Keep posted

Ok just a little hint… I have a good article coming soon.

It hit me while I was driving and I got much of it recorded,

Its about getting our faith perfect and the fears that come if we dont. Many people are locked in place because they are afraid to step outside of Gods will. Afraid they will mess up.

When in fact the act of not moving is the mess up. It’s about that and relating it to our kids and how the parent child relationship is much like God to us.

Still working it over but keep an eye out for it soon.

Thanks
Everyone that takes the time to read mhy ramblings. I never realize just how many come here until I have a day like the other day and many people email or get a hold of me to check on me. It means a lot that I have people that care about me and how I am doing some total strangers.. its very touching and Im thankful for each one of you. Bless you all.
Doug

Bad day ends well thanks to some kind people on Facebook.

Life is interesting. For weeks now I have done really well mentally that is. Not to many worries, trying to keep my doubts and fears in check and stay positive. Then today comes and its like I woke up with a large thing on my back poking into my head saying….. really?? doesn’t this make you mad?? don’t you deserve better? Are you sure all that stuff you thought God has told you was from him? Think that could be you just wanting something bad enough?? You have some really good ideas, but do you really think they will go anywhere?? What if they fail?? what if people don’t like them?? What if you step out on this faith you think you have and a preverbal bus runs you flat?? What if this past 3 years has been a waste of your time?? Don’t you see that things will never change for you? you will always be trapped right where you are. You wont be able to move on, but remain unhappy where you are… doesn’t that scare you? Aren’t you worried about the How’s and the What if’s??? Oh my Gosh think of all of it……

This can go on and on if I let it. It took me reading a post on FB one by Lysa TerKeurst. About our calling in life and finding our purpose.

I made a short comment there, probably the only man to ever comment on one of hers haha. But it opened up something inside me. I was able to pull over and think clearly. Tears flowed and I just let out the hurt I have held in check. Because as a guy you all know we shouldn’t have those emotional things show up. I hadn’t been praying like I used to. I have wanted too but the words just wouldn’t come out, not the ones in my heart anyway. I let God hear it again. My fears, my worries, my doubts, my anger. After a while I noticed several people had commented on it on Facebook. It was full of kind words and encouragement. It really shocked me to see so much even Lysa herself commented 🙂 , but to know that total strangers that doesn’t know my situation at all, are praying for me, they saw my heart and their short reply was Gods tool to pull me out of where I was falling. It was a very small blessing but huge for me.
It made me stop my mind and think objectively and stop the craziness that our minds can take us through. It made me look back to the answered prayers list I have been trying to go back and make. I started counting answered prayers or what I call God moments in my short 4 years as a christian. 1, 2 ,3,4,5,6,7,8,9…….. I stopped at around 17 and the list isn’t even up to date. I think there are at least 5-10 more I can think of off the top of my head. People, thats truth smack in the face. After I went through all of that I noticed that big heavy thing on my back was gone. I didn’t hear anymore what if’s no possibilities of disaster looming in some unknown situation I might dream up in my mind or even what if someone does this or this…. it was gone. I have found that the more I listen for God the faster I recover from these things.
We all have hard times be it mentally emotionally relationally financially, or even as a parent. The key is not digging your heels in to fight to stay there. It reminds me of the stories you see on the news. Some animal is stuck somewhere and the fireman are there to help it out. They reach into help and it bites it kicks it struggles to get away from them. Its scared and all it knows is that it wants out, it doesn’t see the people as tools to help it get free. We are just like that, God reaches into help us and we bite him we kick him we fight him because many times the answers he has for us are not easy, they involve struggle they involve faith, to step out in trust and faith, to take that slingshot around your shifter to remind you to be brave and shoot the giant in your life.
Too many times these hard days are actually a cross roads for us. Its a choice in our lives. Some will react and never even think of the decision they make and never even realize the choice they made is keeping them right where they are. Others will stop look at the two paths and try to figure out which one will be the easiest and take that. Others will sit contemplate the two paths, try to foresee where it goes, what condition it’s in, which one will stop the worry they have right now. If I go down this one I might be putting myself in danger because blah blah… If I go down this one it looks good now but it looks a little muddy and if it rains it will get worse and all my clothes will get nasty and …. blah blah … This person sits down and never makes a choice always afraid that the choice they end up making will be wrong. Here is where God comes in. What we need to see is that each and every one of these types is inside of us. Each one of us has these things inside us about one situation or another. We have all felt the need for an easy life, we have all reacted and never even realized you had made a choice. We have all felt the feelings of fear and indecision in our lives. Fear of the unknown has locked up more people than is countable. What if this what if that.. Oh my Gosh this has frustrated me more times than I can count.
So as you can see no one gets out of this one. We all fall into these at different places in our lives. So the question is what do you do? how do you know your following Gods will when having to make these choices?

