Posts Tagged ‘trust’

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I have found that we “Humans”, by far, are the best “worriers” on earth. I think this is true because our list of things to worry about always seems to stretch into infinity.

We worry about our health; and if our doctor says we’re okay, we worry that he has missed something. Worrying about money is arguably second on our list which causes us to worry about gross income, net income, deductions, and taxes and on and on it goes. We also constantly worry about whether our job will still be there for us tomorrow and…We worry about our children…worry, worry, worry.

Guys, the reality is that most of the things we worry about will actually never come to pass, but yet we worry about them anyway. So here is my question for you today…

What does that say about your faith?

 Do you trust God to ACTUALLY take care of you, or is that just lip service?

For you, and me, I have put together a small list of 5 reasons why we should not worry that are taken straight from the Bible and Christ’s own words in order to remind you and me of what God told us to do when we become anxious. So I give you…

 

5 reasons why ALL OF US should not Worry

 

  1. Worry is inconsistent  – Matthew 6:25

If we can trust Jesus to provide us with our very life, why can’t we trust Him to provide for us our daily needs

Its easy to give God control over areas of our lives that aren’t to dangerous or where the fallout of failure wont be too great for us to fix…but isn’t that just lack of faith altogether? If we can trust and believe that He can handle the smaller things then there isn’t any reason not to believe He can handle EVERYTHING for us?

  1. Worry is irrational – Matthew 6:26

If our Lord cares for the birds, will He not also care for us, since we are more valuable than they are?

I understand the fear we feel when we are riding to close to the guardrail of life knowing full well that if we lose control, even for just a moment, we may lose all or a part of what we have. Guys…it truly is called faith for a reason. God has you in circumstances specifically to find out what you will do when you are close to the edge. Will you walk away and just give up? Or will you TRUST HIM and let HIM provide for you?

  1. Worry is ineffective – Matthew 6:27

Who among us can add one cubit to our stature by worrying?

There is no such thing as worry points. We do not become better men because we worry, we become worse. Even Christ asks the question do we somehow get better or grow in stature if we worry? We do not…in fact, we will only make ourselves miserable as well as all of the people around us.

  1. Worry is illogical  – Matthew 6:28-30

If God so clothes the lilies of the field, can He not also clothe us?

Trusting God means we trust Him to take care of us…period. We can’t have it both ways whereby we only trust Him some of the time and not others. Let God work in your life and see where He takes you.

  1. Worry is irreligious – Matthew 6:31-32

When we worry, we act like those who don’t know God.

When we worry, its like we put handcuffs on the God we say we believe in but don’t trust Him enough to pull us through this particular tough event in our lives. Moreover, what do we show unbelievers about following God when at the first point of adversity we take the reigns back from God and say, “I can do a better job than Him”?

One final thought about worry before we end today. When Christ spoke about worry, He just didn’t say “don’t worry” and then He was finished…NO…He also told us How NOT to worry as well which for all of us, is extremely helpful. You will find His answer in Luke 6:33-34 where He says:

But, SEEK FIRST the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Honestly guys, that is all there is to this process…seek HIM first, then trust and watch Him work in your life. Let me give you 2 more verses on trust:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.   (Proverbs 3:6 NKJV)

 

Until next time guys…

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Back in 2011, I posted this in honor of the greatest fighter that ever lived. As a result of his passing this weekend, I wanted to repost in his honor. Whether you liked him or not, he changed the sport of boxing with his style and his personality. He was a game-changer and very fun to watch him “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”.

RIP Mohammed Ali…

We have all heard of Muhammad Ali and we know that he tended to be controversial because he was so outspoken. What I find interesting now is when you go back and listen to what he was saying, he really knew exactly who he was and exactly what he wanted.

Many of these quotes are truly inspirational but the bottom line is, don’t let other people make up your mind about what YOU are supposed to do OR become…With Christ’s help, you can become exactly who He wants you to be…exactly who you are designed to be…Enjoy these quotes and just a “little” commentary…

1. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Without a doubt, life is ebb and flow and most of the time you are relaxed, but every now and then you have to stick up for what you believe in. When that time comes…sting like a bee!

2. “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.”

Stop procrastinating and focus on your dream…don’t put off what you can do and be right now!

3. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

In my opinion, Impossible is a cop out. Impossible is for people who like to live inside the box…I prefer to think outside that box…how about you?

4. “To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If not, pretend you are.”

Confidence starts with you…What can YOU do and what can YOU achieve…? That is 100% up to you because YOU get to choose…

5. “What you are thinking is what you are becoming.”

If you are focused exclusively on what you can’t do, or no focus on the impossible, I can tell you exactly what will happen to you. Stay focused on your dream.

6. “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

Life is too short to waste time on pursuits that don’t allow you to reach your mountaintop. Focus your energy each and every day on reaching the next level, YOUR next level. Every day do just one thing towards your goal.

7. “What keeps me going is goals.”

Without goals, you are NOT accountable to yourself as well as how do you measure that you’re going in the right direction? Goals keep you focused…Goals keep you motivated…

8. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

Life is all about making choices…You can be whatever YOU want to be…Make the right choices

9. “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

A friend of mine told me recently “Life is too short, drink the good wine first”…I like that.

10. “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”

I have found age to be only in my mind…I work hard to stay young. What do you do?

11. “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, then they can sure make something out of you.”

I am NOT going to give up on you…but you have to help…

12. “Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

Another way to look at this is “when in doubt, shut up…”

 

So what do you think?

I really enjoyed his quotes and I hope you did too. Yes I know that Muhammad Ali was a loud mouth that never stopped talking but he backed up what he said in the ring. After reading about his philosophy through his words, it sounds like I should have paid more attention to what he was saying.

Guys, I included these quotes as inspiration to help face a new day. I know all of you will face tough times like unemployment, or your hours being cut, or something worse. My words to you are don’t give up, keep on trusting in Jesus Christ for your life’s direction. He really cares and the best part is he will never leave you OR forget you. No matter what your circumstances may be, you are NOT alone…believe me…I leave you with these verses…

If you make the Most High your dwelling–even the LORD, who is my refuge…then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalms 91:9-16

 

Until next time guys…

 

 

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“My son says he doesn’t believe in God anymore”. Those were the anguished words I heard my friend speak to me just the other day when we were together. He said, “he announced that to my wife and I with the proclamation that he no longer needs to go to church anymore as well”. My friend’s son is just 17 and only a junior in High School. He went on to tell me that this announcement was really just the tip of the iceberg inside their home in that he and his wife have been dealing with pure rebellion in this young man for close to a year. Moreover, with younger kids still in the home, this situation is beginning to tear his family apart.

How do you respond to someone when they tell you that?

My brothers I am sure many of you can identify with this very same scenario in your home and all the battles that happen as a result. As the father, some of us may get very firm and stand our ground in front of our kids and wives and shout, “My way or the highway!” while others of us may be more fearful and not want to upset the household to much and therefore we don’t do anything leaving everyone confused because there aren’t any boundaries coming from dad…

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

The Bible tells us this in Proverbs:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.   (Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

So if we give our kids the correct Christ-like foundation, and a home that believes in Him and loves each other, no matter what…then if I understand God correctly, He will take care of the rest?

The answer is a resounding YES.

Guys, I am NOT an expert; I simply speak from experience in my own life when I was a teenager as well as now being the father of 2 sons.

It all starts with love in the home. By building a foundation of love inside your walls and providing for your children in the best way YOU can…then you have laid the foundation for God to work with later on when they are older. You see the reality of this life is that our children get to make their own choices about their lives…and that includes whom they will serve. As much as you and I may try, we don’t get to make that decision for them. They make it for themselves…your kids and mine. All we can do as parents is to give them the best we have and then it is up to God.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me about this point, I am NOT saying we walk away from them…OH NO. I am saying that once they reach that certain age and begin to question everything…we continue to love them, pray for them and provide guidance as they walk through this valley. That is our job and that is exactly what I told my friend. “Your home is being attacked by the enemy through your son and no matter what happens, you have to stand strong in Christ and work to try and love your kid through this major episode…together”. I encourage him like I would encourage you with these words:

God is working in your life, even when you don’t see it, even when you can’t feel it, even if it’s not evident.

