3 Lies Satan Wants You To Believe About Marriage

Marriage is one of the most powerful and illogical things God created.  Its power is found in two lives being joined as one, by love, through God to live a lifetime together.  Their influence expands exponentially as they become parents, grandparents, and mentors to the next generation of married couples.

The practical reality about marriage is that it brings one broken man and one broken woman together in hopes that each other’s strengths will fill in the cracks of weakness in each other.  That’s why it’s illogical.  Two wrongs don’t make a right, but somehow we naively believe this will happen in our marriages.

Satan thrives for the naive and his lies target that unassuming part of our spirit when it comes to our marriages.  Our battle as couples is to not buy into these 3 lies Satan will try to spring on us.

1. My Spouse Is My Everything

When we get married the greatest underlying lie Satan wants you to believe is that your spouse is your god.  He wants you to put all your hopes, dreams, strength, and faith into them and not your heavenly Father.  If he can get you to do this, you will set your marriage up for the very least difficulty and at most massive failure.  Placing your spouse as the cornerstone of your relationship is setting unreachable expectations and putting them in a position they are unprepared for and unqualified to assume.  Only God can be the rock of your life.  He is the cornerstone by which all things find their strength and stability.  Don’t believe the lies of Satan that your spouse is your everything because those words are coming form the Prince of Nothing.

2.  Now That I’m Married I Can Coast 

Satan will also convince you that getting married is the ultimate goal of your relationship.  He wants you to throttle down and coast for the rest of your married days because after all the dress is gone, the presents are open, and the party is over baby.  Now it’s time for sitting back and living a life of mediocrity like the rest of the world is doing.  God has a different plan.  His plan is for the wedding to be the beginning of your journey together.  In fact I’d go so far as to say that His hope is that as you look back on your marriage that the wedding was actually the worst day of your life!  A marriage is rooted in Christ and pursuing Christ only gets better with age.  It gets more loving, patient, kind, and forgiving which all take effort and work to obtain.  I’m sorry but a marriage bonded by the love of Christ can’t coast, it’s gotta get up and go!  Leave Satan coasting on the side of the road sucking his thumb as he limps through his last days of freedom.

3.  My Spouse Will Fix All My Problems

Getting married doesn’t guarantee you a life mechanic, but Satan wants you to believe it does.  He wants you to believe that in your spouse is found the answers to all of your inadequacies, failures, and annoyances.  That with enough time together and enough proximity to your spouse’s “better life” you will osmotically improve your character, personality, and flagellant control.  Guess what?  Even after a lifetime together you will still stink.  Your spouse is not your life coach, they are your life partner. In a Christ centered relationship you should desire to help each other become more like Christ, not a cleaned up version of yourself.  Don’t try to look into Satan’s mirror to work on your faults.  His image will always look like the ones at the circus as they bend and distort with every move.  It will serve us better to look into the perfect law of Christ and work off of that steady model.  That model doesn’t require self-help, it demands Savior-help.  Let Satan’s lies be the warm blanket he snuggles up with at night and let God be the sustainer and author of your life and marriage.

My friends, marriage is tireless work but it’s worth every drop of sweat.  It provides an opportunity to show Christ in vivid action and it can ripple far beyond anything we can imagine.

It is imperative to not let marriage be less than God designed it to be and also not more than it was meant to be.  God never designed for it simply to be a piece of paper and a tax write off, but he also never designed it to be what defines you as a person.  Marriage was created by God to bring Him glory through the lives of two broken people, bonded as one, following a risen Savior.

If we keep our eyes focused on Jesus while hand in hand with our spouse, we will never have to wonder who we are, where we’re going, or what is important.

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, your souls the property of God, and your foot firmly on the throat of Satan.

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4 Lies Satan Wants You To Believe About Being Single

90% of all people will get married, but until that time being single can be difficult. In fact it can be down right lonely and frustrating as you see all of your friends being picked off by cupid’s arrows.  There’s also a growing group of singles being formed as a result of divorce.

Satan will use anything he can to keep you from a relationship with Jesus.  In fact he will even lie to you about why you don’t have a relationship right now to do it.

