Take Heart and Trust God!

John 16_33 Pic
John 16:33
…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The world will be full of problems and trouble of all kinds. Even in the book of John in the Bible, there is a factual statement Jesus makes about problems and pain life saying that “this world will have trouble.” So it is not a question of IF there will be pain but WHEN and to what degree.

The term “take heart” means to evaluate your heart and where your trust is in difficult situations. This verse was not when Jesus and the disciples were lounging next to a lake eating figs and enjoying the cool fresh breeze. It was before Jesus’ arrest and the beginning of a very difficult time for his followers.

Today, think about where your trust is located. Is it in temporal earthly possessions? Is it in your looks or your personality? Or is it in Jesus who is the one who has overcome the world and all the destruction that will continue to occur around us? Find hope, peace and strength in Jesus and maybe start to give him control of even one area of life. You can do it. I am praying for you and believing for the BEST in your life.

GPS….Just…WOW!

GPS
I was typing an address into my car’s GPS the other day and thought, “Wow. We have come such a long way with navigation in this world.”

I can remember when I used to have to just know where to go and my own crappy directions. We also used to go to AAA to get a “TripTik” for longer vacations. It was basically a map that was spiral bound at the top and about 4 inches wide and 8.5 inches long with your route cut into 25 miles increments. The AAA agent would have to use a stamper to let you know where construction or obstructions were going to be on a trip. There was no guarantee that you would not get lost using the map because it was still up to you to find the turns.

I have voice-activated navigation in my car that has real time traffic as well as a Garmin in Yolanda’s car that you can wake up by saying its name and tell it where you want to go. It just boggles my mind how technology has advanced when trying to get around.

Then I thought about the life we live in general. What are we allowing to give us direction in life? Is it trusting ourselves and our knowledge of what we have experienced to help us navigate life, like when I first started driving? Is it just based on other people we know and their experiences as in the case of going to AAA to get a TripTik? Or is it looking to God with a global network of satellite “life” images and accurate positioning to trust in our journeys? I know now that if I were to not have GPS in my vehicles that it would be much more difficult to get to where I wanted to go and I would most likely get lost.

When we give God control of our lives we basically say, “God, I know you have mapped out every place that I would need or ever want to go and I trust in following your directions in everything I do.” The key as well with GPS is that you still need to make the turns!! You don’t put in the location you want to go and then just sit in your car. You need to still drive and follow the directions.

Think today about giving navigational control of your life to God by reading the Bible and seeking God in prayer. If you don’t know how to do that, then click the “Connect” button above and send me an email. I will be more than happy to help you calibrate and start using the “God GPS” in your life!
Have a great day!

Empathy is the Finest HOLY in the CRAP

bt-against-empathy

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.

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!

Your_4th_Day
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.

 

Don’t Lose Hope

After_Before Pic
The above pic is when I was on Prednisone and then what I look like now. If you are going through something terrible, I understand the hopelessness of thinking that things will never get better and wanting to give up. Don’t. I cannot promise the outcome of your life, but I can promise that reaching out to God is never a bad option. Even when I wanted to give up on God in my crap He would not give up on me.
Maybe you have a friend or family member who is going through a painful situation and needs someone to reach out to them. Be the one who makes that connection and bring encouragement to those you know who are down.
Have a great day and I am praying for you.