Hollywood and the Disease of Being Famous

As I read more reports about Phillip Seymour Hoffman it just breaks my heart. So much talent, so much adoration from the world and movie industry, so much money and awards. Yet no peace, no contentment and no escape from the disease of being famous. Whenever a star from Hollywood dies in a way like this, it is a constant reminder that the superficial world that is Hollywood doesn’t bring true contentment with its adulation and awards alone. For those of us NOT famous and running in Hollywood circles, it can be easy to dream about the lifestyle of a star. Even though I am a pastor, I am just as prone as the next guy to allow thoughts of “what would it be like” to run through my head every so often. Then I am brought immediately back down to earth when I read about the death of a famous star from drugs, alcohol or other “escape routes” that famous people try to use. I know many people have made fun of Justin Bieber in the past few weeks but we need to be praying for him and his SCREAMS like a little lost boy of “HELP ME!” Being in Hollywood and having awards and money and opportunities are not terrible in themselves and can actually be really great. The main component is the relationship to Jesus that changes the focus and dynamic and the entire foundation of happiness in this world.
The point I am trying to make is that if you think you will have enough people love you and honor you and enough money to “be happy” and enough “shots to make it big” without a foundation in God then you are mistaken. There are MORE than enough examples in life of people that didn’t have a firm foundation in Jesus and in who they were and they kill themselves or end up in a never ending cycle of bad relationships or rehab to prove my point. We need to take the bright lights of Hollywood at face value and take a relationship with God as a priority.
Maybe you don’t even know how to start a relationship with Jesus. Do you realize how much patience God has with you? He will NEVER take control of a persons life or decisions. He is waiting for you to ask him to take control. It’s just as simple as “Jesus take control of my life. Amen” There are SO MANY resources on the web about study of the Bible and lots of great Jesus preaching, Bible believing churches you can go to and get involved with. All it takes is commitment and one step. And then another step. And then another. Have a great Wednesday and if you would like more information about a relationship with Jesus you can email me and I will help. Brimo777@gmail.com

SuperBowl XLVIII and REAL Life

It’s the morning after the SuperBowl and some people are rejoicing and others are weeping. The real question is, how much did last night’s win or loss change your life? If you bet all your money on the Seahawks and you’re more wealthy, then you have new problems because of more money. If you bet everything on the Broncos and you lost all your money, then you also have new problems (and possibly need a place to live). But in the grand scheme of things, a loss or win doesn’t mean anything to your personal life. I realized this about 3 years ago with my beloved Buccaneers. I still root for them, but I don’t yell at the tv or throw things or have a crappy attitude after they lose (which they did a lot of this past year) because it was consuming too much of my mental capacity in life. It was the same with the Broncos last night. I have lived in Denver for almost 13 years and always want to see them do well. Last night was no exception. I wanted to see Payton Manning win another SuperBowl and the Broncos cap off an amazing record setting season. It was not to be and the Seahawks won.
I think the renaissance in my thinking came from a couple of things. When I got sick with my eye condition for 5 years I didn’t care about a lot, including life or even living. Football and rooting for one team or another wasn’t even on my radar screen. I just didn’t want to go blind. When I got better I realized that all of the emotional energy I put towards things that don’t concern me is just not worth it. I am not saying that I am perfect now, but that I have a better perspective on sports teams I root for and how it impacts my life. The other thing that happened was I started to help oversee our orphanage in Nepal. To see what our kids over there deal with on a daily basis makes a SuperBowl loss for my football team pale in comparison.
There are SO MANY other things we need to emotionally invest in on a daily basis that are more important, including our relationships to others and our relationship to God. Seeing players from both teams last night praying together was better to me than anything else about the game (and not just because my Broncos lost :). Too many people in life have their priorities all mixed up. This post may make you angry but think about why you don’t like what I am saying. Don’t let a “pastime sport” consume your life so much that it endangers relationships around you because of your bad attitude from a loss or arrogance from a win. I want my life to matter more than the sports teams I rooted for or personal accomplishments that lift me up above my relationship to Jesus. The things that I want to matter in my life are connected to seeing others around me find a personal relationship to Jesus and helping those less fortunate than myself. If I consume my mind with THOSE things, than I can say that I lived a meaningful life for more than just the success or failure of a sports team I rooted for. Have a great week!

