Everything listed under: life application

  • Difficulties

    The road of a Christian in today's world is not an easy one.  I don't think it was ever intended that way.  Look at some of the words Christ spoke in the scripture; Matt. 5:11, "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me." John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world". Difficult times are a p...

  • Death

    Yesterday I attended a funeral and was reminded how very hard death is under any circumstances.  As Christians, death is our biggest challenge....the death of ourselves.  Whenever we put away something permanently, even something bad for us, it can be difficult.  Ask anyone currently trying to quite a bad habit like smoking.  It isn't that they think smoking is good for them, or even enjoy some of the consequences, but death of something we have experienced for so long is not...

  • Moment by Moment

    Growing up, my mom use to always utter the phrase "this too shall pass" after any crisis or catastrophe I would face.  It honestly used to drive me crazy.  Not that I didn't understand the temporary nature of my ordeal, but at the time it was hard to see past the moment.  Not matter where you are today, it will pass.  Good times, bad times, times of uncertainty, times of victory, all moments are made to pass, that is why they are moments.  Understanding the temporary nat...

  • Pain

    This past week I was reminded by many how hard life can be.  Sometimes life does not and will not make sense.  I am not sure it is suppose to.  A world without God can only be lost, and therefore His people have to suffer from living in a land of loss.  We should expect little less and not be surprised when times are hard.  However what we can trust in is hope and the promise of peace above and beyond our hurt. This peace may come now or in the form of ete...

  • Worry

    I will admit, I worry.  I know in my heart it does little good, yet I still find myself worrying about so many things that I have little, to no control over.  Worry for many centers on the future.  It is our way of trying to control something that we have no ability, nor right, to control.  We are taking our eyes off of today, to worry about tomorrow.  God's design and gift to us is a life of no worry.  He has given us both the ability and the right to dump everythi...

  • One Day

    I was reading the story of Job this morning and realized that his entire life changed in one single day.  The morning he lost his family and all his possessions, started just as any morning before it.  Yet this day would offer tragedy and challenge he had never known before. Life changes in a single moment, and we are never aware of what is to come.  God's plans are never known.  I wonder what today holds for you and me?  Will we face tragedy of a loved one?  A job ...

  • Life

    The goal of life is not the house, the car, big bank accounts, retirement, or even that special vacation home.  These things while nice and very much enjoyable, will not lead us to a place of happiness and contentment we so often pursue.  This is something I have to continue to remind myself, as the world tries to convince me otherwise. These things only serve to mask the deeper need we have for relationships.  Now some might think that by having that spec...

  • Temporary

    As I sit in my study this August morning, I recognize the temporary nature of all that is around me.  Someday this house will be old and worn down, needing to be replaced or rebuild.  The cars in the drive way will eventually serve their purpose, and miles, and also need to be replaced.  My kids will eventually grow older and depart our family, starting families of their own.  Even my body will eventually surrender to age and no longer function as it once did.  It i...

  • Class of 87

    25 years ago this month, I graduated from Metro Christian Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  It seems like only yesterday I was attending prom with a certain young lady, not a clue what the future would hold.  How quickly things change.  Now I am over 40, with two kids, a wife and a second career.   Sometimes I am amazed at how fast time passes.  I really can't believe it has been 25 years. And to think, 25 years from now I will be in my sixty's, watching my own...

  • New Start

    Last weekend I had the wonderful privilege of speaking to a group of couples in Wichita, KS on the subject of Blended Families.  It was refreshing to see so many couples energetic about new opportunities in relationships.  Each person I met had failed at least once in a previous relationship and were determined to get it right the next time, both as a parent and a spouse.  Failures are a part of life on planet earth.  If you have not failed you probably haven't tried.  T...

  • Balance

    Balance is a wonderful part of life.  We see it in nature, we see it in our bodies, we also see it in relationships.  In order to have strong relationships, we must also have a healthy balance.  Fathers are better fathers when they balance this role with time for themselves, with peers, as a husband, and with a career and/or hobby.  Mothers are better mothers when they balance this role with time for themselves, with peers, as a wife and also with a career and/or hobby. ...

  • Faith or Fear?

    When I was a young boy, my step dad would entertain me and my brother by moving his finger back and forth through the flame of a candle.  I was amazed at his ability to be unhurt, while touching the hot flame.  One day he pressed me to try the trick myself, at first I refused, but at some point I made the decision to trust him and found that one can move a finger through the base of a flame without getting burned. In the battle between fear and faith, faith (in my step dad) won th...

