Tag Archives: spirituality

Be “That Guy”

17 Apr

Passion fuels everything.

Passion ultimately determined why you did what you did today.  Passion decides where your money goes and passion chooses where your time ends up.

Any kind of passion-

Passion for self.  Passion for comfort.  Passion for others.  Passion for God.  Passion for wealth.  Passion for acceptance.

It’s passion that drives our every decision.

Passion drifts towards obsession and obsession drifts towards success.  That is not always a good thing if you consider some of our common passions.

Matt Chandler, lead pastor of the village church always says this, “no one stumbles into Godliness”.  Isn’t that true?  No one goes to sleep and accidentally wakes up more Godly.

The same could be said of success.  No one stumbles into success.  Sure, people stumble into fortune by hitting the jackpot.  Sure, some people have been dealt better cards.  But winning the lottery doesn’t equal success, it just means you’re a lucky dog. Let’s not confuse good “fortune” with success.

Success is defined as “an accomplishment of an aim or purpose”.

I believe the easiest road to success is through obsession.

Growing up, I can remember when I was obsessed with the piano.  That’s all I could think about.  Playing, listening,  and learning the piano became daily routine.  Hours upon hours were spent studying and mimicking other piano players.  I remember going to birthday parties and gatherings and the first thing I wanted to know was whether or not there was a piano nearby.

I was obsessed.

My obsession led me to being a pretty skilled, ear trained piano player at 17 years old. I was successful.  My obsession led to my success.

Obsession is certainly not the only determining factor in success.  Just watch American Idol.

Many men are obsessed with hitting a little white ball around until it lands in a hole.  Very few are successful.

Obsession simply makes success easier.

People are  not “afraid of success” as much as they are afraid of obsession.  They are afraid of being “that guy”.  “That guy” that only talks about one thing.  “That guy” who does the same thing every weekend. “That guy” who has a room of his house dedicated to his obsession.

Here are some things I’ve noticed about obsession.

1) Obsession makes people uncomfortable.

2) It’s hard to tell you’re obsessed when you’re obsessed.

3) Things that once seem like work become pleasurable when you’re obsessed.

4) People try to talk you out of obsession.

5) Obsession reveals where your heart is. (Matthew 6:21)

6) Obsession without passion leads to burnout (Rev. 2:1-7)

It’s hard to be successful at something you hate. 

I encourage you to obsess.  Obsess over Christ.  Obsess over your family.  Obsess over your calling.  Obsess your way to success.



10 Apr

I don’t know about you, but I love “the cloud“.  Music, pictures, contacts, and my calendar all wirelessly synced between my devices. I love it.

Here’s the deal- this “cloud” only holds 5 gigs of information before this “cloud” starts charging you to store information. The more information it stores, the more it charges.  Now the cloud feels more like that free DVD you rented from red box and didn’t return for 8 days.  Not so free, huh ?

Your mind is like this cloud.  It can only hold so much information before it starts “charging” certain areas of your life.

Your abilities to be creative, imaginative, and think outside of the box get hindered by your cloud being maxed out.

You’ve used up all your space, and now other areas of your life are paying the price because you haven’t cleaned out the cloud.

Let’s face it – there’s probably a lot of things in your cloud that you keep there, that don’t really need to be there.


Work, school, relationships, hobbies, entertainment- these all take brain space.

What normally happens is that we don’t know how to escape work so we “take work home with us”.

Our mind is consumed with appointments and tasks.

Our way of fixing this is to shove more information into our brain in the form of a hobby or entertainment.

This overloads the cloud even more and eventually all areas of our life begin to suffer.


I loved the etch-a-sketch as a kid.  I also hated the etch-a-sketch.  I loved it, because I could doodle with no regard.   I’d make lines, shapes, and sometimes something that actually resembled something in our cosmos.   I hated it because you couldn’t keep it.  I would make this brilliant design of some make-believe creature and if I wanted to draw batman I had to erase the liger in order to begin. I needed a “clean slate”. AHHH So many beautiful drawings lost to the shake of an etch-a-sketch.

Romans 12:2 gives this message- Don’t conform,Be transformed. It says we do this by “renewing our mind”. It says that if we do this we can discern the good and perfect will of God.

I think a very practical way to do this is to write stuff down.  As silly as it seems, I get these weird ideas about our minds being like the iCloud and if I didn’t write it down, it stays in the cloud for a while taking up useless space.

