Thursday, October 28, 2010


There is nothing like walking outside to start your day and the first thing you notice is this….

(Forest Hill, MD)

Buzzards have always been intriguing to me. (I know…I’m a little weird) These things are always around to clean up ‘items’ that others leave behind. They’re like our management of everything ‘dead.’

This picture does not depict the entirety of what I noticed today because right underneath this tree were two beautiful – lively horses. As a matter of fact, one of them has yet to be broken and is quite ‘lively.’ I began to wonder what would happen if these ‘dudes/dudettes’ up in the tree would do something different and come down and try to feed on something alive.

(Buzzards on the roof)
(Forest Hill, MD)
If we faced reality, these buzzards are us. We are sitting on the limbs of our ‘networks’, our securities, our dreams…and are simply too afraid to go after something different.

If you are looking for different, there is no greater example than the shepherd boy David in his fight against Goliath. Most of us know the story. Here sat the entire Israelite army, led by King Saul…afraid. Saul (as scripture shares) was head and shoulders above everyone else. But they were all so consumed with fear that they just decided to wait the enemy out. I can imagine what some thought…”We’ll just wait…eventually Goliath will get bored of waiting on us and leave. He might even die of natural causes…then we can celebrate and run the rest of them off.”
Then here comes a shepherd boy wondering what all the fuss is about. David didn’t want armor or weapons…’just let me have what I know and I’ll do something different’.

It was so easy for the rest of the ‘trained soldiers’ to jump up and fight after David did the tough part. As a matter of fact, they even fed off the fear of the Philistine army after the giant fell to a shepherd boy. “Hooray…God is awesome…You Philistines are done now.” Always being a follower is easy. But what if you are meant to be a leader?

(Forest Hill, MD)
I don’t know what it is you’re staring at while sitting in your ‘tree’ today. It might even seem like an impossible dream. But why not do something different? Your friends, your stuff, and everything else might remain ‘on the limb’…but have you ‘proved’ those lately? David only knew what the presence and power of God could do. He said, “I’ll take that with me and nothing else because it’s all I need.” 

Stop waiting on someone else to do the ‘hard part’ or ‘clear your path’ so you can leap. Do something different today – shock your dream by going after it! What have you got to lose…your spot on the limb?

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This week is full of creatures and ghosts of all sorts. Mixed in you will find a batman, superman, and even a few supergirls.  Some still like to dress up while others feel they’ve outgrown that kind of thing. But we all like to get candy though, right?

The mayor of Belleville, Illinois has made the decision that trick-or-treating is for kids only. In his town, a 12-year-old limit has been enforced for kids who want to trick-or-treat this Halloween. If you are like me though and need candy that bad, slip around and ‘borrow’ some from your kids buckets and all will be fine.

(Rocks @ Loch Raven Dam)
The other night we were on our way to our church’s trunk-n-treat and bonfire, and one of my boys could not figure out what he wanted to be. He’s at that age where he changes his mind every 30 seconds. After going through a litany of choices, he finally said to me….”I’m just going to have to go as an ordinary kid.”

While this caused me to laugh, it also struck a chord within me. You might not want to admit it, but we all put our masks on either trying to cover something up, or be something we are not. The sad thing is that many have compared their ‘stuff’ with who others are or what they have, and the decision has been made to settle for the ordinary. We take on the attitude that ‘if we can’t be this or have that’, then we are just going to have to go about life…ordinary.

(Ducks - Loch Raven Dam)
It’s not what we were created for. It’s not the desire of our Heavenly Father that we should settle for the mediocre. Yet, so often we do. There’s a reason that scripture says that if we compare ourselves to each other, we are not wise.

(Restricted area - Loch Raven Dam)
You must stop looking around to see how you measure up to others, and start looking up to gauge if you are truly living out His plan. If we have settled for the ordinary, then our eyes have been focused on the wrong thing. If we are looking up to Him, the ordinary just won’t do.  

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Friday, October 22, 2010

If I can't do things my way...

The National Football League has come down hard this week on the violent nature of some of the hits in the last few games this past weekend. Defenseless receivers going over the middle of the football field to catch passes have felt the wrath of defensive players looking to make the highlight reel for “knocking someone out.” While football has always been a violent sport and players are faster and stronger than they have ever been, one current players’ attitude toward the recent suspensions and fines caught my attention.

James Harrison (a recipient of a $75,000 fine) said this week: “"I'm going to sit down and have a serious conversation with my coach tomorrow and see if I can actually play by NFL rules and still be effective," Harrison said. "If not, I may have to give up playing football."

