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The Nile is Mine

August 24, 2011

I have really been struggling with direction lately; there are so many opportunities out there that need help. Monday an opportunity to minister to someone I care about came across my path, so I wrestled with God that night about whether to take it on. Was I doing it just to promote my ministry, or was I doing to help someone out? It is amazing the messages that creep into our heads when we begin to step into a story bigger than ourselves. It’s like this force of nature trying to keep us from becoming who we really are. I was tired of wrestling with God, my internal demons and everyone else, so I decided it was best if I slept on the idea.

The next morning I got up to spend time with God. A couple of times a week I allow Him to take me in scripture where he wants me to go, so I found myself in the book of Ezekiel, and my eyes were drawn to the chapter about the curse placed on the king of Egypt because he pride fully declares to his constituents “The Nile is Mine”. I wondered if God was telling me to quit striving so hard with my own efforts, but to rely on Him to bring the opportunities to me. Why God? Why do we all feel we have to strive so hard to be successful? God gently reminded me of some vows that I had made with Success, and that I needed to denounce these. Wow?

In the book of Matthew, Jesus speaks of making vows, He says,”You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say “yes” and “no”. When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.”

Was God telling me I was trying to manipulate the situation to glorify my ministry?

Even as I write it a yucky feeling comes over my soul. Lord, if I have made any vows that are untrue about striving to be successful, or prideful beliefs/vows that so how I am responsible for the growth of Eyes of the Heart, or any other ministry opportunities I have I denounce those vows and hand them back to you. Please take care of them and me.

Do you have vows that you need to denounce? What is your Nile?

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Glimpses of Heaven

August 21, 2011

This weekend has been a long one; we had a soccer tournament over the weekend that included five games in the sun. What is really bad is that we really needed to work on the house, because it hasn’t fully recovered from our Yellowstone trip a month ago, or me being gone last weekend for a retreat in Mississippi. We walked into the house completely exhausted. First, my son and wife decided to go to Wal-Mart, and then my youngest and a family friend decided to go play basketball. It was amazing somehow I found myself completely alone.

I decided to take advantage of my current situation, so I poured a glass of wine and headed for my king-size tub in my bathroom. I have loved to soak in a tub since I was kid after a long day. I started the water and turned off the light, so maybe I could lower my anxiety level. Then my mind began to race as I sat in the dark room drinking my wine. I can’t believe we lost the championship game, I have to call my web designer in the morning to discuss a time frame, and I have to get out of this bathtub and work on next week’s schedule; sound familiar?

At that moment I realized I needed to breath. Slowly my racing mind subsided and I begin to relax. I am not sure if it was the warmth of the water around me, or the sweet wine that I begin to taste after slowing down my mind. Maybe it was the sunset of the western sky creeping through my window and casting a light glow over the room, but suddenly I realized that God was there. I realized that He was watching me slow down, and then I began to realize I was experiencing a glimpse of heaven.

I laughed at my ignorance to recognize such a peaceful and restful experience. I wondered what God thought of my ridiculously ADHD mind. I imagined he was like my grandfather, smiling down watching me relax and enjoying the moment with me, wondering why it took me so long to recognize his presence. Jesus needed these moments too. There are many instances in scripture where He retires to rest and listen for His Father’s voice.

I pray that you can slow down to see the glimpses of heaven when you are experiencing them. Think about God in those moments and be thankful. Thanks for my time God!

Big Boys Don’t Cry

August 17, 2011

I don’t know if you remember a song from the 70’s called “I’m Not in Love” by 10CC. There is a line in the song that seems to come from the middle of nowhere with the haunting voice of a woman whispering, “Be quiet, big boys don’t cry.”  I love this song, but I have believed that line with many other men for way to long.

I had an amazing experience this weekend with a group of 30 men. Eyes of the Heart hosted a retreat that helps men uncover their Calling in life, and part of the process is telling your story in two different formats. I am always amazed at how hard life really is for everyone who stumbles through it, me included. I shed a lot of tears this weekend, and so did many others men there. You see big boys do cry.

