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We’ve heard the old phrase: “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”; but today it’s become; “hear nothing, see nothing, speak nothing”.

We are currently living in what I’ll sarcastically call the: “communication revolution”. What a joke! It is a time in which the means to communicate have exponentially advanced, but actual communication has diminished. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, instagram and Pinterest dominate the internet. Cell-phones are common and in the hands of just about every person young or old all over the globe.

We have texting, group texting, email, voicemail, Google hangouts, periscope, face time and more. Tablets and cell-phones like iPads, Galaxy and iPhone are abundant in all shapes, colors and sizes. Video game consoles like x-box and sony play station have literally replaced encyclopedias. There’s an “app” (or software application that can be downloaded onto your device) for just about anything and everything, and therein lies one of society’s foremost tragedy.

Wireless services are freely provided in cafes, business, libraries, hospitals, schools, homes” even access to remote “hot spots” are available just about on any street corner. Thus is all in an attempt to keep us all “connected”. Again, what a joke! I believe we are the most disconnected and unplugged generation that has existed.

Daily, millions and millions of social media posts, searches and traffic flood the internet. Many because of pornography get pulled under by it’s seductive undertow and drowned by it’s dark current. There is no end in sight, no rest, no expiring for the “communication revolution” and definitely no sign of it slowing down–save a mass global power outage. Yet it is my belief, that in this technologically advance age that we live in, communication has gravely aged, grown weak, sickly and is waiting in an ICU bed to breath it’s last breath.

The brightness of cell-phones and other screens  have replaced the light and glimmer of hope and excitement in our eyes and faces. These same warm blue glows now warm the marriage bed at night, instead of the flame and embers of love and intimacy. Married couples lay together in the same bed, but are really strangers and foreigners sleeping alone. Never has a generation been so far away from what God’s intent for what human relations and interactions have always been.

No longer do husbands and wives lovingly gaze intently and lovingly into each other’s eyes, rather they intently gaze into some bright screen instead. Why speak to one another in an effort to explore, journey and discover more of each other when you can explore, journey and discover the world of Netflix instead? Romance, drama, action and comedy have literally become movie genres, instead of life’s “one-flesh” experience, joy, adventure and journey.

The “communication revolution”? What a deceotion! Absolutely no meaningful communication, besides a few weak grunts are going on. Children of all ages are consumed by their cell-phone or hand held device. I mean you could probably drop dead right in front of them and they wouldn’t blink or look up for fear they wouldn’t “level up” or that they’ll lose valuable points in their precious game. Priorities are putting the most important things first right? Aren’t we glad they’ve got “first things first”? Of course, I’m being sarcastic. I’ve had young people busy my home, age the only words they’ve communicated to me are: “Can I please get your Wi-Fi password”?

Seems to me that virtual reality has replaced reality…virtually. It is rare to see parents interacting with their children, unless it’s through some sort of a “text message” like, ” Hey I’m thirsty, can you get me a cup of water”? I remember the loud sound of kids playing outside in the streets when I was growing up, I was one of them. The streets wee teeming with life! Today there is dead silence. The streets and parks have become barren waste-lands and cemeteries because children are like zombies glued to video games. They’re simply uninterested in any activity outdoors because they’re mesmerized by the screen’s light inside. Their minds, imagination and hearts have been captured and are being held captive. They’re being led like lambs to the slaughter.

I mean have you tried speaking to today’s youth? They won’t look at you because they’re completely fixed on their cell-phone. I was taught to look into a person’s eyes when you speak to them as a sign of respect and recognition of human worth and dignity. But now, a half-hearted and bothered glimpse is what I get. Some do look at you, even for just a moment; but it’s to apathetically give a blank stare and shrug of the shoulders. We’ve become cold, lazy and distant. Having a caring heart, I mean a heart that really takes the time to listen to the cares of another’s heart is virtually non-existent. Well, I understand, that would take far too much time away from our “statis update” posts or latest selfie upload wouldn’t it?

Personally in all my years, I have never felt so lonely, abandoned, disconnected and abandoned by people. I am angry and disturbed that people have chosen the noise, button pushing and heat of exhaust fans and technology over human communication, touch and warmth. Are we really so uninteresting? Are we not worth the time, energy and effort it takes to engage with one another? How can we so easily ignore one another’s presence, mind, soul and spirit; while giving all of our undivided attention to plastic parts and wires? Why won’t we look at other? How can we be so transfixed on a screen and be so blinded to one another’s needs? How can we easily forgot and discard others as unimportant? Why do we live together in the same house, but really feel alone? Each person isolates themself in a room of their choice or some corner, they get lost in virtual reality and forget that there are other humans that exist. What a tragedy! What a heart wrenching tragedy!