Well….. that is no easy answer by any means. But if you look to the example God has given us in the bible we can find some of our answers.
David, the man after Gods own heart. As a boy, a shepard, his job to guard the flock and look after them. He had his sling…. ok think for a bit a young man with a sling and many stones lying around. How many times do you think David threw a stone out of that sling? hundreds? thousands? Speaking for me alone I have shot thousands of marbles rocks BB’s and you name it if it fit in the pouch it got thrown. And do you know what happens? David was darn good with that sling. God was setting him up for victory then. Then he fights off what is attacking the herd. A lion and a bear. God gives him the strength to win. (more God setting up David for a big victory) These things are to build his confidence for what is to come later. God uses our past to build us up. So that when really hard times hit we know he is with us, we know we can do it, we have confidence in our god given abilities. This is one example, I could type out several. Gideon, Esther, Job, Paul, Peter. All battle different types of giants. Some fear, some insecurities, some self confidence, some over confidence. some pride. But they were brought through them in similar fashions. Not through some Huge hand of God coming down to wipe out all that stood in their way. Don’t get me wrong God is fully capable of that, but to sit and wait for that in our lives is not what I call proper faith.
Too many times we expect God to act in certain ways. To see his miracles in our lives directly is a dream of every christian. But to sit back and wait for it ignoring the soft nudges from God isn’t right. When you get right down to it we can be pretty stubborn and set in our ways when it comes to our expectations of how things need to happen. Yes even the ones we have in God.
God usually speaks in whispers through your mind. I think that was from my Charles Stanley bible. I will have to look for it when I get home. The point is that our lives are busy, loud and full of things that strive for our attention. We cry that we are not hearing from God on a subject but are we taking the time to listen? To quiet those areas in our lives that take of too much time.
Slow down and actually take the time to listen. Im finding that when I struggle the most with all my stuff is when my life has gotten busy and Im not with God as much as I should be,…. Ok to be honest its more of quality of time. I read my bible I make my prayers for friends and loved ones, but my hearts not in it. I’m going through the motions of my faith no real purpose to it. I think we can all relate to that at some point in time. This time is the most dangerous for me anyway. This is where the fleshy nasty human side fights to come out. I don’t deserve this, anger shows up pride shows up, before long the whole gang is back telling you exactly how you deserve everything and how that should look.
This is also the same place fear gets its hooks into you deeply, if left alone it sinks its hooks in deep. Fear of the unknown is HUGE here and can sprout into a thousand different directions. God wants you looking back to reestablish your faith from the very things he has done and worked in your past. To realize he was working on this part of your life way back then, he was setting up a victory in your life when you get there.

If your struggling to find Gods purpose for your situation or your purpose in life remember it all boils down to how strong your faith is when God doesn’t seem to be present. How strong your faith is when he doesn’t feel like he is right there with you holding you tight. Its always easy to have strong faith when life is easy. Remember he gives you the tools to fight and battle for your own faith. its in scripture, its in your past, its in truth and it rests in your lap, you can choose to accept it or you can ignore it because its not how you wanted it.
Remember God rarely works in perfection, there are no white picket fences and perfect house with a perfect man or woman. There is no faith in an easy life. with no struggles. So don’t expect God to make your perfect miracle come exactly how your mind has it dreamed up. It may get there but its usually not as clean of dirt and grime from the journey.

To all those to those kind people that commented to lift my spirits today thank you so very much.

Memorial Day….. Honor them, using them as our example.

remember them
remember them

I just watched a very good video a friend shared on Facebook. it looked like it was shot at a actors study or something. Denzel Washington was talking to this group of up and coming actors and he really got deep on not just acting but our callings as children of God, using our abilities to their greatest and having dreams and setting goals to reach those dreams. Then he went on talking about how he had been blessed to make millions of dollars but he cant take any of it with him. That its not about what we get in life but how we use what we are given to achieve good in life for others.

Its got me thinking on a day like Memorial Day. A day that we honor our vets, service men and women both active and reserve, both passed and still fighting.
What better way for to honor them than to actually use the freedom that they fought for. To use our abilities God has given us as a people that believe in a All powerful God an all knowing all loving all forgiving, grace filled God. In my mind there could be no better way to honor them, those that have fought and died for our freedom, those that have given valuable time and sweat and blood and many their lives. We as civilians should see this as our chance… OUR CHANCE to honor them, by taking advantage of the freedoms we have, the ones they fought for. Can you imagine if every one reached their full potential in Gods eyes?? If every one set goals, reached for their purpose in life and used their abilities they each have to help others reach their goals? I personally can think of no greater way to honor a military person then to put the very freedoms they fought for to their fullest, greatest use.

People, we can say thank you, we can say how honored we are and I love doing that. I light up the face of a 70 something year old man at Walmart the other day, I saw his Vietnam vet hat and opened the door for him and he hobbled through slowly, I asked him if he has served in Vietnam, he said yes. I stuck my hand out and said thanks and was glad we had people like him. I could tell he hadn’t heard that before or very few times anyway. He asked me if I had served I said no but I sure was thankful for those that have and do. That mans face totally changed. He thanked me and we went on. Moments like that are great, I love being able to pick someone out and make them feel special, especially a veteran. We should always do things like that, but what does it mean if we fall back into our comfort zone of a life and never reach outside of it???

I’m thinking if every service person knew just how many people waste this gift of freedom because they are scared to step out side their comfort zone. I think they would be mad. Do you think the solder that steps out of an air plane for the first time isn’t scared????!!! you think that new recruit with a DI yelling in his face isn’t scared??!!! you think he wasn’t scared the first time he heard enemy fire over his head? or the first time a medic saw his first real life casualty??!! Look at the fears they had to over come.
Normandy,1944 Omaha beach, put yourself in the place of a 18 year old on a boat in an ocean, a kid never been outside of his home town, now bobbing in the ocean off a coast he might have just heard about days before. It’s wet, cold, it smells like vomit because the bottom of the boat is a few inches deep in it because everyone is sick from the rough sea, Bullets pinging off the sides of the boat, mortars landing in the water near by, the screams of wounded in other boats that weren’t so lucky, The door opens and it looks like he just stepped into Hell, and guess what…… he is scared more so than any time in his life. Death is for the first time, real and in his face. His buddies are falling around him, the sounds are deafening. And what does he have to do??? Take one step forward into hell. Move forward despite his fear.
Every solder I have talked to says the same thing. The training got them through, when fear threatened to over take them, training kept them going. They had a Goal. a Mission. Get to that wall…. get to that bunker… take out that machine gun. They blocked out the insignificant in life, who said what to whom when. None of that mattered. The goal was all there was. Get as many of your buddies together to reach that goal alive…… the dream?? win the war and go home alive.

