The Call


A few months ago I posted a similar blog about answering the call.  I’m gonna expand on this one.
Forgive me if I go on to different roads during this blog….but it all ties in….or I hope it does.

Whether you want to call yourself a person of faith, religious, athiest, whatever….we all have a calling.  Whether it is to be the best person you think you can be, a better provider, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend,  brother, sister, parent. ..I think you get the point.   Start a business, go on a road trip that will determine things in your life ….we are all called to do something that takes us out of our comfort zone and drops us right smack dab into a place of uncertainty and unfamiliarity. 

For myself, being a man of faith….which really translates to trust….I have been called so many times to do things which have scared the you know what out of me…..because it takes me out of my comfort zone…my known place. 

But as we get ready to accomplish or take on this great feat….so many doubts so much fear overtakes us questioning our abilities, our skill.  I speak from experience.  So many times I have allowed my fears to control my decision.  Yes….this is a confession SPOILER ALERT…I ain’t perfect. 

Saturday I sat down and watched Evan Almighty. …if you haven’t seen it watch it.  Here’s an awesome clip.
God and Opportunities – Evan Almighty:

I absolutely love this clip.  How many times have we asked for _____ and expect it to mysteriously happen.  But in reality….it is in the opportunities that our _____ develops.  It is in that moment it is developed and valued more. 

A few weeks ago I was called to do something big…and as always…my insecurities, feeling of inefficiency crept up trying to overshadow what I am now being called to do.  I have to be honest. …for a week and a half I was in a place of depression. ..frustrated w life and circumstances (still am) but I had let that overwhelm my heart.  Finally after having a great conversation w a friend from church….he said “the reason He called you is because you ARE the best man for the job.  It’s ok to question yourself and doubt in yourself…but dont ever question God’s wisdom….you’ll look pretty stupid. Lol”.  It was through all of the experiences I have been through that have prune me and prepared me to be at this place right now.  Without knowing it, the prayers of asking for _____, God had been placing me in them for my ____ to be developed. 

So what have you been called to do?  Have you been afraid…..sure! Have you been so uncertain it has halted you from taking that first step?  Probably…..but just remember somebody bigger than you and I have called us to make those changes for the better in our lives.  To positively change and touch lives around us. 

So when that fear creeps up, anger rages inside, frustration…..whatever it may be….just remember there’s somebody bigger who can and will walk with you the whole way through.

Larnelle Harris – Somebody Bigger Than You And I …:

So answer that call….it’s ok to be afraid….because there can be no courage unless your scared.

Hey…….the phone’s ringing…..are you gonna answer it?

Week 3- What is going on?

Sorry for the late post.  I’ve been sick.since last Wednesday and it hasn’t let up.  In fact I feel worse a week later than when it started….what is going on????

Well, you know how every time things just seem to be hard….they manage to get harder?  As if “life” says… you go.  Your constructs get challenged almost everyday.  The weaker they are, the quicker you get crushed.  Check this out

Green Lantern 2011 – Training scene:

Through every adversity there is a seed of equal or greater benefit….BUT….that seed has to be cultivated, watered, tend to.  It just doesn’t happen…..or where would the lesson learned be? 

Sometimes I wonder what God thinks.  I mean does He slap His forehead and go “UGH!…DUDE? REALLY? AGAIN?”

A friend of mine posted something amazing today on FB….philippians 4:4-7.  Paul says to rejoice….then he says pray….and the results are peace.  So equation would look like this

Rejoice-worrying+Thanking God×prayer=PEACE

At the end of the clip the, Kilowag says “remember, your enemy , he doesnt fight fair.”

Our enemy comes in every shape size and color…and yes…he doesn’t fight fair.  When we let the enemy get the higher ground WE ARE TOAST.  But when we are on higher ground….WINNER WINNER!. 

We gotta be on our toes everyday.  If we ain’t working out or eating healthy our bodies get weak….we get sick….etc.  but when we work out our inner strength we are “more than conquerors.”

I know I know I know….easier said than done…right?  Well….you don’t go to the gym and bench press 350lbs the first day….you build up to it.  It hurts….you’re sore for a while…but then…you  start feeling good about yourself….the impossible starts looking possible…..Then….in time….you start rep’ing 350lbs.  It takes time.  You learned and you grew. Same thing in life.

Start exercising your mind, your spirit, your faith.  Get on them two knees of yours and pray, thank God for blessing you with another day to love those around you and meet new people to love, laugh when adversity hits ya and say I CAN WIN!!!!! Learn from the mistakes, stop making God slap His forehead (lol) grow through the process and get stronger.

Build the strongest constructs you can.  It is not over UNTIL YOU WIN!

