Sunday Music: “Going Home” Fallen Soldier Bagpipe Tribute

This video is particularly poignant for me today.  We buried my father-in-law, a World War 2 veteran, on Friday and this song was played by bagpipe at his service.

To each of you who have buried loved ones it always seems too soon no matter their age.

Thank God for the hope of seeing them again.

Blessings on this Sunday.

 

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Unlocking the Door to an Extraordinary Life

Number 25 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of the awesome blessings God gives us each day. I hope it encourages you today!

 

I see so many people settle for mediocre. Just live average. Get by.

 

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

 

Working at a job they hate so they can just get a paycheck.

Going through the motions of a marriage that long ago lost all excitement.

Vegetating in front of a TV for hours every night with no recollection days later of what they even watched.

So some try religion. Yet, frankly I don’t see much difference. Most church services are boring. Pastors preach about stuff that maybe interested them in seminary but seems irrelevant to life.

At the end of their life so many look back and wonder, “Where did it all go? What was it all for?”

 

And they regret the wasted years.

 

[Read more…]

The Perfect Gift at the Perfect Time

Number 24 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of the awesome blessings God gives us each day. I hope it encourages you today!

 

I see several misperceptions of God that keep people far away from him.

 

Photo Credit:  Bradley Dean

Photo Credit: Bradley Dean

 

First, obviously, believing he doesn’t exist or if he does he’s some impersonal life force that has no awareness of my existence. So really there’s little point in praying.

Second, believing perhaps he does exist but he’s way too busy with major world issues to be concerned about my day to day problems.

Third, if he exists he’s like an omnipotent traffic cop just waiting for me to screw up so he can slap me with a ticket. Frankly you just want to stay off his radar.

Fourth and I see this one in the church all the time. God sends trouble my way to test me so I can prove whether I’m really faithful. That one really irritates me. [Read more…]

Sunday Music: “Finally Home” by MercyMe

This song touches me deeply as my wife’s father passed away last week.  At 95 he lived a long and full life and now he’s finally home.

I’m so glad for that hope of seeing him, my own mom and dad and friends who have gone before me.  I look forward to the reunion.

I hope you have that same hope.  And that this song brings you comfort on your Sunday.

 

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Sensing God’s Presence in the Midst of Struggles

Number 23 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of the awesome blessings God gives us each day. I hope it encourages you today!

 

We all go through struggles when frankly we feel all alone.

I’ve talked with people who knew they were dying. And no matter how much support they had they walked it alone.

I’ve felt that aloneness too as I’ve gone through struggles. The support of loved ones was tremendous. But in the end I had to walk the path by myself.

 

Photo Credit: Blake Danger Bentley

Photo Credit: Blake Danger Bentley

 

We can surround ourselves with others. Stay busy in our jobs. Work diligently on the problems. All of those things are helpful and good.

Yet, when the busyness stops and we pause we feel the weight of facing the challenge alone. And it can feel overwhelming.

 

We enter into what’s been called “the dark night of the soul.” [Read more…]

Insights When Life Grows Confusing

Number 22 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of the awesome blessings God gives us each day. I hope it encourages you today!

 

I find life can be really confusing at times. Challenges blind side us without warning.

 

Photo Credit:  Henry Burrows

Photo Credit: Henry Burrows

 

Relationships explode suddenly sometimes with little advance notice or possibility of reconciliation.

Surprise health issues hit us and continue to spiral down.

Economic setbacks slam us and leave us struggling to stay ahead.

 

Suddenly we’re reeling from the blow. We feel confused, angry and depressed as we think about our situation.

 

I think part of the problem today also which adds to this is we all live somewhat isolated lives. So we lack the support networks of previous generations.

Often our extended family is absent or at a distance. We tend to not join support organizations as people once did.

So when we’re faced with those challenges we can feel really alone. We don’t have the support and collective wisdom from others. And that can feel daunting and overwhelming. [Read more…]

Sunday Music: “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack

A little more country than usual but I like this video and the message of the song.

She is singing to her children but it’s a great reminder that this life is meant for dancing.

I hope you enjoy this on your Sunday and today you kick it up.

 

 

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Do you have a favorite music video you would like me to share?

 

Unexpected Answers to Prayers

Number 21 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of the awesome blessings God gives us each day. I hope it encourages you today!

 

Let’s be real. We all face struggles that simply seem insurmountable.

 

Photo Credit: Kim Seng

Photo Credit: Kim Seng

 

A health issue that can’t be fixed with a couple of pills.

A marriage that implodes no matter we do.

A job that dead ends no matter how hard you work.

Financial setbacks beyond of your control.

And I see commonly one of three responses.

“I don’t need any help. I can fix it myself.”

Or, “I don’t know why God did this to me and I want nothing to do with him.”

Or, “God here is exactly how I want you to fix this.”

 

The problem with all three? They often end in frustration and despair.

 

Why?

Because the first two leave God out of the equation so he won’t answer.

And the third makes God the genie in the bottle. And when God answers in unexpected ways either we don’t recognize it or we’re angry because it wasn’t according to our plan so in a way we don’t accept it. [Read more…]

God Rocks #20: Finding Release from Worry

Part of the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of the awesome blessings God gives us each day. I hope it encourages you today!

 

An epidemic of worry is raging.

Sales of anxiety and depression medication have increased exponentially over the last several years. Today they drive billions in revenue.

And that’s only a slice of those suffering from worry and anxiety.

 

Photo Credit:  Leonard Farshore

Photo Credit: Leonard Farshore

 

What about just your garden variety? Worrying about losing your job? Worrying about your struggling child? Worrying about the questionable results of your lab report? Worrying about how to keep your marriage together?

And how do we fix those? Sometimes a little too much alcohol. Staying absorbed in way too much TV. Racing from church service to service. Working ourselves to a frazzle. Or just trying to ignore the problems.

 

But at some point when the buzz and distraction wears off the problems still loom and the worry creeps in again.

 

I know I’ve lived there. Heck, occasionally I still live there. [Read more…]

Sunday Music: “Thrive” by Casting Crowns

What better way to start the new year than with a wonderful song which reminds us we weren’t meant to only survive but instead  to thrive.

This is my desire with this blog to help you thrive in the amazing life God offers.

So as we enter 2015 let’s look at each day as a time to thrive.

I hope you enjoy this song and are encouraged by it’s simple message on your Sunday.

 

If you are having trouble viewing this video you can watch it here.

Do you have a favorite music video?