My Life's Journey

Stepping Stones and Mountain Tones:

Hope You Have Jesus Filled and Blessed Day:

Russell Little-Hawk Oliver

March 6, 2020

Just Talking Things Over With God:

The past few weeks since this Virus Crisis started, there have been a lot of emotions, a lot of different things that I have been reflecting on.  I know that God is still in control and I am not scared or anything like that, but there are things that have for a long time gone unsettled between me and my daughter, things that I really have no idea about what's really going on and why she spit in my face, spit on our family name, rejected me as her Biological father.  I don't know what happened in her personal life for her to push me out of her life.  I mean, some how I can understand being pushed away, because I have pushed out of my earthly father's life, by lies and deception.  I tried to make a connection with my former Step-dad, but that never really happened, because he betrayed me, pushed me away, and then betrayed and pushed the family that he was blessed to have away and turned his back on me.  My daughter's mother betrayed me and then pushed me out of her life.

I have been reflecting on, or trying to figure out why either I have pushed people away or why people that I love and care for so much have betrayed my trust and pushed me away.  I haven't been on any hiking ventures, but I go on walks in my neighborhood, I go for bike rides, and I talk with Jesus about everything that has been crowding my thoughts.  I journal what He is saying to my heart, and I have been letting go of so many things that just don't matter.  I don't just hear Jesus in my heart, but I hear Him through God's Word, I hear Him in what I have holding back on saying.  I hear Him the words that I write.  And I hear Him in the silence.

I have been watching the Story of Rich Mullins, "Ragamuffin", and I see my whole life reflected in his lfe some how, his is being gifted to write and sing what is truly on his heart, and he tries so hard to follow Jesus every day, and my life is being gifted with writing what hurts my heart so that I share it with others who may be hurting the same way that I have.  I asked Jesus today while I was out walking because I needed clear my mind, "Am I really worth anyone wantiing to be around me or am I just a worthless Ragamuffin?  Brennan Manning, the Author of "The Ragamuffin Gospel", says this; "The ragamuffin Gospel was written for those who are burned out, beat-up, and bedraggled.  It's for those who are sick and tired of a religion that only pays lip-service grace.  It's a book about the gracious and mind-blowing acceptence that we have in Christ." 

"Grace calls out: you are not just a disillusioned old man, who may die soon, a middle-aged woman stuck in a job and a desperately wanting to get out, a young person feeling the fire in the belly begin to grow cold.  You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken, or potbellied.  Death, panic, depression, and disillusionment may be near you.  But you are just not that.  You arev accepted.  Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted."  I may not be homeless, dirty, doing drugs or anything like that, but these past few weeks I have felt like, me writing my books and journaling for future books, was really of no value to anyone, and the fact that not even my family cared enough to even buy them, was all the proof that I needed, that my life was meaningless and I really had no worth to anyone!  The only thing I could do tonight was sort of through the tears and acratchy and shakey voice, was sing a song by Rich Mullins; "Hold Me Jesus".                     

March 24, 2020:

Creativity in Prayer:

{from A Heart for Prayer}

Every fabric of our being has this powerful word woven into it.  We see from the very beginninga God who loves to create; "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  From the roaring seas and all the unique creatures found beneath to the to the towering peaks in the Himalayas, we see that our Creator is anything but boring.  "O LORD, what a variety of things You have made!  In wisdom You have made them all.  The earth is full of Your creatures."  {Psalm 104:24}

God has created mankind in His Own image {Genesis 1:26-27}.  As of this writiing, there are over 7.7 Billion Image Bearers on Planet Earth!  And each of these human beings has extraordinary creative potential.  "For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago."   {Egpesians 2:10}  We are all a Masterpiece! As I have heard it said, "God doesn't make Junk."  Not only that, you and Iwere created to do good things like pray.  Prayer is a good thing.

Did you know that from Genesis to Revelations, there are 650 prayers listed in the Bible?  I am so thankful God included all those examples I can look to for guidance in my own prayer life.  Prayer can can be done from any bodily position.  Examples in God's Word include, sitting, standing, kneeliing, face tot he ground, lying down and hands lifted high.  I encourage you to try all of these postures as you seek the Lord throough any and all crisis' that come in life.  "There will times when you can't stop praying.  And other times, you may not be able to utter a word."  {Romans 8:26}

On some daysyou may find it more convenient to pray early inthe morning (Mark 1:35), whereas it may be late at night on other days or perhaps even all night (Luke 6:12):  You can write out your prayers, sing your prayers, paint your prayers, draw your prayers, speak your prayers, and illustrate your prayers.  You can record your prayers and share them with others.  You can text or email your prayers to friends and family.  Pray while hiking, pray while cycling, pray while cooking, pray while showering, pray while gardening, you see the open ways that we can talk to God! 

Visualization can also be very powerful.  For example, we know Jesus loved children, and He ha dthem sit on His lap at times, (Mark 9:36-37).  Can you visualize yourself as that little child approaching Jesus and allowiing Him to place you up on His lap?  This could be a powerful time of prayer and simply adoring Jesus.  I encourage you to get creative as you pray.  Venture outside the box or even outside your comfort zone, and try something new, like maybe Journaling your prayers.  As you do so, you're going to see a feashness in your walk with the Lord.

