donovanmneal

Posts Tagged ‘Discipleship’

Patriotism to the Kingdom of God

In Controversy is Christian, My two cents and Christian Opinion on April 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

 

When I was a child I remember every morning having to put my hand over my heart and pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Having had the opportunity to travel overseas, I am proud to be an American. I realized while in that foreign county that I was NOT in the USA anymore. I was a stranger in a strange land. The customs were different. And although some spoke my language, some did not. Some things in the country I visited were different, and other things were comfortably familiar. I held a passport on me that indicated I was a citizen of another country and was visiting. The country visited was NOT my home.

In my attempt to live out my life for Jesus, I am reminded of this same fact. That although I reside in the USA, I am a resident of the Kingdom of God. I am a stranger and a pilgrim traveling through this land. It ultimately is not my home. And as much as I appreciate the freedoms and luxuries that are available to me. I am pledged to a different government.

It disturbs  me when we lower Jesus to the level of our politics. I cringe when I see bumper stickers or memes that talk about ‘Jesus was a liberal.’ Or ‘Jesus was a democrat.’ Or when we discuss the republican party and equate that with evangelicals because there are a few planks of a political platform that some Christians feel that they can align themselves. It cheapens who Jesus is. It indicates to me that there is a clear sign that we do not see him as the King of Kings. The one who will rule with a “rod of Iron”.

The reality is that the foreign policy of my government is very clear.

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
Dan 2:44,45

God is not here to take sides. He is here to take over.

When he is done, there will just be the Kingdom of God—period. Let that sink in. Now again I’m grateful that I reside in a temporal political system that allows me the opportunity to voice my opinion and influence decision making. But if decisions about the economy, marriage, war and peace, do not go my way I am not concerned. Because ultimately I am a foreigner here and my responsibility to my kingdom is clear.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: Matt 28:18

Ultimately, my purpose here is not to make legislation—it is to make disciples. When is the last time you sought to expand your government’s foreign policy?  Perhaps some of the concern that we Christians have with policy issues that run counter to us, should examine how much we are influencing culture through our failure to simply go and make disciples.

Ultimately, our purpose is not to make support or finance legislation—it is to make disciples. When’s the last time you sought to expand your governments foreign policy?

Something to think about.

 

D

Look I love when people respond with comments! Leave a comment and your name goes into a hat. Link this blog and you get another drop of your name into the hate. Every month I’ll draw a name from the hat, and guess what? Whammo you dear reader get a free kindle version of my novel!  Go one ya know you want to say something!

 

 

 

My first experience fishing: The story of a dad and his sons.

In Personal, Uncategorized on June 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm

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So one day my eldest son(20) asks me, “Dad can we go fishing?”.   I looked at him in shock, as I could not recall him ever asking such a thing in the past.  My experience with fishing was buying them at the local aquarium shop or frying them on the grill.  But my boy wanted to spend some time with his dad fishing.  So dang nabbit.  Fishing we were going to do!

I quickly admitted to him that I knew absolutely nothing about fishing.  Moreover, knowingly entering situations where the blind lead the blind was not exactly my idea of fun.  To give you a perspective on this excursion; one day I had the thought that my sons and I would go out and fly remote controlled airplanes.  None of us knew how to do that either.  To make a long story short that excursion ended up with a 200 dollar airplane smashed into pieces, and us having to use our gym shoes to knock it out of a tree.  It was not pretty, but it was loads of fun.

I imagined my sons and I falling into the water.  Wrapping fishing line around our neck and someone thinking that one of us had garroted the other.  As mentioned earlier I knew this was a venture of the blind leading the blind.

But hey my son wanted to go fishing, so with my youngest also in reluctant agreement I said yes.

Next followed a visit to the local Meijer where fishing rods and reels were purchased along with other assorted equipment and the required fishing license.  Ok so let me get this straight.  I need a license to fish?  This was news to me.  So if I were hungry the fishing police would what …ticket me for fishing?  Wow!  Of course I didn’t argue with the helpful attendant, but paid my fishing fee.  I got the super duper size fishing license for 28 dollars so I could catch the big ones.  Or they could make me look foolish…the jury is still out on that one.  But dang nabbit.  I had my bobbers, my lures, my rod and reel, and after being set back about 50-60 bucks.  I was ready.