You may be to blind to see it, but there are people in your own family who are deeply lonely and angry right now. There’s a husband, wife, father, mother or child that is desperately suffering, thirsty and hungry for human communication, interaction, touch and attention. We’re emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually starving one another to death; while over-feeding our apathy apathy and selfishness.

I say enough is enough! Enough already with being physically present but emotionally and mentally absent. Husband’s and wife’s are suffering all over the world because we rather hold our device tightly in our hand instead of holding them tightly in our arms at night. Children are hurting because they’re competing and fighting for your attention. They desire for you to invest your time with them, but you continue to choose to ignore them and rather spend your time surfing the web. Many feel betrayed because they’re no longer the object or center of your affection. Instead, a cell-phone or video game has been given your affection. Many are disoriented because they’ve been replaced by a device when you promised them that you’d always be there with and for them. Others feel devastated and devalued, unimoorrant and expendable because the only thing you value as important and indispensable is your prized iPhone or x-box.

It’s a darn shame you know, we’ve been created to explore and discover the untold inexhaustible riches and treasures of one another’s life, but we’ve chosen to settle for the crumbs and leftovers of cell-phones, screens, social media and video games. One day you and I will be gone. I wonder, what our legacy will be? How will we be remembered by putter loved ones and others? Will we be overcome with regrets for all those people we time and tune again ignored and neglected, because we never took and made the time to know and love them?

Do we, will we, should we, could we dare to risk missing out on the greatest God-given opportunity of a lifetime that He’s given to each of us; namely to get to know and love one another during the most briefest of moments allowed to us called: “life”?

Remember, we only get one shot at this; there are no rewinds or do overs. Let’s live a life that will one day end without any regrets. Don’t waste another second, time waits for no one. Begin living now! Let’s invest ourselves in one another’s life instead of lifeless devices.

planted“Other seed fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up…

because they had no depth of soil. “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.… ” —Matthew 13:5-6

Are you feeling stuck? Stuck as in you can’t get out of a bad and messy situation. Stuck as in a hopeless and suffocating feeling because you can’t move on and leave out of where you currently are. Stuck as in there’s been no forward movement for a very long time. Well, what if I told you that just maybe, in reality you’re not really stuck, but planted? What if you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be right now? What if you’re not stuck but deep-rooted and grounded where you are for such a time like this?

It’s understandable that as humans we desire to progress and move forward in life. But what if we are missing it? What if for this time, in this season of our lives we are not supposed to move forward but inward and upward? Think about it. Just because something is set in forward motion doesn’t mean that it is correctly motivated or going in the right direction. The laws of gravity move things all the time, but that doesn’t mean that they are divinely being moved or led. A  runaway train is one good example. It’s moving fast, but will end up in an impactful  head to head collision if destruction.

Could it be that this “non-moving” season in your life in which it seems like you’re stuck and are being kept from forward movement is because you need to grow inward then upward towards God and His purposes rather than your own agendas? Could it be that you’re being firmly grounded, rooted and anchored for God’s next life-changing move in your life?

Perhaps this feeling of immobilization is really God divinely allowing your roots to dig in deep so that you may receive the nourishment and nutrients that can only be accessed when we’re deeply planted. Thee are many believers who claim that God is moving them here , there and all around. They may believe that God is doing many things in their life, but perhaps they are seeds that have fallen on dangerous shallow ground. These seeds sprout rather quickly, but because they did not have much depth of soil; when the sun (troubles) coms up they’ll be scorched and withered because they had no planting or “still-time” to develop deep roots.

Do not be deceived, moving forward is not as important as deeply growing downward and inward in order to strongly grow upward. Are you really stuck? Maybe you’re planted in the fertile soil of testing where God has divinely appointed. Allow God’s Word to water you and nurture you. Be attentive to the Holy Spirit’s cultivation as He prompts you to prune those dead dried up areas in your life that are unfruitful.

