Growing up I never considered myself “normal” (if such a thing even exists). Some people embrace their uniqueness, but alas I cried many a night because I was different from everyone else in one way or another. But today, I can truly say that I am wonderfully blessed to be such an odd cookie! Let me share some of the ways God has used my quirks for His Kingdom.
I took piano lessons for twelve years while growing up. None of the other boys at school played piano, but I seemed to enjoy it. Well, several years later, all of those lessons are paying off as God has been able to use me with the Praise and Worship team to minister to multiple people in a unique way that I would never have been a part of otherwise.
Another oddity about me is that I’m a gaming geek. I am 37 years old and I still love playing both video games and board games. Let me give one example of why I’m thankful for this! My best friend, who used to attend this church, had drifted away from God. Many people judged him, but I still cared for him as a friend. Fortunately, we both really enjoyed playing video games together, so periodically we would get together to play. For about two years, I simply loved him where he was and would confront him about his sinful lifestyle as I felt the prompting by Holy Ghost. Within a few years, he married and recommitted his life to Christ. He now has an active relationship with God and we are still best friends. I by no means take full credit, but God was able to use my “odd” passion for games to play a role in the restoration of my brother.
Let me share one last quirk about me for which I thank God. I am a HUGE Survivor fan! (I’ve even planned out an audition tape for getting on the show.) I find the reality TV show absolutely fascinating. However, I have built relationships with people I would have never dreamed possible because of our common love for the show. In fact, I currently have influence in the life of both an atheist as well as a muslim because of our shared interests in Survivor. God has opened opportunities for me to demonstrate God’s love to those whom I would have had little in common with otherwise, all because of my weird obsession for a reality TV show.
Whether you now think I’m odd or not, I will guarantee you that you’ll never find another man just like me ever again. I am one odd cookie! But you know what? God celebrates the uniqueness of who I am, so why shouldn’t I? So I say, “Thank God I’m odd!”
~ Dr Matt
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Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
We all have been influenced by the way we were raised. Our family, friends, teachers, and environment The entertainment industry is geared to develop certain mindsets. All the experiences of life serve to effect our thinking and behaviors.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1 Our attitudes toward life, family, friends, and God have been shaped by the influences of life.
I was doing some soul searching, reflection on different people who have had a great effect on my life. I recalled a Sunday school teacher. Mrs. Cox was the pastor’s wife. I was around twelve. One morning whe she was teaching. She said, “Reading the Bible everyday would impact our lives in ways we could never imagine.” She said, “ God has a plan and purpose for everyone to fulfill.”
She knew we were young and easy to embarrass. What she suggested was for us to keep a copy of the Bible in our bathroom. It would be a private place to get alone with God and His word. I began doing as she had told us. To some this may seem trival or unimportant. She might not even remember saying it. I can testify, it has had a great impact on my life.
I love reading God’s word. It has changed my life and wrong mindsets. His word is my daily bread. It’s my strength when i’m weak and my hope when i’m down. His word is truly Spirit and Life.
We all have an influence over people in our lives. We need to share life’s lessons with others. You may never know what you might say or do that is going to impact someones life.
We are to be salt and light to the world. Let your light shine to help someone find the way.
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Genuine intimacy requires transparency, vulnerability, truthfulness, and commitment.
Intimacy is a process. It takes communication, time, and awareness of the other person. A question you need to ask yourself is, “How much of God do I really want?”
God wants an intimate relationship with you. You spend intimate time with your husband or wife, and friends. God wants that intimate time too. He wants you to mediate His Word, and spends time in worship telling Him how much you love Him. Not what He can do for you, but Lord what can I do for you. God is waiting on us to want Him more than anything.
God doesn’t want a one night stand. It’s a lifetime commitment to the One who loves you. We were created to walk and talk with Him everyday. Thank Him for what He’s already done in your life. He doesn’t need you telling Him everyday what you need and want. He already knows all this.
