Friday, February 27, 2009

Handling the stresses of life...

Well what else could I possibly add to my life plate? I had one daughter get engaged last November with a June 20th wedding, I took on a new church ministry and moved across the country at the end of December/1st part of January along with all the stresses of finding a place to live (only by pictures emailed to me), moving & unpacking, learning a new church system with a new staff, getting my active boys settled into school, and now I have another daughter engaged with the prospects of a July wedding within a few weeks of the first one!
Such is the story of my life, lots of change and excitment. Some people might have a hard time and would feel overwhelmed with all this stuff and I would too if it were not for an amazing passage of Scripture I memorized years ago. Philippians 4:6-7 says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
That's my secret, its not that I'm just Mr. Cool and I have icewater running through my veins. I am a major control freak and yet the Lord constantly puts me in situations where I am not in control. But I have found that by meditating on these verses and as I carry the stresses of my life to the Lord in earnest prayer with a thankful heart, the peace of God really does settle on me and I'm reminded of my God's perfect track record of faithfulness. God's peace really does guard my heart and my mind where those feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed out come from, through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And that boys and girls is how I handle the stresses of life.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Show me the beef"

Okay, I admit it. I love to eat and I like meat. My wife learned pretty quickly when we were married I was a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Honestly I could probably live a long time on roast beef and mashed potatoes for every meal. While I love food, I don't consider myself a cook. I can make pancakes, I can make scrambled eggs, I can make spaghetti in a pinch, and of course cheese toast. Beyond that, my culinary ability is pretty well nonexistent.
So last weekend, the church is having a men's chili cook off and everyone is pressing me if I'm going to enter chili in this event and without thinking through this; I said I would enter my chili. I have no recipe, no ingredients, nothing. I thought about what I like in my chili and headed off to the grocery store to buy some supplies. Long story short, I end up winning the chili cook off for the best traditional chili dish. No one is more shocked than I am at this occurrence! I can tell you I had lots of beef in it and a fair amount of a certain Cajun spice that I'm partial to. Other than that, there's nothing special about my recipe that helped me win.
Now I've thought about this on a spiritual level because to help you win in life as a Christian; you need a recipe that includes lots of beef - the beef of the Word of God ingested daily. The only thing that helps me walk through the rigors of my life is a consistent diet of meat and potatoes from God's Word every morning. You see I spend my devotional time reading and meditating on what I read directly from the Bible to feed my spirit. I don't use devotionals because that is like having someone else's devotions. Leftovers if you will.
I love what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:131 "I opened my mouth and panted, for I longed for Your commandments." My mouth was watering all day as I smelled my chili cooking and so it is every morning, my spiritual mouth is watering for the Lord and His Word. Digesting a steady of diet of Bible every day is a recipe for winning. If you try it, I guarantee a sure fire recipe to be a winner for Jesus. So show me the beef!