NEW -The Geeky Preacher-man Diet – E-book FREE this weekend only!

Hello my friends,

For those of you who follow me, you may have seen my weight loss progression through last year as I posted on Facebook and Twitter during my diet.  I am still in the process of watching my weight, and I realize it is going to be a lifetime thing from now on.  I had several friends who asked me how I had been able to lose the weight through social media and when they saw me in person as well.  I really wanted to help people who “like me” struggle constantly with their weight, so I have written a new E-book called

Cole Cover

The Geeky Preacher-man Diet (How I lost 62 lbs. in 82 Days)

As I just published this title this weekend I am offering it to all my followers and readers of my blog for FREE!  All you need is a computer and you can be reading it within a few minutes.  Please have a look at it and I would greatly appreciate you leaving some positive feedback on Amazon.com as this will be a great boost to my writing endeavors.

And as an extra added incentive you can also get a FREE copy of my Devotions book this weekend!  Connections to the Vine is a year-long daily devotional of scripture reflection and includes a plan to help you read through the Bible in a year!

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Connections to the Vine

Also, another favor I would ask is for you to share this book with your friends and family.  It may help them to make a positive change in their own life and if so I bet they will be forever grateful, and I know that I will be to.  You can share this post, or share from each books individual amazon.com page on twitter, e-mail, or Facebook.

I really appreciate all of your support!

Have a Blessed Day!

Michael

 

Two Free E-books 1 Devotional and 1 Weight Loss

I am happy to share with all of my friends my two e-books which will be FREE this weekend on Amazon.com 

Connections to the Vine is my year long devotional that is taken directly from the posts on this blog! There is also a print version available.  This is a big book, 700+ pages of scripture reflections.  

And I JUST put out another E-book – this one is only available in E-book form and exclusively from Amazon 

The title of this book is The Geeky Preacher-man Diet  This one is a short one day read.  

Both of these books will be available tomorrow and Sunday – so this is a weekend promotion.  Go get them now!

After you get started on the Devotions book, and after you’ve read the diet book I would really appreciate your help on posting reviews for them on Amazon.

I hope you enjoy these free gifts!

Love,

Michael

I know what you’re thinking

Let’s try something fun.  First let me lay down some ground rules.  I don’t want you to skip to the end of this post right away or else you spoil the whole thing so just keep reading from right here.  I will help ease your temptation by giving you a little space in between this and the punchline but do your best not to cheat…   Okay, how many of you already cheated and looked at the bottom?  Come on, fess up, it’s just you and me and I promise not to tell.  Well, if you did, shame on you.  You blew the fun part for yourself.  If you are playing by the rules right now I am proud of you!  So without further delay, here we go.

Pick a number between one (1) and ten (10) – Not 1 or 10, but between.

Now multiply that number by nine (9).

You should now have a two digit number…  Take those two digits and add them together…

Now subtract five (5).

Now take the answer you have for that and transpose it to a letter of the alphabet like so.   1=A, 2=B, 3=C…   

Got the letter?  Good.   Now think about a name of a country that begins with that letter…  Take your time….

Now think of the 2nd letter in the name of that country…

Now think of an animal whose name begins with that 2nd letter…

And now what is the usual color of the animal…

Got it?  Good deal – now my guess for what you are thinking of is at the bottom of this post  just under my signature line.  Go have a look, then come right back up here….  I’ll wait here.

Back already?  
Very good.  If you are like most people I probably got the answer right.  If you thought of anything other than what I said at the bottom, pat yourself on the back and know that you have a truly original mind.  This works, in my estimate, on about 95% of people.   You may be wondering at this point where I am going with all of this.  

Here is my point.  

We all like to think of ourselves as independent thinkers.  We have our certain set of values and beliefs and we see those things as something we developed over our lifetime through experience.  The fact is however, that we are easily influenced by others.  We are constantly inundated with ideas, by corporations who are motivated by profit, government officials who are motivated by profit and power, and mass media who are motivated by profit, power, and ratings.  We are fed what they want us to consume and when you get fed enough of their steady diet of ideas you start spitting those same things back out to others and the effect multiplies exponentially through e-mail, small-talk and social media.  

