Being Human

I remember when I was young Lynard Skynard recorded the song give me back my bullets, put em back where they belong. I knew the words but not the meaning of them. Now at 51 I’m just beginning to get what Ronnie must have been feeling when he sang that tune.

Life can be a real challenge. Sometimes it seems as though it’s more trouble than it’s worth. To many days to count I’ve thought I don’t want to be in this world anymore. The hard part is not dying that’s easy, the hard part is living…

Like everyone I’ve had big dreams, you know the kind that transcends the place your standing and drops you off somewhere really special. It seems like time and circumstance have a way to pound those dreams out of you. We begin to settle for a life much different than we had anticipated.

Everyone likes to think that their a good person and people love and respect them in spite of their humanity. Well, welcome to the real world. I’ve learned you can’t do enough good to make up for all the hell you’ve created, at least in the eyes of some people. The self righteous “Christians” who fill the world with their judgmentalism and lack of human compassion, all in the name of Jesus.

I have tried to give grace and mercy to everyone I meet. I don’t want to judge anyone because I’m not God…..for the record I’m not the devil either. Maybe you should ask my family about the devil thing they might have a different opinion. If you truly want to know someone don’t ask their co-workers or friends, ask the wives and husbands, the children and family. We can all put on a good show for the select few. At the end of the day our real friends and family know the real you.

To sum this epistle up, I don’t share posts to get a following or build a support base. The simplicity of it all, I would like to think I can do a little good and relieve some of the internal pain and shame that I feel 24/7. I don’t mind when people judge me and say whatever they have to say, I’m grown, I can take it. What grieves my soul beyond measure is when people attack me and it causes my family to come to my defense.

Someone told me the other day, you ain’t nothing but a drunk… for the record, I’ve struggled with alcohol addiction for years. Some years I win and some I lose. To clear everything up, I’m not just a drunk, I’m a father, husband, brother, uncle, cousin and a person who loves people and hates himself at the same time.

If people want to try and destroy me because of my issues, I guess I have it coming. What I cannot live with is people who are so ugly and say incredibility mean things, never considering those that will be affected. We live in a very different time, I loved the little place I grew up in. The people and community, the lives shared and the roads traveled. The world has become a very different place…..the Internet and Facebook give people an audience for their bullshit…

Give me back my bullets, put em back where they belong…

If I go , it will be by my own hand not by another. Everyone who thinks they have ammunition to hurt me with….I just went public with my struggles, so if that doesn’t make some of the haters back off…than I guess you can kiss my corn bread eatin’ hillbilly ass…

If you find this offensive I guess just unfriend me because were not friends to begin with!

Understanding Acceptance

Is God misunderstood or simply misrepresented?

Christians seem to be becoming increasingly judgmental and reclusive, narrowing the number of people they deem worthy of love and acceptance. If we use the bible as a license to condemn others, than we truly do not understand the words and teachings of Christ.

Jesus came to pay the price for sin. His sacrifice satisfied Gods anger towards mankind and made us all the eternal focus of HIS love, grace and mercy.

If we understand God, than we love. If we do not love someone because of our differences, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or whatever the excuse, than we simply don’t understand the nature of God. If we claim to be Christians and refuse to love, then we are misrepresenting God. We learn early in our faith that God loved the world and that that’s why he sent his son.

What part of Gods world are you willing to love? Will you represent God? Will your character be loving or unloving? Will you drop the excuses for your prejudice? We can all find reasons to be fearful, especially with things we don’t understand, but can we decide to love and accept those that do not fit in our ideological view of God and the world?

We have to stop defending our right to be prejudice, in the name of God. And find reasons to show the love of God to our fellow man.

– K

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Ken speaks weekly at Spirit Life Church.

We Need One Another

John 15:4
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

In this passage, we find Jesus talking about His ability to bring life and fruitfulness to all who abide in Him. He speaks of the Father being the husbandman and Himself, the vine. Just as He has total dependency on the Father, we must have total dependency on Him to complete us, if we wish to bear fruit. In other words, we cannot truly succeed alone.

In Genesis God said it is not good for man to be alone. The Father is literally telling us that being alone is bad for our future progress and growth. This statement is not just related to marriage but encompasses the need for healthy relationships in all areas of life. We thrive as a part of something beyond ourselves. Without God, we are dead in trespass and sin. Without each other, we suffer a lonely existence void of celebration and community. To experience life in its fullest expression, we truly need one another.

