What You Believe Matters 

2 Peter 3:17-18 (AMP)

Therefore, [let me warn you] beloved, knowing these things beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men [who distort doctrine] and fall from your own steadfastness [of mind, knowledge, truth, and faith], but grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Why does what you believe matter?

Because you make decisions and act from your center of belief. If you believe it, you will act accordingly. If you have no belief nor opinion, you will simply be swayed by others who have a stronger belief system. So, you better know what you believe and why or otherwise you are not being true to yourself. You are then only like a slave following the beliefs of others.

Peter writes in his second letter to those who follow Christ and have accepted HIS spiritual influence in their life, a reminder to remain steadfast in their belief of God and Jesus Christ. His recommendation is for us to continue learning and growing in our walk with our Lord.

That is intentionally studying and living our lives as an apprentice of Jesus Christ. When we come to the realization who HE IS, what HE has accomplished for us, and what HIS macro purpose and plan is for all humanity, then everything you do each and everyday in your micro world begins to fall into a narrative which HE leads and fulfills. Your belief system becomes stronger as you grow your relationship with HIM. You eventually learn to dance with HIM around the dance floor of earth. You develop a holy swagger in your actions, thoughts, and deeds. Instead of being swayed by every fad culture throws your way, you become a representative of HIS Kingdom and a way of life that may lead through suffering and pain, but yet reflects genuine love and joy and peace that will make you stand-out-of-a-crowd. You are special and unique because HE has made you so.

Therefore, confirm your beliefs agree with HIS Word. And then follow through on those beliefs with action.  Why? Because your beliefs matter on who you are becoming; and you become by what you believe and how you act on those beliefs.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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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To Listen is to Love

The right word at the right time

    is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,

And a wise friend’s timely reprimand

    is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.

Proverbs 25:12 (The Message)

God speaks to us through various means. As we hear or read HIS Word, the Holy Spirit may illuminate a portion of Scripture which becomes applicable to our recent prayer request. At other times, while in conversation with a family member or friends, words are spoken which likewise pertains to something that has been troubling us. As I grow older, I find myself more and more listening to others as they speak. Why? Because God may be speaking through them.

Knowing this, I find myself caring more for the person who is speaking. And by caring, I am listening intently to the person’s words, attitude, and actions. I find myself actually forgetting the self for a moment, and turning full attention toward the person. In hindsight, the person becomes my one-minute love interest.

The person could be a close friend or a total stranger. But as I listen, the person unconsciously becomes aware that someone else cares for them. In that minute, they experience the love of being a child of God and capture the value and worth of simply being human. Not because of their societal position, economic status, or public fame, but only because someone without selfish intent truly wants to hear and understand the person.

When someone in conversation hears the right word at the right time is like receiving a piece of fine jewelry as a gift. It comes as a total surprise. Yet its impact is a memory that lasts forever.

You may be that person who God speaks through for another. Or you may be the person who receives a needed word in a time of distress. Either way, when you learn to truly listen from a heart of love, you are sharing God’s love in the process. Just as God listens in love to our prayers, HE allows us to share in the same experience with others. To listen with love is a good way of sharing God’s heart with others.  

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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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Your Purpose and Mission

Proverbs 16:4

The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 20:5

The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.

ESV

God is Purposeful. Everything he does has a focused reason and mission. He doesn’t waste anything. Even when HE rests, there is a purpose behind HIS actions (Gen 2:2-3).

You and I, like little gods, have been designed with an internal drive for purposeful living. Without purpose, one never truly discovers meaning for life.

Since God is the Author of life, HE has already established meaning and purpose for life. When we understand HIS macro plan and understand our role within HIS story, the doors to live out our micro plan become more meaningful and exciting. Many of us try to discover our purpose apart from God. The situation is like being the letter “c”.

The letter “c” is the third letter in the English alphabet. Alone, apart from the alphabet, it stands by itself until someone assigns meaning for it. But when belonging with the other 25 letters of the alphabet, one is given the means to communicate with others. The letter “c”, uniquely designed, then becomes a partner of others to help communicate ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc. And depending on who their partnering with, the sound may be slightly different. For example, the “c” in cat generates a different sound then the “c” in church. Yet it is the same letter, but changes their sound when associated with others.

People are the same. We are uniquely designed and our natural abilities and purpose for living become known by the people we associate with. Just like the letter “c” has certain characteristics, you and I have certain natural abilities and personality which make us individuals. Alone, we have very little to offer. However, when we join others, we discover our purpose and derive meaning for living.

Though this is a simply analogy, I hope to demonstrate that when we partake with the Triune God on HIS mission to raise a universal family, train them in HIS family business, and make HIM known to others, opens the door to living a more meaningful life now.

And while we learn to walk with HIM now, we also learn to serve others. As we learn to serve others, we discover our unique design and natural abilities. Over time, we begin to purposely focus our uniqueness with the opportunities which come our way and when we view life from the rear-view mirror, we then will spot the invisible hand leading us through all the stuff that makes up life until we arrive where we are today.

