We Must Fight And Fighting Never Stops Being Hard

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Fighting Never Stops Being Hard

This is something every believer needs to know.

The chipper, everybody’s happy, dry tooth Christianity milled by the industrial church does not prepare believers for the reality and horrors of war they WILL face everyday.

In the world we are always in enemy territory and we are always under attack.

“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”
—1 John 5:19

The lies of the world hurt.

And those lies come through real hurtful events and real hurtful statements at the hands of real people with an aim to establish real hurtful outcomes that contradict the truth of what God says, how His kingdom operates and His desire for our lives.

So, we fight.

In the world, Satan’s kingdom is the default, and we are in the world, so we fight to establish God’s kingdom -in our hearts, in our homes, in the church, in our spheres and in every interaction that we have with others.

Faith in Christ is an embassy in hostile enemy territory. We can run to it and find shelter in it, BUT IT DOES NOT STOP THE PAIN of the lies or the difficulty of warfare that we must face every day.

Without knowing this, a believer could be tricked into thinking that God is not with them, that He’s displeased with them, that they’ve not done something right or that faith in Christ is not real.

No, beloved.

We’re in enemy territory.

We must fight.

Fighting is hard.

It never stops being hard.

But, there is power available to us.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
—Philippians 4:13

But above all, we win.

We who are in Christ always win because He has won.

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”
—2 Corinthians 2:14

As we speak, the enemies of the kingdom of God are being subdued where there will be no kingdom besides His and where our King, Christ, is fully established as Lord of all.

“For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.

The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’

But when He says ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.

Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”
—1 Corinthians 15:25-28

Then, finally, we can rest and war no more.

Until then, we must fight.

Fighting never stops being hard.

Life can be hard and good.

A Vessel Of Honor Or Dishonor

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - A Vessel Of Honor Or Dishonor

One thing the Bible clearly demonstrates is that everything that happens in this life and our response to it will be a sermon for someone.

It is written,

“we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses”
—Hebrews 12:1

And in another place,

“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
—1 Corinthians 10:11

The only question is whether my response to what happens in this life will be praiseworthy or a punchline?

Wherever you are or whatever you’re going through consider this:

How will my life be read?

Will I be a vessel of honor or dishonor?

Can God use me, where I am, in this situation, to put His glory on display?

Or, will I be a vessel storing up iniquity, as a chamber pot, collecting excrement to be discarded?

Either way, God is going to use everyone to serve His great house.

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.

Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”
—2 Timothy 2:20-21

Which vessel do I want to be?

52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #3 – A Son And An Eternal Brother

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Week 3 of 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness - A Son and Eternal Brother

In week 3 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks to God for a son and an eternal brother.

Marriage by the law gained me someone as dear as a son to me, my nephew, Devin Mabry, the son of my sister-in-law Gloria Harris.

Marriage to Christ by faith through the covenant of His blood has gained me a beloved and eternal brother, because Devin is now the son of God, the Father of our Lord and elder brother Jesus Christ.

He was just baptized.

Another brother, Jimmy Gant, said during a gathering, that the only thing you can take from this life to heaven is your loved ones.

I cannot express the deep gladness I have in knowing I will have someone so dear to me as Devin Mabry in this life and in the one to come.

Such joy is in my heart, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Welcome, brother Devin.

I’m grateful.


How Will It Handle The Storm?


Not too long ago, Melissa and I bought a house.

We looked for a while and at many houses.

Then we found it.

We were drawn to it by its curb appeal, the large windows, and the high ceilings.

We were so enamored by the way it looked that we didn’t notice (or at least, didn’t want to notice) the obvious red flags -the very things that made it beautiful: the large windows, the high ceilings, but most notably, the fifteen year old A/C unit in a thirteen year old house.

And now, here we are, on one of the coldest days on record, in a house that is seemingly impossible to get warm.

The temperatures are in single digits. It’s too cold for the heating pump, in what we’ve since learned is in an air conditioner unit that is too small for our house, to efficiently operate.

The heat runs non-stop to the point that the fan fails.

The auxiliary heat kicks in but is struggling to warm the house because, yet again, it is underpowered for our square footage.

So, here we are, in a beautiful house, miserable and freezing.

I’m talking about life.

We pursue the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes. We set our hopes and hearts on the superficial, things that will ultimately fail and leave us exposed to the cruel and bitter elements.

