Saturday, November 30, 2013

I Hear You Knocking But You Can't Come In

The knocking sound started firm but soft and it just would not stop.

"What in the world?", I thought to myself. Maybe if I just do not move the person knocking would get the idea that I was not home and just leave.

I looked out the window and spied him on the front porch. He was shaggy and dirty and certainly not someone that I had ever met before. I lived in Granite City, IL at the time and while Granite City was a nice place to live, you did not want to open the door to just anybody.

So he knocked, and I did my best to ignore.

I went to the back of the house so I would not have to listen to the sound of the knocking and after a few brief moments the knocking stopped and I heard a car door slam. I went to the front door and looked out just in time to see a very beat up small blue rusty pickup truck cough to life and drive off around the corner.

I was about to turn around to go back indoors when I saw it sitting in my driveway.

It was  a little house. Y'know one of those little plastic pre-fab jobs that kids love and then 6 months later they just pose as a giant lawn obstacle to mow around?

There it was. Sitting in the middle of my driveway and larger than that was the question in my mind of what was this all about?

Who was the homeless looking guy on the porch, and why did he leave a plastic Little Tyke house in my driveway?

My wife and very small son would be coming home soon and this house was in the middle of the driveway so I picked it up and drug it around to the backyard. If he had the wrong address at least it would be safe for him in the backyard, and why not let my son play in it until the bearded mystery man came back for this mistaken drop off?

My son would play in these houses forever every time we went to Toys R Us and I thought he would get a kick out of it.
They arrived home about an hour later and I could hardly wait to see the reaction on my son's face when he saw this new playhouse. I walked him by the hand around the corner of the house and had him close his eyes and I think that i probably was more excited for him to enjoy it than I thought, because his reaction when he opened his eyes killed me.


"Clark", I said, "Buddy, its a house like you always play in at the store!!!"

"Oh cool", he said nonchalantly as he walked up to it and began inspecting the shutters and the little plastic faucet on the sink. "Yep daddy, it finally came today."


"It finally came?" I asked Him. "Buddy did you know this was coming?"

"Yeah daddy, I sure did..." before he could finish I asked him, "Buddy do you know who was bringing this to you?"

"I sure do daddy." He responded very matter of fact. "I asked God to give me this house when i was in the store before and He finally picked today to bring it to me."

Let me just say that I was stunned beyond belief and at that moment I heard another knock deep within my spirit. I looked out through the window of my heart and I saw another homeless looking guy with a scruffy beard and dirty clothes. His hands had wounds on them.
My family and I were about to make a major transition in life and were praying about moving to Mobile, Alabama. We had to sell our home in housing market that had just crashed. No one was buying and it would be difficult to make this move that the Lord was directing us to move.
That is when I opened the door and looked the bearded guy in the eye and heard Him say, "Dan, if I can provide a house for your child because He asked me, why would you think that I could not sell your home in a bad market and help you buy another in a state 11 hours away? I really am that big Loved, and if you will just take the steps that I showed you I will be with you."

I will never forget that conversation that I had with Father in the backyard that day. Our home sold to the people who looked at it after the sixth day being listed on the market.

I was reading this passage the other day and it hit me just as hard.

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.                         Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."   ~ Revelation 3:19-21

This passage is always used to tell people that God is wanting to enter their hearts for salvation, and while He does, this passage is not speaking to someone who is in need of salvation. This verse is a message from God who is asking those who have already accepted Him to allow Him access to themselves.

So why would people not open the door to Him?

I mean if opening the door to God meant developing a deeper level of relationship with Him, why would anyone in their right mind choose to drown out the knock, go to the "back of the house" or just pretend to not be home?

The benefits of opening the door are absolutely outstanding!

As I think about this I asked myself, "Dan, why do you stand on the other side of doors in your heart that Christ is knocking on?"

Here is where the answer hits us each right between the eyes. It cuts wide and it cuts deep.

I believe with all my heart that we don't answer the knock on the door because we do not recognize the sound that we hear as a knock.

We hear the noise and mistake it to be something so far different from what it truly is, an invitation from our creator to know Him better.

We mistake the noise of a knock to be a termination of employment, a doctor's prognosis, or a financial hardship. Maybe the knock on our door comes in the sound of a relationship that falls apart right in front of us, a loved one that leaves, or a change in life that seems to leave us reeling in it's wake.

God's knock is always a point where He calls us to come to the end of our self because until we reach a point where we realize our need for Him we will never reach the potential that He made us to reach.

