Sunday, August 25, 2013


Deuteronomy 18:21-22 
You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?”  If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.
This is an interesting verse. I find myself thinking about my believes alot. Susan and i watched "Argo" for the first time on Friday night. We were at the edge of our seats. It was very good. It was best picture last year. Ben Affleck did a great job starring and directing it. Basicly the U.S. Embassy in Iran is invaded and only 6 people escape. They hide at the Canadian Embassy. The U.S. can't figure out how to rescue them. They end up hiring Tony Mendez. The hard part is, he has to get them out in public disguised as a film crew scouting locations for the movie "Argo". At first the 6 Americans along with the U.S. government think this is a joke but let him go with it. I find things seem obsurd to me in my life. Like God why am I doing things this way? This doesn't make any sense. In order for Tony to pull this escape off, he had to get with Warner Brothers and make an actual movie, get it published, screenplays made, everything. Each escapee had a profile to memorize, a whole identity, and take on ownership of this film that would get them out of Iran. It was suicide. The night before, the U.S. canceled the escape. Tony refused and went forward with it. The escapies had to live their roles out now. Whether it was the director, producer, cameraman, writer, screenplay. The Iranians were very cautious and eventually figured them out. But they made it. How many times have I felt stupid about obeying God? He continues to remind me of characters in the bible that felt the same way but continued to obey. I felt the phrase "don't be afraid to be successful" spoken to me this week. Why do I have fear of success? 

Hits me, When Tony Mendez went over to Iran, he had to battle the 6 escapees and persuade them to trust Him. God seems obsurd at times. When he's pulling me to be successful because he knows I have Him in me. I doubt too much, he knows that. He also knows I don't give up. He knows I'm committed. Even when the U.S. canceled the plane tickets, Tony went forward with the plan. Now they had to trust Him. Just like Argo got the 6 people out, is just how God uses things in my life as a way escape and success, the don't make any sense, but make me believe.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ditching Prayer

Always be joyful. Never stop praying.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 NLT

I have a shirt that has this verse on it. Prayer is a powerful communication with God. It's the hidden weapon, the antidote, yet the most misunderstood and abused concept of time I think I have thought of. I did some research on how to pray, to see what the internet had to say. I found some logical things.

This guy states that prayer needs to be honest, deadfully honest. Now I'm afraid to do that. I get confused with the all the "count it all joy when falling into various trials" verses that I should I ever be angry. Sip some coffee, I read and think. Prayer is from the heart. I find myself praying for people and with people and then demanding from people at times. But why? It's my longing for God, my desire for Him. But how is this possible through prayer? I find that its more difficult to pray when I don't know who I'm praying to. I remember at bohof, after studying the scriptures, my view of prayer completely changed. It's like when I first really understood digital and High Definition, was I able to explain the need for it. I was also able to show it true nature. Prayer is how we connect with each others heart and soul.  It's really weird. Which is why its uncomfortable, theres a lot of hurt out there. Because it deals with the soul and heart, where the hurts and pains are, it's reluctant. Prayer also touches on shame. It wants to open up the heart to really let healing in. I have learned that God has really answered prayer when I really have prayed. When I utter out of true frustration or when I have really am honest with God. I mean when I really am showing my true colors and not holding things back. Not when I'm trying to fix it, by praying. I find in our connected society today, only the truly honest people survive. Facebook, doesn't do it. It's still fake. Am I really going to expose how I feel? It's a crazy test. Prayer is unusual, it's this moment where you I have to dig deep down and not believe that even though he knows what I'm really thinking, I still need to say it. Even though I know I'm doing something wrong, I still need ask for help. That's where I stop. Because I don't want to get better, I still want to stay in my ditch.

