Test & Learn

Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

In business, leadership continues to develop new products and services for their customers. Which one becomes successful and which one fails is often unknown at the start. Yet through testing and gaining feedback, the eventual one moves to the top and becomes most noticeable.

In scientific research the principle of testing and learning is the guiding force to seek out the truth. Albert Einstein tested and failed over 2,000 times before discovering the best solution for the light bulb. Yet when asked, he replied he didn’t fail 2,000 times, but learned what didn’t work.

As we walked with the Almighty, we are likewise instructed to test and learn what is good according to God’s character and desires. The Scripture identifies it as the will of God. But isn’t God’s will an outcome of His character and desires?

As we allow His Spirit to influence us, and become more aware of His presence in our life, and meditate on His creation and narrative, our minds become refocus away from this culture’s values and political correctness, and more toward knowing who God IS and what life with God looks like.

Whenever we are not sure, Scripture says to test and learn. We can learn through our own trials and errors or we can learn from the success and mistakes of others. The author of the Book of Ecclesiastes tested all avenues of life seeking answers. He pursued every desire in search of purpose and meaning for life. At the end, he came to learn after testing multiple “isms” God’s expectation for mankind while travelling through time and space.

The children of Israel tested God in the wilderness and took over forty years to learn the lesson of truly trusting Him. History is a vivid lesson for mankind to learn from the experiences of others who have failed and succeeded. So why create a new wheel when others have already gone before you?

The Bible is an excellent “history book” which identifies all the key players and life’s trails and errors made by many before you and I were even born. Yet there is nothing new under the sun except for technology and fashion. Otherwise, human nature repeats itself and God’s grace intervenes more than we may ever realize. So, if you are serious of learning the will of God in your life, first start by learning the lessons of all the players in Scripture. Then be open to test and discern the circumstances in your own life with the character and desires of God’s heart.

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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

The Goal

Philippians 3:14

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Without goals, we will generally end up someplace. The question is where?

With goals, we have a target and focus for a planned, worthwhile outcome.

So, what are your goals?

Some people have goals for every area of their life. There are physical goals and spiritual goals. There are mental goals and social goals. There are health goals and financial goals. There are career goals and family goals. There are recreational goals and educational goals. There are goals for anything and everything that your passion will easily thrust you toward.

Yet without goals, you will end up someplace. But will it be your paradise on earth?

Studies show until a goal is clearly written it is only a wish. Real goals help you picture the future and gather the resources for your journey. The joy is found with the relationships you make and the people you meet toward your target. In hindsight, after you accomplish your goal, there is always a slight letdown as you prepare yourself for the next one.

Paul is his letter to the Philippians highlighted his primary goal of pursuing his relationship with Jesus Christ and to experience life with Him. To know Him and experience His power of the resurrection and suffering in his life now. He didn’t cry over the past, but kept his focus on the future. He didn’t stop thinking he has already arrived to his destination, but continually pressed himself forward until that day when he would be resurrected with a new body.

If you are young, and haven’t started your bucket list yet, start today. Take out a sheet of paper and dream the impossible dreams. List everything, no matter how unrealistic at the moment that you want to accomplish and how you want your life to look when it’s all done on earth.

I attended a seminar years ago where the speaker then in his 70s shared his list of 100 goals he wrote as a young man. He showed how 99 of his goals have been attained. The only one not achieved was a trip to the moon. My bucket list was written at the age of 25. Today 80% has been accomplished, some will never be because of change in values, and there are a few more than we have scheduled in the future if time and circumstances allow.

Life’s journey is more enjoyable when you see how God directs your steps toward those events and people who bring out the best in you and you bring out the best in them through the process of accomplishing your goals.

The most important goal though is your relationship with Jesus Christ. When He is the center of everything you do, think, and plan, you will find life more enjoyable, adventurous, and life-giving then you would ever imagine. Yes, there will be much trials, tribulations, and painful suffering in the process, but knowing like Paul, God is for you, with you, and will strengthen you as you press onward toward the goal to win the prize which HE has called you in Christ Jesus – definitely gives life more meaning and purpose than without.

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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

What Do You Worship?

Matthew 6:21††††††††††††††

Sometimes I question my personal value system.

There are days when I would rather have a pizza to cover the emotional pain, than take up the matter with our Lord. On other days, I would rather watch an evangelical preacher on TV then attend a worship service at our church. Then there are days I scream and shout and dance around a football game, but almost stand listless during a church praise session. What does this tell me about my heart at the moment?

