Monday, November 14, 2011

The "Otherness" of God

I'm reading the book Facedown by Matt Redman for the third time. It is a small devotional that is small enough to hold on the exercise bike or treadmill. I began starting reading Chapter 2 this morning and stopped about two pages in to reflect upon one of the statements Redman makes. "Otherness gives us a sense that God is so pure, matchless, and unique that no one else and nothing else even comes close". Isaiah 46:9 says "Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is non like me". Strong and powerful words..."there is NONE like me". As you go about today, remember that whatever mountain you face or valley you are walking through, God is much bigger. This song by Chris Tomlin also reminds me that God is in control and because of that I have nothing to fear.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Two Questions to Consider

Last week, I read a great blog post by Dan Pink titled The Power of an Hourly Beep. In the crazy times of my day, considering these questions would probably change the way I handle particular situations. The two questions comes from the book, 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done written by Peter Bregman. Question 1: Am I doing what I most need to be doing right now? Question 2: Am I being who I most want to be right now? Making time to reflect every hour seems like a lot, but I feel like it could put me back on track if I'm straying. What if I took a few minutes an hour to reflect on God's Word? How would my life be transformed? It would be great to speak the words of the psalmist who wrote, "I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word."--Psalms 119:15-16

Friday, October 21, 2011


Do you ever get distracted? It is so easy in today's world to become distracted by the things of this world. When we lose focus and get distracted work doesn't get accomplished. This distraction can be from people, the television, or even the cellphone. I often find myself distracted by the things of the world, so I fail to complete the work and mission God has given me. In Matthew 14, the wind distracted Peter and he lost his focus as he was walked on the water toward Jesus. This loss of focus led to Peter panicking and he began to sink. This lesson of Peter's distraction should encourage us. If we lose focus, refocus back on Jesus and he will direct us to finish the task.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Trying Something New

I just watched Matt Cutts' Ted Talk "Try Something New for 30 Days" so I'm going to do it. I have taken TOO MUCH time off from daily exercise and pumped way too much sugar and caffeine into my system, so I've decided to start something new this morning. I got up 40 minutes early so I could get a 30 minute walk in before getting ready for work. I am also going to drink more water (at least 3 bottles) and begin weening myself from caffeine. So, the plan is 30/3/30. 30 minutes walking/3 bottles of water/30 days. This change or new beginning reminds me of a verse from Paul's 2nd Letter to the church in Corinth. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2nd Corinthians 5:17.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Comfort Zone

I read this quote by Joanne Wilson, entrepreneur and venture capitalist the other day. "People tend to gravitate toward areas that they know. Totally get outside your comfort zone. Put yourself in a position to learn things you don't know."Wow! This is a challenging quote. How many times have I heard in the last ten years...get out of your comfort zone. Matthew 8:19-20 says: "Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” How far are we willing to go? Are we willing to get out of our comfort zone and truly follow Christ?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Writers Conference

Welcome back...or should I say I'm back. It has been a nice few months relaxing my mind. In August, I began blogging about my classroom and activities for Scholastic Inc. I'm really enjoying writing and have been praying for an opportunity to write on a more consistent basis. Last week, I applied for a Cec Murphey Scholarship to attend the Florida Christian Writers Conference. Murphey is the author of 90 minutes in Heaven and other titles. I found out yesterday that I received the scholarship and will be attending the conference in March. I've got a few ideas for some articles and possibly a book. Right now, I’m praying for direction, which I’m a little confused about at the moment. Confusion is ok, as long as I’m seeking God’s plan through prayer and His word. I am trying to be faithful and dependent on God to use His words through my writing to impact and encourage others.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Big Announcement!