Hits me, there's a difference between happiness and joy. Anyone can be happy, but joy comes from within, there's meaning behind it. For me, it's the joy is replaced with resentment and anger if I'm not praying, listening, and obeying. I can go on with my life with the knowledge of the bible and prayer, and be miserable. Or I can strive to study and pray and renew myself daily to keep that joy. Life sucks me dry at times, but I can't stop praying especially when I'm dried up.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Love and Logic

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8 NLT

You'd think it would be something more like "be honest or tell the truth or the golden rule. Love is strong, I have to be careful about love. Sip some coffee, I read and think. Loving someone is really, challenging when they've hurt you. I think of john 3:16, then I think that i don't know what love is at times. I don't love myself, I find I condemn myself too much. Then I know people who love themselves too much. I find I have trouble loving people more these days than I did before I was married. My wife has to convince me that people are mean to me at times, when I totally blow it off. I don't care. I'm so used to rejection. She can sense that I'm clueless to it, which makes her feel more hurt for me. Her main question whenever I come home from a meeting is, "were they nice to you?" I don't know, they weren't mean. I wasn't offended. This has happened to so many times, that i begin to think I'm this weird alien that people are just putting up with. I find that both my wife and I have been battered in our single lives so much, that showing deep love from both us to others is a show and not real, yet I can watch others and think I should do that, but why?

My biggest problem, is. I don't accept God's love for myself, I can sure love others great, but not myself. When someone wrongs me though? no more love for them. Thats where I have issues with this scripture. I need to accept God's love for me first and the love will come naturally. I feel I'm terrible because of my sins. That has to change though, I will always sin in who knows what way. That doesn't stop God's love though. He actually uses that sinful moment to draw me to Him.

Hits me, I'm going to screw up for the rest of my life, and love on others too. No ones perfect. I've unfriended people, unliked pages, and feel terrible, and why? Am I afraid of what they think? or am I doing somethings wrong? I look at pages on facebook that I don't know what to do with, should I unlike them? then I see the junk in my office, that I don't know what to do with. I find God telling me to love, but I can't without logical reason.  Love isn't logical, they don't mix. I find logic has come into my life and ruled almost everything with results. I can't love with logic, it just doesn't work, it's like oil and water. It's crazy of how my brain has been programed over the years to think different ways.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


James 4:8-10
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Whenever I read these kind of verses, I often think about how I'm not doing this correctly. Sip some coffee, I read and think. I'm reminded of the movie Zookeeper with Kevin James. It came out in 2011. I didn't see it until a few days ago on redbox, which reminds me, I haven't returned it yet. It's about a zookeeper who gets dumped by his girlfriend due to him being "just a zookeeper". Un beknownst him the animals at the zoo begin speaking to him about getting this girl to like him again. What he learns is that, she wants him to be someone he's not. How many times have i wanted to be someone I wasn't. Honestly? not many. It's been more, I don't believe I can be who I am. This guy tried to be somebody else in Kevin James style, which was hilarious. I find God wants me to do the same thing. Try something and see if it works and then when I come back and say what's wrong with me God? It's this process that God takes me through. I can't stand it. I want this right the first time. I read and think. This scripture starts and ends the same way. It's the beginning and ending to a video, something is in between. But what is in between. It's the heartache, the pressure, the identity, the dismay, the confusion. Why can't I just humble myself? Why do I think so much about why?
Hits me, since humbling myself and drawing near to God are the obvious quick solutions, but sometimes not mine, I have to look at all the middle. Just like making sure the middle of the video flows and transitions into the ending, many times its forgotten, but its where I grow. Where I learn to be humble. I may not be a zookeeper who thinks he's just a zookeeper but I am who God made me, and I have to believe and love that, even if it means bloom where I'm planted when it hurts.

Monday, August 12, 2013

discouragement vs optimism

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again - my Savior and my God!