Now I am aware that for some, the case may be that you are stuck; but for most of us I dare say and even declare that: “We are planted growing inward, downward and upward in Christ Jesus”. So you may not really be stuck as you previously believed. Hold on and endure, resist the temptation to uproot yourself. Remain firmly grounded where you are until God’s “planting” season passes. Everything changes. This is not a permanent season in your life but just a temporary window of time that soon will close so—stay planted.

motives-of-heart copyThe Lord does not look at the things that people look at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. —1 Samuel 16:7

God is not interested in age, experience or outward appearances. You will never be too young, inexperienced or unattractive for God. Your looks, physique or any other external quality is unimportant. Nothing you have or do not have on the outside either qualifies or disqualifies you to be “top gun” in God’s army of love and peace.

In the Old Testament we have two examples of this:

  1. The prophet/judge Eli and the boy Samuel later to be prophet./judge.
  2. King Saul and the Shepherd boy later to be king David.

But for brevity’s sake, we will just focus on Eli and Samuel and put aside the other two for another day.

Eli was an old prophet who became lazy and apathetic. With all the years of experience he had you’d think he was God’s favorite. His age should’ve given him wisdom beyond his years, but in his complacent disobedience he had become dumb. His outward appearance, designer flashy robes and holy religious garments did nothing for him. He had disqualified himself from God’s service because of his sinful unrepentant heart’s condition.

Living with Eli was a young boy named Samuel. He was immature, inexperienced and ignorant. He was ordinary with no special features to talk about. But God saw that his heart was in the right place. His motives were clean and pure. So God chose this “rookie” kid over the older prophet. God chose this inexperienced boy over the great 40 year veteran prophet of Israel. Eli the great prophet and judge had it all together on the outside. He looked the part, played the part and faked the part well; but he was a phony. His heart was corrupt and very far away from God. As a matter of fact, it had been a long, long time since Eli had heard God say anything to him; and he was God’s messenger to Israel. Epic fail!

Samuel on the other hand was just a little young boy with no life experience. He’d never really done much at all. All he knew was to serve Eli and do everything he was told to do. Yet God found Samuel’s heart to be just what He was looking for. You see Samuel slept on the floor of the House of the Lord right next to the Ark of the Covenant, which represented God’s Presence. Samuel didn’t know God yet, but God most certainly knew him. It’s important to know and understand that while everyone in this world only sees what you do, God sees why you do it. Man judges outward appearances, but God judges the heart. This is important to know because Samuel was not there by choice, but command. Samuel could’ve rebelled in his heart towards God and everyone around him, but he didn’t.

Eli had disqualified himself from hearing God because of his evil heart. God finally rejected Eli, but Samuel received God’s favor. No not based on anything Samuel had done or how he looked, but based solely on the motives and intents of his heart. You’re never too young, too skinny, pimpled face, fat, weak, shy, fearful, short, tall, unpopular or un-cool to be on God’s radar. You see God always has and always will look at the heart and never ever at what we look like on the outside.

Just like Samuel, you can hear God’s voice for yourself. Like Samuel you can begin at a young age, without any experience or external resources. You can know God for yourself and do great things for Him in this world for your generation. God will never reject or disqualify you based on your age or how you look on the outside. God looks deep into the hearts of people and that is what will always qualify or disqualify us for His service, NOT our physical qualities or appearances.

pearls-on-swineDo not give that which is holy (the sacred thing) to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls before hogs, lest they trample upon them with their feet and turn and tear you in pieces. —Mathew 7:6 AMP

Before there was oyster or pearl “farming”, or the artificial method and process (seeding) of producing pearls; divers had to plummet deep into the ocean’s depths to retrieve such hidden treasure. In today’s “farming” business, one never need even wet his toes to gain such beauty and wealth. With this in mind, I have two ideas I’d like to submit to you today.

1. I’ll begin with the second first. In today’s Gospel saturated culture, people do not need to dive deep into the oceans of God’s Truth and Presence. Most are content to stay on the seashores of complacency and with the regurgitation of other’s revelation. Like swine we’ve grown lazy and only move when church bell’s rings and it’s feeding time or better stated: “another hot sermon” is now being served.

The tragedy with this mindset, this thought-process or this way of thinking is that we will miss out on the “first hand” experience of diving in deep and discovering revelation for ourselves. We quickly become comfortable with being served “hand and foot” and settle for the mediocrity of “second-hand” and chewed-up knowledge of others.

