Six Days Shalt Thou Labor…

4 12 2009

Ok, let’s just put it out there: I’m Seventh-Day Adventist. It’s an oft misunderstood denomination which is pretty ironic since the name very plainly tells you what makes us ‘different’. We go to church on Saturday (the 7th day), and we anxiously await the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. It’s just that simple lol.

So why do we go to church on Saturday? Well, first if you are Christian and do not go to church on Saturday have you ever asked yourself why? Have you ever even thought about it?

Well in a few quick bullet points I’m going to break it down for you. I’m not out to convince you of who’s right or wrong, that’s not my job. Having said that, I will nevertheless try to keep this as objective and factual and biblically sound as possible. You will have to decide for yourself if you want to look into this thing further beyond that.

So let’s start at the beginning: Genesis chapter 2:1-3 is my first point of reference. There are 2 eternal institutions that were given to mankind in the Garden of Eden. The first was the 7th Day Sabbath, and the other was Marriage! After God created the world and all of it’s contents in 6 days he ‘rested’ on the 7th day. He didn’t rest because he was tired, (can God get tired at all?) but instead He wanted to show that what He made was perfectly complete. (The number 7 symbolically represents completion.) This 7th day of rest was not something that was ‘Jewish’ because we can see here that it came way before the ‘Jews’ were around. If the Sabbath is strictly ‘Jewish’ then so is Marriage because they were given at the same time lol! Also this 7th day of rest was not a one-time thing because we later see it observed as the Sabbath throughout all the rest of the Old Testament, and ALL of the New Testament, but we’ll deal with that shortly.

After this first Sabbath observance in Genesis there are literally dozens of scriptures mentioning it by name but our next point of reference is the most obvious of them all. It’s part of the 10 commandments found in Exodus 20.

The 4th commandment starts with the word ‘Remember’… which means it was not a new concept it had already been given before. Something else of note is that none of the other 9 commandments has ever been considered as ‘open to interpretation’, but somehow this particular commandment – which is also the most DETAILED and descriptive of ALL the 10 is the ONE that is not observed the way God originally instructed.

So how did most Christians end up in church on Sunday instead of Saturday? Here is where things get interesting. First let me say that there is absolutely no record of a ‘change’ of the day of rest/worship in the Old or New Testament, therefore it is not biblical, it’s just not found anywhere in the bible. God never said to do it, Jesus never said to do it, and the 12 Disciples/Apostles never said do it.

This change was made by common men who had no authority to do so. Imagine this with me: I just moved your birthday to the following day and I’m now telling all of your friends and family, co-workers, and classmates to do the same… and they up and DO IT!! That’s basically what happened.

Most Sunday keepers will tell you that Sunday became the day of rest to commemorate Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. Ah, yes the resurrection let’s start there. Well, let’s back up a bit to the Last Supper first.

Before He was crucified Jesus gave just ONE and only ONE way to remember his sacrifice on the cross. Communion is the ONE and only gesture that Jesus himself told the disciples to maintain when he said ” Do this in remembrance of Me.” If He had intended to change the day of worship, He would have said so at this time. Or He would have taken the time to make a NEW commandment the same way He did in Matthew 22:36-40 when He gave the ‘greatest commandment’ to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart… and Love your neighbor as yourself.”

In fact it was Jesus, who gave the perfect example even in death when he died on Good Friday, rested in the tomb on Sabbath, and rose on Easter Sunday. He RESTED from the GREATEST ‘work’ ever done (dying to save us from Sin) after saying “It is finished”. Not once did He ever alter or change Sabbath observance from Saturday to Sunday.

All through the Gospels Jesus was attacked by the Pharisees regarding how to ‘keep’ the Sabbath. But in Mark 2:27-28 He asserts, first, that the Sabbath was made for all mankind, not merely the Jews (verse 27), and second, that He is “Lord of the Sabbath” (verse 28). Thus, any change to the Sabbath commandment must come from Him!

I think we can safely consider this case closed here but just to be sure let’s take a final look at the rest of the New Testament after Christ’s resurrection and ascension.

In the book of Acts ALONE you can still see the Sabbath in effect in the following verses: Acts 13:14-15, Acts 13:42-44, Acts 15:1-2, Acts 15:14-21, Acts 16:12-15, Acts 17:2, Acts 18:1-11.

