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Showing posts with the label Erwin MacManus

“We are designed to learn, to adapt, to grow, to change, to develop, to progress, to become.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 79). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
I know some people that all they hunger for is to retire.To just stop working so they can do nothing.Now i did go through a time of real adjustment when I retired because I loved what I was doing so I decided to adapt and to keep at it but without pay.
I have found that deep inside me is a hunger to grow, to learn, and to do.The reason why it is there is because that is the way I was built and that is the way you were built.I am so glad that I had parents who understood that.My mom still at 85+ craves to learn and to do. I love that about her.I know it is frustrating sometimes to those around her.They wish that she would just sit down and sleep and stay out of their way but I love it.That’s not my mom.
You see to stop doing what you are designed to do means you’ve died. I’ve met some people who have died before they have died.They just w…

“It seems failure is no match for the person who believes in the future.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 76). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Does that make sense to you?It does to me.
I am reminded in myself some times of what I have failed to accomplish or where I blew it.The truth is there is pain there.I also know that if I stay there my potential to live life at its fullness is over.
I was reading today the last few chapters of Matthew in the New Testament of the Bible of Jesus death on a cross.Can you imagine how those who had followed Him were feeling?I mean everything they believed in was hanging on that Cross as a failure.What fools were we to believe that He was more than a man.But that was Friday and so many of us live in the Friday’s of our lives.We are fired, our marriage falls apart, we gave in again to that temptation, we followed the wrong person, we failed.It is horrible to live in the Friday existence of failure.
But Sunday was just two days away and their lif…

“Yet their political slavery could not diminish the freedom they found in Jesus Christ.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 240). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I understand the desire that we have to live in a free country.The USA came in existence because of a desire to have religious freedom and we will do all we can to keep it.It seems that some of those freedoms are slowly being taken away from us.But if you read the book in the New Testament called the Acts of the Apostles you will see that the church was born under the rule of the dominion of a pagan empire. That is what this thought by Erwin was talking about. 
Now I said that to say that we need to be careful to live with an expectation of God to provide us with this freedom.We are no better than those Christians who live in the Peking Jerusalem Corridor who are under persecution every day.God loves them just as much as He loves us. We need to be thankful every day that we have this privilege but we also need to see that along with the…

“There is no condition that can stop us from living free.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2003-09-04) from his book,Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 237-238). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

There are so outside situations that can stop us from living free.There are people who live in Red China who are living freer than people who live in the United States.There are people who are poor who are living freer than people who have wealth.There are people who are sick in bed who are freer than those who are young and healthy.There are married people who are living freer than single people.
The Apostle Paul was free while in prison.He wrote a big part of the New Testament.The Apostle John was free on the Isle of Patmos. He wrote 5 books of the NT including the Revelations. Jesus was free on the Cross. He was free to save us. Corrie Ten Boom was free in a Nazi Concentration Camp.Her story has transformed so many people’s lives.
Your situation doesn’t make you free, your Savior does.
As Erwin said on dealing with this thought, …

“Two roadblocks that often mislead us are lack of authority and lack of resources.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book,Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 1147). Kindle Edition.

My dad was a minister and there were many phrases that he said that have stayed with me.One was, “A short pencil is better than a long memory.” I use my notes app on my iPhone all the time. Another was, “No paper is so thin that is doesn’t have two sides.”I strive to always see the other side.But one that came to my mind this morning was, “What your faith covers you now have.”
I was just reading on my Kindle, Matthew 9 in the Message paraphrase and Jesus said something to a couple of blind guys that reaffirms my dad’s phrase.It says, “He touched their eyes and said, ‘Become what you believe.’”Become what you believe.The reality was they were blind but the reality was Jesus could give them sight.He said, “It’s up to you.Choose what you’re going to believe and that will become a reality.”
What are you becoming by what you believe?I’ve been wrestling ove…

“Life is the sum total of what you do with the moments given you.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 179). Kindle Edition.

In this moment I have two choices.One is to stay here at Starbucks and finish the thought that I have been given or go home and turn the Dodgers on TV and maybe be frustrated.
Now granted either choice does not have life or death complications but they do set out the choice of self or others.You see I do not write just for my own enjoyment.I hopefully write for your encouragement and edification.I watch the Dodgers for me.
Of course I could do both.I could go home and watch the Dodgers and then when the game is over write this blog but there are some problems attached to that choice.One is, the thought I have right now may not be there when I’m ready to write and the thought may be exactly what you may need.You also may not be there when I post it later.This is the moment.
The other reason is because I could really get disgusted with what I see with …

“What God can do through a person who's willing to act is limitless.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus. Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Locations 436-437). Kindle Edition.

