What is the one thing you want to do before the sun goes down today?
With one kid already a grown-up and 2 more just about to enter their teens, I am milking up the moments I have with them in this stage of their lives. I recently went with my ladies to the closest beach to catch a sunset. As I watched them let the end of the shorebreak touch their toes, I realized that I still get to the watch them play.
I was formulating my list of “still get to’s” to maintain a thankful heart. I don’t know of any scientific studies to support the benefits of being thankful. I just know from experience that having a grateful heart is good for the soul. I know you have experienced the same thing.
I still get to see my children play at the beach. I still get to sit with my wife and talk about a tv show. I still get to drive a car that works. I still get to eat a couple of fish tacos with a co-worker because that means that I am employed. Since I do have a job, I get to get ready for work and take a shower as warm or cool as I want it.
You get where I am going with this? Having a healthy perspective of your life means you’re likely to have a healthy soul. A healthy soul contributes to your overall well-being. God’s Word says so in 3 John 1:2,
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”
Now it’s your turn. What are your “I still get to’s?”
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
A poem for all hearts this Valentine’s Day…
A word to the young,
Yours can be fooled
Usually when you’re foolish
Wreckless and never ruled.
A word to those who are gray,
Before you lay to rest
Stop pining for yesterdays
And make today your best.
A word for the lonely,
Don’t be offended by my tone
Sharing your journey is a choice
So is staying alone.
A word to the lost,
Open your eyes
And commit to find your way
Instead of living on lies.
A word to those who are filled,
Help us sift the truth from the tales
Warn us about chasing after empty dreams
And remind us that love never fails.
Fishing can be a joy. It can also be very frustrating. Part of fishing is failing to catch a fish. Does it keep us from fishing? For many people, including me, yes, I admit.
Failure is a part of life. Some failures hurt more than others. Losing a pick up basketball game may not hurt as much as losing a business venture. Losing a friend’s phone number may not hurt as much as losing a friendship. Divorce, termination of employment, failed investments are just a few of many events that we may experience. They can be devastating, and the effects can last a lifetime.
If you’re like me you’ve been told since you were a small child these words, “Don’t give up. That’s actually Bible talk. Proverbs 24:16 says, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again..”
First, call it like it is. If it’s a failure, then that’s what it is. Humility is the antidote for denial. Denial may be an automatic first response. Take the time to thoughtfully own it. Own your mistakes and misjudgments. Wouldn’t you agree that most failures are the result of self-inflicted wounds? If you’re like me, most of my mistakes aren’t really mistakes. They are results of poor judgement and decisions against wisdom. If so, then “man up.” Own it.
Second, draw out the lessons to keep yourself from repeating the errors. Most likely, your issue is a heart issue not a thinking issue. As a person gets skilled in fishing, he switches to a different bait when he realizes the current bait isn’t working. It’s probably time to switch your method of doing things.
Next, make a plan to make a comeback. Be determined to comeback. Then plan it out. Get counsel from friends and mentors who can tell it to you straight. It may not be the exact same endeavor as the one that failed. It may not be the same relationship that you once valued. Count it a comeback.
If you don’t go fishing you won’t catch a fish. Be willing to fail before you succeed. Failure is part of the process. Those you fish know this very well.
To get some divine inspiration read about how Jesus restored Peter even though Peter denied even knowing Jesus when Peter was confronted about his relationship with Jesus. Peter had previously claimed that he would lay his life down for Jesus. He willfully failed Jesus. Jesus already planned to give Peter a second chance. Don’t you love second chances? You can read this account in the John 21 here https://www.bible.com/bible/116/JHN.21.nlt
Your feedback is important. What is your call to action? What are you going to do that’s different. It’s time to make a comeback.
Don’t DIY Your Life. DIWG. Do it with God.
As I watched this elderly man walking the streets of L.A., I remembered a Jewish Proverb:
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. ~Proverbs 16:9 NKJV
We were never meant to do this journey alone. DIY home projects or car repairs are great. I just fixed my toilet this morning by looking on YouTube. It took me 2 minutes! Don’t DIY your life.
God has blessed us with a free will and a creative mind to take amazing adventures and accomplish great deeds, but He had always intended for us to be in a relationship with Him. In that relationship with Him, we can see the world with a wider lens. We can see the bigger picture. We can find His purpose for us.
I can start with a simple prayer today, “God, show me the way I should go today. I want to know you and your purpose for me.” It’s possible that seemingly nothing earth-shattering will change for you immediately afterwards. However, it’s more about yielding to the One who supplies the very air you breathe.
This is what Jesus taught his followers about the daily things we worry about.
“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.’
Read more in context here https://www.bible.com/bible/116/LUK.12.22-31
Don’t DIY your life. DIWG. That is, Do It With God.
“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.”
Just a thought form a portion of Scripture found in Matthew 10:30.
If the Creator of this universe knows you to the level of detail that He knows the exact number of hairs that you have on your head, do you think that it’s possible that God cares for you?
“Let God’s promises shine on your problems.” ~Corrie ten Boom
Corrie and her family helped many Jews escape the Nazi holocaust by hiding them in her house. Corrie actively helped refugees in the Dutch underground until she was eventually caught by the Nazis and imprisoned for her actions. She survived a depth of darkness at the hands of other men that few of us will ever experience.
Here’s one excerpt of Scripture that comes from the songbook of David, who was no stranger to challenges. He wrote in Psalm 103:2-5,
“Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!”
I can only imagine that these words may have been some of those promises Corrie shined on her challenges as she risked her life hiding refugees, including the time she spent imprisoned in a concentration camp.
Take some time today to look up some promises to shine on your life today. You already have a few to start with. We may not be destined to hide refugees in our home, but there are people you can bless today with kindness and generosity.
Feel free to add your own promises that you think will help other readers in the comments below.
Look at your watch. This will be your reminder that trials are temporary. Sometimes, you even have a say-so in how long the trial will last. Storms don’t last forever. All storms end at some point.
Look at the bigger picture. It is way too easy to keep your head caught up in the crisis or trouble. Take a step back and choose too look at your storm with a bigger perspective. Make a decision to thoughtfully respond instead of reacting out of emotion.
Look around for others. You are not alone. You were never meant to do life alone. As much as you would could claim that your situation is unique, most likely a family member or a friend has gone through something like your situation and can provide a listening ear or encouragement.
Look up. The first opportunity that you have, go outside. View the expanse of the sky. Feel the breeze on your face, Listen for signs of life even if it’s a car driving by. Your sigh can be one of relief instead of despair. We all wish there was a magic wand to wave over and evaporate every challenge in life. There isn’t, but there’s good news.
The Scriptures say that there is a God who sees you and knows you by name. If you have never done this before, lift your hands towards Heaven and open up your hands and ask God to take the heaviness that you are under. If you have never asked God to help you, then ask. If your challenges have a name or names, like names of kids, say their names verbally. God knows them.
Allow yourself the chance to be surprised. The result may not be an instant miracle. However, when you are the one who changes in the midst of the storm, then the victory will last way after the storm is done.
This year is all about embracing the bad words. You know like “self-discipline” and “consistency” and “follow-through.” Yeah, those are all bad words to me. Yet, I am embracing them and not letting go until they become part of me.
What is it for you? Exercise? Eating? Money? Relationships? Work? It’s probably all of those things for me… and them some.
I’m starting with my private devotional time with God. I figured if God gives me 24 hours in a day, I can give Him 24 minutes of my undivided attention. More on that later. I figured that I need to get this part right before anything else.
If you have been following my blog I apologize for the long layoff. I’m back and planning to be “consistently” posting at least twice a week. Stay tuned!