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Back in 2011, I posted this in honor of the greatest fighter that ever lived. As a result of his passing this weekend, I wanted to repost in his honor. Whether you liked him or not, he changed the sport of boxing with his style and his personality. He was a game-changer and very fun to watch him “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”.

RIP Mohammed Ali…

We have all heard of Muhammad Ali and we know that he tended to be controversial because he was so outspoken. What I find interesting now is when you go back and listen to what he was saying, he really knew exactly who he was and exactly what he wanted.

Many of these quotes are truly inspirational but the bottom line is, don’t let other people make up your mind about what YOU are supposed to do OR become…With Christ’s help, you can become exactly who He wants you to be…exactly who you are designed to be…Enjoy these quotes and just a “little” commentary…

1. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Without a doubt, life is ebb and flow and most of the time you are relaxed, but every now and then you have to stick up for what you believe in. When that time comes…sting like a bee!

2. “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.”

Stop procrastinating and focus on your dream…don’t put off what you can do and be right now!

3. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

In my opinion, Impossible is a cop out. Impossible is for people who like to live inside the box…I prefer to think outside that box…how about you?

4. “To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If not, pretend you are.”

Confidence starts with you…What can YOU do and what can YOU achieve…? That is 100% up to you because YOU get to choose…

5. “What you are thinking is what you are becoming.”

If you are focused exclusively on what you can’t do, or no focus on the impossible, I can tell you exactly what will happen to you. Stay focused on your dream.

6. “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

Life is too short to waste time on pursuits that don’t allow you to reach your mountaintop. Focus your energy each and every day on reaching the next level, YOUR next level. Every day do just one thing towards your goal.

7. “What keeps me going is goals.”

Without goals, you are NOT accountable to yourself as well as how do you measure that you’re going in the right direction? Goals keep you focused…Goals keep you motivated…

8. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

Life is all about making choices…You can be whatever YOU want to be…Make the right choices

9. “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

A friend of mine told me recently “Life is too short, drink the good wine first”…I like that.

10. “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”

I have found age to be only in my mind…I work hard to stay young. What do you do?

11. “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, then they can sure make something out of you.”

I am NOT going to give up on you…but you have to help…

12. “Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

Another way to look at this is “when in doubt, shut up…”

 

So what do you think?

I really enjoyed his quotes and I hope you did too. Yes I know that Muhammad Ali was a loud mouth that never stopped talking but he backed up what he said in the ring. After reading about his philosophy through his words, it sounds like I should have paid more attention to what he was saying.

Guys, I included these quotes as inspiration to help face a new day. I know all of you will face tough times like unemployment, or your hours being cut, or something worse. My words to you are don’t give up, keep on trusting in Jesus Christ for your life’s direction. He really cares and the best part is he will never leave you OR forget you. No matter what your circumstances may be, you are NOT alone…believe me…I leave you with these verses…

If you make the Most High your dwelling–even the LORD, who is my refuge…then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalms 91:9-16

 

Until next time guys…

 

 

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For the last several years, I have had the pleasure of working with an atheist who is 100% adamant that there is no God, or any god, in this universe. Her premise is simple; she is here and she makes her own way through life and there really isn’t much after that. Our conversations about this topic tend to be very short because in her mind, there really isn’t another side to this argument. She refuses to accept the notion that there is a higher power and that He created this world from scratch. She tells me what she thinks sometimes, but it just sounds like a rationalized excuse.

Now it has never been my job to judge anyone because they have the beliefs they have. All I can do is share and then let God do the heavy lifting in their lives. What is always hard though is when you think about the physical examples that God has given us to recognize Him as we see in nature or as we learn more about the human body and how the microscopic world functions on our behalf. All these things that we didn’t know but have discovered along the way, they always were there but now discovered, are an example of the kind of Creator we serve.

All of these physical examples have not swayed my coworker into any acceptance of what she sees around here having any connection to a God.

Honestly, that fact alone scares the heck out of me because of these verses:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20

Please inspect these verses carefully and understand the critical nature of what they mean for you, for me, and my friend. God expects us to recognize Him by what we see around us. This verse explains that, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen and separated from what has been made.

In other words, what MAN has made versus what God has made.

Man builds a skyscraper. God creates a mountain. Man discovers DNA. God invented DNA. Man can perform surgery on the human body. God created the human body.

Do you see the difference?

