Called Versus Transformed: Peter’s Life As A Modern Example Of Faith

A few weeks ago I posted a question at Bricker Breakers about when we first came to know Christ. Many Brothers, including myself, testified to accepting Jesus at one point, but truly coming to serve Him later in life.

That was always something I worried about. Was I not saved when I knew I was saved? Was there something else or more that I did or didn’t do? How could I be saved, yet continue to sin?

Then I began to pray about Peter. I like him and I think most of us do because he’s a lot like us. Peter was called by Jesus just as we were, but although he was called and followed, he still fell short of where we think we should be once we come to Christ

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”

Matthew 4:19 New Living Translation (NLT)

He jumped out of the boat, but sank, he fell asleep while Jesus prayed in the garden, and although he swore he wouldn’t, Peter denied Christ 3 times before he fled from Him.

Peter still clung to many carnal practices such as pride and arrogance despite being in the presence of Christ.

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.

Matthew 26:40

This isn’t a knock on Peter, and it’s not a knock on us, but there is a distinct difference between Peter’s life of following and his life of service.

The difference was being called versus being transformed. In many ways we are very similar to Peter. Holding onto a boastful spirit without humility, experiencing what it means to be broken and still redeemed, and finally growing bold in Christ through the Holy Spirit’s transformational power.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

It was once the Holy Spirit fell upon him, that Peter was spiritually transformed from a follower to a faithful believer and image bearer of God.

God featured Peter for a purpose. I feel like the purpose was because so many of us guys go through similar called / transformed experiences.

It’s no longer something I worry about or question, but it did resurface on those days so many of us were sharing our experiences. I knew the devil was whispering doubts in my ear, but thanks be to God, that He whispered the truth.

Much Love / Much Respect,
Scott

Called Versus Transformed: Peter’s Life As A Modern Example Of Faith

Profiles In Personal Pain: Which One Are You and How Do You Manage It?

Profiles In Personal Pain: Which One Are You and How Do You Manage It?

What’s really eating away at you? Are regrets consuming your thoughts so you’re forced to shut them down? Can you sit in silence without a mental movie flooding your brain and demanding that you fill the quiet?

You’re not alone. The pain we carry from our past is tucked away and always available to muck up our lives or turn gold star moments into brown star regrets.

We allow pain, shame and regret to consume us with stress over how to cope with it. Unfortunately, the coping solves nothing. Healing does.

Have you developed your own secret way of helping to ease that hurt? Does your way involve something that if exposed, would embarrass, ruin your reputation or cost you a career? If so, then you are not working toward healing, you are enabling the hurt.

God gives us examples and consequences of how avoiding Him only drags out the injury. There are three primary ways we try to manage pain.

Why do we avoid God? Because the devil whispers in our ear that we’re not worthy, and that we can’t trust God because all He wants to do is convict and punish us. I will tell you that there is no other way than through Jesus Christ the great healer and physician.

~DAVID~

King David was exalted as a great and mighty ruler. God himself, chose David to be king over Israel because of what He saw on the inside.

Man looks at how someone appears on the outside.

But I look at what is in the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7b

Although David was anointed by God, he didn’t come to the throne without serious personal baggage. David is a lot like us in carrying personal pain from our past.

Medication is the first way of unsuccessfully dealing with pain. David’s medication of choice was the flesh. His sexual addiction caused problems for everyone associated with him.

David’s pain was rooted in the rejection by his father. He wasn’t considered worthy of meeting the prophet Samuel who came to anoint a ruler. Yet, there in that rejected, messed up boy, Israel had a king. David’s rejection stung and stuck. Have you been hurt by a parent, and never forgave them? This injury doesn’t heal in time.

I’ll share that as a kid, I’d gotten a red warm-up suit with white stripes. It looked just like my hero, Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man (Not the wrestler.) I wore it everywhere.

One day my dad called out to me, but I was mixing it up with the neighborhood kids. Then I heard his words very clearly, “Hey, idiot in that red suit, I’m talking to you.” I was about ten years old. I stuffed that track suit in the trash, and forty-two years later, those words still hurt.

~SOLOMON~

The son of David, Solomon was by far the wealthiest and most wise human ever to grace the earth. Even though, he was born out of scandal with Bathsheba as his mother. He was a result of sexual sin, and the generational curse of his father continued to plague him too.

Motivation and achievements were Solomon’s failed attempt to soothe his pain. The more he accumulated the less he felt deserving. In Ecclesiastes 2 he shares the futility of trying to outwork his hurt.

I’ve included this small section of the scripture, but please read the entire Chapter 2:1-24.

10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;

I refused my heart no pleasure.

My heart took delight in all my labor,

and this was the reward for all my toil.

