It's just my junk

We all have junk in our heads. This is mine.

Archive for the tag “connecting”

The victory comes before the event

I am a big fan of the underdog in sports, and in life. I don’t know if it is as much about the little guy beating the giant as much as the preparation done prior to the challenge or event.

1 John 4:4 tells us, “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who, lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”

Think about this verse a few minutes…
1. When you belong to God… having accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are no longer controlled by the world. The world can and will influence you, but it doesn’t control you.

  1. When you have victory over the world… having victory over the world is all about how you view and function in the world. We are to be in the world not of it. Simply put, we are to be in it, but it isn’t in us.
  2. When you see the details… you discover two different letters used in this verse… S is capitalized when it refers to a person and that person is the Holy Spirit. It also implies the s (spirit) of the world is less than that of God. This is a key point to remember… God wins.
  3. Preparation is vital… we must prepare for the victory or game etc.. When we practice to the focus of the win, we will be better equipped for the win. It is all about preparation and focus.

This is something our world misses…

We can be caught up in the touchdown celebration but totally overlook the plays that prepared for the touchdown.
We can celebrate the winning field goal without seeing the hours and hours of practice with the snap, hold and kick.
We can watch out friends get a promotion, find a great house or other things along this line but we often forget about the hard work put into earning, developing and earning the promotion, saving up for the house or vehicle etc.

We can see the parent with a great relationship with their children and overlook the hours and hours of time spent conversing, working on homework and doing life with them.

We can see the perfect couple who seems to have it all, the best communication, date nights etc… but we neglect to see the commit they have made to make it a priority or to see the time they invest in growing the relationship.

I could go on and on for pages of we can see but we don’t see. God has won the victory over death and the world through Jesus and we are no longer slaves to the world but servants to the One True God. So, what?

I would encourage you to take regular time out of you day, week, month :
to reflect on the victory God has done,
to put in the work to gain and earn things.

Dave Ramsay talks about living different now in a way that you can truly live land give different later. He speaks from a financial mindset but I would also encourage us to take the same attitude towards life… live now so you can enjoy living fully in Christ later… Devote yourself to the apostle teaching, spend time with God and continue to influence the world on His behalf.

New Years Resolutions

How do you launch your New Years resolutions? How do you plan to succeed in accomplishing them? Well, I think you might be surprised to read this information but most start them planning and practice to late to win.

I have a chiropractor friend, who I will refer to as Dr. James (since it is his name) that teaches his clients to begin the resolution or any new habit a month in advance to accomplish it. The idea is simply starting to create the habit, routine and disciplines.

We shared some time thinking and digesting this idea recently at youth group. I would like to share some highlights from this experience.

  1. Identify five major stresses in your life.
  2. Identify which you can change (control) and those you cannot control.
  3. Change those you can, give to God to those you cannot.

Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us to not work about things but pray.

  1. Who do you represent?
  2. Your clothes? Mine say DYM, YW, Nike, DHSM, Michigan etc.
  3. Your friendships?
  4. Your future?

We can discover a lot about our attention or life.
Leviticus 19:4 reminds us not to trust in idols but God.

  1. Review time… please refer back to the previous 1,2&3 and check for similarities? Is God trying to reveal something through them?
  2. Repair relationships.
  3. Who do you have conflict with?
  4. How can you forgive them? Or make the relationship better?

Ephesians 4:31-32 reminds us to get rid of all bitterness etc.. forgive one another as Christ forgives you.

  1. Make time for Jesus. Seems simple but it has to be a priority in our day.

1 Timothy 4:13-14 reminds us to devote ourselves to reading bible, praising God and teaching others.

  1. Spend time praying
  2. Make a top five list of things, habits etc you want to continue doing… for example devotion time, exercise daily.
  3. Make a top five list of things, habits etc you want to stop doing… for example cheating on tests, lying, talking bad about yourself..

1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us to never stop praying.

  1. What is the best time of day, week for you to pray?
  2. What can you do to make that happen?
  3. Who can support you in this commitment?


I know it is a huge list and seems to be overwhelming but I would totally encourage you to take the next month to get a routine and healthy habits to accomplish some growth.
I enjoy watching sports and often think it would be cool to play in the NFL or whatever… but I am not willing to do the work to accomplish that… Often we think of people who are spiritual champions and want to be like them… but we aren’t willing to do the time to be like Jesus.
Friends it will take work to make it a priority and we are all able to make them… after all we do everyday…

Happy New Habits day to you.


