Sunday, November 27, 2011

God does not talk just to talk

Today I attended an out of town church for the first time in a while. I was expecting to be super inspired and uplifted and left feeling a little disappointed. I often times find myself comparing churches to the church I attend in Austin and they just don't seem to measure up.

Today's message was about the elderly and how we are called biblicly to care for the elder. At first thought, I don't have many elderly people in my life that I interact with frequently and thus the message did not hit home. But as I was driving back to Austin a few hours later it really became clear how selfish my mindset was in all of this and how I was failing to see His big picture.

I frequently find myself "judging" church because it does not fit my immediate needs or what I think I need. When it does not jump out and speak directly to my heart in the most obvious ways I often make an excuse, check out mentally, and wait for the next week. But today I realized that God is in control and that He has certain messages and words He wants us to hear, whether we like it or not. We are all part of His grander plan and we must work to remove the selfish thoughts from our mind and center our focus on Him and His call.

Yeah, I don't have a lot of elderly around me every day but could that be because I have not been caring for the elderly like He expects? Maybe that is the exact reason God lead me to that church today. I am sure there are elderly out there that could use my help.

We are constantly wanting God to be on our terms, to meet our expectations and needs. We want Him to tell us exactly what we want to hear and get upset or turn away when He tells us something completely different. We want God to be convenient in our lives and we want our petty problems to be the most important thing in the world. When we aren't jolted out of our seat on Sunday we quickly lose focus and tune out. How disrespectful can we be that when God does not "entertain us", we turn?

The point of this message is not to encourage you to help the elderly (although this is a great thing) but to understand that God is in full control whether we want Him to be or not. Having faith and trusting in Him is the hardest part about walking in Christ and it is so easy for us to close our ears and hear only what we want, when we want. But when God speaks we must listen. If we really give it some thought we realize that the times that God's words are spoken and do not seem relevant, are actually the times we need to go back for a second look. I don't think God talks to us, just to talk. He has something He wants us to hear. An old teacher from middle school used to say "A hint to the wise is sufficient".

"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is~Ephesians 5:15-17."


Monday, November 21, 2011

Checked by God

So it has been a little while since my last post and its funny because sometimes I am full of things to write about and share and then other times its as if I never had a blog. I never want to force a post just to have content, it has to come to me, and it did.....

So last weekend while having lunch with my parents my dad recommended that I go and get a physical to check out everything, particularly my heart. He has no reason to recommend that other than the fact that I have been running and training at a high level. Of course, I did not take it serious and pretty much ignored the doctor's order. Sure enough, a friend sent me an article about a young man that died recently while running a half marathon in San Antonio, the very next day. Of course, this hit me hard and so I scheduled an appointment and went in for a visit. During my visit the doctor noted high blood pressure and some potential abnormalities with my heart that could mean time away from running.

As you could imagine, I was immediately so frustrated that something could potentially be taken away from that I love so very much; running! I did not care about my health all I could think about was the fact that I may not be able to run and train like I love to do. How could it be? I have never felt better in my life or been in better shape. I was finally getting the results I wanted and could see my hard work paying off. I had a goal and how could something like this come in between me and that goal? Of course I was in denial and blamed it on a bad diagnosis.

But as I thought about this more and more it finally started to hit me. What I realized is that I have put my fitness in front of God. I train so hard, eat perfectly, never miss a work out but I wasn't doing the same in my relationship with Him. In fact, my fitness and training has become a false idol and has pulled me away from God without me even realizing it. I definitely forget to pray, to read the bible, to keep God on my mind but yet I can maintain incredible discipline with my fitness. It never crossed my mind that a seemingly positive thing could pull me away and be a negative. But yes, fitness of all things has pulled me away from my walk with God. The bible makes it very clear that we are to have no false idols. It does not say that we can have false idols if they are "good" for us.

"You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments."~ Exodus 20:3-6

God Himself has checked me yet again. Our God is a jealous God and wants us near Him always. He is a God that has reached down and grabbed me in the midst of me straying. If I really believe in God that means that I believe that He is in total control. That means that I accept whatever He throws at me because it is all for His great purpose.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your sould and with all your strength and with all your mind"~Luke 10:27


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Look Again

Look again....opportunity is everywhere. As we live out our daily lives, each situation we encounter presents opportunity no matter if it is positive or negative. Sometimes, however that opportunity is not obvious and we get caught up.

If we believe that everything happens for a reason, or even more, His reason, then each trial and tribulation we encounter must be an opportunity. Could it be a test of our will? Could it be a chance to gain something for our journey? An opportunity to inspire someone else? To learn and grow? We must trust that each circumstance we encounter happens with good reason to prepare us.

"If you do not stand firm in your faith then you will not stand at all"~Isaiah 7:9

I had lunch with a friend today who was not enjoying his current career and was considering a change. As we talked, something hit me that really made great sense. That is, that it does not matter what the situation, we must seek the opportunity. As we continued talking, I asked him what he wanted out of life and what he was trying to accomplish. As we discussed these, I could really see the opportunity that was being overlooked. I recommended that he really think hard about what he wants out of life and his career and then do everything he can to get there.

His current job may simply be a stepping stone to his real passion, but if he fails to see the available opportunity he may miss out on his dreams. He must see the current job as an opportunity to learn as much as he can and grow. He must think about what skills he can learn and acquire in his current job that will help him get to his real passion. He must be ready when the opportunity he has been waiting for, presents itself.

If we respond negatively to adverse or even positive situations then we are defeated. I have always learned and seen that the devil is constantly at work in our lives trying to tempt us to fall. The devil wants nothing more than for us to give up and take the easy road. He wants us to sit their miserably at our desk while hating our job and quit; without having a new one.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”~Winston Churchill

I firmly believe that we all have a purpose on this earth and that each of our purposes has something to do with what we love or are really good at? It may not be the thing we think we are good at but maybe a hidden talent or skill that we never noticed. Being closed minded about the opportunity that is all around us will likely lead us down the wrong path. I personally am impressed and inspired by how people deal with adversity. I love hearing how someone positively responded to a seemingly terrible situation. I love to see fight in the dog.

