Check out this sweet deodorant. Never in my life have I ever been more excited about putting something under my armpits. This deodorant, smells like palm trees, sunshine, and freedom.
That’s for me. 100%.
I used to just wear Old Spice “sport” deodorant, but that didn’t make me want to do sports, or play sports. No one called me ‘sport’ or said that I looked ‘sporty’. But for some reason, I think this deodorant is going to be different. Finally, I’m going to be free and get some sunshine.
It seemed like a normal day last Tuesday when the wife was going to the store and asked if I needed anything. I asked if she would please pick me up some underarm deodorant, because mine was about down to the nub. Imagine my surprise when I saw it yesterday in the medicine cabinet waiting for me.
Who would have thought that a consumer product used under the arms to change the foul smell of my man sweat could do such amazing things. To think that for a mere 3 dollars, I could experience freedom and sunshine under my arms is an experience that is next to impossible to describe.
For the record, I haven’t used it yet. I have to wait for the other one to run out, but I’m really looking forward to it.
I was thinking though- even after I apply this magical product, and even if it does smell like freedom and sunshine, I don’t really think my life is going to change that much. Sure, I may smell slightly different to those that go around smelling my underarms, but for most people, no one will care.
How sad. Freedom and sunshine under my arms and no one to share it with.
Perhaps consumer products are not all they are cracked up to be. Maybe this is just a ploy to get me to buy their product. To get me to think that my satisfaction can be found in what I buy, use and have, and not in something else.
Its a pretty dirty trick if you ask me. I’ve been duped.
Here’s the deal- stuff like this happens all the time, and I know you are not the type of person that gets sucked in by advertising, but sometimes I am. I will see something, that for a moment will make me feel like my life could be different, if only I had that product. I buy the product, and my life stays the exact same.
I think the lesson is to put our faith and hope in something a little more powerful than a consumer product. To realize that the things in this life that matter most are not found on a shelf, but found in the soul.
Have you been allowing the world to suck you into their schemes? Learn from the deodorant today and make a choice to seek after the Lord rather than a product or thing that will waste a way. What you will find is that when you put your faith in God, rather than stuff, you’ll be more happy, content, and fulfilled.
Still buy deodorant, but put your faith in God.
I write this blog quite often. Today, by my count, is about the 387th blog that I have written. By a conservative estimate, if each blog takes me one half hour to write, that equals about five 40 hour weeks writing this blog.
That’s a pretty big number.
Originally, back in 2008, I was prompted by my friend Dave, to write the blog after my trip to Ghana, and I figured, why not, so I made a goal of writing the blog 4 days a week in 2009. I think I came pretty close to that number. It has come, and gone. Consistent and inconsistent, but its still here, 3 years later.
There are many days I absolutely love writing this blog, and other days I absolutely loathe it. Its often painful to reach into the depths and pluck out something of spiritual significance that can be articulated in a few paragraphs, but alas, the Lord is faithful, and continues to give me the juice.
So why do I do it? One reason and one reason only- I want the people who read this thing to believe in Jesus Christ.
Sure, I know I talk about shopping carts and trips to the donut stand, but all of that dribble, all of that fluff is a veiled attempt to share a glimpse of the Love of God to people in their lives. How do I do it? Little bits and pieces to keep people coming back.
I’m not sure if its working, but I’m going to give you both barrels today.
Today is Good Friday. Why do they call it good? Because it commemorates the day that Jesus died on the cross. When He did this, he took care of the sin of the world. Now, because of that, we can know God intimately and live eternally, if we would truly believe in Jesus Christ and what he did.
God is faithful and He is true, and this weekend, Easter is a time to reflect on what Jesus did for us on the cross.
He didn’t come for eggs, ham, or a reason for a family dinner on a Sunday. He came so we wouldn’t have to spend eternity in Hell, separated from God, if we would believe in Him.
Understand this- God doesn’t send people to Hell. People choose Hell over Heaven. God gives you the opportunity to choose eternity with Him, or eternity separated from Him.
That’s what this blog is about. Jesus, and escaping H-E double hockey sticks. What ever funny story, rare insight, or story is an attempt to nudge you towards the one who came to save.
If you ever have any questions about it, or don’t understand it, or want to talk more about it. Email or call me.
Go to church on Sunday. Its Easter.
I don’t like getting woke up before the time I am ready to get woken up. It makes Matt angry! It doesn’t happen nearly as often in the winter, but it often happens in the Summer because I sleep with my window open.
