Motivational: Winning In Life Mindset

Today I am writing about having a winning mindset in life.  The definition of winning is to gain victory, overcome an opponent, gain status or conquer something or someone.  As a career football, wrestling and softball coach I have spent the better part of my adult life trying to win sporting events.  I have had my fair share of victories along the way and accomplished some pretty amazing goals.  

However, I have had tough losses along the way and learned as much, maybe more from those defeats about dealing with life and its shortcomings.  As a player I had the opportunity to be on some really good teams one in particular in college that was undefeated and a championship program.  As a high school coach I have been part of state caliber programs, coached on conference and regional title teams.  

On goal I have as a head coach is to win the ultimate prize, and that is a team state title in football or wrestling.  I have won conference titles and had numerous conference, regional and a few state championship caliber wrestlers.  However, the elusive team title has remained a target of mine to this day.  As I head into the later years of my coaching career (retired from football) for now in 2018 and am still an active head wrestling coach.  

I have work to do and am seeking that team title which would top things off for me and allow me to walk away on my terms and completely satisfied with how things ended. However, if that elusive team title never comes, then I will be OK going forward knowing that I did about as much as I could to gain that title, but it may not be in the formula or plan of my life.

Winning in sports and life are very similar as both take dedication, discipline and determination to overcome obstacles, bumps in the road and setbacks to continue to get up everyday and fight for your goals.  As a career teacher, coach and mentor I have kept the same type of plan for success in work, family, life and spiritual and so far it has been rewarding and a fun journey.  One of wins, losses, hills, bumps, straight roads, dirt roads, valleys and mountains.  

The only way to have gotten through all those was to do the three things mentioned above.  You can google winning at life or sports and get a million ideas, thoughts, plans and actions to follow to be successful.  Below are my four things I like to do to pursue my goals, dreams and the opportunities God gives me.

1- Know where you are and where you want to be.

2- Make a plan for success, analyze it and tweak it as needed to stay on track.

3- Focus on your mental, physical, spiritual, work, life, family, relationship and other goals with dedication, determination and discipline.  

4- Do not try anything without God in the plan.  Make sure to give it to him, pray for guidance and strength to overcome and battle to get where you want to be.

Lastly, never quit on yourself, your family or your dreams and goals, staying on top will be even harder to maintain.  At that point you have to focus on the three D’s above even more so and know that a fall from the top may occur, but once you have reached that pinnacle of success in life, sports, jobs, relationships, and spirituality no-one can take that away from you.  No-one can slight your accomplishments because you know what it took to get there.  Winning at life is fun and is an adventure.  Embrace your gifts, opportunities and seek them with vigor using the three D’s.  Pray to God for guidance and watch what happens!

Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

2nd Timothy 2:5, An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

Lord, make me a winner at life.  Make me a winner with my family, friends and relationships.  Help me to focus through you on the three D’s to become what I know you want me to be.  Amen

Faith: Serving Others Above Yourself

Serving Others Above Yourself

Serving others is something many people do.  I grew up watching my parents serve the community in various capacities for the majority of their adult lives.  I watched the impact they had on people and saw the joy they got out of living a servant based life.  My dad was a police officer and he served the people diligently.  My mom was a school custodian and cafeteria worker and she worked so hard to prepare the food and serve it to the kids.  She always spoke so kindly to every kid, every day and they loved her for that.  We all have the opportunity to serve others and put them above us. Christ called us to serve others and he lived a life of service in his short time on earth.  

Jesus prioritized us over his own needs and wants.  He was the most powerful man to ever walk the earth.  He could have walked right away from the cross and did what he wanted to do.  Instead he gave the ultimate example of having a servants heart.  He gave his life so we could have eternal life.  I learned to serve from a young age as my parents would have me and my brothers going around the neighborhood mowing yards, plowing fields and taking out the trash for elderly folks.  They taught us the value of people and how special one small act of kindness at a time made such a huge impact on other lives.

My parents worked all day and served on most nights at church, school, ballfields and helping people in the community.  My dad would police all day and then ride around after work and fix pipes, flooring and roofs for people on his route that could not do it themselves.  My mom would always help her fellow custodians out so they could get home a little early.  She would cook for people, serve as a church leader and clean people’s houses for free.  Watching them serve made me want to serve and when both passed away people lined up for hours to honor them.  

