Christianity 2-0

The Top 5 Secrets to Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philippians 4:11-14New International Version (NIV) 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

1 Timothy 6:6-12New International Version (NIV) 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Final Charge to Timothy 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

 


Here is my list of the top 10 Secrets to life:

  1. Whose is it anyways?  Matthew 22:21New International Version (NIV) 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.  Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”  If you are rational at all, then ask yourself who made the heavens and the earth and who created who?  God and only God.  All things are vanity if we do not put this into perspective.  Therefore, if you acknowledge the Authority in your life as God then you submit to His Word (The Bible) and then you know that everything belongs to Him.  So now what am I supposed to do if I accept and subject myself to this authority?
  2. What side of the Ledger am I on? - If we were to draw a line down a piece of paper and on the left side write down all the things that will be burned away at Judgement (the things we did out of selfism and pride and lust and for no other authority than our self or the god of this world (small "g") and on the right side the things that truly were done for God, meaning that when the intentions are burned away these were pure and done out of the Glory of His name and for His Kingdom.  Please note that I am not referring to a "works-based faith" here, rather, I am talking about our call as disciples about what we are supposed to be doing once we receive this gift of Salvation.  Refer to what I am discussing here as our call to stewardship of the three "T's" in our life:  Time, Talent and Treasure.  What we do with these and how we live with this is our call to discipleship.
  3. Have I learned the Secret to life in my lifetime?  Whether I am well fed or hungry, rich or poor, no matter my station in life am I content with what God has given me.  This is not to say that I do not want to achieve more, grow more, learn more.  Rather, it is saying that I am being faithful with what God has given me so far and that wherever He takes me in this world, whatever He gives me and how he desires me to live - It is all for His Kingdom, His Glory and His Honor that I do what I do today.  Dear Lord, help me to die to myself each day, hour, minute and second of each day and find your will and ways in all that I do.
  4. What's holding me back?  This may be a tough question to ask ourselves each day, but let's be honest and ask, "Are you seeking God's will each and everyday in your life?  Your lips and words may say so, but then your actions and deeds tell a different story.  If we are honest with this and want to find contentment, that is, the Secret to Life, then honestly ask yourself if you are in His word (the Bible) every day.  Is the Bible the authority in your life?  Are you submitting and obeying to His Word daily?  If you truly are seeking biblical contentment than less is more.  Less of me and more of God each day in my life is more not less.  The World says less God and more self, but God's word says die to the old self and put on the new self (Read Colossians 3).
  5. What Fruit is my life bearing? Galatians 5:13-24New International Version (NIV) Life by the Spirit 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Let's be honest and on the back of the ledger that we have drawn from above put a line down the middle of the paper and on the left side write the Fruit of the Sinful Nature (Read Galatians 5) and on the Right Side write down the Fruit of the Spirit listed above.  Check what fruit in your life by placing honestly each on both sides of the paper.  Give up and repent of the sinful nature and thank the Lord for the Fruit of the Spirit.  Ask for Him to reveal the sinful nature stuff that needs to be put do death and to lead you into His fruit and to help guide your into His Path.

2 Corinthians 13:5-7 New International Version (NIV) 5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.

What's holding you back?  What does biblical contentment (the Secret to Life) look like in your life?

Blessings,

D

 

 

 

 

Lessons for my son from the Musical: Hamilton

About two months ago, my wife and I and her best friend took my son to Chicago and I met them for the Musical Hamilton.   Contrary to the controversial politics and inappropriate treatment of the Vice President (VP Mike Pence) who also came to visit this production, I enjoyed the story of Alexander Hamilton and the talented cast that performed it.  Speaking of which, to all actors and entertainers, when I pay for a venue of which is a tendered contract between your boss and me, the consumer, I am paying you for the right to be entertained.  I am not asking for nor am I paying for your political view nor am I asking for your opinion on political matters. If that were the case, then you would be running for elected office and if I believed in you, as a candidate, then I would use my God-given right to vote for you in hopes that you would be elected to represent WE THE PEOPLE.

Sorry, as I digress.

Anyway, back to the musical Hamilton.  I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and story line along the way.  It was fun to discuss with my son during intermission and afterwards about how accurate and what was missing from the story of Alexander Hamilton.  There was a part of his life that gave an excellent teaching moment between my son and I and the choices that we make so early in life could actually cost us everything that we want later.  It was great to be able to talk about values that we share on Legacydads.  

There is so much more that I could share in regards to that conversation between my son and I, but I suppose that I will wait for another post or perhaps a podcast with Lance.

Near to the end of the performance and loss of their son, Phillip Hamilton, they sing a song called, It's Quite Uptown:

It's Quiet Uptown [ANGELICA] There are moments that the words don’t reach There is suffering too terrible to name You hold your child as tight as you can And push away the unimaginable The moments when you’re in so deep It feels easier to just swim down

[ANGELICA/ENSEMBLE] The Hamiltons move uptown And learn to live with the unimaginable

[HAMILTON] I spend hours in the garden I walk alone to the store And it’s quiet uptown I never liked the quiet before I take the children to church on Sunday A sign of the cross at the door And I pray That never used to happen before

[ANGELICA AND WOMEN] If you see him in the street, walking by Himself, talking to himself, have pity

[HAMILTON] Philip, you would like it uptown It’s quiet uptown

[ANGELICA AND WOMEN] He is working through the unimaginable

[ALL MEN (EXCEPT HAMILTON)] His hair has gone grey. He passes every day They say he walks the length of the city

[HAMILTON] You knock me out, I fall apart

[COMPANY (EXCEPT HAMILTON AND ELIZA)] Can you imagine?

