The Missing Link Between Failure and Success.

When I rededicated my life to the Lord, it wasn’t very long before someone lent me a teaching series.  It was a tremendous series about how we see God.  It was called “The Image of God in You”.  It was a good kick-start for me in my walk with God and it berthed in me a hunger for the Word.  It started to make sense to me and I wanted to know all I could know about this life in Christ.  I was so hungry to hear what that minister was saying that I remember starting the first tape (yes they were cassettes back then) at about 11:00 pm and pulling the last tape out of the player at about 6:30 the next morning.  It was amazing.  If you had asked me just a few weeks before that if I would want to stay up all night listening to someone preach, I would have said “Um…No thank you!”

I became ravenous concerning the Word of God.  I wanted as much as I could get.  I wanted to learn.  I wanted to know more about who I was in Christ.  More about my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  My life in Christ was real to me and I wanted to know how to live it.

The problem that developed for me though, was that with all the consumption going on, there wasn’t very much “Doing”.

James 1:22 says that we are to be doers of the Word of God and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.  It goes on in in verse 25 to say that the one who is not a forgetful hearer but a doer, shall be blessed in his or her deeds.

This brings to mind the popular bible verse in the John 8:31 & 32 where Jesus said “If you continue in my Word, then are you my disciple in deed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Understand here that it’s not the plain truth that makes you free.  There are conditions that come with freedom.  Jesus said “If you continue in my Word…”  Staying in the Word is a prerequisite to walking in freedom.

We see in James 1:25 some characteristics of the one that looks into the Perfect Law of Liberty, and continues in it.

  1. They Will Remember – They will not be forgetful hearers.
    Deuteronomy 6 points out how we are to operate concerning this perfect law of liberty.
    -Keep these words, which I say to you this day, deep in your hearts;
    -Teaching them to your children with all care.
    -Talk of them when you are at rest in your house.
    -Talk of them walking by the way.
    -Talk of them when you go to sleep.
    -Talk of them when you get up.
    -Let them be fixed as a sign on your hand.
    -Let them be marked on your brow.
    -Have them lettered on the pillars of your houses.
    -Have them written over the doors of your towns.
  2. They Will Be A Doer – putting it into action.
    We see in James that real faith brings action.  While we are truly justified before God by faith, real faith is always accompanied by corresponding action.  When Abraham put Isaac on the altar in Genesis 22, he was acting in faith.  Hebrews 11:19 tells us that Abraham received Isaac raised from the dead in a figure.  Abraham fully intended to sacrifice the son of promise because he walked by faith, and demonstrated his faith with his actions.  We know that Abraham didn’t have to follow through.  God provided for Himself a sacrifice. This is when Abraham called the place Jehovah Jireh.

This person who makes it a point to be a doer and not just a hearer only will be blessed in their deeds.  That bringing it back around to John 8.  It’s not just the truth that makes you free.  It’s not even the truth you read, or the truth you love.  Scripture says it’s the truth that you KNOW that makes you free, and the inference is that its the truth you know and DO that makes you free.  Your favorite scripture will have absolutely no affect on your life whatsoever… if you will not act on it.

The Truth you know demands action.  Most of us as believers are not defeated by what we don’t know.  We’re defeated by the truth we know but are not doing.

This also comes with a warning.  If you are not a doer of the Word, but you hear a lot of Word, you may be self deceived into thinking that you are more spiritual than you really are.  The self deceived are those that think they are spiritual because they have heard a lot of good teaching.  The sad truth about those who are hearers only is that with each truth they learn, they put themselves “on the hook” to do it.  When they don’t do it, they just increase their disobedience to God.

I want to be fully obedient in everything. I’m sure you do too.  I don’t want to leave anything undone. I have started making a confession as often as I think about it, that I am a doer of the Word of God.

I want to encourage you to examine yourself.  Where do you stand?  I also want to challenge you to put action to your faith. Be a Doer!


Becoming A Better Man.

The driving force that is Dad.

Many of you know that my parents divorced when I was ten. After that, my dad just stepped away from all of us. From that time to this, I’ve only seen him once for a couple of weeks at the end of 1985. It seems that when my dad divorced my mom, he also divorced the children he had with her. I can’t fully articulate how I felt from being rejected by him.

One of my psychology professors once said that Love and Hate are very closely related. Many think they are opposites but that’s not true. They are both powerful emotions that come from relationships. The opposite of either is I Don’t Care. When relationships break up, whether they be marriages, long term dating relationships, or parent & child relationships, it’s the thought of “I no longer care” coming from a place where “I love you” used to come from that wounds the heart over and over again.

Man hat backward silhouette

It’s the thought of “I no longer care” coming from a place where “I love you” used to come from that wounds the heart.

For the next seven years, I had a pretty rough time. I was hurt, I was angry, I was brokenhearted, I was lost, I had big trust issues & big authority issues. I was betrayed, rejected and left twisting in the breeze by one of the two people I trusted most in the world. I did what I see a lot of young men doing today, I turned my hurt into anger.

