Tag Archives: satisfaction


A friend posted a cartoon that caught my eye. The character looked over a list of resolutions and expressed frustration, knowing this year’s efforts – like so many others – were doomed to failure. Then he changed the list to negative versions. “Get fat. Become weak. Watch more TV.” That kind of thing.

The last scene has his son looking at the list, while he lifts weights and sweats in exertion. His son says, “You’re off to a horrible start on these, Dad.” And he replies, “I know.”

I like that. 

I thought about 2015 and what I accomplished:

  • published three books available on Amazon and CreateSpace
  • regained an additional aircrew qualification in the military
  • Deployed to the Middle East for three months 
  • flew 89 sorties in the fiscal year (October – October) — roughly 1 every 4 days
  • beat out the rest of my coworkers on flights (one friend made it to 85… the next highest had 20 less than us)
  • started a family devotion time with my wife and kids
  • knocked out 5 separate debts
  • crawled out of the unfit mess I’d gotten myself into
  • started a walk-to-run program after not running for about five years
  • reached my lowest weight in about 10 years
  • used my talents in professional settings – performing vocals for the Japanese and American anthems for a co-worker’s retirement and playing Christmas tunes for social hour at our squadron holiday party
  • Played and sang for the chapel while deployed

All that said, I know “the rest of the story.”

  • I struggled for years to put those books together and can’t shake the feeling they could’ve been better
  • I’ve dropped several balls at work that now need to be addressed
  • I’ve let my relationships with my wife and kids grow stale or routine
  • I’ve done the same with my faith
  • I continue to make terrible spending decisions based on convenience, impatience, and selfishness
  • We’ve added or increased a couple debts while eliminating others
  • I crawled back into the unfit mess by ignoring fitness while focusing on other things
  • I’ve gained back most of the weight I lost
  • I’m still not doing anything on a regular basis with the talents I possess.

So this year, I’m not making empty promises to myself about what I will or won’t do. Like the comic, my list is full of anti-resolutions–the bad answers to questions I ask myself whenever I consider what 2016 holds. 

And I took a cue from a friend who recently posted a verse she chose for the year. My selection speaks to my frustration and my desire for better answers.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:24-27‬ ‭ESV‬‬


I look forward to what this year holds… not because I expect some “new me” to appear. I just want to find the one I know already exists deep down.

31 Million Flavors

Worship Wednesday

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ-the Message-have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives-words, actions, whatever-be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. (Colossians 3:15-17 MSG)

Fellowship is one of the key components of worship – both the things we do to express God’s worth, and the times of singing praise as a congregation.

Individual times of worship and devotion are important, of course. We spend time with God in a relationship. Like any relationship, there should be some intimacy, some “you and me” time. We see Jesus as our example in this: if He took time away from other people to get alone with God, then certainly we might benefit from doing the same.

But Paul points out that our worship of God is something we do together with others. Paul did not write just to individuals, like Timothy or Titus. He wrote to churches. He wrote to congregations. He wrote to groups of people and said “This is how we all do this together.”

This is part of why I love a good Bible study group. When I say “a good group” I mean a place where a bunch of different people can discuss the Scriptures and how they apply to our lives. Good groups have a strong facilitator who can allow discussion and multiple viewpoints without getting off track or derailed by a vocal opinion.

Some groups are hand-fed and led by a teacher who lectures. I’ve been in groups where the only time anyone other than the leader is allowed to speak is to read a particular verse and not one word more. I suppose that ensures that only the accepted teaching gets brought to light, but I didn’t come for a sermon. To each their own; that’s not my cup of tea.


I scream, you scream, we all scream for theology! Wait, what?

But when a Bible study is facilitated well, you get to experience a Baskin-Robbins of theology. It’s all good ice cream, but you get a variety of flavors, some you like and some that aren’t your favorite. You test it, hold to what’s good, ignore the bad (or maybe discuss it if someone is saying something opposed to Scripture). Everyone has something to offer, and you hear perspectives you’d never expect – some of which might speak profoundly to your heart as you look at a Scripture in a new way.

And you get to build relationships with others.

The relationship we have with God is great, and we affirm that every time we sing a song about how “You are all I need.” But that’s not entirely true, nor is it biblical. We read in 2nd Peter the following statement about “all we need.”

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3 NIV)

The relationship we have with others in light of our common faith is essential. God did not make us loner Christians. He relates to us individually, but He also relates to us and calls us to relate to each other in a church Body. We all have something to offer, some part to play in the story God is telling in our local church. (See 1 Cor 12 about parts of the Body fitted together.)