11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done

and what I had toiled to achieve,

everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;

nothing was gained under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

This is so personal to me, as I suspect it is to many of you. I crushed and conquered my way through a career, athletics and academics, only to help me feel less empty. It soon became impossible to fill this empty spaces. Our spirit requires peace, not prizes.

~ABSALOM~

There is a third unhealthy way of dealing with our hurt. Absalom was David’s son and Solomon’s half-brother. His pain, like many with a dominant parent, began at home. Absalom also suffered from intense guilt over doing nothing to defend his sister from a sexual attack by another half-brother.

Meditation stewed in his spirit as hatred intensified. For two years he avoided confronting his feelings and the offender before it erupted, and he killed his brother.

Attacks against others is what defines him. Are you feeling the rage of regret and wrongdoings roil beneath the surface while you look for an outlet to unleash your fury upon?

God placed a message on my heart in the recent past that remains with me today. “Avoiding is not winning.” You can only sweep so much junk under the rug. If it’s confessing a wrong to a friend, spouse, co-worker, or forgiving yourself for messing up once again, time does not heal all wounds. It is a lie, so don’t let stuff fester in your soul.

Which One Are You?

Do you booze it until you lose it, yet it’s worse than it began? Please understand that the substances used to fight addiction are not the problem. The problem is you’re using addictive substances to avoid healing from your pain.

Brothers and sisters; drinking, screwing and fighting will not heal your hurt. Don’t listen to the devil. You are good and you are worthy to be loved. God wants to heal you because He loves you. He’s not waiting to smack you like a carnival game of whack-a-mole. Allow yourself to heal. It’s better than the hurt.

Much Love,

Scott-Leah Silverii

When God’s Will Conflicts With Facebook Algorithms

Several months back I undertook an overhaul of our Facebook presence atMarriage Matters. Trying to tap into that perfect stream of increased engagement while maintaining the vision placed on our hearts was a challenge.

But what wasn’t a challenge is giving you a free gift. It saved our marriage and millions of others. Don’t worry, it’s waiting for you at the end of this piece. God bless you!

SMATGW

Sure, we could follow the traditional social media models by boosting posts, paying for ads and hawking new likes like a nightclub sidewalk caller. But, we’ve committed to doing SMATGW (social media according to God’s will.) No need to Google it, I just made that up. But we really did say we’d do only as He led us to do.

Now, God’s got nothing against digging into the insights section of our Marriage Matters’ page, so I hunkered down and accessed every bit of data I could gain short of applying for a FISA warrant (too soon?)

It showed me the best times to post were in the evenings when our friends were most active. Next, the data drilled into the types of posts that gained the most engagement and traction. Finally, it showed us that resorting to the traditional models for social media growth would be more productive in growing our presence.

It’s a Funny Thing

Even before I started my quest for uncovering the secrets locked within our Facebook account, God began sharing a word with us. He wanted us to begin going live on Marriage Matters to share the secrets of His word.

Once I worked out the technology needed to pre-schedule shows, insert slides, images and other video capture devices into the course of a live broadcast, we were ready to roll. Then God got very specific in His word. He wanted us to go live three times each week, and here’s the kicker, at 6:30.

Oh, that’s 6:30 in the AM!!!!

You see the funny thing, we’re night owls who work until about 3 or 4 in the morning while it’s quiet and no one is texting, emailing or calling. Peaceful, silent solitude. So surely, God was kidding when He said that. I mean really, go live at 6:30 in the morning? Who does that?

Giving God A Hand

We’ve been guilty of trying to give God a hand at having His will get done. Impatience has been one thing we’ve worked on and have mostly begun to wait on the Lord. The 16th chapter of Genesis became very profound during this period. God promised Sarah and Abraham a child, but after 10 years, they were still empty nesters.

Sarah decided to help God out by giving her servant, Hagar to Abraham to conceive a child and therefore allow God to save face by delivering that promised child to her husband. Well, that didn’t really work out too well.

So here we are a few thousand years later and guess what?

We figured God had to be kidding about the early morning time slot. Besides, I’d just completed an in-depth analytical analysis of our Facebook data. The earliest optimal time to post anything was at and after 5:00pm. So we decided to compromise.

We shot, recorded and edited three great episodes. Complete with intro, outro, title screens and subtitles. I loaded them up on Marriage Matters and scheduled one each for Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30AM.

BAM, my work was done.

Second Chances

That first Monday, I woke up around 10:00am, anxious to see the show’s reach, comments, likes, loves and shares. I washed my face and slipped on my readers so I could soak it all in. I was ready to spend the morning responding to the overload of questions and comments.

You know the outcome, right? There was one like and it was Leah, who had tagged it while I was washing my face. I thought it was because it was the first show. It would catch on by Friday. The Wednesday and Friday shows aired as scheduled, but with even worse results.

