The Return yet again of The Chosen One; 1 Kings 19:14-21

Scripture: 1 Kings 19:19-21

 19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him.  20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?”  21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.

Observation: What is happening here is, it is close to the end of Elijah’s reign as Prophet of Israel. So God sent him on a journey to anoint his replacement. He found a man named Elisha. How crazy would it be if a prophet of the Lord came up to you and said “You’re my replacement.” I know for a fact if Mike came up to me and said “You’re going to replace me as Pastor at Catalyst.” I know for a fact I would laugh and say “no way.” But that wasn’t Elisha’s response. He immediately followed ad even made it practically impossible to return to his old life.

Application:  In theory, this is very easy to apply to my life. The God who created this universe and knows whats best for me says to go do something, you just go do it. Simple right? No. “What if I fail?” “What would he/she think?” “I can’t do that.” Theres someone better.” are some things that easily come to mind.

Every week that I have to teach in kids scares me to death. I’m not a good teacher. These kids learning anything on the weeks I teach are all because of God. I take no credit in that. And that is a big part of what held me back from teaching before. That and the lack of bodies in the production team. I was able to take that step a year ago and its been amazing.

But there is still so much I hold back on. And thats stuff I really need to step up on. This post is the first step in that. My goal is to do this 13 day reading plan in 13 days. That alone would be huge in taking the right steps to accomplish more in my life for both God and myself.

Prayer: God, I pray that I can start to really put You first. I pray that I can really stick to this reading plan. I pray that nothing will hold me back from accomplishing my goal. Thank You for being there for me despite me not always being there for You. I hope to change that. In Your heavenly name, Amen


State of Rob 2 weeks later

So two weeks ago I posted one of the hardest posts I have ever posted. I have never let anyone or anything see my thoughts or my fears the way I let that post go. And I let a lot off of my chest. So what has happened since then? Well first I believe the way I have been living day to day is much improved. As you may have noticed if you follow me, I have been in God’s Word much more than I have been in a long time. Am I perfect with it? By no means. But I am trying to pray more and read much more than I have.

Things in my life have been looking much better. As I siad a couple weeks ago I have been thinking about looking into schooling to become a personal trainer.  I contacted Branford Hall to get information about the NASM certificate. NASM stands for National Academy of Sports Medicine. I was talking to a very good friend of mine about becoming a personal trainer. He is a very high manager at WOW Fitness. After talking to several personal trainers at WOW, they all said the best certificate to go for is the NASM certificate. One thing that was really awesome was when talking to Rich he told me, “I think you would be good at it. You have worked out for a while now and you know what you are doing.” That means a lot coming from someone who has been in the business for a long time.

Another thing that came up with Rich is obviously as a personal trainer you have to look the part. I know that at this present time, I do not look the part. However I can look at it from two ways. I can look at it as a obstacle. Or I can look at it as opportunity. One of my jobs as a personal trainer would be to help people who are over weight, to lose that weight and get in better shape. What better way to show that I know what I am doing by being someone who is overweight, and then loses all that weight. That would be the best thing to show my clients. To be my very own success story.

Back to Branford Hall. Last week, an advisor called me because I requested information on their NASM program. I have not called back yet because I was trying to get in contact with my grandmother, who I tend to go to for advice on certain things. I wanted to bounce ideas to ensure that I ask the right questions and I am best prepared for when I call the advisor back.

I will be completely honest. I am scared to death to call her back. There are going to be some major obstacles to overcome in order for me to go back to school. I have not been in school in twelve plus years. Being away so long and being back in a class room is going to be very tough. Last time I went to college, it didn’t go very well. Part of that was my maturity. I handled it very poorly. But I was also eighteen years old when I was going to Central.

Another huge obstacle for me is financially. How am I going to pay for this? Will I be able to secure enough grants? Will I be able to get a loan to pay for what the grants do not cover? I have very poor credit. I have never been wise with my money. It’s pretty much going to take a act of God to secure the finances for this. This is something I can use a lot of prayer on.

Plus I am not completely sure how being on unemployment will affect anything. Will it cause my unemployment to drop or worse lose it? I have heard both it could go up or I could lose it. For a long time I was under the impression that if I go to school while unemployment, I can lose my unemployment. I never though that made any sense at all. That is a call that I will be making very soon.