Growth from the Rocks of Life in 2013

Small_Tree_photo

I took this picture while up hiking a couple of weeks ago and thought it was pretty cool.  It’s a small tree growing from a rock formation that we stopped by while in the mountains. I was thinking today about this coming year and all the challenges that are ahead.  This small tree is flourishing in an environment that would not be considered ideal for growing strong and healthy.  It is hard for me, even as a pastor, to always see the importance of making the most of every situation in life because our flesh wants to always be focused on being in control and that includes our surroundings.  When this little seed landed between the crack in the rock it found soil, or something sustainable for its life, and began to grow.  Maybe that small seed is you at the start of this 2013.  You don’t feel like you are in “proper” soil to grow and be the person you want to be.  Maybe you need to just look around at what can sustain you and let God bring the growth.  As I mentioned in my New Years Day thoughts about giving God control of your life this year in the face of the unknown, really think about what you are doing to give yourself a fighting chance at happiness this year.  When i was sick, I was tempted (and actually did for a while) walk the path of anger at God for the things I thought He was needlessly allowing in my life. But in reality, I see what he was doing in the difficulty to help me understand the importance of giving complete trust in all parts of my life to Him.  Let 2013 be a year of growth for you but not because of the perfect soil and growing conditions that the world and its marketing will tell you exists.  Life is about ups and downs but the one thing that can stay consistent is a relationship with Jesus.  let growth come out of the hard or stony times of your life by trusting that God can bring the increase in any and all circumstances and situations.

Quietness; the lost art of many Christians

This morning I was really struck with the power and importance of Jesus and his example he showed during the crucifixion process of not talking to his accusers and directing all his comments to God his father.  Now anyone who knows me knows that quietness is not one of my hallmarks or traits as a Christian and, in fact, it has gotten me into more trouble through the years than soliciting laughs.  All through my school career as a kid my teachers would all say, “Brian is such a wonderful boy, but he just has a problem with talking…” Even to this day, my mind works so fast that when anyone says anything I normally have four to five quick witted things I could say at any given moment.  I say this because God was really pushing me this am to not be “reactionary with my words” and to really think before I speak or not to speak at all especially when someone around me is getting mad at me for some reason. Jesus was such a perfect example of quietness to us as believers when we feel like we are being accused or taken advantage of.  Even though everything they were saying about Jesus was false, He still continued to be quiet.  I really want to work on this trait as a follower of Christ. To me, quietness is proof that your justification is not in defending your position but it is truly in Christ and the work He is doing in you and through you. Let Jesus and the work he has done in you be enough to silence your critics when you are being accused and just mentally rest in God and the peace only he can give.  Literally, a peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)  Have a great week.

Thankfulness Provides an Atmosphere for Change

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This post is specifically directed at those people who are having a hard time being thankful today. Maybe today you are seeing all the posts on Facebook & Twitter about Thanksgiving and you don’t feel like you can post anything. Never forget that thankfulness provides an atmosphere for change. If you want things to change in you life, whatever it might be, then it is important and even imperative that you find something to be thankful for. Thankfulness does not change anything in life itself, but it certainly changes the atmosphere and attitudes of you and the people around you. When you are thankful in life you are not ignoring possible crap that is happening but you are choosing to focus on something positive, possibly, in a sea of negative. On this Thanksgiving, I challenge you to really examine you life and consider giving thanks and seeing if the rest of the un-thankful parts of you life don’t turn around for the better. When your focus is forward and not backward you cause your mind and heart to see potential in life and not the “reality” of where you think you are. It really is one of the main reasons I follow Jesus; the good in Him replaces the crap in me. And that is CERTAINLY something to be thankful for. 🙂 Have a blessed day and weekend!!

The Most Effective People I Know

The followers of Christ who make the greatest difference in the world are ones who are not “doers” of the Word but are “be-ers” of the Word. Oswald Chambers stated it this way about helping others find Christ; “soul winning should not be something we do, but something we are.
I believe this thinking applies to all disciplines of the Christian faith.” I want to be someone who influences others based on my relationship to God and not primarily my relationship with them. The only way I can do that is by knowing God and spending time with Him. For the rest of this weekend, focus your attention on knowing/hearing from God and letting the things you “do” for God be an overflow of that time well spent.