Looking at the man in the mirror

I’m going to make a change
For once in my life
It’s gonna feel real good
Gonna make a difference, gonna make it right…

The above is the beginning to Michael Jackson’s song called Man in the mirror.

I was flipping through the music stations as I drove back form dropping my daughter off to school. Then it hits me, a flash back from the past…
Michael Jackson singing man in the mirror… wow but reality brought me back.

I was listening to the song in a different light since the early 1990’s when I first heard the song as a middle/high school song. I confess back then it was another Michael Jackson song… bring out the blinged glove and some smooth moon walking… For you young readers… look up moon walking … I would rather not relive those moments…

Today is just another day of the week but for some odd reason, maybe it was due to driving in the fog of the morning, maybe it is the reality of being tired at 9AM with a to do list a mile long (who came up with that analogy anyways) and not enough time to get it all done….. when Michael says:

“ I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer. If you wanna make the world a better place. Take a look at yourself and then make a change….”

Those words carry more weight today…
Maybe it is due to the difference in life then and now…

Then…. I looked out for me. I went to school, played sports, played video games, went out with my friends or on a date. I spent time with family and some summer work.

Now… I look our for me and my family, team at work, friends and others, I go to school to teach or visit students (worry about them surviving the day). I don’t play as many video games, do less sports (more due to being old), and worry about the today, tomorrow and the next.. for all I know and work alongside.

What is the common core… Me… I am in both situations, my life is still full of the same 24 hours in a day that I had back in the day. I am in control of the ability to look in the mirror and change me..
Our world tells us to make excuses for our actions, to fill our schedules with stuff to do, baseball games, movies, vacations, work etc.. , to spend spend spend and enjoy today.

I get the privilege of sharing time with Students … today we discussed spending time with God. Through out the New Testament Jesus withdrawals often in the morning to a quiet place… in the beginning God created everything in 6 days and the 7th he rested..

What this guy realizes when I look at the man in the mirror is way to much and personal for this blog but a simple observation is this…

I need to rest…. Here are a few areas in my life I need rest in:
Sleep.. I require a solid amount of sleep. I need to have down time from work, from noise, from being around people.
One of my strengths is being an extreme extrovert and when I am feeling the need to avoid people.. I know I need to look at the man in the mirror and say make a change… I know people need you … I know you are the man but the reality is I need a break..
I would encourage you today to look at the person in the mirror… look often and don’t fall to the sin of nitpicking what you look like.. that isn’t healthy… but looking at who you are and what you need is…

I close with this wisdom….”I am starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer…” make the time to make the change

I AM A BELIEVER! What about you?

I am a believer!

What do you believe?
Do you believe it will be ok?
Do you believe you will succeed in life?
Do you believe you can do great things?
Do you believe in yourself?
Do you believe God is creator?
Do you believe Jesus will save you?
Do you believe Jesus is preparing a place for you in heaven?

I am often filled with do you believe questions.. 

One Is usually, do I believe people will show up? Do I believe I am good enough? Do I believe I have what it takes to accomplish the task?

I assume you have your own set of “Do I believe” statements…. Maybe it would be good to take a minute to list them? That is totally up to you.

How much of the do I believes matter?

Don’t get me wrong but do they matter if we don’t do anything with the question..
We need to take action at some point to put it into practice, to begin working out the question into a statement… for example:

I believe it will be ok.
I believe I will succeed.
I believe I can do great things and be an impact person.
I believe in myself… not arrogantly but believe I have worth.
I believe God created all things
I believe Jesus saves me and prepares a place for me.

But there is a little gap between the question and the fact of belief. 

I truly know in my heart nobody makes it on belief alone… It takes time and work to work out one’s belief.

Here is a simple suggestion, surround yourself with people …

who will believe in you,…
who will keep you humble,…
who will encourage you,…
who will help you make a plan to accomplish your goals

I heard this is a recent sermon…. And it wrecked my world…

Believing in something is easy but having faith (living out that belief) isn’t easy.

Unity in me? In my team? In my world? YES!

Unity…. Webster says Unity is:

  1. the state of being one; oneness
  2. a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one.
  3. the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole; unification.
  4. absence of diversity; unvaried or uniform character.”

What do you say unity is?
I define unity in two ways…

  1. being content within your own heart and self.
  2. getting along with a person or group of persons through a common source.

How we define unity is important. We need to have a common understanding on the definition and how it is played out within the group and each individual.

How your basketball team, swim team, music group defines and acts out unity is vital to the success, longevity and legacy of each group. We focus so much attention on me… we forget the importance of we. We focus so much attention on the now that we forget about the future.