Back to now. Typing that makes all my fears seem so stupid and it makes me feel ashamed of myself. It puts mine in perspective for me, How many times in our normal lives are we truly afraid for our lives in that way?? Very few.
But look at that last paragraph. Isn’t that a reflection of how we should be in our own lives? Just like in that video, Set Goals that reach for your dreams. one step at a time to reach as far as you can. Just because we get knocked down and fall backwards at times doesn’t mean its over….. NO way Get back up and reach again, learn from each time, make that effort count.
I’m just as guilty as most of not reaching, staying in that comfort zone. It’s a battle we have to fight every day with every situation. It doesn’t go away. It is a fight we must engage in actively each and everyday.
Start with small steps, Use this valuable gift our veterans have given us. Honor them by using them as our example in our lives. When faced with fear, threatening to make you go and hide, think of that 18 year old in the boat, Think of that young man in Afghanistan under fire by an enemy wanting him dead. Think of the fear that medic has because he knows that field is laced with fire but he has a wounded man down out there. He goes anyway.
Just like we should in our lives every day. Go full bore toward your purpose in life. Be brave and courageous. There are many that have gone before you so you can have this opportunity, Honor them by taking it despite the fear you feel.

Happy Memorial Day everyone and a big Salute to all service people reading this. Ok hand shake I know we are not supposed to salute.

Discussion about True love…

True love is.......
True love is…….

I had a short discussion with someone about what exactly true love is.

I found out that most people have this odd seemingly picture perfect image in their heads of rainbows candy unicorns and lots of money. The term “finding the person that completes them” seems to come up. I have made it a point to ask people this question. Is there one person meant for you out there?

What’s funny is that as people get older the views of true love tend to get more jaded and many have lost hope in finding it. The thing I see is still even at my age most woman are still holding on to that perfect type feel to a relationship to know it’s right. I’m sorry, but I have to stifle a laugh here and have even chuckled in a few faces unintentionally. From my vast experience LOL and reading and really studying, having gone through a failed marriage. Been through some tough stuff. Trust and Love are far from perfection in someone else. It’s far from someone being able to complete you and meet all your needs. Sometimes its easier to tell what it is not than exactly pin point what it is.
I will do my best.
True love is something given not received, it is grace when not expected, it’s forgiveness when we are not worthy, it’s loving someone when its least deserved.
Remember we are human we are all imperfect even with a seemingly “perfect ” mate. The fact is we as men and woman, just process things differently neither is right neither is wrong it is just different. The sooner we can realize that, the better we will be. God given true love is something that is unexplainable. It’s a feeling of giving… it’s like you find this person and your willing to give every ounce of love, care, kindness, your willing to sacrifice your time your blood sweat and tears for this person, to see her smile. There is nothing like doing something small even unintentional for them and you see that look on their face that says she feels loved. There is nothing like it in this world. To know you have given your all to someone else, that at times has not deserved it. But you did it anyway because true love should trump any temporary feelings. Yes she will do things to make us mad, does that mean You love her any less? no, She is going to do small things that irritate us. Does that effect how You love her ?? no.
There are times you will not agree on matters in the house. Does this take away how much you love her? it shouldn’t. You see love is bigger than any sin or irritant or anger or any emotion. It’s not something that one moment you have it and the next it’s gone. Girls, I will be honest, there are times when you do not show love to us or respect at all. I have been told horrible things during that time. I think we all know what I’m talking about. During this time does it mean you love him any less? even if you don’t “feel it” because in all honesty your either not “feeling” anything or are “feeling” everything negative about everything. But does it mean you love him any less? I would hope not.
When you have two good willed people fighting for each other, sacrificing for each other to build the other up emotionally and relationally. Or for the guy your building his self confidence. Girls if you show your man respect he will love you to the ends of the earth. If you berate him about his failures he will pull away and if you do it enough he will retreat so far you may never see that part again.
True love is about giving, is it easy? Oh no way. It’s not, it is one of the hardest callings to have from God thats for sure. To be in a position to give and sacrifice your heart with a risk of not getting it reciprocated. Only help from God will anyone ever accomplish it. The world tells you what you need from a relationship, what your spouse should be giving you and what you deserve from someone. This is not how God talks about love.
Like I said Love is to be given not be looking to receive it. It should flow from one to the other. Love is the greatest gift we can give. Especially when it is to be given at the hardest times.
That is what makes the difference in liking someone a lot and really loving them.

Real God given love is not emotions. It is not feelings that can come and go as fear, doubt, worry, stress and anxieties of life hit. It’s that feeling deep in your heart that is aching for someone. I really believe it is something that you have no idea what it is until you have experienced it.

I’m personally finding it’s one of the most difficult things to do. If you wish for a true biblical Godly love. You will find yourself struggling with the selfish side that the world has thrown at us for years. There is a saying that says something like. “True love is found when you’re able to love someone when they least deserve it.” It is something that you will have to seek God to get you through and allow him to guide you to it because the selfish parts of us will fight it. But I believe the best rewards God can give us are not given easily. One of the best things in life I personally feel is finding that person that will love you, fight for you beyond what anyone else has before, when they don’t have too, when anyone else in the same position would have given up. God doesn’t give up on love and neither should we. Drop the worlds expectations of love and how it should look and what you should be getting out of it. Leave those behind find someone that you can look at and think. I know God brought this person to me, How I treat them is one of the ways I am going to honor God and them. There will be hard times there will be hurt, there will be pain but in it all there will be a deep seated love that over takes it all and washes it away.
The love verse is EXACTLY how it should be and should be what we aim for every day.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT)

When two people are doing their best to follow this verse it allows God to move and do amazing things in the relationship. It pushes away life’s circumstances that move to put walls between you, It reestablishes where our trust needs to be, not in our own hands but placed with God knowing he is in control.

