The Seed Does Not Return Void

A while ago, we pulled into the church parking lot and I was prepared to drop everyone off at the door when all of a sudden the hood filled with steam. It is never a good sign to see the steam fill the hood and the thermostat reading hit overheated. I parked the van just to watch it drain coolant down the parking lot ramp. I went inside and got our seat for church then headed to get our classroom set up. I had our tithe in my pocket and needed to fill out the envelope. Here’s the crazy thing; I didn’t second guess myself in giving our tithe. Why? It’s not mine to keep. It is holy unto the Lord and I refuse to rob Him of it.

It may come across as being extreme for some who read this. However, I learned very early on in my journey as a Christian that when I put the seed in the barn, I will have plenty left over in the end. I am not saying that you should be irresponsible with your finances. What I am saying is that there will be times that you will find yourself in a place where you just know that you have to plant the seed.

Not long after this occurred, we were given money above and beyond what we needed to repair the van. Never wavering, we have seen God move mountains with our little faith. There are times where I know it would be easier for me to doubt God than to trust Him. Then, He shows up and shows off.


Forward Thinking – 8 Keys to Changing Your Way of Thinking

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

                                                                                                                   Philippians 4:8-9

“I am depressed.”

“I am down.”

“I am worried about…”

“I just can’t shake this….”

I will be the first to tell you that these are just a few of the thoughts that I have had over the past 30+ years of my life. Fear and dread were a part of my everyday life which robbed me much of the joy that I could have had. I can still remember thinking about how the world would just be a better place if I were not a part of it Why am I telling you this?

You’re Not Alone.

Even as a believer in Christ, I struggled with these things. I never would have guessed other people felt this way until I talked to a pastor about it. “You wouldn’t believe the amount of men and women who love God but cannot love themselves. It’s like a cement block tied to their feet and they are being thrown into the lake with no hope of recovering.” Wow. Pretty deep stuff, right? When I began writing again, this was something that I knew that I needed to reach out and address. Why?

You’re Not Alone.

There are 8 keys that helped me re-frame my way of thinking. Have I arrived? Heavens no. But I am one day closer to that victory. Here they are;

  1. Is it True?
  2. Is it Honorable?
  3. Is it Right?
  4. Is it Pure?
  5. Is it Lovely?
  6. Is it Admirable?
  7. Is it full of Excellence?
  8. Is it Worthy of Praise?

If the answer is no to any of these questions; it is not worth thinking about and it is time to change the subject.

I know that this was really deep, but hear me out on this. If I can redirect what I think about into these eight areas, I can be sure that I will be victorious in whatever I do. I am not talking about some magical potion or cues that you can use. What I am talking about is taking these eight questions and re-framing the process of how you think.

What ways are you re-framing your way of thinking today?

Connections – Cultivating a Dream Team

 “I can do what you cannot do. You can do what I cannot do.  Together we can do great things.” 
Mother Teresa 

        Have you ever gotten involved in a project that seemed to be overwhelming?  Did you try to carry the burden of another employee only to find yourself overwhelmed with the task?  Moses was found guilty of that when he led the Israelite people out of Egypt.  I can relate to this because I was and still am certainly the same way.  Moses would settle the disputes among the Israelite people all day long.  

        First, this was very time consuming and because of this, he could not his other leadership goals.  Second, it took his energy to settle these disputes.  There was always someone who was unhappy with is ruling and surely, they made it known.  It took his father-in-law to say something to him about it. 

 “The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?” Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.”  Exodus 18:13-17 NLT

        Moses had the right heart.  He wanted to carry everyone’s load and help them.  The only problem was when he did carry their loads he couldn’t carry his own.  He was on the brink of utter disaster, not only in his ministry but in his personal life.   We are not built to carry a load of other people on our own.  

       In Galatians 6:2, Paul wrote to the Galatians that they were to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ” (NIV).  We are built to help one another out, absolutely, but we are not built to carry the load alone.  Often in scripture, God refers to the multitude in servanthood.  Over the past year, I have found in leadership, that I cannot carry the weight of our load on my own.  With the help of my wife and the great team that we serve, I am able to delegate and walk with a lighter load.

         “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.” Exodus 18:18-23

        Moses’ father-in-law saw could sense that his son-in-law was getting burned out.  Could you imagine carrying the weight of the world, or nation, on your own back all alone?  This is why so many people cave under pressure. This is why pastors quit serving.  This is why single moms are overwhelmed.   God made the law of two.  In Matthew, Jesus said, “When two or more are gathered in my name, so am I there.”  When God created man and woman, it was a law He made because either one did not have the capability of living life on their own.  Perhaps, He also did this so that we would rely more on Him making it more than one.  The power of more than one is extreme.  So many leaders crack under this law because they don’t have the team surrounding them to give them the help that they need.  You are not a one man show. Let me just make that clear.

       Early on in ministry, I set things up to do alone and found myself constantly frustrated. I always seemed one step ahead but would fall two steps back.  It was when I conducted an “Experience It” session, which was our mobile coffee shop experience, in 2010 at a men’s conference that brought this to my attention.  We were asked to close our eyes and listen to what God was telling us.  Not just listen but to visualize what He was saying to us.  I had a vision of an outlet that was uncovered and a plug lying on the floor beside it.  I thought it strange that God would put that in my spirit.  Later on, I asked Him to elaborate.  In my spirit, I heard His voice say, “this is a season of connections and you are not connected.”  It jolted me.  This was a wake-up call for me. It was time to surround myself with people who could make this vision happen and to begin to create a team that would make a major impact.  I needed connections!  I could not create this ministry or business on the account of doing it alone.  

       A year or so later, when I started writing “Visual Impairment”, I sought out men and women who could add value to the book.  I sought people who could give me advice, counsel, encouragement, and support.  I valued their opinion and their heart.  In Psalms 1:1, David wrote that “blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night.”  

       We need that righteous counsel.  God gives us the warning to be careful of what we hear and who we counsel with.  We are to use wisdom (James 1:5).  There will be times when God will use someone to give you a great idea.  I had this happen while working on “The Chipped Mug, a coffee house that my wife and I own.  It was founded by a dream that I had but the essential part of how it exists is a community.  Without the power of the multitude, The Chipped Mug doesn’t exist.  But there would be counsel that did not align with the Word of God on how to run our business.  Politely, I would decline the advice.  However, when there was godly wisdom, I felt the need to take it.