  • Can't

    Each morning I can't.  I can't succeed as a therapist, I can't please my wife, she can't please me, we can't have a meaningful relationship, I can't be a good father, my kids can't overcome the pressures of the teenage years, I can't feel good about myself, I can't feel good about my body, I can't overcome my current crisis, I can't handle my financial difficulties, I can't..., I can't..., I can't.  Sound familiar to anyone? God created us to need Him, and a relationship with Him....

  • Thoughts

    2 Corinthians 10:5, "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ". Each person has a choice on the thoughts they dwell on each moment of the day.  We can be tricked into believing that our thoughts own us, when we actually own our thoughts.  We can also easily become a product of our thoughts, becoming people of bitterness, negativity, envy, worry, immorality, just t...

  • connect

    This morning I had the wonderful opportunity to go for a run with my son Christian before church.  He is at that great age where we can share hobbies together.  We are currently training for a half marathon in April.  I love spending time with Christian, he is a wonderful boy.  One of the things I love best about my son is his love for relationships. When we run Christian loves to talk.  During our run I will get a thousand questions ranging from "who...

  • Prosperity

    "Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man, but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity".  Thomas Carlyle When confidence and expectations are high, we set ourselves up for disappointment, bitterness and eventual anger.  God desires our utmost trust in Him, regardless of our prosperity.  This is not to say we don't have hope for a better life, or for worldly achievements and rewards, but our hope must centered in Christ and His ultimat...

  • Desires

    Psalms 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart." Desires are something that can be found in abundance in our world today.  Our dreams and ambitions are bigger and better than ever before.  We find ourselves wanting so much, in short order, and with limited effort.  But in my experience, when we finally capture our desires, they very often only lead to more desires.  It's like finishing a race only to find out that you have one more ...

  • Desire

    I will be the first to admit that it is not always easy to write these blogs.  I find myself doubting my ability, insight, or even peoples interest in reading them.  I myself avoid many blogs sent to me.  However, God has a way of working through my insecurities and doubt to touch His people. I do not confess to have any unusual talents or gifts above others.  But God continues to prove His ability to work through me for His good pleasure, and I am thankful to be a witness to...

  • work

    John 17:4, "I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do." Christ glorified the Father while on earth by accomplishing the work set before Him.  We are called to the same task during our limited time on earth.  However, this is not the work of a career, but more of the use our God-given talents to increase the kingdom of heaven, and to lead others to a greater knowledge and appreciation of the Lord.  To do the Lord's work is to sacr...

  • Complete

    It seems like everywhere I look people are striving for completeness.  They're searching for that special person or circumstance that makes life all come together.  It is as if the perfect job, spouse or friend will bring us a lifetime of peace, security and joy.  And when we don't find it, we keep looking, in the same place.  Is it any wonder that we have so much stress and anxiety in our world today? The only lasting peace, security and joy that will stand the test of ...

  • Expectations

    Ephesians 3:20-21, "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen. Anticipation and expectations always get me into trouble.  The fact the God is able to exceed my wildest dreams does not mean He will, or that it is necessarily the best thing for me.  God's ability and unconditional love gives me hope...

  • Searching

    "The one thing you absolutely need is the one thing you can never lose:  God's presence with you."  I read this quote today and could not help but feel a sense of peace at knowing that God is always with me.  It is easy to get caught up in the things or relationships of this world, thinking that without them we can not survive.  However, what we can not live without is God in our lives.  I believe it is this, that man searches for each and every day, often mistaking it f...

  • Trust

    Following God is not always easy and generally leads to times of discomfort and uneasiness.  It is the avoidance of these times that keep many from a closer, deeper relationship with the Lord.  However, in my experience, it is these times that offer a depth of growth that can not be duplicated.  To truly know the Lord, we must learn to truly trust in Him, which comes at times when trust in ourselves is not enough. Psalms 37: 3-5, "Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwel...

  • Forget

    Last night I spent time with a two clients, one 24 and the other 42, both grieving the divorce of their parents and its effect on their lives years later.  We all have past issues located in our present.  Whether you are the kind of person that ignores it and stuffs it down, or a person that lives with it everyday through your emotions, be it anger, hurt or guilt, the past continues to occupy your life.  I believe we have a choice in how we live each and every day, and in the prio...

