Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is Nervousness Godly?

Whether it be a big test, interview, date, sporting event, job review, musical performance, difficult conversation, or some other scenario, everyone has experienced nervousness at one time or another. Butterflies might flutter in the stomach, palms get sweaty, and the heart pounds.

Why do you suppose this is?

Some of it is the uncertainty of the outcome or maybe lack of confidence or possibly the overwhelming odds.

The closer we walk with God, the less nervousness should play a role in our lives. If we really believe He is in control, we should not be concerned with our own ability, lack of ability, other people, or any external condition. He works all things for good for those who are called to His purposes. (Romans 8:28)

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." -Isaiah 26:3

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

These verses and promises should give us confidence and knowledge that He is at work in all situations and will guide our steps. Nervousness is not necessary. Obviously, for this to occur, a person must be in a spot of continually walking with God and have deep trust in His provision. While it is good to do all you can to prepare yourself, once you're in the moment, simply take action and don't worry about the unknown. God will accomplish His purposes.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7

In pursuit of His best,


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Worship Song: Come and Worship

This is a song that came to me while praying around a week ago.

Come and worship
Christ is born in Bethlehem
come behold Him
God come to earth in the form of man

All who are weary with troubles around
be still and be quiet and hear the sound
of the angels announcing the birth of a King
the God of creation is here let us sing

Come and worship
Christ is born in Bethlehem
come behold Him
God come to earth in the form of man

As a baby in a manager as a boy He played
as a man sinless, died then He rose from the grave
This gift of salvation from Heaven above
for all who receive and believe in His love

Come and worship
Christ is born in Bethlehem
come behold Him
God come to earth in the form of man

In pursuit of His best,


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Jesus

Every year it seems there's lots of talk about the meaning of the Christmas season. I thought it would be nice to write a Christmas birthday song for Jesus being that it's His birthday we're celebrating. :) Hope you enjoy!

Sittin round the Christmas tree on Christmas morning
A day we celebrate each year when Christ was born
Luke 2:11 summarizes, shepherds learned to their surprise
That Jesus was the newborn Savior, Christ the Lord
They sang

Gloria and joy Fa la la la la
Gloria to God and peace on earth
Happy Birthday Jesus it’s your birthday once again
So we will sing and celebrate let’s sing it once again
Gloria and joy Fa la la la la
Gloria to God and peace on earth

Sittin round the Christmas tree on Christmas afternoon
With all the presents opened and dinner coming soon
We went to church real late last night a service held by candlelight
The preacher told the Christmas story, then we sang some tunes
We sang

Gloria and joy Fa la la la la
Gloria to God and peace on earth
Happy Birthday Jesus it’s your birthday once again
So boys and girls and ladies sing with the gentlemen
Gloria and joy Fa la la la la
Gloria to God and peace on earth

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Crucible of Tough Stuff

When life is light and free with everything going your way, it is easy to say "praise the Lord." With a smile and a nod, you let folks know that in all things God works for good. (Romans 8:28) A cheerful song comes naturally. Faith seems simple and God close.

It is quite another thing when all is not well. When the doctor's prognosis is not good, the job outlook bleak, relationships are strained, dreams and goals aren't realized, and discouragement creeps you trust in the Lord with all your heart leaning not on your own understanding? (Proverbs 3:5)

When it's hard to get through the day and keep a positive outlook, it can be tempting to question whether God even cares about you. The storms of life strip away the trappings and fluff down to the core of who we are and what we believe. It is the crucible of tough stuff that reveals if faith is real or fair weathered.

People like Job, Ruth, David, Daniel, and especially Jesus knew quite a bit about troubled times, hope deferred, and unfair circumstances but each remained faithful to God. Even when it wasn't convenient, they sought righteousness.

James says, "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12) Hold onto God, wrestle with Him in prayer, and earnestly seek Him. When the trial is through and you come out on the other end, with a grateful heart, receive His blessings.

In pursuit of His best,


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Born to Run

Born to Run is a true story that centers around the Tarahumara Indians who live in western Mexico. This tribe is known for their unbelievable feats of running endurance. Wearing home made sandals as foot protection  and fueled on lots of corn, they can run for distances of 100 or more miles without much difficulty.

Christopher McDougal travels to Mexico to see what they’re all about and to pick up tips that may help in his own running. During his travels, he encounters numerous “characters” including a man who calls himself Caballo Blanco. Caballo Blanco is an American who has lived among the Tarahumara for more than a decade and has incorporated endurance running into everything that he does.

After returning to America, McDougal stays in touch with Caballo Blanco who sets up an ultra race in the beautiful but desolate Mexican Copper Canyons where the Tarahumara live. His dream is to bring together American ultra marathoning great Scott Jurek, a number of other top ultra runners, and the Tarahumara who are regarded as some of the most incredible endurance athletes ever.  McDougal helps organize the American side of the race and brings about 10 other runners with him.

One of the runners is called Barefoot Ted who virtually always runs barefoot or with minimal foot covering. He provides an interesting foil to Caballo Blanco, both being unique characters in their own right.

The book makes a strong case for the benefits of barefoot running and the possibility that running shoes may actually cause more injuries than they prevent. They also discuss something called the Running Man theory that postulates all humans were created to be runners and discusses group endurance hunts. These endurance hunts involved running after prey and keeping at it until the animal died of exhaustion. While humans are not nearly the fastest animal on the planet, we have greater endurance than a vast majority. For example, given enough time and distance, a man can outrun a horse.

McDougal’s journalism background shows throughout the book as we see vignettes telling individual character stories that feed into the overall narrative of the Tarahumara and culminating in the race. He delves into the science behind running as well as telling interesting background stories for each of the people represented in the book. He clearly performed a great deal of research when writing the book.