The month of May is upon us. Have I gone mad? May will be a month of change and transition for me and my family. After months of consideration and prayer, we are going to try something new. New can be good or bad, but I'm focusing on the good of this change. Are you sitting down? Are you ready for the big announcement? My family and I have decided to 1) get rid of the "land line", 2) get rid of TV, and #3 get rid of the Internet. Anyone who knows me knows that I am Mr. Technology. I love everything about it, but I think getting away from it for awhile will be a great thing. I will still access the Internet at work and WiFi hotspots, but eliminating it from the house will free up so much time. I still plan on updating the blog occasionally, but not every other day like I have for the last couple of months. I believe that this will be a huge adjustment for everyone at my house. I am looking forward to working on other things, but ultimately spend more time with God and my family. Thanks for taking time to read my posts in the previous months. My blog has gotten over 400 hits. I plan to keep people up-to-date on what I am calling a "social" experiment. Talk to you soon!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lesson 5: Have No Regrets

In Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch is living a crazy life with deadlines and ignoring the important things in life. Mitch ignores his family (dying brother), his girlfriend/wife, and his old professor (for 16 years). He avoided the things that matter most. Life is busy. Work often consumes us. It is important that our priorities are in order so that we do not regret the things we did or did not do. God should be our first priority, followed by spouse, then children, and finally work. I want no regrets when I'm older. My goal is to focus on the things that matter not the things that do not. In 1 Timothy 4:7, Paul writes: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith". These words Paul spoke carry no regrets. I want to be able to speak these words one day. Prioritizing my life now will be the first step in finishing the race. Will you be able to say this verse at the end of your life?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lesson 4: Get Involved

In Tuesdays with Morrie, Morrie tells Mitch to not "assume it is too late to get involved.” As long as you are living, you have the opportunity to get involved and make a difference in this world. Millions and millions of people are struggling through life with very little hope. They are starving for the Word of God and do not realize it. With all the natural disasters that have occured recently, more and more people are struggling to provide for basic needs. You do not have to look at the world for opportunities to help the hurting. People are hurting everywhere you come in contact with people. Hurt doesn't always show, but it exists. Jesus tells us in Matthew 9:37-38 “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lesson 3: Forgiveness

Morrie also taught a very valuable lesson on forgiveness. "Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others." The first part of the quote focuses on forgiving yourself for not making the best of your life and missing opportunities. The other part of the quote focuses on our relationships with other people. No matter how we are wronged by one another, we are commanded by God to forgive as He forgave us. Above all we are supposed to love others and be compassionate. Paul writes in Colossians 3:12-14, "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity". These are great words to live by. I've heard it said that "forgiveness provides closure".

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lesson 2: Accepting Your Past

Morrie tells Mitch to "accept the past as the past without denying it or discarding it". The past has ways to come back to the "present", but we cannot change the past or allow it to consume us. Lessons learned in our past often shape who we are today. The circumstances life has brought you or the struggles you faced in your past happened for a reason. At the time, most people do not understand why they are going through a trying time. Through reflection, we sometimes see and understand why we experienced a particular challenge. Discarding the past or not learning from it could lead to other consequences. Paul tells us in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose". This verse tells us that no matter the circumstance God is working for the good if we love Him. Something good will come out of the circumstance you are facing. You may not realize it at the time or never realize it, but know that God is working.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lesson 1: Accepting your abilities

Morrie discusses the importance to accept the abilities you have been given. Do not be envious or jealous of others gifts. If everyone had the same gifts, many things would not be able to be accomplished. Each one of us are designed for a purpose. We each have different gifts that we should use to serve others. We have human limitations, but we are reminded that when we are weak, God is strong. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:10, "That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong". Weaknesses and limitations in our life will come when serving others. God promises to provide and give us the things we need to serve others and Him. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul discusses how each person makes up and is important to the body of Christ through the different gifts that each of us have. "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work". This passage is so true. The gifts we are granted should all be used to worship and serve the same God.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Five Lessons from Mitch and Morrie

In the book Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom does a great job of recording the last months of Morrie Schwartz's life. On their Tuesday meetings, Morrie would share many life lessons with Mitch. These lessons can be applied to each of our lives. The book is thought provoking and allows the reader to examine their own life. The next five posts will focus on five of the many lessons Mitch learns from Morrie. I will apply these five lessons to the Christian walk.

