Stop Flipping Out… Relax!

calm-downGood Morning Bloggers!

Last night… a bunch of church friends gave Emily a beautiful birthday party!! It was a blast… the birthday cheer was amazing… the cake was AMAZING! I prayed earlier that God would do something really nice today for every party guest! So brace yourselves… its coming!

I woke this morning… in the same vein of revelation I was in all day yesterday. For some reason, I’m inspired to talk again about turning our problems over to God. This is such a challenge for most of us… it is for me. So often, I turn little problems into HUGE ones as I refuse to let God work them out. In panic, my judgment becomes clouded… I fret and fear… I allow the small problem to take my entire mind captive. Before long, I’m unable to see the good things happening in my world… I become trapped in a realm of hopelessness… I grow weary, I breakdown, and burn out.

If we want to experience more peace, and more happy outcomes in our lives… we’re going to have to change the way we RESPOND to stressful situations. As soon as we notice ourselves heading down this destructive path, we should seize control of our emotional state… and STAND UP IN A SPIRIT OF FAITH.

This is not easy at first… but well worth the effort. The only option is to live the rest of our lives tossed to and fro with every wind and wave that comes our way! To live in fear is to live in the slavery of what MIGHT go wrong. And the more we submit to fear, the better we become at pointing out destructive possibilities. We have been training ourselves to find every possible opportunity for failure… we welcome destruction because it’s what we think about most of the time. Whatever we focus on and monitor often GROWS VERY BIG!

So today… we must stop doing this to ourselves! We must RISE IN FAITH… RISE IN LOVE… RISE IN THE BOND OF RELATIONSHIP we have with our Heavenly Father. We must train our minds to point out the possibilities for success… in EVERY SITUATION! When problems arise… call them opportunities for PROGRESS! Refuse to come under the darkness of FEAR. Be confident, not in your human strength or your clever alliances… but in the fact that you belong to God Almighty!

Psalm 33:13-22

 13 The Lord looks down from heaven
and sees the whole human race.
14 From his throne he observes
all who live on the earth.
15 He made their hearts,
so he understands everything they do.
16 The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory
for all its strength, it cannot save you.

18 But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
those who rely on his unfailing love.
19 He rescues them from death
and keeps them alive in times of famine.

20 We put our hope in the Lord.
He is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
for our hope is in you alone.

Ok… that’s it for today… hope this blog adds great value to your amazing lives! Chat later…

In Love vs. Real Love

Happy Valentines Day Friends!

Love is in the air… everywhere we look there are big red hearts and chocolates and flowers and… couples holding hands… smiling faces… and happy people saying I LOVE YOU!

Let’s not miss the opportunity to let people know how much they matter to us on this LOVEY day! Yes, I fully understand that this is really a day for couples… and I pray a ROMANTIC blessing over all you blogger couples! Have the valentines day of your lives… maximizing this opportunity to lavish your beloved!

If you’re not yet married, beware of the cupids arrow… remember that the only purpose of dating is to INTERVIEW for your LIFE PARTNER! Maintain SOLID BOUNDARIES and save the deep romantic fun for that one very special person you will spend the rest of your life with! Dedicate this lusty day to God and he will grace you with purity. Enjoy the interview… make your dates day memorable… have a clean blast!

Let’s never forget the vast gap between “in love” and “real love.”

In love is rooted in chemistry and its short lived. In love is all about the FEELING… the ATTRACTION. It’s all about what I’M GETTING out of the relationship.

Real Love is a committed kind of love… a giving kind of live. Real love can never be experienced until in love runs its course. This is when most relationships end in big nasty breakups. It’s the time when young couples are not as chemically attracted as they were… no longer feeling like they’re getting much out of the relationship. And unless we step over into the AMAZING WORLD OF REAL LOVE, we will spend so much of our lives in and out of new relationships.

The goal of love is this: To relate with people not because of what we can GET from a relationship, but rather for what we can GIVE to a relationship.

For God SO LOVED the world that he gave his only son… He took first action… He INVESTED REAL LOVE without a guarantee of reciprocation. He changed our lives with REAL LOVE… he transformed us by committing to us way back before we ever appreciated that commitment.

So, this Valentines Day, may we seek to GIVE away some REAL LOVE

I’m committed to making your lives better… I’m committed to LOVE YOU into greatness! So, have a super day… don’t forget church at Destiny Family Center tomorrow morning at 10am!!

My Valentines Day Advice :)

lovebirdsHappy Monday Everyone!

The photo glitch is still not fixed… so no fun photos AGAIN today. A special sorry goes out to all my VISUALLY oriented blog buddies! (fixed since this blog was posted)

Hope you all had a super weekend! We hiked St. Mary’s Falls on Saturday (I would post photos, but oh wait, I can’t!)… the hike was unbelievable! Church @ DFC was amazing on Sunday morning. And the Bible College I instruct on Sunday afternoon was off the charts! So, the weekend was a very good one here… it felt BLESSED and I sincerely thank God for every exciting second of it!

This should be a fun week for me. Going to a leadership conference… Emily’s birthday is on Friday the 13th (ooooowww)… and Saturday is VALENTINES DAY! Don’t forget that all you LOVE BIRDS! Proper planning prevents poor performance… so PLAN IT TODAY, make it great, have a blast with the love of your life. And hey, just in case you think you’re too spiritual for romance, check out Proverbs 5:17-19. (for married couples only) To all my singles friends: be brave, ask someone of the opposite sex out on a date, take them somewhere fun, give them a thoughtful gift, and make a special person feel special… oh, and keep it PG kids!

