Our Most Intimate Companion

 

“…but I have called you friends,…”

John 15:15

companion 5

When you walk with God, you have the ultimate companion.  You have someone who is always there when you need them.  Someone you always are able to depend on. Someone you know is your friend independent of the situation.

When you follow Christ though, you quickly come to realize that you are not the most popular person in the world.  You are not a rock star, or basketball superstar, or a famous Hollywood movie star.  You are unique.  And your uniqueness turns many people away from you because you are not acceptable to world standards.  Yes, the righteous will find you uncomfortable to walk with.  The rich will find you a stumbling block.  The powerful will find you threatening the status quo.  The experts will question your credentials.  The elders will find you rebellious.  The sinner will accept you as one of them until they realize your abhorrence to sin.  The naive will consider you their messiah until they find that you preach acceptance of personal responsibility for your actions.  The minority will push their agendas on you until they realize you have no distinction between races, sexes, or political affiliations.  The right wing will consider you a liberal while the left wing insists you’re a conservative.  Your pastor thinks you are uncommitted.  Your family says you’re a little strange.  Your neighbors love you but can’t seem to accept you as you are.  Your coworkers respect you but wonder when you are going to become normal.  Your children honor you and accept your eccentricities as part of the aging process.  And you wonder how come your companions are few?

Jesus selected twelve disciples that where the closest to him.  Of the twelve, three where the most intimate with him, Peter, John and James.  Jesus didn’t have a physical wife or children of His own.  His companions consisted of those who walked with Him on Kingdom’s mission.  He ministered to them while they ministered to Him.  His companions came to Him by His Dad to start the work that He was prophesied to complete.  Not everyone was excited about the Kingdom of God.  Only those people whose passion towards the Kingdom came alive did Jesus bring close to His bosom. and one of them was going to betray Him.  Many of them didn’t even capture the real vision of the Kingdom during His ministry.  Yet Jesus chose them, ministered to them, taught them, loved them, played with them, and worked with them, giving them the best years of His life including the ultimate, life itself.

The best companion we all have is Jesus and the friends He brings to us while sharing the gospel of the Kingdom.  Our companions are few, but true.

OUR PRAYER

PRAYER 1

Oh Loving Dad, thank you for bringing Jesus into our life!  He was God from the beginning of time.  He emptied himself to become a human person, and humbly died on the cross.  Yet today, you raised Him up and glorified Him.  You made Him King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Savior of Saviors, and Friend of Friends.

Jesus, you are our King, Lord, Savior, and Friend.  Thank you for loving us from the beginning of time and revealing to us your love now when we most need it.  Help us to learn from you.  Help us to live with you.  Help us to love you.

Live in us as the Father lived in you while you walked this planet.  Let your love abound in us.  Let your peace surround us.  Let your majesty precede us.

Thank you for hearing and interceding in our prayers.  Thank you for all your help.  Thank you for always being with us as a true friend.  Help us be a friend for others as you are for us.  Thank you, Jesus.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Encourager

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God
Portal: Be Radical…EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

You’re in Good Hands with God’s Plan

“Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;  and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”      1 Corinthians 15:12-19 NAS

plan 5

Heaven and earth united for eternity. The Kingdom of God in all its fullness. If there is no resurrection, no future life after death, than have we been a fool in living this way? What assurance do we have that the plain teachings of the Bible are going to happen? What does the future hold?

We have all asked ourselves the above questions at one time or another. The answer of course always goes back to the beginning. Is there a God? If there is no God, than let’s party. Let’s live and let live. Anything goes. Who cares about anything but getting what’s best for us now. Anyhow, anyway, anywhere, anything and everything goes IF there is no God.

Or on the other hand, if there is a God, we better fear. We better seek out what He is all about. We better find out what He expects from each one of us. All these thoughts probably have entered most of our minds at one time or another. Thankfully, God reveals Himself through creation, through the Bible, through the lives of other people, and through life’s experiences.

If creation was a happen chance, so are we. But on the other hand, if creation was a planned activity, doesn’t that mean you and I are a part of that plan? Which is easier to believe? The bottom line is if creation was a planned activity, than it requires a planner. And that planner must be One Awesome Being to pull it all off. We believe that is what scares those who find it difficult to have faith in a Creator. Because if there is a Creator, than we all are one small dudes with someone larger than ourselves that we may be accountable to in life.

