Casting My Dice with Jesus

Casting My Dice with Jesus

Casting My Dice with Jesus

This may sound a bit corny, but you only have one chance at eternal love.

You know that any human that you love will eventually die, but the only other option that I have seen offered by anyone or anything is an Eternal God who loves you, who created you and who wants to have a relationship with you for the rest of eternity.

That is your only good option. All other options are finite and temporary. I believe that Jesus Christ took on the form of a finite human man so that he could unite us to the possibility of infinite love in Him.

Imagine having a relationship that only got better and better and better for the rest of eternity.

I’m casting my dice with Jesus.

I’m putting all my eggs in one basket.

I am willing to choose Jesus.

It’s like winning the ultimate lottery and Jesus’s work, obedience and sacrifice made it possible.

When they had crucified him, they divided up His clothes by casting lots.

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Every Good and Perfect Gift

Every Good and Perfect Gift

Every Good and Perfect Gift

The Book of James 1:17“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

 

Every good thing is given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights (the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens) in whom there is no variation (no rising or setting) nor shadow cast by His turning (for He is perfect and never changes).

Humans are a funny bunch.

For the most part, they don’t know what they have until they lose it and they don’t have a real appreciation for the value of something until it’s gone.

I believe that in our walk and relationship with the Lord Jesus there are times that He must withhold certain things to teach us this lesson. 

Getting right to the point, I have seen this withholding in my life especially in my relationship with Him. I have experienced His intimacy morning after morning during my quiet time hours. 

Just like the story of the manna, you must feed on the Lord Jesus Christ daily to stay alive spiritually. It’s like being awakened from sleep or having a fog lifted from your being. 

When He comes in His is manifest presence your mind, body, soul, and spirit respond to Him.

You receive from Him life, light, energy, love, and a host of gifts. You become one with Him and become more like Him.

I believe that He honors your willful choice to see Him, ask of Him, and knock on His door. This must be a constant daily practice. He has been so good to me in this regard over the years. 

Randy is not only a great author but a great photographer. He takes all the images on his blogs. 

Fellowship with Jesus is life itself.

But what happens when you go into a period of soul darkness? You may experience a valley of the soul when things seem dead or dark and the Lord seems far away.

You ask, where is the intimacy, the presence of the Lord, the joy, the supernatural power?

My personal experience has been one of a very challenging life, many difficulties having to do with mental peace and tranquility. 

I have at times felt and experienced great mental and emotional turmoil, depression, loneliness, confusion, despair, extreme shame, and unstableness. There have been times in my life where I could barely cope with being here on this Earth.

This has been true for me from the early age of 5 and 6 as I have struggled with self-rejection believing that I was an outcast and different and that the world would never accept me, nor would I be accepted by society. 

The lies of the enemy can start at an early age. 

He is not respectful of any human.

My only way out of the turmoil of being a human and in practice the only thing that has made any sense to me was pursuing an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. (God the Son and my Creator). The grace that He gives overrides so much of the frailty and what lacks in me.

It most definitely reflects best in the idea of being a new creation in Him. All of this comes from being in a close intimate relationship with Christ.

And so, when I am in a dry spell spiritually and lack these daily graces,

I do have a greater appreciation for His grace in every area of my life including my heart, my soul, my mind, my spirit, and my physical existence.  

He sends grace on your relationships, your work, your ministry, and even the seemingly insignificant things.

I choose to keep pursuing Him and know that His intimacy and those daily graces will return if I wait on the Lord and have faith in His love.

Every Good and Perfect Gift

Examples of God’s Grace in My Life

 

1.) Waking up empty, cold, hard, distracted, passive spiritually and when you meet with God, coming before Him in whatever state, He comes to you in manifest power and His presence purges, cleanses, and enlightens, makes alive, energizes you (physically, spiritually, mentally) and you get to enjoy God and His goodness! “The chief end of man is to know God and to enjoy Him forever”

2.) He blesses your relationships with other periods you can always tell because the supernatural love and intimacy in possible without the Lord elevates the human relationship. It becomes a cord of 3. When I am away from the Lord, living and selfish sin, and being disobedient my relationships suffer.

3.) He makes your life significant by supernatural using you to love others and share him and his truth. He makes divine appointments that you would never experience on your own.

4.) He may bless you with little acts of kindness, delights and special moments as you live your life. You also get to enjoy the goodness of others prompted by Him. You just know in your heart that these blessings are from Him.