I am human. As a human I am created after the image of the Creator God. Yet, many times I fail to live up to HIS standard of holiness. One minute I get a small taste of heaven. The next minute, I feel the pangs of hell. One day I am full with the Spirit of God experiencing the full measure of HIS presence. The next day, I am tired and empty and don’t care about anything or anyone. When I find something that grabs my attention, I am focused, disciplined, and persistent. Yet, there is also something in me that wants to take the easy way out. I may know what is the best solution, but execution of the goal becomes insurmountable. Instead of rolling up my sleeves and delving into the opportunity or challenge, I give into my inner desires and escape with a bag of potato chips.

Comfort food is my escape for the moment until the belt line presses against my favor pair of pants. Then it becomes a battle of starvation. Mentally I know a little hunger will not kill me, but why suffer a little pain. So, I grab a donut.

Satisfied for the moment, but the consequences add up. Instead of tasting the sweet aroma of victory, we again lose the battle. How many battles I have lost in this lifetime is any one’s guess. But I know it’s a lot. Yet someone keeps me going.

His name is Jesus Christ. His Spirit resides in me. And there is a war taking place between my desires and his vision. I’m disappointed at times because instead of surrendering the battle with HIM, my desires win the short-term struggle which means I lose momentum for the long-term vision HE has for me. Yet HIS Spirit doesn’t give up.

As I focus my attention on HIM, acknowledge HIS authority in my life, express my gratitude for everything HE has done for me, is doing for me, and will yet do for me, for HIS namesake, makes me want to praise and worship HIM even more and more. Every time I fail to live up to HIS expectations, HE pours out his grace unto me; undeservingly and generously. He is my Savior, Lord, Hero, Friend, and Brother. He is King of Kings.

As we walk through life’s journey, HE is repositioning our value system to match HIS. The stretching, uncomfortable pain, and disappointments we encounter are the processes of being HIS disciple. And as we are being morphed into HIS image, the more we praise HIM and lift HIM up to everyone we meet. HE has captured our heart and is our Treasure. WE worship HIM because of WHO HE IS rather than what he has done for us. Defeat is a temporary setback and doesn’t define us. Our God, through Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit identifies us and names us as HIS.

All glory, honor, and praise belong to HIM. Set your heart with HIM and let the treasures of HIS Kingdom always empower you.      

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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Ready, Willing, Able

Acts 9:10-12, 17

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”  And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying,  and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” …So, Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 

As you dance with the LORD, He is going to move you around the ballroom floor of earth with unexpected turns and twists. Are you ready? When your assignment is given, are you going to be physically and mentally able to accept and follow through? Have you enough trust in the LORD to willingly accept your assignment without fanfare and doubt?

Ananias was a disciple of Jesus. When he received a vision from him, he didn’t run or hide. Instead he had such a relationship with our LORD that he immediately recognized His voice. Now Ananias didn’t quickly accept his assignment. At first, he needed clarification that the person God had in mind was the same person who the saints were avoiding because of the harm he was doing to them. Saul was causing havoc among the disciples believing their destruction was best for the Jewish community. But God had other plans. So, God communicated his purpose for Saul.

Then Ananias got up, went and found Saul, and prayed laying his hands on him following God’s instruction. Saul, who later changed his name to Paul, regained his sight and became full of the Holy Spirit. God took a zealous enemy of the church and open the door for his purpose to continue.

Saul, with the pre-notification vision that a man named Ananias will lay hands on him and he will regain his sight waited in prayer. So, what do you think went through Paul’s mind when a disciple showed up in his house, named Ananias, with instructions from the Lord to lay hands on him so his sight will be restored?

Are we ready, willing, and able to serve God according to his desires and not ours?

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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

The Core of All Relationships

John 15:1-8

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

We all have spiritual roots leading to Jesus Christ. He died for ALL mankind. And in his life, death, and resurrection, he restored what collapsed in the Garden of Eden. He redeemed mankind from the death trap solicited by Satan and again has given humanity direct contact with the Almighty.

Today, some may know Him better as a Friend, others as an Elder Brother, and others still as their Lord. Generally, most are originally introduced to Him as their Savior. And yet for many unbelievers, he is simply another historical figure with a few quips to live by.

Yet history and experience show when one accepts Him as He claimed to be, one begins to experience a richness of life that includes knowing God. With this understanding when one meets a stranger, one has a better understanding that Jesus Christ also died for this person; which means they also have direct contact with the Almighty but have either built walls to keep Him away or are simply ignorant of their relationship with the Creator of the Universe.