If the Bible is not God’s working manual for mankind, than it’s the second greatest con job of all time (Jesus’ resurrection would be the first). However when you read it, you find quotes from God Himself. And these quotes are challenging us to exercise trust in Him; quotes that are giving us a choice of lifestyle that would benefit us individually and collectively; quotes that are directed to us personally to prove Him. And when you take Him up on His challenge, you begin to experience radical changes in your life that is described throughout the Bible. You begin to realize that God uses the Bible to reveal Himself to us and to help us know Him better. It points us to having a relationship with the Greatest Dad of all; a heavenly Father that is good and wonderful to all; a God who reveals Himself as the Creator of all and cares about His creation.

Doesn’t the Bible already reveal all that we need to know at this time about our future? A future with Christ for all eternity. If there were no other people involved in this adventurous journey of transformation in Christ, than we could easily see doubts arise in our own walk with the Lord. However, when one is a witness to the internal, spiritual transformation in peoples’ lives, than it reassures us that what we are living through is for real. When we discuss the internal struggles with others and they understand us, than we find it reassuring that we are not going crazy. That this Christian life is for real, and the experiences, struggles, hopes, and joys are not something strange but the realization of walking with a living God. The bond and unity you experience in sharing yourself in a small group or in a congregational worship service reassures us that God is alive and living in the lives of those that have fully acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Likewise, when we read the classical writings of the saints from yesterday and thoroughly relate to their everyday struggles, hopes and faith, it again reassures us that our walk is not something new, but the way it has been from the very beginning. It is the way God reveals Himself to us and builds His masterpiece: the invisible, universal Church.

plan 6If our experiences through life were all disappointments, then we probably would question our walk with the Lord. However, there has been much joy in witnessing the power of God in one’s life. From answered prayer, to blessings of joy, God has extended His unmerited grace and favor upon us. Even if we didn’t live in America with all its physical trappings of abundance, we believe that God would have still showered upon us His grace and blessings that only a Believer really understands. Yet, we are very thankful that our earthly fore-parents came to live in America. It makes the Christian walk more challenging in many ways that our brothers and sisters in other countries can’t even phantom. For it allows us to experience facets of the good life and see the abundance of God’s wealth and leads us to a better comparison of the physical wealth with God’s spiritual riches. We are constantly tested to choose between the two. It allows us to practice self-control that people in other countries can’t even imagine.

The Christian in America does have a different challenge than many of our brothers and sisters in third-world countries can’t even imagine. We are privileged to learn how best to manage our wealth for the betterment of others. Many of us are challenged to learn how not to indulge ourselves at every meal. We eventually learn that blessings arc not just a physical matter. In many ways, physical blessing could become a curse. The real riches of life are found in the spiritual treasures that God gives to those who truly yield themselves in heartfelt obedience to Him. And to experience the Giver with all His riches is truly the greatest high this life has to offer. We are very thankful that He has included us to live a life as a disciple of His. Praise Be to God!

OUR PRAYER

PRAYER 1

Our Awesome Heavenly Dad: All glory, honor, and worship belong to you. You are greater than we can even imagine. Our small glimpse of you makes us shudder in how awesome you truly are. You created everything that is in existence. You keep everything in order throughout the universe. You have a time table that you move history through its pages. You are One Awesome Being.

Let your greatness always be magnified in our life. Help us see your greatness in every aspect of this life. Hide nothing from us. Let us learn about you and teach you to others. Reveal your truths to us. Reveal your creation to us. Reveal your plan of salvation to us. Reveal your glory to us.

Help those who are searching for you. Help them find you. Open the doors to your kingdom for them. Let everyone enter. Let everyone see your awesomeness. Hide nothing from us but let you glory be praised throughout the nations.

Help us be your faithful child in the Lord. Let us be the apple of your eye. Grant us your favorite blessings. Shower upon us your richly treasures. Hold back nothing of you to us. In return, help us share you and your riches with others. Help us always to glorify you before others.

You are our God. You are our Creator. You are our Provider. Thank you for making all this possible Jesus. Amen.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Speaker

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God
Portal: Be Radical…EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

Our Buddies

expressway 1

There are those in our youth who may express disappointment to have no other choice but the long and narrow roads of life. Generally, youth wants the four lane freeways of life to allow more room to maneuver and arrive at their destination quicker. Though as youth matures, that concept seems to change.  Today, maturity would rather have the narrow road, the road less traveled. The single lane country roads are more fun than the modern, multi fast lane expressways of metropolitan areas. As we age, speed isn’t as important as timeliness.  We rather drive and enjoy the view of the countryside rather than the cement of buildings and streets. The roads may not have the best directional signs, but the experience is much greater and positive.

