Saturday, December 31, 2016

'Die for your Bride!"


‘Die for your Bride!’

The most beautiful love story ever is unfolding before our very eyes.  The entire bible from cover to cover is nothing more than a love letter, written in the blood, from the groom himself to his bride.  The first five books of the bible lay out the vowels between husband and wife.  The first marriage ceremony that we see take place is with God and Israel.  In Exodus 19 God gives a list of commands that if the people obey then they will be His people and He will be their God.  All throughout the bible we see this beautiful message played out that we are a bride waiting for our groom.  In ancient Hebrew culture it is customary that a man asks his wife’s hand in marriage and then he leaves to prepare a place for her and him to live out the rest of their lives.  The groom will come to get his wife without any notice at all.  It is the bride’s duty to prepare and to stay ready for the wedding at all time, for no man knows the day or the hour that he will return and take his bride to be married.  Interesting that this seems to be exactly what Jesus has done for us.  He has come to ask for his brides hand in marriage and then he left to go prepare a place for us, (John 14:1-3), and he will soon return for his bride that is waiting patiently preparing intently for his return.  But why did God have to come here for us, suffer for us, die for us then raise himself from the dead if he already married his people back at Mount Sinai some 3000 years before the cross?  The answer is that God divorced his people, Jeremiah 3:8.  God is a jealous God, just as we are jealous people and when our spouse breaks the vowels repeatedly we to desire divorce.  The people at this time are without a God, and God is without a bride.  During this time Israel is divided into two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom being the House of Israel and the Southern Kingdom being the House of Judah, the southern kingdom came back to the covenant with God, however, the House of Israel did not and was dispersed amongst the nations.  In God’s law a woman that has gone astray to another man after divorce then the first husband cannot remarry her, the only way that the bride could be freed from the covenant of marriage with the first husband is if the husband dies, (Romans 7:2).  So what did Jesus do?  Jesus died for his wife so that she could be set free from the law of marriage with him and then raised himself from the dead so that he could remarry his wife and live forever with her! 



This teaches us such a powerful lesson in our own marriage; that we are to die for our bride each and every day!  We are to take the penalty of sin for ourselves so that our bride does not see death!  Today challenge yourself during conflict to die for your wife and keep the love of God in your marriage at all times.  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20  Love is the ultimate theme of the entire bible.  Prepare yourself today for the ultimate groom to come back to redeem his bride. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

‘Be a Berean, Have an Open Mind to Each Other’

‘Be a Berean, Have an Open Mind to Each Other’
We have a more diverse nation than ever before and I feel that as a culture we like the ‘idea’ of embracing differences amongst others.  The truth about ourselves seems to be a bit different, we flat out don’t know how to handle differences amongst each other.  Let’s all face it and realize that we all have an internal law to ourselves that sets the standards for how to live and if someone does not live up to that standard then they shame them.  I feel this way every day at work watching how other keep their work space or their desktop organized.   In the world today we have many different cultures and belief systems that make it uniquely difficult to get along with others.  My parents raised me to not celebrate Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny then instead taught me to celebrate God’s Holy days such as; Passover or Yom Kippur.  Growing up in modern America I stood out like a sore thumb during their holidays or how about the time my kindergarden teacher made us all green eggs and ham, (I don’t eat pork due to my beliefs).  I was taught growing up to always respect others no matter their differences in belief.  Our nation is becoming more divided due to the fact that we cannot get along with each other.  But this is new for our country, never before has our view ever been challenged.  We live safe and sound from all the wars that happen in the Middle East and Europe.  We go about our days feeling a sense of arrogance about our stature amongst others.  We grew up learning that we live in the best country in the world and the only reason that we are the best is because we are free.  Supposedly North Korean civilians believe that they are the best Nation in the World and that their leader Kim Jung Un is a God..  I use this example not to compare our stature to N. Korea but instead to compare the mindset that I see in every Nation.  We all have national pride and we keep sacred our traditions and when a tradition is challenged then be prepared for WWIII. 
I truly have been blessed due to the fact that I was raised in a way that I was always challenged on my belief system.  Growing up I watched part of my family reject us because we chose not to celebrate Christmas, I watched neighbors conspire against us calling us a cult because we did not put up Christmas lights, and I watched my parents fight within themselves on how to live for God and to give their kids a normal life.  Through witnessing this I was taught strength to stand up for what I believe in no matter what but I also learned how love enemies and forgive people constantly.  The bible teaches that we are to be a people set apart, a peculiar people and a light to the nations.  I will always be different from the majority no matter where I live in the world and I am ok with this.  I know that I have a lot to learn still on how to love others but we all do.  I have always remembered on thing and kept it in my heart when experiencing differences, Acts 17:11, “ 
Now the people here were of nobler character than the ones in Thessalonica; they eagerly welcomed the message, checking the Tanakh every day to see if the things Sha’ul was saying were true.
 