It had to have been because God’s will conflicted with the Facebook algorithm. I knew the crack of dawn wasn’t the right time. I became hurt and resentful over the weekend. How could we have invested all of that time and effort into the very material God led us to share, only to have it fade into the nothingness that it arrived in.

Sarah, Hagar and Abraham were placed on my heart, and I knew what God was showing me. I was disobedient, even in a desire to “help,” I failed to follow SMATGW because I decided to:

  1. Lean on my own understanding (Facebook data)
  2. Impose my will (Sleep way past 6:30am)
  3. Prideful look (Airing an edited version instead of raw and live.)

In God’s mercy, He showed me that although the trio were all complicit in failing to wait upon His promise, that they were still blessed and God’s promise was fulfilled. Hagar’s son Ishmael became the start of a great nation, Sarah’s son, Isaac led the tribes of Israel to rise as promised and Abraham is the father of many generations.

Despite our human frailty, God gives grace and blessings. But, what about the live show?

In Our Obedience

By the next Monday, God had shown me it had nothing to do with social media presence or increased engagement. It wasn’t even about sharing His word on marriage. God wanted my servant, sacrificial heart to step out on faith and do as He asked me to do.

He didn’t need an earful of data and best social media practices. It was simply a question of was I willing to sacrifice for His will. Was I willing to sacrifice “me” time to dedicate to preparing the script, verses and slides the night before, and be ready to air at 6:30am?

I was so sorry that weekend and felt ashamed for trying to help Him out, when the lesson He wanted to share with His son wasn’t about the way, but only about His will.

Prime Time

I’ll tell you that it’s not always a halo and a choir of angels trumpeting onto do God’s will. That Monday, we drug each other out of bed while trying to steal naps in between brushing teeth, turning on lights and setting up what we like to call, “The Studio.”

With puffy eyes and no idea if the technology would work, we hit the “Start Streaming” button and BAM, we were live.It didn’t matter that we’d only had 2 hours of sleep, or that no one commented or even viewed the show. We were in God’s will.

We repeated that sleepy, sluggish scenario again on Wednesday and then Friday. We’ve done this the last 3 weeks, and while our work and family schedules don’t allow us to go to bed much earlier, we’re still thankful to be in His will. We smack the alarms a few times, hug while praying and then get to work with SMATGW.

I’d love to tell you in less than a month, our live morning Facebook show has gone viral and changed millions of lives. We can’t, not yet, but what we can share is the friends who join us in the morning are a blessing to us and the emails about how they love watching while getting ready for their day has blessed them.

Witness Rewards

The greatest reward for our early morning prime-time special is the love we share with each other while promoting a God-centered marriage covenant model. Leah and I have grown so close since we began, and although we were close before, this opportunity has drawn us into a deeper understanding of God’s word and will.

There is sometimes a fear or hesitation in sharing your testimony in public. No, our marriage wasn’t perfect and it almost ended before it began, but we rolled up our sleeves and went to work. We flat refused to quit on each other, but that required we give each other up to God. He made the changes in us that saved us.

So, while I still do enjoy digging into data, we’re going to stick to the SMATGW approach. We pray you’ll decide to join us in our prime-time slot, but take heart. If you’re not a morning bird either, you can catch every episode at your convenience.

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Let’s make divorce a dirty word,

Scott & Leah Silverii

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A Man’s Needs In Marriage: Are You Meeting Them?

A Man’s Needs In Marriage: Are You Meeting Them?

A Man’s Needs In Marriage

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#1 – HONOR
Ephesians 5:22
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

#2 – SEX
**a. Men give affection to get sex. Women give sex to get affection.
1 Corinthians 7:4
4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.

#3 – FUN AND FRIENDSHIP
a. Your husband will be open with you to the extent that you are having fun together.
b. How to establish friendship:

#4 – SUPPORT AT HOME
Men need to do their equal share of the chores in the home, especially if both spouses work. A husband should give his best at his job and at home.

No Divorce Guarantee: Marriage God’s Way – Learn How

No Divorce Guarantee: Marriage God’s Way – Learn How

God created marriage to be everlasting. While there are no perfect marriages, the best ones come from two people who love Christ and refuse to give up. Marriage Matters wants to help you get through the weeds and discover what God truly intended marriage to be. Signup Now

Our free resources and Marriage Matters.TV share proven principles that lead to a marriage built upon the ROCK. Signup now, and we’ll send you free access to Marriage On The Rock. This course saved our marriage and will be the miracle you are looking for.