Yeah, I know.. how can I possibly know the future we leave when I don’t know the me within the we now? I think this is the tension we all deal with throughout our careers, friendship and families. Smarter people than I have written books, taught classes and seminars etc. but I speak from my own heart…

John 17:21 That they might be ONE… There is value in being one, if there wasn’t God wouldn’t have mentioned it in the bible.

What can we gain from being one (unity)?

  1. We will have a better understanding of others. We will put others first.
  2. Our teams will not only look good but they will function and perform better…. Like state championship better. People will notice something is different with this team.
  3. The people who will follow us will be better prepared and will benefit from the hard work we have done to create, foster and encourage unity.


IF that isn’t enough… we will actually find some contentment within our own hearts and therefore better equipped to impact the world we live in.

Choose today to find unity within yourself…. Encourage within your team and display it for the world to see.



Part 5 of 8.. Running the race… running to capture the prize.. run Forest run!

running crazyPart 5 of 8: Fast Feet… But where are you running?

I was and I reference was an avid runner… I ran cross-country, the 800 and 4×800 relay my last two years of high school that was way back in 1986-87… I would say I was pretty fast. We still hold the track and school record for the 4×800, the amazing factoid is we ran on Cinder… think chewed up asphalt that ate you up if you fell on it.. enough of me…

We would run after the win. We would run after that team who we had a rivalry with. We would run after things of this world… girls, special shoes, clothes, peer groups and so on. Fortunately for us it didn’t cost us the records we achieved.

What are things you run or ran after?

  • Fast cars A sale
  • Big houses A relationship
  • Special dates or occasions A career
  • Maybe for the deal of a life time A super bowl ring
  • For your kids to do what you didn’t A college acceptance letter
  • The trophy buck New technology
  • That awesome mission trip A Balanced Budget

Review the list above… is there anything wrong with the things above? I don’t think so in an f itself. It is a simple list of things. A list many of us have created. We even go to great lengths to make a list for Christmas presents.. Lists aren’t bad.

But what if we change the list motive a bit… What if we think through each item and put the ever-knowing words… I want this item to complete me…. I want this item to make me look good… I want this item so I can fill a void…

What are we using the things above as a tool to do wrong? I know I have done things in my past that have had bad intentions, but also have done things without realizing it. For example when I interrupt my wife half way through her story to help fix it.. Yeah the story didn’t need fixing.

We all are human and make mistakes some of which are innocent others we aren’t as pure in our motive. The hard part is realizing it before it is too late and we can’t recover from.

God warns us in great detail to watch our feet, that we don’t travel or run toward evil or doing wrong.. In fact it is one thing he DETESTS…. He doesn’t like it at all.

Proverbs 6:18b… “Feet that race to do wrong” (Jesus Centered Bible NLT)
“Feet that race down a wicked hill.” (Msg)

So, we need to focus attention and energy to avoid such running but how? I would say prayer, accountability, spending time getting to know God so you will discover why he detest it, and use visual signs to remind you to keep your feet running to good not evil. We all have the same and equal choice.

PART 2 of 8 God hates… detests… haughty eyes

Second set of the multipart blog..
Review. God hates certain things as we do.. His reasons are totally different than ours and more appropriate too.

Proverbs 6:17 God hates Haughty eyes.. We first need to realize what haughty eyes are…
Webster says… haughty eyes are defined as snobbish, scornfully arrogant… so I can now add Webster to the list from the previous post.. more things to hate.

So, why would God dislike (hate) snobbish, scornfully arrogant eyes? Great question.. a better questions is:

Why do you dislike snobbish, scornfully arrogant eyes or people?

What jumps to mind… I really have never got along with people who were snobbish.. the ones who acted like they were better than anyone or everyone else. I think the dynamic changes for me since I have gotten older.. I no longer dislike them but I do feel for them.  I have learned in most cases it is an escape or hiding mechanism.. People feel the need to cover certain emotions or memories.

So, what did you come up with? What do you think of people who are snobbish?

Arrogance? I am not even going there we all know this one all to well. We live in a  world full of arrogant people, from sports, to extreme sports, to political figures to people in the store we shop in.

Why would God dislike (hate) the haughty eyes?
I was taught by my mom.. the true person lies within/ behind their eyes. You have to look into them to se the true person. When people don’t make eye contact we all get a bit uncomfortable.

Genesis 3 God warned Adam and Eve not to eat of the forbidden tree because your eyes would become open… open to seeing and know and living in a sinful world.

