Category: Guys With God


Faith Comes From Experience

Have you ever thought about whether or not the light would come on before you turned the light switch on? 
Because I have the familiar experience of having successfully done it countless times before, I don’t even think about it,..
I just know it will work. 
Even when that 1 in a thousand times happens when the bulb is burnt out, I replace the bulb without thinking and the light comes on. That is faith. 
When I am staying in a new or unfamiliar place like a hotel or a friend’s home, I instinctively know that if I just find that light switch, the light will come on. 
That is faith. 
I cannot see the mechanics involved and I certainly have no electrical training or background in engineering, but because I have experience with the process, I trust it works and neither debate it, nor give it a second thought. 
That is faith
 OK, so this next part may not apply to you Spiritual giants… 
Now, why then do I want to debate with God over trivial things? Why do I expect the answer before I even begin a task that is new or unfamiliar? 

Where is my trust being placed? Where oh where is my faith? 

 Has He not brought me this far in life successfully through things I have had no control over? 
Why do I even think I need to discuss the new thing with Him? Where is my faith? 
Check your experience…… 

“The great fact is just this, and nothing less: That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows, and toward God’s universe.” Big Book pg 25 

Lord, like the light switch, let us place our trust in You based on our experience with You, AMEN. 

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 
Have a blessed day Y’all! Join me in looking at the things we face daily with passages from both the 

Big Book and Bible!

How about a daily dose of hope and inspired thought? 

P.A.G.L.E.G.S. Baggage

What fuels our self-will?…

Think about it, the character defects of Pride, Anger, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, and Sloth (PAGLEGS) to my 12 Step friends are the driving forces behind every incident of self-will here on Earth. 

God knew this when He created us and knows this to be true of every human because it’s included in our free will. 

Our hope is in the fact that we can turn our will over to the care of God and then these defects of character can no longer run our lives and put us into situations that cause us and others pain. 

What makes the Bible so vibrant and vital to every generation and time period, including today, is the fact that despite minor details, there is nothing new that the Bible doesn’t address… 

Check your experience… 

“As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient.” Big Book pgs 87-88 

Lord, let us turn our will and our lives over to you daily and receive grace, peace, comfort, and direction, AMEN. 

“What has been is the same as what will be, and what has been done is the same as what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 

Have a blessed day Y’all!! 

Join me in looking at the things we face daily with passages from both the Big Book and Bible! 

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Encourage Instead of Discourage

Striving and encouraging….

I don’t watch a lot of  TV but the show American Ninja Warriors caught my attention. 

The men and women who compete in the show work their tails off practicing for the competition. 

I enjoy the back stories where they share their struggles and challenges offering insight as to why they are even attempting this brutal challenge. 

They are striving to improve their lives which include restoration and…

Their fellow competitors are among their strongest encouragers! 

What a concept! 

Instead of trying to trash talk the competition, these folks are united in their encouragement for one another. 

It motivates me to work harder on my issues and be more of an encourager to others. 

 How are you doing in the striving and encouraging departments?.. 

Check your experience…

 “We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.” Big Book pg 60 

Lord, let us grow closer to You through striving to improve ourselves and encouraging others, AMEN. 

 “Finally, brothers and sisters rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, and live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 

Have a blessed day y’all! 

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2 Reasons Christians Lose Their Joy (And What to Do about It)

Based on Reforming Joy: Paul, the Reformers, and the Church Today by Tim Chester.

Faith Alone in Christ Alone

How did you first become a Christian (if you are one)? Remind yourself of the story and ask yourself this: Did I become a Christian after I had sorted my life out, or by putting my faith in Christ? This is Paul’s challenge to the Galatians in 3:2–3:

I would like to learn just one thing from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

We all have different conversion stories. Some are dramatic, some gradual. Many of us struggle to name a date. But common to them all is faith in Christ. Salvation is not something we achieved. All we did was reach out to receive it as a gift from God.

Our problem is that we all too easily forget this. We forget that we received the Holy Spirit through faith and not as a reward for our works. We forget that left to ourselves, we were powerless to change and so we go back to our old ways. We start trying to live the Christian life our way.

We try to be acceptable Christians by keeping a law. We think what makes us righteous is attending church regularly, joining a Bible study, being able to quote Bible verses, leading a moral life, or responding emotionally during worship. We think our prayers or our tears make us acceptable Christians. Then we may look down on people who do not measure up to our standards or we become anxious when we do not measure up. We live like slaves instead of sons.

The Galatians are returning to legalism and losing their joy. So this is an invitation to rediscover joy. If your life lacks joy, then this is for you. It does not mean being happy all the time–sometimes life is painful. But even in those moments we will find comfort in God. If you cannot find that comfort or if you have lost your liveliness, then listen up. Below is a diagnostic for a lack of spiritual enthusiasm.

1. We lose our joy when we use religious duty to impress others.

It is not clear if Peter agreed with those who said that Gentiles should be circumcised. But either way, he went along with them ‘because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group’ (Gal. 2:12). He wanted to be with the in-crowd. And this was also what was happening in Galatia. The Gentile Christians were being forced to return to religion to fit in.