REFLECTION:  Take a moment and ask Jesus to show you through the Holy Spirit, creative ways to enjoy and express your prayers.  As you get new ideas, write them down in your journal and share them with others if you feel lead to do that. 

          

 

 

Have You Ever Felt Like This?

February 26, 2020:

 

A Note to Myself:

 

You have been doubted, hated, betrayed, talked about falsely, made fun of, hurt for others amusment, abused, broken, and abandoned.  You have been critical of yourself because you feel like you have let others down, but you didn't, they let you believe that so you would feel the way you do right now!

With all that being said........

I commend you for the fact that oyu are still standing, your courage speaks volumes!  I know that your struggle and the pain that you have endured may seem to be endless.  But you are more than a Conqueror.  Nothing can keep you down for very long, and no one can steal your joy unless you liet them.

Don't give up on life; continue to stand tall and love yourself, and see yourself just as God sees you!  

You are worth something to God and if others can't or don't want to see that then they have the problem.

 

{A Quote from Kelly's Treehouse}

"People need to come back to reality, walking around here downgrading people because of their struggles.  Stop acting like you never had to call & get a bill extended.  Stop acting you never had to eat what you have, because you couldn't afford to what you wanted.  Stop acting like you never had to catch a bus or a ride because you didn't have  a car.  Stop judgging people for their struggles, and remember this---only God sits High and looks low.  Be mindful, because the struggles someone is going through today can turn & become yours tomorrow."  

 

December 25, 2019:

Alone and Forgotten:

{I am Alive ---But Not Living}

Last night I sat wondering why all of this is happening, my head was spinning with thoughts of how people say that I have changed, that I am vain, that I push people away and won't let any one close enough to help me through the pain.  Why won't even one friend invite me to spend Christmas Eve with them or include me in any Holiday Cheer? Am I really that cold and unapproachable? 

But my heart really does feel the way that my mind has conceived the pain of being left alone. I tries hard to ignore it, I mean it really hurts to know or even think that they think of me as so hard-hearted......it really hurts to think of that, but maybe they're right.

This is suppose to be a Season of Joy and Laughter, but all I have is tears, and being left alone. I tossed and turned all night long, trying to find some solitude, but aa the night came to end---all I felt was confused about---why am I here at all.  And why don't I understand or have the strength to break this long time family curse that has been haunting me for so long? 

Don't they know that I have been reaching out to them, trying to make that connection. 

Then I woke up from my fitful sleep, drained of any joy that this day should bring.  And again I felt forgotten and all alone.  No One to wish me a Merry Christmas, No One calling to see if i am okay or if I have any plans for the day.

I yelled at God, 'Why is this happening all over again?'  'Why won't You just let me Die?'  I yelled even louder----why am I being treated like some kind of Hateful Monster, that no one wants to be around?  I asked Him, 'why has everyone that I thought I could trust with my heart----turned their backs on me?'  I feel like I am serving a Life-Sentence for trying to live my life without the shame of my father's name.  It's now 11:15 a.m. and the tears are still coming and won't stop.  

All I wanted was to re-kindle my relationship withmy daughter, get to know my my grandson and find some connection with my son-in-law.  But all I have received is lies and bitter hate for something I never did; and I don't even know what it is that I did or didn't do!  I haven't spoken to my daughter for twelve years, because she refuses to talk to me, for whatever lies she wants to believe.  I have sent cards, sent E-cards, sent E-mails, but never received one responce or than more lies from my sister.  She said she knew that saying anything to me where my daughter {Ashley} was concerned would open up Pandora's Box, but that didn't stop her, she been doing the same thing since Ashley was a baby. And that is why I say that I don't have any family. 

I didn't move back to Colorado to be alone and forgotten.  I moved back here to move on with my life.  Even if I make it throough this day, the pain will still be there every day that goes by and I don't hear anything from my daughter, and still ask God----'Why are You letting this happen?'          

 

October 26, 2019:

Stay Deligent:

Your Work Ethics and Integrity will set you apart.  Your Execution and Deligence will cause you to stand out before those around you.  Choose to deligently focus on building your character, your deligence, and your skill-set.  Submit to wise counsel and ask God to reveal the areas that are under-developmed.  Ask God to surround you with Strong Iron Sharpening Iron Friends, Deligent, God-sent, Loyal and trustworthy men and women, who will help to strengthen the areas in your life where you are weak  Don't ignore your weak areas.  Don't ignore your soft spots.  Allow God to Sharpen every dull area of your life that needs to be developed through those Strong Iron Sharpening Iron Friends that you have asked Him to surround you with.  Be willing to accept constructive feedback from those people that you have allowed to help you sharpen your heart and character.  Submit your heart and your hands to God, and let Him guide path.

Deligence is intentional and it focuses on specific area.  What area or areas of your life has God called you to focus on?  Maybe it's spending more time with him, maybe it's building a business or a ministry, maybe it's redsoring a communication in a broken relationship, or maybe it's something smal and seemingly insignificant, or something large and seems impossible.  No matter what the task or the object, choose to deligently focus yoru energy on on the assignment that He gives you.  Focus on Jesus and the assignment at hand.  Your obedience and deligence in this season of yoru life will produce great results for the seasons to come. 

Diligence coupled with Godly character is critcal for the nexrt level.  Maybe you're stuck in a dry place because your character is flawed.  Maybe you're repeating certain life cycles due to a lack of faith, obidience, and diligence.  Learn the lessons, open your heart and mind to be taught and propel forward into what God has for you.  Allow God to surround you with Iron Sharpening Relationships that will help you to focus on the areas that God wants to mature you in.                  

August 17, 2019:

Living a Courageous---Authentic Life:

Reclaim Yoru Personal Power:

I have noticed a lot throughout the years that many of us; (men and women, teens as well), go through life with our heads down , focused on getting ahead and achieving our goals, never looking up to see what is truly going on around us.  We focus onon goals like getting the right joband building a career, a beautiful home, a lasting relationship, and maybe even a family.  While these are all great goals, many of us wake up omne day, look around, and ask: Is this all there isto life?  We realize that something is missing, but we aren't quite sure what it is.  One of the most courageous things we can do in life is to look within ourselves, discipline our minds and our hearts, and strengthen our connection with our heavenly father, so that we can serv e others, while living courageously to achieve the goals and dreams that God has giving us. 

At times, we all find ourselves wanderingoff the path of integrity.  We know this because we feel stuck, or have a hard time hearing our inner voice.  We may obsess about outward things, like the shape of our bodies, our career, our finances or our possessions.  We may laugh when we mean to cry, say yes when we mean no, refuse to look at our mistakes, or give "love" with lots of strings attached.  So how do we step back on track? How do we become empowered, joyful, and clear of purpose?  We wake each morning to seek God's Voice, His Favor and ask the Holy Spirit for Guidance.        

 

 

August 31, 2019:

God---Where Are You?

Have you ever asked that question?  Have you ever had a time where it seemed like even with all of your morning devotionals and Prayer, seekiing God through His Word, Trusting that He will fulfilled the Promises that He said that He would.  And feeling that He was so close that all you had to do, was whisper His Name and He was right there, and would really answer you?  But when the time came and went day after day, week after week, month after month and finally year after year, and you have prayed diligently for the Blessings that God said were yours for the asking. But nothing has ever come to past and it seems like like God just isn't there and has disappeared from your life.  But you still keep praying and crying out to God, crying out to Jesus for help, but still there is no answer!  Maybe that's where you are right now, and the question you want to SHOUT OUT in the stillness, through the tears----"GOD WHERE ARE YOU----DO YOU REALLY CARES ANYMORE?"

I know where you are---when you feel this way.  I feel sometimes that God just isn't there and Jesus has better things to do than to be bothered by me.  I get angry about things that i know I can't control, little things get on my nerves more and more, and I still get up every morning and pray for God's guidance and try to believe that today God' will find favor in me and pour out His blessings on my life.  But I only felt like I was abandoned by God.  I remember that there was a time that all I had to do is cry out to God and He answered eevnr the smallest and most trivial things.  His presents was so near, so close, so evident, and so strong that it felt  I could just turn around and He would just put His arms around me, and hold me.  But now I still feel like his has abandoned me, and left me on my own.  I just haven't been able figure out, just what's going on.  What have I done that is so bad that God has withdrawn His Blessings froom my life?  I cry out and ask God, what did I do for You abandone me like this?  Am I still Your Child, do I even matter at all, do I have the right to call You "Abba-Father"?  What terrible sin have I committed?  These are real and hard things to deal with when You feel like God just isn't there anymore.  And Honestly---I don't have the answers to those questions.  That's why I just keep listening and watching and waiting for God's favor and blessing!         

July 29, 2019

A Godly Man:

Confessions of a Man:

I have a confession; it's reall yhard these days to be a strong Godly man, and I'm sure it's just as hard to be a strong Godly woman as well. Most of the things God says about men and women in the Bible apply to both, no matter which one is being addressed.  And when God gets to the point about men, He is often tailoring a message toward our weaknesses.  Surrounding ourselves with Godly Iron sharpening Iron Relationships is one of the best ways tht I can think of to ehlp both men and women to grow and sharpen their character to reflect the Character of Jesus.

The script of Manliness is bent toward Brutishness, because---it was written by men.  We get a pass for Crude, Harsh, and Fearless that women, don't get.  Every man is born with a sense of thinking we are bigger, faster, stronger, or better than the next guy, but the again there are some women that have known, that were raised to believe the same thing about theirselves.  Sometimes that kind of thinking gets us in a lot of unmated and unwelcomed trouble.  Men have this drive that is engraved in us--to build, protect and dominate things, and whatever men put their hand to, we believe that we have a mandate to get it finishe no matter what.  Men have a history of thinking it is the order of the universe that we should dominate everything, and we can struggle to be cooperative when we don't!  We take things very personal when someone attacks our Manhood, shows us disrespect, or challenes, or threatens us in any way, and we want to fight.  and then there's the God-man, Jesus Christ.  Men have profaned His name far too often and we failed to seek our real menhood in Him.  Religionand church is for women an children, Right!  Wrong--Not right at all!  Not to mention, being a Godly man and being a True Christ Follower isn't a Religion, it's a Faith and a Belief in something that that should and in most men and women, be a life Changing, Life Alterning Experience.  If we surround ourselves with people who are Strong Iron Sharpening Iron men and women, and we acn be completely transparent in those relationships, then I believe it becomes a better journey, not neccessarily easier, but better, especially when those involved in these relationships are just as focused as we are to stand out and make a difference.  I have grown to dmire those men who have patterned their lives after Jesus.                   

