How heavy is the load you’re carrying? Let me show you how to give God your heavy load and grab a lighter one instead.
When I was VERY pregnant, I’m talking hugely pregnant, going to the grocery store was a burden!
Pushing a cartload of groceries was hard work considering I was also carrying an extra 50lbs of fluids and baby.There was this one day in my ninth month of pregnancy that I will remember forever. I was bringing the groceries in from the car to the house. Knowing this was going to be a huge task, I popped the trunk and started plotting my strategy.
I was grabbing all of the heavy bags first so that I could come back and get the lighter bags.
Huffing and puffing, I made my way to the door with the two heaviest bags. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw my husband come around and I thought, “Cool, he’s going to help me!”Here’s my knight and shining armor to the rescue! Not so fast. What he did ticked me off! He went for all the light grocery bags like the napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper. What a stinker!

As you can imagine I am burning with anger and raging hormones. But what he did next surprised me. When he met me halfway, he said, “Stop, you take these lighter bags and let me take the heavy ones you have.” At that moment I felt so much love in my heart for that man! We exchanged loads and I was immediately relieved.

You have a knight in shining armor at your disposal too. One who’s ready to take your heavy load and give you a lighter one.

Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30 (NCV)

Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.

Jesus is more than willing to lighten your load but there’s a catch. Here’s what you need to do in order for this to happen:

You have to meet up with him in order to make the exchange. 

If you don’t connect with him he can’t take the heavy stuff off your hands. Then guess what?  You will be stuck carrying ALL the bags. No connection, no exchange. It’s that simple. You can’t exchange something with someone unless you make contact with them.

I know it’s difficult to put on the breaks and stop when you are going a hundred miles an hour. You’re carrying a lot of weight and have been for a while. And when you have been going at it non-stop for an extended period of time, it’s so stinking hard to wind down. Even when you do try to take a break your adrenaline is still racing. You may be sitting down physically, but you’re still running mentally!

So, how do you go about shifting into lower gear? If you are ready to hit your own little personal pause button so you and Jesus can make the exchange, this is how it works:

1. Get quiet. 

Get away from all the noise, people, and projects. Just pause. This is the only way you will quiet your soul enough to hear what God says. Let him speak to your inner man (or woman). As you do, He will refresh you. He will whisper things to you that you ache to hear. You can’t hear a whisper in a noisy room, can you? Get quiet so you can hear what He has to say.

And what will this sound like? Encouraging words, strength for the journey, and enlightenment. Without this personal pause-time, life will be unfocused and scattered. Settle down until your soul settles.

2. Wait until He refreshes you. 

I know it’s tough waiting for something. But don’t be in such a hurry to rush off. Hang around in God’s presence as long as you can. God has life giving stuff He wants to pour into you. Talk about an energy drink, this even tops coffee!

Remember what He said in the verse above, “accept my teachings and learn from me.” This is where He helps you evaluate everything you have been doing. He will press meaning into your performance. And when needed, He’ll show you a better way of going about your business that will ease the load. That’s refreshing! And know, He will NEVER leave you to figure out your problems on your own. (For more on that, read this post: Ever Feel Like God Has Left the Building? Why You Are Never Alone. )

Ready for the chaos and the world to stop around you? Me too! Relief is on the way. But don’t forget, we have to make contact with God in order to exchange our heavy load for His lighter one!


What Happens If You Get Out of Your Saltshaker
When I was a kid my grandmother had a collection of salt and pepper shakers. I’m talking 100’s of salt and pepper shakers! She had all kinds of funky designs. It cracked me up, because I knew she would never be able to use all of that salt and pepper in her lifetime. She died, and now years later, her salt and pepper collection still sits in the cabinet with salt in it.

Do you think that salt does any good sitting inside those cute little saltshakers? NOPE! Cause no one tastes the salt. No one even sees the salt. It’s useless, because it never comes out of the shakers.

There’s a Bible verse where Jesus describes believers as salt. He says in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth.” So if you’re a believer, that’s YOU.

