Monday, October 26, 2009



If I had the answer to why we suffer, I think I could put it in a bottle, sell it, and retire in my 30’s to some tropical island. Suffering has no answer, or at least an answer we want. Yet, at times in this life we are called to suffer. Sometimes we suffer because of our own poor choices, decisions, or actions and other times we suffer at the hands of others. Nothing feels good about suffering and no one wants to go through with it.

I can tell you from a biblical perspective that suffering came from sin and because we live in a fallen, sinful world, with people who have free will to sin, suffering is a natural consequence. Yet, even more astounding is that the Bible eludes to the fact that we will suffer because of our faith. If we want to grow and mature in our Christian faith we will face suffering at times, whether that is persecution, temptation, or attacks from satan.

I know we face suffering for different things, disease, divorce, death of a loved one, a break-up, a difficult child, a disrespectful spouse, an evil co-worker, a dishonest boss, and suffering can be physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. We can suffer from chronic back pain. We can suffer from years of emotional abuse. We can suffer from temptations to abuse alcohol or drugs. We can suffer from depression, anxiety, and fears. We can suffer and because we are miserable we want or make others miserable. We blame God, we blame others, and we continue to suffer.

I am not sure what type of suffering you are facing right now. I know I hate suffering, but I also know it’s necessary. If it were not for the sufferings I’ve faced in my life, I would not have the strength, endurance, perseverance, and hope I have. I know if it were not for suffering I would not learn the lessons that life has needed to teach me. I know if it was not for a broken heart I would not have experienced love. If it were not for a broken trust I would not have experienced real friendship. If it were not for a broken spirit I would not have experienced grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

We may not always want suffering and we may sometimes suffer and not know why and maybe we never will. Sometimes suffering just plain stinks and we may not deserve the way someone has treated us, made us feel, or acted toward us, but no matter what we can trust that God will use it. He will take it and use it in a mighty way if and only if we are willing and open to the teaching. God will use our sufferings to mold us, shape up, equip us, teach us, strengthen us, and grow us. In time, we can always look back and see where God was with us and where we are better because of what we experienced or went through. It can also teach us to stop doing things that cause us to suffer at our own hands or avoid the people in our lives who cause us harm. Most of all we can learn to truly rely on God in all times, both good and bad.

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”
I Peter 2:21(NIV)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Who can you count on?

Who Can you Count on?

Accountability. That’s a word we don’t use every day, but it’s a word we need every day. We need accountability in our marriages, friendships, relationships, parenting, employment, finances, and especially in our faith.

Accountability is basically defined as being held liable or responsible or to give account. We all need that. It keeps us honest, and helps us have the utmost of integrity and character. It can help us keep and stay on the right track. How many of us would lose weight, go to church, be faithful, stop smoking, or have honest business dealings if we did not have someone or people in our lives who helped keep us on task?

No matter the situation or circumstance we need people in our lives who tell us what we need to hear not what we want to hear. Of course we have to give these people permission to enter our lives and keep us accountable. There are plenty of people out in this world who have no shortage of opinions to offer us, but most of them we haven’t ask for or want, but we do need to ask those close to us, that we trust, respect, and value to come into our lives and help us to be and do our best, especially in those areas where we struggle, need work, or know we are prone to fail or fall short.

If you struggle with an addiction you need to ask people to help you avoid those things and monitor you. If you are struggling with honesty or integrity ask people to help keep you honest, or if you are wanting to grow in your faith have people who are going to check on you and make sure you are in church, praying, and reading your bible regularly. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own self and actions, but I believe God designed us to help others, as well as, use others to help us overcome, deal with, or grow through things in our own lives.

We need God to help us. Part of God’s help is providing people in our lives to help keep us accountable. Who will encourage, challenge, convict, and keep on us to do the right things and be responsible for our actions, attitudes, and behaviors. It’s really easy to hide things in our lives and keep them secret. We think we are smart and fooling everyone, even God, but we aren’t. We are only fooling ourselves. We may be able to keep our secrets for awhile, but eventually they will come out and when they do, it won’t be pretty.

Whether you are cheating on your taxes or your spouse, whether you are lying to your friends or your boss, whether you are sneaking to smoke, drink, or do drugs, or whether you are skipping church or avoiding God and Christian friends God always knows and truth always finds itself out. We need to surround ourselves with people who will encourage us, help us, and who will love us enough to help us be the best we can be. Do you have accountability? Will you find it? I need it, you need it, we all need it.

“So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12(NIV)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More helpful Reads

This is a great book on prayer. How to pray and the importance of prayer. If you want to have a better prayer life read this book. Bill Hybels is a great author and has many great reads.

This is really a small booklet, but is about taking control of your thoughts and overcoming the strongholds in your mind that satan uses against you. Good quick, short read.

This is a book that was developed between a son and father. The son a christian and the dad not a christian. through a series of letters the son leads the father to become a christian over a 3 year period at the age of 73 and answers all the tough questions many skeptics of christianity have. This is a great read.

This is a great little read on the fruit of the spirit. We all could use this type of fruit in our lives.

This lady is such a great writer. She has great insight on our thoughts and our minds and how to have positive thoughts and how everything in our lives begins with our thoughts. A really great read.

