Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Change

Hi, I'm writing this to let you know that I have moved my blog to a different site. It is now located at http://bigdogbo.wordpress.com/

I have another post there, so go and check it out. If you are signed up here, then you can cancel this subscription and go check it out at my new site. If you have been receiving this by e-mail, please sign up to receive it on my new site, as it will automatically notify you when I make a new entry.

Honestly, it makes it easier on me if you sign up to receive e-mail alerts, because I continually forget to send it out to people and it makes me feel bad when I do finally remember. And feel free to pass this along to your friends or people you think may benefit. I'm not so proud that I can't allow someone else to learn that they're not going this walk alone.

I'll keep this open for a bit longer (probably no more than a month) to ensure that everyone gets the message. Thanks again for going on this walk with me. I appreciate your company!


Be blessed in the Lord today.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

So, ummm....yeah....

I don't like this. I've already slipped up. I will be honest with you today, of all days. Well, this blog is a testament to that fact; I try to be honest in here. It helps those who come here and read it to know that they aren't alone in what they deal with in their lives.

I am brute forcing this out of me. I got nothing. I am so fed up with stuff right now. And it's not even stuff that matters in life, it's just me. It's just stuff that I want to yell and scream and rant about and I can't.

Most of you have no idea how hard it is to put your words and thoughts out here for anyone who cares to look to see. Sometimes it hurts, not because of what people say, but because of what it shows about your character. You want everyone to think you have it together, when in fact, that is the furthest thing from the truth.

People will say, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" I have been blessed beyond measure, but somedays, I don't want to make lemonade. Somedays, I just want to take those lemons and throw them at a wall :)

Forgive me for this, if it's not what you expected. Into every life a little rain must fall. It's what we DO when it rains that defines us. I have tried and tried and tried to keep dancing. However, sometimes, you just want to know that you're not dancing alone right?

There is a verse that keeps popping up in my head, but it doesn't seem to fit how I feel right now. Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)-"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap IF WE DO NOT LOSE HEART." [Emphasis mine]

I don't want to lose heart, and I guess I really haven't. I'm just too embarrassed to put this out there for you to read. I don't want you to know the real me; the one who doesn't have it all together. I don't want you to know that deep inside I sometimes yearn for something a little different.

But I also know that inside of me is Someone stronger than me, who loves me for being....me. And while I may not understand it right now, I can be okay with it.

Where are you today? Are you walking on the high road or in the valley? It's okay-there's plenty of company in both. And God is big enough that He can be in both of those places and all the little ones in between at the same time. I'm glad.

Let's make our way to the house of the Lord together. Be blessed today.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yay! I need help!

Dear Lord, so far today, I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But, in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed. And from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot more help. 

Thank You. 

Amen. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We laugh when we see stuff like this on the internet or a calendar or wherever. We think it's pretty funny or it gives us a small giggle with a smile. 

When do most of us think of that quip, if at all? For me, it's the 30 minute drive home after work. You know, when the radio isn't on and your mind starts wandering and you just start drifting. Then, when you least expect it, everything you said and/or did that day comes back to you in all its glory and full riveting color. 

Every time you tore down a co-worker....or gossiped about someone.....or made an inappropriate remark or comment.....every...little...thing....right down to the finest detail. It comes back to you in gleaming precision. 

And I....I mean, you, realize, that I am not at all where we want to be in our Christian walk. (Just joking about that whole "you" thing!)

As I've said before, and I'll say again; sometimes, we as Christians are our own worst enemy. That old saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" can also read "...paved by so-called Christians." 

Okay, so I had a day where I didn't do what I know was correct and right. I didn't exactly exemplify the virtues that my God would expect from me. Does that mean I crawl in a corner and give up? Go back and live my old lifestyle? Get baptized again because it obviously didn't take the first time? 

Stop laughing at the last one. You know what I do? I get up, dust myself off, and start walking again. I remember that I belong to God, no matter what my brain tells me, and I am His child. I read another quip once about failure. The essence of it-success is getting up one more time than you fail. 

Think about it. You KNOW you are going to fall. The best of us do it. Success is getting up and letting God wash you off. Success is not defining yourself by the number of times you fall, but by the number of times you continue to try. 

1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV)-"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." 

I like to ask people a question when they come to me asking me about why they continue to do things in the flesh after their salvation experience. It tears us up inside knowing how we "failed" to be a Christian. I ask, "Was there EVER a time when you DIDN'T care that you had stumbled? Was there EVER a time when you DIDN'T care about what you said or what you did?" 