His writing style is funny, engaging, and off the cuff. There are a few spots where the language can get a little rough and a few scenes are described in a bit more detail than is needed. He does discuss macro-evolution as fact but if taken with a grain of salt, the perspective is still interesting as it relates to running. These elements do not overly denigrate an otherwise fascinating and fun story. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone interested in running, geography, or just a plain good story. Incidentally, if any movie producers are looking for a good potential movie, this would make a great story with a full cast of characters.

If you found this review helpful, please let Amazon know

Monday, November 15, 2010

You Will Never...

You will never...

have enough things, be popular enough, be rich enough, be pretty enough, be strong enough, be thin enough, be funny enough, be smart enough, be powerful enough, accomplish enough, laugh enough, be talented enough, be tough enough, drink enough, eat enough, exercise enough, gamble enough, play on the internet enough, watch TV enough be fulfilled.

You will always want more. You will plan and devise ways to get the next thing, meet the right people, and reach the next goal. This will not be enough.

Jesus is the only one who can truly fill and satisfy your heart. He is more than enough.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Perfect Mile

In the early 1950s, several young men by the names of Roger Banister, John Landy, and Wes Santee were knocking on the door of the 4 minute mile barrier. Some said it would never be done and that the human body was simply not made to run that fast. The Perfect Mile is the story of each of these mens' quests for the 4:00 mile barrier.

Bannister was a medical student in London at the time and mixed training with studying, rounds at the hospital and keeping up with a social life. His scientific research into the capabilities of the human body aided his understanding of the practical side of running and he knew that it was definitely possible to break the barrier.

Landy was a student as well and spent countless hours training when friends and family were pursuing other activities. Of the three, he was probably the most well trained and could consistently run 4:02 miles and not be overly spent shortly thereafter.

Santee was a student at the University of Kansas and had team commitments to fulfill in addition to his individual pursuit of the 4 minute mile. His team obligations sometimes put a damper on the ability to focus solely on training for the event.

Each of the men kept track of the other's progress on far away continents and spurred him on to be the first to break the barrier. Eventually, Bannister succeeded in running a sub 4 minute mile at Oxford University with the help of a couple of training partners pacing him through the first 3.5 laps. Landy and Santee were obviously a bit disappointed but continued in their own personal pursuits.

After the barrier fell, Bannister and Landy finally met in the Commonwealth Games held in Canada in an epic race hyped in the media as one of the biggest races of all time. Thousands and thousands of people witnessed the race with Bannister just barely beating Landy at the end.

I was interested to read about the training methods at the time. There is a much greater understanding of how to train for speed in the approximately 60 years since that time. Another factor differentiating that period of competitive running with today is that virtually all world class athletes were not professional and had to subsist on the support of family and their own jobs rather than benefiting from the lucrative sponsorships afforded to today's athletes.

I thought the portion about the showdown between Bannister and Landy was well done but could have gotten to the point a bit quicker rather than prolonging the suspense. At parts, this portion felt like the suspense leading up to the race was unnecessarily lengthened.

The book is well written and adds suspenseful elements that keep you wanting to read more. It alternates amongst the three runners stories, constantly circling back to the 4 minute mile barrier. Bascomb did extensive research and interviews in writing the book and the quality of the material shows this. It would make an excellent movie if ever produced into a full length feature film. I definitely recommend the book for anyone interested in running, history, and the intrigue of running a mile in 4 minutes.

If this review was helpful, please let Amazon know at this link.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Temporary Break

Howdy friends, it's been a while since I've posted a blog entry and I thought it'd be good to let you, the reader, know why. I'm helping edit a book for a friend at church called JUMP: Jesus Understands My Problems which is about working through hurts, habits, hangups, or generally any issues holding a person back from living a victorious life in Christ. Thus, most of my free writing/editing cycles have been used for that recently. It's been a lot of fun and hopefully lots of people will be helped by the materials. I've got several blog ideas waiting for development so keep checking back and I should hopefully get one up every so often.
In pursuit of His best,


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spiritual Attacks and Opposition

Sometimes when we're walking the path of righteousness and doing cool things with God this can result in spiritual attacks and opposition. If you're experiencing opposition from the enemy, it probably means you're a threat to him and he doesn't like what you're doing. Obviously, it's important to first examine your motives, seek wise council, and God's wisdom to make sure you're walking with a pure heart on the path He has planned for you. But that being said, spiritual attacks are probably to be expected and even though they're not fun you can take comfort that you're on the right track and God's using you. James 1:12-15, Ephesians 6:10-18.

In pursuit of His best,


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Seeing With Spiritual Eyes

Have you ever walked out the door and gotten in the car only to realize that "Hey, everything seems a little fuzzy and blurry"? Oh yeah, glasses/contacts actually make a difference in seeing clearly.

This same concept can be applied to our spiritual lives. If we head out the door without first preparing our spiritual eyes, things can be a little fuzzy.

In Romans 12:2 Paul says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Without renewing our minds, we go through life picking up all kinds of external stimuli whether other people, TV, radio, websites, music, emails, or other media potentially dirtying and fogging up our spiritual glasses. Taking some time each day to renew the mind and "clean the glasses" is critical in seeing and interacting with the world using a God centered perspective.

In pursuit of His best,


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Food, Inc.

Food, Inc. will change the way you think about food and where it comes from. This documentary on the food industry delves into the business behind food production and the dark side of farming.

A few multi-national companies control the vast amount of food production and dictate how farmers and growers run their operations. Though the documentary interviews individual farmers and workers, the huge corporations all seemed to decline to be interviewed.

The documentary shows chicken growing productions where enormous chicken houses without access to light are a primary method for producing chickens. The conditions inside the chicken houses are disgusting and chickens are packed together with little room to move. They are fed hormones and antibiotics which reduce the chick to adult gestation period from 70 to 49 days. This growth is so rapid that the internal organs and body structure are not equipped to support the chicken.