(Bel Air Terps Football)
(Bel Air, MD)
My first thought was….REALLY? Just because you don’t want to play by the rules of the league that gives you the privilege to play the game, you are just going to quit?

This attitude not only has crept into this generation’s everyday lives, it has also made its way into our spiritual ones as well.
* If I can’t do things my way...
* If this is all He has for me…
* If everyone doesn’t do things the way I think they should be done…

…well, then I quit.

There’s a simple principle that should settle this issue every time: We are all given the privilege of following Christ. We are chosen. We are allowed to use our gifts and abilities to further His cause and kingdom. And yet so many walk away or quit because they can’t do things their own way.

This process and journey with Christ is not always going to line up with what our flesh desires to obtain and have. I seem to remember a scripture, ‘God’s ways are not man’s ways.’ (Isaiah 55:8-9)

This world is full of James Harrison’s who, in the words of the 
Burger King slogan, just want it their way…and “if I don’t get it, then I’ll just grab my helmet and take myself out of the game. “

(Expired Parking Meter)
(Bel Air, MD)
But James ‘wised’ up yesterday…and he was back at practice. Something tells me that James realized what he was giving up and the blessings he and his family would lose if he refused to play within the rules. I’d like to tell him, “James, the NFL is bigger than you are and will exist long after you have retired. The rules the league is governed by are not going to change. If you want to play, then read the rulebook and play by it.”

The Word of God (our ‘rule’book) is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I know this is because it’s God’s holy word and He doesn’t change. The guidelines for living are set and nothing changes that. 
‘If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you shall be filled.’ (Matthew 5:6)
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

(Downtown Bel Air, MD)
Your journey with him is not a have-it-your-way kind of walk. If you are righteous, HE will order your steps. Submit – humble yourself – choose to do things His way. You won’t regret it.

P.S. James, if you read this…even though I won’t be caught on a football field with you…please don’t hit me!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Places

In moments of crisis or when something happens that total wrecks the direction of your day, it is so difficult to ‘find your happy place.’ Many times you want to say, “Calgon, take me away!”

Somewhere…somehow every individual must have a place deep within, a ‘happy place’ we can go to when life gets difficult. We all have destinations such as the beach, the mountains, and metro cities that we like to get away to…but those physical places are not always available every time when things get rough. There will be times when our happy place must be accessible on the job, at home, or riding down the road.

(Gravel Road)
(Forest Hill, MD)
I came across four things recently that can strengthen our ‘inner’ happy place. 
1. Think.
Stop. Pause. Think before you respond to a circumstance. Think about what makes you happy and go there. It comes down to having God’s Word and promises stored in your heart. Because when the tough stuff shows up unexpectedly, we’ll already know that this too shall pass.

2. Relax.
I know (from experience) that this one is hard to accomplish. Tension reigns in our lives and it can’t help but affect our bodies. This isn’t an excuse to be lazy, but it is a reason to have security knowing that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Relax…He’s in control.

(Inner Harbor)
(Baltimore City)
3. Inhale…then exhale. 
Just breathe. Stethescope in hand, doctors always ask us to take a deep breath in…and let it out. Then repeat the process. I realize they’re listening to our lungs, but I think there’s a good principle here. We can close our eyes and take a deep breath in and let it out…repeat this process and something happens. I have found it to bring a calming effect over us. (Even when kids are screaming! J)

4. Concentrate.
Get rid of the negativity. Clear out the questions. Allow yourself to get lost in the positive that surrounds you and don’t allow the things going wrong to drag you down.

The baseball playoffs in are in full swing (pardon the pun), and the concentration level of the players and fans go to a whole new level. The concentration is at an all-time high because there is more at stake than just a regular season win. They are playing for the World Championship. The ones who win and have success during these intense moments are focused on more than just the crowd noise and are not overcome by the emotional high.

(Josh Hamilton - Texas Rangers)
(Earlier in the year vs the Orioles)
What would happen to us if we ‘played’ everyday as if it were our last? What if we kept our concentration level (our faith) focused on seeing the good about to come? I have to believe that our days, our relationships, and our opportunities would all change.

Take a few moments today and give these four a try. You might find that your happy place is not as far away as you thought.  

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Contentment is defined as a state of peaceful happiness.
It is so convenient to be ‘content’ when we have all we need and our 'stuff' is under control.

