I started training in martial arts over 30
years ago and teaching more than 25 years ago. It has been one of
the most fun and rewarding things of my life. Sharing life skills
with other people that will help them to defend themselves and
also improve their physical, mental, and emotional conditions.
It's not just a hobby or exercise, or self-defense, it's a life
style. I've had the pleasure, honor, and privilege of teaching,
training, and coaching some truly awesome people.
Fast forward to 2010. I really started digging into the Word in an effort to recenter and refocus myself. To really know the Word. Not long after, God asked me what I was going to do with all this knowledge I was searching after and collecting. I told Him I didn't know. I was just trying to be a better me and improve my relationship with Him. He asked me if that was really good enough. Seven years later I released Black Belt Christianity : Fundamentals.
Just like my martial arts training - I never intended to teach others. I got into it for me. And here we are today. I've taken what He's given me and put it into print (books available in paperback and digital on Amazon), video (vlogs here and on YouTube), and online here on this website for you. Why? What are my goals?
Having gone therefore, disciple all the nations... - Matthew 28:19 (direct from the Greek)
mathéteuó : (Strong's 3100) I make a disciple of, train in discipleship; (Strong's Concordance)
Cognate: 3100 mathēteúō (from 3101 /mathētḗs, "disciple") – to disciple, i.e. helping someone to progressively learn the Word of God to become a matured, growing disciple (literally, "a learner," a true Christ-follower); to train (develop) in the truths of Scripture and the lifestyle required, i.e. helping a believer learn to be a disciple of Christ in belief and practice. (HELPS Word-Studies)
Our ultimate goal is to do as Christ commanded and help to disciple the nations. To help teach the world and help believers grow into the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13, Colossians 2:10).
Disciple : one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines (teachings, principles) of another; a convinced adherent of a school or individual. (Merriam-Webster)
That is one word which describes a great martial artist. They are a student of their style. They accept their instructor's teachings and principles. Not only that, they adhere to them - they bind themselves to them, they support and are loyal to them, they hold fast to those teachings and principles as if there were fused to them.
And that is exactly what a great Christian is. Rather, that is a Christian. A disciple. That's what Jesus said we should become in Matthew 28:19 - disciples.
Like too many martial artists that get to black belt and think they're done, too many "Christians" get saved and think that's it - that they're done until they die and get to heaven. Nothing could be further from the truth. That's conversion - not discipleship! And that's our goal.
That's our ultimate objective at Black Belt Christianity. Discipleship. So how are we going to do that?
"My people are destroyed for a lack of
knowledge." - Hosea 4:6 (NKJV)
God says here that ignorance destroys His people. Ignorance isn't necessarily a bad thing. It just means you don't know something. The good news is that ignorance is curable with education. By simply having some personal, experiential knowledge of Him and His Word, we can avoid a lot of the hassles we come across. That's goal number one: educate the body of Christ. Provide you with information that we pray you will meditate on, allowing the Holy Spirit to turn that information into revelation, resulting in a deeper relationship between you and Elohim (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit).
See to it that no one takes you captive
through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on
human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this
world rather than on Christ. - Colossians 2:8 (NIV)
You'll notice everything we present is simple. Minimalist design. Black and white. Clean lines. We like simplicity. The Bible is so simple we've had to have help to misunderstand it. We've allowed "religion" to get in the way. We've allowed our own ideas and philosophies and traditions get in the way of our relationship with the Lord. We tend to overthink what God's saying and all too often interject our own opinions. You want opinion? Watch the evening "news." None of that here. Goal number two: deliver information as plainly as possible. Our goal is to present God's Word as simply and plainly as we possibly can. No religious or opinioned pollution. The gospel simplified is Jesus. And the Word points to Him. After all, He is the Word.
Every Scripture is God-breathed (given
by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for
reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error
and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in
righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in
thought, purpose, and action). - 2 Timothy 3:16 (AMPC)
This is what it all comes down to. Taking the appropriate scriptures and applying them to daily life. Moving from being "hearers of the Word only" to doers. Allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us from the Word - convict us of our sin - correct and discipline us when we get out of line - train us in holy living. Goal number three: instruction in the practical application of God's Word each and every day.
Your part in all of this? Do what you want
to do. I sure can't make you do anything. Jesus is the best
example I know. He leads. He doesn't push or pull or drag
anybody along. All I can do is give you what I have. Share with
you what He's given me. The rest is up to you.
My recommendation? Watch the videos and read the articles that go along with them. Buy a book if you feel led to do so. Then do your own studying. Pray over it. Talk to the Lord about it. Then the last piece of the training regimen is of course to apply it. Put the Word to work in your daily life. Practice it. Day in and day out.
Contrary to popular belief, practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. No. In and of ourselves, we're not perfect. We're going to mess up. But don't let that discourage you. Matthew 5:48 says, "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." Rely on Jesus. Count on Him. After all, He is the author and finisher of your faith.
Until next time, practice the love of God.
Saved by the grace of God in September 1986 at 12 years
old. Raised Southern Baptist. Ran the gamut of
denominations after that. Happily non-denominational for
many years now. Started martial arts training October 1988
at 14 years old. Trained and taught internationally. In
addition to studying Judo, Aikido, Kung Fu, and boxing,
earned four black belts, two with advanced degrees.
A military veteran, car-guy, and fan of motorcycles, he lives in North Carolina with his wife and daughter. There are no normal pictures of him. Pray for his family....