Then there are the constant physical examples like Yosemite, or the Pacific Ocean, the miracle of birth with your own children…all these examples around you that if you wanted to, you can try and make an excuse, or labor to explain all of what you see because of just science, but I speak the truth when I say to you…You cannot go about your daily lives living in ignorance.

As the verse clearly explains…In Gods eyes, we are without excuse. We have our time here on earth to get this right. We don’t get a “do-over” and we certainly don’t get a chance to explain to Him why we didn’t choose to believe when we had the chance to. We have the here and now. One time through this world and that is it. We get to choose 100% of which direction we should go and where we spend eternity is determined by what we believe.

This post is NOT intended to upset you, but when I see Gods word communicated so clearly for this generation, I put it into a blog so you can see it also.

My only goal is that you too will look around you at the examples God has shown us as examples of His presence and see for yourself.

Would you do me a favor and look closely first and then make your decision?

 

Until next time guys…

 

 

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I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, (Ephesians 4:1 ESV)

 

I have a friend that always tells other men to “man up” when he thinks they are not acting in a manner worthy of their gender. He always laughs at their reaction because they are usually stunned when he tells them. Most recently, he surprised someone I know with this same declaration only this time it got me thinking about this idea that we have all been called by God to be something really special only many of us are just not living up to that call.

What I mean is, what this verse above actually says, “walk in the manner that is worthy of the calling”. Guys, this is Paul the Apostle talking. Remember him? He was a punching bag for almost his entire ministry but yet he continued to stand worthy of Gods calling throughout his many journeys. This guy was literally responsible for enormous church planting in the beginning in the early days of the gospel. Yet sometimes his message wasn’t received, and as a result, he was beaten, imprisoned or even worse…

Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; (2 Corinthians 11:23-25 ESV)

Here is a guy that honestly could have quit early on in his ministry solely based upon injuries alone…but he didn’t. He could have chosen to quit when his message was rejected…but he didn’t quit then either. Instead, he constantly made statements like “he rejoices in his sufferings…”

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (Romans 5:3-4 ESV)

 

What is my point?

As a believer in Christ, you have been called to be His follower. That means something. That means you MUST act different than you did before you were a believer. Paul reminds us that we need to walk a walk that is truly worthy of His calling on our life.

Don’t assimilate into the culture… Separate yourself

It may cause some discomfort…but trust me…Christ has your back…

 

Until next time guys…

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I have always found this interesting in that I have had many friends over the years tell me that they aren’t very close to their moms because of reasons that don’t make any sense to me. I have had friends tell me that they tolerate having their mom around because she participates in taking care of their kids… and I have also had friends tell me their mom had passed on and they desperately wish they had said something or done something different to heal the brokenness between them…but they did not. I can’t imagine the guilt some of these guys have because of what they should have said.

Honestly though, none of these circumstances apply to me when it comes to you Mom. None.

54 years ago, I was blessed to be born to you and Dad because of what I now understand you both stood for in our home. The plain and simple truth, God was at the head of our house and you both followed that path. We were not rich, but that didn’t matter because we were truly blessed and being Christ-centric made a difference in our home. Honestly, when I look back on my childhood, I can only remember the good things, the happy times, and most importantly, the sacrifices you made for my brother and I. Over the years I have figured out that raising kids is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but without a doubt I learned the “HOW” because of how you raised me.

Looking back, I can see how difficult I was to raise because of one main thing…I was rebellious. I remember flat out…NOT liking being told what to do by anyone. As you well know, I got in trouble in school, with you and Dad, and even at my job. At one point to multiply my poor attitude for all the world to see, I was pulled over by a policeman for a simple taillight problem and he ended up citing me for as many problems as he could find simply because I was such a jerk to him. That is probably something I’ve never told you before but to say the least, it is not something I am very proud of considering how much I have tried to teach my own kids to respect the law. So YEP…YOU got to deal with all of that just from one punk kid.

Years later, when I look back at everything you had to cope with I find I am embarrassed because I realize now that even though I thought I knew everything, I really didn’t know anything. Up to that point, I had ZERO life experience and wasn’t smart enough to listen to you as you tried to explain the “whys” and “why nots” to me. I can’t tell you how thankful I am though that you didn’t give up on me. Thank you for not giving in, and giving up because that would have been the easier road to take. Instead, you and Dad persevered and stayed the course in my life and both of you chose to pray me thorough the mayhem of my teenage years and helped me get to where I finally began to understand some of what you were saying all these years.