I just provided 7 examples of the Sabbath still being observed in the book of Acts ALONE by the Apostles and the early church after Easter Sunday has passed. But in the ENTIRE New Testament there are only 8 mentions of ‘The first day of the week’ and the words “Easter” and “Sunday” never even appear in the bible AT ALL. Of those 8, none give any instruction to observe a new day of worship, treat the first day (Sunday) in any special way , nor do they give ANY type of reverence to the day at all. They are: Matt 28:1, Mark 16:2, Mark 16:9, Luke 24:1, John 20:1, John 20:19, Acts 20:7, 1st Corinthians 16:2

I know this post has been a LONG one, but I hope it has at least peaked your interest so that you can research it further on your own. This all comes down to whether you choose to observe a tradition created by man, or a commandment given by God Himself.

Oh and that reminds me… I just changed my mind and I think your birthday should be TOMORROW! So I guess that means “Happy Birthday’s” are in order?

Live Invincibly,

@W

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Success Is A Moving Target

4 12 2009

My wife just got finished pouring into me a few moments ago. The Holy Spirit was speaking out of her mouth in such an undeniable way that it humbles me to think of it. I was empty I’ve BEEN on empty for what feels like weeks now. Overwhelmed, unmotivated and trapped by my lesser self. I was slowly and surely losing a sense of who I was and all that I’d accomplished in the past few years.

4 months…. it’s amazing what 4 short, but painfully necessary months has done to my overall mindset. See while she was speaking into me, it hit home on me that today marks 4 months of me being jobless. I’ve spent a FULL 1/3 of 2009 on my couch. Soon as it occurred to me I just started crying.

4 months of feeling like this is nearly enough to dull every sharp edge I thought I had. Which is why I suppose my wife sensed it was time to express the things she did tonight. She reminded me that I now lay claim to one of the fastest growing blogs (traffic wise) on the entire internet. Here are a few tweets … from the past month or so as proof.

“Traffic report: 10 days ago ranked 17m+, 4 days ago 7m+, today ranked 3,136,590… thanks for reading! https://invincibleliving.wordpress.com 1:41 PM Oct 20th from web”
“Thanks to YOU we broke thru the top 1 million sites in the WORLD (traffic-wise) as of last night we’re ranked 998,624! Can’t stop here… 9:55 AM Nov 11th from web”

In mid-October when I first started monitoring the traffic growth of the blog, we were ranked in the upper 21 millions. Twenty-one MILLION websites were generating more traffic than us here at Invincible Living! As of today we are ranked 606,738 out of ALL sites on the internet according to Alexa Page Rank. In the span of a month and a half we’ve done VERY well, far past my expectations in fact. (please, please hold your applause lol)

She also reminded me that I’m the same man that used to cycle from Leesburg to Tysons Corner twice a week to my job. (36 miles ONE way – or the equivalent of one marathon each direction!)

She continued on to remind me that after spending my whole life not being able to hold my breath longer than a minute, I comfortably held my breath for nearly 4 minutes on 5 different occasions last month after reading this post by Tim Ferris over at 4-hour Work Week blog.

Lastly, for the sake of this post, she also reminded me that I increased my freestyle swim stroke by 60% (!!!) again thanks to Tim Ferris and this post!

Her point in listing these accomplishments – all of which I’ve netted just since July, is that I’m am an EXPERT at quickly and efficiently acquiring tools and skills that help me not only meet, but FAR exceed any type of physical challenge that is thrown at me. But those physical wins seldom translate to other areas of my life. I can make it from my doorstep to Tysons corner in 1hr 45min, but when I try to take on a task that requires me to lock in mentally without any sort of physical challenge to accompany it, I tend to fail.

It’s not that I’m not mentally tough, because clearly it takes mental toughness to do each of the things I listed, but it takes even more so to vanquish those physical tasks in the relatively easy way that I often do. But when physical acuity is not in the mix, things fall apart on me.

It’s now a goal of mine to identify and understand that missing link that produces those stellar results.

To be fair, I already know that I’m a HUGE procrastinator…. and in an epiphany I JUST stumbled onto part of the answer to my question. For me procrastination is all in my HEAD! If my body is engaged in the work, I tend not to procrastinate. But if I have a list of 10 tasks I need to complete and they can all be accomplished by sitting in front of a computer, I get distracted easily and end up pulled in 50 different directions. I can train for a month in the pool to shave seconds off of my stroke… but I have 10 items that have been sitting waiting to be posted to craigslist since October! I even wrote this full POST about selling things, but nope I STILL haven’t put them up online! And I’m online ALL DAY! See what I’m up against here? It really is all in my head!

