Happy Thanksgiving!

No matter where you are today,

No matter who’s around,

No matter what you’re eating,

Your thanks can abound!

Thanksgiving comes from a heart of gratitude.

Thanksgiving comes from a heart of praise.

No matter who your mama is,

No matter what your family endowed,

No matter where your future is headed,

Your thanks should be loud!

Thanksgiving comes from a heart of gratitude.

Thanksgiving comes from a heart of praise.

Don’t withhold it today.

Take a Pulse

Take a pulse today.

Are you surviving or thriving?

If you’re only surviving, think it through.

Don’t accept it as normal.

Seek for change. Seek for a difference.

Fight for it.

Start thriving.

You can do this!

Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

Philippians 3:15-16

Fight For It

Too often, we lie down in the muck and more of what life has given us, and we choose to wallow in it.

If you are going to be more than what is behind you and beyond what is around you, you must step up, step out, and make a new path for yourself.

No one said it was going to be easy.

In fact, there will be moments when you have to fight, and kick, and claw your way out of the mud and quicksand that threatens to overtake you.

But I promise you.

If you will struggle, you will advance.

If you will resist, you will move forward.

If you will fight, you will become.

As I heard a wise man say once, “If you won’t fight for it, you don’t deserve it.”

Brawl, grapple, wrestle, clash and attack.

Survive and then thrive.

It will be well worth it.

And your children and those who love you will thank you.

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Philippians 3:7-8

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

Magic or Madness

Sometimes, a self evaluation is in order.

Am I bringing out the best or worst in you?

Sometimes, a friend evaluation is in order.

Are you drawing out the magic or the madness from me?

The answers to these questions should reveal truth and reality in a way that causes our hearts to long for perfection.

Too often, we are seeking comfort of sedation so much that we settle for chaos and pain.

If I am creating turmoil and injury for your heart, I need to change or leave to bring the calm.

If you are stirring turbulence and tumult for my soul, you need to halt or be removed to bring rest.

Too often, we search for a cease fire when we should be waging war or removing ourselves from the battleground.

Peace is more important than popularity.

Stability is more important than the spotlight.

Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:14

Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you. 6 You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days forever.

Deuteronomy 23:5-6

Sometimes, You Just Walk

Relationships can be so complicated.

Sometimes, we stay so long, receiving abuse, pain and turmoil until we are beat to a pulp.

But we stay because we need love.

Sometimes, we remain in a tornado of split personalities, control and narcissism until we feel insane instead of calm.

But we stay because we need comfort.

Sometimes, we maintain the friendship, believing one day it will change, or worse, we’ve become blinded by the toxic norm.

But we stay because we need acceptance.

Yet, once our eyes behold truth…

There’s no backing up from reality.

There’s no returning to what was.

There’s no retreat from the withdrawal.

Sometimes, to be truly free, you must walk.

And never look back.

Seeing truth is discernment.

Knowing truth is wisdom.

Doing truth is courage.

Enduring truth is faith.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

Hebrews 10:35-39

Monday Train Wrecks

Just a little funny mixed with truth on a Monday morning…

We need to “block out” more perfection seeking and get back to reality.

Yet, we need to seek a bit more perfection and not be “so real.”

You may be sitting there reading and think these statements are in such contradiction that they can’t possibly survive the same sentence.

But I tell you, they can thrive!

Too often in our modern culture, we are seeking such fake perfection that we lose sight of who we are and who we are meant to be.

If we could only grasp reality and allow authenticity to shine through, the outcome would be unimaginably beautiful.

Too often in our “get real” society, we are searching for such a realism that we forget that it’s sometimes kind to not leave our emotions, demands and opinions as a burden for someone else to carry.

If we could only grasp perfection in a way that allows love, faith and hope to thrive, the results would be absolutely infallible.

Why don’t we start here on this Monday morn?

Why don’t we start right here with you and me?

We can make a difference if we’d just try.

