Another Year, Another Word

Another year has come and gone.  A new year is upon us and that means it’s time for a new word.  First let me explain what the word is for any who do not know me.  Each year instead of a New Year’s resolution my family each picks a word.  Just one word that we want to pursue for the year.  Last year I picked audacious along with most of it’s variants.  While that word is typically used negatively I wanted to be positively audacious in all I did.  I wanted to go for broke, hold nothing back and be so daring it scared the crap out of me.  In my relationship with my wife, children, family, friends, and most importantly with God.  I wanted to trust God so much that I dared to do the impossible.  Of course I needed to be wise in my choices of what to go for so it required a lot of prayer to make sure I was going to make the correct jump.  Jesus says to carefully consider before you build (Luke 14:28-29) so that is what I did.  I am pretty happy as the year ends to say I lived my word.

Now before I tell you my new word let me make one more point about the word.  First for years I made New Year’s resolutions and every year I failed.  I might have had some success but by and large I failed.  I think a lot of people are the same way, and you may be hesitant about picking a word but let me tell you a secret.  I don’t pick the word on my own.  I spend time talking to God about it.  If I picked the word on my own I would probably fail, but by talking to God about it first I have a greater chance of success.  Last year God worked with me on being more bold and confident in my prayer life, and relationships, and decisions.  I am thankful God set up a sort of plan for me saying Mike this year I am going to make you daring and more determined.

So 2014 is brought to you by the word INSPIRE.  I want to be inspired, and I want to inspire.  My goal is to look for ways to be inspired whether by people, nature, movies, books, actions, or what have you .  I going to actively look for inspiration, and I am going to be more intentional about inspiring others.  There is such joy in knowing you played a part of someone deciding they CAN.  Seeing someone finally decide to shred the pain, or frustration, or aggravation, or whatever and do it.  Knowing you played a part in that changes you just as much as them, it pushes you harder, makes you want to go further, do better.  This year will be an inspirational year.

God says in Isaiah 55:11  “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  That is pretty amazing.  God says if I am going to send my word out it will accomplish what I have sent it to do.  That is why I take the word for the year seriously, and talk to God about it.  Because if He says “Mike this year I will Inspire” then it will be accomplished.  

So here is to a great year everyone.  Remember that you can do this, you can make it through this, and you will get there.  There is a God who loves you and who wants you to rejoice.

Just a thought,


2 sides of the same coin (or Jedi vs Sith)

Do you have something that you consider a fault?  Something that some people find a bit annoying?  For example I am what some call stubborn.  When I decide to do something I do it and thats that.  I don’t usually consider quitting an option.  If you ask my daughter what Farley means she will tell you “we never give up.”  I have told her that for years, and now believes it most of the time.  Now I will admit that the trait itself can be bad, but it can also be good.  The flip side of the stubborn coin is persistence, and everyone knows persistence is a good thing.  I find that odd because they are the same trait, one is used negatively and the other positively.  It is all about how you use it.  Don’t believe me just watch Star Wars.  The force is the force but you can either be Jedi or Sith.  You use the same power.  Generally speaking stubborn means you think something then do it.  Persistence on the other hand usually means it was carefully thought out ahead of time and planning was made (usually).  

So whats the point of my little message there?  God made you for a purpose.  He has given you gifts to use.  You can use them for good (Jedi) or bad (Sith), but you have to make a choice.  You have to decide to use them wisely and be more than a conqueror or foolishly and be conquered.  It is up to you.

Just a thought,


Joy to the World

Christmas is tomorrow!  I remember as a kid hardly being able to wait for Christmas.  Christmas Eve was usually spent in agony waiting for the day to finally arrive.  I used to try and make myself go to bed early just so it would finally be Christmas.  Now that I am grown up (at least in age) and have children it is not much different.  To see the joy they have on Christmas morning is wonderful.  But there is one thing that is different now.  There is something that has changed.  Now I have Christ in my heart and life.  Now I have redemption and forgiveness, and that has drastically changed how I view Christmas.

Before I start let me say I do not know exactly when Jesus was born, and to a large extent I do not care.  From an academic point of view I enjoy the topic and discussion but really it makes no difference to me.  If it was September, October, June or December it would not change what Christmas is.  Christmas is Joy.  Joy to the world.

I was thinking the other day about Mary, and how she was waiting to deliver her baby.  Thinking about how all Jewish women from Eve to Mary were hoping that the baby they were carrying was the Messiah.  Mary knew the baby she was to deliver was the Deliver.  Think of the centuries of anticipation.  Then I started thinking about the Angels and the Earth.  They too were waiting for the Deliver to come.  The angels did not know when He would come but that He would come.  The Earth did not know but it knew.  They too had centuries of anticipation.  That is why the angels sang they had been waiting to see this day.  When the king would come.  

This year when you sing Joy to the World sing with rejoicing that you do not wait for Him to come the first time.  Now we sing with anticipation for His return.  

Just a thought,


A quick thought

Numbers 23:19 NKJV
“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

When God says something He means it. He does not say things in passing and then later realize it was a mistake. No when the Almighty says something He follows through. What has God said to you? What specific thing has He promised to you? Whatever it is remember that He follows through, and that God is for you and not against you? He is leading you to His perfect plan.


Just a thought,


Let’s be real

Let’s be real about this.  I am not a perfect father, or husband, or son, or employee.  I am not perfect at any of those things, and I am not a perfect Christian.  To be honest I still smoke, still like to have a drink, sometimes I get mad and say something I should not.  I am not perfect, but I am also not who I was.  Jesus has delivered me from many things and thankfully He will continue to deliver me.

