For those who Say They Can’t have Faith in God, Never Update Any Mobile Device…EVER

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I had an update pop up this am for my Apple Watch. I went through the normal ritual of accepting the update on my phone, which brought me to a screen that asks for my permission with micro writing that I KNOW no one even cares about and trusts blindly. I scrolled down to the bottom, as I do every time, and mindlessly clicked “agree” when I did not even read one word or warning.

Then it hit me.

I come in contact with people all the time who tell me that they just can’t have faith in God because they need to be able to see, know and understand everything He is doing and will do. Just like when Apple asks me to trust them with a device update that they feel will be necessary to help with security and new enhancements for my watch, when I trust God in my life I am doing the same thing. I trust he knows better than me because he is the “creator” of my life as Apple is the creator of my watch. I was not there when the watch or my body was put together, but I trust the update and God will do what is advertised and that it will enhance my life in some obvious way.

When we can see that we put our trust in all kinds of things each day without truly having complete knowledge of how they were put together and how they will work, it makes trusting God just a little bit easier. Updates for most devices are based on two things; security and enhancements. Putting your life in God’s hands and allowing him to guide and direct it, are based on very similar principles. God wants to enhance our life by giving us the security of knowing that no matter what happens to us, He will be right there with us and will never leave us.

In all reality, we do not have trust issues in this life. We have issues with who/what we put our trust IN. We need to consider heavenly trust in the same category as anything else in life and give trusting God a chance. The Bible says that if you seek Him you will find him.

I guess I just dared you to trust in God’s love, provision and help for your life.
Are you up for the “trust” challenge?

Is Pain from the Devil or From God? Excerpt from Holy Crap

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Below is a quick paragraph from Chapter 1 of my book about pain in life and where it comes from.

“Something important I want to make sure you understand before you continue reading is my perspective on the cause of sickness and on dealing with pain. I know there are at least two sides to why pain happens in life. There is a camp that believes sickness is purely a direct attack from satan that is not a part of the natural order of our existence on this earth, while others believe that God allows things to happen to teach us life lessons that we would never learn without them. This book is not to try to help you decide whether pain and sickness is directly a demonic attack or if it’s God allowing a necessary season of teaching.
The only fact I want you to realize, no matter what theological standpoint you come from, is that, if you don’t learn from the crap of life, it becomes purely a game of survival and not growth.”

When you are sick you don’t really care where it came from, you just want it to end.

Today, think of someone going through a struggle of some kind and reach out to them. Maybe say a prayer for them or just text them and let them know you are there. The other key is don’t get offended if they push you away or don’t respond at all. People going through pain react in all kinds of ways that may not make sense. Keep loving them and be available.

I Serve a Pushy God…And I Like It

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I had a conversation with Ken, one of our team members at work, and we were talking about God taking care of us as we walk through life. We specifically were talking about Psalms 23 because it is such a great example of God telling us what he will do for us in pretty much all seasons of life.

I mentioned something to him and when I said it, I knew it came from God so I want to share it with you today. It has to do with the first three verses of chapter 23 and there are three terms that I want to emphasize because it says a lot about what God knows we will need in this life we live.

1     The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right path for his name’s sake.

It is amazing to think that when God created us he knew we would need to be “made, led and guided” in this crazy life that we live. We are naturally stubborn and want to do our own thing, walk our own path and then just deal with the consequences of those decisions. When I read or listen to the Bible I get a better revelation of the principles in there that are wrapped around and answer the issues I am either dealing with or will deal with the longer I am alive.

It is further proof that God is FOR us and not AGAINST us and offers to help in three different ways as stated in Psalms 23. He will make us rest when we feel like we are running a thousand miles an hour, lead us beside quiet waters when our natural bend is to try and dance around raging rivers and guide us along the right path of life IF we will allow him. The key is getting the Bible in you and allowing it to permeate every part of your thinking, which in turn, will lead to a life that follows after God and brings peace.

Maybe some of you are in a place to not understand this peace that God offers and don’t know why reading a simple book could change your life in such a drastic way. Think of it this way; if life is really a struggle right now for you and you are running out of options, what do you have to lose?