Of course then I had to find out where in my area I could actually fish.  Details schmetails.  Thankfully there was a large regional park with lakes and my boys and I gathered up our stuff and set out to catch stuff.  I realized that I had no buckets so this would be a catch and release mission.  I wasn’t skinning nothing baby.  And those fishies were not stinking up my Lincoln oh heck no.

We arrived at the water park, and somehow figured out that the lure does actually does go on the end of the line.  My oldest son figured out that the sinkers wrapped around the fishing line and you squeeze them so they stay tight.  (Show off).

Our reels were ready.  The fish were prey.  I threw my line.  Yet here was where I realized that no one told me that casting your line was a skill.  So after heaving my reel waaay back behind my head and heaving it out to the lake expecting it to go a good 20 feet out, instead it plopped all of three feet in front of me.  Talk about return on investment.  Sheesh.  Well by golly I at least looked good doing it.

My boys cast their lines in and my youngest managed to make the whole thing look pretty effortless.  As his line went out about 15 feet into the water and his bobber floated on the current. (Show off)

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My eldest son also seemed to grasp the nature of casting.  Me…well perhaps this gen X’er had simply played too much Xbox 360 and my wrists were permanently damaged from killing aliens in Halo.  However, I was undaunted, so I tried again.  This time I managed to get the line out about 10 feet.  Snagged something…I was excited…only to pull on my line and realize that I was now bobberless , sinkerless, and lureless.   Pulling back my reel my line got tangled around the rod.

‘And there are people that actually do this regularly?’ I thought.

My sons seemed to grasp the concept of not losing their much needed lures pretty well.  A couple was strolling along the river bank and came toward us and asked me how the fish were biting.  Now you must realize that to me this was a trick question.  But I swallowed my pride and said, I wish I knew as the three of us were novice fishermen, and this was our first time.  The man laughed and wished us a good time.

After about a half hour or so, I had managed to lose all my lures to the deep.  My fishing was officially over. And my youngest son had managed to loose many of his.  With my oldest son being the one still in contention to actually have a reel in the water.  Eventually, I think he took sorrow on the plight of his brother and I as we were now spectators in this father son experiment of fishing.  He let us know we could go as he didn’t want to be the only one fishing. (Good boy!)

We managed to pack up our gear and with determined hearts we would once again take up the rod and reel, and seek out new waters, and again be undaunted in trying this again.  (That’s another blog…stay tuned)

Overall we had fun, and a great memory that my boys and I can share.  I learned that Jesus and the disciples were some bad bruthers, to be able to fish and for Jesus to make them fishers of men.  I have a whole new respect for what he was trying to do.

I’ve picked up a new hobby, something else to enjoy with my kids, and some spiritual insight on lures and bobbers and evangelistic sinkers needed to bring others to Christ.  All in all it was a great day with my sons.

I think we’ll do it again.

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Controversy is Christian: Am I romanticizing Lucifer?

In Controversy is Christian on May 4, 2013 at 2:19 am

A viewer of my kickstarter project saw the above trailer and stated the following.

“I must say you have made a VERY interesting trailer. Did you make that your self. I assume the footage is from video games and stock footage but the music, text and all is pretty impressive.

The question I have though is aren’t you afraid that this is romanticizing Lucifer? I ask because prior to being saved I had a crazy interpretation of the Bible in this ultimate struggle between Good and Evil. Long story short my version of Lucifer was much like Anikan Skywalker (assuming you have seen Star Wars). It sort of made me sympathetic to the “dark side” if you will. Now that I am saved and actually read the Bible I have a completely different take on things however, you trailer (as good as it was) kind of reminds me of how I use to see things. So what I am asking, how do you think this will benefit the 16 – 21 year old version of myself that imagining things like this”

Here was my response.

