Greed Trap

Psalm 10:3

For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul, and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.

Somewhere I wrote a blog how marriage, ballroom dancing, and day trading has taught me more about God than all the other activities combined. When it comes to greed, trading the future markets with its quick turns and higher volatility easily brings out the best and worst of one’s character traits. As many a book records, two of the strongest emotions for day traders to manage are greed and fear.

Most traders eventually over time and practice learn to understand the markets, the setups, and the indicators they choose to use. Yet annually over 94% of traders will close their brokerage accounts within six months because they have run out of funds. The primary cause? They haven’t mastered their emotions.

Greed and fear are two opposites of the same coin. Both will throw you off your game. When you see your money plumbing downward in a spiral, many traders panic and get out taking a financial hit in the process. On the other hand, traders also try to squeeze out every penny of an upward move not knowing when enough is enough. Of the two emotions, most successful day traders will acknowledge greed is a bigger problem than fear.

If fear was their problem, they wouldn’t even attempt to play the markets. But with superb confidence in themselves, they jump in with all their bank accounts under the illusion this will be easy like everything else they have attempted and achieved. Being honest with oneself as one trades, will quickly allow reality teach lessons of life along with a greater respect for the markets.

Greed blinds oneself from reality. The desire for more, and more, without contentment places the focus on gain rather than mastering the process. The greed desire un-managed makes everything around you unimportant; including God, health, and family/friends. Time escapes into a greed trap where life becomes an addictive game of more, and more, and more for no greater purpose but to accumulate. Instead of enjoying freedom and its fruit, greed enslaves oneself within the limited confines of hell.

Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes greed is chasing after wind. You cannot ever catch it.

Jesus even commented on the subject when he stated “how does it profit someone to gain the whole world but to lose one’s soul”.

The objective is to better manage the ugly desire whenever it makes its appearance. One of the better disciplines to practice if you need help to better manage the greed desire is to practice giving without conditions. Whether you practice tithing or simply ask God to help you become a generous giver, you open the lid of the greed box and share yourself through your gain for the benefit of others who can’t ever repay you. When you realize you don’t need more stuff, but only enough, and you redirect your focus unto Jesus, then you will discover what He is trying to teach us all: life is more than having everything we desire; its about serving Him in His Kingdom for the sake of others.   

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Fear Trap

Isaiah 41:13

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

Fear is a weapon used by manipulators to mobilize you into serving their purpose.

Watch the evening news and one catastrophic event after the next plays on your emotional heart memorizing you into a state of mental enslavement.

Watch how politicians create havoc with character assassinations and power plays against the other side and then reach out for money from you the public to help them clean up the mess.

Watch how advertisers place the fear of not having their product in your possession, making you feel left behind the social curve and therefore influencing you to purchase now rather than wait till tomorrow after you had time to thoroughly think through the opportunity.

Whichever way you turn, we are being bombarded with ads, videos, music, movies, photographs, books, etc. designed to place fear into its recipients. A fear of potential loss of money, family, friends, and freedom moves the markets and creates many of the paralyzing stories of the day.

Satan himself loves to operate from the position of fear. He casts doubt causing us to question our trust in another. He steals glory for himself rather than allowing you to realize your true identity in Christ. He also loves to destroy whatever is good in life so people will rarely experience the heavenly riches of God’s pure intentions.

Fear is a heavy task master when one doesn’t have a relationship with the living God.

“Fear not” are the words Jesus would reiterate to his disciples. Fear not are also the words that God through the prophets of old would tell Abraham, Isaiah, Daniel, David, and many others.

Jesus would reiterate how much God loves humanity. He spoke about how God takes care of the birds and grass and how people are more important than the creation around them. God cares and wants what is best for us. Yet, because we don’t truly know Him, we allow fear to replace Him in our mind, heart, and spirit.

When fear becomes greater than God, we are loss under its influence. However, when the Triune God is the center of our life, the central core of all our relationships, values, and decisions, you will quickly expose the fear trap doors in your world and avoid their manipulative paths.

Fear not, the Lord your God is with you and the one who will help you slay the fear mongers in your world. Always remember: overflowing life, free from worldly fear, is rooted in Jesus Christ.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Servant Leadership Trap

John 12:26

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

The secular concept of servant leadership being taught is causing more harm than good. In the various books and sermons, I have read or heard, the worldly perspective is to respond to others based on their desires. Like most lies, half the truth is being taught but the remaining more important aspect is left behind.

The Biblical view of servant leadership is Christ-centered to the core. The focus is not the other individual, but Jesus Christ.

One Biblical example used is how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples at his last supper before his death. The worldly view emphasizes how He took on the role of a servant and washed the feet of his students. But let’s review the details.

