You Can Be Changed into a New Power Filled You!

Do you ever have times you wish you were someone different?

Oh, not so much someone who’s rich and famous though that might be fun.  But deep inside, when you’ve stumbled again at the thing that keeps tripping you?

I know I do occasionally and I’m pretty sure my wife wouldn’t mind a few changes in me also.

Yet, I find that to be one of most powerful promises from God.  That he can and will change us from the inside so we become the person we truly want to be.

Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”*

I love that.  It offers so much hope no matter who you are and what you’ve done.

God offers to overcome it and make up for it by literally changing you into a new, power filled person.

And it begins simply as you ask God to create that change in you.

Frankly, that’s been perhaps the most amazing part of my faith journey.  I look back at all the rough edges of my personality and am astounded sometimes by the changes in me.

Oh, there’s plenty more to go but I’m thankful for the journey so far.

*2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

How to Discover a Life Beyond Your Dreams

So many people live as Thoreau described, “Lives of quiet desperation.”

They desperately race to give themselves happiness, chasing down blind alleys that lead nowhere except to frustration.

I think about what a friend said, “This isn’t a dress rehearsal. This is our lives.”

So what makes the difference?

I don’t have all the answers.  But I do know the trajectory of my life changed when I stopped running and asked God to lead me into his amazing life.

The journey has been filled with detours and storms.  Yet, also an incredible life I never could imagine.

Paul promises, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”*

God has planned for you a life beyond what you can even imagine. Even if you’ve missed some of it, it’s never too late to experience it.

It starts when you say, “God give me your unimaginable life.”

And then it grows each day.

*1 Corinthians 2: 9 (NIV)

How Do You Find Peace When Blindsided by Death?

We were stunned last night to learn that a friend’s daughter suddenly died.  She was friends with my kids growing up, in the height of life and now’s gone.

Death slams us when a loved one is taken from us or we face it ourselves doesn’t it?  Anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t truthful.

In those times I find helpful rereading God’s promises.

David prayed, “You will not abandon me to the grave nor will you let your Holy One see decay.”

Over and over God promises that nothing in this life or even death can separate you from his love.

In that assurance you can rest that in Heaven all things will be made perfect once again.

I don’t understand it all and often when staring down death my faith grows shaky.

Yet then I remember all the miraculous ways God has cared for me.  And I think, “Would he desert me when I need him most?”

Then peace filters in again and it’s enough for now.

*Psalm 16: 10 (NIV)

How to Feel Loved When You Feel Most Alone

Do you ever just feel alone?  Maybe you’ve lost a loved one or are struggling through a challenge.

When surrounded by family and friends you feel loved.  But when they’re gone that loneliness bites again.

I’ve certainly felt that.  I think we all do.

At a time I felt very alone, I asked God to bring me into a relationship with him and I immediately felt his indescribable  love.

Sure I’ve felt lonely at times since then.  Yet I can honestly say, in the midst of those times I’ve truly felt God’s presence the most.

David prayed, “I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”*

In those alone times, when you wake up, you can feel the most overpowered.   Yet, in that moment is when you can feel God’s presence the most.

You may still feel the pangs of loneliness of course, but feeling God’s love will get you through it and that will be enough for today.

*Psalm 17:15 (NIV)

Do You Need New Strength to Conquer Your Mountain?

Do you ever just feel worn out?

You’ve push and struggle against an unconquerable problem until you feel like you can’t go on anymore.  Yet, giving up isn’t an option either.

Yeah, I’ve been there,  way too many times.

That’s why I love what David wrote, “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on heights.”*

No matter what we face when we come back and just relax in God he renews and guides us.

Often I find this hard to remember as a full member of the type A personality club.  But I’ve also learned there comes a time to stop pressing and wait for God’s answers and strength.

It’s not doing nothing and saying, “I’m waiting for God.”

It’s more like productive waiting.  Praying, listening, reading, thinking, trying to understand your heart and God’s directions.  Oh, and resting too.