In the neighborhood in which we live, our backyard rests against a arterial. Not really a main one, but one that is frequently used. A lot of houses border this street, but most of them, it is the back yard that looks over the street, which is lined with trees.
On this street, there is a place on the side of the road, that is large enough for a car to park, or wait, and the cars to continue to use the road. There is such a place behind my house.
Every single Thursday since we have lived in this house, the trash truck parks behind our house at about 6:30am. Engine running. Big diesel humming bass creating engine running. Often, the truck is joined by another truck or two, and then the occupants stand outside the truck and commence to converse. About what I have no idea, but I know they are conversing, because I can hear them. Because they are talking loud enough to be able to hear each other over the loud sounds of the engines.
Apparently they figure because they can’t see anyone, no one sees them, therefore, they are not disturbing anyone. I guess there is a noise ordinance that prohibits them from starting their route before 7am, so they have to wait if they get to the area early.
They have chosen to wait behind my house. Every Thursday morning for the past 7 years.
I’ve often thought about how to remedy this. The best idea I can come up with is a flannel shirt and hockey mask and just standing about 100 yards up the street in their headlights looking at them. There is a trail that I could enter and retreat through, and I am pretty sure that they wouldn’t be able to find me after I stood there in the dark, with my hockey mask on. I wouldn’t have a weapon. I think a guy in a hockey mask is scary enough.
I haven’t worked up the courage to do that yet, but this morning it occurred to me- they only come once a week, and its necessary. They are not tormenting me, they are serving me.
Once a week they come and take out the garbage of my life that I don’t need or want. My refuse. The junk I don’t need to keep.
What a great thing! Someone comes by and helps me clean out my life! I thought about how the Holy Spirit wants to do the same thing in our lives, but do it daily. To come by, and help us clean the stuff out of our lives that we don’t want or need.
He comes in, cleans it up, and you’re better off for it.
I’ve fought my trash guys for years on Thursday mornings. Now I appreciate them. Maybe there is an area of trash in your life that you need the Holy Spirit truck to come in and clean out for you. I promise if you let Him, he will. It might be annoying at first, but once you realize what He is doing, you’ll be better off for it, with a cleaner life.
I’ve figured out that you’re either a person who loves automobiles, or you don’t. Those of us who do, care about what we drive, what it looks like, what it represents. The other half see a vehicle for what it is- a vehicle. A means from getting from point A to point B.
I’m usually not the point A to point B type. The Lord has grown me in this over the past few years as I went from driving a 06 Chrysler 300 to a 91 Ford Ranger. You can’t really get the “posse on Broadway” or “ghost ride the whip” in a vehicle such as a 91 Ranger. You definitely don’t drive “2 miles an hour so everyone can see you”. That’s for sure. Its a very utilitarian truck.
I had the experience one time of going with someone to buy a new vehicle. They had one, but it was breaking down, and they wanted another one.
We get to the used car lot, start kicking tires, looking for what is available. My friends credit wasn’t the best. Not much to put down. Didn’t make a ton of money.
Current vehicle: Minivan. Current want: Lexus SUV.
If that’s your situation, your choices of vehicles are very very slim. No head turning ‘whips’ or ‘rides’. It’s hooptie-ville, and you’re now the mayor.
As with most things- there is a discrepancy between what you want, and what you can afford. Its difficult when you come to that realization. I was there with my friend as they realized it.
This situation has so many layers- so many teaching points. Many things to touch on. What has value, delayed gratification, acting your wage, what’s truly important.
But here’s the one we’re going to focus on today- reality of the current situation.
Now I say current situation, because often, the situation you are in is not the situation that you will stay in over the long term if you apply yourself and keep some perspective. Having a Lex isn’t the pinnacle of life, but if that’s what you want, then go for it. But realize this- just because your current situation doesn’t enable you to get a lex, doesn’t mean that you’ll be there for ever.
Yes, I understand the spiritual implications of a luxury vehicle, but that’s not the discussion today. My point is simple- have perspective that often the things that we want to change about our current situation are either temporary, or not of huge spiritual significance and we should see them as such. They will usually change in the long run, or the desire for them will wane, and realizing this brings current peace.
Are you in a temporary situation that is taking your joy? Are you getting wound up around the axle on something that really doesn’t have long lasting spiritual implications? Have some perspective today. Focus on what you do have, not what you don’t have. Spend some time reflecting on the goodness of God and realize that in the long run, you will always be blessed. That God will always take care of you.
Even if you don’t get the Lexus.
Reflect on that today.
Let me start out by saying that for the most part, I’m really skeptical of people’s personal spiritual experiences that are out of the ordinary. I have to see it or touch it for it to be real to me. When people have these stories of angels and visitations, I don’t jump on the bandwagon.