Here are 4 lies that Satan wants you to believe about being single.

1.  You Have No Value

Satan will lie and assign your worth and value to whether you are in a relationship.  He will constantly remind you that without a partner you are not worth anything.  The lie will burrow so deep in your spirit that you will start to believe it.  The truth is that the only one that is worthless is Satan.  God has a much different view of things because he is overwhelmed with you.  Psalm 45:11 says “The king is enthralled with your beauty; honor him for he is your Lord.”  That’s right, The Creator of the Universe, the Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and the End, God is enthralled with you and Satan is a tool.  Don’t believe the lies of Satan.  Believe the One who is the source of your worth.

2.  Your Past Is Too Dark

Satan has an amazing ability to keep a perfect scorecard of all of our mistakes.  In fact it is one of his best skills.  Satan will always keep a deck of cards with him of all you’ve done in your life and when the time is right he will start dealing them out.  Right when you start to think maybe he or she likes you or that this could be a good person to get to know he’ll start dealing.  He will always makes sure you remember how bad you really are and because of that no one would want you.  Satan’s lie is flawed by the greatest factor.  Jesus.  Jesus loved you and me enough to die for our sin.  It’s the greatest example of being wanted in the history of the world.  Don’t believe the lie of Satan that your past is too dark because your future is brilliant with Christ.

3.  You Should Settle

Satan has a cunning way of making you lower your standards.  His sadistic lies will seep into the pores of your soul and you will begin to believe that the man of your dreams isn’t dreaming of you.  His solution is for you to lower the bar, reduce your standards, and to settle with someone you know isn’t right for you.  God’s plan flies in the face of that garbage reasoning.  God’s plan is for you to first fall deeply in love with Him, start running after Him, and as you’re running look to your left and right.  If someone is running the same pace with the same mission you’ve found a relationship worth working at.  If you have to look backwards…they ain’t the one for you.  You will only lose your stride, focus, and purpose if you do that you will be settling.  Don’t believe the lies of Satan to settle he did and look where it landed him!

4.  God Will Leave You Too

Satan’s most evil lie to you as a single person will be that, just like everyone else, God has abandoned you.  He’ll say you’re single because you don’t have enough faith and if you were faithful God would have given you someone in your life.  He’ll make you believe that since you are all alone your life is destined to be miserable.  Thank goodness God punches Satan in the throat with the Truth.  Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Don’t believe the lies of Satan because the truth in what he says applies only to himself.  He is alone and is destined to be that way for eternity.  Even if you are single until Christ comes back, you are never alone when you are in relationship with Him.

Your life is not defined by single or married.  Your life is not defined by married or divorced.  Your life is not defined by successful or failure.  Your life is defined by whether  or not you have a relationship with Christ.  If you have that…you have everything.

Work to have the strongest relationship with Christ so when you find your running partner, you will never have to wonder where your worth comes from.

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5 Lies Satan Wants You To Believe About Divorce

One of the most painful things I see as a pastor is families torn apart by divorce.  Being a Christian doesn’t seem to insulate you from the divorce virus either.   50% of all Christian marriages will fall into divorce’s vicious snare this year too and many of them will end because of 5 lies Satan wants you to believe.

Married friends, here are 5 lies Satan will whisper in your ears to get you to call it quits on your marriage.

1.  God Wants Me To Be Happy

Satan wants you to buy into the idea that above anything else your happiness is preeminent.  He wants you to believe that the person at the office, the girl on the screen, or the guy at the gym will provide the “fun” and “happiness” that your spouse isn’t providing.  If you believe this, divorce becomes the means to obtaining the mirage known as happiness.  The truth is divorce will give you anything but happiness.  It will rob you of your joy, peace, trust, and will stain not only your life but your entire family.  Happiness is not found in the lies of Satan.

