God’s Love and Our Moronic Activity

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This past weekend I went on a run and pray. I love running in Colorado because even though it is supposed to snow in two days the path that I run on is completely clear. It is wonderful to be able to run pretty much through the entire year so it gives me some great time outside to pray for family and friends.

I also love observing the scenery around me including the people that I pass who are out on the trail enjoying the day. Today I passed a couple getting married by the river (even though everyone in the wedding party looked fairly cold), lots of birds and other wildlife and many families out with their kids. One mom I passed had 3 girls that all had scooters, skateboards or some alternate form of transportation. Her face said it all; “Get it ALL out of your system kids because momma is VERY exhausted and doesn’t want to have to deal with you all when we get home. In fact, it may be time for bed for everyone at 4:30pm when we get home.”

Even though I tease about her facial expression, you could see that she was there for one reason and one reason only; to wear out her kids so they would behave later on in the evening.

Then I passed a dad who had one kid in a stroller and the other on a small scooter. The kid was no older than five and kept crossing the centerline riding into my side of the trail. He would patiently pick up the scooter with the kid on it and reposition her to go straight and give her the best chance of staying on her side of the trail. This happened probably three times from when I saw them and I am sure this correcting procedure happened their entire walk. He was patient and only walked about two miles an hour. Basically, I witnessed two opposite ends of the spectrum when it came to parents interacting with kids on the trail.

When I got done running I felt like God say to me, “The patient dad is how I feel about humanity and those I created. I am not impatiently just putting up with people but I am a loving father that picks up the scooter, repositions it and waits patiently with you to figure out that there is a safe path or a harmful path that will get you run over.”

Maybe you think that God is up in heaven with a billy club waiting to beat you over the head and bring correction if you make some kind of mistake in life that even causes family and friends around to react with anger or disgust. If you will let him, you can ask God to help you by allowing him to grab the “scooter”of your life and reposition it correctly.

The key is asking God to help make those corrections in your life and recalibrate you for the better. The way you can tell if you need recalibration in an area of life is if something you are doing/thinking was birthed out of some kind of hurt. Just like that small kid who needed correction last weekend on the trail, they didn’t even realize that if they would keep heading in the wrong direction that it would be bad for them and may have even caused hurt.

Some of you reading this need to listen to that “tugging” in your heart right now and ask God for help.

If you need some to pray with then please click here and send me a message. I will do my best to help you and help believe for AMAZING things this year in life.

I am praying for you!

The FAA And Your Relationship With Jesus

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I did this blog on my business site earlier today but it was so good that I wanted to share it with my “Holy Crap” family as well! Enjoy!

We have flown a bit over the holiday season and it is still amazing to me that anyone can travel anywhere in the world in hours by getting into a giant metal tube that really should be too heavy to fly anyway. Just to think about how far technology has come and how air travel has improved in the last forty years is really astounding.

The one thing that has really never changed, and probably never will, is the reactionary nature of the airline industry. When there is some kind of airline disaster the first thing the FAA does is create some kind of rule that tries to remedy whatever happened. The incidents of 9/11 created a greater scrutiny of anything sharp or what could be conceived as a weapon. The shoe bomber incident created the smaller quantities of fluids that can be in your carry on. The Samsung phones smoking on a flight last year was the genesis of banning the Samsung Note 7 on flights.

I am not saying that any of these rules are bad in and of themselves because the airline industry is just trying to make sure that air travel is safe for everyone, but when safety is thought of as a RESULT of negative actions then it becomes a reactionary response only.

In our relationship with Jesus, we can fall into some of the same traps. We can think of our actions with Jesus only in terms of the negative things that are happening in our lives. Maybe we don’t spend time reading our Bible and learning about his love until we are feeling a lack of love in some way in our lives. We get into some kind of financial trouble and then decide it is a good time to give to God and see if we can get some kind of financial blessing when we are not a consistent giver in the first place. This can become a terrible pattern of only doing things for/with God when we need something or trouble hits our lives.