2. Okay time to shift gears. For those who have taken the plunge into the depths of a committed relationship with God that produces revelation, we are given another warning. Before “pearl farming”, men had to dive deep into the ocean’s depths. Individuals had to search, pursue, seek long and hard for this buried treasure. It took much work, effort, heartache and risk. Yet the value of those pearls once they were discovered was well worth the labor and even dangers involved.

As “pearl seekers” ourselves, diving into the ocean of God’s Word, we must guard ourselves from throwing our hard earned pearls before swine. You see swine trample everything because they cannot differentiate what’s what. To them everything falls into just one single category: slop. For swine, no value system exists in which to assign worth with to anything, all is calculated to be worth exactly the same: “free slop”. Swine cannot tell the difference between a T-bone steak and a maggot infested rotting piece of meat. To them it’s all the same and gets treated exactly the same—as common everyday slop made up of all the trash and unwanted worthless items of others.

The pearls of wisdom that God has given you through your deep sea “God-diving” must be guarded NOT squandered. These truths and revelations must not be given just to anyone on a whim. You see many are just as foolish or dense as the swine are, they cannot tell the difference between what’s revelation and what’s not—so they will trample it under foot without a second thought. Even worse, they will turn on the very one that is trying to nourish and enrich them with God’s pearl’s of wisdom and His Kingdom living.

As “pearl seekers” who are being daily formed by the “Pearl Maker”, we must use wisdom or the ability to differentiate (tell the difference between) who is ready or mature enough to receive what God has entrusted to us. How do we do this? By allowing Holy Spirit who is the One Who will lead us in ALL Truth to be our guide. Place a guard over your mouth. Be careful and do not divulge everything you’ve received to everyone or just anyone you meet, because it may just be reduced to pig-slop to be trampled underfoot in the “pig-sty” of ideas and nothing more. You may end up becoming the foolish swine’s next meal because they’re really just gluttonous for knowledge NOT hungry for Truth.

pizza4 copyO taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. —Psalm 34:8 KJV

God does NOT command, nor does He ever demand a “blind-faith” or trust. Even in times when it seemed like He did, there was always enough banked evidence and proof of God’s trustworthiness deposited in that person’s life to warrant an unreserved trust towards God. Notice what Psalm 34:8 says, O taste and see that the Lord is good. To “taste and see” is an invitation to prove or disprove the veracity God’s claim for ourselves.

I’ve tasted and seen with my own eyes that I can trust God with my entire life. Now go “taste and see” for yourself.

Only after (past tense) we have “tasted and seen” God’s goodness for ourselves, is that the second part of this Scripture “blessed is the man that trusteth in him” make any sense. Unless we first try, experience or put to test God’s claim of goodness, we will never be able to trust that He indeed is or is not as good as He claims to be. “Tasting” and “seeing” precede trusting.

Our faith or better stated, our “trust” in God has never been meant to be a blind unwarranted trust. We are to “taste and see” God’s goodness for ourselves. Trustworthiness in only obtained by someone who is worthy of our trust due to our experience with his or her dependability, perseverance, steadfastness, truthfulness, certainty, stability, endurance, loyalty, integrity, surety, unfailingness, fidelity, permanence, honor, unchangeableness, consistency, devotedness, dependability and love. I’ve “tasted” and I’ve “seen” God’s goodness for myself, now go “taste and see” for yourself.

Kill-Wars-1 copy“…my tongue is the pen of a skilled poet…” —Psalm 45:1

If the “pen is mightier than the sword”, then we must unsheathe and wield it in this cultural war. There must be a clear battle-cry that shouts, “We will be silent no more”! We’ve been at war ever since the serpent said, “Did God really say?” in the Garden of Eden and the cultural war rages on today. Within this writing “the pen” will be interchangeable with any God-given gift, talent or ability that you may have.

Ever since then it has been a battle to capture our hearts, captivate our imaginations and command our full-attention. It’s a war of whispers and voices all vying for our listening. This has been a cultural war since the beginning, for whoever controls the culture; controls society.

This is why every form of entertainment dangles shiny new bait in front of our eyes every 30 seconds through commercials. Hollywood, magazines, actors, books, sports, fashions and even education have all been infiltrated with spies of darkness to pervert and twist what “God has said” since day one. In other words, darkness has an agenda to impose their will on earth, (though it is like the Titanic a sinking and hopeless cause) while God also has always had “His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven” intentions.