      Moses would heed to what his father-in-law said and from that point forward, he handled the major issues and left the minor issues to his delegation.  Moses had formed a dream team around him.  Much like Moses, Jesus formed a similar team around him while He was in ministry.  These men and women would care for the ministry, prepare, take the finances and delegate, and help in making crucial decisions while Jesus would minister.  Jesus could have impacted the places He went to simply by visiting them.  But it was Jesus’ dream team who carried the gospel of Christ all around the world. Sure, there were those that failed him at times.  But in the end, the goal was accomplished; “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.Matthew 28:19 To sum it up, I would like to quote John Maxwell from his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of LeadershipWhen we see any incredibly gifted person, it’s always tempting to believe that the talent alone made him successful.  To think that is to buy into a lie.  Nobody does anything great alone.  Leaders do not succeed alone.  A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him.  What makes the difference is the leader’s inner circle.”  (Pg 127) There are no self-made men, only God made teams! 

When forming yourself as a leader, what do you want others to see in you?

  • The Optimism of David
  • The Compassion of Jonathan
  • The Wisdom of Solomon
  • The Tenacity of Peter
  • The Intensity of Paul
  • The Meekness of Moses
  • The Righteousness of Noah
  • The Boldness of Joshua
  • The Courage of Esther

God, mold and shape me to my full leadership potential.” – Bill Hybels

When forming your team, look for the three C’s:  Character, Competence, and Chemistry.


  • Integrity
  • Reputation
  • Testimony

Competence-Doesn’t always have a Ph.D. at the end of their name.

  • Adequate
  • Sufficient
  • More than able


  • The interaction of one personality with another.

When forming your team, take the basin/towel concept. You are not over your team.  You work with your team to accomplish a more efficient goal.

What am I personally looking for in a dream team?

  • Integrity- When someone says that they are going to do something that they will follow through with it.
  • Character
  • Competent
  • Courageous
  • Willing
  • Ready


Does a Good Reputation Really Matter?

       It is not enough to say that you are a Christian.  It’s pretty simple that people only care about your Christianity with the fact that you act like a Christian. Going to church on Sunday and Wednesday does not designate you as a Christian. What designates you as a Christian is first that you have accepted Christ as your savior and the Lord of your life. But second to that is that you show the fruit of Christ. In Matthew 7:15-20, it says that they (people) will know you by your fruit. If you are not being fruitful in your life as a Christian then it is pointless to claim that you are a Christian. If someone cannot identify you as a follower of Christ, then there is something seriously wrong with this equation.

       Time after time, the prophet Daniel exhibited himself as a follower of God. He refused the idolized foods of the king’s court, he refused to bow to the king’s commands to revere the king as a god, and he focused on being all that God had for him to be. He wasn’t so much concerned with what others thought of him and this made his reputation not only exceptional with the people of the land but also made him favorable to the king. When you put God first, your reputation does not suffer. It may not seem favorable at the time but you will soon see that the favor of God will be upon you. In Matthew 6:33, it is written to “seek first the kingdom of God” and “then all these things will be added unto you.” If you see God first, the rest will fall into place.

Sara and I made a commitment several years ago that we would not live a life filled with debt.  We have sought His kingdom first on the finances that He has entrusted us with. Just before Christmas of 2010, we had decided that we wanted to get out of debt and needed to cut down more of our lifestyle. We continued to give and tithe according to what we had promised. However, things were still tight financially. I didn’t know how we were going to get gas that week much less Christmas for the girls but I know that our God is faithful. At some point, someone had placed a couple of gift cards in my mailbox at work and blessed us with enough for Christmas for our girls and gas for the next week. If you are faithful to put God first, He will be faithful to you. What does that have to do with reputation? If Sara and I had been stingy people who never gave and who put God last, God would not have put on the heart of that person who knew us to give us that gift.

The reputation that you have will cause you to reflect the glory of God.

The news is often plagued with people who are scheming and swindling other people. We see time after time the corruption of businesses and even in the government which has destroyed the reputation of those involved. You don’t hear much from those companies after the fact other than a negative reputation. In 1 Peter 3:12-16, it says; “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil. Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.”

With that said, God is watching over you right now whether you are doing what is right or not. However, He only will listen to the prayers of those who are doing right before Him. Not only will He hear the prayers of the righteous, but He will also be faithful to show the good reputation of that person. In Proverbs 3, it says in the Amplified that God will grant you “favor, high esteem, and a good name in the sight of God and of man.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, Paul wrote to the church that it should be the ambition of their lives to live a quiet life of minding their own business and working with their hands. Following that, it says “as a result, people who are not Christians will respect the way that you live, and you will not need to depend on others to meet your financial needs.” Your faithfulness to seek first God’s kingdom and to live a quiet life of authenticity will gain you a great reputation. In short, God is calling you to live an authentic life.

Our children are desiring to see us as fathers have a good reputation.  When passing on into eternity, what is the story of our lives going to be? How are we going to be remembered? There is a song by Sidewalk Prophets that talks about how they’d be remembered once they had faded into a memory.

“I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You”

What kind of reputation are you leaving behind? Is it one that matters?

Order yours today!

Freedom is never Free

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” 
– Declaration of Independence 4 July 1776

There were 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.  These men knew the weight of what they were doing. They knew the gravity that was to be held by their decision to break ties with England and become the nation that we live in today.  I often wondered what went through the mind of these 56 men when they signed their death warrant to the King. I believe that they felt in their heart that this was the right thing to do and that someone had to have the nerve to do it.

These men would give up their freedom so that this nation would embrace freedom. The Declaration of Independence was one of the most controversial documents in the history of the country. This document would expose the true feelings of the colonist of America towards the King and his policies. To go against the King of England was to go to your death. Wow. These men decided that their lives were worth losing over this nation’s freedom.

Today, we have men and women in the armed forces that fight for that very freedom on a daily basis. Today, I salute them and give gratitude for their bravery.

Have a great Independence Day!

