Day 5 of 500! Faith Fighting Flesh

Continuing with our Focus on F words, today we look at Faith in its fight against Flesh.

Our text today is borrowed from The Bible League and was sent to me by a dear friend, Richard Cook.

Bible League: Living His Word:

. . . when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the LORD. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
James 1:6-8 NIV

According to the Apostle Paul, there is the mind of the Spirit (Faith) and there is the mind of the flesh. The mind of the flesh is the mind of an individual person governed by the sinful spiritual state, but the mind of the Spirit (Faith) is the mind of an individual person governed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:6). These two mindsets stand opposed to one another.

The mind of an individual person governed by the Spirit is the mind of a Christian who believes in faith that they have whatever good thing they ask of God (Mark 11:24). If, however, that person’s mind allows the flesh, the old sinful spiritual state that was “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 5:24), to influence its thinking, then a conflict is set up. On the one hand, there is faith in God and, on the other hand, there is doubt that God will come through.

James likens the Christian person that allows doubt to enter the picture to a wave tossed about by the wind. Every Christian has had wave experiences, has experienced being tossed back and forth between faith and doubt. Every Christian knows what it’s like to be double-minded and unstable. It’s not a pleasant experience.

James also says that when we are being tossed by the wind we should not expect to receive what we ask of the Lord. It’s obviously very important, then, that we stop allowing ourselves to be tossed about like waves. It’s very important that we stand fast in the “peace of God that transcends understanding” that comes to us when we present our requests to God (Philippians 4:7).

Today, let us make up our minds that we will not allow the flesh to rob us of our peace by doubting the God who can even do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

Two Wolves is a Cherokee Indian legend and illustrates the most important battle of our lives – the fight between our faithful and fleshly thoughts. Here is how the story goes:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Decide today which will you feed, Faith or Flesh?

“…if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15(ESV)

Fighting the Good Fight along side you,

Day 4 of 500! “I think that he must be the man of the most faith of any alive.” Henry David Thoreau

Today we focus on “Friends.”

Facebook may have forever blurred the lines between “friends” and “acquaintances.” Many years ago I heard a quote, “Be careful that you have not too many friends.” The speaker realized how hard it is to keep a relationship healthy amongst true friends. As Samuel Butler said, “Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.”

Henry David Thoreau in his book Walden describes a friend of his that in turn set a goal for how I want to be remembered; this is my desired character, admittedly not my current situation, a target not a boast:

I think that he must be the man of the most faith of any alive. His words and attitude always suppose a better state of things than other men are acquainted with, and he will be the last man to be disappointed as the ages revolve. He has no venture in the present. But though comparatively disregarded now, when his day comes, laws unsuspected by most will take effect, and masters of families and rulers will come to him for advice.

“How blind that cannot see serenity!”

A true friend of man; almost the only friend of human progress. An Old Mortality, say rather an Immortality, with unwearied patience and faith making plain the image engraven in men’s bodies, the God of whom they are but defaced and leaning monuments. With his hospitable intellect he embraces children, beggars, insane, and scholars, and entertains the thought of all, adding to it commonly some breadth and elegance. I think that he should keep a caravansary on the world’s highway, where philosophers of all nations might put up, and on his sign should be printed,

“Entertainment for man, but not for his beast. Enter ye that have leisure and a quiet mind, who earnestly seek the right road.”

He is perhaps the sanest man and has the fewest crotchets of any I chance to know; the same yesterday and tomorrow. Of yore we had sauntered and talked, and effectually put the world behind us; for he was pledged to no institution in it, freeborn, ingenuus. Whichever way we turned, it seemed that the heavens and the earth had met together, since he enhanced the beauty of the landscape. A blue-robed man, whose fittest roof is the overarching sky which reflects his serenity. I do not see how he can ever die; Nature cannot spare him.

As I said when I began this post, this is my desired character, admittedly not my current situation, a target not a boast.

Strive today to surround yourself with friends like Thoreau describes above. Or even better try to be that type of friend to those around you. Remember what Proverbs says, “When you please the Lord, you can make your enemies into friends.” (Proverbs 16:7) And how do we please the Lord? “…walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)

Your fellow traveler on the path to increasing in the knowledge of God,


Day 3 of 500!!

Our “F” word of the day is Food, or really I should say Fasting. I’m 24 hours into a new fast for a specific need I have. That need is a JOB for those of you following along at home.

Since the first of the year I have been able to fast at least once and as many as three days in a row per week. I have seen answers to my prayers in those days. There is a clarity that arises. It helps with the “what are we going to eat” dilemma for sure.

That term “what are we going to eat” has a very different tone and connotation to us here in America as opposed to those in say sub-Saharan Africa or even Christ’s contemporaries when we taught them to pray asking for God to, “give us this day our daily bread.” We ask the question faced with such a myriad of choices that we can’t make up our minds. Others ask the question not having any idea what food will be available or what will be it’s source.

