Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How Long Can You Go Without Sinning?

How long can you go without sinning? 30 minutes? An hour? A day? A week?

The enemy of your soul spends every minute of the day devising ways to tempt and draw you away from Jesus. "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." -I Peter 5:8 He hates your guts and will do everything in his ability to cause pain, heartache, busyness, broken relationships, and keep your focus off of God.

The good news is that the lover of your soul has power over all and desires a thriving relationship with you. Those who have a personal relationship with Jesus, have access to the most powerful force in all of creation. "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." -I John 4:4 If you aren't currently following Him, He loves you and wants to offer you an abundant life. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." -John 10:10

Sometimes sin gets so entrenched, possibly even to the point of addiction, that it takes some very hard work to reshape your life and thought patterns so that they're fixed on God. Don't try to go it alone either. Your brothers and sisters in Christ will fight alongside you for righteousness.

Never believe the lies of Satan that you're not good enough, never will be, have no value, will always have shame and be enslaved to sin. I Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." When you find yourself tempted, cry out to God for help and reach out to fellow believers in Christ in times of weakness.

Beyond eliminating unhealthy or destructive input (whatever the source: TV, music, internet, radio, movies, books, magazines, negative people) from your life, fill your mind with things that encourage righteousness. In addition to reading the Bible and prayer, some of the most helpful things I've found are scripture memory and singing worship songs. Throughout the day and week choose a verse or two to memorize and it will help keep your mind from wandering and pull your focus back if you begin to drift.

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…" -Hebrews 12:1-2a

In pursuit of His best,


Thursday, November 01, 2012

Identity Theft

Identity theft can be invasive and frustrating to say the least. On a spiritual level, the enemy of your soul wants to steal your identity and keep you from living an abundant and joyful life.

Galations 2:20 says: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.“ Similarly, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

When a person asks Jesus into their life, their true identity is in Him. They can still be a mom, dad, teacher, businessman, musician, comedian, friend, sports fan, artist, etc. but a shift occurs. Many people struggle with a variety of hurts, habits, addictions, and other negative behaviors. Whether brought on by self, others, or spiritual attack, the enemy will consistently spout lies and deception at you to keep your focus off of Christ. The good news is that these negative behaviors and even good identity characteristics do not have to define who we are.

When your focus is on Jesus and keeping your heart fixed on Him, the other stuff will fall away to the side. If He is the center of who you are and what you build your life around, the enemy can’t steal your identity. As my pastor said on Sunday, "Sin is not your master." Next time you feel discouraged by negative self talk, the media, other people, or even a direct assault from the enemy, spend time with the lover of your soul and renew your identity in Him.

In pursuit of His best,


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Love Does

Bob Goff is just a regular guy except for he's the U.S. Ugandan consul, partner in a Washington law firm, took his kids on a tour to meet the heads of state of close to 20 nations, has an office on Tom Sawyer island in Disneyland, among other unique and interesting things. He's the type of guy who will jump at the chance for adventure and whimsy because why not? He invests his life into others and has initiated substantial positive change in places such as Uganda and India. He uses his law training to set children free from slavery and fights against injustice.

While he's accomplished some amazing things and interacted with high profile people, he maintains a down to earth attitude and self-deprecating humor that gives you hope that you too can accomplish incredible things.

The book is chocked full of stories from his life and lessons that he learned from God. Make no mistake, while Bob has done some great things for the world, he is first committed to God and serving Him. It is out of this relationship that much of his work flows.

The book is light-hearted, inspirational, and fun. It's easy to read, you'll laugh out loud several times, and will probably wish there were more when it's over.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Awesomeness isn't about accolades, fame, or recognition. It's about being the hands and feet of Jesus to the world. That's the kind of awesome that shapes eternity.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Plan B

It's fairly safe to assume that most people have experienced some detours in life and perhaps wound up somewhere that they didn't originally anticipate. Perhaps a career didn't take off, a relationship ended, an untimely death, sickness, or any number of other circumstances take you places you'd rather not go.

In Plan B Pete Wilson explores what to do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would. He provides examples from the Bible as well as from his personal life and from many people he's known through being a pastor. Many of the examples are of people walking through very dark circumstances in life and what their response was.