To see that example made me want to set the same example for my kids.  I have served for over thirty years as a coach, mentor, teacher and community leader in an attempt to be half the person my parents were.  A servant’s heart is open, it is loving, it is unselfish and it is love.  God is love, so what better way can we honor him than by doing small things for others, that add up to huge things for the world.  I tell my students all the time to serve others, love people, respect others and honor them.  My dad once told me “to find something I loved and do it without hope of nothing more than changing lives doing it”.  He was a wise man and my mom was a shining star that impacted so many lives.  I honor them with this blog entry today!  

1- Are you willing to serve others and put them above you?

2- Are you seeking God’s guidance in your servant life?

Romans 12:11, Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

1st Peter 4:10, As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

Lord, help me to live a life of servanthood.  One that shines your light into the world and makes people’s lives better one small moment at time.  Amen

Faith: Do Not Hide Your Light

Do Not Hide Your Light

Today we are talking about standing for right and not hiding your light.  What light am I talking about, you may ask?  I am referring to the light of Jesus Christ which is in all of us and only shows if we have chosen him over darkness.  I remember growing up and singing the song “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Going to Let it Shine” in Sunday school and during youth concerts.  

Last night I was listening to the bible on audio and it was talking about being a light for good and fighting darkness in our lives.  The challenge in today’s world is to try and hide your light for fear that you may be tagged as a Christian or a believer.  America has become so comfortable with sin that millions are refusing to do the right thing and show their light.

Matthew 5:16, states that “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”. We are called to be warriors for God and to spread his word, love others and care for people. As we approach the end times we are beginning to see the changes predicted in the bible as people are now turning away from God in favor of sin.  This new culture of “me” and what I want is breeding chaos, corruption, violence, death and fear among those that are of the light.  

John 8:12, states that Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  As I heard this it made me think of the chaos that has ensued in America lately with riots, looting, violence, murder and destruction of towns and cities all in the name of ideology.  

These activities are driven by sin and include the things God sees as an abomination and a path that eventually will lead people to destroying their own lives, their family and communities.  I refuse to hide my light and I refuse to give into that type of immoral behavior that is sinful in nature and only serves the purpose of evil and Satan.

To let our light shine the brightest and best, we must feel comfortable with our relationship with God.  We must nourish that relationship with God and fight for what is right.  I say what is right and mean what is biblical.  I am not talking about human wants or needs, but a much deeper purpose of showing others through your actions, beliefs and behaviors that they too can show God’s light to the world.  Do not sabotage your opportunity to shine for others by falling prey to the devil and his sinful human pleasures.  Becoming a light for others and not hiding it takes dedication, discipline and determination to be different from those that choose sin.

1- How is your light working, does it need new batteries and a recharge?

2- How can you show your family, friends, co-workers and strangers that your light is based on love, kindness and other biblical based principles?

3- Will you stand for right and shine your light or cower to sin and human nature?

James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded”.

Matthew 5: 14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”.

Lord, draw me near to you that my light of Christ will shine for all to see.  Let them see in me a light of hope, love and kindness.  Cleanse me of my sin and allow me to show others how to seek your salvation.  Amen

Faith: Random Acts of Kindness

Today I am writing about the random acts of kindness that people show one another and how they can make a huge impact on that persons day.  Being kind is something we all like to see in people and it shows that one has a love for their family, friends, neighbors and strangers.  I can think of some examples of random acts of kindness where people have done something that seemed small to them, but was a huge boost to me at the time.  Examples of  this are below:

1- A good friend had someone come mow my yard while I was at home recovering from a heart procedure.

2- A random person (more than once) has let me turn into traffic on a packed road risking someone honking the horn at him or her for doing it.

3- People saying hello, smiling, and asking how you are today.

4- Kind words on face book, emails, and text messages that lift my spirit.

I did some research so I will not lay claim to being a guru on random acts of kindness and built a simple list of ways we can all be kinder to one another.  

  1. Smile at people
  2. Hold the door for others
  3. Give an honest compliment (nothing creepy guys)
  4. Thank someone who you appreciate
  5. Be a good listener
  6. Offer your help to someone
  7. Ask the person who’s serving you how their day is going
  8. Treat someone to a coffee or tea
  9. Let someone go past you in the grocery queue
  10. Send flowers or chocolates to a friend out of the blue

I am sure you could come up with hundreds more on your own.  So my challenge for the day is to go forward and try a few of these this week.  Watch how random acts of kindness can change both your and the other persons perspective on life. I see it all the time and it warms my heart to see how kindness changes individuals, families, communities and countries.  

