Sunday, November 2, 2008

Where My Brother Once Stood

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Where My Brother Once Stood
By George Beasley

2 Samuel 18:30 (ESV): “And the king said, ‘Turn aside and stand here.’ So he turned aside and stood still.”

I write this story in memory of my brother, Chris, who died at the young age of thirty-seven. It’s been almost three years since he passed away. He ran as far as he could and as long as he could. His pain and suffering never left him. Finally, it took his life.

This picture is where he once stood. Chris and I had many memories on this pier, sitting there in the night hours with a dim light in the background, just enough to light up our faces. The sounds of the water were so calm, and to this day, I still hear the silence. The conversations were always light and never too deep. Home would come up now and then, but we mostly talked about the future. Chris talked about his hopes and dreams, and I talked about mine.

Today, I visited the pier again, thinking of him and recalling the beautiful memories we had there. I usually stand right where he stood, look out over the water, and listen as if to hear his voice, but there is nothing but silence now. This is truly a special place and not just because this is where my brother once stood. This is also where my girls have stood, where many of my friends have stood, and where the love of my life now stands, my sweet Lisa. I love you, Lisa!

As Lisa and I sat there today, I carved our initials into the wood once again. I often do this because I forget where I have carved our initials in the past. There are hundreds of names carved on this pier. This tells me of all the others that have once stood here. Not just Boys Home boys and girls, but many in the community and many who came to vacation at Lake Waccamaw. Many dreams of love and a future were born here; the carvings tell me so.

I was reminded today by an old and new friend of just how short life can be. I called my friend for the first time in some thirty years. Her voice sounded the same as it did thirty years ago as she said, “We can’t meet today; someone has died, and we will be going to the funeral home.” As I listened to her explain, I was sad, not to miss our meeting, but for all of those who once had hopes and dreams like Chris. I was sad for those who loved her, and I knew what pain and suffering they were going through. As I walked out to the end of that pier today and stood where my brother once stood, I was reminded that life is brief, and it seems to take us places we never thought we would go. My journey has been filled with adventures, great joy, and many heartaches; I know am blessed to still be standing where my brother once stood.

There are so many twists and turns on this journey of life. Many people try to explain the twists and turns, but they cannot. For me, it is where my brother once stood. The memories I have will be part of me until I no longer stand. Then others will walk the same path as I have and stand where I stood and say, “I once stood here.” The water will whisper the hopes and dreams they had and will tell stories of the many who have stood there. We serve a wonderful God who has allowed me into so many lives, both the standing and the once stood. I am thankful to each of you for sharing your lives with me, not just your hopes and dreams, but what has crushed you and caused you pain and suffering, what has turned your dreams into nightmares, and what has cursed you for a lifetime.

To end this story is impossible, as life continues. To apply this story to your life and mine, we must stand where our brothers and sisters once stood. Leaning on their memories, their hopes, and their dreams. Remembering all the good of life and how blessed we are to still be where they once stood. I love you, Chris; thank you for the memories, the hopes, and the dreams of where you once stood.

Never let go of your hopes and dreams. This is where you stand today!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And On The Seventh Day, It Ended! Part 2

Philippians 4: 4-5 (MSG) Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! 

The question was, “What would I do if I had thirty days to live?” As discussed in part one, we operate on a thirty-day schedule. So, to make this question as close to a reality as possible, I am asking, “What would I do if I had seven days to live?” Asking this has stirred great emotion in me and caused me to think deeply about every moment of the seven days.

My life is about relationships. The question is, how do I end those? How do I spend the hours on the phone and in person when there are only seven days? The people I care for the most and the relationships God has allowed me to have over the years would suddenly be ending.

Now on to the question. First, I would not travel. I would not go anywhere and stand in line. I would not drive to places which might cause me to get into a traffic jam. I would not sit in front of a speaker, wasting my time trying to get an order right at the drive-thru. I would focus on fostering and mending my relationships.

I hope my relationship with God would grow stronger in these seven days. To be honest, I am afraid I might be mad at God or feel cheated by Him. I would rest on the promise that God has gone and prepared a place for me in Heaven. I believe my emotions would be up and down. I get emotional just thinking about it. Seven days! I would be excited, thinking of seeing Jesus, God, Paul, Moses, David, Peter, and, of course, Esther. I believe my emotions of missing my family would be the strongest and the most demanding. I would want my family around me twenty-four hours a day. I wouldn’t sleep too much—only enough to get by.