Wilson doesn't try to explain all of the tough questions and whys but does walk you through as you work through grief and challenges in a pastoral kind of way. He says, "...I'm not tying this book up with a bow. I'm not asking you to understand. But I am asking you to trust the God who loves you." He quotes Romans 15:13, "I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in Him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit."

This book does not have all the answers but it will help in framing your thinking and response toward trusting God even when things don't work out as you'd hoped or planned.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

You Gotta Eat

Fruit & Vegetables
“Do not conform to the pattern of the world be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” -Romans 12:2

You gotta eat. Whether you eat good things or bad, you’re going to fill yourself with something. When thinking about this in the context of sin and righteousness, there may be times when you eat unrestrained from the trough of sin. This will leave your soul empty and feeling bad. When you’ve had enough, maybe you say “No More!” and stop for a time.

If however, you don’t replace this source of sustenance with something, you’ll find yourself starving and will be tempted to go back to the trough of sin. It would be the equivalent of eating junk food all the time then refraining from eating completely. Just like the body needs something to keep it going so too the soul must be filled.

By all means, get rid of elements of sin and selfishness in your diet but be sure to replace it with nourishment from the trough of righteousness. Drink from the fountain of pure truth found in the Word of God and feast on His goodness. Worship and meditate in His presence for it is there that you’ll be filled with love and holiness. At the trough of righteousness, you will be satisfied as you never could elsewhere. Nothing you desire compares to Him. Nothing.

In pursuit of His best,


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Poem: Your Love

Red Roses
I've searched the world and never found a love as pure as yours
in beautiful and darkened places, peacetime and in war

From towering cathedrals to distant galaxies
your love is vast and infinite for all eternity

Constant, never changing it doesn't ebb and flow
your love is unconditional in every high and low

In times of good in times of bad in all that I go through
no matter what the circumstance your love is always true

Your love is always true

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stinking Selfishness

Stinky Garbage
Have you ever had the experience of smelling something bad but couldn’t quite figure out what it was or where it was coming from? If not identified and dealt with soon, it eventually gets bad enough that the location becomes readily apparent.  Even though it’s unpleasant, to leave it there would mean continued stinkyness and possibly serve as an invitation to critters you’d probably rather not be in close proximity to.

Sometimes selfishness can be like that. Something may not feel quite right in your life but it isn’t immediately identifiable.  Looking out for yourself is not inherently bad but pursuit of self-interest to the exclusion of closely walking with God leads down a path for which the reward is emptiness.

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 2:4-5

He gifts each of us with abilities and talents not for self-glorification but for serving Him and others. There's nothing wrong with doing what He’s gifted you at with excellence; just make sure the focus is in the right place.

Selfish desires have a way of getting us off track and into things that we later regret. If nothing else, they keep us from spending time with God and pursuing His plans for our lives. That in itself should be enough motivation to consistently examine the heart’s motives and desires.

If you find something stinky, don’t hesitate in taking out the trash. Replace it instead with pure living water. (John 7:37-38

Is there any selfishness stinking up your life?

In pursuit of His best,


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Is Jesus Your Compass?

GPS units are great except when they’re not. Ever been tracking exactly with the GPS directions only to find that you’re definitely not where you planned on going? This might mean an update to the GPS software is needed or that the address was incorrect.

Direction in life can be that way too. The reliability of the source of your directions will have strong correlation to where you end up in life. If you get your queues from popular media or advertising, you may end up in unwanted places. Books, podcasts, and blogs can have mixed information some good, some bad. When advice comes from trusted mentors, friends, family, and colleagues the results may be a bit more certain.

The Holy Spirit is the equivalent of a GPS with the exception that He never gives you wrong directions. You may be surprised at where He leads you but since it comes from the source of Truth, you can be certain that He won’t lead you on a wrong path.

It is important to discern the difference between the Holy Spirit’s prompting and the prompting of the burrito you had for dinner. In all seriousness though, because we live in both a spiritual and physical world there are outside influences in play, whether from the Devil or just emotions run amok, it’s critical that we keep checking back with the Bible. The Holy Spirit will not contradict the Word of God so if there is any question about the reliability of the guidance, head to the Word.

