Best Diet Pill on the market EVER!

Ok, so either

a) you’re reading this to find out about the diet pill
b) you receive this e-mail daily
or
c) you are just curious to see what I’m about to say…

In any case, you have come to the right place. This is the story about how to shed that unsightly, disgusting looking, excess blubber that we all have around our waist, but more importantly all wrapped up in our mind.

Just last week I went to the doctor for an annual physical, and he shed some light on my condition using 4 curse words: diet, exercise, fruits, and vegetables.

I don’t really care for any of those items in my life, but I know I need them all. Problem is, he forgot to mention the most important thing I have in my life that I need to get rid of: sin.

You see, even if I start dieting and cut back on my fat intake,

even if I start exercising, and get into a routine to make my heart healthy

even if I start eating right, introducing good fruits and vegetables into my body to improve my health

even with ALL of those things (and adding vitamins), I still have a major problem with sin.

The WORD of Life tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV).

And if we all sin, then we must pay the consequences: “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a NIV).

The good news, following all this bad, is that there is a cure: “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b NIV)

Many of us have committed to a New Year’s Resolution, and by this time over 90% have already failed miserably at keeping it for more than a few short weeks.

Eternal life in Christ Jesus, however, is not a New Year’s Resolution – it’s a way of life.

So how does one start:

“whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16b NIV)

Believe in Christ Jesus today and shed that unsightly, disgusting looking, excess blubber that God calls sin.

His Son, Jesus Christ, is the Best and only cure you’ll find on the market!

As white as snow…

This morning with the weather upon us, it is beautiful to look outside and see the serene nature that God created for us. The beautiful trees all covered in a thick blanket of snow. The bushes and ground frozen, with several inches of snow already accumulating in the yard, just ready for a snowman in the making.

And when I see the ground, where it is untouched, a beautiful white velvety blanket of thick white snow, it reminds me of the chorus we sing in church where Jesus’ blood covers our sin “as white as snow.”  I started thinking – is that really a “true” statement. Is it really in the Bible, or just words in a  hymn to sound good?

Here is the answer:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18 KJV)

And like I always preach, the Bible is important, BUT…if it’s in the Bible more than once it must be REALLY important:

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7)

Many of you have probably seen my backyard view from posts on Facebook. The trees truly are beautiful – anytime of the year. However, the yard is still not grown-in from the newly planted Fescue in the back, and mud can be seen everywhere, with large ruts where the rain water has washed gullies into the earth. (Notice – I haven’t posted those ugly pictures – I don’t want people to see that part of my yard).

However, today – the yard is beautiful, white, thick, soft luxury.

Just like our body which is filled and covered with sin at times, with ruts and mud all over – Jesus has the ability to cover it with His righteousness, and we will be washed clean.

Say a prayer today while standing in the snow and Thank God that Jesus has covered our sins as white as snow!

Déjà vu

Wow, did anybody really think that just 2 weeks after the southeast gets snowed in, that it would happen again so soon?

Because it is so hard to believe that it’s really happening again, I figured I’d just re-post the same blog from 2 weeks ago titled “Winter Weather Advisory.” Maybe everybody might think they are just stuck in the movie “Groundhog Day.”

But then again, that’s not what God would want.  And after quickly dismissing that idea, this blog came to me:

Should I cancel my trip to Atlanta? You may ask what I mean….

Two weeks ago, I was traveling to Atlanta on business. I had left my house, after a quick sermon from my wife about how I should pack for the forecasted cold weather, which I quickly dismissed – I mean, after all, I was traveling south – I didn’t need clothes for cold weather.  Obviously I was wrong, … again! (I really should listen to her more often).

So, this past weekend my wife says, “Can you postpone your trip to Atlanta?” At this point, you probably realize that here I am again, yes, in Atlanta.  And here comes the snow…. (I really ought to stay away from Atlanta, I guess).

I could have postponed my trip, but I probably wouldn’t be able to reschedule it anytime soon, considering it took 4 months to set this trip up. Anyway…why do I ramble on?

Simply this: Déjà vu.

You’ve probably experienced it before. I have several times in my life. It’s so cool (and a little strange) to recognize that you’ve been somewhere before, getting that sensation that you know what is going to happen next.

Wouldn’t it be great to know how to react in all situations in life, especially when things go horribly wrong.  What should you do next? It would be so great to know what to do next to solve the problem facing you.

The cool thing? You can. How? By trusting in God.  He will carry you through every time. And deep down you know it! You KNOW He can and WILL pull you through. It just takes faith to realize it.

And when you get to the other side, that’s when the feeling should hit you: He did it again. God pulled you through. Deja Vu!

Know what? He will carry you through every time!

10Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

11 “Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish. 12 You shall seek them and not find them— Those who contended with you. Those who war against you shall be as nothing, As a nonexistent thing. 13 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ (Isaiah 41:10-13 NKJV)

Will YOU pass?

As I prepare to get my first inspection by the city on my basement building permit, I am nervous. What if I have wired the circuit wrong? What if I have incorrectly placed the receptacles on the walls? What if…? The list goes on….

I have no idea what to expect during my first permit inspection. Nonetheless, I have decided to do this properly, following the proper building code.

I don’t know how much you know about “code,” but there is a National code that requires certain standards, local codes that can super-impose additional conditions, and then there are common building practices. To understand what each of these require, I have researched the internet, spoken to previous contractors, and viewed examples of live building over the course of 6 months.

But am I truly prepared? I don’t know. I’ll let you know soon.

Just like building codes that have many conditions, requirements, and practices, the Bible is full of commands, conditions, and practices that it teaches.

But THANK GOD, that when it truly comes down to what we are required to do, it can be summed up in just a few short words. And Jesus has clarified those for us.

When questioned by the Sadducees about which Commandment was the greatest, Jesus simply said:

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 NLT)

Isn’t it great to know that if we keep these two simple commands in our heart, and follow them rigorously, we will be good for life? No matter what court of law comes our way, we will pass the judgment of Jesus.

25

There are only 24 hours in day.  That’s not a new revelation. In fact, since the beginning of time (at least shortly after God created man), the days became a standard length, and we have limited daytime and nighttime.

So, if this has been going on for over 6,000 years, why worry, right?

Because of one simple fact – “I don’t have time to read the Bible!”

At least that’s what some of us say. After waking up in the morning, fixing breakfast, getting ready for work, working 9 hours, coming home, fixing dinner, going to soccer practice, piano lessons, and arriving home around 10 PM at night, all we want to do is watch some TV and go to sleep.

But why do we do this?

First, we have to work – I understand that. Second, we want our kids to be involved in stuff – I understand that too.

But let’s face it, how much STUFF does your kid(s) need involved in? I’m not saying to stop letting them play sports or music, art, or whatever the event.

What I’m trying to say is this: when you spend time doing something, you are teaching your child that it is important do it. Whether going to sporting events, watching TV, or reading the Bible, you are training your child what is important in life.

I, for one, am guilty of not spending enough time with family. Are you?

I’m also guilty of not reading the Bible with my family, and praying with them enough.

The Bible clearly tells us that reading God’s Word is VERY important:

Jesus told [satan], “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  (Matthew 4:4 NLT)

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:8 NLT)

With these two passages in mind, how should we change our life?  We only have 24 hours in a day, so we can’t fit in an extra hour to read the Bible.  What then can you give up to spend more time in His Word?

I’m a visitor today…, and always

I’m a visitor at work today.  Today I spent most of my time in one of our manufacturing facilities.  I had the opportunity to meet with their IS Manager, a project manager, and some Industrial Engineers.

All of them were very helpful and professional in their interaction with me. In fact, many were very willing to share their problems with current computer software and other faults that they see in their facility.

And like most people, none of them were overwhelmingly supportive of corporate driven projects that had recently been implemented in their facility. It seems that the big brother of corporate that once made a company successful no longer knows how to manage its plants.

Isn’t that just like the world?

God attempts to implement His projects; the world sees them as problems and can only see the difficulties associated with His great ideas.  Yet, HE grew us to become the people, nations, and world that we are, and yet all we see is problem after problem.

Rarely does it happen in either scenario where I (or you) present a solution to one of life’s challenges.

I keep my focus on worldly things and how can I change such small items that I miss the big picture.

Yet, the Bible tells us that we are not part of this world.

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. – (John 15:19 NIV)

Remember the big picture – GOD’s big picture! We are visitors in His big idea. Let’s act that way. And REMEMBER where your home is!

 

Why ME?

Let’s face it, I believe we have all asked the question: Why me God?

  • Before we get started, let’s get one thing straight: It’s ok to ask God questions.
  • Let’s get another thing straight: it’s not ok to question God.

What’s the difference?

Asking God a question like “What decision should I make on . . . ?” is a question that seeks His Will, and does not question His choice.

We are simply looking for guidance to one of life’s many decisions when we ask God a question.

On the other hand, many of us have asked Why ME God?  This is questioning God.

By virtue of asking God why He has done something or chosen a particular outcome of a situation, we have questioned His authority. This is simply wrong (and I think all of us, including ME are guilty).

So, if we aren’t to question God, why is it so natural?  Think of it this way: when something bad happens to us, we sometimes think “Why me?” – but if we honestly assess the question – it really is selfish.  We are worried about how something affects us.  Don’t believe me? When was the last time something GREAT happened to you and you asked, “Why me God?“

So, what’s my point? We should focus on God’s Will, not on ours.  Don’t question what happens to you, but question what can you do to help accomplish His Will.

