Don’t Look Back

9 05 2008

A guy from North Carolina who worked at Home Depot as a credit manager just got a new job: As lead singer of his all-time favorite band, Boston!

 

On his MySpace page he had posted several samples of him singing Boston songs karaoke style. When someone heard the songs and suggested he should send them to Boston’s management, he did, using an email address provided by the same person.

 

When Tom Scholz, one of the band’s founding members, heard the songs playing through his wife’s computer, he said he could’ve sworn it was Brad Delp, their original singer who passed away recently. Only when he turned the volume way up did he realize they were karaoke versions of their music.

 

He immediately got in touch with the guy and now the Home Depot manager will be managing lead vocals on Boston’s summer tour and on a new album with them in the fall.

 

Isn’t that an amazing story? It reminds me of what it says in Isaiah 43:18,19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up...”

 

To quote one of Boston’s biggest hits, “Don’t Look Back.” You never know when a new level of Better Life will break for you.

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Wait of the World

2 05 2008

Do you ever get those food cravings that just stick with you? For me, lately I have been haunted by the thought of ice cream. So the other night after we had eaten an amazing manicotti dinner my wife made, she tackled the dishes while I drove to Baskin Robbins to score some mint chocolate chip and nutty coconut.

 

Evidently half the world was in need of a cold sugary fix too because when I got there, the line was out the door and wrapped around the building. The massive turn-out was because they were having an ice cream sale, selling scoops for .31 cents each.

 

You’ve heard the saying that good things come to those who wait? Well, I wasn’t willing to wait over an hour for ice cream, so I didn’t get the good things. Instead I dreamed of double scoops all night.

 

Something that IS worth the wait however, is waiting on God. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount

up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

 

In that verse ‘wait’ means to have hopeful expectation. When we pray, we can be empowered with hope, fully expecting to (BE)TTER because God always answers us right on time.

 

Even though, to quote Tom Petty, “the waiting is the hardest part,” we can remain undaunted by what look like delays because God’s good things are worth the wait.





My Space

2 05 2008

The other day I was telling a group of people about when, as teenagers, 5 friends and I piled into the two-seats of my 5-speed Pontiac Fiero and drove around town. Needless to say, we were crammed in there pretty tight. As the driver, I barely had enough space to shift gears or even turn the wheel to navigate.

 

At times that’s how it seems in certain parts in our lives: we feel cramped, confined and restricted, in desperate need of some elbow room. Thankfully, during our confinement we can have confidence knowing that God is tuned in to what we’re going through and will do something about it if we ask.

 

There’s a great example of that in Exodus 3:7,8: “You can be sure I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries for deliverance from their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come to rescue them from the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own good and spacious land.”

 

God sees us, hears us and knows how much we can handle. He sees when we have developed from being bitter into being better through dealing with that situation. Then, in the nick of time, He snatches us out and places us where we have more than enough room to move!

 

“HELP” is a prayer that is always answered.





Consider the Possibilities

24 04 2008

The athletic apparel company Adidas has a slogan that goes right along with our (BE)TTER mentality: “Impossible is Nothing.”

 

In the same vein, long before running shoes and sweat pants, what Jesus said while talking to His disciples in John 14:10-13 is what I believe for our lives

 

“The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.”

 

As we ask and keep on asking God to be active in our lives, ANYTHING we ask is possible. Miracles beyond anything that we have dared to imagine are possible.

 

If you have something, or many things, in your life right now that seems like there is no change in sight, stop thinking it’s impossible and dare to imagine the possibilities.

 

It doesn’t matter in what area we’re asking for some sort of a miracle, Jesus didn’t put restrictions on the asking, He said “WHATEVER you ask.” And I believe it – for me and for you.





The Need for Speed

24 04 2008

I have often said that what you meditate on will manifest for you, which is basically another way of saying what Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

 

I read a story about a man who had so many speeding tickets that he got a letter from the California Department of Motor Vehicles stating that if he got one more ticket, his license would be suspended for a year. It also suggested that he meet with one of their state psychologists. He thought it couldn’t hurt, so he made an appointment.

 

During the meeting at the DMV, the issue of having so many tickets was brought up, to which the man with all the tickets replied, “Everyone gets speeding tickets.” “Not true,” said the psychologist. “The average person may get only one ticket every four years.”

 

The man with a lead foot was amazed, he had thought everyone was like him, amassing a stack of violations. But he realized at that moment what he had believed was wrong and destructive. He quickly changed his mind that day and from then on stopped getting speeding tickets.

 

Think about it: Are you unhappy with certain things that are happening in your life? What do you, not just hope, but really need to (BE)TTER? Ask yourself, what am I thinking that may need to be changed? Then change it…FAST!





Internal Affairs

24 04 2008

We all go through periods of time when we feel like our efforts to be a better person are at a standstill. We may have made bad decisions, people let us down or we just did some stupid things. Discouragement bordering on depression can set in causing us to wonder if we even want to try any more. It feels like the most tumultuous place to be is inside of us.

 

During times like that, where can we find the motivation we need to continue the effort to be all we can be? These verses in Galations 5:16-18 from The Message Bible offer us a look inside ourselves to see what’s really going on:

 

“My counsel is this, live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why not choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions.”

 

So if we make God’s Spirit our own internal motivational speaker, then we become free spirits – steady, animated and full of life? I like the sound of that, don’t you?

 

Some might say, “But that’s not my cup of tea. I just can’t get into God.” That’s okay. If you’ll just take your mountain of troubles to Him, asking for help, He’ll get into you.





Higher Motivation

24 04 2008

A psychiatrist named Viktor Frankl who lived through Nazi death camps said this in his book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning:’ “He who has a WHY to live can bear with almost any HOW.”

 

Dr. Frankl found that every day of being in those camps he was able to face the HOW of extreme cold, malnutrition and possible death because he was motivated by the WHY of wanting to see his family again.

 

That makes me think, what’s our motivation? Who are we living for? Why should we (BE)TTER?

 

Proverbs 16:2,3 says, “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed.”

 

Man, I want my motives to be right. I want God to be proud of me. Like most people, I want to be successful for the good of my family and my future, but God’s approval of all I do in every part of my public and private life should always be the highest priority.

 

To keep the motivation to (BE)TTER more about His pride than ours, we need to check our motives with Him every day, making sure our plans are in His plan.