Spending time digging in to the Bible and in prayer connects us to the ultimate and purest source of Truth.  When Jesus is your compass, you can’t get lost.

Is He your compass?

In pursuit of His best,


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Southern's Who I Am

Here's a fun song I wrote about being Southern.

Southern's Who I Am
by: Andrew Allen

Playing country music on the radio
bluegrass, gospel, and rock n roll
Singing in the choir, singing in the pew
playing for a crowd, or playing for a few
better stand up tall, stand up proud
play it strong and play it loud

Southern's who I am
say howdy, y'all, yes sir, yes ma'am
Southern's who I am
a born and raised Southern gentleman

I like chicken fried with mashed potatoes
pit barbecue when it's cooked real slow
corn bread muffins and black eyed peas
home made biscuits and a bowl of green beans
pecan pie with some cold ice cream
wash it all down with a large sweet tea

Southern's who I am
say howdy, y'all, yes sir, yes ma'am
Southern's who I am
a born and raised Southern gentleman

Gotta do things well and do 'em right
When you're wrong step up and apologize
Whether regular folks or high society
treat em with respect and hospitality
Mind your elders do what you're told
Pray to Jesus and He'll save your soul

Southern's who I am
say howdy, y'all, yes sir, yes ma'am
Southern's who I am
a born and raised Southern gentleman

Alabama, Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky
Mississippi, Louisiana, to the hills of Tennessee
Texas, Virginia, and down in Arkansas
Everybody's welcome to come and visit y'all
If you wanna find out what it's all about
come on down see how we do it in the South

Southern's who I am
say howdy, y'all, yes sir, yes ma'am
Southern's who I am
a born and raised Southern gentleman

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rain Haiku


Evening rain falling
From the heavens pouring down
Nature’s symphony

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Thing That You Want

Shiny ThingEveryone wants something. The thing might be a material possession, a job, a vacation, a relationship, a compliment, an experience, anything. Some things are good and some not so much.  Some things you may want so bad you can taste it or feel it.

No matter the thing, it’s important to keep it properly prioritized. The things we want drive where we spend our time, thoughts, money, energy, and emotional investment. If not careful, a thing can affect your identity to the point that your sense of worth is rooted in having or not having the thing. This treads in dangerous waters.

Anything that takes the place of Jesus as your heart’s chief desire is idol worship. It is critical to keep Him at the forefront of your wants and desires. When He is, the ebbs and flows of life won’t shake you from His faithfulness and constancy. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” –Hebrews 13:8

It is only in Him that you can find ultimate fulfillment. So whatever other things you want, make sure He’s the main thing.

In pursuit of His best,


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roller Coasters and Faith

roller coaster

“For we live by faith, not by sight.” -2 Corinthians 5:7

“Faith expects from God what is beyond all expectation.” –Andrew Murray

There’s a great parallel between riding a roller coaster and faith. To get on a roller coaster, you have to have faith that the engineer, builders, and operator are skilled and able to get you safely through the ride. A certain level of trust can be developed by watching others have fun and safely ride it but until you actually get on the roller coaster, you haven’t demonstrated that you trust the architect.

Faith is like that too. You can read about it, listen to others’ experience with it, and sit through sermons about it but until you put it into practice, it’s just secondhand knowledge. Like a roller coaster, situations in life have unexpected drops, turns, and loops. When you place faith in the One who designed the world and is the ultimate architect, it doesn’t mean there won’t be surprises but He's in control and you can rest in that.

Don’t be afraid of asking God for things in faith. Just like the excitement of a roller coaster, excitement is waiting for those who live by faith. Be bold and courageous. If you’ve been clinging to safe harbors, test the waters and see what great adventures God has in store for those who live by faith.

What’s a step of faith that you can take this week?

In pursuit of His best,


Sunday, May 13, 2012


I think mamas are pretty great and wrote a song about it. Feel free to share with your mama or anyone else for that matter.

