It's just my junk

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

Archive for the tag “Defeated”

How do you enjoy the process when you are not sure where you are going?

I had a very busy morning… running to the local Junior High for bible study, then home to transport one of my kids to school, followed by a trip to a local coffee shop for a meeting… it seems to never end..

This got me thinking about two things…

  1. the bible study material for this morning and
  2. the act of going and not always feeling I am knowing where…

First things first…

Our bible study was about praising God for WHO He is and for WHAT he created or did for us.

Psalm 150 .. the final chapter if you will in the book of Psalms. It says, “ Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance, praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals! Praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

The teacher talked about the WHO and WHAT but it was totally cool when she talked about them when.

  1. Praise him with quiet music, and silence
  2. Praise him with loud music and talking..
  3. Praise him .. even the birds praise him.. when we aren’t doing so.

Second thing…

Going without a clue where I am heading..

I feel for people especially students these days. I feel for them because the world has this idea of knowing where you are going.. Kids are required, forced and encouraged to know what they will become.
We ask each 5 year old what do you want to be when you grow up?

We ask people we meet in junior high what college you thinking about?

We ask high school students what are their career plans?

It isn’t fair..

Reflecting back on my youth….

As a senior in high school… my plan was simple… graduate.. have fun and don’t worry more than you need too. I was a worrier big time.

I remember clearly the day my parents set me down and asked the troubling question….
What are you planning to do now? I must have looked confused… so they helped me out some…

Dad said, “ will you be going to college or work?” I was slightly offended by the question but as an adult parent I think… well that is a solid question for sure.. I chose college and wasted a ton of money.

So friends, why do we need to know those answers? Is it for our comfort? Is it to compare what others are doing? Is it to give us a feeling of acceptance?

I don’t know a good answer but I do know God knows what it happening and what will happen. I can be searching and content at the same time.

My one caution is to be careful when asking questions that might rock someone’s world in an unhealthy way.

We also need to remember to praise God in a variety of ways and times… He is worthy of our praise.

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

The assumed

I am continually consumed and battle with the idea of assumed. For example:

  • since I am a pastor, people assume I know God better than others
  • since I am a youth worker, people assume I know everything about parenting teenagers.
  • since I am a white male, people assume I don’t struggle with stereotypes, being seen as a productive person in society etc..
  • since I am a public figure, people assume I am always enjoy being in the spot light.
  • since I am pastor, people assume I work the same schedule as they do.
  • since I am a leader, people assume I always know what is going on.
  • since I am a twin, people assume I feel everything my twin does.

I am sure this could go on and on and on… and you have your own set of assumes… some of the assumptions above maybe close to accurate but most of them are not even close to being truth.

So, what can I do about it? What can you do about your assumption list?

I know the answer is not an easy one but simply put, we can help educate people to some truths and not assume they know.  Here we go:

  • when some one suggests I know God more, I can help them realize we all struggle and those in the bible did too.
  • when some suggests I know it all or I am a great parent, I can help them realize I struggle with parenting too. It is a serious deal.
  • when someone suggests only people of different color or etc. struggle with stereotypes, I can help them realize we all struggle with it.. try being a white, balding youth minister who is a twin…..
  • when someone assumes I am working on Monday… I can help them realize it is my off day, a day not spent working… also I can not take phone calls and on my message say hey it is Monday and I am off today.. I will call you back tomorrow.

I often assume… much like we all do… we assume a lot about others and sometimes organizations without taking them time to learn and better understand. I admit it takes time to learn and understand, maybe that is the issue, it requires time.

I am feeling challenged in my life to assume less and look to learn more. How about you?

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.

Warning 6 of 8, Soap Opera own real life.

soap opera picThe Guiding Light, Days of Our Lives, and others. I assume some of you have no idea what those are or mean but to others it is a flash from the past and unfortunately still lingering on today. They were famous soap operas in the 1980s and 1990s. I never watched them (no really I never have) but my grandmother did and she would get wrapped up in this make believe world… the lies, the cheating, the romance etc. I begin to wonder if the modern day reality TV has replaced the old fashion Soaps?