You might be wondering why God said you are salt. It’s because salt adds flavor and salt is also a preservative. So when Jesus calls you salt, he’s saying that you are the flavor to the world around you, and you are the preservative that keeps things going.

BUT you can’t do that if you don’t get out of your saltshaker!

You might be like one of my grandmother’s saltshakers. Got a whole lot of salt inside of you but all people see is your shaker! Your shaker is on display but no one gets to tastes your salt, because you’re NOT shaking it out!

You want to make a difference in the world? Then, shake it out baby!

Oh, let me guess. You don’t think you can make a difference. I hear ya. But know what?

Even just a little bit of salt goes a long way.

You don’t need a whole tablespoon of salt for your plate of food do you? Goodness, NO! You don’t even need a teaspoon! All you need are a few sprinkles of salt to make a difference in your food. Just a tiny little shake changes the flavor.

And you…you don’t have to be this or that. You don’t have to be known or important. Big credentials, mucho influence, & lots experience are totally unnecessary.

You and the little bit you have to offer can make a big difference! A little salt goes a long, long way!

One of the biggest mistakes we can make is believing that we have nothing to shake out. That we’re not rich enough, smart enough, skilled enough, or spiritual enough. Hey, YOU’RE ENOUGH!

So don’t think that your tiny contribution to those around you doesn’t matter. Cause your SALT and even just a LITTLE BIT changes the flavor of everything around you.

When I was 17 I worked at a pizza joint. And the people I worked with cussed, drank, did drugs, had bad attitudes, and came into work late with hangovers.

When I first started working there, Guess what? They didn’t like me! Why? Because I was a different flavor. One girl asked me why I was so different. She wanted to know why I didn’t cuss and why I was so nice and respectful to everyone.

At this point, I had never said anything about Christ. But that didn’t mean I hadn’t gotten out of my saltshaker. She was tasting the flavor! And she wanted to know what it was!

Know what? After a while my coworkers decided they wanted to be flavor changers too. Some of them today, are in full time ministry. Salt changes things.

You are going to be placed in all kinds of environments that need God’s flavor.
• Work
• Home
• PTA Meetings
• Classes
• Community events
• Sports teams
• Stores
• And hey…even at red-lights ☺

You alone can change the atmosphere in a room.
You alone can make a difference at your workplace.
You alone can change the flavor in your home.

You can be the flavor changer. Now get out of your saltshaker and do your stuff!

Tell us some ways you have gotten out of your saltshaker. Comment below!


Why Saying “Stop Worrying!” Doesn’t Work & What To Do Instead
STOP WORRYING! 

Ever heard that phrase?

I’d like to smack each person who lets that sneak out of their mouth! Though they mean well, you cannot psych yourself out of worry. But let me tell you how you CAN wipe worry away. This technique really works!

I talked to a lady recently who was worried that she would never find “Mr. Right”. She convinced herself there were no more good men out there. And she thought if she did find one, he wouldn’t be interested in her. Way to sabotage yourself lady!

It took me a while, but I eventually convinced her that she needed to shift her focus from worrying toward something else. Know what? It worked. She hasn’t found “Mr. Right”, but she has stopped worrying. And she is no longer miserable. Mission accomplished!

Here’s what worrying did to that lady and what it does to YOU:

So with a list like that, why would anyone choose to worry? It’s because they don’t know what else to do. You can’t just stop worrying.  That is only the first step to wiping worry away. Most people stop there and that’s why they can’t stop worrying.

The second step is this: You have to replace worry with something else.

With what you say? Other thoughts. Here are some ideas:

  • Think about an activity that you really enjoy.
  • Distract yourself with a task.
  • Remind yourself “this” is temporary.
  • Think about God’s promises.
  • Say encouraging things to yourself like, “I am going to make it.”  “I will be ok in the end.”
  • Go over hope-filled scriptures in your head (“I can do all things through Christ because He strengthens me.” Phil 4:13)
  • Talk to someone else about their problems so your can get your mind off yours!
  • Sing a happy song.
  • Better yet, sing a Praise song!
  • Remember God’s peace is available, take it!