[HAMILTON] Look at where we are Look at where we started I know I don’t deserve you, Eliza But hear me out. That would be enough

If I could spare his life If I could trade his life for mine He’d be standing here right now And you would smile, and that would be enough I don’t pretend to know The challenges we’re facing I know there’s no replacing what we’ve lost And you need time But I’m not afraid I know who I married Just let me stay here by your side That would be enough

[COMPANY (EXCEPT HAMILTON AND ELIZA)] If you see him in the street, walking by her Side, talking by her side, have pity

[HAMILTON] Eliza, do you like it uptown? It’s quiet uptown

[COMPANY (EXCEPT HAMILTON AND ELIZA)] He is trying to do the unimaginable See them walking in the park, long after dark Taking in the sights of the city

[HAMILTON] Look around, look around, Eliza

[COMPANY (EXCEPT HAMILTON AND ELIZA)] They are trying to do the unimaginable

[ANGELICA] There are moments that the words don’t reach There is a grace too powerful to name We push away what we can never understand We push away the unimaginable They are standing in the garden Alexander by Eliza’s side She takes his hand

[ELIZA] It’s quiet uptown

[COMPANY (EXCEPT HAMILTON AND ELIZA)] Forgiveness. Can you imagine? Forgiveness. Can you imagine? If you see him in the street, walking by her Side, talking by her side, have pity They are going through the unimaginable


Certainly there are both sides of the argument toward this man and his journey, but no one can deny his past and where he started and the key role he had in the framework of this great Country.  Looking at this song there are three parts that I want to focus on about "knowing their fruit" (from Galatians 5):

  • "I take the children to church on Sunday, A sign of the cross at the door, And I pray, That never used to happen before" - I love this song and cannot get it out of my head as you can ask my wife and kids how much I play this song over the past two months.  Alexander Hamilton certainly did a lot of things wrong, of which one thing likely cost him the presidency.  He would have been a contender if not a victor if he didn't have a stain.  I think if we are honest and look back at our lives, we would not always be proud or we would definitely have told our younger self to avoid or go different directions.
  • "There are moments that the words don’t reach, There is a grace too powerful to name" - if you are a critical thinker, like myself, then put on your biblical lenses in this statement and think about where this Amazing Grace comes from.  Think about a transforming power that can take something dead and make it alive again.  Think about a God who gave His only Son to save you and I - that is a God that I want to know and serve and love.
  • "Forgiveness. Can you imagine? Forgiveness. Can you imagine?" - After an inappropriate affair that cost his political career and almost cost his marriage, the loss of a son and his wife almost leaving him (or it would seem) Eliza, Hamilton's wife, forgives him.  This part of the song is so powerful and it clasps at your heart because when you hear it, it is amazing in that he and his wife buried their son who was killed in a dual and besides that alone, all the infractions of his past cost him so much more.  But along the way (of this song) you could see how even a "dead marriage" can come alive in through the power of the Holy Spirit by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

All things are possible with God.

So the question that I have for you in this matter, is where are you right now?  Does your past define you?  Is the past so overwhelming that you cannot look toward your future?  Who is Jesus Christ in your life?  Do you know him as Savior? If not, why not?  Read Romans 10.  Read the Gospel of Mark and come to know this Lord like we do.  If you do know him, but are unable to let go of the past, then I have to ask you - is God enough?  Is the death and resurrection of Jesus enough?  Do you need more than his crucifixion and resurrection?

Let go, let God.  Repent!  Turn toward God and draw near to him and he will draw near to you!!!

 

Blessings,

Dante

 

PS - here is the video

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Stuck in the middle

Revelation 3 To the Church in Laodicea 14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.


Dear Men of Faith,

As  you read this Scripture and think about God's call in your life, let me ask you these questions:

  • If you are married, and your relationship with Jesus directly correlated with the healthiness of your marriage, how would your marriage look?
  • If you are dating, and your relationship with Jesus directly correlated with the healthiness of your significant other, how would your relationship be?
  • If you were to take an hones look at your life and examine it would you be hot (on fire for God), cold (completely backslidden and/or not saved) or would you be lukewarm (vomit in God's mouth)?
  • How do I get unstuck?

Scripture on being Lukewarm or Stuck in the middle:

  • 1 John 2:15-16 ESV Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
  • Matthew 12:30 ESV Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
  • Matthew 5:13 ESV “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
  • James 3:10-12 ESV From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
  • 2 Timothy 4:3 ESV  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
  • 1 John 3:10 ESV By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
  • 1 Peter 3:15 ESV But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ESV Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
  • Matthew 16:26 ESV For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
  • Matthew 12:33-37 ESV “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
  • 2 Timothy 3:4 ESV Treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
  • Revelation 3:16 ESV So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
  • 1 Timothy 4:1 ESV Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

Seasons change and life impacts us all in so many different ways.  Christmas time, for instance, can bring some joy (thinking of family and loved ones and times together) and for others can cause pain and hurt (loss of loved ones or broken relationships).   It could be depression, it could be bitterness, it could be health or it just could be that I am more satisfied (or likely unsatisfied) about the state of being that you/I are currently am in versus taking the steps necessary to draw near to God and see what His will in my life.

That last statement actually gets to the core of where I am trying to go with this:  Are you going to get off the throne of your life, or your lukewarmness and place God where He needs to be in each of our lives - on the throne room of our hearts!