The documentary also shows enormous feed lot cattle productions where cattle are fed corn though the natural food is grass for cows. The cows stand in large amounts of their own manure which makes it much easier to spread Ecoli to the cows and sometimes ends up in the final product.

Workers at a pork processing plant in North Carolina are interviewed to discuss the poor working conditions and what seems to be uncaring nature of the company towards it's workers. The conditions for the animals when they are growing are poor as well with them being confined to a small cage rather than free to roam. It seems to be a mass production factory rather than an operation with good quality control and safety measures.

Large fast food operations such as McDonalds want virtually identical products every time and this has resulted in cookie cutter production of food instead of the production of cows, chickens, and pigs. Their high demand for identical factory animals has pushed the concepts of mass production feed lots and encourages unsanitary conditions through cost cutting.

There are now patent laws protecting specific strains of seeds which some companies have used to wield virtual monopoly power over farmers. One example mentioned in the documentary is the company Monsanto who controls 90% of all soybean production and forbids farmers from saving seed forcing them to continue purchasing seed from the company. The company resorts to strong arm tactics and regularly sues farmers and seed cleaners to further secure their monopoly under the auspices of protecting their soybean patent.

The government officials responsible for regulating the food industry often have direct ties back to the major companies so there would appear to be a strong conflict of interest in enforcing regulations.

A law called Kevin's law, named after a 2 year old who died following eating hamburger infected with Ecoli, has not become law yet but has had various versions proposed over the past 5 years. If passed this would give the USDA the ability to more closely regulate the meat and poultry industry to reduce pathogens in meat production and potentially shut down plants that breach health regulations. Feel free to contact your congress members to let them know of this proposed law.

As an alternative to mass production, examples of organic farming are presented. The animals are able to interact with each other and walk around freely similar to how they might in the wild. They eat natural foods rather than being force fed corn. A very articulate and humorous farmer name Joel Salatin, owner of Polyface Farms in Virginia, has fully embraced this style of farming and runs a very successful operation. He talks about letting chickens be chickens and allowing the pigness of pigs. Though organic food costs a bit more, proponents say it taste better and is better for the eaters health. Large corporations such as Walmart and Target have begun selling organic food and this will help with economies of scale and cost reduction.

Throughout the documentary I found myself going "woah, your kidding right?" I won't say that I'll never eat fast food again or purchase non-organic but it definitely gives pause towards thinking about where the things you're eating come from. I definitely recommend this 90 minute video to everyone wanting a behind the scenes look at the food industry.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Is Jesus Your Rabbi?

Recently, I watched a Rob Bell video titled "Dust" in which he describes the historical context of a rabbi and his disciples. It's definitely relevant to us today.

A disciple followed his rabbi wherever he went to learn everything he taught and to become like him. Those who were not chosen to become a student of a rabbi learned a trade or some kind of business and had teachers in those respective areas.

The environment you're in and people you spend time with and hang out with will affect your thought pattern and who you become. Ultimately, we should seek to follow Jesus as our rabbi and allow Him to teach us as He taught the disciples. In each situation you're in and every person you interact with strive to follow Him and learn The Rabbi's teachings for life.

In pursuit of His best,


Monday, August 02, 2010

The Treasure Principle

Imagine God personally setup a meeting with you and during the meeting entrusted you with some assets to manage. This is the basic principle behind The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. It is a short little book but is full of good perspective on what it means to be a money manager for God.

Rather than thinking of your money and assets as yours, Alcorn discusses a different concept of God owning it all. When you think of money/possessions, not to mention many other assets such as time and talents, it changes the way you make financial decisions. By praying about purchases, saving, or giving away money, a person can gain insight into how God would like the assets used.

Until a few years ago, I thought of myself as a relatively generous person but still thought of possessions and financial resources as my own. In changing to the perspective of being a steward of those assets, it really helps to keep in mind what is truly important and investing for eternal gain.

I really like the discussion Alcorn covers in talking about spending temporary resources for eternal purposes. Anything that is owned here on earth will eventually be left behind so there is wisdom in seeking out the eternal purposes to invest in.

For anyone wanting a quick read and a good Biblical perspective on being a financial steward of God, The Treasure Principle covers this nicely.

If you found this review helpful, please let Amazon know at this link.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Son of Hamas

Son of Hamas by Mosab Yousef, is the account of a man who grew up as the son of one of the first founders of the Islamic group Hamas. Growing up, he lived mainly in Palestine and maintained a relatively normal life despite his father being linked to Hamas. As he approached high school graduation, he became increasingly frustrated with the Israeli soldiers who occupied the area and generally harassed them.

He was arrested and sent to prison where he was interrogated for information about Hamas though he knew very little at that time. During the course of his incarceration he was eventually convinced to become an agent for Shin Bhet, the Isreali intelligence agency similar to the CIA. Though this went against everything he believed in and he did it partly to escape torture, he came to see the increasingly militant activities of Hamas as bringing destruction and harm to the world and saw that assisting to prevent these activities would be of greater good than participating in them himself.

Over the course of the next 10 years he was involved in continual operations that led to the arrest or death of terrorists and their leaders saving many lives in the process. His inside connection within Hamas allowed him access to the highest level leaders as well as interactions with the Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat. This provided invaluable insight and intelligence for Shin Bhet in fighting terrorist activities.

A seemingly random encounter with a British tourist led him to investigate the Bible and the Christian faith. Over time as he read the Bible, he found more and more truth in it which matched up more with the reality he experienced than the Koran which he had a firm foundation in. Eventually, he became a full fledged follower of Christ and was actually baptized. All of this is rather amazing given his upbringing and that his father was a sheik and imam of the Muslim faith.

After 10 years living this life, he loved the work but wanted more of a sense of normalcy so got out of Shin Bhet and moved to California. He now maintains a blog at

The story reads like a spy novel but is an amazing real life account. It provides great insight into the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and anyone interested in gaining better perspective on the Mideast would benefit from it.

