All posts by Richard

The Great Commission: Less Big Event More Everyday Life

What if the fulfillment of the Great Commission is less about a series of big events and more about how we live every day? I have been thinking about this lately and the following graphic came out of this thinking. This graphic shows a general strategy more than a specific plan.

What do you think? Is there anything that should be added or taken away? I would love to hear from you.

Click the Image to Enlarge it

I will probably change it to say “Great Commission Change Happens Here” as opposed to Stories.

 

Rules To Live By

Do you have any rules or guiding principles that you live by?

Over the last 2 years I have created a list of rules to live by. They are less rules and more guiding principles for me. I add to the list as I hear, read, learn, or experience something new. I post the current list here and will keep an updated list on this page.

What other guiding principles should I add to the list? I would love to hear from you.

Rules to live by:

1. Always stand for the helpless including women and children.
2. The Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Live by it!
3. Misunderstandings can be overcome by clearly communicating with the other party.
4. Save more than you spend. Especially if you have all daughters.
5. Never take a no from someone who can’t give you a yes.
6. God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go.
7. Don’t let mental lions keep you from experiencing everything God has to offer.
8. You gotta do quantity to get to quality.
9. Never again say “I don’t have time!” For people or God directed projects.
10. Pray without ceasing. Continue to knock in prayer at the plans the Lord has given to my heart.
11. Be willing to say no to a contractor if the product is not up to my standards. There is no obligation until it’s right.
12. If I had another crack at my budding entrepreneur, I would take him off to the side and counsel him this way: Business always involves money, people and systems. Learn all you can about each. Consciously build your character. Find a high purpose for your business.
13. Suffering can be a friend who drives you where you didn’t know you needed to go.
14. Life’s detours means God wants you to run right into His arms so He can reconstruct your heart.
15. Images are the language of the 21st century.
16. The mind of the ungodly man is bent upon pleasure, the mind of the godly man in prayer.
17. We need to be reminded, again and again, that telling the message isn’t our ultimate goal. Worship is.
18. Life is pain and you get to choose: either the pain of discipline or the pain of disappointment.
19. Brilliant doesn’t matter if you can’t get out of bed. That goes for ideas too.
20. Talent doesn’t mean a thing if you let fear be some terrorist that takes you hostage.
21. Find the practical money. Don’t gamble.
22. Practicality and patience are key – Gary Vee

What else?

Hello! I’m Richard and I’m Not Dying!

That’s a weird title I know. Let me explain. For the last year and a half, about once a week, I thought I was going to die. I had this recurring chest pain that made me think I was having a heart attack. I dealt with the pain for about three months and then suffered a panic attack on a trip and thought I was done for. The friend (Thanks Tony) I was with took me to the emergency room in Louisiana and had me checked out. When we checked in my blood pressure was through the roof. They ran the tests and confirmed I in fact was NOT having a heart attack. They said it was acidreflux issue and gave me some meds (Thanks to Dairy Queen Chicken Strips and gravy for that). They doctored me up and sent me on my way.

But the panic attacks continued from that point forward. Each time the chest pain started I just knew, “This is it. I’m done for. Life is over.” And I had really convinced myself (The Mind Is Powerful) that life wasn’t worth living because I could go at any moment. Why bother, right?

I checked out on a lot of things in life. It is tough to look back on.

I went to the doctor. He checked me out. Sent me to a cardiologist. All clear there. Talked about medicating my anxiety and depression (Did I mention that depression had set in?). I filled the prescription but never took the pills. The side effects seemed to severe to my wife and I. Back to the doctor several more times. The chest pain was still there.

The anxiety lessened over time. I didn’t die from the chest pain for over a year and the cardiologist said I was good. So that helped…a little.  Early morning walks helped too.

Still I couldn’t shake the pain. I finally convinced my doc to send me to a gastroenterologist. We finally found the problem. I have a condition called EE that is a hardening and thickening of the esophagus caused by an allergic reaction to certain foods. The doc said the lining of my esophagus had turned plastic. What? PVC man! The condition can be treated with a steroid medication and a food elimination diet.

So that is what I am doing. Sipping steroids and eliminating everything that is good from my diet. No dairy, nuts, eggs, fish, soy,  or bread. So now I am a meat eating vegetarian. I hope this helps. This is punishment for eating a bowl of ice cream every night of my life.

