Archive for July, 2015

thoughts

Are you one of those guys who just absolutely LOVE’S competition? Over the years, I have found that I am a guy who turn’s pretty much everything I do into a contest…and I really can’t help it…I think it might actually be in my DNA because I so enjoy the thrill of competing or engaging an opponent. Whether it’s shooting dirty clothes into the clothes hamper with my son, throwing darts, or playing a competitive sport, I relish my opportunities to compete and be challenged.

That got me thinking about how we men have challenges beyond the physical that involve battles for our thought life. As strange as that sounds, have you ever considered that inside your mind is a war zone and there is a constant competition for who is going to win the battle over what you think about?

Think about that statement for a second…

Inside your head, there is a battle going on where good and evil compete literally every second of your day as to who will gain control.

Now, if you think I am over exaggerating this issue, I have the Bible to back me up. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Paul tells us that it’s our job to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”.

In other words, we are expected to be in control over what we think and if we have a thought that isn’t “Godly” we are to limit it and make it obedient to Christ.

Now, I may have lost some of you already because what I am saying is very difficult to do…even if we WANT to do it. If you are a guy reading this blog who walks with God then you already know that we are bombarded with images and situations that cause everyone of us to think thoughts that are NOT Godly…

By the way, in case you didn’t know this already, that IS Satan’s plan. You see the way to your heart is through your MIND and if he can gain control over what you think about, then he has you…that is why Paul said this 2000 years ago because he knew even then, that one way Satan would attack men…was through our thoughts.

Hey Guys…know this… there is a way to gain victory over your thoughts but like everything else we do, we have to work at it and most of all, be consistent. Its just like working out in the gym…when we skip a few days, its far easier to just keep on skipping until we never go at all…it takes a consistent routine, day in and day out, to make the physical progress as well as overcoming the mental part of just going in the first place.

Overcoming our thought life is exactly the same; it takes a constant effort on your part to gain victory. In this case though, we cannot skip days…we must be consistent each day and put on our armor knowing full well we are in a battle against and enemy who seeks to destroy us…

I put together 4 steps necessary to control your thought life to help you for the future.

  1. It takes Fortitude. Just like your Coach used to tell you, “you got to want it”. If you are sitting on the edge as to whether or not you want to control your thought life, then you have already lost.
  1. Be Consistent. Each day give your thoughts over to Him and then work to be conscious of what you are thinking about. Some of us allow our thoughts to drift off into what ever and that is a wide open door for Satan to walk through. Paul even tells us in 1st Corinthians that he “dies daily” to Christ, which simply means he hits the reset button everyday before he went to work.
  1. Hit the Reset button everyday. Paul even tells us in 1st Corinthians that he “dies daily” to Christ, which simply means he hits the reset button everyday before he went to work. We are going to fail…we just need to know that we can reset each day and begin anew…clean, fresh and sinless in Gods eyes.
  1. It takes a Team. Sometimes, and I know this is hard for men to do…but if we have a buddy that we can talk to during our weak moments…that just may be the difference between success and failure.

Guys, let me end this post this way. Please understand that even if you work to apply what I have said today, you are still going to mess up now and then.

HEAR MY WORDS!

 Do NOT give up. Keep fighting on. God Forgives and He FORGETS.

 Just because you screw up does not mean it is game over. Life happens and things don’t always go the way we want them to. In those times, we have to seek God even more.

 And He will extend His grace and forgiveness to you. You can count on that.

 You CAN do this…

 Until next time guys…

1 Take a Stand

I originally wrote this post 2 years ago in June of 2013 and yet it still has huge relevancy as America continues to change before our eyes. I am calling out the men again to take a stand in their own homes and be strong and be who you have been called to be for your family. I ask that you read this post with the same urgency it was written 2 years ago and now…

The Ironman Strength blog has always been about MEN being strong in God and taking on the challenges that this life sends our way and this post is no different. Guys, I sense some indecisiveness out there. Maybe you have some doubt in your lives that if left alone, could cause some very serious problems for you and your family down the road. Please read this post with the same urgency that I write it and please take it to heart because our America is changing. I begin with a verse for warriors that I hope you will apply today…

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 NIV)

This is a great verse because it is clear and to the point. When Joshua wrote this verse, he knew he was going to die. He had fought the good fight for God and now he was old but before God took him into heaven, Joshua spoke to the children of Israel and gave them two options about their spiritual future; either serve God…or don’t serve Him. They had already experienced the power of God throughout their daily journey as they moved through the promised land and continually overcame obstacles that were more than they could have ever withstood on their own…And now, here they stood on the precipice of the most important decision any of them would ever make for their future…and with Joshua gone…would they give in and serve the gods of the existing tribes around them…or…would they take a stand and serve the God who had brought them to where they were now?