I think I’m just afraid of being duped. Of being “that guy” that believed something that wasn’t true, even though everyone else did. I’d rather stand on the sidelines and watch and save face. I don’t want to look bad.
I know. It’s not a great character trait, but its self-preservation. This is me. Welcome to my world.
Yesterday, we were at Costco, “dorking around” as we like to call it, and I saw that book “Heaven is for real”. Our worship leader, the esteemed Emily Garrett, had read it and spoke of it, so I started to thumb through it. Since it was only 9 dollars, I figured I would buy it and see what it was about.
I got home, sat on the couch to begin reading it, and about 3 hours later I had finished the book. I couldn’t put it down. It was an amazing read. I can’t remember a more powerful book (beside the Bible) that I have read in the last 10 years that affected me so much.
Now, understanding what I’ve said about my skeptical nature, I need you to understand this- either this book is 100 percent the real deal, or completely false. If its false, woe be to the guy that wrote it, because it is off the charts inspiring. As I was reading it, I laughed, I wept, I praised God, I felt his presence. I don’t gravitate towards books like this. I like to read personal growth books. Leave the squishy books to the other guy. Give me a manual.
I don’t want to ruin the book for you, but let me explain- this book, which was written by a Pastor, is the account of his 4 year old sons visit to heaven. It chronicles the discovery of the event, what transpired, and how it affected the boy.
What affected me the most is the scriptural accuracy of the visit, and the father’s attempt to understand what had happened, without feeding his child information. It didn’t leave me with many questions about the experience. It was clear that he wanted to get it right.
You have to read it.
Here’s the deal- usually you would not find me endorsing a book about someones experience, because typically, those experiences lead people in wrong directions. On this one, I’m putting all 250 lbs behind this paperback. I’ll take the heat if it comes out bad in the long run, but this book doesn’t send your heart any where it shouldn’t be. Its solid.
I realize that this blog typically is about my insight and encouragement, and maybe you’re not getting it in large measure today. I’m willing to let that go today to get you to read this book. It’s that powerful.
Be encouraged today. I knew heaven was for real before I read this book, but now, I can see it even more vividly. You will to.
Today started off pretty fast, so I didn’t have the time for a full blog today. I’m writing the blog, from my phone, while Crystal is driving down the highway.
I realize that there is nothing wrong with not writing today, but I would hate for some of you daily readers to be without a bit of encouragement.
There is a bible verse that talks about the gift of encouragement. It says that if that is your gift, to use it. I’m pretty sure God has given me the gift of encouragement, so I want to encourage!!! Its not easy going through without encouragement, and if somehow through this blog I can encourage you, I want to do it.
How? By constantly reminding you how much God loves you and wants great things for your life. He truly does. Remind yourself of that today as you go about your day- God loves you, and desires good things for your life.
Be encouraged today. Encourage someone else also.
Sent from my BlackBerry- sorry if its brief…have you tried to type on a small keyboard?
Have you ever really wanted something in your life? I’m not talking about a product, or a thing. I’m talking about a visceral gut wrenching desire. Something you want so bad it keeps you up at night?
There have been many things like that in my life.
I can remember when I got this new job, and got hired as an associate, and had to work to get promoted to representative. It was a sales job, so what you had to do get promoted was to get a lot of sales and work very hard.
Most of it involved a lot of phone calling and knocking on doors. It was so emotionally painful I can barely describe it. To try to get you understand what it takes to walk through the door of 50 different businesses and make 200 phone calls every week and get rejected is next to impossible. Let me just say, it wasn’t easy.
As I went through my week, I mentally had to force myself to push past my emotional limits. To reframe the rejection in my mind. To decide in my gut to continue on. To grit my teeth and try harder. Man it was hard.
Eventually, I did it. I got promoted to representative. I was elated. Nice bump in the salary, extra goodies like a car package and sweet commission package. I was on top of the world.
Then reality struck.
The pressure after I got promoted exceeded what it was before. How was this possible? I thought when you reached a goal things got easier, not harder. But this is what I discovered- success costs. Progress costs. Doing well costs. I had set it in my mind that things would be easier after, when the reality was that it was doubly harder. I had worked as hard as I could do get where I wanted, but I realized something- I hadn’t allowed the Lord to help me. It was all me. I did it on my own.
It is then that I learned to lean on the Lord more than ever.
