. I get in the Word for lunch and pray in the Spirit as well. And when work is done for the day, I put work down.

Let me say that work is the one that can throw people off perhaps the most. The culture we live in has came a long ways from working 100 hour work weeks in the 1800s, but is still flawed. I would encourage people to find work where it doesn’t throw off the rest of your life.

5. Then I took shorter rest to regroup for the rest of the day.

6.  I will pray in the Spirit around dinner time and have a healthy dinner.

7. Then I went off to Cincinnati House Group, which is an amazing group of people that are so passionate about God. This week was combining all the houses. So there were about 100 young adults there. So exciting! We worship, do Bible Study and Ministry time. It’s a great place to form deeper relationships.

8. Then a friend and I went out to eat afterwards and just had an amazing conversation.

9. Lastly, I like to get in the Word before I go to bed.

And there you have it a well balanced day! It was so beautiful because I know I was walking in the Spirit. There was a natural flow to the day and not striving.

As you can tell it takes discipline live a well balanced life. It means saying no to some things (Excessive Social media, TV, etc), but with the power of the Holy Spirit, He will help make changes in your life to adopt a well balanced lifestyle.

Prayer:

Father, I pray that every reader is able to live a well balanced life spiritually, emotionally and mentally, and any other way out there. In Jesus name, I release patience, perseverance, discipline and grace to every reader that desires to live a well balanced life. Amen.

Application and Comments:

How do you maintain well balanced life, I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

The Spiritual War Around Us

Summary: There is an enemy out steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), but God has given us the authority and power to defeat the works of the enemy in our every day lives

Today, I was out canvassing  for the pro-life organization that I work at and an peculiar thing happened right around lunch time.

I had driven to an area that had a few houses left in the area that I could finish before lunch. As I began to log in to the app, it would not log in. Now I had heard from the supervisor to either turn the phone off, restart it or delete the app and reinstall the app.

After trying all these things, none of them worked. I began to think something spiritual was going on. The atmosphere felt a little off so I decided, “What the heck?” Lets see if there is a spiritual attack behind this.

After taking authority and power that God gives us over the enemy (Luke 10:19), I went to try the app and it logged in right away!

Victory in Jesus! Praise God! I was able to resume work and enjoy my lunch shortly after.

I felt so encouraged that instead of letting the enemy mess with be that I was able fight from a place of peace!

I will be the first to admit that I am still learning in spiritual warfare, but when things “go wrong” in life, I am learning to ask the question, “God, what is going on in this situation? Thank you for revealing what’s going on.”

I hope this story encourages you in your everyday walk with God.

Have an excellent evening!

 

Not Getting Ahead of God…or Yourself

Summary: By taking a disciplined and diligent approach to a challenge in life, we can learn much more about our relationship with God and how God sees us! 

It amazes me how much God has taught me through my cross country running days of High School and how I still use that wisdom today.

One of my favorite memories was when I was a “cocky” sophomore and feeling pretty good during a 10 mile run. I recall saying around mile 7 saying,

“Hey coach, I am feeling pretty good, I’m going to go ahead of you and everyone else and finish!”

And off I went! And I did fine for the rest of the run…..until the next day. The next day I felt way too tired to run because I got ahead of where I was at.

Using that wisdom from running, I have been applying that knowledge as I have been moving forward with work.

When I began working in September, I was working from anywhere from 10-18 hours a week.

Then in October, I felt a bump from God saying you are stronger than you think you are, and worked anywhere from 16-30 hrs a week.

November, leveled out from anywhere from 20-28 hours.

And now that it is December, I feel that similar bump that I had in October.

What happened?

I am using that “Spirit of power, love and sound mind (discipline) that God gave us! (2 Timothy 1:7)

I did not run ahead of where I was at and it has made work so much more enjoyable! Instead of going for the “big home run”, I started chiseling around at what had been an albatross.

Over the past 3.5 months, some of the greatest victories is when I get up and go even if it just for an hour. Those days have been perhaps more important than the days when I work a more normal work day.

And perhaps the most important lesson is to love myself unconditionally and accept myself where I am at!

Prayer: Loving Abba, thank you so much for how patient you are with us. While the “Home runs” are indeed incredible, help us to continue to “walk in a manner worthy of our calling.”(Ephesians 4:1)  In Jesus name, I bless and release consistency, discipline, courage, diligence and boldness right to every reader right now in a two fold fashion. Amen.

Application and Comments:

What is an area of life that God is/has been teaching you that consistency route is better than “swinging for the fences?” I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

 

 

You Cannot Outgive God’s Love!

Summary: Have you ever wanted something in life, but maybe seemed too big to ask? God loves to answer those prayers! Do not let, doubt or feeling of unworthy stop you!

I remember when my brother went to college he had received a nice scholarship to go to the University of Detroit Mercy.

