Who Is This Uncircumcised Virus?

Today during the message at church, a thought occurred to me I have never had before. Thanks to my Pastor, Paul Daugherty for such a great message, but most importantly for bringing this little bit of insight to me, by way of the Holy Spirit. When I wasn’t a Christian, just a small boy in the Methodist church my parents attended, I knew the story of David and Goliath. I paid extra close attention I’m sure because we share the same name, and I often wondered if I could have done what he did when facing down the giant.

What I never thought about until today however, was what the people around David were really thinking prior to him actually confronting Goliath. I know what his brothers thought when he showed up to bring them food and find out for their father Jesse how the war was going. They were mad at him, saying he’d just come to see a battle, of course at this time there hadn’t been any battles. It had actually been forty days, and on every single one of those days, Goliath came out and taunted King Saul and his army saying, “Come out to fight us. If you defeat us, we will be your slaves, but if we defeat you, you become ours.”

David showed up one day just as Goliath was making his usual speech, and what he saw was the Israeli army running away from the battle lines, saying things like, “Have you seen him? He’s a giant!” But an interesting thing happened as well, they also reported to David how the king had promised to give his daughter in marriage to the man who defeated Goliath, and making his family free from having to pay any taxes. When David heard this, he went to another man asking what would be done for the man who killed the giant, and it was reported to him the same thing. David’s response was different from that of every other man, he said, “Who does this uncircumcised Philistine think he is, that he is allowed to defy the army of the living God?” It wasn’t too long before this was reported back to King Saul, and David found himself standing in the king’s tent.

What I hadn’t seen until today, was how the army of Israel had been watching Goliath spew his taunts in their direction for forty days straight, and not one of them had enough faith to face him, including King Saul. It was probably easier to believe the report of how they were all going to die because of this giant looming before them, with each passing day. Talk had to be about how big the giant was, and what a man of this caliber could do to each and everyone of them. By the fortieth day, Goliath was probably like Superman to them, invincible. The difference between the army and David however was in the reporting. David didn’t know who Goliath was, but the army did, because they had been focusing on the problem before them for forty days, instead of on the God who had saved their nation time and time again.

What struck me today was how the year 2020 with it’s Covid virus fear inspiring pandemic was an awful lot like Goliath standing before the army of Israel. I’m not denying the fact people contracted this virus and some of them even died, just as David never denied the fact Goliath was a giant, he just properly called him what he was; an uncircumcised Philistine. The use of the word “uncircumcised” is covenant talk. This meant Goliath did not have an agreement with God like each and every one of the Israeli men in the army did, so he was subject to the man who did have a covenant with God. David even went on to say he had killed a lion and a bear while watching his father’s sheep, and this Philistine would be no different; God would help him in this battle just like He had in those others.

One thing about David however, he did listen to the reports of the older wise men in the room, respecting his elders. He even tried wearing King Saul’s armor to face the giant. But ultimately told the king he had never worn armor and it would just get in his way, opting to stand against his enemy with the clothes on his back and a sling in his hand. It’s interesting he felt he had to face the giant with what he knew, and not with what man thinks is important. I think we should listen to the reports, just not make them our focus. But when we’re told we have to do something which goes against what we know and believe to be right and true, we have to stand up and say, “Thank you very much, but who is this uncircumcised virus? I’ll face it head on with God, that’s what I’m going to do,” and then go and do that.

One thing you should know however and be ready for, is when you stand in faith against a giant, the crowd around you will ridicule you. Standing in faith goes against what the crowd says and does, if it didn’t, then everyone would stand up in faith and defeat the giants in life. I’m sure you’ve experienced it at least once in your life, being ridiculed for saying or doing something the world around you will not do because of fear. People who are operating in fear instead of faith get mad at the ones who are using their faith, and will do just about anything to make you feel like you’re the one who is in the wrong.