One of my tasks would be to video myself and all my thoughts for years to come. I would write what God would have me to write on and leave a special word for my wonderful wife and the girls whom God has blessed me with.

When asking this question, another question came to mind. “Would God be enough during this event?”

I would want my family to know that God is enough during this time, because, at the end, I am going to see Him. I would want to be remembered as a person who loved God and knew God.

It reminds me of a dear friend’s dad passing last year. At the funeral, the preacher described James Rodgers with words like, happy, loving, respected, concerned about others, a righteous man, a giving man, a man who loved God and taught his children to love God, and a man who loved others and taught his children how to love others. I pray someone will speak these words about me one day.

Because I have seen so much death during my life, I noticed something about this family that was different. They had a peace that their dad was sitting right where God had promised. They understood that God is enough. That is the question here. In the midst of a loss, is God enough?

A couple of years ago, I made several promises to myself. I promised to give a word of encouragement to a person like it was my last word. I promised to kiss my daughters like it was my last kiss. I promised to tell my wife that I love her and kiss her every day before she left for work—like it was my last time. I promised to give a hug to a person like it was my last time to give a hug. I promised to touch someone’s life like it was the last time they would ever see or hear a word.

There is no promise of tomorrow. There is no promise of eyesight, hearing, smelling or even walking tomorrow. There is no promise that we will be able to go to a person and mend a relationship; life is too short for these petty fault-finding arguments. She made me mad. I don’t like the way they do that. I can’t believe he would do that. He’s such a selfish person. I don’t like him. I can’t stand her! These words just might go to the grave with you. Life is short, but our culture has decided we can do it tomorrow. I will go to church tomorrow. I will ask God for this tomorrow. I will mend that relationship tomorrow. I will. I will. I will. What happens if you can’t? What if tomorrow doesn’t come?

So, I would not spend my last days on some things you expected. I will not let death have influence on my story of life. Death has only one goal for me and that is to unite me with my maker, God! Others may not know where they will go when death occurs; that is sad, but none the less, a reality. You have had time to reconsider and stop relying on your own physical efforts to obtain a peaceful life and realize where you are going when you die. But maybe you haven’t made that decision yet.

We don’t put a great deal of thought into the subject of death, mostly because we think in terms of tomorrow. Will tomorrow get here? Who knows? But if it does, I will be ready to go another day, not in the grind, but in the joy of living. I will be thankful that God has given me another day to make a difference here on this earth, so I had better use it wisely.

Day seven! Giving God Glory and knowing God is enough! Loving on my family and grateful that they know God is enough!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

And On The Seventh Day, It Ended! Part I

And On The Seventh Day, It Ended!

Psalm 39. 4-5

4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
      Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is.
 5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
      My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”

The question was asked, “If you had thirty days to live, how would you live out those days?” The question has no variables, such as healing or wrong diagnosis. It is what it is.

I must say at this time and in the midst of researching this question, I have come to a conclusion. Thirty days is too long of a time span to ask an American what they would do if faced with this tragic situation. Just after one day of asking this question I have learned that Americans do everything by the month. Nothing is done out of sequence, we live by the month so to ask this question and keep it in some type of reality, I have to ask ‘If you had seven days left to live, how would you spend them?”

Now ask yourself that. It brings more urgency to the matter. It stirs up more emotions; it brings you closer to the reality. By the way, I have also learned that unless you have been very close or known someone who has been part of an event of this nature it is very hard if not impossible to get close to the reality of this question. I do believe that you can experience some of the emotions that would be overwhelming if this event were to occur in our lives.

I think for the next two stories, as I contemplate this question, I will tell you guys what I would do with my last days. As Pastor Glenn at Church Alive talked about this subject it is not to be morbid but to look at life a bit differently. This happens everyday in our society. I know some of you reading this may have gone through this with a loved one or even been told this yourself. My purpose is not to be insensitive to the people who have experienced this. The purpose for me as I heard the message was to take a good look at my life and ask “what am I doing and am I using every minute wisely?”