Life is hard, business is hard and only the strong survive and thrive. When a situation is thrown at you that you did not expect or ask for, how will you respond? Will you learn from it and grow? Will you find a way to see the positive over the negative so that you can move forward with something to take away? Look again and make the most out of it.

Havin' a second look

Sunday, October 23, 2011

God is Able

Here is a cool acoustic version of a new song they have started playing at the Austin Stone. God is Able by Hillsong. Great song, with even greater words!

I also found this piano only version that is incredible. Talk about talent, this kid is off the charts!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

A selfless life...Is it possible?

Imagine a world where everyone cared about everyone around them more than themselves. Imagine if the most important thing to you and even your purpose was to do everything you could to help those around you and make the world a better place. Imagine a relationship with a friend or spouse in which you only cared about their best interest and in return they cared only about yours. Wouldn't this world be a much different place, a better place? Would the way decisions are made in our country be different? Would the way we spend our time and money change? Wouldn't everyone be "looked out" for and taken care of by their neighbor?

The call is to live a selfless life, but is that really possible? I mean isn't this world a tough place in which we must fight for our survival and "get ours" or else someone else will take it? We must worry about ourselves, make money, put food on the table and live the life we want to live.

Today's society has trained us that we must win. In order to survive we must strive to be the best we can be in order to better than those around us and thus succeed. We work hard to gain the approval of ourselves but more importantly those around us. Do we really care what happens to our neighbor, or only as long as it does not affect our well being?

This last weekend in church at the Austin Stone, Pasture Matt Carter made a very interesting analogy between the Holy Trinity and the way we are called to live our life. He pointed out numerous examples of how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit interact with each other. They are selfless, praising of each other and not self, they have the utmost respect for the other and are constantly sending all the praise outward. They are not self seeking but rather are always assisting the other. This interaction is perfect in every single way and provides a model for how we are called to live out our lives.

One would argue "how could I do that when no one else is living like that", and rightfully so but isn't the Lord our God our provider? Does He not promise to give us everything we need and more?

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"~Mathew 6:26

I would imagine that living a selfless life would be somewhat contagious. We cannot stand around and wait for someone else to step up and start the trend. We must take a stand and begin living as we are commanded. We are more valuable in God's Kingdom than the birds, so we best start acting like it!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pay attention

Pay close attention to what God is trying to tell you. God is constantly working in all of our lives and trying to get us close to Him. He brings adversity into our lives every day and takes things away that we value more than our relationship with Him because He loves us.

Faith is believing that God is working every day in your life. If you have true faith in God, rather than seeing the negative when adversity comes, you pay close attention to what God is trying to tell you. God is graceful and only wants the best for His people.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."~ Jeremiah 29:11

Plain and simple God tells us that He has a plan and it is a plan that will not harm you but rather a plan that will give you everything you could ever need and more. So rather than seeing adversity as a bad thing, look at it as a sign that God is near and that He is speaking directly to you. He has something He wants to tell you. Don't force Him to yell.


Listen to the sound

Here is another amazing song that I wanted to share. Its called Listen to the Sound by Building 429. Fires me up every time I hear it! Pay attention to His plan cause His grace is reaching for us.


Friday, October 14, 2011

My hope is in you Lord- Great song!

Great song with great words by Aaron Shust. My hope is in you Lord!

I pray that no matter what you put in front of me that I stand strong in your name with the faith to persevere! You have always provided for me and that has always been Your promise. Thank you for Your grace!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Doing what I love.......for God

Today I was thinking about this blog and how it came to be what it is today. If you look back at old posts you will see the transition that I made and am making each day based on the posts I write. It started purely as a motivational blog and has slowly shifted to a faith based/spiritual blog, still with a positive outlook. As I was reflecting on this, I remembered a time when I prayed that God would give me the passion and creativity that I have for my business for Him.

As you may or may not know, I love marketing and social media. It is so easy for me to get fired up and talk for hours about these topics because it interests me, it excites me. In fact, I have recently started speaking publicly about these marketing practices and have been blessed with the knowledge and ability to do so. I always have a million ideas running through my head about business and marketing at all times because I have passion for it . As I started thinking about all of this passion, I literally sat down and asked God to use that passion, that excitement, those ideas for His kingdom. I have always struggled, and still do, with following the Lord's commands, with making the time to study His words, to spend time praying, serving, etc. I never have a problem working a lot or thinking up new business ideas. So I imagined a day when I could have that passion for the God and asked God to make that happen in my life.

Today, while talking with a friend and follower of this blog, it dawned on me that the prayer has been answered. These posts I write are not me talking, but rather God talking through me. I do not have the heart or mind to come up with this stuff but God has truly touched my heart and inspired me to share what I am learning and struggling with, with you! In fact I am using the most powerful marketing platforms ever created, Facebook and twitter, to share His word. I am using my passion to share what He has done in my life.

As I was reading some scripture I found a verse that speaks exactly to this idea:

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever."~1 Peter 4:7-11

At Austin Stone a few weeks back, the Pasture talked about how God calls the musicians "to play the most beautiful music" and the artists to "paint the most beautiful paintings" and the photographers to "capture the most beautiful pictures" so that we can fully see the beauty of God! He challenged the congregation to live for God and extend His grace in all that we do. I extend that challenge to you! What is your passion? What do you love to do and how can you use that to serve God? When you start thinking like this its pretty incredible how you find yourself enjoying things that you likely hated when you were a kid, like going to church, or doing community service, or saying your prayers before you go to bed at night.

Mission is not about moving to a foreign land and preaching. Mission is about loving the people around you, serving your community, making the world a better places and loving the Lord. Whatever you love to do in your everyday life, is it possible to do it for God?

Marketing for God

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Marriage advice from the unmarried

So my best friend is finally tying the knot at the end of this month and last night he called and asked me for a recommendation for a good bible reading that pertains to marriage. It seems like more and more of my friends are getting married and as I have personally grown stronger in my faith I really started thinking about how little God is referenced or acknowledged in many weddings and marriages that I see. Now I am not saying that everyone I know does not love the Lord or that no one gets it right but I think we can all agree that more God in our lives is not a bad thing.

