‘Risky Business’

As a child, I would get my groove on by watching my beloved Looney Tunes every chance I could.  One of my favorite characters was Pepé Le Pew.  He would hop around in Paris looking for desperately looking for love, and he was convinced Penelope flirted with him; but reality was she rejected his advances.  He was odor-able and refused to take “no” for an answer.  Like Pepé, we too, get caught up in the moment and stroll around with a warped sense of reality.  The “Have It Your Way” or “What Ever It Takes” mentality is ‘Risky Business’ indeed.

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Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:40, NLT)  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10, NKJV)

God never destroyed the Tower of Babel; the workers were confused.  We have simply failed to learn from the story in the book of Genesis.  In the beginning…our Father…created the heavens and earth.  It would be fair to say unrealistic expectations and people pleasing has been around for ages.  Let’s build cone shaped buildings to heaven and show God the horoscope, all while we pound our ego.  Really…  Humanism was defined by such foolish plans.

In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world. (Genesis 11:8-9, NLT)

I have not been a believer for a long time, nor do I have all the answers.  I am not a theologian, nor have I attended seminary school.  I am simply a beggar leading other beggars to the bread.  But this I know, when I look back on my spiritual journey and life all together, my sins are many.  I need God’s grace, and heresy will destroy grace!

Chuck Swindoll, eloquently wrote, in The Grace Awakening: While most people in the world are busy building towers with highest hopes of making a name and gaining fame, God’s truth sets the record straight.  On the basis of God’s Book, His Holy Word, it is my plea that we simply admit our need and claim God’s grace.  Instead of striving for a manmade ticket to heaven based on high achievement and hard work (for which we get all the credit), I suggest we openly declare our own spiritual bankruptcy and accept God’s free gift of grace.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16, ESV)

In many ways, we pridefully erect towers and we pretend to be God (delusion of grandeur).  God’s grace is enough to go around for everyone, but only a humble heart could receive it.  Would you join me in declaring spiritual bankruptcy and claim God’s grace?

‘The World Is Yours’

Growing up in Miami during the ’80s was charming…  Sex, drugs, and rock N’ roll (debauchery) was a popular concept to say the least.  The “Dadeland Massacre” in 1979, triggered the “Miami Cocaine Wars” and the rest is history.  In 1983, the film Scarface directed by Brian De Palma, written by Oliver Stone, produced by Martin Bregman, and starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana hits the theaters.  Instantly, it’s a sensational hit!

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By 1984, the American television crime drama series Miami Vice produced by Michael Mann for NBC became a fashion statement.  The series starred Don Johnson as James “Sonny” Crockett and Philip Michael Thomas as Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs, two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami.  I must admit, I sported the moccasins with tight white Edwin jeans, and pastel colored shirts.  Every Friday night, I watched the series religiously.  Often, I fantasized about driving fast expensive cars, living in mansions, with suit cases full of money.

A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. (Proverbs 15:14, NLT)

You might have heard the phrase garbage in, garbage out…  If you feed your mind with ungodly internet, music, television, or anything for that matter that is trashy, expect trashy thoughts and actions.  After receiving a PhD, from the School of Hard Knocks, I believe the Holy Bible is accurate and true.  It’s the Word of God!

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. (Colossians 2: 8-10, NLT)

Because my sins were piled higher than my head, and my guilt had reached to the heavens, I called upon my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.  2000 years ago, Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for the sins of the world.  His Words on the cross were, “It is finished!”  In other words, the debt has been paid in full.  All who repent and trust in Him receive forgiveness of sins.  Their case is dismissed on the basis of His suffering death, and the records are expunged.

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 4:1-3, NKJV)

The Holy Spirit is another helper of mine.  If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17, NKJV)

On Friday Nights, I now Celebrate Recovery from life’s hurts, hang-ups, and habits.  Today, my identity is in Christ, not popular culture.  I no longer believe the philosophy “The World Is Yours” that Tony Montana envisioned, nor do I idolize fictitious characters created by man (idolatry).  

In the Lord’s name, I tell you this. Do not continue living like those who do not believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing. They do not understand, and they know nothing, because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives. They have lost all feeling of shame, and they use their lives for doing evil. They continually want to do all kinds of evil. (Ephesians 4:17-19, NCV)

…No more tight white Edwin jeans, and pastel colored shirts for me.  Do you choose sacrifice or scarface?  Choose wisely my friends.

Reflect ~ Refocus ~ Refreshed

As I reflect on the circumstances in my life, I realize my choices have led to a path.  A path where I brokenly met Christ Jesus.  Today, I no longer repress or suppress my defects of character.  Instead, I refocus on what is urgent in life.  Relationships are urgent!

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  (Matthew 22:36-40, ESV)

Submitting to these two laws declares God’s glory.  Love is at the root of both of these laws.  Love leads to obedience, but obedience does not lead to love.   Simply said, our willpower is not enough.  Extending love allows us to plug into God’s power.  And with God’s power you will be refreshed

So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.  (1 John 1:6-7, NLT)

In order to love others, one must accept others for who they are.  Moreover, accepting others for who they are does not mean approving of their poor choices, nor should anyone compromise their convictions in doing so.  But by accepting others where they are in life, one demonstrates God’s grace and love.  Such Christ-like character places one in position to minister the “Good News” to the nations by the power of the Spirit of God.

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So stop, look, listen, and feel.  Seek the truth and the truth will set you free.  Think about all the relationships in your life that the Lord Jesus Christ has blessed you with.  Who do you need to accept in your life today?

‘Chasing the Wind’

I was introduced to Rex Venture Group, LLC d/b/a ZeekRewards by a friend from church and both my wife and I were skeptical from the very beginning, but our desperation far exceeded our wisdom.  Simply said, our greed kicked into high gear…  I had several friends which were making great earnings from this company for a period of several months.  

On July 8, 2012, I became an affiliate for $100 dollars.  I studied the business restlessly for 3 days.  After 2 weeks of understanding the business model, I invested $10,000 dollars into this business venture.  Within 2 weeks, I was earning $1,200 a week, which I was reinvesting into the purchase of additional VIP points.  The more VIP points you accrue the greater cash reward you would receive the next business day.  

The cash rewards are based on 50% of the revenue generated from the penny auction site Zeekler.  Saturday, August 18, 2012, the Secret Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took over the companies assets.  As of September 13, 2012, nearly $300,000,000.00 in Receivership Assets have been secured.  Over 1 million affiliates like me were directly impacted financially, but I pray the SEC can sort it all quickly and return monies invested to investors asap.  God has placed a vision before me as a result of this event.  A vision to reach His people around the world who struggle to support their families and who may be desperate to their financial situations.  God is great and ALL the time!

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