The best thought replacer of them all is to think about God. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

You might be thinking, “Isn’t replacing my thoughts just a way of denying what is going on?” No, God is not asking us to live in a state of denial. He is asking us to live in a state of acceptance. Accepting his peace displaces your worry.

So stop your worrying by replacing the worry with other thoughts. And the more God-thoughts, the better! If you can do this, you really will STOP WORRYING!

What do you think? If this info has helped you, let us know. Share your experiences with worry. Leave your comments below!


Ever Feel Like God Has Left the Building? Why You Are Never Alone.
Ever feel like God has left the building? 

Elvis may have, but God, NO! If you need a little help believing he is ALWAYS there for you, let me tell you – you will never go where God is not!

I just got back from vacationing in Daytona Beach where I played a mean game of laser tag with my two teenagers and my husband. What a blast! If you’ve never played, it goes like this… you get suited up with a vest that has 4 targets on the front and four on the back. Yes, you become the target! You also get a gun strapped to your side that yelps out a series of beeps or blasts letting you know when you have been hit or better yet, if you have succeeded in taking someone down. Your playing field is a dark room with a maze of barriers and walls to hide behind when someone tries to shoot you.

Every Man for Himself

The bullets fly through the air like red laser beams. When you’re hit, your gun shuts down for 10 seconds. Cruel, eh? It’s every man for himself as you try to hit as many people as you can. You have 9 minutes to see how many points you can rack up. The pressure is on!

So as we are playing, this 13-year-old kid comes up beside me and says, “Hey, want to join my team?” I was like, “Well, I was doing just fine on my own, but I’ll humor you!” He said, “Cool, come over here and hide behind this wall with me.” Then he introduces me to two teenage girls and says, “Ok, we’re all on the same team. DON’T hit each other! I got your back, you get mine. We good?” We all nodded our heads. “Ok, let’s go!” So here I am, letting this 13-year-old give me marching orders. But the cool thing is this – he was also trying to protect me. (Like I needed it! Ha!)

My son comes rushing at me and flings a truckload of laser bullets my way. This other kid jumps in front of me like a ninja, and takes a bullet for me! “Wow dude, thanks!” Then my husband comes around the corner and says, “Hey, you down?” I said, “Nope, got my own little bodyguard here!” The kid looks at me and says, “Is that your husband?” I said, “Yep.”  He shouted, “So, I took a bullet for you and your married?!” I’m like, “Yes! You didn’t say I couldn’t be married and be on your team!” Too Cute!

He would not leave me alone! I really wanted to lose the kid, because in laser tag it’s every man for himself so you can rack up the most points. Being that I was on a team with 3 other people meant there were 3 less people I could shoot for points. But this kid was not leaving my side!

He was like a little Jesus. He would NOT leave me alone! That joker was glued to me. Yep, this 43 year old woman. Why? I don’t know! It’s not like I needed his help. Or maybe I did and didn’t know it! Another similarity between Christ and us. Sometimes we think we can do better going it alone. He wants to be there for us.

Either way, if you have Christ, it’s NEVER every man for himself. Just won’t happen. Never, never, ever will He leave you. That’s good to know.

When God says, in Hebrews 13:5,  “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” a “double negative” is used to convey thesense of “never” possible in the Greek language. The Greek words mean, “never never” or “never ever.” And this double negative appears twice in this one statement from the Lord. It is used for both “never” and “nor.” In other words, God is saying, “I will never never leave you and I will never never forsake you!”

The Amplified Bible brings out the strength of what God really meant: I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] —Hebrews 13:5, AMP

You cannot evaluate God’s presence in your life based on your circumstances. Never means never…He will never, never, never leave you alone.

You may be moved, removed, reassigned, enlisted, but you will never go where God is not.

Enjoy the presence of your bodyguard today, cause He’s not going anywhere without you!

Do you have a comment or a story of how God has always been at your side? Share it here in the comment section.

