Friday, May 22, 2009


Lets be honest: NO ONE IS THE SAME
There are only 3 views:
1. God’s View
2. Everyone Else’s View
3. Your View
So lets talk about some of these ‘vantage points’…
Start with God’s:
1 Samuel 16:7 says: ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’
The author of 1 Kings 8:39 says: ‘Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart.’
The prophet Samuel wrote in 1 Samuel 2:3: ‘Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance! For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions.’
John 2:23-25
‘Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature. 25 No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like.’
Everyone Else’s View…
There will always be labels associated with you that have been given or said about you by your peers. Such assessments are partially accurate and some opinions of us are greatly exaggerated.
Those in the ‘public eye’ and considered popular are sometimes idolized or envied and others are publicly given grief and made an ‘example’ of…and there are some who are somewhere in between. I mean even Jesus was given grief by the ‘know it alls’ of their day-those religious leaders (Pharisees). And even Jesus’ disciples, Paul, and the early founders got a lot of grief-even death threats!
Character assassination has been prevalent throughout history…
Your View:
Last, but certainly not least…is the appraisal one makes of themselves. Its no secret that we all struggle with honesty. Because honesty demands that we concede that our self-perception may be grossly inflated.
Romans 12:3 & 12:16
‘Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us’
‘Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not be conceited.’
The struggle is not to be ‘high minded’ or think of ourselves as ‘wise’ when there is still much to learn. We also need to balance what is said of us and not take it to heart when it comes to things other than constructive criticism. Truth is, what other say, sometimes dictates what we do.
It is important, though, that we have a healthy view of ourselves.
Matthew 22:36-39
‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself’
The scripture implies having a good sound judgment and view of self. Now, sometimes the lines get blurred and we harbor the wrong kind of appreciation of ourselves-so much that it actually hinders our lives-sometimes even tormenting ourselves with unhappiness.
As mentioned before ‘BEHAVIOR FOLLOWS BELIEF’ and sometimes we have a nasty tendency not to believe-what God thinks about us, what our parents think about us or what we think about ourselves...instead believe too much of what others say about us. The scriptures are truth and God’s Word addresses our problems and offers hope to all who are in need-who seek knowledge and truth, support and confidence.
Jeremiah 29:11-13
"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me."
Remember that He has plans for good and not for disaster…
Challenge: Give yourself an honest evaluation!
Remember ‘behavior follows belief’…you need to take some time, maybe starting tonight-ask some tough questions of yourself. Have you given yourself an honest assessment lately? Are you too hard on yourself? Do you live to impress your friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, or your parents? Are you following their plans for your life and have you lost your own identity and dreams? Are you pouring too much time and energy into things that don’t matter? Are you too materialistic or ego-driven that other things have suffered? Do you feel alone and lost?
This is life and it’s time that you challenge yourself in ways that make you smile-not cringe!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

You, Me, and Marley!

Have you seen the movie 'Marley and Me'? It's a movie that I knew would be a 'tear-jerker' and I wasn't wrong. I don't plan to ruin the movie, however, I do plan to give you a snapshot about the movie: it's about a dog and his name is Marley, but it's not just about the dog, it's about the family in which Marley is a part of-it catalogs their journey as a family.
Interestingly enough, it's the ending I'd like to share with you...and I think it transcends the owners words about dogs...I think it has a lot to do with us. Here's the quote: 'A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes, a water-logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb, givem' your heart and they'll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare or pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?'
There's a portion of scripture that talks about how we are all 'LIKE GRASS' and will wither away-meaning our time here on Earth isn't very long.
So I think it's time that we chewed on the above quote...think about how God doesn't care if you're rich or poor, clever, dull, smart or dumb and that if you give Him your heart, He will give you His. I mean yeah, there are those in our lives that have made us feel rare, pure, special, and even extraordinary, but even those very people have made us feel disappointment, hurt, angry, lost, and uncertain. While we cannot protect ourselves, just know that all things come to an end-even good things.
I'm just curious as to whether or not we have an appreciation for the time we have been given...are we truly doing enough-our part when it comes to truly 'loving one another' as God instructed us to do or are we still in denial and going through the motions?
So the challenge is...write a list of those who have made you feel like you're on top of the world and then cross out their name if they've ever let you down. Because friends come and go and trust can be broken, but God will give His heart to you if you're willing to give Him yours...

Friday, May 8, 2009


I apologize for the lack of consistency on my's not fair to you the reader who's genuine thirst is halted because of my inability to make time for something I told myself I would commit to...which brings me to a song that I've been stuck on for the past few days. It's a song by Matthew West-someone I got to meet and chat with before he made it big, I was his bodyguard during a performance at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD-I even got a free autographed cd!
Anyway, off his new album is 'The Motions' which I think hits the nail on the head for all of us who claim to be Christians. If you click on 'The Motions' you will be taken to his website that is dedicated to explaining his motivation for the song- which also doubles as a place for anyone to 'recommit' or make a resolution not to continue down the path of 'going through the motions'. I think everyone should google search the lyrics to his song and listen carefully to his message...while it may not resonate with everyone, I know it will touch everyone who is in deed committed to their Christian walk.
I don't want to ruin the song for anyone, but I do plan to break down portions of his song and use it as a reference for this blog to get the ball rolling...
Right off the bat, he opens the song up with this: 'This might hurt, it's not safe
But I know that I've gotta make a change'...the interesting thing here is that 'this might hurt' indicates that there has been time and thought given to this decision and that 'I've gotta make a change' means they've dedicated themselves to this tough decision-they have the resolve and intend to see it through.
Now, we all have this thing about pain...we don't like it. We tend to build up protective barriers to pain-to shield us from the bi-products of pain: confusion, indecision, emotional hurt, and vulnerability. The crazy part is, we convince ourselves we can prevent such things from happening...when in fact, it's not natural and it's not a part of life. You can a hint or two from scripture: Genesis 3 and The Parable of the Talents.
If we don't seek Him and thirst after Him then we're more or less bland and loose our saltiness as indicated in Matthew 5:13-16.
Too often we forget His promises to us and His plans for us...we sometimes choose to do things our own way. And in our brokenness when we pray, we don't really mean it and give it up to Him...we're merely going through the motions. And sometimes we do things because 'that's what a Christian would do' rather than because we actually adopted it as a way of life. You see, Jesus came to teach us how to think, not what to think and we have a tendency to get them confused.
The truth is, we've done it the easy way-our way has always been the path of least resistance, but I think in the tough times we're supposed to learn something, we're supposed to grow and take note of God's lesson. There's a reason why nearly 80% of teenagers leave the church after graduating high school or why over 50% of marriages end in divorce...because when it gets tough...we quit. And if you think the disciples had it might want to re-read your Bible. On the night of His betrayal His followers fled as He foretold and they were lost sheep...we sometimes get lost and if you're 'going through the motions''s time to make a decision. While it won't be easy you know it's the right thing to do. Remember, you've done easy and now it's time to stop going through the motions.
By the way, I made my resolution-to do a better job of digging into His Word and putting down my reflections on this blog which I believe is a tool for many besides me.