The "Knocks" of life are painful and it is because of this that we often find ourselves avoiding the doors that we should be opening. We want the knocks to be on our terms. We have the "sound" in place in our mind that we feel we should hear and we are prepared to respond to that sound only. If the "Knock" sounds like a pay raise, a deeper level reached in our marriage or children that always behave with expert decision making ability, then we are ready to run to the door.
It would be no different than opening the door of your house to someone that you know and certainly avoiding opening the door to the knock of someone who looked like a homeless bum.

It is the "Knocks" of God that can seem to literally knock us to the ground that He uses to introduce Himself to us in a deeper level of relationship and it is those "Knocks" that He allows into our life that are in all actuality His calling card.
Each week of my life I have the opportunity to correspond with people who have discovered the "Knock" that seemed to shatter the comfortable silence of their life was the loving desire of a Father who was seeking a relationship with His son or daughter.

The doors provided in life that we beg God to open or close on our behalf require us to see Him for who He truly is, will be, and always has been.


What have you been hiding from? What "Knock" have you found yourself avoiding?

What "Knock" has had you pretending not be home over?

Please do not be afraid of the unknown. Please reach out and open the door and what you are going to discover is that the God who created you and placed within your heart the desire for the things that you desire most is ready and willing to show you just how powerful of a role those desires play in His story for you.

Don't run, don't hide, and please do not pretend that you do not hear Him standing at the door and knocking.

Romans 8:28 promises us that all things work together for good. Everything that God allows into our life is going to work out for our ultimate good. The "Knocks" that we try to escape and avoid will only work for our good.

Open the door.

Father is waiting and what He has to show you will have you saying, "I knew it would come, I asked Him for this and He decided today to bring it to me!"

Climbing with you,

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Day I Defriended God

There it was.

Oh, they just had to make that comment didn't they?

Don't they realize that not everyone agrees with them? I know what I'll do. I will just "de-friend" them!!!

With one click of a button I just provided a major relief to my personal stress levels.

Have you ever been faced with the decision of Face book, "To Friend or not to Friend?"

Someone makes a post or shares a link with a religious or political viewpoint that just tips the scale of their worth to you as a friend and you find yourself taking the option of least courage and de-friending them.

Recently I went through a significant change in my life and because of that change it became very obvious that I needed to make some changes to the friend list that I had acquired on face book.

It was not an easy thing for me to do because I truly value people and I always want to keep my mind open to different viewpoints and opinions on as many topics as I can, so this was by no means an easy thing for me to do.

I went through the list removing people that meant a great deal to me, but in order to keep things clean with the circumstances surrounding this decision, I began removing them.

Have you ever removed someone from a friend list?

Have you ever thought to yourself, "It's ok if I remove this person from the list because I have more friends."?

We are so fickle are we not?

What does it take to have a person worthy of being removed from a "friend list" in our life?

A disagreement or difference of opinion?

A critical remark or a hurtful word?

A failure to be present in a time of need or a lack of support during a difficult season?

I came across a passage of scripture the other day that really struck me as truly beautiful and amazing and it made me fall in love with Father even more.

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
                                                                                                       ~ John 15:15-16

Do you see what a relationship with Christ means?

John 15:15-16 tells me that I am God's friend.

I mean think about that for a moment.

Why does it not say, "God is my friend"?

It tells me this truth this way because if I made God my friend that would give me the power to determine the parameters, limits and boundaries of that friendship. That would mean that if I made God my friend, then I would posses the power to de-friend God.

In the relationship it was God who did the choosing.

I am His by His choice.

His choice.

How insanely awesome is that?

He does not evaluate every comment that we make to see if we still have friend worthy traits. He never hides our posts no matter how messed up and inaccurate they are.

In fact, He decided in that while we were yet sinners...
while we actively sharing posts that misrepresented Him and His intentions and purpose...
while we ranted about circumstances that He allowed into our life solely based on our own views.
While we trashed others in our posts...
while we were yet sinners, Christ reached out his hands and died for us.

He does not have to hide our posts.

He already knows our skewed up rants that we make and then regret making later when we come full circle with the entire truth of the facts that we inaccurately ranted about.

Instead we treat him just like he is one friend on a list of some many others.

He did not do what we asked of Him so we go to His page and click de-friend.

He disagreed with me on the solution to a situation in my life so we go to His page and click de-friend.

We cant understand His hand our life and I don't trust His heart so we go to His page and click de-friend.-

We find Him to be unfair and we forget that it is His purpose and not His fairness that dictates the circumstances of our life, so we go to His page and click de-friend.

We are so fickle.

Then this passage comes along

We click the de-friend button and nothing happens.

Why even have a de-friend button available if it does not work???

