Missions

Keith speaking at the Shiloh church Missions Conference in Sierra Vista, AZ.

Debbie and I just returned from a ministry trip which included me being the main speaker at a mission’s conference. What a special treat to see a church so on fire for missions, that they were not trying to create another ministry group or such, but just bring like minded people together. There were many denominations represented at the conference, BUT not once did we debate doctrine or theology; but instead, we just encouraged and talked about the purpose we all have here on this earth and that brings me to the point of this post!

MISSIONS!!!!!

Missions to me, is one of the most misunderstood subjects. Many think that the mission field is some remote international destination. But that can’t be further from the truth! We use this theory to disqualify ourselves from the calling we all have. Let me say it in a simple and easy to understand way. WE ARE ALL CALLED! Now that does not mean we are all called in the same way, but we are ALL called.

Now you might be saying, “But I’m not, I work a job or own a business and I’m not called to be a missionary.” However, the commission is not limited to some; but instead, it pertains to all! Six times in five different books of the Bible, Jesus gave the great and only commission to us all. Grab your Bible and read the following scriptures: Matthew 10:5-8, Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:47, John 20:21-23, Acts 1:8. So, there are the orders from the real Commander In Chief and where is the real mission field? Take a moment and look down at your feet. You are now seeing “your” mission field. In this mission field that we are walking in day in and day out, we don’t always need something spiritual or some great prophetic word. Many just need to SEE and HEAR the love of Jesus. Sometimes, the greatest impact is made, not through words spoken, but a Kingdom life well lived.

So, there you have it, simple and uncomplicated – your part in the fulfillment of the “Great Commission”. John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world, that He gave Jesus. He did not come down and preach a sermon or drop some conviction; but instead, He loved!”

So today, bloom in the mission field you’re walking in, living life so large for Christ that people are drawn to you.

You’re an answer to prayer and we speak Kingdom life over you and yours this day.

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BUT!!!!!

Welcome to another Kingdom Thinking blog post in the Kingdom Relationship series. I’m finding that I’m my best person to focus on when deciding my topics. I guess you could say that I’m telling on myself! So buckle-up, grab a pen, notepad, and Bible, and let’s get this journey underway.

First though, if you have not read the other posts in this series, here are their links:
And Two Shall Become One…
All Or Nothing!
Two In, Two Out

So now back to my story =) This last week, my wife, Debbie, and I had a disagreement. Actually, we had to agree to disagree. BUT I felt I was right and was determined to prove it. Anyways, after I acted like a 5 year-old, she went her way and I went mine, but my conscious got the best of me and so I went back to her office and apologized. Now that would have been fine and dandy, but I did not leave it at I’m sorry. I added the infamous BUT in the sentence! Now that’s all I’m going to say about that. =)

I think it is CRAZY that two words can be so hard for many to speak and if they are spoken, then how hard it can be to not add anything other than “I LOVE YOU” after them. I recently read something that said a good apology has three parts:
1. I’m sorry
2. It’s my fault
3. What can I do to make it better

You might not define this as a good apology, but I think it is for sure one that will make life better than some apologies I have heard. (I also know that silence is an answer that sometimes screams louder than words).

My wife’s uncle, Pastor Jerry Zirkle, was my first pastor and he used to say, “Whoever says I’m sorry first, is right”. Debbie has always told me that I can be the one that is right. =) Right or wrong, an apology is the starting place for every battle to truly end. I believe that just fuming until one decides to grow up and move on, never brings resolution to an issue, BIG or small. We owe it to each other to give an apology and ask for forgiveness. True forgiveness means leaving that issue there and never bringing it up again later.

God designed us to love and to care for not just ourselves, but for one another. Actually, we are to prefer one another above ourselves. Romans 12:10 (AMP) “Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.” Admitting you might have said or handled something wrong does not make you a lesser person, but instead, a bigger person than you might have given yourself credit for.

I’m making this post short on purpose, but I’m praying that the impact is eternal. Right now, if there is someone you need to apologize to, then there is no better time than right now.