I have recognized the great value of cultivating healthy relationships time after time in my own life. They help us through difficult times, and they offer a venue to share our joy communally through great times. There is nothing like partnering with people to share life!

In light of this deeply-ingrained need for one another, how should we look at being part of a local assembly? Our place in the corporate context of other believers is vitally important because it’s the only plan God made for our fellowship with each other. If we hope to be fruitful and successful in life, we must learn to work together. There is no escaping the great expectation God has for all believers to coordinate our efforts and learn to bear fruit as a unit, and not just individually.

Over the last few decades, there has been a shift toward idol worship, super-stardom and covetousness throughout the world. Whether in sports, music, television or ministry, there seems to be a longing for the spotlight to validate and authenticate our actions. The concept of team building is being cast by the wayside and the art of networking has become altogether selfish.

Jesus related the Kingdom to a man who cast a net into the sea. If we play with this concept a little we can see the Kingdom rests in the hands of Jesus, and we are the net (or network) being cast in order to bring about a harvest of souls. The net must be whole, complete and strong for maximum impact—the harvest is lost when there are tears and gaps.

The same concept works in our lives individually. We need power relationships and a local assembly to work alongside other believers. Without this structure in place, our results will be greatly limited. We can achieve a level of success individually, but we will never realize the God potential that comes with the corporate dynamic.

In the coming holiday season, find the time to evaluate your value on the various teams you find yourself in. As a parent, sibling, co-worker, parishioner, etc., do you bring what is necessary to bless and support others, or would things work out the same without you? Now is the time we as believers must be willing to engage ourselves! Let this season be a time of transition from self-centered thinking that says “what about me,” and find your refreshing in how you can bring value to the teams you’re on.

If you don’t have strong relationships, a thriving personal network and a place to serve, my prayer is you will not rest until those areas of your life are whole and functional.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken can be found each week at Spirit Life Church in Piqua, Ohio. Visit the website to check out his sermons and/or learn more about Spirit Life.

Church Unity

There are many books written on the topic and in fact, much of what we read in the New Testament deals with the harmony between the brethren. We are instructed to love, pray for and even serve one another. Though this seems simple enough in theory, the practical application is much harder. Still, maintaining relational, theological and even philosophical unity is imperative to be successful in working together to fulfill God’s great commission. We don’t have to universally agree, but there is a set of unanimity that must be preserved in order for a church to walk together and build together. Unity is the most important asset for a team and must be preserved at all costs! When there is disunity, it must be dealt with. This brings about the question of church discipline and how it should be administered.

Church discipline is an ecclesiastical function that is mandated by the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20. This responsibility was given originally to the Apostles and continues today, falling upon the shoulders of Senior Elders.

This come under the doctrine of spiritual authority. I am not exempting eldership from correction and I do not believe that true spiritual authority creates hierarchies and citizenship structures—the catch with true spiritual authority is that it cannot be exercised beyond a believers willingness to receive it. There is no physical infrastructure to enforce the authority of God’s word like there is with the laws of this nation via the police and the criminal justice system. Whether or not a resolution takes place is up to the individual’s willingness to receive from the leader.

The Purpose of Church Discipline

First, church discipline should seek the restoration and reconciliation of the believer who is going astray. Going astray doesn’t necessarily mean open sin, though it absolutely applies to sinfulness. It can boil down to believers with inappropriate motives and bad attitudes that can affect and infect the entire church if it is not dealt with. As a shepherd this cannot and will not be tolerated. As I already stated, unity is the single greatest asset a group or team can possess and we must protect it.

There is always room for dissent and disagreement in our church but we must go about resolving these issues in a Biblical, loving manner. The good news is that if this is the focus of our actions, most issues can be handled easily. If we have a loving, trusting relationship there shouldn’t be anything we can’t work through! The bad news is that if this isn’t carried out, disagreements and misunderstandings can become toxic and spread to others, provoking offense and hurt feelings that really should never have arisen.

Revelation 12:10 exposes Satan as the accuser of the brethren and I believe it is accusation, not temptation, that is his most potent weapon against us. Satan accuses us and he accuses others in our minds. In no time at all a simple difference of opinion can escalate to full fledged bitterness. Instead of trying to reconcile we find ourselves building a mental case against a friend or leader, preparing for some kind of impending show-down and recruiting alliances across the group. The bottom line is that it never has to go this far and if we could step back from a situation and carry ourselves like mature believers, it wouldn’t!