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
—Matthew 7:24-27

We go about life, picking and choosing what we will do and what we will believe based on what seems good to us.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
—Proverbs 14:12

We give heed to and prop up the rich and famous as our guides, scratching and clawing after fame and wealth thinking it will make us happy.

“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
—James 1:14-17

But something that suffering in a beautiful house that failed to protect me from the cold has taught me is, there’s a much better question to ask about my heart’s pursuits than “Will it make me happy?”

The better question is: “How well well it handle the storm?”

I’ve faced some soul crushing challenges in my life, I’m dealing with one now, but what I can say wholeheartedly is, since believing and following Jesus, I’ve never been left out in the cold. I have been able to carry on, to be at peace and have joy inside regardless of the storm raging outside.

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
—2 Corinthians 4:8-10

And, beyond this life, there’s a storm that’s coming. Scripture refers to it as The Great And Terrible Day.

Despite the grim and blood-curdling horrors of human history, the destruction and suffering of the full outpouring of God’s wrath against unrighteousness, the evil that corrupts His creation —everything that ails us, will be unimaginable.

The question is, how will what you’ve set your heart on handle that storm?

Find sure shelter for this life and beyond it.

Believe on the Lord Jesus and be saved!

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress;

My God, in Him I will trust.'”
—Psalm 91:1-2

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.”
—Proverbs 18:10

52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #2 – Jay Hurdle

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #2 – Jay Hurdle

In week 2 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks to God for Jay Hurdle.

A young man with a prior felony has been working diligently to put his past behind him.

He’s holding down a job. His supervisor praised him as one of the best on staff. He’s taking care of his ailing mother. He’s showing up for his kids. He’s going straight from work to home.

He’s keeping his nose clean.

Then one day he decides to give someone he knows from around the way a ride, and they’re stopped by the police.

He has a felony, his rider has a felony, but what the young man doesn’t know is, the rider has a gun.

The rider throws the gun in the car and flees.

The rider escapes. The young man doesn’t.

Now he’s facing 10 years for a poor decision made in a split second about something as trivial as a passenger.

You’d think his efforts to improve his situation would be taken into consideration, but that’s not how the machine works, especially for certain categories of prior offenses and for certain people. All the system sees is your prior. It was without compassion.

But, Jay Hurdle was compassionate.

The young man was without direction, the public defender seemed indifferent, overwhelmed by his case load, and the young man couldn’t really afford to pay for his own defense.

Of all the lawyers we reached out to, Jay Hurdle was the only one to return the call.

Not only that, he arranged to meet with the young man, freely sharing hours of precious billable time to a complete stranger from whom he had no hope of recouping it.

The young man was terrified and Jay Hurdle gave of his time and expertise to help him gain some sense of direction.

I don’t know Jay Hurdle well, but I know the effect he’s had on our community very well.

Of the community service organizations and non-profits I’ve worked with, I was constantly brushing up against his work, very often him having donated it.

It seems that whenever I hear about something good happening in our community, I hear his and his wife, Cate Van Halsema’s name.

They are remarkably human and have given themselves to the betterment of our community, including in that people who others would omit.

I share this experience with Jay Hurdle because probably no one else in the world knows he did it.

And, if he did this, how much more?

I didn’t know Jay Hurdle well, but I know this is who he is: a neighbor the kind that Jesus spoke of.

I was grieved to hear of his passing.

There’s a Celebration of Jay Hurdle’s Life happening at the upstairs of Restaurant Tyler at 5:30 PM today.

If you’ve felt the effect of his life, I encourage you to carry it and pass it along, especially to Cate Van Halsema and his loved ones during this incredibly difficult season.

He is a man #duehonor.

He made our community better.

I’m grateful.


52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #1 – A Son’s Heart

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - 52 Weeks Of Gratefulness #1 – A Son's Heart

In Week 1 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for a Son’s Heart.

Someone was in need, having lost their home’s much used washer and dryer in the same day.

They were hours away, a new washer and dryer set would have to be picked up, the old ones would have to be removed and the new installed. It would be a challenging job for just one person.

As my wife and I were working through how to help, my son Chris volunteers, “Dad, I’ll go.”

He gives up an entire Saturday that are typically cherished and fiercely protected by college students to help someone else.

I can scarcely think of a moment where I was more proud.

My prayer and greatest hope is that I could ever make God feel the way my son made me feel that day.

I’m proud of you, Chris.

I love you.

I’m grateful.