“Why Should You Be Grateful?”

Nov 27

“Why Should You Be Grateful?”

Why should you be Grateful? Happy Thanksgiving 2014! It is once again that time of year where we gather with friends, families, and loved ones to show our appreciation and Gratitude for all the blessings and abundance we have been given! So in light of that I would love to share a few thoughts from one of my favorite books, “The 4:8 Principle” by Tommy Newberry. I feel these excerpts on ‘GRATITUDE’ express what this Thanksgiving Day is all about. Be Blessed and have an awesome and wonderful Day, counting all your Blessings! How do we become Grateful? “We experience gratitude by harboring thoughts of appreciation for the abundance we see in our lives…” What makes up Gratitude? “Gratitude is a conviction, a practice, and a discipline. It is an essential nutrient, a kind of spiritual amino-acid for human growth, creativity, and joy. Gratitude involves channeling your energy and attention toward what is present and working rather than what is absent and ineffective. Gratitude is both a skill and a feeling. The more you appreciate today , the more things you will notice tomorrow to be thankful for.” Gratitude ‘lifts you up’ out of discouragements. “Gratitude is like a mental gearshift that takes you from turbulence to peacefulness, from stagnation to creativity. Gratitude brings you back to the present moment to all that is working well in your life currently. Gratitude is an effective antidote to the most negative emotions ; you can not experience hostility and gratitude at the same time, you make a choice.” Gratitude makes you UNSTOPPABLE! “Gratitude is the CORNERSTONE OF AN UNSTOPPABLE ATTITUDE and gratitude can be cultivated and then experienced at ever deepening levels.” Lets be GRATEFUL!! PSALMS 95:2 Let Us come before His presence with...

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Thoughts On Ferguson

Nov 26

Thoughts On Ferguson

Over the past couple of days my wife and I watched the events unfold in Ferguson, Missouri. We live on the other side of the country close to 2000 miles away in the Pacific North West, but it seemed like it was happening in our back yard. Following three months of hearing witnesses and evaluating evidence, Prosecutor Bob McCullough announced the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Columnist Cal Thomas correctly predicted, “There will be two responses to this: one emotional, the other legal.” Very soon we witnessed both. Attorneys and talking heads were dissecting the decision and discussing the legalities of the issue. While Michael Brown’s family issued a statement of disappointment, they called for peaceful protests. In part, they said, “answering violence with violence is not the appropriate response.” Regrettably their call for calm was ignored. While there were peaceful protests, a fringe element of thugs and opportunists took advantage of the situation to riot. I learned within the first day 25 separate fires were set, 12 businesses were burned down and many stores were looted and damaged. As I reflect on the chaos in our country, may I suggest a third response–A spiritual response. For those of us who call Jesus our Lord and Savior, let us be careful not to engage in unkind emotional responses, ugly epitaphs or unfair stereotypes. Let me suggest three spiritual responses: (1) Lift up your voice in prayer. More than ever our country is hurting. The situation in Ferguson has sparked acts of violence, crime and sin. There is division, discord and disrespect from many quarters. We need to pray for peace. Paul’s exhortation has never been more appropriate. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” (1 Tim. 2:1-3) (2) Be a peacemaker. Preachers, pastors, religious leaders and all Christians need to “pursue the things which make for peace” (Rom 14:19). Jesus said, “blessed are the peacemakers.” James wrote, “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown...

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Tolerate or Celebrate?

Nov 26

Tolerate or Celebrate?

In keeping with Thanksgiving week I am THANKFUL that we can CELEBRATE our provisions, Abundance, & FREEDOM in the USA along with the ability to become ALL the person we were meant to be In light of this I am ‘pondering this today’….. I once heard a man say ‘Always go where you are 'CELEBRATED, NOT just TOLERATED' So just a commendation & bit of a lesson here….Have the guts & courage to seek a way of life where FOLKS will CELEBRATE you, will love you & encourage you to follow you heart & BE (as the old Army commercial said) ALL YOU CAN BE!! I commend my daughter Caitlin Wittler…7 months ago she left an employment situation where she was not only just Tolerated but basically criticized for her efforts; this coming from a gal (Caitlin)…who was regularly one of the top 3 sales producers in her company in this region, this coming from a gal …(my daughter) who in 5 years missed maybe 1 day of work, & this also coming from a gal (Caitlin) who could basically could run her whole office & several times did quite well I might add. It seems we have heard in a little under 7 months EVERYONE in the office she worked with (possibly 20 folks) LEFT that company save the manager & one individual. The Manager was recently asked to leave …AND NO WONDER!! If you can not MANAGE folks in a positive, growth oriented way that CELEBRATES them , that respects them & honors them you have no more business Managing people than I have applying to play running back for the Seattle Seahawks. LESSON: Life is too short to stay in a situation where you are just TOLERATED….Go where the CELEBRATION of you as a person is encouraged , cultivated,& valued!! Having shared the above story from my daughter’s life & relating that to placing your life in an & environment where you are CELEBRATED one of the best examples of truly CELEBRATING anothers life comes from this passage in the Bible: Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will REJOICE over you with GLADNESS, He will quiet you with...

