Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Church, what else is there to do?

There are times when pain and anger are used to express one’s opinion. Those opinions are heavily weighted on a perspective that only you may have hence why it may make it a personal opinion. But there are times when those opinions are shared by many and when we join up with those who are of the same mind we fuel our opinions and begin to make fact out of them.

In times like this when the church is divided on fact vs. opinion we need to take the time out to pray prior to attacking or defending. Pray for the discernment of the situation and pray for the balance of the Holy Spirit to come in and help us all think according to His will. This is key to the personal success of our relationships with God and with others. We are human and flawed beyond recognition and we MUST NOT allow our blindness to our flaws be a distraction from the fact that our other 4 senses knows they exist.

Why this post? Because there was news today that was not only made public but it has the ability to hurt many, many people in ways that are actually immeasurable. When we think we know the weight of it all we make decisions that can cost a lot and we must be ready to own those decisions. The basis of what was done maybe disagreeable but the response to it is further reflecting on our lack of unity in the body of Christ. We must maintain a level of maturity when we are offended for the purposes of maintaining the representation of God’s church. Do I agree with what was initially done? NO!!!! Because it to was a poor choice and probably should have been handled differently. But do I agree with it being blasted on the news? NO!!!! Because that is not representative of dealing from within the body. And the media has one job and that’s to make things worse.

If it seems like I have no stance that’s not true. My urge is for those hurt, on the offended side and those on defense to please allow God to be the ultimate judge in the matter. We are not perfect if so then I would hate to see what flawed looks like. The God of the Bible knew this would happen before it happened and by no means are we in any power to change it but we do have the power to pray. As leaders in the church we must take responsibility for our own actions. And I believe that will be done, but lets all….
  1. Pray for the accused. The heart of that person is not being fully presented and now it is being criticized
  2. Pray for the accuser as there is hurt and anger.
  3. Pray for those hurt in this situation that they may understand who God is
  4. Pray for the Church body. There is a lot going on that I am sure prayer is needed
  5. Pray for the Pastors as they lead by example. But most importantly a godly example.
  6. Pray to God for His guidance in your life.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Maturity's Impact (Part3)

              It’s no easy task to look at yourself and really examine what is wrong. I see it but don’t see it, you know what I mean? So my buddy wants me to be his son’s godfather, my family is teetering on the edge of religiousness only supported by our church experience and I am just getting over harboring a ridiculous level of un-forgiveness in my heart. I remember right after I accepted being a godfather I had a bunch of people over the house for Easter Sunday and it was a good time with friends laughing and joking, all of the kids running around having a ball it was great. Later on that day the same friend said “Matt, you are walking around like biggie smalls and you seem to be out of breath. I am concerned about you man, I think your weight is catching up to you.” Wow talk about a statement that stabbed me through the heart. I am thinking “Who is this little guy trying to call me fat?” but that wasn’t the case at all. God used him to continue to water the seed that was planted months earlier about looking at myself.

                That whole week I was pretty down and trying to figure out how can Matt Aghedo “The great Christian” be so flawed? Well I got an answer pretty clear, “you aren’t great, I want to do more with you but you are overweight”. WOW!!!!!!!!!! I was crushed and from that day until the first week of May I was working a plan to remove the fat from my body. It was a challenging year where I changed my diet, ran races, ate healthily, laughed and cried all 150+ lbs. away from my body. In August of 2011 I ran a 10k with a bad knee and completed in 60:46 and though I had done something great, completing a 10k after being 350+ lbs. I was a bit disappointed. Mainly because I wanted to complete it less than 58 minutes and I didn’t. Well about two weeks later in my alone time I was praying and discovered that not only was I being selfish about what God has taken me through I found out that I didn’t lose all the weight he asked me to.

                Now that God has helped me remove the physical weight He was still wanting me to drop the weight of a lifestyle that I have let get fattened over years and years of religious practice. Well, ok I guess the last year was a waste right? Nope, mainly because there was a place God needed to meet me in order to resolve this and I was way too far off in 2010 and now in 2011 I can now address the real issue. My lack of proactive leadership in my family in regards to growth in Christ and the gospel being the root of what saves my family and how that gospel needs to be preached outward from my family. But how can I do this? How can I take a family who is for the most part positive and stable in the eyes of many and then build their walk? Well it was simple, my wife had asked me years earlier for more study times with her and the kids but I never really kicked it off and now is my opportunity. In September 2011 we began weekly bible studies between my wife and I and family studies between us all and it has been a life changing time for us.

                Through these studies I was discovering more and more that I am nothing without Him, nothing at all. My family was lacking a pastor/leader in the home and that had to be me, and not through a controlling arm but a serving one. I began to equip my wife to be a better follower of Christ and have done the same with my kids. I am learning to back off of my high expectations of them without any form of example by me. I was immature and discovering that my maturity begins with me seeing that I am nothing without Him. (To be continued)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Maturity’s Impact (Part 2)

And then there were the relationships in my life. Why did I spend so much time analyzing the people around me in a manner that made it seem as if I was criticizing or putting them down? Well again it comes back to not seeing me in a manner that shows that I am the source of my own issues. Playing the “blame game” doesn’t do anything but shirk off responsibility and if I was doing that outside of my home how much more was I doing it inside my home? Then I realized that I need to forgive someone close to me. So in middle of 2009 I forgave someone in my life that in my own eyes was so wrong and though it may have been true years earlier I harbored that un-forgiveness in almost everything I did.