In other words, Jesus Christ directly involved Himself into every single person’s life whether or not they ask for his assistance, or even heard about him. And now he reiterates to his disciples the principle of mutual cooperation. He has already fulfilled his part. He now reminds us we need to complete our part.

Our part is to abide in him. To submit to Him. To allow Him to have access into our heart and mind. To follow Him wherever He goes. In the process we will become more like him in attitude and character. His Spirit will begin to transform us into His image. We will eventually spiritually morph from a caterpillar to butterfly. In the end, Jesus’ Father will be glorified.

So, the next time you meet a stranger, remind yourself Jesus has already committed Himself to help this person become more like Him. We are simply the conduit that may provide the hands, feet, words, or ear for them to learn more about who they are in Christ. They are already included in the circle of the Triune God. But like many, they are totally ignorant of the richness and quality of life that awaits them by engaging into the Man from Galilee who paid the supreme price for their benefit.

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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

What is Your View of God?

Galatians 4:8

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.

Your view of God determines the outcome of your life. Your decisions, plans, and behavior are based on your worldview which includes your opinion and belief of who God IS.

If you believe God doesn’t exist, your life will be lived with relative morals, self-centered accountability, and an uncertain future without hope.

If you believe God is a cosmic force that feeds you with energy, then you will have an impersonal relationship with an electrical-like switch that you turn on and off at your will.

If you believe God is a capitalistic entrepreneur, then you will work your hardest to transact your efforts for the greatest return.

If you believe God is a stern judge waiting for you to mess up and then punish you for your failures, you will be fearful to risk taking chances in life.

If you believe God is a deist who created the world and then left everything behind for humanity to figure it out, then you probably allow your self-reliance blind you from developing meaning relationship with others including God for you will want to do everything yourself.

If you believe God is solely into justice, then you will focus so much on right and wrong that you will miss out on peace, mercy, and grace.

If you believe God is solely about love, then you will close your eyes to the destructive behavior of others within communities in the name of love.

God reveals Himself through the pages of the Bible and creation. When you come to understand that God is Triune, Father-Son-Spirit, then you begin to see the logical carryover into all creation.

The Bible is the means to the end, not the end of itself. Therefore, use Scripture to enhance your realization of who God IS. As you read the Bible, stop and ask yourself what does this Scripture tell you about God?

And as we come to better know Him, we also come to better know ourselves. Since we are created in His image, our talents, abilities, and makeup are pattern after Him. As we discover how He exercises these qualities, we emulate Him in small physical ways.

Jesus is our role model. He is our rabbi. We are his student. Learning who God IS begins with knowing Jesus. He reveals the Father and introduces us to the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, make Jesus your aim and central core in all your relationships and plans. You will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome of your life as you make Him the central focus of your life.

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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Blessed How?

Psalm 34:8 (NIV)

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

We all have different expectations when we hear that God wants to bless us?

Some think He will put the winning Powerball lottery ticket into our pocket. Others think he will open doors for us to build the next Google or Microsoft company. Others may be more personal like having good health so we can abuse ourselves eating all the ice cream, chocolate, and candy we desire without any ramifications. Or we will find Mr. or Mrs. Right and marry with a handful of children and a home second to done.

Now God may include these physical outcomes in the process, yet there is so much more about being blessed than the fulfillment of our dreams. The 34th Psalm hits the target right in the middle. When God is the center of our lives, when we run to him with all our problems and praise, and when we come to know Him as HE IS, we will experience the life He promises to humanity throughout Scripture.

Our challenge is focusing on the spiritual outcome rather than the physical means.

For many of us growing up in commercialism USA, we have the tenancy to associate blessings with physical or social outcomes. We want to be happy and believe certain “things” will make us happy. And we associate certain “things” with happiness. We have difficulty understanding this with-God life.

For when one begins to know God and experiences His life within you, you quickly realize that everything you ever wanted is already included with Him. He is the Source of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control. His presence alone generates all the positive feelings mankind seeks through physical means.

Security, self-actualization, acceptance, and all the other physiological functions are found in Him.

That is why saints of old have constantly repeated that HE is all they need.

The blessing is having a personal relationship with the living God and allowing Him to share His life with you as you share your life with Him. Through this relationship, you will experience a blessed life simply because He is a generous, outgoing Being who naturally loves and gives and shares His best for you. And yes, He tempers His generosity with the purpose of raising His children with godly character.

So, if you want to experience the blessed life, don’t focus on your dreams. Instead pursue God and let Him live His life in you.   

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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved