Ruins or Restoration

But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!” -Nehemiah 2:17 NLT

When I read the story of Nehemiah I always wonder why it took someone from the outside to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Someone that heard the news of Jerusalem from someone else. Nehemiah didn’t even see the ruins with his own eyes when he headed out on this journey. The people that were living in Jerusalem had been living in that rubble and in their instability for years and they did nothing.

Were they ok with destruction and the lack of defense?
Did they not think it was an issue?
Did they think it was someone else’s job?
Did they get used to the destruction?
Was it a normal way of life?

The same problem lies in the way we interact in our communities today. People go through life feeling alone, unloved, hurting, depressed, miserable, feeling like mistakes or accidents. They live life in ruins as they crumbled to the pressures of life and we ignore their broken hearts. We have been so used to see pain that we either ignore it, are calloused to it, or we think it is someone else’s job. We have been given an even greater gift than Nehemiah received from his king. We have been given the gift of life that comes from Jesus. Our salvation is not something to be hoarded but shared!

Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king.
They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work. -Nehemiah 2:18 NLT

Don’t Be An “if” Person

14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14

Yesterday I heard someone talking about the “if” in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and it really got me thinking and praying about it.  Why did God say “if” my people?  Does he think we will not humble ourselves and pray? Does he think we won’t make the time or we are not really praying with meaning?  Does he think that we will not have enough faith or that prayer is just some quick routine we just do. That “if” really bothers me because I don’t ever want to get caught in the “if” crowd.

I want to pray and fast so passionately and fervently that God must listen.  I want to bang on heavens door with so much expectation that God has to use me.  I want God to know that every part of me is His to be used for His will and purpose and I want Him to know that I trust every promise that is found in the Scriptures.

 Matthew 7:7 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 21:21  21 Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. 22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”

God will not be made a liar.  Pray the promises of God with expectation and watch the hand of God move in your life.

Eternal Purpose

20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” -Mark 10:20-21

This thought engulfed my prayers when planting BLOOM “It’s time to quit wandering and get connected to our eternal purpose”

How am I going to eternally impact the Kingdom of God? I can follow all the commands and be the perfect Sunday Christian, but if it stops there I am missing the mark. Obeying the commands of God are vital, but there has to be more.  Jesus was calling the rich young ruler to abandon his personal plans for his life and pick up the ideas and dreams of God for his life.  The only way we can eternally impact the Kingdom of God is to connect with the will and purpose of God for our lives.  The scripture is not saying sell everything and live in poverty.  Its saying that you must completely devote yourself to the call of God and seek His will above all else.  When we are living in the will of God we are giving God the glory he deserves because we are saying our greatest desire is please Him.

Ask God to show you His plans for your life and to reveal the things in your heart that are taken priority of over Him.

Overwhelming Vision!

 “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” Ephesians 3:12

This scriptures speaks so much power and truth into our lives.  Yes because of what Christ has done for us we are able to have a restored relationship with God, but if we do not have faith in Jesus that we can step boldly into Gods presence then we will sell our self short.

I read a quote by Steven Furtick that has really been running through my head he said “The size of your vision isnt determined by who God is it will be determined by who you believe God is- and whether you have the courage to respond accordingly”

God is God and nothing we can say or do will change how glorious he is, but God will not force himself on you.  He will not force his dreams, his plans, and his will on your life.  He will stir your spirit, but you have have to boldly through faith walk into the presence of God and take hold of the vision he has for you.

Be overwhelmed by the plans God has for you, but don’t stop there.  Walk in your dreams and unlock your God given destiny!

Letter To Myself. Everything Is Filler

Hey Mike,

Your priority should not be running a company, organization, or running a church.  It is not budgets, reports, or events.

That stuff is all filler.  Your priority should be people!

You need to see people.  You need to know their stories.  You need to see their struggles, pains, & insecurities. You need to know their dreams, desires, and how they see God. Don’t get so busy in your life that you ignore the lives of everyone around you.  Nothing matters if you are not building meaningful relationships with people.

Everything else is filler.

There is people that do not feel loved, have no peace, that are miserable, and depressed.  There are people who feel all alone, feel like nobody cares, and feel like accidents.  Those people live in your neighborhood, pass you in the aisles at the grocery store, make your coffee, and go to your church.  Don’t just see them as a face in the crowd or butts in the seats.  See them for who they are which is not the way they feel about themselves, but the way God feels about them.  God has carved greatness in their souls and when He formed them in their mothers womb He created them with a specific purpose.  They are a part of Gods family and He loves them with and never ending love.  We are supposed to love like that because He has loved us and we are supposed to see people the way He sees them because we are to bear His image.

It is about the people.  Everything else is filler.

I Am Inspired

I am inspired…

I am inspired by the Greatness of my God.

I am inspired by the greatness God pulls out of people.

I am inspired by the beauty of Gods creation.

I am inspired by hearing other people’s dreams & ideas.

I am inspired by the way our faith makes the impossible possible.

I am inspired when people do what they love.

I am inspired by the pure joy in my children.

I am inspired that through our dreams Gods glory can shine.

Inspiration is all around us.  We must stop and take it in.  Breathe in the creativity and start to create the dreams God has placed inside of your heart.  Unlock your God given destiny.

Does Trendiness Destroy Creativity?

I don’t journal a lot, but I do like to write down different thoughts here or there whether it is ideas I have or things that I pull from my devotion time. Whatever the reason may be, I journal because it is the small reminders to myself of the person I want to be and it can be a list of dreams and ideas that I want to accomplish in life.

I wrote this down a while back as a challenge to myself…

“Don’t spend all your time trying to be relevant because when you feel you have reached relevancy you are already outdated.”

 

I can get so lost in what is trendy in culture or what other people or churches are doing that I no longer create I duplicate. I get so worried whether people think that what I may say or do is current that I am no longer inspired to be unique.

I have this crazy belief that the church should be the creative epicenter of our culture. That the greatest minds, artist, speakers, developers, entrepreneurs, and CEO’s should be coming from the church because we are (or should be) connected to God in a pure intimate way and He is the essence of creativity. My fear is that I get so caught up in trying to reach the unchurched in ways to prove to them that we are culturally relevant that we just look outdated.

I desire to create environments where God takes people’s breathe away and they are left in awe.

God has placed the most innovative & creative ideas inside of us. We just have to listen to His direction and leap past our fears.

You’re My Burning Bush Moment.

You three are my burning bush moment. Daily when I look at you I experience the presence of God. I see His fingerprint imprinted on your entire lives and I am left in awe. When I lay my eyes on your beautiful faces I am constantly reminded of Gods grace, His blessings, His perfect timing, how His plans are greater than mine, and how I don’t deserve His faithfulness yet He still blessed me with you three.

My heart explodes in the simple moments when we just snuggle on the couch or when I come home from work to be greeted by little hands wrapping my legs in hugs. Oh and my favorite moments are when you can be lost in your little world playing with your toys and catch a glimpse of me and run over give me a kiss just to tell me “Daddy I love you and even in the midst of my playing I am thinking about you” and then back you go to your toy. In that moment it makes me think that is what God desires from us. That in the midst of our busy everyday lives we stop in brief moments and give God a kiss just to tell Him that we love Him and even in the midst of our business we are constantly thinking about Him”

What are the everyday burning bush moments in your life?

Pray it! Speak it! Mean it!

I love to pray the scriptures. There is something about praying and speaking in faith the God inspired words that are written in the Bible. However, lately I have been very conscious about what is the theme of my prayers. The scriptures I have been praying lately are found in Hebrews 13:20-21….

The author of Hebrews hits the nail on the head with these 2 verses. First he proclaims what God has done in raising Jesus from the dead and then how through the blood of Jesus our relationship with Him is restored. Secondly, the author goes on to pray that God equips and produces in him everything that will accomplish Gods will, that his life will please God, & that his life will give God the glory.

My prayer is that my life is inline with the purpose of God and that I produce the character and qualities of God that please Him and brings His Glory on earth.

I highly recommend praying scriptures and writing them down in a journal or somewhere that you continually go back to and pray over and over again.

What are some scriptures that you pray and speak into your life?