Writing has a way of solidifying a thought.  It has a way of putting flesh to ideas.  Sometimes I get into task mode and the best way for me to renew my mind in that situation is just to write down all I need to do. Talking about what’s on your mind can help, but I’ve found that nothing helps more than writing stuff down.  Checklists, journals, ideas.  Write them down.  It will help clear your mind.

The ultimate way we can renew our mind is found in Psalm 55:22. Go read it.

In order for the canvas of our minds to be ready to receive the good and perfect painting of God, we must etch-a-sketch some old sketches.

What’s your password ?

3 Apr

I recently added my work email to my iPhone. Because of this, my phone required me to put in a password for my phone. Not a password for my email. My phone! So I quickly typed in a 4 digit code so I was able to access me email.

Here’s what I noticed: It’s such an inconvenience . Before I was able to slide my thumb and access anything I wanted instantly. Now I must enter my code every time I want to use my phone. I also noticed that at first I had to think about my code. It took me about two seconds to process what I had used as a code and then punch it in. Finally I noticed that over time, typing in my password, became second hand and I literally forgot about the code altogether.

Now I know I may be taking this password thing a little too deeply but it made me think about some things.

Things come up in our lives that require a password. They are always things we want to hide. Things we want to secure. These are the deepest, and most vulnerable parts of our soul. And so we comply. We punch in the figurative codes to our heart so all of that emotion, all of that information, and all of those secrets are safe. I see a few problems with this.

1) When we put up a password to block others out, we simultaneously create another barrier between ourselves and those things. We essentially make it more difficult on ourselves to access our own vault.

2) We get so use to punching in our own password that we don’t even realize that we’re hiding certain things. We’ve punched in the code so many times that it’s become a part of “what we do”. We’ve deceived ourselves.

3) We forget the password. I don’t know about you, but I have about 20 something passwords. Different things require different types of passwords. You have to a capital letter, space , number, plus a chinese symbol or something. This inevitably leads to me occasionally forgetting a code or two. What a pain! If you can’t remember what street you lived on as a kid, or your first pet’s name, then you’re really in trouble. Many of us symbolically create 18 digit passwords as if to intentionally forget it. We love forgetting passwords because that means we never have to go there. We never have to access that account or think about those thoughts. Let me assure you, what you’ve locked in your vault is never going away without you unlocking it.

Some of the passwords we make are silly. We make them because we’re insecure or we want to hide something simple. Others are very deep and are detrimental to our well being. If you have lost your password, let me assure you that there is a master locksmith. He doesn’t forget passwords. He knows what’s down there. Let him go to work on your heart.

When I say “TEBOW” you say ________________

13 Mar

Let’s play a game….

When I say “boots, guns, and broken down cars in the front yard”, you say ____________ (Cowboy or Redeck depending on if you are one)

When I say “Scary, obnoxious,  and not human”, you say ____________ (Lady Gaga. I’ll also accept Nicki Minaj)

one more……

When I say “doesn’t like girls, smells like B.O., wears the same clothes two days in a row”, you say ______________(Jr. High boys or my dog Raz when we dress him up for Christmas)

We all stereotype.

A stereotype is defined as a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

My guess is the greatest type of stereotyping you’ve been doing is to yourself.

When I say (insert your name) you say ____________.

You have an oversimplified idea of who you are.

In your head you have determined that you think, act, walk, talk,  and relate in a certain way.

Because you have determined this, you now take it upon yourself to uphold your very own stereo-typification of yourself.

You created that stereotype.

Sure people’s actions and words have helped form that, but you were the one who approved those ideas in your head.

Stereotyping yourself postpones personal growth.

Stereotyping yourself abandons adventure.

Stereotyping yourself crushes your creativity- You think things like “I wouldn’t normally think that or say that” and so you don’t.

Stereotyping yourself neutralizes faith.

Stereotyping yourself takes away from the uniqueness of  who you really are.

Didn’t Moses do this in Exodus 6:30 ?

He did a quick overview of his self stereo-typification and said, “nope, public speaking isn’t in there” (paraphrase)

I can hear him speaking in third person, “Moses doesn’t do that” (paraphrase)

Now I’m not saying you need to have high self worth or “give yourself more credit”.

And I’m not suggesting to “believe in a better version of yourself”.