Today, don’t wait for pain or discouragement to hit your life before you decide to spend time with Jesus. When we make the investment in our relationship with him preemptively, we set the stage for success in life not based on circumstances but in knowing that no matter what happens, our lives are in God’s hands. The things we do to help get through difficult times end up being birthed from our foundation in Christ and not on our surrounding circumstances.

What Others Are Saying About “Holy Crap”

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I have had some great feedback about the book and how God is using it to help people work through issues in their lives and wanted to share a quick testimony I received today.

If you have not picked up your copy of Holy Crap, I encourage you to do so. It can be an amazing resource as you walk through a difficult situation or to help someone else you know who may need your love and support. I want what I went through to make a difference in the lives of people experiencing pain. It is testimonies like the one below that make all the things I went through, worth while.

“I have been thru what is unquestionably the most challenging 8 months of my life. My son
was killed in a car accident in April. A close friend of the family has been in the hospital, in another state, since July. My wife has been away taking care of him most of that time. And my father just passed away in November after a 9 year battle with Parkinson’s.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Holy Crap just came out. Not that Brian wrote it just for me, but I have found that God has a way of arranging things that go way beyond ‘coincidence’. This book has been awesome. Not that it has made what I’m going thru all that much easier. But it has been a real blessing to know other people walk thru serious challenges and come out on the other side, better for the experience. I may never understand God’s methods, but I can see the difference He makes for those of us who choose to believe.

No matter your current life situation, you should look into what Brian shares in Holy Crap. There is a lot of wisdom shared in a very ‘down-to-earth’, easy to read style that I think can benefit anyone.”

Much Love – Lou

Generosity has to do with HEARTS not HANDS

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I was talking to a friend about generosity and what motivates someone to give. I am the kind of person that if I have it I will give it. I can remember praying and having a conversation with God early in my life where I told him the more He gives me the more I will give.

During our conversation I said something that I think really sums up giving and meeting the needs of others.

I said, “Generosity is not what is in your hand, it’s what is in your heart.” Wow. I just sat there and looked at Aaron and said, “That statement is ending up in a blog post or on Facebook in some way.”

I think it is SO important to realize that generosity really has NOTHING to do with whether or not you have lots of money. Even the term “lots of money” is relative because “enough” to one person may be barely any to another.

The heart is the primary factor when it comes to a person giving to others and not what they see in their hand. When we only see what is in our hand we limit giving to simply a physical expression instead of really letting it be an expression from the heart.

God ALWAYS wants us operating from a place of heart and not simply evaluating what we think WE can afford to be without. Giving is not learning to go without because we gave to others. It is being content enough with what we have and being able to trust God for what we need so that we can be a blessing to others in their time of need.

Have a great day and, as always, I am praying for you!

Two Choices in Life: Worry Backward or Pray Forward

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Below is a paragraph that I know God impressed on me to help people going through pain and is just one example of many helpful points for people in my book.

Worrying backward and praying forward is a statement that summed up my life for four plus years of dealing with things that were beyond my comprehension and a process that took me to the very end of myself. I became a professional at “worrying backwards” in life, trying to regain who I once was and working to find a path back to where my life had been before I was sick. The problem is the person I needed to be NOW was forward and not back to the old me. Enjoy this quick section and think about your life today and if you are “worrying or praying” in life.

Excerpt from Chapter 15 – Answers to Consider 
“We all have two decisions in life when pain hits; we can either worry backward or pray forward. Backward is familiar to us because it is something we experienced, and we have a point of reference of a time without pain. When I pray forward, I decide to look ahead with an expectation of solutions that bring even greater levels of contentment with God leading my life, using a roadmap that I could never access without Him. A fact of hiking that is true in life as well is that maps lead to destinations, but guesses lead to being lost. I trust God much more with my navigation than I do my best guesses in life or worrying about situations that, in reality, I will never be able to control anyway.”

My hope is that people pick up a copy of my book not for me to make more money but that I can use my experiences in pain to help others hang on, even if it is just for one more day.

The Change that Pain Causes Can Be for Good or Bad!

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Pain will happen in life no matter who you are or where you come from. The question is not IF pain will happen but what you will do with pain WHEN it happens.