“I’m glad you enjoyed the trailer. I took me quite a while to put it together. Yes it is from various elements of footage that I’ve ‘stitched’ together. If you think that was impressive imagine what I was able to depict in a 400 page novel! I love the story and I think it came out great. You’re just getting a taste of my story telling in the trailer.

I think the question is a great one and its one I have given a lot of thought too. The Bible makes it clear that Lucifer was perfect in all his ways until iniquity was found in him. Ezk 28:15

For those of us who accept the literal interpretation of the Bible Lucifer is a real person, Anakin Skywalker is a fictional one. This is ultimately a fictional account of the life of a real person, and depicts his falling from power and his eventual demise. When you think about it, we hear about this type of thing daily with all manner of persons unfortunately.

Anakin eventually found redemption, no such situation exists here. Lucifer is clearly shown to be judged at the end of time, and my novel shows him in that state at the very beginning. I would encourage people to take a look at my prologue in the book. The novel clearly starts with where Lucifer is destined to be. The series simply addresses HOW he arrived from point A to point B.
I don’t believe telling his story takes nothing away from the central message of the Bible which culminates in the person of Jesus Christ.

You can read the prologue here.

https://donovanmneal.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/third-heaven-the-rise-of-fallen-stars-prologue-reveal/

I don’t think it romanticizes Lucifer to talk about the fact that at one time he was good. It simply is a statement of fact. I do not want to make him into something he is not, I’ve tried to share an entertaining tale from a Christian perspective that a believer could ‘get with’.

What is the real story to me is how someone who held such position in the kingdom, who was so close to God, who was created in perfection and lived in perfection could acquire a level of dissatisfaction that could be so contagious that it resulted in such a schism that a third of angel kind rebelled? That I believe is the story of interest, and the story in this first of what is to be three books in the series.

If anything I hope it can be an object lesson and a warning to all of us, and foster a deeper love of the Bible and bring the scripture to the forefront of peoples mind, via literary entertainment. Similar to the Left Behind Series.

I hope you feel comfortable supporting the project.

Highest Regards,

Donovan”

So last time I checked the word romanticized means to treat as idealized or heroic.  I’m not sure how that’s portrayed in the trailer or even the prologue.  But it is an issue that I had to address when writing the novel.

So my question to you guys is this?  Has what you seen so far romanticized Lucifer?

You be the judge.

Controversy is Christian:Guns & Gun Control

In Controversy is Christian on April 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm

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Ok so I want to start a weekend topic dealing with subject matters that are controversial.  Yep  stuff you’re not gonna like.  Or at least will have a strong opinion about.  Actually, I want this to be a lively debate about what you think, and more importantly, why you think what you do.

So today’s topic of choice is Guns and gun control

Yep I put it out there.  I’m not skeered. 🙂

As a Christian, not an American, not a republican, not a democrat.  What should be my take on gun ownership?  You TELL ME.

Now before I have people make assumptions about me and where I’m going, let me tell you a few things.  I do not own a gun.  BUT I want one.  I have voted republican all life, but I did vote for President Obama.  I am a conservative Christian.  (How do ya like me now?)

Oh for those that wonder, I’m college educated with a graduate degree.  I’ve lived in urban and suburbia, I’ve had my home broken into several times and have witnessed gun violence personally, and have had my own brother violently taken from me due to gun violence.

So I figure for those that need to put me in a box…good luck with that one.

So here’s my take on WWJD.  I think as an American, yep I have the constitutional right to own a gun.  No doubt about it.  Hey as I already mentioned I actually do want to purchase a handgun at some point.  I understand that government does not like an armed citizenry.  I get that historically, and the idea that we should not fear government is naïve to me.  Especially if you believe as a Christian that one day there will be a government headed by an antichrist that has the ability to control all that is bought and sold.

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Revelations 13:14-17

So this scripture says NO man.  Not just Europeans, not just Asians, the above would have to include Americans too.  So the idea that you should not have to be afraid of your government is simple naive to me if you hold to the belief in this scripture.  There is a day coming.  When those who live under this rule should be afraid.

