Information Overload | Set My Mind on God

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There are so many things vying for our attention today. We have more information than ever before, that being informed has a different meaning than it did prior to the internet, television, radio, and even the telephone. Information used to travel slowly, but today the news of a significant event can be spread in minutes. Not just significant events, but even small moments in the lives of friends and family. All of this can be wonderful, but it can also lead to mental overload.

I don’t believe we were designed to consume so much information and I am certain that many of the problems so many are facing, mentally and emotionally, stem from focusing on the information overload rather than the source of our peace, strength, hope and healing.

Psalm 111:2 (NLT) How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them.

The word amazed is an interesting word. When is the last time you were truly amazed at something? When is the last time you felt truly amazed because of the Lord? With so much to ponder it’s easy be so caught up consuming the new that we don’t properly ponder the deeds of the Lord! God has done so much throughout history, and He’s done so much in your life and we must keep that fresh in our spirit’s.

As we spend time in our daily pursuit, as we take the time to delight in Him, I pray today that we would once again be brought to a place of amazement, that place of genuine awe. Not only at what He has done, but what He is doing and what He will do. He is constantly at work and as you set our mind on the Lord and surrender Your will for His you will be continually amazed at what He accomplishes through your life.

Ephesians 3:16-20 (NLT) I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

As we continually keep our focus on Jesus our roots grow deeper and stronger in the love of God and that fills us with the fullness of life and power that comes from Him. I think we can all agree the world needs a little more love. May we put His love on full display today that He would receive glory! That He would accomplish more than we could even think to ask.

How To Keep Seeking God When You Don’t See Growth

You can do all the right things, you can pray, you can study scripture and still enter into a season when you just don’t feel like it’s accomplishing anything. That’s about the time discouragement sets in. What do you do when you feel like your effort is all in vain?

EXPECTATIONS

I think there are three key areas worth looking into. The first is our expectations. What are we expecting out of our time with Jesus? Are we expecting a daily emotional experience? Well, that’s probably not going to happen. Are we expecting lighting bolts of revelation every time we read scripture? Sorry to tell you, there are dry seasons. Not every devotional time will be a “moment” to remember, but every single one is significant, regardless of our perceived outcome.

You know how to seek the Lord, so keep practicing what you’ve learned even when it doesn’t seem to be working.

FOCUS

The second key area is our focus. What is our goal? Many times we put our attention on a desired outcome when really it should just be on Jesus. Our devotional time is not a time of accomplishment, but a place where we grow in devotion FOR Jesus. Sometimes we get caught up trying to recapture, or relive past encounters with the Lord. This pursuit rarely accomplishes its purpose. Instead let’s place our focus on what God has for us today and where He is leading us right now.

Each day is significant and God has instilled purpose into each one. We must allow Him to reveal it to us by investing first and foremost into our relationship with Him.

SEASONS

The final area we should look at is simple evaluating what season are we in. Growth has seasons, spiritual growth is no exception. In some seasons you plant, in some seasons you water, in some seasons grow, in some seasons you harvest, in some seasons you rest. True, some seasons are more enjoyable than others, but each one is important. We need to take the pressure off of trying to produce spiritual fruit. Our role is to remain faithful in our daily pursuit of Jesus and His role is produce fruitfulness.

John 15:4-5 (ESV) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Our role as Christians is first and foremost to abide in Jesus. We won’t always see growth, that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Remember that before growth is ever seen bursting from the soil, it is happening beneath the surface. We abide in Jesus, nourishing our relationship with Him, surrendering our will for His, trusting Him with ever facet of our lives.

He is good. He is trustworthy.

Continue your daily pursuit of Jesus.

Abide in Christ.

America Is Not First | Citizen of Heaven

Philippians 1:27 (NLT) Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.

ABOVE ALL I am a citizen of Heaven. It is so easy to get entangled in the affairs of the world, the politics, the arguments, the patriotism. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a patriot and I love my country, but I am a citizen of Heaven before I am an American. That means there will be moments that I must lay down my preferences for the sake of building the Kingdom.

I’ve seen so many heated arguments lately and I find myself grieved because it seems many would rather fight for their rights than carry out their responsibility to love their fellow man. There is such disunity in our nation, this is a time the church should be shining as a beacon of love, conducting themselves in a manner worthy of the good news about Christ, yet the church is just as divided as the rest of the world– just only between churches and denominations, but even within a single body.

