Author Archives: deefduke

About deefduke

Pastor of Jefferson Baptist Church, ride a bicycle, fish, hunt, and have 25 grandchildren.

The Seahawks Lost😢😢

They came so close! Oh well, I guess I will root for Kansas City to go all the way now. Cheering and rooting for a favorite team is fun, but I don’t know anybody on the Seahawks, I have never met anybody on the Seahawks, and I have only been to one actual game in my life, and it was a very bad experience because I thought I was going to freeze to death before we got out of there. So why was I rooting for the Seahawks? They are the closest thing to a home team that there is, and it seems like the right thing to do. The truth is watching sports on television loses its fun if there isn’t favorite players and teams that are tracked, read about, scores checked, and excitement if they win and disappointment if they lose. Add to that the camaraderie of friends rooting for opposite teams during a game, and eating fried chicken as well. So this is a cool time of year with the College National Championship football game between LSU and Clemson tomorrow night, I am rooting for Clemson, and then the Super Bowl the first Sunday in February.

I don’t watch a lot of sports on Television, just key games, because it eats up to much time. I watch just enough to make it a special treat, and and a source of enjoyment and camaraderie with friends. So if my team loses, I say, “Awe shucks” next time.

Hyper Sensitive

I try very hard to get along with every person in my life, but there are a few that are a major challenge. It isn’t that they upset me, but that I am regularly offending them. I try very hard not to, but it doesn’t seem to matter how hard I try, I still do things, and say things that hurt their feelings. There are 2 problems, the first is these people are hyper sensitive to slights, words or deeds that put them down . The second problem is that I am very focused in my thinking, so when I am thinking about something I don’t notice things around me, and if I happen to be around some of these sensitive people they regularly interpret my lack of attentiveness toward them as I don’t like them, or I am upset with them, or whatever. I eventually hear about “our problems”, and go and see if I can reconcile with them by “eating dirt”, that is I take all the blame and al the responsibility for the relational difficulty. I usually get things worked out between us until the next time. It isn’t like a weekly event or anything like that, more like twice a year. If it were weekly I probably would stop all mental activity any time I was around them so I wouldn’t goof up . I have thought about this challenge in my life and ministry, and I have come to the conclusion that I need to practice what Jocko Willink calls “Extreme Ownership”, which means I own the responsibility 100% of every relational failure in my life, the little hiccups and the full blown, major conflicts. The result in my life according to Jocko in his book, “Extreme Ownership” is that I will grow rapidly in character, and I will grow in the skill of being able to do two things at once, that would be nice.

Selfishness

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

This verse is clear on what to do or what not to do, but how do we make it happen? 1-don’t be conceited, never, ever. 2 – The same goes for selfishness. 3 – Always be humble. 4 – Always put everybody else in your life ahead of yourself when it come to meeting needs. If there is a verse that most goes against the normal behavior in our culture today this has got to be it!

Impossible commands in the Bible become very possible with God’s help and strength. The key thing to understand is that God works when we choose to do what He commands. The moment we take a step in the direction of doing his will, He begins to work and empower us. It is like operating a backhoe, we move the levers and amazing hydraulic power is released. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” is a cool verse (Philippians 4:13), but God doesn’t choose for me, and He doesn’t force me into acting, I must do that.

Time Management

I coach and speak frequently about managing time. My definition of time management is, “Getting a lot of things done that matter.” A lot of people get a lot done in a day, but much of what they do is busy work that doesn’t have a very high impact. The basic principle is that 20% of what we do accomplishes 80% of the results in our life that really matter. So the goal of time management is to reverse those numbers, we want 80% of what we spend our time on as the high impact activities of our life, and 20% of our time on busy work. The problem that we have to overcome is that the low impact activities are the squeaky wheel stuff in our life, they clamor for our attention so if we are operating our life out of our head we will be pulled to the “noisy” jobs and activities as apposed to the really important. The only really successful way to overcome this pull of the urgent rather than the important is to write a daily “To Do” list based on our personal goals. Now we have another problem to overcome. Most people won’t take the time to write goals or a daily “to do” list, because they don’t have time to. Makes about as much sense as not stopping to put gas in your car when it is on empty because you will be late where you are going if you do.

Best

When I was a kid I was in 4-H. I had a Jersey calf, that grew to be a heifer, and then become a cow. I raised her and then milked her back in the day when we milked cows by hand. In the Fall our 4-H club would go to the local County fair, and we would all take our projects and “Show” them. There were various classes of dairy animals mostly based on age so when we “Showed” our animal we were competing with the same breed and the same age animals. We would lead our animal around the ring, and a judge would line us up in order, the best on the left and the worst on the right. We were then given ribbons according to the place that we were awarded in the line. I also got involved in doing the judging of the cows. A group of us kids, in an age group would rank a group of cows, usually a group of 4. An official judge would determine the official placing and then we would be ranked on how close we were to the official judge’s picks. I usually won this competition the years that I was involved, from the 6th grade up until the end of my sophomore year in High School. Several years I got to go to the Pacific International Dairy Show and one year I got to go to the National Dairy Show at “The Cow Palace” in San Francisco. Those years were a lot of fun, and I remember the good times traveling with other dairy kids to the big cities to judge cows. There was a criteria that we learned to use in judging the cows to determine which one was the best. Today I am into hunting, fishing, and restoring old cars, and I have regular discussions with like minded enthusiasts on what is the best bow, the best gun, the best fishing rod, the best boat, the best old car, the best engine, the best motor oil, and on the list goes. When I buy things at Cabella’s I usually check the reviews and see how many stars the item has and how many people rated it. I don’t want to buy any junk, just the best.

