Attitude Is King

I remember a time when I was in high school watching our basketball team playing. The majority of the team became frustrated when the team captain refused to pass the ball, instead choosing to showboat and basically play the opposing team by himself. The man had tons of ability, but no leadership skills at all, and it ended up costing us the game. Now the really funny thing was watching him cuss his teammates out afterwards, saying they didn’t know the first thing about playing as a team.

One thing I’ve realized in all my years is that your attitude about things is way more important than ability to do them. I’ve seen men with way more skills get passed over for the guy with a good attitude. Ability is great, but if you’re attitude doesn’t match up you might as well be spitting in the wind.

There’s a story in the Bible about King Saul, the first king of Israel, whose attitude got him into trouble. He was instructed by God, through the prophet Samuel to destroy the Amalekites, and leave no one and nothing alive. Look at this:

“Then Saul slaughtered the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, east of Egypt. He captured Agag, the Amalekite king, but completely destroyed everyone else. Saul and his men spared Agag’s life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs—everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.”
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭15:7-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God said to destroy everything, but look at what happened next:

“When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the Lord bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the Lord’s command!” “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded. “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the Lord your God. We have destroyed everything else.”
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭15:13-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Saul did not do what God had instructed him to do, in fact he even refers to God as the Lord your God. Saul had the ability, he just didn’t have the right attitude, and it cost him.

“Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Listen to what the Lord told me last night!” “What did he tell you?” Saul asked. And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?” “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭15:16-23‬ ‭NLT

The sad thing about this story is Saul had the potential to be a great king. He had the loyalty and respect of the people, but he lacked one thing, the proper attitude. And it cost him everything. He was never the same after this, even though he went on to be king for many, many years.

If we are to get ahead in life, we must change our attitude to reflect positively in every situation. This doesn’t mean you have to like every situation, it just means you have to keep a positive and upbeat attitude as you navigate through the various challenges and people you face in day to day living.

So, chin up, look for the good in everything and keep that attitude beaming forth! For the Kingdom and the King!

Are You Itchin’ For A Fight?

I never was a fighter; oh, I was a talker alright and it’s a wonder I never got into fights. But as much as I was able to trash-talk, I was even better at talking myself out of a fight. I remember this one time when I was seventeen and had a flat on my car. I drove it to a full service gas station and asked the guy if he could fix my tire while I was at work.  “No problem boss, it’ll be done before you get off of work.” Leaving it with him, I rode on into work with my dad.

It was an uneventful day at the shoe store and as quitting time got closer, I decided to call the mechanic and see if my tire had been fixed. After several rings, he finally picked up and telling him who I was, I asked if my car was ready. He replied no and he had been extraordinarily busy and hadn’t got around to it yet. Not liking what I heard I said, “What kind of inbred so and so can’t get a tire fixed in eight hours?” His reply was, “The kind that is going to kick your butt when he sees you.”

Well there was no booty beating that day, instead, I slunk in apologetically and taking my keys left the gas station never to return again. I learned a valuable lesson that day; some things are better off left unsaid. I wish I could say this has always been the case with me since then, but alas my mouth has gotten me into more trouble than I’d like to admit.

I’ve been thinking about the times we live in and it seems everybody is ready to fight at the drop of the hat; and most times they are the ones dropping the hat. There’s this guy I know who by all appearances lives for the opportunity to fight. All it takes is for someone to just look at him funny and he’s all up in their business, giving them the what for. Whenever I hear him ranting about these people it always makes me scratch my head in wonder.

I guess since my altercation with the mechanic back in my youth, I have tried to live peaceably with all men. It takes a lot for me to lose my cool with someone and want to have words with them now. Honestly for me it’s a control issue. I don’t like to be out of control; mainly because when this happens, stupid things usually are the end result. And when I think about how quickly people are willing to fight instead of working things out, it makes me wonder what is so bad in their lives they go there so fast?

And this is the bottom line about people who are quick to fight; they have some issues they haven’t dealt with, or in some cases don’t even realize they have and it comes out through confrontation. Most situations can be fixed with a little bit of understanding and grace. Funny thing is most of the time people who are unwilling to offer grace are the ones who need it the most. They are too concerned with themselves and the perceived slight they feel is leveled against them that they are unable to see where the other person is coming from.