I am not always faithful as I should be but He is.  Two verses that I think everyone (including myself) should regularly meditate on are Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, and 2 Timothy 2:13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.  Both of those verses very clearly show that God is faithful and He is will always be faithful.  I don’t know how else to say it, but God cannot not be faithful.  Notice in 2 Tim it says He cannot deny who He is.  It is in His nature to remain faithful.  It does not depend on my faithfulness for Him to be faithful.  

We have seen those quotes about don’t judge where someone is because you don’t know where they came from.  As true is that is I am not sure we always apply it to ourselves.  We too should not be so hard on ourselves because Jesus has already brought us through so much.  We have to remember that He loves us and He sees what successes and failures you will have next week, next year, next decade.  He is not surprised by any of it, and inspite of all that He remains faithful.

I may have mentioned this before but it bears repeating.   If you want the ultimate example of God’s faithfulness and wanting to bring things to completion think about creation and the omnipresence (being everywhere at the same time) of God.  When God created the world He also saw the fall of man, and the rejection people would have, and the death of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus, and you embracing Him.  He saw it all at the same exact time and still uttered the words Let there be Light.  That is faithfulness, that is love.

So later when you get upset and remember that you are not perfect spin that feeling around on it’s head and remember that God is perfect and He loves you.

Just a thought,


1/4 Inch That Is All It Was

1/4 inch that is all it was.  A small bone growth only 1/4” by 1/4” yet something so tiny caused so much blahh.

I should probably explain.  For the past few days I have been feeling a little more tired and just plain blahh.  I figured it was just because of everything that was going on until today.  I had a tooth removed a few months back and the spot where the tooth was has been bothering me for two days.  I thought I stabbed it with a chip.  Turns out there was a small bone fragment growing there.  After a few minutes of playing dentist I got it out.  It was not pleasant and I bled a small amount but I was able to get it out.

Sometimes we have something either infecting or growing in us that needs to come out.  It does not belong there and it’s continued presence will only cause more discomfort.  Of course the alternative is more pain and discomfort than leaving it alone, but only for a short time.  In this example I already feel generally better.

Hebrews 12:15 warns that we should let no root of bitterness grow and cause trouble.  Simply put if something is growing in you that does not belong there it will cause trouble.  But what can cause a root of bitterness to grow?  Honestly a lot of things like, unforgiveness, anger, malice, and such.  Maybe you were passed over for something you should have received, you are now angry and cannot let it go.  Bitterness grows.  Maybe you were hurt by someone you love, you do not forgive them.  Bitterness grows.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  Bitterness grows.  I cannot know your story, and I might now want to.  But what I do know is if you do not remove the thing that does not belong you will not feel like you should.  You will be tired, have a headache, or the 50 other symptoms of bitterness.  Regardless you need to remove it.

Here is the thing about it though.  It is going to hurt a little maybe even a lot, but once it is out you will start the process of recovery.  My suggestion is to go through the momentary pain and discomfort and prepare to heal.

Just a thought,


What does He want from me?

Have you ever asked yourself “What does God want from me?”  I know I have from time to time.  I know that He does not need anything from from me but sometimes it seems like He asks a lot of me.  So what does God want from me?  What does He want from you?  The simple and short answer is He wants everything, or to be more clear He wants all of you.  

God wants all of you because He has created you to belong to Him.  He created you to choose and then presents Himself as the clear and proper choice.  There is not a single verse that points this out but as you search the Bible and the entire story of redemption you start to get the picture.  But what kind of man would I be without a Scripture to help point this out?  Ephesians 1:5-6 gives quick synopsis of this:

having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

God wants you so bad that He chooses you first, and then makes us acceptable in His Son Jesus.  He has done all of the hard work to make the relationship happen.  But I digress we are not talking about what salvation here.  Nope this time we are talking about the Christian who struggles with wanting to know what God wants from you.  Hummmmm.  I have a problem now though.  I cannot separate the two.  It seems I cannot find a way to distinguish between God saving you and what He asks of you.  This might be harder than I first thought.  Give me a minute to think about this…….

OK I am back.  Did you miss me?  Still with me?  Here it is here is what I have for you.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says you are not your own you belong to God because He purchased you at a price.  You are not your own, but you belong to another and you have someone to answer to.  Now let me give you an illustration or two.  First is from marriage and the second from family.

In marriage you take a wife (or a husband), you pledge to honor, cherish, love, and devote yourself to that person.  You go into the relationship choosing to give yourself and your thoughts over to that person right.  Well the Bible says that we are the Bride of Christ and we should go into that relationship the same way.  When making a decision in marriage you ask what the other person would want and make a mutually consenting, and beneficial choice.  Same way with walking with God.  The only difference is He is smarter than you and knows what is best, but He still talks to you about it.

Second is the family example.  If you have children you want what is best for them and you know what they are capable of.  More than that you know if you ask more than they are capable of you will help them achieve that goal.  Well again God is the best father ever and He knows what you are capable of and if it is more than you can do He will help.  He does not want you to fail, but has given you every spiritual blessing, and every good and perfect gift comes from Him.

So what does God want out of the person He has purchased with the Blood of Jesus?  He wants it all.  He wants you to listen and respond.  He wants you to obey.  He wants you to love those you need it.  He wants you to give the same way He gave.  He has shown what love is and He wants you to love.  Sometimes it is hard, and it hurts.  Sometimes people hurt you, but when they do you pray “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”  He wants you to give your will over to His.  He does not ask for too much though, He asks for it all.

Just a thought,