What is critical to note here though is Joshua’s final opinion on the two options he gave Israel. He said, “as for me and my household, we will serve The Lord”. As was typical of the rock who Joshua was, he did not waver or falter…he spoke from his heart and it was solid.

Joshua was one of the most powerful warriors in Biblical history who served God with all he had and when the end of his life was near, he took his final stand in front of his nation and announced who he and his household would serve…

My question to you is…which option have you chosen for you and your house?

Have you taken the stand for yourself and firmly planted your feet on the solid ground before God?

I believe that now is time to “man up” in your relationship with God…You need to make a decision and then stick with it…It is your responsibility to shield both you and your family from the harm that Satan seeks to wreak upon the people you care about. Now is NOT a time for doubt, it is a time for clarity. Otherwise you will be like this;

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:6 NIV)

Everyone has seen seaweed being tossed back and forth inside waves with no stability whatsoever. That seaweed could end up anywhere because it has broken away from its stronghold under the sea. Guys, if you doubt, that will be you being thrown around in this world like broken seaweed in the waves…with nothing to hold onto…being tossed around with no idea where you will end up…

Trust me here…that is NOT God’s plan for you OR your family.

Guys, I challenge you right now to be the warrior God intended you to be by taking a stand inside your house by protecting your wife and kids from what Satan seeks to do them. It starts by clinging onto our God who is a rock and a fortress and will always be there for us…

I challenge you to be like Joshua and declare to the world…

As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord…

Who will you choose to serve?

Until next time guys…

bad_odds_for_youth_gamblers

I really enjoy reading the Old Testament because I like to see the hand of God everywhere throughout the various difficulties and challenges that each Israelite generation faced. What a life these Bible characters lived; between the Philistines, the Assyrians, the Hittites, the Midianites, the Jebusites, the Amorites and all the other “ites” working to destroy them through one means or another…One thing is clear, if the Israelites did not seek God for protection, they surely would not have survived. These armies they faced were immense and the men themselves were huge with some of them being Giants as we shall see.

Time and time again we see examples in scripture of a no possible way for victory and yet Israel survived through divine intervention Do you remember the story of Gideon in Judges 7 where God tells him that he has too many men to fight the Midianites? When was the last time anyone heard that before a battle? “You have more men than is necessary to accomplish this task”…so then after he pairs down his army to a “are you kidding me” number of 300 men, he goes out and wins a huge battle with trumpets… In our eyes, the Midianites should have destroyed this small band of men. But as was in most of the cases with Israel, the worse the odds seemed for any victory, the better God liked the scenario…because when Israel was ultimately victorious it was absolutely clear to ALL opponents, the God of Israel was truly ALL POWERFUL.

Now, we have another example in Dueteronomy with Joshua, Israel’s great General, where if you were a betting person, this battle was the ultimate long shot. In fact, the odds were so bad against Israel in Deuteronomy 3:22, God had to remind Joshua to move forward in faith and He, God…would fight the battle for them. You see from Joshua’s point of view, just counting soldiers, they would have been destroyed. But God had the situation right where He wanted it. He told Joshua:

Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.

Can you think about that for a moment…”God himself will fight for you”.

Could you use some help right now with someone fighting your battles for you? Here is something I want you to think about when you are facing a difficult situation; have you considered that God may want the situation you are facing to seem overwhelming, insurmountable and frankly impossible?

Why…because God wants you to be fully dependent upon Him in all of your life circumstances and especially the difficulties because he wants there to be no doubt in your mind that you achieved victory because of Him. God prefers situations and circumstances that have no apparent (human) solution…at least to you and me…but just like in Deuteronomy 3 where the children of Israel had to face Og (who was a real guy, a predecessor to the famous Goliath of Gath…Og King of Bashan who according the Bible, was even bigger than Goliath read Deuteronomy 3:11) they moved forward in faith on the battlefield and was victorious…not on their own power, but with God right their beside them fighting…you must move forward in your own faith and take the first step. I don’t care what the odds are for victory, I only know what Paul tells us in Romans 8:31:

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Honestly guys, those are odds I can live with…

Until next time Guys…