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!

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!

God Favors the Bold

A while back on a Sunday in the year 2020, (the year was posted for posterity and when read in years to come) my Pastor made the following statement, “God favors the bold!” Today in the message he brought to us, he showed a video where several ministers from around the world were quoting him and thanking our church for standing up and doing things to help people during this pandemic. And with the things we’ve seen, it is a true statement that God does indeed favor the bold.

Since the beginning of COVID-19 and the shut downs, I have been unusually quiet with my posting on social media and writing my blogs. Oh, I’ve posted a few things and written a little, but it has all been for the most part pretty tame. Honestly, this is in most part because I have not really seen what, if any changes I could make with my little presence in the cyber world. My quietness is not because of a lack of things to say though, as I have never had trouble sharing my thoughts, even though many people disagree.

As Pastor Paul spoke this morning, I began to question my reasons for staying quiet, and part of the answer if I was to tell the truth (which I always do) was out of fear of alienating people who follow me.

Pastor’s message was based out of the story in the book of Daniel chapter 3; where the three Hebrew children refused to bow down to the King’s golden idol and ended up being thrown into the fiery furnace, only not to die, but bringing great revival to the land. All this happened because they stood up for what they believed in.

Ultimately in my life for the past several months, I have been staying quiet mostly trying not to make any waves, or make anyone mad. This morning I decided to change all of that. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I am not going to intentionally go out of my way to make anyone mad or upset with me, but I have decided it is time for me, as a Christian man to stand up for those things I believe in.

Pastor Paul made a great comment today when he said, “Stop limiting your compassion to only those who agree with you.” I want anyone who is reading this (all the tens of you -ha!) to understand my compassion for all mankind is full, and regardless of whether or not we agree on everything I do not hate you, nor do I wish anything but goodness for you. This is another reason I have been quiet; fear of hurting someone.

Let’s just agree here and now how we can have differing views and still be civil. I know I will undoubtably upset you with something I say, but know this is not my goal. Truthfully my goal is to get conversations started, and I’m pretty sure if we agree to disagree, but stay compassionate towards one another this is a doable thing.

Here we go, come on Jesus! I am a Christian man, who believes what is written in 2nd Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Everything I write is going to be based on my belief in the Bible, this is a non-negotiable for me, but feel free to question my beliefs as I will feel free to question yours; all continuing to remain compassionate towards each other.

For the Kingdom and the King, shalom!

Stuff My Father Says About Healing

Let’s talk before we get into this topic today. First off, this subject is a touchy one. In the past, it has cost me friendships, made many people angry and made me reevaluate what I truly believe. Yet through all of it, I still believe what God’s Word says about healing, and I always will.

I will say right at the gitgo here, if you disagree with me, it is perfectly fine. The only thing I would ask of you, is to keep an open mind and search out these truths in the Bible for yourself. Don’t just believe something because dear Aunt Polly or your daddy said it. Study and search for yourself. And not only this, ask God to show you, His Holy Spirit is the Great Teacher standing by ready, willing and able to help you to understand everything.

I’m not a science guy, I don’t understand what makes us sick or allows diseases to run rampant in some parts of the world more than others. What I do know is faith, and if God said something in the Bible, then it is true. It may not be operating fully in my life to the degree I want it to at the moment, but it is true regardless. The law of electricity is still true, regardless of whether or not I believe it. If I grab a bare wire which is connected to a power source, even if I don’t believe it will hurt me, it will. The same is true with the things in God’s Kingdom as well. What you do and do not know will have an impact on your life.

Before we hop into the healing Scriptures, I’d be remiss if I didn’t first off talk about how we receive things in God’s Kingdom. The Scriptures are pretty cut and dry about this, let’s look at Mark 11:23-24; “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea’, and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Yeah, but Dave you don’t know my situation! Hey, save your buts for the Lord. This is Jesus talking in this passage of Scripture. It’s pretty cut and dry. Whatever you believe and say will be yours. This is how you get everything in the Kingdom of God; you believe it and say it, then it shows up. It doesn’t matter who you are either, if you believe something in your heart and say it with your mouth and do not doubt, but believe you will receive, you will eventually get the thing you are talking about.

So let’s look at what the Bible says about healing. Is it for you, or was it just for people in the Bible? Proverbs 4:20-22 says, “My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them, let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.” Cool! God’s Word brings healing to your whole body! The Amplified versions says it this way, “My son, pay attention to my words and be willing to learn; open your ears to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing and health to all their flesh.”

Notice the phrases, “healing to your whole body” and “health to all their flesh“. The words “whole” and “all” pretty much cover whatever ails you. Something which jumps out at me in this Scripture is where it says “for they bring life to those who find them“. I don’t know about you, but this pretty much says to me those who are walking in healing are the ones who are paying close attention to God’s Word and actually looking for them. They’ve opened their ears to the Scriptures and kept them in front of their eyes, regardless of what their five senses are trying to tell them.

This then begs the question, am I actually looking for God’s Word concerning healing? Now here’s what I think, a lot of Christians are running to the doctor in search of the easy fix; you know, a pill or shot to take to fix what ails me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the guy who will tell you to throw away your medicine and just believe God. We have to use a little bit of common sense too. But I will be the guy to ask you if you are running to the doctor first and seeking God second?

I’m afraid in this scientific age we live in, Christians have gotten away from actually believing in God’s ability to heal us, thinking this was needed back in the day before all the medical stuff we’ve figured out in the past 100 years. A prevalent thought is God gave us science, and they in turn have given us a plethora of medicines which tout the ability to fix all of our problems. Have you ever looked into all the side effects of the pills we have nowadays? I mean, sometimes I’d rather have the sickness than deal with all the side effects.

