God Created Your Person

madeFor it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.                                                                                                                                                                                       Ephesians 2:8-10

From this portion of scripture, an extremely wise and most precious man taught me,

“God created your person, engineered your genes and spelled out your person in the ABCs of your DNA.  Therefore, you are special and unique, planned and designed by the genius of God.”

Sometimes it is hard to remember such a concept.  We live in a world that is fallen and the anti-christ spirit that rules it, by its very nature, is designed to discourage and hinder the God’s handiwork (which is you) in its development and expression.

Notice the subtlety found in this verse in the Ephesian letter.

Our value does NOT come from the GOOD WORKS  that we DO.  Rather, our worth comes from being CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS.  After all, it is by GRACE that we are SAVED through FAITH and not by WORKS.

Man, I really wish I could drill that into the heads of brothers and sisters who still falter on their journey because they just don’t seemingly measure up to ……(whatever standard you’d like to insert at this point.)

There was a time in my life where  personal presentation, performance and producing were the preferred purpose.  You like the alliteration?  I learned that in Bible College in preparation for the ministry.

It was in such environments, religious church-ey places and systems, where I exercised such a “P Process” with great vigor and zeal so as to accomplish great things for God.  In appearance, it was “succesful” according to worldly religious orders.  But in the end, the “P Process” produced PRIDE.

And, we all know what Pride proceeds……………….a fall.

Painful.  Yes.

Necessary.  Absolutely.

All the things and stuff produced from striving to “do great things for God” and the (false) identity gained from such activities were lost.  I was a man most miserable because all of my life seemed to be a waste of time and everything I thought I knew about God evaporated like fog on a clearing day.

That’s about the time that I began to learn what the extremely wise and most precious man began to teach me.  Oh, what a difference it has made in my life!

You see Jesus operating according to the mentality described in the opening of this post.  The man came and said crazy things like,

“I don’t say anything except I heard the Father say it.”

“I don’t do anything except I’ve seen the Father do it.”

“I don’t come to reveal myself to you.  I’ve come to show you the Father.”

That, my dear reader, is the DNA of a Son speaking.  He understood where he came from and where his identity originated.  It wasn’t in the incredible, astounding works that he performed while on this planet.

No, he was a matured Son, led of the Spirit to walk in the good works that Father had prepared in advance for him to walk in and do.

I am going to let you in on a little secret!

God, who is your Father, not only loves you…………………..He likes you.  He knows you better than you know yourself.  He likes spending time with you and enjoys your personality and being.  He wishes you liked yourself, too.

Granted, we can all be real pieces of work sometimes. Okay, probably a bit more than some times.  However, Father isn’t intimidated by it.  He likes your humanity and is in the process of redeeming and transforming it.  He trusts in Himself to be faithful in completing the work He has started in you.  We should learn to trust Him too and r-e-l-a-x just a bit.  The biblical term, if you are wanting it, is the rest of God.

On this journey I’ve been on, I’ve discovered that as much as Father reveals Himself to me, He also takes the time to reveal the REAL me to myself. We all live with pre-conceived ideas about ourselves based upon a myriad of reasons and experiences.  The majority of those opinions of ourselves are, well, let’s just say, NOT BASED UPON FATHER”S IMAGE and LIKENESS.  They are, unfortunately, based upon our time spent in the fallen realm and, more unfortunately, we have accepted them hook, line and sinker.

Per usual, we tend to see ourselves outside of Father’s lens and bring ourselves clearly into focus utilizing our self-centered optics.  Father desires you to change the frame.  It truly is the reason that He has brought you into a BORN AGAIN experience, given you a seed of HIS NATURE and HIS SPIRIT TO LEAD YOU.  He knows what HE thinks of you.  He desperately wants to share them with you.  I won’t take the time here to go into it now but you beginning to see yourself as He sees you really is the only way Christ will ever be accurately and fully formed in you.

You’d be surprised the things that would change in your life, the bondages that you’d be set free from and the way your relationships would change if you’d listen to Him and come into agreement regarding His perspective about you.

So, do yourself a favor.  Rejoice, celebrate and praise God for what He has done, is doing and will continue to do.  YOU!!

Keep your peace!

Crispy Enchiladas with a Side of Repentance

This past weekend, I had the honor of accompanying my wife over to Ft. Worth to attend a

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Misty at the event

grand opening of a restaurant that she designed for a client.