You are NOT alone on this battlefront. God is right there beside you and no matter how many mean things our kids will say to us…WE STILL TRUST HIM…

Please don’t give up guys…Let me leave you with one of my favorite verses from the Bible is Joshua:

 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”   (Joshua 24:15 ESV)

 

Until next time guys…

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I am not sure if it’s just me, or is there a significant amount of difficulty, adversity and even downright despair in what I see around me right now? Life does tend to be ebb and flow most of the time whereby good and bad problems drift into our lives and then subside (yes, I believe there are good problems, like having so much work you don’t know where to put it all). But in my worldview, I see despair in both friends and family where there should be joy.

I believe that despair is one of Satan’s most powerful weapon because if he hits you at just the right moment, you literally feel no hope…or in other words, you feel despair. Do you remember when you were a kid and you wrestled with your siblings or your Dad and there was always the time when everyone “piled on” leaving the one on the bottom to scream in pain? That’s what Satan does when you are struggling with anything…he piles on driving you into despair.

Did you know that despair is the complete loss or absence of hope? I find that definition interesting because as a child of God, there is always hope…am I correct?

But yet honestly, who hasn’t felt despair even as a child of God? I think we all have, which tells me a couple things:

  1. Satan is alive and well on this earth and seeks to kick your butt anytime he can.
  2. How much are you actually trusting God during this difficult time?

Now, I completely understand that despair is an internal battle for control over what you are feeling inside. Satan is pouring every possible bad thing he can onto you and God is looking to you to reach out to Him and just hang on. That unseen battle is real and I know many of you have felt it before.

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I have a very good Christian friend right now in the midst of this type of despair. He is at that time in his life where his Mother requires an assisted living facility to help with her care but she doesn’t want to go and his fear is that she gets there, she will die. My friend is agonizing over this decision and it’s driving him into a bad place in his life. He feels there is no hope.

As is always true in this blog, I have a couple of verses I want to share with you and then some simple knowledge to pass your way. The first scripture is from Paul who frankly, lived a very hard life once he became a follower of Christ…NOT an easy one. Please note that this verse is clear about life…that he may have been down, but he was not crushed, or in despair. In other words, life is hard…but when you hang onto God, you can get through it.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed

(2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV)

Secondly, here is word from my favorite Bible character, David.

May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you

(Psalms 25:21 NIV)

Simply put guys, despair is a bad place to be and it will take God to get you out of it. That means no only prayer on your own part, but prayers from family and friends. As mentioned, you are in a battle and Satan wants to be victorious over you. He knows that beating you will have the trickle down effect on both your wife and children. In other words, everyone will be miserable. THAT IS HIS GOAL…and you need to recognize that.

I challenge all of you today to hang onto God and to trust in Him for hope. If you recall the story of David, he was near death to many times to count, but as the verse above states, “his hope was in God”. He recognized that without Him, despair would soon come.

I further challenge you today to claim Gods hope for your own life and climb out of the depths of despair. I understand that right now, these may be just words to you, but know that GODS WORD DOES NOT RETURN VOID.

Cling to Christ and what His Word says and He will cling to you…

Until next time guys…

 

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Very near 3 years ago, I wrote this post based upon what I sensed and felt going on in the world at that time; sadness and destruction. As I listen and watch the world news over the last few days, with all of the horrific death and destruction in France, Belgium and the Middle East, I once again seek God for the very same thing…hope.

I cannot provide anyone with the reasons why all of this is happening other than simply the Bible talking about “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4, John 12:31, 1 John 5:19) prowling around seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8) those who don’t resist him. Believe me my friends, NOW IS THE TIME TO RESIST HIM. Don’t give up but rather look to Him for your hope.

God’s word is clear…”I will never leave you or forsake (forget) you” (Joshua 1:5)

So here again, are my 5 reasons we can have HOPE right now…

By its very nature, the word hope concerns the future, our future. However, I am not referring to a simple hope such as, “I wish I had a nicer car or bigger house”, but rather I am talking about Biblical hope, which is very different. Biblical hope consists of an assurance inside your heart or better yet, a firm confidence about future things because of Gods promises and His revelation to us. Guys, real Biblical hope in Christ Jesus is something that is never failing when you place your trust in Him. In fact Paul tells us in Romans 15:13;

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In other words, Biblical hope is inseparably linked with a firm faith in Him. They go hand-in-hand with one another. As a result, what is yielded is a confident trust in God that is unshakable when the adversity of life hits you like a wave….(Like right now).