Our modern freeways are a wonder of travel. You can travel anywhere in the country without a map by simply following the road signs. We know people who once traveled driving through the night from Detroit, Michigan to Madison, Wisconsin without opening a map. They simply headed west and followed the major signs. But try that through the country roads and they would probably still be driving. You would literally have to stop and ask for directions every few miles to confirm that you where moving in the proper direction. The speed limits would also make a thirteen-hour drive into a thirteen day drive. But the experience, the people, the sites, the flavor of the countryside, the feel of small town America, the beauty of the rural areas would make it all worthwhile. Again, in our youth when time was of the essence, the freeways of life were probably our first choice.

Today, as we mature with time as our companion, the narrow country roads of life are our buddies.  To paraphrase Jesus, narrow is the door that leads to life and wide is the way to destruction. If the majority of people feel something is acceptable, we then immediately feel that it is so. Likewise, if only a few agree, then it must be wrong. How often have we fell into that way of thinking? If fact, the reverse can also be true. Just because the majority agree doesn’t make it right or wrong. The number of people in agreement doesn’t weight the scale. The scale is weight by God’s Word as best as we understand it.country road 1

One of the hardest concepts of living that took awhile to sink in was this simple truth: that the majority could be wrong. We are not saying that they are always wrong, but if probability is our god, and depending on the situation, it could easily lean in that favor. It doesn’t matter if we are talking politics, parenting, or religion. The majority isn’t always right. You have to search for the facts and discover the truth (small t). If God allows, He may even reveal the real Truth (large T) to you. To take the narrow road is against human nature. We feel more comfortable taking the wide road. It looks safer. It looks more exciting. It feels right. It allows us more room to maneuver and make choices. It’s the road well traveled. How can anyone go wrong? But the narrow road looks so lonely. It forces you to focus and concentrate. It feels cramped. What can you possibly discover traveling down such a spooky route?

One person once stated that perception is everything and truth (small t) is what you perceive it to be. You create your own reality. If you perceive the narrow path or the wide road as the best route for you to take, your perception is the truth. However, being a disciple of His, we also try to balance our perception of truth (small t) with the larger Truth (large T). Whenever we are in doubt, we lean towards faith in Him and Truth as He has revealed to us.  Part of that process has been learning over time the joy and rewards of traveling down the narrow roads of life. We still have the hurts, marks, and pain from traveling down the wide freeways of life as our reminder that narrow roads are better for His disciple.  If anyone hasn’t tried them yet, we will gladly share our experiences. And if our experience isn’t enough, we can locate many others who would likewise agree. All of them are ourbrothers and sisters in Christ. For a Christ-follower journeys the narrow road less traveled.

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Awesome Dad, thank you for revealing your plan of salvation to us. Thank you for giving us your Word to read, to understand, and to come to know you through. Thank you for sharing with us your creation. Thank you for revealing the joys and beauty of walking with you. Thank you for being there when we need you. Thank you for sharing the journey  with us. Thank you, Jesus.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Speaker

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God
Portal: Be Radical…EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

Our Coach Has Designed a Personal, Winning Training Program For You

Olympics 1As we write this, a documentary of the Olympics is taking place. The thought occurred that many of the athletes practice for this moment since the completion of the previous Olympics. Their steady diet of exercise, eating, and rehearsing their movements has been with them every day since they made up their minds to compete. Their daily routine to prepare for the games has been a long but rewarding time for many of them. Though not everyone will win a medal, just the opportunity to have the chance to compete is all they ask.

Likewise, as disciples of His, we are also involved on a daily diet of exercises to prepare ourselves for that day when our turn comes to enter the greatest event of all time. We prepare for the return of God’s Kingdom on earth in all its totality. When we will be changed into spiritual beings and live for eternity. The greatest competition is not against one another, but against Satan, against this world’s system, and against our self. We all run and we will all receive the prize. Our pace may differ. Our paths may differ. Our obstacles and challenges may differ. But our final prize will be shared with many.

Paul wrote in first Corinthians, chapter nine, starting in verse twenty-four that we need to be in the race to win. That everyone who competes also disciplines and trains their body for victory. Likewise in Hebrews, chapter twelve, verse one, Paul writes instructing us to run the race with perseverance removing every obstacle that comes in our way.