As I started reading last night and looking for the right verse, I began writing down some goods ones that I really liked and felt can be real tools for a successful marriage. Now keep in mind that I have never been married so my experience here is very limited. In fact, if you would have asked me two years ago if God mattered in marriage I would have said "no way". But as I come to know the Lord more and more, I now understand how wrong I was.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.~Mathew 22: 37-38

The most important factor is that both of you love the Lord, more than each other. We have seen time and time again that relationships between humans will always fail, but if each other has a real love for God you will keep it together and make it work for God.

In order to love one must know God:

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."~ 1 John 4: 7-8

Remember that you are now a team! God has called you to be together as one flesh. No longer can you make selfish decisions but rather your responsibility is now for yourself and your spouse. Every decision you make must be made in the best interest of both of you. Do not ever let anyone or anything separate you.

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”~Mathew 19:4-6

I also believe that it is very important to love as God loves us. God loves us unconditionally even though we turn from Him every moment of every day. He loved us so much that He gave his only son for us so that we may be saved. This is the example of true sacrifice and willingness to do anything, no matter the cost, for someone else. Your marriage will be the most successful when both give each other everything they have and do not hold anything back; both of you will be completely taken care of by the other. Be an example for your family as well!

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant sacrifice to God."~Ephesians 5:1-2

There will be days when your spouse annoys you are drives you completely insane. There will be things they do that challenge your heart and love for them but remember that God calls you to fight through that:

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" ~Ephesians 4:2-3

One of my favorites has to do with pleasing each other, and yes this means sexually! Now that you are married this is something you can enjoy sin free and as your unmarried friend I say "Take advantage!". Remember to work at this and keep it interesting and fun. This is one of the many gifts of God and He gave it to us so that we can enjoy it. Never forget that and always find ways to make it as enjoyable as possible. :) FYI- the parenthesis is really a modern day translation of this verse.

"The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife(should fulfill his wife's sexual needs), and likewise the wife to her husband." ~1 Corinthians 7:3

Remember to keep the marriage bed pure but also live a life for God and not for money or success. You two have been blessed with each other which is more than you need or deserve. The best things in life are the hardest to obtain so stay true to who you are and don't bend on these things. Give everything you have to the Lord and I promise you will be more than blessed forever.

"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." ~Hebrews 13: 4-5

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.~Proverbs 18:22

Lastly I leave you with the most important of all. The Armor of God will protect you from the brutal world that exists around us. Make sure that you equip yourselves with God so that you can stay strong in faith; faithful to the Lord and each other. Do not just go to church but make God the priority because you need Him to survive! Challenge each other, encourage each other, pray together, give thanks together and make sure that God is #1 in your household.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kind of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.~Ephesians 6: 10-18

The last part of that verse is the most important and that is to pray constantly. We cannot do it alone and we need to be in constant prayer with God in order to keep our focus and receive his blessings so that we may persevere.

Remember this:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Make the Lord the priority in your lives and you will have the best marriage you could have ever imagined. No one said it was going to be easy.

reconsidering this whole marriage thing : ), JK!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Excess of anything is too much

Do not take more than you need. Excess of anything is too much. We are all materialistic in some way or another and I am the first to admit that I like nice things. What I am learning is that "nice things" don't matter in God's kingdom.

"Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be"~Mathew 6: 19-20

Think about this, many people get nice things because they want to portray a certain image or impress certain people. Now step back and ask yourself this question: Do you really want to build a relationship with someone that likes you because of what you have? Isn't there something so wrong about that? People also buy nice things to make themselves feel better. Won't you lose or break that "thing" at some point? How is that going to make you feel?

The wealthiest people in the world are not wealthy because they spent their money on expensive things. They are wealthy because they spent their money on only what they needed and invested in things that had potential to grow. Luxury items such as cars are depreciating assets and will only lose their value. If you can't afford to lose that money then why spend it. We as a people are often times so focused on the now and fail to realize that we have a long road ahead. If you want to have financial independence later, you must make sacrifices now to obtain that.

Another point I would like to bring up is about spending a lot on excess when you can be helping out someone else and still have what you need. If you believe in God, He calls us to love our neighbor. Taking more than you need while your neighbor struggles to make a house payment is not how you love your neighbor. What if you could have a nice house and help your neighbor out at the same time?

The true test is to figure out what is the most important thing in your life. If "that car" or "that boat" is the most important thing to you, I feel sorry for you because the day that car is gone will come. If God is the most important thing to you, you will find acceptance in Him and that acceptance has nothing to do with material things. So being right with God would naturally make you not place importance on those things and would call you to spend your money in other areas or even save. Let me also add, that these sacrifices may not be about helping people you don't know but rather the people you care about most. The way you spend your money now may affect what your son or daughter (which you may not even have yet) has down the road. It would be a shame to have expensive clothes now and not be able to provide food on the table later. Or how about getting a call from a family member or friend in desperate need and you cannot help them out because of that stupid purchase.

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."~Mathew 6:24

I struggle with this a lot because I do like nice things and I also have nice things. I also like to make money. But maybe we can all make a conscious effort to pay attention to this excess and try to limit it going forward. Paying attention and calling it out is a start. The richest men in our world, may not even be the wealthiest. The richest men in our world are right with God and may or may not have money. I believe that God will entrust His money to those who He knows will use it for His kingdom.

Now many people will say "I work hard for my money and I should be able to spend how I please" and yes you are right. Wouldn't it be nice if what pleases God, pleases us?!!

Think about it

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Battle for my heart

This is a new song that is amazing that I thought I should share. For those of you that have heard it, you know what I am talking about. If you listen closely to the words its spells it out so perfectly!

There are a million things in this world that are constantly at war with our hearts, trying to pull them away from what is right. No matter how hard we try, no matter what situations we try and avoid sin and evil are everywhere. Evil is constantly at battle inside of all of us and that will never stop. The call of God is not an easy path as it is said in the bible but it IS the path to which we are called.

I have had many great conversations over the past few days about the call of God and how, we as humans try and alter it just a bit to "meet our needs" and allow us to still maintain our own lives. We try and justify our weakness to the evil with our own false words. But again, our call is very clear. It may not be comfortable or what we "want", but it is the call of God and with that comes his promise for eternal happiness, righteousness, grace,etc.; super hard call with an even greater reward.

I struggle every second of every day. Evil eats at my heart always. But the good news is that the battle for my heart has already been won! Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sin so that we are released from the shackles and become pure through God the Father!