Week 2- Good Friday or Bad Friday?

GOOD Friday or BAD Friday?:

Friday morning I woke up with the world on my shoulders.  Everything that could go wrong went wrong.  There wasnt a second of the day where I could take a deep breath and feel relaxed.  I laughed, then the laughter turned to weeping.  I’d say “this too shall pass” but I realized it would take time.  I felt horrible….I was highly irritable!  Snapping at everyone who would tick me off.  without realizing what day it was…..I uttered “this is a horrible Friday”. 

As soon as I said those words… soul got convicted.  I feel to my knees….and I cried.  My soul cried out to God.  I realized that in just a few hours, my Saviour, 2000 years ago, would be walking to certain death. 

With the sins of the world upon His shoulders, beaten, battered, bruised to such horrible conditions, the Bible says in Isaiah 52…..that His face would be so mared you wouldnt be able to distinguish he was a man.

Many have questioned this issue.  Saying He [Jesus] endured the same punishment as any other man.  From the garden to the cross He suffered far mor than any other man both physically and spiritually.  He was punched, beared was pulled out from his face, struck by reeds across his head/face,  scourged with a whip called a flagrum, where at the tip there was shards of metal and bone….so when it wrapped around your body it would rip tear and expose muscle and sometimes bone.  It was horrible. 

I began to remember His words….if this cup could pas from me…not as my will but as Yours.  His humanity was hoping He didn’t have to go through this.  But His obedience empowered Him. Why did I remember these words?  Was it because they sound similar to “this too shall pass? ” Yup!!!!!!

A good friend of mine said….”God always gives you more than you can handle. …that way You can only lean on Him.”  I know my Friday was horrible, but in comparison….yeah….not that bad.

But my reality, your reality is our reality.  But in that reality, in that struggle, to acknowledge the badness of my friday or our everyday lives, has that silver lining which starts at good friday and ended on Easter.  He proved to be our victory!!!!!  So, when life gives you lemons, don’t just make lemonade…..make lemon squares,  lemon merengue pie, anything….meaning use every adversity to grow in knowledge, wisdom, strength….and more importantly…grow closer to God…for in Him all things are possible. 

My horrible or bad Friday didn’t change in the physical…things are still crappy….it changed in the mental and in the spiritual.  Because of that Good Friday, I am victorious.  

When you feel like giving up, throwing in the towel, questioning everything. …..say this
“I [name] can do ALL things through Christ who gives me the strength.”

Until next time. 

“There Rose A Lamb” By: Gold City:

Week 1 – count it all joy

My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials. James 1:2

Have you ever found yourself listening to a good song,  or doing something that is just making your day seem perfect and BOOM…..Hiroshima  (in your life) happens. 

How can James say to consider it nothing but joy?  How do you have joy when there’s nothing but devastation?  When everything is upside down….or whatever? 

First we need to understand why we have to deal with trials. 

James says 1:3-4 says “Because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.”

Enduring is defined as withstanding an unpleasant circumstance and not giving way.  This reminds me of a clip from 300.   When the brave 300 are faced with total annihilation. about unpleasant circumstance.  Yet….they stood their ground.  Here’s a clip

300 give them nothing:

As an MMA instructor I teach my students a lot of techniques for almost every situation possible.  From standing up fighting to on the ground.  But if they dont get in the ring and apply it…what good is all that knowledge?…..answer NOTHING.  It is all theory if not applied.  You don’t learn how to modify and adjust when needed.  so you are no longer incomplete but well rounded in your training and complete.

As you learn to modify and adjust your techniques become more effective.  Your reaction time improves… mature. 

In life we get to get tested and tried.  To see how our reaction, attitude, demeanor,  you name it deals or handles the situation.  Do you pull your hair out yelling and screaming stomping the ground or pumping your fists at God blaming Him?…or do we fall on our knees and seek the council of the Ultimate Master Mind….the Carpenter from the plains of Galilee, and those He has placed in our lives to walk witb us…such as a spouse, a brother, a girlfriend/boyfriend, friends?

Our maturity level increases we are able to learn and apply.  Hebrews 5:13-14 talks about maturity.  Developing the skill to distinguish right from wrong. 

So why joy?  Bottom line it sucks to be tried.  But just as the grape needs to be crushed to produce wine….we too need to be crushed so that the good stuff comes out.  We only get better.  It sucks….yeah I gotta admit it….but the outcome, if dealt with in the right frame of mind, will be awesome. 

Count it all joy…..for, this too shall pass, and after the dust settles…’ll be the one left standing. 

Until next week.