Sometimes I think people are just having a bad day and really aren’t trying to be hard to get along with. But if you’re itchin’ for a fight, you won’t care what’s going on in the other person’s life, you’ll just see them as someone who is trying to get the best of you. And instead of letting that happen, you will attack first and ask questions later.

I think we should give everyone the benefit of the doubt first; believing the best until proven otherwise. If we’d all do this, then maybe we could make this world a little better place.

Watch What You’re Saying?

I am many things; a man, husband, father, friend, saint, sinner, employee, comic relief, coffee drinker, movie watcher…the list goes on and on.  Suffice it to say, I wear a variety hats, just as do you.  But there is one word which describes me best and that word is Christian.

I am a follower of Christ.  And while I have the same passions as other men, and may not always be the best example of what a Christian should be, I do try to live to the best of my abilities every day.  The reason I’m telling you this is because today’s blog is being written from a very blatant Christian point of view and I don’t want you to misunderstand where I am coming from.

The Bible says in Romans 4:17b; “…even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were.”  This is a foundational truth; calling things which be not as though they were.  It’s how God created everything; He thought about it, then said it, and it was.  This is how He has made us too; we believe something in our hearts and say it with our mouths, then we have what we say.  (Perhaps not immediately, but eventually).

I thought about this in regards to our children and what we say about them.  I heard a lady say the other day that her little boy was in his terrible twos.  I’m sure you’ve heard this term before, perhaps you’ve even said this about your own children.  She said this as an excuse for the way her son was behaving; he was screaming and acting out, getting on everyone’s nerves.  I thought to myself; no, he is acting this way because she is allowing it, instead of disciplining him and making him mind her.

When you tell someone your child is in their “terrible twos”, what are you expecting from your kid; good behavior or bad?  Obviously you believe in your heart your baby is going to act bad when they turn two and then when you say they are in their terrible two’s you just got what you said.  You believed it in your heart and said it with your mouth and created something just like God did when He created the world.

Your mouth is more powerful than you realize. It is a well spring from where you create your world and the world your children live in as well. This may be one of the most difficult things I have ever had to learn, because it is so easy to say negative things about your life instead of positive, wouldn’t you agree? Negative words flow so easy from my mouth, while encouraging and uplifting words I have to seriously work to say.

I remember one time when my youngest son Noah was about six or seven; his mother had asked him to do something and he began muttering and complaining about it. As he was headed out the front door to do what he’d been told, Cheryl said to him, “Noah, remember you can have what you say.” to which he responded as he passed through the door, “I got a million bucks!”

Noah may have been saying that facetiously at the moment and it does make me chuckle whenever I think about it, but the Scripture I stated at the beginning of this blog is the truth and there is no doubt in my mind Noah would have had what he said eventually if he’d  actually believed it in his heart.

This principle works in both the negative and positive aspects of life. You can have what you say for good or bad; it’s up to you and no one else. If you want it, then go out and get it. Change what you’re saying to match the dreams and desires you have for your life and then dare to believe what God says is true and you will have those things.

And instead of believing the worst for your kids, why not speak positive things about them instead of negative. Instead of the terrible twos, why not call them the terrific twos? It’s all in what you say after all. 

The Beast Known as Lust

Opening a web browser on his phone and selecting a search engine, Sean typed in the words “”naked girl”, and waited for the images to appear on his handheld device.  Rising up from the cubicle, he looked around the office once more to make sure no one was headed in his direction; satisfied, he sat back down selecting  a picture and looked at the nude image of a voluptuous red headed woman.

After a few moments, he pressed the next button and a flaxen haired beauty appeared spread eagle on a bed revealing all God had given her.  The next twenty minutes was pretty much the same, every few seconds Sean clicking to view another picture or video.  And as he continued viewing the images his desire for these girls grew and his need for sexual release became stronger.

Finally unable to take it any more, he got up from his cubicle and made his way to the men’s room.  Entering one of the stalls and locking it behind him, he took out his phone with one hand, dropped his trousers  with the other and masturbated while looking at more pictures on his phone.