Praying that you will be have hope in despair, wisdom where there is confusion and love where you feel hate. Have a great day!

God’s Love and Our Moronic Activity

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This past weekend I went on a run and pray. I love running in Colorado because even though it is supposed to snow in two days the path that I run on is completely clear. It is wonderful to be able to run pretty much through the entire year so it gives me some great time outside to pray for family and friends.

I also love observing the scenery around me including the people that I pass who are out on the trail enjoying the day. Today I passed a couple getting married by the river (even though everyone in the wedding party looked fairly cold), lots of birds and other wildlife and many families out with their kids. One mom I passed had 3 girls that all had scooters, skateboards or some alternate form of transportation. Her face said it all; “Get it ALL out of your system kids because momma is VERY exhausted and doesn’t want to have to deal with you all when we get home. In fact, it may be time for bed for everyone at 4:30pm when we get home.”

Even though I tease about her facial expression, you could see that she was there for one reason and one reason only; to wear out her kids so they would behave later on in the evening.

Then I passed a dad who had one kid in a stroller and the other on a small scooter. The kid was no older than five and kept crossing the centerline riding into my side of the trail. He would patiently pick up the scooter with the kid on it and reposition her to go straight and give her the best chance of staying on her side of the trail. This happened probably three times from when I saw them and I am sure this correcting procedure happened their entire walk. He was patient and only walked about two miles an hour. Basically, I witnessed two opposite ends of the spectrum when it came to parents interacting with kids on the trail.

When I got done running I felt like God say to me, “The patient dad is how I feel about humanity and those I created. I am not impatiently just putting up with people but I am a loving father that picks up the scooter, repositions it and waits patiently with you to figure out that there is a safe path or a harmful path that will get you run over.”

Maybe you think that God is up in heaven with a billy club waiting to beat you over the head and bring correction if you make some kind of mistake in life that even causes family and friends around to react with anger or disgust. If you will let him, you can ask God to help you by allowing him to grab the “scooter”of your life and reposition it correctly.

The key is asking God to help make those corrections in your life and recalibrate you for the better. The way you can tell if you need recalibration in an area of life is if something you are doing/thinking was birthed out of some kind of hurt. Just like that small kid who needed correction last weekend on the trail, they didn’t even realize that if they would keep heading in the wrong direction that it would be bad for them and may have even caused hurt.

Some of you reading this need to listen to that “tugging” in your heart right now and ask God for help.

If you need some to pray with then please click here and send me a message. I will do my best to help you and help believe for AMAZING things this year in life.

I am praying for you!

My Near Death Experience from Chapter 1 in “Holy Crap; Finding God’s Presence In Your Pain”

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Excerpt from Chapter 1: Holy Crap! This Book Is For Everyone! 
“When I was kid, I would ride with my grandpa occasionally to a favorite lake to go ice fishing. I can remember one trip where I thought it would be fun to jump up and down on the cracking ice around the edge of the lake. I liked the sound the ice would make when I would jump up and down on it, not realizing how dangerous it was for me to be at the lake’s shore on ice that was not completely frozen. I was right next to the shore and jumped way up in the air and came down on a piece of ice that gave way under my feet. I fell into the ice-cold water a good distance away from where my grandpa was sitting. The ice under my feet was like a slide under the water, and I couldn’t keep my feet under me and started to slip under the ice. I tried climbing out of the lake but would just slip further into the icy water. I reasoned that all I could do was turn back out towards the middle of the lake and break the ice further away from shore until I could get out to thicker ice and climb out. I can remember thinking that I was going to die. Well, needless to say, I ended up pulling myself out and getting back to the safety of my grandpa. I learned a valuable lesson that day about icy conditions on a lake and did not try anything like that again.
 
I share this to help you understand something: when you are in the middle of crap, your primary thinking is to just survive. I understand the feeling of despair and the instinct of survival in an adverse situation.”

Click here to order your author signed copy of Holy Crap today!

The FAA And Your Relationship With Jesus

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I did this blog on my business site earlier today but it was so good that I wanted to share it with my “Holy Crap” family as well! Enjoy!