One of the things I talked about was the fact that I have been very lonely. How I have given up on my love life. I have made a decision that I am taking a break from it. I need to work on fixing me before I will be going after anyone. I want to be the best man that I can be for whoever my future wife will be. And thats going to take some work. I have already started by getting back into God’s Word. Also by looking to improve my career. By putting God first in my life. Once I get those things in place, more so God being number one, I think that I will then meet someone. And if not, then so be it. I am not going to dwell on it anymore. I am not gong to feel sorry for myself. I’m not going to torture myself with that.

For a week or so I did a reading plan from youversion on courage. For a long time I didn’t feel very courageous and I really needed that. The readings constantly talked about being strong and courageous in all that we do. Also hit on that if we do the work that God places before us, we will be rewarded. It shouldn’t really be about wanting to receive awards, though they are nice. It should be about doing the things God asks us to do. About being the man that God asks me to be. I have no doubt in my mind that after this reading plan, I am more so the man that God wants me to be.

For the first time in well over a year, I took a Sunday off from setting up, running pro presenter, and tearing down. All morning I was very fidgety  because I didn’t know what to do with myself.  However what I am learning is that I need to give myself more weeks off. Not because I deserve to take weeks off. But to give other people more opportunities to serve. It has been said that a leader is not judged by the work that he does, but by the team he builds around him and the job they do when the leader is not there. I haven’t done the best job at building a team around me. I have great people on the production team. We have great people that help set up and tear down. But does set up, tear down, and pro presenter go as easy as it should without me there. Judging by today it does for the most part. There are still a few things I need to train more people on. And that is my next goal for the set up and production teams. I need to be able to give me and Ed more weeks off. Ed does a lot himself. My goal is to have teams setup that has the people that setup are not the same people that tear down. The people that run the productions, don’t setup or tear down the weeks they are running their particular equipment.

I love the heart of the people on these teams. They will do anything they are asked to do to make sure that Jesus’ name is made famous. And I love that about them. However, I don’t want any of them being burnt out. A lot of them, just like me, have only missed a handful of weeks setting up and tearing down. But also I want to be able to give more people the opportunity to serve. Is this a gola that will be achieved soon? Probably not. However it is a long term goal I would like to see achieved sooner rather than later.

That is mostly everything I have on my mind right now. I think I am going to try and post one of these “State of Rob” posts more often. Some of them will be whine sessions like the last one I did. Some will be more of a update of things going on in my life like this one. Most will be more like this. This is going to be a lot like my very own therapy sessions. It allows me to get a lot of things off my chest that I tend to hold in. Perhaps by doing these more of these, everything won’t build up as much as it did as last time. I do still need prayer and I really appreciate it from everyone who does. I look forward to share more of my life and my journey to the next step in my life.

2 Chronicles 15: 1-7 Youversion

Scripture: 2 Chronicles 15:2 he shouted. “Listen, all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him.

2 Chronicles 15:7 But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”

Observation: The middle east has always been a place where there is constant fighting. Especially back in the Old Testament times. Whenever Israel followed God, they would be free and victorious. Whenever there strayed away from God, they were always captured by another country. Maybe it sounds cruel, but its just like a parent disciplining their child. The parent doesn’t want to do it, or allow things to happen, but has to in order for the child to learn and grow.  King Asa was leading the southern kingdom of Israel. The northern kingdom was far from God. Azariah came to King Asa encouraging him to keep fighting for God. He told the King to stay strong and courageous, for his work will be rewarded.

Application:  Today is the last day for this reading plan. The constant theme is to be strong and courageous. Also that you will be rewarded for the work that you do. I feel that after reading this plan, I feel much stronger and courageous than I was before. I am taking more of the right steps. I am happier. A lot of that is that I am back in God’s Word. I may have missed a day or two, but it’s more time than I have spent in a long time. My application is to be stronger and more courageous in everything I do.

Prayer: God, I pray that I can be strong and courageous in EVERYTHING I do. I know that it all starts with me. It starts with my attitude. I thank You for being so patient with me. I will continue to grow. I will stay in Your Word. Thank You,  Jesus. Amen

1 Chronicles 22:11-13, 28:20 Youversion

So what happened to yesterdays post? Well I did do the reading. I didn’t get a whole lot out of it. Thats going to happen sometimes. I had a good prayer time but I didn’t have anything to write about. Since I am sharing what I am going through I am going to post the scripture that I read. The reading was from 1 John 2:27-29 and 1 John 4:13-19. Feel free to read it on your own. If you want to share, feel free to share in the comment section below. Now onto todays reading.

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 22:13 For you will be successful if you carefully obey the decrees and regulations that the Lord gave to Israel through Moses. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or lose heart!