Proverbs Devotion with Dad

My dad and I just had a great discussion and devotion about Proverbs 8 and Wisdom this am. I love how this chapter really “gets going” towards the end and talks about Wisdom being there before the earth and was with the planning process for the world and all of us. Proverbs 8:17 is an awesome little verse “I love those who love me. Those who look for me find me.”
I am so happy that the God I serve and all the good things about him are not elusive and hidden from me. The only times in my life when I felt like he was not there or hidden from me was just that; when I THOUGHT.” Don’t let your circumstances keep you from knowing that God loves you and that wisdom is attainable for you to have and walk in. According to Proverbs, Wisdom is like the glue that holds everything else together and is worthy of being sought and can be obtained by ordinary people like you and me. Have a great day!!

The Outward In or The Inward Out – Devos from India

This was a little blog post i put together while traveling through Delhi, India last week. Thought i would share it with you!

I am currently sitting in the Delhi India airport waiting to see my bags (which they need to get their crap together, by the way, as far as transfer passengers) I was reading my Watchman Née – Secrets to Spiritual Power book for my morning Devos. This book is so loaded with good, biblical thoughts to chew on so I thought I would share a little something from the other side of the earth. 🙂 Watchman says, “One way to discern between the work of satan and the work of God in a persons spiritual life is this: God always works from the center out while Satan works from the outside to the center.” I know that many times I am reacting to the outward circumstances satan throws at me instead of living from the inside truth that Jesus has it all under control. Don’t let your today be robbed by allowing the devil to make you focus more on his power to deceive instead of focusing on God and His power to ALREADY deliver you. The key is us realizing that the work is already finished. God is ready to work from the inside out instead of letting you be distracted from things on the outside trying to maneuver and get into your life. Have a good day and blessings!

The end of the world…or is it?

I was reading 2 Thessalonians 2 for my devotions this am and was thinking about all the “end times” talk that we hear from time to time. There is a billboard on Broadway that has a self proclaimed prophet who says that he knows when the end of the world will be and that the tribulation has already started. This blog is not to talk about whether I think he is wrong or not (although I do believe differently) but more the fascination with trying to predict when Jesus will return. First, I think trying to predict the end of it all is a waste of time. 2 Thessalonians and even other sections of the Bible says that no one will know the exact day but can see the seasons changing. I do agree that there are many things pointing towards a one world government for example. Look at the disaster in Japan and the effect it is having on the global market including Toyota car production even here in the US which says it will have to cut back or suspend some cars for now. Look at the debt we operate in around the globe and our gas prices that are so connected to the oil production of countries experiencing unrest right now.
The bigger question to me is what is the motivation of people who claim to know the end of the world? Some are just plain crazy. That has been proved over time and has had some disastrous consequences. Some people are possibly so dissatisfied with life that they want to know the end of it all just to get it over with. I know when I went through my eye stuff and had thoughts of suicide I really didn’t care about living anymore. Other people use it as spiritual manipulation to get people to convert to Christianity which I think is also wrong. The people who follow God the best and make the best spiritual decisions are the ones who have come to the end of themselves and have no more answers inside and have to look to a loving God who wants to fill that God shaped hole in their heart. Not ones who are motivated or operate in fear and just “don’t want to go to hell.”
I want to live my life everyday to the fullest whether I live to be 100 or I die tomorrow or the world ends in 2012 🙂 I want my life to be a reflection of the love of Christ and I want to see people through God lenses. So don’t waste your time on this earth looking to see when it will all end. There are going to be “wars and rumors of wars” like it says in the bible but we need to be focused on Christ and who he can be in our lives. If you don’t have a real relationship with Jesus I encourage you to find a good bible believing church this Easter and listen to the message about how a loving God sent his son to die for your sins. Let the “end” be to the things you used to do to gratify your flesh and start living for a higher purpose. God created you, he loves you and you have the ability to be everything this world needs you to be for the glory of God. Have a great day and God bless.

Last Nepal Post! Time to come home

Well, we have had a great time in Nepal and its time to come home! We went around town for a final day of personal shopping finding shoes for the kids for school and buying one more game that is a large board that is played like pool but with small plastic disks. I really feel a connection with the kids here now more than ever. I definitely believe more than ever that us being here consistently will help with making a connection with the kids. We were able to pray over them and then all the guys gave me a big group hug which was awesome. Yolanda tried to hug the girls but they are so painfully shy that only a few wanted to hug her. It feels so good to know that you are making a difference in the lives of children on the other side of the world. I am already exicted to come back in May!! Denver, we will see you in about 31 hours 🙂