 

No doubt you have heard Murphy’s Law so often over the years that you believe it’s true. It goes like this:

“Nothing is as easy as it looks; everything takes longer than you expect; and if anything can go wrong, it will – at the worst possible moment.”

Now, go about your day savoring that line. Chew it up, swallow it, and know what? It will be true for you.

Thanks Murphy! Thanks for filling our heads with lies that become truth. Yes, lies, lies, lies that turn true! How does this happen? The Bible gives us a clue. It says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” What this means is whatever you are thinking about becomes true for you. So now you’re stuck, right? But only because Murphy’s Law is stuck in your head. There is a way out my friend. Let me show you how to reverse Murphy’s Law in your life.

The Week from Hell

Last week was one that could have been construed as one of Murphy’s masterpieces! I knew it was going to be a brutal workweek. Lots of extra work events on my calendar equals less time for coping with stress. I was already preparing mentally for the strain of events on my family and on me personally. But then the unexpected started piling up.

My husband’s cousin died. That was tough. We made plans to travel and spend the day with family for the funeral. We also had family fly in and stay with us. Great to see them, but because of my work schedule, I had very little time to visit with them and play hostess. (It was looking like Murphy was starting to mess with me.)

Then the dishwasher decided to catch on fire. Yep, burned two holes in the door. That was exciting! So my husband, bless his sweet heart, RIGHT at dinnertime, attempts to replace the dishwasher with a new one. Which means he’s got two dishwashers pulled out into the middle of the kitchen.

Picture this: hoses, parts, tools, and water scattered all over the floor. I’m trying to quickly make dinner around this mess for my kids, a friend my daughter brought home, and out-of-town relatives. Not to mention, this was all happening one hour before I was scheduled to speak at a youth event for 500 high-energy teenagers. Try keeping your head in the game with all that going on!

So that was Monday. I could have convinced myself Murphy was working overtime, especially when Tuesday brought its own surprise.

I jumped in the car to take my teenage kids shopping and our car started jerking like it was having convulsions. I drove it home on a wing and a prayer and got a mechanic to make a house call. I had to cancel appointments and meetings I had scheduled the next day because I had no wheels, putting me further behind in my workweek.

Mechanic comes, tinkers around, and can’t figure it out. Comes back on day two, tinkers around, and can’t figure it out. I’m wondering how many more appointments am I going to have to reschedule this week? Do you see where this could go? In my head it could go south pretty fast. It almost did – until I reversed Murphy’s Law.

How You Can Reverse Murphy’s Law:

1. Tell your brain what to think. 

Yes, you can do that! What you think about is under your control IF you decide to control it. Your choice. Take it. Decide Murphy is not out to get you. He’s dead anyway, what power has he over you? None. Decide you are not going to experience events that will take you down. To throw your thoughts in reverse: back up and look at your string of events differently.

2. Ask for Divine assistance. 

Never done this before? That’s ok. Start now. Ask God to help you out of your tough spots. He is more than willing to show you He cares. And He is more than ready to show you His stuff! He can turn your circumstances around in an instant. I know. He’s done it for me. He’s got a great track record. That’s how I know I can trust what the Bible says, “What the enemy intended for evil, God meant for good.” Murphy’s got nothing on you, or me, because God can take anything and turn it around.

Too often we believe Murphy’s Law as truth instead of believing God’s law as truth. What does Murphy know? He obviously didn’t know the scripture; “All things are possible for those who believe.” So with just that verse in mind, if you tell your mind to think you are going to escape your string of circumstances, you will. It just depends on whom you’re going to believe. God, or Murphy? You choose. Then notify your brain!

So, how do you reverse Murphy’s Law? …STOP believing Murphy’s Law!

Let’s put Murphy’s Law in Reverse: “Everything is possible if you believe; things can happen in an instant; and if something can go right, have faith that it will – at the best possible moment!”

Tell yourself to chew on that the next time life throws you a curve ball and you will reverse Murphy’s Law in your life. Murphy can’t touch you…unless you let him!

