Category Archives: personal growth

This Is The Way!

Our Biggest Challenge: God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways!

I think one of the biggest challenges in life has to be the realization that there is more than one way. I mean 2+4=6, but so does 3+3=6 and they are both right. Live life long enough and you will discover that there is the right way and the wrong way, the easy way and the hard way, God’s way and your way, and we could go on and on and on.

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts higher than your thoughts. -Isaiah 55:8-9

You’ve Tried It Your Way!

Let’s get honest and real for a few moments: You’ve tried it your way and things just aren’t lining up and working out. You know there is a better way and you know that better way is God’s way, so why are you so hard headed and reluctant to let go of your way and try God’s way? If it because you are afraid that it might actually work and you might start enjoying this gift called life? Is it because you have become so accustomed to misery that you think there is no other way to live?

I want to challenge you to get really real with yourself for just a few moments. You’ve been doing life your way and how’s that working out for you? Do you really think that you are living up to your God-given potential and are you really experiencing all of the blessings you were created to experience and share? Most of us, if we are honest, have to admit that we are living way below the level of our blessed, created potential and we know that God has so much more in store.

Seriously think about it! Take a look back on your life and living and learn whatever this life is trying to teach you or you will continue to repeat the same mistakes and live the same life. God has better and God wants better for you, but God loves you and will never force his blessings upon you.

If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always got! If you want a better and more blessed life, then you have to admit that you don’t have it all figured out and that is totally okay. Once we admit that we don’t have it all figured out, then we can begin to look to the One Who does have it all figured out and He will direct and guide us to where we need to be and give us the strength to do what we need to do, so that our life and living aligns with His plans for blessing and growth.

You can’t, but God can and He has and He will, if you will get out of His way…

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…

The Purpose Of Pain!

In my life, I have had my fair share of pain. Live long enough and you will have more than your fair share as well. Pain is just a part of life and it comes and goes as it pleases, sometimes with a very direct purpose and sometimes, who knows?

Pain, heartache, frustration, disappointment, whatever you would like to call it, comes in all shapes and sizes and from all directions. As I age in this life, one of the things that I think this life is teaching me is that pain always has a purpose.

Sometimes it’s purpose is to act as a warning light that something is wrong and needs to be fixed. Other times, pain is a consequence of a bad or wrong choice or choices we have made. There are times when we are not sure what or why the pain is there, causing us to ask the question: “Why Me?”

When we read the Scriptures, it becomes clear that pain has a purpose and for whatever reason that it has come into our lives, there is great reward and blessing as we learn to handle it in the right way.

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

Below are three things I am learning about the purpose of pain and the benefits of dealing with it…

Pain Always Has A Purpose!

1.) Don’t waste your pain, if you have to endure it, then grow from it! The Scriptures teach that “tribulation worketh patience”. The way we grow from pain is to not get frustrated by it, distracted because of it, but instead focused in spite of it or maybe because of it. Pain has a way of getting our attention and the key is making sure that our attention is focused in the right direction. Next time you find yourself dealing with pain – ask yourself what is this pain trying to teach me?

2.) Painful things teach us things we didn’t know we needed to know! The Scriptures teach that as “tribulation worketh patience, the patience is giving us experience…” In other words we are learning something, if we are paying attention. It would be a terrible waste to have to endure pain and miss the lesson that it has come to teach us. Looking back on my life, pain has taught me many things: It has taught me that what does not kill you, makes you stronger. It has taught me that sometimes I am wrong, make bad choices and choices have consequences. It has taught me that the world can be cruel, but God is always good. It has taught me that no matter what that God will use even the bad for my good as I love and trust Him…

3.) The key to getting through it, is learning from it and moving on! Most people hate their pain and want to get rid of it, but then are often unwilling to let it go. The Scriptures teach that the “tribulation worketh patience and the patience gives us experience and the experience grows into hope…” Looking back on my life and seeing where I am today, one thing is abundantly clear: The pain, tribulation, frustration, disappointments and frustrations of life have all worked together to bring me to an amazing place of blessing.

Pain is a part of life, learn from it and GROW on!