3 Keys in Overcoming a Critic

“To escape criticismdo nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” —Elbert Hubbard

One of the things that I am sure of in life is this; not every person is going to like what you have to say. For certain, there will be those who will troll your page, leave negative comments on your Facebook page, put negative reviews on Amazon about you, and the list could go on forever. Here’s the thing, if you stand back and allow yourself to be paralyzed by what other people say, you will never accomplish anything worth talking about. What if Albert Einstein had listened to his math teacher or if Michael Jordan listened to his basketball coach?

Over the years I have seen amazing people simply give up because of what their critics said. I know I have withdrawn for that very reason. However, I have asked these 3 questions to know if a push back is really worth the energy to engage.

  1. Is it True? That’s a question I ask if I hear push back. Is what the opposition says true? My response to that question determines if it is worth the fight.
  2. Am I wrong? Most of the time when I ask myself this question, the answer is no. I have admitted when I was and retracted if it warrants it. However, there will be critics that believe with every fiber of their being that you are wrong and they are right. Unfortunately, the sky isn’t always blue and the grass isn’t always green.
  3. Can I fix it? This question comes on the heels of something that has been broken and I have either the option to fix it or let it go. If I cannot fix it, there is no point in me spending precious time and energy on it. If I can fix it and make it right, it is my duty to do so.

I know. These are very simple. That is the whole point of this little exercise. Most of the situations that we have pushed back from are something that is just that simple to overcome.

How are you answering those questions in your situation today?

Shout out on Facebook, Twitter, or below!

You Have Been Set Up

May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”                                                                                                                                             Psalms 20:4

           Have you ever caught yourself thinking, There has to be more than life than just this!?” There are so many different periods of time in our lives that we are thinking just that.  In my religious days, I could never imagine God having something great planned for me; not only great but something important.  I, like many other people, had settled into a mindset of mediocrity.  A sure fire way to kill a dream is mediocrity. Mediocrity means to be mediocre which is defined as of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate.” The only problem with that is that God doesn’t call us to be mediocre.  In 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV), Peter wrote that you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  You can’t be mediocre and be called to the royal priesthood.  

          God already has something big planned for your life.  He didn’t set you up to be the same, old, average Joe.  If He did choose you to be ordinary, He would not have created you with the gifts that are buried deep within you.  You may be wondering “what gifts?”   In Jeremiah 29:11, which is one of the most quoted verses in the Christian circle, we find the prophet was being spoken over, just as yourself, For I know the plans I have for you” says the Lord. “There are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. God did not say, “I have a plan for Suzy but not for you.  Sorry, you have the short end of the stick.  You get to sit in the last pew in heaven.  Don’t forget to bring your hanky.”  No!  God has a plan set up for you.  He has set you up to succeed! 

          Jeremiah was a young man at this time and he worried about what people thought of him being so young.  God wasn’t concerned about his youthfulness.  It was no surprise to God that Jeremiah was not qualified by man’s standards.  As a matter of fact, in 1 Corinthians 1:27, Paul wrote that [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.”   God is not impressed by Ph.D., MD, BA, MA, or whatever degree could fall into this category.  Peter was a fisherman, Matthew was a tax collector, David was a shepherd, Mary was just an average girl, and the list goes on.  God uses ordinary people to carry out his extraordinary plan.

       You may be wondering; how do I live this life of success?  God’s promises are “yes” and “amen.” In Psalms 37, we read that The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.  Once I was young, and now I am old.  Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.” If you live a godly life, you will receive the direction of our Holy God and you will never lack. God already knows that you are going to fail, that’s where grace comes into play.  But many individuals misunderstand the word “lack” with being without money or things.  In Philippians 4, it says that God will meet ALL your needs. Are you on the streets?  Are you dying of starvation?  He is meeting your needs and He has birthed a plan in your heart.  He has prepared you for a time such as this.  He has begun the work and is faithful to complete it. He has set you up for success.

           God is not surprised by who He chose to do His work.  In the word, it talks about how God searched all over the face of the earth, looking for someone to do the work.  All you have to do is follow the word.  In the next few verses that you and I read, I want you to ask God to clear the air because so many have perverted this scripture, taken it out of context, and even have removed it from doctrine;

If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.  You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:  Your towns and your fields will be blessed.  Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed.  Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed.  Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.  “The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!  “The Lord will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.  “If you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in his ways, the Lord will establish you as his holy people as he swore he would do.  Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the Lord, and they will stand in awe of you.   “The Lord will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops.   The Lord will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.  If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.  You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them. Deuteronomy 28:1-14 NLT

          Let’s focus on what Gods condition on being bless was.  He said that “if you fully obey.”  We are not created to occasionally obey the word of God.  Yes, we live by grace.  However, read it again.  If you fully obey….” We serve a God of unconditional love but of conditional blessings.  We are the same way for our children.  “If you obey, there will be more blessings.”  God is calling you and me to raise our standards of living and quit living a mediocre life.  I have heard time and time again; if you want to be a millionaire, study and do what millionaires do.  In other words, don’t take financial advice from a broke person.  

           I don’t think that it can be said enough that God has set you up to succeed.  Using His word, His principles, and prayer, you can and will succeed.

5 Ways to Honor Your Customers

The Customer is not always right.

When I typed that for the first time, I knew that I might get a bit of a backlash from it. We have, as a culture, been trained to read the following as truth; “The Customer Is Always Right.”  Unfortunately, this is not always true. Sadly, I have seen enough YouTube videos showing quite the opposite. However, we don’t have to pull of those up. All we have to do is have a few moments of common sense.

If the customer calls in and tells you that the sky is green…either there’s a tornado nearby or the customer is indeed wrong. If the customer writes you a letter stating that the world is flat, by default you would be agreeing with what scientists and world travelers debunked centuries ago. With just a few keys picked on the computer keyboard, I have debunked the myth that the customer is always right. Let all the Customer Service Specialists rejoice!