Now I understand that not all believe the Bible to be the word of God, but please keep an open mind and search for the truth in this world, but I guarantee if you do your homework you will learn that the bible can be proven true. 
 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

"My Name May Be There Forever"



God is referred to as El Shaddai or God Almighty in the book of Exodus.  The first letter of Shaddai is the letter shin, we see this letter being present in the Hebrew culture as Hebrews have the letter Shin on their mezzuzahs that hang on their door posts.  I have laid out several scriptures where El Shaddai says that he will put his name in the land that his people are to possess.  There are three valleys in Jerusalem, the Kidron Valley, the Tyropoeon Valey and the Hinnom Valley.  As you can see from the picture the valleys seem to spell out the letter Shin.  Judge for yourselves.  

  

Dt 12:5,11,21
5 But to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose out of all your tribes, to put his name there, even to his habitation you shall seek, and there you shall come;
11 then it shall happen that to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the wave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow to Yahweh.
21 If the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to put his name there, is too far from you, then you shall kill of your herd and of your flock, which Yahweh has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates, after all the desire of your soul.

Dt 16:2,11
You shall sacrifice the Passover to Yahweh your God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which Yahweh shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there.
11 and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates, and the foreigner, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are in the midst of you, in the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there.

1Kg 8:29
that your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which you have said, My name shall be there; to listen to the prayer which your servant shall pray toward this place.

1Kg 9:3
Yahweh said to him, I have heard your prayer and your supplication, that you have made before me: I have made this house holy, which you have built, to put my name there forever; and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually.

1Kg 14:21
Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which Yahweh had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there: and his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess.

2Ch 6:6
but I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.

2Ch 7:16
For now have I chosen and made this house holy, that my name may be there forever; and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually.

2Ch 33:7
He set the engraved image of the idol, which he had made, in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name forever:

Ezr 6:12
and the God who has caused his name to dwell there overthrow all kings and peoples who shall put forth their hand to alter the same, to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with all diligence.

Is 18:7
In that time, a present will be brought to Yahweh of Armies from a people tall and smooth, even from a people awesome from their beginning onward, a nation that measures out and treads down, whose land the rivers divide, to the place of the name of Yahweh of Armies, Mount Zion.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

‘Do not count the cost, keep your eyes on the prize!’

‘Do not count the cost, keep your eyes on the prize!’
We must remember what and who we are fighting.  Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  The enemy is in control of this earthly realm and he manipulates our thoughts and our actions.  Quit giving in to propaganda, such that the media, movies, and music provides us.  We must set ourselves apart and remember that we are on the side of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  We must challenge ourselves every day to overcome this world and to sustain from our fleshly desires.  Am I saying to not enjoy life?  No.  I am saying to rethink the way you enjoy life and learn what true joy is.  Getting to experience college in modern society will allow anyone to experience worldly desires.  I can remember late night parties, football games tailgating on Saturdays, and skipping class.  I would be lying if I told you I did not enjoy all that.  What I can tell you though, is through the midst of all my worldly fun I never found satisfaction in my life.  I found myself sadder and more confused than ever.  What made it interesting is that all my friends were just as sad and confused.  Most of my good friends that were strong believers fell away because of what the world was teaching them.
We must stand together as a community of believers, holding each other accountable for what is right and true.  Without having a community of fellow believers we will fall short of the glory of God!  I believe there are three things a successful community must follow: first is your belief must be stronger than others doubts. There will be many times that we will be in the world and we will hear over and over again about how people think we are crazy for believing in God and keeping his commandments.  Second is we must speak the same language; I do not mean English or Spanish; I mean the way we talk and the way we think.  The third is we must execute this belief and the plan that God has set before us.  A person who is 90% committed is 100% uncommitted.  We are either committed or we are not committed.  “We must choose today whom we serve; As, for me and my house we will serve the Lord!” Joshua 24:15
It is a scary thing not reaching our full potential; it reminds me of the parable that Jesus told, Matthew 25: 14-30, of the servants receiving 5 talents, 2 talents and 1 talents.  The ones that had 5 and 2 talents doubled their share and pleased their master but the one that was given 1 talent buried his share until his master came home, and his master was disgusted at him because he did not invest his talents.  We all have different gifts that we have received.  I challenge everyone to strengthen your talents and to use them for the Glory of God!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  Marianne Williamson
Do Not Count the Cost, Keep your eyes on the Prize!
God Bless!

