I have a confession to make.

I used to despise Apple products.

I mean I was really, really vocal about it to the point I annoyed myself.  I literally would got out of my way to buy any Microsoft product or anti-Apple product possible.  It got so bad that I even owned a Zune.

Its ok…my therapy is helping.

The slippery slope to my Apple conversion happened almost over night when my work switched me to a MacBook.  It didn’t take long for my wife and I to make a full switch to Apple and we wont be going out to the other guys.

There was one product that convinced us both more than anything.  The iPhone.

As my wife said, “It is the first phone I actually love because it does exactly what you want it to do in such a basic and easy way.”  I couldn’t agree more.  From setting up the voicemail to even adding a contact it seemed to almost read your mind as you were thinking “boy I wish I could do this.” and then Whamo! there it was.

So as our Apple Logo tattoos dry (joking) we are here to say that we are firmly planted in the Apple family and couldn’t be happier.

When I stopped and thought about it a lot of people want God to be like their iPhone.

We want a god that will do what we want when we want it in the most basic of ways so we don’t have to do much on our own.   We also want a god that when he seems out of date we just upgrade to a new version and boom “IOS god 6” is in our life.

I wish I could say I was immune to this desire but sadly I’m not.  I too have those thoughts of “God I wish You just did this…” as I secretly think I have a better way than Him.

As Christians, our God does not give us those customizable options with Him.  As God told Moses at the burning bush,  “I AM WHO I AM” and for us that needs to be enough.  We see throughout Scripture evidence that God is consistent, unchanging, unwavering, and not a moldable God.

“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” – Psalm 90:2

“Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.” – Psalm 119:142

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” – Isaiah 55:8.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” – Revelation 1:8

We are so blessed to have a God that wants to call us sons and daughters.  Our God is full of unconditional love, mercy, and grace towards His children.  He knows our suffering, pain, fears, desires,  but yet has a perfect plan for each us that rests firmly in His will.  THAT is our God.

However what He is not is iGod.

He’s not a god that we can upgrade or downgrade so we don’t have do the hard parts of forgiveness or pursue holiness.  He doesn’t let us download an app that let’s us keep living our life of sin but yet still call Him Father.  He doesn’t waiver with the popular political parties agenda or to the cultural buzz so he remains “relevant”.

That is not the God of the Bible but a god the world has created and shrouded in a haze of spirituality to make him “look” holy.  Following this god will lead only to separation from the true God.  A life of frustration and pain as the god you serve constantly changes with the winds.  There is no stability or faith to be found in this god.

So my friends find your strength in the God that is jealous for you and your affection.  Place your full weight into the God the created all you see and has a plan for you beyond what you can ever imagine.  He desperately loves you and THAT will never change.

Enjoy your iPhone, but don’t get caught up in the fad of iGod.  That fad always gets poor reviews in the end.


Super Fan, Messy Cars, & God

When I played baseball at the University of Nebraska there was a guy there we called “Super Fan”.  He had been a Nebraska Cornhusker fan for years and went to EVERYTHING Nebraska Husker Athletics offered taking pictures every step of the way.

He also apparently was wealthy, but you’d never know by looking at him.  He always wore the same clothes, he rarely showered or cut his fingernails, he had matted hair, was missing a few key teeth, and there was a smell about him that was hard to handle.  I say these things not to be cruel, but to simple present the facts about our Super Fan we loved.  You heard me right; we genuinely loved this guy because after all when I played we loved all of our fan very much.

However, what stuck out to me more than anything was not his army fatigue pants or scraggly beard, but it was his car.  Super Fan had a station wagon that he literally had packed from hatchback to hood with stuff.  Newspapers, trash, camera film, Husker programs, and anything else interesting he found along the way were packed so tight in there that we swore the windows were going to pop.  If it every happen I always pictured it as a Piñata but instead of candy spilling out it would be 1980’s newspapers from rural towns in Nebraska.

That car and Super Fan were something to see and I’ve yet to see duplicated.

His car is probably what now motivates me to keep my car clean or it could be my inner conviction to take care of the things I’ve bought.

Regardless messy cars fascinate me and drive me crazy all at the same time.

They drive me crazy because I think messy cars because I think they are 100% avoidable.  Messy cars are easily fixed by taking a quick glance before you get out of your car and removing, throwing away, or putting away anything that doesn’t need to be in there.