 

July 24, 2019

Wise Counsel Strengthens Character:

The development of your character shapes your Destiny.  When God presents you with ans opportunity that will enlarge your borders and expand your territory, it's your responsibility to steward the opportunity well.  God can present you with a God-given, life changing opportunity but it's your responsibility to steward the opporunity well.  Develop your character and sharpen your work ethic in this new season of your life.  Your ability to diligently execute and to develop your character, is in your hands.  Whether you are in business, or in the government, the military media, education or in any other arena, God wants to give you the promise, but it's up to you to steward the character of your heart and the diligent work of your hands.  Allow god to mold you into the man or woman that He has called you to be.

Execute consistently the character of Jesus that lives within you.  Surround yourself with other godly men and women, whose hearts reflect the heart and character of Jesus and of God the Father.  Iron Sharpening Iron Mentors and Relationships will help you to identify character flaws and help you to strengthen skill gaps that are essntial for the next level.

Character and Diligence are essnetial for the next level.  Choose not to connect wiht the ungodly--nonbeliever's.  When you put your trust in Jesus, your character will sustain you.  When you link up with those without Godly character, they can and will cause you to stagger, stumble and fall.  Before you can grow, your character must stay intact.  God wants to connect with Him.  Psalm 1:1; states this; "Blessed--(Happy, forntunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly ( following their advice, their plans, and their purposes), or stands (submissive and inactive), in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down (to relax and rest) where the scorneful(and the mockers) gather."  Choose to follow afterthe advice, counsel, patterns, ways and lifestyles of the ungodly.

Action:

Pray and ask God to surround you with Strong Iron Sharpening Iron Friends that will Mature you and pruune your unproductive areas in your life.  Ask God to help you to focus on the areas that need development. 

 

      

 

July 21, 2019

Character is Critical:

Who's your counsel? Consider those whosurround you daily?  Consider those people who are sharpening your character and challenging you in every area of your life.  Who's holding you accountable to pursue your God-given goals?  Who's holding you accountable to pursue your God-given purpose?  What Iron Sharpening Iron Relationships surround you daily that will help you to propel into your next level?  Who has seen your potential level?  What mentorsare currently operating on yoru next level?  Your Inner Circle, those who are closet to you,can either keep you stagnant and hold you back from your God-given destiny, or they can catapult you imto your next dimension.  Surround yourself with purposeful, skilled mature and wise counsel. Who's round you during your most vulnerable ans intimate times?  Who do you rely on to help you navigate through critical decisions? Subit yourself thoughts to God and surround yourself with wise christ Centered Counsel.

Iron Sharpening Iron Relationships will reveal your character and expose your level of maturity.  Do you surround yourself with those people who are stronger than you are spiritually?  Are you surrounding yourself with those people who are wiser than you or at least Seeking the same Wisdom as you are?  Are you surrounding yourself with those people who are more or equally skilled?  Who's sharpening you in every area of your life?  IronSharpening Iron Relationships will strengthen your skills, your character and your maturity.  Who's sharpening you?  Who are you sharpening?  Constructive feedback is essential for the constructioon of your next season.  Who are you building it with?

Carefully consider those who surround you daily.  Pray and ask god for Strong, Honest, Loyal, and Transparent, "Iron Sharpening Iron" Relationships with true friends.  Ask God to surround you with men or women who are full of Godly Wisdom, Counsel and Iinsight in every area of life.               

July 8, 2019

Being Rich Towards God:

The objest of life, according to our Lord Jesus, is Breathtaakingly Simple:

"Be Rich Towards God."

Don't spend your life [trying to climb the corporate ladder].  It's a Sucker's Game!  You can't beat the house, but you can be Rich Towards God.  Your life-with god's help---can be a source of pleasure to the God of the Universe.  You can make God smile.  When the game is over, all that will matter will be God's assessment of our lives.  

Being rich towards God--means growing a soul that is increasingly healthy and good.

Being rich towards God--means loving and enjoying the peole around you.

Being rich towards God--means learning about your gifts and passions, and doing good work to help improve the world.

Being rich towards God--means becoming generous with your stuff.

Being rich towards God--means making that which is temporary become the servant of that which is eternal.

Being rich towards God--means savoring every roll of the dice and every trip aroung the board.

each of these dimensions of richness matters.  But Jesus expressed [richness] in two great commandments, each buuilt around a single word: 'LOVE' Love God with all your, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, He said.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  Everything else is commentary.  No one can do this and be poor in God's eyes.  No one can fail to do this and be rich in God's eyes.

Being rich towards god begins with giving to god that which He disires most of all.  And what He desires most froom you is you--your heart and your devotion.

***BRING IT TO LIFE***

Do you give God the attention that He deserves?  If you love Him unconditionally, the way He loves us, then not only will you grow in giving Him the adoration He deserves, but your affection for others will grow as well. 