I believe it is time for us to stop being like the army of Israel, walking in fear every time the media reports something about Covid or any other media filled frenzied event. Then, we need to go down to the stream, find some smooth stones to put in our shepherd’s pouch and be ready to sling stones back at the enemy who is trying to keep us Christians quiet. And it’s definitely time for those of us who are Christians to stop being timid (play awe inspiring music here) and to stop running away from the problems, but run towards them, facing head on whatever is set against us, with a tenacity that is written about in our instruction manual (the Bible). I think if more of us would stop listening to the crowd and focus on hearing God, we would see amazing things happen just like did in the Bible.

Well, there’s that…for the Kingdom and the King, shalom!

Chivalry and a Woke Culture

Chivalry is a code of conduct which enables men to navigate through the society in which they live. I have always thought of it as the guidelines which give me the ability to know how I should act in any given situation. Chivalry is a choice to do the right things, at the right time, for the right reasons. But does the society we find ourselves living in now even want chivalrous men? The code I like the best I found in the movie Dragonheart. It says,

A knight is sworn to valor. His heart knows only virtue. His blade defends the helpless. His might upholds the weak. His word speaks only truth. And his wrath undoes the wicked.

For many decades now there has been an all out assault on men. Culture, the media, even hell itself has been working tirelessly in an effort to put men into this box labeling them as idiots, children or predators. And while this has been going on, most men seem to have been asleep, or possibly worse than asleep, they’ve believed the lies; accepting as fact that these were the only options available to them, going ahead and becoming the very things society has accused them of being. I’m not saying men are just victims and should be given some leniency for the stupid things they have done. I believe every man should be held accountable for his actions; this is one of the core values of chivalry.

On the other hand I do think we’ve got to get to a place where as a society we stop laying blame and staying so focused on the past. The culture we’re in right now seems to place more emphasis and energy trying to erase the past, rather than using it as a tool for learning what not to do again. As George Santayana is quoted as saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It seems we can’t forge ahead into a newer and better future because society is too focused on past failures and working to change and rewrite history. And if we lose our history, then we are condemned to a cycle of repetition.

When I see statues or paintings of historic figures, they cause me to want to read and find out what the person did. Just this week I saw this picture of a young lady defacing a statue of Matthias Baldwin. (The picture was taken back in 2020) Now I must admit I didn’t know who he was and figured from all the BLM rhetoric, he must have been a slave owner or something. So I did a quick Google search, and you know what I found out? Well here, let me show you:

Baldwin was a devout member of the Presbyterian Church and a consistent donor to religious and secular charitable causes throughout his life. In 1824 he was a founder of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1833.

In 1835, he donated money to establish a school for African-American children in Philadelphia and continued to pay the teachers’ salaries out of his own pocket for years thereafter. Baldwin was an outspoken supporter for the abolition of slavery in the United States, a position that was used against him and his firm by competitors eager to sell locomotives to railroads based in the slaveholding South.

Baldwin was a member of the 1837 Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention and emerged as a defender of voting rights for the state’s black male citizens.

Why on earth then would this lady vandalize his statue? I mean it appears he was all about black lives mattering, long before BLM was a thing. Probably because she doesn’t have a clue, and our woke society believes in removing anything they deem negative in this world as a way of showing they no longer celebrate it. When this happens, they remove any hope of people actually finding out what these historical figures did; both good and bad.

When a society doesn’t trust its people to come to the correct conclusions for themselves, just wanting everyone to take the loudest voice’s word for it, isn’t this kind of squelching free thought; which by the way is protected in the United States Constitution. It’s interesting to me that for a group of people who say they are tired of hearing what we “boomers” have to say, telling us in effect to just shut up, they are ironically doing the very thing they’ve been accusing us of doing all along; telling everyone to believe their narrative just because they say it’s the right one.

It’s time for those of us who strive to be chivalrous men, to stand up to the intolerance and begin once more to adhere to the code of conduct laid down for us so many years ago. It’s time we start to treat women, all women with respect; opening doors for them, showing our children that their mother is the most important woman in our lives, getting off of our butts and going to a job to provide for our families, speaking the truth always, and defending the weak and helpless. Being men of our word, owning what we say and do for what is best for society not just ourselves. Only when we as men step up and live by this code of conduct will the world change and become a better place.