And so, as Ambassadors of Christ who represent the government of the Kingdom I implore you to please discover, or rediscover, uncover, recover and take-over your God-given gifts, talents and abilities. I encourage you to awaken and rap into your long buried and waiting to be found potential. Don’t take everything that God has entrusted you with to the grave. The cemetery has no need of what you’ve been given. His world is in desperate need to receive of what you have to give.

Are you a writer? A blogger? A poet? An artist? An entrepreneur? A stay-at-home person? An athlete? A stockbroker? A churchgoer? A teacher? A musician? A nurse? Can you hold a pen and write? Can you type even if it’s with one finger? You see Holy Spirit has given us all “power” to influence our sphere of influence whatever that may be. To be clear, your “sphere of influence” or “your world” is made of those whom you can literally reach right now.

So what can you do? Choose to be the “you” that only you can be. Choose to allow Holy Spirit to flow through you. He will inspire and breathe creativity over you. Begin to express the thoughts that He gives you whether it is through writing or through any other means available to you. Remember that God has designed you uniquely with a life-assignment only you possess. If the “pen is mightier than the sword”, then we must employ our pen to write history’s pages whatever our pen may be. It’s not how little of how much you do or don’t have that matters, it’s how little or how much you do or don’t do with how little or how much you do or don’t have that’s important.

plankeyeTo Judge Or Not Judge

To judge, or not to judge: That is the million-dollar question. To “judge” is NOT the same as being “The Judge”. One exercises discernment, while the other hands down the deserved sentence of condemnation or acquittal—that place alone belongs only to God. The Judge can judge, but “judging” does NOT make us The Judge.

Judging is something we all do everyday, many, many times a day—all day. The word Jesus used in Matthew 7 “judge” is krino, which describes: to separate, select, choose, pick out, approve, pull asunder, be of opinion, or simply to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong. To judge is to discern or to have the ability to know the difference.

Do we not all formulate an opinion as to what’s right and wrong, good and evil according to whatever our belief system may be? Are we not guilty of rightfully judging that murder is wrong, rape is evil, and physically abusing a child is criminal? Is it not then also correct to judge love, kindness, joy, peace and compassion as right and good? Would it then not also be right to “judge” and hold accountable a professed Christian who is living an un-Christlike life?

Hypocrites Can’t Judge

When Jesus said, “Do not judge” in Matthew 7; He was speaking directly to religious people saturated in selfish hypocrisy (see Matthew 6). They were “white washed tombs filled with dead bones” illegitimately “sitting-in” as judges for God The One and True Judge of us all. These people were the same ones who had 4×4 planks protruding from their eyes, and still chose to blatantly ignore their condition; but wanted to remove the splinter out of everybody else’s. They had a I am “holier than thou” attitude, a god-complex; but God dwelt not within their complex.

A hypocrite or unrighteous person has no right judging right and wrong, good and evil. It is to this specific selfish heart condition, this kind of duplicitous and arrogant attitude that Christ was addressing and referring to. Just like we would not allow a convicted criminal to hear our legal court case, trust him to make a decision and pass the right judgment—neither can hypocrites judge between right and wrong while they themselves are law-breakers.

To Judge Is To Love

If we do not judge, then we are not expressing love. Why is this the case? Because as Ambassadors of Christ we must help others see the errors of their ways so that they may not end up in eternal damnation. Or are you telling me that if you see someone going down the road of self-destruction, you’re not going to tell them the truth and warn them that there’s a better way? To warn them or “to judge” their self-destructive ways would be love, to say nothing would not be love. To help them differentiate their life as wonderful and death as awful, as well as to see through new eyes of ho[e so they can see the best of life would be a great judgement-call on your part.

Again, to judge is to love. I love my son and I must judge between his right and wrong behaviors. I do this because I want the best for his life. If I was to sit back and take the non-judgmental positional attitude of never correcting my son because Jesus said, “Do not judge”—then that would be apathy not love. An attitude that refuses to discern or furthermore teach others to discern or judge between the good, bad and ugly things of life is a cowardly attitude indeed.

I’m Guilty Of Judging

I had to judge between the plethora of women with whom I was to marry. I had to judge regarding work and career moves. I have to judge between what I eat everyday. I had to judge between the cars I purchased. I had to judge between where I would live and the home I would buy. I had to judge who my friends would be and who would not be in my inner circle.

I had to judge whether Jesus Christ was really the truth, the Life and the Way to the Father or just another religion. I had to judge which spiritual father, mentors and leaders would have access to my life and influence me. Without correctly judging, I would have never experienced the wealth of so much love through my God, wife, son, friends and so many other wonderful gifts in my life. I am convinced that to judge is to love and one cannot love another if one does not humbly judge. Yes I’m guilty as sin of “judging”.