I also remember my dad being grateful, but asked for more.  A simple phone call turned into an extra $8,000 in scholarship money.

James 4:2-3 says, 

You do not have because you do not ask.You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

I wonder how often this has been my thought.  I am grateful for what God has given me, but I know there is more out there.

Earlier today, I was resting in declaring God’s faith, hope and love to the world in a 1,000x measure. I began thinking, “Is this too much?”

I felt God say, “You cannot out give my love Marc.”

How encouraging!

I will always be learning, but a key to experience more of God is be a blessing to others. God did not intend to give you a gift to keep to your self.

When I give back to the Kingdom of Heaven financially, I like to do as soon it comes in. It helps me recognize the money is not mine, but God’s.

A similar principle with spiritual gifts applies. When I receive a spiritual gift, I am learning to give it away as soon as I can.

This promotes a humility and not pride.

Prayer: Abba Father, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have given me so I can be a blessing to others. Holy Spirit, I pray you stir in every reader a desire to be a blessing to others and teach them how to do so. In Jesus name! Amen!

Application and Comments: How can you be a blessing to others? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

 

 

God Wants to Heal EVERY Part of Your Life

Summary: While God is certainly interested in healing us emotionally, spiritually and physically, He is also interested in healing other areas of our lives, like the vehicle we drive!

I have been going to a church that pursues the healing touch of God in a powerful way. People have seen limbs grown, cancer disappear and many other miraculous touches of God!

It got me thinking at some point, since God is interested in every part of our lives, would He be interested in “healing” a vehicle?

Psalm 139:17-18 says, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”

That is a lot of sand! Surely one of those grains of sand are the vehicles we drive!

So for the past two years or so, I speak life to the vehicle I drive. Since doing so, I have not had a major car repair to be done. In fact, I have watched the gas light go from on to off and the watch the gas needle go up while driving! Praise God!

In Jesus name, roll on 1994 Dodge Caravan, Roll on!

I have prayed over my parents vehicle and have seen the check engine light go off.

Jesus is so madly in love with us that he even cares about the things we have,

Prayer: Thank you Father for everything you have given us. I am so grateful. Holy Spirit, help us speak life to the possessions you have entrusted with us! Help us to share our testimonies to be an encouragement to one another.

Application and Comments: How do you speak life into to your everyday life? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

How to Multiply the Kingdom of God

Summary: Be being thankful for what we have, we can then multiply it to advance the kingdom of God!

Recently, I did a post on declaring God’s truths into the atmosphere while at work.

I would ask the Father what was on His heart and then release it into the atmosphere!

It would look something like this, “In Jesus name, I declare and release God’s redemption to Ohio.”

I thought that was pretty cool that I could do that and then God helped me to take it a step further!

The word multiplication began to bubble up inside of me. So I began multiplying what was on the Father’s heart!

Example: Thank you for the redemption you have shown me in my life and in Jesus name, I declare and release God’s redemption in a tenfold fashion over Ohio.”

It didn’t stop there! I thought God wanted more and I went up to 100x God’s redemption over Ohio!

This is following God’s commandment to us to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).

It really is a simple process and we can use Jesus as our example when he multiplied the fish and bread.

Matthew 14:19 says, Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.

Notice it was when he gave thanks that when the multiplication occurred. It is about being thankful no matter how small or insignificant something may seem.

Here is an testimony from my own life.

Last year, I was thinking about financial breakthrough and there was a penny on the ground.

I felt the Holy Spirit say pick it up and say thanks! So I did! Next thing I knew I found a dime. It clicked that was a ten fold financial breakthrough! Then it snowballed into larger area amounts.

Later in the year, there was a $15,000 debt I incurred. I went back to the penny moment and applied the principle of giving thanks.

4 and half months later I was debt free with less than $10,000 of income coming in and being laid off from work two weeks after finding out about the debt!

A true miracle. Praise God!

And it started with giving thanks over a penny!

So the next time you have a thought of having a little of something, stop and be thankful!

Only have a little bit of joy in life, Great. Be thankful.

Only have a few friends in life, Awesome. Be thankful.

Only have seen God’s goodness a tiny bit in your life. Sweet! Be thankful.

And then multiply it to those around you and it shall come back to you!

Prayer: Father, thank you for the gift of multiplication that you have shown me. In Jesus name, I declare and release the gift of multiplication to every reader. Holy Spirit, help us be good stewards of this gift to advance the Kingdom of God and to destroy the works of the enemy. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

Application and Comments: What has God given in your own life in a small amount? How can you be thankful for it and then multiply it out to your family, neighborhood, city, nation and world? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

How to Release God’s Kingdom into the Atmosphere

Summary: The kingdom of God is within us and we can declare God’s truth into the atmosphere and change the world around us!