Now, let me follow up with this; The Customer should always be honored. What I mean by that is this; the customer has the right to question and bring up their concerns and you have a job/responsibility to help resolve that to the best of the ability that you have granted by your employer. Here are five tips to show honor to your customers;

1. Listen. For over 20 years, I have been in a customer service position. One of the things that I have learned over those years is that it is important to listen. When you read that, you may be thinking just about the words that they are speaking. I am actually talking a little deeper than that. There is always an underlying issue and you don’t have to be a psychologist to figure it out.

2. Respond with Empathy. Show them you care. You don’t have to pull out the stops to do this. All you have to do is speak with kindness, respond with the appropriate verbiage, and walk the walk through your voice tones.

3. Offer a Solution. One thing that I have learned is this; don’t say “that’s not my job.”  Offer a solution regardless of your position. If you know that the product they are looking for is not offered through you but through another company, offer them the solution to go to that company and get it. I can recall many times that we would get phone calls about other books and music. Though we did not carry them, I knew exactly where the customer could get them. It may not be recognized by your leadership, but it will be recognized by the important people; your customer.

4. Show kindness with your actions. The previous applies here as well. Take the initiative to make the situation right…with kindness. No smirk or snide remarks are needed. Go above and beyond. I can recall a time where a customer received the wrong material. Most businesses would require that the customer returns the product. I did not and replaced the order at no charge with quick shipping. Most customers aren’t out to stick it to the man. They are trying to get their merchandise and/or service.

5. End the conversation (written or verbal) with grace. It is really that simple. End the conversation with grace. End the conversation with a polite attitude of gratitude.

There is a whole conglomerate of books, websites, ideas, etc. that will teach on this topic of honoring your customers. However, it is important that you know this fact; “Though the customer is not always right; they are always to be honored.” If you can get that down, your customers will feel like a million bucks!

To Forget Is To Fail

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana

Today, many of you who read this will go out and BBQ, celebrate the day off or watch some great sports on TV. There will be some who will party like its 1999. There will be a few that will wake up and find that today is just another, ordinary Monday morning. However, there are those that will wake up this morning on a cot in the desert of Mosul or in the war-torn countries in the Middle East. Some will wake up on a ship in the Gulf while many will wake up on a base in Germany. Then there are the bodies of those who fought many years ago for our freedom and yes, even the unknown soldier’s tomb will have a wreath laid upon it. There will be those that will somberly remember their family members to whom they said their final goodbye not so long ago.

Today, as you go out, don’t feel guilty about enjoying that freedom. Go out and thank God above that there are those to whom went before you in battle and sacrificed theirs for yours. I love the quote in the beginning of this piece. Why? It is so easy to forget the lessons that we have learned upon fighting for that very freedom – both good and bad. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and remember all of those to whom went before us.

God’s Stamp of Approval

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
                                                                                                                    Zephaniah 3:17 NLT

It’s so easy today to get all wrapped up with who’s who in the world.  From the “greatest” actors in the world to the hottest news of politics, we find ourselves bombarded with negativity resting on our shoulders.  My prayer for you is this; that you know simply that God approves of you. You probably are thinking, “I already know that.  Of course God loves me, what’s that got to do with me right now.”  It’s a revelation that I had the other day while studying for a new message.  We are so engulfed with the fact that Jesus died for us and our sins are washed away but do we really know how much God really loves us?  Do we have any clue to what He was saying when He placed Jesus on the cross?

In Jeremiah 1:5, the prophet declares that “before I (God) formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you.” God didn’t just pull you out from under a cabbage patch and say, “Here go! ” Then pat you on the back and wish you the best of luck.  No, God approved you. He put His stamp of approval on you.  He accepted you before you even were thought of by the ones who had you.  The Almighty God took a moment in time to get to know you and prepared you for a purpose, for a reason God has placed you in this moment in time.

Imagine this; a Captain of a ship sets the course of the ship.  Before he even gets onto the ship, he has a plan for that particular ship and its destination.  If the ship veers off course, then it’s not doing what the Captain wants it to do and he will redirect the ship onto the right course.  God is the same way.  He set a course for your life; He set a way for you to live.  Now when you get off course, He places people in your life to help you get back on course or He speaks to your spirit.  Before He sets you to sail, God already approved your course and knew the plan for that course (see Jeremiah 29:11).

It’s so simple but it’s so profound, God approves of you.  The psalmist David wrote that “Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].”(Psalms 27:10) and “I was cast upon You from my very birth; from my mother’s womb You have been my God. (Psalms 22:10).  How amazing is it that God, in our very birth, prepared our calling, prepared our mission, knew already what we were going to do.  If you had a bad year, or a bad life, know this; God loves you more than you could ever imagine.

5 Ways to Refill After Burnout

“Burnout is a way of telling you that your form of activism was perhaps not very full circle.”
– Gloria Steinem

Last year, I encountered somet hing that was a bit different. Most men wouldn’t admit it out loud to their wives or even their friends but they lose steam or they will lose their joy. After eight hours of work, following their dreams and the vision that God has given to them, after the kids are in bed, after the supper is eaten…. men lose steam. I had this happen to me after Sara and I had been married for a while and had had our children. I was going to work, driving in traffic for an hour, dealing with stress (or not dealing), driving home in traffic for an hour, coming home to three girls under three, noise, chaos, dinner, baths, church, business….you get the point. I was overwhelmed! The positive side to this is that my wife took note and did all that she could do. But it wasn’t her responsibility to keep me happy. It was mine and mine alone. It was here at this moment that God put this in my heart “What happens when Daddy runs out of gas?”

Friend, that’s exactly where I was at. I had no gas. I had no energy. I had no ambition. All I wanted to do was go somewhere and sleep. So I had to come to the point where I asked “what happens when there’s nothing left to give and the reserves have been dwindled to a mere drop? What happens when Dad is running on fumes?

I wasn’t sure how I would address this or even how I would approach it. I felt that the Lord was directing me to address this subject head on. It’s a messy subject unlike many that men face. Dad’s all across this great nation decided one day to quit. Why? There’s no gas in their tank. These are a few things that I have worked out and found success. You may do something totally different. You may think this is completely idiotic. Hey, I am not the one whose out of gas and reading this on empty?

1. Get in the Word. It’s religious. I know that some of you will look at that and say, “I know that but with what time?” You find it. You make it. The Word of God is your life line. The Word of God is your direction. When you don’t know what to do, go to God and He will give it to you (James 1:5). Without the Word, you will run out of gas.