Most of the time, the answer is, "Yes, right before I got saved." To me, and I may be wrong, but isn't that a victory? NOW, you care. NOW, it makes you mad or upset when you laugh inappropriately or say something coarse. NOW you care about how you walk. Before, you didn't care. Not everything is immediate in the kingdom. We are on a JOURNEY toward sanctification. We are pilgrims, strangers in a strange land. 

How many times have you seen a wet paint sign, and the kid in you just WANTED so bad to go up and touch the surface just to see? You know what will happen, but the yearning is still there!

You are fighting an old nature that, for some of us, ruled our bodies with an iron fist for many years of our life. Now, thanks to the Holy Spirit, we are aware and alerted to that fact. I consider it an honor to even realize that I need to watch how I let the world affect me now. Things I used to take for granted and do without batting an eye make me sit up and take pause now. 

Imagine where you'll be tomorrow, with God's help. Imagine what you'll know about yourself in a month, if you read God's word. Imagine how you'll feel about your co-workers, friends, and peers in a year, if you spend time praying for them, loving them, and trying to live the true life God has given you right before their eyes. 

Don't hide your inadequacies; and don't let them define you. I remember what I used to say, if I did something that someone considered "hypocritical". I would tell them, "I'm not perfect, God is still working on me. And it reminds me every day, every hour, every minute, why I needed a Savior." 

I'm not ashamed to admit that I need directions from God. And I'm also not ashamed to say that I sometimes do things that make Him shake His head at me, and maybe even do a *facepalm* (the Twitter people know that one). But I know He loves me, and He has the patience to pick me up, dust me off, and set me back on the path. 

And the best part of all? I'm not alone. I'm never alone anymore. Even when I feel like it, I'm not. You can have that feeling as well. I'm not perfect, I'm just like you.

I have hope. And hope never disappoints. Let me know if you want me to introduce you to my hope. He's a great Man and He can change your world in the blink of an eye. 

Be blessed in the Lord today.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Follow, following, followers.....

As I've said before, this is a place where I can put my own dealings and interactions with the Creator, the God of the Universe. I write this because I have found that people have the same questions I do sometime.

"Am I the only one going through_________right now?"

"Why do I keep having questions about _________?"

"Why can't I just get this and be done with it? What's wrong with me that it's taking so long?"

I tell you that I follow Christ; at least I try. I try and follow His example and His teachings. Do I always succeed? Nope, not even. Sometimes, I even feel like I'm doing more harm for Christianity than good. I feel like I'm a caution sign of what can be wrong about us rather than what can be right about God.

But yet and still I try.

Okay, let's back up some. As I've told you before (I think) I have a Facebook account and now a Twitter account. The FB was opened up when I was a small group leader in the High School ministry of our previous church in Tennessee. I used it because it was an easy way to keep in contact with my guys outside of the church walls.

The twitter is something I've come into recently. I resisted and resisted and resisted. And now.....I'm hooked. It's a techno-geek thing and most of you probably wouldn't understand. That's okay, not everything is for everyone.

With twitter, you have people who follow your account. Basically, you are "tweeting" 140 character snippets throughout your day (or however often you do) and people sign on to "follow" or "read" your tweets. And you can sign up to "follow" other people's tweets as well.

Without delving too much into the medium, this is like any other social medium. The people you meet and sometimes talk to are from all walks of life and all different races, colors, creeds, etc. They bring to the table their own experiences and their own past and their own issues.

It's a great place to me. But some of the people I follow or who follow me are not exactly those you would expect to meet you in the church or to be the kind of person you would most likely talk to out in public. They have friended me and we tweet back and forth, just like a lot of my friends on Facebook. And sometimes, SOMETIMES, they even come and ask questions that they couldn't ask anywhere else for fear of being laughed at or made fun.

Jesus hung out with these type of people. He loved on them, and brought them close to Him, in order to teach them about the kingdom of Heaven; and about God and how much He wanted to reconcile them to Him. He didn't judge them for who they were on Earth, only for what they meant to God. Jesus may not have approved of their way of life; but when they got to know Him, they came to that realization on their own. They didn't need a bunch of Pharisees hitting them over the head with their phylacteries and their regulations. They were loved into the kingdom.

Now this isn't a lecture on being able to go into a bar and preach to the people there or into a strip club or wherever else you think. I'm not saying that we should use spreading the gospel as a reason for that kind of behavior.

