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!

Resolutions, Resolve and Making Change Stick!

Today I had a revelation about my year coming up. I was driving back from skiing and was trying to think through a meeting that I had to make with a person and thought, “I can’t really do Tuesday’s because I have pastor’s meeting on that day.” The only issue is that I am no longer working for a church and don’t have that obligation each week anymore. Generally, for the past 20 years of my adult life, I have had a “pastor’s meeting” in some form or fashion every week. I know that now working in the television world that I will still have some kind of staff meeting, but it will be at a time I choose. I then called my wife, had a good laugh and continued to drive home. Then I was thinking about how many times we make decisions in life based on the familiar and not the truth. I was modifying my meeting time with something that didn’t even exist in my life anymore because my mind had been programmed to remember staff meetings every Tuesday.

Now think about something you want to change in your life this new year. It is not as simple as just deciding to do something different. Deciding to change is definitely a start, but not the deciding factor of whether your life is modified or not. There is going to need to be what I call “repeated disciplines” that you commit to in the process of your life each day. One of the BEST ways to shift thinking is to read the Bible. Even if it is not something necessarily spiritual, reading the Bible can have amazing effects in your life. I know many people think the Bible is just a dusty book of life suggestions, but it has been such an integral part of my life growing up and now as a person who tries to let Jesus be seen in everything I do.

I want to challenge you this new year to make reading the Bible a staple in your daily life if you are deciding to make some kind of positive change. You can start with the book of John which is such a great book about the love of Jesus and is a fairly easy read. I would read The New Living Translation or New International Readers Version instead of the good ol trusty King James which can be difficult to understand. Maybe you already read the Bible each day but you are reading it out of obligation only. Maybe that needs to be your “change” this year in that you pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal new truth to you before you read one word. I know that I always get more out of the Bible when I do that before I start to read.

Have a wonderful new year this week and do more than make resolutions that are filled with good intentions but lack a positive game plan for execution. Praying for you all!

A 6.5 Millon Dollar Lesson on “Value”

The image above is what a 6.5 MILLION dollar black and white photograph looks like. When I read the title of the news article about this picture from Peter Lik, I thought it was a misprint. I couldn’t believe that someone would pay that much money for a photo. Not even something that someone took years to create with their hands but just found that perfect moment to take a picture and made more money than most people could make in a lifetime. Even as I type this blog it’s still hard to register in my head.

Then I thought about God sending Jesus to die for mankind and the price that was paid on a cross. This is also something that completely dumbfounds me. God looked at the “picture” of our lives and decided that it had an incredible value and worth paying “top dollar” for, with the death of His son. As you celebrate Christmas this season, please realize that God sees value in you even when you feel like a “plain old black and white photo of a deserted dusty canyon.” His love for us is so boundless and his belief in our ability to withstand the pressures of life with Him at the helm is limitless.

Enjoy these few days leading up to Christmas and know that you have value in God’s eyes. It’s one of the reasons why I asked God many years ago to be the driving force behind everything I do. I encourage you to take a few moments today and think about how you see yourself and what you are motivated and driven by. If it is not a relationship with God, I encourage you to give Him a chance this Christmas season. Praying for you all.

SuperBowl XLVIII and REAL Life

It’s the morning after the SuperBowl and some people are rejoicing and others are weeping. The real question is, how much did last night’s win or loss change your life? If you bet all your money on the Seahawks and you’re more wealthy, then you have new problems because of more money. If you bet everything on the Broncos and you lost all your money, then you also have new problems (and possibly need a place to live). But in the grand scheme of things, a loss or win doesn’t mean anything to your personal life. I realized this about 3 years ago with my beloved Buccaneers. I still root for them, but I don’t yell at the tv or throw things or have a crappy attitude after they lose (which they did a lot of this past year) because it was consuming too much of my mental capacity in life. It was the same with the Broncos last night. I have lived in Denver for almost 13 years and always want to see them do well. Last night was no exception. I wanted to see Payton Manning win another SuperBowl and the Broncos cap off an amazing record setting season. It was not to be and the Seahawks won.
I think the renaissance in my thinking came from a couple of things. When I got sick with my eye condition for 5 years I didn’t care about a lot, including life or even living. Football and rooting for one team or another wasn’t even on my radar screen. I just didn’t want to go blind. When I got better I realized that all of the emotional energy I put towards things that don’t concern me is just not worth it. I am not saying that I am perfect now, but that I have a better perspective on sports teams I root for and how it impacts my life. The other thing that happened was I started to help oversee our orphanage in Nepal. To see what our kids over there deal with on a daily basis makes a SuperBowl loss for my football team pale in comparison.
There are SO MANY other things we need to emotionally invest in on a daily basis that are more important, including our relationships to others and our relationship to God. Seeing players from both teams last night praying together was better to me than anything else about the game (and not just because my Broncos lost :). Too many people in life have their priorities all mixed up. This post may make you angry but think about why you don’t like what I am saying. Don’t let a “pastime sport” consume your life so much that it endangers relationships around you because of your bad attitude from a loss or arrogance from a win. I want my life to matter more than the sports teams I rooted for or personal accomplishments that lift me up above my relationship to Jesus. The things that I want to matter in my life are connected to seeing others around me find a personal relationship to Jesus and helping those less fortunate than myself. If I consume my mind with THOSE things, than I can say that I lived a meaningful life for more than just the success or failure of a sports team I rooted for. Have a great week!