2. Get alone. Most men won’t admit it but they are overwhelmed with being a father. We are truly equipped to be the men of God that we are called to be. However, there are times when a father needs to get alone. Go out for a walk for an hour or so. Work on a fun project. Go to the library or the coffee shop. Get out. Get alone for a brief period of time. Sometimes a fifteen minute break will completely refresh you for the net trial.

3. Get away. Several years ago, I had gone through a rough time and I was battling a darkness that was out of this world. I found myself doubting and I couldn’t hear God. I told my wife that I needed to get away. Away we went camping for a night. I recognized that I needed some time away from the kids and home to get my mind wrapped around the important things. Don’t get me wrong men, our children are very important to us. However, we need a few moments away from the business of raising children. After the 18 years that they are on this earth and move out, you don’t want to find yourself looking at your wife and say “who are you?” I needed my woman which leads to my next point…

4. Tell your spouse your needs. We as men aren’t built for communication. No shock there. But often we shut down at pivotal moments when we have a need to be met. We close off because are prideful or we don’t want to put our spouse out. I struggled with this in the first few years of our marriage and still at times find myself putting my needs on the back burner. The only problem with this is that it closes communication and it also causes resentment. God put those needs (sexual and non sexual) in men so that there can be a relationship and communication.

5. Forsake Not The Assembly. Men are notorious for staying home from church and leaving behind the wife to be the spiritual head. Honestly men, this is absolutely absurd. When you act as the spiritual head, you gain a lot of the strength that you need to get through the tough times in your life. Start small.

These things do not just apply to men, but they apply to women as well.  As we operate our homes, our businesses, and other things in our lives, we just need a refill so we can be the best person that we can be!

Is Longevity Killing Your Career?

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
– Albert Einstein

If you have been following our journey for any length of time, it is no surprise that I would be writing about my departure in one fashion or another.

As I have begun to unpack the last nine years, this question came to mind:  Did longevity kill my career? With the previous company, I had dedicated nearly a decade of my life to this company with no growth. Time and time again, I would hear that it’s not about your tenure that you get promoted or get transferred from within. There was no real rhyme or reason to the promotion scale aside from the cynical thought; “it’s all about who you know.” I would do everything that I was asked to the best of my ability and still to no avail. Honestly, I was getting frustrated with seeing people being promoted from within that were with the company about 1/3 of the time that I had been. In days past, it was all about the tenure of the person that helped catapult them to success. Here are some thoughts that some feel about longevity’

  1. Longevity shows that you are content.
  2. Longevity shows that your loyal – regardless of what’s going on around you
  3. Longevity shows that you aren’t going anywhere soon.

These are good things, right? I have found that though it may be a good thing, it is detrimental to any hope of advancement after a certain period of time. Please realize that this is my opinion, however, in my experience it is good to look at the situation and decide to ask the question;  when do you to know if longevity is killing your career? You have been at your job for 3-5 years with no advancement. This is a great thought by one of my co-dreamers;

“Are you getting new experiences each year you stay OR are you merely getting the same experience every year? 5 years worth of experiences versus the same experience for 5 years.”
– Jane A. Tuttle, Ed.D

I have to agree with Jane’s assessment. With that in mind, this is a great time to ask yourself a question; why am I here? It all boils down to that very question. WHY? If you don’t know why it is time to evaluate the vitality of your career.  I want to leave you with this; is longevity killing my career?


This is an excerpt from my new book UnPack: Life Lessons from an Unemployed Rock Star!

It Is Finished – Moving Past the Past to Grab Hold of the Future


As a parent, we have a lot of opportunities to teach our children patience and trust. Either that or they teach us that patience and trust. I will say either way, we learn that at the end of the day, God has it all at hand and He will complete the work He started. The other day, Maleah was having a full fledged meltdown. When she’s tired, the world is against her in her eyes. She apparently was tired because everyone and everything was wrong in the world. There was a point where she wanted to finish a project and had asked Sara to help her with it. Sara let her know that it was already done. Maleah started throwing this big fit that she needed to get it done. Sara tried to reason with her that it had already been finished.

It drove home the point for me. So often we, as believers, strive to be perfect for God and to work for our salvation. The problem is that it has already been finished. In Hebrews 10:14, we read “For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.” When you and I decide that we want to work it out on our own, we are in essence telling Christ that His sacrifice and blood were not enough for our redemption so that means it is all up to us. Friend, if Jesus died for your sins there is no point in going around the mountain over and over again to get His approval that you are forgiven.

Today, I want to encourage you to take this lesson and go with it. YOU cannot do enough to make it right with God. HE makes it right; YOU make the decision to follow HIM. He’s not surprised with your shortcomings as a parent, as an employee, as a Christian, or as a man/woman.

Having the Grace to Let Go


I can remember as a child that I loved to take apart my toys. Whether it be something simple like a Hot Wheel or something complicated like the remote control car. Never knowing if I would ever get it back to what it was created for, I would look inside and be inquisitive. I guess all boys are that way. We like to find out for ourselves how something works or how something is built. We desire to be a creator of something or an inventor of something, it is a right to passage for us. It’s the same thing with life. We try to take apart our finances to see what is being done incorrectly or we separate our marriages to decide who really is at fault. We find ourselves so often wanting these miracles and yet we are not willing to work for it or even trust God for it. We have all these needs and desires but you refuse to ask. Instead you complain and whine about what you don’t have.