Look at the passage again..

"...Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." ~John 15:16

It says, "Y'know, you don't really have a say so in this relationship status. You in fact do NOT control God."

So why have the "Unfriend button" so easily accessible in our hearts to push?

LOVE this...

The button that we click to de-friend God only serves to remind us that it's not about us and that no matter what we feel toward Him in our understanding of Him and His allowed circumstances, He is the one with the power in the relationship.

Oh, we can try to "Hide" His posts on our timeline and go out of our way to try to
"Block" Him on the timeline of life, but He has already decided to make us His friend.

He does not choose to keep the friendship with us because of who we are, but rather for whose we are.

God can NEVER receive this alert from you, because He alone posses the power to cut you lose and He has already decided that you were worth going to the cross for and that you were worthy of the ultimate sacrifice.

That is just half of the awesomeness of this statement.

Now you are able to have Him flow through you to those around you. You are now able to hold relationships in your life with the same power if you so choose.

"...that ye should go and bring forth fruit..."

What does this mean? This is where it gets awesome, because it means that He is saying to you,  "Since I made you my friend you CAN now bear lovely fruit."

It is an option for the first time in your life to now be able to let Him flow through you!

I am not sure where you are as you read this blog post and I am not sure if you have ever reached a place with God where you found yourself disappointed with what you thought He should have done in your circumstances. It very well may be you are clicking the de-friend button frantically even now...

God's purpose, not His fairness dictates the circumstances of our lives.

If you have pressed, want to press, or even plan on pressing the de-friend button with God then please let me tell you that you are about to see something absolutely POWERFUL in your life.

You are going to press that button and nothing is going to happen.

In the nothing that happens you are going to see an overwhelming display of Father's love for you, and i am so excited for you to feel that love in realizing that His friendship is not based on our feelings or emotions.

Keep climbing, because you have already been through so much and to stop now would truly be a waste of everything that you have made it through to get to where you are.

Climbing with you,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Where Do You Come Up With This Stuff?

Hey there.

I want to introduce you to some pretty special people.

I guess you first notice them for who they are when you are a kid because that is when you first become aware of everything in your life.

She held me closer than anyone else ever could hope to and it was her hands that first taught me what it was like to touch.

She was the first one that looked into my eyes and it was her voice that was the first to reach my ears and tell me I was loved.

She was the one who laid in a bed for weeks on end with little to no movement and endured pain beyond belief so that I could experience life.

She helped me with my first steps and taught me how to get back up after you experience a fall. She taught me that the value in a fall was that it taught you how to get back up again.

She also taught me that cheerios did not belong on the floor and spaghetti did not belong in my hair. (Both have been invaluable life lessons!)

She taught me how to spell and how to write and never seemed to get tired of doing either.

She is my Mom.

He made me a promise that he kept. He promised to do his best teaching me to become a man and to provide for my needs.

He taught me how to work hard and he taught me how to play even harder. He taught me that stuffed animals could talk and that G.I. Joes had a mission in life to steal Barbie cars and joy ride them down a stair case.

He taught me how to draw, and that has completely given me life. He taught me how to notice everything that I saw around me and pay attention to detail.
He taught me how to change a tire and how to make friends with anyone.

He taught me how to laugh and how to find the words to say what you feel inside.

He is my Dad.

They are my parents.

Are they perfect?

Is anyone really perfect?

I guess I first noticed them when I was a kid because they were all I had to notice. I do remember that when I left home at seventeen how much they seemed to change to me.

I really believe that it was because for the first time in my life I met a lot of other people.

I lost sight of who they were in the crowd of distracting voices and faces around me and for a bit of time I actually believed the lie that I was who I was because of me.

While it's true that my choices were my choices and my consequences were results in choices that I made, I was so far from being a self made man that it was pathetic.

I was given a blessing that many people don't get. I was given a Mom and a Dad who, while they made mistakes, truly loved me.

You will not find them in a celebrity listing anywhere nor will you find them on a stage in front of thousands, but it is what they invested in me that has reached thousands through this blog.

I guess as you get older you really do begin to "Re-notice" your parents for how incredible they really are. You notice them not because they are the only voices and faces in your life but because they are the some of the most valuable ones you may ever have the privilege to have in your life.

It was my dad who gave me my ability to be creative and my mom who gave me the ability to process thoughts that my creativity brought to life.

Dad gave me the ability to express the thoughts that invade my heart and my mind through my words and artwork and it was my mom gave me the ability to live them with my life.

I get my arms and my hands from my Dad, and I get my eyes and my heart from my mom.