If you found this review helpful, please let Amazon know at this link.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Our Iceberg is Melting

In the book Our Iceberg Is Melting, Harvard professor John Kotter and co-author Holger Rathgeber tell the story of a colony of penguins who are facing change. The story is written in fable format similar to Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson.

An astute penguin named Fred observes that the iceberg the colony lives on is melting and that they will face potential disaster if it breaks apart in the middle of winter. He proceeds to present his findings to Alice, a member of the leadership council. Once the need for action is realized, there is no small amount of squabbling amongst the council as to next steps.

They eventually determine to let the rest of the colony know of the great risks and solicit ideas for solutions. After arriving at a creative solution through interactions with a seagull, they implement a migratory initiative to seek out new icebergs. The change is not without detractors who question the findings and argue for maintaining the status quo without addressing the risks of the melting iceberg. However, through strong leadership of the head penguin and a small action team, the penguins drove efforts to eventually relocate to a safer home.

The story has multiple examples of personalities seen commonly in organizations. There are those who are interested in arguing for the sake of arguing, the cautious, the hard driving but consensus building leaders, the creative but sometimes ignored penguins, the naysayers, those being academic in mindset but who ask tough questions, and those who just want everyone to be happy, among others.

Kotter and Rathgeber use the story to demonstrate an eight step process of successful change which includes:

1. Create a Sense of Urgency
2. Pull Together a Guiding Team
3. Develop the Change Vision and Strategy
4. Communicate for Understanding and Buy In
5. Empower Others to Act
6. Produce Short-term Wins
7. Don't Let Up
8. Make It Stick

The book is fun, has great change management principles, and can be read in no more than an hour or so. While change for change's sake is not necessarily wise, for those in any organization facing challenges, this book provides easy to understand concepts for managing change.

If you found this review helpful, please let Amazon know at this link.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Yesterday at church as a part of the sermon, the pastor challenged the congregation to not be afraid to be uncomfortable if your agenda does not match up with God's plan. As a physical illustration of this, he challenged people to give up the shoes they wore to church to go towards needy people in Hati and other under privileged areas of the world.

This was not communicated to people prior to the church service so was an immediate response. I was on stage playing with the band while people came up and it was a really cool sight to see hundreds of people bringing their shoes to the front steps not afraid to be a little uncomfortable.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Run Like Elijah

"The power of the LORD came upon Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel." I Kings 18:46

I think this display of God's supernatural power is just awesome. It comes briefly after showing His power through sending fire to light a very wet sacrifice on fire, proving that He was God and Baal was not. (some good trash talking from Elijah to the prophets of Baal is in there as well) It also comes just after Elijah had prayed for a three year drought to be lifted. Once a cloud appears, Elijah sends word for Ahab to hitch up his chariot and skeedaddle because it's about to rain something fierce.

I don't know how many horses a typical chariot would have but am guessing the king could afford several so suffice it to say that Elijah was booking it in running "ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel."

I recently ran a half-marathon and while the spirit of the Lord did not give me supernatural speed, it was a good time of seeking His power to complete the race and glorify Him in it. I think Elijah's seeking after God and walking or rather running with Him is something to aspire to. Will God always reveal Himself supernaturally? Probably not, but if we continue to pursue Him and stay in His will, someday, we may run like Elijah.

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt by Louis Auchincloss

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most dynamic presidents in the history of our country. After being born in affluence, he established himself as a man's man by becoming the leader of a crew of rough country characters and city men and leading them in the Spanish-American conflict in Cuba. He himself led the charge up San Juan hill which proved to be pivotal in winning the battle.

He also had stints as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Commissioner of Police in New York City, Governor of New York, Vice President, and ultimately President following the assassination of William McKinley. Throughout his life, he was a diligent reader and even endeavored on writing several books himself. He had a very excitable and strong personality with a constant bent towards leadership and inspiring others to his vision.

The only short coming of this book is the concise almost cliff notes story of his life. He had so many exciting experiences and such vivacity of life that I would liked to gone into more depth and may check out additional accounts of his life.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Inquire of the Lord

David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him, "Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand." -1 Samuel 23:3-5
"David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?" "Pursue them," he answered. "You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue." -1 Samuel 30:8 
"David inquired of the LORD, and he answered, "Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees." -2 Samuel 5:23

David's life is such a great example of a man seeking after God and yet at times really messing things up. At various points during his life we see him "inquiring of the Lord." This is coupled with resulting wisdom and success in his endeavors. At other times, he did not "inquire of the Lord" and reaped negative consequences such as a broken family, adultery, murder, and a plague upon the nation of Israel.

I think his life can very easily be applied to most people today. How often are decisions made without inquiring of the Lord? While sometimes things work out fine, at others the Lord could have provided insight and wisdom into the situation that would have resulted in greater success or avoided poor decisions and heartache. In my own life, I sometimes do well at inquiring of the Lord and seeking His wisdom. It is at these times that I most sense His presence and guidance in my life. At other times, I do not inquire of the Lord and rely on my own understanding and capabilities. Inevitably, mistakes or awkward situations occur that could have been otherwise avoided.

I Thessalonians 5:17 says "pray continually." This fits nicely into inquiring of the Lord. When we are continually in a state of prayer, we inquire of the Lord and have His constant guidance. It is definitely something that takes practice to become skilled at. Next time you're driving in the car, exercising, shopping at the store, or doing other daily tasks, visualize Jesus presence there with you and talk with Him. By building a constant relationship, you can much more easily hear His prompting and feel comfortable inquiring of the Lord.

A really good short book written by a 17th century monk that covers this concept very well is called The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. He writes about learning to experience and know God's presence even in regular tasks like cooking or washing dishes rather than only in dedicated "sacred" times.