Sounds pretty harsh, but we end up treating God like a genie instead of God. You don’t rub a bottle and out pops God with three wishes for you. He’s not into wishing. In Matthew, Jesus said to ask and you shall receive not beg and you shall get. There is always balance to the Word of God. This is not a name it or claim it gospel nor is it a prosperity gospel. You can’t call out into the heavens that you have a million dollars and a Rolls Royce. However, you can’t walk through this life with the mentality of if I don’t expect it then I won’t be disappointed if I don’t get it. So many of us, myself included, want deliverance but we won’t let the shackles fall off of us. We won’t let the ball and chain break and I don’t mean your wives men. You have to leave the problem; you have to leave the situation to God. He says to “cast your whole cares” not some of them. Many of us decide to carry around the ball and chain and wonder why we are so tired all the time. We carry the burden of our lives around like bricks on our backs and we wonder why we are always in pain and always sick. We want to rest but we don’t trust God to give us that rest. We want wisdom and yet we aren’t quiet enough to receive it and when we are, we ignore it and call it the devil. We give the devil way too much credit. Many times, our worst enemy is ourselves. We think way too much, we talk way too much; sometimes we just need to chill and see what God is going to do. When you have a bill that is sitting there that you don’t have the money to pay for, worrying about it will not pay it off. Sometimes we just need to sit and wait on God. There again is balance. If you are not working, then you don’t eat (see 2 Thessalonians 3:10).

God’s not going to bless you if you are blatantly dishonest and lazy. I was reminded of a story of a father and his son. The son brought his toy that was broken to his father to fix. The father took the toy and began to work on it. While he was working on it, the boy climbed up and tried to help. The father would place a tool on the toy and the boy would put his hands in the middle trying to help him fix it. Soon, the father sat the boy down and handed him the toy. “It’s still broken” the boy exclaimed. The father looked at him and said, “You seem to know how to fix it better than I so I will let you work on it now.” The son was confused about the whole scenario. “But Dad, I don’t know how to fix it.” The father took the toy back and said, “Then let me fix it.” What is the moral of this story? The Father wants to fix your problems. But He can’t fix them if your little hands keep getting in the way. In short, let God be God. Don’t try to fix what God is trying to fix.

Finally, cast your whole care on Him. God wants you to rest and not carry the burden of it all. Jesus died so that your life would be full of abundance and blessings. We often over analyze our situations when God is simply calling us to “be still” and know that He is God. God wants you to trust in Him for your rest. Trust in God for that rest, let Him be your peace, and your life will never be the same. I thank God that He has placed that desire in me to rest in His care and not worry about the trials around me.

Today, what are you going to do to let go?

The Key To Answered Prayers – It’s Not What You May Think

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
-Martin Luther

The other day, I was reading about prayer and was reading in Luke 11 where Jesus was teaching the people how to pray. In this teaching, he told them a story regarding a man who was in need who went to his neighbor and asked for help. The neighbor was inconvenienced and didn’t want to get up. In verse 8, Jesus said a powerful statement; “But I tell you this though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

The phrase shameless persistence is what stuck out to me. I read the note out of my study bible and it reads “Persistence, or boldness, in prayer overcomes our insensitivity, not God’s. To practice persistence does more to change our heart and mind than his, and it helps understand and express the intensity of our need. Persistence in prayer helps us recognize God’s work.”

The question often asked is “If God honors our persistence, then why does it take so long for it to come to pass?” Daniel experienced this in Daniel 10 when he had been praying for the nation. In fact, he prayed and fasted for 21 days before an answer came. The angel of the Lord appeared to Daniel and said in verse 12 “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels came up to help me and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain…”

Just prior to that, the messenger told Daniel this in verse 11; “And the man said to me, ‘Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.’” You are so important to God and He values your prayers. In Chapter 9, Gabriel said to Daniel in verse 22, ‘Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given.” What a powerful statement! At the very moment that Daniel began praying….a command was given! It wasn’t what he did or who he was but the fact that he began praying and the command was given. That’s how much our God thinks of His kids. Just after, Gabriele said, “and now, I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God.” Again, God found that Daniel was precious to Him.

Daniel wasn’t just anyone special. As we read in Luke 18:1-8, Jesus told a story of a widow woman who came to the judge and asked for justice from her enemy. The judge refused to listen to her case and ignored her. However, the widow woman didn’t give up. She went again and again to the judge asking for this justice to be made on her behalf. What was his response? “I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see she gets justice because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!” Jesus didn’t stop here. He went further to show how God views this type of prayer. “Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to His chosen people who cry out to him day and night?”

There are many of us that are pursuing God and pressing into something that we feel in our spirit that God is going to do. The enemy will make you feel shame in asking and asking and asking and asking…donot stop pressing into what you know God wants to do in your life. Don’t give up. Keep praying. It’s effective and powerful.

How to Unplug and Live to Tell About It

Turn off your email; turn off your phone; disconnect from the Internet; figure out a way to set limits so you can concentrate when you need to, and disengage when you need to. Technology is a good servant but a bad master. – Gretchen Rubin

Have you ever found yourself at a place where you are completely? There are many times in my life, my career, and my dreams, etc., that I felt completely overloaded to the point to where I needed to disconnect from everyone and everything. Once this happened, I began to search what caused me to overload and I found one thing in particular.  I found myself juggling too many things at one time expecting myself in my Superman cape to fly everywhere to conquer every demon known out there.

It reminded me of a time in scripture when a well-known prophet had a nervous breakdown. Perhaps not a nervous breakdown but a complete overload of what was before him.  In I Kings 19, Elijah had just completed kicking the butt of the prophets of Baal. I don’t know if it is theologically correct to include butt in this, however I am writing this and am not always theologically correct so enjoy. Shortly after, the queen threatened his life and he ran for the hills. There wasn’t much warning to the queen’s threat and we don’t really know the full logistics of how the message got to Elijah.  All we know is that he turned tail and ran. It seems odd that he would turn so quickly. Upon his running, he declared that he wanted God to take him out. Great. The man of the hour was chickening out as he was running for the hills. It seems odd that the man who whipped 450 prophets was afraid of one woman. There could be a whole slew of sermons based on this but I will be neutral and keep focus on this one thing.

The question is; why did Elijah completely wig out over the thought of one woman coming after him to kill him? Elijah was totally worn out. Once he had used up all his energy to kick the tails of 450 prophets he had no energy left to fight. When he ran to the hills, God sent food and water down to Elijah and required him to rest. Why? He had to be fully rested in order to accomplish the task at hand.

God knew already that Elijah was completely worn out from fighting. God knew that he (Elijah) needed a few moments to gather himself up and rest. How so? God knew the frailty of man when he wrote the 10 commandments with one of them being honor the Sabbath. All men love that commandment…especially during sports season.

