Monday, September 28, 2009



A whirlwind comes together when hot and cold air come together. When hot and cold air collide in the right conditions, a whirlwind is started. Given the opportunity to gain momentum, a whirlwind will grow to become a storm of great force and anything that gets in it’s path will be changed and usually not in a good way. Look at the devasation in a town after a tornado hits. That is what can happen in our minds. Our minds can be like a whirlwind spinning around and tossing thoughts here and there, keeping us hurt, upset, confused, or negative. We become unstable. Nothing is tied down or safe in our minds when it is like this.

We go from one relationship to another, one job to another, one church to another; hot and cold, up and down, always finding something wrong with someone or something. It can all go back to our minds. Our thoughts. If we harbour or dwell on negative or insecure thoughts long enough they will keep us unstable, unsettled, and in constant turmoil.

Stress, worry, tension, anxiety, anger, fear, suspicsion, doubt, bad perception, etc…are all things that our negative thoughts can create and they can affect so many things about our lives, if we do not get them under control. Sometimes we can allow our imaginations to run so wild that we’ve convinced ourselves that certain things are accurate, true, or reliable when they are not. We push people away, avoid people, and run from our problems because of these false or negative thoughts that bounce around in our minds like a whirlwind touching down in an midwestern town.

In a booklet I read by Dr. Donald Shorter entitled “Take Control of Your Thoughts” He gives 5 steps to overcoming these negative thoughts. 1. Receiving. We must be willing to receive positive and accurate thoughts from God. When we are negative thinking, it’s hard to let postive thoughts in or to hear God’s voice. 2. Analyzing. We must be willing to analyze the thoughts that we receive into our mind and decide whether they are good or bad, positive or negative, or from God or not. 3. Accepting or Rejecting. We must then after analyzing a thought decide whether we must accept it as accurate or true or reject it as negative and false. Again God will help us with this is we ask. There is no middle ground, you can’t avoid this, we must accept or reject every thought that comes in our minds. 4. Replacing. By this point hopefully you are casting down some thoughts about yourself, others, or a situation that wasn’t right. Step 4 will help us grow by replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Innacurate thoughts with accurate thoughts. 5. Renewing. The final step in the process is renewing our minds to be more like God’s or be more positive or think more accurately. This can be reading more of God’s word, spending more time focusing on Him, confiding in christian friends, or reading books, etc….

Receiving. Analyzing. Accepting or Rejecting. Replacing. And Renewing. A 5 step process to destroying the whirlwind going on in our minds so that we can healthy relationships with God and others. So that we can have peace and purpose in our lives. Maybe you are like me and struggle with the thoughts in your mind, I think we all can learn, mature, and grow in our thinking so that we can become better people and the people God wants us to be.

“Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to Him and what is perfect.”

Romans 12:2(New Century Version)

Monday, September 21, 2009



What does that word mean to you? It could describe what two people expect in their marriage, or what friends should have in a relationship. It could mean what parents are for their children. Faithfulness takes the form of honesty, loyalty, trust, commitment, devotion, and an attitude of standing by or for something or someone no matter what.

Faithfulness is something God wants from us. He is always faithful to us and He wants us to be faithful to Him. He also wants us to model that faithfulness out in our relationships with others, whether that be dating, marriage, parenting, children, friendships, co-workers, employees, etc….Faithfulness is not stealing from your company, not cheating on your spouse, not lying to your friend, loving your children when they fail, and staying steadfast in your faith in God when troubles, trials, and temptations come. Being committed to the relationship no matter what.

I wish I could report I’ve always been faithful to God, but I haven’t. I’ve doubted, walked away, rebelled, and tried my own way. I’ve never cheated on anyone I’ve dated and I feel I’ve always been a loyal friend to my friends, but I have failed in my relationship with God. I don’t want to be the best Christian(there really is no such thing) and I don’t want to be the most spiritual. I want to be faithful. I want to show God my faithfulness. God is faithful no matter what. We just don’t always see it because of our own agenda, pain, sin, problems, or issues. He is and He deserves ours.