Exodus 13. it was to be a sign to us.. put a reminder between your eyes..  the eyes are a focal point to which we can be seen. that others can also see. It was a reminder of God delivering His people out of trouble.

Our eyes are the thing we used to see both good and bad.. our eyes are used as a witness to God. Our eyes often speak louder than words.

So maybe this whole haughty eyes things has some merit after all. We are all meant to be an example of Jesus in our world. I am glad God reminds me to check my eyes, check my look and check my motives in all that I do. I want my eyes to be a window into who I am and WHOSE I am.

There is a game we play with our kids.. mainly when we are trying to kill time.. it is I spy… I spy something …… and the idea is to find an object that the other people need to guess, or figure out what it is… the winner gets to be the spier.
I would like to challenge each of us to play I Spy..

I spy someone who is a strong growing example?
I spy someone who is in need of some support and care?
I spy someone who has no clue what the meaning of life is?
I spy someone who is excited to be alive?

Good luck with who you spy and how God can use them to help you find Him more uniquely this week.

There is no I in team…

think bulb

If you are like me, you have heard this phrase being used from time to time in various settings. There is no I in team!.. I have heard it in the work place, sports field, once in the classroom (admittedly that one confused me), and even in the house. We are better than just one. I am sure you could add some unique places or settings you have heard the term but what about the church?

I was reading out of my new “Jesus Centered Bible” brought to you by Group Publishing. The New Testament book of John Chapter 17 verse23. Jesus was talking to people. He said in short.. If you want them to know me, they need to know you, by how you treat one another. Those words simply stung tonight as I read them, in fact the reading caused me to draft this blog.

So how does the church do in getting along to show the world or those outside of your building who Jesus is?

  1. We disagree about worship style. Check
  2. We disagree about budgets. Check
  3. We disagree about rooms being used. Check
  4. We disagree about the right time to do communion or baptism or even who can minister those things. Check
  5. We point fingers at each other. Check
  6. We talk about our leaders behind their back. Along with not supporting them. Check
  7. We sit in our pew, comfy as they are, and think so and so should hear this sermon. Check
  8. and I could go on and on… but what good would it do?

It doesn’t do what God has called us to do or be.

Matthew talks about going out in pairs to reach others so grow them and baptize them and disciple them in the way to go..
John talks about showing your love for Jesus and reflecting that love through our actions with other believers…

What would our churches be like if we ….

  1. We worshiped in spirit and in truth, no matter what the service style or flow was… Check
  2. We worked on a balanced God focussed budget and celebrated God’s generosity… Check
  3. We shared rooms.. after all they are just bricks and drywall and will be there when we die… Check
  4. We celebrate Jesus life, death and resurrection with our hearts in appreciation.. Check
  5. We look within to grow before we offer help to others… Check
  6. We support the leaders God has put in our churches and pray for them… maybe even join them in leading.. Check
  7. We begin to apply the sermons to our lives outside of the building we call church and people see Jesus… Check
  8. and I could go on and on… What good would it do…? Well it would be a reminder of two simple things….

We are representing Jesus in all we say, do and think and we might be the ONLY Jesus the people we interact with will see.

Finally think about it… if we continue to do the first list, why would anyone in the world want to come into our church and worship, grow or serve? I know I wouldn’t want to be a part of something that is that negative especially the church.

I will spend some time this week doing a couple of things:

  1. Digging deeper into God’s word to grow my love for Jesus and His church.
  2. Trying to move from the first list of actions to the second one. Not allowing myself to complain.
  3. be a change agent for myself, family, church, community and God.

I understand from a life of serving God in different states, denominations, church sizes, styles and shapes that it can be a challenge to stay focused on the goal and to avoid Satan (the king of all lies) tempting us to look to the left or the right of the goal. I also admit to struggling from time to time with being a change agent in my own heart and life. But I am working on it.

I pray you can see through the offensive nature in the blog to the heart of the message.. God can’t use us if all we do is think of the I in team that doesn’t exist.

Faithful Journey to each of you.

Would you Rather……

I think we all know of the book resource “would you Rather…” if not it is a book that youth leaders can use as discussion starters. It poses a would you rather question. For example.. would you rather be eaten alive or Burned at the stake? then the answers can be discussed to see why.

I thought of a few to challenge you with: Would you rather be

  • working or on vacation?
  • have it be Monday or Friday?
  • be married or single?
  • have children with one income  or no kids with dual income?
  • be in skinny due to food allergies or heavy due to working out?
  • sleeping til noon or waking up at 5am? sorry this is a poor one I know….. lol

What is your answer and why?  I must admit it is a trick question… there really isn’t a correct answer unless you say both matter?

the Book of Psalms chapter 46 verse 10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”  You might be thinking but I am not a religious person… so that doesnt have to impact this verse.  You might be thinking what does this have to do with a would you rather Game? well I am not sure I can say it has a ton to do with it but I can share this thought….