     

July 2, 2019

A Godly Man---Part One:

Confessions of a Man:

I have a confession, it's really hard these days to be a Strong Godly Man, and I am sure it's ahrd to be a Strong Godly Woman.  Most of the things God says about men and women in the Bible apply to both, no matter which one is being addressed.  And when God gets to the point about men, He is often tailoring a message toward our weakness.  Surrounding yourself with Godly Iron Sharpening Relationships is one of the best ways that I can thiink of to help both men and women to grow and sharpen their character to reflect the Character of Jesus.

The script for Manliness is bent toward Brudishness, because---it was written by men.  We get a pass for being Crude, Harsh, and Fearless that women, don't get.  Every man is born with a sense of thinking that we are bigger, faster, stronger, or better than the next guy, but then again there are some women that I have known, that were raised to believe the same thing about themselves.  Sometimes that kind of thinking kind get us iinto a lot of unwanted and unwelcomed trouble.  Men have this drive that is engraved in us, to build, protect, and dominate things, and whatever men put their hand to, we believe that we have a mandate to get it finished no matter what.  Men have a history of thinking it is the order of the universe that we should dominate everything, and we can struggle to be cooperative when we don't!  We take things very personal when someone attacks our Manhood, Shows us disrespect, or Challenges, or Threatens us in any way, and we want to fight.

And then there's the God-Man, Jesus Christ.  Men have profaned His Name far too often and we failed to to seek oru real manhood in Him. 'Religion is for women and children, Right!  Wrong---Not right at all!  Not to mention, being a Godly Man and being a true Christ Follower isn't a religion, it's a Faith and a Belief in something that should and in most men and women, be a Life Changing, Life Altering Experience.   If we surround ourselves withpeople who are Strong Iron Sharpening men and women, and we can be totally transparent in those relationships, then I believe it becomes a better journey, not necessarily easy, but better,, especially when those involved in these relationships are just as focused as we are to stand our an dmake a difference.  I have grown to admire the men who ahve patterned  their lives after Jesus.  Fathers that are always there for their children, husbands who go out of their lives after Jesus.  Fathers that are always there for their children, husbands who will go out of their way to be the anchor for their marriage, even when it seemed almost impossible to do so.               

                 

 

 

 

 

July 2, 2019

Stay Diligent:

Your Work Ethics will set you apart.  Your execution and diligence will cause you to stand out before those around you.  Choose to diligently focus on buildingyour character, your diligence, and your skill-set.  Submit to wise counsel and ask God to reveal the areas that are under-developed.  Ask God to surround your with Iron Sharpening, Diligent, God-sent, men and womenwho will help strengthen the areas where you are weak.  Don't ignore your weak areas.  Don't ignore your soft spots.  Allow God to sharpen every area that needs development.  Be willing to accept constructive feedback from those people that you have allowed to help sharpen your heart and and your character.  Submit yoru heart and hands to God.  Let Him guide your path.

Diligence is intentional and it focuses on a specific area.  What area or areas of your life has God called you to focus on?  Maybe it's spending more time with Him, maybe it's building a business, maybe it's building a ministry, maybe it's somethiing small or something large.  No matter tha task or the objective, choose--to tdiligently focus on the assignment that He gives you.  Focus on the assignment at hand.  Your obedience and diligence in this season of your life will produce results fro the seasons to come.  Diligence and execution is critical to your harvest.  Proverbs 22:29; "Do you see a man diligent and skillful in business?  He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men."

Diligence coupled with Godly Character is critical for your next level.  Maybe you're stuck in a dry place because your character is flawed.  Maybe you're repeating life cycles due to a lack of faith, obedience, and diligence.  Learn the lessons, and propel forward into what God has for you.  Allow God to surround you with Iron Sharpening Relationships that will help you to focus on the areas that God wants to mature in you.

Prayer:

Father God, int he mighty Name of jesus, there is no one like Youm in all the Earth.  You are Wonderful, Powerful, Matchless, and Everlasting.  Father, You are full of Grace, Mercy, and Wisdom.  Your Name is above all names.  There is none like You.  My heart surrenders to You.  I surrender my plans to You.  I surrender my                          

July 1, 2019

Wise Counsel Strengthens Character:

The development of your character and shapes your Destiny.  When God presents you with an opportunity that will enlarge your boarders and expand your territory, it's your responsibility to steward the opportunity well.       God can present you with a God-given, life-changing opportunity, but it's your resposibility to steward the opportunity well.  Develop your character and sharpen your work ethic in this new season of your life.  Your ability to diligently execute and the development of of yoru cahracter, is in your hands. Whether you're in business, or in govenrment, the military, media, education or in any other area, God wants to give you the promise,but it's up to you to steward the character of your heart and the diligent work of your hands.  Allow God to mold you into the manor woman He has called you to be.  Execute consistently the character of Jesus that lives within you.  Surround yourself with other Godly men and women, whose hearts reflect the heart and character of God.  Iron Sharpenin gmentors and relationships will help you to identify character flaws and help you to strengthen skill gaps that are essential for the next level.  Character and Diligence are essential for the next level.  Chosoe not to connect witht he ungodly--nonbelievers.  When you put your trust in Jesus, your Cahracter will sustain you. When you link yourself with those without Godly Cahracter, they will and will cause you to stagger, stumble and fall.Before you can grow, your character must stay in tact.  God wants you to connect with Him.  Psalm 1:1; states this; "Blessed {happy, fortunate, properous, and enviable} is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly {following their advice, their plans or purposes}, or stands {submissive and inactive} in the path where sinners walk, nor sit down {to relax and rest} where the scornful {and the mockers} gather."  Chose not to follow after the advice, counsel patterns, ways, and lifestyle of the ungodly.

