Suslick Step's
You're going to kill it today. High five!

Jul
06

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This is what grad school adult students do:

     There is no template or road map for the college studies of men with one amazing strategic ACTIVATOR wife, six very precious children, a dog, 2 cats, and Goldie the carnival fair everlasting gold fish.

     This “is” is whatever the wife, kids, pets throw at the student. Today we have cats licking the feet during academic study time. Have fun!

Jul
02

Grab coffee and food at Dale’s garage: Man Time on Wednesday mornings starting from 5:30am … come as you are, anytime, stay for 5 minutes or all morning. No worries.

Food. Fire. Man Cave.
Got a manly vehicle? Show it off here!
Good tunes, strong coffee.

Fishing in the back if you want.

Location: My garage, driveway, and lawn at 1220 Birch Haven Circle, Monona 53716

No pressure, No responsibilities …
Just guys hanging out 5:30-9am.

Jun
18

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Parenting 10000 moments journey. 7 year young son now bikes out with me on days I need to leave at 5am.

After hearing the testimonies of my fellow grad student classmates. Especially, the guys in their mid twenties, it strikes me that being a dad, father, and fatherhood are amazingly important and worth every sacrifice, financial strain, and dying to one’s self then we can muster.

#Dad #DadsTalking #Babies #Newborn #Resurrection #Madison #MadTown #Monona #Church #Service #Badgers #Packers #Sunshine

Jun
17

Charge     There was a time in my life where I had it all: Time to play golf 7 days a week, money to buy most anything, and status and success as a small business owner. Nevertheless, something was missing because I had no peace. I was missing peace. Even though I had grown up in a good Catholic family, I did not have a personal relationship with our Heavenly father.

 

I was confronted a series of business struggles that revealed my humanity and lack of control. This is when I finally reached out in prayer each morning trying to figure out how to recover. I finally felt peace coming to me as I developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

Now I can simply wake up each day knowing I do not have to pretend I have it all together. I can simply do what He calls me to do. And God’s call involves being myself. No need to pretend. I live in complete freedom. Wouldn’t you like to live that way?

May
15

Dale Suslick:

Excellent insights. Phew! Challenging to remember we only need to do our best to deliver the mail.

Originally posted on Building Old School Churches:

Since my conversion in 1993, I’ve listened to a lot of sermons, ancient and modern, reformed and non-reformed, and I’ve noticed that every age in the church has had its own persistent problems in preaching – for instance ancient sermons commonly suffered from the spiritualizing of the meaning of every text, so that in every sermon a fish was never a fish, the moon was never the moon, a child was never a child, and so on. Puritan sermons, on the other hand commonly suffer from the over-reliance on the Ramist method and an overabundance of points and sub-points.

Modern preaching has its own problems, and while there are some commonalities, there are differences between the problems you are likely to see in reformed and non-reformed preaching. Here then are my observations on the common problems in both camps, I should stress this is just my opinion and is not…

View original 663 more words

Feb
27

Originally posted on Engage & Equip:

Generations ago, the pastoral prayer held a place in the church almost as significant as the sermon. Pastors were to write two main orations each Sunday: a prayer offered to God for the people, and a sermon offered to the people for God.

The pastoral prayer has a shepherding function. In it, the shepherd or elder prays for God’s scattered flock. The pastoral prayer also has a discipleship function in that it teaches people about God and how we should speak to him both for ourselves and for others.

The prayer should not only communicate your shepherdly or fatherly love for the gathered people, but should demonstrate deep and absolute trust in God’s shepherdly and fatherly love for his own.

Here is my list of pointers:

  1. Make it clear that you are talking to God – Spend the significant majority of your time appreciating God or interceding for people. Eliminate…

View original 755 more words

Nov
27

“I have no right to say I believe in God unless I order my life as under His all-seeing Eye.”

Control

What strikes you as you read the words? The world’s pull huge, and need to live and work in the world, reality, so what does it mean to you to order your life under His sight?

Help a brother out and let me know what you think.