The last couple of days have been interesting.As I was getting ready to write down my thoughts I heard a commotion and looked up and a young guy was running out of the Starbucks with my iPhone.That kind of stopped what I was doing but I’m back.What I was doing when I was so rudely interrupted was reading about a young guy that this thought Erwin McManus made me think about.His name is Blake Mycoskie who is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS.
Do you know the story of TOMS?Do you have a pair of TOMS?I am wearing mine right now.“While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Blake witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. His solution to the problem was simple, yet revolutionary: to create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. Blake’s vision soon turned into the simple business idea that provided the powe…

“A healthy community is not a place of perfect people.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 54). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

That is the truth.Health from a Spiritual standpoint means that I am honest and also accepting but not perfect.The truth is, I cannot be honest and perfect.Because in all honesty I know I am not perfect.I can have God’s perfect love inside me but my actions are still not going to be perfect.That is what growing in the Spirit is all about.
I like what he also says right before this quote, “We are all hypocrites in transition. I am not who I want to be, but I am on the journey there, and thankfully I am not whom I used to be.”
Somebody says, “I don’t want to go to church because there are so many hypocrites there” and that is the truth.We are all hypocrites but hopefully in transition.”Now the problem is if I am using someone who I believe is a hypocrite to keep me from God.If I am doing that then that person is closer to Him than I am.

“It’s time to recognize the opposite of ‘me’ isn’t ‘you,’ but ‘we.’”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 53). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

The problem with the “we” is that for so many there is pain.They can handle the “me” and the “you” but have problems with the “we”.And that is where the despair, the loneliness, the isolation come from.“You” and I, (“me”) were created for “we”.
Now in looking at the “you” there can be a wall of separation but not with the “we”.I mean the “you” has hurt me.I can’t trust “you”.“You” have disappointed me.But with the “we” there can be connection, relationship, community, support, love and power.
Everyone is looking for the “we”.But there is danger in connecting with the wrong “we”.The key is to first connect with the right “we” and then go from there.
Scott Daniels the Pastor of Pasadena 1st Nazarene Church was talking about the problem of kids growing up in the church and then leaving at around 19 and then coming back at around 30.The goo…

“The greatest opportunities require the highest risk.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Locations 1405-1406). Kindle Edition.

Today is in Margaret and my life a very exciting day.It is our daughter Stefanie’s birthday.She was born 30 years ago today between 12:00 am and 1:00 am in Porter Memorial Hospital in Valparaiso, Indiana.The fact of being a parent is for sure one of the greatest opportunities two people can have together but it also has such high risks in it.
There is the risk of childbirth.It can be a life and death situation.Nearly six months back we saw that potential when Stef and Andrews’s little Harper was born.She was at risk.Margaret and I barely made it from Pasadena, California to Las Vegas, Nevada before Stef went into the delivery room.The birthing of a child has risks.
Then raising them to adult hood has risks.But there are so many great opportunities along the way.I love the privilege of being a parent and I love the privilege of being a grandpare…

“The great danger of giving up on love is that we begin to give in to hate.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 16). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

And hate will consume you.It is all encompassing.That is why love is so important.
It is amazing how love overlooks the small stuff but hate sees everything.Nothing goes unnoticed even things that aren’t there.Hate takes little things and builds its own stories to prove that you should hate.The story doesn’t even have to be the truth.
Love is life giving but hate kills.It kills relationships. It kills hope and it can even kill you.Love is your best friend and hate is your worst enemy.
Erwin also says, “When we love, we are moved toward forgiveness. When we allow hate to take over, we begin to live for vengeance.”
People aren’t perfect.Even people we love so there is always a choice to be had when we are hurt.We can dwell on it, build on it, let it consume us which in turn turns to bitterness then to hate or we can forgive them.And the soo…

“Love is not about how many people we have used, but about how much we have cherished one person.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 19). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Many people don’t realize that what they have is so great.They can take it for granted and look over the fence and think that the grass is greener over there.But the truth is the grass is greener where you feed it and water it.
There are so many who wish that they could be with someone who really cherishes them.So many at thirty have been used to the point that they think that is all love is about,Some of those are even married but there is more than that.
Listen, real authentic love is not self-seeking but other-minded.There is real authentic love out there.Now it starts with a real authentic relationship with God.That is where you initially get that kind of love.
David in the psalms said that in sin did my mother conceive me.That means we came into this world as self-seeker, as users.I want what I want and I want it now. Now Jesus, God…

“If you plan to keep step with Jesus the Pioneer, you better expect some changes.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Kindle Location 383). Kindle Edition.

I am reading the New Testament Gospels thirteen times in 2013.I want to really catch a glimpse of what Jesus thinks is important.One thing I’ve found is what Erwin says in this thought, Jesus brings about change.
He brought religious change by His continually healing people on the Sabbath.He brought vocational change to a group of swine owners when He cast some demons out of a man named, Legion and they were sent into the pigs and they went over a cliff.He also brought structural change to a house when some men tore open a roof to drop their sick friend down in front of Jesus so he could be healed.Over and over He brought change through His teachings and His miracles where ever He went.
Have you noticed that in all of the good He did for someone He was it seemed messing up someone else’s day to day world?I mean the Pharisees had everything set up t…

“The more you trust Him, the more you'll risk on His behalf.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within(Kindle Location 380). Kindle Edition.