For the Kingdom and the King, shalom.

Today Above All Days

It was while on vacation during a casual conversation over breakfast with my bride this morning I was reminded about how life changed so drastically for us eleven years ago. It’s hard to imagine eleven years have gone by since the suicide of my youngest son Noah. I won’t bore you with the details of that day again; I’ve posted something about it almost every year since his death, so no need to rehash the past. But I will say from the onset here, if you have thought about, or are contemplating your own death as you read this, please don’t do it. We need you here, even if at this moment it doesn’t feel like it.

Suicide is an insidious tool the enemy of mankind uses to thwart the things God has intended to happen on this planet. You may not realize it, but you are here on purpose, because you have a purpose (Thanks Pastor Paul). You may not know or understand your purpose, I can attest to this myself, because at fifty-seven now, I’m still working to realize my what my purpose and full potential is supposed to be.

One thing I do know about this day eleven years ago, is God knew it was coming and was prepared to walk with us through all the chaos, sadness and anger we were about to experience. Many people told me they were shocked that such a good Christian family as ours would have to walk the road we walked. I’m not saying we are perfect, no family is, but we were at the church every time the doors were open and all three of our children not only attended church, but were very active in doing the actual ministry of Jesus. Noah was the most prolific of all of us at talking to people about accepting the Lord.

The thing which saved me on that day and every day since was the Word of God; specifically John 10:10. It says, “The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. I (Jesus) have come to bring you life and life to the full.” This is what I call a defining Scripture, because it explains what is actually going on in every situation of life. You can know where things are coming from because of it. If it brings death and destruction, it’s the devil, and if it brings life, then Jesus. This is why I used the picture from my phone on this blog. Every time I see the time 10:10 or even just the numbers 1010, I’m reminded of this passage of Scripture. And as I stood by our trampoline a few hours after they had taken Noah’s body away, this is the passage which kept repeating in my mind. It literally helped me run to God and not from Him.

I don’t know what you may be facing, but I know this one thing; there is a battle going on around you each and every day. It’s a battle for your soul; to either help you or hinder you, and if you are unsure of who is doing what in your life, or it will bring confusion to the point where you will blame God when bad things happen, when it is obvious because of this Scripture it is the devil, (the thief), who is bringing the problems.

Knowing John 10:10 didn’t bring my son back to me, but it did help me to understand what was going on and be able to navigate through the murkiness which tried to cover our family for quite a while. I don’t claim to be a Bible scholar or anything, and I’m definitely not perfect by any means, but I do know this one thing, having a working knowledge of God’s Word is what kept my family not only in church, but following and serving Jesus to this day.

It’s never too late to start reading God’s Word either, even if you don’t understand what you’re reading. I’ve always told people, I eat green beans, but I can’t tell you what they do for me nutritionally, I only know I like them and they’re good for me. It’s just like that with the Bible, even if you don’t understand what you’re reading, it is doing something for your spirit.

And it has never been any easier to get access to the Bible. You can download the Bible app from Life Church at your app store; it’s a free download and has many translations of the Bible to choose from. I prefer the New Living Translation, but there are so many available, you will be able to find one which speaks specifically to you. The main thing is to just start reading it and see where God takes you.

For the Kingdom, and the King…Shalom.

A Father’s Love

If a picture paints a thousand words is how the song “If” by David Gates starts and it’s a very true statement; a single picture can say way more than I ever could. And that’s just what the picture I’ve posted here does for me.

When I look at this picture (which is the background on my phone) it reminds me of the love that God has for His children. It’s a love that passes any type of human understanding, I mean come on, the Creator of the universe wants to spend time just being in my presence? Wow! This humbles me every time I think about it.

There are two things in this picture; one that Everly has a complete and utter look of wonder on her face as she’s looking out the window and two, her dad is holding her feet, not to keep her from falling, but just showing his love for her by being close.