Exhausted, Elijah needed time to recuperate before he handled the next battle in his life. Each one of us men is like Elijah. We need time to recuperate. We need time to rest. Now, I am not saying everyday you tell your Godly Mom that you are going to hang out in the hammock because you need time to “recuperate”. What I am saying that you do need set aside time to stop and rest. You need to put down your I pad, your laptop, your phone, your work, your “fill in the blank here”, and rest. You don’t have to spend four hours a day resting. God doesn’t instruct that at all. However, He does tell us that we need a day to rest and recharge our cells.  God is calling you, friend, to unplug. There is a time that you need to stop and reflect on His word, rest, and recharge your batteries.

Here are four ways to unplug to increase your rest…and live to tell about it.

Turn off your phone. Yes. I wrote that here. Why? Because I am guilty of it. It is easy for me to check my email at 10 o’clock at night when I should be resting.

Turn off your mind. Easier said than done. What I have had to do is to turn off my work two hours from the time I go bed. If I do that, my mind isn’t working and I am rest.

Run away. No, seriously, run away. Before or after work, take 30 minutes to go to a coffee shop or somewhere that you can just sit.

Take a nap. This one was the biggest struggle for me. However, I know that my mind is not any good if I am running on fumes. There were times that I would nap for a few minutes at my car at lunch and that would be enough to get a recharge.

Just before writing this, I laid down to take a 2 hour nap. Did I feel condemned because I know that we have a few things that need to be done? No. Why? They will be there when I wake up. I don’t make a habit of taking a nap every day. However, your body will tell you… “If you don’t stop…I will.” A little while after waking up, I had a revelation of this that I am writing you. Let it be a fresh thought for you.

How To Leave A Legacy Worth Having Without Selling Your Soul

“If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” Dave Ramsey

In the fall of 2004, I found myself in a place of “security.” I had a beautiful truck, a decent paying job, friends, and freedom. I moved into a pretty decent apartment in Memphis and I was ready to conquer the world. That was until I was not expecting to be fired in the middle of the month of December. I had accumulated a lot of debt at that time and had no means to pay it. At one point, I worked three jobs and paid as much as I could to get it all taken care of. I had always told myself “I’ll charge it to the card and pay it off at the end of the month.” The old saying “the road to ruin was paved with good intentions” was the motto at this point in my life. I knew that it wouldn’t all be good when at the end of the month if I had a job.

Less than 6 months later I found myself at the Shelby County Court House filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy and living back with my parents. I had always been the and now I had to face the music of my poor decisions. The shackles and chains of this bankruptcy haunted me for many years after it happened.

I met my beautiful wife to be in 2006 after I moved to St. Louis to start my life over. I have always tried to be open and honest about my past with anyone to whom I had relationship with. I was met with a lot of grace and mercy regarding this past from her and her parents. At this point, I had not incurred anymore debt; however we weren’t doing anything to attack it after we got married. It wasn’t until 2008 that I finally listened to a well-known expert on money that the borrower was truly a slave to the lender. I truly became a slave to those of whom I owned money to.

Sara and I began the journey of freedom in 2008. We found ourselves with nearly $14,000 in debt from my student loans (FYI…Student Loans are not able to be bankrupted unless you’re dead.) To you, that may scoff and say “I wish I only owe that much.” But for a couple who had only been married a short time with one child on the way and an income below poverty leave; this was impossible. Then we decided to throw a wrench into the gear. Sara was pregnant with our 2nd child and we made the decision for her to come home full-time. We knew that God was telling us to make this move that made absolutely no sense and we received a lot of opposition.

The Word tells us if we honor God, He will honor us. At this point, we had made little headway on paying off this debt and we were burning out quick.  In July of 2011, I found myself at a crisis. Our lives could have been a country song with all the stuff that was happening.  At this time, I had a major car accident which totaled my transportation to get me to work every day while at the same time the head gasket blew on our van that carried my kids around. We began to ask where was God in the midst of this. We could not understand why if we gave our tithes and blessed others that we would have to go through this. We just could not seem to get a break.

We had vowed to never have a car payment again and we were in deep trouble.  After a few months with nothing seeming to come from the Lord, we got a check for a sum of money that would allow us to buy a car. It wouldn’t be anything fancy but it would be something that I could afford to buy. With that, I was on a search for another vehicle.

I just wasn’t finding something that would settle. I wasn’t snooty about it but I wanted a decent car. I finally put something on Facebook and I got a lead. “We have a car if you want to buy it. I will send you some pictures. ” This was the ugliest car I had seen. However, I know how God works so I went to look at it. Long story short, I fell in love with this car. Ugly and all. I also got a super deal on it. So super that the money that was given to us covered the car and when I got home, I got online to check our balance on one of the loans and I had enough to pay the loan in full. What? God used that to do what?

My point is, if you let God do His job, He will relieve you of bondage. He will release you from slavery. What happened next was even more of a miracle. We received another check 4 months later and that paid off all of the other debt. If you honor God, He will honor you.

Why tell you all this? What does this have to do with leaving a legacy without selling your soul?I want to encourage you leave a legacy of greatness to your children.  When you have the shackles and chains around you of debt, you have less that you can use to put into the Kingdom of God. If you are in bondage to debt, you have less that you can invest in your savings and in the future of your children’s education.

Friend, I want to see you succeed! Get ready to break off the shackles and the chains of debt! Once you do, you will begin to save money for a legacy for your children not have to sell your soul in the process.

Let your light shine brighter for men!

How to Put Fear in its Place

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” Mark Twain

Recently, I read Jon Acuff’s book Start which is a New York Times Best Seller that tackles the issue of staying average and moving into awesome. It’s easy for us to stay average as fathers. When we get up in the morning, it is much easier to pop something in the toaster and run out the door than to sit down and spend time in the Word. It is easier to run through the day living mediocre and never changing than to make an effort to become a better father, husband, employee, etc. Right now, I am at that place. I looked at myself in the mirror recently and said that I don’t want to be that parent that sits on the couch and watches television all day. I don’t want to be the man who says “maybe tomorrow.” I don’t want to ever stop growing as a father, as a husband, as a leader, etc.