My mom is probably the only person I know who chooses to risk easily giving away love knowing that it will more than often result in receiving hurt equally as easily.

My temper is my dads but my temperament is my moms through and through and this has been something that I have thanked God for so many times.

Dad taught me to be able to make friends with anybody and mom taught me that not everyone needed to be a friend.

I do not think that I will ever be able to repay either one of them for what they have done for me or the investments that they have placed into my spirit but I will certainly try by living what they have taught me and forgiving them for the regrets that they look back on in the journey of parenthood.

Today marks the 11th month anniversary of "The Man and The Wall" blog and today I just wanted to do something a little bit different. I wanted to thank Mike and Liz, my parents.

In eleven months the messages of this blog have been read in over 74 countries around the world and have been read by over fifteen thousand people. If you have ever read anything within these posts that has encouraged you on your climb with the Lord, it is these two people that deserve the credit. It is because of what they taught and lived for me that have allowed me to become the person that I have.

I guess I just wanted to celebrate the 11th month anniversary with a recognition of two tremendous people in my life and two of the biggest contributors to the ability to express my heart each week on this blog.

I love you mom and dad!

Climbing with you,

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What is Wrong with Mr.Wilson?

I have a major confession to make and when you read it you may find it to be a bit of a shock.

We all have this goal of what we would like to be when we "grow up" don't we?

I mean when I was a boy, the goal was very simple. I wanted to be a ninja.
I made my own weapons, practiced hanging from doorways and learning the black arts of stealth.

That was a child's dream of course and now that I am thirty five the goal has been elevated to something far more practical and useful to society.

While I am not downplaying the importance of the role of a functioning ninja in today's fast past society structure, I am merely pointing out the fact that my personal goals have shifted to areas more suited to my present skill set.

When I grow up, my personal goal is to become a Hermit.

I think that I am actually more suited for this occupational career than I am comfortable in admitting.
I love meeting new people and socializing, but there are times in life when I desire nothing more than a cave (This is why I have a man cave), no cell phone reception, and a volleyball companion named "Mr.Wilson".

I think the reasons why I feel the desire to retreat to a place of castaway is in fact for the very same reasons why you do.

How do know this?

Because you and I are pretty much the same in the fact that we all find ourselves in seasons of life where the Cave is more suitable to us than the Castle.

The Castles of life have the need for us to think and behave in a manner of royalty and dignity and interact with wisdom and precision. There are many things that you will find furnishing a castle, but one thing that castle in all of it's spaciousness has no room for would be doubt, insecurity, and vulnerability.

Castles of life call for a steady head to prevail and they demand that you are absolutely certain about the next step for the kingdom that you oversee.

That is the castle.

The castle is a great place to live and I believe that each of us would say that the castle is where we would all like to stay permanently, but this is not reality. The reality of it all is the fact that the caves are also a part of life.

The Caves are just as much a part of our life as the castles

The Caves are the times when we find ourselves looking at what we know the long term goals and destinations of our life to be and then we look around at where we are and ask the tough questions.

"How is this season shaping me for the next?"
I find another castaway sitting in his own man cave that encourages me during the times of shifting between the Castles and the Caves.

"David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam:.."                            ~ 1 Samuel 22:1

David was anointed as a very young boy to be the next king of Israel. Think about that for a minute.

Talk about a summer to remember.

He was tending his Father's sheep when he is called to stand before THE prophet of Israel. This was THE guy who made kings. I imagine that his flushed skin tingled as that warm oil slid down through his scalp and ran in streams down his neck and channeled across his shoulders.

David was going to be the next king!!!

The next day, he was back out with the sheep, doing the day to day tasks and within his heart now beat a new purpose. Tending sheep more complicated than anything he had worked with before.

Have you ever seen a glimpse of what God has given you to do or be a part of?

It's huge, and overwhelming.

Very often you look at what you have around you at the moment He shows you and you see that you are already doing a similar thing but on a different level.

Paul the tent maker was used to thread the structure of the church.

John was mending nets and he was given the future of mending the understanding that people had and still place of Father.

Peter was fishing and his future was to be spent gathering up men.

What does Father speak into your life?

How does it relate to something you are doing right at this moment.

I often wonder if David did not look back and realize that God sent him into the highways and the hedges to be in place where the "lost sheep" could be gathered up?

"...and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men." 1 Samuel 22:1-2

So the Cave was in all actuality the best preparation for the Castle!

It is the Cave season of life that truly tempers us and refines us for the Castles that God has for us.

While in the Cave David poured out his heart in the Psalms that strengthen us to so much extent today.