First, He recognized a need. Secondly, He behave after His Father (John 5:19). He responded by setting aside His role as Rabbi, and took on the role of a servant. Thirdly, when He came to Peter, Peter did not want his feet washed. Fourthly, in the worldly view, He would have agreed to his wishes and passed on him to the next disciple, but didn’t. Jesus instead exercised His authority and responded to the purpose of the moment. Fifthly, Peter changed his mind based on Jesus’ focus on honoring His Father’ purpose rather than Peter’s desires. Sixthly, Jesus continued to finish washing their feet. Lastly, He then demonstrated the purpose behind his behavior.

Servant-leadership is Christ-centered to the core. As Jesus was centered around His Father’s heart, so are we around Jesus’ heart. Leadership first center’s around following the authority in one’s life before exercising the outcome. Servant leadership reaches out to uplift those around you as Jesus instructs. No job is too small nor too large when He is your primary focus. He will provide you with the wisdom, support, and heart to serve those around you. You just need to remain in Him and trust Him for the outcome. Our role is to be the hands and feet while the Holy Spirit works.

As Mother Teresa would so often state, when she served those with leprosy, she would look into their face and see the face of Jesus. That is a perfect example of servant leadership.  

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Empathy Trap

I Peter 3:8-9 ESV

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.  Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called…

Empathy and sympathy are two commonly confused words in the English language. Empathy is “feeling with” another and sympathy is “feeling for” another. In our culture today, empathy is given higher praise than sympathy. You will notice whenever someone is victimized through the social media, people immediately come to their defense by totaling supporting the victim without having full knowledge of the facts.

Typically, the tribal instinct kicks in and people of the specific tribe take upon themselves to protect one of theirs. The immediate focus becomes protecting the victim without truly caring for the truth.

The Bible speaks much about compassion, sympathy, and caring for another, but nothing I could find about empathy. In fact, more is said about being sympathetic which leads to a better outcome for the community and person for the long haul.

The trap of being empathetic is finding oneself lost in the same problem as the victim. One easily becomes buried in the problem with a victimize mentality rather than remaining objective and seeking out the best solution.

Being sympathetic on the other hand, allows one to feel the pain of the victim but maintain enough distance from the situation to gather all the facts and determine the best solution.

Actors like to practice the art of empathizing to become better equipped for the role they plan to play. However, in real life to empathize most often leads to becoming like the other person sharing their beliefs, worldview, and one-sided opinions rather than capturing the overall big picture of the situation. When one empathizes, one often will surrender objective truth and limit their choices by emerging into the life of another.

Jesus Christ is always our prime example. He surrendered his divine home and entered the human sphere. He walked among us, exercised his natural attributes of compassion, didn’t comply with all the cultural standards of his day, but instead exemplified the truth with grace without allowing the feelings of others persuade him. He sympathized with others rather than allow to become swallowed-up by the attitudes and powers around him.

So next time you witness an “injustice”, exercise Godly compassion, sympathize with the victim, and be patience with reaching a verdict until after all the known facts are gathered. There are always two-sides to a story. You risk blinding yourself when you become empathetic. But being sympathetic allows you to view both sides to reach a more objective, holy verdict.    

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

Christianity: Version One

Jude 3 (ESV)

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

2 Corinthians 13:11

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Which version of Christianity do you practice?

At last count, there are approximately 30,000 denominations in the United States alone. Each with a slightly different message emphasizing certain aspects of the gospel and delineating other points. If one is unhappy with the institution they currently are attending, they can easily shop down the street for another which better suit their beliefs and needs.

For the person searching for God, the journey can be most confusing. Most people have very little theological education and generally select a church community very much like choosing a gym membership. On the other hand, many who have left the institutional church because of hurt feelings or disagreement of teachings, leap to the other side and become agnostic Christians. They believe portions of Christianity but have difficulty with the God of the Bible. Most often they are stranded on a spiritual island unrecognizing the seriousness of their dilemma. They want a relationship with the living God, but everything they are told to do and act upon doesn’t seem to change their world. Again, they may become frustrated and walk away from The Way.

When one comes to realize Christianity version one is still available for all who ask, seek, and knock, the journey’s Way becomes more encouraging, engaging, and exciting. As one reads the early disciple’s writings about Jesus Christ, and His teachings, one begins to capture the Good News that the angels shared with the shepherds at the birth of earth’s King.

When one begins to focus on developing a meaningful relationship with the Triune God, instead of following a list of rules and duties, one discovers the God of the Bible.

As you travel through the writings of Matthew, Mark, John, Luke, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude, you capture another side of who God is. Then as you immerse yourself into continual prayer with your heavenly Father, He answers your heart with solutions beyond your expectations. You slowly learn He cares for you and all those around you. As you begin to communicate with the Living God more profusely, you find yourself experiencing the fruit of His Spirit in your life.

Your heart and mind and soul slowly align with His desires. You begin to change. The old you slowly dissipate and a new creation comes alive. Your focus becomes more God and less you. You join His story instead of trying to write an independent biography. The relationship you begin to experience is pattern after the one Jesus has with His Father. As you read Scripture, you study context, Biblical culture, and learn to apply the message into your life today living in the 21st century. You become an amateur theologian.

