Category Archives: appreciation

Life Goes On!

Most of my days, now a days are pretty good. Looking back on my life from this vantage point makes me realize that most of my days have always been pretty good, but I often failed to see it and appreciate it, because I was too easily distracted by stuff that really was not that important, stuff that I often made a big deal out of, but that in the grand scheme of things, stuff that really didn’t matter.

Grudges will often cause us to miss the blessing of a good day. We trade away our happiness to hold onto resentment, judgment and condemnation. The real tragedy is that this is often with people that we say we love and care for. How sad to waste the beautiful gift of happiness by not taking time to appreciate and enjoy all that God has blessed us with. When I hold my 6 month old Grand daughter Addi Jo close in my embrace, everything else just seems to fade away, helping to remind me that there is what I think matters and what really matters and they are often miles a part.

An unwillingness to say “I’m Sorry!“ or to receive an “I’m Sorry!” can steal our joy and keep us from the day and life of blessing we were created for. Forgiveness does bless the other person by setting them free, but it also blesses you by keeping you from becoming enslaved in misery that loves company. If we mess up, then we need to admit it, learn from it and grow on. If others mess up, then we need to do our best to love them through it and if they are making any progress what so ever, then acknowledge and appreciate that by blessing them and giving God the glory.

Selfishness and greed can cause us to focus on ourselves and miss the blessing of the others that God has placed around us to make our life more special. The Scriptures teach that nothing really belongs to us, but that it all belongs to God. Anything we have been blessed with has been entrusted to us so that we, like God can be a blessing to others. The real joy of having is sharing, but we often miss it, because we convince ourselves that we’ve deserved it or earned it, because some how we are special, but the truth is: Anything we have has been given to us by God and not because we as so special, but because He is so gracious and He is offering us an opportunity to choose grace over grudge and live at a higher level by being a blessing to others for His glory.

Focusing on the negative and ignoring the positive can flat out drain us of the power that allows us to live blessed, fulfilled and happy. This one is so tough for most of us, because we live in a world that is constantly trying to manipulate and program us with the negative. We do have a choice and our choice is our super power, if we choose positivity over negativity. The flat out truth is that negativity is a choice we make that robs us of the people, places and things that really matter.

Mistakes made by ourselves or others, often become walls that imprison us from the world of blessing and lock us away in our own personal misery. The reality is that we all make mistakes. Look back on your life and you will discover many that you have conveniently forgotten about. When we remember our own mistakes, we tend to have a little more love, grace and mercy toward others.

The older I get, the more I realize that life is too short to waste my days away on stuff that really does not matter. Who said what or did what are really very small things when it comes to choosing to live the blessed life. I mean honestly: What grudge can you think of that has ever really been meaningful in your life in a positive and life blessing way??? Grudges are a waste of life, time and space.

Laughter is a gift from God that expresses the joy that flows from an inward place of contentment that can only come from being who, what, when, when and who God has created me to be and that is not a grudge holding, judgmental, miserable and unforgiving person.

If you do wrong, own it, by apologizing for it and then letting go and moving on. When others do wrong, forgive them, let it go and move on, regardless of their apologizing or not. The key is that we were created for freedom and the reason that most of us don’t live in freedom, is because we live in self constructed prisons of our own creation.

The older I get, the more I realize that God allows me to make mistakes so that I can learn from them. Looking back, I really can see how failures, mistakes and sins have been my greatest instructors and motivators in growing to become the person God created me to be.

I am learning that people change. In fact, we change everyday and it is up to us to decide if it is going to be change for bad or change for good. There are some things that are beyond our control, sometimes life throws you a curve and their is very little you can do about it, but miss it, fail and if you are smart, learn from it.

In the end, when it is all said and done and our life here on this earth is done, there is one truth that remains the same for all eternity and that truth is: LIFE GOES ON!

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener!

We live in a disposable society. The majority of people eat most of their meals with plastic untensils, on paper plates or in styrofoam bowls, which ends up going into the trash to help contribute to the filling up of landfills, which give an enduring testimony to how we have become a “throw away” society.

If we don’t like something, then the easiest thing to do is give it to someone else or throw it away. And this attitude of consumption and self satisfaction has contributed to our society being more selfish and never satisfied. As the landfills continue to grow deep and wide, our lives become more shallow and meaningless, leaving us with the lingering question: Where did we go wrong?

I think one of the real problems is that we have forgotten what real satisfaction is really all about and bought into the lie that tells us that we have to live like someone else to really be happy. We’ve developed a “the grass is greener” mentality that refuses to allow us to experience anything as it really is. Instead, we allow ourselves to make our decisions and live our lives based on the opinions, judgments and expectations of others, who could care less if you are happy, fulfilled or satisfied.