The Bible says that, as Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another in Proverbs, but I can tell you that the solid iron determination that you displayed in my life WAS the difference in me figuring out the “whys”. You made me angry many times but I always knew you loved me and I thank you for that.

Mom, it is extremely important that you understand this from me right now instead of me waiting until it would be to late to say it. Even though I don’t say it enough, I do love you and I thank God that you are my Mom. To be truly honest with you, I couldn’t let one more Mothers Day go by without telling you this. Of course, posting this on my blog for the whole world to see maybe a little too much in your eyes but not in mine.

I truly do wish you the best Mothers Day any Mom could ever have…

I Love you,

Your Eldest son

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“My son says he doesn’t believe in God anymore”. Those were the anguished words I heard my friend speak to me just the other day when we were together. He said, “he announced that to my wife and I with the proclamation that he no longer needs to go to church anymore as well”. My friend’s son is just 17 and only a junior in High School. He went on to tell me that this announcement was really just the tip of the iceberg inside their home in that he and his wife have been dealing with pure rebellion in this young man for close to a year. Moreover, with younger kids still in the home, this situation is beginning to tear his family apart.

How do you respond to someone when they tell you that?

My brothers I am sure many of you can identify with this very same scenario in your home and all the battles that happen as a result. As the father, some of us may get very firm and stand our ground in front of our kids and wives and shout, “My way or the highway!” while others of us may be more fearful and not want to upset the household to much and therefore we don’t do anything leaving everyone confused because there aren’t any boundaries coming from dad…

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

The Bible tells us this in Proverbs:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.   (Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

So if we give our kids the correct Christ-like foundation, and a home that believes in Him and loves each other, no matter what…then if I understand God correctly, He will take care of the rest?

The answer is a resounding YES.

Guys, I am NOT an expert; I simply speak from experience in my own life when I was a teenager as well as now being the father of 2 sons.

It all starts with love in the home. By building a foundation of love inside your walls and providing for your children in the best way YOU can…then you have laid the foundation for God to work with later on when they are older. You see the reality of this life is that our children get to make their own choices about their lives…and that includes whom they will serve. As much as you and I may try, we don’t get to make that decision for them. They make it for themselves…your kids and mine. All we can do as parents is to give them the best we have and then it is up to God.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me about this point, I am NOT saying we walk away from them…OH NO. I am saying that once they reach that certain age and begin to question everything…we continue to love them, pray for them and provide guidance as they walk through this valley. That is our job and that is exactly what I told my friend. “Your home is being attacked by the enemy through your son and no matter what happens, you have to stand strong in Christ and work to try and love your kid through this major episode…together”. I encourage him like I would encourage you with these words:

God is working in your life, even when you don’t see it, even when you can’t feel it, even if it’s not evident.

You are NOT alone on this battlefront. God is right there beside you and no matter how many mean things our kids will say to us…WE STILL TRUST HIM…

Please don’t give up guys…Let me leave you with one of my favorite verses from the Bible is Joshua:

 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”   (Joshua 24:15 ESV)

 

Until next time guys…

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A few years ago, I posted a blog about brothers that has been one of my all time best posts ever. I can tell you that every time I read it, I think of my own brother and thank God that he is around because of the dangerous deployments he has had in the last 28 years of his military service. But I also think that’s really the point, because this post is about Brothers…whether they are your blood or not, and I encourage you to read this and remember your brother even if he lives in heaven, or give him a call if he lives somewhere else. Either way, be thankful for your time with him and enjoy this short read…

5 important things you NEED to tell your brother:

The definition of a real brother can be more than just a blood sibling; He can be the guy you have spent your entire life with since you were just a little man, or it can be someone else who through the journey of life’s ups and downs, has become as close as a brother. In either case, a true brother in your life is the one who is there for you when you need him, no matter what the circumstances.

It’s always painful for me when I hear someone tell me they haven’t spoken to their Brother in many years because of something that was said along time ago and they can’t get over it. In the meantime, everyone in the family loses out on that connection families receive from spending time together.

My bottom line is this, when your parents inevitably pass from this earth, you will have your brother(s) and that strong brotherly bond should be forever because frankly, brothers should look out for each other throughout life’s journey. That’s the way God planned brotherhood…you have each other’s back, no matter what the circumstances.

I know for me, I wasn’t as close to my brother when I was younger but now I appreciate the man he grew to be and respect the father and husband he is today. My only wish would be to get to live closer to him so we could spend more time together.

