Four Stages of MANHOOD – Man Up!

Manhood – Part Two 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things   As you recall, we are talking about the development of men of God, generally in four […]

Manhood – Part Two

manhood man up

1 Corinthians 13:11

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things

 

manhood temper

As you recall, we are talking about the development of men of God, generally in four stages that were: boyhood, manhood, fatherhood, and the age of the patriarch.

 

No matter how great our earthly family may have been, we are now part of the royal family of God, training for reigning with Jesus!

 

As always, we begin and end with the Word of God!

 

Training and discipline can develop our soul, forge our will, but the Word of God has the power to change our very heart motives….

 manhood overcome desires

Ephesians 4:14

that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

 

1 Corinthians 14:20

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 

Hebrews 12:5

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

 manhood Tozer

Galatians 4:19

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you

 

Fathers in the faith, pray, for us to grow up spiritually, to embrace our manhood, to rise up to honor and responsibility in this fight of faith in this generation.

 

 

2 Timothy 3:15

and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus

 

We teach our children the Scriptures, but it is our life of honor that they watch!

manhood responsibility

 

Back in the days when I used to pastor, we used to do a ‘passage of rites’ ceremony with young men and women between the ages of 13-18. I took the idea from a book I read by an author named Craig Hill, where he teaches on the development of boys into men: http://www.promisekeepers.org.nz/bar_mitzvah.html

manhood do what you got to

 

I agree with Craig, as I have endeavoured to learn protocol, the traditions and cultures of the host peoples of North America, North American Indians. In many tribes, a boy becomes a brave or warrior, only after their initiation ceremony, where acts of bravery needed to be exhibited. In some tribes, a young man had to ‘count coup’ riding up to an enemy with his ‘coup stick’ and touching him without being killed, and riding away in victory, having ‘counted coup.’ In other tribes, there were ‘rites of passage’ ceremonies that included running through tunnels of pain, where seasoned warriors beat them with sticks, or culturally required acts of bravery, where they had to complete a vision quest, or spend a night blindfolded in the forest over night.

manhood patton

From what I understand in the Jewish Bar Mitzva ceremony, boys were expected to go to work with their fathers after school, to learn responsibility, earn money and learn how to manage it, and become men.

 

What we used to do, is plan ahead, and get either the fathers, uncles, grandparents or older men in a young man’s life to write a declaration of honor, love and respect to be read over the young man. We would tape a line on the carpet, and all the men in the church would come forward to the front side of the line. The young teens would stand on the outer side of the tape. I would read a proclamation declaring that this day, they were forever leaving boyhood, to become strong men of honor, embracing the risks and responsibilities of manhood in their community, standing strong for their families, against evil in society, as men. I would present them with some token of manhood (usually a pocket knife, although some dads gave firearms etc), and then had the prepared proclamations of blessing read over each one by their elders. I would then have them leave childhood forever, by stepping across the line. All of us men would then lay hands upon them and pray and proclaim blessing over each participant.

 

Saw dramatic change in young peoples lives! Young gangsters would suddenly leave criminal lifestyles, and often join cadets, or get job to help at home. Shoulders would square up, and chests would swell with pride, as they embraced the call to be men!

manhood tyrants

 

This is so needed today! With a 50-60% divorce rate in America, boys are not taught to be men, and we, the church must rise to the challenge, and become fathers to the fatherless, accepting, affirming, challenging, exhorting, and discipling and calling forth warriors of righteousness for this generation!

 

 

Whether it was the Jewish Bar Mitzvah ceremony, or getting ‘jumped into’ a street gang, it is clearly part of the process for boys to become men, warriors, through initiation ceremony by the men of the community or tribe.

 

Seems this has been forgotten in many sectors of North American society, but the hunger in the heart of every man will be fulfilled in battle, or the essential part of him dies…

Manhood look like

So much can be said here, but I will say this, after years in Promise Keepers, my childhood growing up on military bases as the son of a military officer, or in the various men’s ministries in which I have participated over the years, that boys must become men! Sure warriors get wounded in battle, but the church is the army of God! We have an infirmary, and there should be no man left behind, but make no mistake about it, we are an army, the army of God, called and commissioned to fight!

manhood battle with honor

Luke 19:13

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Matthew 16:18

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

manhood make myself

 

Recognizing the huge hole in this culture by fatherless families, I built and co-owned a construction company for many years simply, primarily, to take boys, and make men out of them.

