Fail Forward

fail forwardBecause I missed the football games yesterday I was listening to sports radio as I was driving into work today. The general manager of one of the losing teams had this to say about their loss. “We are going to learn from this loss so we don’t repeat it next year. If we don’t break the game down and learn from it, we’ll end up repeating the same mistakes next year.”
This is a great illustration of the “failing forward” truth behind the Never give up yourself – Jesus’ won’t principle. Though we don’t want to, we will make mistakes until we see Jesus face to face. It will take time to retrain our brains to think through each situation biblically so we can hear Jesus and then do what He says. The question we must ask is, “We will learn from our failures or will we repeat them?” We can fail forward or fall back. The choice is ours.
Let’s choose to let the Holy Spirit draw us closer to Jesus by failing forward toward Him.
Set Free “N”owww

Stop Saying, “I’m Fine!”

I'm FineI was watching an episode of one of my favorite TV shows about an officer who, because of the voices in his head of those he couldn’t save, wanted to take his own life. It was his “be tough” advice in one particular incident that led a young boy to stand up to protect his sisters when the bad guys entered their home, rather than hiding along with them, that led to the boy’s death.
The officer kept this secret. When asked how he was doing, smiling he would give the standard line all cops (don’t we all?) give, “I’m good. I’m okay.” Yet this officer wasn’t okay. He couldn’t forgive himself even though it wasn’t his fault. He avoided dealing with the secret that was bouncing off the walls of his mind by staying busy at work and shutting out his wife.
One day he finally retires. With nothing to keep himself or his mind busy he could no longer push it down. The ugly thought came rushing to the surface. It was through the love of his fellow officers that he was kept from pulling the trigger.
The adage that “you’re only as sick as the secrets you keep” is true. Satan wants us to keep saying, “Fine” when we’re not. He wants us to keep thinking, “No one will understand. My problem is unique.” He wants us to keep pushing the destructive thoughts down. He wants us to keep handling our challenges on our own. They’re all lies!
Jesus came to bring life. He came to provide forgiveness. He came to put us into a family that can not only understand what we’re going through, but can also pray us through to wholeness. We’re not to walk this journey with Jesus by ourselves! Pick up and use your biblical tools, one of which is to Walk with other believers, in the power of the Spirit. It’s time to stop saying, “I’m fine” when we’re not. It’s time to find a Bible Impact partner and let the Spirit start drawing us closer to Jesus, where the peace is found, along side them.
Set Free Noww“W”

In the Right Hands

pen art JesusI write my leaders hand written notes of encouragement every month. It’s so cool to hear their responses, especially if they can’t read them! With the invention of the computer and the smart phone, I rarely hand write anything anymore. This has caused my penmanship skills to greatly deteriorate. Putting a pen in my hand can lead to scribbles; whereas if you put that same pen in someone else’s hands, you can see a work of art. Same pen, two very different results.
Living with a biblical worldview is a daily process of allowing the Spirit to retrain our brains to think differently. You become more like Jesus and see a work of art by putting the Set Free Nowww tools into the Spirit’s hands. Or, you can never pick them up or use them yourself and end up with religion, an illegible work of man. These tools are God given and need God’s power to allow the great exchange to take place – us with Jesus. I’m getting better at daily giving Him the tools. I hope you are as well.
Set Free Now“W”w

Fish Out of Water

fish out of waterI heard the most interesting phrase today. “Fish don’t know they’re wet.” How could they? This is all they’ve ever known.
This statement is also true for the believer in Christ. You only know what you know right now. Until you’re exposed to the truth, you can’t know what or the way you’re thinking is not healthy for you, which only leads you away from Jesus by the taking of your drug(s) of choice (i.e. your sinful behavior).
This is why we need to be in the Word of God each day listening to Jesus. We need an outside source telling us that we are wet, that our thinking is not helping us become more like Him – the Source of all the good stuff that we want in life.
How’s your commitment to reading through the Bible in a year coming along? Mine is going great!
S“E”t Free Nowww

Where Are You Looking?

lookingI read the most interesting story today about a very successful woman. By the world’s standards she had it all – beauty, brains, connections, money, position, etc. Her attitude “was more like the Billy Joel song: ‘I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints – the sinners are much more fun!’” She wanted nothing to do with God as what she’d seen of those who walked with God was anything but fulfilling.
Yet as the years raced by, no matter where she went or what she did she never quite felt satisfied. The words to Joel’s song became a distant echo in her life. She said, “The fulfillment I was looking for all those years wasn’t somewhere ‘out there.’”
Where are you looking for fulfillment? The Psalmist says the LORD “satisfies the desires of every living thing. … He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him.” (145:16,19) It’s time to stop playing games with Jesus. Half-hearted Sunday only measures won’t bring the satisfaction you’re looking for.
It’s time to pick up your biblical tools (Set Free Nowww), let the Holy Spirit use them to filter out the lie-based messages so you can hear Jesus calling you toward Him, The Source of fulfillment.
S“E”t Free Nowww