The Only REAL Control you Have in Life

Stubborn

Excerpt from Chapter 11 – Physical Sight versus Spiritual Sight

“As I have previously said, I am naturally a very stubborn person who has to learn most things the hard way;, I don’t let someone else help me by telling me how to change an attitude or general focus in my life before I will make the effort to change. Having no control over my health and no ability to change something in order to see a different result was very frustrating. What I didn’t realize in those years was that I could ALWAYS choose to be in control of what I thought or felt in my situation; I just chose not to.

Maybe you are the same way with being stubborn and wanting to have things your way with your health or other painful situations. If you think about it, the real power in life is how you control thoughts and feelings in tough times. This is an important reason to give God control of your life so you can have help that can come from no other source.

Today, I pray that you just take ONE STEP closer to God and his authority in your life. One step is progress. Don’t let anyone tell you anything different.

Let this be YOUR Independence Day!

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Today is the 4th of July and a time that American’s celebrate coming together and deciding to start a new life for themselves from the rule of British government. But today can also be YOUR independence day from fear and things that hold you back from being mentally and emotionally free.

When people are in pain, one of the WORST things that happens is worry. Worry is a very interesting animal in that it can cause a person to stop moving forward in life while causing a fear of the future. I know that with my eye situation I have at times been paralyzed by the fear that comes from the unknown. Today is the day to possibly give God an opportunity to help keep your focus away from the worries of life and on the potential of the GOOD that is around the corner.

I want my life to help people see a different definition of being a follower of Jesus. He has brought a level of freedom to me that I want to share with people and offer it to them. If people don’t feel like a relationship with Jesus is something they want right now that’s ok. Everyone is different and God has a special plan of freedom just for you but you need to be willing and ready to accept it. Don’t let people try and coerce or force your into something you don’t want for yourself. The most powerful changes in life come from discovering the need for change on your own and then deciding to make a change.
The people who created America 240 years ago were only willing to make a change when they saw the need for it. The same is true with each of us and a relationship with Jesus.

Praying for you to see the need for God in your life. He has never let me down and you can have that same assurance in this life that God is in control.

Have a great 4th of July and don’t get meat sweats from all those hamburgers and hotdogs!

Good Riddance to Moderate Christianity!

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The days of “moderate Christianity” are coming to close, and I say good riddance! I was talking with a couple of different people this past week about all of the “anti-Christmas” situations that have come up in the news. My favorite so far was a Fire Station in some town that had a “Merry Christmas” sign on it. An atheist group filed a complaint with the city so the fire department took their sign down, in compliance, and put up a new sign that read, “Happy Birthday Jesus, We Love You.” Each of these people I was talking to said that it was amazing to see the attack on Christ and Christianity in society and I said, “I think it’s great!” I said, “I think the opposition to Christ that is happening in America is good because it’s weeding out moderate Christians who only have a familiarity with Christ and not a real relationship.”

Never forget that your belief in anything will only have its personal value tested when it is opposed, and this includes being a follower of Christ. Jesus even mentions opposition in the Bible in Matthew 10:22 and also in Mark 13:13 where it says believers in Christ would not just be opposed but hated but that those who endured to the end would be saved. This was not only a forewarning of attacks but even a CONFIRMATION that they were living properly! It was also a word given for followers to make sure and count the cost of following after Jesus. I am not sure in today’s world of consumer Christianity that much cost counting is done before deciding to follow Christ, which makes me very sad. I am not saying this as a judgment but more of an observation of the society we live in and what people are willing to give up for Christ versus giving things up for self. If this wave of challenges concerning Christ and people who follow Jesus will help people get off the fence with their beliefs, I think it could actually be something amazing and good for the church. It can also be a good lesson for Christians to learn to lead with the love of Christ (shocker) instead of conjuring up a lecture ABOUT the love of Christ. Jesus’ words were ALWAYS followed up with action so if I say I am following Him, then my actions better line up in the same way. Have a wonderful holiday and Merry Christmas!

The Time it takes to Compliment Someone

I went running this morning and was thinking about ways to show the love of Jesus to people that I meet. One idea that I had was to make a running shirt that says “Stop me if you need prayer” on the front so that people will see it and I can interact if they want. Then I was thinking about the amount of time it takes to compliment someone about anything. I tried out my little “mental experiment” with a lady who was walking her dog and told her she had a pretty dog. Her eyes lit up and she said, “thank you!” I also saw a lady who lived in a beautiful house right off of the trail and told her that she had a beautiful house and she said, “thanks!” Those two smiles and compliments took less that two seconds each!

Now there is something you need to understand if you don’t live in or are from Colorado. People are not so friendly when it comes to being on their property or at their house. But when you meet or greet them outside on trails hiking or running, skiing at any one of many ski hills or just walking out in the sun, people are just different and much more friendly. I knew this from living here for almost fourteen years and understanding the culture.

The point I’m trying to make is to always remember one simple fact when considering your ability to be like Christ on this earth; we are all just part of the process. This sounds like a “duh” statement but it is really profound if you think about what it means. I truly believe that we get so caught up in the last step of someone giving his or her life over to Jesus. We forget we are part of a greater plan and need to realize that even small acts of kindness can lead to a person’s life being forever changed by giving God control of how they live their life. We never know how being kind to someone or something as simple as a compliment is going to be a catalyst to put them in a better mood and for the next person being obedient to God being able to talk about what Jesus did for them and planting another positive seed in their life.

So basically those two simple compliments were, quite possibly, the two most important interactions I had all day and took less that two seconds each! What an incredible shift from looking only at the result of the actions we take on this earth with our walks with God to just being obedient in the moment and trusting God for the results and letting Him get the glory.

Have a great rest of the week and know that I am praying for God’s love and Holy Spirit to guide and direct what you do in the moment and that you will learn to leave the rest up to Him.

The “Actions” of Love or the “Act” of Loving?

1 Corinthians 13:1-7 is such an amazing and powerful portion of the Bible. Here is the Message version of that section of scripture.
13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.3-7
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere.
So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

1 Corinthians 13 is known as the “love chapter” of the Bible and has the best description, in my opinion, of the kind of love we need to have and the kinds of “Godly actions” that can get in the way of that true love.  Growing up in church all my life and going to college to be a pastor, I can say that I was programed quite well to “speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy, speak God’s Word with power, have faith to move mountains and even the importance of giving to the poor and the awesome act of giving up ones life for their faith if necessary.  The problem is that many times those Christian truths in my life as a follower of Christ get in the way of me just “loving like Jesus.”

I am not saying that the Godly actions above are wrong, just that the motivation behind love is what always needs to be checked.  If you are a follower of Christ and working on the former things I mentioned without regarding love, then you are, as the Bible puts it, a “creaking rusty, nothing, nowhere, bankrupt individual.”  I don’t want to do all the things that make me look “religious” in this life and at the same time undermine my relationship with Jesus, which is really more important than anything else to me.

I know that it is hard to love others sometimes in the world we live in but I can say that I have never regretted being motivated by love in my actions versus being motivated by anger or hate. As I have said before, if it was good enough for Jesus to love even the people nailing Him to a cross I think I could “squeak out” a few acts of love to the people around me. 🙂