Mama ain't no one you've probably ever heard of
but she's world class when it comes to love
and she don't do big deals but she can fix a meal
so good you'll thank the Lord above

Mama celebrates every time I win
and when my heart gets broke she helps it mend
like a bear with her cubs, she gives out lots of love
and Mama talks to God every day


Well Mama ain't a lawyer or a college PhD
but you know you better listen when she speaks
cause Mama usually knows the way things seem to go
and that's about all that you could need

She can talk you through a rough patch
or just give you a hug
No that ain't much that you can't face
with the strength of Mama's love


If you’re not already a fan of Andrew Robert Allen music on Facebook, head on over and Like the page. www.facebook.com/andrewrobertallen

Friday, May 11, 2012

Righteousness is a Direction Not a Line

Road with line down middle
 “For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face.” –Psalm11:7

Is righteousness something you ever think about? It can be a bit of a nebulous concept where we think “Yeah, that’s something good. People should be righteous.” But what does it actually mean on a daily basis?

Sometimes right and wrong is cut and dried and the way of righteousness is abundantly clear. Other times, difficult decisions arise and the waters are murky.

It can be easy to slide towards a line of right and wrong and justify whether you’re on the right side of the line. This misses the point though. Righteousness is a direction and not a line. When we’re moving in the direction of righteousness, there’s less question about what we can and can’t justify, what we should or shouldn’t do.

It’s good to think through complex moral questions ahead of time but a guiding principle should be, “does it move me closer to God or further away?” The answer to that question will point you in the direction of righteousness.

The Bible talks about righteousness over and over and how God loves it. Righteousness is just a part of close communion with God. It means we’re in lock step with Him and seeking after His ways and goodness.

The more frequently we move in the direction of righteousness in the little things, the easier it is to discern right and wrong in the big stuff. Similar to how you might become skilled through practicing a golf swing, free throw shot, or dance move, practice will exercise the muscles of righteousness. Jesus is a great workout buddy for this type of thing and will pump you up!

Don’t let what others are doing, convenience, or what’s easiest drive your decision making. Even if it means taking a harder road, the path of righteousness leads to the riches of intimacy with God.

What are some steps you can take to move in the direction of righteousness?

In pursuit of His best,


Thursday, May 03, 2012

Lean Not On Your Own Understanding

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” –Proverbs 3:5-6

Leaning on our own understanding tends to be the default option for most people. It doesn’t come natural to trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Sure, there might be certain areas that we trust Him with but with all areas, at all times? That’s a much different standard.

Using experience, logic, training, and the advice of other people are all well and good but it’s vital that we are keyed in with God. He will reveal things to us that are unknowable outside of His guidance. I’ve seen this time after time in my own life. He’ll prompt me about something that may not make sense in the moment but later becomes abundantly clear.

When I rely on my own understanding I tend to get off the path, experience rough sailing, and take detours in life. When I fully trust in Him, He guides me and even though the journey can seem confusing and/or circuitous, He inevitably takes me to places and through experiences that would otherwise be impossible.

Acknowledging Him doesn’t mean making plans and then saying, “Hey God, how ‘bout a little blessing on this here plan that I’ve made.” It means, at the outset, placing your life before Him and saying, “All I am is Yours. Guide me in the path that You would have me follow.” Only then can you be certain that you’ll end up in the place, with the people, and in the manner He would have you go.

Is there an area of your life that you’ve been leaning on your own understanding?

In pursuit of His best,


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Commit Your Work to the Lord

“Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” -Proverbs 16:3

When you go to work each day do you start out with prayer to dedicate the day and your work to God? It makes a big difference when you’re operating from a framework of prayer as a starting point. Sure the job/task may be mundane or not even seem to be remotely related to spiritual matters but it’s important to bring God into even the ordinary parts of your work.

I think that God uses work to develop our character and who we are as people, not only as a way to make a living. That challenging task or difficult person at your workplace presents a great opportunity to turn the situation over to God in prayer and allow Him to step in to give you wisdom and strength.

It goes beyond just the professional workplace to include things like ministry, volunteer activities, hobbies, family, friends, relationships, anything that you spend time doing. Pray about them and commit each activity you’re involved in to the Lord. He will often reveal things to you and give you insight that you’d never have outside of seeking Him about it.