This one picture says more about God’s love for mankind than any other picture I’ve ever seen. I just wanted to share it with you and say, God loves you this much and just wants to spend time in your presence today. Why don’t you slow down just a hair and let Him surround you and hold your feet while you gaze out in wonder at all He’s done for you?

Strength and honor, for the Kingdom and the King!

Stop the Nonsense

Let me say right here at the get go, I may piss you off. Understand this though, I’m not trying to, but if what I think and write down today makes you mad, then so be it. Sometimes a fella just needs to get some things off his chest, and today feels like that kind of day for me. The world we live in now is upside down, and not in the cool way we saw in Stranger Things, no this world has no sense of itself anymore. We’ve got people actively trying to silence other people because they don’t agree with their position on a myriad of topics ranging from kid’s books to politics. This time on planet Earth has seen an increase of social awareness which is unlike any other time in the history of mankind.

Social injustice isn’t new, but it is the new thing people have jumped on. It sickens me to see anyone being singled out and treated differently for whatever reason. I understand it too, I have been singled out for my love of all things Star Wars, or enjoying the entertainment industry too much. Those who have done this to me think as a man I should be enjoying things like sports, cars and women who are not my bride. I kind of live by the attitude, if it’s important to you, then I’m happy you’ve found something which brings you joy. Just because I don’t happen to like it, doesn’t mean it is my place to make you feel inferior because you do. And herein lies the problem, this time we live in seems to be, if I disagree with you, then you’re wrong until you change and see it my way.

Take for instance this term “woke”, and don’t even get me started talking about how it is a grammatically incorrect way to use this word and makes you sound like an idiot when you use it. (I told you I might piss you off, here we go) This word “woke” isn’t new either, it started being used in the 1940’s, it’s just seen a resurgence in the past few years. Basically the term “woke” means alert to injustice in society, especially racism. And before you think I am a racist fool, let me say right here and now, I don’t have a racist bone in my body, I think and believe ALL men and women are created equal and have the same rights given to us by Almighty God. As I’ve always said, if you don’t have what you want in life, then get in God’s Word and find out what is promised to you. I’ve read through the Bible many, many times and I have never found anything about the Word of God only working for one people group.

The thing which makes me mad about all this nonsense going on in our world right now, is the double standards of it all. I mean there was a time where people were wanting to rename schools and airports, tearing down statues and dismissing anyone who didn’t agree with their ideals, all in the name of righting wrongs which happened hundreds of years ago. Now I don’t know about you, but this is silly, when right now in our society we have some of the same people screaming about the death of black men at the hands of the police producing materials which is socially offensive and just down right crude.

I hear people screaming about being offended that a bottle of syrup has a black woman’s image on it, but then Cardi B puts a song out last year titled WAP, which is an unadulterated piece of vocal pornography. There is screaming about past social injustices done to all ethnicities in the world, but when are we going to hear about the social injustices done today? It seems as if the people screaming want to change the past, but ignore what’s actually going on around them right now. I’m not saying what was done in the past was right, it wasn’t, and I cringe when I hear about the atrocities which happened, and I pray they never happen again. But as writer and philosopher George Santayana has been quoted as saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (Interestingly enough he was Spanish born too.)

Removing things which happened in the past doesn’t change the past, it just leaves a void in which we are not being reminded about things we should not repeat, ever. It seems the things people really want changed are all the bad things white people did in the past, but let’s don’t talk about the horrible things being promoted and sung about in the pop songs of today. Let’s don’t talk about the rampant drug use, sexual abuse of children, sex trafficking, broken homes, nonexistent fathers, how the most important thing women can do is twerk and be used for nothing more than men’s enjoyment. Yeah, don’t be “woke” about that, but be “woke” to the fact George Washington had slaves and tear his statues down.

To summarize here, I am not racist, I don’t believe anyone who owned slaves should have, nor do I believe women are men’s play things. I’m not a neanderthal nor from one of those skin headed whites only groups. I am a God fearing, husband, father and PopPop who just thinks things have gotten out of hand and we need to go back to some of the true values the Bible speaks about, and give all this social justice stuff a rest for a while. I mean if we did what the Bible said to do and love God and love our neighbors, there wouldn’t be any need for all the screaming, shouting and nonsense we’ve seen in the past years.

