Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Talk to Me

Here's healthy tip number one for being content in Christ: Communication

Being content in Christ means no worries, so, isn' that what we all want, a life without worry? Which kind of reminds me of a famous Mark Twain quote:

"Why complain about the weather, you can't change it!"

Enough said.

As in any good healthy relationship, communication is the key for it's survival.

 I love watching the zoo trainers as they feed the sea lions. They don't just throw fish at them, they communicate and interact with them. The trainers will have them: spin around, flap their fins as if to wave hello, and bark. This communication is important for the zoo trainers in order to build a trust factor with the sea lions, as trainers have to periodically do an examination on their health.

So communication also builds trust.

If you are a believer in Christ, ask yourself:

Do I talk to God?

How often do I talk to God?

Am I only talking to God when I need something?

King David is one of my favorite biblical characters because of the relationship he carried with God. David would literally lay his head upon a rock in the evening and simply talk to God. This is simplified prayer or just plain talking to God. David spoke to God as if he were his natural father, but knowing in reality God being something far greater, his Heavenly Father.

There are so many different facets of prayer, a structured prayer is okay in certain settings, but just plain old talking to God matters most. This means we have a relationship with Him built around understanding and trust. There is something to be said for just talking to God, perhaps it is us speaking from the heart and being  honest with God, which leads to understanding and trust. When Jesus said,

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."  (Mathew 5:8)

I believe He may have been hinting at: those who seek God open and honestly shall see and hear from Him. God knows each of our hearts, I believe the understanding and trust factor can only be built in a relationship that involves constant communication.

I love how throughout the four Gospels, especially Mathew, that God refers Himself to us as His Heavenly Father. He also instructs us to ask Him of anything, He wants us to think and act and talk to Him just as that, our Heavenly Father. He doesn't want us to speak to Him as if He were some kind of idol.

Do you consider Him as your own personal Heavenly Father? If so, begin to talk to Him that way. Spend time getting to know Him through His Word and through your worship of Him. Then everything in your life will begin to fall into place, and you will see those worries falter as your trust in Him grows.

You probably can already guess what healthy tip number two is on being content in Christ. Until then, talk to God with an open heart, talk to Him like a son or daughter talking to their father.

If you live in an area with no access to a Bible, click on my homepage link to biblegateway.com for more of God's encouraging Word.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Well, It's Alright

The Traveling Wilburys were a band  consisting of superstars: Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty.
Although they were only together for a handful of years in the late 80's, their songs remain big hits today as they continue gathering new listeners each day.

One of their songs, End of the Line has been stuck in my head for a few days now. And possibly for good reason, it's not only a fun guitar pickin' tune, but the message itself can resonate with anyone whether you are spiritual or not:

Well it's all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it's all right, if you live the life you please
Well it's all right, doing the best you can
Well it's all right, as long as you lend a hand

Most of the lyrics and message are about being content with who you are and not worrying about what others think:

Well it's all right, even if they say you're wrong
Well it's all right, sometimes you gotta be strong

Well it's all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it's all right, if you got someone to love

Don't have to be ashamed of the car I drive
Im just glad to be here, happy to be alive
It don't matter if you're by my side
Im satisfied

Well it's all right, even if you're old and grey
Well it's all right, you still got something to say
Well it's all right, remember to live and let live
Well it's all right, the best you can do is forgive

Boy, if all of us believers in Christ could get this whole "walking in Christ" thing together, and not worry about what other people say or think, and let the life we live be our witness, we would probably be more joyful, content and happy as this song suggests we should.

In my next couple of blog posts I will provide some healthy tips on how to be content in Christ, but for now, here is one:

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!  (Psalm 34:8)

And my prayer for you this day:

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and
peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope
through the power of the Holy Spirit
.    (Romans 15:13)

As always, if you are living in an area with no access to a Bible, click on the biblegateway link on my home page, for more encouragement only found in God's Word.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thinking Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

One day I visited the new gorilla house at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo and found myself there at the right time. While looking at a momma gorilla sitting only inches away from me with nothing but a thick pane of glass between us, one of the trainers came by and gave me an experiment to try. She asked if I had any photos in my wallet and if so, to pull them out. She had me hold up one photo for the gorilla to look at, after a few seconds the gorilla would tap on the glass, which meant she was ready to see the next photo. This went on for a few minutes as I showed her all the photos that were in my wallet at that time. Amazing!

In one of a gazillion scientific studies on Primates (chimps, gorillas, and orangutans) it has been proven that this species of animal has some of the same thought patterns as us humans. And in fact can think and plan ahead in certain situations.

