Wednesday, January 1, 2014

9 Biblical Secrets to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life!

9 Biblical Secrets to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life!
Tired of a lifeless and shallow prayer life!  Time to jump into the deep end of the pool.
When you subscribe to my Free email blog, you’ll learn:
1. There is no mystery. You can know God will answer your Prayers.
“Like having Spiritual cataract surgery. Everything is clearer now.”
~Ben Rodgers, Executive Director Children’s Cup
2. The secret to praying others into God’s kingdom without violating their will.
“Sums up who we are and the power we have in the Kingdom.”
~Dr.Guy S. DaSilva, M.D.
3. God’s positioning system. How God gets you from where you are to where you need to be.
“A Biblical approach to changing your life one prayer at a time.”
~Jordan Becnel, Worship Pastor at Bayside Community Church

4. It’s not how many times you fall…it’s how many times you get back up. This type of Dangerous praying will get you back up stronger than when you fell.
                                          “Encouraging and inspiring for anyone going through the storms of life.” ~Jared Florian, Chairman and CEO of Screen Arts
5. The peace of God stands guard over you like a commando. Learning to recognize it can save the lives of those you love.
“Keys to trusting God with a vision for your future and listening intently to what He has to say about your life”
~Amy Gaston, Educator
6. Learn the Dangerous principle that stops this insidious killer of Prayers.
                                      “From weak and lifeless prayers to dynamic life-changing prayers.”
                                                                                                                                 ~Robin Hatch
7. How to dismantle fear and replace it with Faith.
“Ignite God’s supernatural power over our lives.”
                                                                                                                                ~Stacy Goodwin

8. The reason why God cannot do anything He wants to and why He needs you to pray.
“To ask God to fill my mind with His perfect plans for my life and then stand in agreement with Him to empower those dreams.”
~Randy Wadle, CEO of NetWise Technology
9. Stop praying, “If it be thy will prayers?” Those can get you killed. God is moved by specific passionate desire.
“To be specific, to believe, and most importantly to talk to God like you already have it.”
~Jarod Gordon, Men’s Director of TWENTYFOURSEVEN

Here’s Where You Sign Up

Drop your name and email here and get these little-known yet powerful tips that can help your prayer life jump to the next level!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I Need Your Help, Again!

As I was finishing up the book, Dangerous Prayers, it occurred to me that there were many little practical things that happened in each one of my friends lives that were important to their success in praying Dangerous Prayers that could not be included in this book with out it becoming, oh I don’t know, at least 900 pages or so.  And who wants to read 900 pages?
I also realized that you may be like me; I’d rather watch someone do what I want to do and give me a little bit of instruction, then let me try it. So I’m creating a video series for the “stuff” that I could not stuff into my book.
So this is where you can help me.
I’m writing the content for the Dangerous Prayers Video Course and I would love your feedback. I will be writing the lessons starting in January 2014 and will send them out via email to those who are signed up.  So if you would like to get the lessons and give me your comments that would be awesome. All I ask is that you share this post with all your friends, the more the merrier.  

 Just click the link below!

Friday, October 11, 2013

"Your Best Self"

“Your Best Self”