Christianity version one is found written in the New Testament section of the Bible and also the writings of the early Church fathers during the first three hundred years after Christ’s ascension into heaven. All that information is at your finger tip. Instead of relying on any one institution or teacher, why not become a practicing Christian of version one yourself?  

Ask your heavenly Father to lead you; allow the Holy Spirit to direct you; and Jesus Christ to fully live in you. Step aside your pride, lust, and worldly desires, and allow the Triune God complete His masterpiece within you. He designed you, gifted you, and made you unique for His purpose. Find that purpose in Christ, hang out with the Invisible God, and relive Christianity version one. You will never want to go back to the life you had before you truly met the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is truly Good News. If you haven’t come to that realization yet, then maybe its time to return to the basics of Christianity version one. Your family, friends, and work associates may think you as a radical Christian, but if radical means experiencing the overflowing life found in Jesus Christ, then why not bring it on!

Today is a new day. Yesterday is done. Tomorrow is only a day on a calendar until it arrives. But today is always the start of something new. Why not make today the day you reach out, forgive others and yourself, grab the hand of the Man from Galilee, and follow Him along your journey today. Be radical in Christ, partake of His creation, and watch as He leads you through this world’s maze for His glory and your salvation. You will not have time to look back. But will find yourself always amazed at His work in your life and the life of others.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!



Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Don’t Lose Your Crown

Revelation 3:11

I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.

Whenever I hear people speak about escaping earth for heaven so they may retire into a life of ease, I smile. Likewise, whenever I hear others speak about the purpose of life is heaven, I stop and wonder how familiar they are with the below Scriptures. And again, whenever I feel beaten up for the week and ask myself is this struggle between self, Satan, and the world’s system worth the battle, I like to reread the below verses from the Bible.

Revelation 2:26

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations,

Revelation 20:4

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:6

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Revelation 5:10

and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

2 Timothy 2:12

if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;

Luke 19:17

And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’

We have been given a crown. It’s yours to keep or yours to lose. It is yours not because of your efforts, but because Jesus wants to share his life and plans and hopes with you.

You are now being trained to effectively wear your crown. As a parent, husband or wife, teacher, lawyer, entrepreneur, supervisor, politician… you are being prepared for eternity while you serve others today in your daily role.

The crown is already yours. You are learning to lead not by lording over others, but how well you serve others. Today your domain probably is quite small. Tomorrow though, your domain may be substantially larger because of the effort and time and diligence you embarked for the sake of others.

But don’t take your crown for granted and don’t waste the opportunities that come your way. Instead, always let Christ lead you first as you lead others. For this is your daily service as a crown bearer.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Find Yourself…

Luke 9:24-25 (VOICE)

If you try to avoid danger and risk, then you’ll lose everything. If you let go of your life and risk all for My sake, then your life will be rescued, healed, made whole and full. Listen, what good does it do you if you gain everything—if the whole world is in your pocket—but then your own life slips through your fingers and is lost to you?

Back in the late sixties, the hippy generation coin the phrase “find yourself” which eventually made itself into conversations, books, and movies. While indulging themselves in drugs, sex, and pleasure, they turn their back on the establishment in search of meaning and purpose. They saw the hypocrisy of the current generation and used the excuse to escape any personal responsibility for their corrupted behavior. Their solution was to openly display the carnal behavior of human passion. Though they recognize the cultural problem, their method was just as self-indulging as the institutions they disdained.

Contrary to some, Jesus wasn’t a hippy. In His culture, He was considered a super rabbi who interpreted the Scriptures in a most unique way. His ability to mix Scripture with the human psyche made Him an authority of His time (Luke 4:31-33). When you are the designer and builder of a project, you have more insight than those who come afterward. History demonstrates Jesus was there in the beginning of time and therefore knows more about human life than those around us.

Jesus statement is geared toward the human heart and all of us who recognize the emptiness and hunger for more than what we see around us. His solution is for humanity to find something much larger than just survival, or earning a living, or accomplishing a major goal. If one wants to find purpose and meaning with life, the solution is to surrender the self and join Him on His quest.

Our natural inclination to give up all our dreams and desires doesn’t come easy. Most of the time only after we are beaten to the pulp emotionally, physically, socially, or financially do we consider His words. Yet those who have surrendered to King Jesus and His plans for humanity, can vouch His words are true. When one puts everything on the line to support Him in every area of one’s world, He becomes the center of life and we experience a taste of heavenly living.

In hindsight, when one recognizes they have been rescued, healed, and made whole, then life becomes a living testament of experiencing God’s Kingdom on earth every day. We want everyone to know the real Jesus and His Father and the Spirit which empower us to maximize our human potential while we help build His Kingdom on earth today.           

If you gain everything you always wanted but your soul is embattled and crippled beyond despair, wouldn’t you trade everything to know the peace and love and joy which radiates from God and puts meaning and purpose in everything you see, think, and do?

The hippy generation recognized the problem but not the solution. If you want to find yourself, you first must lose yourself in the arms of Jesus.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved