06 Aug

What are you afraid of?

What are you afraid of?

The drive within us is often driven by fear.

Fear of loss.

Fear of losing control.

Fear of betrayal.

Fear of success.

Fear of not being accepted.

Fear of failing.

Fear of not being good enough.

Fear is a great motivator. It is the cousin of pain. Pain too has been known to motivate. But there is a better motivator.

Despite these tendencies in our hearts to yield to fear and pain, within us is a sense that there is something stronger, more enduring and accepting. That longing is love. The greatest motivator in all of life is love. Oh what a soul will do to find it, even more to keep it.

Love inspires, encourages and motivates in ways we deeply desire and long for.

There is no fear in true love. Love is the perfect motivator. No wonder Jesus clarified which of the 613 commandments was the greatest. In summary, he said, love God and love others as you love yourself. He also reminds us to fear not, for he is with us.

Fear comes easy. Pain is an unwelcomed adversary. But love is greeted with open arms, gladly accepted and deeply desired.

What are you afraid of? Fear loses its power when wrapped in the arms of love.

Fear is a strong motivator but it is like a sugar high. It is like downing an energy drink. A shot of adrenaline only lasts so long. Lasting and sustaining drive is rooted in love.

We have to be careful not to allow ourselves to be influenced by fear’s ability to drive us. The signs are clear worry, doubt and anxiety are all indicators that the fear factor is at play and often works, if only for a while. Fear has a short shelf life.

Lasting, positive and endearing motivation comes from knowing we are loved, accepted and adored.

God loves us and is for us. He is in our corner cheering us on.

The enemy relies on fear. The Lord recognizes love as the greatest motivator of all.

What role is fear playing in your life? From where does your drive and motivation come from?

Love conquers all. When you realize how much you are loved, fear begins to be recognized as a cheap substitute for lasting motivation.

The more you give love, the more you receive it. Don’t be afraid to give love away! Fear not. Give and receive love today.

05 Jul

Sunshine on my shoulders

Sunshine on my shoulders

They say it’s the simple things in life that make it great.

Since the beginning of time the Creator has gifted us with the beauty of sunsets.

For many, sunsets have always been full of grandeur. For me, sunsets have taken on a whole new look. You see, I’m color blind.

When at Rosemary Beach in October of 2021 I put on a pair of glasses made to give people like me a new perspective on what the world of color is like.

This is the second time I have worn these glasses to take in the dynamics of a sunset at the beach, this time at Siesta Keys Beach. Needless to say, it is captivating for me.

We all have perspectives on the world we live in and how it all came about. Being color blind has been a gift. It has helped me realize there is more to life than meets the eye. There is simply more than we can comprehend. We have a limited perspective. We can’t rely on our abilities to shape our views of reality.

John Denver sang a song that reminds me of what I experienced again today. The lyrics are below.

The pictures of me that Stephanie snuck in capture my moment of wonder.

In one photo the sun appears to kiss me on the shoulder. For me it was if the Lord himself touched me as if to remind me that this sunset was his gift to me and all the world too see.

Sunshine on my shoulders truly makes me happy.

Here are the lyrics:

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely

Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you

I’d give to you a day just like today

If I had a song that I could sing for you

I’d sing a song to make you feel this way

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely

Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a tale that I could tell you

I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile

If I had a wish that I could wish for you

I’d make a wish for sunshine all the while

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely

Sunshine almost always makes me high

Sunshine almost all the time makes me high

Sunshine almost always

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: John Denver / Michael C. Taylor / Richard L. Kniss

29 Jun

Take the carpenter fishing.

Take the carpenter fishing.

The seasoned professional fishermen had been fishing all night long. The fish weren’t biting.

An observant carpenter stood on the shore with a different perspective.

“Any luck?” he asked.

“Not even a nibble,” came the reply from the boat.

The carpenter had a subtle suggestion, “Try the other side of the boat.”

The fisherman stopped, looked at each other and thought to themselves, “Who does this guy think he is? He should leave the fishing to the professionals.”

About the time the fishermen were about to give the carpenter a piece of their minds, their leader turned to the team and said, “Hey, why not? We have tried everything else!”

One tweak and their nets were full. What made the difference? Listening to the carpenter.

Jesus is the carpenter. When we invite the carpenter into our lives we gain the added benefit of divine direction.

Yes, he may be a carpenter by trade but he is also the creator of the universe who is willing to come alongside us as we are willing recognize how the insight he provides can be trusted, even when we don’t understand.

Listening to the carpenter requires faith. It requires trust. We may scratch our heads and dare believe we know better. But one thing is for sure, everything is better when we take the carpenter fishing!

(Inspired by John 21)

11 Jun

Who created who?

God created man?

Man created God?

The more I think about it, the more I think about it. And the more I think about it, the more I believe only God could create something so magnificent from nothing.

Come to think about it even more, what was before nothing?

While some things end. Some things have been and will always be. There are no limits to eternity.

Forever is truly beyond infinity. Buzz Lightyear was on the right track in his pursuit to infinity and beyond.

It is here, and there, where God resides, in and outside his creation.

07 Jun

Change is a choice

Change your way of thinking or change will change you.

You have the power to change.

Change is a choice.

There are times in life when we need to come at things differently than we have been known to practice. Our predictability can become problematic.

Why do people change?

There are any number of reasons that can be given but one thing is for certain, people only change if they want to.

What needs to change in your life?

If things keep heading in the direction they are now, where will life take you?

Will relationships improve or implode?

Will finances flourish or falter?

Will your health be good or gruesome?

Will you thrive at your work or tank?