Read a quote by another author I respect:

From a sermon entitled: ‘Fathered by God, by John Eldredge’

“In the lesson, John touched on some topics that he covered in his bestselling book Wild At Heart, such as answering the question that plagues all men: “Do I have what it takes?” But he also introduced six new stages of initiation that he has taken his boys through that have proved to be great steps for Christian discipleship.

 

According to Eldredge, all men have to go through these steps to become whole and holy men. It begins with “Boyhood,” where a boy learns that he is the “Beloved Son” and entirely delighted in by his father. Then, it moves into “Cowboy,” where the young man must experience adventure and danger (think: David’s teenage years of battling lions and bears as a shepherd). Following that, the boy becomes a “Warrior,” often leaving home to pursue a cause or a mission.

manhood chivarly

At roughly the same time (but hopefully not before) the man is learning that life is a battle, the Warrior must learn to fight for his beloved and become a “Lover,” but still remaining a warrior for the rest of his life. Many years later, with the right humility and direction, the Warrior-Lover becomes a “King.” That is, the man steps into true leadership and responsibility, guiding and directing the lives of others. And lastly, he finishes his latter years as a “Sage,” sharing his wisdom with other men and women, guiding them in their journey.”

If you haven’t read John’s book: Wild at Heart, I highly recommend it. http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Heart-Discovering-Secret-Mans-ebook/dp/B00527N04O/ref=dp_kinw_strp_exp_1_1

In short, John calls his stages of manhood by different names, but the principals are the same.

 

Let’s talk about the transition from boyhood to manhood for a minute.

I’ve noticed that boys all go through what John calls the ‘cowboy’ stage,  warriorhood.

I watch young men race cars, ride bulls, become soldiers, martial arts experts, hunters, adventurers, because I believe God created all men with this natural ‘wild side’.

Becoming a man is becoming a warrior, developing courage under control.  I watch young men all making their mark in the world, joining the military, oil industry, rodeo, construction, or any other rough and ready world. Testosterone going somewhere to happen, working long brutal hours in the face of real danger to life and limb, to make their mark on this generation.

Like David before confronting Goliath: 1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?

 

Yes, there is a cause! Freedom has never been free, just pick your battlefield, enlist in God’s army, and fight!

Whether in prayer, preaching, missions, business, education, military, cival services, finance, or media, truth is a sword, and there are battles to be fought.

No matter what stage you are at in your life, there are injustices to be confronted, but like the wise mentor of Willam Wallace in the movie ‘Braveheart’,  ‘First the mind, then the sword!’

Get educated, skilled, and choose your battles wisely, so that as you fight, you fight to win!

manhood educated

Seemed when I had my construction company, I would have to throw a rope on those often unbroken wild men, and teach them respect, responsibility, faithfulness, dependability, keeping your word, craftsmanship, and directed work ethic, without breaking their spirit, and still keeping the fire in them!

I am raising up men of honor, respectful, full of honesty, integrity, excellence, but when they look you in the eye, they look right through you, because there is still fire and steel there!

I’ve noticed this about myself: if I go too long simply keeping the schedule, making the deadlines, and punching the clock, I get to feeling like a hamster on a treadmill: running hard, but going no where.

There must be some mountain to climb, race to run, adrenaline pumping fast machine to drive, water-skiing, or some other impossible task or death defying deed in my schedule, or I quietly die inside. Gone through months of numbness, physically showing up, but not really alive!

manhood castrated

Do something radical! Go on a mission trip to a different country, language, culture – confront the oppression, the poverty, the ignorance and fight for the oppressed!

Maybe you are called as a soldier or law enforcement agent, to literally take on crime and the ‘bad guys’ on the front lines. Everyone hates a bully – don’t be one, but be strong enough to dethrone any merchandizing the weak – the drug lords, the child sex traffickers, the pimps and religious bullies who beat women and children. Dad served 32 years in the navy and his counsel is still valid:

Real Men don’t hit women, they stand strong in defense of women and children.

manhood no hit

Ok, enough sharing for a bit, if I go longer, you won’t take time to read it.