For example, you don’t need to keep 10 Filet O’ Fish sandwich boxes in your backseat.  Those can get thrown away 1 at a time as you eat them or all 10 at once if you’ve had a bad day and don’t want to talk about why you ate 10 of those in the first place.

Boom!  Simple….clean car every time.

Oh, and don’t give me the excuse that you have kids either.   I’ve got kids and if I say we clean it up before we go inside it can get done.  Keeping your car clean is as simple as throwing away the junk each time you leave it.

This can be such a great illustration for our spiritual lives.

We so often get frustrated with our “messy car” lives that we become overwhelmed and paralyzed.  Sometimes we stock pile old memories or past sins in our lives like Super Fan did with old copies of the Lincoln Journal Star that we can barely see out of the windows of reality.

The beautiful part about our walk with Jesus is that he wants all of our junk and all of our garbage so we don’t have to be bogged down by it.  When we find ourselves claimed by Him, defined by Him, and cleaned by Him we are forever changed.  We no longer have to drive around in a car full of junk because Jesus deep cleaned us.

David tells us in Psalm 40:1-3

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”

However, we need to take an active roll in that soul cleansing too.

As we draw closer to Christ and to the life He has for us we will realize the sin we are still carrying.  It’s sin that is jammed into our lives that we’ve tried to ignore but cannot any longer.

Our responsibility is to constantly take inventory of our life and throw out the garbage that we see.  We can’t keep empty Sonic cups of lust, crusty chicken fingers of anger, or dirty socks of hatred in our life any longer.  There is only one place for that stuff and it’s in the trash where it belongs.

But only you and I can do it.

God doesn’t reach down into the cracks of our seats to scoop out the smooshed up French fries.  He can point to them and say “Do you see that?” but we have to be the ones that reach down and deal with the consequences of the science experiment we’ve created.  If we give it to Him he will take it, but He won’t take anything without permission.

So before you do anything else stop and take inventory of your life.  Ask God to deep clean the areas of sin you’ve been ignoring and start getting things straightened out today.

Believe me, He will do a heck of a job and leave you smelling like that new car scent for eternity.


Seeking Wisdom: Proverbs 20 – Sinful Heart Disease

From the very beginning of Proverbs Solomon taught us that “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”.  However, as we refine our search for wisdom upon a Godly foundation we also have to realize that seeking wisdom also means we must stop lying to ourselves.

I so often see people traveling down a path of sin and destruction lying to themselves with every step.  It’s amazing to hear people’s self-justification for why they need to keep doing what they are doing.

Sin has a way of grabbing hold of our soul in way that makes us do or say things we normally never would. It clouds our thinking and reasoning in such a profound way that we literally are not in our right mind.  We fail to think like God wants us to, and we instead ignore Him to follow our heart.

It’s this heart that beats for happiness and self gratification at all costs.

Solomon profoundly says in Proverbs 20:5

The purpose of a mans heart are deep waters,

but a man of understanding draws them out.

I’ve found the deeper you dive into the sinful heart of man the more and more darkness you discover.  The more self-justified it becomes.  The more and more lost it really is.

My apologies to the American Heart Association, but I believe sin is truly the number one cause of heart disease in our world.

Can you resonate with any of these heart patients?

  • Patient #1:  A young, mid-30‘s man with a great future ahead of him.  He comes from a good home, has a good job, and even has some friends he’d call close.  Everyone likes to be around him and by the looks of it he has it all together.  But what hides deep in his heart is that alcohol is his god.  He will say he only does it socially with friends, but the truth is that he can’t make it to lunch without a drink.  He will self-justify that it’s good for his body and that he’s got it under control, but deep down he knows that this sin train is traveling so fast he can’t stop it and it’s destined to derail his life.
  • Patient #2:  A wife and mother of three sits in her comfortable suburban home looking out the back window sipping coffee.  Opening the back door, she lets the dog inside before getting ready to go to the gym.  She’s always loved working out and with the kids in school she is free to take her time now without rushing.  However this time it’s not just working out she’s rushing to get to, but Craig.  You see Craig is a guy she met at the gym and he says all the right things to fill in all the gaps in her life her heart says are missing.  If you ask her it’s only an innocent friendship, but deep down she is about to throw away her entire life for the fleeting affections of a man who will treat her like a used Kleenex once he gets what he wants.
  • Patient #3:  A middle-aged man kisses his wife and son good-bye before hopping in the company truck.  For the last 15 years he’s taken this ride to work, but the other day his boss pulled him into the office with some news.  Despite the tough economy things have been good where he works and they want to promote him.  As he outlines the new position, the man realizes that this new position will require more time away from home and possibly even being out-of- town over the weekend.  It doesn’t take long to realize that he won’t be able to coach his son’s soccer team anymore and may even mean waiting to have another baby.  He shakes off the feelings quickly so as to not to be distracted and signs the new contract without discussing it with his wife.  His heart tells him he just did the best thing for his family because he’s able to provide for them better.  What his heart didn’t tell him is that it may be more money but it will be far less of him that his family gets.