Is God the God of our entire life or just the parts that we want to "let go of?"

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

The Kingdom of Self vs The Kingdom of God

1 John 2:16New International Version (NIV) 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

Symptoms of the Kingdom of Self:

  • Self-reliant - is when you find yourself saying things like:  "Why should I ask anyone else to help, if you want this done right, then I will do it myself."  "I do not need anybody else"  "I am happier by myself" "Who needs love".  You depend solely upon yourself and no one other nor other thing.
  • Self-governing - you have no authority in your life.  You may "cherry" pick a few bible versus that create your self rule and authority but that is where the line stops.  To admit that the Triune God is your sole authority would be admitting that you are no longer in control and there are simply too many things in your life that you do not want under anyone else's authority besides yourself.
  • Self-promoting - look up the word "narcissist" and determine if you are prescribed in any or all part of this definition.  You would rather promote yourself in any and every situation over others if that seems to be the best course of action.  In environments where you are just a mere citizen and not being promoted you tend to move away from these social settings and find something more appealing to your self-promoting desires.
  • Self-rightheous - this is where you are more concerned in looking for the flaws (and sins) of others rather than looking inwardly and examining your own life and own moral and social failures (sin) and acknowledge that God should be the authority over you.
  • Self-focus - everything that the person does, wants to do or strives to do is wrapped around themselves.   They are more inward focused on the power of self rather than God's Kingdom and His Son, Jesus Christ.
  • Self-pleasure - this is where said individual values themselves and their own pleasure over everything else and everyone else around them.  They give little feeling or regard to others before they self gratify each other.

Scripture on avoiding the Kingdom of Self

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.

Proverbs 25:16 Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, That you not have it in excess and vomit it.

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.

Scripture on The Kingdom of God

  • Psalm 103:19 The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.
  • Matthew 24:14 "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
  • Acts 28:31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.
  • Luke 13:18-19 So He was saying, "What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it? "It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and THE BIRDS OF THE AIR NESTED IN ITS BRANCHES."
  • Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
  • John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
  • Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
  • Matthew 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
  • Matthew 6:31-33 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
  • Matthew 7:13-14 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
  • Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
  • Matthew 13, seven parables of the Kingdom of God
  • Matthew 18:23-35 the parable of the unmerciful servant
  • Matthew 19:13-14 Little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
  • Matthew 19:16-26 the conversation between a rich young man and Jesus
  • Matthew 21:28-32 the parable of the two sons
  • Mark 4:30-32 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.”
  • Mark 9:35-37 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
  • Luke 17:20-21 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
  • John 3:3-7 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
  • John 18:36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

When we look at the Kingdom of Self, we have to be honest and look at the ways of the World and their gospel of selfism, that is, putting everything else before God.  In other words, this would be called Idolatry.  Do you know what the Bible says about Idols?  If we are serious about denying self and putting the Kingdom of God in our scope, putting the Kingdom of God first in everything and anything that we do.

We need to strive to Kingdom Living in which that no longer promotes self, but gives glory and honor and all praise to the King of Kings and to the Lord of Lords.  We need to take an honest self examination and see what your life is showing?   We need to take an honest time to seek God first, to pray, to fast, to ask for him to reveal in you His desire and to reveal your selfism and ask Him to expose that to you so you can repent.

Be honest, be true and be accountable to the Word of God.

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Whether we want to believe it or not, evil does exist without the presence of light.  With Light (God's truth) darkness cannot survive.  Words cannot explain the tragedies that we are forced to witness over and over and over again on media and news outlets that have no filter and give no hope because evil goes unchallenged.  Whether we want to admit it or not, there is evil in the world. To witness the brutality of unanswered evil, that is, evil that goes unchallenged and continues to lead those who are ignorant to God's love and do not understand His way of the truth will all have to give an account.  Woe to those teachers that preach hate, envy, discord and disunity.  For those teachers and instructors who promote terrorism and violence and hate - they will all have to give an account:

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:22New International Version (NIV) 22 reject every kind of evil.
  • John 3:20New International Version (NIV) 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
  • Romans 12:21New International Version (NIV) 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
  • Ephesians 6:12-16New International Version (NIV) 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
  • John 8:44bNew International Version (NIV) 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Romans 14:11 states, "It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'"  Whether we understand this Judgement or do not, does not mean that it will not happen.  God's word says that it does.  And it clearly states that the law of Moses will condemn those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

Woe to those who shed blood of the innocent and who persecute the innocent.  Woe to those who oppose God's will.  Woe to those who do not know the Lord as Savior.  "The essence of evil is to lose the taste of God" or "to prefer anything more than God" - quote by John Piper.

There is a hope, there is a love and there is a faith that transcends all evil:

Romans 8New International Version (NIV)

Life Through the Spirit 8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Present Suffering and Future Glory 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j] 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Our hearts and prayers go out to those who are mourning the loss of loved ones due to these evil acts.

Blessings,

D

Post G.R.I.T

For those of you that were not able to attend our G.R.I.T 2017 Conference here is what you missed:

  • Friday Night Worship
  • Testimonies (from 3 Men)
  • Lance Speaking
  • More Worship
  • Delicious Food
  • Saturday Morning Worship
  • Breakfast fit for a King
  • 3 Breakout Sessions (1- Purity 2- Legacy and 3- Disicpleship
  • Panel of Speakers
  • More Worship
  • Brotherhood

The Spirit of the Lord was there and we believe that He was honored through humble men.  Men real in their walks and in their faith striving to be the man that God calls them to be.  There were ordinary everyday working men, there were soldiers, sons, fathers, grandfathers and veterans.  There were pastors, deacons and elders.  There were men desiring to find God's plan for their lives and what He calls us to do.

