Michael Jordan & Jesus

I would like to start off by saying that I’m no pastor, minister, preacher, evangelist or deacon. I’m just a normal person that tries his best to follow Christ and His teachings. So please don’t assume that I’m speaking from a scholarly level. I read my bible and these thoughts and comparisons come to my head at times. Now, with that being said, I can start.

I’m going to try and not write a novel here, but no promises. Just the other day a family member mentioned to me that a younger person told him that Michael Jordan is overrated and that he wouldn’t be able to keep up with the NBA players of today. Being people who grew up watching Michael Jordan play, I couldn’t help but laugh. When he told me the age of this person, it made more sense as to why he had this opinion. To be clear, I don’t really watch much of pro basketball anymore, really since Jordan retired. There are several reasons why, but none of those have to deal with this matter. Now I could go on and on about why that has to be an ignorant comment but I’m not going to do so here, just to help keep this from getting out of hand.

This morning I was reading my bible and as I was reading 2 Timothy Chapter 4, I came across this verse:

4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

And as I read this it sort of dawns on me that we are living in that time right now. I see more and more how people push away the Bible and its teachings. I feel like the further we get in our days the more and more this will continue to happen. I know you’re thinking, “What in the world does this have to do with Michael Jordan?”. Maybe not directly related to Jordan himself but the idea of someone who has a slight disconnect, mostly because of time, that it becomes untrue or they prefer to believe what’s right in front of them at that time.

You see someone who is much younger knows about LeBron James, about Stephen Curry, about Kevin Durant, James Harden. They know about Rusell Westbrook and Kawhi Leanard. Why? Because it’s what they see right in front of them, right now. There’s no disconnect because it’s the current events happening in front of them. But if you mention Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson, Magic, Wilt, Kareem and of course Jordan, they may know the names but they don’t know the talent. They don’t know how some of those players changed the game of basketball. To people who watched MJ play, he is and probably will always be the G.O.A.T. And again we could go into a list of reasons why most of us feel that way.

In the same manner that as our generations are getting older and the new generations have come, they start to see the Bible as just stories or myths. Those “stories” you would hear about at church as a kid, or from a friend. If no one is there to really teach you and explain to you the truth of the Bible, then we start to lose the reality of it. We start to lean on what we hear otherwise and what we hear now. I would imagine that from the moment Jesus died and rose again, that this started to take effect. As time went on and the first accounts started to die off, people started to believe less and less. At least those that were not taught or brought up in that truth. And a lot of it is our fault as believers. In the very next verse, it says,

5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

We should be the ones helping to educate our children and those around us about God and about Jesus and the life He lived and gave up for us. We are starting to see the consequences of not doing those things. Don’t believe me, just the previous chapter in 2 Timothy 3 these are the opening verses:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Tell me that isn’t looking more and more like today’s society. You don’t have to look far to see it all happening right now.

Most people say that the Bible is just accounts written by people and we can’t trust that it’s the truth. Well if that’s the case should we throw out our history books? What are they if not for accounts from people who witnessed it. I don’t remember having video footage of so much that I learned in our History classes. Jesus existed, it’s been verified by several Jewish and Roman historians. The research is there if you take the time to do it. The accounts that are in the Bible are from witnesses to what He did in His life. And there were many other witnesses there as well. But I’m not here to try and convince you of anything. That’s not up to me. It’s not my job to debate or argue someone to Christ. That’s not how it works.

I think this all made more sense in my mind, but it’s something that I just had to put down into words cause I felt led to. My mind can be weird at times, and I’m sorry if this, in any way, confused you. God Bless.

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Overwhelmed

This morning started off like a typical morning as of late. Wake up, change and feed the little one, wake up big brother and get him started on his change of clothes and breakfast. Then I get ready, kiss all my loves goodbye and make my way into work. I get the music going as it helps with the 40 to 45-minute drive in. About half way into work, a song comes on by Big Daddy Weave. It’s one that I’ve heard multiple times and I really do like it a lot. For those of you that know the artist, you can see now where my title originated from. I’ve heard this song so many times before on my playlist and thought today would be no different than those other times. I was wrong.

As I was singing along with the song something hit me and hit me hard. It was like the words overcame me and just opened up something inside me. By the time I hit the second verse, the tears started.
God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

I know the power of Your Cross
Forgiven and free forever You’ll be my God
And all that You’ve done is so overwhelming

 

“All that You’ve done is so overwhelming”.  That hit me and just sat heavy on me for a bit. There are a lot of things going on within our family and also in our individual lives. Things we’re struggling with and things we’re so so happy and excited about. But when I lift my head up for a moment, out of that mega cloud of life, I just see the fact of how extremely blessed we are. How extremely loved we are and how undeserving of it all I am. The tears just kept coming as I kept thinking about Him and how He loves me so much. How every day I fail Him and I stumble and fall and sometimes even just find myself HATING me. But not Him. Never. His love is beyond my comprehension and it hurts my brain when I try and grasp it.