For me, this means to live not in fear or anxious, but with the peace that God sees and knows all. Everything happening today happens because of something God is doing that I do not see, and these happenings are for our good. I only need to stay faithful, meaning take action and do “the right thing” the best I can in my human power, praying and relying on the Lord for the strength to do the rest in His power.

Romans 8:28

New International Version (NIV)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Thoughts?

Jul
29

Ocean 


Practice of One’s Faith

Dale Suslick

Liberty University


Practice of One’s Faith

 

Introduction

Dead is what some could call faith that does not produce fruit or good works (Jms. 2:14-16, NIV). There are two chosen vocations where I show and practice a Biblical worldview. The first is work within the local church body, which occurs now as I function as a quasi-pastor intern at Sanibel Community Church. The second vocation is as co-owner of a cleaning company with my wife Robin. Two examples I will discuss in this Biblical Worldview assignment center around the Greatest Commandment (Mt. 22:34-39; Mk. 12:28-31) and how I respond and treat others (Gal. 5:22-25 & Col. 3:13-16).

Example 1: Loving the Lord First

Because God says I should love Him first above things, blessings, and activity, I pray that the Lord, His son Jesus, and the Holy spirit work in my life, to guide me to stay on the path of loving the Lord first (Mt. 6:31-33; Mt. 6:24; Jn. 3:30; Col. 3:1-4). What does this mean from a practical standpoint of demonstrating and practicing a Biblical worldview? This means that thoughts when waking up, each minute of the day, and when placing my head upon my pillow, involve thoughts what God has done (Gn. 1 & 2; Jn. 3:16-17), what He is doing (Is. 64:8 & 66:13; 2 Cor. 12:8-9), and what He is going to do (Rev. 21:4).

When my life centers around loving God I rest in his peace (Phil. 4:6; 2 Thess. 3:16; 1 Pt. 5:7). Because I rest in Christ’s peace when I am working “in” ministry or in the world, I can focus on the people the Lord places within my traffic pattern. Before Christ, I would think how could I overcome the other person. In other words, I was not trying to serve as Christ served (Jn. 13:1-17). I was trying to keep and gain material and earthly treasure much as the rich young ruler was trying to keep his wealth (Mk. 10:17-30, Lk. 18:18-30). Focus on how God commands treatment of others (Gal. 5:22-23; Col. 3:13-16) allows me to serve closer to how Christ served (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Romans 4:25-5:2).

Example 2: Loving Others

Because I have the peace of Christ within me, I can treat others with love. What this means goes beyond simply not cheating others out of money. Because I choose to fill out my taxes with integrity, yet, loving others is a debt I owe others, behaving decently with a focus on the Lord and lessening desires of the self (Mk. 12:17; Lk. 20:25; Rm. 13). Treating others with respect even when I do not understand why they do what they do is one way to love another. God created each person, saved or unsaved, and as such, each person is as valuable as another, shown by the value of a single sheep, coin, or son (Lk. 15).

For example, as part of the pastoral counseling the church involves me in I run across people who have an issue with trust, manipulation, or hurtful words. Sometimes direction of one’s mistrust, manipulation, or harmful words is towards me. The importance in remembering what Christ has done for me and how God commands me to respond allows the outpouring of Christ to come from within me and respond with a small glimmer of the grace, mercy, and compassion the Lord gave me. While I do not do this perfectly, I can see how God has worked in my life over the years and how he slowly peels a layer of “worldliness” off me each day, and sometimes moment-by-moment, so I can shine His light to the world (Mt. 5:14-16 & Eph. 5:8).

Example 3: How to Treat Others

God gives Christians clear commands on how to treat one another (Gal. 5:22-25 & Col. 3:13-16). I think the stress on the fruit of the spirits in the Bible is because of how uniquely God created each person (Ps. 139:13-16, 1 Cor. 12). Because each Christian differs than another, the relationships between one another can have conflict and one must respond with patience, love, understanding, peace, forbearance, and all the gifts of the spirit. God is smart to know how His people behave and to loves his or people enough to give instructions on how to act.