Yeah, so now you know what I think, hope it didn’t piss you off. Strength and honor for the Kingdom and the King, shalom!

It’s About People Dummy

This morning I received a phone call from a coworker telling me about how another coworker of ours had died. To say I was shocked is an understatement. Death has a way of doing this thing where it creeps up on us, rearing its ugly head when we least expect it. I’ve heard it said how we never know what a day may hold until we actually enter into it and experience things much like turning of the pages of a good book to reveal what the story holds, but today’s story wasn’t starting out too good.

Driving to my mother’s house, I had some time so I decided to pray for this young man’s family. Having lived through the death of my youngest son ten years ago, and my father just last year, I found myself in a very introspective mood as I prayed. I began to think to myself about my coworker and the interactions we had in the few years I knew him. As I was thinking along these lines, I was reminded of a scene from the movie Master & Commander in which the captain of the ship gives a eulogy for a crew member who has died.

The simple truth is, not all of us become the men we once hoped we might be. But we are all God’s creatures. If there are those among us who thought ill of Mr. Hollom, or spoke ill of him, or failed him in respect of fellowship. . . then we ask for your forgiveness, Lord. And we ask for his. God be praised.

As I mulled this scene over in my mind I couldn’t help but wonder if I had failed this man at work in the respect of fellowship. I know I didn’t think or speak ill of him, but did I do everything I could have in being a good person to him? Which then led me to question my interactions with everyone I come in contact with. As I said I was in an introspective mood, and if I was to answer honestly, I probably have not done the best with people in the respect of fellowship. Let me say here and now, if you’re reading this and I have ever treated you in any way which made you feel anything other than valued and validated by me, please forgive me.

You know it is so easy to give lip service to ideas without truly living up to them. What’s worse though is when you give lip service to something you believe in, and actually think you are living up to it. And that is where I found myself during this time of travel this morning; realizing I have been real good at talking about it, just not so good at walking it out. Man I love these times when God shows up and stirs my pot so to speak. It’s painful to come to this type of realization, but at the same time if you can push past the fact you have fallen short in an area, ask His forgiveness and make the necessary changes, life can be so much better.

At 57, I realize God is not through with me yet. (Thank You Jesus!) And while I was never intentionally mean to my coworker, I could have been a better man in regards to my fellowship with him; asking about his life, family, hopes and dreams. While it may be too late to do this with him now, it’s not too late for me to make changes with everyone else I come into contact with. And this is what I intend to do, and promised God I would start doing.

This isn’t a quick fix, and truthfully I’m not really even sure what this is going to look like; after all I’ve had 57 years to become the way I am, and I am smart enough to know it’ll take time to make changes. But I do know this, somedays I’ll do great and others I may not, but like in all the great stories, the sun always shines a little bit brighter after there is a gloomy day. So on the days where I miss it and perhaps fail in terms of offering fellowship to those around me, I’ll get up the next day, quote Lamentations 3:23 and try again.

For the Kingdom and the King, shalom!

Do You Really Think They Care?

The definition for the word cynicism is as follows; an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; skepticism. Viewing the world we live in, and the way things are going in the United States right now, I guess you’d have to call me a cynic. In 57 years, I’ve seen my share of elections and have been on both sides of the winning column. So please understand me when you read what I’ve written here, I’m not at all bothered by the fact that my guy didn’t win the election. I’ve had this happen enough times to understand there has to be a winner and a loser. Whether I like the guy who wins or not, I can deal with it. As we prepare to move into what I feel personally is the darkest time in our history, I can do so with the knowledge that I am an adult and will continue to act like one.

