Category Archives: Life

How Do You Pray for Your Enemies?

Some of us “pray for our enemies” like this:

I pray your brakes go out running down a hill
I pray a flowerpot falls from a window sill and knocks you in the 
head like I’d like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you’re flying high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know wherever you are honey, I pray for you
(Chorus of the song – “I Pray for You” – Jaron and the Long Road to Love)

Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew 5:44 to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

For most human beings there is something about loving the things you hate that doesn’t make sense. I completely understand – I think we all understand. However, the thing that differs in a person’s thinking who follows Christ is that we are told to pray for those who persecute us. This doesn’t mean we pray that God would show them how cruel we think they’ve been, but we are to pray for them in blessing, love, and kindness.

Here’s the thing though, don’t think it’s going to come to you easily. This is something human nature can not rap it’s mind around, yet it is the difference between living a selfish life and living a life honoring a Holy God who loves us in ¬†spite of our cruelty to Him. Lest we forget, Jesus agonized in prayer for us the night He was arrested to be crucified. Even though this is not normal or culturally acceptable, we must.

Pray for those who persecute you. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

A Song We Won’t be Singing in Heaven

I love to sit and think about heaven when times are hard. It’s one of the greatest mysteries of God to ponder! What will the ‘reality’ be? Will there even be a so-called reality? How will the singing sound? Will the audio guy play the right track? (Just a joke) Will the EQ be perfect?…I think so!

But, have you ever thought about the things we won’t do in heaven? Or better yet, the things we won’t ‘have’ to do? What I mean by this is, well, let me give you an example. – Kyrie Eleison – “Lord, Have Mercy” –

Throughout all of time there have been hearts crying out to God through requiems, chants, hymns, and spiritual songs for God to have mercy on them. I definitely have; probably, so have you. Through our sin and rebellion, we have separated ourselves from a Holy God who sent His only Son to rescued us from Hell for one reason, mercy born from His love for us.

With that being said, when you and I fly to glory to be with our Redeemer, I know one song we won’t be singing…Kyrie Eleison! Rather, we will be singing “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty”. Oh, and probably “How Great is Our God”. ūüôā

A Wonderful Moment in Aisle 16

Yesterday afternoon was an unusual moment for my wife and I. We were on a date in Walmart doing a grocery run (That’s not the unusual part…keep reading). We proceeded to check out on aisle 16 (I know it was 16 because tobacco was on 17). As we were loading the¬†conveyer belt with our soon to be purchases, the cashier begins to speak with us. It wasn’t what she was saying that was unusual, it was the fact that she was polite and didn’t seem like she hated seeing us in her line. We then proceed to carry on a pleasant conversation with her.

She then begins to talk to us about our coupons she was scanning and how great some of them can be. Low and behold a lady comes up behind us to check out and begins to jump in on the conversation with the three of us about coupons. It was a very pleasant 2 mins of our lives. We left with smiles on our faces and lifted spirits from Walmart…yes, I said from Wally World.

The simple point of this short note is to encourage those of you who don’t believe there are nice people in the world anymore. There are and I hope YOU are one of them. Take a few minutes and have a random conversation with that random person. You never know when they’ll see Christ in you without having to say His name.

The moral to take away is be a friendly, neighborhood Spiderman. “With great power comes great responsibility.” Uncle Ben. RIP

Make Your Body Your Slave

Caffeine, Alcohol, Sugar, and other like toxins are slow killers of our¬†temporary¬†bodies. There are so many choices we can make differently that could improve our lives physically, mentally, and spiritually. Personally, I have been up and down on this train because it really is a tough discipline to learn; but once you master your mind over it, there’s nothing like the strength and¬†clarity¬†you feel.

As I¬†consistently¬†make good choices in what I put in my body, not only do I see a difference in my physical performance, but my motivations are ramped up and my mind isn’t hindered. Have you ever felt like an engine with the build up of oil sludge? That is the¬†garbage¬†and toxics you are putting into your body taking over. When I feel strengthened and motivated, I can honestly say that my relationship with God is stronger in that my motivation and drive to stay in His word is through the roof, not stay in bed. I know eating right and¬†exercising¬†promotes a healthy mind for me and I am so ready to meet with Him…I think you may see this change too.

Start off small. When you eat out, instead of getting the Super Burrito at the local Mexican joint, get the chicken quesadillas ¬†and substitute the rice and beans for a side salad. Start noticing the color of your food…more than likely it’s¬†beige. Adding color to your food adds the nutrients that you need for the day.