My wife reintroduced me to the VALUE of work again tonight. Everything we (read: YOU) do within a given day is WORK. You are either working on improving your situation and bettering yourself, or working on undoing any progress you’ve made already. You’re either working on things that help you grow and mature, or you’re working on settling.

Success is a moving target and it’s constantly changing shape, position and distance relative to where you are and what you’re doing.

Soooo… what are you working on?

Live Invincibly,

@W





ThanksVision: One Year Later (Guest Post)

26 11 2009

Below is a guest post from a close friend of mine. This time last year he was involved in a pretty serious car accident, but walked away with just an injured hand. I thought his testimony was perfect for the Thanksgiving season so I asked him if he would mind if I shared it with all of you. It’s completely unedited with the exception of the post title which I provided.

Be blessed on this Thanksgiving holiday, and be thankful for the testimony you’ve been given. – @W

I just want to take a second to praise God for all of the blessings we all enjoy in the midst of whatever we’re complaining about.

rear view
Image by rappensuncle via Flickr

Today is the one year anniversary of the car accident that should have caused me alot more “discomfort” (I use that word lightly) than it did. A year later, I still feel residuals (physically and emotionally), but for the most part, I’m just as healthy as I was Nov 11th of last year. My wife and I lost our car that day, now we have a replacement. Thousands of $ worth of medical bills have been covered by insurance/legal recovery.

I don’t know all of the reasons God spared my life that day, but I’m guessing that at least one reason is so that I can share my testimony and give hope to others. (FYI, this week at church, we were informed that another guy went through a similar accident, but his car flipped 3 times. Still like me, he walked away with a broken hand).

I encourage any and all of you to also share your testimonies. We owe God that much at the very least for bringing us through them. Sharing our testimonies is one of the best ways to share God’s goodness with others. Not what He could or should do, but what He has already done.

God is still in the saving business.

Dre





A Call To Arms Pt 3: What it means to YOU

6 09 2009

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*This is the third in a series of 3 messages. They are meant to be read as one, so if you have not already done so please start here FIRST!

9/6/09 7:27am See, God is thrilled when we are willing to use something new in order to chase after Him! He sees it as such a FRESH offering, so unique and intimate that He HAS to honor it! When we become willing to go where we fear the most in search of Him, He’s willing to reward us the most!

This vision was given to me so that I might remind you of Gifts you might not be using for Him. This is your War Cry as well. This is a CALL TO ARMS!

You are still where you ARE because you are not using what He gave you to use!

What is your weapon? And why do you think it’s so small that God can’t use it? Goliath was felled by pebbles… (read that again, now)

Did not God Himself give you the Gift you are hiding? Would you expect Him not to want to have that Gift used at some point?!

This is a War Cry, this is a wake up call. Don’t think of it as strange that I claim to have had a vision! This is what the prophet Joel spoke of, and on Pentecost Peter explained:

“28 And afterward [In the last days], I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”

This is in fact the 2nd vision I’ve ever had in my life. The first was just as vivid, just as life changing, and just as timely. Maybe I’ll share that testimony with you next time.

Please keep me in prayer regarding everything I’ve shared here. Primarily that I can keep Self out of the picture and let God do in me what He wants done!

Before I go, I want to share with you the lyrics to the song in my vision: God is Here

Performed by Martha Munizzi from her album The Best Is Yet To Come

There is a sweet anointing in this sanctuary
There is a stillness in the atmosphere
Come and lay down the burdens you have carried
For in this sanctuary God is here.

He is here, He is here
To break the yoke and lift the heavy burden
He is here, He is here
To heal the hopeless heart and bless the broken
Come and lay down the burdens you have carried
For in this sanctuary God is here

We sing this song after the Prayer during our worship services at church. The meanings of the words are lost on many even as they sing the song week after week. Most have come to think the word ‘sanctuary’ used in this song refers to the building. But over time I’ve personalized it to mean ME! There is an anointing in me because God is in me!

And He’s in you too.

Live invincibly,

Adrian Wright

Photo courtesy of Amariah Art




A Call To Arms Pt 2: What it means to me

6 09 2009

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*This is the second part of a 3 part message. If you have not already, please read this FIRST!

9/6/09 6:52am It was easy recounting the facts, the hard part is unpacking all of the meaning without this post turning into a novel.