1 Chronicles 28:20  Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.

Observation: This is a pretty cool passage. It’s a conversation between a father and a son…between the greatest human king of Israel and his son….between the man after God’s own heart and who ends up being the wisest man to ever live. David was telling his son Solomon that he was going to be in charge of building God’s temple. That’s a pretty hefty task that is put on Solomon.  David tells Solomon to be strong and courageous as he takes on the task. He also told him that as long as he follows God’s word and does the work, he will be successful.

Application: Solomon had a pretty huge task that was put on him. I have nothing anywhere near that huge on me. But I do have a big responsibility on me at Catalyst Church. I have done a lot, but I havent been as strong and courageous as I could have been. I could do a MUCH better job leading the setup and production teams. I think over the last week or so I have stepped up a lot….in a lot of things. I will continue to grow and do the work. I need to work on following God’s Word more, but I have been doing a lot better.

Prayer: God, I thank you for trusting me with helping people find God through Catalyst. I know I haven’t lived up to my potential, but I am changing that now. I want to be able to say that I did everything I can to make Jesus famous.  I don’t want to have any regrets. I pray that I will constantly be pushed in the right direction. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Hebrews 4:14-16, Phillipians 1:27-28 Youversion

Scripture: Hebrews 4:15  This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.

Observation: The High Priest that is being talked about here is Jesus. He lived on the Earth, as a man, for thirty-three years. During that time He was tempted time and time again. It’s not a sin to be tempted. It’s the same concept as dieting. Seeing the food is not the problem….not the sin. It’s when we give in and overstuff ourselves that it becomes a problem. Its when we give into temptation that we actually sin. Jesus showed us that it is possible to fight off temptation and not sin.

Application: There are things that I am tempted with everyday. We all are. There are times that I give in. Being lazy is definitely a huge one as of late. Not that sitting back and relaxing is a bad thing, but when it slows you down or stops you from doing the things you’re suppose to do is when it becomes a issue. That’s a good part of the reason this S.O.A.P. is late. Granted I was a day ahead of schedule(posted two in one day) I still missed spending time with God yesterday. I want to break that habit, and I will.

Prayer: God, I pray that I can fight off the temptations I face daily. They are there to try and keep me from doing the right things. I mess up a lot, but I think I am making strides and getting better. Thank You for being patient with me. Thank You for putting AMAZING friends in my life. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Proverbs 28:1, Ephesians 3:12 Youversion

Scripture: Proverbs 28:1  The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.

Ephesians 3:12   Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.

Observation: Today is two very short and to the point verses. They hit on courage strongly. In Psalms, it talks about how the wicked tend to run away from things. They feel like someone or something is after them. They feel like they are being chased. But those who are Godly have the courage to boldly stand against all things coming after them. In Ephesians, it goes on saying that because of Christ, the Godly can dare to stand in the presence of God. The Godly can talk to God about anything and everything.

Application: I tend to not go to God for everything. I always have thought ” Other people have bigger problems. They need God’s help more than me.” I’m not saying that in a ego way.I always think that my problems are so trivial that they aren’t worthy of God’s time and effort. I need to start giving all of me,problems included, to God. I need to have the courage to boldly and confidently go before God with ALL that I am.

Prayer: God, I pray that I can trust You more in all aspects of my life. I want to be able to give my ALL to You. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Daniel 3:8-30 Youversion

Scripture: Daniel 3:16-18 16  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.

Observation: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego showed extreme faith and were very courageous. They put their lives on the line and told the king that they don’t have to defend their actions to the king. They refused to go against God and bow before the idols that King Nebuchadnezzar put before them. During this time, you would be put to death if you disobeyed the king. But that didn’t matter to these three. Following the one true God mattered. Because of their strong faith and being so courageous, God saved them from the blazing furnace.

Application: Times today, it is not as hard to be a disciple as it was then. Yet we,I, still fail to trust God wholeheartedly. Would I show the faith that these three showed with their courageous actions? I highly doubt it. I barely trust Him with my finances, let alone life and death situations like this. I need to become more faithful. I need to START with my tithing. Once I start handing over my idol, perhaps I will start living a more faithful and courageous life.

Prayer: God, I want to trust You in every aspect of my life. I pray that I can take this first step. I pray that I can continue every week in trusting You with my finances. I have done a HORRIBLE job with them so far. I need Your help to get on track. You can do more with 90% than I can 100%. God, I pray that I can be patient with the blessings. I know they won’t be overnight. I know that I am still reaping all my poor financial decisions. Thank You, Jesus. AMEN.