ID: The True You

19 10 2010

Living by God’s Opinion or Yours?

The #1 way to protect yourself from toxic words and thoughts is to know your true identity in Christ. Through daily texts from Oct.16-Nov.27, you will learn to both see yourself as God sees you and build your life on the foundational truths of who you are in Christ.

To sign up and receive daily texts: email 1. Your name, 2.Cell number and 3.Cell Phone Carrier to


30/30: Regret. Worry. Live This Moment

31 12 2009

One of my 2009 learnings came this past summer during an Epic Day Away with Jesus at the Rochester Park. That morning I had two thoughts running through my mind: Regret and Worry. I had been dealing with regret over some decisions I had made in the past and at the same time I was worrying about what the future holds.

I sat down to pray on the shore of the river that runs through the park. It was a great spot right at where the water bends around the corner. As I reflected, I was wondering what was around the bend in both directions. Where did this river begin and where did it end? I could see neither. The only part of the river I could only see was this little bend right in front of me.

As I kept praying, it was like God was saying, “Tim, this is exactly like your life. You can’t see this whole river. You are spending your life regretting mistakes in the past. You are spending your time worrying about things in the future which haven’t been yet. You can’t go back to the past and you can’t see into the future, but you’ve got a clear view of this little stretch of river in front of you. That is the only thing you can see and the only things I am revealing to you. Your regret of the past and your worry about the future is ruining your life in the present. The moment you are living is RIGHT NOW. THIS is the ONLY moment you can live and the only moment you should live. Don’t miss what I’m doing right now!”

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”1 Peter 5:7

30/30: Kathy and I. Conflict. Arby’s.

9 11 2009

conflict final 3Kathy and I have had some major conflicts in our 18 years of marriage. One of the best was a few years ago on vacation at Hocking Hills in SE Ohio. The kids in the backseat witnessed an epic event that is often recalled and revisited today when we go out to dinner.

We were driving to dinner and an Outdoor Theater Production in a city about 45 minutes away from our campground. On the way we drove through a quaint small town which just so happened to be celebrating their Summer Fair. You know the kind where the downtown is closed and it’s transformed with rides, BBQs, elephant ears and whole lot of small town charm. “This is cool! Let’s stop here for dinner. The kids will have fun!.” We’ve got a few hours before the play, so I pull in to enjoy a little unexpected fun on our journey.

As I get out of the car, Kathy speaks up, “I was REALLY looking forward to having dinner at the drama.” (There was a special dinner before the performance with the actors in the production. Did I forget to mention we had planned on going there for dinner?).“Yeah, THAT was a good idea, but this is SO much better,” I chime back.

Better to me, not better to her. You can see where this is going.

The argument ensues which is followed with a huff from me, “Alright, let’s go. Mom wants to eat at the theater.” Three miles down the road the argument escalates to the point where we pull over to the side of road. A lot of sarcastic “I dont’ freakn care. I’ll do what YOU freakn want!” comments ensue and in huff Kathy gets out of the car and starts walking back to town. I turn the car around and drive along yelling from the window, “Get back in the car!”

After about a 100 yards, a whole lot of screaming from me and crying from the kids, Kathy gets back in the car. The conflict continues, but this time we yell at each other with the loudest form of anger…SILENCE. After 30 minutes of tension you could cut with a knife, we get to our destination. Kathy has now lost her appetite for dinner at the theater, but with three hungry kids in the car I pull into Arby’s. The family piles out of the car, but not me. I’m still stewing. While they enjoyed a thinly sliced roast beef, I sat in the car sulking in thinly sliced anger and resentment.

The story is funny now and we all laugh about that infamous day. At times now when we are going out to eat, the kids will say “Hey dad! Want to go to Arby’s for dinner? You can sit in the car.”

“Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that war within you.” James 4:1

CONFLICT Series begins @ Epic November 15

30/30: The Holy Spirit Gives You an Unfair Advantage in Life

3 06 2009

supernaturalAnd I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for He lives with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17

The Holy Spirit Gives You Supernatural Power …

1. To Believe

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. John 3:5-6

2. To Walk in God’s Will
When He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own. He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. John 16:13

3. To Share Christ Boldly
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31

4. To Make a Difference with Spiritual Gifts.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good…(list of gifts)… It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.    I Corinthians 12:7, 11

5. To Live a Holy Life

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6

So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants…These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. Galatians 5:16-17

6. To Be Strengthened in Our Weakness
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. Romans 8:26-27

30/30: Battles. Warfare. Spritual Armor.

20 05 2009

supernaturalLast Sunday, we began the “Supernatural” Series at Epic. I seriously believe that God is trying to move in big way and we are in the middle of a spiritual battle. What we see with our physical eyes is not all there is, but there is a spiritual world that is just as real and is interconnected with the physical world. Scripture says it this way, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Ephesians 6:10-12

You and I have a battle, but it’s not against the government, a political party, Hollywood or your boss from hell. Our battle is against “evil forces in the heavenly realms.” The devil is scheming to take you out. So our battle involves faith, prayer and God’s Word. And there are three critical things we all need to remember in this battle….

1. You Are Not Alone in Your Battles. (2 Kings 6:15-17)

2. Your Prayers Are Far More Powerful Than You Know.
(Daniel 10:12-14)

ArmorofGod3. You Are Equipped For Battle

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:13-18

30/30: How to Hang on at the End of Your Rope

6 05 2009

worst-case-scenarioLessons from Jeremiah, a Guy Who Was Hanging On For Dear Life

When Your Hanging on at the End of Your Rope…

1. Focus Your Attention on God

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions. Wait for hope to appear. Lamentations 3:28-29

2. Ask God to Remove Your Fears

From the bottom of the pit, I cried out to You, O Lord. And when I begged You to listen to my cry, You heard. And You answered me and told me not to be afraid. Lamentations 3:55-57

3. Trust God’s Goodness

The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in Him. So it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for Him to save us.” Lamentations 3:25-26

4. Remember the Lord’s Faithfulness

“I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all…the feeling of hitting the bottom. BUT there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering it, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, His merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great is Your faithfulness! Lamentations 2:19-23

Survival Guide: Fend Off Depression, Part #1

30 04 2009

worst-case-scenarioWhat is so cool about the Bible is that there are people just like us who struggled with discouragement, doubt and depression. Elijah, a spokesperson for God in the Old Testament was seriously down, defeated and depressed. His story is told in 1 Kings 19.

1 When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. 2 So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.” 3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there 4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died

Ever been there? Feeling like you would like your fed up and ready to give up? Elijah, like many of us was a the end of his rope. When I am feeling down, I start to at just like Elijah. We do these four things which only increases our depression.

1. Focus on Your Feelings
2. Push People Away
3. Compare Yourself to Others
4. Assume the Worst

Elijah did all of those things, but what is so amazing is God’s response. God doesn’t condemn him; He doesn’t criticize him. Elijah may have given up on God, but God hasn’t given up on Elijah. He offers a practical Survival Guide to help people like you and me fend off depression. He pulls Elijah up and restores his soul.

1. Take Care of Your Physical Needs
5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” 6 He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength.

2. Don’t Suppress Your Frustrations, Tell them to God
There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

3. Understand God’s Position and Power
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

4. Start Again
15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.