Another choice you can make is portion control. While eating out, go ahead and ask for a to-go box and put half of you meal in it to take home before you start eating. This way you can control how much you eat given that the average American restaurant portion is overload!

After the portion talk you may be asking, “Well what if I’m super hungry because I ate an early lunch and can’t eat until late that night?” The next time you go to the grocery store pick up some fruit,¬†yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese sticks, etc. These types of healthy snacks between major meals will allow your metabolism to continue to work and in turn boost your metabolism over time. This will also decrease cravings leaving you with a smaller appetite at dinner time.

Lastly, do some type of exercise for 15 minutes three times a week starting out. When you place diet and exercise together, you will see amazing results!

The reason why I am so¬†adamant¬†about health and fitness is because heart disease is rampant in America and it is also in my family history. YOU can make the difference for your own body, no one else can do that for you. Don’t forget that you may be married to someone who wants you around longer than 50 years. Who knows, maybe you could even come off of you blood pressure and diabetes meds, etc (I’ve seen it!). Think of your loved ones…they need you. Be proactive about your health. Make your body your slave.

“Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. There for I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

Intentional Conversation

Exhibit¬†A: “Hey, how are ya?”

Exhibit B: “Hey, Good Morning!”

Exhibit A: “Good!”

Ok, what just happened here. This is a conversation that actually happened not to long ago. Here is what I observed. Exhibit A was doing the usual “drive-by convo” while Exhibit B was responding as a reaction but didn’t even answer the question of Exhibit A. But wait, the funniest part about the whole thing is that Exhibit A proceeds to answer a question about how they were without even being asked.

You can see this happening around you everyday, all day long. People interact with one another to be seen interacting but don’t have any desire to actual “see how they are.” It is so important to be intensional with your interaction with people. Ask yourself this question…Is it better to (A) speak to everyone at a dinner party or (B) engage with a few individuals past a surface level¬†where they would just lie to you anyways about how they are? I understand many will disagree with me but face it, how may people that tell you they are doing good are actually doing awful? Is it about social status to you? I know some individuals who genuinely engage with everyone they make eye contact with but I also know some people who will look right through you to the next person or to their task (I’ve done that myself, feels awful looking back on it).

Where do I stand? I answer (B). I understand that you have to say hello to people to avoid being rude, but try to make it a point to actually know what you’re asking someone and also answering their questions correctly rather than with your generic answer.

This is a touchy subject…I understand. What to take away from it? Don’t be superficial. If you can’t engage at that very moment because of time or schedule, say, “Hey, I want to visit with you. Let’s get together soon!” It will mean more than, “Hey, How are you? Good!”

It’s Still Raining Under the Tree

I must start out by giving credit to my Mom for this one.

On a weekend visit, it came a downpour. The rain ceased around 7:30am so we began to load the car for our moms to hit the road back home. We have a big pecan tree just outside of our back door that you walk under to enter our house. As my Mom walked in she said, “It’s still raining under the tree!”

That got me thinking. Even though the rain had stopped, the tree still bore the effects of it.

This can greatly parallel with storms in our lives. I know I have often asked ‘why does it still hurt even after it’s over?’…or…’I thought this was all over, why does it seem to be lingering?’

When a storm hits in our lives it doesn’t just stop¬†immediately. It may take a little while for the cloud coverage to clear and the sun to reappear (no intent to rhyme). However, don’t mistake the effects of a storm for the actual thing. Just like walking under a tree after a good rain, what’s falling on you isn’t the storm, it’s just what still needs to clear.

Have hope. The sun will reappear.

A Good Habit – Excellence

Striving for excellence has nearly become clich√©. Academic¬†Excellence¬†has lowered it’s standards and every eagle or lion portrait has the word Excellence beneath it explaining what excellence is or should be. Society has made it easier to achieve excellence so that no person feels lower than the next. Have we¬†skewed¬†excellence enough to think that if achieved, you are better than the person who didn’t make that mark? Where is the mark anyways?

Is excellence even something to achieve?

Let’s start calling it a habit.¬†Aristotle¬†said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”

God is also very clear on works and even how worthless our best is. Isaiah 64:1, “For all of us have become like one who is¬†unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our¬†iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”

No matter what we try to achieve, it won’t earn us a spot in heaven. That’s why we need Jesus! He is our excellence.

So rather than thinking you must perform the act of excellence in all that you do and achieve that status, make it a habit. Easier said than done, right? Maybe. But you can have the Most High Excellence in your heart. Therefore, if you ask Jesus to come in, excellence is always within you…a good habit to have.