Psalm for the Day

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Squeezing My Heart

God is delighting in the essence that is being released as my heart is being squeezed.

This is some ways has been a very, very rough year. In other ways it has been one of the best that Gabi and I have enjoyed. High and low, up and down, in and out. I tremble to complain because of the goodness of God, Pastor Carter, Concord, my friends and family. There are way too many blessings to even begin to think about yet God still delights to squeeze me in one area in my life.

A few years back it was the betrayal of a daughter and a son. The son I looked to as a brother and one of my best friends. Though he was not blood his heart seemed to care for mine. Later, I would learn that he longs to love but has no backbone and allowed the women in his life to rule him. God have mercy. The pain he caused, God reaching in and teaching me about true friends and foolish reliance upon weak men. I was nice. I am not nice any more. Then a daughter. God used me powerfully in her life. And then another friend turned her heart against me. God has done of wonderful work of raising her femininity and purity from the dead and I was a guardian of her heart. And she betrayed my heart. The pain of this is beyond measure and numbs me even to this day. There are sins that I would gladly give account for but I have done nothing against this woman. And other weak men, especially of Tres Dias have followed their lies. Again another wound.

God delights to use another means of grabbing my heart. He delights in the pain of the heart and the effect that it has upon the soul. This brokenness releases the true essence of the heart. His Spirit is allowed for flow freely beyond understanding. My heart is able to touch others, bring His healing through the wounds of my heart. I am wonderfully humbled by His presence and power in my woundedness. Therefore, I delight in the wounds of my friends, though I still suffer from their sin. I quiet myself in my anger and rage toward them and direct myself toward the hurt and move toward God. As I exchange my anger for my hurt He then delights to release His anger toward them. Not in a vindictive way but redemptive. He reaches into their heart to get their attention. I do not rejoice in the pain necessary to bring a saint from their sin but I rejoice in God's justice. He is just. Pain for pain they will share. That is, if I release the anger. If I hold to the anger, I just add to my soul pain which has very little value. My heart pain matures me and those around me. Shared heart pain matures those who share in its grief.

So saint, stay with the pain. God will discipline in His time and His way. Every child is disciplined for their own sin. You can't convict or convince someone of their sin. God must do it. If they harden their heart God will judge them. Sometimes for all to see. I have seen this several times and not once did I or the hurt person rejoice over someone being judged. It is horrific. It is complete. It is terrifying. Always.

Tears of a Woman

Tears of a Woman

I dedicate this post to two of the most beautiful women I have ever met: my wife Gabi of over 33 years and my daughter Tori of over 20 years. Your beauty has humbled me and your tears have taught me all that I know about women. Thank you.

Women are created by God to be moved by hope. Peter warns a woman to make sure that her hope is authored by God and nothing else. (See 1 Peter 3:1-6). It is easy for a woman to become deceived and her hope comes secretly from her soul and not from her faith. Like Ishmael of the Old Testament God refuses to pretend that a child born of false hope was a child born of faith.

When a woman cries with her heart it is because God and her are creating a new tomorrow. When a woman cries with her heart her faith is reaching into her heart to find God and her together and then creating the desired future that they both long for. Sometimes the tears and the groans are too deep for human understanding and she just cries and groans. Eventually, she will mature into her prayers but it may take a season.

If you are a man and in a relationship with a woman you must catch her tears as they trickle down her cheek. You must learn to treasure them for they will teach your heart about the spiritual DNA of a woman's heart. If you try to learn with what she says out of her mouth and understanding, you will live a life of great frustration and you will lose in the end.

Pray through her tears. Listen to her God. It is NOT going to make sense to you. They are tears from a feminine heart. You will never understand her spirit. God will have to translate for you. And do not ever try to understand her soul. She does not even understand her soul. That is a very dangerous place for men to go. Stay close to her God and you will stay close to her heart.

Tears of a Man

Tears of a Man

I believe that when God creates us, He creates us as masculine and feminine spirits. It is NOT our body that determines our masculinity or our femininity but the breath that God breathes into us.