All of that was just flooding my head and the boom, my mind clears and I can just feel His presence. This is something that I’ve felt before, and it’s so hard to explain, but I feel Him. My whole entire body starts to tingle and I get goosebumps and my heart feels like it’s going to explode out of my chest of just pure love and joy. It’s like you are feeling every wonderful sensation all at once and right then at that very moment I just want to do nothing but give Him one BIG HUG. I hear the words in the song that only amplify this feeling right now.

You are Glorious, You are Glorious
Oh God, there is no one more Glorious
You are Glorious, God you are the most Glorious

I know most people hear the word “overwhelmed” and think of something negative, which is natural because that’s how we hear it most. But this time, I was overwhelmed by God and His perfect Love and Grace. At this point, the tears are just flowing, uncontrollably and I’m not even sure if anyone saw me at any of the stop lights but I’m not really caring about anything like that. At one point I thought maybe I should have pulled over.

There’s no real message from me here today, and I’m sorry if you were maybe expecting something enlightening. It was just an experience that I wanted to share and try my best to put into words, even though I already know that they won’t do it justice. It’s something that I pray that everyone could experience just once because it is a most incredible experience. But I will leave you with the music video to the song by Big Daddy Weave.

 

God’s Love For You

I think as a child of God one of the things I struggle most with is feeling worthy of God’s love. I’m like that one son that knows better but yet still stumbles here, and God is always there with opens arms ready to hug me and love me as He always has.

But I worry that one day, God will say, “ENOUGH! I’m done with you. You don’t listen to me! You don’t love me enough to be good, so I can’t love you anymore”. The death we know is when our body stops working, but TRUE death is separation from God.

The other day I was reading my bible and I came upon these verses that filled me with joy and reassurance.

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

If none of those things can separate me from God’s love, then surely the stumbles that I deal with every day can’t as well. I hope that if any of you feel this way, you read this and realize that you too are loved by our creator and there’s nothing that you can do that can change that.

To All The Soon-To-Be Husbands

Not too long ago a family member of our got married. It was a great day, and by the smile on his face that whole day, I could tell that he was marrying the woman he most loved. No doubt about it. But on the morning of his wedding, I thought I would send him a little “advice” of what I’ve learned in marriage. Now, I’ve only been married for 9 years, but you can learn a lot in just a few years while married. I’m sure the learning never stops, but I figured a little advice wouldn’t hurt. And even though it was targeted toward him, I wish I could tell this to all the grooms and/or future grooms out there. Here’s what I shared with him in a message:


I know I don’t have a lot of years in the marriage game, but I just wanted to give you a few tips that you can chose to take or not.

1. Keep God first. In all that you do, no matter how big or small, HE is number one in your relationship.

2. She’s your #1 gal. She’s your best friend. She’s your partner in crime, so to speak. Don’t forget that. Love her like its the first day you fell for her, forever and always.

3. Don’t be to prideful to say I’m sorry. We all make mistakes and in marriage you will be learning to adapt to living your life as two. There will be disagreements, and maybe some arguments. But don’t be too proud to say I’m sorry, even if you’re apologizing just for the argument. I know it can be hard, cause this is a struggle with me.

4. Tell her you love her. Every day. Every moment you can. Tell her. Don’t let a day pass without telling her how much you love her.

5. Have fun. I often hear people say, “marriage is a lot of work.” I hate to say it, but maybe they’re doing it wrong. Marriage is not hard work. Marriage is fun. Now that doesn’t mean you won’t have to work at some things, but it shouldn’t be constant work. Laugh. Smile. Take goofy pictures. Don fun things with one another. Enjoy one another.

6. Talk to her. She’s your best friend. No one should know more about you than her.

7. Take lots of pictures. There will be several things you will forget but pictures and videos help. Trust me, in years to come you’ll be glad you did.

I wish you all nothing but the very best. We love you and if you ever need anything, even if it’s just to talk, you know where to find me. God Bless you guys.


So with that in mind, I pray and wish you future or new husbands, the very best in your marriages and new lives.

My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions

Every year we all do it. We think of the things in our lives and the things about us that we seek to improve. And for some reason, we fill the need to wait till a new year to try and start them. Maybe it’s the idea of a new year, clean slate? Not sure, but I do it as well. I have made lots of resolutions over the past few years, and some have been forgotten and some I’ve actually managed to hit. This year is no different in making resolutions, but I think what will be different will be my way of handling them.

God is my life. Period. Without God, I would not be here typing this post, and only he knows where I would be right this moment. Everything that I am now, is because of him. So why should I try to change my life and habits, without putting him at the forefront? I shouldn’t, and this year, I won’t. So with this list I say this, He will be at the forefront of all of it, no matter how big or small the task may seem.