Here’s the crazy thing about achievement- we can only do so much in our achievements. We can work, we can clamor, we can scrape our way to a goal. But if we don’t have the Lord in the midst of it, when we get there, its truly a fruitless endeavor. If we’re the ones that are doing it. If we’re the ones that are getting it done, then the pressure is all on us. If we allow the Lord to sustain us and help us, when we get to where we want to be, we’re working with Him, and we’re not on our own.
Are you working towards a goal? Are you striving for an achievement? Ask yourself if you’re doing it on your own, or if you’re doing it with the help of the Lord.
He wants to help you. Honestly, a lot of times he’ll do it for you if you’ll let Him.
If you want to go at it alone- He will let you do that also- its just a lot more painful. Choose today to allow the Lord to help you achieve.
Lean on Him, and achieve!
Do you like microwave popcorn? I sure do. We like to buy the “Pop Weaver” brand from Wal-Mart. For us, its the most tasty popcorn we have found, and of course, since its at Wal-mart, its at a very competitive price.
Typically, our popcorn is eaten in the evening, while watching a program. Now that I think of it, I can’t think of one time that I have ever made microwave popcorn and ate it when I wasn’t sitting in front of the Television. That would be weird, just sitting there at the kitchen table chomping down on some popcorn looking at the wall.
Anyway, so last night was the season premiere of “Deadliest Catch”, and I wanted some corn that was popped. I went upstairs, and put it in the microwave.
I’ve got to tell you, for some reason, I like mine a little burnt. Yea, I know its a bit odd, but I do. I’ve found that in my microwave, if I cook it for 2:20 it comes out normal, but if I cook it for 2:30 it gives me just the right amount of burntness. 2:40 and its a black ball of nastiness. Don’t go 2:40, its way too much.
Such a balance in timing to make the perfect bag of popped corn. 10 seconds up or down and its not what I want.
As I was standing there in my kitchen watching the bag go round and round, it dawned on me- its kind of that way with most things in life- most things require just the right amount to be right. Not too much, not too little, just the right amount.
I think the word is balance.
Its like this- God has given us so much freedom in Him, but He has asked us in that freedom to not take advantage of it to ‘indulge the sinful nature’. Finding that balance is hard, believe me, I live my life trying to find it. But here’s what I’ve found- when you find that balance, there is peace and comfort. When you are out of that balance, it is not good.
I’m sure the Lord in His wisdom wasn’t talking about the cosmic timing balance of microwave popcorn, but the principle still applies, doesn’t it? The things in our life that are important are found in the ‘sweet spot’. The place where God’s will reigns supreme, our lives line up with His word, and we experience peace in the Holy Spirit.
Think on that today. Perhaps there is something in your life that is out of balance.
Ask the Lord to reveal to you what it is and change it. You’ll find that you have more peace in you spirit about it.
Find the sweet spot, and live in it.
I think on some level, we all have some trust issues.
It starts from when we are a child. We learn to trust or distrust the people around us based on how we are raised or what we experience. If you get walloped upside the head when you spill your milk as a child, you learn to not spill your milk. Or, you learn to distrust the person walloping you. Seems pretty basic.
As they say, trust is easy to lose, hard to gain. It takes time to build trust, and it can be washed away very quickly if something is said or done wrong. That’s normal.
Yesterday, the wife and I were driving around and she said something that has had me thinking. She said, “you know, you really have to trust the other people that are driving around you.”
I never really thought about that. Its true. When I’m driving on the interstate, I have to trust that the scores of other drivers are going to stay in their lane, follow traffic laws, and be nice. Of course not everyone does that, but its the intent.
As I was thinking about it, it occurred to me- specifically in the area of driving, I trust thousands of people every day. I trust that they are not going to smash me with their cars. Without even thinking about it- I trust a lot of people.
Sure, you purists might say that we have safety protections that keep us from being harmed by other people’s driving, and that’s true, but here’s the point that I’m making today- even if you have trust ‘issues’ more than likely you trust more than you realize. It takes trust to eat out at a restaurant, walk on the road, drink municipal water, pay a bill, send your kids to school, work at a job.
Trust is everywhere.
The point? Realize that even if you’ve been burned or hurt by one experience or person, not everyone and everything cannot be trusted. If you pay attention and look around, you’ll see that you probably trust a lot more than you realize.
Think on that today. Think about how much you do that requires trust. Then, realize how much you actually trust the people around you. Realize that if you can trust at all, anywhere, you can learn to trust God more.
That’s what He wants from us anyway. Not to trust other people, but to trust Him. And if we allow other people to ruin our idea of what trust is, it can effect our trust of God, and that’s not good.
You can trust Him.