We have flown a bit over the holiday season and it is still amazing to me that anyone can travel anywhere in the world in hours by getting into a giant metal tube that really should be too heavy to fly anyway. Just to think about how far technology has come and how air travel has improved in the last forty years is really astounding.

The one thing that has really never changed, and probably never will, is the reactionary nature of the airline industry. When there is some kind of airline disaster the first thing the FAA does is create some kind of rule that tries to remedy whatever happened. The incidents of 9/11 created a greater scrutiny of anything sharp or what could be conceived as a weapon. The shoe bomber incident created the smaller quantities of fluids that can be in your carry on. The Samsung phones smoking on a flight last year was the genesis of banning the Samsung Note 7 on flights.

I am not saying that any of these rules are bad in and of themselves because the airline industry is just trying to make sure that air travel is safe for everyone, but when safety is thought of as a RESULT of negative actions then it becomes a reactionary response only.

In our relationship with Jesus, we can fall into some of the same traps. We can think of our actions with Jesus only in terms of the negative things that are happening in our lives. Maybe we don’t spend time reading our Bible and learning about his love until we are feeling a lack of love in some way in our lives. We get into some kind of financial trouble and then decide it is a good time to give to God and see if we can get some kind of financial blessing when we are not a consistent giver in the first place. This can become a terrible pattern of only doing things for/with God when we need something or trouble hits our lives.

Today, don’t wait for pain or discouragement to hit your life before you decide to spend time with Jesus. When we make the investment in our relationship with him preemptively, we set the stage for success in life not based on circumstances but in knowing that no matter what happens, our lives are in God’s hands. The things we do to help get through difficult times end up being birthed from our foundation in Christ and not on our surrounding circumstances.

What Others Are Saying About “Holy Crap”

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I have had some great feedback about the book and how God is using it to help people work through issues in their lives and wanted to share a quick testimony I received today.

If you have not picked up your copy of Holy Crap, I encourage you to do so. It can be an amazing resource as you walk through a difficult situation or to help someone else you know who may need your love and support. I want what I went through to make a difference in the lives of people experiencing pain. It is testimonies like the one below that make all the things I went through, worth while.

“I have been thru what is unquestionably the most challenging 8 months of my life. My son
was killed in a car accident in April. A close friend of the family has been in the hospital, in another state, since July. My wife has been away taking care of him most of that time. And my father just passed away in November after a 9 year battle with Parkinson’s.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Holy Crap just came out. Not that Brian wrote it just for me, but I have found that God has a way of arranging things that go way beyond ‘coincidence’. This book has been awesome. Not that it has made what I’m going thru all that much easier. But it has been a real blessing to know other people walk thru serious challenges and come out on the other side, better for the experience. I may never understand God’s methods, but I can see the difference He makes for those of us who choose to believe.

No matter your current life situation, you should look into what Brian shares in Holy Crap. There is a lot of wisdom shared in a very ‘down-to-earth’, easy to read style that I think can benefit anyone.”

Much Love – Lou

The Simple Truth of God’s Love

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We have been trained to believe that we need to become something before we can be accepted by God. The truth is that we can NEVER become who we can be without accepting God’s love for us just the way we are.

Your Mission Today and EVERYDAY: Accept God’s love for you and watch your life begin to change for the better!

The Holiday Season and Dealing with People in Depression

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I think Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. Not only do I get to be around people (which I love) it is also the time that Ghirardelli Peppermint bark hits stores, an excuse to watch one of my favorite movies Elf, and because my primary love language is gifts, presents are exchanged!!

For others, the Holiday season can be just the opposite in about every way. Coming from a family where there was so much love and a true celebration of the holidays it can be hard to imagine the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas could be anything other than enjoyable. That is, until I got sick with my eye condition. Then the full reality of the depression, angst and despair that people can experience was brought into perspective.

People have family members that they have not talked to in years because there was something said or done that caused real hurt in them. Some people lost a loved one or are currently going through some challenge medically, emotionally or spiritually.

As humans, we are naturally selfish not only in our actions, but also in our thinking. We can base our reactions towards people on things that we assume they should know or get. We can think or say things like, “Why would everyone not be happy this holiday season? They need to just get over their issue with family” or “Why did that person snap at me when I asked her a question at work? Don’t they realize this is the season of love and joy?”