I cannot help but picture the Von Trapp family running free in the hills of Switzerland singing, “the hills are alive with the sound of music.” J Those moments where things are great...your vision and purpose is clearer than it’s ever been. We become so brave for life is good and nothing can go wrong.
But where is that feeling when we are consumed with all sorts of unanswered questions?

Think with me a moment…
When was the last time a great day caused heartache in your life? If we are honest…never.
We would be ‘happy’ if the weather would stay the way it is in the fall.
If only God would just work this ‘one thing’ out, then we would be content.
If all my bills were paid and I had money in the bank…that’s the answer to my problems.

(Jerusalem Mill)
(Bel Air, MD)
Where we falter on many occasions is we are guilty of the ‘if only’ way of thinking. ‘If only this would happen, I would be so content.’
What would happen in our personal worlds, if we made the choice to be content no matter what.
* David was hiding out in caves, yet Samuel had already anointed him to be the next King of Israel.
* Job lost everything and lived in utter pain because God allowed him to be used to prove something to satan.
* Joseph had so much promise, yet every time things looked like they were working toward the good, another setback would occur.

This does not mean that we have to settle for things being the way they are, but scripture proves to us that we must become engulfed in a surrendering of our own desires and humbly allow Christ to change us. For each of us is born with a sinful nature. It is the humanity that we are robed in. And most often it is the trial by fire, 
the uncertain – unanswered questions, and the storms that force us to search deep within ourselves to check the content of our faith.

There are very few who enjoy the feeling of not being in control and having to live day to day. It is imperative that we realize the importance of not comparing ourselves to anyone else. It is a proven fact that there will always be someone who has it better or worse than you do. What is essential to our survival on this journey with Christ is that we find that place of peaceful happiness…content in His will for me.

In order to see the person He desires for us to become…we must submit to the path He chooses to use to get us there.

(Cherry Hill Bridge)
(Rocks State Park)
It is a long chapter, but read Lamentations 3 and search the content of your faith in Him. I’ve wondered lately, should I lie face down on the floor and weep before Him? Should I pray / fast for 40 days and nights? What is it that I am not doing?
It is not that I am not doing what is right, it simply is that I haven’t become completely content with the process.

Lamentations 3:25-27 The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline:

Contentment: a state of peaceful happiness. 

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Friday, October 15, 2010


Having been in several airports recently, I’ve made it a point to become a ‘people watcher.’ People come in all different shapes and sizes. Some smile at you, while others have an ‘air’ about them, making you feel that you are lucky to be breathing the same air they are. I have seen celebrities, politicians, and others walking by looking as though they truly believed just how important they were.

It is so completely evident in our society today that being a person of importance has its advantages. Flying first-class, private limo service, and five-star hotels are the norm. The adoration of envious individuals is like food to many of their souls, because they know that others are looking at them wishing they had ‘it’ also.

(Broken Path)
(Forest Hill, MD)
I’m in no way saying that having these things are wrong or even bad, but observing this behavior has caused me to wonder if we’ve become so consumed with the applause of man that we’ve stopped living for the audience of One.

(Forest Hill, MD)
There is nothing wrong with caring what others think. As a matter of fact, caring what others think helps us many times to be willing to put others before ourselves. But many have been overtaken with the thoughts that ‘if I had this, if I looked like that, then others would adore me’.

Seeking men’s applause causes us to put on a show of our human gifts. While our flesh is pleased, the inward spiritual man’s voice is never heard. While he is crying out for more surrender, sacrifice, and unselfishness…our flesh is leading the way, telling us that God’s way requires too much for us to give up. 

Instead of a life carrying our cross, following Christ, and seeking the applause of heaven…many have been caught up in the temporal applause of man. May Christ re-focus our eyes upon what He gives us life for. We must never lose sight of our purpose and His plan for it.

Humility will push you into seeking after heaven’s thunderous applause. Pride and arrogance might just get you ‘liked’ by many…but heaven will be silent. Where are your stored treasures being laid to rest? Who’s cheering for you?

Hebrews 12:1-3 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;
then you won’t become weary and give up.”

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


“How many of us ever stop to think of music as a wondrous magic link with God. Taking sometimes the place of prayer where words have failed us ‘neath the weight of care. Music that knows no country, race, or creed…but gives to each according to his need.” (Anonymous)

A former music instructor shared this with me last evening and I knew I had to write it down. This elderly lady began to speak some things into my life I’d needed to hear for some time. It always amazes me that you can meet someone for the very first time and in a matter of moments, God can use them to plant seeds of encouragement into your future.

