Posted by: stricknine | February 24, 2010

Awaiting the big boom!

I am striving for purity,  in my life and this has become a big task, since our church has been on this journey through 2 Chronicles 7:14

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

I have begun to realize that it is not the lost or the unchurched that need purification, sure they do but rather it is the church and believers who God is speaking to in this scripture, if we his people will turn from our wicked ways and humble ourselves he will hear us and heal our land. This has become so real to me and is my daily goal, to turn from my wicked ways and grow closer to God.

As I have been personally on this journey, God has begun to reveal to me how he wants to use us within his plan and how we need to position ourselves to be used by God and I want to share a couple of thoughts with you today.

  • First of all, we must strive to be pure, we must turn from any sin in our lives and seek God first so that we can walk in the Lord with the confidence and boldness to be used by God.
  • 2nd of all we must look for opportunities for God to use us, God wants to explode onto the scene of our lives but he wants to manifest himself through us and for that to happen we must strive to be pure and then we must position ourselves in areas and places where God can use us and work through us to create change in the people we come in contact with.

I believe that God wants to use us as an engineer uses a cap to detonate dynamite, the dynamite by itself will not ignite but used with a cap and properly positioned dynamite can create quite a boom and can bring down tall buildings. God wants us to be the cap by which explosions of the Holy Spirit occur, where peoples lives are change, bondages are broken and lives are radically change for His glory!

I love to watch on the History channel the show where these engineers go in and blow up a building, one would think this is an easy task but it takes a lot of careful thought and consideration of where to place the dynamite and in what order to set the dynamite off so that it will effectively level the building. One mistake and people could be hurt or the building wont come down or could fall onto another building. This is true for how we allow God to use us, we must have careful consideration, prayerful thought and discernment about where and when God wants us to be positioned so that he can use us like the detonating cap that will set off the explosion of the Holy Spirit.

But the bottom line is God wants to use us, he wants us to position ourselves and he wants us to become the igniter of the Holy Spirit in our churches our families and our work places. We must step up and become the church and walk in the confidence of knowing that our God is ready to radically change lives and change the cities that we live and work in and that he wants to use us to accomplish this awesome task.

I don’t know about you but I want to be the ignitor, I want to position myself for God to use me, I want to walk in God’s confidence and see my church, city and country broken from bondages and humbled for God!!!

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Posted by: stricknine | October 28, 2009

Church in a bar!

This past Sunday, after church Rhonda and I called Hannah to see what she was doing and got a big surprise. She told us that she had just left a bar, and before we could get to upset she explained that it was a new church in Rome, Ga., called church in a bar. This church meets in a bar on Sundays, when the bar itself is closed, the owner apparently let’s them meet there for free. The church has been meeting for about 6 months and is approaching an attendance of 500!! On the pastors blog he states that 138 people have been saved since opening!!! I was so moved by there faith and what this new church was doing I stopped what I was doing and prayed for them right then.

I encourage you to go and check out there web site, churchinabar.com

Now this is what I am talking about, we need more creative thinking!!! Same awesome store of Jesus, but shared in an non traditional way and reaching people that possible would have never listen!!!!

Posted by: stricknine | October 14, 2009

Where is your comfort?

Where does your comfort come from, recently I noticed that while I was stressed or needed to relax or even embarrassed I would begin to speak in tongues to myself, quietly and I didn’t think much of it, I did this from time to time for no real apparent reason. Then one day about a week ago while taking a shower (that seems to be where God speaks to me???) I asked God why do I do that, and he revealed to me that was where I found my comfort, that was what took that uneasy, nervous feeling away. God literally told me that was my comfort!

This was very profound to me, I was unconsciously allowing the Holy Spirit to comfort me and I didn’t even realize that I was doing it. You see  at work in us as Christians is no less than the power of the almighty God himself, to give us patience, internal fortitude (gumption), endurance (staying power) and COMFORT!

This is why Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as our comforter…

 Jesus said…

John 14:16
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Often times we focus on our circumstances, we complain, we grumble, we like to talk about our problems with everyone who will listen, when what we should be doing is focusing on God.

Hebrews 12:2

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith

We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.