Is it possible to do good work without first committing it to God? Sure it is. But I’d much rather my foundation be grounded in Him and established by Him than strictly through my own efforts. It’s kind of like checking in with the architect before starting construction as well as throughout the project. He can point out trouble spots and better ways of doing things that you might not realize otherwise.

What’s something that you need to commit to the Lord?

In pursuit of His best,


Sunday, April 22, 2012

By Faith Not By Sight

To say that Scott Macintyre is extraordinary is to say that grass is green or water is wet. He just is. As the book develops, his heart shows through and not at all in an arrogant or conceited way. Some people are simply gifted and live incredible lives. His heart is that of a man who desires to inspire people through music and give glory to God.

I had not heard of Scott prior to reading the book and have watched American Idol maybe once. But as a musician and songwriter myself, I closely identified with many of the experiences he described in the songwriting process and performance preparations.

Scott graduated college at the age of 19 and subsequently was a Marshall scholar during which time he obtained a masters degree at the Royal College of Music in London. A year after returning to the US, he and his family went on tour as a singing group. After becoming interested in American Idol on television, he eventually decided to audition. Over the course of the next few months, he went through audition after audition and advanced through round after round, eventually making it to the top 13 before being eliminated in the round of 8.

Simply on the merits of his accomplishments in music and academics, he would already be considered to have lived a remarkable life. But add to this the fact that he’s legally blind with only 2 percent tunnel vision, and the accomplishments take on a whole new dimension. Not only is he blind but while getting his masters degree, he was in end stage kidney failure and had to go through about a year of dialysis followed by a kidney transplant once returning to the US.

Scott is additionally deeply committed to His walk with God, which is apparent all throughout the book. In numerous medical challenges, musical performances, and other events he is constantly lifting up the scenario in prayer and seeking God’s will. His close ties with his family are apparent and the love they have for each other is a model for family life. It is clear that Scott believes both in working and praying very hard in all aspects of his life. Because of his faith, musical gifts, and personality, I think if we ever had the opportunity to interact that we would probably become good friends.

Scott’s story is inspirational to say the least and proves that a person can do so much even with a handicap. He doesn’t use his blindness as an excuse for not doing something but rather works that much harder to overcome challenges and truly lives a full life.

If you’ve already seen him on television or heard his music, the book provides excellent color into who he is and the back story behind his life. For those who’ve not heard of him, he provides great insight into the world of a blind person, what it’s like to live with kidney disease and get a transplant, not to mention the life of a professional pop musician. His faith and trust in God will encourage you to seek God in your life as well. I highly recommend the book.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inquire of the Lord

David consistently inquired of the Lord in numerous scenarios throughout his life. (I Samuel 23:2,4, I Samuel 30:8, 2 Samuel 2:1, 2 Samuel 5:23, I Chronicles 14:10) He knew the importance of staying in direct communication with God and highly valued His input.

In my own life I’ve had experiences where I distinctly sensed that God was leading me to do something or not do something. When I follow the leading, things turn out well but when I don’t, they inevitably go poorly.

Rather than making plans and asking God to bless them, it’s much more effective to inquire of Him ahead of time. Not that having goals and plans are bad but including God as the driver of the process from the start is crucially important.

Inquiring of God is good in both the big and small decisions. Getting in the habit of conversing with Him throughout the day and not just at set times is a great way of seeking His guidance and counsel. It’s just like you might talk with a friend about whatever subject while hanging out.

It’s helpful to remove external distractions when inquiring of Him and get your heart focused. This isn’t always possible in the heat of battle but intentional conversation in the peace and quiet helps facilitate staying in tune with Him when the battle gets thick. If there’s sin in your life, confess it so that you can interact with Him openly and unhindered.

Worship is another great way of preparing your heart to talk with God. Bring offerings of praise to the throne of God and just spend time in His presence. There is joy in His presence. It is there that you can truly commune with Him and seek wisdom.