If you have read this far thanks for sticking with me.  As you might have guessed I’m still here and kicking. I’m not dead…yet. I know that death comes to us all but what a relief to know that the chest pain I have dealt with for over a year is not going to be the immediate cause of my demise.

Even today, I was diagnosed yesterday, the pain in my chest is less intense. Crazy I know! But I fully believe that has to do with the power of the mind. You see for a over a year I told myself that I was done for so why even try. I had defeated myself in my mind.

So, today I have made the decision to tell myself and my family a different story. Life is worth living and it is worth living well.

What story are you telling yourself? Is it driving you forward or holding you back?

Now to just get past this mid-life crisis I am in the middle of. Anybody wanna go for a ride in my red convertible?

If you are struggling with issues of the mind tell yourself a different story. Find a friend to talk to. Have them hold you accountable to a new life story.

You can do it. I know you can.

I believe it was Andy Dufrense that said,”Get busy livin or get busy dyin.”

I am ready to get busy livin!!

God Bless!

 

My Favorite Super Bowl Ads from 2018

I did not catch all of the ads from Super Bowl LII but there were a few that I saw that were good.

I enjoyed the Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice. It was a great use of star power and had a fun theme to it.

I’m not sure what to thin about Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. dancing. But I know I cannot stop laughing about it this morning. It always amazes me what people are willing to do in front of a camera. LOL!

I did not really care for the Amazon Alexa commercial. I thought they missed on that. The Dodge Ram commercial would have been alright if they were encouraging service for their employees and thus for others. But the way they presented the truck with the Martin Luther King Jr. voice over was a poor decision.

Other than that I didn’t see many others or cannot remember them .

Have a good Monday!

 

It’s All Connected

Over the weekend I watched several videos produced by Dr. Mark Hyman, a practicing functional medicine doctor. A doctor who practices functional medicine looks for root causes of health issues as opposed to treating conditions or symptoms. Watch the series for a better definition of functional medicine.

The series is called Broke Brain. The summary of the series at this point is that the health of the human gut is directly connected to the health of the human brain. When the gut isn’t healthy the brain isn’t healthy and that brings about an onslaught of issues for the human body. It is a great series and I am definitely only skimming the surface with my description here.

I wanted to write about the series because they (The doctors being interviewed) talk a lot about the interconnectedness of the human person. The connection between the mind, body, spirit, and community. The doctors talk about the importance of all of these areas being healthy for the whole person to be healthy. If any one area is not taken care of it can cause a lot of negative effects in the other areas that are necessary for a complete and healthy person.

For example, If a person does not train their body and only focuses on training their mind and their spirit then that can and will have negative effects on the mind and the spirit. If a person never feels like reading or writing or praying because of an unhealthy body then all areas of the person suffer.

That got me to thinking about the overall health of the church in our country especially in the area of physical and spiritual health. The Broken Brain series says that we are a nation of physically unhealthy people. Like the unhealthiest we have ever been. We have some of the highest rates of depression, anxiety, and heart disease ever recorded. Our food and our inactivity is literally killing our bodies. It seems to me that that dying is killing our spiritual lives as well.

In 1 Timothy 4 Paul says “for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” This verse is often used for justification to not take care of the body. I have heard it quoted from time to time. “It’s only of “little” value so I will eat what I want and workout when I want because it is only of little value.”  Sounds reasonable. NA, not really! It’s sound lazy to me. The fact that Paul says it is of little value shows that there is importance to it.

It is kind of like the washer fluid in your car. If you neglect filling your washer fluid (or having the guy at the oil change shop fill it) you may be fine for a while. But then that day is going to come when your windshield is covered in dust, dirt, bugs, or bird poo from parking under a tree. On that day neglecting your wiper fluid will literally shut your car down. You can’t see. You can’t go.

Such is the same with the human body. You may be able to neglect it for a time. But the day will come where that neglect will literally shut you down. It may be limited mobility, lack of energy, hospitalization, or something else that shuts down your body but it is bound to happen. When that happens then your pursuit of godliness is also hindered too.

As Paul says in verse 4 “…godliness is profitable for all things.” Our pursuit in this life is godliness and we must be healthy in all areas that make up the person. I wonder if the overall health of the church is suffering because of the poor health of the human body?