  • Weak

    Paul said, "for when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor. 12:10b)".  Paul knew how strong man's tendency is to fight our weaknesses.  I am as guilty as the next of avoiding or hiding my weaknesses to appear strong to others, and often to myself.  Weak moments are not often seen as highlights in our journey through life.  However, as I reflect on my highlights, it was at these moments that I felt God's presence the most.  It was at my weakest moments that I ...

  • Monday

    It is Monday morning and I already feel behind.  I feel like I have 26 hours of task to accomplish in a 24 hour day.  I am convinced that 7 days in a week is just not enough.  I know from experience that this is not the best way to start my week. This kind of pace focuses my attention on things that don't matter.  I can easily become short, bitter, and anxious, lacking in patience, love and acceptance, not to mention thanksgiving.  What I must do to change this...

  • Not Enough

    I remember a visitor to our church many years ago making the reference between Christians and a cup, to be filled we must first be empty.  In life this is very often true.  When we come to the end of our rope, God is there waiting to rescue, bless and sustain us.  But don't miss the fact that very often we have to be empty or at the end of our rope first. Trials, tribulations and life in general, can leave us feeling empty, frustrated and defeated.  We can feel alone, attacke...

  • Peace

    Ever have trouble slowing down?  I do.  It seems like this fast paced world we live in makes it near impossible.  I think this plays right into the enemies hands.  How insignificant and unproductive we must be running through life in a mode of reaction, seldom acting on wisdom or insight, but more of reflex and instinct.    What would happen if we took the time to just BE STILL?  What would God tell us and how would we approach the problems of th...

  • Rejoice

    Isaiah 62:10, "I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exult in my God" We are called to rejoice and exult the Lord.  Regardless of circumstances, feelings or emotions,we are called by God to rejoice and exult.  Obedience is about doing what you know to do, not what you feel like doing.  God is pleased with our obedience and our relationship grows every stronger regardless of emotions, but as a result of an active relationship.

  • Dependence

    For me personally, the line between self reliance and trust in God is often very blurry.  I think it is in my DNA to want to do things in my own power and ability.  I know if is often very hard to rely on other people, much less God.  But I also recognize how my pride gets in the way of a deeper relationship with God.  God wants my totaly submission.  He wants me to rely only on Him.  My power and ability will never be enough for what He has planned for my life.&nbs...

  • Leaving the Dock

    Many times during my weekly triathlon training, I find myself swimming in a local lake at 5am with several equally deranged christian men.  It is always a little unsettling to leave the lighted dock area to venture ahead into the dark early morning water.  I have to possess a degree of trust in my ability and safety to move forward. Life often brings us to a place where moving forward is accompanied by anxiety and fear.  We have to believe in the direction of our pu...

  • Gladness

    I wake up many mornings fighting for gladness (Monday's are the worst).  It seems circumstances often define the difficulty of this struggle.  It is as if there is a voice in my head reminding me that gladness is not within my reach today.  Sometimes it points out the difficulties of my job, other times it reminds me of family issues, it also can point to future worries, or confidence issues I have with myself.  Each morning I have the choice of liste...

  • Distractions

    I've noticed recently in my counseling sessions, and in my own life, how easily distractions come and how we can lose sight of God and His provisions for our life.  Yet He never leaves us, it is us who leave Him.  Our attention and focus goes away from Him and on the things of this world.  These distractions keep us from living the life we, as Christians, were meant to life.  A life of hope, peace and victory. John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I...

  • Abundance

    Ephesians 3:20, "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us." Abundance defined by the world has the look of new cars, nice homes, exciting vacations, wonderful shopping trips, the latest electronics, and the list goes on.  Yes God can produce all these things, but His abundance is in "fruit"; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  One will satisf...

  • Thanks

    God reminded me over the weekend of His incredible presences and grace.  His unconditional love and strength follow me even when my sin should surely snuff it out.  God's mercy is everlasting.  I am so incredibly thankful that His loving kindness is a product of His nature and not mine.  What a wonderful God we serve that seeks to know us intimately all the days of our life.  His strength is always available at any moment of need.  Than...

  • Stillness

    Did you see God today?  He is all around us, but only if we have eyes to see.  He is in a smiling face, an encouraging word, a cool breeze, a needed rain drop.  He is in the mighty wind, a child's hug, an encouraging thought, a still moment.  I find that God is always with me, I must do nothing to have Him near short of recognizing His presences and removing my own distractions.  Psalms 46:10, "Cease striving and know that I am God" (NAS)

  • Fruit

    Galatians 5:22-23 says, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is not law". What happens when we are called to love the unlovable?  What if we don't have the patience required?  What if joy is not within our reach?  If the Spirit lives in us so also should these attributes, but I will be the first to admit my own failures.  However, God does not call me to live by the Spi...