5.) Physical blessings of healing, health, and the ability to exercise enjoy exercise. And of course, mental health and intelligent thought.

6.) The grace to enjoy his creation, nature, beauty, and all of the arts.

7.) The resolution of differences in our relationships most often is a blessing from the Lord and impossible without His intervention.

8.) Correcting misconceptions, deception, and perceptions in our minds.

9.) Allowing us to have jobs or means to make a living that are satisfying and fulfilling, giving us purpose and significance.

10.) The continual process of sanctification – being made more like Jesus in His mind, His heart, His Spirit, His emotions, His purpose, His character, and His love.

And of course, many more!

Hope, forgiveness, our worth, prayer to change the world.

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Every Good and Perfect Gift

Every Good and Perfect Gift

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Delight Yourself in the Lord

Delight Yourself in the Lord

Delight Yourself in the Lord 

This blog post was written by a friend of mine whom I will leave anonymous.

 

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” — Psalms 37:4

 

How doggedly I pursue joy and pleasure; it drives my choices almost minute by minute.

Things that I do:

  • Watch TV. 
  • Converse with my wife or the kids.
  • Visit my grandchildren or look forward to their visits. 
  • Golf, practice golf, buy golf clubs and I think about golf. 
  • Work out for the pleasure of losing weight or being thin.
  • Work puzzles, I volunteer at church, and I go for walks.
  • I go to Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee.

These are just “neutral or wholesome” things I do for pleasure.

But I don’t want to consider all of my negative or unwholesome or sinful actions that I pursue for pleasure.

Are the wholesome pleasures and desires that “Psalms 37: 4” promise me if I delight myself in the Lord?

I think not!   

In fact, I think that conclusion is to misunderstand God’s Word here.

I believe my “focus objective” and dogged pursuit should be to pursue God Himself for pleasure.

Perhaps this one area is where I can be completely self-centered and seek personal pleasure while simultaneously obeying God and pleasing Him.

I needn’t even ask if it refers to unwholesome desires.

I expect that as I pursue God doggedly, even without the pursuit of pure or highest motives at the start, that I will over time, become more and more astounded at…

His glory, His love, His mercy, His compassion!

That I will begin to become so righteously enamored with Him that my pursuit for pleasure will become a pursuit of pleasure in Him.

At that moment I will have delighted so much in the Lord that He will have given meet the desires of my heart, which will be sweet, unhindered fellowship with Him.

So, what should I conclude?

I am free to choose, for my own pleasure, to pursue God relentlessly…

…and it will please Him.

 

Delight Yourself in the Lord 

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A Letter to A Friend

A Letter to A Friend

A Letter to A Friend

As I was praying and asking GOD to help me to be the father and man that everyone sees in me, but I don’t see myself most times; I was instructed to pray immediately for you.

I know hard times in my life even though now is not the time to get into the grizzly details of me as the person of yester-man: the person you wouldn’t want to know but was fun to party with.

Anyhow- the Lord sent word to you & me.

Be strong and courageous and do all you can to stand and fight with the weapons that I have given freely to you!!

Be strong and courageous because I AM THE LORD fights for you!

Before the battles have even begun…

…I knew what and where you’d be at this time and in the exact place where you are now! Don’t you remember that before your spirit took flesh that you and I agreed to this life and time that you’d have the free will I gave you!?

Stand and fight! Be strong and courageous because the battle has already been won!

There are no weapons formed against you that can prosper because you are MINE! I THE LORD fight before you and the battle is MINE!

Be the courageous warriors I have called you to be at the end of times! Shine the light you have been given through ME to all and stand! And before you’ve done everything in your power to stand-come and stand beside ME; with MY glory illuminating all things around you and me!

There is no hardship that is given to YOU without an escape; there is nothing that THE LORD gave my children that I know they can’t handle.

A Letter to A Friend

A Letter to A Friend

 

Just as you give your children certain tasks to learn; I also do for MY children. The difference is MY tests are always to bring your character to perfection, to make you the warrior you were meant to be. MY tests are of a deeper relation to get rid of earthly things that in the Heavenly Realm can’t or shouldn’t continue in your own life so you can be the spiritual gladiator you were meant to be!

You were meant for greatness and reflect the glory of my son to a dying and dead world. Do not allow yourself to become infected with the short-sighted world’s wisdom. It’s not from ME.