We should study how he did it (get in the word), because he never lost sight of where he was headed

Think about it he endured the cross, shame, whatever came his way. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through

 That should empower you and give you hope,

 Where are you finding your comfort, is in God, the Holy Spirit or is it in others, or are you as my mother used to say, having a case of the oh me’s?

Posted by: stricknine | September 16, 2009

Whats the worst thing that could happen?

Let me clue you in on a little insight into my childhood, when I was younger and I mean from about 5 to 20 years old I had a philosophy, that went something like this, if I do this or if I get caught doing something I should not be doing, “what is the worst thing that could happen to me?”  For the most  part I didn’t get caught much, which is another story for later, but often I was not impressed with the possible consequences of my bad actions.

One day I found out that the consequences could be eternal and that I needed  to change my actions or face HELL. Yes Hell, I know we don’t talk about it much but the worst thing that can happen is you could end up going to hell.

Recently someone shared with me that while at work someone who was not a believer asked them was heaven and hell real. This person went on to explain that yes they were real places and that you could spend eternity in one place or the other.

So this got me to thinking, people really have no clue about heaven and hell and as well people are living their lives with the philosophy  of what is the worst thing that could happen to me?

Somehow we have forgot to share the reality of heaven and hell, we tell people God loves them, which is true, we tell them that there is a better way and that there is hope, which is true but rarely do we tell them the realities of heaven and hell.

I am not saying to scream you are going to hell at every sinner  you see but at the same time finding a way to share about God, heaven and hell in a conversation wouldn’t hurt.

As Christians we don’t have a sense of urgency, we think there will be a tomorrow but Jesus told us to take it one day at a time and you don’t even know if you or the person God has put in your path will have a tomorrow and often we do nothing or say nothing at all.

As for the church, well I ask you are we consistently revealing the realities of heaven and hell every Sunday? Do the lost leave knowing what the worst thing is that could happen to them if they die today?

I am preaching to myself, I am surrounded by people who need Jesus in the worst way and I have shared with so few of them the realities of their sin.

Here is what the Bible says about the realities of heaven and hell and for me is about the best way to share it with a lost person.

Romans 6:23 (The Message)

22-23But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.

I don’t know about you but I know some people who need a whole, healed, put-together life and RIGHT now and I pray God gives me the boldness to find a way to share the realities of heaven and hell to them soon.

Had an interesting conversation recently with a pastor who shared some of his personal beliefs and as well his denominations beliefs. The one thing that stood out to me the most in the conversation was this pastors belief that people who attend his church should act and dress a certain way. He stated I don’t actually have to preach on the  way people dress, God will deal with them and often they start dressing correctly on their own.

Now we are not talking about wearing a dress that is too short or low cut what  he is referring to specifically is a person not wearing their “Sunday best” to church.

What he is really saying is I want  the people that I go to church with to look and dress like me.

This is a real problem, because guess what people, now a days the average person doesn’t have a clue what right looks like to a church member and for that matter doesn’t really care. (as a matter of fact that’s one of the reason they stay away because someone judged them)

Since Sunday morning is still the most segregated time of the week, churches seem to care what color you are, how you dress, instead of  what is probably the most important thing of all, DO YOU KNOW JESUS.

Oh the argument is we don’t want to change because Jesus’s message is the same yesterday, today and forever and while that is true, Jesus did not go out and find people who were this perfect little package, that dressed right, looked right and already believed in Him, no what he did was ask people to follow him and believe Him later. In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “listen to me now and believe me later”, you can use your own accent.

Bottom line is our overall mission on Sunday mornings should be to reach the lost of the world with the life changing message of Jesus Christ. We should not be focused on what color they are or what they are wearing or their sexual orientation, yes that’s right none of that should matter what should matter and  should be our focus is, how can we share Jesus in a clear, effective way.

Jesus put it this way…

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

I say let’s find creative ways to get the people that look the most NOT like us (Christians) in church, maybe then we could begin to warm up our baptism pools!!!!

I am ready to stop hanging out…you know what I mean???

Posted by: stricknine | January 12, 2009

Will Obama choose God?