I’m pretty big on action so here’s some things you can do:

  1. If you have never been affirmed as a man, take this article to your pastor men’s group, and have them first of all affirm you, and pray that God complete you as a man, a warrior, and eventually as a husband, father, and responsible member of society.
  2. If you had a dad (what a concept!), and you have been through a ‘passage of rites’ type of ceremony, create one in your community. Deliberately reach out to teens and young men, and call them to excellence, warriorhood, responsibility, and honor. If your pastor is not interested, organize some sort of men’s advance (the army of God never retreats), and get in touch with me, and I will come preach and lead it.
  3. Not sure what the next men’s movement in America is going to look like. Promise Keepers in its day was a powerful force for good, full gospel businessman had a day in the sun too. Whatever it’s called, get involved, and get your business, family, and church on board too. Manhood means excellence, honor, holiness – Man up!Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

manhood courage

Let’s Pray:

Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

If forever reason, you have not come to God on His terms yet, here’s what He expects:https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

donate

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

 

The Day after church…the battle begins!

The Day after church

kingdom-come

As I read this rather old statistic, I thought about the USA, and God’s work here:

The U.S. Department of Commerce has recently released statistics on American churches, clergy and church schools. Church Law & Tax Report give some interesting figures:

– Number of U.S. congregations: 294,271
– Churches with fewer than 100 members: 60,300
– Churches with fewer than 500 members: 205,556
– Churches with 1,000-1,999 members: 21,691
– Churches with 2,000 or more members: 13,958

Last year churches received $49 billion in revenues, of which $40 billion came from contributions, $1.4 billion from wills and estates, and $2.5 billion from fees or charges for services. There are a total of 348,000 clergy employed in the United States, and they have served an average of 15.8 years in each position.

Of special interest are the statistics on who is supporting these churches. Persons 65-74 years of age donated the largest percentage of their income (3.1 percent) and those 18-24 the least (0.6 percent). Increasingly, those with lower incomes gave a higher proportion of their income to charity than higher income individuals. Persons with household incomes of under $10,000 gave 2.8 percent of their total incomes, while those with incomes over $100,000 gave only 2.1 percent. The average annual contribution to the church was $715 per household.

Pulpit Helps, August, 1992, p. 8

reneck be church
This is a very old article, I am sure these numbers have grown substantially since 1992.

Yet, I thought about how the kingdom of God works, through prayer and God’s Word proclaimed, and how heaven responds to our earthly ministries.

In heaven, there are no problems, and God always responds to prayer requests and acts of faith that are performed according to His Word.

Like Jesus, I believe that ministers spend the required time in prayer to accurately hear the voice and will of Father God, before they go to their studies to dig through the Scripture and study helps, to bring to their people a fresh empowering word from the throne of God, that will bless, equip, empower, and encourage the people of God in attendance, and that as they speak, people actually believe them, as faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

kingdom-on-earth

Since God’s word is forever established in the heavens, and He is holy, He acts when His word is preached to His people, ever watching over it to perform it, bringing divine machinery to bear, in the earth, to honor His promises, and bring to pass what He instructed His servants to preach.

Sometimes, there are wonderful miracles that occur in services, but usually, processes are implemented that require spirit-led obedience on our part to bring to pass.

Then, comes the parable of the sower, and the purpose of this blog.

Most of you know, I have written a book on this parable, that is primitive as far as writing goes (Masters level study at seminary has convinced me of that!), but is a clear revelation from God on the process of His kingdom.

You recall in Mark 4, how the sower sows the word (ie the minister preaches the word), and then what happens?

kingdom-let

Immediately, Jesus explains that the bird comes to steal the word, then there are persecutions and afflictions when we try and obey it, then there are distractions, and things that muddy the waters of clear, instant obedience.

These thoughts are amplified in two other passages of Scripture:

Hebrews 10:32

But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

 

NASB

But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings

 

Notice here, the similarity between the illumination or enlightenment of God to a person, and the immediate work of satan to oppose it. In parable of the sower, he is described as the bird come to steal the word of God sown in the heart of the believer, here in Hebrews, we see his work again, bringing ‘a great fight of afflictions’.