But, if someone I happen to come into contact with is of a different lifestyle than you and they befriend me to ask me questions, you shouldn't turn your nose up at either of us. If you see me slipping into some behaviors that I shouldn't, then I fully expect you to take me aside and remind me of the great "I AM" I represent.

But don't tell me that just because she curses, or he drinks a little or they are living together that I shouldn't be friends with them. Don't tell me that I shouldn't talk to that person because God doesn't like their behavior. Don't tell me that people are talking about it because of what that person does for a living.

Don't.....do....it.

You can counsel me on how to interact with them properly and not to put myself in an embarrassing situation. You can help me to figure out how to reach a person in a lifestyle or with questions that I may not readily be able to answer. But don't you condemn someone just because they are different.

Romans 10:14-15, 17 (NKJV)-"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!'...So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

We are called to live a life of love and compassion. We are called to be a light in the earth, and salt to the world. Why would He call us to do that with those who already know Him? We are to be an example to those who DON'T know Him, in order to bring them saving knowledge. There are people that I will never get to interact with in my sphere of influence, that you will see most every day and vice versa.

We need to be about our Father's business. Don't put yourself somewhere that will cause you to stumble. But by the same token, don't run from the world and insulate yourself and be happy that you are saved and going to Heaven. Don't you want to take some of those others around you with you? Or do you think they aren't worthy of knowing God?


Let's remember, at one time, someone thought we were worthy of investing time and energy in to be brought into the kingdom. Why do we always seem to forget that fact?

And if I'm way off on this, please feel free to let me know. I'm not saying I have this Christian walk down by any means. Let's help each other and not hinder the gospel.

Be blessed in the Lord today.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Let it go......

*Matthew 6:12 (NKJV)-"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." 

What does this mean to you? Is that as hard a concept for you to grasp as it is for me? I think God means something completely different about forgiveness than we comprehend. And that is NOT an excuse for us not to forgive those we come into contact with daily.

To me, forgiveness means to give up.

It means to give up my right to hold on to this angry little ball of fire and hate and discontent because of something you said/did/do that makes me so dad-blamed mad! It means that I have no right to take revenge on you. None, nada, zip.

It means that I have to have compassion on you and love you. I may not LIKE you as a person, but I have to love you as God loves you. That's what forgiveness means to me. It means giving up my rights for the sake of the One who gave up His rights for me.

It means getting off my high horse.

Think about that person who, when they walk in the room, you immediately start scoping out the exits and planning out your strategy should you have to face them. Imagine all the fear and dread that comes into mind when you see them. Imagine that person (and for some of you, I acknowledge, it could be me. I'm okay with that; I love you anyway!) and all the accompanying feelings that come attached to his/her presence.

Now, ask yourself: Who died and made you God?

Don't lie....you thought about it. Some may try and be indignant and say, "But you don't understand, Bo! This person did the most mean, low-down, dirty...."

Did that person take a tool and a spike and nail up God in human flesh on a cross? Did that person stand by and heckle Him as He bled to death so that the gap between God and us could be bridged? Did that person do something so heinous to you that you want them to be apart from God forever?

Really?

God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to be sin for us on the cross. Through His death, burial, and resurrection, we have been granted the favor of being able to boldly stand at the throne of God and find His mercy.

"Well, I don't want them to be separated from God, Bo. I just want them to feel a little of how I felt when they hurt me."

Oh, I see. What about you? How about the people YOU step on to get your way? How about the people YOU hurt in everyday life? Would YOU want your co-workers to pray that prayer about you? Would you want that boss you disrespect to feel that way? How about your children or even your spouse?

What if we didn't place ourselves at the center of the Universe, and left that spot to the One who already occupies it? What if we placed ourselves on the other side of the coin, so to speak? What if we remembered that we are not the only ones who get hurt or angry?

What if we just decided to forgive and let it go?

I admit freely that I messed up this past week with a co-worker. I'm openly and freely acknowledging that I lost my cool and kinda blamed God and asked why she had to intrude on my life. And He reminded me that I needed to learn compassion for all His children, not just the ones I like to hang around. He reminded me that Jesus came to the ones no one else wanted. He came to heal the hurting and the bruised. And He did it for me. And now, my responsibility is to pay it forward.

I need to apologize. I need to allow God to forgive me, and then I need to forgive that person. And I need to have compassion and love.

In the end, that's all that separates those who claim to know and love God, from those who don't.

Be blessed in the Lord today.