January 11, 2015 Comments Off on Life Lessons: Broken Bones
I broke my collarbone. I’ve never been so defeated, discouraged, or in so much pain in my life. But God taught me 3 life changing lessons through it
If there’s one thing in life I’ve learned, it’s that health is our biggest blessing- it is also the #1 thing we take for granted. A few weeks ago I was skiing for the first time in Utah. Little did I know, God had a really big change planned for my life. On the third of our four planned ski days, I broke my collar bone. I wasn’t being stupid, going to fast, or on too steep a heading…I simply fell in a way that caused my collarbone to break. For those, like myself, that are not very medically knowledgeable; breaking your collarbone is different than any other break in your body. For every other broken bone, they put it in a cast and the next day the pain subsides because the bone can’t heal. Collarbones, because of their location, cannot be put in a cast and are left to heal back together via a simple sling because it’s the only bone in your body that doesn’t have to heal perfectly back to be functional. The recovery time is 8-10 weeks. Accompanying that long recovery time is the not-so-fun side effect that every single minute of every day the person is in pain because it’s not in a cast.
As I’ve spent every day barely moving, God has taught me 3 things I will never forget:
1) Our inability to plan for setbacks is the inability to recognize who God truly is and how He works. The first 2 weeks were extremely painful for me, but they were also the most crucial for the bone to begin to heal. I gutted them out, even came off pain killers to not have to deal with the side effects. They were extremely painful moments of my days, but I knew if I could get through them I would be better. But on week 3 I fell and popped my bone out even worse. How could this happen to me? I had spent the first 2 weeks going through so much pain, but I was making huge progress according to my doctors…Whatever you are going through right now: trying to get in better shape with your body, trying to restore a broken relationship, trying to forgive someone that has wronged you, trying to forget something you did, trying to get out of debt, or whatever you situation is know this. Our plans and our timeframes that we establish may not be what God has planned for us. God has a proven track record of disrupting our plans for ourselves because we are missing something, haven’t learned a certain lesson, or He has a totally new direction for us to go. If we do not plan for God to change our direction and be accepting of the idea that whatever course we are heading for today may get completely changed by God tomorrow, we are putting too much trust in our ways and not His ways.
2. It’s time to slow down your life. This was probably the hardest lesson for me to cope with and stomach. I was always the type-A guy who’s anthem was to “seize the day” and “never waste a second of my time.” Throughout all 4 years of my college experience, I worked 40-50 hours a week, went to class, and managed to have a social life. I was always on the go, from one thing to the next. I lived to take advantage of every opportunity I could cram into my schedule. Being outgoing and having an entrepreneurial lifestyle is by no means bad or sinful, but through my accident I learned that I had lost touch of what really mattered. Sometimes we begin to focus too much on the whole path, rather than the straight and narrow. I was trying to balance all of my responsibilities, keep everyone happy, and live a Godly life. But when you have too many responsibilities, it’s far too easy to lose sight of which actually matter for our eternal self and which are simply a part of Earth. Slowing down and being physically disabled forced me to truly dig deep within and look at where my priorities were. The more time we spend racing one from job to the next, the less time we have to take a step back and realize how much God has blessed us with.
3. Every setback is a setup for God to do something radical in your life. We all are struggling with a setback. Every single one of us are facing something today that is hard, difficult to understand, and maybe even painful in our life. Too often we see these setbacks as unconquerable and we let them take us over. We allow our setbacks to make us feel set apart and away from God. The bible has promised us that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, so why are we so easily accepting of earthly circumstances defeating our heavenly calling? Losing a job, feeling like you can’t make ends meet, looking at yourself in the mirror and feeling ugly, questioning your self-worth, getting in a fight with a loved one…These are all things that have purposes in our lives, but we have to be willing to adjust the lens of which we view our life through– which is no easy task and one that is not the most desirable thing to allow. It is time for us to view our setbacks as setups to allow God to intervene in our lives. It is time for you to look up at Him rather than look down at yourself. Every instance of pain is an opportunity to glorify God and remind ourselves that He is in control and that He has something planned. We have to submit ourselves to God, His word, and be willing to resist the urge to give in to what a setback and throw in the white flag. God grants us the strength and the victory, but sometimes it’s not always immediate or in the way we want it to be. We must submit ourselves to viewing our life through the lens of eternity rather than our own plans. Rather than trying to come up with the solution to your problem, ask God to show you what He’s trying to teach you. Thank Him for the opportunity He has given you to overcome this setback and look for what He’s setting you up to learn or do.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
May 17, 2013 Comments Off on Set Sail
After many years of college, I have come to a very valuable conclusion that I wish I could tell myself many many years ago.
I realized that I was living in a critical fallacy that I believe thousands, if not millions, of people still believe to this day.
It’s sort of a long and complicated problem, but bare with me as I explain it.