Has this worked for you? Talk to us. Leave your comments below. Thanks!

4 Bad Mood Busters

 

4 Bad Mood Busters

You’re in a bad mood? So what’s bugging you? Someone tick you off? Got a bill you can’t pay? Or did you just wake up that way today? It happens. Life sometimes stinks. If you’re looking for a lift, let me show you how to rise above a bad mood when it’s gripping you.

1. Focus on the Sweet Stuff

Yes, I said sweet, not sour. Oh, I know right now all you can taste is the sour and it’s really hard to get that taste out of your mouth. But let’s gargle a little and rinse it out. When you’ve got bad breath, you’re willing to let take a big slurp of mouthwash, right? In this case, you sip on some sweet thoughts and let it swish around in your mind and mouth.

Can’t find any mind-mouth wash? Let me get your started.

Mind-Mouth wash:

  • Who are 3 people who love you? List them.
  • What are 3 of your best accomplishments? Make note. Your building up speed here!
  • What are 3 things that you are looking forward to in the next few days? Mention them one by one. That was fun, right?

Now, if you can make a choice to think about the sweet things you just thought of instead of the sour stuff you were thinking about before – your mood will begin to change. I guarantee it.

Do you feel it? It’s happening already isn’t it? Is there a little smile beginning to form deep down on the inside if you? Oh, it’s coming. Wait for it. It will eventually make its way to your face. Let’s see what else you can do to bust that bad mood…

2. Find Your Thanks In Advance

Admit it, even smelly manure can be a good thing. It makes rockin fertilizer! Fertilize your mood as you look for the benefit behind the smelly stuff of life. This way, manure causes growth! Yeah baby!!!

What smells in your life right now? Here’s how to churn it into fertilizer:

You may not have the money today to pay your mortgage or rent, but you can be thankful that you have food in the fridge. What? There’s not much in there? I hear ya. You may not have the fridge stocked with food that floats your boat. Prime rib would really rock right now, huh? BUT, what IS in that fridge that you can be thankful for? A few eggs? Ok, thank God for those eggs. Leftovers from the night before? Ok, be thankful that meal stretched and you’re still feasting on it!

David talking to God in Psalm 16:2 says, “…All the good things I have are from you.” You get the point, no matter what is left in your fridge of life, thank God for what IS there. And if your fridge is empty, be thankful that you have a fridge and it’s ready to be filled up.

What are 3 things can you be thankful for today? Make a list.

I was driving down the road one day, and God asked me, “Are you going to wait till I give you everything you want before you praise me with everything you’ve got?” OUCH! I was withholding my thanks till I got what I wanted. Not good!

King David had it rough, but the guy praised God in advance. Psalm 13 starts out like this, “O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?…” but then he wakes up and smells the coffee. That chapter ends saying, “But, I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he has been so good to me.” Now wait up! See, right there, David hadn’t been rescued yet. But David, the FUTURE king, had so much faith in the FUTURE; he speaks of it in PAST tense! Like he’s already got it! Whoa Nelly! Let’s get singing about our future! Find your thanks in advance.

3. Sing Your Thanks

When I’m in a sour mood, I find I have unknowingly shut off the “happy” music. Forgetting to hit play on my CD player grants me a sinking experience. Where to? Deeper into depths of despair. What you listen to creates an atmosphere inside you. So put some positive music in your ears because the song in your heart can bust up your bad mood. Especially if its a song speaking about the wonders and the good stuff of God. And bonus, it will eventually come out of your mouth and bust up other people’s bad moods.

I have two key people in my life who are constantly humming or singing. My best friend and my assistant do this without noticing it. I love being around the both of them. There they are just going about their business, humming in the background. And when they do, a smile goes off inside of me. My hums are off key, so when I hear theirs, it’s a welcomed treat! It lifts my spirit and brightens up my inside. Shhh, they had no idea! So sing, hum, put some tune to your thanks, it will sweeten the spot you’re in.