When we stop asking God “why” pain is happening and start asking “what” can we learn from it, we go from a survivor to a THRIVER mentality and attitude. When we only seek to survive in life we lose the ability to gain some wonderful perspective and actually USE the things that happen to us to make us stronger.
Praying for you today to get through the pain you are in and see the great things that can come from change that painful situations can bring.

God DOESN’T Just Love You…

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The Bible tells of instances where people came to Jesus because they knew who He was. Those people would be considered “believers” in our day. But it is also FULL of times where Jesus went out to minister to people needing help and not even knowing that Jesus could fix what was broken. They would be considered “lost” in our day.

If you are a follower of Christ, it’s not just about coming to church on Sundays, praying, reading your Bible and spending time with Jesus for self consumption. It’s about following Christ’s example and going out to get the lost. The church does not only exist for us to consume good teaching and feed only ourselves for the week. No one will know how great Jesus is and how the church can help them if we don’t go get them!

The question is what does it look like to “go get” people? For some, it is making sure that we find and tell people what they are doing is wrong and that we don’t show an ounce of care because that would be justifying what they are doing. Others have been led to believe that Jesus came to this earth to simply love with nothing else in mind. That is also incorrect. His love for people was and always is there regardless of the situation, but his REAL purpose for being on this earth was to bring CHANGE. It was change for Jesus’ followers to have to leave their known professions and follow Him and his teachings. It was CHANGE in the lives of people to be healed from disease that had plagued them for years. It was CHANGE for the religious officials who were more concerned about keeping the religious laws of the day rather than doing what Jesus directed which was helping the poor, sick and broken.

We are now the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are looking for a change in life and maybe don’t even know it yet. That means we love everyone no matter what but we are constantly asking God what we need to do to be an agent of change in their lives. It may be loving someone unconditionally while telling them that you think they may be making a poor choice. It is still love to care for someone and disagree with their actions. Jesus loves ME when my actions might not line up with what he thinks is best for me and because of that love I know where I can go when I want to make a change in my life.

It is very important to remember that we are not the ones who BRING change in people’s lives but that we set the stage for GOD to bring change. When we are focused on setting up opportunities for God to move in people’s lives it takes the stress off of us to think that we have to make something happen in people’s life. When I love with the knowledge that I am not going to MAKE anyone change, I can let God work in their hearts and then be there if they want to go in a different direction in life.

Today, consider how you are going to go get the lost tomorrow by setting the stage for God to bring CHANGE in the lives of others. Jesus trusts that you are not going to screw it up so just go and love with a purpose!!

The Importance of God NOT Being “Early” in Your Situation!

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I have two friends, Matt and Jill, who moved their family from Colorado to Washington recently. He had been out of work for a very long time and living off of the severance package from his former job. He is a great employee and was looking for jobs everywhere but it was always not the right fit. They were feeling God’s direction to move to Washington without any real firm leads on a job for him and massive transition for them as a family with their three girls.

 I felt impressed to pray for them as a family the other day and texted them that I was doing a “run and pray” for them and believing that God would open doors that no man could close and close doors that no man could open. Jill texted me the following day and said that Matt had gotten a job offer that day and possibly another one by the end of weekend! Jill and I texted back and forth a few times and she said that they had just gotten their last severance check that day. She said, “God thinks he is so funny!” I responded and told her that in my life, “God has NEVER been early but He has never been late.” Jill responded and said that was so true. Then I thought of the countless times I have said that same line to people through the years.

Then it hit me. I responded something that I know came straight from God. I texted “If God was early, we would think it was our talents, connections, whining or complaining that made it happen.” All of which are NOT true!!” Wow. My fingers were typing it as I was thinking about why God is never early in our situations in life. It all made sense at that moment and I texted Jill that I felt a blog comin on!! Haha

Maybe you are in a situation where you are trying to give something to God and trust him for the outcome and wondering why God is not coming in early and making the changes you want to see. You are probably anxious about the situation and curious as to how God is going to “pull this one out” of the fire. Just remember, if God was early in meeting your need in life then you would probably give yourself the credit for “praying hard enough, complaining enough or just crying enough” to make it happen. Trust is essentially believing something is going to happen when nothing in the physical realm seems to be changing.