God bless,
Scott & Leah Silverii 

Pray Like A Man: Warrior’s Life

Pray Like A Man: Warrior’s Life

I love to pray. It’s my time to communicate with my Father. I start off in a loving praise and thanksgiving along with just talking to Him about recent events. I recap continuing prayers and situations I have given to God to handle. I also pray for you in our Brick Breakers community of warriors who have stepped into the #Trenches for Christ.
 
Somewhere along the way, I quit thinking about what to say and the connection begins to mesh on a spiritual realm. God often stops me from moving in one direction and leads me back where He wants me to be. Then I know I’m in His will.
 
I’ve learned to pray with expectancy. We are going before the Creator of all. If you’re not sure what you are praying for, then think through your requests first. God promises you Himself that He will grant your every desire. The key is that the desires of your heart must be in alignment with God’s desire for your life.
 
If you feel like your prayers are bouncing back off the ceiling, then search your soul like David, and make sure that the barrier of sin is not cutting off your connection to Him. God cannot listen to or look upon sin. Go to Him in confession and repentance. God will not get mad at you – He loves you.
 
We are men of God. The first place to begin acting like it is in communication with Him. Go to Him with a humble, sin-free heart. Then be bold about His love for you. He says to ask and you shall receive…but you must ask in accordance to His will for your life. How do you know His will? Ask Him.
 
What do you see when you look at the man in this image? Weak, broken, sad, alone?
 
How about at peace, humility, confident, in prayer, expecting miracles, spending time with his Father.
 
I love praying for others, but please do not ever forget the power you possess to pray over your wife, kids, family, friends and yourself. You are His son, and He loves you like crazy. Show Him some love back. I try to give God shout outs through the day. A quick Thank you, Lord when I arrive somewhere safe, or meet someone new, or feel the presence of the Holy Spirit move, or have a great meal.
 
I love this from James. He talks about Elijah, who was like you and me and prayed power over the weather. With full on winter coming, how great would that be?
 
Warriors, let’s always exercise our spiritual strength and pray like men.
 
Much Love / Much Respect,
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
James 5:16-18
PLEASE SHARE – Pray Like A Man: Warrior’s Life

FIT@50 / week 75

FIT@50 / week 75

Just Look Up:

I was back in the pool this week. It was incredible, and although the skills had diminished over a few years, I was still able to comfortably crank out laps. Except for when I crashed into Liliana Hart because she decided to stop and fix her hair in the middle of a lane. Though I think it was on purpose for both of us. I’m going to do a short-course triathlon later this year with our 14 year old daughter, and needed to get back to my own training to teach her.

If Michael Phelps and USA Swimming inspired me to do anything recently, it was to enjoy the training and fun of swimming, and to never be ignorant enough to make up a story about being robbed by cops.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I was always weary of water. No, not drinking water or bath water, but big bodies of open water. Sure the movie Jaws contributed to it too, but other than the dog paddle or treading water, I swam like a block of led.

Therein lied the dilemma. For many years, I thought about completing a triathlon, but since swimming was like the first one-third of the event, there weren’t many ways of getting around it. And unlike the one person who actually walked on it, I wasn’t getting away without swimming through it.

Something about having nothing to touch just below both feet while my body tentatively bobbed atop shifting currents bothered the bejesus out of me. I wasn’t going to be limited by this fear. So, I did what any motivated person would do. I YouTube it, and then I bought a book on swimming.

I began swimming before and after grad school classes and work in nice four foot deep lap lanes. I was able to breaststroke over one mile without stopping, so I entered my first triathlon. Guess what? Whitecaps, other swimmers and a pool-only breaststroke resulted in near open water disaster. But I lived to bike and run and was hooked.

I had great friends teach me but the freestyle swim stroke still eluded me. I dedicated one year to swimming four to six days a week. One night in a YMCA pool, I grew agitated and slapped the water in defeat.

My training partner asked what was bothering me. I confessed that while I could do the technique, I still couldn’t rotate to catch a breath. I’d panic, or swim with my face buried until lifting my head for air while both legs sunk and stopped my forward motion. I’d read the books, watched the videos and practiced, but I still had that gnawing fear reminding me that if I stopped, or grew tired or sucked in water instead of air, that I’d find myself where the deep, dark waters waited.

All I ever focused on was what was below. My friend asked what did it matter how deep the water was? We’re up here on the surface. Then he pointed to a pipe running across the ceiling’s peak. He said when you need to rotate for air, just look up.

That night I swam two miles without a single break. I did it freestyle the entire time, and had a blast skimming across the surface while rhythmically doing what I should’ve been doing all along – Looking Up.

Being FIT@50 has taught me that even the things we may want most can have the potential for adversely focusing our attention on the deep, dark negatives of obtaining the goal. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly reminder to Look Up.

Do Good,

Scott

Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D.