Would You Like a Fresh New Start in Life?

“It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.”  (Galatians 6:15, NLT)

Have you ever had times you thought, “Man, I’ve blown it now.  God will never forgive me?”

I have, more than once—in an hour.

Then you continue to beat yourself up running through your mind all the “If only’s”.

Yet in reality, we don’t get Mulligan’s like in golf do we?  As our moms used to say, “You’ve made your bed now you get to live in it.”

Yet, God does offer us do-over’s.  Oh, you may still wrestle with natural consequences but God offers a fresh beginning.

It doesn’t depend on following religious rules.  It comes as we turn to God and say, “Ok, I want to walk with you in the daylight.”

Then he forgives your stumbles, picks you up out of the mud and tells you, “You are my child.”

He forms in you new desires and leads you by the hand out of the chaos into the light.

I’ve seen it in my own life and in the lives of others.  And it’s offered to you as well.

Oh, and sorry Mom for not making my bed.

Find Power in the Midst of When You Feel Overwhelmed

I’ve heard said, “The problem with life is, it’s so daily.”

At times it can seem like series of challenging puzzles coming one after another.  And the biggest problem is often you don’t get one solved before next one hits.

You tirelessly work day after day.  And frankly after a while you can start feeling, “If this thing called life just wasn’t so daily I could get some rest and get on top of it.”

It’s what I love about what David writes, “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

We all have days when those those lions seem like a step up don’t we?

Yet, into the midst of this daily grind God brings his goodness.  And when you stop and seek his answers a feeling of renewal comes.

Renewal based on believing that God sees your struggle and knows the answer.  He sees your need and has the solution.  And when you feel overwhelmed he mysteriously gives you his peace.

When the challenges of life become too much for today, you can rest in him and find the strength to go on tomorrow.

So welcome to life.  Be careful out there, it’s gonna be daily.

*Psalm 34:10 (NIV)

Are You Feeling Smashed? Time to Unleash Power?

Most everyone I know feels smashed.

We’re called the sandwich generation.  I’d call us the flat tire generation.  We have a crisis blowout concerning our kids and before we get it fixed another happens with our parents.

Friends have said, “We’ll get together when things settle down.”  Two years in we’re still waiting.

But it can leave you feeling crushed with no ounce of reserve left.

I was refreshed though last night when I read a favorite verse again.

Zechariah writes, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

Wow!  All my chasing and crashing often accomplishes little more than stress.  But when I settle back into trusting that God will accomplish everything I need I find his power again.

No matter what crunch you’re facing right now, just take the time to give it back to God.   Settle down into the rest he wants to give you.

Then you’ll discover a peace in your heart and mind that will help you think clearly.  You’ll find renewed strength in your body.  And you’ll see God’s power enter into your pressure cooker life and release the steam.

Personally, I think I’ll go sailing.  I’m going to let God have his shift for a while.

*Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)

How to Unleash an Incredible Life Everyday

At a friend’s Super Bowl party, he and I were chatting over a glass of wine.  I’ve known him since high school which is, shall we say, a while.  He said, “You know, this is no dress rehearsal.  So enjoy life every day.”

It perhaps seemed more philosophical because we’d both had a couple of glasses of wine, yet it caused me to think.

See, sometimes it’s easy to put off living.  We keep waiting to be happy.  Yet, today is the only day we really have.

One of the most encouraging promises to me is that God will make our lives rich and full.

David writes, “”He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.”

I find that incredibly encouraging.  Even when I fail, which happens on occasion, and no don’t ask my wife.   Yet, even then he promises a life that’s rich and fruitful.

He says as you trust in God to bring you that life he does.  Not because you worked out all the kinks in the dress rehearsal.  But simply because you chose to walk with the one who brings that fruitfulness.

Rehearsal is over!

*Psalm 1:3 (NIV)

What Do You Do When Life Grows Confused?

Do you ever wish God would just give you a road map for your life?  Have you ever had those times that you’ve thought, “God I’m happy to do what you want but frankly I don’t have a clue?”

I have, way too many times.  I’ve felt so lost just touching the edge of any road would’ve felt like a victory.

So what do you do when you’ve tried everything and you’re still poking around in the fog as lost as ever?

I’ve found, in those times, it helps to just rest in the promise that I may be careening from pot hole to pot hole but God still sees the road clearly.

He promises, “He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”

I love that!  Not after I’ve accomplished five more steps but unconditionally now when I walk with God he walks with me.  He has the map and sees the road.

So you can settle down on the bus.  You may not be able to see the road but the driver can.  And he promises to get you to your destination.

So get on, put on your headphones and relax.  The road may be foggy but you’ll arrive safely.

*Micah 4: 2 (NIV)

Do You Want to See a Miracle?

I’ve seen some genuine miracles.

I’ve prayed for needs that were beyond reason and seen answers beyond explanation.  Yep, I’ve experienced full up, no kidding miracles.

I’ve also prayed for people to be healed and they died.  So no, I wouldn’t call.

I’ve prayed for answers that God in a blink could have provided and he didn’t.  And it left me or others bewildered and frustrated.

So why the difference?

I think there are innumerable answers, most of which comes down to, we really don’t know God’s mind that often.  Heck, if we did he wouldn’t be God would he?

But the one indispensable key is faith.

Jesus promised, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Frankly, I find that promise a bit scary.

I mean, what if God really gives you what you ask?  What if he doesn’t?

Yet, that brings you back to the core of Jesus’ promise.  When you approach God in faith that he loves you and wants to bless you it unleashes amazing power.  And when you pray with that faith you’ll see his miracles in a way you simply never will otherwise.

I think it’s worth the gamble.  What about you?

*Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

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)

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)