Making Room For Faith

I am currently winding down my training plan for the Cowtown Marathon at the end of February. Yesterday was my second to longest run in the plan at 18 miles. I felt compelled, as I have for the past two long runs, to run by myself. If you have ever trained for a marathon or really anything that requires long and uninterrupted workouts, you understand it is nice to have a partner or a team come along for the ride. These two runs, I felt as though I needed to battle through them alone to fight the mental battle but also to process through some thoughts and ideas I have had lately.

Yesterday was all about faith. I woke up and really did not want to, nor felt like I could go out and run 18 miles. But, I had to put faith in the training plan that is in place and know my body will respond appropriately. As I was running I was thinking through something our pastor said a few weeks back on a Sunday morning. It was along the lines of “Our faith provokes God to action on our behalf.” As I was processing that thought a verse popped into my head.

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Matthew 17:20 NLT

Starting last November and up to the present time the Lord has asked Danielle and I to step out in faith and test His goodness in our life. We have made some pretty significant and drastic changes in our life; changes that for some reason the Lord does not want me to publicly disclose right now. These changes were somewhat out of the blue for us, but aligned with desires we believe the Lord was calling us too. They all had one common attribute; they were incredibly uncomfortable and not wise from a worldly perspective. As I was running and processing though these changes and this call to have greater faith, the thought crossed my mind…we were making room for faith in our life. Before some of these changes, faith was not a requirement in our lives which limited God’s access points to our family to do His thing. I want our Father to have access to all of our family: our finances, our relationships, our jobs, our EVERYTHING!

This is not a long post, but culminates with a couple of questions…

Are you giving God access to your life and your family through faith?

Are you making room for faith in your life or are you living the American dream of being independently successful?

The Lord has blessed Danielle and I so much in our 22+ years of marriage. The greatest blessings (and I mean not just physical things, but when our relationship is the closest with the Father and growing) is when we have made room for faith and stepped out into the unknown. I can easily look back over the last few decades and give Him praise for the mile markers that only He is able to create and build upon.

I can only speak for myself here, but when the Lord calls me to move a mountain, I want to be prepared to not only shift the mountain, but to pick it up and throw it off its foundation…for that is what my Father asked me to do!

Are you making room for faith in your life?

I love you brothers and sisters!


Chain Reactions

I read a post this morning on Linked in about the the quality of air that we breath and the effects of on your brain activity ( Basically, the better the air quality the higher your brain function and the reverse. After I read that post I went out for a run, which is where my brain turns on, my creativity flows and I have the opportunity to spend time with the Lord; it is one of my favorite parts of my day. Getting outside to run and breathing the fresh air, starts a chain reaction in my life.

As I was running this morning, I had the desire to write, but nothing was coming to mind and I refuse to write for the sake of writing. I will not force content or ideas unless the Holy Spirit is prompting me with a topic. At the very end of my run this morning the thought popped into my mind, “chain reactions.” So many paths in our lives are a chain reaction that resulted from a small decision. Although they can, the big decisions do not typically alter our long term course. Think about it for a second…choosing the apple over the bowl of ice cream will lead to better health, choosing to read and absorb your Bible over spending time on social media with lead to a stronger relationship with the Father, choosing to go for a walk outside in the fresh air over watching one more show on Netflix will lead to more creativity, health, etc. It is the little decisions that we do and do not make which have a lasting impact on our life. They are the chain reactions that cause the good and the bad.

I was reading Roman’s this morning and this principle is so very clear.

“But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.”

Romans 1:18-19

“Yes, they know God, but they wouldn’t worship his as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead because utter fools.”

Romans 1:21-23

“Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things they should never be done.”

Romans 1:28

The first chapter of Romans is one big chain reaction. We push away what we know in favor of what feels good to the flesh, one small decision at a time, and before we know it we are knee deep in a situation that we have no idea how to get out of due to the self deception of our own mind. We are lonely and feel abandoned due to our own decisions. For some men It is a simple decision to look at that sexy Instagram post that turns into a path of searching and seeking out pornography online for hours at a time, which ultimately leads to a brain that does not function correctly and does not know what true intimacy is. For some women It is fictional love story story that turns into questioning why their husband does not measure up to the picture perfect man in her head. It is all a chain reaction that starts at a small little insignificant decision. A decision that leads to the death of joy, happiness, and relationships…and ultimately your self esteem and true identity as a son and daughter of the King.

The little decisions matter as they are what sets off the chain reactions in our life.

Oftentimes when we get too far down the road of bad decisions, it is can seem almost impossible to turn around and move in right direction. What it really requires is a quick reflection of what got me here today? It was the culmination of many little decisions that brings you to the place you are. It was one second spent staring at that sexy image, It was one calorie at a time that led to being overweight, it was one chapter read in that romance novel that you continued to read while the voice in your heart was saying put it down, it is but one small decision that compounds over time and leads to the poor result. If that logic works and gets us to the poor results, then all we need to do is reverse the process. We make one small decision to go in the other direction. We ask our spouse for forgiveness for our behavior, we seek out a counselor to help us slowly put things back to together, we put down the food that controls us, we get outside and walk an extra 100 yards every day, etc.

life is full of small insignificant decisions that cause chain reactions leading to life or death. What do you want to choose today? What change do you want to see in yourself and the world around you today?

Paul opens up Romans chapter 2 with this warning…”You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse!” As believers we are forgiven and our sin is washed away, but that does not mean we are perfect and we can sit here in this place of forgiveness and judge those around us. We should view the world through the broken heart of the Father and with every thing we have, reach out and serve each other…helping each other make better decisions, offering encouragement to those who need it, loving the ones that feel unlovable because of their decisions.

What are you doing today to make better decisions for yourself and that will inspire others to do the same. It only takes one small insignificant decision to chance the course of our lives and those around us.

So, be aware today and encourage someone who needs encouragement…and when and if that thought of “they got was they deserved” comes to mind…ask yourself “did you get what you deserved?”

Let’s start a chain reaction today of love, mercy, grace, kindness and see what happens in our areas of influence.

I love you brothers and sisters…be encouraged today and make a good decision!