In short, this vision was about our fear of using our God-given Spiritual Gifts. ALL OF THEM not just the ones we favor!

The day before this vision I was at a table much like the setting described in the vision. And once again I was trying to hide one of my most beloved spiritual gifts; my ability to minister in song.

A friend at the table had just finished asking my wife if she knew how to sing. She was looking for 2 people to help her with the praise team at our church. I knew exactly where this conversation was going from there. My wife says, “I can carry a tune, but my husband – he can sing to your Soul!”

All week, no, all month I’ve been waiting on a word from God. Since I’ve lost my job I’ve felt directionless in where to put my efforts and how to keep moving emotionally while feeling at a standstill professionally. I’ve never prayed so many agonizing prayers. Should I fight? Should I run? Would it be ‘faithful’ of me to expect God to drop the next job in my lap the way he did the last one?

All of the questioning and emotional drain had me snared. Although I was still believing in God to do something amazing with my situation, I was losing my will to fight.

Let me quickly interpret the symbols of the vision and explain what they mean.

The Table: A stage, a platform God has always wanted me to use for His glory, but I was always too afraid to truly go after it in this particular way. He has given me use of platforms in many different ways and has promised me larger stages are coming, through my testimony, through this blog, and reluctantly for me through my singing.

The Friends around the table: These are people close to me who have always been within reach, but whom I’ve chosen to suppress my Gift from. I’m being held accountable for the people from whom I’ve robbed the opportunity to be Witnesses of God’s power.

Covering of the Ears: The Holy Spirit was trying to block out every distraction that I had set up for myself including my ability to hear my own performance. Simply put, the removal of Self is the ONLY way to prosper in your Gift.

The explosion: This was no ordinary explosion. First, It was colorless, or more specifically in black and white; I still don’t know what this means. Second, It took place in a space, but not outer space. It was almost suspended as though in a vacuum. The message of this is simple, the Gift inside of me is BURSTING to get out, and it will not be contained!

WARFARE: The voice of GOD. Unmistakable, unforgettable, indescribable. This one word given is enough for me to write another 1000 words on! My singing voice is to be my most powerful weapon. A WAR CRY! It’s what I must use to fight more than any other tool if I am to make it through this most trying period in my life. And I must use it as a declaration, as a vehicle, as a language. I am to use it in a decisive way to combat my fears, encourage myself, ward off and wound the enemy and continue to praise. I have to sing my way out of this period the same way Naaman had to dip 7 times in the Jordan to get rid of his leprosy. For all I know, this may be the very reason I lost my job…

*To be continued

Because there is SO much to sift through, I wanted to break this into smaller sections for you to read without feeling forced to read it all at once. Please know that I did write this all out in one sitting immediately after the events took place.

Please read part 3 here.

Photo courtesy of Alifaan




A Call To Arms Pt 1: What Happened

6 09 2009

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9/6/09 5:39am I just woke up from a vision. I didn’t know it was one until I woke up and started trying to understand what I’d just seen. I have to capture the details quickly so nothing lapses from my memory. No time to edit, just write Adrian.

Table. I’m at a table at a friends house. Feels like after-dinner discussion among my wife, 3 other friends and me. (it strangely mirrors some events that actually happened the night before, but with some distinct differences that at first I thought were random but now understand the meaning of.)

As the friends are all talking I suddenly lean forward, put my elbows on the table and cover my ears. I then begin to sing a song. It’s a song I love to sing, mostly because the true meaning of the words gets lost on those who sing it. But back to this vision, as I’m starting to sing, first I start nervously; wanting to be heard, but not critiqued. By the time I start the second verse, I’m no longer concerned with how the song is received by those hearing, I become comfortable, then emboldened by what the words mean to me!

Immediately as I finish the last words of the song and brace for a reaction from the others at the table, I see a massive explosion. It appears to be in black and white, and the explosion is not on land, not in the sky, but also not in outer space. Proceeding out of the explosion is one word loud, clear, and audible: WARFARE

I start up out of my sleep, look around unsettled, and then sit on the edge of my bed to collect my thoughts. (and my breath) After a moment I start crying. Tears are coming out of my eyes, and at first I’m almost confused, but then I recognize it. These are tears from being Filled! As I realize this, the meanings of the things I’ve just seen start falling into place. I get up, check the time in the bathroom and its 5:35am. I walk to the living room, pray for a moment, then turn on the laptop and start writing this. It is now 6:09…

*To be continued

Because there is SO much to sift through, I wanted to break this into smaller sections for you to read without feeling forced to read it all at once. Please know that I did write this all out in one sitting immediately after the events took place.