Monday, September 26, 2011

One thing has changed

I am a sinner. My mind and heart are filled with selfish desires. I lust, I cuss, I have a hard time forgiving others. Its really hard for me to always love my neighbor. I struggle with faith and I am easily knocked off the path for which I am called. I am constantly feeling self righteous and forget to give the good Lord all the glory that is His.

"No one is righteous-not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one."~Romans 3:10-12

But one thing has changed. I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart and soul. Knowing Him has created a desire to live as a son of God, to try and live as Jesus lived. You see, I have always been full of sin and the hardest thing for me to accept is that no matter how hard I desire to be better, I will always fall short of the glory of God. As a human, it is impossible to live a sin free life. However, rather than accepting that fact I desire to be better and to always improve for God.

Today, when I sin, I feel that I have sinned against God who has been so faithful and has blessed me beyond what I could ever imagine. The same sin is still prevalent in my life but God works in my heart and reminds me what is right and wrong. Because the task of living as Jesus is impossible, it makes it easy to give up and just accept that. But rather than accept that fact, I am constantly asking Him to help me to be better.

Before when I sinned, I knew no God. So for me, the sin was not sin but rather my "right". Knowing God has not made me not a sinner, but rather has helped me to understand that I am sinner. Knowing this fact has allowed me to take my burdens and sin to God because His acceptance is all that I need.

We often judge religion based on the people that practice it saying "He/She is such a hypocrit". And we are right, we are all hypocrits. We preach one thing and practice another but that is a reality we all must accept. Rather than me judge you or I, we should praise the great God who loves you and I. What an amazing and loving God that would love someone like me. Jesus died on the cross so that sinners like me could exchange their sin for God's love. But no where in the bible, does it say that I am no longer a sinner because I know God.

Many people that read this blog may know me personally and feel as if this is a front or not who I really am. And again, you are right. I am not what I preach, but I want to be. I desire to be the most faithful servant of God, to not lust and love my neighbor; to never judge and to always remember that all the glory is God's above. The posts that I write, are not me making a claim that I live a certain way but rather are a way for me to share what God is working in my heart with others. Don't judge my God based on me, but rather praise God for accepting me.

Without a doubt, my life is better today than it has ever been and for that I am thankful to God. Walking with God is a very hard call but that hard walk continues to bring blessings into my life. These blessings are not monetary blessings but rather lessons that I am learning about how to live as a Christ follower. The blessings are as simple as realizing right after I sin that I have sinned and feeling guilty to God for that sin.

As I walk in my faith I pray for brothers and sisters to come together and help me walk with God. I need help and assistance in more ways than you can imagine and I hope for God to bring Godly people into my life that will help me get back on tract when I stray. The same as these people help me, I pray that I can have the wisdom and strength through God to return the favor. Its a tough world we live in and the only way to make it is to know God.

I know what I want to be but I also understand what I am. One thing has changed....


Saturday, September 24, 2011

A little reminder

Here is a little reminder as we kick off our weekend!

"Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in faith because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever"~1 Peter 5:8-10

Have a super awesome Saturday. Don't forget to #praiseGod


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This world needs us...........

This world needs you and I, and failing to understand that responsibility is affecting the world around us. We are called to serve our brothers and sisters not just because, but because we need each other.

I heard this song this morning on the radio about people that want nothing more than to be loved for who they are. This song really hit me because it made me stop and think about people out there that are hurting and are in desperate need. When we make selfish decisions and forget about those around us we are failing to live out our intended purpose. It breaks my heart to even think that people are hurting like this and that every day I could be helping someone who really needs it and give up nothing!

Too often we get caught up in our own issues and forget about the purpose for which we are called. I have no doubt in my mind that if we help our brothers as we are called we too will be taken care of. The bible says that He will take things away from us and bring us adversity so that we may seek Him out. So maybe those "things" happening in your life are on purpose; better yet, with good purpose.

Imagine if 30 minutes of your time could change someones life forever. Do you have anything in your life that is more important than helping a lost soul? Imagine a small act that gives that person at rock bottom a sliver of hope. The tiniest acts can have the biggest impact and too often we lose sight of that. This world needs us to go out and be the hands and feet of God so that more people can understand and see His beauty and grace. When we make selfish decisions we are not only hurting ourselves but we are hurting others around us. You never know when you will encounter someone that needs you. Failing to understand that responsibility is detrimental to others. We need to know that we have a purpose and other people's lives are affected by that purpose. We are called, by God, to help others around us.

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."~Peter 4;10

You remember when God met you right where you were and helped you out in a time of need? The world needs us to love and serve our brothers and sisters just as we are loved by God.

Steppin'.My.Game.Up. #ushould2

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Want it like you want air...

I shared this video a few weeks ago on Facebook and I wanted to share again because I think it is so awesome and applicable. I really believe this not only applies to success but also love for the Lord! Nothing in this world comes easy. We all want things but it is so much harder to actually obtain them. If you want something bad enough we will do everything we can to achieve it. That means we must persevere through the the things that knock us off course. We must be willing to do whatever it takes and often times this is a hard call.

You can have or be whatever it is that you want as long as you want it bad enough. For example, when I am tired and distracted at church it is no fun; I get very little out of it. However when God is a priority in my life I plan my life around Him. I go to bed early so that I can be fresh and ready for whatever He is trying to tell me. I make church a priority so that I can arrive early and do not feel as if I have other things I should be doing. Those are the times I get the most out of it. The same holds true for prayer and bible study. The days I try and squeeze time in for God I usually try and do it at night, before bed, when I am tired. Typically I fall asleep first, #fail. But if God, or success is a priority it becomes the first thing I do, before anything else. Everything I do is done with that goal in mind.

You see, our most valuable resource is our time which requires us to pick and choose the things that are most important. Sometimes we have to give up fun things or things that we feel are important in order to make time for the things that are really important. As a small business owner, I struggle with this because it is so easy to get caught up in the 17 million things I have to do each day and more times than not I forget to make time for the things that are most important.

Success at anything takes drive and determination. It takes will power and a desire to succeed! It takes making that "thing" a priority in our lives. It means we must give up those things that are keeping us from that goal.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run, with perseverance the race marked out for us" ~Hebrews 12:1

Be sure to watch the entire video, I know its long but worth it!