For years I asked the question “What did I do?” Part of the reason I was struggling so much was that I couldn’t figure out what I had done to cause him to step away from me. Through my teens I learned how to party. As I look back now, I see that my party lifestyle was because I was looking for acceptance.  I got it to a degree from the people I hung with. I hung with those because they gave me a place to belong. I wasn’t myself when I was with my friends – it wasn’t safe to be myself with them. They were a rough bunch of guys, but the way I looked at it, at least I had friends.

As I grew up, I began to really resent my Dad. I determined that I was going to be a better man than he was. I turned my anger and resentment into fuel. The more I thought about him, the more I determined that I was going to be better in every way. I was going to become a great guy and he was not going to be able to take credit for it. I would be self made.

It wasn’t until after I recommitted my life to the Lord that I began to see the problem with my thinking. I was walking in bitterness and unforgiveness. Bitterness is bondage and it was keeping me from enjoying my life. The unforgiveness in my heart was actually keeping me from receiving forgiveness. It was also causing me to hold on to my hurt & torment myself with it. Not only that, but if there was ever going to be an opportunity to reconcile, unforgiveness would not allow it to happen.

The Lord began to work in my heart concerning my dad. It started when I began to see how much God loved me. When this understanding came, It changed everything. God loves me. Wow! When I would read in Romans 8:31 & 32 I would begin to tear up. It says :

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

I began to see that my Heavenly Father loved me. Fear began to fall away from me because I finally found my place. The place where I am accepted and received in Christ Jesus. I began to operate from a different place. Not a place of fear and self-centeredness where my eyes were always on me. I was no longer constantly thinking about how bad I had it. My mind wasn’t always on how much of a victim I was. I had a new point of view. I began to understand that God was for me. I now began to see everything from a position of strength. I was a son of God and He was for me. I didn’t have much to offer Him in return. I just wanted Him to be pleased with me in all my ways.

Being a better man starts with being a good son.

It didn’t take too long for me to understand that God wanted me to honor my dad. He wanted me to walk in love toward my dad. My Heavenly Father wanted me to be an even better man than I had attempted to become in my anger. God wants me to be a good son. Being a better man starts with being a good son.  That day I began a journey to be all the son I could be. I’m still on this journey but the Lord has put it on my heart to share my journey because there are so many who have a similar story. Many who don’t have a strong relationship with either their dad or mom and it torments them. It’s not God’s will or plan for us to be tormented. He’s helped me grow in wonderful ways and has put it on my heart to help others.

I can help you.

We can move forward together.

Your Time = Your Life.

Have you ever heard the idea that space is a fabric? All the events that we see are actually hung in this fabric. They are static and we are the ones in motion.  In motion, in that we are moving through time.  We move past these events and observe them as being events but in reality, they are there constantly and as we move past them in time, they have the appearance of “happening”.  This is radical over-simplification of part of a theory by a brilliant physicist named Richard Feynmann called Sum over Histories.

Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity states that light, rather than time is the constant in the universe.  The closer an object comes to traveling at light speed, the slower time becomes and at light speed, time stops.


I think that the eternal perspective is to see all of time at once.  Every outcome readily visible.  Scripture states that God declares the end from the beginning (Is 46:10). Scripture also says in Heb_4:3, For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.  

Unfortunately for us, while we are on earth, we are stuck in time.  Being stuck in time, time is measuring our life.  You may have heard the story about the the dates on the headstone.  The first date represents the persons’ birth & the second, their death.  The hyphen between the numbers is what is really important.  That hyphen represents their life.  It represents how they spent their small but extremely precious time on earth.

Opportunity cost is truly illustrated in the spending of time. Once it’s spent, there is no getting it back.  Your time is a truly non-renewable resource.  What do you spend yours on?  What opportunity did you give up, so that you could do what you’re doing now?

When we are looking at someone’s time, we’re really looking at someone’s life. Their life is passing with each second.  When we interact, we are spending our life on each other.   When others are spending time on us, we should make sure that what we are asking them to spend their time on is valuable and not frivolous. Make sure it’s worth the price being paid for it.

I think it’s a tragedy to see even a small piece of someone’s life being wasted because someone else didn’t have the sense to respect their time, and there-by, wasted a precious piece of their life.

As a Christian with a heart to help others, my heart burns within me sometimes because I have so much I want to do.  I read Paul, the Apostle’s command to the Ephesian church:

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil Eph 5:15 & 16.

And to the Colossian church:

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time Col 4:5.

This is the heart of the Lord.  My mandate is to redeem the time.  Buy it back.  Be intentional about how I spend it & leverage it to wring the most out of it for the Kingdom.  There’s a great work to be done.  He’s given each of us a place and a job to do.  Time is shorter than we think.

Take some time this week to examine yourself.  How are you spending your time? Because you are spending your life.