Can you see him laying there at night and just looking around at 400 people who were the lowest of the low? Each of them were having their own  individual cave experience too.

Can you hear him???

"How in the world does this relate to the purpose in my chest?"

"I was anointed...wasn't I?"

" When Saul came to me and brought me into the palace I was not surprised because after all, how do you learn proper Castle protocol than from a king right? I thought this would be on the job training?"

So David stayed in the Cave.

Maybe you are in a Cave season of your life and you want nothing to do with anybody but a Mr.Wilson.

The Cave is so far from the Castle place, ministry, or arena of life that you felt God had called you to and you find yourself staring in disgust at the surroundings that are so very different than the surrounding that you felt He had for you.

Look at this please!

"And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah." ~ 1Samuel 22:5

David was hiding out in the cave and he was surrounded by people who also found themselves hiding out in a cave.

Then an un-named prophet comes up and gives David an incredible word. It was a word that I find applies to you and to me for the times that we find our self in a cave type experience.

"Abide not in the hold..."

Simple and yet to the point.

If you find yourself in a cave type of experience, it's OK.

Yep. It's OK to be in a cave from time to time.

The best of us find ourselves in caves as we make our journey to the castles that God has showed us to be in our future.

There is no shame when you find yourself frustrated in a cave pouring your heart out to God wondering how it fits into the plan of a castle, but don't plan on staying there.

The cave is only a place on the path and it is certainly NOT the final destination when God has promised a castle.

The day you should worry about is not the day that a cave precedes a castle, but rather the day that you decide that the cave is where you need to stay.

If you are in a cave today, it's OK to be there for now. Take your time and find your voice with the Lord, but don't stay there.

If you have found yourself with the vision of a future castle placed within your spirit, please understand that training for that castle will more than likely take place, not in a courtyard, but in a cave experience.

I liked the movie castaway and found it fitting to use as the backdrop to this post because in the movie the main character finds himself in a circumstance that seemed hopeless.

He even befriended a volleyball that he named "Mr. Wilson". He seemed to despair in the movie and at one point had came to the conclusion that no matter what he thought he was going to do one day, he was destined to die in the "cave" of an isolated island.
Then he decided that the dream (Delivering a package) was more important that the cave he was in and decided to leave.

Caves or remote islands, it really doesn't matter which one you feel you are on. They are both just a place to temporarily stop before you move on to the dream that God has for you to live in and through Him!

Don't make Mr. Wilson a permanent friend. He stays in the cave, not you!

Get up, and get back after it!

Climbing with you,

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Becoming A Superman

You don't ask for it.

In fact the day that it first happens you are almost always the last to know.

You don't get to plan it.

The reason why you don't plan it is because if you did it would automatically take you out of the running.

You just show up and you be yourself, because at the moment of truth you either are or you are not the right material.

It starts with having the ears to hear what is going on right in front of you in spite of everything going on around you, and the ability to look past the demands of a great metropolitan newspaper column deadline to notice the seemingly insignificant needs of an individual that has reached the end of their rope.

You do not need to be from a faraway planet that exploded in a disaster to see through the defences and actions of the people right here on this earth. You just have to be down to earth you know?

X-ray vision was limited by lead, but once you learn to hear what is truly going on within the people around you, you also discover the ability to see through the harshness and angry words of those that you walk among.

The ability to leap a tall building with a single bound is pale in comparison to the ability to bound a heartache within the chest of a child or to step in front of a person who is not old enough or strong enough to dodge a bullet that had their name on it.

Outrunning a speeding train?
Try racing after someone who is bound and determined to make wrong decisions in life. They barrel down the tracks at a breakneck speed and no, you can't always stop them from making the choice but you can outrun them to that place where they arrive broken and bleeding. You can be waiting for them with arms open and a chest to hold them too.

The "S" on the chest will not matter nearly as much on that day as the hot and wet tears that they will leave in it's place as you embrace them and help them find reconciliation.

Being a Superman or a Wonder Woman is something that each of us has the potential to be, and in most cases we would be shocked to discover that to someone we already are.

More than likely you wash their clothes every day, and stress yourself out over a dinner plan that will both meet the nutritional needs that their bodies require while at the same time be fun enough not to have a nose turned up at it.
You have to balance out the need to feel like you are not a slob by frantically picking up after them with the desire to create the atmosphere that you home is not museum.

You navigate them to soccer, gymnastics, dance, baseball and amid every demand that pulls at your attention you still find the request to listen to him exclaim about a new level he beat on a Mario Bros. video game while zipping up the back of a princess dress.

Sleep? Ha!

When did you ever see Superman sleep?