I have another that I think is the biggest random act of kindness you could do for anyone.  That is to pray for them.  You see someone struggling, suffering, hurting, in a bad spot, fearing, acting out, being rude, fighting, arguing, and all the other things that we face because of sin in our daily lives.  Pray for them, lift them up, hold them in your heart and think about their plight.

Galatians 5:22 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness”.

Proverbs 21:21, “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor”.

Faith: Traveling The Windy Roads With God

In our life we have traveled down many winding roads not knowing exactly what lies ahead.  Most of these roads were paved, smooth and relatively straight.  Then there are the dirt roads, rocky roads, hilly roads, curvy roads and others that are exciting to travel on, but also make  you nervous as to just where you will end up and how long it will take you to get there.  We have traveled the mountain roads of Western North Carolina for many years and one of those we prefer is the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It is a beautiful windy road with awesome views, nature at its finest and so relaxing to the mind, body and soul.  

My wife and I go up every October and ride the parkway to see the tree foliage change colors, look for waterfalls and spend time in Price Park (one of our favorites).  This October we decided to come back down the mountain on highway 221 and man it was a windy, curvy road with great views.  We discovered some new waterfalls, rock formations and places to take updated family pictures.  Traveling those windy roads is a cleansing for us, it is something that brings us back to nature, God and an enlightenment to our souls. 

When Cindy and I met almost thirty years ago, we took a trip to the mountains and I showed her all the places I loved to spend time at on the weekends..  We went to Grandfather Mountain and looked out across God’s landscape and just took it in. We took some awesome pictures that we love to look at to this day.  Traveling those windy mountain roads each year takes us back to our younger days when our relationship was young and growing.  A time when our relationship was starting, growing and anew.  

I titled this one Traveling the Windy Roads with God because he has been with us the whole time.  Just as Cindy and I developed our relationship by nurturing and loving each other, God has done the same for all of us.  He travels the roads of life with us to make sure we can cross those rough, dirty, dusty, windy, curvy, bumpy and hilly roads in life.  He helps guide us in deciding which way to go when we hit a crossroads.  Taking those trips and just guessing which to take often leads us to a dead end or somewhere we do not want to be in life.

Our journey in life and with God comes with uncertainty, but we do know that God is with us and he knows our final destination and purpose.  Even when we don’t know where we are going, God’s guidance in our direction is taking place on these trips.  Seek his mercy, grace and salvation to allow God to take you on a journey you never would have imagined.  A trip that has wonderful sights, visions, dreams and beautiful outcomes.  Take time to travel through life’s journey and ride with God as your compass, your map and your travel host.  Enjoy the ride and live a full life knowing God is in control!

Matthew 3:3, For this is he of whom Isaiah the prophet said, The voice of one crying in the waste land, Make ready the way of the Lord, make his roads straight.

Luke 3:5, Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be leveled. The crooked ways will be made straight, and the rough roads will be made smooth.

Lord, please be my travel guide.  Be my compass and show me the way to a wonderful life filled with vigor, relevance and safe travels.  Amen

Faith: Spending Time With God

Today I am writing about spending time with God and growing our spiritual connection with him. He seeks us out and we need to seek him in return.

Do you ever just stop and spend time with God?  I try to pray three times per day morning, noon and night to make sure I speak with God.  Sometimes I fail at that goal because life can get in the way.  The quantity of prayer in my opinion is not greater than the quality.  Doing ti three times a day allows me to focus on the things I need guidance on.  

Our spiritual needs can change in a minute, an hour or a day.  Give those to Fod and know that he has heard those and will action them for you.  God wants us to spend time with him, seeking his guidance for our lives, relationships and jobs. My favorite way to seek time with God is to go out behind my house and sit near a huge tree in the shade and talk to God.  

Maybe you have have your “quiet time” or devotional time or whatever we call it to seek guidance.  When you do seek God do it with conviction, with an open heart, mind and soul.  Do not half heartedly pray for things that are wants , but go after your needs.  Allow Hod to work through those and lead you to a finalization with them.  

Maybe you do not seek to speak with God daily, opting to only seek or call on him when we need him.  I am guilty of that myself, and work hard to avoid doing that.  God seeks us constantly and is consistent in sending us a still small voice. A dear friend of mine that is very spiritual and gifted once told me that “God shows us signs in small ways, doing small things as the day goes on”.  