1. Read
I used to LOVE to read as a kid. Stepping into a library was like stepping into a Best Buy or Fry’s Electronics now days. It was fun for me, and having so many books to be able to read was just awesome. And then High School Happened. Forced to read “the classics”, which I’m sure is great for a lot of people, but it repulsed me. Hated it. I turned my attention more towards video games, and that’s all she wrote. But now, I want to start reading again. I know most people are like, “Pffft! Big deal, so read more”, but I know if my wife is reading this, she knows it’s a pretty big deal for me. So I will try and make some time during my days to pick up a book and read. It’s already started happening a little but I want to really push on this for 2015 and hopefully beyond.

2. Study
No, I’m not going back to school. This past year, I felt God calling me. I feel like He’s calling me to be better educated in Him and His Word. I’ve had friends approaching and asking me questions about my faith and although I’ve been able to answer their questions,  I feel like this is the tip of the iceberg for this. The way this world is moving into darker days, I need to be studied up and ready to lead people towards the light.

3. Pray
2014 really taught me to pray. Now I’ve always prayed. Pray in the mornings, in the evenings, when I’m alone. I pray for myself, my friends, my family my co-workers, our homes, our pets, etc. But this year taught me to really pray. To get down on my knees, to pour out my heart, and pray into tears. To not only pray alone, but to gather my “prayer warriors” and pray together over situations. God has NEVER let me down. Not once. This is something I need to not only do, but submerse myself in. Prayer. It’s powerful, and I personally seen it happen.

4. Say No
I consider myself to be a pretty hard worker. I love to help people out, even if it’s not on my “ticket”. I feel like being a servant to others, especially when in need is something I’ve always been called to do. But at some point, you realize that some people will take advantage of this. In the past, I keep my mouth closed and happily oblige. But when it starts to take time away from my family and friends and the things that matter most to me, I reach a point where I have to start just saying “no”. I can no longer go out of my way every time certain people are unprepared countless amount of times, and I have to clean it up. My God, my family will ALWAYS come before my work. Always. And I plan on enforcing that in 2015. I can always find another job, but my family and my friends are irreplaceable.

5. Traffic Will Not Win
Most of my friends know I’m a pretty nice guy, regardless of my appearance. It takes a lot to get me angry or in a bad mood. But traffic, traffic is my weakness. It’s like I’m a different person. I have a low tolerance for stupidity and for selfish drivers who care not only about themselves while driving. Not only is it annoying but it’s dangerous. But I’m going to TRY my best to remain calm and not let it ruin my day or mornings. Sometimes it changes my mood, I find myself getting really angry at times, and I know it just needs to stop. I’ll never be able to change people and their selfishness. But I can change how I react to them.

6. Write
I used to love to write all the time. Short stories. Some of my friends have been lucky enough to be featured in some of those stories. Then I stopped. Not sure why. But I jus stopped writing. And it’s something I want to pick back up. Even if it’s just for fun, cause it is something I do enjoy doing.

7. Get Fit
This is the reoccurring one. Every year, I tell myself I’m going to do this. Some years I start, and start well and get close to my goals, and then I give up. But this year, not only will I put God first, but I have a group of friends that I will be going through with. I think this will be the year that it actually happens. No. I KNOW this will be the year that actually happens. No more excuses. No more giving up. 2015 will be my fittest year yet. And I hope by this time next year, I’m not eating these words. O_o

Facebook Detox

Yesterday was the first time I can actually say I’ve missed Facebook. Not the drama. Not the silly posts that have absolutely NOTHING to do with people’s lives. Not the constant streams of memes that I could easily hop on Pinterest and see. But I miss the actual personal interactions with people on there. I know what you’re thinking, “That’s not personal interaction if you’re not in person.” I know, I get that. What I mean is that I miss the really meaningful interactions, conversations or discussions that I have with people. From talking about old times, or parenting issues and talking about God. I feel like sometimes God leads me to post scripture or life experiences so that I can share that with others. Am I missing out? Is someone else missing out on God’s word? I worry about that. I worry that I’m missing people right now, even as I type this. What if someone on there is looking for an answer, or even just someone to talk to, or some guidance. Right before I left Facebook I had three instances of that. All of which had some positive outcome and/or feedback about what was being discussed. It’s on my heart now. And I don’t know if that’s God telling me to get back, or me just going to withdrawals from it all.

I also don’t want to get back on so quickly after deactivating it. I feel like I haven’t really given the break a fair chance. I mean the point of the break was not only to get away from the nonsense but to also see if it’s worth keeping in my life. Can’t really do that if it’s not even been a week and I’m already back on. Doesn’t help that I have had several friends asking me why and am I gonna get back on soon. It’s like leaving Facebook Highschool. Or leaving a city named Facebook, TX. I know that’s an odd way to look at it but it’s almost like leaving all your friends behind. Digitally speaking of course.

Can’t honestly say how much longer I’ll go without it, or if I’ll find that I don’t need it and am better off without it. I really just wish I could ask God and just say, “Is this something you want or need me to do? Can I really make a big impact for you?” I’m sure when He’s ready…. He’ll answer.