In the worst part of the storm, in the 11th hour of desperation, when the whole of the world melts away from you. when all other men’s hearts become like melted wax and all other strength perishes and doom seems imminent on all and every front that you turn to.

LOOK TO THE SKY FOR YOUR ANSWER AND REDEMPTION!!

I THE LORD will never leave you or forsake you!!

Seek ME continually, especially in your time of great peril, I always hear you because I THE LORD am carrying you through these times! You are MY son by adoption you are MINE!

I LOVE you son!

This message was given to me on the way to work as I was driving and in prayer for many things in my life and family and also for many of my brothers and sisters in the LORD.

I know this to be the truth for you because it was the truth from OUR FATHER, which also makes it equally pertinent to me and my own life!

Anything worthy of the truth stands equally for the speaker. If I don’t live what I speak then I am a hypocrite to the worst degree. These words were for me to be encouraged by as well.

We are well-loved by many people in our lives and most of all the MOST HIGH GOD! What a blessing to have trials that work us to perfection!

How easily we forget that this is only temporary, a condition for a while that we endure in a fleeting moment of our short lives!

GOD waits patiently for us to call, let us not let HIM down!

Your friend,

 

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A Letter to A Friend

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Liars Make Profits Not Prophets

Liars Make Profits Not Prophets

Liars Make Profits Not Prophets

 “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.” – 2 Corinthians 2:17

 

The one thing we are commanded to lust after in the bible is the gift of prophecy.

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that most of the prophets are merely to serve as the watchdogs of our faith, whose job it is to warn people who how God has promised He shall react to actions rather than to serve as fortune-telling seers.

Only a very select few of the few prophets have been given specific prophecies of the future.

A true prophet of God speaks only the truth and is bound by this burden even to his own detriment.

Only false prophets speak falsehoods, for a prophet speaks on behalf of their god and a false prophet speaks on behalf of a false god: A false god is a god of lies and so for a false prophet to speak falsehoods is how the prophet serves his god faithfully.

Who is the father of lies?

 

Who is The Truth?

 

Ask yourself:

 

  • Do you lie about how you are, how your day is going, or how your family life is fairing?

 

  • What utterances proceed from your mouth?

 

  • Do you lie, even if temporarily to make a point?

 

  • Do you lie in only the small things, or have they cascaded into even the big things as well?

 

Woe to those who claim to worship the Truth incarnated yet persist in practicing deception on any scale.

 

Do you err on the side of truth?

 

If so then listen to Him. Repent and speak only Truth; live in Truth.

He that has ears, let him hear.

 

*Title by James Thompson

 

Liars Make Profits Not Prophets

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

“But we in it shall be remembered, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers…” William Shakespeare’s play Henry V – St Crispin’s Day Speech

 

Men are very different than women in many ways, but when it comes to relationships it is most evident. We can be real loners. We do not connect well with other men when it comes to deep ties that bind. Women do this almost by instinct as if it was woven into their DNA to connect with other women on another level. That’s because they are relationship oriented.

Men are not.

Sure, we will be all about it when we are watching sports and cheering our favorite team but when it comes to being transparent about our daily lives and what is going on in our marriage and family or other struggles in our Christian walk, we are silent. We endure these trials and hardships alone and isolate out of fear and pride. 

We have no safe place to go and never had.

It’s almost like a red badge of courage that says we are strong. “I am a man and do not need anyone as I work through my life.”  We trust no one with those deep feelings and insecurities. If we say anything we will be thought of as less than. No man wants to be looked at as less than by another man. That is what was drummed into us as we grew up.

We go through our lives with this mindset as different issues begin to pile up making a mountain out of a molehill, day after day year after year. It gnaws at us, but we cannot quite put our finger on the source. We desperately want to feel better about ourselves, but our anger overtakes us. Escaping through alcohol, drugs, pornography or a million other diversions is a temporary fix with many men ending their lives with suicide. 

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Many of us have come from abusive families, bad religious experiences or both that have colored our world dark. I know mine was. I had anger issues. Anger was my addiction of choice.

I have left a path of destruction behind me because of my anger, especially with my wife and family. The things I said and the way I acted were an embarrassment to not only those closest to me but myself. It was like some demon took hold of me from the inside. I would become this Raging Incredible Hulk. I did not do this most of the time but in those times I felt heavy stress. Enough times that my wife and I had to separate on numerous occasions throughout our lives together. 