When she quoted this statement to me, I began to remember on so many occasions where I knew I needed to pray, but words failed me. There have been times where I was so overcome with life that no words seemed to fit. Other times (let’s admit it), we are so angry with God, we simply don’t want to talk.

It is in these moments that I have found music to be such a 
‘wall-breaker’ in my life.

How many times have we been at a loss for words and our mind is taken to the lyrics of a worship song? 
Think back to the moments where all kinds of chaos was reigning in your life, and you walk into God’s house at your time of worship…music begins to play and singers begin to sing…the burdens you came in with are lifted and you leave differently than you came. Music has that kind of effect.

There’s a problem in our world today though…so many have lost their ‘song.’ Life’s questions and uncertainties have weighted us down to the point that we no longer have a song in our heart that breaks down the walls before us.

Max Lucado wrote in his book ‘In the Eye of the Storm’ about Chippie the parakeet. “Chippie was a happy little bird, content every day to sit on his perch, swinging and singing to his little heart’s content. One day Chippie’s owner took the initiative to clean out his cage. She took off the attachment from the end of the vacuum hose and stuck it in the cage to remove the sediment from the bottom. Just then the phone rang. She turned to pick it up and had barely said hello when "ssopp!" Chippie got sucked in!

As you can imagine, the bird owner gasped, dropped the phone, turned off the vacuum and ripped open the bag. Inside, there lay Chippie, still alive but stunned by the trauma. The bird was covered with all the terrible grit and grime that fills vacuum bags, so the owner did the only thing she could think to do. She grabbed him up, raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under running water. Then realizing poor little Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any good bird owner would do, she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the little guy with hot air.
Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.
 A couple of days after the experience, the reporter who first wrote about the event talked to Chippie’s owner. He asked how the bird was doing. She said, "Well Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore-he just sits and stares."

It’s no wonder. One minute the little guy was swinging and singing, and before he knew it, he was sucked in, washed up and blown over. If that doesn’t turn your song into a blank stare…nothing will.  J
We have all been there. Life has sucked us in and done a number on us…taking from us the ‘song’ meant to guide us through. While you are in the middle of the storm, you’re not the only one to recognize it. Others around you notice it too. The God you brag on and live for…He sees it also. Will you really trust in Him when life becomes a ‘vacuum cleaner’ experience?

(Inner Harbor)
(Baltimore City)
Psalm 40:3 says, “He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.”

Whoever you are today, let me encourage you to find your song again…and sing. Encourage yourself in Christ by ‘singing’ when there are no words to pray. Others will be amazed at what God has done – they just might join your choir too. 

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

You can't live without this

Who do you trust?

Trust is a word that’s equally important as love. We’ve all felt the disastrous results of failed trust within our families and by our friends. When our trust is broken, far too often we become completely distracted by those moments and tend to lose our focus on God.

Most of us would say we trust God and believe He’s going to work in our behalf…but there are times that trust is not so simple.
The reason is…
…trusting Him means we believe in what we can’t see and sometimes may not understand.
…trusting God literally goes against our human nature because we are forced to admit we aren’t in control of our everyday lives.

I heard Perry Noble say recently, “If you can explain your life…then God is not working in it.”

(Discarded Couch - Federal Hill)
(Baltimore City)

We must realize that trust is a must.

Someone once said, “I don’t trust in anybody or anything.” Really?
*You trust your employer to hand you a check at the appointed time.
*When you board a plane, you place your life in the hands of the pilot behind the controls.
*If you have a life insurance policy, you trust it’s going to take care of your family when you’re gone.

You cannot live without trust.

(Lighthouse - Inner Harbor)
(Baltimore City)
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” 
On so many occasions we are left with raw emotions and tough questions racing through our minds. Everyone has been there…so when things get like this, WHO or WHAT do you trust?

At 14 years of age, he dropped out of school and went to work on a farm.

At 16, joined the army while lying about his age. He went on to get a job as a Blacksmith, then quit…it was too hard and to hot. At 18 years old, he got a girl pregnant…they married and it did not work out.
He later got fired from his job. His wife gave all their furniture away…then she went home to her Mom.

He got a job with the railroad…then quit. He had no desire to perform hard, manual labor. He then tried college…and quit.  As an insurance agent, tires salesman, and gas station attendant, he failed. At the age of 65, he started drawing $105.00 a month social security. 

Most would have admitted that they had failed and would have quit. Not this man. He started mixing spices together and cooking chicken. This man who seemed to hate everything, started his own business in Corbin, KY. 
Colonel Harlan Sanders of the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain ended up giving millions of dollars to charity, schools, and churches.