I reflect on the the prayer of Jesus before He willingly laid down His life.

John 17:20-23 (NLT) I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

His prayer was that our perfect unity would be the message to the world that the message of Jesus was truth. Sadly, when the world looks at the church, if we happen to do anything worth looking at, too often what they see is angry, hateful hypocrites who can’t agree on anything.

It seems to me people are so easily offended that we struggle to love properly. Or maybe it’s the other way around, we struggle to truly love and so we are easily offended. All I know is that something HAS TO CHANGE. This isn’t the church Jesus is coming back for. He is coming back for a pure and spotless bride, unified in His glorious purpose.

I pray today that we would stand together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith and not amongst ourselves, but be so singularly focused on the Good News that we become again fully defined by the love of God on display in our lives.

THEY CALL US IMPOSTERS

We can’t control what other people think. Even the most influential, integral men throughout history had people who found fault with them. Look no further than the Apostle Paul.

2 Corinthians 6:3-8 (NLT) We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors.

There is scarcely a worse feeling in the world than someone accusing you of something that is just not true. It’s so frustrating when you realize that you can’t do anything to change their mind. I’m not sure there is a greater man in scripture than Paul. He endured so much hardship, was falsely acused, cared SO much for the church and the people he brought to Christ, lived with absolutely integrity, experienced God’s power working through him, walked in righteousness, yet people still looked at him and said, “you’re an imposter.”

Really?

Yet, He purposed in His heart that He would honr God regardless of how people treated him.

You can live the perfect life (well, you probably can’t, but still…) and people will still find fault in you, misjudge your motives, make false assumptions about you and there isn’t anything you can do about it.

Our initial instinct is to push back and strive to prove them wrong, but ultimately that energy is wasted. Their mind doesn’t change and we feel miserable.

We need to learn from the example of Paul. We need to release our need to be perceived as correct, and I’m talking to myself here. We need to recognize that when we are falsely accused, God sees us as we truly are. If someone attacks our integrity, we know that God knows the truth. If you know you are right with God then you can release their false accusations and continue to be faithful to the work God has called you to do.

Integrity will be proven over time.

One statement I live by is that as I continue to be faithful, God will continue to be fruitful. So today, let us decide in our hearts to keep honoring God by the way we live our lives. Let us continue to walk in righteousness. May we keep our hearts pure for His purposes as we seek His presence. Even though they call us imposters, we know our hearts and so does the Lord. Continue to be faithful to the Lord and He will be faithful to produce good fruit in your life.

Do not be overwhelmed by the opinions on man, but keep your thoughts steadfast on the Lord and the purposes of the Lord.

Isaiah 26:4 (NLT) You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Genuine Life Change (My story)

I don’t remember the speaker, let alone the message. I only remember the moment God reached into my soul and clearly began speaking to me. I knew it. was time to get serious, I knew this moment was a life changing moment.

Of course, I’ve had life changing moments before, they rarely stuck long past the moment. Perhaps you can relate? We sometimes refer to this as the camp experience. We return from these highs determined to be ALL IN for Jesus and it lasts for a few weeks before our normal rhythm and routine eventually win out over the pull to give it all for God.

This time was different. Not because of the moment itself, but because of what happened afterward. I changed my rhythms and routines.

I left that moment determined to make the changes I felt were necessary. The first of which was getting serious about my morning routine. I had a loose, unstructured, albeit inconsistent routine, but now I needed to step it up. I decided I needed to read. I’m not an over acheiver, I decided to read five pages a day. That may seem insignificant, but five pages a day is enough to get through most leadership / spiritual growth books in four to six weeks.

The first book I read was called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy and it changed my life. The simple message was that small things done consistently over long periods of time yield big results. This resonated deeply because I’ve had a lot of BIG MOMENTS that didn’t amount to jack. What if I stopped trying to have big life chanigng moments and just changed my life, a little at a time.

I sat down and crafted a morning routine that, while I’ve added some flexibility and made tweaks along the way has aboslutely changed my life over the last four years.

I want to be clear, the first two years had me wondering if this thing was even working. That’s right I said TWO YEARS. I didn’t see any real results from my consistency for almost two full years, but once I did it was clear the power of the compound effect. Now four years in, I can tell you without any doubt this works.