Just my thoughts for the day. What do you think? I would love to hear from you.     

 

Does Jesus Need To Tell Us To Be Quiet?

Does Jesus need to tell us to be quiet?

I have taken a challenge to read the New Testament in 30 days. It requires that I read 8 chapters a day. This has been a challenge for sure but has also helped to connect some ideas from different areas of the New Testament. Especially in the Gospels.

As I read through the book of Mark I keep coming across a statement that Jesus makes after performing miracles. Here is one example:

Mark 7:36 “And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.” Other instances of this statement are Mark 5:43; 1:44.

I have read these statement by Jesus many times before and was always puzzled by them.  I had always understood this to mean that “His hour had not yet come” (John 2:4 Meaning it was not time for it to be revealed that He is the Messiah) and therefore they were not allowed to speak of Him yet. I believe that is true. But what I find so interesting is the fact that in Mark 7 they completely disobeyed him. The more he asked them to be quiet the more they told the news of what he has done.

Contrast that with the commandment that Christian’s have today, to “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). So many Christian’s today read that command and then do nothing with it. They tell no one about the greatness of God. They tell no one of the power of Jesus. They keep silent.

So does Jesus need to tell us to be quiet to make us speak? I don’t believe so. I believe the difference is in the encounter. In Mark 7 and 5 and 1 the ones who the miracles were performed for and those who saw it had a real encounter with the living God. Their excitement could not be contained.

I believe for Christian’s today we remain silent because we have not had an encounter with Jesus. Nothing has happened for the Christian that is worth speaking of. So we remain silent.

So it is not that Jesus needs to tell us to be quiet. It is that we need to truly encounter the living God. How do we encourage that? How do we help churched people meet with the living God?

I do not have answers to these questions.  It most certainly begins with prayer and then flows from there.

What do you believe?

The Faith To Ask. The Faith To Act. [Sermon]

A sermon from 2 Kings 2:19-22 19

“Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold now, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad and the land [h]is unfruitful.” 20 He said, “Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21 He went out to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘I have purified these waters; there shall not be from there death or unfruitfulness any longer.’” 22 So the waters have been purified to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.”

A Step Past Hard

What if you went a step past hard in everything?

Your morning run. You say one mile will be hard. Go one mile and one step.

Your work. You have a long list to do. It looks hard. Do the list and one more thing.

Eating Right. You believe it is hard to avoid the ice cream. So avoid the ice cream and eat some broccoli.

Each of these are examples of a step past hard. If you go an extra step everyday on your run then pretty soon you will be going two miles.

If you avoid ice cream long enough and eat enough broccoli then you will be healthy. Well, healthier than you were before.

My point is, anything worth doing is on the other side of hard.

So step past hard every day and you will see some amazing things happen in your life.

I once thought about writing a book called A Step Past Hard. Two hundred pages of how to step past hard. But, in all honesty, that would be a waste of trees. You have everything here you need to reach your next goal.

  1. Define what hard is in respect to that goal.
  2. Go one step past hard.
  3. Repeat Every Day
  4. Reach the goal and then set the next one.

Have a great day as you step through hard.

No Less Complete

For the last 18 months I have experienced a real darkening of the mind and spirit. A hopelessness that I cannot explain. It has left me with questions like, “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” What is all this for?”

These are questions that everyone struggles with from time to time I am sure. But I have been unable to shake these thoughts.  The conversation seems to always be “God what is all this for?”

As I walked this morning I decided to change my approach. Instead of identifying all the terrible things in life and in the world I decided to just thank God.

To thank God for Life. To thank God for family. To thank God for the earth to inhabit. To thank God for air to breath. In short,  just to be thankful.

The Lord spoke in that moment. He showed me that if he had not created the earth, or humanity, or animals, or plants, or the moon, or the stars, or the universe He would be no less complete.  He does not need his creation to make Himself whole.

As I thanked God and He spoke to me I realized He is the instigator in the relationship. He started all this and therefore He is the focus of life, and thanks, and praise, and honor. I did nothing and I can do nothing to make Him more. I can do nothing to make myself more appealing in His eyes.

He is complete in and of Himself and in order for me to be complete I must find that completeness and wholeness in Him!