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!

Growth from the Rocks of Life in 2013


I took this picture while up hiking a couple of weeks ago and thought it was pretty cool.  It’s a small tree growing from a rock formation that we stopped by while in the mountains. I was thinking today about this coming year and all the challenges that are ahead.  This small tree is flourishing in an environment that would not be considered ideal for growing strong and healthy.  It is hard for me, even as a pastor, to always see the importance of making the most of every situation in life because our flesh wants to always be focused on being in control and that includes our surroundings.  When this little seed landed between the crack in the rock it found soil, or something sustainable for its life, and began to grow.  Maybe that small seed is you at the start of this 2013.  You don’t feel like you are in “proper” soil to grow and be the person you want to be.  Maybe you need to just look around at what can sustain you and let God bring the growth.  As I mentioned in my New Years Day thoughts about giving God control of your life this year in the face of the unknown, really think about what you are doing to give yourself a fighting chance at happiness this year.  When i was sick, I was tempted (and actually did for a while) walk the path of anger at God for the things I thought He was needlessly allowing in my life. But in reality, I see what he was doing in the difficulty to help me understand the importance of giving complete trust in all parts of my life to Him.  Let 2013 be a year of growth for you but not because of the perfect soil and growing conditions that the world and its marketing will tell you exists.  Life is about ups and downs but the one thing that can stay consistent is a relationship with Jesus.  let growth come out of the hard or stony times of your life by trusting that God can bring the increase in any and all circumstances and situations.

Thankfulness Provides an Atmosphere for Change

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This post is specifically directed at those people who are having a hard time being thankful today. Maybe today you are seeing all the posts on Facebook & Twitter about Thanksgiving and you don’t feel like you can post anything. Never forget that thankfulness provides an atmosphere for change. If you want things to change in you life, whatever it might be, then it is important and even imperative that you find something to be thankful for. Thankfulness does not change anything in life itself, but it certainly changes the atmosphere and attitudes of you and the people around you. When you are thankful in life you are not ignoring possible crap that is happening but you are choosing to focus on something positive, possibly, in a sea of negative. On this Thanksgiving, I challenge you to really examine you life and consider giving thanks and seeing if the rest of the un-thankful parts of you life don’t turn around for the better. When your focus is forward and not backward you cause your mind and heart to see potential in life and not the “reality” of where you think you are. It really is one of the main reasons I follow Jesus; the good in Him replaces the crap in me. And that is CERTAINLY something to be thankful for. 🙂 Have a blessed day and weekend!!

Nothing like being Thank-FULL

I want my life to be “full” of “thanks.”  Thankfulness is a key factor in moving out of difficult situations in life.  Thankfulness says something about your life especially when you are a follower of Christ.  The most important thing thankfulness does is admit that God is in control and you are not.  You are not saying you enjoy pain, but that you trust God enough to say thanks for the opportunity to learn something about yourself that has the potential to make you a better person.  Pain, sickness and generally things that feel harmful in life can be seen as one of two things; OPPOSITION you can fight or OPPORTUNITY you can embrace. Thankfulness focuses your thoughts and attitude on being grateful and is a key ingredient in God seeing that you are ready for a change in life.  True thankfulness is not being thankful to try and manipulate the situation to get what you want, it’s taking an inventory and appreciating the things in life that help make you the person you need to be.  I want to be a thankful person in all situations so people will want to be around me, listen to me and be changed by how I feel about a relationship with Christ.  People who complain and are not thankful in life repel others and make a reputation for themselves that is generally negative and not good.  When I was really sick with my eye I didn’t know how to be truly thankful for possibly going blind, losing my job and becoming a huge burden on my wife.  I really believe this was because I didn’t know the difference between being thankful FOR pain and being thankful IN pain.  Thankful FOR pain is not what God asks from us but he does want us to learn to be thankful IN pain.  Keeping our eyes on Jesus and not worried about the circumstances that cause us discomfort.  On this thanksgiving day don’t just say you are thankful, but really take an inventory of your life, thank the people who have helped you in life and thank God for the oppositions you have in life that can become your greatest opportunities to become stronger in every way.