In pursuit of His best,


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Shall Not Want

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. -Psalm 23:1

The Shepherd's Psalm is such a frequently quoted passage that the meaning can be glossed over by the familiarity. It's good to go back to passages like this from time to time and really meditate on them and not just read them for the comfortable feeling.

The first verse in Psalm 23 speaks volumes in simple imagery. A large amount of our concerns and difficulties lie in the lack of trust or seeking Him as we make plans and goals and strive after them. The Shepherd knows everything going on in our lives and has good plans laid out for us if we will simply abide in Him.

Goals and hard work are good but they're best grounded in sinking this truth into our hearts. We can obtain anything imaginable but will ultimately remain unfulfilled and still seeking if we do not rest in Him and His provision. Only in Him will we be truly satisfied.

Take some time right now to pray about the dreams, desires, and wants in your life. Make sure your focus is on Him and rest in His promises.

In pursuit of His best,


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Jump Life Transformation on Amazon

The book that I helped write titled Jump: Life Transformation is now available on Amazon. (Check it out at this link)It has been used within the Jump Recovery and JMP3 ministries with quantifiable success in people's lives. It is both a good resource to work through in a group Bible study as well as providing good reference material for those going through specific challenges. While the book addresses addictive behaviors, it is broader in focus to encompass anything that gets in between you and Jesus and the abundant life that He offers.

Book Description
Do you have a problem that is holding you back from a life of freedom and joy? Do you turn to unhealthy habits, behaviors, or choices when you find yourself overwhelmed by life circumstances? Maybe you know someone who has a problem and wish you knew how to help. JUMP is about replacing hurts, problems, and unhealthy coping mechanisms with a God enabled life transformation. Are you ready? Jump in!

This book is for anyone who has a hurt, no matter how big or small. It is about the process of moving hurts away from the central focus of life and to the side so that Christ returns to the center of the hurting person's life. JUMP uses three main components. First, life experience is used to illustrate the content throughout the book. Secondly, Biblical reference is integrated into the flow of writing to show how Scripture flows into the reader's life. Finally, the authors draw from over twenty years of life recovery experience (Jeff Baird) and over forty years as a lead pastor (Vernon Armitage).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

God's Phone Number

Ever find yourself over analyzing and obsessing over a decision, how you’re going to do something, or get through a challenge in life? Yeah, don’t do that.

See there’s this whole concept called prayer where you don’t have to worry and instead can get guidance and wisdom from God. You know, the guy that made the world, keeps things in motion, and loves you unconditionally?

He wants to be directly involved in our decisions. He actually tells us in the Bible “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.“ –James 1:5 “…call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” -Jeremiah 29:12-13.

These verses are like God’s phone number and he’s inviting you to call Him up. It’s kind of like a lifeline on a game show but on a spiritual level and the best thing is that it never runs out. It’s a 24/7 direct line to God.

Be sure to keep up the communication on a regular basis, not just in emergencies. Like you might fire off text messages to a friend during the day, talk with God throughout the day whether in short prayers or longer conversations. It is in Him that we find wisdom and peace for the anxieties and complexities of life.

In pursuit of His best,


Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Heart Filled With Joy

A Heart Filled With Joy
She's pretty, intelligent, quick with a smile
sweet in a Southern way
She serves up encouragement like warm apple pie
and always brightens your day

With a heart filled with joy from deep in her soul
bursting forth to display
A love that echoes to infinite time
embracing every day

When dogwoods explode like white puffy clouds
and winter has faded away
the sound of sweet melody floats through the air
as she sings and laughs and she plays

With a heart filled with joy from deep in her soul
bursting forth to display
A love that echoes to infinite time
embracing every day

She's so much more than beautiful
She's so much more than beautiful

With a heart filled with joy from deep in her soul
bursting forth to display
A love that echoes to infinite time
embracing every day

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beer in Your Cheerios

This song is intended to be humorous but alcoholism is a serious addiction. If you need help, please find a Celebrate Recovery group near you. www.CelebrateRecovery.com

Beer in Your Cheerios

Have you ever seen some pictures and wondered where you've been
Then found your wallet's status empty once again?
Instead of doing the 2 step around the dance floor
you might want to learn those 12 steps before heading out the door

If you put beer in your Cheerios and drink it for dessert
Sing drinking songs all night long then get fired from your work
You might have a problem if your only friends
are your buddy Wiser, Jack, and Jim
the drinks and not the men

Drinking and carousing seems like a lot of fun
until you find out later bout all the things you've done
cause it don't seem too funny when the piper's gotta be paid
and it might cause you to redefine all those good timing ways

If you put beer in your Cheerios and drink it for dessert
Sing drinking songs all night long then get fired from your work
You might have a problem if your only friends
are your buddy Wiser, Jack, and Jim
the drinks and not the men

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What Are You Building?

