What would it take for everything to change in your life?

What would it take for everything to change in your life?

If you could meet with one person, who would it be? The president? A celebrity? The pope? Or maybe a professional athlete? Take a second and dream about the encounter. And then ask yourself an honest question. Would it change anything about your life?

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Why freedom is slipping through your fingers


“Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

After more than a century of slavery and mistreatment, these words were spoken by Martin Luther King Jr. during a rally in Washington, D.C. in 1963. It was a speech that spurred on legislation by Congress to give blacks equal rights to whites, a monumental day in our nation’s history. His words are some of the most famous words ever spoken, but I do have to wonder if the spirit behind them has faded.

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Dead Man Walking

For some time now, I’ve been trying to understand why a majority of guys seem so non-committal in their faith and in church. Their faith in God barely goes past attending church. This perspective is somewhat generalized because I realize there are definitely men who take their faith and service to God seriously. But those guys seem to be rare. From my observation, most guys see faith as something not for them, like it’s boring. Why is this?

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2 ways to E.A.T. better every day

I have a confession. I don’t live my life expecting God to do great things. The way I approach each day is typically unfocused, with an over reliance on “go with the flow” to dictate what I do. I let things happen to me rather than take hold and make things happen.

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My attitude most day is “what happens is what happens”. I rarely live with expectancy. I don’t drive to work, or interact with a friend, or read the Bible, or write, or pray expecting God to do something. No, I allow my self-interest to get in the way. Isn’t that what it boils down to most of the time? Self-interest vs. God-interest? If I can be honest for a moment, I live each day expecting myself to do amazing things. Unfortunately, I lack the ability to do anything amazing because I’m flawed. We all are.

So what can you and I do to change this perspective we approach our lives with? I believe every person wants their life to matter to some degree. We are designed to live with purpose but somewhere along the line we lost touch with the Purpose-Giver. Here are a few ways to reclaim the unique purpose given to each of us, the one which resonates deep in our souls.

1. Realize it’s not about you. This simple phrase is how Rick Warren begins his best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life. “It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness.” I struggle hard with this especially when it comes to my writing. I want what I write to impact people, but I grasp for a gauge on how effective I am at doing that. So I obsess over stats, likes, follows, and retweets. It is easy for my writing to become all about me and the empire I’m trying to build. So I guess at what posts and articles to write that might appeal to my audience instead of writing what’s on my heart. But God’s been reminding me that it’s a gift He gave to be used for HIs purposes. My inspiration needs to come from Him and not my own self-interest driven ideas. What purpose have you been created to do but has been hijacked by self-interest?

2. Start each day with the right perspective. In Acts 4, after Peter and John had been released from the Jewish Council unscathed, the church immediately prayed. But their prayer didn’t start with “keep us safe” like you would think it would. No, it started with a confession of God’s greatness and with truth of who He is and what He’s done. Then the believers asked God for boldness to continue speaking His word. What they did next is what we should do everyday. Start with God. I’m so guilty of jumping into prayer times with a laundry list of what I want. Rarely do I stop to get synced up with God and His agenda. I don’t start my day or a writing session or really anything with Him. The times I do, however, change the trajectory of my day. When I begin with God, I emerge expecting Him to do amazing things. My focus has been shifted from self-interest to God-focus.

Everyone wants to lead a meaningful life, but it looks different for each of us. The only true way to make an impact is to allow God to fill our desires with His desires. By remembering it’s not about you and to start each day with a God-centered perspective so you can enjoy a life full of purpose and joy.

What to do when people let you down


What if I told you that someone important in your life is going to let you down? Probably not much of a surprise. But what if I told you that person would let you down time and again, and even sometimes when you needed them most? How would you handle it? Would your world crash in around you or would you be able to overcome the hurt?

At the time my divorce was going on, someone close to me let me down. It was someone that should’ve been by my side but chose not to be. It was someone who once held my trust and admiration but decided to shred it into tiny pieces. I was heartbroken, disappointed, and angry. The discovery of who I could and couldn’t depend on during the most difficult time of my life pushed me off the ledge. How could I ever forgive this person? Would I ever be able to be in the same room with them ever again? The blackhole of resentment and bitterness had me in its gravitational pull and I didn’t mind one bit. 

But darkness only feels good for so long. I came to realize how much I was hurting myself by harboring these feelings. Author Anne Lamott says “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” Her description of hanging on to hurt most definitely fit me. It was eating me alive and I needed some reconciliation. But at the time, complete reconciliation was not an option because the line of communication had been cut off by both of us. Despite the state of our relationship, I came to realize I had to let go of the hurt and forgive as much as I could on my own. So I did. I laid it down before God in prayer daily for quite a while. Sometimes I picked it back up and carried it. But the more I continued to lay it down, it gradually became easier to leave it there.

Have you had an experience where someone important to you broke your heart? Have you let it go and forgiven them? Or are you sipping on rat poison waiting for them to die? (figuratively speaking of course) I believe there are some crucial steps we must take anytime someone let’s us down. If we don’t, we run the risk of becoming so bitter and miserable we will not be able to enjoy relationships again.

Forgive and forgive again. Let it go, lay it down, and stop picking it back up. I had to come to a place where I forgave regardless of whether or not I ever heard the words “I’m sorry”. I had days where I needed to ask God to help me forgive this person. I realized I was incapable of forgiving on my own power. I needed someone to take the rat poison out of my hand and the only one I discovered capable to do so was God. Once I loosened my grip, He led me to a point of forgiveness in my heart so I could be free.

Keep in mind they may not have all of the facts. When reconciliation did finally come in the relationship months later, this person learned the whole story about what happened to me. Filling in the whole story made them realize they made a snap judgment which led them to judge me. We feel like others intuitively know what’s going on in our lives or should at least take the initiative to ask. But most of the time it doesn’t work that way. 

If at all possible, reconcile with them. For complete healing and forgiveness to happen, both sides have to come together. Many times, this idea of reconciliation is unrealistic because one side is unwilling to swallow their pride. But once you’ve forgiven them internally, it is crucial to pursue harmony and understanding. Audibly saying “I forgive you” to an offender can be freeing. 

My story didn’t end with unresolved tension. One day I received a letter in the mail acknowledging their misjudgment and asking me to forgive them. I remember laying the unopened envelope on my nightstand and leaving it there for a few days. I was torn as to whether I wanted to open it or not. Eventually I relented because I valued the relationship with this person more than my pride. As I read and re-read the letter, I could feel the hurt and pain caused by this person start to melt away. Weeks later, we were able to meet up face-to-face and talk it out. Saying “I forgive you” was like a wrecking ball blowing the wall between us to smithereens. And today, we are able to enjoy a great relationship with no awkwardness or tension.

What relationship in your life has unresolved conflict? Do you want to reconcile? If so, how can these three simple steps enable you to seek reconciliation? 

How recovery applies to everyone (Guest Post)

By Wesley Hicks

We all seek wholeness and joy, but none of us can find it on our own. We need help but are often too full of pride to admit it. Because we are designed to seek these things, we will pursue them in one of two ways: According to God’s design or according to our own.  

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When we pursue wholeness and joy in relationship with God, we will find even the rough spots of life won’t derail us on the track laid out by His design. As we continue to see Him leading us toward more wholeness, we also see a natural curve happen as our Joy in Him is increased.  The more joy we find in Him, the more geared we become toward wholeness and we begin a cycle of Joy-fed wholeness in relation to Him that overflows into our relationships with others.   Continue reading “How recovery applies to everyone (Guest Post)”