Lesson 1: Accepting Your Abilities (Posting Date: 4/22/2011)

This blog post will focus on 1 Corinthians 12. Each one of us are designed for a purpose. We each have different gifts that we are to use to serve others.

Lesson 2: Accepting Your Past (Posting Date: 4/24/2011)

This blog post will focus on Romans 8:28. We have all faced circumstances and events in our lives that we do not understand the reasons went through the experience.

Lesson 3: Forgiveness (Posting Date: 4/26/2011)

This blog post will focus on Colossians 3:12-14. No matter how we are wronged by one another, we are commanded by God to forgive as He forgave us.

Lesson 4: Get Involved (Posting Date: 4/28/2011)

This blog post will focus on Matthew 9:37-38. Millions and millions of people are struggling through life with very little hope. They are starving for the Word of God.

Lesson 5: Have No Regrets (Posting Date: 4/30/2011)
This blog post will focus on 2 Timothy 4:7. Will you be able to say this verse at the end of your life?

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Three A's of Awesome--Authenticity

What does it mean to be authentic? One word that comes to mind is "real". Throughout our lifetime, we have probably seen fake products. A purse or shirt looked like the real thing, but was actually fake. If you work in retail, you may have had the experience of seeing fake money. Christians must make sure that they are not leading a "fake" life. In Revelations 3:15-16, Jesus said, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth". It is clear that Jesus is not happy with a lukewarm Christian. In fact, it makes Him sick. A lukewarm Christian hurts Christ's kingdom the most. One who acts like an authentic Christian, but still lives "in the world" is detrimental to the work of God. We must strive to live more and more like Christ each day. We will fail, but praise Him for His grace, mercy, and love.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

3 A's of Awesome--Awareness

How do you get to work? Do you drive the same road everyday? Do you walk the same path? Do you make the same stops at the gas station or coffee shop? We are creatures of habit. We are aware of our surroundings for the most part, but are we aware of the opportunities within our surroundings. Being aware of our surroundings is important not only to keep us safe, but also to see opportunities to serve those around us. In Galatians 6:10, Paul wrote: "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers". I know I miss out on opportunities daily to provide a helping hand or seize the opportunity to serve. It is very important that through my actions and conversations with people that I am as "Christ-like" as possible. Paul reminds us in Colossians 4:4-6 to "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone".

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The 3 A's of Awesome--Attitude

Life's circumstances bring us down. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball that the best baseball player couldn't come close to hitting. Our reaction to our circumstances is very visible to those around us. Saying we have the attitude of Christ is totally different than showing others we have the attitude of Christ. In Philippians 2:5, Paul reminds us that "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. This is extremely difficult because everyone thinks and prioritizes things differently. The circumstances that we face are sometimes unbearable, but we know we should and can lean on the Lord. Paul reminded the church in Thessalonica to "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus". What things can you change in your life right now to reflect the attitude of Jesus?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Three A's of Awesome

I recently watched Neil Pasricha's "The 3 A's of Awesome". His speech was inspiring and described how how overcame various adversities in his life. The three A's he discussed were: attitude, awareness, and authenticity. Each of these A's can easily be applied to the Christian walk. A Christian must strive to have the attitude of Christ. A Christian must be aware of opportunities around them to serve. A true Christian must be authentic. The next few posts will explore the 3 A's of Awesome.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Reward

I decided to follow the theme of my previous two posts that focused on the movie "Field of Dreams. Through various struggles and nearly losing his farm, Ray continued to follow and listen to the voice. **MOVIE SPOILER ALERT** At the end of the movie, Ray receives a reward for following the voice. The reward is being able to see and play catch with his father one last time. The reward allows Ray to mend his "rocky" relationship with his father. Just as Ray received the reward for following the "voice", we will receive a great reward if we follow the leading and the calling of the voice of God. Jesus tells us in John 14:2, "My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you"? As we walk this life, we struggle and fall. We must turn to the one who created us for guidance. Jesus' promise is clear. If we follow him, our reward awaits us in heaven.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Love + Respect = Great Marriage