Our culture is futuristic; we all tend to live in tomorrow. Even in writing this one story, I told myself I would just start on it tomorrow. As I write now I am thinking, will I even make it to tomorrow? I feel like I will but based on the scripture above there is no promise. I also read that Jesus knew He had thirty days to live before going to the cross, while not knowing if that was accurate, I see the urgency He put in every word He spoke.

For those of you that have been reading my stories for the past three years realize that I have written on this subject, but in a different way. I was more focused on living in the moment, not letting anything we do get in the way of what God wants us to do.

I am sure you remember me saying as I was told by my great friend Kyle, who at the time was coaching me at my all time favorite activity, water skiing. He said, “George, you have a great passion for the sport but you just don’t have that passion behind the boat, you’re just not getting on it hard enough, you have to get into a mind set like it’s going to be your last time ever skiing, your last time in the water, your last pull behind the boat.”

Is that us, do we have a great passion for Jesus but just can’t get it done in our lives, we talk it, we know the Christian language, we know the word but we are not getting it done. We always want to wait till tomorrow. It almost seems that some of us are just faking it. You know what to do but you won’t do it. Have you ever thought about why you won’t do what God has called you to do? I hope these next few stories will help you find purpose and real meaning to life, living it as if you had just a few days left.

Kyle’s statement that day and in the days to come would change me forever. It’s funny how a few words like that work in your life. Every time I ski, I do it like it’s my last time. I took that statement and made it part of my life. I now think and do everything like it’s the last time. No promise of tomorrow. No promise that we will ever see or talk to that person again. Am I perfect at this, No! I fail more than I care to admit. It’s a mind set and you have to fight your old nature to make this work for you. Your mind will tell you that tomorrow will come but the reality is that it may not.

So today I set out to ask several of my greatest friends “what if you had thirty days to live, how would you live out those days?” As I stated before, thirty days was too long so I am now going to take some of their answers and include them here for us. I did rephrase the question for some of them and ask “what if you had just 7 days to live, how would you live them?” I am working on my statements for the next story, part two.

I believe there needs to be a statement made here that this is not just a question but a reality for many people in the world each day. I know there is no way to understand the complete reality of this tragic situation, nor do I attempt too. This is merely an exercise to get insight on how we should be living everyday. If we lived just seven days at a time, how would we live? The ideal of course is to live each day as it’s our last.

In writing this story I have become aware of every activity I am doing. Would I be watching this if I had seven days left, would I be eating this, would I be talking like this, would I be acting towards this person like this? I want you to understand the power of this mind set and the rule it can have over you. Not to mention the emotions that are moved when thinking like this.

This is what one of my friends wrote back when ask this question, she said, “I would not live my life much differently.... I guess having lost so many close people without warning and then the health scares I have had (especially last year) I really try to live each day and know each moment could be my last..... especially when I am saying bye to someone.... or dropping my son off at school, etc.... NOT in a spirit of fear (because what could be GREATER than getting to go HOME?) but with a knowledge that it's not in our hands - that each day is a gift..... So mostly the same, I'd probably pack my family up and hit the road for Yellowstone or somewhere cool like that - always wanted to see Alaska.…

Then she added, “I hope that you know that during those excursions of my last 30 days of course the hope is to be practicing my "Great Commission"... you know... going and telling... which I hope is what I do now too....I'm just not a preacher.... so saying that I'd go out and travel the world preaching the gospel would not be quite the honest response..... but just my regular hope to always "preach the gospel using words only when necessary". I just figured since you know me well enough you would know that that part of it is understood...

You know, the only real ambition/goal I'm aiming for is a "well done" at the end of it all.... Of course there are things I "want" along the way, but sure have no real NEED for them.... so I figure if I focus on getting the well done, He'll give me more than I wanted in the first place as He sees fit... which is what He's done consistently so far.

And one of my friends wrote back and said this, “in my final days. I suspect we would cook out, laugh, joke, tell stories, maybe go to a favorite restaurant, but mostly just be together. I would also have to have a big “going away party” with all my friends to say my goodbyes, but it would be fun – no tears, just good times!!! I also suspect I would do a lot of soul searching and spend time in prayer, wanting to make sure my family was prepared for my departure – I would want them to be comforted. I would also want to tie up some loose ends, make sure my dog had a good home after I’m gone, and give away things that were special to me. Would I rush off to get married? That’s an experience I hope to have before I die, but I would hate to leave him a widower – I think that would be selfish on my part.