I have watched a few of them… survivor for one. It is a reality game show but is it a reflection of our world? I am beginning to think so.. We watch the show thinking this is awesome… A player just got blind sides. A blind side is when someone is deceived or lied to and then gets voted out of the game. Blind sides are good to get people out of the game but are they really that good?

I am not sure about you but can assume you don’t like being lied to. I don’t like it all and it is my boiling point for sure. My tolerance for being lied to is zero.

God warns us in great detail to watch out for false witnesses who pour out lies. Why would he have such a huge focus on this?

Proverbs 6:19 “ a false witness who pours out lies.” This verse goes along with the warning series I have been blogging about. I know God cares for his people and warns us because He cares. So, what can we gain from this verse…

No one… I mean no one likes to be lied too. No one … I mean no one likes to be caught lying… No one I mean, No one really forgets when someone lies to us…

Here is a simple warning… If you don’t like being lied to, you shouldn’t lie to others. But in reality our world justifies lies and being a white lie… or lying to keep the person from being hurt or for protection…

I am all for taking care of people but I was taught from my mother that your lies will find you out. Eventually you will be held responsible for your actions… maybe not on this earth but as we move to eternity we will be held accountable.

Lets begin day by day, conversation by conversation, thought by thought to choose to heed God’s warning and not become a liar and watch out for those who look to deceive you…

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.

Taking a break from Faith… Learn from the Bible Peeps….


Breaks                                                                          Connects

David              2 Samuel 11:1-5                               2 Samuel 6:14-15

Joseph            Matthew 1:18-19                              Matthew 2:13-14 (Mark 14:27)

Peter               Matthew 26:33-35                           John 21:18-19

Paul/Saul       Acts 9:1-2                                           Acts 9:19-21

Main Verses   1 Peter 3:12-14


We are in the throws of Spring Break…

  • Student and Teachers get a week off

But what kind of break do you get?

  • School is out for summer
  • Weekend… TGIF
  • Vacations
  • Retirement
  • Holidays

It is through day to day activities that God gets my attention.. I am not sure about you but He uses the normal everyday life to make a subtle point here or a major slap in the spiritual face there.

People throughout the bible would take breaks from their relationship with God… lets look at a couple of them



David was King… He took sometime off from focusing on God… 2 Samuel 11 tells of him taking time off from being king to see a beautiful married woman…

David was King ….. He rescued the Ark of the Lord and danced nearly naked for the Lord


Joseph was arranged to wed Marry and she got pregnant… he was planning on divorcing her… as if that didn’t benefit him….
Joseph listened to God and took Jesus and Mary to Egypt for safety.. three years


Well Peter took many risks for Jesus… not all of them I would consider breaks in focus of God (for example walking on water.. he was distracted but no one else got out of the boat) Peter told Jesus… I will not deny you ever… rooster crows..
Peter is the rock the church is built on and Peter dies a terrible death.. to honor Jesus he was crucified upside down


Prior to conversion Saul was present at Stephens death (the first martyr) He sought approval to take out more Christians in another town
Paul converted began preaching in Jerusalem Paul was the first missionary… Paul was stranded, ship wrecked, jailed, beaten for His Faith

How do we take a break Spiritually? I am sure you can come up with a solid list but here are a few I know of:

  • Skip your devotion time
  • Skip church or small groups
  • Complain about things, instead of being a change agent
  • Only worship on Sunday Morning
  • Only pray for meals or major things
  • Put things in place of God.. vacations, toys, events,
  • Make Scott be your only Spiritual provider
  • Don’t give to God…. Or selective giving
  • Holding a grudge
  • Don’t allow God to forgive you
  • Don’t spend time meditating on the word…
  • Not serving but being served
  • Not being open to Spirit promptings

So how do we keep our Spiritual From taking a break?