What do we do, not because it is the right thing to do or because we want to please God, but because we fear the disapproval of other people?

  • If you attend men’s group or other church activity because you feel the need to pray or because you love talking with God, then you will have a great time. But if you attend because you fear disapproval, then it can feel like a burden, and there will be no joy in the activity.
  • If you show hospitality because you love people, then you will have a great time–even if you are left with a messy house. But if you show hospitality because you feel you must, or to impress other people, then it will likely feel like a burden, and there will be no joy.
  • If you share the gospel because you are passionate about Jesus, then you will do so with contagious enthusiasm. But if you share the gospel because you want to impress people with your stories, then it will feel like a burden, and there will be no joy.

This is why some people have a low capacity for service. It is because service has become a burden, and none of us can carry a burden for long. Sooner or later we need to stop and recover. Jesus says, ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light’ (Matthew 11:30). If the burden of serving Christ feels heavy, then something is wrong. The chances are you are trying to prove yourself or impress others.

2. We lose our joy when we use religious duty to control sin.

‘Yes, we all agree we are justified by faith. But we do need religious duties to grow as Christians.’ This is the objection Paul anticipates in Galatians 2:17. This is how he puts it: ‘But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin?’ First-century Jews divided the world into righteous Jews and Gentile sinners. If Christians were not among the righteous Jews as defined by circumcision, then they must be among the sinners. And if not now, then surely this is where they would end up without the law to keep them on track. This was a powerful argument. When Christians struggle with sin, they are also tempted to revert to a law. Or when we see other people sinning, we are tempted to impose a law on them.

But Paul will have none of it. ‘Certainly not!’ he says (2:17). This is because the law can only expose sin. It cannot stop it or cure it. We should not rebuild what we tore down (2:18). In other words, we should not reintroduce religious duty as a way of life, having rejected it as a way of conversion. If you reimpose the law, then all you will do is turn people into law-breakers. The law was supposed to point us to Christ. Having found Christ, you undermine his purpose if you then walk away from him and back to it. This in an unexpected twist, which actually makes you the ultimate law-breaker, because you act contrary to the law’s true purpose (2:18). For you are walking away from Christ rather than towards him. Luther says,

Although the law discloses and increases sin, it is not against the promises of God but for them. The reason for this is that it humbles us and prepares us to seek for grace . . . When the law forces us to acknowledge and confess our sins in this way it has fulfilled its function and is no longer needed, because the moment for grace has come.1

It was only when I gave up trying to earn God’s approval that I could receive God’s approval by faith (2:19). When I was trying to earn approval, my motives were confused. I was trying to please God, but what I really cared about was my salvation. Only when I received salvation as a gift could I truly make pleasing God my focus.

So What Happens Next?

If it is not by the law, then how do we live and grow as Christians? We need to realize that becoming a Christian is not just a change of opinion or a lifestyle choice. It is a death and resurrection. You die to your old life and you live a new life. At this point you might be saying, ‘Hang on a moment, I think I would have noticed if I had died!’ But Paul says we died and rose in Christ when Christ was crucified and resurrected: ‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.’ (2:20). Before Christ we had no innate desire or ability to please God. But now we have been remade. Now what is innate is Christ! ‘Christ lives in me.’ Calvin says, ‘Engrafted into the death of Christ, we derive a secret energy from it, as the shoot does from the root.’2

What does this look like in practice? Verse 20 continues: ‘And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ What now motivates us is ‘faith in the Son of God’. This is our drive, our passion, our enthusiasm. It is not just faith in some abstract truth or theological dogma; it is much more personal. It is faith in the One ‘who loved me and gave himself for me’. His love leads to our love. His sacrifice leads to our sacrifice.

Paul says, ‘It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.’ (3:1). He is saying, ‘We proclaimed Christ so clearly, it was as if you could see him for yourselves.’ That’s how we help one another–not by imposing a set of rules, but by portraying Christ crucified. Our claim is: ‘The Son of God loved you and gave himself for you.’ And that produces lives characterized by drive, passion and enthusiasm. Even in the midst of service and sacrifice, it creates lives of joy.


  1. Luther, ‘Second Lectures on Galatians’, p. 119.
  2. John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries: The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, trans. T. H. L. Parker (St Andrew’s Press, 1965), p. 42.

Faith It and You Will Make It

Faith it till you make it… 

Most things in life are learned by experience. 

From learning to ride a bike to all the responsibilities that come with being an adult, ..

It seems we learn best from experiencing the task, action, or responsibility at hand. 

Then there are those times when we enter into a new thing or unfamiliar area. 

That’s when we must rely on our faith. 

Relying on our previous experiences with the unfamiliar should have taught us that having faith quiets the fear within us and allows God to do what He needs. 

 Are you able to faith it until you make it?.. 

Check your experience… 

“We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. 
Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there.” Big Book pg 55 

Lord, let us rely on the faith that lives in our hearts in times of uncertainty, AMEN. 

 “For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 

Have a blessed day y’all! 