‘11 Parallel's of Christmas and Hanukkah’

‘11 Parallel's of Christmas and Hanukkah
1.       Eternal Spirit (Christmas Spirit) VS God is Eternal: Seven Spirits of God (7 candlesticks of Menorah)
2.     Santa is all knowing VS Jesus who is the only one that is ALL KNOWING (Isaiah 40:13)
3.     Santa writes our names in a book VS Jesus writes our names in books (Revelation 20:15)
4.     Santa hair is white as snow VS Jesus who’s hair is white as snow (Revelations 1:14)
5.     Santa loves children VS Jesus love children (Matthew 19:14)
6.     Kneel in front of tree opening gifts from Santa VS Light the Menorah (Tree of Life) (Zechariah  4)
7.       Santa has a mystical tree (Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) VS Jesus has a mystical tree (Tree of Life) (Genesis 2:9)
8.     Focus is on giving presents VS Focus is on giving your life to God
9.     Tradition to lie to children VS Tradition of truth
10.  Jesus never kneeled before a tree VS Jesus did participate in Hanukkah (John 10:22)
11. Santa comes to your house through fire VS Jesus comes back in the sky (Acts 1:11)
Joshua 24:15
15 If it seems bad to you to serve Adonai, then choose today whom you are going to serve! Will it be the gods your ancestors served beyond the River? or the gods of the Emori, in whose land you are living? As for me and my household, we will serve Adonai!”
“But that’s not what it means to me!”:
·        Go find Christmas in the bible.
o   Deuteronomy 4:2:” 2 In order to obey the mitzvot of Adonai your God which I am giving you, do not add to what I am saying, and do not subtract from it.”
·        Christmas was celebrated to serve other gods before the birth of Jesus
o   Deuteronomy 12:31: “But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, 30 and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” 31 You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates.”
·        Jesus Celebrated Hanukkah John 10:22
·        In the Oxford English Dictionary under the word devil you will also find ‘Old Nick’
·        Hanukkah has prophetic meaning:  The anti-Christ of Revelation will desecrate the Jewish temple the same way that Antiochus Epiphanes did when he erected a statue of Zeus in Gods Temple.
·        Hanukkah means to rededicate.  The Maccabees rededicated the temple to God after they took back the temple from Antiochus Epiphanes.  They took 8 days to rededicate it because the Feast of Tabernacles is 8 days long and they would have missed that because the temple was still in captivity.  Sukkot is also a festival remembering the Israelites escaping the captivity of the Egyptians so that they could rededicate their lives to God in the wilderness and enter the Holy Land.   
·        We are God’s temple!  This is a call for us to rededicate our temple to God to each year.
·         
  
o   The two trees represent the northern kingdom and southern kingdom of Israel; aka:
§  The Two Sticks
§  The House of Israel and the House of Judah
§  One people grafted in through the Spirit of God
o   The seven candle sticks represent the seven spirits of God or the word of God
§  It is made up of one foundation with one center light and 6 (number of man) other branches totaling 7 branches (number of completion)
·        There are 9 markings on the 6 branches and 12 marking on the middle branch representing the 12 tribes of Israel
o   There are a total of 66 markings representing the 66  books of the bible or 39 markings on the first 4 branches and 27 markings on the last 3 branches making up the 39 books of the old testament and 27 books of the new testament. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