In my last post, I discussed "The Voice" in the movie Field of Dreams. I want to continue discussing the movie, but this time look at Ray's wife, Annie. Annie was very supportive of Ray's decision to "follow" the voice. Ray loved Annie enough to seek her input on the decisions he was making. She respected and supported him despite not knowing what would happen based on the decision Ray made. Our lives are much the same. We do not know what tomorrow brings. My wife is very similar to Annie. I love her and she supports me in all my endeavors. She asks difficult and thought provoking questions to make me think about things before a I make a crucial decision. Above all, she respects and supports me. In Ephesians 5:24-27, Paul wrote, "Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless". Paul's words paint a clear picture of marriage, using Christ and the church as an illustration. Love and Respect is a vital part in a successful marriage.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Voice

Dreams can be powerful life changers. I recently watched the movie "Field of Dreams". Click Here to view the movie trailer. I love Ray's (Kevin Costner) passion for listening to the voice. Ray fulfilled his dream by building the field and was obedient to the voice. How do you respond to something you are passionate about? Do you listen to the "voice" inside you? When reflecting on the voice, I am reminded of Moses and his response to the burning bush. In Exodus 3, Moses asked God on three occasions if he was the right person for the job. I wonder how I would have responded to the voice of God. Would I have been obedient? Would I make up excuses like Moses? Listen for the voice. It exists within you. Follow your heart, but above all be obedient to the voice of God.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Supermoon + Earthquakes + Tsunamis = The End of the World....ONLY God knows

The last few years our world has seen its share of natural disasters. Earthquakes, flooding, droughts, and tsunamis, just to name a few. Some are saying that we are in the "end times". The "end times" began the day that Jesus was crucified. Many people believe that the world will end with the Mayan calendar in 2012. I think I'm going with what the Bible says. In Mark 13:32-33, Jesus said, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come". Jesus tells us that no one will know the day or the hour of his return. Jesus also says that we should be prepared and watching for His return. So, until Christ returns, we must do what He calls us to do in the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:20, Go and make disciples.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

#2 Bathsheba Admission---To be Famous in my Profession

I had a major problem with the desire of becoming "famous" in my field. However, the last two months, through prayer and mediation on God's Word, I have begun the process of getting rid of this Bathsheba, once and for all. My desire to be the "guru" in the area educational technology is slowly diminishing. This desire consumed me. It was all I thought about. I stressed and worried about my success in my profession. The desire of becoming a "guru" did take me to some interesting places, but I had very little time for the things that really matter in life. I had very little time for exercise, family, or hobbies. We are warned of this worldly view of "becoming" someone or desiring success in the eyes of the world. In Romans 12:2, Paul writes, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will".

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Admit It....One of my Bathsheba's is FOOD!

I Love Food! I've been wanting to lose some extra "poundage" for about two years, but have not been able to because of the food...especially cookies! I desire other foods and beverages too, including pizza, breads, and soda. Whenever I see these foods or begin to crave them, it is hard for me to resist the temptation of eating them. Nutrition is only one part of the "natural" weight loss solution, but I've been successful with exercising several times a week, except for the last month. In a previous post, I discussed David's falling into sin with Bathsheba. This desire for food will eventually lead to an unhealthy body. Actually, it has already became a problem due to excess weight on my joints and muscles. In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Paul reminds the church in Corinth to take care of their bodies and do not do anything unpleasing to God. Paul writes: "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies". I am challenging myself to turn to God and begin taking better care of my temple. Admission is the first begins the hard part not allowing the temptation make me "fall".

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What is Your Bathsheba?