For many years of my life, I truly was living under the belief that I can attain friends in my life by simply succumbing to their interests. It was a subconscious habit that I didn’t even realize I was actually living out until recently. I saw all the “popular” people, the ones that everybody knew their name, doing something or being at a certain place. I believed that’s what I needed to do or be at that place doing those things to have their kind of attention attention. I believed that in order to attain the amount of friends or social standing they had, I simply needed to copy and paste what they did into my life and I could get to that same place.
I truly don’t believe it’s a conscious thing or decision you make, but it’s something that you might find yourself doing everyday if you simply analyze your own life.
So, am I merely saying the 100 year old question “If someone jumps off a cliff, are you going to do it too?” No.
It’s time to pause your life, think about where you’re headed, and either continue or set sail for a new destination.
To truly reach your God-given purpose and maximum impact on your world it requires a lot of thought and sacrifice.
Setting sail for a new era in your life requires that you head to sea alone, with no crew. It requires that you may not know exactly how to get where you want to go, but you’re going to trust God to fill your boat with the crew you need to succeed on your journey and fill your sails with the energy needed to reach your destination.
True and meaningful relationships always abide by the rule “like attracts like.”
Plain and simply, actually live out who you want to be and God will provide the people along side your life. Don’t be afraid to walk alone, know that the trail in your life is very long and has many opportunities for God to put someone(s) next to you.
Don’t be afraid to start by yourself, know that you won’t end alone.
Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
October 1, 2012 Comments Off on Just Hold On
Somewhere along the spectrum of time, you reach you a point where you feel like you’re in the unknown- stuck between what you know in your heart and what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears.
Yet, the feeling deep down won’t leave you. Whether it’s your dream job, next promotion, or achievement- it’s the thing that keeps you up late at night.
But somewhere along the lines, someone told you that you couldn’t do it, that it could’t be done, or you weren’t good enough.
For far too many, we depend on others for our affirmation of our own personal call to arms. We allow others to dictate whether we rise or stand, we look to others at our means of going or staying. Yet, we slowly let go of those dreams because we let others slowly take it away from us- we let the dreams fade and we let the harsh reality set in that nobody believes in us.
However, leadership was never meant to be a number on paper, a amount of followers on twitter, or a certain pay grade. Leadership comes from the heart, it comes from being able to push past the nay-sayers- it’s your ability to tune out what the world wants you to believe to chase after what keeps you awake at night.
So whether you’re aspiring to be the next CEO, President, or innovator of our time- just hold on a little longer because you might be on the verge of something great.
More times than not, our greatest setbacks are setups for something huge in our life.
No matter what the haters say, no matter who comes against you- you have destiny on your side. You have your God given appointed time to take this moment and make it great. You can be the difference, step up and step out for what you know to be true in your heart.
Great leaders aren’t simply promoted, they’ve been given a God given ability to lead.
No matter what the haters say, no matter who comes against you…If this is your time and you know it deep down, don’t let anyone take it from you because this is your moment to shine- don’t miss it.
September 23, 2012 Comments Off on Failed Once, Fail Again?
Leadership – Often attributed for being characteristics of inspiring, innovative, creative, successful people. With the greatest of leaders being written down for their stats, accomplishments, and other notable marks to society that sets the standard of how good of a leader they are.
However, the greatest mark of any leader is the ability to fail and get back up. The ability to stay their course when everything else is in shambles and isn’t looking the way they envisioned it to.
Nolan Nawrocki once wrote about draft hopeful Cam Newton “He does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room. … Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.”
When Walt tried to get MGM studios to distribute Mickey Mouse in 1927 he was told that the idea would never work– a giant mouse on the screen would terrify women.
As a child, Einstein seldom spoke. When he did, he spoke very slowly – indeed, he tried out entire sentences in his head (or muttered them under his breath) until he got them right before he spoke aloud. According to accounts, Einstein did this until he was nine years old. Einstein’s parents were fearful that he was retarded.
We come to know and love some of our planets most inspiring leaders for their accomplishments and ability to succeed, but very seldom to we realize what they went through to get there. Everyone wants to succeed as a leader, but nobody is willing to go through what it takes to get there.
So what’s the moral of the story?
No matter what you’re going through, no matter who is putting you down, or just how vague your life may seem- don’t give up hope. Don’t give up on yourself, your goals, your dreams, or your visions for the world of tomorrow. Because at the end of the day, each and every person has the ability to be a leader, an innovator, but they have to be willing to fail.
Nobody will ever be able to take away everything that you are inside, don’t ever let anyone take away the passions of your heart because they are the only thing worth getting up for at the crack of dawn- they are what makes you tick and what keeps you tossing in bed at night because they are your God given destiny.
