Clear Decisions

There are so many decisions to make about everything! It gets hard choosing between what’s good and what’s better.

Choosing between good and bad is easy. It boils down to what is your goal, your purpose, your end game.

Can you articulate exactly what you want out of life?

Are you focused on specific goals that will not only bring you satisfaction, but new opportunities that will make your dreams come true?

Do you believe that life is full of meaning and purpose?

Do you believe it was meant to be lived to the fullest?

Are your decisions easy to make because your life’s purpose clarifies what is most important?

Do you know that making the decisions of what is most important will chase away those endless things that clutter your life?

What actions can you take now rather than later that will help you get where you want to go?

We all have decisions to make. Are your decisions clear?

Broken – Nothing Wasted

This Sunday we will begin a brand new series called, “Broken…Nothing Wasted.”

All of us know of a time in our lives where we have been broken. Brokenness is all too familiar.

All of us have a Broken experience that we can speak of. We all have been disappointed and frustrated by the circumstances of our lives. I would never pretend to know exactly what you are going through. I wouldn’t dare to assume that I understand your unique set of circumstances or the pain and confusion you are feeling right now.

But, I do know pain, I know hurt, frustration, sadness, dark times, and even depression. I know brokenness!

I have personally experienced broken dreams, bad decisions, bumps and major roadblocks.
I have caused many of my broken experiences myself. That really hurts!

I have also been on the end where someone else’s decisions or responses have caused major heartache, and the pieces went everywhere. I have been stuck in a rut, a hole, and felt like I could not climb out.

There was a time in my life almost 11 years ago when I wore my pajamas every day for months. I have personally lived in the “funk and fog.” I have been broken.

I also came to that fork in the road, you know, that critical crossroad where you know you can’t figure it all out or you really can’t do anything about your circumstances, but you can make a decision. A decision that says “I’m tired of being this way, feeling this way, and living this way.” I’m tired of being sick and tired. I’m fed up with life as it is.

You may not understand what’s happening to you right now and you really don’t like it…

God uses broken things! Nothing is wasted! God can redeem any situation and any problem. Nothing is wasted.

Baby Gatlin

New life is always exciting. It is even more exciting when it involves you personally.

This past Friday morning, my baby girl, Kirby and her husband, Reid had their first son, Gatlin Reid Davidson…our sixth grand baby.

There really are no words to describe exactly what it is like. The sixth was as exciting as the first.

And baby Gatlin is gorgeous and he is healthy. You can’t ask for any more!

And let’s talk about watching my little soccer playing, tomboy, Kirby Shirby Dirby Lirby be a Mom. She is still 14 in my mind but she’s a 25 year old Mommy! And she’s great at it too!

And Reid is really a good Dad. He has been so attentive to Kirby and the baby and he even helps with night feedings! I’m so proud of these two!

It was definitely an exciting time for our family…it did something for me as a Dad to watch Kirby’s brothers and sisters (that includes spouses too!) rushing to the hospital to welcome this newest little one. Family. That’s it!

So welcome to the world baby Gatlin. Your GDaddy loves you so much already and I’m looking forward to spending lots of time with you and spoiling you big time! I’m sure MiMommy will help a little!

Stinking Thinking

The Proverb says “as a person thinks, so that person will be.”

I have said to my children hundreds of times, if you say you CAN’T, then you are right. The moment that you start talking about losing, you have lost. When you start making excuses before the game, project or task is even finished, then you are already done.

People who constantly struggle with failed hopes or dreams, people who have a negative expectancy are people who are usually defeated before they even start. If you are convinced that your actions will not succeed or if the reward will be less than the risk of failure, you simply will not try.

Do you focus more of your time seeking solutions or do you stay absorbed in the problem?

Do you look for the best in every situation – the opportunity that comes about or do you think about how you will feel when you have failed?

Is your self talk positive or negative?

Have you ever seen a monument erected to a pessimist? Do we celebrate the people in history who were negative complainers who never took a risk? No one would have blamed Christopher Columbus for turning back but no one would have ever heard of him either.

What situation or circumstance do you need to look at differently?

Do you have a case of stinking thinking?

Get Back Up Again!

If you haven’t seen the movie, Trolls, you should watch it with your kids or your grandkids.

I particularly like the part where the Trolls Princess, Poppy is on her way to save her friends. While encountering various forms of adversity along her journey, she sings a song declaring, “I Will Get Back Up Again.” We can all heed that song.

In Acts, chapter 14, we read where Paul was being stoned at Lystra. He was doing what God called him to do…preaching the gospel and seeing God do the miraculous.

After a man who was crippled was healed, Jews from Antioch and Iconium stirred up the crowd and the Bible says they stoned Paul.

Can you imagine having rocks thrown at you? (the physical kind)

The Bible says in verse 20 that Paul got back up and went back into the city. Listen, be prepared because people are going to oppose you and they will throw rocks at you. They may not be actual rocks but you will be knocked to your feet occasionally, and even flat on your back.

Do what Paul did – get back up! Go and continue what you have been called to do. Persevere no matter what the obstacles.

I know it is easy preaching and hard living but let me encourage you to get back up!

Paul didn’t quit. People and circumstances will do everything to bring you down. You are going to want to throw in the towel. I speak from personal experiences, I have wanted to quit several times in my life.

I love this quote by Booker T. Washington, ”I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed.”

Get back up again!

Unplugged

I did it. I unplugged. I took a two week vacation. I took two weeks off and didn’t blog. I was off social media.I didn’t email or text anyone (expect family) I didn’t call the office or check on things. I completely unplugged!