So that’s the end to this part of the adventure in the Kingdom Relationship series, but I feel that there will be more posts in this series. Until next time, I pray God’s richest over you and yours!

And Two Shall Become One…

After reading comments from the pictures and posts I put on Facebook from my Anniversary Date Day on May 1st, I was led in my heart to start this series. This is Part 1 to the “Kingdom Relationship” series.

Notice: I am not a professional marriage counselor, nor a perfect husband. My wife has put up with a lot and given more grace than anyone should have to. I write this series from my heart and under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, my hope is that this message will in some way minister to others and bring those relationships to a whole new level – one I call a Kingdom Relationship.

“And the two shall become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh.” (‭Mark‬ ‭10‬:‭8‬ AMP)‬‬‬‬‬‬

I had mentioned in my last blog post that I would be starting a series on Kingdom Relationships. I am not doing this because I have all the answers or think I’m the perfect husband. I am just a man who was blessed over 23 years ago with the most amazing woman ever to grace this planet. I’m pretty sure I could write a book on what NOT to do in a marriage. “I’m sorry” and “please forgive me” are words I have spoken way too many times and my wife has always forgiven me and loved me no matter what! We live life forward nowadays, not looking back; and you must do the same. She has truly stuck by my side through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Debbie Spanberger, AKA Angel, I dedicate this series to you and want to say thank you for making me the most happy and blessed man on the planet!

Back to my opening title and scripture. One of the reasons I feel relationships fail, has to do with the fact that many never fully see themselves as “one together”. The word “commitment” is almost a dirty word nowadays, and one that society has perverted in so many ways. We want to be on our own and live like we are on our own, even in our marriages. Separate lives, separate dreams, separate bank accounts and the list keeps going. I’m not asking for you to agree or disagree, I’m simply speaking from what I see and hear around me on a regular basis. Marriage failure rates seem to grow daily. (I talk from experience, as I have gone through the divorce walk and I wish that on no one!)

“Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.”
Zig Ziglar

Again, a Kingdom Relationship is not a perfect one. We are human and we are going to mess up. I hear couples say “we never fight” and I want to ask them, “Do you live in the same house and talk to each other?” As male and female, we are wired completely different. (We will get more into that thought later.) I think as males, we have a streak of stupid embedded in us because of some of the things we do and say…. just being real and honest here!

I read an article a few years ago in USA Today that was talking about a growing trend in people living together before marriage, to see if they fit into each other’s lives. They want to see if they like living with each other before they get married so that if they don’t like it, they won’t have to get divorced, just in case the relationship doesn’t work out. How sad of a concept and one that is totally against what the Bible calls marriage. Any level of relationship, especially marriage, is not a trial offer like a piece of software that you try to see if you like it first, but instead, it is a relationship that you enter into fully and committed to from the start.

Nothing I ever put in my posts is meant to be me passing judgment, but instead, to hopefully bring a Christian perspective to those that have ears to hear. I know my readers come from different backgrounds and beliefs, but I will always write and share according to what the Bible says and never add or take away from it. And from that I know that we all can grow and learn.

“Whatever your mindset is when you enter into a relationship, will reveal your staying power during hard times.”
Keith Spanberger

Marriage is clearly defined in Ephesians 5:22-33 (CLICK HEAR TO READ). No gray areas: one man, one woman, fully committed, forever, end of story! So what happened? The lack of commitment as I have said many times already, is the start, but not the full answer.

“Compromise and lack of commitment will destroy any relationship and leave us one day asking why.”
Keith Spanberger

Again, don’t think my wife and I have a perfect marriage, but instead, we have a marriage filled with God’s grace which is crucial for success in anything we do in life.

I have only scratched the surface in this post, but I hope that it stirs your hunger for creating a new fire in your marriage or relationship. Stay with me as we journey deeper in the next post on having a Kingdom Relationship. Also, please share this post with others you know. This blog post and this series are not about lifting me up, but instead, lifting up my God and His Son, Jesus, my savior. My life and marriage would be nothing without Him!