Why is it so difficult to flee temptation, but so easy to give in? Being tempted is a daily occurrence in our lives as we walk with Christ. In 2 Samuel 11, we are told of David's difficulty and his struggle with temptation that eventually became sin. Bathsheba, a very beautiful woman, caught David's eye as she bathed. David called for her and the rest is "what they call history". I think that Bathsheba can not only represent temptation in David's life, but also OUR "desires". In James 1:13-15, "When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death". Our desires can tempt us and eventually lead to sin. While some of our desires may impact our lives greatly, others will slowly lead us to destruction. It is never too late to rid your life of your Bathsheba. So, the question is what is your Bathsheba? What are you doing about it? How are you making sure your desire (Bathsheba) does not "give birth to sin"?

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Robert Kennedy once said, "There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" I have discussed this quote in other writings I have completed, but I think it is very important to discuss again. Kennedy's quote inspires me. The quote challenges me. I have always been a dreamer, but I think it is more important to put your dreams into action. A plan, idea, or dream without action is worthless. In our Christian life, our faith is worthless without action. In James 2:26, "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." We need to act on our dreams and plans. Kennedy's quote is saying not to settle with the way things are, but look for ways to improve the world around us. Never underestimate yourself...ask why not? Why not put those dreams or plans into action today?

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Power of the Word "CAN'T"

Last weekend, I used a bad word. A word that limits so many people. A word that has the power to influence attitudes in often negative ways. The word was can't. I am not the most mechanically inclined person. It takes me hours what it takes a "handyman" to do. I was not up for the challenge of assembling a trailer, even if it meant 10 lug nuts and 2 bolts. I attempt to teach my children and my students the importance of hard work and achieving what they feel might be impossible. I am often reminded of words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” For my children, I told them that can't is a "bad" word. ALL things are possible with God, whether it is as simple as putting together a trailer or moving a mountain. This weekend I needed to listen to my own advice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Power of the Word "CAN"

"You can do it!!!" Hopefully, you have been encouraged with that phrase sometime in your life. Can is a positive word. According to, can means "to have the ability, the power, and the skill to". Can is an empowering word. In the Presidential election in 2008, Barack Obama used the phrase "Yes We Can" as he campaigned around the country. This phrase empowered Americans as they voted for a change America's leadership. Just as Obama rallied America during the election, Paul rallied the church. In Philippians 4:13, Paul encouraged the church at Philippi and future Christians. Paul wrote: "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." It does not matter what the challenge ,the mountain or the hardship is. Remember that with Christ all things are possible and that you CAN do it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Power of Words

Words are powerful. Words can mean different things to people depending on their understanding of the word or their experiences. Words can build up or tear down. Words have the potential to change attitudes. In Psalms 119:130, the psalmist writes: "The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple". Words can direct us and guide us. This week’s posts will focus on two different words: can and can’t. Each word has the power to transform your attitude and your life. I'm often reminded of the power of words when Paul addresses "unwholesome" talk in his letter to the church in Ephesus. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen".

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Defining the Elimination of Desire

I have been reflecting on the previous post “Eliminating Desire” and what it means to my life. The question I am attempting to figure out is how extreme to go with this concept. The world we live in is very materialistic. What do we truly need for survival in American society today? What are considered extras or “luxuries”? Why does society value material possessions so much? Over the last few months, a transformation has started to take place in my life. Things (extras) that I desired so much for my life are no longer things I want to spend my time pursuing. Many other things should and will begin to become priorities in my life. In Matthew 6:33-34, Jesus says: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. Jesus promises that if we FIRST seek His kingdom and His righteousness all our needs will be met. So for me, eliminating desire for me at this point is focusing on God and prioritizing my life.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Giving Up---No Way Man!

