Last month I had to buy new glasses. It had been almost three years since I had been to the eye doctor and I could definitely tell that I was in need of new glasses. Once my new glasses arrived, I tried them on and I noticed something – the frames partially blocked my peripheral vision. As a result, I had to learn to adjust my focus.
The sermon at church Sunday was about Jesus walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33). Peter wants Jesus to ask him to come out on the water with Him, so Jesus responds to his request by calling him to step out of the boat into the water. Initially Peter was fine, but when he took his eyes of Jesus he started to sink. Peter’s focus wasn’t where it should have been…he was focused on the surrounding circumstances and not the Savior. Just like Peter, we have a tendency to look at our circumstances when hardships come into our life.
Readjusting your focus is not a one time thing. The fact that we are human causes us to be easily distracted and the enemy tries (and is successful more often than not) to take our focus off of Jesus and put it on ourselves (“What will I do about <insert your latest circumstance here>?” or “Why is this happening to me?”). We can’t see the big picture because we are so caught up in the moment. I know it’s easier said than done (trust me…it can be a struggle for me more times than I’d like to admit) but that’s why it’s not a one time thing. Think about it, you don’t go to the eye doctor just ONCE during your life time and you’re done – you go numerous times throughout your life.
You can’t beat yourself up when it happens – it’s like driving and getting lost…you don’t just pull the car over and leave it. You find out where you took a wrong turn and get back on the road. No one is perfect, and if we were we would have no need for a Savior. Don’t give up! The Message translation of Philippians 3:12-14 is very fitting for this – “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
In what area(s) of your life should you readjust your focus at this time?
Photo Credit: By Ken Teegardin
2013 has come and gone and we are now 13 days (almost 2 whole weeks) into a new year! I just wanted to thank all of you for making last year so great for my blog. You viewed 2,976 pages on my blog in 2013 (with August being the highest month, 333 page views). I’m really excited about the new year and what God has in store! Below are the top 10 posts on my blog from 2013. Enjoy!
A few weeks ago, I did a post geared toward women that talked about the objectification of men. This post is for the guys out there. I was reading an article today on the New York Times website and the whole point of the article was that it has become “in fashion” (so to speak) for guys to go around the streets of New York with out a shirt. It would be one thing if you were at the beach, the pool, or out running but it talked about guys just out doing errands in the city without a shirt.
My first thought when I read the article was “SERIOUSLY?!?! Who does that?!?!” It’s not something that I would do and I can’t think of any of my friends that would do that. As men, have we lost our sense of decency? I understand that sometimes the temperature can get unbearably hot, but when you are out in public in the city please keep your shirt on! I don’t care if you look like Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, or if you’re the fattest guy on the planet — nobody wants to see you without a shirt while you are in a public place…it’s just disturbing! Be a gentleman and cover up! More often than not there are ladies present and you don’t want to be known as the “creepy shirtless guy.”
How did this even become a thing? I can remember a time in society where if you didn’t wear a shirt in public people looked at you strange and businesses would not serve you. When (and why) did men being shirtless in public become “normal?!”
Photo Credit: By homelesshub
Have you ever had something happen to you that you look back on in hindsight and it felt like it was something that could have been pulled straight from a movie? I had this experience last week and it seemed so surreal! I was driving home from work, like any other day. I got about half way home and noticed that there was smoke coming from underneath the hood of my SUV. I had this gut feeling (which I know beyond the shadow of a doubt was God) telling me that I needed to pull my SUV over and get it out of the road.
I was able to pull over in this gas station parking lot (far away from the gas pumps) and I decided to just sit for a few minutes and let the smoke dissipate. While waiting, I happened to look over to the left and noticed a couple of people screaming something. I couldn’t understand what they were saying so I opened my door. It turns out they were screaming at me – “Get out!! Your SUV is on fire!!” I grabbed my stuff and got as far away as I possibly could. Not five minutes later, my SUV went up in flames. At the time, I was shaking so badly when I had the realization that I could’ve been in the SUV when it caught fire. God was definitely looking out for me!
One of the merchants of a nearby store called 911 for me and the fire department was there in a few short minutes. They hosed down my SUV and it was no longer recognizable. Fortunately, neither I nor anyone else was injured as a result of the fire (I was the only one in my SUV). A tow truck came and took what remained of my SUV to their lot and I spoke with the fire chief about what I need to do in order to file a claim with my insurance company.
It was like something straight out of the movies – seeing a vehicle go up in flames in an action movie. I was not able to sleep for the first few nights as I kept having these visions of being stuck in the SUV, not being able to get out as it was engulfed in flames. Last night, I took a couple of Benadryl and went to bed around 12:00 AM and didn’t wake up until almost 2:00 PM.
My youngest brother took several pictures of the remains of my SUV (in case my insurance company needed them). Below are just a few of the pictures.
It’s hard to believe all that has happened in the past few weeks. As of today, it is only 52 days and counting until I leave for my Brazil mission trip. Currently I have raised $1540 of my $3000 in support for the trip (thanks to some AMAZING contributors). I have to raise the remaining $1460 by August 17. If you are interested in contributing, there is still time.
I ran (more like walked) the Peachtree Road Race on Wednesday, July 4. This was my fourth time participating in the race. I was not really pleased with my time this year (1:52:52), but I finished it and got my t-shirt (and the t-shirts keep getting uglier and uglier every year – geez who creates these things?!). I keep telling myself that I’m going to start training earlier and earlier each year, but I always end up waiting until the absolute last minute. Hopefully I will change this in 2013.
My job search continues to be a daily source of frustration and stress right now. I recently found out that a job I interviewed for (that would have been my “dream job”) ended up going to someone else with absolutely no explanation of why. At the end of this month it will be 13 months since I lost my job and looking doesn’t get any easier. They keep saying that the economy is getting better and the unemployment rate is getting lower – I will believe all of this when I finally get a job! I started this blog as a means to help me keep up with my writing skills and to have something to show potential employers as an example of my work, but lately it has become a place to vent my frustration.
Something has GOT to happen on the job front soon! I honestly don’t know how much more of this I can take.
Have you been through a “longer than expected” job hunt? If so, what kept you encouraged during the difficult time?
Photo Credit: By Shelby H.
It’s hard to believe we are in the final days of 2011. As we look back on the last 365 days, several different lists have either come out or will be coming out within the next few days. What were the best movies of the year? What were the best songs of the year?
Here are my top 10 read blog posts for 2011:
May 2012 bring you blessings beyond your wildest imagination.
Today I was looking out the window and saw four black crows (not to be confused with the rock band that made the song “Hard To Handle” popular in 1990). As I observed the birds, I noticed they were very free-spirited and just went about their business. They didn’t worry about living conditions, food, or really anything else for that matter. I immediately thought of what scripture tells us about worrying.
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Why is it that we are so quick to worry and not immediately turn things over to God? Is it a pride thing? Is it human nature? Whatever it is, how do we change this vicious cycle?
What do you do to overcome worry?
Photo Credit: By Isa Sorensen