Updates & Blessings

We love for ulterior motives. Sometimes those motive are good. But every relationship starts out, in some fashion, for selfish reasons.

Bless You!!!

It has been sometime since I wrote anything in here. I appreciate those of you who have stuck around to see what’s next. So, this blog will be mostly an update and then I will polish it off with a short word that I think we all need to hear.

God has been doing many, many things. Saturday will be 5 weeks that Nancy and I have been married. I still have no idea how I managed to catch such an amazing woman. God. That’s the only answer to that question. He has been pouring out on us so much lately that I have almost no words to describe it! He is indeed a good God!

Books:

As you know Crazy Amazing Love: 31 Pieces of Love is out there and can be purchased for $8.35 on Amazon. Why the odd price? Because that is what Amazon charges. I do not charge anything. This book and the entire series will always be at cost. In fact if a person asks me directly, I will send them a copy for free. Signed (for whatever that is worth). Click here for more info and here to go directly to the book on Amazon.

My first novel, Ketchwood: Curse of the Everstone, is a story of a man and his children who find themselves in a world trapped in the middle ages. He learns the value of his kids, his friends, and what it takes to be a dad. Sometimes, we fight dragons to prove our love. In his case, literally. Click here to get more information on Ketchwood. It is also on Amazon here.

There are currently several books that are in the works. The next to be published is called “Hutch.” A detective of the Los Angeles Police Department ends up dumped in the mountains of Alaska. He fights off everything from wolves to a rather desperate rabbit to survive.

Then the first “sequel” to Crazy Amazing Love comes out. 31 Pieces of Joy. Like the first, this will be available on Amazon and at the least cost possible.

The book I am currently somewhere around half-way through is called “Blaqwatch.” Two 12 year old boys happen upon a car accident and discover the only occupant has a few last words. Of which lead these two into the adventure of their life. One that might be responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

And then there are three on the “billet.” Next to be written after Blaqwatch is “My King.” Then we’ll be working on “Crazy Amazing Love: 31 Pieces of Faith.” And last on the “current” list is “The Solomon Files.” Lots to be written. Now you know why I have such a hard time getting a blog done!

Blessings

It is without a doubt that God loves me. The Word of God says it repeatedly. In fact, it says that God is Love. It is His nature to love us.

We love for ulterior motives. Sometimes those motive are good. But every relationship starts out, in some fashion, for selfish reasons. Something we can gain from it. You might not agree, but have you ever began a relationship with someone simply for their benefit? In some way, we benefit. Even if it is knowing we have done something good. That relationship might turn into something that benefits the other entirely. But it’s hard to honestly say any of my relationships ever began with that other person in mind 100%.

Unless you are Jesus.

He really does reach out to us solely for our benefit. He doesn’t work any other way. That love comes across in many ways. And contrary to some who think we are meant to always be impoverished, He blesses us in the flesh and with physical “things.” It’s not the focus, of course, but it is true that He does do that.

I have found that as I “count my blessings”, I find that He is really there for me. I’m not rolling in the dough, but much has been given to me. Not because I have earned it, but because He loves to bless.

I think one of the biggest keys to living in God’s blessings is to acknowledge those blessings. Before you close your day, stop and think of three things you are thankful for. Acknowledge them. There are many blessings we are unaware of because we experience them and then forget them. Make sure that when you are blessed to remember andĀ give a thank You for it.

In a passage where Paul reminds us to be wise, he concludes with these words:

“Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20

Sounds like thankfulness is part of wisdom. And who wants to be dumb?

-Matt

The Kingdom of God I

The written word has many, many uses. On this blog, we mostly focus on the Love of God. That particular subject comes in many forms. One of them being teaching. Now I do not propose to be any kind of great teacher, and, usually, if I am teaching anything it is because God is teaching me something and I am simply passing it along. That, ultimately, is what the Crazy Amazing Love Books are based upon. It is also one of the reasons I do not charge for the books. Which, incidentally, the first manuscript for 31 Pieces of Joy is almost completed.

One of the great subjects of Christianity is the “Kingdom of God.” I felt led to explore this subject and realized it would likely take a number of blogs to do so. This is not he beginning of a book, so the coverage will be kind of brief. At least that is the plan for now.