Yet while we stagger along, hesitant yet faithful, testing and failing, celebrating the smallest of victories and gracefully learning from our poor decisions, we become more secure in our walk with the Lord’s macro mission while HE strengthens us and lives HIS life in us while we also pursue our micro mission on earth today.

As I have mentioned many times, life is a ballroom dance with the Almighty. As HE works on HIS macro-objectives, we follow; As we work on our micro-objectives, HE walks with us teaching us along the way. Just like the letter “c”.

When your purpose is centered around HIM, then you learn the joy in serving others, and your purpose and meaning for life will follow.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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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Fear Not

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Hebrews 13:6

So, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

2 Timothy 1:7

…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Ever notice throughout the Bible whenever angels appeared before humans, their first words are a strong command not to be afraid. Or when Jesus spoke with His disciples or someone approached him, he would reiterate “fear not” and then explain why.

Fear is a strong emotional spirit that is wired in us to protect us from potential harm. Those of us who have a strong creative imagination probably are more challenged to keep fear to a healthy manageable display, but everyone of us deals with the matter throughout our lives. Yet there are those who better manage the response of fear than others.

I have worked for business owners whose level of monetary risk was substantially greater than mine. As one explained to me, after you lost a few million, gone through bankruptcy, and still survive, your level of risk tolerance grows. The same is true of whatever we may fear. The more we face our fear and survive, the stronger we become.

Jesus would often imperatively command his listeners not to be afraid. The reason: because God cares for you and will help you walk through the ordeal. He would point to God as the one we should fear because he can destroy both body and soul; whereas people can only kill the body. In other places, HE chastises doubt away, and points toward God as the solution to overcome fear and anxiety.

Elsewhere in Scripture, the apostle Paul and John and the writer of Hebrews likewise poo-poo fear away by reminding us that God has given us through HIS Spirit the power and love and self-control to debunk the fear in our lives.

John highlights that God’s love is greater than any fear. As we allow HIS presence to live in us and transform us, we slowly see the fear dissipate from our lives. As we come to know HIM more and more each day, we become witnesses of HIS power to work in our life and the life of others.

The intensity of the fears we face each day are correlated with the presence of God in our life. As HE becomes more and more central in our life, the relationship grows and HIS attributes and worldview begin to dominate in our world. Whatever problem we see or ordeal we are living through is soon recognized as only a hiccup in HIS path.

Fear is a very powerful emotion God gave us to protect us from danger. Yet fear, unless bridled can cause greater harm than the trigger point of fear itself. Like all emotions, fear needs to be managed properly under the circumstances one finds themselves. The beginning of a healthy system to manage fear is with God who created the emotion for our protection. When HE becomes the central core of our emotions, the challenge and response become more controlled, healthy, and productive. So, fear not, and let God be your guide.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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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Discipline Yourself

1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So, I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

The Holy Spirit shares HIS character with us which includes self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). He provides us with the added resources and support to live the good life. However, we still have to make the choice. Yet how often do we waiver between two opposing options? We know what is the right thing to do but yet our carnal desire seeks the opposite. 

Paul compares the Christian walk to an Olympic event. The Christ-follower is like the athlete being trained to win a race or a boxing match. If you have ever played sports, you know the preliminary practice and training required to prepare the body and mind for actual competition. The Christian life is no different.

One of the life long battles with the self is disciplining the body to pursue godly attitudes and behavior. In our current culture overran with luxury and pampering, many of us are out of shape to enter any type of Olympic event. This is nothing new under the sun. The way our forefathers managed this process is through “the disciplines of grace” as Richard Foster describes in his book “Celebration of Discipline.”   

The disciplines he describes are simple exercises we intentionally put ourselves through for the long-term outcome of subduing the body into subjection of God’s grace. We train ourselves to yield our desires for a more eternal outcome.

For example, I love to eat. And of course, the foods I desire are typically high in calorie, sugar, and other ingredients which in moderation would be OK but in the hands of an addictive personality, very dangerous. To overcome and better manage the urge of gluttony, I turn to the discipline of fasting. Fasting is an old-time tradition that Jesus and his disciples spoke about as the Bible has much to say about its merit. Yet when practiced on a regular basis, science has demonstrated its effectiveness for physical health, and the Bible has shown its importance for spiritual nourishment.

Other disciplines include worship, giving, celebrating, silence, and at least another dozen that one can choose from to better help in managing the carnal desires of the body. The way to choose which discipline one practices most often is to understand one’s character defaults. For example, if friends and family members point out that you may over talk at events, then maybe one could better control the tongue by practicing the discipline of silence. Another example is if one finds it hard to donate money to others without any strings attached, then maybe the discipline of giving would help balance out the selfish heart.

There are many others options to choose from. The point is to make the intentional decision to practice the discipline one needs to better shape the character within you. For life has a way we either discipline ourselves or life will hit us from the outside with such a punch that we may find ourselves the victim of a knockout. I for one would rather be prepared for the unexpected.

