The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. Psalm 27:1-3
To see the world through a child’s eyes would be more than a delight. Instead of seeing a large oak tree, you see a dragon of which to fight. The world around you becomes a kingdom you’re in charge to protect, as knight of the king your mission stands to defend him to the death. But alas the bushes were merely trolls that are fighting for the beast, the twigs and branches – those are snakes that are angry to say the least. Out numbered and facing defeat you pull your sword out from its sheath, you charge into the epic battle, “God save the King!!!” Continue reading
Death. We spend our lives to avoid it at all costs. I mean AT ALL COSTS! Sparing no expense to keep ourselves alive for as long as possible, we spend endless dollars on trainers and remedies to keep us from meeting our inevitable end. Not only do we eat healthy, run a lot, and monitor our hearts, but we to keep our looks young keeping the fact that we are getting older in the dark. Shots and surgeries to keep us young cause the person in the glass reminds us that were rapidly approaching a reunion with a long lost friend. Out of sight, out of mind…right?
Even there it’s inescapable. “What was I going to say?” The mind be Continue reading
This morning I am feeling this overwhelming emotional response to the idea of our youth. I can’t get the picture of the four groups of girls that I have under my leadership out of my head. As the image of these kids plays over and over again in my mind, my heart begins to violently tumble around in my chest. I don’t really know how to explain it. I just can’t shake this feeling inside of a sense of responsibility. Yes, I know that I am responsible for them and I know that God has placed me here to impact them in some way, but there is this feeling inside this morning that I just get past. What is it? I don’t know, but the only thing I can think of to explain is as my dad said once before “Holy heartburn”. I don’t even really know what it means, but it sounds so right. This feeling is almost uncomfortable and overpowering. Continue reading
Sometimes as a leader of people you can find yourself in some sticky situations. Ok, let’s be honest, often times you find yourself stuck. Leadership is hard! You fight for your opportunity to get there and when you do you realize that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I can remember a time when I made it to the management role I wanted and asked for a demotion just because I missed being in the garage with the guys. In all of the struggles of leadership, none is more daunting than opposition from your second in command. This is the one you are supposed to be able to count on as a leader, and when this person is constantly opposed to your leadership it is a bigger problem than all others that you face as a leader. When arrogance creeps its ugly little face into the life of your second in command it is never fun. It can cause dissension, division, or even cause you to questions your leadership ability which if you ask me is far worse than any other. Continue reading
There are two questions that I have been struggling with since I started coaching with the goal of sharing Christ with my athletes. 1) Can I still show Christ by placing emphasis on winning? 2) If so, how much emphasis should be placed on winning? Continue reading
Yesterday’s sermon notes were full, and I mean like three pages worth! That being said, once again today’s blog is not about the sermon. I should consider renaming my titles, but what the heck, it kind of works. Actually, the music is what really had the biggest impact on my life. The days leading up and the morning of were challenging. The enemy has been on the attack pretty consistently for the past few weeks and he is bringing the thunder. The enemy is hitting me with all of his weapons at once. Depression, doubt, bitterness, outside influences, and even the occasional lust temptation, but it seems like a full out missile campaign. Just as I notice one attack, another comes from a different direction. If you have ever seen the movie “The Mighty Ducks” there is a scene where the goalie “Goldberg” is tied to the goal posts to help him get over the fear of getting hit by the puck. After tying him up the entire team begins a constant barrage of shots at him with intents of hitting him. Continue reading
So it is Tuesday morning and I try to post my sermon notes and thoughts on Sunday evening or Monday at the latest. The Holy Spirit hasn’t allowed me to do that, which kind of disappointed me considering I thought it was going to be a pretty good one. Sunday was an awesome day for me. Well, yesterday I got some news that really kind of iced the cake of crap that has made up my past couple of weeks. My family is in trouble. Not like, owe a bunch of large Italian guys money or legs will be broken trouble, but spiritual attack and physical illness. We have had a couple of pretty hard hits and some in my family (extended) are in some hurt right now. The truth is, being so far away my wife and I are kind of struggling emotionally with all that has happened back home.