And one of my friends wrote back and said “It's always interesting to think about knowing that you had 30 days - you'd show more love, you'd eat well (good steaks),  you'd visit somewhere cool, you’d "make things right", but I think I would have a much more repentant heart as well and I hope I would be a bolder witness.  It wouldn't necessarily be that much different, but the stakes are higher and the finality of 30 days left gives you permission to cut the unimportant and be bold. 

Another friend wrote back, here are his words “It has struck me that the only thing that has to be done is to make sure that I will be received into the Kingdom.  With this in mind, I better start making sure right now!!   Maybe this is your point?

These are just a few answers to an incredible question. One thing each person has in common is their desire to get close or closer to God during this time. Each of them has a desire to have an affect on people, either directly or indirectly. That by the way was the overwhelming response to my question. Moving the days from thirty to seven only increased the urgency of the response.

As stated before, there is no promise of tomorrow. I don’t even know if you will get to part two. So, what do we do? Do I stay up all night and keep writing until I’m finished? It depends on the desire that burns in me. If I think you really need the second part of this story I would.

It’s all about the desire to give the message, a message of hope while we are alive, a message of compassion while we are alive, a message of love while we are alive and the message of the Gospel, while we are alive.

What’s your desire? Are you living a transformed life? Who are you in Jesus Christ? “WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?” That’s especially important if this was your last day on this earth.

Thank you to my great friends for their honesty and their willingness to give the world the insight into their lives. They all are truly a blessing to me. Lord willing, you will get part two in which I promise to share my deepest emotions and you will have a transparent view of my thoughts.

George Beasley, The Invisible Soul Ministry

Monday, March 24, 2008

Random Acts

1 Corinthians 13
 12 We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
 13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

A random act of kindness is sometimes all that is necessary to bring someone to a point in their life that they can see things more clearly. While shopping the other night in Wal-Mart we were ready to check out. We had our focus on the twenty or less check out but in counting Lisa and I found we had more, so we moved down a couple of rows and fell in line. As always there seemed to be a hold up at the register. There were several people ahead of us so I couldn’t see too clearly what was going on. All I knew was, there was a hold up and I was ready to go.

As always, we picked the line that moves the slowest but tonight would be different. Lisa was talking to me about something and I was looking over shoulders trying to get a look at the face that was causing the delay. All I could see was an arm and the credit card machine. Then I saw this lady’s face. It looked like she was under so much distress. My heart really went out to her at this moment. I wish I could stand here and say I prayed for her but I’m not sure if I did. I was so into the event that was unfolding before my eyes. She had tried several credit cards and found only a few dollars of cash in her wallet. Nothing was working. There was no way she was going to be able to pay for what she wanted. I looked into her cart and noticed she had Easter clothes for her children and some food. My heart sank, we had been right where she was standing.

When our girls were growing up it was a blessing to have five dollars left from our pay check. We were blessed to have water and heat most of the time but we never went one day without food and clothes. I guess that’s what was hitting me, watching this event unfold was reminding me of the grace of God. I was getting excited, my soul was stirring and I was getting ready to do something that Lisa and I live to do and that is a random act of kindness.

We have this rule, if someone needs help, then help them. We ask God to lead people to us that need an act of kindness. It doesn’t have to be money, it may be a simple hug that can change a persons life, a simple word that will bring things into focus for them.

So here we are, ready to pounce and ready to experience the joy of giving without a reason, giving out of love and nothing else. As I watched, she swiped her card for the last time, she was done, her face was that of pain and embarrassment. She had reached bottom. She stood there with her eyes looking towards the floor and suddenly a voice from nowhere said, “How much is it, I’ll pay.”

My heart jumped for joy at hearing this but there was no answer at first. The lady looked up and tried to find the voice in the crowd but she couldn’t. The people in line looked like they were in complete shock. Then the voice came again, “I’ll pay, it doesn’t matter the cost, I have it covered.” The people in line started to talk, “That’s such a nice thing to do. That is so sweet.” The man ignored all the voices and walked to the front of the line and handed the cashier what was due. He had paid the entire debt. The lady looked at him and said, “Thank you so much, I will pay you back”, he said, “You can’t do that, it’s my gift to you on this day.”

The lady, the cashier, and the people in line were in shock. I was moved with compassion as if I had just seen an angel come forward and take care of this lady but what I had witnessed was a random act of kindness that moved more than one person.