Monday, May 31, 2010

San Diego: Torrey Pines, Padres, Historic Gaslamp District

This past week I took a trip to San Diego and while there got to visit the Torrey Pines nature preserve along the Pacific Ocean as well as go to a Padres vs. Cardinals game and checkout the historic gaslamp district. Here are a few photos:

Runners be not jealous, I got to do a mile repeat speed workout along this stretch.
This guy was hanging out around my hotel along with a few of his buddies.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Praise in Battle

Running has so many parallels to the spiritual walk/run and life in general. I was reminded of this again yesterday while doing a 10 mile long run. I'd been running for around 4 or 5 miles and listening to a worship album by Paul Baloche and really enjoying the time of praise and singing while running. Cars kept wizzing by and while that's not out of the ordinary when running on the roads, it definitely keeps you on your toes.

The spiritual parallel I saw in this was the times when going along in a season of joy and worship and then something catches you by surprise. I can be in a worshipful frame of mind and praising God for who He is and the things He's done in my life then an arrow from the enemy comes firing my way.

It's important to always be mindful that I'm in a spiritual battlefield and attacks can come at any time. My Commander is able to see attacks coming and give me power to resist and keep my eyes fixed on Him. There's something powerful in weathering the storms and battles then coming out on the other end still holding on to Jesus.

I think He sometimes guards us and prevents the enemy from interfering with our lives in order to give us seasons of rest and rejuvenation. It is during these peaceful and quiet times by abiding in Christ that we firmly root our souls in Him.

When the storms and battles do come, we may undergo blows and be battered by the wind and rain but with our feet planted firmly on the Rock, we can stand and praise Him despite the circumstances. "I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." -Psalm 121:1-2

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Speed Up a Podcast or Slow Down a Song

Windows Media Player has the ability to either speed up or slow down a podcast or song. I've found this useful when listening to a podcast but want to get through it a bit faster. Of course, if you're listening to a deep sermon by a pastor that you really want to absorb, you might even consider using the slow down feature.

Another really good use of the speed settings is if you are trying to learn a music part by ear and it's crazy fast like the bass solo of Salvation Is Here by Hillsong United. (I actually learned it at normal speed but this would be a good application for the tool)

To do this, simply right click while playing the song or podcast then go to Enhancements, Play speed settings and adjust to your preferred speed. I've found most podcasts to be fine up to the 1.3 to 1.4x speed but much more than that and you feel like you're listening to a chipmunk hyped up on Mountain Dew.

If you're working on a Mac this can be done in Quick Time by going to Window, Show A/V Controls, playback speed.

In pursuit of His best,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Prayer CATS

An acronym that can be helpful when thinking about prayer and how to pray is C.A.T.S.

Sometimes this acronym is in the order ACTS but I think it's good to confess sin first thing before getting into the other areas. Just seems to make sense if there's something that's not straight with me and God to fess up then get down to business. Then, I can focus on the praise and worship of who He is followed by thanks for the many blessings He's given me and after each of these elements, intercession and prayer for myself and others. Of course, it doesn't always have to follow this order but it's at least a good tool to keep in the back pocket.

In pursuit of His best,


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Lead Me

I really like the song "Lead Me" by Sanctus Real that we're playing at church this weekend. Even though I'm not a husband or father yet, the song has a powerful message of relying on God to give strength and give guidance to a man as he leads and provides strength and protection to those he loves.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Pursuit of His Best

What does "In pursuit of His best" mean? Glad you asked :-) The overarching goal of my life is to pursue God passionately in all I do and to seek His best. Ephesians 3:20 says that He is able to do immeasurably more than all I can ask or imagine according to His power that is at work in me. I am not always successful in pursuing His best, but I've found that when I pursue Him with all my heart, mind, and strength that I am most joyful and He is most glorified.

Thanks for reading and welcome to the pursuit.
In pursuit of His best,


Farewell Wisdom of Dre

Over the past month or so, I've been thinking and praying about the title of my blog. Since it's inception a little over 4 years ago, I've used the title The Wisdom of Dre. It has served well to capture the essence of tone and style to this point. However, as with all things, seasons come and go and it is now time to close the season of The Wisdom of Dre.

For the past few years, I've used the tag line "In pursuit of His best." In praying and thinking it through, I believe that this more accurately describes the tone and direction of my life. I've also decided to take the plunge and use a for real domain name which will be You should still be able to access the blog by going to but the official address may be easier to remember.

Farewell Wisdom of Dre, it's been a good ride.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Empty Me

A song that's been speaking to me recently is "Empty Me" by Jeremy Camp.

The lyrics are:

Holy Fire- burn away my desire, for anything
that is not of You and is of me
I want more of You and less of me

Empty Me, Empty Me, Fill Me, With You

I also came up with a bridge section:

Strip away all the things in me
all my pride and selfishness
let my eyes be only fixed on You
May my heart's chief desire
the passion of my soul inside
always be for You alone my King

This is my prayer but it can be a painful process. When you've spent a lifetime building up an identity, desires, talents, and abilities, it can be tough to lay those down in light of Him.

I think God creates each person with unique gifts and abilities. Our experiences, books we read, music we listen to, places we go, and people we come into contact with shape who we become. They represent who we are and God can be glorified in them. But, if we operate out of our natural strengths and find our sense of worth in these apart from Him, they are hollow and empty.

When I allow God to strip away everything in me that takes His place at my center and the core of my being, it gives Him the ability to work in and through me to accomplish His best purposes.

John the Baptist said, "He must increase, but I must decrease" in John 3:30. He was speaking of his own ministry and the ministry of Jesus but I think it can also be applied to our personal lives. When Jesus increases in influence and flows more abundantly in my life, it is at these times that I am most fulfilled.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wake Up O Sleeper

We're playing this really fun bluesy gospel song at church on Sunday. I really like the version by Glory Revealed.

Here's the Bible passage that the verse comes from:
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
"Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."