Wired To Judge

Judging is mandatory to life. It is natural, in our design and wiring. It would be an injustice if God would’ve equipped us to discern right from wrong and then faulted us for engaging our sense of morality to judge. If we mistakenly misunderstand the concept of “judging” for condemning people, we will never speak Truth because it would condemn those living a lie. As a matter of fact, there would be no truth to speak of without judgment. How else would we separate truth from lies, right from wrong or good from evil if we do not rightly judge between them. Only through “judging” or discernment can we separate, dissect and rightfully differentiate right from wrong and evil from good.

There’s more to Biblically say on this subject for we are commanded: “to judge”, but for now I hope a little commonsense and logic will suffice. God does not contradict Himself, nor is He incoherent or illogical. We are all to judge ourselves and one another with a humble heart-attitude, always remembering that The One True Judge will one day also judge us. Otherwise how would we grow and mature in Christ if we never address the protruding plank stuck in each other’s eyes? How will iron sharpen iron if we are convinced that telling another person that their edge is dull is a judgement and indictment against them? To judge, or not to judge? I will judge in Christ and also submit in Christ to be judged.

pumpkin-3Many “Christians” expressed their disdain for other believers who had anything to do with Halloween yesterday. Words like “satanist”, “devil worshipers”, “works of evil” and “partakers of wickedness” were thrown at people like me who engaged in Halloween. So I asked myself, “Am I a devil worshiper for a day”? Nonsense!

So let me clear up the air.

First, no believer in Jesus Christ celebrates Halloween as the devil’s day, that would be absurd. Every breath I inhale and every beat my heart makes celebrates, worships and praises the King of kings Jesus Christ and no other. Me and my house DO serve the Lord unapologetically, unashamedly and uncompromisingly. I am a thermostat that changes my environment, not a thermometer that merely gauges the temperature and adapts unable to cause any effect.

Second, Biblically I am salt, light and yeast. Salt does not lose its properties when it is used. You will never say something like, “This steak tastes too ‘steaky'”. But you will say, “This steak is too ‘salty'”. Why?, because salt preserves its integrity and changes not. Yeast also changes not. When added into any mix, it is not compromised but changes everything it is placed into. You can mix it in as long as you want, but yeast will remain true to it’s identity. Yeast maintains its integrity.

Light will never become darkness. as a matter of fact, darkness is the absence of light. Light disperses and dissipates the dark. Darkness doesn’t swallow up light, light causes darkness to flee. This is evident to all when you flip the switch in your room in the middle of the night. Does not darkness run and hide? Or maybe in your room, the light refuses to shine.

In order for salt, light or yeast to be of any use, they must all come out of their places of confinement. Salt must come-out of the salt-shaker. Light must be placed high for all to see, not hidden under the kitchen sink. Yeast must be released from its container for it to effect the dough.

Thirdly, I would ask; “Do you yearly celebrate your birthday or anyone else’s”? Then the bad news is that you are a pagan celebrating pagan rituals. Yu see if you believe Halloween is pagan, then you would be just as guilty of paganism celebrating birthdays as if you were celebrating Halloween. Yes “Birthdays” are a 100% paeanistic ritual and celebration.

Even though the exact origins of birthday celebrations are unknown, here are the prevailing hypothesis.

1). Birth As Gods. When pharaohs were crowned in ancient Egypt they were considered to have transformed into gods. Scholars have pointed to the Bible’s reference of a Pharaoh’s birthday as the earliest known mention of a birthday celebration (around 3,000 B.C.E.). They celebrated the Pharaoh’s “birth” as a god.

2). Origin of Birthday Cakes and Candles. Do you like birthday cakes? The Greeks offered moon-shaped cakes to Artemis as a form of tribute to the lunar goddess. To recreate the radiance of the moon and her perceived beauty, Greeks lit candles and put them on cakes for a glowing effect. The Greeks most likely took the idea of birthday celebration from the Egyptians, since just like the celebration of the pharaohs as “gods,” the Greeks were celebrating their gods and goddesses.

3). Rome Was A Polytheism Culture. The prevailing opinion seems to be that the Romans were the first civilization to celebrate birthdays for non-religious figures. Romans would celebrate birthdays for friends and families, while the government created public holidays to observe the birthdays of more famous citizens.