In 2 Kings chapter 1 we read  a story about a nation that was split in two because part of the nation of Israel had forgot about God. Compounding the problem was that the king of Israel king Ahaziah had fallen and severely injured himself and choose to seek the help of Baal-Zebub an idol to assist him with his injuries. In the end one hundred soldiers and the king were dead because the king had chosen an idol, instead of God.


During this time the nation of Israel is defeated by Assyria and the people of the northern kingdom are exiled, never to return. This is the fate of a nation that is divided and chooses to ignore God and demand their own way.
So that brings us back to Obama, and what path will he take, who will he put his trust in to make decisions? Our nation currently follows false gods in many areas, from technology to materialism and our leaders rarely seek God to make decisions.

Who will Obama choose, our nation is fragile at the moment and Obamas leadership is so important, I am reluctant to put so much of the credit whether it is good or bad on one person, that is why so much of what has happen over the last 8 years I have a hard time blaming Bush for but in Bushes case he did choose God, he decided to consult God when making decisions and made no excuses for what he believed. If Obama rejects God or acts ashamed of God, the overall balance could be jeopardized and the consequences could be catastrophic.

Our Nation, one that was founded on “In God we trust” and has had the favor of God on it for the last 233 years could see that trying to make it in this world without the favor of God is much harder than it thought.  We could see economic disasters, famine, war and yes the beginning of end as we know it.

Yes I know the economy is bad now, we are at war but trust me, going through bad times with God’s favor is a good place to be, without Gods favor looks a lot like the book of Revelation. We should pray that our nation stays a nation that “so help me God” will put God first and that our leader, the so called leader of the free world would put God first in his life and the decisions that he makes.
Posted by: stricknine | January 7, 2009

Keys to success in 2009

I started out 2009 spending some time looking back, what I mean is I got together with my assistant managers and some key players on my team and took a long hard look at our successes and our failures in 2009. Why would I do that, well there are two reasons.

1. It is so important to understand why you had success, if you plan to succeed going forward and want to duplicate your previous success you must know what you did to achieve your past goals. So often I talk to sales representatives who have no idea why they achieved a goal, we work to talk about our successes so that we can effectively duplicate our success in the future. In short we try and take the “luck factor” out of the mix and understand why we are successful.

2. As well I analyze my failures, areas where I missed the mark and try and determine what I did or didn’t do to achieve the goal. One thing that I have learned is that goals not attained do not go away and guess what they are rarely ever lowered, so it is so important that we find a way to meet and exceed each goal going forward. Here are a couple of ways that I go about achieving missed goals.

  • I look for better ways to meet the goal, the old saying is doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity. So I look for better ideas and processes to meet and exceed each goal. This of course means “CHANGE”, I know a nasty 6 letter word but very necessary if you plan to hit that goal going forward.
  • As well I don’t complain or say such goal is not achievable, I take the mind set that as long as it is a goal it can be acheived and I must work to set the bar higher. Often I find that the real problem is that I have expected to little of myself or my team, I must set the bar higher and expect higher results or I will be doing a disservice to myself, my employees and the company that I work for.

Once I have looked back and have all the data in front of me, I put together a plan, a specific plan. This is so important because without a plan we plan to fail. Here is one of my favorite quotes….

“Setting a goal is NOT the main thing, it is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” Tom Landry

Now with all of this information and planning its time to go out and execute.

Posted by: stricknine | January 5, 2009

It’s been a while…

Well it has been a while since my last post, working in retail around Christmas time doesn’t leave much time for blogging. Mostly you work come home rest and then get up and go at it again. So I thought I would catch everyone up on what’s been going on in my life lately.

Here is my economic review based on my view as a retail manager in the wireless industry, things actually went very well. We were probably up, (just my store) 110% to 120% year over year and considering the public’s confidence in the economy that is not bad at all. Here is why I think we prospered despite the down economy, first of all cell phones are no longer a luxury, they have become a necessity and with that in mind people plan to have a cell phone no matter what happens in the future with the economy. As well people were spending their money on practical gifts, and knowing that they would have a cell phone no matter what meant that buying a new cell phone was a safe purchase.

