Performance Mentality vs. Abiding in Christ

Performance Mentality vs. Abiding in Christ So…I’m given this spiritual freedom: the power of both sin and death over me is broken because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This creates a conundrum in me where I am free to sin as I please (it cannot separate me from the love of God), yet my spirit is bound to Jesus, thus I’m fundamentally not satisfied with sinning and I want to avoid it. While writing on this subject, James Bryan Smith says, “I am free to make choices ...

Affirmation, not Creation

Affirmation, not Creation Dr. Gary Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages” taught me why affirmations have always been so important to me. Under the proper encouragement, I can overcome just about anything. Yet, I have learned over time that, affirmations are just that, affirmations of worth, not creation or worth. Without the foundation of identity to rest on, affirmations are like drinking salt water – the more you consume, the less you actually have. I was confused by this for a long time. I had ...

Confession of Something I Wish I Knew Better

Confession of Something I Wish I Knew Better I am now learning that God allows pain, in part, to remind each other of the treasures we already have. A leg is taken from a man; now I thank God for my legs. A woman was not given a trust worthy father; now I rejoice for the good father I still have. My wife and I are not given a child; now others can feel deep gratitude for their own child. Trust is broken over and over again in a ...

The importance of “ed”

The importance of “ed” Do you create, or are you created? We are, first and foremost, created by God, in whom we have our being and without whom we have nothing. Thankfulness and adoration must forever remain directed to God alone. From that point forward there is a great gap between those who do, and do not, understand what Allan Watts meant when he said, “It is not the wake that drives the boat.” Think about several people with whom you know some of their story, ...

I’ve been Good to Life

I’ve been Good to Life   Recently I had opportunity to meet with someone I’ve not seen for about 12 years. When he saw me, he smiled and said, “You look great! Life has been good to you.” It has? I was under the impression that life has been a mixed bag of stress, joy, and deep disappointment, with a dash of happiness thrown in for flavor. At first I thought this was just a social pleasantry, but considering this man’s professional expertise and history with my ...

My Life is Hard and I Prefer it that Way

My Life is Hard and I Prefer it that Way This is an odd thought, I know, but hear me out and you might find that you agree. Let me paint you two different pictures: First, we have a young man who grew up in a new suburb, lived in a big house with a theater room, game room, and a hot tub out back. His family was wealthy, but never filthy rich. They went on a tropical cruise every year, he usually had the latest generation of phone and gaming ...

The Surprising Truth about Forgiveness

The Surprising Truth about Forgiveness I think it’s safe to say that everyone who reads this has been hurt by someone, either emotionally or physically. Think back to one of those moments. Now, I want you to imagine that the hurt they caused you gets drawn out of your body and soul and is transformed into a large burning coal in the palm of your hand. Imagine you hold this orange, sizzling coal in your open hand. What would be your normal reaction? Jerk your ...

Could Everyone be an Addict? (Part 1)

Could Everyone be an Addict? (Part 1) In his book, Addiction and Grace, Dr. Gerald May said, “To be alive is to be addicted, and to be alive and addicted is to stand in need of grace.” What do you think about that statement? Are you an addict? Based on a proliferation of stereotypes, my guess is most people would say “no”. If I ask you to picture a heroin junkie, a pot head (yes, you absolutely can get addicted to weed), or an alcoholic, what type ...

Could Everyone be an Addict? (Part 2)

Could Everyone be an Addict? (Part 2) Before beginning this post, I encourage you to read Part 1 because it holds several important and foundational ideas needed to understand and apply this post to its fullest potential. Read it. Chew on it. Then come back to this blog post and continue reading. 12-step programs, AA in particular, have been the butt of many debates ranging from “They’re God’s gift to man” to “They’re arrogant and ineffective”. It would be easy for us to jump into the debate along ...

The 2 Most Important Questions Everyone Must Ask

The 2 Most Important Questions Everyone Must Ask Would you believe me If I told you the 2 most important questions were: How happy am I? How much money do I make? I certainly hope you don’t believe me because those questions are garbage. Would you really let money define you like that? How do you even quantify happiness? No, both of these questions are rubbish. They are merely things in which society wants me to feel the pressure of performance. What about these next two questions: How wise am I? How much do ...