Where the expressions “just suck it up”, or “don’t cry you sissy” originated from I would love to know. I don’t know if it was one particular man, or maybe a group or country that started this horrendous assault on men, but I would guess that Satan had something to do with it. Crying in front of others means weakness to so many, and they either attack or shone the behavior. Don’t run from it; we need to embrace it!

I am amazed at the people who think Jesus was a passive man; it makes me wonder if they actually read the Bible, or just listen to what others tell them about Jesus. Jesus was passionate, forceful and intentional. He was a warrior that we should model our life after, and Jesus wept (John 11:35). His friend Lazarus was dead, and it was the appropriate thing to do. If your emotions and your thoughts in life are out of balance, or the affect on you doesn’t match how others are experiencing a loss you are headed for a fall. Grieve what you need to grieve; cry when you need to cry. God gave us the ability to heal our own hearts, and like Jesus we must weep when our souls are hurting.

 You see Big Boys do cry!!!!!

Do You Need Some Loving, Honey?

August 9, 2011

Everyone needs to know that they are loved. I don’t mean the kind of love in our culture today. I call it because love. I love you because you are my wife. I love you because you are my son. I love you because you are my mom. I mean true heart-felt love that extends deep into our souls. It feels like fingers or some strange substance encircling your heart. The kind that makes you feel good just being inside of your own skin. I love that kind of love.

Do you know God loves you this way?

Do you experience God’s love this way?

Do you experience this kind of love from anyone?

I know at times I struggle feeling loved. Sometimes my tank runs over, but many times my love level is so low I just feel like I am dead, just existing.  So how do you let people know when you need love? Do you think God loves you in those times?

Do you think Jesus knew this kind of love (heart-felt) from God? I would say he did most of the time. He was in constant conversation (prayer) with God which is a good sign that love between two people exists. I have noticed when I am isolated my tank seems to run low, but when Sandra and I are communicating in our relationship I feel loved; I guess it is kind of like Jesus and God. He was constantly affirmed by God and others, another good sign for a man that he is loved.

I wonder if Jesus ever felt unloved.

I am sure He had concerns in the Garden of Gethsemane; you know the whole take this cup from me thing.  The real question about being unloved has to be explored with what he said while nailed to the cross, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” Now systematic theologians have for years tried to explain this away as he was feeling the brunt of our sins being placed upon Him, but I question that logic. Jesus was a man, and I think that at times we forget that about Him at this point in his journey. He was dying, hanging on a cross after being scourged by Roman soldiers; watch The Passion again if you have forgotten what scourging was in his day. I am sure at this point He had doubts himself. Crucifixion wasn’t an easy way to die, and it was being perpetrated by the people He was sent to save.

Why?

Where was the love?

Do you think Jesus knew God loved Him at that moment? I doubt it!

At that point He didn’t know the end of the story. His human nature was limited like ours. My point is this, even when you don’t feel loved, you are loved. We are limited by time and space, therefore our understanding of love is also limited by time and space. We may feel loved today and hated tomorrow, but the truth is God loves us outside of our limitations, outside of our understanding, outside of reason or logic and we have to let this Love sink deep into the core of our being. Because there will be days that love seems to be absent from our lives, but the truth is it is not! God is Love!

Crucified: Honesty Will Get You There

August 6, 2011

Honesty never pays off in a job interview. Don’t tell someone you’re struggling with your own identity in a job interview; it really seems to shake people up. I have done that to myself over the years and have probably cost myself a lot of opportunities. I am honest to a fault, some of my good friends have told me, but really how can you know that some opportunities that come along are actually the one for you; you can’t. Some have to go away; some you have to try. People who think that God is up there opening up some doors and closing others while snickering as we continue to make mistake after mistake are crazy. God just wants you to be you!

