Reach Out to Someone and Do 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!

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!

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.

I Prayed for You, Yes YOU!

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.

Stop Fighting People and Start Fighting Hell

I went on a little run tonight in my first town I lived in when I got married, Worland Wyoming. As ran and prayed I asked God to show me what was happening in the Spiritual realm in town so I could know how to pray while I am here. I felt impressed with something that almost changed the paradigm of ministry to people and even what I am trying to do with Christian Television in Denver.

I felt like he said, “it is time for people who follow me to stop fighting other humans and start fighting hell.”

I think there are too many people who stand behind the wall of “what they believe” and throw rocks at all the people they don’t agree with or disapprove of. I really have no idea where that mentality came from because Jesus sure was not like that when he was on the earth interacting with people who probably did not line up with his belief system.

It is much easier to tell people what you are against than to stand up for what you do by leading with love and acting like Jesus. For some reason, we feel that interacting and working with people we disagree with in some way is going to “taint” our “super-holy walk” with baby Jesus. This is EXACTLY the mentality that the devil wants believers to have.

Until we start to see people who are dealing with the struggles of life just like us, we will continue to judge the actions of people we disagree with instead of loving people FIRST and then praying and looking for our role in their lives.

Stop acting like the religious people of the Bible. They were the ONLY ones who Jesus argued with in the Bible, by the way.

I want to be known as the one who doesn’t agree with everyone but loves LOUDER and FIRST with EVERYONE I come in contact with during my life. That’s what Jesus did and that is what I am going to do. Want to join me?

A Moment of Transparency with the Holy Crap Book

I really can’t believe that my book is coming out on June 7th. It has been such an incredibly long and arduous journey getting my thoughts out of my head and into a manuscript. It has taken me 7 years to write and get my book to a publisher and the whole time I was sick was only 5 years.

Now that I am finished with the first phase of getting a finalized manuscript to the publisher I am thinking about what my book could mean to people who read it, good AND bad. I have had to come to grips with the fact that some people are not going to like what I have to say maybe because it is not at their literary level or it is too simple (for those people who want a deep theological discussion, which it is not) or that I strike a nerve in people and their relationship with God by talking about something that really hurts. I have ALWAYS said that if you don’t want to be criticized then don’t put yourself into the public eye. The problem with that philosophy for me is that my story, and what I felt like I learned through it, is more important to share with people who are lost in their hurt with no where to turn than for me to worry about public scrutiny.

Many people may think that I am completely secure in who I am because I joke a lot, talk a lot and like to be the center of attention all the time. I am telling you that there is a real struggle inside when thinking of dealing with hurtful words thrown at me when I am pouring out my heart in a book like Holy Crap. I know that God has been and is my strength but it is still something I know I will deal with as long as people are reading my book and giving feedback.

I guess this blog is a micro version of what my book will be for those who read it; transparent thoughts to help people relate to what I have been through and even currently go through. If God was big enough to get me through the hardest season of my life then He will be able to carry me through this next phase of the story.

Holy Crap! It’s almost time to share my story with the world! I pray that my book will bring healing where there has been hurt and hope where there has been despair. Thanks for coming along on the journey with me!

A Life Lesson from a Piece of Pyrex

So this is the last day of 2015. So many people reflecting back on the past year and what they felt like they learned and making promises to make changes next year and hopefully planning a better outcome in all areas of life.

Something happened this am that was a perfect ending to my year yet was so simple and profound to me. I was getting my day started and prepping a chai to warm up in the microwave. I normally pour everything into a glass-measuring cup, put it in the microwave, take it out and then that is where the challenges begin. EVERY SINGLE TIME since I have been using this process to make my chai I end up pouring about 1/3 of my warmed drink into the sink instead of my cup because of, what I viewed, as a defect in the lip of the glass container. Today though, I thought to myself, “what if I poured it slower than my usual I-am-in-a-hurry light speed way?” I did and the glass container worked brilliantly!

Now you are thinking, “Wow. That is about 3 minutes of reading this blog that I will never get back” but there are three important end-of-year lessons in this illustration.

1. I was accusing the glass-measuring cup of being defective versus taking responsibility for my pouring action.

As you reflect back on 2015, where there things that happened that you blamed someone or something else instead of considering if it was something YOU were doing? When we have challenges in life, we need to ALWAYS start with our actions and how they may have played into making a situation better or worse. If we don’t, we may be blaming other people or situations on our own mistakes.

2. Pouring my drink slower allowed for the glass container to work properly.

How many times in my relationship with God do I think or maybe even say, “do it in my time and not yours, God.” When we put God in control of our life, we put our life on HIS timetable. When we try and “get” God to do things faster than he wants them done, we either miss the things along the way we are supposed to learn or move on our own inadequate power to get things done in life instead of letting God’s power and ability perfect everything. This new year, stop asking God WHEN is this going to happen and start to say WHAT are you trying to teach me through it.