We all lead fast paced, time urgent, stress filled lives. From the time that we open our eyes in the morning until we go to sleep at night, we are either in a hurry or in a fog because we can’t keep up. We are on the phone, online or on edge!

It gets a little overwhelming at times. We are stressed out at home and stressed at work. We are trying to manage work and family responsibilities along with the hundreds of other “little” things that we all have to take care of. Life can just get a little overwhelming at times.

We are all facing similar things but we are also all on a unique journey. No two stories are exactly the same but we can all identify with being at the end of the rope.

Let me give you five things that you need to do today to unplug.

1 – Take a nap or get a good night’s sleep.
Probably not what you were expecting but very needed and true. You would be surprised how a nap or really good night’s sleep would change things.I took a two hour nap every day for 8 days while I was away.

2 – Take the Sabbath
I know this is a crazy concept and you wonder who would suggest such a thing. God did! God instituted the Sabbath. He created human beings with a need for a day of rest. God rested, not because He needed to rest but because we do. He knew we would live crazy, busy lives so He set a day in place for us to refocus, restore and re energize.
Don’t refuse the gift of rest!
If you catch your self saying the devil doesn’t rest remember he’s not our example!

3 – Take a vacation
I know many people can’t afford to take a vacation. You may be at the place in your life where you can’t afford not to. Maybe you could just stay home, swim in the neighborhood pool, relax and rest. Time away changes your perspective.

4 – Take time alone with God
We all must slow down long enough to be with our father. Jesus did! Jesus made it a priority to get quiet and get alone with His father. You must do the same. Don’t get so busy that you don’t spend time with Jesus.

5 – Take time for yourself
It’s okay to take time for you. Go do something for you. Go do something that you like.

Make an investment in yourself. Unplug!

Blank Sheet

Many years ago I heard a great preacher named Manley Beasley say that we should sign our names on a blank sheet of paper and then ask God to fill in the rest. The principle was total surrender.

Romans 12:1 and 2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

In the first eleven chapters of the book of Romans, we see doctrine.

In chapter twelve, we see duty. Chapter 12 is about surrender. Paul says “I beg you.” God isn’t going to hit you over the head to get you to surrender. God isn’t going to wrestle you down, twist your arm or force you to surrender.

Paul says that we should willingly surrender all to Jesus based on what He has done for us. The Christian who has experienced the mercy, grace and love of God ought to willingly and absolutely surrender all to God.

We are to give our all, to present ourselves as a living sacrifice. This is God’s call to a life of devotion…absolute surrender.

Where are you at on the scale of absolute surrender?

What is holding you back to giving yourself totally to God and being sold out, on fire and living for Jesus?

Will you sign the blank sheet today?

God Can Use Anyone

Pete was a guy that you enjoyed being around but at times, he would drive you crazy.

He was eager, aggressive, impetuous and outspoken. He was inquisitive and was always asking questions.

He wanted to be in “the know.” Knowledge is power and Pete wanted to be in the loop.

Pete was very ambitious, full of passion and energy. He was a very driven person. His personality was loud and he talked too much. His mouth got him into a lot of trouble.

I am talking about the Apostle Peter. Peter was the guy who rebuked Jesus, he walked on water; cut off a man’s ear, said that everyone else may run and deny Jesus but was adamant that he never would (and of course he did just that in a very big way!)

Peter’s name is mentioned in the gospel more than any other name except for Jesus.

I am Peter, you are Peter, we are all Peter!

Peter’s life is a wonderful reminder that God CAN and WILL use anyone. No matter what failures you have experienced, no matter how badly you feel you have let God down or what excuses you have, God can take your life and use you.

Peter preached his first sermon and 3000 people were saved. He was used to heal people and raise people from the dead. He was a contributing writer of the Bible and he dearly loved Jesus and served Him passionately.

Stop believing the lie that you cannot be used by God. He’s ready and waiting for you to step up and give.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

In I Chronicles, chapters 11 and 12, we see where David’s “mighty men” are mentioned. The Bible describes these men as courageous, skilled and loyal warriors. These men had the ability to fight a hundred men at a time.

David had a great team around him. With a strong inner circle, David was able to accomplish his dream.

It is true that those closest to you will determine your level of success. David was surrounded by men who made him better.

I love what Hall of Fame coach, John Wooden said, “the main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”

Great teams fully embrace the vision and intentionally, consistently and passionately make a contribution toward its fulfillment.

When God puts together a visionary leader and a great team of like minded people come alongside that leader, great things will happen.

Are you on a team?
Does your teamwork make the dream work?

Are you the kind of person who contributes to a team or are you a taker? That team can be at your job, your family or your church.

We all are on a team of some sort…the question is, are you a weak link or a major asset to your team?

Teamwork really does make the dream work!

Fantastic Four

Over and over again in my life I have to go back to what I call the Fantastic Four. These four truths have been a constant reminder to me that I can overcome.

I. Move Past Your Past
Whether it’s been good or bad, you have to move on. Paul says to let go of the things that are behind and look forward. Let go of the things that have held you back or have held you down.

II. Embrace the Future
Charles Kettering said, “My interest in the future is because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.” God has an amazing future for you. “The best is yet to come” is not just a cute little saying, but a mandate. Get excited about your future, God is!

III. Be the Right Person Now
Make the decisions that you know you need to make. Zig Ziglar says, “the best guarantee of a great tomorrow is a good today.” Pray, be in the word, be filled with God’s spirit and dress in the armor of God every day. Deliver what you promise.

IV. Stay the Course
It will get tough. You will feel like quitting! Stay the course. Stay focused. Be committed. Persevere through the obstacles. You can do it. It will happen for you if you stay the course.

Try the Fantastic Four in your life!