Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Facing Your Fears

Every since I was a small child, I have been scared of heights. When I am off the ground, I get this terrible feeling that I am going to fall. The fear then turns into pain, a physical pain that almost inhibits my movements.

That is one reason that I am so scared of roller coasters. I despise them. I hate waiting in lines hearing the screams of the people as they possibly drop to their deaths. I detest the slow incline before the death drop. However, my wife loves them. She could ride roller coasters all day long. In fact, the week that Kat and I first met we went to a theme park called King's Island. All day long, I was riding rides not because I wanted to but because I didn't want to be ridiculed (There is probably a lesson in here somewhere). However, I would not ride a ride with Kat because I didn't want her to know how scared I was. Near the end of the day, I gave up and rode in the same car as Kat on The Son of the Beast. As we started to move, I grabbed Kat's hand. She thought I was being romantic and I was just scared to death and didn't want to die. That is how our relationship started.

I use this story to illustrate the depth of my fear. However, yesterday I had the opportunity to go indoor rock climbing with some of our youth group at Climb Nashville. These walls are anywhere from 20-35 feet off the ground at the highest point. Let's just say that it was high enough to freak me out. Not only is the wall high but you must depend upon someone else to keep your rope tight so that you can climb. You receive a 10 minute lesson on holding the rope called a belay lesson. So here I am scared to death, putting my life in the hands of people that have had a 10 minute lesson on keeping me from falling to my death. It was very reassuring. In the end, I faced my fears and traversed a few of the walls. I was not great but I still was able to climb and have fun. Sometimes I feel that we allow our fears to paralyze of us from being the people that we were created to be. Face your fears in the future and trust that everything will be okay. I say this but I'm still not riding any more roller coasters any time soon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Road Trip

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to General Assembly in Orlando, FL. Every four years, the Nazarene church gathers delegates together from all over the United States and World. This was my first opportunity to attend. Since my wife was unable to attend with me, I decided it was best to travel with my boss, Pastor Brian and his family. Brian has four children. One is 17, one is 9 and two are 6. Thus, there were 7 of us traveling in one van from Orlando to Columbia, TN. Previously, I had been around Brian and his family many times and loved his children but I can not lie and say that I didn't have some fear and hesitation about being in a mini-van for 11 hours with 6 other people.

However, the trip was easy. We traveled for 8 hours the first day and stopped in Valdosta, Ga. The kids were great. The next day we finished our trip to Orlando. I had a wonderful time with the whole family.

This trip made me think about our travels with God. Sometimes, I feel that we become so scared of the road ahead that we almost become paralyzed and can't move forward. It's as if we do not want to know what's in store for us. Most people, at least in the church would say that they want to walk with God. However, most people want to tell God where to walk instead of following in his footsteps.

There was a song that came out within the last couple of years called, Jesus Take the Wheel. It is a great song that makes me think that we need to give up the "control" of our lives and let Jesus guide us along the path that we need to be walking.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mentally Tough

Today, I had the opportunity to play 18 holes of golf at Saddle Creek Golf Club. It was the first time that I have kept score for the entire 18 holes. I shot a 105. I know that most people will look at my score and laugh. I know it's not the greatest score but I have only been played maybe 40 times in my life.

However, today was a major victory for me. I never lost it. And by losing it, I mean that I never got down on myself or lost control because I had a bad shot. Before today when I would have a bad shot, I would lose it and I would be done for the rest of the day. For me, it all goes back to Romans 12:1-2. God has changed the way that I think. Is golf really worth me getting bent out of shape? NO! Is life worth us getting bent out of shape and losing it? NO! We have to allow God to change the way that we think. Areas that I have changed the way that I think:

  • The way I view my wife, Kat
  • My job
  • People that don't get it
  • Golf
  • Softball
  • Friends
  • Struggles
  • Unanswered Prayers
  • Relationships

Does this mean that I won't lose it next time I play golf or the next time someone lets me down? No. But it does mean that if I let God change the way that I think each and every day that eventually I will not lose it, I will begin to think like Christ, Ephesians 4:22-24.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Discipline is something that I have struggled with since my youth. I have always had a rebellious streak in me and I don't normally like to do things the way that everyone else does. Recently, I heard that less than 3% of the population is disciplined spiritually, physically and financially. I want to be one of those people.

Lucky for me, I married my wife Kat who started a job back in 2005 for Dave Ramsey. Before that time, I was not financially fit. During college, I maxed out two different credit cards. I always blew money and had no idea where it went. That all changed after Kat and I got married. I am very thankful that I am financially fit.

I have played soccer since the age of 5. I played travel soccer all of my youth and I even played one year of club soccer at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, which is where I went to college. Thus, I have always been in pretty good shape but I have never been in great physical shape. I have never been what I would call "ripped." Hopefully, that is all about to change in the next 90 days. I started a workout routine this week called P90X. My goal is to be ripped from head to toe in the next 90 days. However, for me to achieve this goal I am going to have to be disciplined. I have to work out 6 days a week, doing different routines for around an hour a day. In addition, I am following their suggested diet as well which means lots of turkey and veggies.

Last but not least, I want to "spiritually fit." I have had plenty of moments with God and I try to spend time with God. But in reality, I need to be more disciplined. I need to set time aside every day to spend with Him. That is why for the next 90 days, I plan to spend quality time with God each and every day. I plan to read through scriptures, pray daily for my needs as well as others, and I plan to listen. Matthew 5: 48 states, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Will I be perfect at the end of this 90 days? NO! But I will be in better shape physically, financially and most important spiritually.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 states, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."