The Intimate Posture of a Child

The whole lap thing has gotten me pretty worked up a bit. I mean here I am a 22 year old Pastor walking through life and thinking I know things, when in reality I know very little of my Heavenly Father.

My first thing with the illustration is why the lap? I mean I guess I can understand a small child sitting in someone’s lap, that’s “normal” and happens often.

Santa Claus is KNOWN for being at the mall during November – December as parent’s, kids, teenager’s, etc. go to take the photo of Santa’s lap…Maybe that image is “creepy” to you, and well it definitely would be “creepy” for me at 22 to DESIRE to sit in Santa’s lap. Well I’m sure you get my point…sorry for the tangent.

Good thing is God is NOT Santa nor will he EVER be. (Phew)

We’re talking about a God that surpasses our very knowledge. We’re talking about a Father who know’s our intricate details in our life, but CHOOSES to act as if he doesn’t to share a conversation and be WITH us. This means as I speak with the Father he doesn’t say, “Matt I know what you’re about to say,” and cut me off, instead he is eternally patient to hear my story, hurt’s, pain, joys, discouragement’s, and successes. Not only does he want to hear this from me, He wants me to be as close to him as possible so he could hold me, laugh with me, hug me, and WHISPER (not yell) how proud he is of me. Are you close enough to the Father, that if he whispered you could hear Him?

Job 4:12

“This truth was given to me in secret, as though whispered in my ear.

Heavenly Father wants us to be in the most intimate position you can be in as a child, sitting in Daddy’s lap explaining how your first day of kindergarten went. Telling him about your promotion or lay-off, mission’s trip or foreclosure, new family member or a loss of one, new experience or a past hurt. He, the God of the universe is telling YOU to come sit in his lap so he could embrace you fully. Surround you in his presence, and whisper that HE has everything all taken care of and he will walk you through ANYTHING this world throws at you.

God is just beginning to unravel a journey of fatherhood & sonship to me that I may have lacked growing up, but am now starting to understand. Funny how when there’s a hole and void in someones heart nothing but the love of a FATHER could help.

So to all the earthly Father’s….call your kid’s and let them know you love them RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE…and we’ll get to that VERY point in my next post…

Sit in my lap…(Part 2)

In continuation of my previous post I would like to discuss the past…You know the thing that so many of us either love to talk about (Accomplishment’s) or totally avoid, (Hurt’s, pains, etc.) 

My past although is a pleasant one has some unwanted hurt, pain, divorced parent’s, as well as excitement, love, learned opportunities, success,  etc. All of which has helped shape me today.

Maybe the lap sitting thing was hard to understand because well I never sat in daddy’s lap past the age of 7. He wasn’t there. Due to some circumstances beyond my control Daddy was gone and now my sister and I lived with Mommy. I mean Daddy was still around we saw him often, and he drove us to school, but he wasn’t home anymore. 

Disclaimer: My father and I now have a fantastic relationship, and I have seen God TOTALLY transform his heart, as he did Saul on his way to Damascus. I love my Father with all my heart, as he does me. 

Ok well although daddy loved me, let’s be real parent’s make mistakes. I don’t know many parent’s who would claim to be a perfect parent? So my parent’s were just like any other. Trying to understand life, parenting, marriage, etc. 

There was one time where I am coming to read one of my book’s to Daddy. I crawled onto his lap maybe 6 or 7 year’s old to read to him. I began to read as he was watching t.v. Well, as I began to read I was shrugged away because the Orlando Magic was playing. 

It didn’t phase me than, but that was the last time in my memory EVER being in my father’s lap. Funny how a simple thing as trying to watch the game can distract us from things. 

Anyway’s flash forward (Cue dream music) to the prayer meeting I’m having with our lead Pastor from my previous post. You know the one where God wants us to spend time sitting on his lap, and for some reason I was getting frustrated and confused. 

God showed me that image of being shrugged off by my father, that I unknowingly have been caring for 15 years. I began to weep as I felt a heavenly Father begin to tell me that he not only WANTS me on his lap, he DESIRES me to be with him on his lap. 