  • now

    As I reflect today on God's mercy and goodness displayed throughout my life, and anticipate with hope His blessings for tomorrow, I can't help but realize His presence right now.  In this still, quiet place He is here.  The relationship is now, the fellowship is today.  God has not promised me tomorrow only the opportunity to praise and serve Him today. 

  • Hope

    This morning as I trained along side my partner I questioned my sanity.  Early morning rides, in the dark and rain, do not seem like the best way to start a day.  And if I focused entirely on my body and emotions I would never get out of bed.  Yet my drive and perseverance comes not from how I feel but in hope of what can be attained by my effort and drive.  There is nothing in the world like finishing a race and achievin...

  • today

    Psalms 143:8, "Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul. This is the day to lay down my worries, my agenda, my schedule, my ambitions, my life, and rest in the God of yesterday, today and forever.  Rest in His lovingkindness and His mercy, comforted in the peace of my savior and Lord.

  • Mondays

    After a very wonderful vacation on Cape Cod last week it is somewhat hard to get up on Monday morning. The day after a vacation or weekend always seems to bring with it a little sadness.  Why can't weekends and vacations last forever??  Yet this morning as I prepared for the day I was reminded that God is at work in me and in my life.  I can look forward to this day and this week with wonderful anticipation of what He can and will do in and through me.  I am being ever-m...

  • mountains

    I recall one summer climbing Crested Butte mountain with Heather and the kids.  It was a long, hot climb with many moving rocks and steep ascents.  I remember all of us being discouraged at some point wondering if we would ever make it to the top.  Once we arrived the view was second to none.  We sat for some time enjoying lunch, time together, and a 360 degree picture only God could paint.  Recently I have had times of discouragement and frustration wondering if I ...

  • mind

    Romans 12:2, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect". Emotions are a part of life.  They effect every aspect of our day from what we eat, to how we spend our time, to even how we sleep.  Yet the ability to master our emotions often hold the key to our ability to a complete (and perfect) relationship with God.  Each day with have the opportu...

  • slave2

    I have recently been reading a book on the Lordship of Christ and our position as "slave". This is not an easy concept to grasp nor a popular one. None the less when we give our lives to Christ we become His and His alone.

  • change

    Before Joseph became Pharaoh's second in command he spent time as a slave, before Moses delivered the Israelites he spent time in the wilderness, before Saul became Paul he spent time blind.  Very often to get to a point where God can effectively use us we must first go through times of trials and tribulation.  This is God's process of refining us to a place where we can abundantly shine for Him and His purpose.  We are being changed into the image of Christ, and what follows is t...

  • direction

    Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart". The key to finding God's direction and purpose for your life is not in the strength of your faith but in the priority and intent of your life.  God only reveals Himself and His plan to those committed to serving Him above all else. 

  • purpose

    Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them".  No two people are alike.  Each of us has different talents and gifts, and even purpose according to God and His plan for our lives.  We can often get frustrated or anxious when our life does not match those of our friends or neighbors.  Success does not come in what you have or don't have, been in who you are and what you are...

  • perception

    Somehow, somewhere I have gained the perceptions that I am in control.  That I can control my destiny, my success, my happiness, my safety, my family, my world.  With this perception comes a feeling of failing when things are not within my control.  This feeling can then turn to a perception of myself as a failure because of my lack of control over my world or circumstances.  Yet the thing I so often miss is that I am never in control and neither is my world.  ...

  • answers

    Today I don't have all the answers.  Not sure why this surprises me, I didn't have them yesterday nor the day before.  Yet for some reason I wake up each morning expecting them.  This is the battle that I fight each and every day, me and my expectations waging war against God and my trust in Him and His plan for my life.  Yet I acknowledge that a victory for God is a victory for me.  So I will lay down my life for the life He would have me live.

  • equip

    Today I went on a nice morning ride to start the day.  It has been a while since I have biked any distance and my body immediately let me know it.  But I also felt a sense of accomplishment throughout the remainder of the day for getting in such a workout.  When I miss my morning quiet time with God I feel the absence throughout my day as well.  Not unlike exercise it is often times very hard to get back into the habit of spiritual growth.  But also like a good bike ride...