Men since the dawn of time have been captivated by the sight of a naked woman’s body.  There is just something about it which drives us men crazy.  I heard a comedian say once, “If you’ve seen one boob, you want to see the rest of them.”  Go ahead and laugh, it’s funny because you know it’s true.

When I was a boy, you could look at porn if you could find someone’s stash of magazines.  But in today’s technological world all you have to have is a smart phone and you’ve got access to more images than have ever been produced in all the skin magazines made since their beginning back in 1953.

And with the advent of cell phones with internet capability, more men have lust issues than ever before.  Lust is not a new thing either; it has been around since the dawn of time.  And it’s not just bad people who are affected by it either, lust affects us all.

This desire to see a naked woman’s body is not inherently a bad thing, but if it’s not controlled it can be.  The problem is every time you look at pictures of naked women, it decreases the desire for your own wife, or it causes you to place unrealistic expectations on her.  You begin thinking to yourself about how she doesn’t do what the women you see on your phone do.  Or worse, you begin to see her only as a release for your sexual desires instead of your partner in life.

This is not to say if you’re not married you get a pass. If you indulge in porn, you will bring those unrealistic expectations with you into your marriage, and it will not enhance it, it will make it worse.

To be totally honest and transparent with you, wanting to look at porn on my phone is an issue I deal with.  The thing which has helped me steer clear of this however is I figured out what triggers me to want to go there.  And figuring out this trigger has made it easier for me to stay away.

My trigger is whenever my relationship with my bride is not in a good place, or when I’m bored.  Whenever Cheryl and I are not communicating well, or perhaps we’ve had a disagreement about something, this desire to go to porn instead of talking to her emerges.  Or if I’m sitting around not doing anything, it is easy to start randomly surfing the internet with no actual purpose.

Lust can destroy us, if we allow it.  What we have to do is take control of our lives; making the choice to steer clear of lust and all the things which take us there.  Lust in the sexual sense takes away the relationship you have with your wife, it does not increase it.  Put lust in its place, and don’t let it rule over you, and your life will be better for it.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?




What Does Waiting say About You?

I hate to wait! It doesn’t matter where I’m at either.  If I’m supposed to be doing something, then I want to be doing it, not standing around twiddling my thumbs.  

At work from time to time I’m forced to stand idly by while waiting on loads to be checked. One night several of my co-workers and I were at work until after 10pm mostly waiting for the loads to get ready to be loaded.  That was a fifteen hour day, and a lot of it was spent waiting.

It was aggravating to me to stand around waiting, because I could have been spending the time home with my bride, writing or just relaxing in my recliner.  Instead I was forced to be patient, stand around and wait.

Patience is a virtue; one I guess I really need to develop more in my life.  I can be patient sitting in a darkened movie theatre as I wait for the movie to start.  I can endure the days until Christmas or my birthday without grumbling.  But put me in a situation where someone or something is forcing me wait and I start to get antsy wanting to do anything else other than being patient.  And usually it isn’t too long until I start to complain about the situation.

Herein lies the rub, I don’t like to wait when it inconveniences me.  If it is something I want or desire to do, then waiting is no problem.  Force me to wait, and then I become a jerk.  Wow!  Now I’ve opened up something.  It all comes back around to me and how I perceive things.  Just once I wish I would find out it’s the other guy’s fault for what’s going on in my life.

How do you handle situations in your life where you are forced to wait?  I’d love to hear what you do when you have to be patient, and don’t really want to be.  

In the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, there may be an answer to this.  Molly and Magorium have set a store full of clocks to chime all at once and they are waiting:

Mr. Magorium: 37 seconds.

Molly Mahoney: Great. Well done. Now we wait.

Mr. Magorium: No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.

37 ,seconds well used, is a lifetime.” Waiting, when used properly can and will be an asset in our lives.  I guess the next time I’m forced to wait, I’ll heed the words of Mr. Magorium and use my time waiting to do things which will be beneficial to me, instead of complaining and ending up with my time spent with nothing to show for it.  What does waiting say about you?

Now you know what I think, what do you think?