Our daily routine is built around seeking the kingdom of God. Our priorities are established not to seek fortune, fame, power, or whatever in this life. Instead, our priorities are set to pursue the kingdom of God. It is with our relationships family members, co-workers, neighbors, and everyone we come in contact with during the day. Some days we may become lazy and our Coach has to remind us of our commitment. Other days, our Coach has to remind us to slow down and not become frustrated for not establishing the kingdom today in every corner of the universe. He has set the course. We only have to run it at the speed that God knows is best suited for us. Isn’t it great to have a Coach and support staff that has guaranteed us victory as long as we follow the program?

OUR PRAYER

PRAYER 1

Our Great Coach and Heavenly Dad, thank you for entering us into the greatest “game” of life – your kingdom.  Your kingdom is the solution for all worldwide, governmental problems. It is the answer for all peoples everywhere. It is your method of governing mankind.

Help us to learn more of your government, your kingdom, and your ways. Teach us your love and faith and help us practice it each and every day in all circumstances. Train us in all your ways. Discipline us to be one of the best in your kingdom. Let us make you pleased with all our work, thoughts, and actions.

Your government is our preferred one. Let your rule exemplify itself through our life. Let us be a living ambassador for your government while we walk on earth.  Answer this prayer and all our prayers according to your will. Amen.

 

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Speaker

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God
Portal: Be Radical…EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

 

Positional Security in What?

ladder 8What is your motivation for seeking a higher position in life? Is it for the money, the status, or just the opportunity to serve?  Or is it to make you feel important?  To make you feel you finally arrived?  To make you feel worthwhile?

Today a position may be a job title, a political office, or a professional credential. It is the acceptable standard that the world places on us before recognizing our authority, or our ability.  But form doesn’t reveal substance.  We may play the role, like an actor, but not really have the knowledge nor skills to produce.  With Christ though, our position is secure.  There is no office, title, professional credential that even comes close to giving us the internal faith and authority we have in Christ.

We are disciples of His.  We are saints.  We are bond-servants of Jesus Christ.  What more does a person want?  If our desire for a greater position supersedes our desire to serve Him, than we wouldn’t be true to our Creator. Yes in our youth we may have pursued every position that our heart desired. We may have needed to develop a sense of self-worth because we didn’t find it at that time with Jesus.  Today, however, after tasting all the world’s solutions to self-esteem and personal development theories, we’ve come to see the blessings and value of seeking a spirit-filled life in Jesus.  Not for our glory, but for His. Not so we feel important, but so His importance may be manifested in our life.

As a fellow worker in the body of Christ, we feel privileged and thankful that God has revealed His work in our life and to so many others.  Who needs a position?  Through the power of prayer and service we accomplish more than we ever achieved in any office or with any professional credential.  Our position is found in Him.  That is one of the benefits of being a disciple of His.

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Our Heavenly Dad, let every saint come to know your secured blessings in Jesus.  Amen.

Dr. Mike – Consultant, Coach, Author of

Great Business Emulates a Good God 

Does God Make Sense?

When Job lost his family, and his earthly possessions were taken away, plus his health destroyed with boils, did he consider that time in life to make any sense? When Joseph was taken into slavery to Egypt and locked up in jail for over ten years, did he make sense of his current situation?  When the apostle Paul found himself left stoned to death, shipwrecked, beaten, pursued by his enemies of the cross. did he consider his current situation to make any sense?

When we stop and look at our present time, do we ever ask if it makes any sense?  Though most of us are not a Paul, Joseph, nor Job with no major specific mission in life; where history will not record our accomplishments to the masses. In fact, most of our lives are quite normal and most the time uneventful. And frankly, most of us enjoy it that way. But, does it make any sense?

We live in America, the Disney Country of the planet earth. We have the choice to live anywhere that is affordable for us. Wehave the opportunity to educate ourselves at any university if we apply our self. We could pursue whatever occupation interests us. We have the opportunity to select our own mate and have as many children as physically possible. We also have the opportunity to worship at the church of our choice. We probably have more than enough in physical comforts and may even begin to feel guilty whenever we acquire more. But does our present situation make sense?

If tomorrow we lost everything we own; if our world fell apart and we are taken into prison for something we didn’t do. If we are beaten and left .for dead, would our present situation make sense?

The answer of course is that as a disciple of His, everything makes sense. Nothing will separate us from the love of God. As His disciple, He is the center of our universe; the center of our life. He makes our situation make sense. No matter where we find ourselves, no matter what the situation, no matter what the outcome, He is in control. Our agreement with Him is to surrender all and He will make sense of it all.