The weekend went fast and both Lance and I taught one of the breakouts on discipleship.  It was a great weekend and the men that came and the servant volunteers who gave so much of their time, talent and treasure in making this event real.

As we process this weekend and the lives that were impacted we will be unpacking what we heard and saw and how lives Gathered, were Restored, were Ignited and Transformed through this weekend.  It is humbling to watch God move and to see lives and men change.

It is an honor to serve other men and in doing so, serve God's call to disciple other men.  We are not called to be mediocre nor are we called to be lukewarm in our faith.  We are called to be bold, in love, and to renew and transform our minds to serve God.

It is easy to come to a conference like this and to be charged and excited and then to come back into your daily grind and continues as you were once before.  It is another thing, things that men of God take seriously, to step out into faith and trust God to move into your lives.  Draw nearer to Him and He will draw nearer to you- this is His promise.

When the world looks at you, your life and perhaps your marriage - does the Gospel of Christ shine through?  If not, why not?

Blessings, D

GRIT: MEN'S CONFERENCE

Dear Men, If you are looking for a place where men came come together and share life together and grow together and to see what God wants for your life as a disciple, then this Men's Conference is for you.  If you have been looking for a men's group where you can come as you are and look forward to meeting other men who are right where you are or meet other men who are where you want to be, then this conference is for you.

Featured Speaker: Lance Putnam from Legacydads.org.

Worship Night - Friday, October 13, 7 - 9 PM

There will be sandwiches and chips and beverages provided at the beginning of the event.

Breakfast - Saturday, October 14, 8 - 11:30 AM

There will be a full breakfast served to all men.

--

Dear Ladies,

Imagine if your husband invested some time into figuring out how to be the best husband, best father, and best man he could be? So why not buy your husband a ticket for this event that will be talking about running the race and finishing well.  For men to be the men that God calls them to be, the husbands that God want them to be and the father that leaves a legacy for his wife and children to follow – would that be something that you are interested in?  Then don’t wait – sign up online at www.wearefaith.org/GRIT and register your husband and his friends today.


Sign up here

Note:  If you have a party of 9 or more please call the church for a group discount (219) 864-0300 and ask for Dan and/or Becky to sign up your group.

We hope to see you all there.

Blessings, Dante

 

 

Forgiveness

Ephesians 4:25-32New International Version (NIV) 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


It is easy to offend and even easier to be offended if you allow it to.  It is easy to let anger seep through your every fiber and turn cold especially to those who we love (or should love).  It is hard to press on and overlook an offense.  It is even harder to forgive the offender.  

In our marriages, legacy dads, how easy is it for you to explode (on your wife?  kids?  animals?) how can we require love and respect and then take it away in a single outburst of anger?  How hard is it to turn off this outrage?  This bitterness?  This frustration?  Do you use your love as a tool to barter for what you want?  Meaning, do you withhold it waiting and hoping to receive that which you desire?  Or do you withhold it because you are hurt, bitter and angry that love and respect is being held away from you?  How do we end this vicious and ungodly practice?

Men, take a stand!  Be the spiritual leader of you house.  Humble yourselves before God and confess that to which you have offended our Holy God.  Do not proclaim to the world (or your house) that you deserve to be the leader and to command respect that you haven't given for a year, years and even decades), instead, turn away wrath with kindness.  Turn away anger and bitterness with love and gentleness.  Do not look for affirmation from those to whom we offended, rather, look to God for His kindness and mercy.

Take inventory on this awesome chapter:

  • Do you lie?
  • Do you sin in your anger?
  • Do you speak inappropriately?
  • Do you grieve the Holy Spirit in your walk (or lack of a godly walk)?
  • Do you hold onto bitterness, rage and anger?
  • Are you kind and compassionate?
  • Have you forgiven others like God has forgiven you of oh so much?

If you read any of this and it pierces your heart and the Holy Spirit is convicting you - REPENT!

Ask God to draw nearer to you and humble yourself before Him.

To God Be the Glory!

Blessings,

D

 

Finish Well

Dear Legacy Dads, When you see that term in Scripture what does that mean to you?  Does that mean to finish well going to Church on Sundays?  Praying before meals? Giving a tithe every Sunday?  Does it mean to separate your dreams and goals from God's will for you life?  Does it mean that you are in control Monday thru Saturday and that you will give God Sunday from 6am to 11:59 before Sunday NFL kickoff?

When we die, for those of us who are in Christ Jesus, what do you think that will look like?

A high-five by an Angel at the Gates of Heaven with an eternal membership to Glory?

A pat on the back saying way to live the life the way that you wanted to live it?

Nice job, you gave it your best ditch effort?

What if it was more?  What if there was an account that needed to be given with what we did with God's time, with the talent that He gave us and with the treasure that He blessed us with?  What if, just what if we had to account for  that?

Would this be something that would make you take stock of your life?  What you are doing with your finances?  How you are spending?  What you are spending on?

Would this change the way that you spend your time?  Where are you focusing on God's Kingdom instead of your own.  What you are doing with this time?  Is it wasted or is it fruitful.  If all of my time was to burned away during this account - meaning all that was measure based on God's litmus test versus all the time that I wasted on me or others that did not build and edify His Kingdom?

What about my talent?  Would you use what talent God gave you to glorify His name?  Or are you using your talents to build your name?