As I sat in the environment that my wife had created with her design team, I was extremely impressed by what she had accomplished.  The restaurant was beautiful, the atmosphere was warm and welcoming and, perhaps the most important, the client was extremely pleased!

As Misty circulated through speaking to the usual suspects at such an event, I had a moment to sit at the table and just absorb the experience.  My mind began to race and I thought back over the years and  considered the journey it took for us to get to this type of event. Continue reading

Father First!

father firstAs of last week, I had a young brother and his family in peril.  They were caught up in one of life’s pressurized situations where there didn’t seem to be a way out.

As I prayed for them, I sought Father as to what my role was in the scenario.  I was directed to provide limited support so as to not solve the problem but to only encourage them as they walked through it.  It seems that Father was more interested in their development rather than their deliverance.

As the situation grew more and more desperate and pressured, “things” began to surface.  Mentalities.  Attitudes.  Pressure points in their union.  Would they trust in or question God to provide? Continue reading

Walk This Way

Although it is productive to learn from past
failures, experiences and behavior, it was NEVER Father’s intention for you to define yourself by them or because of them. Such mentality prohibits growth. 
Nor are we to continually identify ourselves as the “victim” due to the environment or the oppression of others we were unwillingly subjected. Such mentality produces self-centered entitlement. 

Maturity in Christ means we unceasingly and unashamedly identify with Christ in/through our born again spirit, allow Father’s Love to compel us forward and ENTER NEW positions and operations in Him. 

Being “perfect” has NOTHING to do with your relationship with Father……..being perfected does!  

If ANY man is in Christ, he is a NEW man – a state or quality of existence he has never known to date – and such reality can be exercised daily. It is in Him that we live, move and have our being! It is a NEW and LIVING WAY we are now walking. 

Changing our mind to think as Father thinks and adjusting our expectations to agree with His expectations is vital to growth and advancement in our walk.  

Yeah…..About This Whole “Love” Thing…

Love is the greatest gift that Golove expect gives!

For God SO LOVED………………….He gave.  He gave completely out of Himself.  He gave His only begotten Son.  What a sacrifice.

In recent years, there has been a spectacular interest and attention given to the “Love of God” and its import in the Gospel message.  There have been extreme viewpoints presented regarding God’s Love; it’s expression, it’s reach and it’s eternal ramifications.

Some of the opposing sides have actually battled in the blog-o-sphere, twitter and other social media realms to defend their positions and practice the, well, total opposite of Love.  Interesting………………waging a war about opposing perspectives of Love.

Good job, christians!

Father has been dealing with me recently about Love being His Nature, how He desires to be presented/perceived and how we believers make a miserable mess of things concerning Love.

In First Corinthians 13, we are given an incredibly astute and lovely description of Love. Our brother Paul assists us in learning about what  Love IS by presenting examples of what Love IS and IS NOT.

For example, Love is “patient” and  “is not self-seeking”.

In my meditation, the phrase…”not self-seeking” continued to circulate for quite a while.

The Greek terminology used in this passage literally means “does not seek the things of itself.”

In the context in which it is used here, Paul expresses to the Corinthian believers, who were absorbed with “self”, that the antithesis of Love is seeking to gratify self.

A quick read through the preceding chapters of First Corinthians is all it takes to see how SELF-centered the believers were in Corinth.  They were divided over particular leaders that appealed to their personal liking.  They sought worldly, legal practices to address selfish matters against other believers.  Certain believers could not be patient and await others in order to partake of the Lord’s fellowship meal. The list continues.

The intent of Paul’s teaching to the fleshly, selfish, Corinthian believer was to stop the selfish focus, cease in using the Lord’s Way to gratify the carnality of the flesh and, in according to the New Nature (Love) that they had received, prefer and serve one another.

As I mulled over these thoughts, the Holy Spirit began to reveal to me exactly how much “self” is involved in what I consider to be Loving people.  I quickly began to see that I wasn’t far removed from my Corinthian brothers/sisters in mixing Father’s Love with my old, unregenerate SELF.

Obviously, there are many facets of my walk in which this topic might be examined.  But the major one that the Spirit touched was in discipleship.

A nasty word popped up as I considered my selfishness lurking underneath the idea of Love, discipling others and other religious terms we banter about.