The only way we really can have faithfulness to God is to take steps that make that happen. We need to be in His WORD regularly and we need to communicate and pray to God daily and often. We should surround ourselves with other Christians who will encourage us, mentor us, keep us accountable, challenge us, confront us, and support us. We need to always remember that no matter where go, what we do, and who we are with that God is always present. God sees our hidden motives, secret sins, and the reality. We must not let our circumstances or problems dictate our faithfulness to God. Many times we face a problem or obstacle and we blame God or turn away from Him instead of seeking Him out or turning to Him for help, guidance, and support. We must always turn to God and never away no matter what we face or go through.

Maybe you have different coping skills, tools, or things you use in your life to help you remain faithful to God. Church attendance and service are important, reading books, joining bible studies and small groups, listening to sermons, reading articles, etc…these are all great things to help us grow in our faith, but ultimately, our faithfulness will depend on our own willingness and desire to be in a right relationship with God. God knows our hearts, our thoughts, motives, and us better than we know ourselves.

I want to show God faithfulness. I want to show it in my life, attitude, other relationships, commitment, service, and actions. How about you? Remember God is ALWAYS faithful to us.

“For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”

Psalm 57:10(NIV)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

40 lbs

Well I have reached the 40lb mark. I am at 205 from at least 245lbs in about 5 1/2 months.

BEFORE 245lbs

PRESENT 205lbs

I have a waist again and not a gut
My goal is 5 more lbs to get to 200, we'll see.

Fear This

Fear This

“The Lord is my light and my salvation---whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1(NIV)

I heard a sermon this past weekend while visiting a church (thanks Mike Lynn) and in His message on Courage He talked about FEAR. He said that most people respond to their fears with AVOIDANCE and avoidance takes the form of procrastination, denial, or indecisiveness. We avoid things we fear whether that be physical, emotional, or mental things. When we avoid something whether we are putting it off with procrastination, or we are in denial that there is a problem, or we can't decide on how to face it, so we don’t decide, but really not deciding is deciding, deciding not to face it.

Fear is a natural feeling or emotion. We fear things we don’t know, haven’t tried, or haven’t dealt with before. Like snakes, heights, roller coasters, public speaking, or certain foods. We also fear facing certain situations like confronting someone who has wronged us, confronting an employee who is not doing their job, or confronting a friend in love because you notice their destructive behaviors. We also can fear overcoming things like our own struggles, problems, faults, or issues. We don’t want to face the death of a loved one, our divorce, our break-up, our job loss, or our financial situation. We can avoid, make excuses, run, hide, deny, blame, rationalize, justify, run around in circles, or pretend it’s not there, but no fear ever goes away. It is either faced with courage or it rules our lives.

Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s facing and overcoming something despite our fears. As a matter of fact, God reminds us in the Bible we have nothing to fear in this world because He is our light and our salvation. The only fear we should have is a reverent fear of God because of His power and holiness. Our fear of God is out of respect, but also should be out of love as we develop a relationship with Him. Because of that relationship we can have with God, it gives us the courage to face our fears and with God’s help we can face any fear no matter how scared we are, no matter how big the obstacle, no matter how uncomfortable the situation. The beginning of courage is overcoming our human nature to run from our fears.

Whatever your fears today, know that God is with you always if you allow Him to be and that He will supply the wisdom, strength, comfort, guidance, support, and direction you need to overcome any fears in your life, no matter what it is. God will give you the courage you need to work through your fears and overcome them. You cannot do it alone, but with God you can overcome any fear.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Lessons so far

Lessons so far….

I’ve learned many things in my years of preaching and teaching in ministry whether part-time, full-time, or volunteer. Some of the things have been life changing. For instance, you should never teach something that you yourself do not believe in. You should never preach to others about something you yourself are not willing to practice in your own life. When you lead, you lead by example not by instruction only. Being called to ministry doesn’t make you a better Christian, more holy, or closer to God, but it does require you to accept responsibility for your position, take your calling serious, and realize others are looking to you for guidance, support, and help.

Preaching and teaching are serious business. We first and foremost must be obedient to God and honor His calling on our lives by being faithful and trustworthy with His message and our lives. We must guard our lives carefully or we will fall short, fall away, mislead people, lose our influence or credibility, or lose our passion for our calling. We do not work for individuals or even the local church, we work for God through the local church and the people who make up that church.