At home, we had a wonderful Christmas, Hannah was home from school for about three weeks and despite working a lot of hours we were able to spend a lot of quality family time. Some of the hi-lites were, going to a Thrashers hockey game and sitting in the suite, we didn’t even know until we got there that the tickets were in the suite, you just can’t beat free tickets, food and a sporting event. By the way the hockey game was a blast, we had so much fun. We also spent a day at Stone Mountain park, very crowded but fun as well. Hannah has headed back to school tonight, so I am sad but it was great having her home for a few weeks. As well we had our 22nd year tradition of having friends over to bring in the new year, our friends Joey and Cindy Cofer have been coming over every year and even the year before we were married we spent it together. The last few the Womack’s have been coming and we have so much fun, lot’s of food, games and then fireworks. We added a new tradition this year, thanks to Rick, we had communion. What a great idea, awesome way to start the new year out by putting God first, I think it will become a new year’s tradition as well.

I am so excited about what 2009 will bring, this is going to be a break through year and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for my church, family and my friends.

Posted by: stricknine | November 17, 2008

Halloween, good or bad or does it matter?!?!

Halloween good or bad or does it matter is the question that I was forced to deal with this year. First of all let me say that I do not celebrate Halloween, when I married Rhonda we made a decision that it was not a holiday that honored God and therefore and solely based on this we never allowed our children to participate in Halloween rituals, you know like trick or treating.

Now when I was little I did celebrate Halloween and for the record I went out into neighborhoods and collected tons of candy but never, not once did I worship the devil.

So back to the future, I do believe that by keeping such holidays we indoctrinate our children with a mixed message that is not in line with the word of God. Now hold on, I know someone out there is saying this guy is a crazy Bible reading freak, well that is only partly true, I do read the Bible and while I am crazy for Jesus, I am not a teetotaler.

So this all brings us to this year when one of my employees, who by the way is a Christian, is so excited about taking their little one trick or treating. I open my big mouth and say, why would you want to do that because it’s a pagan holiday. At this point several people stop and look at me like I just said television was the devil. This was very foreign to this person and they could not believe that in the 2000’s someone would think that way. I was told that I should be sorry for having that opinion and making her feel like she is doing something wrong. Well guess what, I told her I wasn’t sorry, very nicely I told her this but the bottom line is wrong is wrong.

You are either doing things that are intended to honor God or you are not, there isn’t any in between. The problem is we the dumb masses, just do whatever the world tells us is the right thing to do, even if it is against God. Even if it could negatively effect our children.

So I am attacked and thought of as a crazy evangelical, but that is what I know is right. Is it wrong to stand up for what is right, should we as Christians continue to just stand by while the world goes to Hell in a hand basket.

I would be interested in hearing others thoughts about this subject, is Halloween good or bad and does it really matter???

Posted by: stricknine | October 1, 2008

Which comes first values or culture?

This is one of those which came first the chicken or the egg questions. The question is which do you build first your values or your culture? First things first, let me define each word for you.

Values-Involves ones principles or standards or judgments about what is valuable or important in life.

Let me put it a different way, if I came into your house how would I know what you value most? What things would I look at and say that is important to you?

Culture-The set of learned beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviour that are characteristic of a particular social group or organisation.

Again let me give you another example, when people think about your organization, team or church do they think about a certain set of attitudes, do they say they have a winning culture. Do they say they have a sales culture, or a culture of hospitality.  I guess the question is can they even tell that there is some kind of culture in place.

So do you build values first or do you build a culture and values come along for the ride? I say you can’t have one with out the other, if you have good values, values to appreciate customers/visitors (for churches) you will begin to develop a culture of hospitality. Where you spend your time to prepare and plan, will determine what kind of culture you will display.

I love a quote I read this week from the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Mike Smith.

“I think if you want to change the culture, you have to first change people’s behavior,” Smith said. “And when you change their behaviors, then you change their habits. All human beings are creatures of habit, and we’re trying to create and instill what we call winning habits here in our locker room and here in the building.”

What behaviors need to be changed in your organization, I challenge you to do a check up from the neck up and make sure that you personally have the right attitude, then you can look at the rest of your team and begin to asses what behaviors need improvement.

Let me end with this thought, if someone walked into your store/church would they be able to tell what your culture is? If they can’t then you have some work to do.

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