The disciplines of grace help me better manage myself through the obstacle’s life throws us each and every day. I am sure you will find like many others who practice these disciplines they would also make a positive difference in your life. Take time this week to investigate. You may be pleasantly surprise in the difference they will make in your life.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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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Unity or Conformity

Ephesians 4:3

“eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

When leaders speak of unity, I cringe. The first question that comes to mind is how do you define unity? For most control freak managers and organizational leaders, their definition is really you being conform to their way of thinking.

For real unity is built upon the values and teachings of the Holy Spirit. Conformity is built upon the exterior facade of dress and behavior.

Anyone can look like they are in step with you by their appearance, words, or just high-stepping like the armies on parade. But are they in agreement with the values and principles which lay the foundation of unity?

As a Christ-follower, I am not impressed with empty rhetoric, but with actions built on spiritual truth. When a person has surrendered their Will and Heart and Mind to Lord Jesus, the Spirit becomes more and more noticeable through the mannerism and attitude of the Believer.

Instead of pride, humility becomes more and more noticeable. One doesn’t need to ridicule or disrespect the other so the self may feel justified. But God is allowed to become the center of the relationship. Humility is simply trusting God will deal with the situation better than you can.

Instead of lies to cover up, honesty with transparency is the norm. If people cannot handle the truth, then surround yourself with those who can. Healthy leadership admits one’s weakness and is not afraid of the consequences of revealing themselves.

Instead of uncontrollable behavior, self-control is practiced. For example, to live within one’s means rather than spend more than one earns, is stealing from others. When a country spends more than it receives from their taxpayers, they are simply stealing from future constituents. The same can be said with food. A glutton takes food away from others and only shows their lack of self-control. Without self-control, a person will eventually harm themselves and others along the way.

It is easy to nod your head in agreement, be politically correct, and drive the culturally impressive car. But is your heart ONE with God?

When two people are one with God, they may disagree on many issues. But they have deepened respect for the other person and seek to maintain peace with them. What unifies them is their God and the values HE represents. Rather than seek exterior conformity, they search for common ground being unified in Spirit. They realize the relationship is just as important than the facts. The challenge is to maintain the unity of the Spirit while seeking out the best solution.

When two people are not in agreement with the Spirit, the discussion first becomes a battle between values. If the values cannot be agreed upon, then force is required. Whenever power is exercised without agreement, war eventually ensues.

Conformity ignores the values and instead exercises force and power to get their way. In the short term, they will get their way. In the long term, it will lead to a revolution.

Bottom-line: Unity is built on values and the result is long lasting; conformity is built by force and is short lived and destructive in the long term.  As I have repeated witnessed and learned the hard way, everything worthwhile begins when the Triune God is the center of your foundation.

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 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Conspiracy Theories

Ephesians 6:12

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Which conspiracy theory do you believe?

I recently saw a list of over 75 conspiracies which are currently being talked about throughout the internet. Whether you are into governmental agendas, global warming, UN refresh plans, immigration invasion, vaccine controls, or Elvis Presley faking his own death, they all have a common plot. What we are being told isn’t really the truth.

As a young teen, I learned that people found lies more believable than the truth. When I spoke the truth, people didn’t believe me. However, when I made up some story, they would easily nod in agreement. It wasn’t until my late teen years, after I accepted Jesus Christ, honesty became my bedrock.

I have witnessed the joy of working with others whose word could be trusted. However, I have also worked with those whose lies and half-truths are the norm. My one mentor whose memory wasn’t great would always remind me when you speak the truth it is easier to recall the facts. When you speak lies, you deceive yourself and others. Eventually, over time no one will believe what you say, whether it is the truth or not, and then they will simply learn to ignore you.

Yet there is a conspiracy that is raging throughout the world. One which seems to make circumstances and events come together for an evil purpose. Besides the above Scripture, the apostle Paul also writes in Ephesians 2:2 there is a spiritual force at work influencing people to follow their natural inclinations toward evil. These people unknowingly have become pawns in this world chess game.

The Book of Revelation points at the end time there will be a united world government in control. This government will not be friendly to Christ-followers. Personal freedom will become history and every person subject to the supreme ruler of the state. As we now witness different plots and conspiracy movements throughout the globe, I have to admit the spirit of Satan is very active. You can call it a Biblical conspiracy theory – Satan and his demons are globally moving people toward his goal of global control without God and truth as the foundation.

The good news is Jesus Christ will return and remove the Beast from his throne and restore HIS government on earth. The bad news though is the process from today till then will be a bumpy one with pain and suffering for many. This is what has happened throughout history when God is ignored and people place themselves in the seat of authority without the wisdom nor knowledge of lasting values which leads to a life for all to flourish.

Meanwhile, the only common link between all the conspiracy theories is the lies and unknowns generated by an evil spiritual force moving people away from the Triune God. Eventually, this leads to the inability of trusting one another because of the constant lies being told to hide people from the truth. Then without trust, the system stops functioning, which results in more chaos and untruths, and then brute force is required to make society function again. The end result is violence and destruction; even the downfall of a nation.

But remember, we may lose a few battles between now and then, the overall main stream untrusting culture may also become more and more pervasive, but the Good Book reveals God wins in the end. And we with HIM.

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!


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