2.  My Kids Will Be Better Off

Satan wants you to look at your children and believe they would be better off if you and your spouse didn’t fight anymore and lived separately.  He whispers in your ear that if you just get rid of him or her your kids will be less stressed and will thrive!  After all don’t they deserve better?  Sadly we listen to Satan and not our kids.  Ask any kid of divorced parents (excluding abusive situations) and they will tell you the splitting of their home destroyed a piece of them.  “Better off” isn’t a perfect family with no problems it’s a family that stays together despite ups and down.  “Better off” is two parents that fight for their family and don’t bail when things get hard.  “Better off” is setting an example for your children so that they are not scared of relationships for life, but gives them an example to emulate.  “Better off” doesn’t listen to the lies of Satan.

3.  My Spouse Deserves Better

Satan wants you to be a martyr by believing the lie that your spouse deserves better than you.  He will remind you of all your wounds, baggage, and faults and then juxtapose them against what appears to be your spouse’s perfection.  He’ll tap and tap and tap against your spirit until you open the cage door on your marriage so that you can allow your spouse to fly free.  The glaring problem with that logic is that it requires you to have operation of your spouse’s mind, spirit, and decision making.  Somehow you  arrogantly put yourself in charge of what they want and you decide their future for them.  Guess what?  That ain’t your decision to make…that’s 100% theirs.  Grow up and stop listening to the lies of Satan.

4.  Things Will Never Get Better

Satan loves to tell you that your marriage is hopeless and things will never get better.  He will trap you in the darkest corner of the cave of your relationship and have you hold your hand up to your face to show you there is no hope of seeing light.  He wants you to believe that the best has already happened and the future is not bright but dark as night. So why try?  It’s better to just cut your losses, part ways, hit the reset button, and lick your wounds as you limp away.  Hopefully you can heal up enough to grab another Kleenex in the box of life and find a new partner.  One with more hope.  Can I remind you of something?  Life is tough and when you enter into marriage it becomes part of your life so therefore marriage is tough too.  Buck up buttercup and get back in the fight.  Stop making long term decisions for short term problems.  Satan is a pathetic, lying, scum of the earth whose only goal is to rob you of any hope.  Don’t give in to him when God has a light that breaks through all darkness and can sunburn your marriage with His light.

5.  Divorce Isn’t That Big Of A Deal To God

Satan’s biggest lie is that God doesn’t really care that much about your marriage and whether or not it survives.  God has bigger things to worry about than whether or not you and the Mrs last until death do you part.  He has a whole universe to keep from spiraling out of control so why in the world would He care if you leave him for the “greener grass” on the other side of the street?  The problem is that God cares about all the things that He is a part of and that He made.  Marriage is no exception.  He is the bond, the glue, the third strand, the binding force that adheres us to our spouses in good marriages and bad.  It’s a sacred union that God in fact used as the imagery for the relationship of the church on earth and Jesus himself.  Don’t believe the lie of a lonely and hopeless Satan who has no chance of reconciliation with the father.  Instead believe the Truth of the Father who gave His one and only Son not only to save you from your sin, but to save your marriage from anything it’s up against.

So stop listening to the lies of Satan and start listening to the voice of Christ telling you that you CAN make it.  Put the pen down, stop the lawyers, put an end to the finger pointing and embrace the peace found in reconciliation.  Let the God of healing do what He does best.  Heal you.

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Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o, & Unicorns

All of us want to believe in something bigger than ourselves.

We want something that seems too good to be true, but true enough to believe.

Typically this is because we need something to distract us from our seemingly boring lives.  Let’s face it, no TV crew is going to follow you or I around while we get in our 1998 Honda Accord, sit in bumper to bumper traffic for 90 minutes, sit at our cube for 8 hours doing TPS reports, drive back in 2 hour traffic, pick up White Castles, and then go home to feed our cat.

Not very riveting TV to say the least, except maybe to see what those White Castles are going to do you in about an hour.

No, we need the mythical to lift us out of our average world and into someone else’s amazing world.  Now, the difference between getting caught up in a sitcom and getting caught up in an athlete or actor’s life is that we know the sitcom has studio audience, but the actual person could really be doing what we see and that’s exciting.

It’s exciting until the bubble pops.  Until the veil is lifted.  Until the truth comes out leaving us with this empty feeling of betrayal.