15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is." Ephesians 5:8-17

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eat A Frog

“Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” -Mark Twain

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Vicarious Christianity

Real relationship with Christ cannot be obtained through vicarious experience.

"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" Romans 3:22-24

Have you ever experienced times in life when you gain spiritual nourishment from sources other than Bible or God directly? I enjoy listening to worship music, playing it myself, fellowshipping with other believers, reading books, articles, and blogs about faith, listening to podcasts and sermons, and hearing about God's work in others' lives. These things can be great facilitators to spur me on in my faith. However, if I do not personally engage with God on a daily basis, my spiritual walk will suffer.

Activities like prayer, reading/meditating on the Bible, journaling, and worshiping God from my heart have been the most effective in facilitating my personal walk with Him and keeping me revived and abiding in Him on a daily basis. There are so many blessings that come from just spending time with Jesus and sharing your life with Him. He wants us to talk with Him. "Call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know" Jeremiah 33:3

As Colossians 3:1-2 says, "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth." We have direct access to the throne room of God through Jesus. Let's be sure to take advantage of this tremendous privilege.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

How to Ice a Knee and Still Be Upwardly Mobile

From time to time, athletic pursuits result in soreness, inflammation, and occasionally injuries. While propping up a knee, relaxing, and icing said knee is preferable, sometimes this is not always possible due to competing time demands. There is now a solution to icing while remaining upwardly mobile. I present to you, the Saran-wrap frozen veggies/fruit icing method.

This is easily accomplished by taking your favorite or least favorite bag of frozen vegetables or fruit and wrapping several layers of saran-wrap around the knee or other appendage. Tape helps to keep the ice wrap in place. And voila you are now both icing a knee and upwardly mobile.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Straight Up Truth

Have you ever been reading the Bible and the words jump out at you to speak directly to something you're experiencing or have been thinking about recently? A couple nights ago I had this experience with some passages, a few of which are listed below.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life...Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil." -Proverbs 4:23, 25-27

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" -II Corinthians 10:5

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" -Hebrews 12:1-2

These passage are great reminders to be focused on pursuing Jesus and not become distracted by the temporary things of the world. When our eyes, heart, and mind are fixed on Him, we walk in paths of righteousness and don't get tripped up by temptation or allow outside influences to disrupt His best for our lives. I want my pursuit of Him to be so intensely focused that all else falls to the side.

The Bible is straight up truth brothas and sistas.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ryan Hall on Running and Faith

Below are excerpts from an interview with world class runner Ryan Hall by in which Ryan discusses the intersection of his Christian faith and running. He's got a great perspective that can be applied to any profession or area of life.

For the full interview go to:

Ryan and his wife Sara's website is: if you'd like to read more about them.

Running Times: Why do you think God takes an active interest in the outcome of sporting events? Given that the outwardly faithful more often than not don’t win, what does that mean about God’s involvement in these events?

Ryan Hall: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts [emphasis added, Isaiah 55:9]."

From my experience through my running career of weathering many lows and enjoying some really high mountain peak experiences, I have felt that the sweetest part of running is feeling God with me as I run, and the great thing about that is it isn't something that only one person or a couple of people can experience in a race. We can all experience it. We can all feel something that is even sweeter, available every time we toe the line and more lasting than winning or setting a record. Today, whenever I sign my name to an autograph I always write John 10:10 (The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy, I came that they may have life abundantly and have it abundantly) with it because it is the best part of following Jesus and having his Spirit in me – it makes life sweeter. My running is better, my daily life is better, etc. Following Jesus doesn't mean abandoning the fun things of this world; it means having more fun, being free from the worries of daily life, and experiencing things in greater, more fulfilling ways...

...While I cannot coerce God into moving in this (miraculous) way I still have childlike faith knowing it’s possible, which I reflect in my running by being bold, taking chances and giving God an opportunity to do something amazing. However, I have found from my experience that often times what I hear God telling me is, "My grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9)." God has always provided enough strength for me to do what He wants me to do on the race course. It doesn't mean I always win or do something miraculous but I always have enough to accomplish the purpose which God called me to race for...

...The most important thing I can train is my heart. It is what drives the body. Christians should be able to compete with more freedom, less pressure and more joy. I have become better at being OK with whatever God has for me in a race knowing that at the end of the day, though I try to wrap my head around how God moves in sport, in the end, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9)..."

...In a world where it is all about the guy on the top step of the podium and we are defined and define ourselves by the time on our watch, at the end of the day I am trying to spread the word that it ultimately isn't all about that. The sweetest part of life is that we can all have God. God is with those who are with him. It’s our choice and a free invitation to everyone...

...Being highly favored, or winning as we might call it in the sports world, is an inner peace, joy, and freedom that comes from having God with us. It’s not about the circumstances we are in but rather about the heart that we are able to have because of who is walking through all the circumstances of life with us...

...When we lose our focus on just following Christ and we start looking to how God is moving in other people’s lives it totally steals our joy, thankfulness and power...

...I believe that God created me to run the marathon and run it well and I will not stop until he tells me it is time, and I will not be distracted unless he directs me to something different...

Running Times: Are you this good because you have worked and trained harder than everyone else, or because you are more blessed?

Ryan Hall: Neither. I am what I am because of the grace of God. God’s grace has allowed me to pick myself up out of the dirt time and time again. That grace is something we can all have. It obviously takes a lot of focus, discipline, humility, hard work and all those other things that make up great athletes but that is just who I am. We can all achieve a level of greatness when we are who we are meant to be to the fullest...

...The Olympic Marathon Trials is probably the time when I felt the Holy Spirit the strongest in a race. It was an incredible experience that I believe we can all experience, even in the same race (meaning you might not win), depending on how desperate for God we are...

...Running is my ministry. I am using the body that God gave me to do what he wants me to do, including feeding and taking care of the poor...