  • Make devotion God time a priority.. calendar it if you need too
  • Download a bible or devotion app to your smart phone and use it as much as facebook, twitter, email etc apps
  • Instead of complaining , seek to understand and help
  • Take a vacation… and visit a church, do some podcasts, watch online
  • Worship in your car, worship in your home.. Download some worship music
  • Schedule unique prayer times throughout the day. A friend as an alarm on his phone for each family member… it goes off he stops and prays.. he has 6 kids
  • Learn to forgive… seek forgiveness from God in your own life too
  • Give willingly of your funds and allow God to use them for His purpose not yours
  • Seek opportunity to serve… in church, in community (TGP, PANTRY) or world.

Friends it is up to us to make a commitment… to God and Christ… it takes ups and downs but ultimately it is our free will to choose

1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV… D you knot know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

1 Peter 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as a servant of God

Missing the Key

We had a wild situation this weekend….. locking the keys in the vehicle.. well you think it isn’t a big deal but it is when the only known key (my spare broke from the key chain and is now in limbo) is in the van. We had enough window space that allowed my daughter to reach in and open the door.

I have been thinking about this event over the past two days and I keep resting on a similar parallel in our faith journey.

We have a good grasp of faith and living it out for Jesus, most of us attend church services Sunday. We are equipped and ready for the week. We are ready to bring the good news of Christ to the world, our world around us. We are pretty excited about it and ready to role..only to find our keys locked in our vehicle.

How often do we have an event in life, slam us… maybe a meeting at school, or work didn’t go to well.. maybe your teacher or boss isn’t as nice as you liked… the alarm went off and you missed it, driving in a hurry to work and the traffic jam happens… Just as if the world is out to get you, life happens.

So, who is there for you? Who has the ability to reach in and rescue you?  It might be a co-worker, or a friend or the barista at your local coffee shop? Who is it that you turn to for help? What if they aren’t there or are having the same type of day as you, then what?

I find Jesus speaks to us in extreme radical ways while we are in the mood. But are we listening? Are we looking for a quick answer or one that might simply sound as soft as a whisper?  I turn to Job of the bible.. He had the good life, riches, healthy and abundant family, a tight relationship with God. (read about it in the Old Testament book of Job). Then Satan tests him. He asked God to allow him to mess with him. God’s only condition… don’t take is life. Well, to make a longer story short… he takes everything but his life…. all gone… his family, riches and health… to make it worse his friends meet him and try to encourage but really end up discouraging him big time. What did Job do?  He waited..

Eventually, the story turns to joy and a restored life to the full but it was in the wait that he grew.
Join me friends in navigating through the middle seasons of life that God wants to speak to us.

God Bless you in the middle

Dealing with defeat

LoserYou are undefeated and it looks like you will finish the season but you lose a fluke game. You have perfect attendance going since 1st grade and you miss school due to a bad cold. You have successfully completed ever job requirement the boss asks of you and out of the blue… you lose all the data for a project because your computer breaks. You have done a great job with every presentation (that would be 24) and then a simple upgrade to your program and whamo… you lose it all just before the presentation time. You have written an entire paper (blog) and the last thing to do is hit save but you accidently hit delete entire page… Yeah I did this today… ouch So what do you do? How do you respond? Do you throw a fit? Do you just shake it off? I am pretty confident we are empowered to do the right thing. I am pretty sure embedded in our inner soul we know we can get through this and many more obstacles in life. 1. Take some time to evaluate and improve. We are designed to learn from our experiences. 2. Try again, yep I said try again. Keep trying, experimenting until you get it right. 3. Hit the save button. I am not just talking about computer save buttons. We can hit save and remember for future experiences. 4. Help others.  One of the best ways to recover from a loss in our own lives is to help others in their time of loss. 5. Laugh. Yes just take a moment to laugh. Things happen and laughing wont change them but it may help us lose the bad attitude. 6. Go get some help. We all have someone in our life that encourages us. Find them and hang out with them. They will give us a boost to get back in the game. I know we are wired to grow, thrive and succeed in life. We will travel through life with a good or bad attitude. It is really up to each of us to determine our course of action… will you stay a loser and let that lose define you or bounce back and try again. I truly hope you choose to bounce back and get back in the game. Win BIG.. Don’t allow all of your victories to be meaningless and all the future wins to fade away.  Get in the game. You can do it.

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