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Nov 8

Life’s Tests

Posted on Friday, November 8, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

tired_lost_sportmanClear shot at an eight-point buck, missed.
Perfect moment for a first kiss, interrupted.
Business plan, rejected.
Cleaned the house, not good enough.
Sincere proposal, denied.
Studied hard, failed.
Doctor’s report, bad news.
Ran your best race, lost.

Life is filled with disappointments.
Life is filled with happiness-crushing hassles.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Despite our circumstances and doubts Happiness IS possiblefor all of us.

Sometimes, the pursuit of happiness involves a change of mind, a new perspective, a reversal of direction. Sometimes it’s a mind-altering mysteries like, “great pain can become great possibilities and you can “pray your pain out.”

Nov 7

Pray Your Pain Out

Posted on Thursday, November 7, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

LightningWe’re all looking for happiness, and despite our doubts Happiness IS possiblefor all of us.

Sometimes, the pursuit of happiness involves a change of mind, a new perspective, a reversal of direction. Sometimes it’s a mind-altering mystery like, “Great pain can become great possibilities.”

Pray Your Pain Out

There are many reasons I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, but one of the nearest and dearest reasons is that despite my sins, shortcomings, and slanderous rants God has not blown me up with a bolt of lightning. Not that God ever threatened to do so, but you know sometimes I just think I deserved it.

Nov 6

The Reverse Game

Posted on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

half empty half full -141361_640We’re all looking for happiness. Fortunately, as I explained Monday, Happiness IS possible for all of us.

Sometimes, we discussed yesterday, the pursuit of happiness involves a change of mind, a new perspective, a reversal of direction.

The life of a man named Joseph was certainly challenging. He was someone whose life, heart and soul was challenged at every turn.

Great Pain Can Become Great Possibilities

Joseph, the eleventh of twelve brothers, was disliked by his older brothers. He lacked tact. He lacked humility. Despite his flaws, as God has done many times, God uses the unlikely to do the extraordinary. 

Nov 4

Happiness IS Possible

Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

We fantasize “if I ___, then I’d be happy.”

We worry that we won’t be.

Yesterday I heard Peter Haas wisely say, “Happiness is a spiritual problem not a circumstantial problem.”

Too often many of us fall into a spiritual funk when our circumstances take a turn for the worst:
– Why did God allow my child to get sick?
– Why did God allow my business to fail?
– Where is God when my pain is so bad?
– Where’s God’s love when I’m feeling so alone?

Nov 3

You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado

Posted on Sunday, November 3, 2013 in Emotional, Reviews, Spiritual, Values

Book.940.coverI read widely; because of the nature of my profession I read widely about pain and suffering. Some books are a blessing and others add to the burden.

Too often they contain secular philosophies that minimize or deny our divine connections. Others have psychologies that reduce our pain to warm-fuzzy banality. Worse yet are religious books that create empty lists of rules that either explain our pain as a consequence that can be blighted by good deeds or ones that explain it away in eternal language removed from the reality of real life.

May 16

Grace Transforms

Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Ruins_mill_city_museumGod transforms. God heals. God restores. God does so in my life and can do so in yours.

Max Lucado wrote, let grace, let God, “so seep into the crusty cracks of your life that everything softens. Then let it, let him, bubble to the surface, like a spring in the Sahara, in words of kindness and deeds of generosity.”

God will change you, my friend.

Jesus’ death is the means to new life for others…suffering is an avenue for God’s life to transform situations.” 1

May 14

When Grace Happens

Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

LonelinessSometimes it’s a challenging to feel safe enough to share our true feelings with others.

We fear the rejection, the judgment of others.

Sharing our feelings helps us.

When we share positive feelings we increase our positive self-regard. When we share our heavy feelings we often decrease the emotional weight we had been carrying alone. Sharing our feelings also helps us to build deeper relationships with people you care about and people who care about you.

In my experience connecting with God has been transformative.

Jan 4

Heaven: Guaranteed

Posted on Friday, January 4, 2013 in Emotional, Spiritual, Values

As 2013 unfolds there are many uncertainties.

Some of the future prompts unrest like the concerns and fears surrounding congressional tax hikes, budget cuts and a “fiscal cliff.”

Some of the future prompts hope; after all, as a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan hope despite the past is burned into my DNA.

Some of the future prompts joy; like the joy felt by my friends Ben and Kristin Kindred who married Monday.

The future may be uncertain, but there are future dates scheduled:

Dec 31

Parties & Problems

Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

You freely admit it. You’re a social guy. It doesn’t matter where the action is—you want to be in on it. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with his best buddies on a Saturday night?

On this particular Saturday night, however, there’s a problem. Your parents are out of town for the night, and you promised you’d stay home. Alone. As in you, yourself, and the family goldfish.

But then Drew calls. The movie’s over, and the guys are looking for a place to chill. Nothing wild, just to hang out, play some Xbox, unwind. You know you should say no. You gave your word. But Drew can be persuasive, and he knows your parents are gone. Before you know it, you’ve invited five guys over.

Dec 11

Our Journey Our Fear

Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Jesus Christ’s journey meant that he spent time at parties, dinners, friends’ houses, and enemies’ houses. 

He learned.
He listened.

He told jokes.
He gave hugs.
He laughed.

Jesus explained to the the people, “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.

The Pharisees objected, ‘All we have is your word on this. We need more than this to go on.‘” 1

I couldn’t agree more.
Not with Jesus.
With the Pharisees.