So with all of the chaos our world is throwing at you every single day, I wanted to give you some actual reasons why you can still have faith and HOPE that things are going to still be alright…So here are my 5 reasons for all of us to have HOPE right now…

  1. God is still on the throne – He hasn’t gone anywhere. He is still alive and at work in our world. I know it is very easy to look at what happens in this world and say God is dead or may he is just sleeping because I have heard that before. But I assure you He is alive and well and knows exactly what is happening on this earth.
  2. With man, things are impossible…but with God, ALL things are possible (Mark 10:27) It is so very easy to just give up and give in to all of the adversity that is constantly thrown in our direction because we simply forget Gods promises. Bottom line, God has NO limitations. His ways are NOT our ways and therefore he will not react or think as we do…our response needs to be to simply ask, to trust, and to hope in Him.
  3. You Are Not Alone – As we are told in Joshua 1:5, He will never leave us nor forsake us and I’ve come to realize that me trying to understand the why’s of this world is NOT my job. My job is to completely trust in Him…even though I don’t understand. LET GOD DO THE HEAVY LIFTING. Do you remember the story of Peter when he got out of the boat and started walking on the water to meet Jesus? (Matthew 14:29-30) He was actually walking on water until he took his eyes off of Christ and then what happened? He started sinking fast…and what was his reaction? He cried, “Lord save me!” which is exactly what we are supposed to do…
  4. All of what you are going through right now is only temporary – Weeping may last for the night…but joy comes in the morning (Psalms 30:5). It is easy to “get caught up” with what we SEE. But I am here to remind you that Jesus has prepared a place for all of us IN HEAVEN (John 14:2) and this place we see around us, will all pass away. It is only temporary. Heaven is eternal.
  5. I know how this story ends – All of the difficulty and adversity we face every day sometimes can be overwhelming. In fact, it may seem like the bad guy in this world may be winning. But let me assure you with an overwhelming confidence. Have you ever read Revelation? Because I know who wins in the end. You and I will be victorius.

But you MUST STAY THE COURSE. Don’t give up. Have faith and put your trust in Him and He will give you reason to HOPE…

 

Until next time guys…

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When was the last time you stood your ground in a right vs. wrong argument? (And guys, I am not referring to an argument with your spouse) I am talking about when you may have faced a situation where either Gods reputation or yours was on the line and the only one present to defend this situation was you…then what? It will undoubtedly take courage on your part but isn’t strength and courage what you are about?

Stoddard Kennedy was a chaplain in WWII. He was often thrust into the front lines of the battle, ministering in places of great danger to his life. One day, as his battalion was moving through France, he wrote a letter to his son, who was about 10 years old. This is what he wrote him;

The first prayer I want my son to learn to say for me is not God, keep Daddy safe but, God, make Daddy brave. And if he has hard things to do, make him strong to do them.

Son, life and death don’t matter. But right and wrong do. Daddy dead is Daddy still, but Daddy dishonored before God is something to awful for words. I suppose you would like to put a bit in about safety too, and Mother would like that, I’m sure. We’ll put that in afterwards, for it really doesn’t matter nearly as much as doing what is right.

This man had a strong foundation about right and wrong and in very few words, conveyed these strong principles to his young son. Why would this man feel this way? “Daddy dishonored before God is something to awful for words” do you believe that for yourself? Do you, or anyone you know, believe this way? Why does it matter anyway?

Because of this simple reason:

If you are a disciple of Christ and you believe that He is the Lord of your life, then simple principles of right and wrong are the foundation your faith is built upon. Listen to the words of Joshua, the famous Jewish warrior as he addressed the children of Israel:

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day who you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

Just like Stoddard Kennedy, Joshua made a huge stand in front of the entire nation of Israel and simply said, “MAKE A CHOICE!, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” In both of these examples, the person took a stand, and followed what they knew in their heart was right…following God.