Another revelation God gives His people comes from James 4:1-10. In this section of the Bible God is pointing out, through James, that Christians, including me, are prone to fight and struggle against one another because of his or her sin nature. Because I know I am a sinner (Rms. 3:23), yet knowing my salvation is by grace though no effort of my own (Eph. 2:8-9), I can give over my sinful desires to Christ, and respond to my brothers and sisters in Christ with the fruit of the spirits. In addition, I can respond to secular people in the same way. Christ gave up everything for me and I can do the same for others through His power in me (1 Pt. 2:9).

Conclusion

God wants His people to work out one’s faith in his or her vocation. Because God and Jesus paid the maximum price for Believers, I think that loving the Lord, loving His people, and manifesting the fruit of the spirits is how I choose to respond to God’s gift. Each day I trust in the Lord to fill me with His power, so that I may overflow to the world with His light. By asking and surrendering to God each day and minute-by-minute I come closer to the glorious creation He designed me to become.

How about you? How do you practice your faith? High five!

Jul
23

          The assignment was to look at May’s view of love and answer two questions: How does your personality shape your view of love? How does your personality impact others that you are in relationships with? Students were to reflect back on his or her Myers-Briggs results and include the results in the post.

Bowman's Beach, Sanibel Island, Florida.

Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island, Florida.

INTJ: The Anti Don Juan

Examination of May’s view of love

            First is the biological function of sexual love, which May believes remains as one of modern humanities problems (Feist, Feist, & Roberts, 2013). God created sex and problems with sex could originate from straying from His design (Eph. 5:25; Gn. 2:24, NIV; Heb. 13:4; Pr. 5:18-19). Feist, et al. (2013) state Eros is May’s second kind of love and differs from sex in that Eros’ foundation is “care and tenderness” (p. 330). Philia is the third kind of love and is a “nonsexual friendship” type of love (Feist, et al., 2013, p. 330). Finally, May defines Agape love as the fourth type of love, which is love that holds others in high regard and with concern regardless of how others act or behave (Feist, et al.).

How does an INTJ view love? (My Briggs: INTJ)

INTJ personalities look at love with a ruthless expectation of practically, reasonability, and directness (Heiss, 2009). For example, I have a friend who I hold in high-esteem for his natural ability to romance his wife. My nickname for him is Don Juan! In contrast, I understand in my head that walks on the beach, “dropping everything,” and taking my wife out to dinner, or leaving town for a three-day weekend is romantic and loving. The struggle is none of the activity is practical or reasonable. Walks on the beach bring sand in the house, dinners out are costly, and weekends away upset the perfect schedule. Because love is patient, kind, and has concern for others (1 Cor. 13:1-13, NIV) conflict can occur between an INTJ and the ones he or she loves.

How does having an INTJ personality affect others that he or she is in relationships with?

Answering the ruthless expectations of INTJ’s “love” personality comes from a willingness to work hard on the relationships he or she cares for while depending on Christ’s redeeming work. For example, Christ can and does add elements of love I can find missing from my “tool box of love” (Heiss, 2009). I have found trusting Christ to order my day and I listen to his yearly, daily, and sometimes moment-by-moment revelations of my stupidity in how I can treat the ones I love. INTJ’s strength includes focus on the day-to-day operations of a relationship (Wow. That sentence gives one a window into an INTJ thought process: “Operations of a relationship” is an interesting phrase to describe love.).

My prayer for you is for the Lord to add elements of May’s four kinds of love to your life. I think these four kinds of love are in God’s word. I ask that you pray for me, my wife especially as she “gets” to live with me, and my children.

God bless, armor on, and high five!

Dale

References

Feist, J., Feist, G.J, & Roberts, T. (2013). Theories of personality (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Heiss, M.M. (2009). INTJ: Introverted iNtuitive thinking judging. Retrieved from http://typelogic.com/intj.html

Jun
25

Greater Book

Greater

Dale Suslick

Liberty University

Greater

Summary:

Monotony, indifference, and lack of purpose confront each person with the danger of wasting his or her life. Steven Furtick’s Greater deftly uses the Bible’s book of Kings miracle making prophet Elisha, the Bible’s simple lessons, and years of practical experience to guide a person out from the comfort of his or her life towards what God has planned. The message is about not settling for a good enough life or a life of greatness. A Greater life is experiencing a life beyond human capabilities.