Join me in looking at the things we face daily with passages from both the Big Book and Bible! 

How about a daily dose of hope and inspired thought? 

Men: Don’t Neglect These 4 Key Spiritual Disciplines

Based on Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes:

Prayer and Mental Discipline

You need to set the time aside for prayer. You need to carry a prayer list like I have, perhaps in your pocket or put it on your smartphone. Pray regularly, pray for your nearest and dearest. Begin by worshipping God and then pray for those that are closest to you, then your family, then the body of Christ, and then for the world. Just that easily, pray things that come to mind—but do it on a regular basis.

Next to prayer is the discipline of the mind. In our culture today, we are assaulted 24/7 with all kinds of sounds and media all around us. We become distracted men. We need to discipline our minds: what we read, and what goes into it.

Relationships and the Church

Thirdly, if you’re a married man, you need discipline in your relationships—which is very pleasant discipline. Love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her (and all those implications) and love her as you love your own body. Engage in a sublimely ordained narcissism by loving your wife.

Along with that is loving your church and participating in the body of Christ. You cannot be what you need to be as a godly man apart from the fellowship of the church. The early church understood that to have God as a father implies having the church for your mother to nurse you, take care of you, fellowship in the body of Christ, and enter into its fellowship. You cannot grow to be what you want to be apart from regular tenets, upon the organized services of the church, sitting at the Lord’s table, and being under the godly discipline of the elders who care for and will answer for your soul.

Transformed Thinking

Be transformed….. 

Maybe it’s different for you, but I get these pictures in my head of the way my head thinks life is supposed to work. 

When these expectations dominate my thinking and fail to match real life then feelings of confusion and frustration attempt to dominate my mind. 

The thing I have learned over the years is that I have no right to set expectations on others. 

People are human, just like me, and will be prone to faults, fears, and forgetfulness. 

When I block the expectations and just stay in the moment, I have found that not only do things go well, but also my day and my life goes better. 

The blessing is that I get to turn my will and my day over to God every day and just focus on being of service to those He puts in my path. 

Are you allowing expectations to cloud your thinking?.. 

Check your experience… . 

“Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.” Big Book pg 86 

Lord, let us trade our expectations of others into You for grace and acceptance, AMEN. 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 

Have a blessed day y’all! 

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Who is Driving the Bus?

Who is driving the bus?..

Have you ever watched a fly trying to go through the glass on a window? 

Even though it’s a different spot on the window, they keep trying over and over again. 

This reminds me of the powerlessness and unmanageability in my life when I try to take on something by myself that I neither have experience in nor understanding of. 

It’s kind of insane to keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. 

This is exactly what we do when we run on self-will. 

Oh sure, we apply more and more effort with a twist of this and an angle on that, but ultimately we are powerless over the situation and our efforts and expectations lead to frustration. 

We can avoid this endless loop of frustration by simply seeking God’s will and not relying on the delusions created by our own self-will… 

Check your experience… 

“…in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn’t there.” Big Book pg 45 

Lord, please help our hearts to know the difference between our will and Your will, AMEN. 

 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36 

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Where There’s a Will There is a Way

Where there is a will
 there’s a way….

I am sure at some point we have heard the phrase, “the devil made me do it.” 

I know in the past I have used it as a cheap excuse for my behaviors or actions that brought trouble, or caused issues for others. 

The problem is that there really is a nugget of truth attached to this phrase. 

Because God loves us unconditionally, HE lets us keep our free will. 

It’s on us to choose to either use our will or seek His will. 

So in my case when I act on self-will and it causes issues for myself and others, it truly is the devil manipulating me through my selfish and self-centered will. 

Please understand, it’s not the devil’s fault for my actions, its mine to own because I made the choice to follow my will instead of seeking God’s will for the situation. 

So the devil is not really “making me do it”, rather he is using my choice of self will to help me self-destruct. 

How are you allowing the devil to “make you do it”? …

check your experience… 

 “So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of … self-will run riot,” Big Book pg 62. 

 Lord, let us look into our hearts in times of great temptation to match the desires of our own will against Your will that lives in the Holy Spirit inside of us, AMEN.

 “…for indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires.” Romans 7: 7-8 

Have a blessed day Y’all! 

Join me in looking at the things we face daily with passages from both the Big Book and Bible! 

 How about a daily dose of hope and inspired thought? 

Does Your Walk Match Your Talk?

Do what you say and say what you do… 

Have you ever noticed that the people you tend to trust the most are the ones whose walk matches their talk? 

Heck, we are all human and I am as guilty as the next person when it comes falling into the trap of saying one thing and doing another, but …

When I stop and consider how I feel when I see others doing this, it helps me to stop from entering that slippery territory. 

 How’s it working out for you?.. 

Check your experience… 

“We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.” Big Book pg 75 

Lord let our words match our actions and deeds, AMEN. 

“Set an example for other followers by what you say and do, as well as by your love, faith, and purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 

Have a blessed day Y’all! 

What if you had a person who coached and mentored you in building a better life? 

Inspired 365 Life Coaching with Mark Farley!! 

Want in? 

[email protected]