So as a person, based on how I act, specifically, how I treat other people, what is my rank? In Matthew 19:30 Jesus was comparing this life with the Kingdom of Heaven, and He said “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” That is many who are ranked first in this life will be ranked last in the Kingdom, and many of those ranked last in life will be first in the Kingdom. And then in Matthew 20 Jesus says “if you want to be ranked first by God then choose to become a servant for everybody, that is put everybody else’s needs ahead of your own.” There appears to be several judges that we can “Show” for, the world, the people around us, ourselves, or God.

So, I will work at being the best in God’s eyes.With God it is all about being kind, thoughtful, valuing people, gracious, putting yourself last, and loving. If everyone was working at being the “Best” in God’s eyes it would be so much easier, but many are working at being the best in their own eyes and the world’s eyes and the standard is position, power, possessions, and prestige. Now, in order to be the best you have to love your enemies and be nice to those who are mean to you. I won’t be able to pull this one off without lots of help from God.

Suffering some More

Job 10:2 I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me; Let me know why You contend with me.

The thing that bugged job was he didn’t know why he was suffering. He asks why at least a dozen times in the book of Job. We often assume that trials and suffering are because of something we have done wrong and God is punishing us. If I go through a trial because of something I have done wrong, a bad choice in life, I will know it, and I will know exactly why, it won’t be a mystery. The story that Jesus tells of the prodigal son illustrates this point. The son asks his father for his share of the inheritance early and goes out and spends it all on parties. He ends up broke and he finds a job feeding pigs, and he is so hungry he eats the pig food. It says in the Bible that the young man came to his senses, meaning he knew exactly why he was in the pickle he was in, and he decides to go back to his Dad and confess his stupidity and see if his dear old Dad will hire him as a servant.

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.

There are multiple reason why we go through trials, but the main one is that God is the potter and we are the clay, and He is making a beautiful vessel that looks like Jesus on the inside where it matters. The potter shapes the clay by putting pressure on the lump of ugly clay in just the right places, in just the right amounts. A little hard spot messes up the work so he picks it out, pounds the clay into a soft glob and starts over, and then finds another hard spot and repeats the process over and over until it is a beautiful vessel. The Father used this very process on His own Son, because He came into the world exactly like us, and like us He was born with no character, so God the Father shaped and molded Him to be perfect in character.

Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

Hebrews 5:8-9 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

It is the trials that God takes us through to develop our character that we often can’t figure out because we are looking for an event that was the cause, but there is no event other than our less than perfect character that God continuously works on to perfect us into the image of Christ. The trials that come into our life are an incomprehensible act of love on God’s part as He works at making us like Himself so that we can enjoy His fellowship for all eternity , and He ours because we are alike. God loves us to much to leave us imperfect.

God’s wise and loving work in our lives won’t produce Christ like character if we get bitter, grumble and complain, allow our self talk to spiral down to self pity, and don’t trust the Lord and seek His strength. This is exactly what most people do, so all that God has done is wasted. Suffering is painful, but it is temporary, and then we enter into heaven like Jesus in character if we have rejoiced in our suffering.

Suffering, one more time

One of the main messages of the Bible is that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. We also live the Christian life with power and grow by faith in God’s Word, the Bible. Hebrews 1 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God”. Jesus said that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed we could move mountains and nothing would be impossible for us. Our faith is also the key to facing and dealing with trials and suffering as a victor rather than a victim. And how we do in the midst of suffering is the best measuring device we have for determining how much faith we really have.

If I knew without a doubt that Jesus was coming back to take His Bride, the Church to heaven tomorrow, nothing that happened to me today wouldn’t affect me much. If someone was rude to me, I wouldn’t really care because tomorrow I am going to be in heaven with Jesus and with my new glorified body. Any and every trial, no matter how difficult, no matter how much pain would be easily endured with no fussing, because what does it matter, I am going to heaven very soon.

Psalm 39:4–5  “LORD, make me to know my end And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am.  “Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; Surely every man at his best is a mere breath.

James 4:14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

Philippians 3:20–21 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;  who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
I like to sing songs during the day that are simple, short, and easy for me to remember. One of my favorites is “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King”. I sing that line over and over and over and then when I feel like it I switch to “No more crying there, we are going to see the King”, again over and over and then ending the song with, “No more dying there, we are going to see the King”. I have been known to sing that song for 30 minutes straight while fishing or working on a car.

“Soon” is obviously relative, but if we grow strong in our faith, waiting eagerly for Jesus to take us to heaven, it becomes more and more the focus of our life and our faith, and it is so much easier to deal with problems, big problems when we know it won’t be long now.