With this I say we all look for God in our daily lives through small but meaningful events.  Could be emotional, physical or spiritual movements.  Might be someon holding the door for you or someone allowing you to pull into dead locked traffic.  Or it could be in a big way as well.  Seek him out as he seeks you and look, listen and learn how to connect to God in spirit.  

Deep down inside we desperately desire to connect with our Creator. And He wants to connect with us. Figuring out how to do that seems complicated, but it easier than we think. We have to get quiet and pray to God. After all, God is huge, mysterious and greater than us. He’s everywhere around us, yet we cannot see him.  

You may sit down with your friends and have a cup of coffee most days.  Do that with God, grab yourself daily brew, sit down and talk to God as you enjoy that warm cup of coffee.  Grab your lunch, go to a nice park and eat and think about God.  He thinks about us and loves us to come to him spoken and unspoken. 

Spending time with God daily allows us to tap into his wisdom, mercy and grace.  In return we get his love, guidance and direction in our daily lives.  That is how we see our lives change in ways that can seem hard to believe. We become more like God’s children as we spend time with him.  

Here are a few ways to spend time with God daily:

1- Schedule a set time and add an alarm in your calendar.  Do not avoid it, silence it or skip it.  Make God a priority. 

Would God silence or put you off?

2- Be consistent in those prayers and be open to building that relationship.  Just as your spouse, children and friends matter, so should God.

God is consistent, will you be?

3- Set goals for spiritual growth.  What do you want to accomplish with God.

You set goals for work, health, marriages, etc.  Don’t you think setting a goal for God is just as important?

4- Be hopeful and faithful in your time with God.  

Christ often went to solitary places to pray (see Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12). Christ was the most powerful person to ever walk the earth, he was born of God and still sought him out.  Be like Christ and seek time with God, grow in spirit and abound with life.

Lord, I pray that you help me to find time for you. Quality time that is important and a priority. Seek me as I sell you and let’s connect at a higher level than ever before. Amen!

Faith: Finding Inspiration in Gods Words

Finding Inspiration in God’s Word

Finding inspiration in our lives at times can be very hard. Being inspired to pursue our goals and accomplish them is not an easy task. Many things will get in the way and set us back as we seek to inspire others as well. God inspires people, his believers and followers by giving us words of inspiration in the bible.

He declares his word to be true and offers us the most inspirational event in human history as proof. God gave us his only son Jesus Christ as a gift to inspire us to be more like him. What more inspiration do we need to see that God is perfect and holds the key to all our success.

We have to never give up on our dreams, goals and visions for ourselves.  You must be unstoppable and believe you are going to accomplish your goals.  We inspire others by acting, behaving, leading and guiding people in a positive manner that shines God’s light into the world.  

God inspires through his acts of mercy, grace and kindness.  As you seek to inspire and be inspired, surround yourself with people that inspire you.  More importantly, seek God’s leadership to inspire you to be a better person, better Christian, better husband, father, mother, brother, wife and all the other things you seek to be.

  1. Are you willing to be inspired by God’s words?
  2. Are you willing to ask God to inspire you and grow your inner spirit?

Isaiah 40:31, But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

John 16:13, When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

God, I pray that you inspire me to be better everyday at all the things I seek to accomplish. I know that I can do this with you by my side, inspiring me to inspire others. Amen

Faith: Christ Like Love

Christ Like Love

The Bible tells us that God is love, he is the perfect source of love and care that we need.  Jesus came to the earth to show us the ultimate love by giving his life for others.  God’s love is different and as humans it is hard to understand that level of commitment and love.  God made us in his image because he loved us so much.  He knew us before we were born, knows the hairs on our head and the very intricate details of our spirit.  Christ talked about love in his teachings and showed the ultimate love of all.  He gave so that others could have, he sacrificed so that others could have eternal life.

God created mankind out of love and they became so wrapped up in themselves that he had to sacrifice a piece of himself to make things right.  God loves unconditionally and is constant.  His love is unwavering and never ceases to amaze me. Humans on the other hand somehow fall in and out of love.  Marriages dissolve, relationships end and they part ways.  People hurt one another mentally and physically instead of loving each other.  They walk away from love using excuses as they go.  They find a reason not to love someone anymore.  Imagine how bad things would be if God decided he had enough and walked away, scary huh?