That word……….expectation!

In Father’s dealing with me and in the Spirit’s Light, I realized that I carried expectation towards those that Father had positioned me to simply Love, serve and encourage in knowing Him.

Simply, my flesh was involved in a process that it has no business being involved in.  The thought process goes something like this……………..

“If I love (brother/sister) and serve them, then they should………..(fill in the blank).

  • Become what I think they should be.
  • Stop doing this/that.
  • Start doing this/that.
  • Join my church organization.
  • Believe exactly like me.
  • Give me money/support my ministry.
  • Respect/honor me in my position/function.

And, the list goes on and on.

I’ve been around this thing called, “church/christianity” for my entire life in various forms.  As I reviewed my experiences, one consistent practice I recognized through them all was the burden of expectation placed upon believers and non-believers.

The only time we “Love” with expectation of return from the one whom we are loving is when SELF is right in the big, fat center of things!  It isn’t Father’s Love that we are expressing.  We are actually tainting the representation of Father’s Love and we should stop!

John 3:16, the supposed cornerstone of the Western Gospel, expresses perfectly what Father’s Love accomplishes.

Father SO LOVED that He GAVE ALL so that whosoever believes should HAVE/OBTAIN/POSSESS everlasting life….

He expended ALL and freely gave with no expectation and/or guarantee of a return.  All benefits and blessings extend to the one BEING Loved; not the one doing the Loving.

The Book of Colossians tells us that there was an entire list of expectations that God thought we should have to live up to.  Yet, when He gave us the fullness of His expression of His Nature, not only did He nail His Only Begotten Son to the Cross, He also nailed that entire list of expectation to the Cross.  Through the power of an accurate expression of His Love, the entire inventory of expectations Father had for us to answer to was canceled through the sacrifice of Christ.

Another John 3:16 helps further bring the point home.  This time, in First John 3:16, scripture instructs us….

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

So, I am on a quest to Love with no expectation of return.  My wife.  (oh, wow!)  My brothers/sisters.  Non-believers.  All those that Father positions me to Love.

I have freely received the Love of My Father and I am commanded to freely give. I have experienced glimpses of such Love in the past………both in Loving others and in being Loved by others.  My desire is continually embrace the Cross and nail to the cross any expectations that I would attempt place upon others, thereby, rendering an accurate expression of Father’s Love.

Father, teach me how to Love!

Keep your peace!

 

 

 

 

Turning 50 – and – Really Important Matters

Well, it is now the month of June.50

In 9 days, I will be turning 50 years old.

I am aware of this fact for a variety of reasons.

The first reason that my attention is drawn to this milestone is that I have well-intentioned brothers from a lot of different places, who love me, that take it upon themselves to broach the matter.  Evidently, it is incumbent upon these brothers to text me, call me and email me to warn me of this looming, inevitable happening.

I have no problem with the give-and-take of the over-the-hill barbs from both younger and elder brothers.  I know they love me and they know I can take it as well as I can dish it out.  And, honestly, I am honored that the ones that take a shot at me are actually aware of the impending occasion.

Perhaps the most poignant reason I am aware of the milestone is that it is actually going to be a 10 year anniversary of a different type of “birthing” in my life.  A decade ago now, my father, William Charles John Wiebold, Sr. at 80 years of age went home to be with the Lord on my 40th birthday.

It was a significant happening for me.

The passing of my father on my 40th birthday was the beginning of my Heavenly Father beginning to confront me, instruct me and guide me through such matters as the importance of generations, fathering, sonship and other related topics.

If a milestone is an event marking a significant change or stage in development, I cannot believe the change or development that has occurred in the 10 years since that milestone was laid.  Fortunately, that milestone has further revealed The Cornerstone to me over the past decade and His Faithfulness in my life.

He is far greater than what we have known and experienced!

Birthdays have not been quite the same for me for the past 10 years. Usually, I would take my birthday to become quiet, still and extremely introspective. What have I done with my life?  What have I produced?  What does it all mean…………my existence upon this earth for ever how long I’ve been here?

I won’t go into here, but my perspective has changed over the past 10 years.  I think, however, it has been a change for the positive.

Along with the expected goading about my age from the aforementioned brothers and others, there is usually the question, “What do you want for you birthday?”