When you really learn that He can be trusted then you do want to step out and risk more.You just don’t want to waste the fact that you are connected to Him.
Now there is the other side.In the gospels in the New Testament there is the story of the two times that Jesus fed great groups of people with just a few pieces of bread and a few fish and even had some left over.You would think that the disciples would really trust Him to provide food for them but they didn’t and Jesus got after them.He fed 5,000 then 4,000 with a few loaves and some fish.
What about us?He has shown us that we can trust Him but we still live with so much worry.I mean look how He brought us through April but we’re not going to survive in May.He has shown He can be trusted but we are afraid to risk.
They saw Him feed 9,000 people but they were wondering where their next meal was …

“His desire is not to conform us, but to transform us.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Kindle Location 441). Kindle Edition.

Jesus didn’t die to get us all to look or be alike but to be who we were created individually to be.
Now as a parent I understand the desire to do this.We have two children who are now adults with their own families. Our son came first and we found some ways to deal with him and his personality but then our red headed daughter came along and what worked with Brett didn’t work with Stefanie.God made them both unique with different personalities and different needs and different potentials and it was up to us to see that and to enhance that.We were not to make Stef like Brett.God created them both as individuals.
That is the way God sees us.His desire is to not conform us to be like everyone else but to transform us into the person He created us to be.It seems like everyone else wants us to be the same. They are constantly striving to put us into a …

“Bitterness is the enemy of love because it makes you unforgiving and unwilling to give love unconditionally.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (Kindle Location 224). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Pain is such a horrible thing for so many people.Now it is something that can be your enemy or your friend.It is all in how you view it but it is for sure something that you can’t ignore.
Pain as an enemy drives people to excessive use of something that will mask it, dull it but as a friend it leads
to finding the cause so something can be done about it.Pain as a friend is a red light that there is a problem.  If we don’t see it as a friend that leads us to the cause then it can potentially lead to death.
Pain in a relationship not dealt with can lead to bitterness which can damage ones potential to love and be loved.That is what is happening today inside of so many very lonely hurting people.If they would just stop and seek the cause then they could look for the cure.  Emotional pain is very real and its cause is usually …

“Failure is closely related to risk, which is closely related to success.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 1534). Kindle Edition.

That is one of the main reasons why we don’t risk.Most of us don’t see failure as a friend but our enemy.But those who have made it their friend are not afraid to risk.
So much of our life is controlled by our perspective. Take for example our view of failure.If it is viewed as your enemy you want to stay as far away from it as you can.Some people have a failed relationship and it hurt them deeply so they are never going to get in another situation where they can be hurt again.They are going to play it safe and keep from getting close to people.No way are they going to step out and risk that happening again so they live a lonely safe existence.
Another person sees the failed relationship as an opportunity to learn.They see where they went wrong and they strive to change, to grow.The failure was a learning opportunity for them so they head into a new …

“Jesus understood His purpose was to save us not from pain and suffering, but from meaninglessness.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Kindle Location 222). Kindle Edition.

I find it so interesting to hear people who say they are Christians say that now that I am a follower of Christ there will be no pain and suffering in my life.If there is it means I don’t have enough faith.But what that really means is they haven’t read the story of Christ.If they read His story and the story of those closest to Him they would see that they had great pain and great suffering.
Yes they had pain and suffering and yes they had meaning and purpose and fulfillment and reward.They had a reason to live and they understood the reason for the suffering.They were serving Christ not Him serving them.They lived for a cause that was great than themselves.And that is what real living is all about.
So what are you living for, no pain or suffering or meaningfulness?

“Power without humility is a bad combination.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book,Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 2555). Kindle Edition.

To some having power with humility would be an oxymoron but to Jesus it was the key to power.
Humility is when you say you need help, power to many is when you don’t need help.“I have the power to do what I want.”It is all a dependency issue.It is all in who you depend on.Humility is a dependency on God.It is saying, “I need You God in my life to give me the power and to use the power as you would use it”. Humility is real power.
Now the problem with power without humility is that it many times is used from a self-centered motive.And in that situation others can be hurt.
The other day there was a NASCAR race where two drivers were having problems between each other and one of the drivers at the end of the race purposefully drove his car into the other guy’s car and caused the other guy to wreck.And the other guy was injured to the point that he won’t …

“No football team has ever won a Super Bowl on the strength of the huddle.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book,Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Locations 2494-2495). Kindle Edition.

So true but we sure do like to try.So much we try to do sitting in our office or in front of the TV.We know we can make a difference.We have the talent, the ability and the idea.We are going to do it.We have the play, the plan we just don’t have the drive to break the huddle and go for it.
What is it that is keeping you from doing “it”, whatever “it” is in your life?What is it?There is something that you use as a reason or should I say an excuse for not starting.Stop for a moment and come to grips with that specific reason and then set it aside and go for “it”.Make it a stepping stone not a stopping place.If it’s a closed door to you open it up or knock it down.Don’t let it stop you.
Like in football, they get a penalty and lose some ground or they get tackled for a loss so they get in their huddle, come up with another play and then try again.…