I must admit that sometimes, for fun, I enjoy reading the “Artemis Fowl” book series by Eoin Colfer which was in fact written for children.
Mr. Colfer has done a masterful job at developing his characters. In my opinion he has done an especially good job with the sordid character Mulch Diggums. Mulch, who happens to be a very unsavory dwarf, lives a life of crime. What makes Mr. Colfer’s character so interesting is that Mulch Diggums is a conundrum. Though he is a bald-faced, unrepentant thief he is also very life-giving at times. He actually cares about others and will sacrifice his own needs or goals for the benefit of others, even though he is a criminal.
Now this is nothing new in character development, that is, to have a criminal be loved by the reader and to be life-giving in some of their character traits. The heroic outlaw Robin Hood in English folklore is much the same. The criminal, Mulch Diggums, is only life-giving because of one reason: Eoin Colfer, his creator.
Only Mr. Colfer knows how to bring the best out of this thief who tunnels under the foundations of the homes of the very wealthy and steals their heirlooms. Mr. Colfer is the master at changing Mulch’s heart at just the right time to cause him to be unselfish and help others without reward. Inside of Mulch Diggums’ character, his author built not the heart of a hardened criminal, but the real heart of someone who truly cares for others, a life-giving heart. Mulch’s life of crime does not really reflect who he is at heart, but since Mulch can’t seem to control himself, his creator, Mr. Colfer, puts him in situations that bring out the best in him. These are the scenes when we see who Mulch really wants to be. When he gets out of his own way…so to say.
I believe Christ-followers are much the same. Because our spirit has been created new in Christ through Holy Spirit’s transformation, we are different inside. We have the mind and heart of Christ.
Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone—and see—a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (VOICE)
However, we can have ‘strongly held’ lifestyles that keep Christ-followers from being our real life-giving selves. Sometimes we think more ‘Christian activity’ alone will change us and it does have short-lived benefits. Generally we still find ourselves acting out scenes we really wish we had not performed so well; such as white lies, unforgiveness, and the like.  So we still need the one who created our character to write a new story line for us, one that fits who we really are…at heart.
We need a new scene in which we are set up for success, a scene that causes the life-giving nature inside of us to shine the best. Our “author” and creator always writes ahead of our current lines. He is looking at our current situations, then writing new scenes and lines to help us be life-giving. Scenes to live out and lines to speak that express our heart of love. At times, like Mulch Diggums, the new scripts may not be what we are used to or even what we want to do, yet, they are written by our loving author and creator for our best performance. He wants us all to have an Emmy Award or two for ‘best performance’ on our mantles at home. He loves us that way. He’s our biggest fan.
Unlike Mulch Diggums, we have something that Mulch does not have, a ‘human will’.  And unlike Mr. Colfer, God can not and will not violate it. He can only work with it. And unlike Mulch we get to choose if we want to play along within the scenes our loving savoir is writing ahead of us. We can choose to play out the scenes by faith just as they come, or we can write our own.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote,
“It is something like that with Christ and us. The more we get what we call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become”.
You have scenes and lines waiting for you to play your best performance. Pray today and ask God to help you “get out of the way” and truly “be your best self”.
Make today your masterpiece!

And remember to be life giving!

Alex Anderson

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Kitchen Table

The Kitchen TableI don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but my mom is an incredible Monopoly player. I mean she is phenomenal. And one of the things I enjoyed growing up was sitting at the kitchen table. I’m not just talking about Mom’s amazing cooking. I loved the kitchen table because that is where all the entertainment happened. When I was growing up, there was no Internet, no cell phones…shoot, I don’t think there were even interstates then.
We had to create our own entertainment. So the kitchen table was fun because we would play Monopoly, cards, checkers, lots of board games. It was in those times that I learned how to communicate, to negotiate, to win, and to lose.
My mom wouldn’t give you an inch of grace when playing a game. She would beat you and take all your Monopoly toys away. As an early teen while playing with her, I was down pretty bad. I was running out of cash and I had landed on one of her big red expensive hotels on Park Place…ouch! I was trying to make a deal with her. She mortgaged me to the hilt …she knew the next time around I was toast. And sure enough she wiped me out…with a big smile on her face. I was so mad. I sat there fuming. She looked at me and said, “Why are you so upset?” I said, “Because you didn’t let me win!” She said, “I am not supposed to let you win. If I let you win, I would be doing you the worst service in the world, Son. You know you wouldn’t feel good about it if you didn’t win on your own merits.” My mom is a wise lady.
The kitchen table is where the family culture is passed down to the next generation. Think about this…before there ever was a church or a community, as we know it, God created a family with Adam and Eve.
It’s at the kitchen table, with all personal electronics in the “off position, please,” that we first learn healthy relationship skills and values; not in universities, sporting events, or in corporate America. Children learn from their parents and the parents learn from the grandparents and so on and so on.
“Teach a child how to follow the right way;even when he is old, he will stay on course.” (Proverb 22:6 (Voice)
In the book, Lincoln On Leadership by Donald T. Phillips, I learned these thoughts about Lincoln:
Abraham Lincoln developed the love of writing and communication that later helped him to become a president of the United States by his mother reading and teaching him to read the Bible. He also learned something else. His father was a harsh man…very critical. Senior Lincoln had a very difficult life and was barely able to take care of his family. Abraham also learned to be very critical.
Later in politics, young Lincoln was very critical towards others in his public speaking. He would even take out ads in the newspaper and publicly slander people. This got him into a pistol dual where he almost lost his life.
That event shook him up and caused a change, but here is the cool thing; because his mom taught him to read the Bible, he learned that criticizing people does not honor God.
As a matter of fact, during the Civil War, the South had gotten into a position where it would have been really easy for the Union to stop a lot of bloodshed. Atlanta would have never been burned and a lot of other terrible things could have been stopped very early on. Robert E. Lee was positioned in a particular place and the timing was perfect to take him out. So Lincoln immediately sent word to his general with intelligence on how to proceed. Well, his general decided to do what he wanted to do instead, and it literally prolonged the war for years.
Rightfully so, Lincoln was very angry. He wrote a rebuke to this guy…something to the effect of, “You don’t realize this, but by not doing what I asked you to do, you let Lee get out from under us. Because of this, there is no telling how many lives and resources we’ve lost, or how much destruction is going to take place in the next few years. We could have ended this war, but you did not do what I asked you to do.”
Care to guess how the guy responded to the letter? He didn’t. Lincoln never sent it. He had a changed heart when it came to criticism. Even under huge duress as president, Lincoln dealt with his subordinate as a life-giving person, which he learned at the kitchen table.
Do you have a Life-Giving kitchen table? If not, why not make it a goal for this month? Until next time…
Be Life-Giving!
Alex Anderson