We throw the word love around like it’s nothing, “I love this” “I love that”, “I love those”, etc.  Do we really love those things or has the concept of true love become a human thing that is conditional based on how we act, treat, respect and deal with others.  We often have to love people, but let them go because they are toxic to us.  God never lets go, he is always seeking a relationship with us. Love takes patience, time and energy. How do we as Christians show the love that Christ did to all people?  God seeks us out and desires us, we should seek him out and desire his grace, mercy and love.

We in return do not seek his love or make that constant connection until we need it.  We are quick to ask for God for help and his concern when things are going bad, but often forget he is there all the time.  He is mighty, he is wonderful, he is amazing.  Can we become more loving and unconditional in our relationships?  I think we can but it has to be a Christ Like love, a love that is pure with no underlying conditions, wants or needs.  It has to be a love that endures all things, all of time and encompasses Godly values.

If we can accomplish that as a human race, then we will also be able to find God’s love in return.  Pray for God to show you how to love vigorously. With tenacity, without limitations and then you can find “True Love” through Jesus’ spirit. God’s word remains a steadfast, true source of knowledge on how to love one another. Read and meditate on this list of scriptures about love from the Holy Bible and begin seeing the change in your heart and mind that comes from pursuing selfless love!

1st Corinthians 13: 4-8, Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:1, See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Lord, help us to see how true love works in our lives. Help us to have a Christ like love for our brothers, sisters, family, friends and everyone that we encounter daily in our lives. Amen

Faith: Stand With God

2nd Timothy 3: 1-5 , “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people”.

As we have now entered a time in mankind’s history where the devil begins to have his way with the lost and is able to mislead people with promises that cannot be kept. The saved will also will tempted just as Jesus was by the devil. The devil offered Jesus everything but he refused and “stood” with his father. Worldly feelings, wants and needs will take over peoples hearts and begin a time of trouble. Those that remain faithful to the Lord will be revealed to him and will rise above the lost and shine the light of heaven to others. Jesus will push his word to all corners of the world proclaiming his coming kingdom and it will be the last chance for redemption and salvation.

Those that look away and seek the worldly way will perish and those that stand with God will have eternal life through the blood of Jesus Christ. God is in control so do not worry or suffer as the devil will have his due. This will come to pass as written by many in both the old and new testament. His return will shake the world, trumpets will sound, a light like no other will shine and his crown will be restored.

Proverbs 6: 16-19 “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers”. God is in control! Stay strong of faith, seek God’s counsel and Open your eyes and heart to him. Do not be deceived by the Wolf in Sheep’s clothing.

Matthew 24: 4-10, “And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.”

Relationships: Offering Forgiveness to Others and Ourselves

Offering Forgiveness to Others and Ourselves

Let’s talk about forgiveness today.  The definition of forgiveness is to exonerate, forgive, excuse and participate in the process of forgetting a wrong someone has done to us.  The pain and hurt that people cause is real and painful. Living with bitterness and the emotional baggage of unforgiving someone can destroy you from the inside out.  It slowly eats away at your soul and hardens your heart.  It makes you question humanity and blinds us to see the good in people.

Now let’s look at God’s definition and word about forgiveness.  In Ephsians 4:32 the word says “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Offering forgiveness is very hard for most people to do because we have been wronged by family, our spouse, friends and strangers.  When someone hurts us, says something out of the way or attacks us, human nature is to get mad and take it offensive.  We take it to heart and that builds up within us taking away our inner peace.

Offering forgiveness to ourselves might be even harder.  At times we make mistakes and hurt someone we love dearly and see the pain we caused to that person.  We internalize those emotions, dwell on them and it can drive us crazy.  Other times we hurt someone and honestly plead to them for forgiveness and they just seem so angry and refuse to allow forgiveness to us.  That is where God stepped in and offered forgiveness when his son Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for all.  

Matthew 6:14 states that we must first forgive those that hurt us before we can be forgiven by God.  “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” When we finally offer to forgive others, we are not saying what they did to us was OK.  But, we are at that point beginning the process of letting go of it’s hold on us.

Being unforgiven, holding grudges and showing bitterness is sin on our part.  Forgiveness does not mean that we forget what happened, but it does set us and the person that hurt us free from all that emotional baggage which destroys our spiritual life.  When we are hurt by others or hurt others we must seek forgiveness from God first.  