4). Christians Considered Birthdays Pagan. Due to its belief that humans are born with “original sin” and the fact that early birthdays were tied to “pagan” gods, the Christian Church considered birthday celebrations evil for the first few hundred years of its existence. Around the 4th century, Christians changed their minds and began to celebrate the birthday of Jesus as the holiday of Christmas. This new celebration was accepted into the church partly in hopes of recruiting those already celebrating the Roman holiday of Saturnalia.

If you desire to hold such extreme legalistic views on one pagan tradition or ritual, then you must uphold the same doctrine across the board equally for all others just the same; otherwise it would be hypocritical. That of course would include Easter and Christmas, both of which have pagan roots. Yet I don’t see Christians objecting the celebration of these days as “partaking in the works of darkness” or “satan worship”. And why would we? The birth of our Savior Jesus Christ merits the greatest celebration of gratefulness, for it is He Who has become our hope. The death, burial and resurrection of our Redeemer, Lord and Savior is the cornerstone of our faith; for if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead our faith would be a useless farce hoax.

If you are going to embrace the freedom, liberty and grace of Christ; then embrace it completely. Quit picking and choosing according to your likes and dislikes. Quit filtering what is acceptable and unacceptable according to your own preferences or personal views. The criteria you use to judge one, you mist then use the same methodology to judge all others. Otherwise you are practicing situational ethics, incoherent moralism and relevant truth, not objective absolute Truth which is anchored in Christ Jesus revealed in Scripture and Who IS The Truth. Think about it!

Time-slips-through-your-hands copyDon’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ. Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! —Ephesians 5:11-16 MSG

 What is time? Indeed we can go to the dictionary and find a variety of definitions, but today we will set those aside. With your permission, I’d like to redefine the paradigm of “time” in your mind.

I Don’t Have Time

 Constantly, I hear us using the phrase, “I don’t or didn’t have time to do xyz”. As a first-line of defense, “I don’t have time” is usually thrust forward as a shield. Yet I would like to sow a “thought-seed”, an idea that says, “I don’t have time” is a false conclusion.

 You see I believe that we have conditioned ourselves to make excuses instead of excelling in excellence. We truly believe that we “do not” have time. We’ve bought into this lie “lock, stock and barrel” as well as swallowed it whole—“hook, line and sinker”.

 Why? Maybe it’s simply because it is easier, more comfortable to be “recklessly spontaneous”; or let’s be honest—lazy. Perhaps it’s less difficult to have the “whatever” attitude instead of being intentional. You see it takes more effort and work to intentionally prepare, plan, strategize or prioritize; and why would we want to exert ourselves if we’ve been “brainwashed” to believe—“we just don’t have time” anyway.

Redefining Time

 I want you to do your best to establish this truth in your mind and settle it once and for all. Every human being in this world has a total of 24 hours a day to do whatever it is they must do, agreed? Then why is it that some are less or more successful than others? How is it that some find the time to exercise, study, clean, read, see a doctor or follow their dreams; while others are stuck in the same old rut?

 I hope and pray this definition of T.I.M.E will help transform and renew your thinking and launch you into the very best and rest of your life. So here we go, are you—ready?

 The new definition for “time” is:
T.I.M.E: Temporal Intervals Manage Exchanges.

 Here’s what I’d like for you to see, time like money is a medium, or a means of exchange. You will get back or profit as much as you invest or pay into something. Time like your bank account is not limitless; but it has an ending or a point of exhaustion. This is known as a withdrawal overdraft, or a “taking-out” of more than you’ve deposited or currently have in your account.

 Time is a temporary interval, not an eternal event. This means that it is a “window” that is momentarily left open and then unexpectedly will close. That moment in time, if it is not taken advantage of may never come again. This is why we must intentionally prioritize and quit living with an attitude of “que sera sera”. While we cannot predict the future, we can surely learn to read the signs.

Prioritizing

 To “prioritize” is to put things in their respective proper order of importance, or making “first things first”. But to just sit-down and make a “priority-list” is not enough, we must follow-through. We must take the next step, which is “prioritizing”. Prioritizing is the actual implementation of that “priority-list”. In other words, we start walking and living it out daily.

 Time is “spent” or “invested”, “wasted” or “seized”, “lost” or “redeemed”. Prioritization will determine what you receive in exchange for your time. Therefore you cannot wait for there to “be time”, to “make time—to “take time”. You must “make the time” and then specifically assign it specifically to those things on your “priority-list” according to their order of importance.