How Bad Do You Want It from Greyskale Multimedia LLC on Vimeo.

Eyes on the Prize

This song fires me up #awesomesong

Here is another song that I love! Every time I hear it, I get the chills cause I can feel the presence of God in Austin, Texas! Hope everyone is having a wonderful day.....

Praise God

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Thought I would share this great version of this song by "Owl City". This was shown to me by my friend Andrea Moore and I could not help but pass it along. Happy Hump Day! Enjoy

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


The other day I was sitting at Mozart's on Lake Austin enjoying some coffee by the lake. There were three women sitting in front of me and a young gentleman at his own table to my right. These ladies were gossiping about their neighbors and how they were sure they were at least separated but likely getting a divorce. They were discussing the last time they saw their car in the drive way and how they could hear them screaming at each other while arguing.

The young gentleman next to me kindly walked up to their table, knelt down and in a very quiet voice said "Ladies I don't mean to get in your business but I think you should pray for your neighbors." These ladies were so shocked and speechless. This young man could not have said it any nicer and with more respect. He was not trying to butt into their conversation and was definitely not being rude. He genuinely felt convicted to ask them to pray for their neighbor. The three ladies immediately pretended as if it was time to leave and they quietly got up and left.

As I sat there and watched this all take place I could not help but smiling over the fact that this young guy stepped up and took a chance to spread God's word. He took a negative situation and offered the most valuable advice one could give. It's so sad when you think about how we always want to make ourselves feel better by bringing up what other people are doing wrong. Wouldn't it be nice if we just loved our neighbor? How about loving our neighbor so much that we would spend our time with God asking Him to help out someone else besides ourselves? How about loving our neighbor so much that we would desire for things in their life to improve rather than being entertained by their struggles?

The next morning I was participating in wonderful ministry called "Feed My People" and an older man walked up to me to have me serve him coffee and said, "You know how much it means to me that you looked at me in line and smiled? Such a small thing can really make a difference." I honestly did not even remember smiling at the man. Have you ever stopped and thought about how such small actions can have such a huge affect on people?

Loving your neighbor is really about caring for others more than you care about yourself. Its about understanding your role in God's kingdom and knowing that your job is to reflect His greatness in every way possible. Jesus was a man that smiled at people. Jesus was a man that was always lending a helping hand to a lost sole. He pursues everyone including the person that no one else will pursue.

Loving your neighbor could be a simple smile or a fist pump of encouragement on the trail. It could be a small donation to a family in need or a phone call to the person that wronged you. Loving your neighbor is about throwing your own personal feelings or comforts aside for someone else. Loving your neighbor is what we are called to do.

Your neighbor is not only the person that lives next to you. Its the city of Bastrop that neighbors Austin. Its your co-worker, its the people that live in your community and the communities all around. Loving your neighbor is also loving your enemy or the person you despise the most. Loving your neighbor is about loving God and being the hands and feet of God in our community.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven"~ Mathew 5: 14-16

Have any neighbors that could use some love?

Strugglin' with you

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Wrath of God....

Let me start off by making it very clear that I, in no way, would ever try and claim that I know what God is trying to do in our world or know His reasoning for allowing things to happen. And while it is very hard for me to really wrap my head around the idea of "the wrath of God" it is impossible for me to ignore the fact that bad things are happening in our world all around us. As you know I am typically a very positive person but this has really been heavy on my heart and I felt convicted to share.

Today in central Texas there are uncontrollable fires taking over neighborhoods and completely destroying homes. We have earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes affecting areas that are rarely, if ever, in danger of this type of catastrophic disaster. Our national economy is seeing more negativity and volatility than it has ever seen. Our lands are being dried up and without rain, killing crops and cattle.

Has it ever crossed your mind that "the wrath of God" could be upon us? Could it be that God is fed up with us as a people and is tired of giving us everything we need and watching us consistently turn from Him. As I see it, we as a people are farther away from God than we have ever been in the history of the world. We are full of selfishness and sexual immorality, our hearts desire for false Gods and material things, we lie, cheat and steal; we do not help our neighbor like we are called. We are so connected via media and the web and that connectedness is polluted with everything but God. We are ungrateful of the beauty God has created in our world and we have no respect for nature. We poison our bodies with bad things because we feel obligated to live however we please.

As these thoughts have heavily weighed on my heart I decided to go back and read the story of Noah's Ark in Genesis, chapters 6-9. I recalled how God became so frustrated and upset with the people of the world and their sinful nature that he flooded the earth for 40 days and 40 nights, killing off everything except that which was inside of the ark built by Noah.

"God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, " I am going to put an end to all the people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth."~Genesis 6:13

We see in Romans chapter 1 that God is angry at sinful people because we have made up lies about God in order to justify our own self centered lifestyles. God makes it clear that we have no excuse because God has made his grace and power blatantly obvious.

"The wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-His eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."~ Romans 1:18-20

Now this idea could be really far off and out there but it could also be very real. Lets just say that God is allowing this to happen in our world (or we created these problems for ourselves through sin) and He is angry. What can we do? How shall we respond?

I believe it is through repentance that we can be saved from this destruction. Through repentance we show our faith to the God above, the Creator. And maybe, just maybe He will spare us a break. I think there are many that could really use it right now; I know I can. I pray that we as a people turn to God in these hard times and get right with Him. I pray that with God's help and grace we as brothers and sister can turn from our wicked ways and began to live more like children of God. I need encouragement from others to help me with my sin, and I could use some leaders by example to show me the way. I pray that through repentance God will lift his finger and restore the world if it is His will. Jesus died for our sin but that does not give us a free pass to live as we please. The great exchange gives us the opportunity to know Him and be saved through repentance and faith.

It would really be a shame if we never accepted the greatest gift ever given!

Blogging from my heart!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#SocialExperiment called HashMob

This is a new idea I have been drumming up in my head and I wanted to share and get some feedback from my readers. As always, I am very thankful for your support!

#MOB, pronounced "Hash Mob" is an idea that incorporates suggestions and opinions of the people around us and lists them in an easy to access manner for later use. We define #MOB as an online place to "Hash it out". Have you ever been driving around looking for a good place to eat and your mind is blank? Yes there is Urban Spoon and many other sites that offer suggestions based on location and reviews but sometimes all we want or need is a simple list of suggestions. #MOB is exactly that!