Action:

Pray and ask God to surround you with Iron Sharpening Relationships that will Mature you and prune your unproductive areas of yoru life.  Ask God to help you to focus on the areas that need development.

Psalm 1:1-2; ESV---"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seats of scoffers.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law meditates day and night."           

                       

 

July 1, 2019

Character is Critical

Who's your counsel? Consider those who surround you daily.

Consider those who are sharpening you and challenging you in every area of your life.  Who's holding you accountable to pursue your God-given goals?  Who's holding you accountable to achieve your God-given purpose?  What Iron Sharpening Relationships surround you daily that will help you to propel into your next level?  Who has has seen your next potential level?  What mentors are currently oprating on your next level?  Your inner-circle, those who are closer to you, can either keep you stagnant and hold you back from pursuing your God-given destiny or they can catapult you into your next dimension.  Surround yourself with purposeful, skilled mature, and wise counsel.  Who's around you during your most vulnerable and intimate times?  Who do you rely on to help navigate through critical decisions?  submit your thoughts to God and surround yourself with wise Christ Centered counsel.

Iron Sharpening Relationshipswill reveal your character and expose your maturity.  Do you surround yourself with those people who are stronger than you are spiritually?  Are you surrounding yourself with those people who are wiser than you or at least seeking the same wisdom that you are?  Are you surroundiing yourself with those people who are more or equally skilled?  Who's sharpening you in every area of your life?  

Iron Sharpening Relationships will strengthen your skill, your character and your maturity.  Who's investing their time in you?  Who's sharpening you?  Who are you sharpening?  Constructive feedback is essential for the construction of your next season.  Who are you building with?

Action----------

Carefully consider those who surrounds your daily.  Pray and ask God for Strong, Honnest, Loyal, and Transparent, "Iron Sharpening" relationships.  Ask God to surround you with men and women who are full of God's wisdom, Counsel, and Insight in every area of life. 

 

 

June 30, 2019

As Iron Sharpens Iron---Part One:

There is a Mental and Spiritual Sharpness that comes from being around the right people.  And a meeting of the minds can help people see their ideas with new clarity, refine them, and shape them into brilliant insights.  This requires friends who Challenge each other and Stimulate thought--people who focus on the ideawithout involving their egos in the discussion; people who know how to attrack the thought and not the thinker.  Two or more friends who bring their ideas together can help each other become sharper.  The same is true, when two or more friends get together to share their faith, their focus becomes stronger and sharper.  

 

 

June 19, 2019

 

Twelve Steps for Spiritual Freedom:

RECOGNITION----God is First; Put God First in everything that you do.

Recognize that Jehovah our Heavenly Father, is the an Infinite Power and Presence greater that yourself or any circumstance that may come your way!

His presence is on purpose and knows the answers to all your questions, and has the ability and the willingness to fulfill all of your desires, according to His Will.

UNIFICATIN----We am unified through Christ with the conciousness of God. Be willing in total faith and trust to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us in your daily affairs.

WILLINES TO CHANGE----Be willing to ask the Holy Spirit to assess your lives and to honestly look at and face all your fears.  

DOMINION----Taking responsibility for your life and give Christ Dominion over and in your life.  I give up blame and judgement.  Accept yourself and others just as our Heavenly Father accepts us all.

LIVE ON PRINCIPLE----Say this out loud to yourself! "Iknow that I am a Spiritual and a Physical Being, I will live my life with honesty and integrity.  I will start each new day with an Attitude of Gratitude and Praise!

LIVE WITH PURPOSE----Be willing to commit to the process of purposeful living.  As you discover your purpose and live it with courage, you are transformed by the renewing of your heart, spirit and mind.

FORGIVENESS----Be will to forgive yourself for your past mistakes and failures, genuinely forgive others when they have done or said something to hurt you, just as God forgives all.

POSITIVELY PRESENT----Be willing to a maintain a positive attitude, regardless of what may be occuring in your life. Know that behind every storm, crisis, or obstacle, there is an opportunity for God's Blessing and Grace to be poured out.   

PERSISTeNCE----Be willing to persist through faith.  be willing to maintain your focus and discipline in your faith as follower of Christ Jesus.

SERVICE----Know that the floodgates of opportunitieswill open wide by your giving of yourself in unconditional service for others, expecting nothing in return.

GRATITUDE----Be grateful for your life and all that our Heavenly father has done for you.  Be willing to seek each day, to see all people as the goodness of Spiritin form, just as Jesus Christ sees them.

TITHING----Come to understandand embody the principle of tithing, so that you can freely and unconditionally  give of your time, your resources, and your talents to whenever the Holy Spirit directs you.          