            Greater is not the tired and typical try harder or dream great dreams message. Instead, Elisha and Furtick guide a reader to shift their life from despair, mediocrity, or greatness to hope, excellence, and Greater. Look for Biblical concepts of paying attention, taking life day-by-day, not worrying about the details, having faith, dreaming big, yet starting mustard seed like small, keeping it simple, staying inside the box instead of outside, and grunt work wax-on, wax-off practice. Greater takes the reader on a journey to answer Christianity’s major questions, such as, why bad things happen to God’s people, the purpose of suffering, and unanswered prayers. Issues arise such as pride, how Jesus (not about Him) or people do not matter (not about the reader), and keeping a daily Christian edge. Greater’s answers include protecting one’s environment, guarding against enemies, knowing the power one possesses, how one’s Father sees him or herself, sample prayers to deliver the power, and ends with an example of a Christian legacy.

Concrete responses:

            In 2007 I had it “all” because the business I had started was working as planned and produced money to buy what I wanted and when I wanted it, and to pay employees who did most of the work. I did not know I had stepped off the path to Greater and settled for good enough and greatness.

I recall standing in front of our second million-dollar home saying, “God, this house is the last of our spending spree until we start giving more and we pay off our debts.” God only shook his head in sadness as He removed His protective hand and allowed me to circle down into a financial vortex of death caused by stupidity, greed, and indifference. It was only after I had surrendered my life to Christ and started reading the Bible that I said, “What good was it for me to earn what I thought was the world, yet in the end lose my soul?”

Furtick’s book presents the problem I faced as settling for a spiritual “good enough” life. Good enough means a life spent in survival, and controlled by a complacent spiritual life. I was pursuing greatness, defined as pursuit of self-gratification, and not pursuing a Greater life. A life of Greater is the knowledge God has planned greatness in my life beyond my human reach or understanding. It is only when I abandon my desires and plans that He can use me for the Greater dream (Mt. 19:21, New International Version).

Reflection:

            What small next steps do I take to go from where I am today to where He is calling me? I think I am where He wants me, yet Greater clarified twenty action steps I can take to more fully live. I understand His call on me as knowing Christ and explaining Christ to others with the focus first on leading my wife and children (Eph. 5:25-33 & Deut. 6:6-9). If it is His will, the call could expand to include finishing seminary and working in formal ministry. Twenty action steps could seem daunting, yet the actions are spiritual disciplines developed over time from walking with the Lord.

             Pay attention. God is working in my life each day. By taking time throughout the day to slow down life, take on less responsibilities, and focus on more important responsibilities, I find God’s presence and word guiding my steps (Pr. 4:20, Jer. 10:23, pr. 16:9 & Heb. 2:1).

Take life day-by-day and have peace about the details. Psalm 139:13-16 says God knows every detail about me and the circumstances of my life. This does not mean God shows me all the details, so I will develop a habit of less planning, and action for today from what paying attention shows (Mt. 6:24-34).

Sacrifice. I accept that I will not live the same life as I have in the past and will need to give up things that leave me with a feeling of lost (Jn. 15:13, Phil. 2:3-4, Jn. 12:25, & Rm. 12:1-2).

Have faith. I realize God has given me awesome gifts and shaped the circumstances of my life to take the talent He gave me into strengths for His Kingdom. This means I need to dream bigger, yet depend on the Lord instead of thinking I can carry out anything on my own (Jn. 5:30, Jer. 10:23, Phil. 2:13, & Rm. 8:28).

Dream big, yet start mustard seed like small. It is good to have big dreams because God is our King and He is in the business of making huge things happen (Ex. 14 & Mt. 27:50-53). The start of accomplishing great dreams begins with breaking dreams into small next steps (Jm. 2:26, & 2 Kg. 3:16, King James Version).

