Today

 It will not last long. Tomorrow is gone and yesterday is completely out of your reach. So, what about today?Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34). Take a few meaningful steps today. 

Share your heart with God. Get a little more personal with Him than you have lately.

Then, share your heart and life with the people around you. Call somebody today that you have been a little at odds with lately. A simple call. What is the worst that can happen? What is the best? Quit being so insecure and afraid oh child of God. 

Take some extra time with the unkept person that you usually would not even make eye contacxt with.

Quit judging and find small, practical ways to show kindness to the “kind” of people you might usually dismiss or ignore.

Treat the person behind the counter like a person that God loves as much as you (because He does).

Walk more slowly. You might finally encounter people.

As you talk to people today, simultaneously pray in your heart for the Lord to speak to you for that person. Maybe He will, maybe He won’t.

Do not spend money today to make yourself feel better. Feast on His word.

Put down your stack of 5 books and pick one. Read that one until you finish that book. Then move on. Focus.

Sit still and spend at least 5 minutes in silence where you invite the Holy Spirit to whisper.

Memorize a verse in the Bible that has been on your mind lately.

Forgive. The poison of bitterness is killing you, not them. That person is probably living their life not even aware that you are miserable.

Pick up the dream that you tossed aside awhile ago and see if God breathe it to life again. 

Walk by faith, not by sight.

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My Newest Book

Breaking Ground Kindle FrontI am excited to announce that I have finished my fourth book. Over a month ago, my senior pastor Allen Hickman gave me the assignment of finding a book that we could use in a relational sort of way for discipling new believers in our church (we will assign mentors to each person to walk through the book together). As I looked, I could not find one that fit our taste. Some were too long, some had too many fill-in-the-blanks (felt a little academic), while others did not cover the topics that was desired. So, I decided to write one. Below is the description on Amazon:

“This book was written with the intent of helping new believers establish a basic, Biblical foundation. David wrote, “If the foundations are destroyed, what will the righteous do.” Far too many believers remain clueless regarding the basics of following Christ. This study consists of five modules per week for six weeks (30 total) and is designed to be discussed with a mentor once per week throughout the duration. This text requires the reader to open his or her Bible to read and sometimes write scripture. Each module ends with a prayer guide and space to write questions and/or comments to discuss with mentor. Ultimately the reader will develop the habit of spending personal time with God on a daily basis.”

I believe strongly that this book will be a great tool in helping new believers (as well as anybody who does not feel they have a strong, Biblical foundation) establish a strong foundation so that there is something in place for God to build upon in the future. One of my favorite parts of the book is that it requires you to have a Bible right beside you at all times. Rather than spoon-feed scripture, you have to look it up for yourself. Sometimes you will be asked to read a passage and at other times write. Check it out. Feel free to recommend to your friend, family member, or pastor.

The book is available in Kindle or paper format.

Note: If you are a RLM member and are going to help us disciple people, do not buy the book yet. Pastor Allen will be hosting a meeting soon to train all of us as we prepare to use this book to help new believers get off to a great start in their spiritual journey.

Practical Advice Regarding Anger

seeing-redA few years ago, my parents were visiting my wife and I (Ezra was not here yet) here in Picayune, Mississippi. During their stay, I received a phone call informing me that a couple of my youth leaders at the time had given a teenager some alcohol. I was enraged. What a lapse in judgment! How could one of my leaders do such a thing? Though the Bible does not speak against drinking alcohol (it does speak against getting drunk and it also speaks against using our liberty in such a way that weaker Christians stumble), few would argue that it was extremely inappropriate to give alcohol to this teen. She was underage.

In a fit of fury, I picked up my phone to call this leader. At that moment, my older, wiser dad, said, “Can I give you a piece of advice?” this was such a humble and disarming approach and was probably what made me willing to pause and listen.

He proceeded to tell me, “B.J., you are a lot like me. You can get really angry in the moment and say or do things that you will later have to apologize for. Do what I do. When you get this angry, make yourself wait 24 hours before you address the person (he admitted to not always following his own rule and then wishing he had). Then, after 24 hours and some time with the Lord, move forward.”

I followed his advice that day. I have done so since. The other day I joked with my wife that I am not nearly as spiritual as my dad because I have to wait 48 hours to a week. All jokes aside, this “rule” has saved me from impulsive, sinful behavior and a multitude of uncomfortable apologies. What I find is that when I stop, breathe, and take some time to bring the issue to the Lord, one of two things happen:

  1. I end up confronting the person days later, but my heart is in a completely different place. As Paul wrote, I am able to go to that person and actually “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). The interval of time allows enough space for the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart so that I do what is right rather than what I feel. This is crucial. Besides, is not love to be our every motive? If you and I are honest, the initial anger is usually void of any redemptive element.Or,
  2. I end up not confronting the person at all. This actually happens more often than the first option. Sometimes I am to pray for the individual. At other times, I am to forgive and let the issue go. Love does not require me to confront every person in every situation.

If you are in leadership, this rule can be especially beneficial. Think about it. If you address the person in anger, he or she will probably not hear the heart of what you are saying. You may later have to apologize for how you treated her and that will make it easier for her to dismiss what you said though the content of what you said she may actually need to consider.

So enact the 24-hour rule. It may very well be what helps you “be angry and “not sin” (Ephesians 4:26).

One note: I am not yet sure how to square the 24-hour rule with the second half of Ephesians 4:26 that states, “do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” God knows my heart.