For example, for the last couple of weeks I have had an incredible craving for Lobster.  You know why?  Because it’s Lobster-fest at Red Lobster and I’ve been fed a steady stream of commercials showing beautiful looking lobster dishes, they look so good they make your mouth water.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t sit around waiting for Lobster-fest every year and pay close attention to the commercials.  In fact, many times during commercials I am up messing around on the computer, getting something to drink from the kitchen, going to the restroom or reading a book, magazine or newspaper.  Still I have this craving for some of that delicious lobster dipped in butter.   But, now that I know the reason for my craving, I can do something about it.  Knowing that these commercials have influenced me I can choose to either accept the programming and go get lobster or I can do what I know I should and eat a less expensive and healthier meal and just drive right by Red Lobster.  

I just want you to think about how you are influenced by what you watch on TV, the books and magazines and newspapers that you read, and the people you talk to on a regular basis.  These influences are not always bad, but they can be.  You don’t have to totally shut yourself down to outside influences, just be a little more aware of them and use the mind that God has blessed you with to question things.  The Bible says that if we are in need of wisdom that we should ask and that if we ask we will receive it.  James 1:5 So just because I say something, or just because the person on the news says something, or just because the Pope or the President or the Speaker of the House or anyone else for that matter says something, don’t be afraid to question it and don’t be afraid to open yourself up to new ideas.   Always seek wisdom through prayer and allow God’s Holy Spirit to give you an answer that you may not have expected or even one that you didn’t desire.  

Have a Blessed Day!

 

Pastor Michael

My best guess:   A Grey Elephant in Denmark – (Go back up now).

Lent? I don’t remember getting Loaned…

How is your Lent Season going so far?  Have you maybe slipped a little bit?  We were talking yesterday during Bible study about how easy it is to do that.  I have to admit that I too have slipped up on some of the things I wanted to do for lent.  Just before Ash Wednesday I felt led to start a fast.  I thought, “Hey, maybe I can go through all of lent, just like Jesus did in the wilderness!”  How great would that be!?!  How arrogant I was!  It didn’t last long.  About 36.857 hours (or somewhere around there) was as long as I was able to make it before the smell of supper cooking made me eat like a horse!  See how I did that?  I blamed it on something else “the smell of supper” rather than on myself.  Really I was just weak and gave into temptation.  But alas, I have settled into a little more reasonable goal of just eating less, avoiding deserts and working on those other things that I mentioned during the Ash Wednesday service.  

Listen, if you decided to give up something for Lent and you’ve slipped up and given in, or forgot and mistakenly partook of whatever it is, I am giving you permission to forgive yourself.  Not that you need my permission, but I want you to know that it is okay.  Part of the lessons we have during Lent is that we are all sinners.  Recognizing that sin is really what it’s about.  Jesus died on the cross so that your sins could be forgiven, so allow that to comfort you now.  It’s alright to feel a little bit bad about not living up to your own expectations, and it will be alright if you shed a tear or two.  Go ahead.  Let it out.  – Now, do you feel better?  Good.  Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on the path.  If you need to readjust your goals, do it, if you need to pick up where you left off, then do that.  Let us all continue together, imperfect as we are as we remember the path that Jesus took for us to Calvary.

May God Bless you in every way!
Pastor Michael.

My Enemies Make Me Glad (Day 9)

The scripture for today’s 21 Day Challenge is Philippians 1:12-26

Scripture: What do I think about this? Just this: since Christ is proclaimed in every possible way, whether from dishonest or true motives, I’m glad and I’ll continue to be glad.

Observation: Whatever we go through is worth it if Christ is glorified.