Why on his lap you may ask, seems kind of weird? Well I thought so to, but God has shown me even more…

Sit in my lap…

Image

Maybe it’s the reading that I have been doing, the prayer time, or just the hidden emotion’s that have been stuffed away. Whatever it is, it is something that has brought me back to this blog. As I walk this journey of what I feel God doing in my life my goal and vision is to pursue His purpose in all that I do.

With that being said God has been showing me thing’s about HIS nature, and His love for me. Could it be Crazy Love from Francis Chan, The Shack by Wm. Paul Young, or just personal revelation’s….but something (The HOLY SPIRIT) is showing me a different side of Fatherhood in God than I have ever seen before.

It all started with a prayer meeting I was attending at my church. Our lead pastor was sharing a revelation that God had shown him. That God loves when we sit in His lap and just enjoy time with well….GOD. The same way father’s enjoy spending time with their kids. Although I am not a Father, I couldn’t wrap my mind around that. Something inside of me was just upset, mad, and a little frustrated as he shared his story. Why was I against something so sweet, and desirable? What was it in the revelation that God is a Father, he loves His children, and wants to be with them that I couldn’t understand. I mean I know God loves me, He’s a father, and he’s ALWAYS there for me, but sitting in His lap? Could that be possible? Attainable? Something just told me it was WAY TO INTIMATE. That’s not what God is like, or is it? As I took the meeting to explore, battle, and share this I will hopefully in the next couple of days unpack my thought how God, want’s me to be a child enjoying time with Him sitting in HIS lap…

Does God Brag about You!?

Tribulations come in and out of season, it’s a time of testing and growth. Somehow we are supposed to be joyful in some of the most toughest and most trying times in our lives.

God has asked us in

Romans 5:3-4

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Ok so we are supposed to be joyful in hard times because we it produces our character and builds our faith and hope in Christ. I can understand that and I believe that is one of the hardest things to do especially when things are SO BIG it seems impossible to ever get out. Just think when  money is tight, car starts to fail, we get laid off, and life’s necessities need to be replaced what do you feel? Joy right? (WRONG!) Least for me I get stubborn, upset, confused. Well came across this scripture in my friday bible study and this was our discussion.

Job 1:7-12

And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Our smallgroup came to this realization! As a father takes pride in his son/ daughter succeeding in life, so God rejoices in our accomplishments and relationship with him. GOD BRAGS about his servant Job to Satan, GOD is excited and thrilled in his son, and wishes his enemy to see his son’s success. This made us look at the verse in Romans differently all of a sudden. Romans talks about being joyful in tribulations, and it suddenly hit us. God bragged about Job, Satan in return wanted to test his faith, which brought tribulations upon Job. See we can take joy in tribulations because it comes after God smiles at you, and says “Satan see my son/ daughter?” Satan says yes, and God brags about your love for HIM. See trials come what seems to be after God bragged about you, so be JOYFUL in the trail because God thinks very highly of you, and LOVES YOU!

GOD BRAGGED ABOUT YOU SO ENJOY THE FAITH TRIAL!!

But…But…I’m Scared

Teaching Karate in the Tampa area is an amazing job. I have been with Extreme Youth Sports for 2 years now and absolutely love my job. Kids love to come in with their awesome uniforms and loud “HIYA’s!” The passion and skill of these young 3-15 year olds amaze me everyday. God does some amazing things in classroom settings and loves to stop and teach me valuable lessons through his young ones.

Had a student who during class was putting on his “Sparring gear,” (Pads that cover body for no injuries) and came on to the gym floor for stretches and techniques. I look over and i notice him crying during the warm ups, and i ask if everything is alright and he says “yes.” As we continue on he continues to warm up and his dad motions me over. We go outside and have an awesome conversation about his son and where he stands with Hand- to- hand sparring. Apparently he has had a “bad experience,” that has “knocked him off his horse” as they say. He was now terrified to spar again because his experience had crippled his confidence and enthusiasm for sparring.

