Confirmation Number

I love confirmation numbers! I feel powerful when I have one and I feel lost when I don’t. How could anybody operate with0ut them?

In ministry I have found this to be true as well, I need a confirmation number. Life is to short and linking people with Jesus is so important that I can’t afford to go down paths that God is not leading me down so there are a few confirmations that I look for.

  • First is adversity or resistance. I learned this early on.. we are in a war and war is messy. If the direction you are heading in is comfortable and doesn’t meet obstacles then you may what to make sure your heading in the right direction. I went to a church for 6 years that led no one to Christ and everything was easy. Each week the services went off like the week before, no resistance, no change. Then I switched over to a church that was very active in the community and many lives were being changed and guess what… it was messy. The power would go out during the services, projectors would break, key people would get sick, the list goes on. What was the difference??? The difference was that satan could care less about the dead church reaching no one and is working his tale off to distract the one that is reach people.

The same is true in your lives. If you are on the right path, you have an enemy that is working against you, your marriage, your finances but the Bible says that He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world (that means that Jesus rocks!). So press on, we win! You should get excited when things are a little rocky because you are on the right path, that is your confirmation number.

  • The next thing that I look for is that what I am doing lines up with scripture. If it doesn’t I am in big trouble. I can’t say that it feels right so it must be right, that’s stupid. There is a peace that comes with doing the right thing but it never comes at the expense of God’s word. God will never lead you to do something that doesn’t line up with his word. NEVER.

There is a few other indicators that I look at but these are the main two that print the confirmation number of my life. Once I have my confirmation number I am confident and I roll with it!

8 Year Old Miracle

phillyGod showed up big time in my life on July 29th 2001. Philip Strickland came into this world in dramatic fasion. He didn’t want to wait until his October 14th due date. He didn’t want to be born in Raleigh like his brother and sister. It was Duke Hospital for him and it was an wild.

I remember it like it was yesterday and it was like a scene off of ER but I also remember how close I felt to God. I almost lost my wife Kelli and Philip but the God who is rich in mercy spared them both. Each day after his birth the docotors at Duke told us he had a different health issue but I felt like God said this kid is fine and each problem came and went.  No heart problems, no stomach problems, no cystic fibrosis, no 3 months in the hospital. In just 3 weeks, we carried our 2 1/2 pound miracle home and he has been like a flash of lightning since then.

I thank God for His mercy and for this kid.

Happy Birthday Philip!

What A Week

Thanks to the generosity of a couple in our church and their company, me and Kelli were able to get away this week for a little R&R. It was a blast and extremely relaxing. I have found out that to really rest it doesn’t matter as much where your body is but where your mind is and I was definitely able to shut the noodle down this week.

Here is a short list of the weeks activities:

  • Hung out in downtown Miami.
  • Ate at Bubba Gumps.
  • Had my first Cuban food.
  • Saw two Comedy Central comedians on the boat.
  • Freshly made sushi every night.
  • Great 80’s show on Tuesday night.
  • Saw an insane balancing act (dude balanced two swords tip to tip on his head, he also balanced a bike on his head from the back wheel).
  • Rode a catamaran for the first time in my life on Tuesday in Key West.
  • Snorkeled over the 3rd largest coral reef in the world.
  • Hung out on the beach in Cozumel Mexico on Wednesday.
  • Met some really cool pastors and there wives (over 1000 on the boat with us). Really enjoyed hanging with Mark and Jennifer Church from St. Louis. Also met Daniel Floyd from Lifepoint Church in VA.
  • Gained 453 pounds
  • Took an air boat ride in the Everglades on Friday.
  • Dated my lovely bride all week!

I am uploading some pics to flickr so look to the right in a day or so. Until then here are a few.

What Appetites Do You Feed?

What you feed grows! (I know, thank you captain obvious) This is has been so true in my life. Let me give you some practical examples:

  • When I start digging into my Bible, I become so alive and I want more. I feel so dumb for slacking off.
  • When I go to the gym, I have more energy and I am inspired to get fit. Again I feel dumb for slacking off.
  • When I spend time on organization I get more done. Again, I feel ignorant for neglecting this aspect of my daily routine.

Can you see a pattern? The things in life that are good for me, actually invigorate me when I do them. So why in the world would I not do them more often? The simple answer is self discipline but there is more to it.

I have two appetites that I have to manage in my life and how I manage these make all the difference in the world.

One appetite is for those things that are healthy for me. My family, my faith, my productivity, my health. The other appetite is those things that pull me away from the first set. I will call this an appetite for destruction. Let me get real vulnerable on this one, this is stuff like lust, over eating, laziness. These things work just like the good list, if you feed them, they grow and not only do they grow but they cause the good list to suffer. If I look at the opposite sex in the wrong manner those desires will grow. If my mind is racing to the next meal my waste line grows. If I fuel laziness it affects my whole schedule.

So here is the game plan:

  • Identify the positive appetites in your life (God, Spouse, Kids, Work)
  • Feed the positive appetites (time, energy, resources)
  • Identify the negative appetites in your life (sin, time wasters, health busters)
  • Starve the negative appetites (cut them off cold, no time, not thoughts, no resources)

Secret To Green Grass

It has been dry as all get out around here lately. I mean like two years dry. When I cut my grass, I can’t see my house, or cars or anything. But even though my lawn is jacked up and my soil is dry, I have noticed that my neighbor down the street has maintained a plush green golf course lawn (and I hate him but that’s a different topic).

What is the difference in our yards? Why is it that his looks like a golf course and mine like a sand trap?

I know you know what I am about to tell you but lean in to this next part.

It’s greener because:

  • He waters it daily (sometimes twice a day)
  • He puts time into it
  • He invest in what it likes

Nothing earth shattering there but isn’t this true in almost every area of our lives? We are attracted to greener grass in areas such as:

  • Finances
  • Marriages
  • Jobs
  • Belongings

The lie that we buy into is that all we need to do is jump the fence to enjoy the green grass but the truth is, when you get over there, you figure out that the grass is green because it is watered, kept up and cared for. The simple truth is that the grass is greener where it is watered. If you aren’t happy with your marriage, maybe you need to water it, spend time working on it and invest in it. Same with your kids and your business. This even works with your health and your realtionship with God. The more you invest the more awesome it becomes, the less you invest the drier it becomes and the more other options look better.

Take the time, energy and resources you have and invest them into your lawn (Relationship with God, Marriage, Kids, Job) and you will find that it will green up just like anyone elses.

Great Day With Friends and Family!

Today was beautiful. Philip had a tee ball game and the weather and Philip were great! And then we got to hag out with our best friends as we gathered for Brad and Jill’s wedding. Check out the flickr link for some pics (it will take a little while to get them all up. (update: here is the set that I uploaded from the wedding)

Here is a little eye candy.