Monday, October 12, 2009



Labels. It’s what we attach to people based on our opinions, prejudices, interpretations, or other people’s influence. That person is moody. That person is so grouchy. That person is easy. That person is a liar. That person is a womanizer. That person is a gossip. Labels. We label people and most times those labels aren’t accurate or true, but simply based on our own fears, insecurities, jealousy, or clouded judgments.

How do you want people to label you? Do you want to be labeled a liar or trustworthy? Dependable or undependable? Conservative or liberal? Hypocrite or person of integrity? Flake or real deal? We can’t always control what others think of us, but if we are striving to live good, honest, decent lives then our integrity and character should speak for itself and if we aren’t putting ourselves in compromising positions, even when people might say false things about us, it will not stand up.

But, we also can’t control what others might say or do, but we can control what we say and do. We also can live our lives in such a way where we allow God to work in our lives so that we have accurate and true labels such as honest, dependable, loving, accepting, compassionate, forgiving, and trustworthy. If anyone is going to label me, I want it to be an accurate label. I want my character and integrity to speak for itself. I want people to know my faith and commitment to God.

How do you label people? Outward appearances? Your past? You own personal opinions or prejudices? Other people’s opinions? Or do you base your view of others through the eyes of God. All people are God’s creation. There are bad people in this world who choose to do evil and be evil and we can despise their actions and lifestyle, but we must always love the sinner and hate the sin. We must also realize that the way we judge others, God will judge us in the same way. God also reminds us in scripture that if we do not love others, then His love is not in us. He also says if we want to His forgiveness we must forgive others. God makes it clear to us that we must give the same type of treatment to others that we want and need from Him.

“This is the message we have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.”

I John 3:11(NIV)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

verse for thought

"love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends."
Proverbs 17:9(NLT).
I came across this verse in my reading and I actually went and looked at several translations, but liked this on best. It's amazing what love can do when we are able to forgive, but it's also amazing what happens when we dwell on stuff, it hurts our relationships. I hope this verse encourages you today as it has me.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

45 lbs

Before 245lbs
After 200

I have met my goal, in 6 months I have lost 45 lbs. I went from 245 or and now I am at 200lbs (actually 198 as of last night) but 200 is my goal.

Monday, October 05, 2009



Maybe you’ve seen this photo before of the kitten looking in the mirror and when he looks in the mirror he doesn’t see a kitten, he sees a lion. It’s all about perception. How you see yourself is how you live, act, behave, or become. If you see yourself as stupid, you’ll make stupid choices. If you see yourself as a success you’ll act successful. If you see yourself as ugly, you’ll think you’re ugly. If you see yourself as a failure you’ll behave like a failure. Our perception is everything.

It’s not just true with ourselves. It true of how we view others, or our situations, or life’s problems or issues. If we perceive someone is not telling us the truth, we assume they are lying even if they are not. If we perceive the worst in a relationship, then that is what we’ll get out of the relationship. If we perceive everyone at work is out to get us, even if they aren’t, we’ll act like they are and treat them accordingly. Perception. It can be accurate or it can be false. More times than not our perception hurts us because we perceive things about ourselves or others that aren’t true and it affects how we treat others, react, live, or deal with situations.

Just think how different our lives might become or be if we would have realistic perceptions or if we based our perceptions on facts, truth, or reality? If we saw ourselves as others truly see us would be have more confidence? Feel pretty? Take more risks? Walk with our head a little higher? What if we saw others or our situations in the light of truth and reality would we treat others differently? Act differently? Handle situations differently? Would we realize that not every person is bad or out to get us or hurt us? Would we stop hurting others?

It’s tough sometimes to see the good in ourselves when we’ve been beat down. It’s tough to see the good in others when we have no trust or confidence in others. However just because one person told us we might not amount to anything, there are a 1000 people out there to tell us how great we are. There might be one person who hurt us, but there are a thousand people out there who we can trust and accept us as we are. We cannot base all our perceptions of people, ourselves, or our situations on past situations, past relationships, or past hurts or insecurities. Each person, situation, issue, job, relationship, etc…is unique and different. It’s hard to not be shaped negatively by our past experiences, but it is also possible for us to be shaped in a positive way by our experiences both our bad and good ones, if we seek God to help us determine our perception. Perception can be a good thing or a bad thing, but it depends whether we see a scrawny kitten or a powerful lion.
Each of us are great in God’s eyes. We are in His image, We are His, and He loves us as we are, but wants to see us reach our purpose, potential, and plan for our lives He has for us. He also wants us to learn from our mistakes, the mistakes of others, and He doesn’t want us going through life thinking the worse because of our past hurts or pains, but to renew our thinking daily and learn to fully trust in His power.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” 1 Peter 2:9a(NIV)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Reminder from God

"He who conceals His sin does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble." Proverbs 28:13-14(NIV)

I came across this scripture in my reading today and I thought it was powerful reminder to all of us (including me). When we try and hide our sins and don't confess them to God it catches up with us and we miss mercy and when we fear the Lord and don't let our hearts get hard we will be blessed and not in trouble. That Solomon was pretty wise.