What I have found through my years is that most people don’t know themselves enough to actually qualify themselves as being honest. They don’t really know how they are feeling, they sure as hell can’t be honest about being afraid, and if you admit you either have feelings or are afraid then you are some kind of freak. Honesty rarely exists in today’s culture. Jesus was this kind of honest.

In the book of Mark, Jesus is in the church on the Sabbath, when he comes across a man with a shriveled hand. Now Jesus has been in this position before, and the religious leaders already have noticed his disregard for their rules, especially about the Sabbath. The stage is set. Jesus says, “Stand up in front of everyone”, and the man stands up. Then he asks the question, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” What a question? The leaders are silent because they know in their hearts what the honest answer is to his question. Honesty trumps law.

Then Jesus looks at them with anger and contempt, and says, “Stretch out your hand!” The man stretched out his hand and it was restored. Scripture says immediately the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

This type of honesty and humility is what alienated him from the religious people of his day. Are you that honest?

Are you that honest with yourself?

Are you that honest with others?

True honesty will get you crucified!

Are you brave enough to be honest?

Inception

August 1, 2011

I started this blog over a year ago, and according to the statistics within WordPress over 12,700  people have read my blog at some point since its inception. I started it because I wanted to share with people what it looks like to walk through everyday life watching for God in the details; I call it seeing life through the Eyes of the Heart. I didn’t have much of an agenda. I just wanted to encourage others to look for God even in the craziest of details. He is there!!!

It has been amazing the blessings I have received from writing this blog, and many times the encouragement that I needed to continue. There were many times I wrote a blog I felt was some of my best writing and no one read it. Then there were times when I wrote something wondering if people would think I was crazy and it was read by hundreds and a few times thousands. I watched my writing skills get better, my grammar improve, but most importantly my faith in people expand. God is using my writing as a tool to bring others closer to Him. I am amazed and humbled. I wanted to share some of the blessings that have been attributed to some of the readers on this blog.

1.  Eyes of the Heart contributed over $10,000 for Sky Corral Ranch because of you guys and a matching grant that was in place doubled that amount.

2.  I published my first magazine article this year because of this blog.

3.  Hundreds of people have thanked me, my mom and the staff of Eyes of the Heart for the encouragement they received from this blog.

4.  For the first time since I started Eyes of the Heart Ministries I actually get paid a monthly salary (very small, but it really helps my family – THANK YOU).

5.  And my heart has been encouraged by comments that I needed to hear when I felt like giving   up!

I love the people who read my blog, and I wanted to publicly thank some people who continue to bless me through their words: Beth Elliot, Ralph McLelland, Jeff Andrechyn, Cooper Brown, Kim Curtis Hill, Jack Page, Lynn Ryan, David Morse, Roane Hunter, Reggie Britt. Karen Wilson Zimpfer, Jeff Brown, Jorge Liceaga, Ashley Faulk Keller, Chip Ledbetter and last but not least my mom (Rosie McDade). I am sure I left off a bunch of names, and not intentionally, but these people have lifted my heart when I needed a kind word and strength to continue to give to others. I just wanted to tell you thanks! I love you guys! You are Jesus with skin on for me!

July 28, 2011

Unemployed? Despise your job? Accepted a life of Mediocrity? What about God? Doing anything for him? Has life turned out like you thought it would? Could there be a Calling from God on your life?

You will never know until you invest in yourself. Join us August 11-14, 2011 at Timbercreek Camp in Pulaski, MS (Between Morton and Forest) with Gary Barkalow of The Noble Heart as he takes us on a Journey to uncover our true self. If you are interested in attending please call Mike McDade (970-682-8568) or Lynn Ryan (601-317-1772) or Ralph McLelland (601-927-2477) or register at:

  http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=h7ucafdab&oeidk=a07e3t2xgg17824221a

 The only thing you have to lose is yourself!

 

For More information on this event go to www.eyesoftheheart.com

 

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