I began to notice that men cry differently than women. I tell the women to NOT catch the tears of her husband or her sons over the age of ten. When a man cries, when a tear rises up in his soul and overflows out into the atmosphere, for most men, it is because God is squeezing his heart.

God Almighty reaches inside of the man's chest, grabs the man's heart and then perfectly and completely squeezes the man's heart. When the man relaxes and lets God have His way, the tears are released. If he tries to hang on, hates appearing weak, then he swallows the tears down into his soul to hide them in his bowels.

These hidden tears rot and putrefy into anger and then into bitterness and ultimately into rage. The man now has to use emotional energy to keep the expanding rage for exploding out of his soul onto everyone around him. This will eventually lead to exhaustion and then long term depression.

There are two basic reasons for God to squeeze a man's heart. First, God is seeking to destroy the three E's that every man is born with. 1. The Easy 2. The Escape and finally 3. The Excuse.

Most men long to find the easy way to do anything. They move toward easy woman, easy work and even an easy war. Second, they are always looking for the escape, how to get out of things, how to pretend they did not hear or see something and if that does not work to have a ready excuse of why they can not be held accountable for what happened.

Second reason why God squeezes a man's heart is after He has squeezed out the easy and the escape and the excuses He squeezes to get the essence of what He has placed into the man's spirit and heart out into the atmosphere. God entrusts a part of His own heart to every man He creates. He then creates corners for the man to get painted into so the essence of the man's heart can be seen by all those around him. We get to know God when His men get squeezed. You get to know who belong to the devil as well, when they get squeezed.

So if you are a man, God's man, be ready to get squeezed. This is why God wants most of us married, with children and in challenging jobs. We are made to be squeezed.

When my daughter dates a man like I used to be, my heart is being squeezed. When my son acts the fool and dates a young lady who has known only fools my heart for both of them is being squeezed. When I wound my wife with a short, mean word and she responds gently, exposing the hurt, God reaches in my chest and squeezes.

Friday, February 17, 2012

How to Recognize a Real Man

There are five basic charactics of a man that has been made by God Himself. Only God can make a tree and a man. Any other thing is still a child, a boy and will always be a boy. Now, they may be a nice boy, a well behaved boy but they are not a man.

1. Real men fear God. They believe God is real and that they will give an account to Him about how they act and live life. This fear is real and controlling. There is nothing else that comes close to controling their life than their holy fear of God. It is not a fear of eminent judgement but a respect for the eye of God.

2. Real men love with Agape love. They are able to love because they have been loved with Agape by God Himself. Their fear has awaken them to a holy sense of worship and also their own failure to serve God. This failure led to a bold, fearful and naked confession to God. This has led to a personal experience of God's Agape love. They have been overwhelmed by His love. They delight to share that love with others yet to share the fear of God brings greater joy.

3. Real men long for and seek to love ONE woman for the rest of their life. In every man God places a desire to find one princess, one queen, one love that will shake him to his bones. Nothing will move him greater other than his fear and Agape love than this woman. There is nothing that walks the earth that pleases or pains him more than this one woman. He delights in her shape, her knee caps, her big toes. Nothing is out of place, or mishapped because it is hers and he loves everything that is hers. He delights in her gift of herself to him. He would love to taste the fruit of her love but his fear of God constrains him.

4. He is destined for a Noble Cause. He does not entangle himself in petty fights but longs for the true Noble Cause for which he is willing even to die for. His true friends are too seeking their Noble Cause. To discover his Noble Cause he must have his queen at his side and his children in his lap. They are the center of his Noble Cause. He will overflow from the marriage, into the family and then into the community has he seeks and fulfills his noble cause. Some are aware of their Noble Cause from childhood while others discovers theirs while helping others find and fulfill their own.