This morning I was driving my youngest daughter to school and like normal we had the radio loud singing and worshiping God on the way. As I look over and see my little girl with her hands held high singing loudly to the Lord my heart melted and my soul leaped for joy. After dropping her off and on my way home I looked in the rearview at my little boy in the carseat as a song (I don’t even know which one) came on that just lifted my spirits and caused me to go into an emotional whirlwind.
I started to think about the troubles we are facing because of the troubles my family is facing. We hurt for those we love, and in some ways the struggles are directly impacting us. Siblings in distress on both sides of the family and parents that are seriously ill on the one has caused us to hurt a great deal. As I was thinking about these struggles I started to feel the weight lift and the joy of the Lord fill my heart. He brought to mind a truth that has set me free and a couple of thoughts that He wanted me to share.
1) Jesus loves us, that’s right, US. I know, I can’t figure it out either, but He loves me and you and there is just nothing we can do about it. Love is an incredible power given to us by the Creator of all that expresses more fully how He feels about us than any other emotion or word or example in existence today. I mean love in its most intimate form, the love that bonds two together for life as spouses is the kind of intimate love that only gives a glimpse into the love of Jesus for us, His bride. Being that as fact, when we set our hearts and efforts towards something else we essentially become unfaithful to Him. The scriptures are full of examples of people who are seeking after other gods and He calls them “an adulterous generation.” Still, over and over again we stray and Jesus takes us back. Not reluctantly, but openly and with joy! Like I said, I can’t figure it out. All I know is that I am guilty of that and Jesus keeps on taking me back, He loves me more than my infidelity and for that I am grateful.
2) All of this is temporary. It’s true, whether you believe in God or not, life is short. There is no getting around the fact that you are going to die, and half way there you will feel like you needed more time. More time for what? It doesn’t matter, the truth is we seek after things that will give us fulfillment and purpose. Well, at the end of your life and mine we will realize that it was all in vain. That’s right, for nothing. Unless we live for Him. We go towards Jesus and do what He tells us to do for His purpose. When we do this, we find all that we have been searching for. Purpose, fulfillment, happiness and joy, and the satisfaction of our desire to be loved. Nothing matters except for what He says matters. Not our pain, not our desires, none of that matters outside of what He wills. Why worry about circumstances when nothing you can do will change them? Worry only about His will and what He will have you do in any moment. That’s all, just Him. The only thing that really matters is Jesus. Bottom line.
3) People don’t change, that’s right I said it. They don’t, in fact, we try and change over and over again all of out lives. The problem is that we are people and by nature sinful. You want change? No president is going to give it to you. You want change? No dietitian or personal trainer can hand it to you. You want change? Then give up and submit to the one who offers you a new and full life. Jesus. This goes back to number 2; Jesus matters and that’s all. God changes people, people don’t change people. You need something different than what you currently have? Turn it over to God.
Basically, I have no idea why I am writing this. All I know is that God wanted me to. I know that Jesus is greater than all things. There are no troubles or successes that matter a heck of a whole lot without Jesus. Jesus is the King, that’s right, I serve Him and I suggest you to do the same. He is worthy and He has the answers. He promises wisdom to all who ask and to never leave or let us down. You say you love Him? Well, good, but He says that the way you show it is by obeying His commands. Love Him.
If you are reading this in hopes to find an article about abortion, sorry this isn’t the right blog. Honestly, I figured some would read it in search of something like that so the title fit. Sneaky, right? I know, but hey I’ve got to get readers somehow. I am not interested in political conversations or the like, but I am interested in choosing, well maybe more accurately the freedom to choose. Now, if you are hoping to find an article here in reference to debating free will or predestination, wrong again! Sorry to keep doing this to you, but nor am I interested in debating theological issues here on this blog, lets leave that to all the academics out there. I for one am interested in freedom from the bondage of desire. Continue reading