So many of us will read these situations and say “Come on man how can you not see how crazy this is!”, but the reality is that when you heart is infected with sin this happens all the time.

The cure for disease is not exercise or even eating better, but rather trusting God and seeking His wisdom in our life.  When we stop lying to ourselves about our sin and start being truthful with what God has designed for us to be doing, we start to gain traction in our faith.

We start to gain wisdom that is sure to cure our heart and our soul in the process.


4 Things Wives Can Do To Crush Their Husbands

God designed marriage to be led by the man, but this doesn’t mean we don’t need support.  In a vast number of marriages I see an excessive amount of burden placed upon the husband that doesn’t have to be there.  Some of it is self-inflicted, which I outlined in 5 Things Husband Can Do To Make Your Wife Want A Divorce, but some of it is caused by their wives actions and words.  These are crushing blows to their husbands, but they are also things that can be avoided if not eliminated.

Ladies, I would have you consider the following 4 areas and see where some of them may be true of you.  Realize that outside of God, who we as husbands desperately respect, desire confirmation and attention from is you.  What you think of us carries a great deal of weight and can either lift us up or bring us to our knees.

These are 4 things that wives can do to crush their husbands.

1.  Never Encourage Him

The expectation to provide for our families is interwoven into our spirit as men.  Generally we don’t need a reminder that this is what is expected. However, although we appear rough, tough, and confident we still have a small boy inside of us that thinks we are terrible at everything.  So if the one closest to us that we love won’t take the time to encourage us and appreciate our efforts who will?  A small word such as “You know I don’t say this enough, but you are really good at your job and I just want to thank you for working so hard for our family” or “I just want you to know you are a great dad” goes a long way to sustaining us.

If you want to crush your husband never encourage him.

2. Speak To Him Through Your Kids

One of the most difficult things I see in marriages is when their kids are used in tough marital times.  More often than not wives will childishly speak to their husbands through the kids.  I’ve seen it done blatantly such as, “Johnny, go tell your father that if he wants dinner he needs to get his fat butt off the chair and get in here.”  I’ve also seen it passively done where the whole family is in the room and you hear things like “Well Suzy, your ‘father’ must think I’m a maid because he can’t seem to pick up his own laundry off the floor.”  Not only is this highly immature and unfair to your children, but it also makes a man feel even more like a child inside and does nothing but tear him down.

If you want to crush your husband speak to him through your kids.

3.  Use Sex As A Weapon

I’m willing to bet 95% of men are more sexually driven in marriage then women, but I’m also willing to bet that 100% of women know that.  Wives that use sex as weapon do some of the most damaging effects to a marriage. To these women, sex becomes a tool in their manipulation toolbox.  They use it as a dangling lure to get what they want, a gift only given out at birthdays and Christmas, and it becomes a form of corporal punishment when they are “too tired” or want to make sure the husband “pays for what he did”.  The problem is that this is completely unbiblical, plays right into Satan’s plan, and crushes your husband.  To reject your husband time after time is not only crushes his spirit, but it also makes him more likely to slip into other avenues to pursue that feeling.

If you want to crush your husband use sex as a weapon in your marriage.

4.  Never Pray For Him

I would ask this simple question of you today wives.  When was the last time you prayed for your husband? Now, I’m not talking about passive aggressive prayers like “God, I pray that he gets off the couch and mows the grass today” or “God, please help my husband to not be such a Grade-A jerk all the time.” but rather a genuine prayer to God for your husband.  When have you prayed for his day at work, for him as a father, or for his walk with Christ?  We may never know that you are doing it, but I can guarantee we know when you’re not.  We know it because we feel like we are all alone and that our strength is weak.  Our souls need others praying for us and more than anything we need you to be praying for us.  You are the ones that know us best and the ones that are our 2nd love of all time.