Over the last few months we have been asking for suggestions on Coffee shops, restaurants, things to do on a holiday weekend, etc via social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. When we do this, we actually get some pretty valuable responses but have had no real way of displaying those for later use. We started creating some images and lists but really they are not easily accessible for future use unless you print them out. Where do you keep these printed out lists? don't!

Currently our website, is under construction and is expected to be launched sometime in September. For now, we are working to grow our user base via our Facebook page @#MOB. At different times through out any given day we will post certain categories or Hashtags (#) with the idea being that our fans and followers will comment and help us create these useful lists. We hope that many will get involved, including small business owners looking to get free advertising for their business. As our user base grows beyond Austin we will start to separate the lists by location.

Below are some examples of the type of information you can find on #MOB







The list can go on and on and the great part about #MOB is that we encourage our users to create their own Hashtags (#). This site is for the people so you can create any category you want and see if the community will support it and help you build it. Nothing inappropriate please, thanks.

Click the gray text below to "Like" our Page:

#MOB on Facebook

If you like what we are doing, please help us spread the word! Thank you so much for your support #blessed

Hashin' it out

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

not the way you live, but why you live.

So today I had one of those light bulb moments in which God spoke to my heart. The thought occurred to me that it is not about the way you live, but rather why you live. What I am learning is that being a person of God does not mean you have to change who you are and what you do. You see if God wanted us to be something different than who we are, wouldn't He have made us that way?

It often seems that being a christian, or a believer in your God, for that matter, means that you have to "be good" or "be like them"! The truth is that God loves you exactly for who you are and in fact He made you that way on purpose. He is, however, a jealous God and wants to be first in your life. That does not mean He wants to be the only, just the first. In fact, God loves you so much that He wants to provide many things to you and pour out his blessings in your life. He wishes that you could handle those things and keep Him above all. I catch myself every day forgetting about who God is and what he has blessed me with. For that reason, God has to either remind me or limit what He gives me. God doesn't want me to stop selling real estate or doing business, at least for now. God wants me to do business for God. Its about spreading His word, sharing the Gospel with more people, and extending His grace to everyone possible.

Yesterday in church they talked about living your life for God. They talked about how the artists need to work their hardest to paint the most amazing pictures to share the beauty God has created. The called the musicians to play beautiful songs and remind the world how great His creations are. They called me and you to change, not how we live, but why. With this mentality we become a better city, a better nation, a better people. We become brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends.

The call is not for us to change our lives or change who are but to understand why we are who we are and live that out in our everyday lives. It is no coincidence that last weekend I started thinking about how I need to reconnect with a good friend that is one of the strongest followers of God I know. Of course, being distracted by everything that is around me, I put it off. No joke, today I received an email from him after I already started writing this post. The email, of course, was about individuality and how God wants us to be exactly as He made us. That to me is mind blowing that God is aware of what is going on in my head and meets me in that exact place. #PraiseGod

The good news is that you and I can continue to be who we are. We can continue to
live out our lives and only need to alter the reason we live. Being a follower of God does not mean we have to be perfect or be a certain way. The bible tells us that we are in fact shackled by our sin and that through God we become free to be who we really are!

"Everyone who sins is a slave to sin" ~ John 8:34

"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" ~John 8:31-32

Think about it!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Misunderstanding of Freedom

We have a huge misunderstanding of the word "Freedom" in this country. Ever since we were born we have been taught about our freedom as an American and how we are free to do as we please. While Freedom is the foundation on which this country was built, it seems as though there has been a little misunderstanding and misuse of the word.

It is my opinion that Freedom was intended to allow us to make decisions about how to live and contribute in society. But, we Americans, have twisted this right and used it to mean we are free to do nothing if we so choose. But being Free does not mean you do not have to do or be. Being Free means you have the right to choose what you will do and be, but doing nothing or being nothing was not the purpose.

Being free means you have the right to choose what religion you will believe in but it was not intended to mean you have the right to not believe. Freedom means you have the right to vote for whichever political candidate you would like but it was not intended to mean you have the right to not vote. Freedom means you can work in whatever industry or job you choose but it was not intended to mean you can choose to not contribute to society. Freedom means you can say whatever you feel and you can speak your mind but it was not intended to mean you are free to say mean things to hurt others and bring them down. Being free means we can travel to other countries throughout the world but it was not intended to mean that we can go to those countries and act in a disrespectful manner.

Freedom was intended to be a right for us to choose different paths, beliefs and options in life. Freedom was given to us so that our lives are not ruled by someone else but rather we are able to make decisions for ourselves. One thing the founding fathers failed to realize was that we are a selfish people and that we will often argue for a very literal meaning of the word and will not to try and understand its intended purpose. We take freedom to mean "we don't have to" rather than "we get to". Congratulations, we found the loophole!

Our military does not fight oversees for us so that we can be worthless. They are not sacrificing their lives so we can be mooches. They are not going to war for us to be able to sit back and be nothing. They fight for our freedom which gives us the opportunity to be more.

Freedom should be looked at as a gift and not a right and thus should be appreciated and utilized for the betterment of our world and the improvement of our society, not the destruction. You are free to do as you please so do something worthwhile and make a difference!

"Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better"~Albert Camus

People around the world would do anything for freedom, so make sure you are doing something with yours.

giving it my all

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What will it take?

While reading Exodus and learning about how God led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt I quickly saw a strong parallel to my everyday life that I wanted to share. Maybe you can relate.

The story is one you have probably heard but basically God instructs Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. He shows the Pharaoh his mighty power by performing huge acts such as turning the Nile river into blood, creating a massive hail storm, creating infection amongst the people and the list goes on all in an attempt to free the Israelites. What I find very interesting and relevant to my life was the constant refusal of God by the Pharaoh, even when God made his power so obvious. This, to me, is similar to how I am often unwilling to give up my sense of control in my own life and submit to God even when He shows me how real He is. Often times I feel as though obeying and following God means that I can no longer be how I want to be. God, on multiple occasions, showed His ability and power to the Pharaoh and each time the Pharaoh would plead for God to relent. However, each time God would ease up, the Pharaoh would then return to his wicked ways and not hold up his end of the bargain. It almost as if God did not exist when He was no longer needed. Have you ever pleaded with God and then quickly forgot about your promise to God? Have you ever promised God in prayer that you will never do "that thing" again if he just let you make it through?