    

 

 

 

June 14, 2019

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

God has a plan for your life, He brought into this world and to the place where you are right now in your life, to fulfill that plan.  It is the best plan that anyone could ever make for you.  It is a plan that will bring HIm the Greatest Glory and bring the Greatest Joy, and the Greatest Good.  From the beginning of the calender year until its end, God our Heavenly Father, is working out HIs plan.  As you follow God's plan for your life, you do so in faith.  It is important to remember that He is the guide and you are the follower.  God does not need to bring you into His Planning Room as a consultant to help Him decide what is best for your life, or how to go about making this plan work.  God has called you trust Him and to take the next step of obedience according to His Will.  God has said, "I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known.    I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight.  These things I will do for them, And not foresake them."  Isaiah 42:16 

HERE ARE SOME WAYS THAT GOD IS WORKING OUT HIS PLAN:

He iis your Shepard------He is Leading you!

He is your Provider------He is Taking Care of you!

He is your Strength------He is Enabler!

He is your Counselor----He is Speaking to you!

He is your Shield---------He is Protecting you!

He is your Comfort------He is Encouraging you!

He is your Father--------He is Blessing you!       

June 12, 2019

Pray This Even If You Don't Feel Like Praying:

You never know when God is going to bless you!  Good things happen when you least expect them to!

Abba-Father God, I Thank You for this day.I Thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning.  I am blessed because You are a Forgiving and an Understanding God.  You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me, even when I don't know that You have blessed me.  Forgive me this day for the things that I have done, said, or thought that were not pleasing to You or not aligned with Your Will.

I ask now for Your Forgiveness, please keep me safe from all danger and  harm that may come from the attacks of the enemy. Help me before I go to bed tonight to give all me worries to You and rest in Your Arms.  When I wake again to start a new day, help me to start it with an Attitude of Gratitude.  Let me make the best of each and every moment, every hour to clear my mind so that I can hear Your Voice when You call.  Please broaden my mind  so that I can accept all things that I cannot change as opportunities to see Your Blessings being poured out in my life.  Help me not to over react over things that I have absolutely no control over.  Help me to remember that the best response when I am pushed to my limits, I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart.  I pray that You would continue to use me to do Your Will.  Continue to bless me so that I can be a blessing to those around me.  Keep me strong so that I may help the weak....keep me uplifted so that I may have words of encouragement for others.  I pray or those who are lost and can't seem to find their way.  I pray for those who are misjudged and misunderstood.  I pray for those who don't know You intimately.  I pray for those who believe that how much You really do love them.

I Thank You Father God, that I do believe in You.  I believe Jesus changes things that are not right, and that He changes people who earnestly seek Him, believe in Him,  and call out to Him.   Amen.      

 

 

June 12, 2019

Revealing the Real You..............[Taking Off the Shroud of Falsehood]

If you seem to be walking through life always wearing a mask , hiding your tears and pain with a smile or laughing just to keep from crying.  If you have been doing this by letting everyone else tell you how your life should be or settling for the leftovers of living, instead setting the standards in your life and standing firm on all that makes you who you are.  

Then you truly need to STOP living like a puppet on a string, remove the boundaries that restrain you from being who you really are. {Remember----Life is for the living, and not for the dead.}  So start living the life that God designed you to live.

Remember, also that "No One" can make you feel inferior without your permission.  That includes the ultimate liar and deceiver------Satan!

Don't give up-----Don't give in-----Don't check out!

Just pray up-----Suit up with God's Armour and Stay ready for the Battle over your life, because you can be assured that the enemy will be ready to derail if he finds a way in!

The World and Satan are in this Battle for the Long Haul-------Are You?    

 

June 10, 2019

The Opinions of Others:

The Greatest Fear in the world today, is the 'Opinion of Others.'  And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd, you are no longer 'sheep', you become a 'Lion', and that scares a lot of people!  A Great Roar arises in your heart, it's the roar of Freedom!  When you allow the Lion in your heart to roar out, Freedom, thenyou will be able dwell daily on the Beautiful Things in Life than the Negative.

Most people are Other People!  Their Thoughts and Opinions, are someone else's Opinions.  Their lives become a mimicry, their passions a quatation of what others may think or say it the right thing for you.  Don't Take Anything Personally that others do or say.  Nothing others do or say, is because of what your situation, it's because the situation that they are in.  People will always have an Opinion, but that doesn't mean that you have to follow their advice or their opinions, unless you are seeking that persons advice or opinion, because you have that kind of relationship where you trust and value their opinion and advice.

 

 

 

June 5, 2019

Being Taught By The Holy Spirit:

As Believers, we have been givn the Holy Spririt as a Helper, Teacher, Friend and Seal for the Promised Inheritance of Eternal Life with God.  His Presence, Guidnce, and Wisdom in our lives are oour greatest gifts while here on earth.  Through Him we have access to direct connection with our Heavenly Father.  Through im we receive Spiritual Gifts to empower us.  And through Him we are able to bear the incredible fruit of Abundant Life.  Open your heart and mind to all that the Holy Spirit woud give you, show you, and lead you to this week coming weekend.