Lance Armstrong was bigger than cycling, bigger than cancer, and bigger than life.  A 7-Time Tour De France winning, testicular cancer stomping, good looking, smooth talking philanthropist who seemed to want to help people more than help himself.  He had a quiet arrogance that was magnetic especially when people doubted his abilities.  We cheered for him and raised our yellow LIVESTRONG bands proudly in solidarity.  Then in October 2012 a small leak seemed to be punched in his suit of armor when he was hit with a lifetime ban in cycling and stripped of his accolades.  However, he stood by his story and kept his defense which gave hope that it could still be true…until January.  On January 17, 2013 the bubble was detonated and finally the truth that the superhuman feats he accomplished were just that.  No human could do what he did without help, without cheating, and without lying.

Manti Te’o had a fairy tale story like few we’ve seen.  He was the good looking, Hawaiian, middle linebacker for the undefeated Notre Dame, and Heisman Trophy finalist.  He was the emotional leader of the Fighting Irish not only for his athletic ability, but for what he overcame in just one year.  In the span of 1week Manti not only had to deal with the death of his grandmother but also the loss of his leukemia battling girlfriend days later.  The nation hung on every tear filled word and we watched and Catholic and Protestant alike cheered for Manti.  Then the illusion burst.  We found out that the girlfriend we mourned so painfully alongside Te’o was nothing more than an internet hoax and sheepishly we snapped back into reality.  Duped again.

We desperately wanted these and countless other examples to be true so that maybe for once the good guy could win.  That maybe the impossible could be possible, and we feel cheated when it turns out not to be true.

It almost feels like when I told my 3 year old daughter unicorns weren’t real.  The look of shock and dismay was hard for this to daddy to handle, but it needed to happen in fear she would start jamming toilet plunger handles into our golden retriever’s forehead and riding him off the deck in hopes he’d fly.

But whether it’s sports heroes or unicorns we all are in search of something to fill our missing void.  We are in search of something earthly to fill that which only the spiritual can fill.

Paul gives us great direction when it comes to being careful of being overwhelmed and consumed by the “too good to be true” around us.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” - Colossians 2:8

Instead Paul gives Christians another direction to look instead of the unbelievable around us.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” - Colossians 3:1-2

The only thing that should blow our minds and completely intoxicate us is the love of Christ.  The fact that a sinless Jesus would willingly and lovingly take on the tortures of the cross for you and me is staggering.  He and He along is worthy of our gaze and amazement because it is only Jesus that will not disappoint or let us down.

So don’t be surprised when our heroes let us down, but also don’t be surprised when Jesus never does.

The rock of our faith isn’t going anywhere.

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What If Jesus Was Your Waitress?

All of us want to be the boss.

You know this is true!

Because if you sit in any lunch room, employee lounge, break room, or bar in the world you will hear people talking about work and how they think they could do a better job running the whatever than the person in charge.

We even claim to have the magic solution to all of the world’s problems like global warming, capital punishment, quarterbacking an NFL football team, and parenting someone else’s kids.

I mean, if someone would just take the time to ask us (or at least listen) the world would be a much better place.  Yet, as ludicrous as this may sound, hardly ever does anyone ask us our opinion and we are left to wallow in our own pool of “genius” while the world keeps goofing it all up around us.

“If only I could be king for the day!” we think, “THEN things would be different!”

However, when it seems that all hope is lost and we are destined to be followers the rest of our lives while idiots lead us into mediocrity, we find an oasis where we can be king.  Where we can be the boss of what happens and get things done our way.

That hidden kingdom is known as…the restaurant.

That’s right, that place where some people know your name and a few are paid to take care of all your dining needs.

  • Need a glass of water?  Sure!  It can come with lemon or cucumber if you’re weird that way.
  • You want a steak prepared medium, well done, rare?  Absolutely sir, coming right up.  Great choice.
  • You want the salad dressing on the side in a cup made out of used gum wrappers spelling your middle name?  My pleasure ma’am.

I see it every time I go out to eat and you know that I’m right about this one too.