What about your treasure?  Is your checking account God's?  Is your credit card purchases honoring God?  Or is everything that you have honoring you?

Before you say to me, "come on Dante, why are you being so serious?"  Ask yourself this, "What if I, as a Christian, truly have to give an account of my time, my talent and my treasure.

Food for thought,

Blessings,

D

 

Family Devotion Time

Dads/Moms/Mentors/Coaches, The legacy we leave for generations to come is imperative for their longevity and God's plan for Kingdom building.  That being said, how many eyes, ears and mouths are in your direct influence?

  • Your wife
  • Your kids
  • Your grand kids
  • Your neighbors
  • Your neighbor's kids
  • Your church
  • Your youth group
  • Your community
  • Your mission

Whether we like it or not, others are watching us:

Hebrews 12:  International Version (NIV)

"12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Our jobs (as Dads/Moms/Mentors/Coaches) is to comfort, encourage and urge our children (youth) to live a life worthy of Jesus Christ.  We are called to protect, nurture and guide them in their journey toward adulthood.  They deserve every God-given right to enjoy a normal and healthy life.  Oh what sin has done to this wretched world:

  • Divorce
  • Broken Homes
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sex Trafficking
  • Slaver-
  • Broken-ness

These are all things that try to tear God's plan apart.  We read in Ephesians 6 "12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."  We need to believe in that we are God's workmanship - His Masterpiece.  God does not make mistakes.  Regardless of what those in this world say about us, it should not matter, God has made each of us for His purpose.

Watch this video:

[youtube id="3QCkBL2DfVg"]

Does God make mistakes?  Does God have our best in His Plan?  Of course He does.  Philippians 2:

Do Everything Without Grumbling 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.


This past week, my family and I watched this video and discussed who we are in God's kingdom.  Tell me, if you do not believe that, then how in God's green earth do you expect future generations to believe that?  What's holding you back from fully trusting God?

Blessings, Dante

 

 

Surrender

This past Saturday in our men's group, called Men of Faith, we had a facilitator lead on the topic of Surrender.  Our men's group meets the first four Saturdays' of every month and we start at 6:30am and are usually finished by 8:30am.  There are donuts and coffee (men need their coffee) and then a time for worship, bible reading and large group discussion.  After the large group is where the rubber meets the road in a time for us to come together, as men, and discuss the large group topic or perhaps questions that were raised for us to discuss.  Each facilitator either shares a story or a testimony and Scripture or perhaps a thought for the men.  It is a great time for us to come together in large group, ponder and then discuss in a smaller group setting.  There are very few rules that we have for this men's group except one key rule:  What is said in Men's group, STAYS in men's group!!!  This is a sacred place for all men to come, speak, listen and share life's struggles, battles and victories. As I said, this past week was the topic of Surrender.  This is a very tough word for most, because it requires us to give up what we strongly do not want to let go of:  Control.  If you are a Christian, saved by Jesus Christ, then ask yourself this question:  What is God's and what is mine?  Answer?  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different outcome each time this is insane.  A lot of us can relate if we take honest stock of our lives and the way that we live.  How is trying to control our lives working?  How are the relationships around us?  Is everything good?  Is everything ideal?  Is everything the way that God wants it for our lives?  Left to our own device, there is no hope.  But God didn't let it end there.  You see, He knows us and He knows what we are capable of doing (or not doing).  That being said, God has given us a way to Him - through His Son Jesus Christ.  He gave us the perfect sacrifice.  Jesus is the only way.  For all of us who admit that we are sinners and in need of a Savior (a perfect way to Heaven) and for all of us who believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived on this earth for 33 years and died on a cross and rose again on the third day and we confess that He is Lord we will be saved.  This means that the sins of our past, our present and our future are forgiven.  God doesn't require that we try to live perfect lives (we simply cannot without God).  He calls us for purity, for holiness and for each and every one of us who profess his name to practice righteousness.  This does not mean hypocrisy.  This means that we need to practice less of the old sinful nature and more of God's way for life (Read Romans 12:1-2 and Colossians 3).

Steps toward Surrender:

Surrender:

Romans 12:1-2English Standard Version (ESV)

A Living Sacrifice 12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] 2 Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]

Submit & Obey:

2 John 6English Standard Version (ESV)

6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.

Do What God's Word Say:

James 1:19-27English Standard Version (ESV)

Hearing and Doing the Word 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Confess and Get Accountability:

James 5:16English Standard Version (ESV)

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.[a]

James 5:19-20English Standard Version (ESV)

19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Practice Being Right:

1 John 3:7-9Common English Bible (CEB)

Practicing sin or righteousness 7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you. The person who practices righteousness is righteous, in the same way that Jesus is righteous. 8 The person who practices sin belongs to the devil, because the devil has been sinning since the beginning. God’s Son appeared for this purpose: to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those born from God don’t practice sin because God’s DNA[a] remains in them. They can’t sin because they are born from God.

Watch this video:

[youtube id="gmoMHtMNNbM"]

My question for you is this:  What is it going to take to have you stop living by the insanity of "your way" and to seek God's way in every part of your life?  Do you want to keep practicing insanity or do you want to practice God's way.  Remember, it is not about being perfectly hypocritical, it is about choosing to seek living God's Way:  Admit you are a sinner, Believe in Jesus Christ and what God did for us and Confess that we need Jesus as Savior.  Practice living right and trust that God will lead you in this way!

Blessings,

D

 

Are these the last days?