So harboring un-forgiveness, blaming everyone else and bringing that into the household sounds like a man who doesn’t look in the mirror much, and I didn’t. Not just metaphorically speaking it was literal too and I am serious. When I think back to when I was overweight I didn’t look at myself that much in the mirror and it was all subconscious, I was ashamed at whom I was. When I got out of the shower I would not look directly at the mirror lots of times or only look when I needed to. What a mess, an immature mess and the people I am possibly hurting the most is my family.

My family and I at this time of 2009 were actually doing ok, we hung together when I wasn’t working, and we spent time with our family in Virginia a lot. But one thing that didn’t really occur much was a plan of growth and action for my family. In my mind everything was all good I thought because we were a “Christian family” who “loved God” and did the “right things”. I placed those in quotes because to be honest with you we were a fan of those lifestyles more than actually doing it. We both grew up in church and are highly skilled in the ways of “Christianity”, those were huge blinders for my family and I and something that was placed on a pedestal by us but through my poor leadership.

So what do I do with this entirely new discovered flaw? Well like anyone who is now crushed by their own failures, I let myself get depressed. I know that sounds bad, but it’s true I really did. For a few months after I realized the problem was my lack of leadership, direction and vision hinged on my selfishness and arrogance of my “Christianity” and I was depressed. Then one day in January of 2010 the same friend and he came to me with the simplest request. “Can you be my son’s godfather?” I was like “WHAT???!!!” He said that he saw things in me that he felt he wanted his son to gain from. I was humbled, honored and in disbelief. After all that I just went through internally there is no way I qualify for this but yet my friend said I did. At that very moment I realized that I needed to mature and the only way I can do that is to go back and look at myself and face the man I was in order for me to change. (To be continued)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Maturity's Impact (Part 1)

So I spent a lot of time trying my hardest to point the finger at my wife and kids for not getting to a high/successful point in whatever they were doing. I tried to tell them that they are either late all the time and shouldn’t be or use the bathroom at a time when you should or eat at a time that I think they should’ve etc. Fussed some on the education level or the lack of sports awareness my son had. Asking my wife why she didn’t read as much bible as I think she should be reading. Here I am trying to get my family to do things in areas of their lives that I know they lack in and had zero idea that I was a strong reason why they were not succeeding in these areas.

In 2009 I called a friend very frustrated about my wife and her time management skills and he said this to me. “What are you doing to help her manage her time?” I responded saying “I tell her what she needs to do to get better”. But his response back to me was “what are you doing to HELP her?” That’s when it clicked, I wasn’t helping at all I was dictating and criticizing. This began a long road of internal evaluation and really trying to understand one thing, “Am I really a helper?” About a month or so after my conversation with that friend I ran across a sermon that spoke volumes to me about being a man and a leader. It covered things like, serving at home, relating to my wife and relating to my children. But the portion that got me was about how who I am really reflects onto my family. I was like “WHOA!!! So my family is a reflection of me?”

Well they were, they are a reflection of my maturity. The lack of my own growth was a hindrance to my family’s growth and that has a price to it big time. I was 340lbs+, not that diligent at work, not reading the word appropriately, not spending quality time with my son directly, and not spending enough away time with my wife, myself righteousness at work was at an all-time high.

Think about that sinking feeling, to discover and realize that the fingers I was pointing were just really a mirror formed in the shape of my wife and kids. Now I wonder is there any grace in this being resolved? What do I need to do to fix this? Who do I run to in order to resolve this problem that I caused? All in all I was jacked up and my family was only as mature as I was. (To Be Continued)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Why are we saved?

And How it applies to our fatherhood?

So the last week or so I have been reading more and more on our salvation and how we are not saved for us we are saved for Him. God's own divine glory is the sole reason why we are saved, we could've been calloused after hearing the gospel but the Holy Spirit chose otherwise and we were turned to him. When Jesus told the story of the sower the part that was a trip to me wasn't the story of the actual seeds being dropped in various locations it was the disciples' response to Jesus and how he answered them.

Matt. 13:10-23

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
and seeing you will see and not perceive; 15
for the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
so that I should heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17
or assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

18 Therefore, hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful, 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

The reason why I am touching on this point is because as a father and husband I constantly have to challenge my wife and my kids to understand who God is and also get myself more into the life that God has set out for me. I find tons of favor and mercy in the first highlighted portion knowing that it was a gift given to me in order to hear. The second piece got to me a bit because I was thinking about my kids and praying that they have the ears to hear and the eyes to see. Isaiah was commissioned to proclaim God no matter what the response was mainly because it was less about those turned and more about Isaiah's obedience. As a father and husband I must be obedient and faithful to the tasks laid out in front of me for my family and those outside of my family regardless of a change occurring or not.

My plans are not His plans, my idea of the way things should be is far beneath a God who not only knows the way things will be, He set them in motion, ordained them and is carrying it out on His own. My "job" as a believer is to proclaim the gospel faithfully, consistently and not selfishly. I am not saved because it will give me a better life here, I am saved because God chose to save me and I must remember to preach that no matter where I go.

Success in Christ has very little to do with what you gain of this world in the name of Jesus. It has more to do with what you have already gained from your salvation and how your faithfulness and obedience towards spreading the gospel and bearing witness of God in your life to your family and to others.

Just trying to be a better man/husband/father fellas....thoughts?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Joy - Redemption Hill

Awesome sermon from Redemption Hill(I thought this one can hit home for anybody.)- Joy