Living a Good Life is Not as Hard as We Make it

Learning to Live Life from the Bible

Over the past couple of weeks, we been looking forward to Easter through a series of messages about Peter’s relationship with Jesus.

The first week was about Peter’s introduction to Jesus (John 1:35-42) by his brother Andrew. This simple act of introduction changed not only Peter’s life but the lives of those he met, as well as people throughout history and even still today.

Being introduced to Jesus can have this same kind of impact on us today and others that are introduced to Him.

Last week was about Peter’s invitation from Jesus (Matthew 4:18-20, Luke 5:1-11). Jesus invited Peter to follow Him and fish for people rather than fish.

Jesus invites every one of us to join Him. He gives us the direction of where to go and how to do it…whatever our “it” is.

This week we learned about Peter’s instructions from Jesus. A big part of learning is instruction. We all need it, but too often think we have it all figured out. Peter was no different.

In Mark 8:31-9:1 Jesus tells His followers that He is going to suffer terrible things, ultimately going to be killed and then be raised from the dead. This is not the kind of king the people were expecting, and Peter reprimanded Jesus for saying it.

Jesus then told Peter, “Get behind me Satan. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

Jesus went on to tell the crowd that if they wanted to be His followers that they needed to quit focusing on their worldly thoughts and focus first and foremost on what He was telling them.

Just like the people listening to Jesus then, we need to be open to His instruction in our lives today.

We can get His instruction today through daily reading of the Bible, being a part of a Bible-believing church, and communicating with Him regularly through prayer.

Invitation, introduction, and instruction…a good way to live life.

It’s Up to You to Decide Where You’ll Live


This Is A Tale of Two Cities




Are you happy with where you live? It matters less whether it’s in the country or in town, whether it’s a huge mansion or a one room apartment.


What does matter is whether it’s the City of God or the city of man.

Just like the famous first line of Charles Dicken’s, A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” life can be good, or life can be hard. We often are faced with difficult circumstances, the important thing for us is to not suffer through it alone.

The city of man drives us apart, the City of God brings us together.

Many of us don’t know anything about our neighbors, even when living in close proximity. While technology has in some ways made us more connected, in many ways it has caused us to be more separated. This is not how it is in God’s City.

While living in the city of man we often think we have all the answers. Expecting humanity to save itself is an unrealistic expectation. Just like in the poem The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, we think we shouldn’t have to work so hard. If we use what limited knowledge we have, we can find a short cut. Just like in the story, we need to do our part and leave the “magic power” to the Master.


Beautiful as the physical City of God is, as described in Revelations 21:10-14, 22-23, the real beauty is the spiritual aspect. This sense of community and the way people treat each other is the amazing thing. We can have a small portion of God’s City here and now, it’s up to us to choose.


Being a citizen of the City of God, comes with a work visa to the city of man.

This is the only way to have a dual citizenship. Pick which city you’re going to call home.

The Land of “What If” or the Land of “What Is”


Which One Have You Been Living In?


If you don’t like where you’re living, you can move.

Moving is not much fun. It takes a lot of work to pack up your life, along with all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. The end destination can be worth the work, if you’re moving to the right place.


How do we know where the right place to live is?

The definitions of, if and is, are a good place to start. Meriam-Webster defines if as follows; 1. in the event that, 2. allowing that, 3. on the assumption that, 4. on condition that. These statements leave things open ended and uncertain. Asking these questions can help us find answers and direction, but don’t involve the physical act of moving.

The important thing is to not get stuck in the land of “What If”.

On the other hand, is, is defined with one word – be. Being is a real tangible existing thing. The first example Meriam-Webster gives is, God is love. God lives in the land of “What Is”. God is…

Some people who live in the land of What If see all the possibilities out on the horizon. Some see all of the negative things that could go wrong. Others see this as a big land of exciting adventures. This dream world can be a great place to live. The problem is that in the land of What If, nothing ever becomes What Is.

Pastor Lee told a story of a boy in the hospital after being diagnosed with Leukemia. As would be expected he was down and depressed. He was asking all the questions that would normally be asked. He couldn’t see any future, he was living in the negative land of What If.

When he received some flowers from his aunt, he noticed there were two cards. The first was the normal well wishing from his aunt. The other one was from the salesclerk at the flower shop, it shared her own struggle with the disease years earlier. This card changed his perspective and made a more immediate difference than any of the medical treatments.

