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"Breaking Good" Beats "Breaking Bad"

Driven by love for his family and faced with seemingly insurmountable financial burdens, the lead character and mild-mannered father “Walt,”in the Emmy-Award winning television show “Breaking Bad,”decides to use his chemistry knowledge to make “fat stacks”of quick cash by “cooking”meth —an addictive, destructive and dangerous street drug.   Walt breaks bad, and despite attempts to keep his new business under wraps, the inevitable lies, deception and lawlessness catches up with him, ironically damaging the one thing he valued the most —his family relationships. The show’s popularity has captured tons of viewers, both Christians and non-Christians alike, helping make “binge watching”a new term for watching several episodes at a time.   At Every Man Ministries, we’ve caught the show’s bug too, and we think there’s more to learn about this show than just how to get caught up in the drug trade.   Here’s the key point: God’s in the breaking bad business. 

The Unforgettable Date

In the “dating” universe predictable is synonymous with forgettable. But research shows that unpredictable and risky brings great rewards for the relationship – mainly memory muscles! Any man who wants a serious win with his woman (the bragging to friends kind) must understand this one thing: she loves thoughtfulness and imagination. They are the two main ingredients of unforgettable memories. New girlfriend? Wife of many years? This reality with you never goes bad, spoils, or fails to elevate her relational adrenaline and connection with you. Now – add God.   After unconditional acceptance and emotional intimacy, women rank spiritual intimacy at the top of what they want and desire from a man. That’s right, they like to see and sense a man of faith for sharing what’s most valuable with them interpersonally. So for your next date do the math before that nice(ish) dinner and movie.   Thoughtfulness + imagination + God’s purposes = unforgettable   The “anything-but-typical date” might look something like this:

Are We There Yet?

Children are notoriously impatient – antsy is more like it. Mine were forced to hold my hand, stand in line at the hardware store, and forced to go “shopping” with mom. The waiting game inevitably broke them down emotionally – it’s called a meltdown. We had the “sit, flop, and fume” to the “Slap-the-toy out of your hand you are dangling in my face” to the “pouting Pearl Harbor” complete with explosions of anger and tears. On long drives to my parents every Christmas they all asked “Are we there yet?” Kids, right?   Men are just bigger versions of our “mini-me’s” with bigger needs and bigger destinations, but the same impatience – especially with God who, like our parents, does not wear our watch. We are trained by an “easy button” culture to believe that both private and public delays are the enemy. We are trained to lust after the product not endure the process. We work hard to ensure faster, smoother, and easier exactly to avoid slower, more difficult, and harder. Then life happens. Delays happen that we didn’t plan. Denials happen that we never expected.

When The Unexpected Strikes It's Time For Plan "G"

Unplanned events like a major loss, trauma or injury occur, often force a shift from Plan A to our trusty backup Plan B in life. In the last few days and weeks, we’ve witnessed a horrific compound fracture sustained by NBA great Paul George, an apparent suicide of comic legend Robin Williams, death of actress Lauren Bacall, reported crucifixions of Christians in Syria, and on-again, off-again truce between Israel and Gaza.   Remember playing the game Battleship? The opponent would call out a target such as, “B-10”and we reply with a “Hit”or “Miss.”Well, life has a way of dropping bombs in plans that may challenge our identity, our family, our marriage, professional status and even our faith. Like the game, the bombs hit where it hurts and we begin to sink.   These are only the newsworthy examples and a board game illustration, but I’m sure in all our lives, something has forced our Plan A to be sidelined so that Plan B could be called in.   We’re not alone. Even Jesus tried to call an audible before going to the cross, asking God for another way, a Plan B (Matthew 26-36-46). But ultimately, like Jesus, we need to resort to the fact there is a much better Plan G.

What Now? Just Lighten Up.

Getting to heaven is a simple proposition when you deconstruct it. Believe. More specifically, believe in Jesus (John 6:47). Say yes to the person and work of Jesus, mean it, and BOOM! You now have your sins forgiven, a purpose for living, and a home in heaven. But now what? Between earth (now) and my home in heaven (later), you have a “mission” from God only you can fulfill (Ephesians 2:10). In fact, there are specific works, or deeds as the Bible calls it, specifically assigned to you.     You can go on mission trips, volunteer at the local shelter, usher on weekend services. There are all kinds of ways you can serve. But it’s easy to get sidetracked by trying to find the ideal way for you to minister to others. In fact, it can become a burden for some as they strive to “work out” God’s plan. The good news is that it’s much simpler than that. The fact is God brings YOU opportunities, people and situations every day. That’s called the opposite of heavy work. So, here’s a twist on the light work God asks of you, and it has life-changing, eternal rewards. It’s an excellent gauge of where we are in our faith journey.

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