When I say I feel we are moving into the darkest time in our country’s history, I truly believe this, and here is why. There have been too many “coincidences” surrounding this election to believe there was anything other than an all out assault on the conservative ideals and people running for office who believe in those. I don’t say this because my guy lost, not at all. I applaud the other side for the masterful job in manipulating the Covid-19 situation into something to be played against President Trump with the help of the news media. And using fear as their weapon convincing the population it was in their best interest to stay home and instead vote by mail.

The biggest reason I feel like a cynic is the pure unadulterated hatred for Donald Trump. Honestly I just don’t get it. I mean, I didn’t like Bill Clinton or Obama, but I didn’t hate them like people hate Trump. I didn’t believe either of these guys had the best interest of the people of the United States in mind when they led, and I still don’t. But I got the impression Donald Trump does care about what was best for all Americans. Now before you go on a tirade about the personal life, beliefs and actions of Donald Trump, I’ll save you some time. I think more than half of what the man said was stupid at times, and didn’t agree with his personal assessments. But just because I don’t like what someone says, doesn’t mean he can’t do a good job and make some headway.

Watching everyone clammer around and talk about how great this upcoming administration is and how they are going to be the saviors of the United States makes me chuckle. Every time I heard Joe Biden talk about how he was going to bring in great paying jobs and change the course of the economy, I wished someone would have asked him where the money was going to come from? You see, when you have everything handed to you, and taken care of for you, you lose the ability to understand what’s really going on with the common man. Make no mistake, these people who tell you they have your best interest at heart, look into their past and see what they’ve done back there.

Therein lies another thing about this upcoming administration, if Joe Biden hasn’t done anything in his 47 years of public service, why do we think that now all of a sudden he will? See it just doesn’t add up for me, so therefore I feel like a cynic. Will I protest the new administration? No. Will I state what I believe? Absolutely! One thing I love about the United States of America is free speech; you know that little thing called the first amendment to the constitution? It simply says this:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The greatest thing about the first amendment is it means I can say what I believe and you can say what you believe. Without fear of being persecuted for it. What I think the real issue is around free speech is that people are unwilling to sit down and listen to each other. You are entitled to your beliefs, and I need to be polite enough to let you share them without acting a fool, and I should be treated in the same manner. The problem comes when you close your mind to a person just because they believe different than you.

It’s still the beginning of 2021, what’s say we all try to get along, and maybe even do something for your fellow man without hope of any type of return. Honestly, we don’t need the people in Washington to live our lives and be good citizens, we just need to do what is good and honest and true. Really if we all ignored the politicians and news media and just got to know the people in our communities, all of our lives would be so much better. I think it’s the people in Washington who need us, not the other way around. And this goes for the media too. Without us giving ear to all their commentaries and horse pucky, they really wouldn’t have anything to do.

Just my take, thanks for taking the time to read an old stuck in the mud guy’s thoughts. For the Kingdom and the King…Shalom!

My Manhood Is Offended

To start with, I’ve not been watching a lot of media coverage of what happened in Washington this week. Most of it has just been snippets here and there, but from the little I’ve seen, there is one thing which has bothered me, and it is the politicians who decided to pull their support from the President at the first sign of difficulties.

I should say here too, this blog is my opinion, and at this time in America I’m still entitled to it, just as you are entitled to yours. I’m not hoping to change your mind, I’m just stating mine. I also don’t care if you disagree with me. Another great thing about living in America, is we can have disagreeing opinions and still be civil towards each other. It is a choice we can and must make however.

The thing which bothered me so much this week, was seeing Republican men who I had admired from a distance back paddle and start acting like Democrats. Their actions looked more like people drowning in the water, scrambling for the last floatation device; not caring who they pushed under in their attempt to save their own lives. There are some words I could use to describe these men, but I’m working on doing better with my use of language this year, trying to keep my French at bay.

One thing I have always tried to do is be a man of my word. Psalm 15:4B says that good men keep their promises even to their own hurt. Basically this means, if you say something to someone, you are to own up to what you’ve said even if it costs you something. The men who pulled the rug out from under President Trump, and for that matter the people they are supposed to be acting on behalf of, took a chance to save their own political necks and ran for the hills. It disgusts me!