When fasting we realize that God will provide. He will provide other substance. As Christ quoted from the Old Testament when Satan tempted Him after 40 days of fasting, “man does not live my bread alone but by every Word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” In the midst of a fast you aren’t looking for the next meal, you aren’t wandering around the kitchen grazing on whatever snack you stumble across. Instead you are waiting with great intent for a gourmet meal from the Lord. A Word, an answer, a reassurance prepared just for you by the premier chef. The only one that could create everything from nothing. His pantry is never bare!

“Taste and see that the Lord is good” scripture tells us. When fasting we come to His table with a clean palate. You don’t have to rush to dessert because every serving from the crackers to the soup to the Meat of His Word is as sweet and filling as any cake we can conceive.

You want to hear from God? Put down your fork and ask Him, then listen, in the ratio God gave us, two ears and one mouth. Bring your petitions, attach them to your praise, then wait for the silver lid to be lifted revealing God’s provision. Savor every bite, breath deep the aroma, leave the table fulfilled. Eat in peace, not rushed. King David said, “the lord has prepared for me a table, in the presence of my enemies.” When I’m with Him, ingesting His Word, my enemies do not distract me. My worst enemy is my own mind and its vain imaginations. It creates dangers that aren’t there and puts up blockades between me and what God has prepared for me.

At “The Lord’s Table” I can commune with Him. I’m not talking about walking the aisle and taking the wafer and the juice. I’m talking about a quiet time with He and I forming a “common union” by allowing His precious blood and incorruptible body to replace my bloodlust for material things and my corrupted body with its desires for the junk food of this world

If you have never fasted then now is the time. Set aside a few moments in the day and seek the Lord. Find the clarity of mind that comes from a body at rest. Not worrying about what’s for supper while still digesting lunch but instead hungering for what God has in store for the next course.

Bon appetit mais amis!

Day 2 of 500…….

Day 2 of 500!!


You know how the day will be when you jump out of bed to post the 2nd day of your new blog and suddenly realize your first post isn’t showing up on the web.

Don’t let day 2 break you.  Studies show that most people drop their new year’s resolutions on day 3.   I would have thought day 10, 15, maybe even 21.  No, day 3.  How sad.  But that is not you and I.

We will look at a different “F” each day.  Remember a few, but not all “F”s include:  “F”aith, “F”ood, “F”itness, “F”inanaces, “F”riends and “F”amily.

Today we will look at Faith.  To me, that includes faith in God, but to you, it may be something different.  We can walk this path together regardless of our beliefs.

The apostle Paul defined faith this way, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1)  Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.”  It is a firm foundation in a world of uncertainty.  We must have a platform from which to launch, regardless of our endeavors.   It must have proved itself reliable in the past.

John Maxwell says that the key to “Effective Faith” is “Faith in God, faith in ourselves and faith in others.”  He expounds on that here, in a short one minute video.

As you move forward, find your faithful foundation.  The one thing that will not move although the world around you shakes.  It may be God, or a spouse, a close friend, etc.  Identify who that is and remind yourself of instances in the past where they were there for you.  I promise you they will be again and you WILL need them in the days ahead.  Let them know that you value what they have done for you and let them know to be prepared for your cry of “HELP” to come.   King David called God, “a helper who is always found in times of trouble.” (Psalms 46:1.)   Do you have someone you can say that about?  If not, begin to seek someone to fill that need.  If you have someone give thanks!

As always, you can look to those here on this blog.  We are more than willing to offer encouragement, prayer, support or even just a compassionate ear.

God bless you on this journey.


The New and Living Way.

Middle age found me unemployed, in debt, out of shape, overweight………

I had to get to the point where I would call out, “There has to be a better way!”

In fact there is;  it is “THE NEW AND LIVING WAY.”

Hebrews 10:19-25
Therefore, ….since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

I’m ready for THE NEW AND LIVING WAY!!

How about you?

Now let me go back to my opening line, “Middle age found me unemployed, in debt, out of shape, overweight………” I realize that sounds like the opening to a Dickens’ novel. No, my life is not that bleak. I’m 46, had a great job for 25 years, no credit card debt, I the obligatory house and car notes, I’m in good health, and I weigh 211 pounds on a 5 foot 10 inch frame. I have lived “The Good Life” as the world would say with my beautiful loving wife of 27 years and 2 perfect daughters. BUT Christ promised us, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The more I added to my “Good Life” the more stress that came with it. That is not the Abundant Life God wants for us.

Are you ready to gift yourself with “LessStrifeMoreLife?”

On our own we get a grade of “F” for our efforts.

But that “F” is the wake up call and serves as a reminder that “F”ailure is not the only word that starts with “F.”

Over the next “F”ive hundred days we will drill in on a New and Living Way to improve our grade in how we handle:







I am not an expert in any of these but I will gather advice from those that are:  John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Rick Warren, John Acuff, Tolstoy, Thoreau,  etc.

Who will join me on this journey?

I look forward to hearing from you and learning what truths you discover along the way “encouraging one another.”