  • Carmel

    On Tuesday afternoon of this week I arrived in Carmel, California with my dad and brother for a long awaited golf weekend.  What a spectacular place.  I have a hard time taking in the magnitude of this incredible setting.  It is such a privilege to see how truly amazing our God is through His creation.  I have such an appreciation for the depth, breath and mystery of a God that can create such a setting.  As I sit on the balcony looking over the pacific, I am aware ...

  • end of the world

    I heard a lot about the end of the world this past Saturday.  I have to admit to being a little disappointed when Sunday morning didn't start in eternal glory.  With that said, I also don't want to make the mistake of not enjoying the day ahead, even if it's short of Heaven.  You see I am not guaranteed tomorrow and neither are you.  For all we know today might be our "end of the world", so the goal is to see it for what it truly i...

  • cloud

    This morning as I finished a brief jog I noticed how the clouds had formed a perfect arrow facing west just above me.  It reminded me of how often I question life and "where I am" or "how I got here".  I don't know about you but at times I very much wish God would provide a road map so that I can at least know I am on the right life track in this crazy thing we call "life".  But as I looked up at the sky I realized that all my life He has provided that map each and every time I ne...

  • today

    "Most of the situations that entangle your mind are not today's concerns; you have borrowed them from tomorrow". I found this statement earlier this morning during my quiet time and thought it extremely accurate.  I personally find it so hard at times to focus on today, and I don't seem to be alone.  Just last night I was visiting with a couple who were both attacked with fear and anxiety all over things that might occur in their future.  I think...

  • trust

    Trust in God is a funny thing because it is often associated with fear and unrest.  In order to totaly commit to our Lord we must be willing to totally ignore our fears, thoughts, emotions and expectations at times, and place them in the hands of our maker.  A pastor once said, "trust is not about being willing to go out on a limb for God, its about your willingness to saw off the limb".  But this trust in God builds a deeper understanding and relationship with Him that ...

  • 1 Peter 1

    Sometimes it is hard to understand, recognize or even perceive that trials are temporary.  1 Peter 1:6 says, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necassary, you have been distressed by various trials".  Peter goes on to say that the proof (and joy) of our faith is not in what we see (or feel) but in what we know.  Daily I see the results of trials on relationships and emotions.  If we rely on what we feel, our emotions will get the best of us, ...

  • finish line

    I finished a race yesterday.  It wasn't a marathon or triathlon, but more of a life race.  This race was one of emotions and anxiety, of which I had never experienced in my life.  You see, after fighting a battle with her health for over 3 months, my wife received a bill of good health yesterday from the doctor.  I celebrate today after crossing the finish line of my most challenging race yet.  I am grateful for the presence of my Lord and Savior thro...

  • Post Easter

    After the wonderful celebration of Christ resurrection this weekend, Monday morning can hit  me like a Mack truck.  The pressures, temptations and conflict often left on Friday afternoon is waiting for us on Monday morning.  Almost all mountain top experiences lead to the eventual acescent to the valley below.  In Hebrews 12:1-2, we are called to lay aside every encumbrance..and run the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes o...

  • Storms

    This morning as I studied Mark 4, I found myself relating with the disciples in the boat with Jesus.  Verse 37 says, "And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filled up".  I can so much relate to "a fierce gale of wind" and "waves" breaking over my boat.  Life seems to be a constant set of storms, one after another, filling my boat with water.  Yet as I look back at my life, Christ was (a...

  • good enough

    Many times I personally struggle with not measuring up.  No matter how hard I try, I often feel like I miss the mark, that I am unable to attain some imaginary level of expectation I have placed on myself, or maybe others have place on me.  I have also had the opportunity to meet several people who share the same feelings.  It almost feels like we wear a mask hoping that no one will see the real person underneath.  The "not good enough" father, mother, hus...

  • progress

    There seems to be a fine line in life between total trust in God and trust in my self.  On one hand, I want to be able to surrender my fears, worries and ambitions to His loving hands, trusting in patience and submission that He will supply all my needs according to His riches (Phil 4).  But on the other hand, I believe God wants to use me, and my talents, and will to press on and overcome for His glory and pleasure.  To be a man of action at times.  So when to I go and when ...

  • submission

    Isn't it extremely easy to let the little things in life frustrated us.  Take the weather as an example, this past few weeks have been the most windy and dry I can remember in some time.  I find myself getting frustrated and annoyed, letting my senses and comfort dictate my attitude and perception of the day at hand.  Yet God is in control of everything.  The bible says He is working in everything (and in me) for His glory and pleasure (Phil. 2:13).  My role is to r...