3. I will now, NEVER use that glass-measuring cup incorrectly again because I saw how well it worked when I did it right.

In life, the best version of yourself comes from learning from mistakes, or being corrected from others in life, including God. When we think everything we do every time is correct and there is no room for error or for an ability to get better at living life, then we will live a very shallow incomplete version of ourselves and far below the ability that God sees in us. Let 2016 be a year of correction. I know that doesn’t sound like a fun objective or something to shoot for. When we realize that life is made up of mistakes then we can focus on the speed of correction in life instead of thinking that a lack of experiencing correction was a successful year. The greatest things you have ever learned in life have probably not come from doing things right but making a mistake, learning from it and appreciating the lesson.

I am praying and believing that this new year is going to be the best one yet and that we all are in a mode of listening and learning even from the most simple things in life. God bless you and have a wonderful 2016!

I Just Threw Away my Dex Phone Book

My new Dex phone book was delivered yesterday. It was like Christmas with the excitement of waiting for that sucker. Of course, I am kidding. Yolanda and I ALWAYS take it and put it into the recycle bin because we have so many other ways to access the information in a big, clunky out of date book.

The phone book that was delivered to my house, by someone, had to have a team of sales people selling ad space, a planning/design team who had to put all the copy together, the factory that produced the paper, the printers that made all the copies, the binding of the books together, the team of people to box them up, the trucks to deliver them to people who would distribute them and that is not to mention the plastic bags that everything was in…and I just took it and threw it in the recycle bin. Now, unless you are a “Power Team” member (said for all you old skool churchies who know what I am talking about) the phone book, paper version, has become pretty much obsolete.

Now think about your life. How many times do we do the same things the same way “just because” and we waste time and resources that could be better used somewhere else? Maybe that is with trying to find peace in your heart and mind. You do the things that you have always done but don’t even know that there is an easier way to find that hope, peace and contentment in life. Jesus offers FULL ACCESS to all the things you are searching for in life if you will just ask. A conversation with Him doesn’t need to be like a big, clunky, out-of-date phone book. It just starts with a “search of information” about what He has to offer. In the Bible, there is a verse in Luke 11:9 that says that if you seek God that you WILL find him.

Maybe you are in a situation right now and you need peace that is above the crap you are in. It’s as simple as saying the name of “Jesus” and watching your situation change for the better. Praying for you today.

Two Things to STOP and Two Things to START This New Year

1. Stop worrying about defending Jesus and Bible.
The Bible and Jesus have been around for far longer than you and I have even existed. The Word of God has been staving off attacks of all kinds for many many years. The Word has stood the test of time and continues to bring life and direction to all who heed its words. Jesus is in the business of defending YOU and not you worrying about how you are going to defend Him. He is not up in heaven nervous and biting his nails to the quick…so you shouldn’t either. It’s all about asking God for wisdom and to follow the verse in Matthew 10:16 for this new year; “…being wise as serpents and gentle as doves.”

2. Stop worrying about how to evangelize people and just start loving them!
There are so many things that are happening in today’s society contrary to the Word of God and its principles. The hard thing to realize is that many, if not all, of the things happening in our culture today were happening back in Bible times as well. Our CENTRAL focus in life should be how do we “out-LOVE” people around us who are screaming by their actions that they need someone to listen and show them Jesus. The key is when the opportunity comes and someone asks you “why are you being so nice to be?” or “why do you love me even when I can’t seem to love myself?” that you don’t say something like, “well, just because I am trying to make the world a better place.” You can say, “I follow Jesus in my life and he was the GREATEST example of love there ever was or will be. I am just trying to show the world what that love looks like through me in a healthy nonjudgmental way.” Just because you love someone doesn’t mean that you accept everything they do. Jesus loves YOU and he doesn’t always like the things You do either. People giving Jesus control of their lives will happen when you start SHOWING others what a healthy belief in God looks like coupled with loving others.

3. Start praying and asking God for opportunities to show true Christlike love in 2015.
It’s the age old adage; you don’t get what you don’t ask for. We need to realize that God is always speaking but sometimes we are not truly listening to what He has to say. When we ask God for his will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven” we are saying, “God, use me today to bring your love to a lost, hurt and dying world that is falling slowly out of love with itself and doesn’t even know it.”

4. Start believing for the impossible in your life.
When we go through problems in life, we can program ourselves to start believing or looking for the negative in situations. When we start believing for the impossible we open a door of opportunity for God to show up and show off to encourage our faith and lift the life of someone else. We need to start getting worse at unbelief and professionals at seeing the impossible and believing for something GREAT! I truly believe that 2015 will be a year where faith in the unseen will be needed more than ever and that God is looking for those who would see the “possible” in the “impossible.”

Have a great New Years and wonderful start to 2015!! See you next year!