Maybe you’re slightly uncomfortable about today’s advice? Maybe you feel as if the topic is not a spiritual one? Just in case, I want to leave you with a few spiritual thoughts about love and romance. First, God created Adam… and when he saw that Adam was all alone… God said, “It is NOT GOOD FOR man to be alone… I will make him a helper, a companion!” (Genesis 2:18 MSG)

So it looks like God created other humans so that we could enjoy companionship with one another. Specifically, God created a WOMAN for the MAN that was all alone. God created EVE and brought her to ADAM… and they became the first two LOVE BIRDS in human history!

The Bible is filled with references about friendship, love, romancemarriage, intimacy, and family. God created us to enjoy life with one another… to have friends, fall in love, commit to a lifelong marriage partner, be passionately romantic, and have loving families.

When our son was pre-teen, Emily and I would teach him that girls are yucky… stay away from girls or you’ll get the cooodees! Now that he’s almost 18, the message has changed. We teach him to PAY ATTENTION to the girls in his life… to interact with everyone so he can discover the kind of girl he will want to spend the rest of his life with. We had to let him know that it was ok to date now (with strong boundaries of course). It’s so hard being young… trying to figure this all out… especially in a Christian home. Especially when you want to please God with all your heart and you don’t want to mess your whole life up with a few bad decisions.

I’m sharing this with you guys because I believe that way too many Christians live in the fear of messing up and thus deprive themselves of the interaction that exposes them to the right opportunities. Set boundaries over your life… know who you are… know what you stand for… and never allow yourself to be in a position where these values can be compromised. And then, with these values and a beautiful walk with God, BE BRAVE and PAY ATTENTION to the people in your social network. According to Genesis, God has a gal for every guy! Don’t be afraid to LIVE and LOVE…

Wow… I must be getting older if I’m giving out this kind of advice! Have a super week, planning for this VALENTINES DAY! If you’re married… plan a night to remember! If you’re single… get out of your comfort zone and spend some time with someone of the opposite sex. If you’re a kid… write a “be my valentine” card to your teacher! Have a super week you guys!! Chat with everyone later…

My Son Replies To My Text :)

skittles-louisiana-2003Happy Thursday Friends!

If you have kids… if you have teenage kids… then you know how difficult it can be when they start desiring friends and movies, and bowling, and football games, and going to concerts… WITHOUT YOU. Fortunately, my family has remained VERY CLOSE through these teenage years… and we still spend lots of quality time together. But as a parent it’s never quite enough for me. I LOVE MY KIDS and when I am off work, there is nothing and no humans that I would rather be with then Coree, Heaven, and of course my wife Emily! :)

Heaven is far more expressive then Coree… when she comes through the doors, it’s like a mob of 1000 walked in with her… hyper activity gone wild! Heaven texts me about random things in her life… she calls me a few times day… she plops down beside me in the family room and talks about everything happening in her world… and I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

Coree is more quite than Heaven. Oh yes, he has his hyper moments… and he’s the comedian of our family, always making us belly laugh about something! But he’s not a words guy like I am. He only calls when he has a question or a request… never texts me about random things… doesn’t even return the texts I send to him. Every week, I send Coree texts about how great of a son he is… and how proud of him I am… or about how I am praying for him… and never get anything back… NOTHING. Just SILENCE… UNTIL this TUESDAY!!!! :)

The glorious moment began on Monday night, we all went to watch a friend from church play basketball… and Coree took a date… real nice girl! Of course he asked to drive my car because he was conveniently low on gas. At the game, Kaylyn had a bag of Skittles… I LOVE Skittles! So on Tuesday morning I got in my car and guess what Kaylyn had left in my drink holder? Half a bag of Skittles!! So I texted Coree and said, “Tell Kaylyn thanks for the Skittles!” Of course he knows that Emily and I are in training for a few marathons this year and Emily smacks my fingers when I touch candy! So this was a BIG DEAL!

About 20 seconds after the text… guess what! My glorious INCOMING TEXT sound went off on the phone… COULD IT BE? Did I just receive a REPLY FROM MY BELOVED SON? Yes!! Coree replied to my message… and he said, “LOL!” Just three letters… but it’s a start! :)

I called Emily and told her COREE JUST TEXTED ME… she asked what he said… and I told her… “LOL!” (Laugh Out Loud for all you text illiterate folks) It was such a moment of warmth… the sun shined on my gloomy day… my frown turned into a SMILE… I wet my pants- just kidding! LOL… LOL! This is now one of my favorite phrases… every time I see it for the rest of my life I will remember that REPLY FROM COREE!

Why am I wasting your day with this very personal story? Because I had a spiritual thought about this that I wanted to pass on to you guys. If I get this excited about my sons reply… just a simple “LOL”… how much excitement must God receive whenever we REPLY TO HIM. I think about all the times throughout each day he must be texting us… hoping for a LOL. How many times he does something beautiful for us… he answers a request… and then he watches and waits for his INCOMING TEXT sound to go off.

Let’s respond to Him far more than we do most of the time… talk to God about the random things going on in our worlds… look up a few times a day and say something that will MAKE GODS DAY!

Hope you enjoyed this message… I love you guys and I just finished praying for you. Have a most outstanding Thursday!

Oh, I almost forgot: We’re going on the Washington DC Homeless Outreach on Saturday. If you’re interested in making a donation towards this outreach, please call my office today or tomorrow @540-337-2216 (9-5pm). Your contribution will make a tremendous difference in the lives of so many people! Thanks a bunch!!