Colossians 3:13, Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Lord, please help me to be a better forgiver.  Allow me to take things with a grain of salt and cast them away.  I pray for those I have wronged and for myself to be able to offer others grace, mercy and forgiveness as you did to us.  Amen

Faith: The Foundation for A Successful Life

The Foundation of Life

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus spoke about having humility, love and living a prayerful life.  He addressed the masses on how to live a full Christian life and what it took to meet that standard.  Let’s think about this for a minute.  The anointed one, God’s only son Jesus stood there and spoke to the crowd giving them the ultimate message and knowledge.  This was actually God’s word directly from the source of life.  What an experience that must have been, Jesus telling a parable right there to those people.

I can picture the scene in my head and it is one of my favorite passages in the bible.  Jesus taught that following stated religious laws and methods did not meet the standards that God had set forth.  God set the gold standard by sending Jesus to earth to witness to mankind, die and ascend back to heaven to serve forever at God’s side.  The pharisees and their followers were not happy with this and didn’t buy it.  What they taught was in direct opposition of God’s will and word.  Following a process or procedure does not make you holy or Christlike.

Jesus directly stated that righteousness is attained by deciding to make an internal decision to have a personal relationship with God.  You must acknowledge that Jesus is the savior of all sinners.  He is worthy of all praise, honor and your commitment.  Question is, are we worthy of his honor and commitment?  

In the sermon on the mount Jesus spoke of the parable of the two houses.  One which was built on a weak foundation and when the storm came it crumbled away.  The other house was built on solid rock.  It was built on a solid foundation and it withstood the storm.  Jesus is that foundation we must have in our lives or we will crumble in the storm.  Build a relationship based on Jesus as the rock, Jesus as the foundation and watch what happens.  He can help you endure all of life’s storms and overcome them without fear.

I wrote a book not long ago and I spoke about many life events that would have crushed me along the way.  I talked about disappointments, injuries, deaths and all kinds of things that we face as humans.  I always leaned on Jesus, but had I not had him I would have perished mentally, physically and spiritually during those times.  Give Jesus your heart, tell the world what he has done for you and be faithful that he will be your foundation in life.  

  1. Is Jesus your foundation of life?
  2. Will you allow God to change you so life will not rule you?

Jesus, thank you for being my rock of life.  Thank you for the foundation you gave us to stand on by giving your life for me and all the sinners of the world.  I pray your spirit spreads globally and becomes the rock of life for all mankind before it is too late. Amen

Matthew 5:1-7:29 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Faith: The Tree of Life

In my backyard stands a grand pecan tree.  The tree is estimated to be 200-250 years old.  It is rooted very deep into the ground and has roots going out into the yard eight to ten feet long.  This tree is about ten feet around at the base and splits off four ways as it breaks into a perfect summer or fall day hangout.  The tree has huge twelve to fifteen inch limbs that stick out thirty to forty feet and offer the best shade on a hot summer day.   I like to stop underneath it and just sit there when I am mowing to feel the cool breeze under that huge canopy and talk to God. 

It has a rope swing, a climbing ladder and limbs that can take you way up in the air.  Below it hangs a nice hammock to lie in and chill out and enjoy the view at night.  What I am describing is not made up, it really is that cool of a tree and place to hang out.  I loved climbing trees as a child and wish I would have had this one when I was younger.  I dare not swing on it now or try to climb.  My bones don’t heal like they used to back in the day.  I also hit the ground much harder and cannot shake it off like I could back in the 1970’s.

I write about this tree because it is rooted so deep and strong enough to take on very high wind storms.  It has survived many storms in the past and stands as a symbol of strength and stature.  I was reading today about God and how he is the tree of life.  God is that solid foundation we need to establish roots in, like that giant pecan tree.  Roots that will withstand all of life’s storms and stand tall through hard times.  We must commit to God’s word, attain his wisdom and instruction.  He wants us to attach to his tree and take root.  We grow in spirit like a limb grows off of that huge pecan tree,  

We must set down our roots, and grow over time to be strong, tough and solid in our christian faith.  God anchors us down and leads us with his wisdom, knowledge and love.  Take root into God’s word and set your feet on a solid foundation to walk with God in life.  

God, how great your wisdom is, You are the tree of life, giving us the foundation to set our feet on solid ground and grow spiritually with you.  You are the tree we need to plant, expand and grow as true believers of your grace, mercy and strength.  Amen

Daniel 4:26 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.