Are you truly lead by the Spirit…or do you think you are?

When I write these, I try to NOT make them sound like rants or attacks against any one. If they do, I apologize. I merely desire, like the Apostle Paul, that all come to Christ. These blogs are like letters, of sorts, to encourage, to exhort, and to examine ourselves.
With that said… “Are you truly lead by the Spirit.. or do you THINK you are?”
“What do you mean by that Mike? Who are you to question me about this!”
Because there are those of us “Christians” that walk after our own lead, not after that of which Christ has called us to follow Him. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 (KJV)
Paul said, “Do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4).

How do you know the difference? “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” (v. 5).

Plain and simple…If you are setting EVERYTHING on Christ, you are walking in the Spirit…
But, if you are thinking own desires, what YOU can get out of it… Then you are walking according to the desires of the flesh.

I’m not saying I’m perfect..I am far from that, aside from being complete in Christ Jesus..
But when we are forwarding our own agenda “in the name of Jesus”… then we are like those in 2 Timothy 3:2-7 “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
I don’t know about you, but I never want to be there.
Walking in the spirit, we have the fruits that manifest themselves in US…
They are in Galatians 5:22-23 ” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Is that you? Are you following the Spirit? Are you looking after your own desires, or those of Christ who set the path before you?
Are you in a church and working on your own agenda, trying to get your ministry past the pastor? Are you up in arms every time someone crosses your path?
Is your ministry centered….CHRIST centered??
If you can be described in any way that Galatians 5:19-21, then you WILL NOT inherit the Kingdom of God…”The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Don’t be mistaken…you receive Eternal Life when you accept Christ into your life.. but if you live like you lived BEFORE you received Him.. You did it for nothing…

I know this little study on Galatians is a little “catty wompus” but I am writing like the Spirit gives it,.

Galatians 5:13-15 ” You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Are you using your church authority to further a ministry? Are you going to church to impress other church goers, acting holier than thou because you haven’t missed a Sunday?
Is it all about the music, the ambiance…or is it all about Jesus?

See it isn’t about the fancy church we go to, or the clothes we dress in to get there… it isn’t about the thumping Praise and Worship music, and how many people showed up.

If you are in Church every Sunday but haven’t talked to ONE PERSON about Jesus during the week? You might as well stay in bed.

If you have 3 dozen ministries with lots of people in them, and you pushed someone away because they needed a dollar….. YOU MIGHT AS WELL WALK AWAY…

If you are the best deacon in your church, do all the pledges, tithe regularly, but you told a co-worker to shove it when they asked you to switch shifts… THEN YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN THE DRUNKARD just walking out of a bar with a prostitute….

It’s all about Jesus! It’s not about you! It’s not what you can do.. it’s all about what HE does…
It’s not about what He can do for you!!! It’s about what YOU can do for OTHERS!!!!

” If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13
If you are not manifesting the fruits of the Spirit… and do not love.. THEN, you are NOT walking in the SPIRIT…





This has been a year of changes. About this time 2 years ago (2011) we were praying God’s will whether the Bookstore should stay open. So we put a fleece to the Father, and asked Him that if it was His will, then the landlord would come in by the end of January. Well he did, and we started making preparations to close. This was a bittersweet moment as the last days were upon us in February. It was a burden financially, but the ministry aspect was still going on at the time.
During the last week, a fella had walked into the bookstore thinking it was the cheesecake shop a couple of doors over. We told him where it was and he exited promptly. A few minutes later we saw him walk by the store with his purchase… then he walked back and came in. “I’m supposed to be in here” he said. We talked awhile, he picked out a few things, asked some questions about the Bible which he was having a rough time with. We gave him one that was easy to read and gave him some pointers. He wanted some wall hangings that were given to me, and we really didn’t want to sell them, even as broke as we were. He made and offer and bought them.
We got on the subject of cars, and how ours was getting ready to die.. how we just got rid of one that someone gave us.
He said he would try to fix it….and we told him we really couldn’t pay for it. He assured us that it wouldn’t be a problem. (he ended up working for a local car dealership in the maintenance department) He told us that he would be picking up the van at Walgreens (where I work) and give us a rental until it was fixed. Again, we reminded him that we couldn’t pay for it. Again, reassurance..
We thought that he’ll be gone and we’ll never hear from him again… but that following Monday, he was there with his crew AND A PT Cruiser for a rent-a-car!! He took the van, left me with the rental..and it was a month before we heard from him. When we did, he told us he couldn’t fix the van but that he can get us in a newer car. AGAIN, we told him we couldn’t afford it, we will come get the van, and be done with it. He told us that he was giving us one and that there was some adjustments that he had to make, then we could come pick it up.
So we got it. Prayed with him for some upcoming surgeries.. and that was the end. Never heard from him again.
God puts people in our paths for a reason.
During this time, God had told us that we had to get out of our ministries at our church, in which Dar was head of Women’s and I was head of Men’s… treasurers, boys group leader..etc.
He said that He was moving us. So, just like when we opened the store… reluctantly, but obediently, we complied, talked to the pastor, and told him what we must do….
About the same time, some friends of ours got the Pastor position at a nearby church and had made mention that they needed youth leaders… We prayed about it and left the other church with the blessings of that church…slowly leaving, and then we started going to the new church. For awhile we weren’t sure WHY God sent us there, but we knew that HE did… we are starting to see the reasons for this now….
I lost my uncle this year, and so many different changes in our lives this year along… many blessings to go along with the changes also…
Since the closing of the bookstore, Darlene is now a nanny for a friend of ours in which Dar was watching her little girl on occasion….
I lost my uncle this year and when I lost my uncle, I was assured that he went to be with Jesus…which was an amazing feeling and comfort.
2013, we will continue our ministry of comforting the “churched”, encouraging them to remain in their walks…
Darlene is continuing the Bible studies she has held every Friday for FOUR YEARS!!
I recently got a promotion at Walgreens as a shift leader…
I am now a member on the advisory board of the church, we share youth advisor capacity…
As we continue our journey with the Lord, we are reminded of being obedient to our Father…doing the work that Christ has put us to task with…
Working in retail, I am reminded that this occupation could not be any closer to the Christian life…
Being Jesus to those who don’t know Him, loving the “unlovable” and being kind, even when it feels like you’re pulling teeth…
I praise God for the wife He picked to be my soulmate…the changes in my kids lives, and the awesome journey that we are on… a daily journey.