Week 25- the Push

This is week 1 of being of being on my own after accomplishing a huge goal and an amazing course.   What an amazing moment of growth.  

for 26 weeks we were in our cozy nest loving the class doing the exercises and blogs.  For 26 weeks our coaches taught, motivated us, showed us……until it was time for the push.

At the very end they showed us what it looked like to soar, to fly….and they knew we needed to learn to do this on our own…or we would never be able to apply the knowledge they’ve shared with us….because if not applied it is only theory. 

So one by one they pushed us out of the nest.   Cared and concerned, like loving friends and even parents, they worried if the one they pushed would open their wings and learn their true potential.  One by one their wings opened….and took flight. 

Week 25 i call week 1….because now is the beginning of the rest of my life.  My wings are open wide….soaring above situations.  This past weekend i had some issues arise, and both times even though tears ran downy face all I knew was GOD IS IN CONTROL…and THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

It’s still scary out there….but I have the tools to face any adversary with BOLDNESS and COURAGE, because I now have the tools or weapons to fight back.  Furthermore….GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN ME then he who is in the world. 

Thank God for the push.   Until next time….remember to SOAR

Even Eagles Need A Push Movie:

Week 24 – Thank you

I now know why I stalled in writing this weeks blog.  We have concluded our 26 week course in probably the most amazing, outstanding,  empowering course I have ever been a part of.

Through this course i have found much of who God called James Schrader to really be.  While I know I have not yet reached perfection, the race is still being ran.  Now with more pep in my step, more enthusiasm,  more determination, and more understanding.

Yesterday I had two great moments.

  A friend called me needing advise.  We spoke for some time and I felt honored he would open up and ask for my advise…..i am humbled.  He shared very intimate issues of his life.  Brotha man……I know you’ll read this……thank you, I was honored.   I will be praying for you and your family.

Later that day i was blessed by a man wearing a pin.   It read “God is good…all the time”.


I told the man…”I love your pin”, he replied “may I share it with you? ” As you can see, I accepted and wore it proudly.  Later that night a gentleman in an elevator said “I love your pin”….I just smiled….removed it from my shirt and gave it to him and said “here you go, it’s yours”.  As we walked out of the elevator, I saw how this man placed it on his shirt as I did….even in the same spot I had mine.  He stood there in the lobby and never took his eyes off of me.  He locked eyes with me until I turned the bend and never saw him again. 

Will he give it to someone when they say “nice pin?” I don’t know, but that’s not the point.  I gave what was a blessing to me to someone else and blessed his life.  Give more-get more.

This is an amazing example of our trainers in MKMMA for these last 26 weeks.  God has blessed them with vision and they in return have taken it upon themselves to bless others including me.  They have worn pins on their shirt (hypothetically speaking) and we came and said “nice pin!.” They have unselfishly and without hesitation or expectation of reciprocity given us that pin, so just as they effected and blessed our lives in an amazing way….we now get to effect and affect lives around us…whether our family,  business associates, church members,  co-workers,  the way they have ours.

My 26 week experience is only the beginning….it is not the end.  Now I can truthfully say…stand back world….here comes the real James Schrader.  That which once hindered me, debiltated my life has now been shed away.  I now stand knowing God has made me….and God don’t make no junk!!!!

So from the bottom of my heart….Mark J, Fab Davene, Trish….and all those who were a part of 2014 MKMMA experience……mahalo.  This song is dedicated to you all.  Love you.

Thank You – Ray Boltz:

23-Time sure flies by

I was walking to the Happiest Place on Earth, seeing all the many faces of everyone walking towards the park and others leaving.  Their particular styles of fashion,  some more odd than others.. 

The amazing sounds of music playing surrounded my ears.  The joy of being in the main courtyard seeing Disneyland to my right, Downtown Disney in front, and California Adventure to the left.  My childlike attitude was welling up inside….but ALAS…the disappoiment of not being able to go inside.  My annual pass expired and really wasnt going to pay a couple hundred dollars at that moment. 

I literally had a mixture of emotions stirring up inside of me.  I had tears…..yes i had tears, don’t judge me.  Lolol.  I felt sad…here i am at my favorite place on earth and i can’t go in.

So what a perfect time for scroll 6 to show itself. 

I started implementing scroll 6 to the fullest.  I started laughing, singing together with the music….and interestingly enough my attitude changed. I started focusing on details i never looked at before, things i never noticed were there or things i knew were there but never took the time to see them.  the reason I didn’t go in is because i set a goal to grow my business this year and my reward will be my annual pass and the ability to stay at the California Grand.

So, instead of having this feeling of melancholy all over me, i had a feeling of excitement take over.  So what did i do? I Looked at the parks and said “see ya real soon” and proceeded to walk through Downtown Disney….OMG!!!! AMAZING. 