And so, church discipline cannot be ignored. It must be undertaken in love, but undertaken nonetheless. Frustration, offense and bitterness are all signs of a troubled soul that left unattended, have the potential to do great harm to the unity of a local assembly, potentially even leading the individuals into sin. I know of no ministry that enjoys this particular function of the priesthood, but it is an integral part of spiritual growth. In order to have a Godly church there must be a standard upheld by the entire local assembly. There must be a willingness to seek God and an openness to redirection when necessary.

The Theology of Church Discipline

1) When conflict or sin has come between people, the goal is repentance and reconciliation, along with recompense, if needed.

2) Church leadership must be committed to the reputation of the Gospel and the well-being of the entire church, not just the interests of the individuals who are disgruntled or sinful.

3) Such matters in the church are entrusted to Christian leadership, namely the elders of a local assembly. Leaders must be careful not to abuse in any way the responsibility to oversee the unity of a fellowship of believers. In some situations there may arise an impasse, where people reject the counsel of leadership. This is a situation that must be followed by quick repentance and heart-change in order to preserve fellowship. Open discord is the antithesis of church unity and cannot be allowed to persist if the integrity of the work of God in that local church is to be maintained.

4) Discipline is never pleasant but the finished work will be a unified group of holy people, distinguished clearly from the world by possessing the heart of Christ.

5) For the truth to emerge, the elders must hear firsthand reports from all sides in the dispute before a decision can be reached.

6) Witnesses should be present in any dispute but the most important person to have present, is the one you’re offended with. If you’re qualm is with Brother Jones, why would you talk to Sister Clara about it? Grab a leader, sit down with Brother Jones and work it out! Our shared faith creates this enormous common ground upon which to build a solution—it pains me that we so often turn to school yard antics in the face of conflict.

7) The fellowship of the church is commanded by scripture. God’s people must be reminded that unrepentant sin and unnecessary division are unacceptable to a Holy God. We must look at sin—our own sin and that of others—in the light of God’s grace, forgiving one another and committing to allow Him to help us all grow.

Scripture references: Romans 16:17-18, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, 1 Corinthians 5:13, 1 Corinthians 14:40, 2 Corinthians 2:7, Revelation 2:2, 1 Peter 5:1-5, Hebrews 12:11, Proverbs 16:32, Proverbs 17:27, Acts 15, 2 Timothy 2:14-26, 2 Timothy 1:4-7; 2 Timothy 4:1-8.

Everyone has a choice regarding where they will attend church and with which local assembly they will serve. If the place you serving is not to your liking or you do not respect and trust the leadership, by all means exercise your free will and move on, but don’t allow the enemy to cause you to become an accuser. We only have a short time to labor.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken is the pastor of Spirit Life Church in Piqua, Ohio. Check out the church website for sermons and more!

Talents

The following is a guest blog from Lynne Focht, director of the Children’s Ministry at Spirit Life Church.

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Lately my Facebook feed has links to these quizzes where you discover things about yourself. Like which 80’s TV character you might be, which Taylor Swift album you are, which flower represents you, what your name really means, etc. I like playing these quizzes because I, like so many others, want to know more about myself. But I do also understand that they are pretty much meaningless entertainment.

I already know certain things about myself, good and bad qualities that make up most of my personality. I know that God has given me special talents to use in this life to fulfill my purpose.

1 Peter 4:10
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

What I struggle with is what I assume many others do, which is finding what exactly my purpose is and how to use my talents to serve that purpose. I have always been an undecided sort of person. My sister knew when she was in kindergarten that she wanted to be in the medical field when she grew up. She hasn’t wavered from that goal and is now a successful pharmacist, helping others daily. I remember that my first occupation was going to be a clown because I wanted to make people laugh. After that I wanted to be a police sketch artist, a buyer, a social worker, an interior decorator, a geologist, and an alpaca farmer. My path has never been clear to me. I was undecided my first two years of college, then declared Art Education as a major. I loved it and was very successful. I became a high school teacher for eight years, and then quit to find another path. I found myself at Spirit Life Church.

Many people I know complain about their jobs, their spouses, their houses, and their bad luck in life. We’ve been taught to believe that dissatisfaction is a bad thing, and that we should do everything possible to avoid it. Shove it down. Ignore it. Act like it doesn’t bother us. Take a pill. Put on a smile. Buy something new, or decide that misery is part of “bearing our cross.” But above all, don’t consider that God might be using it to make us uncomfortable so we’ll want to swim in another ocean where our gifts can shine. But it can also be a road sign that He has another purpose for us. So if you’re miserable in your current career or job, (and you have been for a long time), you’ve prayed, sought counsel from others, and you’re still miserable, consider that God may have another plan.