Please read part 2 & 3 here and here.

Photo courtesy of Throcket Luther




We’re Getting PUMPED!!

24 10 2008

Our budget is finally about to pack on some serious muscle in this war we’ve waged on our debt!

The Lord is aligning a number of things at JUST the right time as far as our finances are concerned. My wife just got a DREAM of a part-time job. (Ka-ching $$) My job just assigned me to a large overtime project. (KA-ching $$$) And largest of all in the next few days we’ll be paying off a major loan that will push an extra 5 ‘bills’ ($500) straight to our debt snowball! (KA-CHINGY ching chang $$$$!!) LOL

Now usually our budget meetings have become pretty fluid and pain-free, but last night took it to a whole new level. We were actually GIDDY talking about out finances! We were joking around and giving each other funny lil nicknames. For instance, because I’m the one that actually plots out our budget spreadsheet, and withdraws the cash ect. I made a joke that she should call me the “Comptroller”. And since she’s so great at filing our budgets, papers, and bills as well as keeping track of the decisions we make, as well as the follow-up involved so that we can ACT once we have the money in hand, I said I’m gonna call her the “Administrator” lol. Well to make a long story short we settled on the fact that she’s the “Commissioner”, and I am the “Mayor” lol! (right honey?)

So anyway, as you can see this new turn of events has us STOKED! And we are both certain in the fact that the Lord is blessing our efforts in ways we could only dream of! For the longest time both of us have been ‘worried’ about our Gazelle Intensity, because certain circumstances prevented us from generating any extra income. We ‘wanted’ to get to a point where it could be realistic, but even a recently as last month it just didn’t seem possible.

We knew the loan would be paid off in November and that had us amped enough, but we didn’t know where else we could squeeze out more income. For the time being that no longer appears to be an issue and I truly and openly praise God for making a way. We’re so undeserving of how well He’s protecting and accelerating our efforts! WOW!

Which brings me to my point for today: It’s really true that He will make ways for you, when you start moving His way! (Oooh I LIKE that one, did that really just come from ME?! lol)

Mmm, I think I can stop right there for now, that’ll preach all by itself!

For those of you who are attempting a Total Money Makeover, and really giving it your ALL, THIS is for YOU. It doesn’t start out easy, and it doesn’t always feel easy as you’re going through it, but I can GUARANTEE that it is EASILY worth the effort! (Man I’m just on a roll today with the good quotes! lol)

You will suddenly see things open up in amazing ways as you continue in this process as long as your heart is in it for the right reasons. Not to BE RICH, or to flaunt your newly reclaimed income potential recklessly. No not at all! Chasing those things is what got you here in the first place! Instead, once this process takes ahold of the way you think, feel, and interact with your money, you wont even WANT all of the things your money will now be able to afford you! Yes, when you get to the other side of this thing – when you are finally able to scream “WE”RE DEBT FREE!!!!!!” by all means celebrate and enjoy your accomplishment. But I promise you, you wont be out to blow your extra income on every DVD that Best Buy carries, or every new toy for your car, or every color that Gucci bag comes in. I just don’t think it’s possible to go through this process and hold on to that type of materialistic mentality.

I’m not saying you wont get nice stuff once your debt free. Oh yes you will, but you wont be living your life slaving to acquire those things, because you’ll be in a position to safely afford them while living within your means. And there’s a BIG difference between the two.

“If you live like no one else…one day you will live like no one else!”

Lord, I cant wait for that day. But thank you in the meantime for what you are allowing us to do with each day you give us between now and the day we pay off that last bill! And Lord you know this isn’t just about the money for us. I love you for what you are teaching me as a steward and a husband. I love that what we are learning can be just as easily applied to how we steward our TIME, or set our PRIORITIES, or how we manage all of the other resources you’ve given us. My marriage is stronger for us having gone through this. I am stronger in my trust that you will provide in EVERY circumstance what is needed for me to rely totally on you. If I wasn’t going through this process, I don’t know how else you would have shown me all that you are teaching me. But I’m thankful that you chose to call us to bear witness to this message. Thank you for your ways and your mercy towards me and my family. We do this to honor YOU… because you really do own it all!

Your servant,

@W

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