Keep it simple. In God’s Kingdom, taking a walk with my six-year-old son is as powerful as Dave Ramsey speaking to ten thousand people on how to handle money God’s way.

Stay inside the box instead of outside. God designed me for an exact purpose and coveting or thinking I want to do someone else’s calling is not part of His design (Ex. 20:17, Jms. 4:13, & 1 Tim. 6:10).

Grunt work wax-on, wax-off practice. Jesus came and washed the disciples feet and died for my sins. Cleaning toilets, teaching Sunday school, and running kickball for Vacation Bible School is what He wants today and this prepares me for His future tasks in ways I cannot see, nor imagine (Col. 3:23-24).  

Why bad things happen to God’s people. Getting to His calling is rarely simple, easy, or pain-free (Deut. 31:6 & Ps. 34:17-20).

The purpose of suffering. See above and James 1:2-18.

Unanswered prayers. The Lord uses His timing to answer pray so always pray (Gn. 16:6, Rm. 8:28).

Pride. Radical and immediate obedience, find ways to serve others, and defer slights or offenses quickly (Jms. 4:6).

Jesus (not about Him) or I do not matter (not about me). When my wife does not do what I want or act in the way I think she should, I need to remember that Jesus came to die, which He did not want to do, yet He knew it was not about Him (Phil. 2:6-7, Mt. 20:28, & Lk. 12:37).

Keep a daily Christian edge: Each day I need to decide to serve the Lord and the things He calls me to take care of with intentionality (2 Kg. 6:1-7).

Protect my environment. Friends are a powerful influence (Phil. 2:14, Pr.12:26, 1 Kg. 11:4, 1 Cor. 15:33, & Mk. 5:40).

Guard against enemies. Understand that there are enemies (2 Kg. 6:10, 15-16).

Know the power I have. Walk in the knowledge of whose power I have (Eph. 1:18-21, & Is. 41:10).

How my Father sees me. Remember God is with me, for me, and taking me somewhere awesome because He loves me despite all my flaws and sins (Jn. 3:16).

Sample prayers to deliver the power. Pray in all things instead of trying to use my human understanding to fix things or improve my life (Jer. 33:3).

Powerful Christian legacy. Allow the Lord to work in my life to carry out the above and leave a legacy as did Elisha (2 Kg. 13:20-21).

Application:

            Action steps. Furtick (2012) writes that the Greater life starts in the here and now. God gives dreams and imagination because He wants personal growth and effort from His followers (1 Pt. 3:15, 2 Pt. 1:3-11, Mt. 5:16, & Ps. 1:1-3). At the same time, Jesus says, “Come to [Him] …” (Mt. 11:28). What this means in practical actions steps in my life:

1. Have no personal focused plans.

2. Wake up and see what God is telling me through prayer, quiet time, meditation, and moment-by-moment connection and conversation with Him.

3. Do what He says to do.

4. See what He is trying to teach or develop in me through the circumstances He is orchestrating throughout each day.

5. Repeat.

Some of the practical action steps He is showing me through the reading of Greater is that the ministry He has given me is in front of me. Instead of searching for something “lighting bolt” large to do such as pastor a church, plant a ministry, or speak to thousands of people, my time, energy, and talents need to first get poured into my one-on-one relationship with Christ. This always reveals the here and now Furtick writes of in Greater. I have a Proverb 31:10-29 wife who needs time, attention, and focus. Robin and I have five children, and I can see each day that the Lord places enough people with needs in my path. It is not thousands of people on a stage in need of ministry, yet ministry consists of interactions starting with my family to the couple who need a marriage coach. Paying attention to these small next steps or moments is the call on my life. It is not the life I signed up for, nor the life I had initially dreamed of, yet it is the Greater life. I thank the Lord for His grace, mercy, and power and pray for His continued revelation.

Reference:

Furtick, S. (2012). Greater: Dream bigger. Start smaller. Ignite God’s vision for our life. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books.

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