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Matthew 6:31 (NIV)
He knows how many hairs are on your head. He created us.
For me personally I have always had a desire to have that intimate relationship with God. I just did not know how. Now I spend that time talking to Him. Praying in tongues, and being real with Him just like I am with other people. I love it when I hear His voice and know that He is listening to little ole me. Nothing compares to His voice and that’s the way it should be.
Image Credit © Tammy Sanders
I remember a particular time when I was a teenager. There was a ballgame at school, and I wanted to go so bad. One problem I faced was my dad. I was scared to ask him anything. Then I had an idea. I would write him a note.
My dad always got up early to go to work and so, the stove was the first place I knew he would come to. My fingers trembled as I wrote the note and laid it on the stove top. I could hardly sleep. I just knew he would say yes and could hardly wait to get up in the morning.
I woke up bright and early and headed for the kitchen and picked the note up. To my surprise, the note was lying there just as I had left it. I quickly opened it anticipating the answer. No answer. I was heartbroken. How could he just not answer me?
My mom walked in the kitchen, and I said to her, “Did daddy not read the note?”
She said, “He did read it, but Daddy said that if you could not ask, it was not worth going to.” I was stunned and mad for not asking him.
Why had I been so scared to ask him? All he could have done was say yes or no. In my little mind I thought of him as a big bear and was scared he would bite me. In reality he was not, this was just the image I had. Rest assured I was never afraid to ask my daddy again. I found out all he wanted was for me to ask. To take this a step further that’s all God wants us to do is ask.
Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
What we ask must be in line with God’s word. God wants us blessed spiritually, physically, as well as materially. Don’t let the fear of asking keep you from attaining God best for your life.
Image Credit © Tammy Sanders
He didn’t have to do it, you know. When God spoke to Apostle David about going to Rhema Bible Training Center back in 1983, he didn’t have to go. He could have chosen not to answer…. can you imagine where YOU would be today if he had chosen differently? When he graduated from Rhema, he could have gone anywhere… ANYWHERE. But God sent him right back here. From listening to his story, you know it’s not what he wanted. He wanted to go anywhere BUT home…. but he was obedient. Can you imagine where you would be today if he wasn’t?
Apostle David is very fond of asking me, “Where would you be without me?” He likes to tease me about how I thought I knew everything when I got here. I thought I was someone going somewhere BIG…that this was just a whistle stop on my train ride to destiny. But I was arrested by Holy Ghost…. after two weeks of being here at Gateway (then Faith Christian), He showed me supernaturally that David Coker was my spiritual father and what I needed to fulfill my destiny was in the vision inside of him. So, then I had a choice…. I didn’t have to do it. I could have gone anywhere…ANYWHERE but here. This is not what I wanted, but I wanted to obey the voice of God more… I wanted to be in the center of His perfect will for my life more than I wanted fame, fortune, or accolades. I wanted… and still want… to follow God’s plan for my life.
So, I ask myself the same question sometimes…. where WOULD I be? If he hadn’t answered the call and been right where he should be? If I hadn’t answered the call and landed right where I should be? Where would I be? I think I know… I’d be on the seeker-friendly bandwagon, preaching compromise and watering down the truth. I would be chasing dollars instead of destiny. I would have religion with no relationship. I’d be crusty…There would be no power and anointing…. I would not have the influence I now have; there would be no favor of God… no divine connections. And then I think…where would my children be? What about my own spiritual sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters? Friends and neighbors I’ve come in contact with? Where would we be?
Thanks, Apostle… thanks for saying, “Yes!” to Holy Ghost. Thank you for staying through all the hard times… for praying through and pressing in. Thank you so much for showing us there is more to being a Christian than being blessed…. there is BEING ABLESSING. I thank you for your life of obedience and sacrifice…. your willingness to lay your life down for others and for this community… this territory…. the Body of Christ. I know you didn’t have to… but I sure am glad you did!
Happy Birthday, Apostle! Your life is making a difference.
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