Let’s look at some healing Scriptures or God’s medicine:

Psalm 107:20 “He sent His Word, and healed them.”

Psalm 30:2 “O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.”

Psalm 103:3 “He who forgives all your iniquities, and heals all your diseases.”

1 Peter 2:24 “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.”

Look at that last passage, especially the two words “have been“, this is in the past tense meaning it has already happened. When Jesus was beaten with the whip before He was nailed to the cross, each of the lashes He received purchased your healing. This means healing is yours, you just have to reach out and take it. And as we learned earlier, if we believe it in our heart, say it with our mouth and don’t doubt, then we will have what we say.

If you are not believing God for your healing, then my question must be, why? I don’t know exactly how many Scriptures there are concerning healing, but I know if there were just one it would be enough. I did come across this website which has 102 such verses. Click here to read them. What I know is as you read the Word of God, faith comes. And when faith comes, you believe. Couple that with your speaking what you believe and not doubting, and you will see the miracle of healing operate in your life.

I know it sounds almost too easy to be real, but if there is one thing I’ve learned about my Father in these past 30+ years of following Him, it’s He doesn’t make anything too difficult to do. Jesus wants the best for you, and one of these things is for you to be in health and whole. And besides, what do you have to lose by believing God? Nothing really. As Nike has said for years, “Just Do It!”

For the Kingdom and the King, shalom!

“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” ~ Tolkien

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” ~ John 10:10

If I was to to tell you I had a life verse, this would be it. For as long as I can remember any time I saw the numbers 10:10 on a digital clock, ClockI would say this passage out loud. And it was these very words of Jesus which held despair and darkness at bay on the worst day of my life. I call this passage a defining Scripture; one which helps you know what is going on in your life at any given moment. It’s pretty simple too; if you have been stolen from, there is death or destruction in your life, then it is from the thief, aka the devil. If your life is rich and full, then it comes from Jesus. John 10:10 shows you who is behind every situation you face in life.

On April 6, 2010 my youngest son Noah in a moment of weakness took his own life. There were no warning signs, he made a decision (albeit a dumb one) and ended his life. In the hours following Noah’s death, I was faced with a choice; to turn from God or towards Him. It was during this time, standing by the trampoline my kids had spent countless hours on, I began to question God. As my questioning turned quickly into anger, I began a downward spiral into an abyss of darkness I had never before experienced. Doubt, confusion and anger began to fill my mind. It was just then as my thoughts were becoming darker, that a sliver of light broke through and I snapped out of it.

Recognizing the voice of God in my spirit, He brought John 10:10 back to my mind. As I stood there in my pain pondering it, the realization came to me about who was actually to blame for my son’s death; it was the devil and not God. As the light of this knowledge flooded my mind pushing back the dark thoughts of the enemy I stood up straighter and thanked God for saving me in that instant. From that moment on I was able to move forward and lead my family down the path towards recovery in the way He wanted. It’s taken years for my family to move from tragedy to healing but we would never had made it this far without God’s Word guiding us.

I’m nothing special, God doesn’t like me better than you, He wants to use Scripture the same way in your life, but you have to want it. You can do it, all you have to do is start reading the Bible, putting His Word into your heart. Had I not quoted John 10:10 to myself for so many years, I would never have been able to hear God speak it to me so clearly when it really mattered. You can do it, don’t wait, get into the Bible today and see how far God takes you!

Living in a story much larger than my own…won’t you join me? You Can Do It!

 

Where Are Your Dreams Taking You?

Some men are not satisfied with the status quo, or their place in the world. They feel as if they were meant for more; something on a much grander scale than just working for a living. These men tend to be readers, thinkers and dreamers; the type of  men other men are envious and jealous of. But what is it which sets these men apart from the rest?

Is there a gene in their DNA which other men do not possess? Or are they just lucky and therefore fate or divine providence has handed them the lion’s share while shortchanging others? I believe the answer is a definite no, but I also know there is something inside of these men which drive them forward where other men are scared or refuse to go.

The answer is faith. Now before you dismiss what I say as religious hooey balooey, hear me out. The definition of faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things you cannot see in the natural world. What are you hoping for? What is your evidence? When you dream, what is it you see? Do you even dream at all?

These men travel the path others won’t and they possess the ability to see themselves with the things they are dreaming of. They actively pursue those things in their minds before they ever see them in the natural.

I must admit, there are too many days where I sit in my recliner and go through the mind numbing ritual of watching television instead of reading to improve, or taking an online course to develop and learn a new skill. Unfortunately I’ve bought into the mindset of, “I worked hard today, I deserve this.” While I don’t believe watching television is wrong, I must ask myself why do I spend so much time doing this instead of reading?

Perhaps rather than just coming home from work each night and planting myself in my chair I should go for a walk and dream about those things which make my heart come alive. But what should I dream about doing you might ask? Anything and everything. What is something you would like to do? Start seeing yourself doing it. Let’s say you want to take bike trips around the country; begin seeing yourself in the places you want to visit. Don’t think about the cost, just imagine everything surrounding what you want to do and see yourself doing it.

Here’s the thing about dreaming; it doesn’t cost anything but your time and the sky’s the limit. Well unless you dream of being an astronaut, then I guess space would actually be the limit. Start with something you really want to do and imagine every aspect of what it would take to do it. Again, don’t think about the cost, just imagine everything you can about the activity. Dream big too, like they always say, go big or go home.

Be one of the men other men envy by living out your dreams. Start today, don’t wait. Dream it and you’ll end up doing it. Now you know what I think, what do you think?