I’m suggesting you give God more credit.

I’m saying you need to believe in a better version of Him.

Whatever stereotyped picture of yourself you’ve drawn up in your head- Let’s the take the eraser to it.

Like an etch a sketch, you may need to shake yourself in order to rid yourself of the self imposing lines you’ve drawn.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”- Matthew 19:26

The Death of Superman

9 Mar

Don’t worry you superman nerds. Clark Kent isn’t going anywhere.

And no, I’m not talking about the Superman Curse.

There’s a superman that lives inside of you and he or she needs to die.

The superman in you needs to die because superman is a myth.

He doesn’t exist, yet he’s killing you.

In this story, superman is no hero.  He’s a fake.

You are not superman.

You are man. And sometimes you’re not really super at all.

On 9/11/01, 341 firefighters lost their lives saving people they didn’t know.

They are heroes.

Amongst those heroes there were probably some poor fathers.

Amongst those heroes there were probably some cheating husbands.

I think it’s safe to assume that some of those men had issues with pornography.

Some may have had drug problems.

Those men were incredible heroes, but none of them were superman.

Superman would never cheat on his wife.

The trap of superman occurs because you know you can’t measure up and so you begin to hide all of your failures.

You hide pain.  You hide insecurities.  You don’t talk about your sin.  You don’t ever show weakness.

How detrimental is this to your ability to lead?  It’s a cancer to your relationships.  Because of the desire to be superman you only display the highlights of your life. People are then left comparing the video of their torn apart life to your highlight reel and they leave feeling depressed.

But who’s the real depressed one?

Like the movie, no one knows who superman is.  They all know Clark Kent.  Being superman makes you unknowable.

Put down the cape, superman.  Life is so much better when you’re not hiding.

There is one superman and He came to save us from the pressure of needing to be perfect.  He saved us from the idolatry of the superman syndrome.

The superman complex needs to go.  That’s the bittersweet truth.

Bitter Sweet Truth

4 Mar

How old were you when you found out that there was no tooth fairy? Or were you one of the smart ones that caught mom in the middle of the exchange? The realization of this truth (that the tooth fairy isn’t real) is a bit bittersweet.

Bitter because who is going to bring you your two dollars now?

Sweet for mom because she’s now off the hook for the $2.  (She can buy half a starbucks now)

It’s also sweet because knowing this truth could save you from the embarrassment of not knowing this truth.

It’s bitter because now your teeth have no real worth, except for the entertainment value of inspecting the object that’s been lodged in your gum line for 6 years.

And on and on we could go.  This truth has so many implications. Knowledge of this truth really changes a lot when it comes to teeth and your piggy bank.   But let’s face it: we’re talking about the tooth fairy.

Although truth doesn’t have a size, couldn’t we say that certain truths have a larger ramification than others.

The death of the tooth fairy wasn’t very revolutionary to my life.

The death of my grandpa was.

These are both truths I had to face. Both on opposite ends of the spectrum.  They had one thing in common: they were both true.  I had to come to the knowledge that the tooth fairy never existed, and that “Pipa” was gone from this earth.

It’s important to note that knowing something is true and knowing something isn’t true are both a form of the truth.

But isn’t it more than just knowing?  John 8:32 says “and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

That word “know” in the original manuscripts is “ginosko”.  It’s the same word used to describe sex.  Matthew 1:25 is just one example.

So that paints the picture of becoming pretty well acquainted with truth.

Some of us know truth, but we’ve never embraced it.  We’ve never “slept” with it. We keep it in the friend zone so we can admire how sweet it looks, but be sure to avoid the pain sometimes accompanying it.

What does that mean?  It either means we don’t believe John 8:32 or we’re content with not being free.

That’s a tragedy.

For some of us, sleeping with the truth means we need to confess some sin.  Not just to God, but to others. (James 5:16)  Yes.  It will be bittersweet, but it will end in freedom.

For some of us, embracing truth means we need to stop being people we are not.

We need to remember the past instead of forgetting.

We need to tell people how we feel.

Acknowledge our shortcomings.

Acknowledge our gifts.

In John 4 Jesus confronts a woman with truth she’s known but never wrestled with: The fact that she’s had 5 husbands. Talk about a bitter memory.

Her confrontation ended in freedom.

Embrace truth as something that ends in freedom.  It will be bitter.  It will be sweet.  You will be free.

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