There is always that guy or girl who is venting their pent up Napoleon Complex on the poor waiter or waitress that drew the shortest straw when getting their magic table.  They use sarcastic tones, rude language, and rarely make eye contact.  After all they’re just the “hired help” in their eyes so why take the time to acknowledge them?

This drives me absolutely nuts and can make my blood boil at times.

I’m willing to bet that 99.9% of the wait staff we encounter weren’t planning on going “pro” at waitering.  These are hard working, college students, fathers, mothers, grandmothers, teachers, and other professionals trying to make a few extra dollars and the last thing they need is our grief as they do it.

I know this seems oddly specific and a bit soapbox-ish but stick with me for a second.

As Christians we are to realize that every person has worth and value equal to that of the next.  When we decide to place our value, our worth, our needs higher than that of another we’ve lost sight of God’s vision.

The wait staff at the restaurant is just one glowing example but you can easily see this degraded human condition at the checkout line at Target, the gas station worker, the janitor at your job, the homeless person by the stop lights, and on and on I could go.

Put simply, what if Jesus was your waitress?

When we decided to become Christians and follow our Lord and Savior we decided on a different path.  A path that chooses love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, and self-control.  The fruit that only the Spirit can provide and the exact opposite food group the world sustains itself on.

We have the opportunity and the responsibility to be light within the world.  To be different than the status quo.  To not settle for doing what everyone else is doing and do what God wants us to be doing.

I believe the proof of whether we are getting this truth is in the way we treat one another.

John says it painfully clear in 1 John 2:9-11

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.”

Christians, I urge you to check your light meter and make sure it’s working no matter where you go.  Don’t allow yourself a “day off” from treating your brother or sister well when there is so much at stake.

And the next time you are in a restaurant remember the 3 T’s of wait staff interaction.

  • Talk to them as people.
  • Treat them with respect.
  • Tip them well before you leave.

Who knows, that young man bringing you drinks today may be your boss tomorrow.

Cheers!

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Seeking Wisdom – Proverbs 21: Trying To Automate God’s System

“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan

that can succeed against The Lord.”

- Proverbs 21:30

My best friend and I used to work landscaping together when we were in college.  It was seriously some of the most fun I’ve had in my life because any time Robb and I get together we always had a blast.  There was never a problem with a hard project or crummy job with us because if we did it together we found a way to have fun and knock it out.

One of our classic sayings on the job site was “let’s automate the system” which meant we gotta find an easier way to do this job.  We once “trailered” my Jeep on the back of a flatbed so we didn’t have to drive separate, we changed seats from driver to passenger on the fly so we didn’t have to stop driving, and I’m pretty sure we used a Dewalt drill for everything from opening pop cans to unscrewing eyeglass screws.

Berg-Man and I would “automate the system” with everything and anything possible including deciding to trench sprinkler system pipe with the 5′ wide bucket of a Bobcat and not the 8″ trenching shovel we were supposed to.   Needless to say we got the job done, but the lawn…well…let’s just say it didn’t look completely “normal” when we were done.

I know I still try to do that in my life today.

I’ll try to find easier ways to do all kinds of things so I get them done quicker or get them over with.  Yet, nearly every time I do things my way it will take me twice as long than if I would have just followed the directions from the beginning.

The same can be said about God’s wisdom.

Pursuing the wisdom of God is a process that occurs over time and can’t be microwaved.  Trying to expedite the processes of knowing God or discovering His will in your life will only slow your spiritual growth down causing you more and more frustration along the way.

However, we can also derail the progress of knowing God by our sin.  Our sin screams in the face of God “our way is better than Yours” which will always drag us back to our knees.  Trying to “automate the system” in a way that places our desires ahead of God’s creates an arrogant relationship that demands everything of God and requires nothing of me.

Plain and simple, a plan that is not from God is a plan that is against God.

The only way to find the wisdom we desire in our life and the direction we need from God is to crumple up our best made plans and flush them.  We need to stop trying to match wits with the Creator of the Universe and interjecting our suggestions to his holiness and humbly follow.

