Empathy is the Finest HOLY in the CRAP

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Chapter 12 – “When Pain Has Value”

“It is interesting for me to look back on the “eyeball years” because I really feel God was working on my empathy for people more than He was working on my belief in Him while I was going through the worst of my eye situation. I want to state it again because I think this concept is so important for a person following Christ: God was working on my empathy for people more than He was working on my belief in Him. Now, to a “career Christian,” this can sound terrible. But I know that if I tell people I love Jesus more than anything in my life, but I can’t have empathy for people, give to the needy, help the poor, take care of widows and orphans, or just simply love people who are making bad decisions in life–as I do sometimes–then my relationship with Jesus is a lie.”

Many times we focus so hard on trying to believe things for our own lives rather than letting Jesus teach us empathy for others while going through crap in life. The empathy we have for others is what changes our relationship with Jesus. We go from just being concerned about ourselves and what WE can get and what WE need, to an outward focus that wants to serve others. It is the perfect and selfless example that Jesus gave us while on this earth. When we are focused on giving to others, Jesus not only meets our needs but meets them with perfect timing to receive it for maximum impact.

Today, think about how you can get involved in someone else’s life in a practical way, especially if you are going through some kind of crap of your own. When we help take care of God’s children, WE are taken care of. It’s the Kingdom way; give yourself away to find your own needs met.

As always, praying for you all to have daily revelations from God and a heart that is pliable to His ways.

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.

Late Night Post, Just for You!

God is There
I am only sharing this post on the Holy Crap Facebook page because I feel like it is only for a few select people.

You are thinking about giving up. You don’t feel like you have support or that your nightmare will end. I have news for you. God is there. In the darkness and in the pain. You may not feel him or see him or maybe even believe he is there. That’s ok. I will pray maybe prayers you cannot pray for yourself and believe for strength that you may not have right now. This is not to make a book sale or for you to say you “like” this on Facebook or retweet this post on Twitter. It is just for you. Hold on. Don’t quit and I encourage you to just say the name, “Jesus” in the middle of your crap. Take one step today and then another and then another.

Just take it one day at a time and have a peaceful night

Reach Out to Someone and Do NOTHING!

Nothing
In my book, I talk about the importance of just being there for people instead of trying to give them encouragement, a scripture verse or maybe even my book!! (I bet you have never heard an author trying to sell his book tell you to be careful before you buy and give his book to someone going through pain) I am more concerned about activating people to lift one another up than I am about hawking another book and making another sale.

Sometimes the GREATEST thing you can do is reach out to someone and do NOTHING but just hang out with them. Don’t even bring up what they are going through and even preface the meeting with, “We both know what you are going through, but let’s just hang out and not talk about it.” Basically, the opposite of what you would assume a blog post about helping people in their pain would say.

When people deal with painful situations, they are usually never without thinking about it through the day. When you connect with people and just be with them, it can be like a mental oasis in a desert of despair. I think sometimes we want to ask questions about what people are going through to prove that we care but in reality, we can make it worse.
I am not saying that this is the best EVERY time in connecting with people, but it needs to probably be the first option.

So today, go reach out to someone you know who is in the crap of life and just BE with them. I guarantee, they will KNOW that you care by saying nothing.

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!

My FAVORITE paragraph from Holy Crap!

Running Ch 1 Quote
There are so many sections of the “Holy Crap” book I enjoy, but this paragraph from Chapter one is probably one of my favorites.

From Chapter One: Holy Crap! This Book is for Everyone! (electiopublishing.com)

“I started running a few months ago and had a small “revelation” about people who don’t think they can run extended distances. Someone asked me about being able to run and he said, “I could never run that far and not pass out.” I told him “you will never be able to run as far as you want until you run as far as you can.” It was so weird because it just came out of my mouth and has ended up being an encouragement to myself in all areas of my life, including my relationship with Jesus. Just start with what you can do and don’t stop trying. Eventually you will see yourself “running” with Jesus further than you could have imagined and in better mental and spiritual shape than you could have ever dreamed.”

I love this section so much because it is really the essence of Holy Crap; DON’T EVER GIVE UP. I know it’s not easy to get up one more day when you are going through crap. I understand the thoughts of feeling like you are reliving the same nightmare day after day with no hope or end in site. I am not saying this and thinking that everything will instantly get better but just asking you to do one thing. Do what you can do today and keep going.