 

We see this clearly in the ministry of the apostle Paul:

2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

thorn

Notice here, Paul was given ‘the abundance of the revelations’ directly from God (He wrote over half of the new testament), and immediately a ‘messenger of Satan’ was sent to buffet him.

MSG   Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

While God allowed the work of satan to work humility in Paul, notice here that the buffeting DID NOT COME FROM GOD.

Also notice that the buffeting came, only after Paul did what God said to do.

 

I have noticed, that when I go to church, I bring a pen and paper, or notepad on my phone. Surely if God should speak to me, it is important enough to write down, and transfer to my schedule and To Do, list.

write-it-down

Though I could preach much this morning, this is a simple call to targeted, accurate, intercessory prayer, for all those multitudes that heard the word of God yesterday in church, and either blew it off and forgot what the whispers of Holy Spirit told them to do, or for those who know now what to do, but need courage to do it, because it will require life change, and perhaps very real persecution and afflictions. Of course, the people like me need prayer too, as there are always conflicting pulls for my time, and distractions that would bring loss of focus and priority…all to prevent the work of God from going forward as Jesus directs.

satan-biblical

For those of you determined to make an eternal difference in this life, please join with me in praying:
prayer war
Father, please bring back to remembrance, what You spoke to people yesterday, and help them to write it down, and do it. For those facing hard times because of their obedience, please give them strength, courage, and firm resolve to DO what they now know they need to do. For those of us prone to distraction, please keep us focused, with precise, spirit-led obedience today, that Your kingdom would come, and move forward in power today, in the name and authority of Jesus I pray, Amen.

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

Free Book Offer – Parable of the Sower

Free Book Offer – If you are willing to read my book – ‘The Parable of the Sower’, and write a paragraph review of it, and then post it on Amazon, I will send you a free copy. I am told by a publisher I must have 20 honest reviews to go to the next level. http://www.amazon.com/Parable-Sowe…/…/1491207825/ref=sr_1_1…

This is meditation on the Bible parable of the sower. In it, the author brings many real life applications, then shows how to find the perfect will of God, for your life: the reason you were created for such a time as this!
amazon.com
Email me your mailing address at chris.aomministries@gmail.com

Why Publish the Word of God?

faith speaks
Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

Psalm 68:11

The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

When we preach the goodness and greatness of Jesus, we join the greatest publishing company on planet earth!

Isaiah 52:7

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

!

AOMMinistries – Ask of Me and I will give the nations – January Newsletter

Trusting you all had a wonderful HOLY day season and New Year!

Traditionally, we all set goals at New Years – wrote a couple articles on this:

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/teach-us-to-number-our-days/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/the-timing-of-miracles/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/leadership-the-fate-of-the-world-depends-upon-it-3/

goals

I guess we all look back on 2014, learn from our victories, or tragedies, and discover that Jesus was faithful through it all. Yet, though we grow year by year, in wisdom and grace, yesterday’s obedience is no substitute for today’s faith – His name is I AM, and NOW faith is!

Over the month of January, I am encouraging people to do a 21 day fast of something, with the purpose of taking more time to seek God, personally. Here are my thoughts on fasting in faith – God loves us, and does not need His children on a hunger strike!

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/a-call-to-fast-and-pray/

I have determined to always be a voice for Jesus, not an echo, and that takes time, in prayer. My regular daily prayer time includes 3-5 hours of praying in the Holy Spirit, and much of that time is spent praying for you and your family, faithfully.

Acts 6:4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

This has become no small challenge, as our original (I thought) one week stay with good friends, has now extended to six weeks. Amazing grace with 10 people in a small house, that includes 6 children! Jesus make a way for the Walsh’s!

We all have our part to play in the kingdom of God, and we are the Body of Christ. Each of us remain connected by the bonds of love.

I have much in my heart for 2015, but until I have finished praying it out, and can articulate it clearly, I will not share yet, starting to feel like Smith Wigglesworth: ‘I’m 1000 times bigger on the inside, than what you see outwardly!”

Deliberately seek Jesus for His highest and best in 2015 – NO COMPROMISE!