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Seek Understanding

John and Martha were small town, Kansas farmers. John, the only son of an only son didn’t have any children. They were very successful and had about a dozen people working for them. Both were very involved in their church. They loved God. When they weren’t working on the farm, they were working at church, Martha in the children’s ministry and John cutting grass while mentoring a few high school boys.
They tried to have children and could not. Frustrated with that part of their life and not understanding why…praying and praying…but no child. They attempted to adopt children but ran into a lot of dead ends and it just didn’t seemed like the right thing for them to do.
One morning, John woke up and felt like God had answered his prayer to give him a child. It was only a few days after that, when John’s pastor had been called to the hospital. There had been a horrible accident and a pregnant single young lady had died, but her baby boy had been saved. No one in her family wanted baby...too much work.
John’s pastor knew exactly who to call. 
John and Martha adopted the little boy and named him Barry. As Barry grew, he was very life-giving and made friends easily.
John’s, friend Ted’s since high school, owned the local feed and seed. It was a combination of convenience, gas and feed-n-seed store. John, a wheat and corn farmer wasn’t into animals that much. He had lots of land and big equipment.
When Barry became a teenager, John would send him to the feed-n-seed to pick up supplies. Barry always parked his truck around back since friends never came through the front of the store.
Ted’s son Jim was manning the cash register as Barry came busting in through the back door.  He walk up on a guy in front of the cash register with a hoodie on who swung a gun around and shot Barry right in the chest. Barry died within minutes.
Heartbroken John and Mary leaned hard on their relationship with God, their pastor and church small group. They knew they had to forgive this guy who shot their son. But God it would be hard. 
Since they would be responsible for putting this murderer away for the rest of his life they took a day or two to pray before going to the jail. They prayed, “to have a conscious void of offense towards God and man.” (Acts 24:16) They needed to seek understanding so they would not fall into the painful sin of judment.
God put it on their hearts to get to know their son’s killer. He was surprised to see them. His name was Jude. The whole time he just kept his head down. So for hours, Jude humbly answered their questions. They found out that Jude’s dad had left when he was a little boy. Jude was about the same age as Barry. Jude’s girlfriend had just gotten pregnant. Her very religious family had kicked her out. They had a baby on the way and didn’t know what to do.
Jude’s idea was to go rob the feed-n-seed to get just enough money to take his future wife and baby far away and start over. Jude had never dreamed of doing anything like this in his life. This was his first crime. As John and Martha listened they realizes he wasn’t a bad kid. He was just responding out of a bad situation.
He had never fired a gun before until Barry bust through the doors, and startled him. He didn’t shoot to kill…he just shot. John and Martha dropped the charges, but the court still prosecuted
The rest of the story
John and Martha chose to forgive Jude, then went to find Jude’s girlfriend Tanya to ask her to come live with them. Miraculously enough, after petitioning the courts, Jude got a greatly reduced sentence. John and Martha “unofficially” adopted Jude, Tanya and their new baby boy. So because of John and Martha’s heart to forgive, not only did they have a son in Heaven, now they had a “daughter, another son and a grandchild” that they treated like their own.