...I have learned that my primary role as a Christian is to receive God’s love and then to love others from that love. Now I am much more interested in hearing what others believe and why they believe it. I really enjoy talking about spiritual matters but if I sense my teammates don’t feel like it or don’t enjoy it, then I respect that...

Running Times: Are you currently learning anything about who God is through running or racing?

Ryan Hall: Every day, man. God is always teaching me more about who he is and who I am while I am out there. For me running is the ultimate school ground.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Abide In My Love

"Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; abide in My love." -John 15:9

This verse comes right after Jesus talks about the analogy of the Father as a gardener and himself as the vine. Pruning can be painful but at the same time a strengthening process. I've found in my own life that God has to prune me sometimes and tear away the pride and selfish motives in my heart in order to grow me. Life truly does go better when I abide in Him and allow Him to live through me, producing fruit.

It can be easy to get caught up in a performance mentality in the sense of "I'm going to produce fruit by working really hard and making plans of my own." While there's nothing wrong with hard work, if it is not fruit that God has ordained, it's false and produces sour grapes. In seeking after the fruit of the Spirit by remaining in Christ, He transforms me and grows me as He desires rather than according to my plans.

Performance based mentality can also lead to a sense of failure and belief that He doesn't love us due to trying hard to please Him when in reality, all He wants is for us to abide in His love and allow His power to work in and through us.

Abide in Him.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Crush It

I recently read Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk, a book about Web 2.0, social media, and how to leverage the numerous resources on the internet to market your brand. Vaynerchuk used hustle and determination to grow a family liquor store from $5 to $50 million within a period of about 8 years. He then built on that success with the creation of where he provides insight into all things oriented to wine. Through the use of social media, WineLibraryTV has become an enormous success. Vaynerchuk gives lots of great insight into building community for your brand including such platforms as Twitter, Facebook, uStream, Viddler, YouTube, blogging, and podcasts, amongst a host of others.

The title "Crush It" comes from identifying passion and what the person or company enjoys doing more than anything. By engaging in the identified passion and utilizing the Web 2.0 marketing tools, the company or person can Crush It, Blow it Up, or other terms indicative of outstanding success.

Vaynerchuk notes that once you identify your passion that you should work at it at full speed, constantly. The only drawback to the book is that it is in written form. With the social media landscape changing so rapidly, perhaps Vaynerchuck could work with organizations such as Amazon to release an ebook version every 6 months or so to provide updated content based on new innovations. Crush It could become to social media what What Color Is Your Parachute is to career guidance.

This book is good for anyone looking for a fairly comprehensive look at social media and how to leverage it to enhance your passion and brand.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tax Planning: Charitable Donations

Well friends, it's that time of year when tax returns are in the air. Many people include charitable donations as itemized deductions on their tax returns. Not only are cash contributions available as deductions but property donations such as clothing, furniture, cars, and musical/athletic equipment to a charity can also be deducted for fair market value.

Another charitable deduction that is not as widely known is mileage driven for charitable activities. For example, if you volunteer with the Boy/Girl Scouts and drive kids to various activities related to scouts, the mileage could be used as an itemized deduction. Similarly, if you volunteer at your church or local soup kitchen, mileage would also be deductible. For 2009 tax returns, the charitable mileage rate is 14 cents/mile in contrast to the business related rate of 55 cents/mile. See for more details.

Another very good tax planning strategy which is best implemented at the end of the taxable year is donating property which would have a capital gain such as shares of stock or investment real estate to a charitable organization. Let's assume you purchased 100 shares of ABC stock at a price of $40 per share and it is trading at $50 per share at the end of the year. Rather than selling and paying tax on the $10 per share profit, by donating the stock to a charitable organization you would avoid paying tax on the capital gain as well as benefit the charity. It's an opportunity to choose where your dollars go rather than depending on the government to make that choice for you. This technique, of course, assumes that you have charitable inclinations. has good information on setting up a donor advised fund or Charitable Remainder Trust if these are options you'd like to explore.

Using itemized deductions requires that you have total deductions greater than the standard deduction level which for 2009 is $11,400 for married couples, $5,700 for single folks, and $8,350 for heads of household.,,id=187825,00.html Other common deductions in addition to charitable deductions include mortgage interest, state income tax, property tax, education expenses, and business expenses exceeding 2% of adjusted gross income.

Happy tax returning!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Matt Papa "Your Kingdom Come" Album Review

Two things stand out in listening to Matt Papa's album "Your Kingdom Come." One, that he walks closely with God and two, that he knows and reads the Bible, a lot. The songs proclaim the attributes, mysteries, and praises of God as well as weaving Biblical truths throughout (ex:"Every Knee Will Bow"). The overarching musical style is guitar driven rock with a tasteful dose of piano in the mix.

Some bands or musicians use formulaic musical techniques but Papa has a plethora of interesting things going on musically (listen closely and you may hear a harpsichord on one song). The bulk of the album is filled with songs you can enjoy like a juicy steak, both flavorful and something to chew on.

One album theme is the missional call to go out to the world sharing Christ's love heard in: "Your Kingdom Come," "To the Least of These," and "Here am I, Send Me."

"Hallelujah, Our God Reigns" is a rocking declaration of God's holiness and attributes as if a rock band of angels got together and rocked the praises straight from Revelation. The radio single and one of my personal favorites on the album is "Open Hands" which shares of learning to live a surrendered and unselfish life with open hands so as to tell the world of how Jesus loves, died, and sets us free.

"God of Grace" celebrates God's provision for people in all sorts of life circumstances and His sacrifice and love for us as we are. The song "You Can Do Anything" is primarily in the pop punk genre but is the only song on the album in performed in this style. "Hymn in C" is a great declaration of Christ's love and sacrifice for us and the transformation that occurs because of a relationship with Him. "Alive" has a Christmas feel to it reminiscent of Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime."

