Spiritual Life

This Story Of Trusting God Will Inspire You

When I was in college and through my mid-twenties, I spent a lot of time surfing on the central coast of California. Surfing is an amazing experience. If you’ve never surfed before and you have the opportunity to do it, go for it. Although, after hearing this story, you might change your mind. Still surfing is amazing!

Generally, the central coast has waves that range from 3-7 feet in height. And most days the waves are 3-5 feet. Which is perfect for me. But every once in awhile a storm will come through and create some much larger swells. On this life-changing day, my friends and I were surfing in 10-13 foot swells.

To give you a visual, think about a basketball hoop. The rim is at 10 feet and the top of the back board is at 13 feet. So picture riding a mountain of water that is somewhere in that range. Or you can picture a mountain of water that size crashing down on you!

Now it’s amazing if you are on the wave and riding that little mountain. Not so amazing if you are inside the mountain getting tossed around.
Getting Humbled By The Ocean
On this day, we paddled out and I ended up catching a smaller wave and riding it for a little while. After getting off the wave, I paddle out and dove through the waves until I was able to catch another 10-13 footer, but this time I didn’t ride it well and ended up wiping out and getting thrashed around by the wave.

If you could put yourself inside of a giant washer machine and then turn it on, this is about what it would feel like to be tossed around […]

By |September 4th, 2017|Spiritual Life|0 Comments

How To Use Pain And Fear In Your Life

For those of you who know me, you know I’ve been suffering from Fibromyalgia like symptoms for a few years now. It’s a crappy thing to deal with, to say the least. To give you an idea of what it feels like think about the last time you got a vaccine. Do you remember getting a shot in your shoulder and you get that deep ache afterward? It’s like deep muscle soreness but not exactly.

That is what I have been experiencing in my shoulders, hips, feet, and lats for over two years now. Not fun! I’m not writing this to complain. I’m writing this as a sort of message to myself and hopefully an encouragement to each of you. I was recently reading the bible and I stumbled on a couple verses that are extremely encouraging for me.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
My Fears About This Pain
I’m a very active person. As I write this post, both my legs are bouncing underneath the table. I love almost any sport and if I could, I would play a sport or do an activity every day. With my passion for being active, this disease or ailment can be a big hindrance to being active.

But I think what is more of a hindrance is my fear. My fear of the pain or what could be. When I live out of this attitude I hesitate to take action. It prevents […]

By |August 23rd, 2017|Spiritual Life|0 Comments

Discovering How To Feed Your Passion And Purpose

There’s a trend in our culture right now about discovering your passion and purpose. I find the language around passion and purpose to be particularly important and interesting. No one talks about creating a passion for something. What you hear instead is phrases like find your passion and discover your passion. This is very revealing. No one can really create their passion or purpose.

People may be able to grow their passion or find themselves in circumstances to discover their passion. But I don’t believe anyone creates their own passion and purpose. And that’s a good thing. If it is something we create, it will be limited. If it is something from a different source, the potential is unlimited. That’s exciting.
Passion And Purpose Isn’t Something We Create
I was talking to a friend in the parking lot of a coffee shop when the idea of growing one’s passion took shape in my mind.

Standing in the middle of the parking lot, I said something that was not my own words or thoughts. I said I didn’t think passion could be created, it’s rooted deep in us. It’s more of a little seed we find than something we can create on our own.

It may be a small seed, but it’s there. Something feeds it and it begins to grow. Over time that passion starts to take on a shape we can understand. A passion for making videos becomes a passion for telling stories through film, becomes a passion to change lives through film, etc.

This got me thinking. If I can’t create my passion and purpose, where does it come from? It’s rooted within me somewhere and for some reason, but who put it there? This got me […]

  • worry alone island
    Permalink Gallery

    Why Worry? The Simple Thing You Need To Do To Eliminate Worry

Why Worry? The Simple Thing You Need To Do To Eliminate Worry

I went on a weekend retreat with a bunch of men from my church this weekend. It was an epic trip and some great friendships were made and many others were strengthened. If you’ve never had an opportunity to experience such an event, I highly encourage you to participate in one.

During the weekend we talked about several things that were really encouraging and helpful. We talked about humility, worry, and life’s trials, just to name a few. As these topics were discussed, many of the men shared about their struggles in life. During a break at the retreat, I began reading “The Christian’s Secret To A Happy Life” By Hannah Whitall Smith and found some amazing insight about how to handle worry, trials, and burdens.
Lay Down Your Worries and Trials
Hannah, who had been through a life of unusual sorrow, shares some life-changing advice with a visitor to her home. The visitor asks how it is that she can bear so much sorrow. Hannah begins with a response that I find to be excellent. Hannah says, “the Lord bore it for her.”

Simple advice. Good advice. But there’s more. Hannah takes the wisdom of this to the next level.
Keep Laying Down Your Worries and Trials
After the visitor reflects on Hannah’s response to her worry and struggles, Hannah continues. “…but we must do more than that; we must leave them there. Most people take their burdens to Him, but they bring them away with them again and are just as worried and unhappy as ever. But I take mine, and I leave them with Him, and come away and forget them. And if the worry comes back, I take it to Him again; I do this over and over until at […]

How A Young Man’s Scream Helped Save My Life

The night a young man’s scream helped save my life is a night I will never forget.

There were about 50 people in the room with a four-person band standing in front of all of us. The band consisted of a singer, guitarist, bassist, and drummer. They had a great energy and got you involved in the music and in the emotions of the room. They helped you to connect on a spiritual level.

I remember the floor had a blue mat on it, similar to a wrestling mat, and several friends were around me enjoying the music and singing along to it. The space we were in was about the size of a small hotel conference room, it just barely fit the 50 or so teenagers. We were in the middle of our spring break mission trip to Ensenada, Mexico, and jam packed into this little space for our nightly worship time.

