God’s Not Impressed By Your “Do”

Have you ever been driven by results? As a man, I have to admit that I hate to fail.  In creating this blog, I feared that it would never take off….and it still may not take off.  What I can tell you is that I am driven.  I want to see my Google Analytic results going sky or the sales on our site increase.  Nothing could set me up for what God had in store for me next.

One thing that I have never been able to shake up until recently is work.  I have always been driven by works.  I was always worried that someone was upset because I didn’t do good enough.  If someone was upset, I would take on the responsibility for their unhappiness not realizing that I was trying to play the part of God.  Let me explain.

Growing up  I would say to God “If you will…I will…” “If you do…I do…” thinking that I could manipulate God into doing what I wanted to do. The only problem was, God doesn’t go by what we do but what He has already done. We often, as Christians, have a works oriented mindset. We find ourselves walking down the road negating what happened on the cross. We decided our eternal destiny by standing on what we can do when Christ already conquered in turn trying to take the place of God.

God has not given us the authority to work our way into grace.  He already conquered it on the cross long before we even decided to sin or fail.  Before you and I were even knit our mother’s womb, God decided to send His Son to die for the sins that you would commit long after you were placed on this earth.  The authority of grace lies in the cross and in the cross alone. Without grace, we would find ourselves lost and deserted. Instead, because of the cross, we can now find ourselves free.

Grace does not give you a get out of hell free ticket or a free ticket to sin. No, grace causes you run from sin. Grace causes you to want to show love to the Father. Grace causes you to come to Him instead of shying away from Him. Beyond Grace? Now you can see Him in a new light.


Must I Suffer?

“After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. ”
Acts 14:21-22

In the true art of reading God’s Word, I found a portion of scripture that we’d all like to skip over. You know the ones that I am talking about- the ones that make you wonder about the whole package that you signed up for when you became a Christ follower. When I came across this, the question that arose in my heart for the title was “must I suffer?”  Do I have to go through the trials of life and deal with all of the disappointments that come with them?

It is easy to get sold on the fact that if we follow Christ that we will get our Rolls Royce, gold watch, and a million dollars in the bank. Unfortunate as it may sound, these promises that many teachers give for coming to the altar, are simply not true. If that is the case, I need to know who lost my contract with God on this.

In all seriousness, when we go through these trials in our lives, I believe that it makes us appreciate our lives even more as we are going through it. The believers in the passage in Acts were going through the great tribulations of life. However, they knew that if they stood the test that they would be able to see the treasure on the other side.

It has helped me to read God’s word to see that we are not alone in these trials. As a matter of fact, in James 1, we read where the church was encouraged to persevere because their faithfulness would pay off.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

James 1:2-4

Can you imagine that there will be a time that we will find ourselves in a perfect state, complete, and needing nothing? It is hard to fathom the simple truth that we will see a day where these things will come true. While you and I are going through these things, our hope is that we will come out stronger and find ourselves in a better place.


With Great Resignation

Resignation. When you see that word, what comes to mind? Quitting. Giving up. Taking a job and… well, you get it. After a while, the thought comes to mind as a father, as a husband, as an employee, as a child of God to resign and give it all up. Sometimes, we get to the point where we are completely overwhelmed with life and have thoughts like this, “if I give it all up then I can be just like everyone else…mediocre.”  For some, mediocrity is a way of life and they know no different. You and I are called as Godly Daddies to be above and beyond average and mediocre.

Another definition of resignation is acknowledgment. In Proverbs 3, Solomon wrote to advise us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge  Him and He will direct your path” (Paraphrase mine). Imagine if you and I took a moment to have a resignation of the fact that God is completely and ultimately in control of every single situation that we are in. It’s a testimony to our children that if we can let God have it then it is settled for this season that He has already finished it. In the Word of God, it says that He knows the end from the beginning. I love how God knew already this situation that you’re fretting over…and He’s not shocked. What? How can a loving God…well, that’s what I hear? Here’s the thing though (just as a side note)- we are so quick to blame God for the trials in the world yet we kick Him out of everything we do. Come again? How often do you let God into your life to make decisions? How often do you allow God to give you wisdom before saying something? It is amazing that we point our finger at Him when all the things that go wrong in the world happen yet we don’t give Him the courtesy to do so.

God knows the end from the beginning. When we acknowledge that, we can resign ourselves to the fact that He is the ultimate Godly Daddy. He is the One who knows how to resolve the situation and to bring it to light. As I close this quick thought, I want to bring a great scripture to remembrance to you:

“Be Still….and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalms 46:10 (ASV)

God is so confident in Himself…He already knows that He will be exalted in the earth and among the nations. That’s how confident that you and I should be in Him as we resign and acknowledge Him!