While watching and listening to this event unfold, I thought of my own life. I still experienced the joy of giving the other night as I was able to witness the gift of giving. Next time maybe I will be quicker to act before a person reaches such a low point.

I believe I witnessed the perfect picture of Jesus Christ right there in Wal-Mart. You see, at our lowest moments in life when we realize that we can’t pay for what we’ve done, we need to be saved from our sins. When we realize that we can’t do all of this on our own Jesus speaks right to you and says with a loud voice, “I have it covered, no matter the cost, you can’t pay me back, the debt is too great.” Oh, what a great picture of our redeemer and how he lives today.

While knowing what Jesus did for us was no random act, it was planned before time had begun. This act of kindness was towards you and me and was meant for us all.

So how do I end this story? As with all of my stories, there seems to be no end just a question, where are you at? What point in life are you at? Are you the lady in line at the end of her rope, not able to pay for anything, needing help but not willing to ask? Are you the person just standing there watching and saying, “I’m going to do that one day?”

Let me encourage you that life is so much more than the everyday, go to work, get home, cook and eat, then go to sleep. That’s routine and confusion. Life is about love, it’s about kindness and giving of yourself so others will see Jesus. Look at the verses we started with. Sometimes life isn’t so clear, sometimes there is a fog, but in verse thirteen there are some things we can do to make life better. Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.

George Beasley, The Invisible Soul

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Those Golden Shoes

Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 (MSG)
14 I've also concluded that whatever God does, that's the way it's going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God's done it and that's it. That's so we'll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear. 

15 Whatever was, is. Whatever will be, is. That's how it always is with God.

I was sharing these verses with a friend the other day and realized how impactful they were. It’s not our time, but it’s God’s time. This story is an illustration of how we shouldn’t think more highly of ourselves than we ought to because of our status or worldly possessions. 

Back in the day, we all played flag football every Thursday. Rick and I were best friends in high school and still are to this day. He had one seat at the very back of the school bus and I had the other. We orchestrated things on the bus from this vantage point. We were not bullies but knew the status and responsibility we had as being the older boys in the home. If we saw something that was out of line, we were quick to act and bring correction. Looking back, I wonder what the other boys must have thought about how we behaved on those Thursdays.

On Thursdays, Rick and I didn’t talk; we just rode home from school on the bus. We played flag football on separate teams. He played on the “farm” team, and I played on the home team. The farm team always recruited the tougher and stronger guys. They were called the farm team because they worked on the farm. By the way, farm work paid seven dollars a week and was one of the highest paying jobs around. The farm team was the best, but I wasn’t on it. Don’t get me wrong, I was as good as any of those guys, but the farm thing just wasn’t me.

When we rode home on Thursdays, the bus was always quiet. This was the day that Rick and I would taunt each other and tell each other exactly what was going to happen on the field that day. You get the point. We were very specific in our language and our action. The other boys would just listen in. If you are wondering who was driving our school bus, it was another boy from the home. We had our own bus, and it was just us.

Then, one day, Rick crosses the line. We are going back and forth; it is a very heated conversation that day and we are almost in a fight, screaming back and forth. Suddenly, Rick stands up and picks up his bookbag. The bus driver slams on breaks. As the bus is coming to a stop, I stand up, gripping the back of the seat in front of me. Rick reaches into his bookbag and pulls out a pair of freshly painted football cleats. He screams, “Yeah baby. What’s up? What are you going to do with these bad boys?” He had painted his football cleats gold. Then he declares at the top of his lungs, “Today, these babies are going to fly by you so fast; you ain’t going to see nothing but gold.” Then he starts this taunt of “FTD, FTD baby, FTD, FTD baby.” When we were growing up, there was a flower guy on a TV commercial that wore golden shoes, and he ran really fast from delivery to delivery. Rick decides that if he wears golden shoes, he will be as fast as the FTD guy.

The whole bus bursts out laughing, the driver starts the bus, and we continue home. Rick straps on his golden shoes, still taunting me. He is dead serious about these shoes. What can I say? The man has golden shoes on. I was so ready to get to the field that day. The game starts, and it doesn’t take long for me and Rick to get matched up. He catches a pass and runs down the sideline; he looks at me and points down at his shoes. I head straight for him. When I get within range, I dive and hit him right in the side and send him sailing about twenty feet out of bounds. This is supposed to be flag football, so while we are on the ground, I grab his flag and say, “Got ya, golden boy.” We both get up and realize how stupid we have been and laugh out loud. To this day, we still crack up about the golden shoes.