The sooner we are able to start following His plan the quicker we will stop jacking up our life.  It’s time to stop going back to the drawing board after another failed marriage, another hangover, another shameful walk back to your car after another one night stand and it’s time to start sprinting to God’s plan.

There is no time like the present to stop failing at this life God has given you and start succeeding at it by being wise enough to see God’s plan is far better than ours ever will be.

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Can Your Dishwasher Save You?

We just bought a sweet dishwasher.

Man…I must be getting old because I never thought I’d ever say that.

But…honestly…it is really freaking awesome.

Of course, as a guy, all I care about is the cool features.

For starters it’s stainless steel which means it looks more manly and why I can brag about it.  It has hidden buttons on the top edge of the door so Easton and Aniston can’t pretend to “launch rockets” while flooding the kitchen.

Easily the biggest difference between our old dish washer and our new one, beyond the fact that it’s not 12 years old, is it’s quiet.  I mean you can actually carry on a conversation with someone without having to go into the neighbor’s garage to do it.  God love the other one, but our ears would literally be ringing after each cycle like enduring a MegaDeath concert in a bathroom.

But the coolest feature is that the inside has turbo jets that will blast away any caked on garbage you couldn’t scrape off before you put it in.  It will literally pressure wash the dishes clean as if it was peeling paint off my deck.  This feature alone should let you know I will never rinse another dish as long as I live…or until Cherie finds out and makes me do it.

All those features are great, but it still isn’t perfect.  The glaring missing piece is that it won’t load the dishes for you and start itself. I mean come on!  In our technological day and age don’t you think someone can figure out a way to make a robot maid from The Jetsons and take me completely out of the equation?  Is that too much to ask!?

Nope, my dishwasher can’t do its job unless I put my dirty dishes in it and give it permission to make them clean by starting it.

Your life with Christ is the same way.

You can buy the best Bible on the market, download all the WOW 2000-whatever music you want, order all the coolest Christian swag, and even make it to church every week and still not be a Christian.  I can pray before meals, join a small group, and volunteer at the local homeless shelter and still have no idea who Christ is.

The reason is that you can have all the accessories, gadgets, tchotchkes, and features of the Christian life, but until you actually turn God on in your life He can’t work.  Until you give Him permission to start cleaning your dirty, junky, sin-filled life He’s as good as a dishwasher full of dirty dishes, soap ready to go, and the door open.

Jesus tells us clearly in the book of Revelation,

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” - Revelation 3:20

Jesus won’t load the dishwasher.

Jesus won’t start the load.

Jesus is waiting for you decide you want to be clean.  He is willing.

“So he(Jesus) traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”  -Mark 1:39-41 (emphasis mine)

Jesus is willing and able to clean you up, to make you new, to give you a new life with a spot free rinse like none other.

He is willing, but you have to be willing to give Him permission and push start on the dishwasher of your life.

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What Future Are We Leaving Our Kids To Choke On?

This very moment only lasts as long as the breath we have to live it and beyond that nothing is promised.

The moment between that next unpromised breath is called the future.  This future is something we have no control over but is what we leave for those left behind when we are gone.  In most cases, this is our children.   These are the recipients of the future we leave them whatever that may look like.

In today’s world we have lost sight of the future we are leaving our kids.

It shouldn’t surprise us though because as the world thrust itself down the Slip and Slide   of individualism and self promotion there is little time or energy to think about what our selfish lives leave in it’s wake.

Instead of leaving our kids a healthy legacy to look to as an example we are leaving them the residue of a life scraped for every last morsel spent on ourself.  Our kids are choking on our life exhaust and are gasping for air as they live their own.