2 Timothy 3English Standard Version (ESV) Godlessness in the Last Days 3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

The text above is for the Church.  We, as Christians (as Legacydads) are to go into the world and share the Good News.  We are called to be disicples of Jesus Christ and to bear witness to what He has done in our lives.

The text above is to call out those who are not living under the authority of Scripture.  To comfort, encourage and urge those who are in God's Church to live a life worthy of God.  To be a church member (in the body of Christ), only God knows who is His and and who He has called.  God does give us guidance in the fruit of a life's person.  You see, when we are saved by God's Grace and not by our works, then we cannot help ourselves because the Fruit of the Spirit comes forth and overflows out of our lives:  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness and Self-Control.  When we profess the name of Jesus we should be bearing this fruit in season and out of season - for the Joy of the Lord is our strength.

In Roman's 12 is tells us to become living sacrifices and to renew our minds.  In Colossians it tells us rules for Holy Living.  In the Bible we read a love story about a God who sent His only Son to die for us.  Because Jesus is the only way.


There is something wrong with the world today - as the song goes - and I don't know what it is - says the secular song.

But we as Legacydads, as godly men need to turn off the smut and the television and divorce ourselves form social media and networks and do the following:

  • Read His Word - how can you truly hear from God if you are not connected daily to His word?
  • Pray for His leading and Will to be done - God calls us to pray continually (this means have a conversation with God throughout our day - he wants our Worship and Friendship)
  • Submit to God - Submit and obey
  • Obey His words - submit and obey
  • Love one another - if we do not love our brother (and sister) we are not His disciples
  • Serve and Seek the lost - Read James 1, Read 1 John - Read the New Testament
  • Edify the body - Ephesians 4

We, at Legacydads, condemn all forms of hate.  Whether you are left, right, center, worldly or self-proclaimed in god's church and you hate - we condemn it.  It is contradictory to stand on any part of God's word and use it as a means to hate your brother (or sister).  Jesus, upon His death and resurrection gave us a new covenant - to go and seek and serve the lost and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Some questions to chew on for my next post:

  • Why do people say that they have the Love of God in their heart and spew hatred and ignorance and hypocrisy from their lips?
  • Why do certain groups want to erase and destroy history?  (History is good to remind us of our past, our mistakes and where we have come from - to remove it - would be a tragedy)
  • Why do people claim to be anti-fascists when they will only let your speak if you agree with them?
  • Why do these same people not show their entire poker hand and say that they want to get rid of the Bible? - (Because the Gospel does offend)
  • Do we believe in God's word?  Truly?  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities of this earth (New World Order - Globalist and so on)
  • How do we approach the world with Biblical Lenses?

Note:  These questions will be addressed on my next post

Blessings,

D

 

Search me O God and know my heart

Search Me, O God, and Know My HeartTo the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!  9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me,  and your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. 13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a] Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. 19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 20 They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain.[b] 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22 I hate them with complete hatred;  I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts![c] 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting![d]


What a wonderful chapter in the Book of Psalms to read.  For me, it covers me in times of trouble and restless nights.  When I face trial and tribulation and when anxiety rears its ugly head.  This chapter comforts me in so many ways:

  • God's got this
  • He know me from inside out
  • He has plans for me
  • He formed me and my inward parts and knitted me together
  • I am fearfully and wonderfully
  • His works are wonderful
  • He is everywhere, there is no place that he cannot find me
  • He searches for me because He loves me

When you face troubles in life.  When you are going through trial and likely tribulation do not fear.  Do not wonder where God is.  Simply remember and recite Proverbs 3:5-7:  5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

What do you need to do today to trust in the Lord.  To acknowledge his awesomeness?  To give him your troubles and worries and to ask Him to guide your in your path?  Not our will to be done. Not our fortune and success - but we need to seek His Kingdom first!

Blessings, D

 

 

 

Dear Younger Me

Dear Legacy Dads, If you are anything like me, at some point or another, you have thought about your past and what you may have done differently or what you would have kept the same.  I often think about the good (mostly like to remember the good) but often I find myself thinking about some of the sin stuff too.  That is, thinking how I wish I could have told the "younger me" the pitfalls of these decisions and how they would impact me years or even decades beyond those ill-gotten decisions.

If you have time, go to Youtube and search for Mercy Me, Younger Me (or watch the video below):

[youtube id="-l70C3ePyIQ"]

There is a part of the song by Mercy Me that shows this:

  • Dear younger me
  • It's not your fault
  • You were never meant
  • to carry this beyond the cross...

I think for you and me, looking back (for an instance) is not a bad thing.  That is, to say, that it helps to remind us of where we came from and the decisions that we made.  It helps me to thank God for being faithful even when I was not.  It helps me to avoid those pitfalls that left devastation and disappointment in past decisions (sins).  I thank God for the gift of His Son, Jesus, who paid it all and who nailed all of those sins (past, present and future) to the tree.

Romans 8 is a good reminder for me:

Life in the Spirit - 8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you[b] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Heirs with Christ - 12 So then, brothers,[e] we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[f] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Future Glory - 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.

God's Everlasting Love - 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I have to be honest for a moment here and tell you that I hate historians who try to re-write the past or takeaway artifacts that were set to remind us of past mistakes and or victories.  Those who do not tell history the way that it should be remembered - through the eyes of truth - no matter the story teller, should be removed as citizens and be enslaved in their own lust of agendas. If you ever meet someone who is like this, pray for them and lead them to God's word.  Because Jesus is the truth and the truth shall set you free.