How would our life be if we stood still for a moment… yes pondered the questions…

  • Would I rather be looking at Monday or Friday.? I would say Monday it is my day off… and I would say Friday, it starts my work weekend… the time I get to hang out and connect with people… so both answers offer me opportunity.
  • married or single? I am married and my life is more complete with a spouse but in my singleness it was a time of growing and complete as a single person, both are wins based on my attitude towards them.

I want to encourage you the reader to be still and know….. Be still and know you are::

  • the best you the world will ever know
  • in the process between life and death.. do something with it
  • you matter to people who you would consider not being an influence on
  • you have gifts and talents unique to only you.
  • you are one choice away from great victory or great defeat
  • you are YOU>>> that is the best You to be

I am not in anyways saying I have come to completeness in this area of my life… I am middle age, balding guy, with four kids and allergy to both milk and gluten and never met my great grandparents (my parents were 45 when I was born.. Yeah they were nuts).. it is a challenge people… but I am working to spend more time being still and less time running at 100 miles per hour…

tips… take a walk just to walk.. spend sometime listening to your favorite song just to listen.. do some cross-fit… who am I kidding.. just skip that one…


Words… they build or break down.. Words Matter

We all live in a world of communication…
1. Social media abound.. Facebook, Instant Messenger, Periscope, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, etc
2. Writings abound.. Blogs, video blogs, books, ebooks, newspapers, etc
3. Spoken words abound.. the dinner table, the water cooler, barbershops, coffee shops, etc

We are bombarded by words, some we say, some we hear, some we think. Words can build or break down.

I have read articles and reports about words… some say it takes sixteen positive words to replace or rebuild one one negative word. Women are said to speak thousands of words a day compared to men speaking into the hundreds, though I am not sure I think this is true depending on the subject matter, men can talk a lot while women might not say much.

You can write a fabulous letter to someone or a group of people only to have it destroyed by one miss spelled word.
You can send a text message and have it autocorrect and mean something that is no wheres near close to watch you intended to communicate.
You can spell your name to the Barista at Coffee house only to get your cup with someone else’s name or your name spelt completely wrong.. the drink is good but the presentation fails. I know a group of youth workers who find it funny and post the various names written on the cups, but it still bothers me some to see them wrong.

I attended an on line email writing seminar that recommended we write an email but prior to sending have a trusted friend proof read it. I thought this was nice but who has time to write an email, send to a friend for proofing and then rewrite said email online to send it out again? But, if we are truly trying to communicate well, it might take that.

But what about words spoken? How do they impact you?

I know I can work hard and be successful all day long feeling great about what is accomplished and have one conversation destroy that immediately. I have had several occasions in the past few days where this has happened. Yes, we need to recognize the work we do and the mistakes we make but we, as the hearer, need to remember two things…
1. You don’t know where the person saying the hurtful words is coming from, or what has happened to them to cause the words to be said, assuming they even knew they were hurtful.
2. You can’t allow one conversation to wreck a very successful day. It is your job to make sure you are building yourself up and surrounding yourself with good people, honest people who will shoot straight with you.

But what if you are the one speaking the bad words…..?
I know we can say hurtful things without even knowing it and we need to make sure to seek out the person who we have hurt and make it right… that takes a big person, someone who is willing to grow.
I know I have said things with the intent to strike back and hurt others with my words… I am sorry to say that but it is true. I have meant harm with my words… but I know it isn’t the right thing or even mature thing to do.

I am encouraging all of us to think before we speak…

think before you post on twitter or Facebook… since the person you might be speaking to doesn’t have a clue and your words will hurt others who aren’t meant to hear them.

think before you respond to a parent, spouse, boss or friend… are you angry, upset or feeling off… if so maybe you need to take a deep breath and wait to speak.

think before you post that picture on social media… it might be cool or funny now but could cost you a job, relationship or respect from others.

think before you reply to a hurtful email… no reason to hurt someone who hurt you.


I would encourage us all to try this one …. if the last word a person will ever hear from you before you die or they die is what you just said… are you ok with that? I know I am making a mountain out of an ant hill but we need to be more sensitive to the words we use as our world moves to using less words to communicate.
Make them count for the good not the bad.

Post Navigation