Is It Time to Stop Making Excuses and Live the Amazing Life?

Years ago, when I pastored a church, I had a conversation with a friend that rattled me.

We grew up together in a church and both drifted away after high school.

Then I experienced a spiritual transformation in college and he raced full out the other direction.


Photo Credit: Jofre Ferrer

Photo Credit: Jofre Ferrer


He’d visited our church, which was now booming, a couple of times with his mom on Mother’s Day.

One evening as I was leaving the office he came by the church to deliver something for his mom. Afterward I stood at his driver’s window talking with him while he sat in his car with the engine running. That was my first clue he preparing for a quick getaway.

Easter was coming and we had a special service planned so I asked, “Why don’t you join us?”

He responded, “No, I’m really not interested. And I need to be going.” With that he rolled up his window and left me standing on the sidewalk in the dark.


I remember feeling rejected and wondering, “Was there something else I could have said?”


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How to Discover the Real Life You’ve Been Looking For

I find life often a paradox. Discovering a truly fulfilling life can be at times counter-intuitive.

I have friends, who by the world’s standards, have made it. They own businesses, have investments, live in big houses and drive expensive cars.

Yet, their lives are messy. Multiple marriages, health struggles, scant real friends and surprising insecurities.


Photo Credit: Gavin Clarke

Photo Credit: Gavin Clarke


I have other friends who would be considered perhaps less than the elite. They have middle class jobs, moderate IRA’s, live in tract homes and drive older mid-level cars.

Yet, they have a richness of life. Long time marriages, loving families, good friends and reasonable health.


So, sometimes I ask myself why, because frankly I’ve experienced both.


And sometimes I even find myself slipping back into a less than productive lifestyle.

Oh, thankfully not the divorce part. I’ve said, “I couldn’t ever imagine marrying someone else because I just can’t go through the training up period again.”

But what makes the difference?

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God Rocks #16: Set Free to Live an Amazing Life

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!


On the night I prayed, ever so hesitantly, to ask Jesus into my life I felt an incredible peace that’s hard to describe. Those early days were heady filled with a sense of joy and love I’d never known before.

Yet, soon the pressure of religious legalism crept in. Slowly my experience filled with requirements to live out this new life so God would be pleased with and bless me.


Photo Credit:  Sander van der Wel

Photo Credit: Sander van der Wel


I even attended a popular three day seminar and came away with a huge red binder filled with steps to respond to every conceivable contingency in a way that would align me with God’s blessings.


I was overwhelmed and crushed. I felt like I was dying under the load.


And honestly many times I wished I’d never started down that path.

Have you ever been there? Are you living there right now? [Read more…]

Escaping Futility for Fruitfulness

Do you ever see the news and wonder, “How could people do that? How could they be so cruel and callous?”

How often have you been hurt and thought, “Why would they do that? How could they not care?”

Yet, how many times have I hurt someone without realizing it that caused them to wonder the same thing? How many times have I been so focused on my needs that I hurt someone without even thinking about it or worse not caring?


How many times have I lived in the darkness and brought it to someone else? [Read more…]

Launching the Amazing Life

I was sitting next to an acquaintance at a banquet when the conversation weirdly drifted onto spiritual topics. In response he said, “I’d like to get together for dinner sometime. In college I made a choice to become an atheist and I love to debate religion.”

I have other “friends” on Facebook who write what I call “drive-by shooting” posts about religion from their atheist viewpoint.


None of these are really interested in discussing. They’re only interested in arguing.

And frankly I don’t have the time or desire.

I’ve also observed that often those same ones carry a real anger that leaves them restless and unhappy. Sometimes they may even be successful by the world’s standards but there’s a hole deep inside. [Read more…]