Right now, I am at a place where I am seeing our dreams potentially come to pass. It is here I am reminded of what Paul said in I Corinthians 16:9, Paul had arrived in Corinth and was teaching the word of God. He made a bold statement that forever changed the paradigm of my thinking. Has anyone ever told you that if God is in it then it will be easy? Paul found this to be untrue. “For a wide door of opportunity for effectual (service) has opened to me (there, a great promising one), and (there are) many adversaries.” Paul was getting ready to unleash some great things from God and it was not going to be easy for him.

I am there. I see great things that are great opportunities for my family. However, there are days of great opposition whether it be people or finances or whatever the case may be, there is a great opposition to you bringing your family higher. Jon’s subtitle for his book is “punching fear in the face.” In that, he talks about the different voices that we hear as people of vision. Fathers hear the same voices when leading their families. His suggestion, which I agree with, is to write those voices down. His theory is that fear is an invisible foe and once it is brought to sight, it isn’t as big as it seems to be. Often, we find that those voices are lies and we have to debunk those lies. We have to question those lies. As fathers, we are facing a great challenge in coming up higher with our families, in our careers, and in our dreams. Let me encourage you today to keep your eye on the prize, debunk the lies, and get ready to see God move on your wildest dreams!

Jon Acuff is a New York Times Best Selling Author, Speaker, father of two , and a husband of one. Jon is currently working on a new chapter in his life. You can follow him at .

Proving God | When Giving Up Is Almost an Option

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Galatians 6:9

I remember saying that time and time again as a young person in the faith. I always made excuses on giving money in the offering whether it be that there be an important event coming up or “I didn’t have it.” I came to a cross road in my walk with God in 2006 while I was starting over in life.

Fresh out of bankruptcy I moved to Saint Louis, Missouri where I began my life as a file room clerk at Washington University. I didn’t have a lot but that was alright with me because it was better than nothing. Everything seemed to fall into place for me while I was getting settled in my new apartment in North County. Shortly after my move, I started dating my wife to be and we attended the church that she grew up in and every Sunday there would be a teaching on tithing. It would honestly bother me because I started to feel like most people feel when they hear the teacher get up and talk about it; it’s always about the money.

I decided one day to challenge God on this principle. Every time the message was given, it was always given with Malachi 3 where the people of Israel were challenged to test God on their giving. As I began this journey, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect but what happened next changed my perspective on it. In the first week of my tithing; I blew out two tires within days and my car was broken into. That’s not encouraging for a new tither, but I was determined to see God move on this principle.

Let’s fast forward seven years later to today. At the time of this writing, my income hasn’t gone up substantially. I haven’t seen a new BMW plop down in front of me. I haven’t had a gold watch fall into my lap. I haven’t received promotions and increases like many of my brothers and sisters in Christ claim will happen when I tithe. Wait, don’t shut me down yet…I have a point. In Psalms, David wrote “I was young and now I am old yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread.” Sara and I have never lacked anything that we need. We do not have a fancy house or fancy cars but we have a home that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, we have money in the bank for a rainy day, we have children that are healthy, and no debt besides our home.

Well, that’s fine and dandy for you Will but I am up to my ears in debt and I can’t afford to keep the lights on!” I remember those days. This message isn’t for the millionaire. This message is for the dad who has been struggling with three jobs and hasn’t had a decent paycheck. This is for the mom who  is trying to get his children fed. This message is for the person who has been struggling to get his mortgage paid for.

Friend, this is to encourage you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is to encourage you that if you don’t quit there will be a harvest!. This is to encourage you that when you get that pink slip or that red letter on your door to focus not on the paper but on the Provider! Don’t you give up because some man told you that you would never make it! Don’t you quit because you get some kind of notice on your door because you didn’t have the money at the time to pay it! Don’t you quit because some voice is telling you lies and filling you with negativity! No! You push in and press into what God has for you! I am not saying God is going to send you a BMW but what I am saying is that My God WILL Supply ALL your needs! In Matthew 6, Jesus said that if you being fathers who are evil will provide food for your children how much more will your Heavenly Father provide for you? That will preach on its own right there! God is in the business of providing!

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5 Habits of an Unemployed Rock Star


Have you recently found yourself unemployed? Whatever the reason for your departure, you have entered in the new world of endless hours and countless opportunities. It is easy to get home from the initial meeting and throw in the towel in life. Perhaps just giving up is an option. The only problem with that is…you’re a rock star and rock stars don’t quit. So what do you do now that you are an Unemployed Rock Star? I have five keys that I am finding that works in my life as I go through this journey.

  1. Read. I found myself at a place where I didn’t want to read. Why? I have the gift of cynicism. You know – why try if it is going to fail anyway, right? Reading helps jog the mind into activity and also grows the knowledge of the person who is reading. When you read while you are unemployed, you are more likely to get out of any funk that you are in.
  2. Stay on Schedule. I was tempted at one point to just stay in bed and not get up until noon. I didn’t want to be on a schedule because I had just spent the last twenty years doing just that. If that is the case, why did I stay on a schedule? It gave me purpose. That’s right, I am not just aimlessly floating around the universe. Keeping on a schedule will help you in your job hunt too and self-employment endeavors as well.
  3. Stay Active. Who doesn’t like to sit around all day and binge watch the season of their favorite shows? This may be okay for a day or so, but like lobster to the rich…it will get old. Its important that you get up and get out. Make a plan to walk. Make a plan to run if you can. Make a plan to move off the couch and into the office to look for a job. Simple steps to staying active will help you become even more the rock star that you already are.
  4. Keep LookingThere are millions of jobs out there that you don’t qualify for. There are thousands of companies that are not looking for you. Here’s the kicker – YOU HAVE CHOICES! That means, you can keep looking until you land that amazing opportunity that you have been looking for.
  5. Don’t Give Up Hope. This might be the most important part of this piece. Why? When you have looked and looked over and over again for a job, it is easy to get depressed. It is easy to get discouraged. I have been there! You can’t give up hope. Too many people need you. I don’t mean your family and friends – they are important. I mean the world needs you. Why? Rock stars don’t get to where they are by themselves. They have a community that knows their potential.

Okay. Now you have 5 ways to set in a great habit. What are you going to do next?