When Clear Lines Go Foggy

When Clear Lines Go Foggy

The older I get the more I realize that I’m never going to have everything I think I need. Let me say on the outset, I’m not coming at this from a standpoint of a wanderlust or greed mentality where an insatiable appetite for more is what drives my mentality. No, what I mean is this: in life there are needs and there are wants. The deception, the lie from the enemy, is that the clearly defined, seemingly obvious line that separates needs from wants is often so badly blurred beyond simple comprehension to a point that a man starts to tell himself that those things that he wants are actually things he desperately needs to make life more stable. Jesus told me to “seek first the kingdom of God” and when He said those words it was the in middle of a discussion about anxiety, worry, and stability. I’m learning that I can’t live the life I don’t have. I can only be faithful to the life I have now. And what I have, right now, is what God means for me to have today. And that’s...
Digging Deep

Digging Deep

A personal trainer once challenged me simply to write down every single thing I ate for a seven day stretch of time. Every thing I ate had to be written down, no exceptions. So I did.   Let me tell you, my brother, I learned from that one-week period that we are all, every one, incredibly optimistic, and often living in complete oblivion, when it comes to the caliber of our nutrition.   Have you ever taken the time to audit the subjects over which you tend to pray? Once again, it can be pathetically revealing.    May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ. – 2 Thessalonians 3:5   Paul had some friends in the faith that he cared deeply about, and yet oddly enough he wasn’t praying for a list of their greatest needs. No. In fact, he wasn’t praying for what they were “asking” him to pray over at all. He was praying for what they needed most: a deeper understanding of the love of God.   Here’s what I’ve learned about wrestling with God’s love for me: God has no performance standard. Seriously, would you want Him to? Would you, seriously, want God to love you based on how you acted?   God loves me, and His love for me isn’t based on what I can do for Him, or what I can do in His name. Sounds simple, but try it sometime. It’s far more difficult to live under this simplicity than you realize.   The more I wrap my mind around the simple truth...
Wrestling A Mean Dog

Wrestling A Mean Dog

Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own – Proverbs 26:17 The imagery in this verse makes me think of my grandfather. This was his sort of wisdom. Funny, yet forever true. Who in their right mind walks up to a stray dog and grabs it by the ears? The very thought of it makes me laugh a little.  I can remember as a kid going into country stores that had a game room in the back. Often there was a flipper-less pinball machine back there that would pay out earnings. Usually, it was the pinball machine doing the earning! My grandfather, Josh Cruise, said in reference to feeding those things your hard-earned money “anything willing to back its hind-end up to a wall and challenge the whole world … should be left alone.” Some things just need to be left alone. That can include the very situations that surround you today as you move through the marketplace of business. The issue is knowing when to move in, and when to walk on by. I’m learning that there are situations that simply do not warrant my presence or my attention. I cannot tell you how many times my life has remained peaceful by just telling myself “God hasn’t called me to...
Drama And A Question Worth Asking.

Drama And A Question Worth Asking.

Working with micro-managers has never been easy for me. Ever. I’m not a guy sweats the details. People who sweat the finite details make me sweat, too – usually with some internalized anger, mixed with a pinch of bitterness, and marinated for a few days in thoughts of retaliation. hen again, I’m sure I make them sweat, too. I’m sure that when it comes to me they have to have their own conversations with God about attitude readjustments. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. – Romans 12:18 A man must ask himself: is this a battle worth fighting? It’s amazing to me, when I step back and do my best to be objective, that I’ll find the battle was not nor is not, in fact, worth fighting at all because it never was intended to be a battle. It was more like a riff. A skirmish. A bit of sideways popping up on my life’s radar that was gone as fast as it appeared. More often than not, the drama was over something that, in the greater kingdom of God, really didn’t matter at all. Peace, in my experience, is most easily achieved between me and someone else when I am at peace with God. Said another way, when I allow myself to trust God with the outcome, peace resides in my heart. When my heart is content, my attitude tends to follow . . . without the use of a...
Life on the Edge

Life on the Edge

A king posted a job opportunity in search of a professional carriage driver to take him on journeys that included both his personal and business affairs. On the posting, applicants were told to apply in person in the king’s office at the central court building. Three men applied. The first gentleman to arrive to the interview approached the king and told him that he was most certainly a driving professional. The king posed this simple scenario, “Sir, my estate is high atop a mountain ridge. The only road accessing my home is not only narrow, and there is no shoulder. In some places, if you were to run a carriage wheel even a few inches off the roadway, we would face certain death from falling 600 feet to the canyons below. The problem is, bandits know that this road is narrow, and several times a year I will most certainly face would-be robbers and even assassins. If we slow down, they will steal whatever fortunes I am carrying that day, not to mention the fact that my family will be placed in danger as they often travel with me. Therefore, we cannot slow down and we must travel at a high rate of speed. So my question is, sir, knowing that the road is curvy and there is no margin for error, how close to the edge are you willing to travel?” The first applicant replied, “King, I am a professional driver. I would be willing to travel within three feet of the edge at a high rate of speed.” The king posed the same scenario to the second applicant to...