I can’t wait to truly experience this and I look forward to using these tools God has placed in front of me. To show the woman God places with me that not all men are bad and when a guy is focused on God he can really do what most can’t. It doesn’t make him perfect but it shows his true heart is for God and for her.

Setbacks (small and large)

Will your setbacks stop the what god has shown you?
Will your setbacks stop the what god has shown you?

I talked on my Facebook page about my experience last night. Having more time to think about it now I really feel that setback was there for a reason.

Getting a little deeper now. We hate setbacks in life. But the one fact that we know 100% of the time is that hey will find us. They will hit us when we least expect it and to varying degrees. Some really major some minor, but the fact is we will face them in our life, much more often than we would want.
Thinking about my down time yesterday. For those of you that are not on FB with me. I have had to skip working out due to my work load and kids schedules and life in general. Now I plan my work outs like clock work. 4:00-5:00 is my time. mon, tues, wed, Friday. almost like clock work. I hate to skip or miss.
I have gotten 1 or 2 work outs in during the past 3 weeks. I get back yesterday and we do a signature CrossFit work out called Cindy.
its 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats. with a running clock counting down from 20 min. you count each full rotation. so pull ups, push ups, air squats = 1 round.
My old record was 16. yesterday I struggled to get 10. I had just lost the cardio to keep up that kind of intensity. I was riding the line of pushing to hard several times, my muscles were ok but my lungs were just shot.

I finished and was really upset with my performance. I berated myself all evening long. This morning I got up and prayed before breakfast and thought to breaking the numbers down.
In 20 min I had done 50 pull ups, 100 push ups, 150 air squats. Just 2 years before those numbers seemed an impossibility to me. I struggled to get 4 rounds in 10 min back then. So it helped me to pick up my head and be proud of all I had done even when I hit a set back.
It made me think even deeper on this. Knowing that setbacks in life are a given, should we focus on the setback? or should we focus on how far we have come? It also went with a team from our Springfield CrossFit gym that went to regionals in Chicago. They competed for 2-3 days i cant remember which, but they ended up either last or near it. Looking at this in the conventional way would leave us feeling down and depressed about a seemingly low placement.
The facts say other wise. This team competed against the top 1% of all crossFit athletes 1%!!!!!!!!! Thats a HUGE accomplishment. Something they should never hang their heads over and should be proud of what they had done. I for one, am super proud to call them friends and work out partners. Awesome Job.
When we look at life through the narrow worlds view of success it leaves so much out. When we compare ourselves to everyone around us we will always fall short. There will always be someone faster smarter bigger and quicker or whatever. We can not look at our lives in this manner. Its time to take some of the lessons learned in the gym and in the fitness arena to our every day life.

Setbacks, kicks in the gut from life. They never seem fair, they always come when you least expect and usually the most unwanted time. If we leave our minds to replay it all over and over we get down, we are now focused on the setback itself. No matter what it is, it has now become bigger than anything good in our lives. We have just let a negative become bigger than any positive in our life. Thats not a healthy thing to do or to focus on. This is where Philippians 4:8

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

comes into play. For me this verse has changed my life in how I react. Now don’t get me wrong I still feel that down feeling but this verse gets me back up and fighting for the good in my life. Fighting for the good that God has placed in my path. These setbacks in life are all meant to grow us or build us up but if we allow them to they will begin to deteriorate our confidence or security, they are kind of a way to separate those that want it bad enough from those that kind of do.

I relate this with how God reaches us about things inside us that we need to change or come to terms with. We all have areas of our life that we can do better or need to change. Sometimes we get stuck where we are and even though we see areas we can do better, we put them on the back burner. Until we have something in life bring it to our face so that we cant ignore it anymore. This is when we have a choice in life. We can fight for a better life, better future, to be a better person, or we can get bitter, we can get depressed with the hand life has dealt us. We can get stuck in the WHY ME’s . Then comes the Why hasn’t God done anything to help me, to get me out of this. I have been there.
Its never easy, sometimes its hard to find the thing we need to focus on and when that happens it makes it even easier to focus on all the bad around us.
When we do this our setbacks have become bigger than our faith and our God. We start to second guess our whole life, past decisions we have made, past mistakes the list goes on forever. Here is the changer. It was for me anyway when dealing with my past.
God has not only forgiven you and your past, but he says it is forgotten.

“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. (Isaiah 43:25 NLT)

Too many times we read over these verses and don’t think very long on them. This statement is HUGE. Stop and ponder that for a little. Jesus says the same thing.

Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” ———- (John 8:10, 11 NLT)

When dealing with our past I think God has made it pretty clear. Now its time to forgive yourself, sometimes thats the hard one to do.

The other area is in our thoughts that we allow to roll around in our head.
I learned this from listening to a few sermons by Chip Ingram on these subjects. “Our thoughts are the engine and our emotions are the caboose.” meaning where your thoughts go your emotions follow. Where you think and focus your thoughts is what you will do, say or act on. Our thoughts are VITAL to getting out of these ruts or setbacks in life. We need to figure out how to get past them because the fact is they are coming, more are on the way some big some little but they are coming. Your thoughts drive your actions. If you think about the bad and how your never going to get past it, its going to be there forever…. type look at your setbacks. You will be there forever. You will yourself to dwell on all the worst case possibilities in the situations. I know I have gotten a little far from the origin of this article but its all related in some degree.

I could have stayed mad at myself for what I didn’t do last night at the gym, and stayed down and unmotivated, or I can dust off myself be proud of how far I have come and get back at it. Life is exactly the same way and same attitude.