The thing about it is – we go buy his chicken with TRUST…we don’t even know what’s in it. It’s the Secret Recipe. All that failure, and yet he kept trusting and believing and wasn’t afraid to do something amazing.  

Don’t be afraid to trust…again.
…in your Creator and Master.
…in yourself.

…in others.

(Doves - Inner Harbor)
(Baltimore City)
Birds of a feather…flock together.
Trustworthy people attract others who can be trusted.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

I 'missed' you

Do you remember the first time you truly missed someone?

Maybe it was the first person you really ‘liked’. Maybe distance separated you and all you could do was talk on the phone to just hear their voice. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one and those moments come where you would give anything to speak to them once more.

I write this while sitting alone on an airplane…missing 4 people terribly (my family). I do understand the statement, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, but absence also gives you that yucky feeling in the pit of your stomach, too. J
(Max handprint)
(Rocks State Park)
What is it about absence that makes us want to stop time and take advantage of every single moment we have with those we love? Before leaving home, I wanted to hug each of my kids a little longer…I wanted to talk (and listen) to my wife a little more…and I’m only going to be gone for a couple days.

Scripture says, “Life is but a vapor – it is there one minute and gone the next.” We hear the stories of individuals who are taken from us far too early in life. I feel like I can say with all surety that we understand the concept that we are not promised tomorrow.
And yet… moments are missed. Things that we could experience with those we love are skipped over because we didn’t latch on to the moment.   

Absence does cause us to ‘miss’ those we care about…but familiarity can also cause us to ‘miss’ them, too.

*Our spouse can become so ‘familiar’ to us that we take for granted the moments we could be sharing together.
*The sounds of your kids playing around the house can become such a familiar tune that we forget they also need to spend quality moments with us sometimes.
*When things get too familiar and we cry out to God only when life starts to get chaotic...these times will become the only conversations we have with Him. For when times are good, we see no reason to block out parts of our day just to commune with Him.

(Lincoln Memorial)
(Washington, D.C.)
Make good use of the time you have…with those you love…while you can. Don’t allow your relationships to reach the point where ‘absence makes the heart stray’. Buy into those you love so that you don’t let a moment slip past you.  Your heart depends on it. 

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My biggest competition

In my own quirky way, I’ve grown quite fond of the social networking phenomenon called Twitter. It has forced me to figure out alternate ways to squeeze thoughts into 140 characters or less. My thoughts are difficult enough to get out in 140 minutes…much less 140 characters. This morning I came across a ‘tweet’ by @nametagscott that caught my attention. He said, “Your biggest competition is life. It tends to get in the way. As such, procrastination is the peripheral and perpetual opponent.”

This statement came into my world on a morning when things were just a bit chaotic. I had to be somewhere – traffic was not cooperating – neither was my attitude. The problem is - most of the time I’m fighting against the very thing that I can do nothing about.

Life happens.

(Duck at the National Mall)
(Washington, D.C.)
Sure, we make our fair share of mistakes. We go through things that we often bring on ourselves. But like it or not, if you are breathing, you’re in the game of life. And what we so often don’t take into consideration is - you can get hit just as hard standing on the sidelines as you can on the playing field.

If you’ve ever watched a football game, you have seen those plays that end up on the sidelines. The players on the bench and coaches will all begin backing up as the competing players begin approaching their sideline. In each game, (on more than one occasion) those standing around will get taken out by those fighting for more yardage. And they usually get the brunt of the contact because they weren’t ready for it.

There are moments when Christ puts us on the sidelines to watch and learn as others are competing. But that’s no excuse to take our eyes off the playing field. Life is coming at us…ready or not. The key is preparation.

(Sleeping ducks near Lincoln Memorial)
(Washington, D.C.)
There is no excuse to being unprepared. While life may throw us things from the ‘blindside’ we never saw coming, there is still no excuse not to be prepared. At any moment your number may be called and you will no longer be on the sidelines. And if you are in the game, fighting and clawing to advance, preparation is a must to keep the end zone in sight.

II Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

In II Chronicles 27 you can read of King Jotham who began his reign at twenty-five years of age. During his sixteen-year reign, “King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.” (Vs. 6) The KJV says, “For Jotham became mighty, because he ‘prepared’ his ways before the Lord his God.”

(Farm - Jarrettsville, MD)
Life is coming. Hide out on the sideline…it will find you. Play with passion…it can find you there also. There’s no way around it. But there is a way through it.

