If I Can Do It, You Can Too!

Do you ever wonder if you actually have what it takes to (fill in the blank)? I know I do, scared-boy1and it’s happened more than I’d care to admit in my fifty-plus years. At times I feel like I’m just a scared little boy hoping his mommy or daddy will come to his rescue. Feeling this way drives me nuts, especially when I’m called upon to either; one, know what to do, or two, need to have the right words to say in any given situation. But I’ve learned whenever I’m feeling inadequate or stress is trying to eat me up, to turn to the truth of God’s Word and things always turn out for my good.

Now don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. I didn’t say my problems magically disappear leaving me with nothing but sunshine and rainbows. No. Often I find myself in a maelstrom, my emotions swirling in numerous directions all at once. It’s in these times I remind myself of the words Jesus said in John 16:33.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

What I’ve learned is, if I stay “in Jesus”, then I too will overcome the world. Notice He didn’t promise to take the problem away, He said you would just overcome it. Sometimes we have to go through the challenges of life in order to find the victory on the other side.

At the time of this writing, I am almost fifty-four years old. And in all those years I’ve had plenty of opportunities to live out this overcoming type of life; some of the storms I’ve been in were easier to weather than others, but regardless of their intensity God has always seen me through and been faithful to His Word. I won’t say those times were comfortable, because they weren’t, but they were useful in making me the man I am today.

I can honestly say without God’s Word to guide me through this life, I wouldn’t have made it through many of the things I’ve been forced to endure. The truth is, I want to share my life and experiences with you in an effort to help you see how you can overcome in life too. God is no respecter of persons, meaning simply, He doesn’t like one person more than another, and what He has done for me, He will do for you too. But let me say it doesn’t just happen because we want it to, we have to do the work so to speak. What I mean is God’s Word works, but only for the person who is actively seeking God and being what the Bible calls a “doer of the Word”.

This life is yours, if you want it. But you have to be willing to follow what God says in His Word. And you can do it too, all you have to do is begin reading the book. And in this day and age, reading God’s Word is easier than ever. With the current technology, you can have at your fingertips (literally) more translations of the Bible than ever before. Youversion phoneDownload the YouVersion app here for your smart phone and you will be amazed at how many versions you will have access to; everything from the easy to read translation to the hardcore study bible scholars prefer. And even if you really don’t like to read, there are several translations which have audio included and they will read it to you.

The bottom line here, or the take away if you will, is if you want the life Jesus talked about in John 16:33 you are going to have to put in the time and effort to learn what His Word says. The Bible is like an instruction manual, it tells us how our lives should be lived. Sure we can figure out some of this life without the manual, but if we want to truly experience all the benefits, we will need a little more instruction. Join me in the coming weeks as we take this journey together and I share how I’ve overcome some of the biggest obstacles in my life, with the help of God and His Word. And in the process it is my hope you will find out that you can do it too!

Living in a story much larger than my own…

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Embarrassment; the Bane of Every Man’s Existence

The day way extremely hot and muggy, and I couldn’t have been any wetter if I’d jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed.  It was getting close to noon when word came down we were going to work through lunch.  I’m usually a pretty easy-going guy, but on this particular day it challenged me greatly to have to do this, and I didn’t handle things the way I should have.

Have you ever watched a fire grow in intensity, getting larger and hotter by the minute?  This is what I began to experience in my mind. Letting my irritation get the best of me, I let the expletives fly in front of some of the men I work with.

The day didn’t get any better, I missed out on lunch completely, stayed both hot and wet, finally ending up home and in bed by 8:30pm.  I just wanted the day to be over. Texting my bride goodnight, she came into the room to see what was wrong with me and I told her I didn’t want to talk about it.

You see, I was totally embarrassed by my outburst in front of those men, and the last thing I wanted to do was explain myself to her.  And not because I didn’t want to share my life with her; it was because I felt like a fool.

One thing I’ve learned in life is men do not like to be embarrassed or look foolish.  A guy will take a kick to the crotch over being the laughing-stock every time. It’s all about honor; without it, we’re nothing.

Men can take just about anything from another man, but to lose face in front of his wife is unbearable, at least it is for me.  There is nothing else which will make me feel more like a failure. This is why I didn’t want to talk to my bride about what had happened at work, because I already felt like a fool, failure and complete waste of space.  And having to explain what I’d done wasn’t going to help.  For me, bringing the day to a close was the thing I needed.

You might be saying, “But Dave, it’s not a big deal to lose your temper and cuss in front of the guys, everybody does that from time to time.” And while I would agree it isn’t a big deal for a lot of men, it is for me. The reason is because I’ve made a decision to live my life as a follower of Christ, and this is not the way Jesus would want me to act. I’m not a super Christian or anything; I’m flawed and realize it daily, but I do try to live my life pleasing to God. This day I didn’t do that, and it really bothered me.

I think I know how Peter felt after he denied knowing Jesus the night they arrested him. Scripture says Peter was pointed out by several people as being one of Jesus’s followers (twice by girls) and this big fisherman cussed a blue streak, saying he didn’t know the man.

Earlier that night, Jesus had told Peter he would deny knowing him three times before the rooster crowed, but Peter had declared, “Never! I will go with you all the way, even to the death!” As he heard the rooster crow and realized Jesus had been correct, Scripture says he ran into the night and wept bitterly.

Like Peter, I too felt remorse for what I had done.  The feeling of failure hung over me like a dark cloud for the entire day.  But I’m happy to announce the next day was much better.  I apologized to the men I flipped out in front of, and moved on with my life, working more diligently for this to never happen again. Will it?  Who knows?  Probably.  I am a man after all, and men make mistakes.

I do know this however, the next time someone flips out in front of me for whatever reason, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt before making any hasty judgements about them that’s for sure.

Well, now you know what I think.  What do you think?