President John F. Kennedy in his address at Rice University in 1962 said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too”. Kennedy’s quote was focused on beating the Russians to the moon, but I think it can apply to the daily challenges we face in our lives. Often times, we want to give up and we want to quit because the challenges we face are difficult or hard. Sometimes our relationships are complicated. Giving up is easier than working through or struggling through the challenges in our lives. Paul discussed the importance of “finishing the race” in his letter to Timothy. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” 1 Timothy 4:7. The trials or challenges we face in our lives are used to grow our character and dependency on Christ. James reminds us of the importance of persevering through our challenges. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” James 1: 2-4. Don’t give up...push through the challenges!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Listening and knowing what God wants for your life is very important. Obeying God is a must. Obedience is a difficult thing to do sometimes, especially when you cannot see the path in which you are to take. Obedience requires great faith. The Bible discusses several men and women who were obedient and disobedient. Adam and Eve disobeyed God when they ate of the fruit. Abraham obeyed God when he went to sacrifice his son Issac. Once you know your purpose or understand what God wants you to do, you must follow through. We were all created to bring glory to God. We are created to go and make disciples of ALL nations according to Matthew 28:20. In Romans 5:19, Paul writes, “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous”. If God opens a door for you, it is important that you obey Him and walk through it despite reservations. God has given you a gift. Go and use it for His glory.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Faithful God

I was really not wanting to go to rehearsal tonight. Actually, I was planning on skipping until I received a text from the Teresa reminding me of rehearsal. As I was pondering whether I would go, God already knew why I needed to be there. In our lives, we struggle with multiple challenges. Some are simple challenges that with time and prayer...will pass. Others are more challenging. Tonight, Teresa challenged me with a statement she shared with the group. She said something like, “The reason we often quit something is because of the is easier to quit”. We have a faithful God and He has placed us in that spot for a reason. When we quit, we are giving in to the challenge and might miss out on great opportunities. Reflecting back on my past, I have went through multiple job changes that have prepared me for where I am today. However, I often wonder, what opportunities or blessings I missed out because I didn’t trust in the Faithful God, who sustains us. I am reminded of David and his struggles and challenges he faced. David always looked to God and poured his heart out before God. In Psalms 71:22, David writes “I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God;I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel”. I’m really at a unique place in my life. My current job is the job that I have had the longest. I have been most content with my current occupation of teaching. However, things have been challenging and I’ve been questioning my effectiveness. This year has been plagued by more frustrating days then what I would call successful days. I have pondered moving on. After tonight and Teresa’s insight on our faithful God, I am going to push on and push through this challenge. I am eager to see what God is going to do as I persevere through the challenges of daily life.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Conforming to this world is very easy due to the society that exists. Our society is an instant gratification society that is selfish. God blessed each and everyone of us with a gift or talent. We are supposed to use the gift that God gave us to the best of our ability and to bring glory and honor to God. In Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will”. To use your gift for God is using your body as a “living sacrifice”. Focus on God’s will for you life, let Him use you to transform lives without conforming to this world.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Oh Vacation...I Need a Break!

Note to the Reader:
Do not take this the wrong way I love my job...I just need a break...With that we go! Oh vacation...where are you? Why are you hiding? Where have you gone? I need to see you soon. Kind of wishing I would have seen you a couple of weeks ago during the wonderful ice storm we had. Instead I was running around making sure my pipes didn’t freeze at my house. I am so ready for the sand between my toes and total relaxation as the wind blows and the waves hit the shoreline. I cannot wait to feel the warm sun on my skin and smell the salty ocean air. Oh, vacation! Things just got a little better. No additional work load because of classes. Now to adjust the remaining tasks. many days until we meet again...please count with, two, three days...forget that idea you are too far away...more like 158, 159, or 160 days... Proverbs 19:23 says: “The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble”.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Expanding Your Territory

What does it mean to expand your territory? Could it simply mean getting out of your comfort zone? Does territory mean “horizons” or the way you look at things? Is Jabez referring to expanding his geographic area/property? Was he referring to a certain skill or talents? In 1 Chronicles 4:10, Jabez prays a very simple prayer. “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.“

Jabez’ life was changed. This short but powerful verse has changed many lives. In my life, I can relate to “expanding my territory” as expanding my horizons (through travel) and the way I think about things. I was given the opportunity to visit over three countries and nearly 28 states in the last ten years. During my travels, I have experienced different cultures and God’s beautiful creation. In August of 2010, I finished a master’s degree in Global Studies. The classes opened my mind to a new way of thinking. I often find myself looking at world events with a different set of eyes.