Today, pray and make your request known to God but then trust HIM to do HIS part in your situation. I am not saying this is going to be easy. In fact, it will probably be some of the hardest prayer/trusting you can do in life but will be the most gratifying when you truly release something to God and then see Him bring the increase. Just ask Matt and Jill and their journey these past couple of years. Good stuff.

God Messed Up My Run this Weekend

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I have not been running as much as I should the past few months. My life has been so crazy with getting everything going at the TV station that I basically run out of time at the end of the day to go home as run. Although I have a gym membership, I am not a “treadmill” kind of person and living in Colorado affords me many opportunities through the entire year to run outside. So this past weekend it was 55 degrees and sunny on Saturday afternoon so I decided to go for a run.

My normal mode when I run is to start out slower than I end so I focus on a ½ to ¼ mile run as fast as I can back to my car. My run started like any other with pacing myself slower when I started knowing that I was going to get a good clip in at the end of my run. The problem was that God had other things in mind.

I was listening to the new Natalie Grant album “Be One” that is mostly worship. If anyone knows me, I normally use my runs to pray for people but this was different. I was just getting ready to do my last ¼ mile of my run at top speed and I felt God tell me, “turn your music off, and pray for the land to be redeemed as you walk on the trail back to your car.” Immediately the beginning of the scripture in Deuteronomy 11:24 came to mind “Every place where you set your foot will be yours…” I have had enough times where I felt like God was telling me something and I disobeyed or was slow to drag my feet and comply but this was not one of them. I immediately turned off my music and walked back to my car praying instead of my “fast as I could run” clip I had planned, and it felt great.
I have also been listening to Crowder’s song “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner” the last few weeks and it has been giving me a heart for people coming back to God and not worrying about any kind of shame from their past. I think this is part spiritual and the strongholds that the Devil has over towns and people just living in deception that they can walk in freedom. I am now going to be much more alert and aware of when God is telling me things and asking me to be obedient in praying to redeem the land and where I place my feet.

I want to challenge you to not just go through life today and make it business as usual or to let your routine run your life. Sometimes it’s important that you let God “mess up your run” and use you for eternal things in the spiritual realm that you could never dream of or imagine. It may be something as simple as praying over a ¼ mile stretch of running trail that God has greater purposes for than for exercise. Have a great week!

Asking God for the BIG Things

keep-calm-and-ask-god-for-big-thingsI woke up this am, turned on my Kindle and read a devotion that just changed my thinking about prayer and asking God for things. I know that sounds like an overstatement but this devotion was so life-changing that I felt like it needed to be shared in a blog post. It was in my Smith Wigglesworth devotional and it said, “Begin to believe in extravagant asking, believing that God is pleased when you ask LARGE things.” For whatever reason, this concept has been foreign to me and I am not sure why. When I think of asking God for things the logical thought would be to ask for smaller things, He answers them and that builds your faith to believe for the big things. But I believe that is opposite to what God wants us to do and ask. Asking for things outside of our ability is probably just what God WANTS us to ask for because it is proof that we need HIM to accomplish the goal!
I think something that helped my thinking this am is helping Yolanda with the Children’s ministry at our church. When you are a child you don’t have a concept of what your parents can or can’t do. Plus, you are in a position to ask and believe without thinking you will be able to do anything to get what you are asking for. Simply asking and believing God should be an ageless goal and routine. But as adults, we are tainted by our own abilities to get things done instead of truly asking God then believing what his Word says. On Sunday’s, we normally make time at the end of worship to ask the kids if God spoke something to them and then have them pray over the group. I tell them every week that we are not babysitting them and that they have an ability to ask and believe God without being jaded by living too many years on the earth.
Today, I pray you have a renaissance of child-like faith in asking God for BIG things and then knowing that he takes pleasure in you asking.  When you ask for things that you know you cannot do, then God sees you trusting in HIS power and not in your own. Praying for you my friends and believing for GREAT things today!