Psalm 42:1 NLT

This is fascinating, the process of perseverance. It's the hike up the mountain, yet not knowing how far away the top is. Sip some coffee, I read and think. I find verses like these to be hard to relate with. I wasn't raised to think like this. I was raised to be like Paul and rejoice in my trials. It's like always being optimistic in everything so I didn't get discouraged, because discouragement really meant, lack of faith. My fear is failure and rejection, my problem is, is that I don't goal set. I just keep plugging away at things that keep me from failing. When I take my family on vacation, I have no expectations, that way I don't get discouraged. It's like I put up a defense mechanism so I can prepare myself to be optimistic. Isn't that insecurity though? How long can that last? It's like I don't seek God in my troubles, I seek my past experiences as a cushion. I read and think. David was depressed. I don't get depressed, I just keep moving, I keep optimistic and focused. Sometimes too focused. Am I really not being honest with God? I don't feel I am at times. Venting and stress are almost shunned these days. But why? Because it's showing your true feelings? You attend church and it's happy time, be careful not show your true colors. I have before, and people get concerned. I'm a real person, as is everyone. Not everyone can talk to me though. I'm not everyones close friend, and I won't be. I used to take that as rejection, but now I take it as life. Isn't that a cover up?

Hits me, God wants me to be real with Him, not to be someone else who I think He wished I was. I may not be depressed, but I still need to persevere in God and rejoice in Him, because I easily don't rejoice until I think its from God, then I have pride. Because I begin judging whether it's from God or not.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Please Help....God bless

Deuteronomy 14:28-29
At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns,  so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
At first I'm thinking of all the homeless people. Then I think of how many people won't do this. Then I think of how much judgement and pity I would give when giving my tithes for this reason. This isn't at the end of the week, its at the end of 3 years. I've already had my coffee, and discussing this scripture with Susan. I'm reminded of the "Please Help...God bless" people on the corners. Yet Susan tells me that there are places that they can go (if they are clean and sober) to get back on their feet within a few weeks. I read and think. I find its an honor to help people out if I can. I've given food to people before on the street. Then I saw the news report of lady with a sign saying "quit giving my son and daughter in law money for their drugs". I'm not getting the point of this scripture. It's about believing that a percentage of the time I put into a project is going to help someone out that could benefit. Whether its food, video, physical labor, possessions, etc. What's the big deal? I'm also reminded of an idiot who hollered at me while I was approaching my car at the bank. He gets my attention and try's to offer me a cd of his for a donation. I told him I would listen to the cd and let him know. He said no, donation or no cd. How do I know the cd isn't blank? He then got close to me and told me to slow down. I then left. I thought to myself, you don't walk up yelling at someone to get their attention to sell something they don't want.

Hits me, I'm in a day and age of service, about people i know and connections. I need to give work away at times. To give money, to give whatever my percentage is. God is about resources, not about only one way of doing things. I need to remember not to pity people who I give things to, but to see opportunity to give what I can and when I can.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Don't Fence Me in

1 Corinthians 11:1
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

At first I wasn't sure what to think. I think of the men I've looked up to and then of how left out I've felt. I've always felt as though I was 10 years late. Like what people have discovered 10 years ago, I'm figuring it out now. Sip some coffee, I read and think. Knowing me I'm always thinking outside the box. I'm reminded of the song "Don't fence me in". Originally a poem by Robert Fletcher in 1934. It was written into a song for the movie Adios, Argentina. The lyrics go
Oh, give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above

Don't fence me in
Let me ride thru the wide-open country that I love
Don't fence me in
Let me be by myself in the evening breeze
Listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever, but I ask you please
Don't fence me in
Don't fence me in

Just turn me loose
Let me straddle my old saddle underneath the western skies
On my cayuse
Let me wander over yonder till I see the mountains rise
I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
Gaze at the moon until I loose my senses
I can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in
Don't fence me in

Give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above

That's called Freedom to me.  It's pretty bold for someone to say this. Follow my example? I would have just said "don't look at me, look at God". Yet I live in a society where people compare. I compare reviews, videos, movies, technology. The competition is fierce. Whenever I network in business, I meet my competition at times. I'm interested to hear from them. My challenge is that, I'm not competitive. I could care less of how successful they are. I'm different, and I don't give up. Really people are buying the person and not the product. They are paying for a relationship. Do people see Christ when they see me? I sure don't at times. I read and think. Theres something I'm missing when studying Christ's life on earth. I keep on reading scriptures like this, and not seeing whats really there. It's not about what would Jesus do, it's about why He came when He did. It's about how he went about everything. I keep on reading for words and not for the environment. Christ wasn't in one place, he traveled, he met the people where they were at. He did it responsibly though. 

