Category Archives: mindfulness

Running On Empty!

One of the things I began to notice in my life as I got older was how often I allowed myself to get to the place where I was “running on empty”. I started to understand that I wasn’t trying to run on empty, in fact, I was trying to fill myself up, but was using the wrong fuel. Often while we are busy filling our ego, we are emptying our spirit and this is no way to live, not if you want to live the life of blessing you were created for.

The old saying: “What you feed will grow!” is more true than ever and if we are honest, a lot of us have been feeding the wrong animal, while neglecting what really matters. This is why the Scriptures are so important to our figuring out this thing called life and why we need to read them and seek to put them into practice everyday. Even baby steps in the right direction produce progress.

5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:5-7

We’ve already learned that God does not promise us happiness, but He does promise us joy and if we will allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength, it will help us to live blessed lives that produce happiness. So the goal then, is to fill up your “JOY TANK!”

Filling Up Your Joy Tank!

The first strip to filling up your Joy Tank: Become Known As A “Take It Easy” Person! A take it easy person is gentle, reasonable, wise and able to handle whatever life throws their way! It is important to remember that gentleness is not the absence of strength, but strength that is disciplined and under control. This is the goal for this life and is a work in progress until when Christ returns!

The second step to filling up your Joy Tank: Don’t Worry About Anything & Pray About Everything! It is very important to remind ourselves that worry is present when faith is absent! Let me say that again, because we usually miss it. WORRY IS PRESENT WHEN FAITH IS ABSENT! If you have worry in your life, then you are not exercising belief/faith/trust in God and His promises. The key to your success lies in you being able to replace your worry with faith and the best way I know to do this is by taking time to have conversation with our Creator. Remember: Prayer is conversation and conversation involves speaking and listening! So, talk to God and tell God what is on your heart and mind and then make sure that you are listening for His instruction, guidance and wisdom.

The Third Step To Filling Your Joy Tank: Let God’s Peace Guard Your Heart And Mind! It is very important to remember one of the major life truths that we often forget: “You are in charge of you!” Whatever you are – you have made the choice! Wherever you find yourself, chances are it is because of decisions you have made. We can waste our time blaming everyone and everything else, but that will not change who or what we are. What will change the who and where is our making the choice and decision to do something about it! Here’s a simple question that can help to clear things up: Are you what you want to be and are you who God created you to be??? If not, join God in creating a better, new and improved version of yourself. It will be an amazing journey and you will find that it is amazing where you can go on a full tank!

The Benefit Of Worry!

According to the dictionary: Worry is giving way to anxiety or unease; allowing one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. Most all of us know worry up close and personal. At some point in our life and living, we have met and started an on again, off again relationship that comes and goes. For some folks it is frequently and for others it is seldom, but for all of us, it is reality.

Worry is actually a lack of faith, which is why the Scriptures teach us not to do it. Yes, I know that’s heavy, so go back and read it again: WORRY IS A LACK OF FAITH! Faith/Trust/Belief is what allow us to have and grow in a meaningful relationship with God our Creator. The Scriptures teaches us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. So worry is a lack of the thing that we need to please God, because it is by faith that we are saved and have relationship with God.

I know this is a strong statement and I know it stings, because I have been stung by it many times in my life, but the truth is: Worry Is The Result Of Not Trusting God! We either believe what we say we believe or we don’t. There will be times that this requires us to do battle with ourselves, because our spirit is believing and pushing for one thing, while our flesh and mind are believing and pushing for something else.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are doing battle with worry:

1.) God does not promise happiness, but he does promise joy! We are not always going to be happy and not everything in this life is going to go the picture perfect way that we think it should. We will have good days and bad days. I once heard an Army Chaplin say: “All sunshine and no rain produce a desert!” Some days, life is exactly as you hoped it would be and other days you feel like you are bailing water on a sinking ship. On the good and bad days, especially the bad days, we need to look for and embrace the JOY of the LORD. If you can discover the joy of the Lord in your relationship with Him, then that joy will lead you back to happiness by teaching you that God’s ways are higher than your ways. The joy of the Lord ultimately leads to happiness, if we are paying attention…

2.) Remember: You Have A Choice: Your Way Or God’s Way? The Scriptures teach that the joy of the Lord is our strength to live life God’s way, but God never forces His way on us, we always have a choice. The problem with the choice is allowing the wrong part of ourselves to make it. We basically have two competing forces within us and often they are contrary to one another. Our head tells us one thing and our heart tells us another. Which one do we listen to? Both and neither! What we really need to be looking for is: WHAT IS GOD UP TO? God is always working to bless us, grow us and mature us, but we often get in the way of the great things he has in store for us, because things are not the way we think they should be. The good news is that because God loves you, God gives you the power of choice and you get to decide for you!

3.) Joy is choosing to trust that God is faithful no matter what! No matter what choice you make, right or wrong, God is with you and He has a plan, even when we wander off of the path that He has marked out for us. It would be easier in the long run to stay on His path, but He gives us the flexibility of learning the hard way if that is our choice.

So what is the benefit of worry? When I am worrying, it is a sure sign that I am not exercising my faith/trust/belief. It is a reminder that I need to get my attention and focus back on God and the amazing love He has for me. So the next time you find yourself in a battle with worry, let that be a reminder to you to get the focus off of self and onto God…

Above My Pay Grade!

I remember in college working with a guy and anytime he would encounter something that negative, to much of a challenge or going to be overly frustrating, he would simply respond: “That is above my pay grade!” It was his way of saying: “They don’t pay me enough money to deal with those kinds of issues, they belong to the higher ups!” The thing that was really cool about this guy is that he did not let anything rattle his cage or get him shook up. He really rolled with the punches and made the best of most every situation that ever came his way.

So many times in my life, I have wished that I could be more like that, but I have always told myself that I just care way too much. The truth is: I have often cared about the wrong things and have ended up way above my pay grade, which just ended up costing me even more.

Life has this way of throwing us curve balls. Truth be told: Life has a way of beaming us up side the head with the ball. When life gets to be more than we can handle or more than we signed up for, we don’t need to sweat it. We just need to admit to ourselves and everyone else:
That’s above my pay grade!” There is no shame in being honest, real and down to earth when it comes to things that are bigger than we are.

One of my favorite quotes is: “Don’t Tell God How Big Your Storm Is, Instead Tell Your Storm How Big Your God Is!” This is another way of saying that some things are above our pay grade, but we know the ONE Who can take care of it. We have been given amazing power and whatever comes our way that we do not have the power to take on and handle, God is willing to take on and handle for us, if we will get out of His way and trust Him.

We are trying to learn about our power and how to use it! We have each been born with amazing, incredible and supernatural power. Power that had the ability to open closed doors, move mountains and produce miracles, but we have to believe and if we really do believe then our life of faith will make the impossible, possible through Jesus.

3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. -Romans 5:3-5

We are learning that much of what we worry about is a waste! This is why we should not waste our energy and time worrying, but instead on trusting in God’s power and strength. Look back on your life and you will discover that most of the times you wasted time worrying was spent on things that you never ever really needed to worry about.

We are hopefully understanding the greater purposes to the challenges that God ALLOWS to come our way. God allows troubles and tribulations to come into our life to help us learn patience and trust in Him. As we begin to practice patience, we will discover that much of what happens to us is trying to change and grow something inside of us. The more we learn this most basic of lessons through the experiences of the ups and downs of life, the more we learn that so many times we deceive ourselves and rob ourselves of greater blessing than we could dream or imagine.

Next time there is something you can’t handle or shouldn’t handle, just admit that it is above your pay grade and trust the Master to take care of the rest…