I walked everywhere, looked at every store.  I felt at peace.  Then i did the unthinkable….i thought should i do it? I stopped myself a few times wondering if I really should….so i did.  I walked to the California Grand Hotel.

As i approached the hotel,  my heart raced.  See, for years i only dreamed about staying here.  It’s a bit pricey.  So as I got ready to go into the hotel, I stopped for a second and envisioned me walking into the hotel at the end of the year and it will feel to stay.  As i walked in, my jaw dropped.  Yes it was everything I expected it to be and so much more. I walked everwhere, every floor, every restaurant, every area.

What started as a depressing moment that i couldn’t go into my favorite park turned into one of my biggest motivations.  My emotions of sadness were completely changed.  My sadness turned into joy. 

Psalms 30:11-12 says ” You have turned my sadness into dancing for me; You have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.”

When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.  If I’d have never taken the time to look at things a different way I would have never walked the California Grand Hotel seen amazing details and motivated myself even more. I would have settled for just Disneyland and not for my ultimate goal.

How many times do we settle for one thing, never really look at the large picture that we really want. We miss all the  beautiful details that bring more excitement into our lives. We settle for the ” just enough”.  In the Bible God says “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you…” if we stop looking at the big picture how many blessings are we really not focusing on and letting them just go by?

I left on Saturday with so much excitement, my feet were exhausted from so much walking but I enjoyed every step I took.

Dont let the mundane, the average, the “just enough” dictate your future.  “Strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts”.  Dont settle for lifes greatest gifts…. settle for God’s greatest dreams He has given you. When you feel down, sing…when you feel sad…laugh, close your eyes and see yourself standing in your CALIFORNIA GRAND HOTEL and don’t stop believing.

Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ (Audio):

Week 22A?-Silence is Golden

AMC Theatres Silence is Golden “Soar Commercial”:

This week the challenge was to spend a day of complete silence.  Turn off the fb, twitter,  LinkedIn,  phone….EVERYTHING. Now, I have to be honest with you…didn’t do a whole day.  Unfortunately,  in the many fields I’m in, I’m required to speak to individuals on a constant basis. 

I did manage to take those moments of solitude where it was me and the road, or first  thing in the morning before having the day start.

I found myself in a car with my fingers itching for the radio, or pick up my phone and call someone….not realizing the one most important person i needed to talk to was just a prayer away.

Recently I was driving up the I-5 and again I was wanting to listen to the radio. ..wanted my brain to be consumed or bombarded with noise. ..I guess to quiet my thoughts.  At that moment I heard a whispered voice say “be still”.  I actually thought it was part of the song so I waited to hear it again…..nope. on to the next song…..”be still James”. This time I knew who it was.  I turned off the radio and for the rest of my drive..approximately 35 minutes. ..I was quiet. 

It was at that moment, the noise of the outside world, which wants to continuously distract me, was no more.   I felt a sense of peace so large…I wasn’t rushed to get where I needed, my breathing slowed down,  I was able to feel my heart beat calm down, there was peace.

Don’t get me wrong, I was still driving, avoiding reckless drivers, but it was peaceful.
I was able to concentrate on God’s creation and its beauty.  At one point I looked over towards the ocean and it was such a beautiful sight I was at peace.

Many times we find ourselves with so many distractions, things that take up all our time.  Doesn’t take any energy to sit there and watch tv for hours, surf the net, or talk to friends about whatever.  Now, i do like to watch my shows…not saying I don’t watch a few shows here and there, but sometimes it is necessary to turn all the noise off and be still and wait.

In Psalms 33 it says “Our souls wait for the Lord” what are you waiting for?  What answer to your prayers, thoughts,  petitions…whatever you want to call it?  

Are we,  I include myself, doing our part to really listen for the answer?  Are we killing the noise drowning out the Voice?  If not, how then will we hear it?  How will we with all the noise surrounding us? 

I want to leave you with a song that has blessed my heart thos whole week.  Now…for those of you who know me, I am not ashamed of the Gospel or to let people know about Jesus Christ.  If you would let this song resonate in your heart.  Listen to it in your quiet time…yeah I know the complete opposite of being quiet…but there’s something about worship…it builds, uplifts, restores, renews, and draws you closer. 

Until next time,  May the Peace of the Lord which surpasses all understanding guard your heart and mind. 

Waiting Here For You – Jesus Culture and Martin S…:

Week 22 – seasons

First i need to confess. ..I actually thought it was the Beetles who sang the song.   So now that I’m done with my confession….let’s blog.