The first place in scripture (NKJV) where we find the exact phrase “Kingdom of God” is in Matthew 6:33:

“But seek the Kingdom of God first and all these things will be added to you.”

The New Testament is the only Testament it is used as such. There are Old Testament references that we will likely get to eventually.

The concept of a “kingdom”, however, did not show up suddenly. In the Old Testament (OT), a kingdom was a very prevalent thing. Very common. It was not too much different than what we see as a kingdom now. Of course, the Children of Israel had one themselves. The people told the Judge/Prophet Samuel they wanted to be like other countries and have a king. So, God granted their request by placing Saul as their first king. Something they eventually regretted.

But we are trying to focus here on what the Kingdom of God is. A kingdom consists of many people in leadership. The proverbial buck stopping at the throne. The Kingdom of God is no different. God/Jesus sits upon the Throne and many layers of authority fall out from there. Yes, we are all the same in God’s eyes. But He does indeed place people in authority over us within the Kingdom. And we are foolish to assume otherwise.

As we go into this vast subject, we will explore a lot of areas. We’ll discuss how the Kingdom is, and has been around for a long time. How that it was declared to exist during the time of Christ and how it is even more so here now, and how we are and are not, a part of it.

The Kingdom has principles, methods, ways, mentalities, and structures. Kingdom members think differently. The King reigns supreme. Yet, He personally knows all of His subjects. Of course, that’s not what He calls us!

While we will explore many of the parallels to a physical kingdom, we will also gain understanding of the parts of God’s Kingdom that is not like the kingdoms here on Earth.

Okay? No guarantees on when these lesson/blogs will post. But this will be fun and enlightening!

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I Want More?

The world is dying to hear from someone who is saying, “I want more.”

There is much on my mind tonight and I am literally compelled to write. This is not how I usually blog, but I have been feeling a strong tug from God to say a few things that don’t necessarily fit into my regular pattern. This is from a heart that yearns for something more than just church.

There is more. The world is a mess. Some of that is because we became satisfied.

God made us in His image. The Bible does not fully explain that, but keeping in mind what the “image” of God is like, we can draw some pretty clear conclusions. He. Is. Supernatural (among His many attributes). So, that implies (strongly) that we are as well.

Tell a supernatural being that they are to be satisfied with 3 hymns, the offering, and a 30 minute sermon on how to live a life of fluff, and they will become board and uninterested very quickly.

We are not meant to have a boring service. We are supernatural creatures.

It is why when we get plugged into a little bit of “real” God we get zapped. We suddenly discover we like what we are feeling. Then we go about just surviving spiritually. We get depressed and find that religion has no real attraction for us. Then we find more satisfaction in a second rate TV show that no one in their right mind would watch. Our minds become slaves to the rhetoric, and, suddenly, that is the highlight of our Sunday. God simply sits in the corner trying to tell us that He has more. Much more.

We must surround ourselves with Him. If you are not hungry, then you need to seek Him. Unlike the needs of our flesh, the spiritual needs are the more you eat, the hungrier you get.

This cannot be a thing that we tell ourselves we need more input from church. True, church should be something that impacts us like nothing else, but we aren’t there 24/7. This must be a conscious choice. “I want more.”

The world is dying to hear from someone who is saying, “I want more.”

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Dr. Billy Graham

“I don’t need a successor, only willing hands to accept the torch for a new generation.” Maybe we just need to grab that torch with a nod and take off?

There are few people in our modern times that has impacted the world like this man did. That’s sad, but true. I mean, we are so concerned with the Hawkings, the Lucas’, the Spielbergs, the politicians, the athletes. And anyone that does not tell us we have to change. Pastor Graham was straight forward. Always.

He was profiled many years ago by Time Magazine. Back then they weren’t so driven bytime an “expose” and were straight up trying to get a sense of who he was. This was at least 20 years back. He was on their cover four times: October 25, 1954, November 15, 1993, May 13, 1996, and August 9, 2007. And, likely, here again soon. But he was asked by them, I believe, in the 1993 story, “What keeps you from having a scandal like so many other televangelists?” His response was amazing. He said, “I ask God every day, “Take me from this earth before I taint you reputation.””