5. He is humbled by the prophesy of his mentors, peers and disciplies. They have spoken into his life and because of the greatness of their own lives they have authority to speak into his. He is continually humbled by their desire to be close to him and learn from him as they seek to have him help them in their greatness. The echos of greatness begins early and follows him all the days of his life, but he is not overwhelmed with his greatness. He is humbled by his own weakness and failures and is horribly dependent upon God to finish his course.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to know if God has changed someone

God’s work is powerful and there are signs leftover when God completes His work.
1. Before the change there are three things that I look for.
a. The person is desperate for change.
b. The person’s toys and coping mechanisms are not working 100%.
c. There is someone in their life that is calling upon God for change. There maybe a small child or a parent but someone somewhere is making a connection upstairs.

2. During the change brokenness is the key element. The person’s life is horribly and wonderfully exposed to God’s light and the pain is unbearable. During that pain time God is working deep in the person’s life and making changes. Sometimes it takes years to fully see what God did during the unbelievably painful time. Surgery is horribly painful – the doctor has to cut to get in and sometimes cut things out to help the person get back to health. God is a willing surgeon who will do whatever is necessary to insure His children are healthy. There is not one thing that He will not use in your life to help you return to health.

3. Quiet. The person gets quiet. There is a peace in their heart that they cannot explain. There may not be peace on the outside but they have been trained by the pain to rest in the peace without answers. The answers come, when they are supposed to, but not because the person fretted until they were given an answer.

4. The change lasts. When God changes someone it lasts into the future. The change is so powerful it can impact children, family and friends. I saw God change Alva. He was acting out in horrible ways and hurting a lot of people. I saw God change him. He was different. And I wanted that difference. I wanted to be changed like that. And God did it for me too.

People Can’t Change

Wow, is that a powerful statement or what. I am making a declaration of something that I have learned from counseling and coaching people for over 30 years – People can’t change.
We depend upon people to change. We marry someone expecting that marriage will do it and make the person change. We believe someone when they say that they are going to change. We believe hiring that certain person will make the difference and because they have a job they will change.

Let me make a crucial difference in our language. People mature and un-mature. But people under their own power do not change. You make the apple smaller or bigger but an apple cannot change from being an apple.

My greatest grief is watching seemingly intelligent and devout believers in Jesus marry someone BANKING on Jesus changing the person. You get to KEEP what you MARRY. Stop pretending. And some women believe that having sex with a man will change him. No, if he is an adulterer at heart, sex, less or more is not going to change him. He may be intoxicated with you for a while but he is going to be and do what he is.

Now, God and God alone retains the right to “save” people. He can take a man that is a lemon and change him into a holy olive from the inside out. That man will then begin to work out his salvation. Over time his “olive-ness” will be known to all. In his infancy he will still echo some of the lemon-ness of his old life. But God will correct and discipline and bring him to repentance. But don’t you bank on it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Secret Ache of Every Man's Heart

EMOTE ME!!! The ache of every man is that his wife, daughters and mothers would be able to hear him without him having to speak a word. Peter whispers this secret in 1 Peter 3:1-6. Your man can be won without a word!

Most men are not able to process their emotions well. We were designed that way by God. Blame HIM, ladies. No, better yet. Learn how to EMOTE us.

Imagine grabbing a hold of our emotions, pulling them a little of the way out of us, not too far. And express the emotions. Do not pull them into your self - otherwise you will feminize them. A lot of women expect men to feel feminine with their emotions. WE can't. We are men and we are made that way from the inside out. Not the outside in. We are not nurtured into men but men on the inside waiting to be nurtured and discovered and released by ourselves and others around us.

Be very cautious in emoting us. We will not be used to this process. Gabi is learning this well. One time, coming home from a long day of counseling, I was barking at the kids. Rather than barking back for barking at her kids, she looked into my eye and emoted me. She said, no one said thank you for all that you did today. I am sorry and thank you. You were great today. I cried. Did not think I needed to cry, I mean water out of the faucet crying but it came. I quickly dried up, gave her a hug and walked away looking over my shoulder as she walked back into the kitchen with a new sense of power in her life. I was stunned, humbled, excited and scared. Now I know what people feel when God gives me insight into what is going on inside of them. Wow.

I love it and hate it. And it brings great joy to her when I relax and let her in. More than joy!!!