“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” –I Corinthians 3:11-15

There are many, many activities, causes, things, and stuff that people commit their time, money, talents, efforts, and lives to. Some of them are very worthy and lasting, others are in the trivial and meaningless category.

This passage from I Corinthians should give pause as to how we invest ourselves and spend our time. Will what we’re building stand for something beyond the here and now or be burned away into nothingness?

It is only in the firm foundation of Jesus that anything of eternal significance can be built. All else will be washed away like a sand castle at the beach.

So what really matters and how do you determine that? On a practical level, invest in people and encourage them to seek after Christ. Use your abilities for organizations and causes that enable you to promote Jesus and bring glory to God. This can be any organization whether sacred or secular, in the church, business world, entertainment industry, agriculture, education, anything. In every venue you interact in, do things with excellence. In doing so, you will have opportunities to bring glory to God and direct people to Him.

When the end of finite time comes, there will be a reckoning. What are you building that will be left standing?

In pursuit of His best,


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hallelujah Christ Has Come

Hallelujah Christ Has Come

Can you hear the sound
of prisoners no more bound?
For we have been set free
by the grace of God's mercy

Praise oh people sing rejoicing
dance and raise your hands and voices
Praise oh people sing rejoicing
dance and raise your hands and voices

Hallelujah Christ has come
our debt's been paid by God's own son
Hallelujah Christ has come
death defeated by God's own son

Once there was a time
when sin controlled our minds
but we have been redeemed
for all eternity

Praise oh people sing rejoicing
dance and raise your hands and voices
Praise oh people sing rejoicing
dance and raise your hands and voices

Hallelujah Christ has come
our debt's been paid by God's own son
Hallelujah Christ has come
death defeated by God's own son

Monday, February 06, 2012


Have you ever had the lights go out in the middle of something? Maybe it’s at work, hanging out somewhere, or just at home. This happened to me recently and while I wasn’t in the middle of anything critical it did alter my planned activities for the evening.

It got me to thinking about what a plugged in world that we live in. We sometimes forget to slow down, unplug and have time to think and just be quiet without all the external stimulation. Things like computers, cell phones, televisions, radios, and a host of other electronic items can serve us well but we can also become slaves to them if we’re not careful.

Quiet, uninterrupted time by ourselves can be rare. It’s important to carve out space in our schedules to decompress and reflect. In doing this, it enables us to think more clearly and be more effective in other parts of our lives.

There is a place for the quick prayer on the go or in the midst of crisis but there is also great value in spending time with God on a more intentional basis. He will provide wisdom and direction and help you to process what’s going on in life.

In Psalm 46:10, some versions of the Bible say: “Be still and know that I am God…” The New American Standard version says: “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” I like both versions but think that “cease striving” really captures the constant stimulation that so many people have going on in their lives.

By unplugging and stopping all the activity, we can encounter God in a way that would otherwise be difficult. If you don’t do so already, I encourage you to set aside some time this week to specifically focus on talking with God, praising, and listening to Him. It might not seem natural at first but stick with it and you may engage with Him like you never have before.

In pursuit of His best,


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Finding Joy in Work

There are too many people in the world that dislike, hate, or feel trapped by their job. With most of us working at least 80,000 hours throughout our working lifetimes, it only makes sense to do something that we actually enjoy and are good at.

You are unique in your talents, interests, and experiences from anyone else in the world. This equips you to do things that no one else can do. No one.