It can be the most rewarding career in the world to see people come to Christ, to baptize people, to share in their weddings, child births, and celebrations. And also to comfort them during death, heartaches, and difficult times. But being a minister doesn’t exempt you from your own personal struggles, sins, problems, and issues that everyday Christians and church members face. Minister’s face the same problems, because we are the same people, we just happen to be called into full-time or preaching ministry. All Christians are called to serve, but a few of us are called to preach and teach the gospel as a vocation.

Ministry does require those of us called to a higher standard. We must practice what we preach, believe what we teach, and lead by example. We must overcome our struggles, problems, and issues so that we can lead with honesty, integrity, and bring glory to God in the process. We must be real, transparent, and authentic even in the midst of our humanity. We cannot hide behind our pulpits, our title, or our offices. We don’t have to use our position to give every detail of our struggles or failures, but we must use our life experiences to help lead, teach, and minister to the people we come in contact with in our churches. We must be accountable for our actions and behaviors and constantly evaluate our life so that we can continue to grow in our personal faith, our ministry calling, and our influence. I’m still learning and I still got a lot to learn, but with God’s patience, guidance, wisdom, and will I hope to continue to grow into the man and minister God wants me to be. If I can do that God can continue to change me and then use me to change the world.

“In your teaching show integrity.” Titus 2:7a(NIV)

Friday, September 04, 2009



Jonathan become one in spirit with David, and loved him as his himself.” 1 Samuel 18:1b(NIV)

In the old testament we get a glimpse of what true friendship looks like. King Saul was going to lose His throne to a future king named David. By all rights the throne would have went to Jonathan, but God anointed David to be the next king, yet despite these circumstances and Saul being jealous of David and wanting to kill him, Saul’s son Jonathan had a bond of friendship with David that was bigger than anything, even the throne or His own dad’s anger.

What do you consider the characteristics of a true friend? When you look at your friendships, what makes them your friend? How do you distinguish between a casual friend and a real friend? What is your definition of friendship? I think God’s words give us some hints to what God calls a friend.

1. God is our model for true friendship. (Prov. 18:24-“but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”) We need to model our friendship after God’s relationship with us. God sets the standard of true friendship.

2. A friend’s love must be unconditional. (Prov. 17:17-“a friend loves at all times.”) No matter what the best interest of the friend comes first. You also forgive and accept forgiveness when it comes to a friend.

3. A friend is always honest. (Prov. 27:6-“wounds from a friend can be trusted.”) That means that a real friend will always be honest with you and tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear, even when it’s uncomfortable or they risk making you mad.

4. A friend is loyal and trustworthy. (Prov. 16:28-“a gossip separates close friends.”) The most important thing you can bring to a friendship is loyalty and trust. The biggest mistake you can make is to break that loyalty or lose trust.

5. A true friend is a friend for life. (John 15:13-“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”) Can you say that about your close friends? Would they say that about you? True love is putting someone’s best interests above your own and true friendship I believe is the same way.

The example of Jonathan with David is a great example of a real and true friend. He didn’t care about becoming King, He didn’t care about offending His dad because He valued his friendship with David and honored with his loyalty and love. We all should model our relationships and friendships in this way. How many of us can say we love our close and best friends as we love ourselves and we are one in spirit with them? There is nothing greater than having true friendships. Real friendship. Loving friendships. Loyal friendships. I want to be that type of friend and I want that type of friends. How about you?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

More helpful reads

This is a book from the Pastor at Southeast Christian church written back in 2000. He looks at some different areas and shows how they can be both friend and foe in our lives when it comes to our relationship with Jesus Christ.

This book deals with how to manage your emotions: fear, depression, anger, guilt, hatred, envy/jealously, and grief. This was a great read and very helpful. We all have emotions to deal with and sometimes get out of whack.

This is a book I am using as a daily devotional, I almost done with it, but it takes different characters from the Bible who have died and tries to teach us lessons from their lives while they were alive. It's a good devotional resource.

This book is on the life of David and was a great read. Alot of principles, lessons, and insights from the life of David, both his successes and failures. If you like reading and learning about different people in the bible, this is a great read.

This book is geared toward high school students and is about dating, but I found it to be a great read, not only because I work with high school students, but because I am still single. This would be a great book for you to buy for your high school children and even read so you can understand them better. Hayley DiMarco and her husband also wrote a book after this one called "Marriable", which is a great read as well.