Saturday, October 29, 2011

HALT is a Powerful Word ................

 "Halt" is one of those words we usually associate with a command from a Police Officer or something in the Military. In our context however it has a far different meaning and may have greater far reaching, even life changing  consequences when ignored.

Halt is defined by Webster as:
“to stop; cease moving, operating, etc., either permanently or temporarily.”
Lets break this simple word down to see just how powerful it really is.


These feelings can tip us that we are under undue pressure and are more vulnerable than normally. We are in Danger!........  

Hunger can cause anxiety or a drop in blood sugar, leaving levels whacked out leading to poor choices. Anger or holding a Grudge causes us to focus on self leading to self pity. Loneliness can lead to trying to meet the need for companionship in an unhealthy way. Tired, just plain old being too tired can lead to not standing up to temptation when we most need to. Vince Lombardi once said “Fatigue makes cowards of us all”  

This is a time of extreme vulnerability to wrong thoughts, pornography, an affair, or overindulging in some other area. You know what you need to watch for!

So you see, This little word can be very powerful when viewed in the proper perspective. When we are feeling too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired it is like a Warning Light on our Dash or control panel. So, what am I to do when I notice one of these “Red Lights” flashing on my dash?
Well, lets say we just noticed one flashing......HALT...find out what’s going on before you move another inch. You may need a route recalculation or you may even need to “Phone a Friend” for help! This “Halting” may just give you enough time to come to your senses and alter your future for the better!
Practice it now.........HALT!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Have you ever experienced a failure in life?

That was a “Trick Question”........ Of course, you have unless your name is Jesus. We all have experienced failures in life some small and some huge. The real question is "are your failures from the past still haunting you today?" Many of the men I encounter are really not experiencing the life Jesus offers in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
We were never designed to drag the “Baggage of The Past” throughout life. That’s what forgiveness is all about. That is what The Cross purchased for us and the Resurrection assures us of the ability to walk the John 10:10 Life. The blood of Jesus did not “cover” our sin as the sacrifices of the Old Covenant! He is The Lamb of God that “Took Away” our sin. John 1:29 “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  Becoming a Christ follower changes everything. We no longer have to drag the “baggage”  of our sin and failures because He has taken it away.

Now you say, I am not so sure of that. Well here is a good picture for you. Read John 21:12-17. After Peter had so miserably failed in denying Jesus, he meets him face to face on the beach after the resurrection. You know what Jesus said to him? “Lets have breakfast.” John 21:12 “Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.”
He never mentioned Peter’s failure............

Lets have breakfast....................

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Like Father Like Son..............

Dad, this can be a scary thought or an incredibly Great and Satisfying Thought. We have a choice! The choice is ours. I must confess, it took me many years before I realized this phenomenon was taking place. It’s called “Like Father Like Son”. Mary and I recently took the opportunity to see the movie, “Courageous.” It’s a story of Masculinity for Men, Marriage, Family, Parenting, Loss, failure and Courage. It “Rocked my soul” as I watched and relived many moments of my own life. I along with Mary, Rob and Phillip were miles along the journey before I realized I could and must Change my Direction and in so doing the Direction of my family.
Great Intention is not enough, we must change our Direction.

I had to confess to myself, God, Mary and my sons that I had failed miserably in leading them. Then, I am sure it took some time for them to believe me....that came only after they “watched” me for some time. If your kids are young and in those formative years, you can beat the curve by realizing the importance of what they see in you now. Take advantage of the awesome opportunity to Lead Courageously!.

If like me you are down the road a ways and your kids are no longer in those formative years there is “Hope”. It is never too late! Get over whatever keeps you from facing them, confessing and asking forgiveness. Don’t try to defend yourself! Now be prepared to be “watched”. It may take a while, but I can tell you from experience you can earn their respect. In the rare case they never come around, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are a better man for "Maning Up" and facing them. Your conscience will be clear knowing you stepped up to The Plate!
“Watching You”
I Dare you to watch this all the way through!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What does Influence mean to you?

Influence is one of those things that is almost always at the top of my “Think List” dominant thought. Webster defines Influence this way: “the capacity to have an effect on the Character, Development, or Behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself”. It’s like the imprint our foot makes when we walk in the sand only much more powerful. Notice what Webster said, we influence, effect, have impact or leave our imprint on the “Character, Development or Behavior” of those around us.
 And it is not only the positive that leaves its mark, “every Step” leaves a mark.

I never knew Steve Jobs but he influenced my life and the lives of many of you as well. I have been amazed at the front page coverage of his passing going into the fourth day. I have taken time to read much of it while thinking of what is being said of me and what will be said when I am gone. What kind of influence or imprint am I making and what will be left when I am gone. When I walk away from a conversation, what does that person feel, think, or say as a result of my presence in their life? Are they refreshed, energized, blessed? Or, are they exhausted and demoralized?

We leave those imprints everywhere we go!
In a conversation with our mate.
In a conversation with our children
On the phone with a friend or business conversation
In the supermarket line
At the car wash
At work or play when we are unaware that anyone is watching.
And the list goes on..................

So lets look in that well worn mirror and ask ourselves........
How am I Influencing the Character, Development or Behavior of those I encounter?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

What kind of Disciple are you part two.......

In our last post we talked about Discipleship and asking ourselves the compelling question, “what kind of Disciple am I? What do those around me hear and more importantly see when they are in my presence?”  I was thinking a couple of days ago about living in a small community like Blairsville. It is not like being in a large city like say Atlanta. Here we see the same people often and you know the spiritual status of many of them. Not only do you see them but, in local restaurants you often overhear conversations Oh, he is a pastor, she is secretary at a church, he is the music person at that church or he is a deacon and she is the wife of a deacon. But, what is even more telling is the fact that they also know your status. And yes, they are watching and listening!

So, now we must look in that mirror and ask the question....”What do they hear when they sit across or behind me at a restaurant or what do they see when I interact or don’t with others. Of course, in a small community any time someone is involved in those things we would all call sin everyone knows right away. There are some other things I think are just as important but, not on the “Big Sin Hit List”? Say like leaving an adequate gratuity when you leave a table......not a gospel tract and fifty cents. One pastor in town walks into a restaurant and never speaks to anyone unless they are members of his church.....interesting. It is amazing what kind of “gossip” you hear from a table near by and you know it is a group of men or ladies from one of the local churches. The tragic thing is many who hear and see are not believers but they know those who are. I am sure they are not attracted by what they hear and see.

So, what kind of disciple are we. Look in the mirror and ask yourself. I do and sometimes I have to confess, I am not so pleased.

Essential reading for every Man
Healing The Masculine Soul
By Gordon Dalbey