So back to my younger self, I often think of some things that I would have done differently if I knew that it wouldn't change my outcome to where I am at today - with a wife and three kids who  love me and adore me and make me want to be a better husband and dad not because of what they do or how they do it, but because I want to do those things to please God and to make them feel loved.

What I would say to myself back then:


Dear younger me,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.


Blessings,

Dante

 

 

 

 

Your men's ministry

Dear Legacy Dads,

  • How many of you are actively reading your bible?
  • How many of you are walking with other men?
  • How many of you pray regularly?
  • How many of you are actively involved in a Men's Ministry?
  • How many of you are in relationship with men in this Ministry?  How many of you have accountability (true, raw and honest?)
  • When are you ready to be serious about discipleship?

Please read the Book of Titus if you can before you read this post.

Chapter 1:

First note that Paul gave Titus the question:

5 This is why I left you in Crete

Why did Paul leave Titus?  Answer:  "so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you"

What is Titus supposed to do once he is there?  Answer:  6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,[d] and his children are believers[e] and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer,[f] as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound[g] doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

Is there any major issues that Titus should look out for?  Answer:

10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.[h] 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans,[i] a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”[j] 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Chapter 2:  A-to-do-list: Titus 2English Standard Version (ESV)

Teach Sound Doctrine 2 But as for you, teach what accords with sound[a] doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 Bondservants[b] are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

How is all of this possible for Titus to do?  Answer:

1 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Chapter:  Once you have Elders, who are healthy:

Titus 3English Standard Version (ESV)

Be Ready for Every Good Work 3 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

And a final warning for those who do not take this discipleship process seriously:

9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.


If your church is not raising men to be qualified to be Elders in their church then are they reading God's word effectively?

Is your men's ministry producing Elders and Deacons and Lay Leaders?  Are these men leading their families and mentees biblically?

If not, why not?

More on this, Blessings, Dante

 

 

 

Love & Respect

I have been looking at multiple articles around the internet and talking to my wife who majored in psychology and have been asking different couples what they think are some of the most important qualities that men and women desire for each other in marriage... This, of course, is open for debate and discussion with your spouse and friends.  Please have a real conversation and get to know what is really important to your spouse.  Are you two speaking each others list?

If not, pray on it (together).  Work on it! And, if needed, get pastoral counsel and or professional counsel and work through things.  A marriage is better together than apart!!!

 

 

 

 

What are the top 10 things a woman needs in marriage:

  • #10   A sense of value (she feels like she matters)
  • #9     Healthy Relationship (good communication, a sense of value
  • #8     Someone who is fun to be around (positive and healthy attitude of themselves and their spouse)
  • #7      Able to communicate (have a healthy conversation
  • #6      A Desire to be home and to be a family man (the husband desires to be home first before anywhere else)
  • #5      Shows emotional stability and maturity in relationships
  • #4      A man who has good character
  • #3      A man who is dependable
  • #2      A man who is loyal #1      Security  (she feels safe in the relationship, safe in her home, safe in life)

What are the top 10 things a man needs in marriage

#10   Affection (both touch and interaction) #9     The sense of Value (his capability to provide) #8     To be understood (you know them and understand who they are and why they do what they do) #7     To be appreciated and affirmed #6     A wife he can trust #5     To have a wife with ambition (she wants and desires to be there with him) #4     To be a great wife and mother #3     To have a pleasing disposition (fun to be around) #2     Emotionally Stable and Mature #1      A wife who respects him

What are some of your top 10's?

 

Blessings, Dante

 

 

 

Setting the Spiritual Bar High

Dear Legacy Dads, We read in Thessalonians that, we as spiritual fathers, are to comfort, encourage and urge you to live a life worthy of Jesus Christ our Lord.  That being said, I have noticed some things as I watch in season and out of season our men leading their families.  I see men of all creeds leading their kids recklessly in sports (Football, Baseball, Soccer and you name it) in coaching, training, lessons and all sorts of travel leagues.  I see dads who work so hard for the American Dream that they never forget to file all of their expenses entertaining and traveling to nurture their clients and grow their businesses, but the one expense that should be their greatest focus gets lost in the filing:  Their wife and kids.  I see some dads who are so active in the community and social clubs and everything outside of the home, but their number one priority (that is, their actual top investment:  Their family) is completely ignored.  I see some dads so completely engulfed in everything that matters to them and ignoring their wife and children, why?  Because they simply do not prioritize God's decree on a legacy dad's number one mission:  Their family!!!

Do not take this first paragraph as an indictment or insult, rather, take it as a major generational gap of proper training from one generation to the next generation.  To put it in layman's terms:  Our fathers have forgotten to pass down the very fabric of letting their faith and trust in God not only be taught, but more importantly caught from generation to generation.  Call it laziness, or call it ineptness, but somewhere along the line the church decided to retreat and believe in the "american dream" can be achieved by Government and the church (Ekklesia) has been usurped in its God-given role.

That being said, in all that Lance and I ever say, please test these things against Scripture to see if what we say is consistent through God's word:

  • Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) 6 "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
  • Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV) 6 "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
  • 2 Timothy 3:15-16 (ESV) 15 "and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,"
  • Philippians 4:6 (ESV) 6 "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
  • Ephesians 6:4  (ESV) 4 "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

In these Scriptures, there is no absolute that your child(ren) won't be lured into worldliness or to turn from the ways of the Lord, BUT we, as godly parents, can decided this day who you and I will serve.  Either we choose to live for ourselves (the world and its desires) or the Lord.  We can give our children and their children a "leg up" in future generations by making our faith real to them.