Will you worry less or worry more?

Will you have faith or live in fear?

Will you make the call or call it quits?

Will you ask for forgiveness or accept failure?

Will you be better or be bitter?

Will you resolve the conflict or reload for combat?

Will you book the vacation or build your vocation?

Will you take a break or tank at the bottom?

Will you be a problem solver or problem causer?

Will be a giver or a taker?

Will you serve or sit?

Will you grow or stay grounded?

What will happen if nothing changes?

How long until the consequences of your actions lead to a new reality?

Snap out of it. Make the break! Call on the Lord, phone a friend and take the first step in the direction your life was meant be.

The choice to change is yours.

Change or change will change you.

(Inspired by Luke 13:5 – A call to repent. A call to change.)

01 Jun

Pause for the power

Pause for the power.

Mary sat and listened.

Martha worried about all that needed to be done.

Are you a human doing or a human being?

Sit in His presence today.

Certainly there are things to be done but we often miss the guidance, the instruction and the leading of the Lord when we fail to be still and be filled.

Mary chose what was best.

Pause for the power.

Be still. Be filled. Be your best!

(Inspired by Luke 10:38-42)

23 May

SAD GUIDEPOST SBC REPORT

AN OPEN LETTER TO MINISTERS.

As someone who Edify Leaders desires to love and serve, and in light of the sad SBC sexual abuse news reported by Guidepost, please be reminded that sexual sin has been the downfall of many great leaders.

If you are playing around with any sort of sexual promiscuity, please know that it has to end.

Like a mouse playing with a mouse trap loaded down with cheese, it doesn’t end well. The collateral damage of sexual sin reaches far beyond any one person

If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to our team confidentiality at https://www.edifyleaders.org/contact

As you can imagine, there isn’t much we haven’t heard at this point as we walk closely with ministry leaders like you.

You are a target. The enemy knows we all have weaknesses. Don’t let those weaknesses lead you down a road that hurts you and others who are innocently affected by your weakness.

Don’t live in isolation. Find help, freedom and healing through genuine friendship as spoken of in James 5:16.

21 May

What do you want?

Amazing how some questions Jesus asked still relate to us today. Mark 10:51-52

Q: “What do you want from me?”

I love the reply. It too is relevant for today: “I want to see.”

Don’t we all hope to live with greater clarity? Our purpose? Our calling? A big decision? Help me see clearly Lord!

And through faith (belief, trust, confidence) that which is desired, is granted.

Without faith, it is impossible to please him.

What in your life today requires faith?

When is the last time you sensed Jesus asking: “What do you want?”

It seems we are often the one doing the asking.

Jesus turns it on us. What do you want?

Perhaps we need to be better prepared to answer than ask.

He stands ready to hear our response. Rest assured, whatever the reply, it will include an act of faith to see it fulfilled.

Too many times we think too small. The Lord asks what we want because he wants us to think so big that whatever it is, it will require his involvement. It will require faith!

So, what do you want?

23 Apr

Funeral Flowers

The day will come when we are done. Our last goodbye and a setting sun.

So much unsaid with little sorrow. Here today and gone tomorrow.

Time will end and the day will come.

Tis best to love before we’re done.

Unspoken words are the most unjust. Regret out lives the graveyard’s dust.

Lay down the petty among the living and cherish love while life’s worth giving.

Tombstones reflect on what has been. Memories of love linger in.

The ground is cold where loved ones lie. Their warm embrace has passed us by.

Flowers are best before laid to rest. Wait too long and we fail the test.

So send the flowers while there’s still time because funeral flowers aren’t worth a dime.

Reach out today before it’s too late. No one knows their final date.

12 Feb

Peace principles

1. Don’t assume people know you have been hurt, offended or insulted. Family, friends and associates are at the top of the list. There is a good chance the source of the conflict is either a misunderstanding, a miscommunication or misbehavior. Whatever it is, don’t “miss” the opportunity to make things right. People are often oblivious to how their actions have affected you. If you can’t overlook the offense, kindly make the offender aware of your perspective. They may become defensive at first but the more you talk it through and make them aware of how it made you feel, the more likely they are to want to make amends. Not always, but most often.

2. Some people don’t care but most people really don’t desire conflict. Peace is preferred by the majority. So much as it depends on you, be a peacemaker. Take the initiative towards peace. Your willingness to seek peace will pay big dividends towards unity and harmony.

3. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Someone will ruffle your feathers. Choose to overlook and forgive or choose to seek resolution and forgive regardless of the outcome. Failing to forgive holds you hostage and denies you freedom. Otherwise, the other person controls you and holds you captive.

4. You may not be able to be at peace with others but you can be at peace with yourself knowing you have made every effort to be at peace. Don’t pretend you’ve tried your best. You know in your heart of hearts if you are holding out. But once you have given it your best, only you will know, then move ahead never closing the door for peace to return.

5. Peace today doesn’t guarantee peace tomorrow. Peace takes effort. No one is perfect. Peace is fragile. Maintaining the peace will likely require a bit of compromise but it will be worth it. It may require a piece of you in order to gain peace. It doesn’t have to be your way in order to be peaceful. To keep the peace you will likely have to accept the fact that you can’t change people but you can change you and your perspective.

6. Separation is a last resort. Sometimes you simply have to walk away from unteachable repeat offenders in order to find peace. Be careful not to walk away or to give up too soon. Even the best relationships aren’t always peaceful.

7. The bottomline? Peace is a state of mind. You can experience it no matter the circumstances because peace is found from within not from without.

Remember, when it comes to peace, you can make it and you can break it but you can’t fake it.