THINGS I HATE: POLITICAL UNDERLININGS IN MOVIES


Well, we have made it through another Monday so to boost your spirit I decided I would talk about something I hate!  Political underlining’s in movies..  In my opinion, this is propaganda at its finest and the creators of these films seem to be pushing a very evil agenda.  My wife and I rarely watch movies and 99% of the time we will watch movies at home where we can turn them off or talk amongst each other about how terrible it is.  However a few weeks back my sister in law and boyfriend went to watch the movie ‘Arrival’ in theatres.  I walked out of their thinking it was a good movie, however, I could not enjoy it because of everything that it stood for.  My sister in law and her boyfriend loved the movie, perhaps ignorance is bliss or perhaps I am just thinking too deep into just a movie.  Hopefully I don’t spoil the movie but I am going to break apart a few pieces of it:

1.       Aliens arrive in ships all around the world

2.       They have come to teach us a new language

3.       The new language would unite the world

4.       The movie alluded to if you could understand their language then you would have their same capabilities. 

I leaned over to my wife after 10 minutes of the movie and told her the entire agenda and she just smiled and nodded back.  It seems the movies agenda is further push us into a one world government, with one language, even one belief system in the language itself/religion, and remember the story of The Tower of Babel; Genesis 11:1, ”And the whole earth was one language and of one speech.”  Don’t forget God destroys that tower and scatters his people and confuses our language.  Perhaps I think too deep about something that is “just a movie”.  But I will leave you with two quotes to think about:

“By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.”  Adolf Hitller

“I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.” Psalms 101:3

UNCOMFORTABLE IS THE NEW COMFORTABLE


Uncomfortable is the New Comfortable!

One of my coaches once taught me something that has been engraved in me, practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.  So practice making your practice perfect.  What I mean by that is challenge the way you think, the way you behave and challenge everything around you.  Act 17: 11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched scripture daily, whether those things were so."  When you change the way you think you will change the way you view things but, we must be open to new interpretations.  1 Corinthians 13:12, "For now we see through a glass, darkly."  Our culture and our way of living is making us view things the way the enemy wants us to view them.  We must rely on God and his word to guide us through the fog, just as we cannot see beyond our headlights when we drive we keep the faith that we will make it home. 

We must realize that in order to reach our full potential we must get outside of our comfort zone.  No one ever did anything great being comfortable.  So I say to you all learn to be comfortable in an uncomfortable setting.  The more comfort the more success you have the less you need God.  People will do anything to avoid pain and conflict but pain and conflict are the only things that can strengthen us.  James says consider it pure joy to go through trials.  I have been a personal trainer for five years now and I can tell you the people that get results are the people that deny themselves of their fleshly desires and seek challenges on a daily basis.  In ancient Israel they would have a daily sacrifices at the temple, one in the morning and one in the evening.  How often do we sacrifice to God?  It does not have to be animal sacrifices, it can be as simple as making time to pray and read his word daily.  It can be take time to listen to someone, to help someone, or to show kindness to an enemy.  How often do we pass our days selfishly thinking only a few more hours till I get to go home, or only a couple of more days till I get to do what I want on the weekend.  I have found through my relationships with others that we all desire more in life yet we settle for comfortable.  Most of us go through life never working on our passion or our dreams.  We all think it is enough to go to school, get a job, start a family and then die.  Each one of us has been lied to; we’ve all been preached ‘cheap grace’, we have all been told that life is about our careers and our money.  We let the world get in the way of who we truly are! 

‘What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.’ Romans 8:18

God Bless


Sunday, December 18, 2016

SHALOM AND SOME DEEP THINKING


‘SHALOM AND SOME DEEP THINKING’

The word Shalom has so much meaning and even prophetic meaning wrapped in it.  Shalom is more than a meaning but more about a personal journey.  It represents our journey and struggle with God as each of us die to the physical and rise and live to the spiritual relationship with God.  Each letter in the Hebrew language has its own meaning, such as the letter aleph means strength or leader and tau means covenant or law so when God says he is Aleph and Tau then he is saying that he is the leader of the covenant or the strength of the law.  The word Shalom in Hebrew is made up of the letters, Shin-Lamed-Vav-Samech, when you put the meaning of the letters together it says, destroy the physical, learn the spiritual, join together (also represented as the nail that nailed Jesus to the cross), and marry to become God’s bride.  The word it self-sets out the plan for man to cross over to become and child of God.  However, all men have fallen short of the glory of God so Jesus sent his only beloved son to die for our sins.  Right after Jesus is resurrected he is recorded saying, “Peace be to you.”  It is the only time recorded that Jesus says this and he says it twice in a row.  Jesus died for our Shalom! He wouldn’t have said peace be to you before his death because there is no peace when sins are not forgiven.  Jesus is our shalom, but he is so much more than that as shalom does not just mean peace but it means safety, rest, prosperity, wholeness, welfare, completion, fullness, soundness and well-being!  Even though we have our journey to shalom we can all rest assure that Jesus has already won the battle for our Shalom and he alone is our peace! 