He is creating a masterpiece in each one of us and collectively in His universal Church. In our almost forty years following Christ, no matter what ignorant decisions, actions, or events that have taken place, He has always been with me. When evil surrounds us or death knocks at our door, we may not have fully realized it at the time, but in hindsight, He is always around and in control. There is a great purpose being worked out here below and we are a part of it. Yes it takes faith. But isn’t that one part of the armor of a Christ­ follower? And shouldn’t a disciple of His be wearing that armor every day?

Does your present situation make sense? Or maybe the question really is, “Does God make sense?”  Only when we faithfully answer that question, will our present situation make sense.

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 9

Dear Purposeful Dad, thank you for being in control. Thank you for taking care of the small details of life. But mostly, thank you for being involved in our life.

Help us to yield ourselves into your hands, to trust you in all of life’s circumstances and situations. Help us to see the circumstances that you present to us as opportunities to witness to your great power in our life. We pray, glorify your name by creating your masterpiece in us. Take the circumstances that we find ourselves in and change our heart to be like yours. Change the heart of those around us to be like yours. Change the circumstances if you believe that to be the best solution, but more importantly, take the present situation and reveal your Greatness through it. Let others see your magnificence. Let us see your magnificence. Let others know that you know us and care for us. Let your life abide in us and in you.

Let us not try to make sense of the situation we are in. We do not ask why. Instead we ask that you take our present situation and magnify yourself through it.

Let your glory abound. Let your Word abound. Let the Holy Spirit abound. Let your  Kingdom abound. Help us abound for your name’s sake.  In Jesus we ask. Amen.

Dr. Mike

 

The Spirit Is Always Moving

be still 9Like many children, I had great dissatisfaction for standing still in my youth. I had to be doing something all the time.  Today though, I have found it much easier to stop whatever we are doing and smell the roses. But even today, when we see injustice, pain, misery, sorrow, and the effects of sin in people’s lives, we cannot be still.  A strong internal drive from within the heart wants to reach out, hug them, let them know that God cares, and wants to help them.  An internal force from within our inner being wants to reach out at times and lay hands on those who ignorantly plan and execute evil unto others.  The Spirit of God cry’s out and can’t keep silent!
To be still and not do anything seems easier as we age. Maybe it’s possible because we become tired of exerting energy that disappears as we grow older. Or we convince ourselves that we have done enough already and let the next person do their share. Maybe we don’t want to get involved because it takes time away from our everyday routines. We would rather keep things as they arc than change them and we think by being still nothing will change. How lazy and self­ centered we can become over time.
Today I’ve come to see that “to be still” really means to be dead. It’s the person born in 1972, graduates from high school in 1990, dies in 1999 and is not buried until 2050. Physically he may still be around, but inside of him he died years ago.
To be still means to run away from our problems. To be still means not to accept personal responsibilities for our brother’s condition. To be still means not discovering God’s creation. To be still means having no intimate relationship. To be still means not enjoying life’s good things.  To be still is not the life of a disciple of His. His disciples always keep moving; even when they are still. She may be still, but exercising faith like Moses standing before the Red Sea with the Egyptian Army behind him. ”The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still (Ex 14.14 N IV).” Or he may be still while praying and asking God to intervene on someone’s specific situation. Then again, she may be still and in communion with her Maker discovering His Presence at the moment. The point is that a disciple of His may look still on the outside but in the inside the Holy Spirit is leading him to response accordingly. It is very difficult to be still when God’s Spirit resides in you!  How do you response to the nudging of the Holy Spirit in your life?

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Our Heavenly Dad, oh how our heart hurts with the injustice, pain, and sorrow that we see people inflict on others. Some of it intentionally, most of it out of ignorance. Either way, help us to pray for those who are being persecuted. To ask you to intervene in their lives that hurt, to lead them to you.

Our soul is restless for you. Our soul hungers for you. We cannot sit still until your Words and Holy Spirit has made their mark in the life of those who are hurting. Help us to be your witness. Help us be your servant. Help us to reach out and touch those who you know need help today. Let nothing prevent us from sharing your Word with others. Oh Holy Spirit, fill us with your fruit. Let it overflow and touch the lives of those around us. Let us not live a life of seclusion, but a life of service. Let us not be still, but alive in you. Let your richness overflow and make others rich. Lead us always unto your paths.  Thank you Creator Dad, thank you Jesus, thank you Holy Spirit.

 

Dr. Mike