If you didn’t know, this song is straight from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, and interestingly enough,  so is Og Mandino’s scroll VI.   Everything has a level of fulfillment or completion everything has a season ..something has a starting point and an end.  Sun comes up, sun goes down.  Tides wash in and recede.

Interesting how Og uses the seasons to also capture how our thoughts and emotions fluctuate and also have a season.  A starting point and an end.  We could start being sad and end happy or vise versa.

This whole week I have been focusing on this part of the scroll; “Inside me is a wheel, constantly turning from sadness to joy, from exultation to depression, from happiness to melancholy. ” 

I have noticed that my emotions fluctuate so much and that i have allowed conditions to determine my state of being.  [Insert Homer Simpson slapping forehead saying ‘Duh’] It reminded me of the hamster who gets on a wheel and starts walking fast….notice as the wheel gets faster and faster the hamster thinks he has to run even faster to keep up….not realizing he can either slow his pace down or simply jump off.  But NOOOOOOOO….Mr. Hamster keeps running faster and faster until he can’t keep up anymore….the effects are quite humorous.   Check out this next clip

I know you got a good laugh at that….I couldn’t stop laughing myself.  But, it’s not funny when it’s you, huh?  I imagined myself being that hamster and my emotions getting the best of me, caused me to lose control and spin around uncontrollably.

Interestingly enough, in this video there were 2 hamsters.  When one lost control, you saw how the other hurdled it until finally it couldn’t anymore and then we had two hamsters spinning out of control.  

I picture us with our significant other.  When we wake up miserable the other does everything to hurdle our emotions until finally they join us in a downward spiral of misery and dismay.   Yes…..our emotions  not only affect us but others as well….and the effects can be either really great or really horrible.

” Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions.  Strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts. ” Wow, powerful.  Tell me if that doesn’t sound a bit like “i will persist til I succeed”!!!!

Epictetus said “any man who can make you angry becomes your master” I would take it one step further in saying; anything that makes  you _______, is your master.  Thats why Mandino said “today I will become master of my emotions”.  In other words, I am taking back control of me, that which i allowed for far to long dictate my attitude, my altitude,  my elevation. …is no longer in control.  I am!

My favorite Bible scripture is “I can do all things, through Christ who gives me the strength”.  I can be the master of my emotions.  

So here’s my challenge to you all…..go buy yourself a hamster wheel….and every time you lose control…spin that thing and imagine yourself spinning out of control.  And then say “I’m getting off this ride RIGHT NOW!!!!”

Blessings to you all.  Until next time. 

Week 21 – I am blessed

Last night I had the privilege of seeing this movie, together with my girlfriend. Our excitement of seeing a movie about the life of Jesus Christ built up all day until finally we were sitting in in our seats and when the lights where turned down, my heart was ready to receive. Receive what you may ask? Well….let me tell you.

I have been raised in the Gospel all my life. My family and I, for 17 years were missionaries in Tijuana, Baja California. We built churches…and when I say built churches, I mean physically built. I remember having my own tool bag and my father telling me “I need you to hammer a nail right here!” In all actuality that nail meant absolutely nothing, but it was my dad allowing me to feel like I was a part of something big.

As I grew older my involvement with my parents ministry was more than just hammering a nail. I was their Worship Pastor, Youth leader, I was on stages translating when my father preached, and I had the privilege of taking the pulpit and preaching as well. In my years I have read so many passages from the Bible so many times. Last night I had my “Jesus moment” in a movie theater. See….the Lord absolutely works in mysterious ways. It overwhelmed my soul to the point where, as we left the theater I was holding my tears back.

When Jesus appears to His disciples after His resurrection and Thomas is completely denying it is Jesus. Jesus comes to Thomas and says “Thomas, you believe because you see. I say to you, blessed are those who believe without seeing.” BOOM! It was like a lightning bolt that stuck my heart….

Webster defines the word Blessed as:
Endowed with divine favor and protection

I started thinking about that moment. Here Thomas had to see Jesus, see His hands, place His finger in His side to believe. And then there are those, who like me, haven’t seen His hands let alone see Him and we have believed. To know we are blessed. We have been endowed with favor and His protection.

This whole month I have been in awe of Scroll V, it has completely and radically changed my perception on life in a way that I haven’t been able to before. I feel like I am more receptive to…let’s call it the Universal Mind, aware of the blessings I have and less focused on the negative things that I have at one point in time allowed to consume my mind and rob me of my blessings.

And after last night’s WOW moment, there is no fear, no doubt, no circumstance that can prevent me from moving forward with my life and helping those who I get to meet.

With that….
May the Lord BLESS you and Keep you.