for Christ’s sake! (really)

You know what I hate? I hate that everytime I hear Jesus Christ or some variation of His holy name; it sounds like a swear. Honestly, say Jesus Christ out loud right now. The name that means wonderful, counsellor, helper, saviour, God’s love, messiah, holy one, (insert your favorite here) doesn’t feel that way anymore. It’s been diminished into a name that I almost cringe when I hear. It makes me sick to my stomach.

Challenge: This week I want everyone to say Jesus Christ out loud every day in a positive sentence for His sake! You can say: Jesus Christ I love you. Jesus Christ, thank you. Jesus Christ, I welcome you. I need you Jesus Christ. Let’s give His name the honor and power it deserves!

Psalm 119:164 “Seven times a day I will praise you for your righteous laws.”

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just HUMOR me David!

Every time I feel like God is telling me to do something outside of my comfort zone, I remember this quote from my mom. When I was being homeschooled, sometimes she would tell me how to do something a certain way. As a stubborn child frequently does with their parents, I would buck like a bronco. She would always say “Just humor me David.” She was challenging me to try something just to see if it would work. Obviously it usually did.

I feel like God is saying that to America this morning. “Just humor me. Just try it my way and see what happens.” My prayer today is that we would take a moment out of our day to ask God how He wants us to do things. Can you imagine how much easier things would be? (Challenge coming soon!)

Psalm 63:8 “My soul FOLLOWS hard AFTER you.” (not the other way around.)

A Hand Reached Over His Shoulder

“I’m sorry, it’s a dollar eighty-seven for that candy,” I said sympathetically. You see, all the little boy had was a crumpled up dollar and the business owners don’t really like us giving things away for half price. I looked around for a coupon. Maybe there was some other way to help this sad boy go out triumphantly with his prize in hand. The boy looked up perplexed, holding out his dollar as if to say, “I’m giving all I have here, can’t you help me?” Then, almost magically, a man’s hand reached over the boy’s shoulder with another dollar, “Here ya go kid.”  Where did he come from? Did the boy know this man? Was the man hoping to get some special praise for helping? He wasn’t standing in line behind the kid, no one was. The boy didn’t care about any of that. The man was proud to pay the bill and the boy jumped up excitedly and ran off not caring about change or a receipt. The man simply smiled and went on about his shopping.

I often wonder how God feels when He is able to pay the bill for our salvation. I know the Bible says all of heaven rejoices. But what an amazing feeling it must be to rescue someone from the troubles they’ve gotten themselves into and give them a full pardon! God did not exonerate you for any personal gain. He did it because He loves you. Think about that today and thank Him for just being Him.

Your first challenge is very simple. I think we need to practice being mindful of caring about others. Buy a candy bar and give it to someone that you would not normally provide for; someone who seems to need a pick-me-up. Do it this week and think about how you feel afterwords. Feel free to write about it in the comments section under this blog. I hope for this to become a community where everyone shares their experiences.

Did you hear my BORBORYGMUS?

Matthew 5:6- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

The first thing my 5-year-old daughter Anabelle does every morning (whether she’s up at 6am or 8am) is ask for something to eat. Our bodies are programmed to need fuel and we’re all a bit of a slave to that fact.

Borborygmus is the technical term for your stomach growling. More accurately, it’s the intestines moving gases around in anticipation of a meal which sends a message to your brain that it’s running on empty.

What is it that you are hungry for? Obviously I don’t just mean food but whatever you’re hungry for is what gets you out of bed every morning. We need money so we go to work even when we don’t want to. It may not necessarily be for the money but the money represents something such as food, clothes, a house, etc. Hopefully you are hungry to see God work in you and through you and around you. Ask God to give you a hunger and a passion to stay on His course for your life (or to get on it). He will honor that prayer!

MIND under MATTER

We’ve all heard the term “mind over matter.” This term originated in the 1960’s and had something to do with paranormal things like moving a desk with your mind. The idea is that your mind can be more powerful than your surroundings. That’s obviously a bit far-fetched but there is some truth to explore here. If you want something badly enough and your mind is trained on it, you cannot actually MAKE it happen but you can HELP it happen.

Here’s the problem: Our minds are usually held captive by the tug and pull of normal life (i.e. jobs, kids, chores, and other natural demands) and often we forget to clear our minds!

STOP for a second right now and ask yourself what matters most.

  1. think about what is most important to you
  2. make a plan to keep that at the top of your list
  3. will your actions into submission (We will be practicing this soon!)

When you reallign yourself according to your priorities, what matters most will be at the top of your list and your mind will be second in line (thus the term mind under matter). What matters most will guide your thoughts which will guide your actions! Stop worrying about the things that you cannot change or do not need to change and “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7  NIV

The Beginning

So what’s on your mind? That’s a very simple question but not always easy to answer. Do you have something in the oven you need to check? Do you need to get the kids dressed? Did you forget to take your medicine. Thousands of thoughts race through our minds every minute. But here’s a question: What kind of person are you? What kind of person do you want to be? Where do you want your life to go? Are you generally on the course you want to follow or do you find your plans, hopes, and dreams just slipping away? I started writing my book “Becoming Ever Mindful” because I knew I was not always acting in a way that would lead my life where I want it to go. Why is it that we seem to do the same thing over and over and expect different results? Isn’t that the definition of insanity? I say I want to be kinder and less selfish and more helpful but still find myself whining and complaining over the same old things (see Philippians 2:14). Instead of rising above and changing my behavior, I let the excuses push me around and hold me back. WELL NOT ANYMORE!!

What is becoming ever mindful really all about? It simply means focusing your mind and actions towards your number one goal at all times and not allowing any distractions to deter your course. Do you want to be a more responsible person, a better worker, a more supportive spouse? Begin to recognize your actions ALL THE TIME! For this blog, we will focus on becoming better people in general with a lot of emphasis on our beliefs about Christianity. I want to be a better Christian but what does that actually mean? It very likely means something different to all of us. I will not force my opinions on anyone but I will ask very provocative questions that help you know what you believe and why. Are you ready to stop making the same excuses again and again? Are you ready to set a plan in place and actually follow it this time? Are you ready to become ever mindful?

Over the first few weeks I will help you get a better understanding of this idea. Together we will learn why it’s important and how to actually start changing the way we think, speak, and act. You will 1) begin to see areas in your life that are not lining up and 2) understand how to change them. Soon, we will have weekly challenges that encourage us to stay the course and hopefully start seeing positive results. I don’t pretend to have all the answers but we will learn together. I have been doing these things for over a year now and am really seeing surprising changes in my own life. So, if you’re ready to challenge yourself, line up your actions with your desires, and finally become that person you want to be, this is for you! I will post a new idea, question, or challenge every Monday and Friday. Please follow this blog and get involved so we can all learn from everyone’s unique experiences. I know God will bless you for trying. He will help us on our new journey and draw us closer to Him. I can’t wait to see what we become!