One of the main problems in this world, is men do not honor their word any longer. Talk is cheap as they say, and unless your actions meet up with the words you say, they don’t mean anything. And herein is the biggest problem in politics today, it’s not about governing well and helping Americans, it’s about sucking the tit of big government for as long as you can and trying to stay in office for as long as possible.

Men who do not honor their word; saying one thing and doing another need to be horse whipped. Of course that doesn’t go with the kinder/gentler world everyone wants nowadays. But then I’m old school and think we need men who are not afraid to do what they say and stand up for what is right and good and true regardless of the consequences. These pantywaist men in Congress, whose only claim to being men is they have a penis but not a backbone need to move on down the road.

We need real men again. Not those men who were degrading to women and thought because of their sex they were entitled to do whatever they wanted without consequence. No we need men who love God, their families and working to make the world a better place than they found it.

In his book Wild at Heart, John Eldredge stated;

There are three desires I find written so deeply into my heart I know now I can no longer disregard them without losing my soul…I search the pages of literature, I listen carefully to many, many men, and I am convinced these desires are universal, a clue into masculinity itself. They may be misplaced, forgotten, or misdirected, but in the heart of every man is a desperate desire for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. ~ page 9

If we are to make it as a society, and at times I wonder if it is possible, we are going to have to get back to being men, real and authentic men who embrace these three values deeply and live them out. If not, and we continue to see these men who are supposed to lead us take the easy way out, capitulating to the opposition in order to line their own pockets and make life easier for themselves, then I’m afraid we might be doomed as a society.

So come on men, step up and do what men are supposed to do, stop being liars and mean what you say and say what you mean. It’s not always easy, but then when is anything worth having easy?

For the Kingdom and the King, shalom.

Living Outside My Default Settings

Why is it my mind automatically replays over and over offenses I have received? It’s almost as if I don’t even have to be thinking about the thing, it just pops into my mind and before I know it I’m reliving the whole event over and over again. Why does my mind do this? Am I the only one this happens to? If so, does this make me a freak? All valid questions, and ones I really want answered, because it is really difficult to walk as a Christian when these scenes from my life are on replay in my brain.

The Bible teaches we are to forgive those who sin against us, and if we do not, then our Father who is in Heaven will not forgive us our sins. (Matthew 6:12, 14-15) This is a huge deal because it is conditional. This means in order for God to forgive me, I must forgive others. Yeah, but how do I do this when my mind seems to be replaying the sins directed at me?

I love the phrase on the picture I chose for this blog, it says, “There are people who live their whole lives on the default settings, never realizing you can customize.” ~ Robert Brault. This brings hope to me, because it makes me believe there is more to life than just allowing things to happen to me and being forced to live with them. One of the things God has done for mankind is to give us the ability to choose how we are going to respond to things. Just because something bad happens to us, it doesn’t mean we have to allow this thing to change our perspective on life. We have been given the tools to choose how we are going to see any given situation; good or bad. It’s up to us how we respond when something happens to us, not the situation’s. And this is great news!

One thing I’ve learned in fifty-seven years walking this planet, it’s we live according to what we believe and the words we speak. It’s a spiritual principle which works for any human on this planet, saved or unsaved. If you believe something in your heart, and do not doubt, but believe the things you say will come to pass, you will have whatever you say (Mark 11:23-24). And interestingly enough, in verse 25 Jesus went on to say, “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Hmm, interesting, we’re back to forgiving people for sinning against us.

Even as I’m writing this, I’m beginning to see a pattern here. One way to keep these things from replaying themselves in our minds is to immediately forgive the person who sinned against us. And listen when you are forgiving the person, you’re not saying what they did to you wasn’t wrong, it may have been. What you are saying, is that you are releasing them from your mind and heart and refusing to hold their sin against them. We never forgive someone for their benefit, but for our own. Holding onto the offense is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill them.

Won’t you join me in this new year and begin the process of changing the default settings in your life and truly forgive all of those who have sinned against you. Forgive them, and let it go.

For the Kingdom and the King, Shaom!