Then he promises he’ll give you renewed strength so you stand on top of your mountain.

*Psalm 18: 33 (NIV)

How to Uncover the Miracle Life

I’m amazed at the miracle of my life.

I think back to the dead end road I walked in college.  Frustrated, alone, depressed, running chaotically to find elusive happiness.

Yet, out of that confusion to find my wife and be blessed with our children astounds me.  The prosperity we’ve been blessed with even after so many years of financial struggle amazes me.  And to think that after all these years the journey today is the best and keeps growing better.

The miracle began when I stopped running away from God and chose to walk to him.

The Psalmist wrote, “You have made known to me the path of life, you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”*

He offers you a clear path even when life seems confused.  Joy when it makes more sense to feel depressed.  His presence when you feel most alone.  And the comfort that all of this grows better not only now but forever.

*Psalm 16: 11 (NIV)

What Do You Do When You Run Out of Strength to Press On?

There are times when each of us reach the end of our own power to keep pressing on against the challenges.  Sometimes we’ve fought the battle for so long we just grow tired and want to give up.

Into that void, though, flows God’s power when we simply rest back in him.

Micah, the prophet, wrote, “But as for me I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord.”*

I love that image because I’ve had occasions, probably like you, when I’ve felt overwhelmed and I couldn’t go one more step.

Yet God, in his love, brought me fresh strength when I rested in him.  He clarified my mind and filled me with his power.

He offers that to you as well, whatever you face today.   If your abilities and strength have run out he offers you his power as you simply come back and rest in him.

*Micah 3: 8 (ESV)

How to Take the Miraculous Life You’ve Been Promised

Most of us start out with dreams of an extraordinary life.   Unfortunately, those dreams often get squashed by harsh reality.

So it’s easier to give up and simply settle for what’s comfortable.  Yet, I believe for most of us those dreams never really die.  Instead, they lie dormant leaving us feeling unfulfilled.

See God promised you can take on the amazing life he designed for you from the beginning by simply accepting it.

God promised Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.” *

God had already set aside the land for them.   The gift was waiting to be opened.   They simply needed in courage to take it.

It’s like Christmas morning with presents under the tree.  The presents are wrapped and have your name on them.   All you need to do is open them.

Then enjoy the gifts already purchased for you.

*Joshua  1:6 (NLT)

How to Have Your Mind Transformed from Despair to Joy

I struggled, particularly when in college, with depression attacks.  They’d come on suddenly and last for hours or days.  Nothing I tried successfully counteracted them.  Often that left me feeling even more hopeless and vulnerable.

So many people today struggle with depression also shown by the billions in anti-depressive drug sales.

Yet when I came to the place I asked God into my life and to change my mind he did.

Oh, I still occasionally struggled but nothing like before.  My mind changed from despair to joy, from tyranny to hope.

It’s what God promises when Paul writes, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”*

When we ask God to change us he transforms our minds through filling us with his Spirit. And where his Spirit lives there can’t be darkness.

Then we’re set free from living trapped in the common pattern of this world.  Set free to be transformed from despair to joy.

Romans 12: 2

Do You Face the Impossible?

We all face challenges at times that seem impossible don’t we?  We’ve struggled and worried yet the problem persists.

Yet, no challenge is impossible for God.  He created us and everything in our lives.  So if he created all things what challenge in his creation could be greater than his power to solve it?

Jesus responded to a challenge, “With people this is impossible but with God all things are possible.”*

I was struggling with several challenges and frankly by the end of the year just felt spent.  I grew depressed and just wanted to give up, find a cave to crawl into and sleep until it all went away.

Slowly though ideas came about the inherent problems and some possible solutions.  Further clarity continues to light.

I came back to just resting in God for the answers because that’s all I had.  Trusting that he had a plan and he would reveal it to me in time.  Believing he’d guided me this far and wouldn’t let me down now.

What seems impossible to us opens the door to God’s possibilities.

*Matthew 19: 26