He was legitimate. He was just a man. Flesh and blood head to toe. But, he was legitimate in his love for God and his love for his fellow human being. A the time of that interview, he had a salary of $35,000 per year. While being the head of an organization that dealt in millions. He wasn’t interested in becoming profitable. Except for the Kingdom.

It’s great to quote a man of such enormous accomplishments. He has rubbed elbows with some most famous people in history. Presidents. Musicians. Actors. And more. He also rubbed elbows with the common. Although, he never saw them as common. He saw them as God does. Important enough to give His Son for.

His pastor was a man of non-descript. No one has heard of him. It’s okay, it may not seem that important to us. After all, he’s not Billy Graham. But a ministry that led hundreds of thousands (maybe more, no one really knows) to God was started by the unknown man that led Billy to Jesus.

Dr. Bill Graham spoke in person to over 2.5 million people in his life. Countless millions more over TV and radio. And more as his messages are repeated daily in all kinds of formats. And in all countries. His impact is great and beyond a total, real calculation. The greatest loss for America (indeed, the world) in the last decade. Maybe the last century. Would he agree? He said this: “Someday, you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.” He was planning and waiting for this day.

I don’t believe he was anything less than gracious and loving. To anyone who came his way. From here we will hear story after story of how he impacted people. He was indeed a general in God’s Army. But he came up through the ranks. For certain.

Of all the great things the man did for God and for the Kingdom- And for mankind-His desire to pass what he had along was the greatest. He had the good news. He loved God and the rest got in line from there.

I leave you with this that Billy said: “I don’t need a successor, only willing hands to accept the torch for a new generation.” Maybe we just need to grab that torch with a nod and take off?

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Plans & Timing

God has a plan for you. In case you haven’t had that preached at you or seen one million memes with it just yet. It is true, though. And, yeah, sometimes I think all of us would love it if He simply explained it to us. But that takes us out of the picture of being a part of the plan. He truly desires us to be involved in that plan, not just it being some kind of compass for us. There are many pit stops along the way that lead us to be able to fit that plan. To make it ours. So a simple diagram or blueprint handed to us doesn’t do the trick.

As you know, I am a writer. Not just here in my blog, but I write in many other forms. Specifically, books. Granted, I currently only have one book in print. If you are the least bit curious, click here. This one book is the first in a series based upon this blog. I have no idea where the books will go. I only know God has told me to write them, so I write them. This series, Crazy Amazing Love, is free. If you get it through me, you won’t even pay shipping. If you buy it through Amazon, you will have to pay the minimum price. Which is currently $8.35 plus shipping.

God has granted me several more books. Two of which are done and are in editing phase. Three are in the writing process. Including the second in the Crazy Amazing Love series. Click here for more info about all five books.

I tell you all this to say that God has a plan for each of us, but His time frame may not be what we think it should be. Often it would be faster and clearer if we were more inclined to follow Him harder and more determined. Many struggles I had with sin throughout my life slowed the process down. I’m 52 now and just had my first book published last September. Could that have happened sooner? Sure, had I been more focused on God and less on me. But I cannot change that now.

If you are having difficulty getting or understanding God’s plan for you, first, don’t stress. It’s there. It’s amazing. It’s happening. Keep your focus on Him. It could be anything. But it’s His design, his plan, and His timing. And, second, stay on Him.

By the way, if you are interested to know more about where we are with the new books, click here and learn more. Blessings!

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Just A Quick Note

Hi everyone. This is faster than trying to email everyone.

As I put out in the last blog, Crazy Amazing Love: 31 Pieces of Love is available for free. Even no shipping costs within the US. I also wanted to announce that Crazy Amazing Love volume 2 is on the slate to be released around the 1st of June. This will also be free. But, again, only if you get it from me. Amazon will charge you cost plus shipping.

If you want a copy of either, you can order volume one, 31 Pieces of Love and it will be available here in a couple weeks (Second Edition slows it all down a bit). You can also get on the pre-order list for 31 Pieces of Joy and when it is ready, I will ship you one.

Thanks and God bless ya!

Matt