I think the band played the same 6-8 songs every night we were there. My experience with worship music at the time was fairly limited, but their song repertoire was to my advantage, after the same 6-8 songs for five nights I memorized most of the song lyrics.
The Beginning Stages of My Faith
When I was about 15 years old I began to have an interest in church and in God, the Bible, Jesus and the whole world of Christianity. My family supported my pursuit, but it was primarily a solo pursuit. Sure they would come to big church send-offs, like the one to Ensenada, Mexico, and were a great support but, this was my journey to learn about and experience.

I had some friends in high school that were praying for me and invited me to church […]

By |March 20th, 2017|Spiritual Life|0 Comments

6 Bible Verses to Help You Shape Your Financial Future

For some, turning to the Bible for their financial future may be a strange place to turn. Yet, Jesus spoke about money more than love or faith. In fact, preachingtoday.com says, “Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, an amazing one out of ten verses (288 in all) deals directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.”

Let’s take a look at six verses in the Bible to help us with our finances.
Where is Your Focus?
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This verse is one of those that can cut you straight to the heart. Wherever we focus our hearts and our energies there lies our treasure. A financial future with the wrong focus could ruin your life. Do you find your heart longing for possessions and money or maybe it’s fame and prestige? God desires that we focus our heart, mind, soul, and strength on Him. God wants our treasure to be Himself, then all else to follow.

For God to be your treasure, place your focus on the God who created you and gave you the talents to earn your money and possessions. Serve Him first.
Serve God, Not Money
Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

This is one of the more known Bible verses on money. The message is obvious and simple. Yet, it is so easy to struggle in this. […]

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Journaling and How to Start

For the last seventeen years, I have been writing a daily prayer. It started first in handwritten form and eventually moved to digital form. I’m not sure the impetus for journaling prayers in the first place but I’m grateful that journaling is a part of my life.

There are so many benefits to journaling. Journaling gives you an honest outlet for your thoughts, feelings, and prayers. It gives you a place to vent and release your frustrations. There are many journal-prayers that are full of curses, frustrations at myself, others, and yes, God too.
Looking Back on Journal-Prayers
The beauty of journaling is the ability to look back and see God’s faithfulness. Sometimes I forget how truly faithful God is and when I journal my prayers, I can see God’s faithfulness to my wants and needs. The journaling allows me to see how I’ve grown and struggled on my life’s journey, the challenges I’ve faced and how I’ve overcome or didn’t overcome.

I believe God wants our honest and real selves. Journaling allows us to do this. We can be free to reveal our true thoughts and inner frustrations, our pride and fears, our anger and joy. There is nothing that can’t be put in a journal. Because of this, I will always journal. The growth that comes in these times of being open and real is invaluable. What’s more valuable still is how God speaks to me through my journaling.

I’m going to share an unfiltered journal entry from last week with you, but first here are 10 reasons to take journaling seriously.
10 Reasons to Journal

Honest expression of frustration is stress and anxiety reducing.
Daily prayer and reflection are very healthy.
Journaling brings clarity of mind.
Reviewing past […]

By |December 5th, 2016|Spiritual Life|0 Comments

A Biblical Perspective On The LifeMap Process

 

As each of us look at our lives one of the foundational questions we must ask ourselves is “Where am I?” This is a deeply personal, emotional, and spiritual question. The LifeMap concept is designed to address each of these areas along with a few others while recognizing that our spiritual condition is foundational to all other aspects of our lives. This is why the theme verse of LifeMap is:

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

The LifeMap process touches on the 7 Critical Areas of life: Vocational, Financial, Relational, Physical, Educational, Spiritual, and Emotional. In each of these 7 Critical Areas, there are 3 fundamental questions that need to be answered in order to build a LifeMap. First, Where am I? Second, Where do I want to go? Third, How do I get there?
Where am I?
Jeremiah 29:11-13 is the root and hope of the LifeMap process. The verse says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

To know where we are in any aspect of our lives we must first seek Jesus, the author and perfecter of our lives (Hebrews 12:2). If we leave out this piece we only see dimly who we are; the more we seek Him the more we will see clearly who […]

By |October 24th, 2016|Spiritual Life|0 Comments

3 Ways to Increase Joy In Your Life

 

Do you believe you can be happy and sad at the same time?

I don’t. I think that if you answered “yes” to that question, you’re really saying that you can be joyful while you’re sad.

The distinction is important. Joy is more than a feeling. Joy is deep. It speaks of contentment with life and oneself. Joy is an outward expression of an inward state of being, whereas happiness is a temporary and fleeting emotional experience. I believe that you can fool someone into thinking you’re happy, but you can’t fool people about your joy. Fortunately, you can increase joy in your life. You can start by watching how your kids so freely express joy.
Children Show Joy In Amazing Ways
Children are the best example of true joy. When I come home from work, especially when I’m late, my girls come running to the door yelling, “Daddy! Daddy!” with huge smiles on their faces and a genuine desire to see me and hug me. This inner joy comes from a genuine and deep love that’s rooted in their hearts. It’s not taught; children are born with this innate ability to be full of love and joy.

Joy, like love, can endure through hardships and pain. Joy sees the other side of the trials and patiently endures knowing that your experiences will help you learn and grow.
Our Pets Show Us True Joy and Affection
Our furry friends also give us some of the best examples of joy. Soon after my wife, Kari, and I got married, we bought a dog named Brodie from the pound, and he immediately attached himself to me and I to him. He was a border collie-Australian shepherd-rottweiler mix with a cute little stub tail. […]

By |August 29th, 2016|Spiritual Life|0 Comments