What’s Your Story?

I have had this title going off inside me for some time now. I hope that by the end of this post, you will be on the right path to finding your story.

I want to ask you a question – WHAT IS YOUR STORY? I’m sure this question prompts many different thoughts. We all have a story and each story will vary because no one path in this life is the same. But I want us to not look at our story as defined by the life we have lived; but instead, by the one life that was given.

1 Peter 2:9 (AMP) “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s} own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Now, let me ask you again after reading this scripture – WHAT’S YOUR STORY? Our real story starts as a YES. The very simple answer to a life-changing question. Do you believe?

We, as believers, have been chosen and set apart. We are designated for something great; royal above any royalty this world has ever seen. If we dig into the deep meaning of this word, “chosen” we find: “to pick, gather, picked from among the larger group for special services or privileges”. If you go back and reread the scripture now with this meaning and see it as God speaking personally to you, then you will see and know your true story. Your story is uncommon and there will never be another like yours. So live like it, and do it all to the glory of God!

Just a heads up, my next blog post is a kick-off on Kingdom Relationships.

Passion

“When you catch a glimpse of your potential – that’s when passion is born.”
Zig Ziglar

I like how Zig brings the word “glimpse” into this quote. I believe many are not living a passionate life. So many have allowed the day-to-day things to become a place of comfort or just events and it bleeds over into every area of their life. If we could get a glimpse of the real us, we would live more passionately. Marriages become just a sustaining relationship with no positive emotion when passion is gone. Dreams sink into the memories of yesterday when passion is no more. Our work and service to others becomes nothing more than works when passion is gone. In anything we do, if passion is not present, then it cannot grow and many times it actually separates.

What is PASSION? According to Webster it is, “A strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something: a strong feeling (such as anger) that causes you to act in a dangerous way: a strong sexual or romantic feeling for someone.”

The absence of passion is something that many never see coming. It’s when the passion is completely gone that we normally see the result of its absence. I read a great book by C.S. Lewis titled “The Screw Tape Letters” and it focused around the theme of deception. Via deception, passion can easily become no more. Almost everything we start has some level of passion, but if the coals of passion are not daily stoked, they can easily be smothered out until the artic chill of lifelessness sets in.

“Live with passion”
Tony Robins

“Passion is the genesis to genius”
Tony Robins

You see, God created us for a purpose, but that is not revealed until we live on purpose. Passion is birthed from desire! My desire to serve my God, bless and serve my wife and be a blessing to family, friends and strangers comes from a desire to live a Kingdom life. These are also the ones that fuel me to fulfill my God given dreams.

“We must daily stoke the coals of passion”
Keith Spanberger

Here are a few steps you can take to rekindle passion in your life:
1. Realize it’s never too late to start over again. As long as you have breath it’s not too late.
2. Close the door to negativity. It might mean removing people or things; whatever it is, close the door on it.
3. Realize you are worth it. You deserve to live a passionate life in every area.
4. You’re not anyone else. Don’t try and be someone else or compare yourself to another. Realize that you are one of a kind. A Kingdom original. God created each of us as one of a kind, so be just that.
5. Stop making excuses. It will never be the perfect time to start, so you might as well start RIGHT NOW!
6. It does not have to be perfect to begin!

These are just a few thoughts and I’m sure you can add your own to this. I would love to hear your ideas and any other thoughts below.

So why not start now making today the day you start stoking the coals of passion in every area of your life. Let your spouse know that they are important to you. Let the world see your passion for life. Let your desire to live life to the fullest breath put passion into all that you do. I want to close with this scripture that was part of my Bible time yesterday. I hope it speaks loudly to you and pushes you to be and do more than you ever thought possible.

Galatians 6:9 (AMP) “And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”

Decisions….

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”
Tony Robbins

Life is lived by the decisions we make every day. At the very second you wake up, you make decisions that impact the life you will be walking that day.

Decision is defined as: “A choice that you make about something after thinking about it: the result of deciding”.