One last aspect of the word shalom is that it is connected to the Shabbat or the weekly Sabbath (rest).  God finished creation in six days, rested on the seventh and ordained that it would be a sign between God and man that we rest on the Sabbath.  Exodus 31:13 and Exodus 31:17.  “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”  2 Peter 3:8, this is also mention in Psalms 90:4.  In Genesis 6:3, “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be and hundred and twenty years.”  God has his own calendar and a jubilee year is every 50th year.  If you do 120 jubilee years multiplied by 50 years you get 6000 years.  It would appear that God has a 6000 year plan and that we will rest with him for 1000 years in the millennia as Jesus Christ reigns as King!  A Sabbath is also a “holy convocation”, (Leviticus 23:3), a convocation is actually translated from Hebrew to the word “rehearsal”.  So in a sense each week we are rehearsing for our rest, or our Shalom that we will eventually have for 1000 years with Jesus. 
GOD BLESS!

WHEN GOOD TURNS EVIL


‘WHEN GOOD TURNS EVIL’
Ever since I began truly knowing who God is, I have been motivated by two things; Love God and Love Others as ourselves.  During the time I began knowing God I was also enrolled in the University of Texas Tech, at which time I was studying Management Information Systems.  I took an elective course my 3rd year in the program called, Sport Pscychology, in which I learned about the health epidemic that we have in our country.  I knew that I wanted to do more with my life than sit behind a desk, I wanted to be able to help my community come closer to God by allowing them to gain their health back.  I stopped studying Information Systems and began studying exercise science which then has turned into a five year career in personal training.  I can remember when I first started I was very proud to have the title personal trainer, I knew in my heart that the career I chose could truly help others.  I remember I prayed every day to send me someone that I could help achieve the will of God.  When I first began I never looked at my career just as a way to make money but it was a way to develop relationships with others to obtain health both physically and spiritually.  I have been extremely blessed throughout my career for God to do just that, send me people that truly need help, or that can help me.  Scripture says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galtaions 6:9. I always tried to keep in mind the original motivation of why I do what I do, but I am human and life does evolve and my motivation became more about competing for certain business numbers with others.  God had blessed me to the point in my personal training career that I was one of the top trainers in my company.  Unfortunately I handled the success like a child and I became proud and began to chase numbers rather than truly help others.  I will never forget a client named Don Corley, I was fortunate enough that Don trained with me for over a year, or I should say I trained with Don for over a year.  I learned more from this man during the beginning of my career than any other, especially good aggie jokes!  I will never forget a time that I had just lost a client that trained at 5pm on Monday and Wednesdays and I was walking the floor looking for potential clients to replace his spot.  Don noticed me aimlessly walking around the gym and called me over and asked me what I was doing?  I replied, that I was looking for someone to fill my 5pm spots.  He looked at me and nodded and told me that he understood what I was trying to do and that I had good intentions, as he too is in the business of sales.  He told me, “James all the conversations we have had I know you do this job for the right reason so why not instead of looking for someone to fill the spot why not just go find someone that needs your help out there.”  My proud stature immediately crumbled within me.  I knew then that my mentality had changed and Don called me out.  I took a long look in the mirror at what I had turned the job into.  This world is filled with amazing opportunities to do good but our enemy is always attacking around every corner and we must not fall trap to turn good into evil.  I challenge everyone to look at their current life and ask yourself, am I living for the same reasons as I used to?  Turnaround today and live not for yourselves but to live for two things: Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind and Love your neighbors as you would love yourself.  Pray that your will not be done but his will be done here on earth as it is in heaven!  Hallelujah!