When The Well Runs Dry

 “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”
General George Patton
This month marks the three months of being unemployed.  Honestly, I never thought that I would be in the position and that I would wait for the new doors to open. It is a fact that the job market is not like it was 10 years ago when I last was in transition.  There are many great jobs available, however, they require a ton of experience and education to match. I am in that strange spot that so many people my age are in. We don’t have the experience that we need in order to get the experience we need but we cannot get the experience that we need…and the cycle goes on. It is a strange spot to be in. I know that many can attest from these dreaded words – “you lack the experience necessary to fill this position.”
I have applied for many different positions only to come up dry.  So what do you do when the well dries up? Right now, I am learning the art of patience.  Not that I am perfect at it – more times than not, I have questioned this situation. I have had to work on the art of forgiveness and peace. In the moments that I can be at peace and full of forgiveness, I feel that I conquer the world. Unfortunately, the opposite is true when I feel that I can’t move forward. It gets harder with time, however, I know that in the end, it will all work out for good.
When the well dries up, all I can do is wait. In that time of waiting, I have to practice three things to keep my heart at peace;
1. Watch my Mouth.  Anyone who knows me can attest that I can be pretty negative with my words. If not careful, I can talk myself into a dark situation and out of hope. In Proverbs 18:21, King Solomon wrote: “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”  The words I speak have the power to either create life or death. The same goes each person when the wells dry up.
2. Watch my Heart.   In Proverbs 4:23, King Solomon wrote: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”  It is real easy to let the issues that have caused this circumstance to guide my heart into places that it should not go.  If I am not careful, I can allow my heart to dictate my mind where to go.
3. Watch my Mind.  Ever have a moment where your mind goes a hundred miles a minute? If I am not careful, my mind can certainly take me places that are very difficult to overcome. When you have unlimited time, so to speak, you have plenty of time to think. If you aren’t watching what you are thinking about, you can end up losing it.  The best thing to do is replace as much of the negative garbage with positive. I am not talking about some new age theology. What I am suggesting is that we take the thoughts out that are not adding to our lives and replace them with life-giving thoughts.
When the well dries up, we must take the opportunity to allow our mouth, heart, and mind to align with God’s word.
What can you or I do to get through the times of dryness?
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Special Edition

I had a profound epiphany day while working in a local coffee shop. I had lost my job a few weeks prior and the pressure was on to get something in the pipeline. 
This was that “something” which I needed.

I learned a lot in the short time I was there. One of my favorite things was making espresso shots. In order to get a shot, you had to pull it. You would put the grounded coffee in the espresso portafilter and stamp it. If you fail to stamp it, the espresso was weak and oily. 

However, when you apply that pressure from the stamp – the perfect shot happens!
In 2 Corinthians 2:9, Paul made the following statement;

“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

If God allowed Paul the relief he asked for, we may not have the fruit from that labor. While we’re being pressed, it’s important to know that great things come from pressure!

I will leave you with this from James 1:2-4;

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
May God use the pressure in your life to pull the perfect shot!

I Am Not Called To Understand


Just when you think that Murphy couldn’t do any more damage, he decides to sideswipe you. You just can’t seem to get a break, yet there’s complete peace about what is going on all around you. I have heard it best put this way; “chaotic peace.” Recently, this is where we found ourselves. It seems like we can’t escape this cycle that never ends. But I know one thing that is for sure is that He never ends either.

Perhaps, I should start with the reason that I decided to write this. Last year, Sara and I had some major things that occurred in our house. In one week, we had our furnace, microwave, and dryer go out. Needless to say, these were not cheap fixes or issues to take care of. One may bring up the fact that we are tithers and according to Malachi 3, the one who devours is rebuked for our sakes. It would be easy to question and wonder. It would probably be even easier to doubt that it would be to know in faith that God has taken care of it all.

I had a lot of questions in our previous issues. I asked the Lord a lot of questions.  I also made this statement “Lord, I just don’t understand.” Within a moment, I heard the Lord say in my spirit, ” I have not called you to understand. I have called you to trust Me.”

The response honestly took me off guard.  Aren’t we, as human beings, designed to understand all things and learn them? Then I recalled a scripture that I have always remembered since I was a child. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” In some translations, it reads “and He will make it plain and straight.” This can be found in Proverbs 3. Our trust is not in the government nor people, our trust is not in ourselves or our own ability to provide, but our trust is in Him who provides for every single need according to the riches and glory of Christ Jesus (See Philippians 4).

I am so grateful that during this trial that we are seeking our true Provider. Our trust is in the ultimate Godly Dad. I believe it’s so important that our children see that our trust is in God. When they become older, our hope is that they will trust Him. Sure, it would be easier for you or I to automatically go into the woe-is-me mode. I will tell you one last thing before I leave you and it’s found in Ephesians 6:13;

“Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].”

Having done all that you can possibly do that the crisis demands…stand. Stand firm. Don’t quit. Press into what God has in store for you and not what the enemy tries to throw at you.