Where Do You Look When in a Valley?

I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? Psalm 121:1 NIV

When you are in the valley, I mean really, deep in the valley, the only place to look is up!

Life has a way of placing you in the valley for seasons. Have you ever been there before? Are you there now?

Have you ever lifted up your eyes, heavy, burdened with guilt, mourning with hurt, drooping from the strain of sorrow, to see the mountains where your heart longs to be again?

Have you ever been so low that you barely have a dream of what it is like to be on top?

All of us will one day have a heart that needs to be filled. Each of us find ourselves at times expereincing that empty painful, awful hole in our heart, the size that only God can completely fill.

In those times, it’s important, more than ever, to remember where your help come from. Your hope lies in a Savior, in a man like no other man, who came, who loved, who shared, who died, and who lives again! Your hope is in Jesus! Your help is found in Jesus! In that most desperate moment…there is no substitute!

If you are in the valley today…look to the hills….look to Jesus!

Can my readers and I pray with you about an issue? Leave a comment on this post. […] Continue Reading…

If a Wife Wants to Encourage a Husband

I keep this note, attached to this picture, on my desk at the office. When I look at it, I’m inspired to dream bigger dreams, work harder, make better choices, and press on throughout all difficulties.

Ladies, we are pretty simple as men….seriously…we are…if you want us to soar, tell us you are proud of us. Tell us you believe in us! Tell us we are great at what we do!

That’s about all it takes!

Men, do you agree?
[…] Continue Reading…

Scripture Memorization, Week 7

How are you doing with the Scripture memorization? Are you still participating?

I love hearing from those who are sticking with it, trying hard, and even the ones who just can’t keep up with the weekly pace. I understand. Some years are better than others at spiritual disciplines. I hope, however, that you’ll keep trying. It’s still not too late to catch up if you need to, as I’ve tried to keep the verses…at this point in the year…fairly simple to memorize.

Again, writing them down somewhere you will see throughout the week is a key. Some write them on mirrors, a few have made them their laptop or smart phone backdrop for the week, and others have them on their refrigerator. Whatever it takes!

Here’s this week’s memory verse… […] Continue Reading…

Friday Discussion: Is Social Media a Blessing or a Curse?

There’s a consistent debate about the role of social media in our lives today.

There’s no doubt that I’ve embraced the cultural shift of socail media, but because of it, I received criticism for not doing other things. I’ve been online doing ministry for over 16 years and have developed good systems that allow me to do much online efficiently, but I knew it was “catching on” when my mother got on Facebook. Still, it does take time and, with limited time for all of us, that time has to take away from something else.

I’ve heard people say it would have been better for the family had the television never been invented. I’ve heard the debates on social media also. Some feel we shouldn’t be doing it all at all. I wonder wgat the same people would say of social media.

More importantly, I’m wondering today what you will say.

Let’s discuss the role of social media. Consider these questions, then add your thoughts in a comment.

Should the church be involved in social media?
Does social media help or hurt a relationship?
Are Facebook or Twitter beneficial to a relationship or is a distraction in building true friendships?
In a perfect world, would we have social media?
Does it add to or take away from the quality of our lives?
Is it an unavoidable evil or a blessing for us all?
Be honest! […] Continue Reading…

A Weather Reminder…About Life

This has been a wild winter…

“They” say it’s not our worst…not even close…but it certainly has seemed to be more intense than usual this year…

Every morning I look at my Google Home Page and see the current and future weather forecast. Seeing the 4 degrees this morning caused my initial reaction to be “Wow!” I was bummed. I’m ready to get outside. It could have affected my mood for the day (probably will to some extent), but then I looked a little further into the weather future forecast. Do you see that number? 54! Fifty-Four degrees! My thought was “Yippee!” If I can hang on a few days, it’s about to get wonderful outside!

I wonder how many times we do that in life. That weather picture could also serve as a picture of our life at times. Some days it’s cold and dreary…other days it’s bright and sunny. We struggle during the rough weather seasons, forgetting that this day will change. When we only look at our current situation, we can be disheartened, but a new day is coming! As believers, we have the promise of a greater future. If not today, or tomorrow, soon and very soon! I’m reminded of a couple favorite verses of truth.

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him— 1 Corinthians 2:9

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

Do you need that reminder today? Take your eyes off today and look a little further down the road. Good days are coming. If you’re in difficult days, I’m praying God brings better days soon, but He has promised that the best days are yet to come!

Let me hear from you…

Are you currently living in a 4 degree time of life…or is it 54 and sunny in your world during this season of your life?
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The Path to a God-Given Assignment

God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. 1 Thessalonians 5:24

I’ve learned that the path to accomplishing a God-given dream is paved with faith.

When you experience fear, face risks, have set-backs, encounter critics and realize frustrations, it’s the faith of knowing the God who called you to the task will be faithful to complete it. f you are facing the temptation to give up a God-given assignment, perhaps instead of quitting, you need to spend some time renewing your faith in the God who chose you for this assignment.

Have you experienced this firsthand?

Do you need this reminder today? […] Continue Reading…

Help Me Address Organizational Fear

We have a healthy team. It’s full of grace, which works well, since that word is in our name. We consistently laugh together. We encourage each other to accomplish our goals. As a leader, I solicit feedback consistently. (I even allow the staff to anonymously evaluate me each year. Read about that process HERE.) We are generally flexible and laid back as an organization, yet we accomplish much towards our mission. I’ve worked in lots of environments and this is a good one…a healthy place to work. I’ve written articles about healthy teams, many of them based on the team on which I serve. (Read some of them HERE, HERE, or HERE.) I think our team would agree.

Still, I’m not sure we have eliminated what I call organizational fear. I’m not sure there is 100% freedom to share what’s on a person’s heart. I consistently address this concern. I’ve even said that sometimes we are too “nice” as an organization. We need to challenge more, even enter into healthy conflict, but sometimes it seems we are timid towards sharing our true feelings; especially some on the team. Problems exist…people see them…they continue for months…everyone recognizes something is wrong….yet no ones brings them to the surface. This is not a huge problem, or we wouldn’t be as healthy or successful as we are, but for whatever reason, some I may not understand, team members at times shy away from sharing what’s really on their mind.

Why is that? …. […] Continue Reading…

3 Song Lyrics that have Proven True

The older I get, the more I reflect on the past. Is that part of the aging process?

Recently I heard a song that was popular when I was young. I don’t know all the words to the song, so I’m not talking about the meaning of the song necessarily, but there was a line in the song that resonated with me. The song lyric has become more than a catchy tune…it’s proven to have some insight into my life. I’m sure this is true of many secular songs.

Here are three that quickly come to mind: […] Continue Reading…

How Happy Are You In Life? (A Survey)

How happy are you in life?

I’ve shared things I read in Southwest Air’s Spirit Magazine before and recently I saw “The I Exam”. First listed in Pyschology Today, it’s a questionnaire designed to help determine how happy we are in life. While I am not sure we can measure true happiness in an 8 question survey, I thought this was interesting and worth sharing to fuel thoughts and discussion.

Here is the I Exam: […] Continue Reading…