Normally, my standard response has always been………”nothing”.  Just the fact that people remember and are willing to take the time to wish me a happy, happy birthday and express their love is enough.  Honestly, my beautiful wife will tell you how frustrating it can be to “get me something” for my birthday.

BUT, this year being my 50th year, I do want something.

For my birthday, I WANT MONETARY GIFTS!

Now, those of you who really know me are probably shocked by that statement.  But, if you stop and think about it for a minute, you will realize that there is more to come.

I WANT YOUR MONEY!!

There, I said it again.  Allow me to explain.

david and bryon

In Turkey with Newby – 2009

It was two years ago, in the month of June, when my dear brother in the Lord, David Newby passed away and I went to Australia to be with his family and attend his memorial.

 

The loss of such a man from the face of the earth also had a significant impact on me.  Never had  I met a man who so powerfully influenced my life in such a short amount of  time.

I only knew David less than 5 years before his home-going.  Our meeting was orchestrated by the Divine, our connection was exquisitely meaningful and Christ’s influence through him was immediate and everlasting.

I miss my brother and I think of him and am thankful for him everyday.

With that in mind, I would like to take an occasion where the attention would be directed my way and do what David would do.  I would like to contribute towards a couple of things that I know David loved dearly.

If I might  be extended a bit of latitude here, I would like to use a portion of scripture to lay out what I am requesting:

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress………..

James 1:27

I WANT YOUR MONEY to go to two places/people that David cherished.

First, I would like for aid to be sent to his beautiful widow, Rosemary, who lives in Australia. In the short time we have known them, David and Rosemary’s marriage served as a stellar example to Misty and me in our own relationship. There is a great depth of love and wisdom that resides in Rosemary and you could see how she fit with her dear husband. Her wit, faith and strength was the perfect compliment to David and their mission as one.

rosemary

Rosemary with daughters Ariana & Jo.

Now, imagine, if you will, losing the significant income of your husband who owned his own business and is no longer around in order to provide that income.  Such an occurrence is not only disheartening but can be devastating!

Now, I will more than likely get in trouble with Rosemary about all of this……but, she will have to just forgive me.  She needs to know that she is loved!

 

I am aware that the Newby family have all been working together to make sure that their mother is provided for as best they can. Yet, I am also aware that there remains a need for this precious lady that should be addressed by the Body of Christ.  I would like to provide you an opportunity to give towards her meeting her need.

Second, David had a spiritual son by the name of Prince Thomas, who is a missionary in India.  Since David’s passing, we have become closer with Prince and have hosted him here in the U.S. for the past couple of years.  He is a precious brother and he is touching the nation of India throughout its borders running orphanages and establishing over 300 churches.

prince

Prince and his family.

David and Prince’s connection was ordained by Father and David heavily contributed to Prince’s work in India.  The relationship continues to this day through Rosemary and one of the Newby’s sons, Benjamin.  I would like for Prince’s work in India to be blessed so that it might continue.

 

So, there you have it.  For my 50th birthday, I’d like you to give to either or both of these worthy causes.  Give little. Give much. Give what the Holy Spirit would lead you to give.

For those of you who’d like to give, simply comment on this post and I will contact you with details on how/where to give.  The money won’t be coming to me.  It will go directly to either Rosemary or Prince.

Keep your peace!

 

God is the Great Iconoclast!

I shared this post back at the beginning of 2013.

From speaking with brothers across the country, I’m realizing that the message contained in the post is relevant for this time and season.

What you’ve known is NOT going to take you where He wants you to go! He is greater than what you’ve known and experienced. Father desires to be seen and heard outside of the limitations of our comfortable, inconsequential religious preferences.

Forerunner Perspective

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I will never forget it.  It was a life altering crisis point in my life.  It was devastating and it shook me to the core.

 

It was the moment when it was undeniably and painfully made clear to me that the life I had artfully crafted had suffered irreparable harm and would never be the same.  The details of the scenario don’t matter.  I had suffered perhaps the most hurtful, poignant betrayal a person could but it could have been clothed in any numerous situations or circumstances.  What matters is that hopes and dreams were crashing and burning around me like an apocalyptic meteor shower!

 

The life that I had spent years forming; gone in a flash. I was completely crushed! With my faith now completely violated, I did what any normal human would do. I blamed God.

 

After all, my life’s pursuit had only been about…

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