Here’s a great link to some incredible music that will bust up that bad mood. City of Life Worship on iTunes. Download it here:    http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/city-of-life-worship/id380856332

4. Talk Your Thanks

Finding it hard to convince yourself you have it good? Some say make a mental list. I say, speak out your list. If no one’s around, talk about your thanks to yourself. Say, I am glad I have…I am thankful for… Then graduate to talking about your thanks with others. Make it known. Talking about what you have, not what you don’t will bust up your bad mood. But talking about what you don’t have will keep you in a bad mood. I’m sure you have lots of stuff to be sad about, me too. But wake up. What you give attention to is what is in front of you. What is in front of you is what’s going to lead your mood. Push aside the sad stuff by putting the glad stuff in front. Taking your thoughts captive will get that smile creeping up out of your spirit and across your face.

When you need to bust up a bad mood, hit all four of these points and your mood will change. I absolutely guarantee it!

  1. Focus on the Sweet Stuff
  2. Find Your Thanks In Advance
  3. Sing Your Thanks
  4. Talk Your Thanks

PS, I love that your smile is making its way back to your face. Looking good!

How do you bust through a bad mood? Leave your tips below:

 

What a JERK!!! It’s not fair…being wronged, being treated unkindly. Ripped off. Ripped up. Your dignity stripped away. Yep, that’s you there getting the royal treatment from a first class jerk.

Now what? Take a deep breath. Help is on the way. I’m going to show you how to handle the jerks in your life and get your sweet revenge too!

1st Step: Measure It

Measure what they took from you. Measure?! Yes, figure out how much they stole from you. Was it your reputation? How much? Was it your spot in line? How much longer did you then have to wait? Was it money? How long will it take for you to make that amount up? Was it an idea they took credit for? How much effort will it take to come up with something new and just as brilliant? What was it? Figure out what you lost, because they OWE YOU big time!

2nd Step: Cancel It

Knowing exactly what you lost…let it go. Huh?! Yes, release it. It’s gone anyway. Now you need to accept that it is gone and it can’t be replaced. Even if they tried to make it up to you, it will never be replaced with the same exact thing. So what choice do you have? They incurred a debt with you. One they will never be able to repay. So your only option is to cancel the debt. This is called forgiveness. Yes, it’s the hardest on the list. But the most important. Forgiving gives you the freedom to move on. Don’t let the jerk keep you tied up. Let em loose! Don’t be bound; you have places to go and things to do!

3rd Step: Get Praying

Pray for the jerk. Yuck! I know, I don’t like praying for people who mess with me either. I don’t want to pray for the jerks in my life because that will help them, and heck, even bless them. Why would I want to be good to someone who messed with me? Consider this little known secret: it empowers you to make a difference in their life. You get to be their game-changer. Didn’t know you were signing up for that, did ya? You can actually be the one to jerk them out of jerk mode! Get praying.

4th Step: Give Love

Love the jerk. Excuse me?! Hard to swallow, huh? But look, there’s something in it for you. God says over and over again that if you’re really mature, you will love everyone unconditionally. Now here’s the rub – unconditionally means even when they screw you over. Having a jerk is the only way to see if you have love. You love them when they are unlovable. Yes, I know, sounds like you are getting the shaft again. But passing the love test makes you more like Christ. And looking more like Christ means you’re going to receive the blessings He’s got for you. That would involve a crown, a mansion, and tons of cool stuff here on earth. I’d say loving the jerk is worth it, wouldn’t you? Love the jerk; it does you good!

5th Step: Look Good

With your eyes, get searching for some good in the jerk. Now, it’s going to take a willingness to accept that this person has some good. And ahhhh, that’s tough. You are so focused on their ugly spot, you convince yourself there are no beauty spots. Look hard my friend. You did? Look again. The beauty is there, it just takes a willing eye. Once you find it, thank God for it. I’m sure you’re wondering, ” Are you outta your mind!?” Try it, it will put you in a better mood. There’s no way you can stay mad when you are grateful.