STOP! God begins to speak…

“Matt,

Do you see this boy terrified for whats about to come. The uncertainty in his eyes because the past experience that has crippled him? Can you see the fear that has slipped in due to one traumatic experience of getting knocked down, even though he has done this countless times? His experiences have shaped this new fear in him, and now he doesn’t want to spar. See you know he’ll be ok because your his instructor and you would never let anything happen to him. You watch for his safety and pair him with competitors that he can handle, but will also stretch his abilities. ”

God wow I see now thanks!

We are no different than children you and I. We all have the capacity to be fearful and timid to situations. Our past experience has crippled us and caused fear from us moving forward. One bad “sparring” experience and we want out of the game. We cry, get scarred, immobilized! We want out even though God looks down sees our “safety gear, knows our capabilities, and would never match us with something we can’t handle.

I ask these questions:

What are we fearful of?

What past experience has immobilized our future?

Do we realize God our Instructor watches us and knows HE won’t give us anything we can’t handle?

But…But…Im scared

Although sometimes we have so much fear we to must trust OUR ” Instructor” allow the stretching to take it’s course and when we fall, get back up. He knows what we can handle and any experience that has crippled us into a state of fear can be gone with a simple attitude adjustment and a loud “HIYA!”  (Just Kidding) Know our past doesn’t have to cripple us, but can motivate us to keep up with the fight and persist on doing “HIS” ministry!!

When moved by the Spirit…

Sometimes you just gotta sing 🙂 So I wrote a remix to Akon- Sorry, Blame it on me!! Enjoy the lyrics or find the song on my facebook!!

(verse 1)

I’m sorry that I wasn’t what you thought I was

I’m sorry that I didn’t work for your cause

I’m sorry that I didn’t go show the way

Im sorry that I just focused on me

Im sorry I got lost in myself

Im sorry that I put you on the shelf

And you were just wishin time with me

But I wouldn’t drop down to my knees

Im sorry that I got way to busy

Im sorry that I missed you on that street

I know you were just trying to seek me

And I was to blind to stop and see

Im sorry I didn’t stop and clothe you than

Im sorry I let you thirst again

If I could go back in time you see

I would make You my priority

(Chorus)

I understand that there are some problems
And I am not too blind to know
All the pain you kept inside you
Even though you might not show
If I can’t apologize for being wrong
Then it’s just a shame on me
I’ll be the reason for your pain and you can put the blame on me
You can put the blame on me [4x]
Said you can put the blame on me [3x]
You can put the blame on me

(verse 2)

Im sorry that I took the apple from the tree

And adding to all your pain and grief

Im sorry that the whip had to crack so bad

Im sorry that I didn’t love you dad

Im sorry that I got lost on my own

Im sorry that stepped away from your throne

I know that is where I was supposed to be

Because I have seen all the suffering

I only wish that  I could go back

So you wouldn’t have to feel that lash

I know I have done these things all wrong

Im sorry for what I do when I’m all alone

I know it hurts you when I fail

But I cant think but for myself

I only wish to admit my crimes

So I can give you back all those times

(Chorus)

I understand that there are some problems
And I am not too blind to know
All the pain you kept inside you
Even though you might not show
If I can’t apologize for being wrong
Then it’s just a shame on me
I’ll be the reason for your pain and you can put the blame on me
You can put the blame on me [4x]
Said you can put the blame on me [3x]
You can put the blame on me

Im sorry you ever felt alone

But know I was watching from my throne

Im sorry I had to move you from a life with me

That’s why I sent my son for thee

All I want is a life with you

Because I know what you’ve been through

I just wish to take all that grief

So come on and spend time with me

Just know that what was done was done for you

All those things my son went through

Was so you could find freedom in him

And all I would ask is you rapent

See the price was paid in full

And No debt remains on you

Im sorry for all the things you went through

But know that I will come to meet you soon