I don’t know about you but that would be hard for me to do. I do know you can’t do that if your focus is only on you. God told John and Martha, “You can lament over the loss of Barry who is with me in Heaven… that’s ok… but you can also go change the lives of three other people.” And they did. They sowed a seed of forgiveness and got a harvest of love. The names and places have been changed to protect their identities.

So Be Life Giving…you never know what may happen.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Mad Father’s Prayer

Mad Mack
The first time I met Mad Mack I was somewhat intimidated by him.  He looked to me like he had either just left a fight, or was getting ready to have one. He was usually red-faced and cursed a lot. He was very animated and waved his hands in the air when he would curse.  He yelled at people when he talked on the telephone. In his defense, he had survived significant hearing loss in both ears, but most people didn’t know that.  To them he seemed mad all the time, which is how he got the name “Mad Mack”. My time of knowing and interacting with Mad Mack lasted about a year. 

This is going to be painful
One Sunday morning, I was greeting at the front door of our church. Ted and Julia came walking across the parking lot with another couple I did not recognize. This wasn’t unusual considering the number of new people Ted had been inviting to church. When they arrived at the front door I quickly recognized the man. It was Mad Mack. I thought to myself, “This is going to be painful”.

To be perfectly honest, I was not very excited about seeing Mack. Ted reached over and tapped me on the shoulder as I was talking to another person, and as I turned around my eyes met Mad Mack’s. I was totally shocked. His crystal blue eyes were full of sweet compassion. I could instantly tell that Mad Mack was a different man.  He didn’t look mad anymore and I would later repent of my attitude. 

He had gone through a horrible divorce that had, in his words, “stripped him” of his self worth. It was after the crushing blow of his divorce that he began to search for the God of his childhood. He said he had “nothing to lose in trying God out again.” God answered his prayer, and his heart because soft again.

After getting back up close and personal with Jesus Christ, tremendous blessings began to take place in Mack’s life. He met Julia, who was a Christ-follower, and they were shortly married. Her encouragement helped him start his own company, which was off the chain successful.

The Son of Mad Mack
Most of Mack’s life was very blessed as he surrendered one part of his life at a time to God. However, one part of Mack’s life was not as he or God wanted it.

Mack’s son from his previous marriage did not like his father. Mack wanted passionately to live life with his son, but Phillip wanted no part of it. Cursing him right to his face for destroying his life, Phillip told Mack he would never forgive him for what he did to his mom. The old Mack had never spent much time at home.  In Mack’s words, “Hell, I spent most of my time working to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.” Mack now took total responsibility for his former failures as a husband, and as a father.
When our hearts are supercharged by the love of Christ, our prayers become for those we love.  One Sunday after church service Mack said to me with tears in his eyes, “I want you to pray for Phillip to become a Christ follower.  He wouldn’t listen to me because I’ve been a terrible dad.”

So we prayed. “Father in Heaven, we thank you for sending your son Jesus to die for and save Phillip. Satan, we claim Phillip for the kingdom of God in, Jesus’ name.  Father, we ask you to bring someone across Phillip’s path that he will listen to so that he may become a Christ follower. Thank you, Father in Heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

Mack asked, “Now what?” I said, “God heard our prayer and we need to let Him work on it. Now we thank Him for the answer.” Mack asked, “How long?” I said, “Until we see the answer.” Mack dropped his head. He was not as convinced.