One o f the most used quotes I used on teens when I was a Youth Pastor was, "Thinking is dangerous to your health." Basicly what I was driving at is we all have a tendency to think too much, over analyze the situations we may be in, or just plain think without any action. It does us no good to think or concern ourselves with things if they are driving us to the point of: worry, doubt, cause anxiety,
 or do damage to our faith. 

 Turn your worry into worship.

Don't get me wrong, carrying a sense of concern over another person, especially a family member is okay. But if you are going to carry that burden with you and let it linger, you are only making yourself feel worse. Some people will do this to no end, and you can see the burden they are carrrying do damage to their own well being, as they let it steal their joy and happiness. Why?

The last few weeks I have heard so many messages on faith, heard countless testimonies on faith, and read alot on faith through posts on the internet and in scripture, which has obviously led me to to do yet another blog post on faith.

In the Book of Hebrews we are taught that "without faith it is impossible to please God", so does this mean when we lack faith in a situation we may be in, we are displeasing to God?

If we find ourselves in a difficult situation or a circumstance arises unexpectedly, and we kind of have a moment where our faith does disappear, I call that a momentary lapse of faith; which is okay as long as we quickly right the ship, take a deep breath, and get back to a focus on who is really in control of the situation.

Now if things happen to us day after day and we moan and complain to God and have no faith at all, yes that is displeasing to God. We are actually saying we are hesitant about God and what He can do for us.

One's faith in God is about learning about God, knowing about God, and having a relationship with God. Through prayer, worship, and reading His Word and confessing it over our lives and our struggles, is what builds our faith.

Keep yourself away from thinking too much and over analyzing everything.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.   (Philipppians 4:8)

As always, if you have no access to a Bible go on my link to biblegateway.com on my home page, for more on faith.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


As promised,for my 300th blog post I thought I would share some snippets from some of the great stories of what God had done in people's lives. You can find the entire story of these and many more through my archives on the home page. The following portion of scripture holds truth and applies to the following stories:

"Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." (Mathew 18:19,20)

Cabdriver Joe: This was my first post and probably my favorite, mainly because it was just literally myself and Joe praying for the situation he was in. He need some extra finances to pay a medical bill for his wife and needed to pay it by the end of the month. With the two of us praying each day his need was met by the end of the month and in a gigantic way. While dropping off a patron in his cab at the airport, Joe found a plain white envelope containing  a whole lot of money. The envelope had no name on it nor any slip of paper inside it, just money. God provided more than 30 times what he needed. To read the whole story check it out on my archives on my home page. (April 2009)

Lassie Come Home: Everyone loves a good dog story, and this one happened to my mom and her sister when they were teenagers back in the 50's, when the Collie Breed that resembled the tv dog was considered to be one of the most expensive dogs. Nevertheless, their dog who carried the same name, Lassie, was stolen from their yard. My grandfather had the kids pray each day and evening for her return. Thier dog returned a month a later in a miraculous way, which you can read for yourself, just to build up the suspense! (April 2009)

Rev. Ray's Say So:  My friend Ray wrote this three part testimony and I transcribed it to my blog. A great testimony of God's faithfulness when he needed it most. A testimony on being healed from prostrate cancer. And, coincidentally, our church has several men that have been healed of prostrate cancer. You will be encouraged and strengthened when you read his full story. (May 2009)

An Amazing Cancer Say So! : Our church group of about twenty men prayed for one gentleman's friend who had stage 4 throat cancer. A week later during a doctor's appointment his x-rays revealed all the tumors had disappeared. Wow!

Then, we have a strange but true story that happened to me:

Yes, Believe it or not, It Happened: This was a very odd happening that happened to myself a couple days before my birthday. After having a bad day and week, an after work run on the trails provided an unexpected sign hanging in the woods that read:
Happy Birthday. The letters were worn as you can tell the sign had been there for days and I'm pretty sure it wasn't meant for me. But it sure lifted my spirits when I needed it most. The picture is posted at my post of this story, so check it out. (October 2009)

And then, of course, you have some of my favorites that I enjoy doing every Christmas Season, my Christmas movie reviews. If you have an inkling to see a Christmas movie as we approach Spring, feel free to check them out! I also have many posts that you will see coincide with obscure films you may have never heard of, but worthy of viewing.

Thanks for allowing me to encourage, enlighten, and strengthen you as you choose to walk the one and only path that one needs to be walking on, not just during the hard times, but the good times as well. I'll keep sharing as long as you keep on reading.