You name me any person in the bible that kept a negative attitude that ended up doing well? Now almost all of them had down moments in life, they had their own setbacks some HUGE!! Some just selfishness or pride (Jonah) some undeserved (Job) but all came around to get back to God and let him lead, some did it willingly some not so LOL Jonah was deep into self pity for a while. Gideon lacked self confidence. David was weak when it came to being faithful with women. You name it they all had their issues……. just like us. But God used each one in big ways. You can be the same. Stop focusing on what can go wrong in your life, Focus on the things going right, the people in your life trying to encourage you, the blessings in life we have taken for granted.
There are people in your life that are trying to help, trying to encourage you to give you a boost to get your mind back on the positive, back on hope, back on a future, past where you are right now. Don’t push them away, because one day you will see the value they brought to your life. You will see how God placed people in your life to help keep you out of those places. Thats what Best friends do.

Don’t look where you are right now. Look were you have been and how far you have come. There are times the journey seems so slow that you cant see any progress. It seems to be an inch at a time. but you know what? even just an inch is farther than many that don’t even try. It reminds me of a shirt I saw on FB. it was an older man running in a run of some sort. It said on the back. ” 55, over weight, diabetic but still ahead of you”
THAT is what its about. I may be slow but Im still going faster than someone not trying at all.

Think of the accomplishments you have done already. Think of where you have come from, be it fitness, life, finances, relationships, parenting.. anything …..
Stop focusing on where you are now and being stuck and look at how far you have come.

Its amazing what a small setback can bring out in some people. Like this article. Who would have thought a subpar 20 min work out could lead to all of this. LOL
DONT GIVE UP on anything you feel GOD has shown you to do, or placed on your heart. I’ll end with that i think.

Gain Confidence

How do we gain confidence in areas of our lives?
How do we gain confidence in areas of our lives?

How do we gain confidence in all things?

This is a hard question because everyone is different. There are common correlations though that we can look at.

First and foremost is confidence in ourselves. Who we are as a person, where we stand with our character and our own God given abilities. Honestly most people are lacking to some degree in these.

The thing that is hard is when we know we have these things in us that hold us back. The biggest is fear, of any kind failure, money, kids, relationships, the future, the unknown. You name it and we have built a fear to match it.
Fear is the biggest blocker to Gods path for us hands down. You know why??
God doesn’t reason with us, he doesn’t try to talk us into his way, He doesn’t badger us, He isn’t loud or over bearing. On the other hand, fear screams at us in a loud voice, it will try to reason us into believing it. It will try to talk us into whatever it is and then tell us that our actions are justified. See the difference? Thats why believing and trusting in God is so hard at times. Sometimes I wish he would just yell out and be aggressive and tell us directly what we need to do. But there is no faith in that way. God wants our trust in him. We say many times “Lord I believe in you, I trust you fully”………… “Oh wait this area is really hard and I’m scared about what someone might think, say, or do. I better not go that way.” Even when Gods clearly pointed you this way for a while we still baulk. Why??? Because its something we never like to admit. We speak about God and trust and faith but many times when the chips are down and we are faced with some of life’s hardest trials, what do we do? We fall back on our own power and forget all that God had been leading us to. We let our minds roll that fear around in our heads until its become so big it has become exaggerated until its seems so big to us that it has now become an impossible to overcome. We have lost our way with God and we have now taken the reins of our life to steer to a perceived safer way than what God had laid out. This is where, at some point we have to have a reality check in ourselves. For me this was by looking at other people and how they grew their fears until they were beyond reality. Plus I got to see how it frozen them in life. Their life literally came to a frozen halt in all areas. I have seen this in myself. The time varies per situation but the effects are the same. Stagnation in life that leads to a wavering faith and a question of, is God is actually working for you? Doubts kick in and depression starts to lead us further and further away from Gods path. Don’t get me wrong, there are times God will hold you in place for a while, but you need to examine your situation, is it you thats holding yourself back out of fear or is it a God thing? Its a question only you can ask and has to be seriously contemplated on, removing yourself as best you can from the situation.
Ok, your asking how does this lead to confidence? The answer is stupidly simple, but hard at the same time. We gain confidence in ourselves when we face these fears in life, no matter how big or small. Example…… your intimidated about going to the gym because your out of shape? You finally start to go and realize that the fear you felt (everyone staring at you) wasn’t true at all. You see that everyone there are all after the same thing… too get in shape and feel better. You now see that the fear you felt was unwarranted.
Fear of failure, is one of the biggies. I have been victim to this and still fight this off and on. (I think most men have this also.) This fear often turns us into a person that wont take the first step for fear of it not working out. So now you have become a person that stays in your rut because its safe there. We need to start to reach out and test ourselves in small things in life. Small projects at home maybe, or at work, trying new small things then bigger ones and before you know it something you feared last year would seem like a joke to you now. You would think Oh my I was scared to death of this and look at me know.

““If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭16:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Confidence even comes in our faith when we are tested and even though we may baulk, fall, trip, backslide and however else we can falter in our faith. God will usually confront us with truth about who we are. I have been hit in the face with it like a bag of quarters before. In an instant my life has changed for the better. I’m able to follow Gods leadings because of who He is not who I am or more so, who I think I’m not. When we are able to put our true trust in God even when we don’t see anything or even think the future has no relief in sight for us. Trust doesn’t come with answer from God. Our answers lie in His truth and trusting Him because of how He has led us up to that point. I myself am a pretty logical person. If I see that God has led me for years through 15-30+ answered prayers and what I call God moments in my life. They all have pointed in the same direction every time, even when I have wanted to turn away and go the other direction. When I see how he has turned me around to get me back on track so many times despite how I “feel” about it. He is slowly showing me that The journey to get to his end plan for us is sometimes the most important part of it all. In my situation He has gotten me to a point that I have to trust him fully. I put the situation totally in his hands, I believe the things he has shown me to be true and I act when I feel he is showing me. Its not easy because I see nothing. There are days I don’t see things ever changing but I realize thats the unconfident me inside, the one thats not solid in his faith, the one that will drag me down into depression if i let the truths fade and the swirling worst case scenarios in my mind grow and grow. I feel over all I’m finally in a good place most of the time. Im working to do all I can to go down the path he has shown me for years.
There is a confidence in God we need to have. A real trust not just lip service. One we need to dwell on and not our circumstances. When we dwell on His truths and how he has led us in our path throughout our life. Our confidence in God and trusting him grows to new levels. Conquering those fears is what builds our confidence in ourselves and our ability to fully trust God and his leading.