I always want to be considerate of where people are in life because of the things I went through with being sick on Thanksgiving and Christmas for four years in a row. I was not always the most pleasant person to be around during the holidays even though it was nothing personal with anyone around me but more with my anger at God. I didn’t need someone to pull me aside at a gathering and try and counsel me out of being sad/mad. I just wanted to be left alone and would lash out at times because of the mental and physical pain I was in.

We MUST be intentional with loving those people who seem to be having the hardest time with the holiday season. It is not even so much about saying something to them but just showing love where you can and praying for them. Think of it this way, if you were in their shoes and dealing with some kind of pain over a holiday, how would you want someone to treat you? Jesus was the best example of having TRUE empathy for people who didn’t understand the peace that they could have by just trusting in God.

If you are someone who is hurting this holiday season, know that if you are reading this blog then I am praying for you to find hope and peace in your mind and heart.

Being an agent of change by loving people and acting like Christ in EVERY way is not easy, but necessary for those looking for hope in their hopeless world.

Three Key Takeaways from The Election

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Many things were going through my head the past few weeks as I watched the election season unfold and even the past few hours after the election. Here are a few things to consider for us as a country and as individuals.

1. Social Media has been a great litmus test as to depth of friendships

I can remember a time in life where Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms didn’t exist. I have really appreciated the ability to stay connected and reconnect with old friends and make new ones. It is awesome to be able to share my life with people and for me to feel like I am physically around them more than I actually am. That is about where the appreciation stops for me. The problem is that we create relationships with people online that are “an inch deep and a mile wide.” I can remember getting into arguments when I was younger and I would always know who was a true friend and was not by the outcome and spending time with them to know their heart.
I believe we have allowed our connections on social media to make us shallow with one another instead of really knowing and loving each other regardless of our differences. We need to take a look inside and the things that would cause us not to be friends with someone. They may be legitimate because it is a toxic relationship, but we need to be careful with things that offend us. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they hate you.

2. Wikileaks has taught us something; if you don’t want anyone to find out, don’t do it

No matter where you are on the subject of the hacked emails and the ethics of Wikileaks, we are becoming an increasingly transparent world. I was searching for cool looking backgrounds for my iPhone a few years ago and found an image that said “If you don’t want anyone to find out, don’t do it – Chinese Proverb” There is so much truth in that little statement. The entire Wikileaks situation gave an example of thinking first before you do something illegal or something that you will regret. This is not a Democratic thing or a Republican thing or even an American thing. It is a HUMAN thing to evaluate your actions and words and how they will affect yourself and others around you. That is the reason why I read the Bible and ask God for guidance everyday; to help me make the best decision for myself and be the best for everyone around me.

3. Donald J Trump is not the new Messiah of America

Even though I think the election was a move in the right direction and against the political establishment, electing Donald Trump for President is not the single answer for America. The ONLY answer is followers of Christ reflecting Biblical principles in their speech, actions and love. Each person who calls Jesus the leader of their life has a RESPONSIBILTY to not only love God with their heart but to share that love with others in meaningful ways. Some would see George W. Bush or maybe Barak Obama as the issue for the situations we see ourselves in but the truth is that the people we elect for President are a direct reflection of the hearts of the people. The point I am making is that we need to be focusing more on the HEARTS of people more than the VOTES of people.
We need to be a healer of hearts and brokenness with the people God puts in our path. If people say, “That Christian is a reflection of the love, heart and Godly correction of Jesus” then we have done our job on this earth.
For those of you who supported and voted for President Elect Donald Trump, please be VERY careful of your words right now on social media and with each other. Remember that Jesus was ALL about being a PEACEMAKER and not a CRAP-STIRRER when it came to interaction with each other.

I am praying not only for America but my part in helping bring healing to a divided country that needs Jesus more than they realize. I understand the responsibility of being in media to tell stories that make people want to make Jesus the leader of their lives but also to help bring us together as a divided country. Today, ask yourself what is YOUR part to help bring healing and what are you doing to make those things a reality to the people you interact with this week.