Application: There are times that I have to admit to having a little bit of Martyr Syndrome. I am quick to find where I am being persecuted or unfairly judged by others and use that as a point of soliciting sympathy from others. I am not saying that Paul is guilty of this in our scripture this morning, but it is just how I see these words relating to my own life. Paul’s motives are impeccable, he says it does not matter if those who are preaching Christ are doing it out of good motives or out of selfish motives, it does not matter if they are for Paul or if they are against Paul, what matters is that Christ is being preached and he is glad for that. Further he says, from his prison cell, that it is unimportant as to whether he is released or he is executed. He personally would be glad to be able to go home to be with Christ in heaven, but he would also be glad to be released and continue his work for others.

That is the kind of attitude we need to have when we think of the things that we go through in life. If we feel that we are being persecuted or unfairly treated, we can use those things to serve God and witness of his forgiving grace and compassion for those who are suffering. If we are lifted up, if we are praised, we can use those things to witness of God and point to his Spirit that works within us. Paul says in v21 “Because for me, living serves Christ and dying is even better.” What a witness that is. We should adopt this frame of mind so that no matter what we do, it is all about Christ.

Prayer: Lord,

Help me to see that no matter what I think I’m going through in my life that it can be a way of serving you and glorifying Christ.

Love Michael

Yield: It’s not about me, it’s not about the things I’m going through, it’s about serving God.

He who comes after me (Day 8)

The reading for the 21 day challenge today is John 1:14-28

Scripture:
John 1: 15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'”)

Observation: We exist before we arrive.

Application: There are a lot of different directions we could go here. We could talk about whether or not we might have lived a physical life before this one because the priests and Levites asked John if he was Elijah or if he was the prophet in verse 21. We could talk about when the soul enters the body because if we exist before we arrive as an infant, then it could be that it happens at conception. Where does life really begin in the womb, or at conception? That conversation would be a high volume topic to talk about for sure. Predestination could also be something we look at here, if we pre-exist then perhaps we also have our destiny laid out before us even before our lives begin. It would be hard to argue that both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ had a destiny planned by God even before their physical birth. All of these would be good topics to discuss, but all I really want to say here is that John is pointing out not only that Christ was before him, speaking of the pre-physical existence of Jesus and John, but I think John was trying to say that Jesus was before all people. He was there in the beginning with God. Indeed, Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the second part of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit that has always been and will always be. I will leave it to you to think about the other things. Feel free to discuss! J

Prayer: Lord,

I thank you that you sent Jesus to be your physical incarnation on earth. That you walked among us and taught us that your Kingdom is At Hand. Please help me to recognize your Spirit and your Grace in others that you place in my path.

Love Michael

Possible for God (Day 7)

The scripture for today in the 21 day challenge is Ephesians 2:1-10

Scripture: Ephesians2: it’s not something you did that you can be proud of. 10 Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.

Observation: What is impossible for man is possible for God.

Application: I can’t help but relate this reading today to my Sunday sermon. We talked about how the rich young ruler had come to Jesus and asked what he could do to inherit eternal life. Christ told him to sell all of his possessions, give the money to the poor and then come and follow him. This was a unique situation because this young man had an opportunity to be one of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples. He decided that his earthly inheritance was more important to him than his eternal inheritance. When he was leaving Jesus told his disciples that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. The disciples were astonished at this. They had thought that wealth was a sign of God’s favor and they asked, “Then who can ever be saved?” and Jesus said “What is impossible for man is possible for God.”

The scripture in Ephesians today reminds us that there is nothing that we have done and nothing that we could do in our own power to earn a place beside a Holy God in heaven. Rather, it is a gift of God to us, an accomplishment made by God through Christ Jesus and nothing we have done or could do would ever be deserving of such a gift.

I am so glad today that what I am not able to do, God can do!

Prayer: Lord,

Thank you for the good news that Christ has come and set us free from everlasting separation from you. Thank you for the great accomplishment that you made through Christ on the cross. All glory is yours now and forever.

Love Michael

Yield: I surrender any thoughts of me deserving my blessings because of my work, good deeds or morality because they are all nothing compared to God.