Remember it’s small steps that get us there, not the gargantuan life changing things. The saying “Little things done daily are where real change takes place.” I have been guilty of this before and still am at times. I want to do things right, meaning I don’t like going half way and if I cant get all the right stuff the right things lined up I usually fail to move at all. Well most things start small and slowly get bigger. Its like starting a business and instead of starting in a garage saying I’m going to buy this building and hire people it will look like a real business,…… oh I cant afford that? well I guess I wont do it then. When I type this stuff out it sounds so ridiculous, It makes me look in at myself and have to come to terms with myself on these issues. I speak of beating fears and all this stuff but I want you all to know I struggle just like everyone else. My writing has been a motivator to a large degree. Its made me look at my own character flaws and see them for what they are. Instead of throwing a sheet over them so no one sees them, I try and put them up here to help me beat them. I get tired of giving into fear, I get tired of my life feeling frozen because of my own insecurities. I want to live a life of laughter loving someone and leading a family. To have a new career or business and grow it with the one I love together. It will happen. I trust God on this. But the problem is most of the time isn’t God working or not. Its me, I’m standing in the way most of the time.

They saying “make sure your own worst enemy isn’t residing between your ears.” is so true 90% of the time.
God has our victories waiting. Its up to us to reach for them or sit back and complain that nothing ever works out for us and watch others reach theirs… Well I’m here to tell you thats a bunch of bull. I don’t care how hard of circumstance you are in, I don’t care where you are in life. God will get you through. If you allow him too and stop stepping on your own feet, stop halting your own progress because your scared. God doesn’t work in fear. Remember that one. If your allowing fear to guide you, you might as well admit to who your letting guide you in your path …. YIKES!!!! no way. That is enough for me to start looking other places besides giving into my fears. It gives me great motivation to fight those fears and gain that confidence in my life I need.
You can do it too. Turn your eyes inward, stop pointing fingers at others and own your mistakes, your insecurities, your fears, turn around, stop running. Shatter them into a million pieces.
We don’t fear whats in front of us we fear the possibilities. Fear looks to all worst case scenarios. Faith looks to the victories in the same situations.

Fighting Depression Don’t skip this one!!!!!

This could change your life. read and then listen.
This could change your life. read and then listen.

I just got done listening to Chip Ingram’s bit on depression part one and two.

I have got to say It is by far hands down bar none the best thing to listen to.

When he talks about depression he isn’t talking the deep type of clinical depression this is the normal day to day life depression that we sometimes feel but don’t realize we are there. Everyone has felt it, no one can escape it.

Ill tell you how and what to down load to get it.

iPad or iPhone get the Sound cloud app. it is free.

open it up go it might ask you to sign in through FB or make an account. Do so. Then go to the search button on the menu. type in Living on the edge.

it should be the very first option. Chip Ingram should be the name under living on the edge. Click it then hit follow. then click on sounds.
All his 25 min sermons are listed there.

Find Experiencing God when you are troubled and depressed part 1. and 2
make those favorites. I have listened to them a few times each.

Also the feeling like a nobody and going no where is great also.

If your dealing with hard times in life and feel down I can not stress enough you have got to listen to this.

All very practical ways to apply it to real life and how to tell if thats where you are at or not. He talks about some of the stuff I have that if we are there, and we dwell on our problems we get into this… this is never going to end I will be in this state forever type mentality. He talks about how your feelings are all bunk and you cant trust them. Because what you feel are all lies given to you by your circumstances.

I cant not tell you how helpful this has been to me, for one I feel I have gotten myself out of that state and its good to hear that his ways are some of the very ways God showed me to climb out. Most is taking control of your thoughts. not letting your feelings control your thoughts and there for your actions in life and decisions.

It made me look up and thank The Lord so much for helping me and showing me some of these exact same ways to dig out of it.

For me is was going back and reminding myself of ways he had been there for me in my past. Gaining the ability to over ride those feelings and controlling my thoughts when those very feelings are screaming at me to do the opposite.
The message he preaches is one of Truth….. in your face Gods good truth using the bible and Psalm 77 to drive it home.
Truth is the real answer for most of our problems. Gods truth if allowed to shine will carry you through any hard times. His truth in your past your present and the promises of your future and his goodness all add up to a tool that can battle any depression that might try to over take you.

Don’t be bull headed and think you can handle it all yourself. I have been there your probably wrong. I was.

Here is a link I think to the part one. you will still have to get sound cloud I think, These can also be heard by down loading the podcast app and searching for Chip there.

Awesome stuff dont skip it.