Praying for you and cheering you on.

 

The Power of Music in the Crap of Life

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There are many things I remember when I went through my eye condition but the one thing that stood out the most was music and especially the worship that I listened to while I was sick. Even though I was furious that God would allow me to go through so much pain, the music I listened to always brought me back and calmed me down.
Below are a couple of lists of artists that I listened to when I was sick and some that I currently enjoy.
I always want my life to be a resource to help people hold on, even if it is for one more day. God loves you so much and wants you to find the “holy” in the “crap of your life.

Music to Get you Through
Fred Hammond (Anything from Fred is amazing but Promise Keeper (Song) was very important to me when I was sick)
CeCe Winans (Waging War – Song & anything else she does)
Casting Crowns (Praise you in This Storm – Song)
Bethel Worship (Through it All – Song)
Jesus Culture (Let it Echo – Album)
Anthony Evans – (Real Life / Real Worship – Album)
Bryan & Katie Torwalt
Crowder – (Lift Your Head Weary Sinner – Song)
Hillsong United (Zion – Album  and Empires – Album)
Lauren Daigle
Lincoln Brewster – (Oxygen Album)

Local Worship Artists
Dave & Tara Powers
Marcus David Ford
Andy Garcia
Tyree Morris

I Prayed for You, Yes YOU!

prayingGuy
If you are reading this post, right now and at this very moment, you have been prayed for. As I type this post I am praying for each person that visits my website and needs to know that someone cares to pray for them to hang on one more day and find a functioning relationship with God. The cool thing about prayer is that it doesn’t need to be happening the moment someone has a need. It is a conversation with God that says, “God, whatever you have cookin up in heaven, make it also so down here with your glory, provision, direction and hope for people when they need it and not based on when I think it should be given.” That is JUST a teenie weenie smidgen of the awesomeness of God.
Love you all and know you have been PRAYED for.

Holy Crap Book Info and Ways You Can Help!

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The pic above is from the Celestial Seasonings tea tour with my mom and Yolanda. It’s in this post just for a laugh! Haha

We are only a few short days away from my book being available on my publisher’s website this coming Tuesday, June 7th. I wanted to make people aware of some things that they can do to help get the word out about my book and helping it get into the hands of people who I believe really need to be encouraged by my story.

If you can buy my book on the http://www.electiopublishing.com website the week of June 7th that would be AWESOME. I really want to show my publisher that there is a need for the book even before the full release on June 28th. I am not sure how long you would have to wait to get the book once you order it from them but you will be the first to get one before anyone else. If you are in town or at one of the book releases we are planning then you can bring it and I will sign it if you would like.

The FULL release of Holy Crap will be on June 28th and that is about the time I will have the author copies available that Yolanda and I are ordering. We are planning a probable book release here in Denver and a few other states possibly (think of states I have lived in…:) and will have books with me for you to buy. We are using the new Square credit card readers (that include the chip readers and apple pay, android pay, etc.) we will be able to process card payments as well as cash.

Once you read the book, even if you didn’t buy it on Amazon.com, if you could go to Amazon and leave a review once it is up after June 28th that would be stupendous (and I don’t just throw those kinds of words around 🙂 The interesting thing is that the “normal” book world looks at Amazon reviews to see how a book is doing and also can encourage big box bookstores, like Barnes & Noble, to carry a book if it is popular enough.

If you have ANY connections at all to people who could help get the book into areas of your town or state (radio, TV, bookstores, etc.) please notify me so we can chat (Facebook also works to connect) about how to maybe get the book into your area.

I will have window decals available (cut out 3M lettering that will look sweet and not goofy looking) of my website HolyCrapBook.com that I want to encourage people to put on their car windows to help us promote the book over the summer. I will have these decals in the next couple of weeks and can get them to people in Denver but will also be willing to ship them to you if you would like one.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, please be praying for the next few months of my life and the things that we believe God wants to do with the book. As I have said to many people and from the beginning, we are not thinking of this as a moneymaker as much as a ministry to people hurting and ready to give up. I am especially trying to get the book into people’s hands who do not go to church.

Thanks everyone!!  I am sure excited for the future and using such a crappy and painful time in my life to have greater meaning than, “Hey! I made it!”