As the story continues the Pharaoh decides to send his army to regain control of the Israelites that just escaped. God parts the Red Sea allowing the Israelites to cross to the other side by dry land. When the Egyptians attempt to chase after them, the sea converges on them and they all drown. Now clearly if something of this magnitude happened in anyone's life, believer or not I think it would be hard to not put their faith in God. It is not every day that a sea is parted before your eyes to save your life and defeats your enemy. Now we see the Isrealites forget about what God has done for them and turn.

Within three days of the parting of the sea and them being freed, the Israelites are faced with a relatively small amount of adversity as they become thirsty. They immediately forget about where God has lead them and begin to complain. Could they really think that God could part a sea but not provide water to quench their thirst? Has God ever performed miraculous acts in your life and yet you have doubted Him in much smaller instances? Of course God hears their cries and provides an abundance of water. The bible actually says that God takes them to a place called Elim where there are twelve springs and 70 palms; basically paradise. What a surprise!

Does this sound like a familiar story? This is the story of my life. God is all around me in every way, answering my prayers and the prayers of others in my life. He punishes me in obvious ways when I disobey, showing me He cares. He rescues me when I am being chased. Once I get what I need I quickly turn back in my old ways and forget what He has done for me.

What will it take? What more do we need to see to have total faith in Him?

tryin' to make sense of it all

Monday, July 25, 2011

Distracted by His blessings....#fail

So its been a little while since I have written a blog. I am not hear to make any excuses but rather to confess the reason why I have not written anything lately.

The last few weeks and even months have been amazing for me, a true blessing from God. However, being the sinful person that I am I was easily distracted and pulled away from God because I was too busy and was not making time for Him.

Lately, the majority of my blogs have been inspired by church sermons or readings from the bible that have really hit home with me. Over the past few weeks I have been going to church and sitting down to read the bible but it has been very difficult for me to focus on what I am reading in the bible or the message I am hearing at church. Its like I have been distracted by all the other things going on in my life and have not made time for God. I sit down to read but my mind is elsewhere. I try and listen in church but something distracts me. I have just been going through the motions.

The worse part is that God is the one that has blessed me with all the things that are distracting me from Him and I hate that I am a weak being that cannot continue to keep him at the forefront of my life. Whats even crazier is that I am trying hard but I am realizing that even with much effort I still fail.

Yesterday I attended a church in Marble Falls called Lake Shore. There was a soft spoken, older man that stood up and spoke during the service. In his quiet voice he expressed his conviction for God and you could see in his eyes that he had 100% faith in God. His faith in God was so strong and his conviction so real that he begin tearing up while talking about it. He wasn't talking about anything sad or bad that had happened in his life, or any recent experiences he had been through but rather the great exchange in which Jesus died for all man's sin.

This site really hit me hard because I started thinking about how I have felt so distracted by everything else and not focused on God and here is a man that is totally focused on God without any distractions. I could see in 5 minutes of him talking that he had a faith stronger than anything I have ever seen. I want that to be me. I want God to be the forefront of everything that I do and I want to always put God first.

I would love to have the continuous passion I have for my company, for God. I would love to make time for studying His word like I make time for running and exercise. I want to have no doubts about putting money into the offering basket that goes by just as I have no doubts about spending money on clothes, a nice dinner or a marketing piece. I want to be excited about God like I am excited about the real estate game. I want to be on fire for God, always!

Psalms 1:2-3 – Blessed is the man who’s delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whither. Whatever he does prospers.

All these gifts were given to me by God for a reason and I want to use these instruments for His purpose and kingdom. I know where I want to be....the challenge is getting there! And it cannot be done without Him.

Below are two relevant blog posts I wrote (clearly this is a common struggle):

Seek when you are not weak

Why is it so easy to stray from God?

Pray for me

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

EVERYONE Needs Compassion

I may take some heat for this post but I have to share my thoughts as they come to me. Please do not get frustrated or emotional but try to understand and think about it in a different way.

We all know that the verdict came in for Casey Anthony as not guilty and all day yesterday and today I cannot find a media outlet that is not discussing this topic as the main headline. If I log in to Facebook or Twitter there are many posts bashing Casey Anthony or the legal system. I have no idea on whether she committed the crime, nor am I the judge. I think murder is terrible and I really am just torn that something so tragic has happened in our society.

In John chapter 8 of the bible, we learn about a woman that has committed adultery. According to the law of the time, the punishment for this crime is to be stoned publicly. In the story the teachers of the law and the Pharisees bring the women to Jesus asking him to punish this woman for her sin. Jesus basically ignores their request and continues to draw in the sand. As the people continue to question Jesus he finally stands up and says "If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."(John 8:7) One by one the people turned and walked away.

This is a very interesting story and one that is very hard to hear. Jesus never approved or condoned adultery. However, Jesus shares this story because he wants us to understand that it is our job as people of God to offer forgiveness and compassion. It is God's job to judge. Now I understand that one may argue that killing a child and cheating on your husband are of no comparison. Other's that may have been cheated on may argue differently. The point is that it is all subjective and thus we must respect all sin, as sin.

Either way, the crime that has been committed is horrendous to say the least. But can we not show some compassion for this woman who clearly has many issues? I find it very hard to believe that anyone on this earth is just out to kill, "just because". Rather, I believe that people that commit these horrible crimes, do so because they are ill mentally. Something in their mind is different than that of you and I.

What if we were a people that rather than publicly bash this poor woman, we would fall to our hands and needs and offer up our prayers for her, "That the good Lord would fill her broken spirit and remove any bad from her life"? What if we prayed for this woman for the loss of her daughter, the destruction of her family and the public shame and humility she has endured? No matter what the verdict is, this woman needs our prayers, compassion and forgiveness now more than ever.