It can be very difficult to break a rut in life. And scary. But in order to grow as a person, we have to change ourselves and our thinking. Oprah said, “There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And it’s how you most truly come alive.”

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Lynne Focht is director of Go!, the children’s ministry at Spirit Life Church. Click here to learn more about Go! Children’s Ministry.

Trust Him… and MOVE!

We’ve all heard the the expression that life is the sum total of our choices. Whether or not you completely buy this relationship is immaterial. What is clear, is that life shouldn’t be left to chance. We need to make the right decisions. For a believer, this isn’t as daunting as it appears because God is on our team!

My father used to say if you don’t know where you’re going, any ole’ road will do. In other words, if we don’t want to wander aimlessly, we must determine a course for our lives—a goal and destination—that orders our steps and strengthens our focus.

Obviously the most important decision anyone can make to start determining this destination is to accept Jesus Christ as savior, thereby beginning the journey of faith that brings us to a personal relationship with our creator! From there, the path of our lives requires a great deal of prayer and consideration regarding things like our career, marriage, parenting, etc. Life is filled with tough decisions. I get it.

I run into people all the time that seem to be living in survival mode. When faced with the uncertainty and difficulty of life, we sometimes become overwhelmed and focus on maintaining our current situation rather than forging ahead toward our destinies. The trials and tribulations of life can often lead to inactivity. Falling into this trap is a terrible mistake that will cost you dearly in the end.

I think the problem is often that we become too paralyzed by fear of the unknown to make the bold decisions that accomplish our goals and progress our plans. We say things like, “I’m just trusting God,” or “I’m believing for a turn-around.” While I urge each and everyone of you to trust your lives to Him, I don’t think we realize the latitude and freedom God gives us to determine our destinations.

Too often we use these statements to mask or rationalize our inaction, which is never the right choice—if you’re not ever learning, moving and growing, you’re falling behind. Life is no doubt filled with tough choices, but for a believer in the context of a relationship with Christ, trusting God means believing that He isn’t going to let you fail!

A good example of what I’m talking about in scripture is the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. In this parable, Jesus tells of a business man who goes on a long journey, entrusting his wealth to his servants. When he returns, he finds that two of the servants have worked out business plans and doubled his investment. He rightly commends them saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

In stark contrast the third servant reveals that because he was afraid to disappoint his master, he buried the investment in the ground, reasoning that this would be the safest possible use of the talents entrusted to him. Angrily the master scolds the third servant and sends him away.

While the parable should be very familiar to most of us, I believe we often miss some of its central truths. Most significantly, this is a story of opportunity—the opportunity God gives to all believers to take what He has entrusted us with and get the best from it. When God blesses us with children, a loving spouse or a rewarding career, we must be prepared to work hard, seek God and do what is right. Preparation is key and action is a necessity.

Part of this preparation is putting a proper plan with measurable goals. Next, we can’t be afraid to change up the things in our lives that aren’t working—there is no shame in going back to the drawing board!

We must become comfortable with doing what is necessary to put things into proper order. I urge each and every one of you to strive to become architects of your lives. A person of dedication to the outcome is not always comfortable or even right, but we can move boldly forward knowing that a believer is never alone.

All of us must trust God, but in trusting Him, we have a freedom and mandate to charge ahead, implementing plans and using the talents and abilities God has placed in each of us.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken is the pastor of Spirit Life Church in Piqua, Ohio. Visit the Spirit Life Church website to learn more about Ps. Ken and listen to his messages online.

Church Culture pt. 2

Sometimes people spend so much time focusing on the details, that we completely lose sight of the big picture. I find this is especially true in the church world—ministers and parishioners run around so consumed by programs, classes and servicing the saints that we forget about the big things—the great commandment to love God, to love neighbor and, most importantly, the great commission. The biggest concern of any group of believers should be how to take the Gospel message to those who are far away from Christ.

If you polled a typical group of believers, I suspect the consensus would overwhelmingly support this idea, yet we continue to sit in our churches, so hyper-focused on ourselves—our preferences, tastes and comfort—that we do nothing to reach the lost and demonstrate the love of Christ to the world in a meaningful way. Moving a group toward a specific goal is naturally difficult—with so many people and parts involved in a typical church, without a strong, united vision, it is very natural for individuals to lose sight of the mission and focus on positions and departments. Church culture proliferates this tendency through exalting individuals and minimizing the collective mission.