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

paypal

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

living

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

eye

Jesus Decisions upon the Harvest

harvest

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest
I am determined to be a voice for God, not merely an echo:
Today, I hear Jesus saying: “I am making decisions based upon my harvests in the earth, in 2015, and for years to come. I am opening up new fields, and have prepared and raised up leaders to reap them. Those who commit to harvest, shall be blessed, promoted, and prospered. Those who do not, who have become comfortable, will be passed by, missing great opportunity, and eternal reward. Do not be shaken by those leaving the earth by way of the grave, they have run their race, finished their course, and I am bringing them home to glory, for I love them! Lift up your eyes to the harvest and align yourselves with people and ministries that have harvest, growth, and souls as their pursuit – shake off ungodly yokes and relational entanglements designed to drain my life from you, but run YOUR race before me, without restraint or compromise, and see my victory, joy, breakthroughs, signs, wonders and miracles in the earth”

Strong In the Lord!

Benched 315lbs! Got it clean, spotter didn’t need to help!

315

OK – So what? You might ask? You having a male menopause moment? Perhaps, but maybe there’s more to my personal victory than meets the eye. Like a process of daily disciplines where I fight to grow as a man of God, each year, spiritually, academically, and yes, even physically.

Today, Pastor Paul Daugherty preached a neat message called ‘Your Highlight Reel’, encouraging us to focus on the highlights of our year, to count our blessings and to remember the battles we have won. To record the victories and faithfulness of Jesus throughout the year.

So, I rewound my mental tape, of goals set, missions accomplished, miracles wrought – found my own highlights.

Some people set New Years ‘Resolutions’ but never get them accomplished, yet I spend time in the face of Jesus, to set yearly goals, that force me to grow as a disciple of Jesus, every year.

Like read through my Bible every year – Check! Got it done!

Like listen to my audio Bible every night all night – Pretty much every day!

Like do my daily prayer list – Working on it, trying to not get too busy…

Like publish another book – Got it done!

Like build this blog site – Amazing grace, people like you are actually reading it every day, and the followers are growing…

Did I get my daily disciplines done, every day, faithfully?

Did I make them all? NO!

shoot

My goal was to be able to bench 315 while maintaining cardio-vascular running speed of being able to break 25 mins in a 5km run. (only 3x 8min miles, looks simple on paper), but for those who understand strength training, I found it almost impossible to build cardio, while loading on the plates on bench. So, instead of being defeated, I will crush this 315 strength plateau, then, will work on my running again, after strength has been gained.

Did I stay with my reading schedule of a book a week this year? Nope. Last year I read 2 books/week, this year I probably only read a total of 20 books all year, but I did get to go on a total of seven exciting missions trips to mostly the Navajo nation, and fell in love with the Navajo people and America again. Saw God do some incredible miracles!

In previous years, I had goals to provide for my family well. Did that financially for a few years, but burned some relational bridges with my children, working long hours, and then too tired to be of any use to them when I was home. Now, I am a full time missionary, having lived two years well below the poverty line, eating at food banks, staying with friends or on church floors, without a vehicle for some of it, praying long, long hours for the privilege of serving in the call of God…Yet, I have served these past two years, as we homeschooled our children, together. Got to know my kids again…Sitting here with my 13 year old princess snuggled alongside, watching a movie together. She just offered to draw a picture for me to illustrate this post…Get it? There are many, many things money cannot buy, and I cannot be bought for any financial price….I have already been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus, and His love has so ravished my heart, His call upon me so strong, His rein upon my life so tight, that I have abandoned all for the sake of the call, having chosen the straight and narrow way, no compromise, no turning back, having joined the company of those of whom the world is not worthy, writing His eternal testimony on the tablet of time…

Yet, 2015 is upon us, and it is time to set some new goals, and plan for the upcoming year of life and ministry.

Proverbs 16:9 (KJV) A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

I encourage myself sometimes, with the very words I believe God has given me to write to you….

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/timing-in-the-call-of-god/

I am sure Jesus has some wonderful surprises for all of us as we seek Him and walk with Him!

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Let’s pray:

‘Father, grant us wisdom like you did the sons of Issachar. To know the timings of what we should do, and know what to do with our lives, to maximize our eternal impact in the earth. In Your name we pray Lord Jesus, Amen”