David said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and they staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”

Life happens. Be Ready.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010


My blogs normally consist of things I’m facing in my everyday life. While this does affect me personally, I wanted to deviate from my normal rhetoric and say how PROUD I am of the church community I'm a part of.

Because of what happened to our church building this past Thursday morning, today’s service was not our normal Sunday gathering. Tropical Depression Nicole blew in and caused substantial flooding in the Harford County area. Pastor Wade walked in Thursday afternoon to find over 2 inches of water in our place of worship.

Immediately our human side asks the question…Why?
God, our schedules are set up for something else…Why?
We are trying to prepare for this up-coming event…Why?
This was simply not on the schedule…Why?

(Our driveway)
(Forest Hill, MD)
Right in the middle of a disaster such as this, I witnessed a church community come together this morning to prove that God’s church is about so much more than a building. Lights, 
sound equipment, carpet, and walls can be replaced…but God’s presence has no substitute. And this group came together today and gave their all not only to provide a place of worship, but also to give thanks for what we do have.

In his message today, Pastor Wade mentioned some unseen qualities of the church that fit so appropriately. If you choose to be included in God’s church, you can count on experiencing pain, risk, and loss. If you don’t have some painful moments in this walk with Him, you might need to look deep within at how close to Him you really are.  Walking with God can be ‘risky business’ at times. Why do you think faith in God is so important? And a life must be lost in order to truly find it.

Pain causes us to want to pull back.
Risk can cause us to not take that next leap.
Loss can be much too high a price to pay for some.
To become the church though, all three are a must.

So in the midst of the unexpected, are we in this thing or out?

Mark Grissom said it well at the conclusion of today's service: 
"I was willing to buy in, but God has been asking me lately to sell out." Buying in is a great thing, but selling out goes to a whole other level. God’s church should be known for nothing less.  It’s such a thrill to be linked with of a bunch of ‘sell-outs.’

(Inside 'flooded' WOL)
(Forest Hill, MD)
Pain, risk, and loss is preparing Way of Life Community for ‘GameDay.’ We would expect nothing less.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Get Up

Spending some time with my children each month on the day they were born is always my highlight. For nearly two weeks now my little girl has been asking me the same thing over and over again. “Is it my day yet, daddy? I want today to be my day so I can go have fun with you.” Her day finally came yesterday, and now she has already begun asking when the next one will be.

It makes me laugh but I must admit that sometimes I get a little agitated hearing the same thing over and over again…but I am just like her. Lately I have found myself asking God, “Is it my day yet?”

Life can become such a grind and we start to wonder if our ‘day’ is ever going to come. It’s so easy to slip into the mindset of surviving our days instead of making something of them. All sorts of negativity can fill our lives until the positive is ‘burned out’. One moment we are riding the wave of passion, and the next we are feeling the pinch of reality.

(Storm rolling in)
(Forest Hill, MD)
I recently received encouragement from an unlikely source. My family and friends have always been there to lift me up when I needed an arm around me or even a swift kick in the ‘hiney’ J. But there are times when even their encouragement isn’t enough to lift me up. It’s those times that require me to reach deep within my being and inspire my own self.

David had a moment such as this in I Samuel 30. He was in a storm and was even fearful for his own life. But David ‘encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’

So many of our days slip by us wasted because we are just in survival mode. We forget the fact that ‘this is the day the Lord has made.’ Storms and distress can rage all around us and cause us to forget that God made this day for us to thrive in…not just survive in. What we continue to tell ourselves is what we eventually believe. If all we let in is the ‘bad stuff’, then we will never see the ‘good’.
(Silo Entrance)
(Forest Hill, MD)

CBS News anchor Dan Rather admits he was always fascinated by the sport of boxing, even though he was never good at it. 
"In boxing you're on your own; there's no place to hide," he says.
"At the end of the match only one boxer has his hand up. That's it. He has no one to credit or to blame except himself." Dan, who boxed in high school, says his coach's greatest goal was to teach his boxers that they absolutely, positively, without question, had to be "get-up" fighters. "If you're in a ring just once in your life--completely on your own--and you get knocked down but you get back up again, it's an never-to-be-forgotten experience.” (Reader’s Digest)

(Inner Harbor - Baltimore, MD)
No matter what your month has been like…
No matter what this day might hold for you…
This is the day God created for you to thrive in…not just survive.

Become a ‘get-up’ fighter…and encourage yourself.  

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