Papa doesn't pull punches with songs such as "Where is the Difference" and the sardonic "Woe to You" that cut to the quick, calling out superficial Christianity, self serving religion, and materialism.

"Here It Comes" starts out with an army marching into the opening guitar riff that opens a straight up southern rock song including a gospel choir and finishes with a ripping guitar solo and wild celebration. "No One Else" expresses desire for God being primary and above all else with anthemic worship and praise as one might imagine the Psalmist David expressing his heart and soul's desire.

Papa uses a shouting singing style at the top of his vocal range in parts of a few songs. This can be overlooked though due to his joy and heart for God leaping through the lyrics.

If you see a photo of Matt, his appearance is a cross between Keith Green and David Crowder. :-)

Over the next few weeks, I plan to work through the many scriptures listed as sources for the songs. Some writers rely on christianese "praise phrases" in their songs but Papa goes straight to the source for inspiration with resulting theologically deep passages.

This is the best rock/worship albums I've heard in a while and it will be receiving serious play time in my listening endeavors.

If you found this review helpful, please let Amazon know at this link.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Debt Snowball

A debt snowball caught on camera in the wild!

See for info on implementing a debt snowball.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

God is A Mighty Warrior

"Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of buckler and shield and rise up for my help. Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me. Say to my soul I am your salvation." -Psalm 35: 1-3

God is a mighty warrior who fights for us against all kinds of evil whether spiritual or man made. He defends us and acts as our rear guard. As you run along the path, a fearless and awesome warrior guards you against all who pursue. There is impending violence foretold by the drawing of spear and battle-axe. Woe be to the enemies of the Lord. They will meet with bitter blows for contending with God's chosen ones.

"Say to my soul I am your salvation." We are not alone in the fight. He is ever present and available to defend us. How many times do we take on a battle in our own strength that He intends to fight for us and end up falling prey to an enemy conquerable only through Him? In the spiritual realm, we have a very real foe who attacks us at every opportunity. Recognize the attacks when they occur and take hold of God's power in battle. Let us continually call on the name of Christ to fight for and defend us as we "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)"

Listen to God Almighty by Chris Tomlin and Mighty To Save by Hillsong United for soundtrack.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter Wonder Run

I went for a run this past week while it was snowing and found this great spot for some pictures so came back and set up a tripod to get a few good shots. Running in the snow is fun and quite beautiful if not overly cold.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Pursue Wisdom Like a Beautiful Woman

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed." Proverbs 3:13-18

"Prize her (wisdom) highly and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown." Proverbs 4:8-9

Proverbs often refers to wisdom as she or her. There is a definite parallel between wisdom and a beautiful woman. (by beauty, this refers to true beauty not something superficial) When a man pursues a beautiful woman, his thoughts are constantly dwelling on what he can do in order to spend more time with her. If a man pursues wisdom in a similar manner, the end result is a life guarded with the insight, knowledge, and immeasurable riches beyond worldly wealth that comes from her.

The book of Proverbs is chock full of wisdom for numerous subjects. Seeking God's wisdom is crucial for a life fully lived and set apart to Him. Ask and He will direct and guide you. "For the Lord gives wisdom from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 But just as a man needs to spend time with a beautiful woman to get to know her, so he needs to spend time gaining wisdom through reading the Bible, meditating on its truths, praying, and seeking Godly counsel from others with wisdom based in experience.

If you'd like a good place to start, read the chapter number in Proverbs that corresponds to the day's date. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs and you're sure to find something good regardless of the day.

Now Go Get 'er!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Drew Brees Interview

Here's a great interview with Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, sharing about his faith in Christ. It's awesome to see athletes of this caliber sharing publicly about their relationship with God.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Man Who Fears the Lord

"Who, then is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity and his descendants will inherit the land. The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare." Psalm 25: 11-15

This passage strikes a chord with me. I want to be a man who fears the Lord. How rich and deep a life for this type of person. How awesome for the God of all the universe to confide in me and do His work through me. Let my eyes be ever on You.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daily Audio Bible

A neat podcast that I found on iTunes is the Daily Audio Bible. It is structured so that if you listen to it everyday, you will listen through the entire Bible in a year. It's nice if you like to exercise with an iPod or other mp3 player to be able to listen to scripture. The podcast covers a section in the Old Testament, a section in the New Testament, a Psalm, and a short section in Proverbs. Brian Hardin is the reader of the passages and offers some thoughts on the passage each day as well. There is also a website where people can discuss the daily reading and see prayer requests from others as well. The website is:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Submit Yourself: A Living Sacrifice

"Submit yourselves, then, to God..." James 4:7

This does not mean make plans and then submit them to Him asking Him to make them successful. It does mean lay yourself in front of Him and ask Him to guide you and lead you in His plans.

I was reading from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers today where he says: "Have you come to your last days really? You have come to them often in sentiment, but have you come to them really? ...Do you agree with God that you stop being the striving, earnest kind of Christian you have been? We skirt the cemetery and all the time refuse to go to death. It is not striving to go to death, it is dying, "baptized into His death."

I find this challenging in my own life to truly submit myself to Him and die to self seeking after His desires and plans rather than going through motions and rote Christianity vis a vis as a living sacrifice.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Man Cold

A man cold is a very serious condition. If you or someone you know acquires a man cold, please seek immediate attention.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Christmas Songs at the Plaza

The Sunday before Christmas I went down to the Country Club Plaza and played Christmas songs on the sidewalk in front of Barnes & Noble while wearing a Santa hat. It was a lot of fun and I actually made $23.85 in tips. The cash money song seemed to be Feliz Navidad. Occasionally, people would start singing along. It was interesting to see how some people deliberately tried to not make eye contact and others cast a sideways glance into my guitar case to see how much in tips was there. I was able to connect with some kids and get them to smile and sing or dance along which was a lot of fun.
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