Leadership, NASCAR, Small Groups, Training


Relax. Take it easy.  Consider all you have accomplished.  Take pride as you survey your surroundings of comfort.

I have been reading through the book of Deuteronomy of late and am seriously finding it full of life.  Yes, that same book of Deuteronomy found in the Old Testament, the fifth book of the law.  In chapter 8 there is this solemn warning  of having eaten and feeling satisfied.  It feels like Sunday afternoon after chowing down on a wonderful lunch and then lying on the couch preparing for the big game, or better yet, a NASCAR race.  It’s almost heavenly.  Somewhere in the back of your mind you’re thankful for it all, that is to say, your house, your food, your family, your job, your car, your…  Moses warns us as we consider all this (actually he says things like our flocks increasing along with our gold and silver) to be careful that we do not become proud and forget where we came from and Who it is that blesses us with these things.

I like the feeling of “satisfaction” as much as anyone.  It feels like we have accomplished something.  But, when pride becomes part of the equation it’s dangerous.  When we become proud we forget God.  Our focus creeps back to us.  I heard someone say this past week that, in a sense, that’s why we’re made to worship God.  If we do not worship Him, we will worship ourselves and our accomplishments and take satisfaction in what we have built.    There is no greater depth of satisfaction than to follow and obey God.  He keeps life exciting.

Leadership, Prayer, Small Groups


Imagine this picture with me if you will: “That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.”  What was he doing there?  Well, we know He wasn’t checking His email or Facebook page; He wasn’t texting anyone or surfing the web, but I do believe He was conversing with Someone.   I see Him sitting by the lake, admiring His own handiwork as it must have brought back many enjoyable memories of when He was involved in creation with His Father.  He was there when that lake was made and He is now back enjoying the refreshing sights and sounds.  Personally, I don’t think He was “doing” anything; He was simply “being.”  He was detaching from all the business around Him.  The Son of God found renewal sitting by a body of water without a running “to do” list.

Do you take the necessary time to detach?  How often do you detach?  How do you like to detach? Can you stop “doing” long enough to enjoy “being?”  Can you stop comparing yourself long enough to enjoy a restful moment or two?  Do you realize that you cannot do it all?  Are you secure enough to say “no” sometimes?  Recorded in our Lord’s prayer Jesus said to His Father, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”  (John 17:4)  Really?  Was everyone saved, healed, delivered?  I don’t think so, but He had completed that which the Father had asked of Him and now He would detach Himself from his earthly robe.

Detachment will help release you of the stressors of life, it’s why He gave us a Sabbath day.

Small Groups, Training

Dys ease

Have you ever suffered from dys ease?  Today we spell this word disease and use it for almost any malady of sickness.  The original prefix of “dys,”  meaning “not,” simply meant “not at ease.”  Ever been not at ease?  Perhaps daily we encounter situations that bring us to this place we are all too often acquainted with.  Our bodies are like shock absorbers on a car.  Without them, we would feel each and every bump, but with them the ride is smooth.  Long-term stress will actually begin to break down the body, inhibit its ability to absorb the ongoing shocks.  My wife is a nurse and she reveals to me that most of her patients are experiencing some form of major stress in their life, consequently they manifest physical abnormalities with their bodies like migraines, digestive problems, muscle problems and of course nervous conditions.

The Bible agrees with this when it says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down.” Proverbs 12:25.  The Law of Attribution teaches that if we believe something to be stressful, it will be stressful.  How are you handling stress each day?  What do you practice so that your body does not break down under stress?  Have you ever stopped to listen to your self-talk in order to discover what you are thinking prior to feeling stress?  To feel stressed, we must be thinking stressful thoughts.  To think stressful thoughts we must believe that the situation is stress producing.  But Isaiah 26 verse 3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”  Peace of mind through trust, now there’s a thought worth looking into next week.

Leadership, Singles, Small Groups

Fragile Relationships

Recently I was made to realize how fragile life is.  I attended two family gatherings back to back.  One was my natural family and one was my spiritual family.  In both cases, I was able to witness severe hurts; hurts that penetrated deep into the soul.  These were hurts that could destroy permanently or make for a springboard to a life call of healing the wounded.  These were hurts that can cause extreme bitterness and subsequent physical, emotional and spiritual breakdown or a humility that leads to certain depth of character, wisdom and growth.

Which will be chosen?  It’s up to us, really.  We can tell ourselves lies based on one incident the rest of our lives or we can speak the truth of God’s word and His life-giving Spirit over ourselves.  Many choose the former and visit their doctor regularly with migraines, stomach issues, sleeplessness, nervous conditions, blood pressure issues, etc.  While the latter can walk through healing step-by-step as the Holy Spirit leads.  There is no better Counselor (Is. 9:6; John 14:16, 26), no better Healer than this One.  For you see, “In all their distress he too was distressed…”  (Is. 63:9)