The beauty of this prayer found in 1 Chronicles is the last part, “and God granted his request”. Jabez asked and God answered and blessed him. God answers prayer.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Purposeful Listener

Why is it so difficult to slow our minds down enough to listen or think about nothing? I was recently reading a study by Dr. Charles Stanley that discussed listening to God. Stanley discussed the difference between a passive and purposeful listener. These are two different types of listeners. A passive listener is just “there” with little or no plan to implement what he or she hears during a sermon, lesson, or meditation time. A purposeful listener comes to church with the intention of listening and applying the sermon or lesson heard. As discussed in an earlier writing, we must not only pray to God, but we must listen for his direction and guidance. If we are not purposeful in our listening, we may miss out on what direction God wants us to know. David writes in Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Being still and listening for God’s direction is the first step in becoming a purposeful listener versus a passive listener.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quiet...Time to Listen

Why is it so hard to listen, but so easy to speak? As a teacher, I see that students have a difficult time with this. They may say that they are listening or may even look it. As a parent, our children have difficulty listening. Prayer is our direct communication to God, the Creator of the universe. Often times, actually, most times, I find myself asking for things and thanking Him for things, but take no time to listen what He has to say. Speaking is only one side of communication. To truly understand and participate in a relationship, you have to listen. The Bible on many occasions discusses the importance of listening. In John 10, John compares our relationship to sheep and a shepherd. In John 10:3, Jesus says: “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” Jesus is talking about a shepherd leading the sheep. The sheep (us) need to listen to the shepherd’s (Jesus) voice to be kept safe and heading in the right direction. For us to keep on our path towards heaven, we must also listen to the Good Shepherd.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In the Midst of Change

Another long day. I find myself once again In the the midst another change...a good change. More time to write and focus on my teaching job and family. Change can be scary. Change can be unpredictable. Change can be good. Change can be bad. Change makes me yell. Change makes me cry. Change makes me laugh. In Philippians 4:10-12 Paul writes, "I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I should be used to it by now. Change happens everyday and in my life change is not a stranger. He is my best friend. OK, that statement may be stretching it a little. Change has been prevalent most of my adult life. Change asks me questions and I try to answer. Change makes me think and makes my brain hurt. Change makes me react. So, why do people not like change? Change makes me uncomfortable, but I say I like change. Right? Often times, change = confrontation. Confrontation + me= me not liking change. So, in the midst of change I am pushing forward and focusing on things despite the confrontations that might occur. Margaret Mead once said, “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My New Word Overwhelmingness

When is it a good time to take a break from things? I am coining/creating a new word. The word is overwhelmingness. Feelings of "overwhelmingness" sometimes invade the space of my ever increasing schedule. Overwhelmingness stresses me out and sometimes makes me grouchy. When does it stop? When should it end? The chaos of additional tasks...additional meetings...additional jobs. During times of excessive "overwhelmingness" one must ask, "what or who is my priority"? In 2nd Corinthians 8:5, Paul writes "And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us". Paul's writing is stating we must FIRST give ourselves to the Lord. Are the extras necessary? Is it worth it? Why is it so hard to say NO!?!? Pushing...Striving...and Desiring to grow in my a point of where I'm exhausted from the endless thinking that occurs within my mind. Saying no to things would be a HUGE start, but I hate to miss out on opportunities that might give me experience for a future door that might open. "Overwhelmingness"--is the feeling of thoughts overcrowding the brain and stifling the creativity of a professional.