The rest of the story
A few months later, a young man visited our church for many weeks. Ryan became a Christ follower and passionate that his close friends get the same chance.  After a few months, Ryan’s best friend came to church and became a Christ follower.  Ryan’s best friend was Phillip, Mack’s son.  Around 11 months God answered Mack’s prayer.  Mad Mack became smiling Mack.  He smiled so much it would make “your cheeks” hurt.

Their relationship was restored.  Phillip went back to college and eventually became a missionary.  He is married and has a fantastic ministry and “Smiling Mack” is his biggest financial supporter.

Fathers never…never…never…give up!
No matter what you have done, pray for your children and remember,
Be Life Giving!
Alex Anderson

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Seed of Opportunity

You cannot go through life without thinking at some point that the things that happen to your life with its twist and turns are just some random cosmic-roll of the dice.  If good things come, then the moon and the stars must have aligned just right and if bad things happen then obviously the gods are angry and out of control…again. There’s no plan. You are only biding your time here on spaceship earth. All you got is just some vague cosmic hope that things go well. I mean come all…I even had those thoughts many years ago.

But there is something terribly wrong with this thinking.  Instead of some cosmic roll of the dice, as a Christ follower, you have someone far greater working on your behalf.  You have a God who wants to be entirely involved in your life right down to the numbering of the very hairs on your noggin.  As a matter of fact it even says so in the Bible in Luke 12:7 (NIV);

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid…”

The real question is, are you bear-hugging this truth or just cuddling it as some mumbo-jumbo. Is it the gods must be angry or does The God, I mean the real one in the Bible, have your back?   It can mean all the difference between resting and stressing about the crazy stuff of your life. Napoleon Hill wrote:
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

Now that dog will hunt…just ask Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison or Nelson Mandela, I mean if Lincoln and Edison were still alive. But if you could, these great men would share how they turned horrible situations in to amazing opportunities that literally changed millions of lives, not to mention their own. There really is a seed…though sometimes buried and needs to be found, in the midst of the Hell you could be facing right now.

A simple acrostic has helped me in the middle of these mind numbing  times and I would like to share it with you. Hopefully with a little thought and prayer it will help you turn some lemons into lemonade.
P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. can be one of the best things that can happen to you.

Predictors, they have the ability to predict what you are going to be, “unless you change it.” Sometimes we pray prayers that God will never answer. God change me. That is not God’s job. He is going to work with you and let you change…you.

Reminders, they teach us what we need and that we need God and others. They are reminders to ask God and others for guidance and help.

Problems also create Opportunities. They allow great solutions to arise. Have you ever heard of WD40? It is a spray you put on stuff. Do you know why it is called WD40? Well in 1953, a small company in San Diego called Rocket Chemical Company tried to create a rust prevention solvents for the aerospace industry. It took 40 long hard stabs at the formula before they got it right. The original secret formula for WD40, which stands for water displacement, is still in use today.

Blessings, they allow us to grow more. Problems can help bring clarity to our lives and decision we need to make. Have you ever gone through something and later on you look back and went, “You know that was miserable, but I became a better person.” They don’t FEEL like it, but they can be blessings in disguise.

They teach us Lessons…if we let them. I don’t like going through the same pain twice and I bet you don’t either. So I sit down and think about it. Write some stuff down. I ask questions. The more I do, the more I learn some.

Problems are Everywhere. Sometimes I can think I’m the only one going through a problem. The truth is…I’m not that special and neither are you to believe it only happens to me. There is nothing new under the sun.

Problems give us Messages about our lives. Think about that for a minute. What is this situation really saying to you? What is the question behind the question?” God loves you. Ask Him what He thinks.

Solvable, there is always a way out. Romans 8:28 states, “All things work together for the good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.”  Do you love God and are you working on your purpose or His for your life?  If His, then take your hand and pat yourself on the shoulder and say I qualify.

Your Turn
Now you have a real decision to make…say yes to the comic mess or yes to your God who created you in love and wants to help you finish your life with hope.

And please remember,
Be Life Giving!
Alex Anderson