 Again, T.I.M.E is a Temporal Interval that Manages life’s Exchanges either for our benefit or detriment. Time must be managed, or better said; it must be “led”. If we do not “lead”, we will be following. Anything and everything will then have the ability to control and pull our life in all directions like puppets hanging on strings.

Busyness

 For example: “busyness”. Busyness is not necessarily “leading” your time or investing it as an exchange to receive life’s best. Your day may be filled with activities, but void of actual action. In other words, you may be running full-speed ahead on a treadmill, or like a hamster in a wheel going nowhere. You may have your foot “pedal to the metal”, but be in the gear of neutral when it comes to successfully exchanging your time for what’s profitable. Time waits for no one—it continues its countdown. But busyness does not equate or negate responsibility to priorities, or those things of importance.

 The definition of busyness for this article is: a laser-like focus on those things that are either at the bottom or even non-existent in our priority-list that consumes us. Busyness could be a distraction, but it is not necessarily an interaction with life’s priorities. As a matter of fact, being too busy may cause us to have a sense of achievement or satisfaction, while what’s most important is dying of starvation for lack of our attention.

Bottom-Line

 So here’s the bottom line. Cease your confession of, “I don’t have time”—because it’s an excuse. It’s a fabrication, a lie that we’ve believed as truth because we’ve repeated it so many times over and over again to ourselves. Time is one of the greatest assets you have ever been entrusted with and which is available at your fingertips everyday—right now.

 If you have understood that “time” is simply a temporal interval in which to manage life’s exchanges, then you will begin to prioritize. No longer will you waste and squander your time being lazy, indifferent, apathetic or mediocre. You will wake up everyday at the loud blaring alarm clock of purpose ready to seize and make the most of each and every moment. Seize every moment and invest it as an exchange to receive God’s best for your life.

elephant-chain-14566181 copyYou are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. —1 John 4:4 NKJV

An elephant is robbed of its inherent explosive strength through the conditioning of its life’s experience. The baby elephant is cruelly taken away from its mother while still very young. Its captor will then wrap a strong, thick heavy chain around one of its fragile legs and tie it around something immovable and unshakeable like a big towering tree.

When the baby elephant tries to run back to its mother for comfort, it is viciously stopped dead in his track by the short-length of this chain. The natural strength of the elephant, the deep-rooted tree and the heavy chain all combined with the force of his intense desire to get back to its mom is a very painful experience. You see every time that the baby elephant desperately pulls and yanks, that heavy chain cuts and digs deeper and deeper into its already raw flesh causing massive excruciating pain.

Time and time again the baby elephant attempts to go back home and painfully fails, until it gives up. That baby elephant becomes conditioned by its life-experience, in this case—”it hurts too much to be free, you’ll never escape”. This process is so effective that even when the elephant is full grown, it will no longer use its behemoth strength to pull on that chain. If you’ve ever been to a circus, you can see that elephants are held captive in place by a very thin chain and a stake driven in the ground, which they can easily pull out if they so chose. So the old saying is true, “Elephants never forget”. The question is have you? Or are you still governed and held bound by your past hurtful and painful experiences?

Quit digging up old graves, opening buried coffins, exhuming rotted copses and resurrecting dead painful experiences of the past, there’s too much living to be lived today to be wasting it all on the dead of yesterday.

Have you experienced some pains in life that have confined you to that painful “length of chain” so that you never date to try to move on again? Are you still being held as a hostage of that which occurred to you a long time ago in the past? Are you a prisoner that has given up the fight to be free because it seems unattainable and hopeless? Have you been so conditioned by life’s hurtful experience to stay stuck right where you are? Are you being held back by your fears of getting hurt once again so why even risk it and try?

If so, I’m here to tell you what that poor elephant never had anyone there to tell them: “You are STRONGER than what you think!” The day you choose freedom from your past, is the day that you will be free to live today. He (God) Who IS in you, with you and for you is GREATER than your past, your present and even your future. As long as you live there is a chance of pain and hurt reoccurring, but that is just a sure sign that you’re boldly living and not living-dead. Courage is NOT the absence of fear, but the choice to do what’s right while staring fear right in the face; regardless of what it’ll cost you.  The anointing of Holy Spirit breaks all chains and yokes of the past! Today is your day for a NEW BEGINNING…GO LIVE!