We could transform our world if we’d just begin.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things arejust, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:10-13

Wandering Alone In the Marshland

Where are you going?

Where your feet are trodding, it is dry and arid.

There is no water. There is no adventure.

Where are you headed?

Where your heart is committed, it is muck and mire.

There is no purity. There is no experience.

Where are you embarking?

Where your soul is invested, it is null and void.

There is no sanity. There is no encounter.

There is no release and no peace.

Come out from the marshlands and find hope.

But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt.

Ezekiel 47:11

And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.

Leviticus 20:26

But you are a chosen generation, a Royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

1 Peter 2:9

Thank you to Our Veterans

I felt like I had a bit of posting overload today, on Veterans Day, but maybe it’s simply because it means more to me today than it ever has.

See, I’ve always been thankful for our veterans, but when you learn a new story, receive a new testimony, and it’s all wrapped up in a life you never knew even living so close to you, your heart grasps a whole new level of gratefulness.

So many never share their stories.

Too many are haunted by their demons.

Even more just ask the question, “Why?”

To unravel these mysteries, it would take too many lifetimes to start, but I have one plea to those who served,

“Please, tell your stories. Share your pain and your victory. Maybe you can’t relive, but if you remain silent, it’s easier for us to forget.”

To reinstall the honor and respect from the young may take decades to come, but I have one plea to those coming behind,

“Please, listen to the ages. Read. Research. Ask. Be curious and be hungry for knowledge. For if we never grasp the value, it’s easier to forget.”

Lives have been lost. Scars have been branded, and tears have been shed to bring you freedom.

Let us not take it for granted.

Let us never forget their valiant sacrifices. ❤️🇺🇸❤️

A Charcuterie of Feelings

Charcuterie boards seem to be all the rave right now. If you’re throwing a party and want to have crowd applause, it seems you should set up at least one, or maybe two, three, five, ten of these varieties.

For those who aren’t “up to speed” in the trendy world: a charcuterie board is an appetizer typically served on a wooden board or stone slab, either eaten straight from the board itself or portioned onto flatware. It features a selection of preserved foods, especially cured meats or pâtés, as well as cheeses and crackers or bread.

Personally, I think these boards are pretty cool, when done right, but I also honestly think they are a pressure cooker of ideas, time and money that could really be put to better, more long lasting use. I know. Don’t shoot me for being “plain Jane.”

It’s not that I’ve never made one; I’ve created my fair share, and some have been fun, while a few others, I really wanted to pick up the whole thing and toss it across the room before the guests showed up.

But I do wonder sometimes, maybe more often than not, if we all live on a charcuterie board of feelings in our little worlds…

We’ve got the smooth, delicious days of promise and the mild days of mediocrity.

We have the tangy moments of adventure and the spicy moments of suspicion.

We find the bitter years of grief and the sour months of disappointment.

We discover the indulgent minutes of success and the sweet minutes of victory.

We even stumble upon the meatier times of learning, strengthening and reproving.

All the feels are contained within our small orbit of influence and experience, and unless we jump across the planes of comfort, culture and civilization, we never embark on a different charcuterie board of emotions.

Be challenged to break off from the norm.

Distance yourself from the expected and plunge just once into the unknown, the unexpected.

And I guarantee you.

The flavors of life will explode before and within you!

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 19:11

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

Let the Lion Roar

Each one of us has a purpose here.

Each one has a place.

You may not believe it, but maybe you simply need to receive it.

You may not have found it yet, but maybe you just need to look around.

It may be a burden of responsibility that makes your knees quake.

It may be a cross of strength that causes your heart to shake.

Today it may not seem heroic, and it may not feel significant.

But find your niche and settle into your target.

Take your aim and discover your point.

Stand tall. Be stable and become tenacious.

Find your roar and call out to the generations.

Someone is awaiting your achievement.

Someone is longing for your legacy to find theirs.

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.

Isaiah 54:13

The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Proverbs 28:1