1 John 2:20---"But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge."

John 14:26---"BUt the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all that I have said to you."

1 Corinthians 2:10---"These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.  For the Spirit searches everything, even the depth of God."

Proverbs 3:5-6----says; "Trust in the Lod with all your Heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths."

We have in the Holy Spirit the same Teacher who faithfully breathed the perfect practical words of Scripture to imperfec men across thousands of years.  Not only did the Holy Spiritteach the disciples, but He also longs to teach us in the same way.  He longs to reveal to us the depths of God's Character, so that we might learn what it is to be a True Followe of our Lord Jesus.  He longs to show us the Wisdom of God, so that we might live as men and womeninspired by God rather than fools who find their knowledge only in the matters of the world.  Let's open our minds and hearts to receive the Wisdom that can only come from God Himself, in the Holy Spirit.  Trust in the teachings of the Holy Sprit today.  Lean on His Wisdom instead of your own.  Acknowledge Him and the Reality of His Nearness in oyur life.  And discover knowledge that has the Power to fill you with Abundant Life.

When You Pray------

Meditate on the Holy Spirit's desire to be your teacher.  Choose to be a student of the the Holy Spirit, choose to follow what He reveals to you to be wisdom over the ways of the world, choose His opinion over what other might have to say!  Spend time studying Scripture with the Holy Spirit; {pray God's Word}.  Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what Wisdom He wants to show you.  Ask Him to show you the meaning of the words you are reading, and allow Him to apply Scripture directly into your life.

We have Perfectly Powerful Guidance in Scripture and the Holy Spirit.  The pairing of God's written Word and the very God who authored the Word, have the power to heal us into a life of all Wisdom, Understanding, and Revelation.  But we must choose to live this life in the Light of Eternity.  We must choose Success in Heaven over success the World's Eyes.  Scripture and the teaching of the Holy Spirit only have Power in our lives if we follow their Leadership and Principles.  Choose today to be a doer of the Wordinstead of just a Hearer of the Word, and Discover the Freeing and Empowering Wisdom that has the Power to transform your life!       

     

    

 

June 3, 2019

Courageous Humility:

Are there areas in your body, where you feel that all attempts and options have been exhausted, and you have this sense that it is time to courageously move towards healing, the kind of healing that is only found in Jesus?

Siriplually---Mentally---Emotionally or Physically?

John Prayed for for us to be healthy in body as we are strong in spirit.  The Lord Cares about our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, as well as our healing.

Prayer for Healing:

Lord Jesus, as we courageously ponder and read through God's Word for today, speak to our hearts on where You desire to heal us.  Help us to enter into Your Presence,where we may with courage pray and cry out to You, with an expectant heart to enter into Your Presence and have a n encounter with You.  In tjhis place, cause our eyes to see agaiin and bring healing, health, and wholeness into our physiacl bodies.  Show us what we can do to facilitate healing, that we desire in our lives.  In this place, help us to hear You and receive what it is we can do to cooperate with you to bring healing in oour minds and emotions.  Heal our miinds and align our thoughts with Your Word.  Heal our heart and align our emotions with waht YOU Say about us.  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being a God that Heals!

In Jesus' Name we pray these things, Amen!      

 

June 2, 2019

THOUGHTS!

Scripture: Genesis 3:1------

"Did God actially say.......?"

The enemy [satan] will always question God's Comands and God's Promises.  Satan attacks our thinking and tries to put questions in our minds so th we will doubt what God says.

Jesus summed up God's two HIghest Commands in Matthew 22:37-40: Love God and Love People.  BUt Satan might whisper to you, "But who is my neighbor?"like the Pharisee asked Jesus in Luke 10:29.  Understand this: our enemy may not Challenge you on the First Commandmen, but he will certainly question how fully you need to obey the Second One.

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

[From Stand Strong Men's Devotionals]  

"The Appitite of Laborers works for them; their hunger drives them on." Proverbs 16:26

" You can become what you think about all day long."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can we be honest about this?  Sometimes the chaos and drama that enters your world--walks thrugh an open door.  For some, it not only walks through the door, it leaves there with you.  A truly content Christian man, is one who joyfully pursues his hunger while clinging to God's guidig principles.  Ge where your passion leads, God doesn't dictate you career, your efforts, or your pursuits.  All He asks is that you bring HIm along in your journey. 

No matter what drives you today--bring God into your decisions.

 

May 30, 2019

 

Jesus Calling Devotional:

Jesus Speaking to my Heart today:

My Dear child, when many things seem to be going wrong, Trust Me.  When your life feels increasingly out of control, Thank Me.  These supernatural responses, and they can lift you above your circumstances.  If you do what comes naturally in the face of difficulties, you may fall prey to negativism.  Even a few complaints can set you on a path that is a downward spiral, by darkening your perspective nd mind-set.  With this attitude controlling you, coplaints flow more and more readily from your mouth. Each one moves you staedily down the slippery spiral.  The lower you go, the faster you slide; but it is still possible to apply the brakes.  Cry out to Me in My Name!  Affirm your trust in Me, regardless of how you feel.  Thank Me for everything, through this seems ubnatural--even irrational.  Gradually you will begin to ascend, recovering your lost ground.

Your Loving Lord Jesus.