What power does a decision really have in your life?

Would you say your decisions are life changing?

What would your life be like if you just left the decisions to be made to that “whatever happens, will happen” mindset?

Even from the beginning of the creation of man in Genesis, we see God has given us the ability to make decisions for ourselves. Good, bad and even horrible decisions, mankind has been able to decide what his or her future would be like. Unfortunately, we find it easier to blame someone else rather than to assume responsibility when we do make the wrong decision. This also started in the beginning. Adam blamed Eve and today we still point the finger at one another. We find that God, government, parents, family, friends, spouses and even music make great escape goats, but truly they don’t. We blame our issues and shortcomings on whatever we can find except for the one that is the real culprit, which is ourselves. I have the power to make the life changing decisions for this day. I have the power to decide my destiny and not let it be decided for me. It seems like some feel that if they stay quiet and say nothing, then their silence will resound their innocence in whatever takes place; however, silence is a decision and we will have to answer for even that.

“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action.
If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”
Tony Robbins

That statement speaks strongest and loudest to what’s on my heart as I write this post. It’s time to decide what you want and then take ACTION! God did not create us to live by chance and suffer through circumstance. He has created you to THRIVE in this life you have been given. So stop taking what comes and create the life you dream about.

So where do I start? Glad you asked =)
1. God must be made first place in your life or nothing else will fit.
2. Take inventory on where you are and what you have.
3. Look for how to simplify and free your life of the unneeded baggage and stuff that has attached itself to you.
4. Start organizing your thoughts on paper.
5. Remove the negative things that have been coming from your mouth and put a check and balance system on them.
6. NOW besides #1 on this list, here is #2, READY? Start each day in the Word. You might say, “Well I’m not a believer”. I say it still does not change the fact that the Bible has sold more copies than any other book in history. It has been translated into more languages and changed more lives than any other book. If you consider yourself a person of common sense, then that would tell you there is something about this book and that it should be on everyone’s “must read list”.

This list could keep going…. I would love to hear what else you would add to it, so please feel free to share your comments below.

That’s it for NOW. But there will be more to come, so stay tuned!

CHANGE

change 4-9-15

“The one consistent thing about life is change.”
Dr. James Zirkle

When we think about change, most of the time it is not something that one looks forward to OR it’s for fear of something that could happen. Even the very definition “to become different, to make (someone or something) different, to become something else” can spark fear if it is not put into proper perspective.

2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP) “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

Just knowing that change is needed is not enough, we must implement it. Honestly, we ALL have areas that must receive some type of change and in this post I am going to focus on one that hit home for me. It’s in the area of health and fitness. (Just an FYI, a Health and Fitness page will soon be coming to the http://www.kingdomthinking.org site and I have some awesome contributing editors that have a wealth of wisdom in this area!)

My wife, Debbie, and I have really tried to implement a cleaner eating and healthier lifestyle over the last few years. As you incorporate change, you will find one of two main reasons why someone decides to make a change. The first area brings us back to fear of what could be or even might be. Fear and faith cannot dwell together and fear will zap everything if we allow it in. The next area is one that is defined in a quote I read yesterday from Charlene Johnson, “In my 20’s I forced myself to workout – and my every effort was focused on getting a better body. Now in my 40’s the physical side effects are just a bonus. Now I see my fitness as a gift that helps my mental wellness, my quality of life, creativity, patience, strength, confidence and longevity. Funny how the wisdom and experiences change our perspective.” That quote pretty much summed up why we are making the life changes we are, but for those doing it in fear, you’re fighting a losing battle. It’s like trying to drive a car with no motor.

“Fear creates powerless pursuit.”
Keith Spanberger

I’m going to end this post here, but only for NOW! I want you to take a piece of paper and pen and write down the areas where you have allowed fear to take over. Now give these areas to God and walk away from them and NEVER look back. Last, destroy the paper and step into the peace of God that surpasses ALL understanding.

It’s time for YOU to live a fearless life, so live it on purpose with purpose!