I think much of my anger came from fear.

Fear has been a part of my life in one form or another. When I was a child, I was fearful because my family fought all the time. I had a hearing disability that made my parents and teachers think my mental IQ was very low. 

I was kicked out of two Catholic grade schools and had nuns beat me up because they could not control this bad kid. I was fearful most of my adult life because I was always trying to prove that I was not stupid. I desperately wanted to show I had a talent of some sort that I could call my own and show to others.

Throughout my adult life, I have always wanted a mentor.

Someone that could show me the ropes in life. My dad was not much good at this. I think he suffered from the same issues I did so how could he teach me to navigate this minefield of human relationships. 

The truth be told, I needed something more than a mentor but other Christian men that I could trust. Spill my guts about my fears and insecurities. What was happening to me? 

Where do you find such men?

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

 

I do not think that I was aware for most of my life that I needed men in this capacity until I joined a group at a local church that dealt with these issues. Men that could come together without fear of being judged because they also had the same problems and had left a path of destruction in their own lives. I was not alone. I was not crazy.

The Men of Hope meets once a week. 16-20 men meet in the large group that goes around a large table setting and we all introduce ourselves and what has brought us to this place. New men show up all the time and are mixed in with men that have been meeting for a couple of years. 

Newcomers are almost in a state of shock for a variety of reasons. Most have never been in a setting like this before and for them to hear such honesty from the older members about their struggles and how God is helping overcome them. Just listening to others speak is amazing therapy in itself. I identify with the other men and I realize I am not so different from what they are going through. Being an isolated loner, I thought what I was dealing with was just me. 

There are usually a couple of smaller groups…

…meeting at the same time as the large group. These are men that are working through a 12-step book that helps them connect to our childhoods or other periods of pain usually in a setting of 6-8 individuals. These are men that have made a commitment to do the smaller group and have been going to the larger group for a period of time. We work the book together from start to finish. 

For many men, this is the first time in their lives that they are going back into their past for answers. Questions in the book are designed to peel back the onion of our history and emotions. We ask God to help us on this journey because He knows better than anyone what has brought us to this point in time.

Some men come just once, others come a few times then still others will come regularly and have for years. This is where strong bonds are formed. We become A Band of Brothers with our fellow journeymen on this Christian path. We learn what it is like to be a good husband, father and friend from each other with God in the center of it all.

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

 

Once a year a great number of men will meet for a weekend retreat where we enjoy each other’s company and listen to some great Christian speakers. Many men come away from this time energized and with new friendships.

My son and grandson both belong to The Men of Hope. We are three generations that are trying to be set free of the chains that bind us to a past that keeps us separated from God. Men in this setting become transparent and accountable to each other for the benefit of our wives and families.

Most men are not accountable to no one or anything. We have become these little demigods answering only to ourselves. Some of us have become tyrants in our own families.  

I recently read a blog post by Gary Thomas…

…called “Enough is Enough”. It took me on a journey of introspection of myself and my marriage. So many thoughts flooded through me as I found myself identifying with some of the men being described in this article.

His writing is about when is it OK to get a divorce from an abusive spouse. He is talking about a Christian marriage here. 

Gary says, “As Christian leaders and friends, we have to see that some evil men are using their wives’ Christian guilt and our teaching about the sanctity of marriage as a weapon to keep harming them.”

I do not want to go back…

…to being that angry man that is described in “Enough is Enough”. Men of Hope and my Band of Brothers are helping me do that. All those men that he describes in his blog and the comments the women made in the comment section are isolated men that answer to no one. They are accountable to no one.

Sure, it’s still a battle every day. It took me many years of isolation and being the prideful ruler of my life that God is teaching me a better way. A Godly way.

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

Our churches need to be open to having men groups meet regularly and I do not mean for just bible studies but a safe place for men to come and connect in a deeply meaningful way. As men, we yearn for meaningful relationships with other Godly Men deep in our core.

We all want and need A Band of Brothers even though many of us do not know what that is or looks like.

I do now and I thank God every day for finding this group. 

 

The Men of Hope meets once a week at Mountain Park Church in Ahwatukee on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:00. The church address is 16461 S. 48th St, Phoenix, AZ 85048. All are welcome if you go to church there or not. There is no charge.

 

Christian Men Need Other Christian Men to Succeed

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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