May 19, 2012 Comments Off on Handyman
A few weeks ago, I found out that something was wrong with my apartment that would require a maintenance worker to come by and fix. However, I wasn’t able to call for help because my apartment was too messy to have someone come over. I felt obligated to clean up my mess before I could ask for help because I was too embarrassed.
How many times in our lives do we feel like this is our life with God? We feel like we have an issue that we know we have messed up on, know we have committed sin, and need healing, but we’re too ashamed or embarrassed to ask God for help in the situation.
We allow ourselves to believe that we are too messed up, too “dirty” to be able to ask God for help. When in reality, we are at the perfect place to let God step into our lives. When we have nothing, God is up to something. It is the people that are the most broken that have the opportunity to become something greater if they are willing to give God the broken pieces.
So often we believe that we have to fix our mess or put our life back together before we can become closer with Jesus- when in reality He is the only thing that can.
So next time you feel like you have to fix the issue before you call for help from God, remember that He wants you just as you are, but doesn’t plan to leave you just as you are.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his son is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42: 5,8)
May 14, 2012 Comments Off on What Could Be
For so many of us, we want to be a healer- want to feel important to someone. For so many of us, we want to step into someones life that we care so much about and fix their problems because we want them to be happy. For so many of us, we end up ruining what could be by being what we shouldn’t be- a fixer.
God has not created you to occupy the place of healing in someones heart that was only meant for Him. Why? Because unfortunately you can’t. There is only one name in Heaven and on Earth with power to save, power to forgive, power to heal, and His name is Jesus.
We ruin our relationships by trying to be the healer, the fixer, and end up making matters worse because once we get to a certain point we realize we can’t fix them.
It is our duty to stop talking and start praying for that issue. Stepping into the area of someones heart that is only meant for God may work for a season, but will leave your relationship in shambles before too long because you cannot fulfill the healing source that God can.
As hard as this may seem, you have to let go and let God take over of the one you care about so much because He is the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega.
Sometimes silence in these situations means we care more than speaking up because we have to give the issue to God to heal them, for God to protect them, and to work out His plan in their life- no matter how much we want to intervene.
I can’t fix your issue, but I want to be there every step of the way and walk with you through it.
April 22, 2012 Comments Off on Who’s Your Keeper?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Phil 4:6-7
One of the most important decision you will make for the rest of your life is who you decide to marry. However, for so many of us we really don’t have a lot to go on besides “oh, he/she’s attractive and fun”.
So, I have put together 3 checklist items for you to see if your on-track with what I believe is the right direction. Ask yourself, who are you allowing to be the keeper of your heart, mind, and happiness?
- Are you more concerned with the you in you or the you in us? I think one of the biggest and fastest mistakes in a relationship is to lose sight of who you are as a person- your values, your relationship with God, and your morals. Keeping in touch with the you in you (who you are as a person) will keep you on track with where God wants you to be. The moment we begin to act and make decisions based on our emotions, we run the risk of creating serious mistakes that will not only affect the relationship, but our life as a whole. Keeping up with who you are is so critical and ensures for a long-lasting relationship. God created the person you want to be with, you cannot change the way they act. Stop wasting time trying to fix their tendencies that you don’t like about them and either learn to compromise or move on. Do not dig yourself in the never ending hole of trying to mold them, focus on YOU first because the MOST important relationship that you will ever have is between you and Jesus Christ.
- Where am I looking for in my worth, my self esteem, and feelings about myself? I think the common tendency is that the longer we date someone or the more we care about them, the more we give away our rights to our feelings. We begin to only seek their approval rather than Gods. I think this is especially important for non-married couples because it is so easy to fall prey to seeking attention through a comment and feeling lesser about ourself if our significant other forgets to comment about our new dress or our latest hair style. The moment we become obsessed with what others think about us, is the moment that we forget who created us. The bible tells us that we are uniquely and wonderfully made in His image, we are made in the image of God; therefore, we are special because He says so, not because he says so….
- Does my view on Sex involve emotional and physical sensations or symbolism? After reading Genesis, we find out that sex and marriage were things that God made for Adam and Eve- which would then be obviously carried on to our generation. However, for the longest time when I thought about sex I always considered it to be something that was pleasurable to our bodies and that was it. But after reading Genesis, we find that God created marriage as a symbol between a man and a woman to show their relationship together, to live together, and to help each other out. The bible clearly states that men are responsible to be respectful, honorable, and serving their wives. Sex isn’t just an emotion, a movie rating, or something to do in your bed- sex was created by God for us. God created the institution of marriage, and designed sex to be the ultimate creator of intimacy. Just go read Song of Solomon! You will find out that romance is referred to as intoxicating, Sex is only meant for a husband and wife, which is clearly found in many many verses throughout the bible. On a practical level, I think that commitment is especially important to keep because the emotional intimacy is all too powerful to share with just any stranger. God wants to protect us, not deprive us of what we want. There is a time and place for everything.