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.

 

 

Doing Life With God

I am continuing to learn that God  really values relationship! And that Our feelings matter to God!

Let me say that again, our feelings matter to God!

One more time! Our feelings matter to God!

How many times have you heard a verse like:

Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

Or how about a phrase like, “Trust God, not your feelings!”

Or “Submit to God!”

An issue with statements like this is that it can potentially lead to a very one way relationship with God where it is whatever God wants He gets.

But what about our feelings.

Recently, I asked God, “Why don’t I get what I want in this relationship? It feels very one way.

It’s like he whispered, “You don’t tell me how you feel about issues very often. You assume I don’t care about your feelings. That is a lie! Do you remember how I worked with you when you talked to me about your work situation and how we worked together. I value relationship and open communication, and your desires as well. But you need to talk to me!”

Whoa! Light bulb moment!

That’s why it felt like a one way relationship with God! I was so focused on doing what God wanted that I was not honoring how I was feeling.

Lets use two friends for example. If friend A gets his way all the time and friend B just listens to whatever friend A says, eventually friend B is going to grow resentful towards friend A.

Why should our relationship God be different?

There is absolutely something about submitting to God’s will for our lives, but it is not this black and white story. It is full of color!

So as I make decisions I can ask God what He feels, but then express how I feel and then we can work together! Sounds like a healthy relationship to me!

An issue can be is how do you view Jesus. Do you view Him like this:

Or this:

For me personally, I like the first one. Seems like someone I can relate to.

Oh and one more thing! God loves your quirks! He loves the things that make us unique like for some reason I still like Kent State football! Watching a KSU football game can be a spiritual event as well! Just invite Jesus into it!

Prayer:

Father, my prayer is you help to realize that you desire relationship with us. That you really want to do life with us! Break apart lies that get in the way of that. 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!

Joy Despite Circumstances

Summary:

Today was a day where many trials were overcome with the help of God.  It felt like everything went “wrong”, but trials continue to remind me of the importance of us resting in our true identity in Christ!

Today was my first day back at work from Christmas as a canvasser with a pro life organization. The temperature was below zero.

Not a problem! Gloves…check. long johns… check. thermal wear… check. I’m ready to go!

Until I get to the vehicle and the car won’t start.

With help from family, was able to go to an appointment that was hoping to have. However, it took too long for the appointment because I had a doctor’s appointment because I am overcoming a cold (No, God did not give me the cold!)

As I went to get the prescription filled, the insurance coverage didn’t cover the medication. Whatever!

Finally, there was a sense of normalcy at work.  Then later I had a challenging talk with someone that would have crippled me in the past. I felt God’s power rising up in me!

In the evening was able to jumpstart the car, and drive off to a church event only to find out it wasn’t being held! So I got back to the car and the vehicle wouldn’t start again!

At this point I could do nothing but laugh and have peace!

I could tell my mind was being renewed.  James 1: 2-4 says,

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].  And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.

Instead of resenting the trials, I am learning to embrace them. It’s part of our identity in Christ that says we  are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).

Long story short, in the past any one of these events could have caused me to drift, but as God continues to mature us, we not only win, we overwhelmingly win!

And when multiple trials get thrown at you and you keep on going, that’s an excellent sign that breakthrough is near!

Prayer:

Father, thank you for the amazing Dad that you are! We are so grateful! In Jesus name, I release healing and restoration every readers  mind and every part of us Restore us to our true identity of being more than conquerors. Also, in Jesus name, I release God’s provision to help everyone overcome challenges. Holy Spirit continue to help strengthen our inner beings with endurance to run the race you have for each of us. Amen.

Application and comments:

How do you rejoice when trials come your way? Please share 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!

Angels in the Soccer Field

I was playing 6v6 soccer with friends this past weekend and I was sensing we would need some angels to win the game.

I looked around my team and saw that I was the only one wearing soccer cleats while the other team had 3-4 players that had cleats.

Quick math said there were more “soccer” players on the other team. And I had not played in a while.

Enter the Angels.

I remembered the Angels in the Outfield movie from the mid 1990s and released a prayer of, “In Jesus name, I declare and release angels to our team!”

So the game began, and we were holding our own against the other team!

My first clue of angels being with us was when I had a breakaway on goal and before I shot the ball, I did not rush the shot like I would in the past. I calmly set my feet and placed the ball nicely in the corner of the goal.

The goal made it 1-0.

I became convinced there were angels with us later in the game when the other team had a point blank shot on net.

A quick thought of, “Lie down” came upon me. I listened to it and the ball bounced right off my leg!

Thanks for the tip angel!

The rest of the game was an enjoyable time with friends and am grateful for the experience this weekend.

My takeaway from the game was God really wants us to have fun in life. Too often, I get wound up in thinking about the future.  This was a chance to relax with some amazing friends and some new angel friends!

 

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!