6th Step: Shut Up

Refuse to talk badly about them. I know you really want to rake them over the coals. And yes, it seems the whole world needs to know about their jerky side. But there is an advantage to controlling your tongue. When you speak poorly of others, subconsciously people think bad of you. Negative tongue wagging lands you in a sad category according to others. Think about it, it’s true. Let it not be you!

7th Step: Pay Back

REVENGE! Now we’re talking! But here’s what you need to know: You probably can’t do as good a job at stickin it back to them as God can, so why not let God do it? He’ll blow you away with His masterfully crafted plan to make them reap what they sow. Romans 12:19 says, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,”says the Lord.”

So, leave it to God, He always does a better job at pay-backs than you do, and it’s less work for you. You’ve got a guaranteed win-win here. Go get a Starbucks and prop your feet up. Let God give the hit and watch the jerk squirm, sweet deal, eh?!

There you go. You’ve learned how to handle the jerks in your life. If you pull this off, you will see that having a jerk in your life can really benefit you indeed!

Let me know if this helps. Comment below!


A Surefire Way to Know If Your Steps are REALLY Ordered by God
Have you heard someone declare that their day went exactly the way God wanted it to go because their steps are ordered of the Lord?! That’s a great thought, but do you ACTUALLY believe that we make the right decisions 100% of the time? I’m sure even those with the greatest intentions blow it a few times a day, if not more.

It cracks me up when friends say, “I didn’t expect my day to turn out like that, but it must have been meant to be.” Well, how do you know it was meant to be? Is every decision we make “meant to be”? Nope! Especially in hind sight realizing we screwed up. Just because your day went a certain way doesn’t mean it was meant to go that way! But how would you know?

Take for example, the choice to wait and hold the door open for someone instead of running full speed ahead to your car because you are late for an appointment. Or making that split second decision to take a call that comes in rather than continuing the conversation you’re having with your child. Who’s to say which was the path God ordered and which was you-ordered? Do your secret ambitions and motives play a part? Hmm. Do your hidden fears and insecurities subconsciously sway every decision you make? Yep. Does your selfishness ever get in the way from doing something that God wanted you to do? Yep again!

Look, if you are a believer, God definitely says He will order your steps. It’s a done deal. But if you don’t follow His orders, well then, you won’t be following His steps. It’s not rocket science.

We have all experienced a parent or guardian giving us direction or orders, right? Are you beginning to cringe as you think back to childhood? Remember the orders: “Go clean your room.”, “Take out the trash.”, “Make your bed.” I wonder, did you always choose obedience in following those orders? I’m guessing there were days you didn’t do as ordered. Me too! I was given orders but sometimes failed to carry them out. And then there were times direction was given but I chose to do my own thing. Same with God, He orders our steps, but that doesn’t mean we are following His orders.

As I started writing this article my iPad 2, which I am typing on, was in perfect condition. Just 2 weeks old, I had been handling it with kid gloves and taking especially good care of it. I decided to take a break and refill my coffee cup. Putting my new iPad 2 on the table beside me, I started into the house. Seconds later I heard a crash. Oh my gosh, NOOOO-OOOO!!! I ran out to the porch…and yes, I found my iPad 2 face down on the hard concrete.

Before I picked it up I said a prayer, “PLEEEEZZZZE GOD, NO DAMAGE, NO CRACKED SCREEN…” I slowly picked it up and turned it over. My heart sank. The corner was dented, the screen cracked, and I felt weak all over. All I could say was, “God?!!” Like, why? How come? Then I took a breath and thought, how stupid! How dumb of me to lay it on the table on top of my Kindle. It must have been sitting at a slight incline and within 20 seconds it slid right off the table.

So right now, as I type away on my cracked iPad screen, I’m wondering, did God really order my steps this morning? Of course He did. Did He mean for my iPad screen to crack? I don’t know. I may never know. Maybe He did. Maybe He didn’t! I do know He will turn it around for good, but that doesn’t necessarily mean He intended for it to happen.