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“We Were ‘Chapelites’, Once…..and Young”

Oct 28

“We Were ‘Chapelites’, Once…..and Young”

It’s hard to believe this coming spring will be close to 30 years since I left a former major North West Church/Bible College in the Christian Community…there is still an ache in my heart over what happened, over the many folks I know who are not even Christians anymore that went there, & over what I believe should have been. Through all these years since that time I remain eternally grateful for all I received from my time in that fellowship. As a very impressionable young man I traveled nearly 3000 miles from the Mid-West to follow a Call that I believe to this day was from God to Study His Word and more importantly come to KNOW Him better. In this Christian community I was established in a firm spiritual foundation in my Faith that continues to this day. This group of believers fanned in me a flame of DESIRE to not only know God’s WORD but to imbibe it & Become The Word in my life. In this spiritual greenhouse environment I grew into much of the Man I am today. I began to learn what it is to be a ‘Man After God’s Own Heart’ , as David sang and most importantly, I learned to passionately pursue and encounter The LIVING GOD. Sadly this spiritual house did not stand, and many were scattered to the four corners of the world. Today I am believing that God had a Purpose for each & every ‘Chapelite’ that still lives today and will one day come to fruition! In memory of all this former time of both beauty and anguish here is a poem that came to me recently as I meditated on all of my experiences there… We Were Chapelites once….and Young We were chapelites once & young coming from all over the world with songs yet unsung Hungry , excited for God we threw ourselves in , as it was NOT a façade For hours we prayed in the prayer rooms and pews, for a new heart & mind that we hoped we would find We studied & wrestled with precepts of God, debated, summated the ‘Groom & The Bride’’ Till all that remained was a stubborn...

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The Disease of Apathy

Oct 24

The Disease of Apathy

Revelation 3:16 So because you are merely lukewarm, I will SPEW you out of my mouth Have you been stricken in your life with the ‘ Disease of Apathy’? Over the years here are some of the debilitating symptoms I have witnessed in friends, associates, & family members, & heck even myself at times who have succumbed to this hideous affliction. Apathetic folks sit on the fence about every issue that comes their way. They never have an opinion about anything, they can’t make decisions and are just plain ignorant as they seemingly ‘bury their heads in the sand’. They can’t hold smart conversations and are not open minded if it isn’t directly in relation to what they know. They think everyone should view life the way they view it. They are indifferent about everything and stand for nothing. They don’t read, they don’t educate themselves past “formal education” and they put no effort into how they present themselves. Even if they never achieve their highest potential this is okay with them because in a world so full of wonder and curiosity they have managed to find a way to be bored. Apathy is a silent killer. So how does a person contract such a powerful epidemic? I would say, first of all folks who are in this state have lost their hope & joy in life because possibly they have failed or have lived in a relationship where they have been put down or criticized most of the time for not only their ideas, but also for having tried & failed in different things in life. They have lost their way & live in fear of ever caring or trying something again because their self-esteem has been so trampled & disrespected. In the end we were never created to live in such a state, as I said earlier, ‘Apathy is a killer’ …left unchecked it will eventually lead to physical as well as emotional issues that may well indeed literally end your life. However there IS a WAY OUT! Here are some ideas to consider that will help remedy & bring healing to this condition. 1)REALIZE you were wonderfully & uniquely Made By GOD!…. .In Psalms 139:13-14, the...

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“ Intentionally LIVING Joyfully Vulnerable To God’s Goodness”.

Oct 22

“ Intentionally LIVING Joyfully Vulnerable To God’s Goodness”.

In the last 18 months Life for me Has drastically changed!! Changed in an AWESOMELY better way! And so with that my BLOG ‘Matthewsmatters’ has been dormant for a while as I regathered some of my thoughts, feelings, & ideas that I wanted to ‘VOICE’ to the world. The post below comes from notes from my saved documents from the last year. I would say this ‘DECLARATION’ by Graham Cooke explains well some of the things that are going on in my life these days that I FEEL TRULY matter in Living a life of PURPOSE & MEANING. I believe Graham ‘hits the nail on the head’ for me in what my life should be about these days in this list. Graham has called it..” LIVING Joyfully Vulnerable To God’s Goodness”….Yet for me I added the phrase ‘INTENTIONALLY LIVING’ because that is the life I now intend for myself. This message was borne out of a period of physical trial in his life, where he became deathly sick in October 2009. In this time of testing and finding God in his circumstance Graham penned the following Declaration I will share, as I felt for me, it was a good creed to follow in the upcoming year and for the rest of my life. 1) I am going to live in a GRACE of God where ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, with NO chains on my Life. 2) I am developing and exercising a BOLDNESS of Spirit to press through for Greater BRAEAKTHROUGHS to bring Heaven to earth. 3) I am choosing to Live my life in CELEBRATION and to travel in the optimism of the Holy Spirit. 4) I am going to pursue freedom and excellence until I FULLY OCCUPY the space that’s been set aside for me in the Spirit. 5) I will be a pioneer for God and not a ‘settler’; I will explore new territories in the Spirit and take ownership of the land God has for me. 6) I will live fully in the PRESENT-FUTURE because I realize I will not succeed beyond my wildest expectations unless I begin my journey here. 7) I will embrace the Spirit of WISDOM upon me & pursue it as...

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