The power of prayer

The Power of prayer
The Power of prayer

One of the most important things I think I have learned these last few years. Is praying for others.
Now don’t act like this is some glorious thing. Listen for a bit. How many times have you been talking to someone and they have an issue and ask you to keep them in your prayers? You say Oh you bet I will, leave there and forget.??
Im betting every single person has done that at least a few times if not more.
I know I have.
Now I pray for them immediately, I don’t wait, I get in the car, my van at work, hang up the phone and pray for that person and their needs or situation or concern. At first I felt bad about it because I was admitting my memory was not good enough. I see now that I was putting my memory first and feeling bad instead actually caring about praying for them… not sure that came out right but Overall I wanting to stop feeling bad for forgetting to pray for someone that needed me.
The only way for me to end that was to just do it right then. I now find myself praying for people I have no idea who they are and will probably never see again. For people in car accidents, ambulances and the lady that just cut me off in traffic, usually after I get hot under the collar because of her carless attitude about driving… the hardest have been the people that cause me the most difficulty in life, those people that you seem to have to forgive over and over, ex wives, husbands, ex boyfriends, girlfriends, nasty relatives, ill tempered friends, negative people in general the ones that are Oh whooa is me nothing ever good happens to me types. These are the hardest because they seemed to test your self control skills over and over and over…… and over..

I had a long thing typed up about Praying for Ex’s and mine also but I think its to much for here. I just wish her the best and I do pray for her. But I just didn’t feel right about putting it here, I don’t want that personal stuff here I don’t think.
Just know that I do and have for quite a while now.

Prayer for others is something also that helps keep us grounded and not focused on our own circumstances in life. It helps us see that other people might need us in more than just prayer, be that shoulder for a friend a place for godly none judgmental advise or a place to vent their frustrations too.
Above all don’t feel guilty for missing people in your prayers. Do the best you can, write them down if you have to, but God sees your heart and already knows about the people you care about. Thats not an excuse to skip it but don’t beat yourself up if you miss someone a time or two 🙂

Prayer has changed my life, I have seen many prayers answered in my short time as a christian. It has really amazed me how he can answer some so lightning fast and others seem like agonizingly slow at times.
The thing I think that I’m starting to see why has nothing to do with God but all to do with us. We have a view of what we want or how we expect them to be answered. The problem with this is that we feel defeated when we don’t see it happening the way we thought. The deal is they may be answered, but not how we want or sometimes he is working through things ahead of you that you can’t see or in people to ready them for when you get there. Too many times God isn’t the problem but we are. We are the ones standing in the way of our own prayers being answered. We fight for our way and are at times blocking the very answered prayer we asked for OR!!!!! worse we are refusing to see it because its not how we perceived it to come. I can only imagine God looking down at us shaking his head at us and our infantile reactions to him answering our prayers.
There was a quote on Facebook today that I reposted on Pinterest because I believe it to be so true in so many way.
“Make sure your worst enemy isn’t living between your own ears.”
I find this to be true more often than not. Our minds can be our biggest ally, out best asset and the base for our confidence in ourselves. OR….. it can be our worst enemy, our biggest critic, and the core of all that holds us back in everything, even Gods plans for us, the great victories he has laid out for us, the love of your life, a joy filled life, a successful career in a field you love. All can be stopped in an instant because our brain says “WHOOOOAAAA that is new , that is unknown to me, I don’t know whats behind that door. Im putting the brakes on before you do something stupid.” It will come up with every way to justify this fear in you. It can be the ABSOLUTE worse thing in our lives if we let it. Or you can follow Gods lead and allow yourself to grow your faith and use that mind for good by expanding your abilities, by doing what grows your confidence in your faith, which allows you to do more and more because you truly believe, not just on the surface. OH new word…. surface Christians. I see lots of those. Many that have never been tested and where the rubber meets the road, can’t follow all the great advise they have given to so many others when it comes to letting go, to following God, to having faith and trust in a Lord that is out for your good.
Ok I’ll come clean, I have done all of this at some time or another. Yeah this guy the one that types up all these cool posts about how to be a better man and what not. Yeah I have failed to take my own advice at times. We are all human, don’t go into any of this faith, trust, love and God, thinking perfection is the aim, because you will fail. It will happen. 100% chance. The difference is learning from them, grow from them, expand your faith BECAUSE of the hard things. Don’t let anything hold your faith back, thats just insane talk and counter to anything God has ever spoken of.
I absolutely love the relationship I have with my God. It’s heart warming and something I hold closer than any relationship I have ever had. I am getting better about letting him have more control. Letting that selfish side go and letting him work. Stepping aside and let the master work. Like I said most of the time we are the ones standing in the way stopping the good things from coming into our lives because we are stubborn or hard headed. 🙂 Yeah I can be… I know its hard to imagine. haha.

Death to self in all things thats what I’m figuring out. its not easy to give up on those things but God has your best things waiting for you already 🙂

Give in to God. Give up on selfishness

Giving up on our selfishness and giving into Gods way. How Exhilarating :)
Giving up on our selfishness and giving into Gods way. How Exhilarating 🙂

This morning has been an amazing thing. Its something that is really hard to describe or put into words.
The only thing I can say is that when you finally let go of the selfishness and open up your heart and let God to work. There is a freeing feeling that comes with it. I still have worry and fear and anxiety but its way less and more excitement about what he has in my near future. I have felt this many times in my short time as a christian, I truly feel this is the feeling of God working in you uninhibited. When you finally let go and stop struggling. Stop fighting for control or the need to know the outcome of everything. When your able to truly give all of yourself to God and let him work. It is almost like a euphoria type feeling. After passing the hardest test you have ever taken and gotten an A. After you thought you failed it. Like winning the big game. I look at my life and nothing has changed on the outside. The things God has shown me still are not there yet, but I see them closing in, small steps closer and closer.
This feeling that goes with God working in your life is really something unexplainable. I’m finding that I have fought so much because I was scared of someone else’s reaction. I let my fears get between me and what God was telling me to do. Last night I had a long struggle and I felt like Moses arguing with God. It makes me feel like a little child arguing some stupid argument with his father. Last night he finally convicted me of something he had shown me before and I was humbled by it. It took a few hours of fighting. That old selfish part does not go down easy and goes down swinging. I have figured out that the thing I was blaming for being in my way was just a false sense of security for me. The fact is that I was the thing in the way most of the time. The stubborn part of me that was standing proud and fighting for what he felt he deserved. LOL so stupid. By opening up and doing the things I felt truly pulled to do, I felt this release, the worry was gone the wondering was gone to an extent. Filled with an almost high feeling. To me that means I finally gave in and did the right thing.
I’m sure lots of people will read this and think What the HECK are you talking about. And I can’t really tell you haha only if you have had those kind of experiences will you ever get where I am coming from.