Hits me, he doesn't want me to guess, he wants me to live. He doesn't want me to figure Him out, he wants me to just go on my way and study Him. He'll put me in situations that will test my character. His character was tested. He came into a society that chose to kill Him. I live in a world where the scriptures are tested and ridiculed and mocked. He expected that. We can do whatever we want in this world, it doesn't matter. Christ character is still there when were done. Everything falls back to it, no matter what I do. Don't fence me in.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A beer and the bible

Mark 7:20-23
He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them.  For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder,  adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.  All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

At first I'm thinking "oh crap, not this one". It's like itching the mosquito bite. It itches, so you scratch your skin, only to watch it spread. I can't but think of Gollum from the Lord of the Rings. The man turned creature because of his obsession with his precious. Then I think of Anakin Skywalker, the anger he had for those who killed his mother. Then I remember "the generals daughter", how her vengeance at her father lead to her death. Sip some coffee, I read and think. I'm using my Venetian mug from Las Vegas. I recently had a gig there a few weeks ago. I had never been there. I was expecting it to be way worse that what it was. This scripture hits me though. It's what comes OUT that defiles me. Not what I take in. It's the evil thoughts, the lust, resentment, bitterness, anger, gross stuff, rage. It's working with a broken garbage disposal. Mines broken right now. I have to plunge it 5 times to get the sink to drain. It stinks bad. I'm reminded of the quote "the mouth speaks of what the heart is full of". How did the heart get full of junk. It's like not replacing your air filter in your A/C monthly. Junk just gets in there and pretty soon, your not breathing right. Situations just load up in life. The particles of evil slowly trinkle in and settle in, and pretty soon I'm just driving no where. It just all collected without me knowing it. How did this happen to me. I got lazy and wasn't filtering my situations through God's word. All the sudden, I'm not reading anything but the headlines, then I'm sick of christian music, sick of church, sick of scripture. Just leave me alone and hand me a beer. Beer and the bible, doesn't sound quite right, yet I feel refreshed, and God understands.
Hits me, Christ spoke with the people I think are evil. Then I find He's speaking directly to me. He's not who I thought He was. that's because I'm not seeing myself through His eyes, but through mine. All kinds of junk is going to hit me whether I like it or not, it's out I filter it leaving me that will defile me or not. I can't let the situations become my filter but word of God, man I wish that were easy.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It's our time, it's our time down here - Mikey

Psalm 54:6-7
I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good. You have delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.
I often feel out of place and under estimated. Like be careful about Nathan. I feel God is the only one that gets me. I find I have resentment towards people in my past and that makes me bitter. Then I find my character changes. I don't love like I used to. Sip some coffee, I read and think. Yet David praises God. I used to praise God when I was hurt, I guess once things affected my family, I changed. What are my troubles? what is deliverance? I discovered recently that i work best with tough love. God throws things in my lap until I get it right. Then he gives me a break. a few weeks or days later, he tests me again. I'm reminded of the goonies. How they had this group of friends who they were going to miss. As they got into mistcheif, they had no idea it would lead to saving the goon docks. They were just being themselves and it paid off in their favor. I read and think, sacrifice a free will offering  sticks out. When good things happen in bad situations, do I give credit to God? inwardly i do. But through my resentment and bitterness I don't see it. I see coincidence. I lose confidence, get depressed, get too insecure. Then God's knocking on my heart saying "you can thank me".  The goonies almost got killed. They used what they had amongst all of them and found the treasure. 

Hits me, it's all about who I am that will get me to where God wants me. He doesn't want me to be anybody else. Sure I'll got through ups and downs but He wants me to stay original and be me. Just like the goonies "its out time, its our time down here", He'll give me a goal and show me how to reach it, regardless of where it is.