If you want to crush your husband never pray for him.

I’m the first to say that men need to step up and be better in their marriages.  We need to start being the men of God called us to be, but ladies you play a great part in this pursuit.  You can’t simply sit on the sidelines while you watch us train to become who you want us to become and then reap the benefits when it happens.  We need you to be an active part of the process and supportive.

To a man, if we had the choice of being respected by our friends, boss, or wife we’d choose our wife every time.  We need your help and the way in which you support us has the power to crush us or lift us up to levels we never thought possible.

It doesn’t take much, but a little from you goes a long way.


5 Things Husbands Can Do To Make Your Wife Want A Divorce

It is sad, but so many husbands are oblivious to the fact that they are on a path toward destruction in their marriage and much of it is their fault.  I’ve seen five consistent things that men do to drive women to the point of calling it quits.  I pray that my fellow husbands are willing to consider these truths and decide to what degree they are true in their own lives.

 1.    Be The Spiritual Follower

God has called the man to be the spiritual leader of the marriage, but more often men are running from this responsibility and leaving the burden to the wife.  The weight can be incredibly daunting and places a huge wedge in the marriage.  The fatigue of always being the one to beg, plead, or sadly drive to church alone is crushing.  At some point our wives will ask the question, “How can I live in a house or raise our kids with someone who doesn’t put God first?”  If you want to lose your marriage, be a spiritual follower.

 2.    Place Your Job Ahead Of Your Family

Most men are quick to find their identity in their jobs and the fact that they provide for the family.  Spending increased time away from the family is easily justified by the mantra “Someone’s gotta put food on the table!” or “I’m just trying to make our life comfortable.”  Without question, providing for the family is vital to a marriage, but to what extreme and at what cost?  Rarely do men ever stop long enough to ask the question “Is this what my wife really wants?”  I’m willing to bet my last lock of hair that most men would prefer more time with their wife then a newer car or bigger home.  If you want to lose your marriage, put your job before your family.

 3.    Place Your Hobbies In Front Of Your Family

It’s amazing to see the concessions that family’s have to make so guys can fulfill their fantasies through other grown men’s athletic abilities.  They will study, scheme, trade, and invest to make sure they are the winner of a $25 gift certificate to The Outback.  But yet if you ask them about what their kids are struggling with in school or what time soccer practice is, they won’t have a clue.  Time with their wives gets replaced with slow pitch softball trips, fantasy football drafts, and amateur MMA fights at the local VFW.  If you want to lose your marriage, put your hobbies before your family.

4.    Always Think Of Yourself

There was only one Man that walked on water, but you’d be surprised how many men want to challenge that title.  From the moment the day begins to the final moments in the recliner as their eyelids flutter shut, the world revolves around them.  Helping with laundry, giving the kids a bath, taking the trash out, or even picking up their dirty underwear are tasks too menial for the self-focused man.  If you want to lose your marriage, make everything about you.

 5.    Ignore Everything

One of the skills I see a lot of husbands working hard to develop is selective dementia.  It’s a unique skill that requires you to be able to think everything is ok while simultaneously ignoring reality around you.  When fully developed, a man with this ability can think his marriage is fine in autopilot mode.  He believes his kids respect him even though they play no role in their lives.  He thinks a family budget is only for people with no money even though his own family has no money.  All the while being comfortable knowing more career statistics about the starting quarterback for the Bears than his own wife.  If you want to lose your marriage, ignore everything around you.

Men, I say this with a mouth full of sarcasm and a heart full of sadness at the reality of these five things.  There are marriages that are crumbling because of one or all of these truths in our homes and we have to do something about it.

It’s time that we start being the men that God want us to be in our homes and it begins with believing that when God tells us to serve our wives that we believe it.  If we want different marriages and families we have to start doing different things.  If we keep doing what we are doing, we will keep getting what we’ve got.

Is there culpability on our wives’ side of the table?

Is a marriage a partnership of one man and one woman committed to each other and to God?

Of course!

But that does not give us the right to checkout on our responsibility to do what we are called to do.

It’s time to buck up and start working on our marriage at least as hard as we do our portfolio or surround sound systems.  We need to start leading our families and do the things we know we should be doing.

If we don’t, the 50% divorce rate average will continue to rise and we will only need to look in the mirror to see why it’s happening.