Thank God for not giving up on us hardheaded types 🙂

Put God in the center

God at the center is the key
God at the center is the key

One of the many lessons I have learned over the past few years is how to allow God to work in me. The biggest thing has been to let go of the self that is always inside screaming to get what it thinks it deserves. This is the place where a long list of missed expectations and lost dreams can build bitterness and regret that come out in all bad ways. These are the source of many of our fears. These are the things that hold us back a lot of the time.
The one thing I have found is that love can do the most amazing things. It can get you through hard times, it can help you be stronger than you ever thought possible. It can make you feel weak and strong all at the same time. It is when you open yourself up to someone, you place your heart in their hands to do with as they please. This is where Gods guidance is the only thing that can help you do it right. He has shown me that love isn’t about me. Its not what I can do or say. It’s about a reflection of his love through us. By allowing God to work through you, you kind of become in tune with him and in line with his path for you, some how it becomes easier, not all the time, we still slip backwards but he it helps us to recover quickly if we seek his guidance. What I’m saying is that in my experience, the closer we can get to God to being at our center the easier it is to accept love and to love others. God is love after all, that love goes through us and shines on others in our life. If your struggling in life, doubting and fretting, that love from God seems distant and hard to find, therefor its hard to accept it or give it to others. To me the relationship with God and how we are able to love others are in exact time with each other. You can not have one without the other. I always look at it as a triangle. His love flows to us then through us to our “one” be it husband wife boyfriend girlfriend. When both people are in tune with God no matter the circumstances then that love can flow freely from all areas. But when one struggles anywhere in that triangle, then the flow is interrupted and the struggles and circumstances become bigger than the love that flows ultimately from God. So when you hear people talk about finding God before ever finding your special one in life is really accurate. If you don’t have that close personal relationship with God then how in the world can you have it with some one else? What some times happens is people replace God with a person. They replace God with a person. This is disaster waiting to happen. It is only a matter of time until it falls apart because that other person is a human and they will fail you at some point. God will not. That is the difference.

When both people are God centered first and then allow God to guide them together. It is a truly amazing thing. He will fill your heart with a love for someone that is all encompassing and you can then and only then see how to truly give your all and death to self truly starts to happen. When that other persons happiness is more important than your needs, when seeing the smile on her face because of a selfless act you did with out a thought or expectation. When you see that smile your knees go weak and your heart melts. It is truly a thing that is God given because its so much bigger than anything we could dream up.

Some call it being whipped or other names that I will not say here. They are missing the point. If you have a woman that has your heart that is after Gods best herself. That is also looking after you in a selfless way. You not only feel obligated, but it should just come natural to do the same. Not for anything you can get out of it but for all the love and respect and security you can give.
Too many men will do things around the house to help out but want something in return. They do them not to just do them because they should. They are expecting a pay back from her usually in a physical way. By doing that and having expectations like that you are stripping her of giving that part of herself willingly. You have now made her feel like its an obligation… not good. Guys just do the stuff around the house because you love her and that by doing dishes or laundry you’re helping to lessen the load on her shoulders.
The difference I see in a Good relationship is God. When people look at a couple and see something different a closeness that others don’t seem to have. I’m telling you it is a willingness to let self die and to serve one another. The only problem I found is that when you have a giver and a taker coupled up. If no change happens that relationship will end. But I really think to be in a solid giving relationship, there really is a death to self. It doesn’t mean that you forget anything and everything you like to do, because in a good relationship, she will be doing the same for you. You see when she needs that time alone or that time with her girlfriends. She should see the same with you. It’s not like some guys will make fun of and say WOW is she letting you come? or some snide comment like that. They are missing the point of the whole thing.
Ladies the one thing you have got to remember. You know him better than any of his friends, he will open up to you more than anyone else in his life, or he should be anyway. With that comes a huge responsibility. You now have the ability to hurt him more than anyone in his life. Men respond differently than woman do to being hurt, some will strike back in defensiveness, some will be angry, some will retreat and never say a word but you will not see him open up to you again for a long time. Some just stay quiet and suck it up. But you have got to remember one important thing. He wants to be a success, he fears failure, he especially fears failure in front of you. So don’t come at him with his failures as a weapon. If you do you are building walls and putting distance between each of you. He will fail, he isn’t perfect, he is human. How would you feel if he threw all your failures in your face? Understand he is a work in progress and if his heart is in the right place, help him, not criticize, assist him be all God has for him.

You both have to start with God at the center. He is the only real way to learn to truly serve someone else. We will fail at times, we are not perfect. We will miss read your mood, we will not do the things you are expecting of us, that doesn’t mean we don’t love you, it doesn’t mean we are not trying. The difference is in our hearts. You should honor the man you love even in his failures. Love him through it all that is when he will need you more than you could possibly ever know.
Godly love is something that society tells you is wrong, the world will tell you what you deserve and what you should expect. Godly love says what can I do, how can I give more. They are in opposition of each other. The battle in each of us is allowing what we feel over what God is showing us. Its an ongoing battle sometimes we succeed sometimes we fail. The trick is to remain a team not opponents.

Ill get off my soap box now.