The only time that comes to  my mind was a scene in Superman two where Christopher Reeve gave up his powers to be with Lois Lane and even then my parents fast forwarded it so my mind would not be corrupted. In a way i am glad that they did that because I seem to be in the stage of life as a parent where sleep is evasive to the cries of a bathroom run, or a bad dream that needs to be explained away.

Maybe you kissed them goodbye at the door on the way out to work?

Maybe you are counting the minutes until you are able to come home to them today?
Being a hero to another person is really not difficult to achieve and you don't need the physique of a Greek god or goddess to achieve it either.
It is simply taking the time to realize that you are different. If you are one of His then you have a new citizenship. You bring to this world a power that is from another world. It is through that power and that power alone that you live, move, and have your very being.

"But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy," ~Jude 1:20-24

We tend to over complicate it don't we? I mean we set so many stipulations and preconceived pictures in our mind of what it takes to make a difference do we not?           We think it is an amount saved up in a bank, finding the perfect gift , achieving a level of success in our field of occupation, or solving a complex problem in minutes in a relationship that has taken years to be created.  When in all actuality being someones hero and making a difference in lives of others is found in doing for them what the normal citizens of their Metropolis do not seem to be doing for them.    
Stopping the flight patterns of life to just take the time to notice them. It is taking the time to really listen to them in spite of the sounds that are trying to drown them out.              
Understanding that you do not have the answers for their problems every single time nor do you have to have all of the answers, but you can connect them with the one who does.
Putting yourself in front of them when the proverbial bullets are flying because you know that even though the bullet was not intended for you that you are strong enough to deflect it. Not every problem that they face should be one that they face alone, nor are they capable of facing that problem or circumstance alone. Why do you think you were in earshot of their cry for help?    
Enjoy to the fullest every moment those that Father has placed in your life right now. The future may have other things in store, but you cannot live in the future no more than you can live in the past. You have what you have right now.    

Realize that life is not guaranteed and the things that seem to be big right now will not matter 5 years down the road. Mistakes happen, kids don't always listen, cars break down, people who love each other do  disagree and life is flying by faster than a speeding bullet.      
Make yourself available. Most people do not feel as though they have someone in their corner even though they are surrounded by people that they know love them. Make them aware that you are in their corner even if you feel they stepped into the ring with an opponent twice their size that they never should not have messed with.
Ask what you can do to make their life better. It's OK to do that? Yep! It sure is.
Never forget that you only get one chance to do this thing. What makes Hell so terrible is not just what people will find there, it is also in what they will not find there.
In Hell there will be no trace of any kind of God because He is not there. God is love. In Hell there will be no love of any kind.
Think back about the rich man who went to Hell. Do you remember what he asked for? He asked for a dip of water for his tongue because he was tormented in the flames.
Please recall that he was not tormented BY the flame but rather IN the flame. What was IN the flames of Hell?
Every evil action, perverted thought, and wicked molestation. It is all there. He was being tormented IN the flame by what was also IN the flame with him. He saw the only face he knew in life afar off in paradise and he asked for a dip of water. Water would have evaporated in the heat so why ask for water?
I believe he was asking for water not because he was thirsty but because he wanted to experience one last act of compassion.
Just one more act of love and that will tide me over in all of this Hell that i am in.
Imagine you are with your family and you are walking in a mall and you reach a courtyard and you are surrounded by a mob of 30 tough men. They surround your family and suddenly lash out against them with every form of pain that they can physically inflict. You try to fight them off but they are also assaulting you and you are screaming with all of your might as you hear the screams of your family members being brutally attacked, molested, and disfigured. You scream for help to all of those who are walking right bu you and NO ONE notices or if they do, they stop and drink their coffee as they watch you. This is a taste of what Hell will be like. No love and NO compassion.
You may very well be the one to display into the life of another today the very last act of compassion that they will ever know. Who can't you show Christ to? Who cannot you forgive today?
You don't ask for it.

In fact the day that it first happens you are almost always the last to know.

You don't get to plan it.

The reason why you don't plan it is because if you did it would automatically take you out of the running.

You just show up and you be yourself, because at the moment of truth you either are or you are not the right material.

My job had a costume dress up day this past October 31st. I decided to dress as Superman, and unfortunately I was sick the day before and while I was out it was decided by my department that they were not going to participate.                                                                 Yep, no one clued me in so I walked into the office that day and worked all day dressed as Clark Kent. This was not the most enjoyable day for me. When I got home my little girl came out to the truck to meet me dressed up as a princess. As I put her to bed that night I said, "Good night my beautiful little princess!" She looked up and responded, "Good night my big handsome Superman. Daddy, you are my hero."   