Before I started my day, I asked for His wisdom to lead me. Before I began my tasks I asked for His direction. He seemed to be leading me. I truely believe He was. But did I make a mistake? Was my jugement clouded when I laid my iPad 2 down on top of a surface at an unseen angle? So, could that have been a step I took that God didn’t order? Probably. I may never know.

See, the decision I made not only broke my heart for a moment, it also caused me pain and a lot of other things. It will cost me time to get it repaired and it will probably cost me money. I would like to think God didn’t plan that for me because I walk in favor, right? Yes. But I know a scripture too, that says the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Even God’s children deal with disappointment and problems.

So what is a God fearing person to do to ensure their steps are in step with God’s?
Here’s what it takes:
Ask God to help you not only hear His orders, but to also help you FOLLOW His orders.
And know, even if you mess up, He’ll still be around. Look at what He promises you…

Psalms 37:23-24
23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.

So here’s the plan – ask God to reveal His orders to you each day. Do the best you can to follow them – and most likely your steps will be the right ones!

By the way, remember my cracked iPad screen? God turned my mistake around by giving me favor…my iPad was replaced at no cost! Thank you Apple and thank you God!!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Leave your comments below.


Why We Need to Sweat the Small Stuff If We Want the Big Stuff
How can great leaders come out of nowhere? Ready? It’s because they have been hidden, plugging away at the small things first. Let that sink in. See, you don’t usually SEE a great leader in the making because you don’t SEE them taking care of the small stuff. The stuff behind the scenes. So when they finally do emerge, it’s like, “Hey, where did this chick come from?” “Does anyone know this guy? He seems to have come out of nowhere.” That’s right. They did come out of nowhere. They were busy taking care of the small stuff when all of a sudden heaven opened a door and BAM! They came into bigger things.

Small stuff is the stuff kings are made out of

Like King David, they’ve busied themselves for decades on the backside of a pasture, tending sheep, ankle-deep in manure, swatting flies, sweat dripping off their brow, and developing yucky yellow sweat st ains under their armpits. Then something shifts. They are given a throne. Prior they had anointing, but no crown. Now they have both. It’s because they paid the price. Majoring in the menial led to the magnificent! That small stuff is the stuff of kings.

My scary, ugly thought

I had a thought that scared the snot out of me one time. I was sitting on my back porch having a talk with God. I was tired of looking over my life and unfulfilled dreams. I actually said to God, “How come I’m more faithful to you than you are to me?!”  Whoa, I couldn’t believe I actually thought that. As soon as it shot out of my thinker, I repented. How brazen a thought! For a moment I actually believed that throughout the years, all of the ways I have been faithful, were more than how much God has been faithful to me. Yikes! How dare I think such a thing? After asking God for forgiveness, I wondered where that thought came from. Was I tired? Exhausted? Had I totally lost my mind? That’s not the right one to have! I was shocked at what was going on in my head.

Sticking with small stuff leads to the bigger better stuff

After I regrouped, I rediscovered once again, that it’s really the small things that are the big things. You may have heard of the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”. Great title. But for our purposes here, we really do need to sweat the small stuff. Sweating the small stuff is a guaranteed lead to the big stuff.

How do I know? The Bible tells me so. A scripture in Matthew 25 says: “You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much.” Cool! If I work my butt off taking care of the things I’d rather not, I will eventually get to do what I’d rather do! (Well, right motives and good attitude do play an important part here too, so don’t leave that out.) All this to say…playing the part that no one else sees or gives a rip about is a lead-in to something greater. There are no short cuts, so quit looking for them.

God’s watching and smiling

Allow me to toss a little something to you from the book of Zachariah. It’s found in chapter 4, verse 10: “Do not despise the day of small beginnings. The Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”

This verse helps us reframe our manure filled pasture moments. It shows us that God is not only watching, but rejoicing. He’s got his eye on you, me, and all the others as we busy ourselves with the stuff of our pre-king seasons. Let’s keep it up. Our crowns are on order and they are just about ready for wear if we will stay at it long enough.

Soon someone will see you and say, “Hey, where did YOU come from?”

Have you found this to be true? Share your comment or story below.