My father became a pastor when I was very young, so I’ve seen the gamut of church styles, doctrines and administrations over my lifetime. More often than not, I’ve observed good intentions for reaching the lost in these churches, but their policies, attitudes and behaviors work in direct opposition to these intentions. In order for the church to thrive and meet the Gospel mandate in an ever-secular world, we must move away from the personality driven model that is so pervasive in the contemporary church, towards a system that builds strong, Spirit-led cultures that organize individuals and departments around a collective mission. The Gospel message cannot remain in the confines of the hallow buildings we call churches—it must be actively carried by people who are passionate to see lives changed in every day life.

I’m talking about empowering people to be effective ministers—energizing and motivating them to work towards a common, Godly vision. These ministers will know the Gospel message and have the confidence to communicate it in a relevant and vibrant manner. The personality-driven model has made Christianity a spectator sport, but Jesus and the Disciples played full contact Christianity!

One of the profound characteristics of the early church was that they held the teachings of the Apostles in common. This common, empowering culture that produced the incredible results observed by early church disciples like Stephen. In churches today, disciples are too often relegated to church service rather than Christ service—they open doors, usher folks to their seats and help with the mundane needs of the church. While these things are necessary for a successful corporate gathering, do they do anything to empower and equip the saints for the real ministry of Christ? Just about nothing the modern church concerns herself with helps to reach those far away from Christ. Our systems train the saints to serve the church and promote the idea that the work of ministry should be carried out by a select minority of believers.

The view that God has gifted and chosen a few and the rest of us are there to watch the show, go home and leave ministry at the church door must be eradicated from our thinking! I fully acknowledge the leadership gifts that God gives to the church—throughout the early church God sent men to groups of people. These men preached the Gospel with power and God confirmed His word with many signs and wonders. I am in no way suggesting that leadership should stop leading—rather, I am proposing we reconsider how Godly leadership trains, equips and empowers the saints. I am suggesting we strive to build a church culture that moves us toward our mission and puts the big picture front and center. Instead of the iconic-personality approach of modern day Christianity, we need to trust the Holy Spirit to inspire everyone to participate in ministry. We have glamorized senior ministry to such a degree that we have buildings full of people waiting for their big chance, meanwhile missing all the simple, everyday opportunities for ministry that made Jesus and the early church so effective at reaching the lost.

The big picture is not filling seats—it’s evangelizing the lost and making strong disciples. I want to encourage everyone to realize you can make a difference in the world, and it starts one life at at time.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken is the pastor of Spirit Life Church in Piqua, Ohio. Visit the Spirit Life Church website to learn more about Ps. Ken and listen to his messages online.

Life Writes Its Own Lesson Plans

The following is an excerpt by Minister Mark A. Albert from his upcoming book, Living an Examined Life. Mark has graciously agreed to allow this blog to share some of his work. Enjoy.

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There are, without a doubt, certain invisible laws that exist within the universe. For instance, there is the “law of cause and effect.” Certain actions or conditions can, and inevitably will, cause reactions to follow. To know these things ahead of time can make life much easier.

An example? “Because there was ice on the road, the car slid into the ditch.” Well, if you know that the temperatures and weather conditions are such that there might be ice on the road, you should altar your normal driving pattern in order to adjust. If you don’t, well… the law of cause and effect will have its way with you. In other words, life will get more difficult. It is much easier to listen to a driving instructor “teach” this information than it is to deal with the consequence of ignoring it and ultimately paying the high price of both life and property. There are many things, which fall under the purview of cause and effect. Because he was drinking… Because they were intimate with one another… Because he drove 100 mph… You can fill in the blanks, as to the effects that will occur.

There is also the invisible “law of sowing and reaping.” If you sow, as in a seed, an action, an attitude, you will reap exactly what you have sown. You don’t plant corn and expect wheat to grow in your field; so, too, an attitude or an action. You don’t plant anger and expect love in return. You don’t plant infidelity and expect fidelity. You don’t steal and expect freedom.

Life, with these universal laws, will write its own lesson plans in response. It is, indeed, a harsh taskmaster. We don’t get to choose the end results, the consequences. Some get off easy, like only wrecking the car, but life is spared. Others are not so fortunate. Either way, the lesson will be taught and a price will be demanded. So… nurture, teach, instruct, and train those who are willing to listen, but do not become distraught about those who refuse. Life has its own, unique, teaching style. It has a way of instructing those who will not learn any other way, and it is extremely effective at its job.