Here is some of our life’s second hand smoke they are choking on:

  • Marriages – Parents we are leaving over 50% of our kids with the stain of divorce to  deal with and overcome in their relationships.  Even as Christians they will now have to wrestle with what the Bible says about marriage and divorcee and what we’ve taught them through our actions.  We need to leave our kids a better future.
  • Finances – Adults are leaving the next generation saddled with more debt than the world has ever seen.  Cost of living, buying groceries, owning a home, and even student loans for college will be more difficult than ever before because of the decisions we are making now.  We need to leave our kids a better future.
  • Addictions We have found a way to become addicted to more and more things every day.  Gone are the days of “simple” drugs and alcohol addiction because now we’ve added the complexity of social media, prescription drugs, pornography, cell phones, sports, and even our kids!  We need to leave our kids a better future.
  • Individualism - Never before has the world been more focused on themselves.  Reality TV, plastic surgery, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and even Youtube hits all are two thumbs pointing back to who we think is most important.  “This guy”.  We need to leave our kids a better future. 
  • SpiritualismOur world has diluted itself into a spiritual soup that believes in nothing and everything at the same time in order to maximize our happiness.  Right and wrong our now relative to the greater position of “only if you think so”.  The God of the Bible has had to share the stage with the god we want Him to be and our world slowly fades the True God into the background of our lives.  We need to leave our kids a better future.

My prayer is that we all can break out of the cocoon of “me” just long enough to truly examine what is being left in our wake.  As Christians, we need to decide now that we want our kids to have a strong marriage to model, a financial pattern to mirror, a healthy balance of life, a value of loving others more than ourself, and a life anchored, centered, and unwavering around the God of the Bible.

Then and only then may the words of Solomon ring true in our life and the future of our children.

“My son, pay attention to what I say;
listen closely to my words.

Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;

for they are life to those who find them
and health to a man’s whole body.

Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.

Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.

Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm. 

Do not swerve to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.”  - 
Proverbs 4:20-27

Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in what the world wants your life to look like and let yourself get overwhelmed with what God wants your life to be.

If we allow God to do that, we are sure to leave a brighter, cleaner, prosperous future for our children that won’t leave them gagging.

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I Hope My New Year Sucks And Yours Does Too

Gym memberships skyrocket, diet supplements fly off the shelves, and wedding vows are renewed.  Yep, it’s a new year and a new you is just on the horizon…or at least that’s what you hope.

After all if you’re able to fix just those one or two things in your life everything would be perfect.  Right?

I need to confess something.  I used to prey on that mentality this time of year when I worked in the fitness industry.  Every January we would prepare for the first of the year and waves of out of shape, overweight, mentally psyched up people to come streaming through the doors.  We would sign them up for memberships, get them all set up with a personal trainer or dietitian, follow up with them from time to time, and then just wait for them to drop like flies.

After all, the best type of gym membership a person can have from the business point of view is one that is always paid, but never used.  Think about it…all the revenue with none of the expense.

Sad to say, but it’s true.

What I know about you and I is that we all desperately want things to be better in our lives. But rarely do we choose the right things to start with in order to fix them.

We’d rather fix the exterior stuff like fat and muscle instead of dealing with the inside stuff like doubt, self confidence, and loneliness.  If we can create a faux version of ourself that looks great on the outside, maybe the world won’t know we’re rotting away on the inside.  Slowly we are dying from internal bleeding caused by deep wounds from our past and present sin.

Well let me tell you something.

You and I don’t need more makeovers we need to stop the source of our pain and that will suck for sure.

In the world of medicine there is a revolutionary treatment used to help with healing large wounds in patients.  It’s known as a Wound V.A.C and in laymen terms it helps to suck out all the infection and nasty that prevents healing so that the wound can closer sooner and healthier.  Patients that don’t utilize this treatment are nearly assured to have longer hospital stays and are at more risk for infection.

You and I need spiritual wound VAC’s in our lives this year.  We need this year to suck more than it has ever before if we ever want to start really living.  When we stop believing the lies that Satan wants us to believe about what “really needs fixing” and start trusting the Godly makeover that our Father really wants for us only then will we really see life changes that will stick.

And as Christians we know this is what God wants for us and Paul reminds us of that in Ephesians.

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22-23

My prayer for you and I this year is simple.

I pray God sucks as much garbage as possible out of your life as possible this year as He heals you from all of your wounds.

Don’t let Satan convince you that all you need to do is slap some lipstick on your “pig life” to make it look better this year.

Believe that God’s plan of internal healing may not bring external perfection, but it WILL bring you the life He’s always wanted you to have.

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