I am not the best dad in the world and I make more mistakes at it than I care to blog about, but I do want to make a difference in the lives of my children.
Whose Hero do you want to be?
Whose hero are you?
Do you want to make a difference? It is really not as complicated as we tend to make it.
Climbing with you,

Monday, November 4, 2013

God's Treasure

A San Jose man needed no treasure map when he reportedly stumbled on to $500,000 worth of gold and silver after bidding on an abandoned storage unit. The man, identified only as John, apparently paid $1,100 for the unit only to see his blind investment turn into a goldmine after a number of rare coins and a few gold and silver bars were found in the blue Rubbermaid container.
The reported find, in Contra Costa County, was so unexpected that even though the auction was held by American Auctioneers, the subject of A&E's Storage Wars, there were no cameras present when the cache was discovered.
Even without cameras Laura Dotson, the co-owner of American Auctioneers along with husband Dan, still said she was delighted.
"It helps, it solidifies what we're doing in the business," Dotson told "It shows hope that with all these units, that there is treasure to be found."
Although the buyer wants to remain anonymous, Dotson said he called her after getting the gold and silver appraised. According to Dotson, the first thing he said was, "Wow, this is a wonderful life."
While the coins were apparently found in the unlikeliest of treasure chests -- a Rubbermaid container – it was said to have been heavy enough that three men had to carry it out.
Dotson says the plastic container initially piqued the buyer's interest, although for more pragmatic reasons. "He said that he liked it was in [plastic] and clean and easy to move," said Dotson. "It's a chance of a lifetime."

Pretty amazing right?

Finding a buried treasure stashed away in a very unlikely container?

I came across this story last night and sat there trying to imagine what my life would be like if I were to find a treasure like that?

One word came to my mind.


Then I came across an equally amazing passage in scripture that I had missed before. It was in a letter that Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus.

He is telling them that he thanks God for them in his prayers and then drops this "proverbial treasure laden Rubbermaid container" of a passage on them.

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints," ~Ephesians 1:17-18

Did you see it???

No? It's OK, I missed it the first few times I read it.

OK. I will list it again and underscore it.

"...that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,"

What Paul is saying is this:

"I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future he has called you to share. I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ’s have been given to him!"

God is richer because He has us. He desired us.

Did you know that God desires you?

Did you know that in the relationship with God He is the one that says He got the better end of the deal?

You look in the mirror at the "Rubbermaid" container and see a certain amount of value. Perhaps you see little value when you look in the mirror.

God sees treasure if you are His.

God looked at you the day you entered into a personal relationship with Him and said, "Because I now have __(YOUR NAME)_, I AM RICHER!!!!"

You may say, "Dan, that sounds really good, but I don't believe it."

You don't have to believe it to make it true.

The deeper you grow in your relationship with Father, the more you come to the knowledge that He does not need you, nor did He ever need you. You discover the amazing truth that God WANTED you.

Your container was the placed on the auction block and God looked at you and decided that your container, scratched, dented, marked up, and even crushed was worth the asking price. The blood of His Son Jesus. He paid the price and picked you up and rejoiced because He was now RICHER!

Read Luke chapter 15 and notice the way Jesus (Who by the way said that everything He said came from the Father) referred to us as a lost sheep, a lost child, and yes... a lost coin!

I want to show you who else got RICHER because of that purchase.

See the container that God redeemed was empty when He bought it.

So the sight of God rejoicing at the auction booth over an empty container and claiming to now be RICHER because He had in in His possession seems a bit crazy right?

You paid such a high price for an empty container?

Oh most people may stop the story of the gospel with the resurrection, but if they do they miss the rest of the gospel. The rest of the story is what happened with that Rubbermaid container!

The rest of the Gospel is what God put into that Rubbermaid container!!!

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.   For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. " ~2 Corinthians 4:5-7

Romans 8:11 tells us that we have the same Spirit within us that raised Jesus from the dead. God placed within us His Holy Spirit.

The Rubbermaid container that you stared at when you looked in the mirror this morning contains a treasure!

Be careful what you label that container or what labels you allow and accept to be placed on that container. No matter what has happened to it in the past or what is going on with it today, you contain treasure and you have made God RICHER because He owns you!!!

Say this before you close this blog out today.


Climbing with you,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

God's Goodwill

Let us go on an imaginary journey to the local thrift store.  This is the last chance reclamation ranch for all of our “why did I buy this” possessions.