One of the greatest examples of standing strong in the face of sure death is the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3:16-18, who would not bow down to the idol set up by the king for every one to worship. If you remember the story, because they would not bow down to that idol, they were thrown into the fiery furnace but they were not killed. In fact, when they came out, there was no smell of flame on them.

Standing in front of certain death, these young men stood and did what was right in the eyes of God and he rewarded them with their lives and ultimately, King Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed that no one in the kingdom can speak wrongly about the God of Israel.

Guys, I want to leave you with this final verse so you can understand that if you decide NOT to take a stand in your life, God also took this into consideration as well when James said:

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:6

Do not waver. God is very clear on this. Take a stand for yourself and your family and then stick to it. Be strong and be clear who you serve…otherwise you will be like that wave of the sea…tossed back and forth…with NO SOLID GROUND…

 

Until next time Guys…

 

 

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We recently finished a very successful Little League season that had us advancing to and winning our local city tournament. After a 24-game season and then a tournament where we faced 6 more local teams…to actually win first place, was very gratifying…

But I have to be honest it wasn’t always that way.

This season provided many of the normal low points that most seasons typically do with one exception; as a team, we discovered something we dislike universally…playing badly. But even more important, we discovered a way to stop this team from “falling off the cliff”. Honestly, this one simple moment truly saved us from being one of the worst teams into being one of the best.

I remember the actual game and frankly, the one particular inning where we literally could not do anything right. We could NOT get an out to save ourselves…hit after hit and run after run, we could not stop this train from certain destruction. When we finally hit the 10-run threshold and to many errors to count, I told the other coach “let me go talk to them”…he mumbled something completely incoherent because I honestly think he was in shock.

As I walked to the mound, I called the entire team over for a conversation. As I stared into those 11-12 year old boys faces, I saw tears and I saw anger but most of all I saw hopelessness. They literally had given up the thought they could do anything right. They were so upset and had completely lost their direction…does this sound familiar to anyone?

I told them “Guys, you are so much better than what I see here today. We have practiced these plays over and over again…frankly, to many times to count”.

“Here is what I want you to do, in this game right now…I want you to hit the reset button inside of you. From urlthis point on, we are starting this game over. We are playing from the beginning again…We are resetting”.

They all looked at me like I was crazy. Our shortstop Tyler spoke up and asked, “what do you mean coach?” “How do we reset?” I told him, “When you reset something, it clears the past or the previous from affecting the future”. Everything that has happened in this game is now over. We are each going to reset and focus on the next play, our next at bat and all of us are going to try our hardest to get out of this inning”

Our catcher chimed in at this point, “come on guys, we can do this, we have to reset. We have to hit the reset button”

So here is what I will tell you, we did not win that game. But we did get out of that nasty inning without giving up another run. More importantly however, the next time we had the beginnings of another poor inning, our catcher pulled the infield together and gave them the reset speech…and guess what, it worked…

As you can imagine, that simple life lesson got me thinking about you guys and the painful 10-run bad inning equivalents we have in our own lives. News flash: sometimes life hurts and it does NOT go our way. In fact, I firmly believe there are many of you right now reading this that are having a very hard time for a variety of reasons and frankly are just looking for some hope. Guys, I am not going to insult your intelligence by saying to just hit your internal reset button and everything will magically get better. We all know that is not the way anything in this life works.

What I will tell you though is if you hit the reset button with God…that will work.

Right now, God is patiently waiting for you to run to Him. He is not the God who will write in the sky, “Hey (your name here)…call me now and let’s fix this” we know He doesn’t work that way. Our God has a still, soft voice that is always calling…we are just too loud or too busy to hear Him.

Guys…today…take my challenge to you…

Hit the reset button with God by praying this prayer right now:

“God…things are not going well right now and I need you to help. Humbly I ask that you take over my life and cause me to reset my relationship with you. I can’t do this on my own. I need you to direct my steps and make my paths straight.

God, I trust in you and I believe in you and no matter what happens, I know you are in control. Please use your Holy Spirit to help guide me during difficult times and thank you for what you are doing for me right now”…

If you prayed that prayer and believe you hit the reset button with Him, I could not be any happier…congratulations. I would also ask that you leave me a note on this blog if you prayed that prayer. This blog has always been about encouragement and knowing you hit your reset with Him is very encouraging to me…

Until next time guys…