Jesus came to earth as a human. He has felt our pain and knows what it’s like. In Revelation 7:9-17 we get a view of What Is. It is a land of plenty, where we won’t be hungry or thirsty, it will be the perfect temperature and no sadness. We don’t have to worry about What If.

Regardless of which place we live; it comes down to perspective. Which place are you going to live, the land of “What If or the land of “What Is”?



Today, The Scripture Has Been Fulfilled In Your Hearing

The Bible can seem like an old history book. Full of things that are irrelevant to us today. This could not be further from the truth.

Sure it’s a book full of history…but it’s so much more. It is the Living Word. John 1:1-4 says, 1In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him. In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people.” (NCV) Jesus is not just the Jesus of the Bible, He is the Jesus of our lives today.

History is important, but we need to be careful to not let history cause us to forget the present and the future. In this week’s scripture, Luke 4:14-20, Jesus had returned to His home town of Nazareth where He had grown up. While there He was teaching one Sabbath and read these words from the book of Isaiah; 18 “The Lord has put his Spirit in me, because he appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to tell the captives they are free and to tell the blind that they can see again. Isaiah 61:1 God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly Isaiah 58:6 19  and to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness.” Isaiah 61:2 (NCV)

Jesus goes on to say in verse 21 that  “Today, This Scripture Has Been Fulfilled in Your Hearing”.  This fulfillment didn’t stop with the people who were there physically. It is still being fulfilled in our hearing of it today and tomorrow and the next day.

Then in verse 22 the people who were initially pretty impressed by His reading, began to have second thoughts about this. They remembered Him as the son of a carpenter who grew up in their midst. They were letting their history of Jesus cause them to not see the present or the future.

You may have heard it said that we all have a Jesus shape void in our lives. We all have had the feeling that something is missing. Many people don’t realize that it’s God. They may try to fill that hole with everything but God. He is the only thing that will fit. If you haven’t done so already you should test Him to see how He fits. The Scripture is a great instruction manual for this.

Remember that today, the Scripture is being fulfilled in your hearing. So be sure to listen to it.

Living Life Well Is All About Perspective

What Ever Your Situation – Attitude Makes All the Difference

Perspective is “a particular way of viewing things that depends on one’s experience and personality”. Our individual perspective effects every part of our lives. It’s up to us to decide how we are going to view things.

As a part of preparing for the new year, I reviewed the past one. In many aspects this past year was a dismal failure. Revenue was considerably less than our target. It was even less than the previous several years. We didn’t get anywhere near the blog traffic that we planned to. It would be easy to focus on those negative things and let them become my perspective.

At the same time there were several positive things that happened during the past year. While the financial numbers were down, we paid off more debt than any previous year. My goal was to write and post at least one solution each week and I did.

Years ago, I would have fixated on the negative and not seen the positive. This disappointment would have been the way I viewed things. This unproductive attitude would have been blocking my moving forward to bigger and better things. This was not any way to live life well.

At a point nine or ten years ago, I decided I was tired of living in this negative funk. There was no one specific thing that caused this shift, but rather a collection of small things. They consisted of reading, learning, journaling, praying and believing. Over those years I didn’t realize the difference that was happening but now looking back I can see and feel a major difference.

We have the power to choose what our attitude is going to be. With this power we can change our perspective. The 5th Decision in The Traveler’s Gift is, “Today I Will Choose to be Happy”. In this Joyful Decision, Anne Frank says, “Our very lives are fashioned by our choice. First we make choices. Then our choices make us.”

I’m not saying that it’s some easy flip a switch kind of magic. It’s hard work, but worth it. If you fall down, you get back up. When you fall down the next time you get back up again. We’ve all seen kids learning to walk. They don’t try it once, fall down, and never try again. They’re persistence is what makes it happen. They keep trying over and over, one small step at a time, until they succeed. They don’t give up.

With it being the New Year many of the blogs and podcasts that I follow have focused on planning and goal setting. One of those was Ray Edwards interviewing Cliff Ravenscraft about how to make our resolutions stick. In the interview they talk about how we may not have control over the circumstances, but we always have control over how we will choose to respond or what actions we will take. To make this point they use Nick Vujicic as an example of perseverance. He was born with no arms or legs and has achieved and accomplished more things than most people. If you feel that you had a rough year and things didn’t go like you had planned, you need to quit whining and watch these videos.

If we keep moving forward and continue getting back up after we’re knocked down anything is possible…just ask Nick.

I will persist without exception.