Maybe it’s being an amazing leader, or a terrific mom to your kids, or the best teacher your students ever had, or a construction worker that is an outstanding craftsman, or a bus driver that always gets people where they need to go on time with a smile, or a nurse that brings healing and comfort to people. God has created you and made plans designed specifically for you.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”-Ephesians 2:10

Don’t ever settle for something that doesn’t bring you alive and light your fire. If you’re not there yet, start moving in that direction. The world’s got enough darkness. It needs you shining brightly.

There is great joy in that sweet spot of God’s blessing, your talents, and the things you love. You wake up energized, your creativity is stimulated, and you accomplish great things during the day.

Let us seek, therefore, the intersection of our passions, unique giftings, and God’s calling in our lives for it is there that we’ll find unparalleled joy and effectiveness in our work.

In pursuit of His best,


Monday, January 16, 2012

Turn Around

Two songs that I like that capture the idea of someone who’s stepped out of close communion with God are Turn Around by Matt Maher and When My Heart Runs Dry by Matt Redman.

It can be as simple as just getting a busy schedule or as bad as deliberate sin that takes you out of communion with God.

Maher says: “You don't have to take the broken road
You can turn around and come back home…
If you're scared that you don't matter
If you're lost and need to be found
If you're looking for a Savior
All you gotta do is turn around”

Redman’s lyrics say:
“When my heart runs dry
And there's no song to sing
No holy melody
No words of love within
I recall the height from which
This fragile heart has slipped...

And I'll remember You
I will turn back and do
The things I used to do
for the love of You”

If you find yourself stuck in sin or have just lost focus on God, turn around, reach out to Him, and draw near again. Don’t get down on yourself, rather pick things up from where you’re at and move forward in relationship with Him.

Fill your world with the things that keep your thoughts on Him. Memorize scripture, listen to and sing worship songs, read the Bible, and pray lots. The past can’t be changed but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be repeated in the future.

In pursuit of His best,


Sunday, January 08, 2012


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

If not for so much documented historical research, the events of Louis Zamperini's life would seem unbelievable. After a life of mischief as a boy turned Olympic runner, he proceeds to join the military during WWII and becomes a bombardier involved in a number of bombing raids. While on a rescue mission, his plane crashes and he survives for weeks on a life raft. He and 2 other members of the plane's crew floated on the raft with scant provisions, dehydration, sharks and enemy fire to deal with. They are finally picked up by a Japanese ship and subsequently placed in a POW camp.

While imprisoned, they undergo torture incorporating hunger, sickness, dehydration, and both psychological and physical abuse, much at the hands of a man called The Bird. The Bird took special pleasure in tormenting Zamperini and made his life horrific while a prisoner. Incredibly, as the date for their mass execution approaches, the war comes to an end and they are released.

When Zamperini returns to the U.S., he is hailed as a hero come back from the dead and gets married shortly afterward. He then proceeds to flounder from one job to the next and sinks into alcoholism as he deals with the horrors of war. With his marriage on the rocks, a seemingly random interaction with a neighbor, introduces them to the evangelist Billy Graham who was holding meetings in Los Angeles at that time.

After his wife attends without him, he grudgingly joins her at a later date. He is unable to shake the pull of God on his life and becomes a Christian. Through this experience he finds peace and is subsequently able to forgive his captors and move on with life, becoming a Christian speaker and eventually starting a camp for troubled youth.

Hillenbrand did a remarkably thorough job of researching Zamperini's life and the surrounding events in great detail. The book reads like a novel rather than dry non-fiction. I highly recommend the book as an outstanding account of an incredible life.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

New Year Exhortation

May you know God more than you've ever known Him in the coming year and structure your life in such a way that facilitates a vibrant, growing relationship with Him. May you not just talk about Him but actually talk with Him and know Him on an intimate level. May you worship Him with abandon, without concern for what others think, and with no reservations.

Let nothing stand in the way of your pursuit of Him. Throw off hindrances and run with perseverance, setting your eyes on Him and seeking Him above all else. Pay no mind to the siren call of popular culture or those who would have you place other things first. It is only in Him that you will find a heart fulfilled, satisfaction, and lasting joy.

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." -Matthew 6:33

In pursuit of His best,

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