What does this look like:

  1. Be in the word daily (how can you be a relevant disciple if you are disconnected to God's word daily?)
  2. Pray continually (as needed)
  3. Be real with your kids (when you sin, own it, confess it and repent).  This doesn't mean to be remorseful of sin in that you acknowledge it and feel bad about it AND then keep on repeating the insanity of just remorse and not true repentance.  True Repentance is confessing this sin to God, acknowledging it to God and going the opposite way of removing this sin from your life.  Having accountability in your life to help you through it and to be real with your wife and kids about the struggle.  It means that if you wronged someone else in this process that you make it right in where you will not harm others or those around them in seeking forgiveness.
  4. Let the Word of God have the ultimate authority in your life - that is in your stewardship (time, talent and treasure).  In the decisions you make in and outside of church, that the word of God is present at all times and the final authority of all of your decisions.
  5. Have real conversations with your wife and kids (don't just tell them how to live and what to do as a Christian, as a disciple) live it, breathe it and die by it.

Finally, in all that you do:

Colossians 3:15-17 (ESV) 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Blessings, Dante

 

 

 

What does your Bible say about you?

Dear Legacy Dad Readers, If Lance and/or I were to ask you what you Bible says about you?  How would you answer?  If we were to ask you what is your Bible speaking to you?  What would your answer be?  Could your defend your faith?  Could you give a kind, but reasonable answer to a non-believer?  The older I get (almost 50), the more I realize that the closer you get to God (through His word) the more you will see Him in your life and the less of you.  The less that you spend time with God (through His word), the more that you look like the world.  The latter of this is considered lukewarm by Jesus Christ.  Hear what He has to say to us in the Book of Revelation on being lukewarm:

Revelation 3:15-16 (ESV) 15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

If you are going to be serious about the Legacy Dad Process and being a true disciple of Jesus Christ there are some must haves:

  1. Be honest and transparent - on your sin, name it, confess it and ask other men to walk with you and to hold you truly accountable
  2. Read the Word (The Bible) Daily - this is your roadmap to living God's way and not the world's way
  3. Pray regularly
  4. Have the Word be an authority in your life - just don't read the book and memorize it - live it, breathe it and do what it says!

Moving from Milk to Meat:

Hebrews 5:11-14 (ESV)

Warning Against Apostasy 11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

 

Hebrews 6 (ESV)

6 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings,[a] the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

The Certainty of God's Promise 13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,[b] having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

When you read God's word accurately and maturely you are not only just reading it, you are letting it read you, sharpen you, and change you in ways that are pleasing to God because the world will see less of your worldliness and more of God's righteousness.  Does that mean if I do this, that I will live without sin?  Of course not, there is only one man on this earth that lived sinless and was crucified for our unrighteousness so that we could be with Him and His Father in Heaven.  Do you believe in God?  Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?  Do you believe that if others do not believe in Jesus that they will spend an eternity in Hell - a place that was created for the Devil and his angels?

If you believe this to be true, but you are not living as a disciple should live, then you are guilty of sins of omission - holding back what God has in store for you?  The plans that He has for you and the places that He intends for you to go?  For some that may mean a mission field of your family and relatives, for others it may mean to be an actual missionary, an Elder, a Deacon, a lay leader, a mentor, a coach, a worship leader, a singer - are you using your gifts and talents to worship God in every aspect of your life? If not, why not?  If you are calling yourself a Christian and yet you are not under the authority of God's word, then do you not see the hypocrisy in that statement?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Can you teach the word?  Can you reproof others with the word?  Can you train others?

If you answer no to any of the above questions, then would you be willing to be teachable?  Mentored?  Coached in the way to go?

If you can honestly say that you are not learning and gleaning from the word of God, then Lance and I do not need to say anything else on that because it is the condition of the heart and not of the hand and or eyes that are reading it.

Food for thought,

D

 

 

Happy Fathers Day!!!

Lance and I would like to wish all of you legacy dads a very happy fathers day!  Thank you for being willing to step up and to get out of the boat making a difference in others' lives.  Whether you are a dad, grandfather, spiritual father (coach, mentor) we want to thank you for taking the legacy dad approach.

This past weekend, some legacy dads and myself took all of our kids (minus a college student) on a weekend camping trip.  Imagine just for a moment:  4 Dads, 11 kids (ranging from 4 years old thru 13 years old) and no moms.  We came, we saw, we ate, slept and conquered.  These men are in my small group and we have grown into a very solid community who are walking together and doing life together.

All of these dads have a lot to offer.  They are all gifted and natural born leaders who are on a journey of faith and living in the American way of life.  Trying to live a life worthy of God and also trying to leave a legacy for their wives and kids.  These guys are true grit and we would do anything for each other, including giving their shirts off their back if the other was in need.  One of the four dads is ending a nine year stint as a Deacon in our church (one who has a heart of an Elder and I cannot wait to see him move into that role down the road)  The other two amaze me, because although they are "new" in their walk and prayer lives, they are gifted with leadership talent beyond belief.

I am thankful for these brothers because they mean so much to me.  I am thankful for their wives because they mean so much to us.  I am thankful for their children because they are fun to watch and to see them grow and to see the way that they look at their dads.  I pray for these brothers daily that they would continue to stand up against the ways of this world, to get out of the boat of complacency and to walk out onto the water of faith and see what God has in store for their lives.

To all of our readers, thank you for being faithfully committed to making a difference in your life, your families lives, your church lives and in your community.

Blessings, Dante