I have been canvassing for  a pro-life organization for work and God has been teaching me a lot.

One of the things He has been teaching is to declare and release His kingdom into the atmosphere.

I start by asking what is on His heart. For example, a word like “grace” will pop up in my mind. Then I ask where he wants that released to. Whether it is to a household or to the world, It literally changes the surrounding area!

Then I simply say, “In Jesus name, I declare and release God’s grace over the Cincinnati area.”

Genesis 1:3 says,  “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light”.

Notice it was when God spoke that there was light!

Later in Genesis 1:27 it says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

We have the power to create the world around us with the words we use like God.

Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

So throughout out the day what are you speaking? Even those little utterances under our breath create a ripple effect!

Recently, I began to utter, “Holy sh.. is the Lord God Almighty!” Thanks for the catch God!

 

Application: How can you start partnering with God and declaring His truth into the atmosphere?

Prayer: Father God, I ask for an increase awareness of the words that we use and any word that does not advance Your kingdom, I pray Holy Spirit that you remove it from our vocabulary. I ask this is Jesus name. Amen.

Comments: I would love to hear what God has been telling you to declare into the atmosphere. Please share in the comments below!

 

 

Relationship vs. Legalism

Summary: God desires to be in relationship with us and not legalistic practices. In fact, as we submit to God’s will an interesting thing happens, God wants to know our heart on issues of the world!

There are many Christians living under living under the slavery of legalism. How does this look? A person’s prayer life can be a good indicator. If a person says the same prayer to God day and after day, it doesn’t sound like much of a relationship to me.

If a friend came to you and said the same thing time after time, at some point wouldn’t you already know what your friend is going to say to you before he speaks?

Now I use to be bound by this legalistic prayer routine. I could only imagine God saying, “Marc, I have heard that prayer, lets talk about something different.”

Editor’s note: If saying the same prayer to God enhances the relationship, go for it. Remember we each have our own personal relationship with Jesus. Allow Holy Spirit to lead you what works for you.

There is another area of life, where many Christians are bound by legalism. How many times have you heard a Christian say, “Not my will be done, but Your will be done God”.

Again, this in itself is not a bad prayer. But imagine two friends, where one friend always has his way and the other always had to submit to the other.

Wouldn’t you feel like a slave and not a friend?

God has called us friends of God, not slaves.

The key is that as we fully submit to God’s desires, He wants to know what is on our hearts. It’s about a relationship.

This is emphasized in the Bible with Jacob. Genesis 32:28 says, He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”

Notice that God did not belittle Jacob for wrestling with Him, he actually enjoyed the wrestling! Why? Because it was rooted in a relationship.

In my own life, I have wrestled with God. I have a Bible, that has no cover and back, tattered pages, and a few burnt ones in my own wrestling with God if all that the Bible says is true. And I love it! It shows my authentic relationship and with God!

Interesting note, the few burnt pages are in Genesis where it talks about Jacob!

God is longing for His people to be in a real relationship with Him and bound by legalism!


Prayer: Father, I pray that Your Holy Spirit leads us all into what it means to be in a real relationship with You! I am grateful for all you are doing in every reader’s life and pray for a spirit of revelation of what it means to be in relationship with you! I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Application and Comments: As you fully submit to God’s desires first, what is one thing on your heart that you would like to see change? God is interested! Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” So come boldly to the throne of grace!

Making Progress, Not Perfectionism

Summary: It can be tempting to wait until everything is perfect before beginning something new. However, this often is not the case in life. So instead of reaching for perfectionism, reach for progress.

Last month, I felt God challenging me to upgrade the blogging experience I have been doing. Truthfully, I did not have an idea of where to begin. There was a short season where I kept waiting until everything “lined up”, before I would move forward.

I am glad that was a short season because I could have been waiting a long time!

Fortunately, I ran across something called the 30 Day Blog Challenge that has helped to make me recognize the importance of progress and not perfectionism.

Philippians 3:12-14 puts it this way:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I thought I had to have the “perfect” graphics, posts, following, etc to move forward with this venture. By me just taking a step forward each day, I feel momentum building day by day.

How relieving!

When I lie down at the end of the night, if I hear the thought progress come in it has been an great day!

Challenge: Is there something in your life that you are waiting for the stars to align before you make a step? Let me encourage you to take the first step today and trust the Holy Spirit will guide you to where He is leading. I am sure it is exciting!

Prayer: Father, I thank you that you don’t want perfectionism, but are so pleased when we take steps of faith. And Holy Spirit, I pray that you instruct us and teach us in the way we shall go and to counsel us with your loving eye upon us. In Jesus name. Amen.

Comments: What is something God is calling you to take a step in today. I would love to hear about it in the comments below..

P.S. I purposely left two periods on that last sentence to break perfectionism 😉