So as an American if anything this scripture should make me just say they will have to take my gun before they put a mark like that on me.images (2)

But then I’m confronted with a simple scripture like this.

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

Matthew 26:52

So Jesus tells this to Peter after Peter defends Jesus from being taken away to a bogus trial, to protect leaders positions, and government interests.

So how do we practice this scripture in our modern life?  We do not carry swords around today.  But let’s face it.  Swords were the guns of Jesus’s time.

So what we if changed this verse a bit and said “all they that take the gun shall perish with the gun.”  No how do you like it?

There is no indication that Peter was a violent man.  Although the Bible does not tell us Peters skills in swordsmanship perhaps this was his first time using a sword. In fact, wasn’t he justified?  Who can go wrong defending someone like Jesus?  Isn’t that what we need guns for to protect us from those who would seek to do us harm?  I mean here is a representative of the government coming to arrest Jesus, and at least one disciple picks up arms to defend their Lord.  I can relate to this.  But Jesus rebukes Peter, and undo’s the violence Peter had done.

Rebukes Peter, and then undoes the act of violence a disciple has committed in his name.  Think on that for a moment.

What does this say to us?  What meaning does it have for us as modern day Christians?  I find myself reminded of scriptures about not resisting evil.426286_246011435488353_1026417449_n

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Mt 5:39  Then jesus talks about giving my stuff away…pssft..really?  Ugh sometimes I just don’t want to read some scriptures, they are like mini ‘inconvenient truths’..lol

Man I wish that verse was not in there because sometimes people need a good slap on the cheek.  Just saying.

Hey but it’s there so now I got to frigging figure out how to incorporate this in my life.

This following Christ thing can be hard.

So what about you?  Don’t talk to me about rights, and the constitution.  What would Jesus do?  Would he be endorsing your packing? Give me your thoughts.

The Gospel Explained is taking off!

In Look what I did! on April 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm

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I want to thank everyone who participated in the Gospel Explained Kickoff during Easter weekend!  We managed to spread the good news to Europe!  We now have copies of the book in the UK, Spain, France, Germany, and Canada!

I’ve just got requests for the book in Australia and Sierra Leone!  As soon as the finances line up we’ll send some copies that way!

Designed to give answers to those having questions and to give a simple gospel presentation its written to help with your evangelism and discipleship.

Get the e-version for only $2.99!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Gospel-Explained-Donovan-Neal/dp/055739077X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366238693&sr=8-1&keywords=the+gospel+explained+by+donovan+neal

Thanks for all the support and your evangelistic efforts to  go out and explain the gospel!

P.S.  Please don’t forget to leave a recommendation on my Amazon page for the book!

Thank You!

D

Free e-book! Press Release!

In Look what I did!, Personal on March 24, 2013 at 9:37 pm

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Get a free e-book for your discipleship efforts!

Do you need material for your new converts class?

How about information to give to new members explaining their salvation experience?

Looking for a helpful evangelistic tool?

Written with these questions in mind, the Gospel Explained is a great resource tool to help you in all your discipleship efforts!

In celebration of Easter. The kindle version of, The Gospel Explained is being given away FREE from March 28 2013 – April 1st 2013!  Download your free copy at Amazon.com and get it instantly for your kindle or e-reader.

In this power packed book, Donovan Neal M.S.N.P. and teacher in the Christian ministry for 25 years, uses a catechistic approach and walks the reader to understand such concepts as sin.  Why Jesus had to die, and be resurrected, and why is Jesus the only way to receive salvation.

Power packed with information, Donovan addresses the 44 reasons people chose not to follow Christ and provides responses to help bring the unchurched into faith in Christ.

Help your church by providing your members, outreach teams, and persons who could use a simple gospel presentation, this FREE e-book!

In celebration of Easter. The kindle version of, The Gospel Explained is being given away FREE from March 28 2013 – April 1st 2013!  Download your free copy at Amazon.com and get it instantly for your kindle or e-reader.

Follow the link to get your free copy!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Gospel-Explained-Donovan-Neal/dp/055739077X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364078975&sr=8-1&keywords=the+gospel+explained+by+donovan+neal