Worship alone, yes. Worship together, definitely. See God and others from a different set of eyes. Discover a new perspective. Hear something new from God, through the voice of your brother or sister in Christ. Sing a song that ministers to your heart, and let it touch the need of another. Share the comfort God has given you in past times of distress with someone who is hurting right now. We were made for God, and we were made for one another.

So get a little pink-spoon taste of what all the Body has to offer. They’re free. You’ll find way more than 31 flavors of awesome God.

God is the One v2

Sunday Psalm

Welcome back to God is the One, taken from the verses of Psalm 23.

Verse 2: He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

God is the One who gives me rest.

He makes me lie down. When everything else has me going constantly, God would have me stop and find a quiet place, lie down and stay awhile. I’ve got work responsibilities that compete with each other and make demands on off-duty time. I’ve got a wife that I want to spend time with in order to maintain our relationship. I also have four kids, and each of them are unique individuals with different needs. We have a great church that we want to cooperate with, so we’re involved in the music ministry. They’ve got weekly activities we want to participate in, too. But we’re learning about writing, so we’ve joined a writing group and a monthly critique group. And that’s not even counting all the video games!

God says, “Okay, stop. Take a minute and catch your breath. Rest.” That’s what Sabbath means. Rest is so important that God commanded His people to set aside an entire day for it. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, sometimes you need to take time to recover.

Grass. It’s what sheep crave.

God is the One who feeds me.

He puts me in green pastures. He provides me with sustenance. The food He gives is plentiful – there are whole pastures here. The food He gives is fresh and vibrant, green with abundant life. God gives the good stuff.

Consider references like Jesus speaking of doing His Father’s will as food (John 4) and David’s rejoicing in the value and power of God’s Word as his source of life (Psalm 119). What God provides may not always look like it will strengthen us or fill us up. Jesus ended up ministering at the well when all He wanted was a drink. But He found renewed energy, because He had food His disciples knew not of – doing the work of the Father.

I’ll even throw out there that God’s food is 100% all natural and organic. There’s no quick-growth hormone that turns us from spiritual babies into the next Billy Graham or Matt Redman. There’s no short-cut, no secret formula, no special ingredient that only the “in-crowd” knows about. Like the natural, a healthy spiritual diet means discipline, time, and effort. It means making good decisions day by day.

He’ll lead us there and provide the meal.

It’s up to us to eat.

…leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.            1 Pet 2:21 NASB

God is the One who leads me.

He leads me. I remember following my father or my brother whenever we had a deep snow. I would always try to step in their footprints in order to avoid getting snow in my shoes or boots. They carved a path for me to follow.And so it is with God. There’s nowhere we find ourselves that He hasn’t gone before us preparing the way. It’s like the Footsteps poem, in reverse. Step by step, we follow His lead, finding His footprints and trying (and often failing) to follow.

My relationship with my father and brother made it easy to follow them. I knew they knew where they were going. I trusted that I wanted to be wherever they were going, and I knew I wanted to be with them along the way. So it is with God. He’s leading, and He’s proven Himself faithful before. It’s my choice whether I’m going to trust Him with where we’re headed. It’s my choice whether I’m going to respond to His call to follow.

My seven year old tries to follow his older brother and sister all the time, and they immediately resist. “Get out of my room. Go away. Go play with your friends.” My brother sometimes felt the same way with me when I’d follow him. Rest assured, this is not the way it is with God. He leads, and He desires that we follow. He desires intimacy, but that’s a two-way street.

God is the One who brings peace.

He leads me to a place of stillness. In all the storm and chaos of the world around me, God is the One who can say, “Peace, be still!”

Sometimes this happens in the middle of the crisis. He supernaturally brings the answer to my prayer, the solution to my problem, and “immediately” the winds and waves cease. Sometimes, this happens in the natural order, and He leads me through the storm to a place of stillness in the aftermath. There’s not always a divine rescue. There is always a divine reassurance. “I am with you always. Be not afraid.”

As the deer pants for the waters,
so my soul longs for God, the living God. Ps 42:1

God is the One who satisfies thirst.

Nothing quenches thirst like water. All the other junk we drink still requires water to process, despite Coca-Cola’s efforts to convince customers otherwise. Sure, some things are less detrimental to your hydration than others, but nothing’s as good as water.

Other psalmists wrote about the longing in our hearts for God being “as the deer panting for the water” (Psalm 42:1). Then they ask the question, “When can I come stand in the presence of God?” (v.2). But it’s God who leads us, God who brings us to the place that satisfies our need and our desire.

“Plain old boring water” may not be the thing we want right now or the thing we like the most, but God provides us with what will accomplish His purpose in us. He has given us “everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

God is the One who leads me to a place of peace and rest where I am well fed and my thirst is satisfied.