 As we walk through this home of unwanted blessings,we find it to be a monument to our poor judgment.
 As we look among mountains of board games with missing pieces, and shelving units full of “bless this mess” plaques, aisles of chipped ceramic coffee cups, piles of neckties from the nineteen sixties, tarnished lamps, outdated electronics, and even a few Barry Manilow albums.  We find piles of old vinyl records, and i can see that because there are collectors for these.

 Old work shirts and worn coats; these are things I can understand. Lamps can be polished and rewired completely repaired. Coffee mugs washed out and their handles re glued, and even furniture can be reupholstered and restored, but one thing I have never seen on the shelf lying in a mangled pile of used up trash and trinkets is a Christian.
Why is that?
The answer is so simple that it is hard for the most understanding of us to fully comprehend.
Why is this simple statement so hard for us to understand?
This is hard to understand because we throw people away when people do not do what it is that we want them to do or what we think that they should do.
I was talking with a fellow believer some time ago who had been reading the blog and they called because they just wanted to talk. I asked how Father was using them and the response they gave me was sad, but painfully transparent.
"I'm doing good... I blew my chance for God's perfect will because of some bad choices that I made earlier on and now I am just living in God's good will." He sadly remarked.
"God has a thrift store?" I asked.
"Well you know He has a perfect will, and then He has an acceptable will, and then He has a good will...", he continued and that is when I just cut him off.
"Explain that to me please." I asked him.
"Well, that is from Romans 12:1-2", He said. Then he went on to quote it for me.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."  ~Romans 12:1-2 "You see Dan, God's perfect will for me was to serve Him in full time Christian service and I blew that with a choice of a spouse and then His acceptable will was for me to at least hold an office in the church... I can't do that and so now I just go to church with my family. It wasn't God's perfect will but at least it was His good will right?", He stammered. His voice shook when he asked that.

"What happened in the beginning?" I asked him, just going straight to the point.

"Like as in the big beginning?" He replied.

"Yeah the big beginning man. What happened back in Genesis on day 6 of the creation story?", I asked and then went further before the answer could be given, "God made man in His image and what separated man from the animals was the fact that God gave man a living soul."

I continued, "The living soul was what set us apart and it is the living soul that allows us to be in the presence of God. God's perfect will for us is not some flower on the side of a mountain somewhere or a magic hoop of specific service to jump through. It is us being in His presence!"

This was made possible through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and it is in His presence where we find our fulfillment!

"But what about my mistakes that messed me up?", He asked.
I explained to him the post "Everything I have ever done." and that is when the response in the conversation broke my heart.
"You mean there is no level of His will called a good will?", He asked audibly shaken.
"Man, those are all descriptions of the same thing. There is no plan "B" there is only a plan "A". I replied.
"Then Dan," he asked, "Why have I been living my life like it was in plan "B"?"
"Because you believed a lie. You traded your life for bondage."
It does not matter what you have done.
It does not matter how far you have gone.

God desires to use us yes, and He will use us when we yield to Him, but God NEVER throws His kids away. Ever.

When the term Good Will was used immediately this picture of a Spiritual thrift store for broken, used up, cast off people came to my mind. The reason why this image came to my mind is because this seems to be the idea that is subtly conveyed alot of times. If you do not measure up to the standard of acceptance that is presented by a organized group, or if you don't check all of the boxes all of the time then you may just end up missing out on doing that one perfect work that God made you to do for Him.

The truth is this. God Made you to be in His presence.

That is His perfect, good and acceptable will for you.

I am going to say something that I feel that Father has dropped in my Spirit to share with you, and you may have a hard time with it. I will bold it in red just to make sure that you do not miss it because whether you choose to believe it or not, you need to at least have seen it.

There was no motive or agenda of  demanded service that God  expected from you when He extended for you!!!

"But God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." ~Romans 5:8
While we were actively sinning against a Holy God, He was actively extending toward us.

If anyone tells you anything else, put one hand on your wallet and one hand on your wife, because there is something at work here that is not good!

Father has no such thrift store plan for you. If you are there today, read the book of John. What you will discover is that it is you who have applied for the permits, hired the architect to draw up the plans, and it is you that have erected the building and assembled the very shelf that you have placed yourself on. It is always us who decides our value to God after we have messed up... never Him! He paid the price he saw us worthy of and that was the blood of His son Christ Jesus!

If you have placed yourself on the shelf of some spiritual thrift store today because you feel as though you have been broken, used up, or have lost pieces to you that made you valuable to those around you, may I please remind you that it is your choice to do this and it in fact is a store of your own making. God doesn't have a store like this.

Get off the shelf and back in the game. He is coming soon and longs to express His love through you to others around you!

Climbing with you,