I know that I would never kill someone, but I also know that I have made many mistakes in my life. I also know that with the bad things I have done, I am undeserving of forgiveness. I am, however, grateful that I have been shown compassion and forgiveness in my life which has allowed me to move forward and improve on my "problem areas". Let us not lose site of who we are in all of this and let us set our eyes on God to be the ultimate judge. I trust with everything that I have that He is in full control of all that took place in that trial. He knows the truth and will handle the situation in a way that is pleasing to Him. In that I trust. But as a follower of Christ, I must show compassion and forgiveness, especially when it is the hardest. That is the call, whether you like it or not.

Listen to this song - Might to Save

A few good quotes on compassion:

“Compassion is the basis of all morality”~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“It is lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion toward others. If we make friends with ourselves, then there is no obstacle to opening our hearts and minds to others.”

“Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.”~ Henry Ward Beecher

“Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”~Frederick Buechner

Prayin for compassion!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Momentum - the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events

Momentum is a powerful fact of life that can really enhance the direction in which we are heading. As things start to pick up and move in the right direction we can feel a bit of momentum start to take hold. It is so important to use this momentum as a catalyst for more forward motion and not "ride it out" until it dies.

“If you're coasting, you're either losing momentum or else you're headed downhill.”~Joan Welsh

You see, many people can feel the momentum and see it as an extra "push" allowing them to use less force while maintaining the same speed. Others, see momentum as an opportunity to move forward at a faster pace. Combining the initial effort you were applying prior to the gaining the momentum with the newly created momentum will allow you to gain more ground, faster.

It is even sometimes that without momentum we are unable to get where we want to be. You see, sometimes it takes our natural effort plus some momentum to give us the needed push to make it over the edge. There are many things we encounter in our life that take more than just good effort and it is momentum that we can leverage to overcome these challenges.

Enthusiasm is the energy and force that builds literal momentum of the human soul and mind ~ Bryant H. McGill

So now that you are on a bit of a roll, how are you going to respond? Does this mean we can sit back and take break? Is it time to coast for a little while? Or is this when we are supposed to dig in deep, use the momentum to our advantage and move mountains?


Monday, June 27, 2011

Say what you need to say

So often we find ourselves failing to communicate on small, minor issues that hinder relationships with friends, family and significant others. We are afraid to hurt the other's feelings or are afraid of conflict and thus we hide them, keeping them to ourselves. These issues build up inside of us causing unnecessary anxiety and negative energy often making the problem much worse.

"Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry"
~Ephesians 4: 25-26

Many of these, seemingly small, issues could simply be avoided with better communication. Rather than keeping to ourselves we should actually be more direct and concise about our feelings. In love, we should share what is bothering us in a non threatening and productive manner. With such simple communication so many things that typically go unresolved, would easily be resolved.

However, effective communication is a two way street and in order for it to be productive we, sometimes, have to be on the listening end of the communication. We find ourselves defensive when the people we care about most offer us constructive criticism making it harder for them to effectively communicate. When we react negatively we create a situation in which the other feels as if it is better to not say anything, than to offend. Rather than being offended, we should work on actually listening and trying to understand why the other person feels this way. Everyone is very different and handles situations differently, so even if you think you are not being mean or bothersome, see if you can understand why someone would perceive you that way.....and fix it!

As you may have noticed from reading, I write about things that I need to work on or hear myself. In fact, this is an area that I really struggle and I understand that it is not easy to communicate. I often hold grudges, letting them stir inside me while radiating negative vibes that are uncalled for. I fail to quickly communicate my feelings and avoid making it right. I also am a bad listener and as I am sitting here writing I am realizing that if I am ever doing something that someone that I care about does not like, is bothered by, or feels discomfort from, I would want to know immediately so that I can fix it. I do not want to be a negative thing in anyone's life, much less the people I care about most.

“Communication works for those who work at it.”~John Powell

Life is not easy but if we work together, stop caring about ourselves and learn to care more about the people around us we can make it a better place. Better communication is a great start and will come from a unselfish mindset. Who knows, we might see better relationships form with the people most important to us.

"Be completly humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:2-3

Crashin' after a long day

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some Sunday Fuel!

I was reading this late last night and it really fired me up in a good way so I thought I would share!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us . Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Utilize Blessings

Here is a great passage I found this morning and wanted to share. I think we can all learn from it, I know I can.

"Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it is burned." (Hebrews 6:7-8)

This passage teaches us that we must utilize the great blessings we have been given. God is constantly bringing people in our lives, giving us certain triumphs, successes, and gifts. A man that appreciates those blessings and uses them to further the mission of God is one that will be blessed. But someone that does not realize what they have around them or someone that realizes what they have and does nothing with it, is doing wrong. Please note that it does not say "will not be blessed" but "cursed" and "burned", which are pretty harsh words.

But when you stop and think about it this really makes good sense. I think many of us are very lucky to be where we are today, with the great support we have around us, the incredible talents we were given, the freedom of being an American, etc and yet we do not see these blessings as an opportunity to give back. We see this as a "right" and something that we deserve. There is a reason that you have what you have and a reason you have been blessed. That reason is not so that you will simply enjoy it. You have been hand picked for a greater purpose. Those blessings have been sent as an almost test to see how you respond. So many times we see God strip us of things for which we do not appreciate. He also rewards us when he feels we have done right but more importantly gives us blessings that he believes we can work with to further his Kingdom.

Think of these blessings as tools and not as gifts. God is equipping you for his mission with everything you need to fulfill His purpose. I know that I do not want to be someone that has been given everything and gave nothing. In fact, I want to be the most efficient with the things that I have been given so that I can fully utilize them to share the "Good News" and give back to this world that so desperately needs it!

“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.”~Albert Einstein

While I was writing this post this morning, my best friend sent me an article about his sister's father-in-law that passed away on Tuesday after a two year battle with cancer. Biff Cook, whom I never met, was a physician. The article spoke about how this man, a true man of God, worked until the last possible day(4 weeks ago) helping his patients. This is an example of a man that is not worried about his own sickness or cancer. He was thankful for his blessings and fully utilized them to give back and help others up until the day he passed. That "giving" actually helped him in his fight and earned him a seat with the Father. I am certain Dr. Cook is singing "Hallelujah" as we speak.

Do you really think it is just a coincidence that I received an article about a man that lived as an example to this verse, while I was writing it?

Here is the article if you care to read.