I ran across this list of important things to tell your brother and I thought it very appropriate for this blog because we are all about Iron Sharpening Iron (Proverbs 27:17), which means, brothers strengthening brothers.

Next time you see your bro, blood relation or not, give him a bear hug and let him know you’re thankful he’s around…and whatever you do, don’t live your life with regret that you didn’t take the time to mend fences. You know what I mean…

Remember these words:

There’s no other love like the love for a brother.  

There’s no other love like the love from a brother.  

 

Terri Guillemets

5 important things you NEED to tell your brother:

  1. Hey Brother, Be the kind of man that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says, “Oh Crap, He’s up!”
  1. Hey Brother, life is too short to wake up with regrets, so love the people who treat you right and forgive the ones who don’t. Not because you should, but because you can.
  1. Hey Brother, believe everything that happens to you, happens for a reason. If God gives you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If that second chance changes your life, let it.
  1. Hey Brother, Always take a few minutes to think before you act when you’re angry. Forgive quickly. God never told us life would be easy, He just promised it would be worth it.

 

  1. Remember this my Brother; A real Brother walks with you when the rest of the world walks on you.

 

In 2016 we say “Brother, I have your six.”

I end this post with a great quote from one of my favorite Baseball players of all time from the past, Harmon Killebrew who said:

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.  Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.”  “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply.  “We’re raising boys.”

Do me a favor my friends, call your brother today…

 

Until next time guys…

 

 

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The last installment of this 3-part series involves the story of the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. When these last 3 posts are woven together, they give us a true understanding of what our role as faithful Christians is to be while we wait for Christ’s return. In this parable, you see the characters are working diligently and with initiative while waiting for their master’s return. That is our job too as we move through our own lives…we must be working all the time WHILE we wait. Let me explain further…

On a quick side note, one sharp difference though is that we are not called to drop out of our lives and plant ourselves on top of a hill top and wait for Christ’s return…no. We are told to be careful prudent planners with an eye for the future. Remember what Christ said in Luke 14:

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish’ (Luke 14:28-30 NIV)

The Parable of the Talents is the one that commends faithful work while the master is away as well prudent planning. The rich master travels far away and gives each of the 3 men a portion of his wealth to manage while he is away. Two of them proceed to take the initiative and double their masters money while the third one buries his portion.

When the master returns, he rewards the first two with great opportunity. He says to them both, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

But the third guy, who had just one talent to take care of, was a different story altogether. As mentioned, he did not invest his talent but rather decided his best course of action was to hide it and return it to his master when the time was right. As the master said in his anger, “Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest!” But, he didn’t even do that.

While the master was away, two out of the 3 men immediately set to work, without being told, by trading and investing their masters talents. They worked hard while he was away and I would imagine, stressed somewhat at times as the market swayed back and forth, always striving to improve their situation. They did not rest but continued working faithfully until their masters return.

The third guy had a different mindset. He decided to do what HE wanted to do while the master was away. Maybe he convinced himself that by burying the money, he was avoiding financial risk? Whatever the case was, he simply was evading his duty. The money the master gave him would never make any profit.

Finally, I think the hardest part for me to grasp about this story was this third guy’s lack of responsibility and his complacency on his requirement of giving an account for the money he represented while the master was away. He just didn’t care or thought that day would never come? I am not sure. But what is worse was his attempt to blame the master for his own poor management when he was called to give an account. He was caught in his pattern of doing absolutely nothing and ultimately, he would pay a very stiff price.

Jesus tells us in this parable that the third guy is cast into the imagery of Hell:

“And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30 NIV)

I say imagery because this same language is used in other parts of the Bible to represent Hell and the torture that it there…and will be for those unfortunate souls who will enter there.

Guys, this is a very simple story but yet represents a very clear picture of what we are supposed to be doing while we wait for Christ’s return. I urge you to NOT become complacent and forget that Christ is even coming back. I understand the importance of what you are doing or may be doing in the future, weddings, grand children, vacations etc. but all of that pales in comparison to eternity…your eternity.

We all have one job while we are here and that is to stay faithful to Him until He returns. That job requires effort and focus on your part. You cannot do this while on autopilot…it will not work.

Guys, I encourage you to plug into your local church or men’s group and refocus on your top priorities while we all wait…I assure you that this positive decision will be the best one you ever make in your life…

 

Until next time guys…