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. (Ephesians 6:5-8 NIV)

1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. 7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. . . . 19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (1 Peter 4:1-7,19 NIV)

I could go on with about 50 additional passages of Scripture concerning God’s Will, but let’s end on this note:

Why Me?

Like parents, God could say “because I said so.”
Now, let’s move on with life, and help each other adjust our perspectives.
Life is not about us, it’s about God. He created us, and He died for us; let’s live for Him!

I am not a writer!

You don’t know me! That’s a funny thing to say to my friends. But, as I think back on my childhood and the last few years, I have to wonder how I got here.

This will not be an autobiography, but will be a short story from my life.

As a child, I was one of the last kids chosen for kickball (now known as Kickpin). I loved math, science, and hated English. I was not a popular kid, but did have numerous girlfriends throughout elementary school (ok, truth be told, only 2 really).

In high school, things didn’t change much.  I was still a geek, nerd, or whatever you want to call my egotistical and introverted behavior.  And I still didn’t like soft subjects like History, English, Economics, etc.

While in college, I struggled to write research papers that were long and tedious. Yet I voluntarily labored over Engineering projects, loving every minute of calculating numbers, or designing buildings and bridges.  Shortly after college, I decided to get my Master’s in Engineering Management.

Still, after all 19 years of school, writing, and calculating, I couldn’t get in front of a group of people and talk.

So when the military sent me to school for 6 weeks to do nothing other than to give briefings as part of my training, I struggled . . . but I did grow. Then, as I became Sunday School teacher and GA instructor in church, I had to speak even more.

Not long after that, I was “roped” into chaperoning a Youth trip, and soon became an active helper in Youth Programs.  Within 2 years, I accepted the call into Ministry, and enrolled in Seminary.

My first year was tough!  I had to keep a journal!  What? You want me to write down touchy/feely words from my heart onto paper?

Wow – thank God that only lasted a semester! Within a year, I felt the Lord calling again… “I want you to start a blog.” My response = “Really God?”

Why would God choose me to start a blog? For whatever reason He chose, I finally succumbed and began www.followingod.com/blog.

Following Seminary, I tried to pour more time into family and youth Ministry, and let my blog lapse.  In fact, I stopped paying admin fees to keep my website active and hosted, but God had a different plan.

Almost 2 years after stopping, God asked me to restart it again.

You may ask WHY? I have asked a better question “Why not?”  God asked me to do this, so in the words of Isaiah 6:8, I say “HERE AM I.”

I hope this blog blesses you, and I hope you will share it with others.  I’m not a writer, but one of my favorite quotes is “God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called.”  He’s still teaching me how to blog, and helps give me the topics each day.

I pray that this blog will speak to you.  I’m not a writer, but I am a follower of Jesus.

Be a quitter! …?

After our first week’s Sunday School study in “Love Does” and 3 challenges to my weekly routine, it was quite hard for me to stay focused on life. But I think that was part of the purpose of Bob Goff’s initial kick-off in the study that accompanies his book.  We are not living right today, and we must change (for the better).  The first challenge was probably the hardest for me. “Quit something this week.” He mentioned he quits something every Thursday – wow!

Now that’s something I was not prepared for.  I mean come on – the title of the book is “Love Does,” not “Quitter, Quitter, Everywhere!”

What does this have to do with LOVE? I don’t know, but I’m sure he’ll teach us during this series on “Love Does.”

Where do I start?  I’ve tried to NEVER be a quitter.  I think my parents engrained that into me when I was a child.  Even when starting college, I had a picture that I wrote on the frame “DGU-DTB” (Don’t give up, Don’t Talk Back).  Why would I have that in college? I didn’t go to the type of college known for block parties every weekend (or ever for that matter).  I attended a military college. Strict discipline, demanding academics, and hazing of the Freshman class was the name of the game.  By about the 4th month or so, I was ready to quit. My family and girlfriend supported me; they said it was my decision. Their support and love in allowing me to come home, however, is the reason I didn’t quit.

Throughout the next few years, it took a lot of focus and a determination NOT to quit in order to graduate. However, this week, our Sunday School teacher goes and challenges me to quit something.  Really?  Come on!

But, I think I’ve made my decision.  A good suggestion in our e-mail last week has made my list:  >>No checking e-mail after dinner<<

A hard challenge for me, but I think it’s appropriate.  I’ve double and triple checked, and there are no commands in the Bible that say “Thou shalt check e-mail every hour of every day.”

After dinner, I should be spending more time with family. So here goes nothing….  Go ahead, test me, send me an e-mail after dinner and see if I respond.  🙂