One final thought… we must not interrupt those harsh lessons, by easing the effects of consequences. The consequences themselves are a part of the essential tutorial. If we rescue people from their choices, and the consequences of their choices, we are enabling their behavior.

Galations 6:7-8
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

A Clever Teaching Style
A poem by Minister Mark A. Albert

Nurture, teach, instruct, and train,
All those who care to listen,
But ne’er become distraught or pained,
‘bout those who fail the lessons.

Life has a clever teaching style
From which it will not vary.
If you run from wisdoms words,
Its lesson plans won’t tarry.

Experience? A harsh task master;
But effective in its career.
So learn your lesson the easy way,
And to sound advice, adhere.

If you run wild, and do your thing,
Popping off, acting out, being crass.
Life’s not afraid of your running mouth,
It will gladly kick your SASS!!!!

If those who love you understand…
You will live in your creation.
Relieving the consequence, of your choice,
Will destroy your life’s foundation.

So learn from mentors, family, friends,
Each lesson that they bring.
For if you fail sound judgment’s quiz,
Life’s waiting in the wings.

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Minister Mark A. Albert is a board member and long time friend of Spirit Life Church. He is currently working on a book of wise prose and poetry called Living an Examined Life.

Click here to learn more about Spirit Life Church.

Success is a Little by Little Event

The following is an excerpt by Minister Mark A. Albert from his upcoming book, Living an Examined Life. Mark has graciously agreed to allow this blog to share some of his work. Enjoy.

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Life works much better for us if we develop a patient, progressive, plan that helps us grow our wisdom, our project, our career, and our family. An unhurried approach is the most prudent path.

Historically, in the year 1445 B.C., when the Hebrews came out of Egyptian bondage, they were not ready to inherit the vast land that we know as Israel today. They had been slaves for over 400 years and had not been properly trained or educated; they had not learned to live a liberated life. They didn’t know anything about being landowners, farmers, ranchers, or entrepreneurs. When they came out of Egypt, free for the first time in centuries, they were told that they needed to take possession of their new “Promised Land,” in a gradual manner. They were encouraged to go “little by little” into the land until they were fully ready to take complete control of their vast inheritance. So, a little by little approach is how they grew into a great nation.

We, like Israel, must stop looking for the quick fixes, and the windfalls. We must embrace the gradual, slow growth, plan that brings experience and expertise along the way. How can we possibly be expected to handle the big things if we don’t know how to do the little things, yet? We can’t! As a result, we must reject the “win the lottery” lifestyle. Slow, steady growth brings real success.

This patient plan applies to every area of life, including real, productive change in a human being. Change is not a cataclysmic moment, no matter how emotional the decision or how life altering the event. The real change will happen over time, after the emotion has worn off, as we grow bit-by-bit daily.

Exodus 23:30
Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

A Champions Place
A poem by Minister Mark A. Albert

A Champion’s Pace

Little by little’s
How victory arrives,
Eschew the plan,
That quick fix contrives.
We search for windfall,
And lottery deals,
Like those who hunger,
Seek microwave meals.
But plans and programs
That seek change fast,
Seldom succeed,
Infrequently last.

It’s time, and patience,
Hard work, and skill,
Which brings the prize,
And pushes the will.
You see, slow and steady’s
A champion’s pace,
Cause the contest we’re in,
Is a life long race.
So, eschew the plan,
That quick fix contrives,
For, little by little’s
How victory arrives.

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Minister Mark A. Albert is a board member and long time friend of Spirit Life Church. He is currently working on a book of wise prose and poetry called Living an Examined Life.

Click here to learn more about Spirit Life Church.

The Winding Way

The following is a poem by Minister Mark A. Albert from his upcoming book, Living an Examined Life. Mark has graciously agreed to allow this blog to share some of his work. Enjoy.

The Winding Way
By Mark A. Albert

Life is like a country road,
With curves and holes galore,
Adventures from their winding ways,
Share insights to explore.

It’s not on gentle highways,
Enlightenment is found.
On byways, course and craggy,
Great wisdom does abound.

Every bend and chuckhole,
Brings lessons truly taught.
So we must pay attention,
And not become distraught.

Each veer’n swerve contains within,
Britannica’s full knowledge.
The strength and wit that it reveals…
Is a hard knocks kind of college.

Each bump’s a lesson taught,
Professor Pothole… demands his say.
On every winding country road,
A degree will come our way.

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Minister Mark A. Albert is a board member and long time friend of Spirit Life Church. He is currently working on a book of wise prose and poetry called Living an Examined Life.

Click here to learn more about Spirit Life Church.