Live your life long enough and pay close enough attention and you will discover that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and if it is, then it’s probably because it’s built on top of a septic tank. God has created each one of us and gifted us with certain skills, talents and abilities. When we grow in our relationship with Him, He is able to use what He has given us to help us build a life of joy, happiness and contentment.

Most of us miss it, because we have bought into the false advertising of the society we’ve grown up in and most of us suffer from “If Only” disease. “If only I had this or that.” “If only I was as good looking or as smart as that person, then I would be truly happy” We convince ourselves that others have it better and if we had whatever it is that they have, that we want, then we would some how be complete and happy too. The problem with the “If Only” disease is that it never stops to take in the whole picture. If you look close enough at the person or thing that you think is perfect, you will discover that the person or thing has it’s own unique set of challenges, difficulties and struggles.

The grass is not always greener and if it is, then there is a reason and the reason may be good or it may be bad. If it’s good, then learn from it and make your own grass greener. If it’s bad, then learn from it and be grateful you are not having to dig up your septic tank.

Three Steps To Greener Grass On Your Side Of The Fence!

Step One: Be Grateful For The Grass You Have! Take and make time to appreciate what you have. The old saying is true: “Sometimes you don’t know what you had until it’s gone!” If we invested the time we spend admiring everyone else’s grass into appreciating our own grass, then we would find the motivation to actually get our grass greener, which is where the real satisfaction comes from.

Step Two: Take Care Of You And Yours! Stop wasting your time getting caught up in the comparison game. Your value comes from one amazing truth: God created you and gifted you on purpose and for a purpose. Live that truth, grow that truth and share that truth. Take care of the blessings God has given you and I can promise you they will reproduce.

Step Three: Enjoy! I truly believe that this life is God’s gift to us and what we do with this life is our gift to God. I believe the greatest way to give God a great gift back is to live the life He has given me for all it’s worth and then some. There is nothing like seeing the sun rise in the morning and set in the evening. There is no sound quiet as soul stirring as hearing your children and grandchildren laugh and be happy. There is nothing that taste so good as a good meal with great friends. There is no place that smells as sweet as home and there is no touch like the touch of the one you love and who loves you back.

If we are not careful, we miss what really matters, because we are looking for something better, when better was right where you live…

What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes Your Stronger!

There have been times in my life when I have had to go through some very hard stuff. Some of the stuff was of my own making and some of the stuff was because of the evil doings of others. I know what it means to live in the light and I totally understand wandering around in the darkness trying to find your way.

Live your life long enough and all of us are going to have struggles, challenges, difficulties and set backs. I’m not talking about just having a bad day. I am talking about trying to figure out if you even want to continue on with this day or not?

I decided a long time ago that if I did not have something positive or encouraging to say, then I would just keep my mouth shut, but don’t let that make you think for one minute that I have not had more than my fair share of dances with the devil.

For most of my life, people have seen a guy that is happy, fulfilled and excited about life and most of the time that is who I am, but there are moments when the dark clouds roll in, when I begin doubt everything that I thought I was sure of and this is when the real battle of faith takes place.

I’m not going to get into the gory details, but trust me when I tell you that I know darkness, fear, the loss of desire, sin, defeat and depression. I know all to well about the long dark nights of the soul and had more than my fair share of times that I did not think I was going to make it back from that trip.

Why would I tell you this? Because I want you to understand that the guy you see, so full of life and sure of himself is a guy that has to battle to get to that place and stay on top of that hill. I tell you this, because when I talk about God the difference he makes, it is not from story that I learned as a boy growing up in Sunday School, it is from personal relationship, an up close and very personal experience of struggles made up of victory and defeat.

I tell you this, because I am only here today by the GRACE of GOD. I understand what it is to lose it all. I know how it feels to think that everyone has left you and you are all alone. I know the excitement of being celebrated one minute, only to be cast aside and forgotten the next. I know the battle of getting lost inside of your own head, of getting beat up and beat down by your own thoughts. I know pain and can tell you that there have been times when she was my closest friend.

That is why when I say: “God’s Grace Is Sufficient!” I know what I am talking about. I have always loved motorcycles and back in 2008 my dream of having my very own Harley Davidson came true. A fresh off the showroom floor 2008 Heritage Softail. Apart from my family, it is about the only thing of any monetary value that I have left from the first half of my life. There have been many times that I threw my leg up over the seat, grabbed the handle bars, started the motor and rode into the wind, not knowing if I had a future. But after a little time of seeing the pavement flow past my feet, hearing the strong rumble of the motor, while smelling the freshness of the air I breathe, I could feel the touch of my God, reminding me that He will never leave me or forsake me and I could taste and remember that “GOD IS GOOD!”