So, what’s the point of this story? Sometimes our possessions make us think we are something we are not. Things don’t really make us who we are. They paint a picture to others, but when it’s all said and done and the lights go out, who are you?

As the word in Ecclesiastes says, “Whatever was, is. Whatever will be, is.” Put in my vernacular, “It is what it is.” If we would try harder at living a life of truth and not one of golden shoes, we could help each other more. Maybe we could team up and do something for this world, leaving our golden shoes in the closet. Be who God made you to be. Find your destiny and your position in life in Jesus Christ. This life is not about how much stuff we can accumulate and how we model the clothes on our backs and the cars in our driveways. Life is about purpose and destiny. Who are you? Where are you going and how are you going to get there? Are you going to be you or someone with golden shoes? Are you going to be authentic or be a painted-on person?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pride & Priority

What do you know to be true in your life? What drives you to make decisions in life? Is it pride or is it priority? 

We all talk about the priorities of our life and how they drive our schedules and dictate our timetables. They tell us when to sit and when to stand, when to go and when to come. One could say that priorities are the driving force in every decision we make. I think this is an accurate statement, but there is a greater force behind each decision we make, and it’s called pride. In some ways, pride enters every decision we make, and whether we like it or not, pride wins more times than we care to admit.

We are all so busy and there seems to be no time left for God. There is no time left for the things in life that really make a difference. There is no time to say, I love you, no time to give a hug, no time to lend a helping hand, and no time to ask a friend if they need to talk about something.

Do we really have that much going on in our lives? If we say God is in control, then why do we have so much to do? Why is our schedule so jam-packed with to do things? One answer may be pride!

I met a lady a few years ago who had seven adopted children, all with special needs. I asked myself, how does she do that? How does she take care of all those children plus come to the lake for a day of fun? I believe she was just proud to be a mom. Her pride was in her children and in doing what, as she said, “God called her to do.” Lisa and I had all we could handle with two healthy girls. I believe this lady’s pride was in the right place. That’s just me looking from the outside in. Things are not always what they seem when it comes to pride.

Pride is masked easily; it can be covered quickly with a word, and it can be made invisible to everyone on the outside by counter actions of fill-ins. That’s when we feel guilty about our behavior, and instead of calling it pride, we mask it by filling our schedule with good works to justify our former actions. You are the only one who truly knows the truth and the motive behind every choice you make. Is it a priority or is it pride that makes you decide what choice to make?

We do a great deal of things in the name of Jesus just because of pride. When God is using us mightily, the test is always there to see where our pride lies. The moment we step in front of God and elevate ourselves above Him, we find ourselves back where we started and must start all over again. That is pride. You should be proud of the place you hold in the kingdom and the way God has brought you through trials, but be careful in bringing the priority of pride with you.

What role does priority play when it comes to pride? You tell me! Is it a priority that your place in the community is noticed? Is it a priority that you hide who you really are from others? Is it a priority that people only see the Jesus side of you? We spend a great deal of time and energy building ourselves up to who we think we are and who God expects us to be.

How do you place pride in your life? What priority do you give it? It is your decision. You are the only one in control of your pride. To sum this up, it’s a battle. We all battle priority and pride. The goal is to have pride and priority live together in harmony. While pride is always seeking to elevate self and dictate the priority we place in any circumstance, our goal should be to seek the kingdom of God first.

Pride grows from a lack of setting God’s priorities in our lives. When you want something, pride steps in and has an influence on your decision. An example of that is when you worry about what others will think. If you are overly concerned with the opinion of others, then pride is standing at the door and already has an influence on your decision. Am I saying we should never care what others think? Not at all. Kingdom thinking requires us to ask what God thinks first.

Remember that pride is controlling and seeks self-centered attention, while priority requires you to weigh the significance of an action to find its rightful place in the mix of life’s schedule.

The outlook for priority is to seek first the kingdom of God. When we put God first, pride will play a smaller role in our lives.

Still Running

Still Running I recently turn sixty-two. There is something about getting older that makes you think about your life. Some days, I wake up...