I think of planting seeds in the ground. It takes time for the growth happening beneath the surface to burst throug the soil and become visible. Too often we don’t see the visible results of our life so we give up without realizing that the growth inside us is in process. If only we would remain consistent we would see big results.

Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT) And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

I want to encourage you today to keep readying scripture. Keep pursuing God through prayer. I know there are seasons where you’ve felt like your prayers are empty and you’re study of scripture is yielding no results. I want to assure today that this is NOT wasted time. You are putting in the hard effort of growth. Keep watering your soul, nourishing your spirit with consistent daily pursuit of Jesus. Eventually you will see fruit like you’ve never known and it was beyond worth it.

A Crisis of Thought

Well, this year has been a bit on the terrible side as far as world wide crisis, politlcal drama, and injustice of all kinds. It’s a lot to think about. A lot of have an opinion about. A lot to discuss. Throughout the course of the year, I found myself for the first time in my life becoming cynical and prone to prolonged negative thinking.

I say for the first time because I’ve always been a positive person. It just comes natural. I assume people have the best of intentinos. However, a few months ago I briefly found myself wanting to give up humanity. I didn’t like the negativity and the heaviness of the accompanying emotions. I decided that something had to change. I decided that I would fight to be the postivie person I always have been.

I can’t blame the internal struggle I was having on solely 2020. The truth is there were some thought patterns I had begun to entertain even prior to the start of the year. However, when we identify fruit being produced in our lives it is time to change what we are planting. Our thinking is SO important and there is a reason that scripture gives us such clear instructions on thought.

Romans 12:2 (NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

There is a lot going on in our world and if we’re not careful we can let it consume our thinknig. There is a lot of division in our world and if we’re not careful we can let it divide us. However, we must remember that our thoughts should be firstly saturated in God’s Word and in His presence. I suspect that we sometimes end up in converations- arguments- we were never meant to be in because our thinking was transformed by our political party rather than the Word of God.

I believe many people, and even churches are missing the will of God for them simply because they are being changed by the world around them rather than allowing the God within them to change their world.

Philippians 4:8 (NLT) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Fix yout thoughts. I love the term FIX your thoughts. This means to set them on a subject and be unmovable from that subject. I love even more that the first thing we should fix our thoughts on is what is true. There is so much false information in our world that is more challenging than ever to discern truth. I see so much misinfirmation or misattributed quotes spread on social media that I can’t even believe. Real truth though, God’s truth is easier to find. We need only to turn to His Word.

Simply put, we need to spend more time intentionally focusing on the good. Focus on the positive. Intentionally look for things we can encourage and celebrate. There will always be negativity and things that could weigh us down, but we get to choose what we fix our thoughts on.

My challenge to us today is simply this: Let’s spend more time thinking about the Kingdom of God than the kingdom of the world.


Thank you for reading! I recently made a video about maintaing a positive mindset. In it I give three additional ways we can try to stay positive. If that could help you then you can check it out below.

Five Ways To Beat Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever feel like a fraud? Like you’re certain to be found out? It turns out this is a relatively common phenomenon. It has become known as imposter syndrome and it affects even the most successful people.

I”m no exception. There have been a few moments when I have certainly felt out of my depth, at times because I was a bit out of my depth. As a youth pastor and content creator I certainly don’t always feel qualified to try and offer the help and motivation I’m giving. Why should anyone listen to me? The thing is though, there isn’t really anything that makes me unqualified. I’ve studied and continue to learn as much as I can. One could almost say I have a responsibility to share what I’m learning. If it can help people it will!

Imposter syndrome is me feeling like I’m not enough, even though I am. Too often we let imposter syndrome keep us from taking that first step, or maybe even the next step and If you can relate to those feelings— Stop selling yourself short. Don’t let imposter syndrome win. Today I want to give you five ways to beat imposter syndrome.

ONE: Learn any skills you are lacking.

Many people want to define success as the point of arrival, but the truth is no such point exists. True success is in continuing the journey. Keep pursuing knowledge. Keep learning and applying that knowledge. It doesn’t have to be all at once either, slowly over time keep growing. Keep reading books that will challenge and stretch you. Keep watching YouTube videos or listening to podcasts. What are you doing to improve? If you’re continuing to get better, I promise you are absolutely not an imposter.

TWO: Acknowledge the feeling and Identify the falsehoods. 

If you’re feeling like an imposter, recognize it and call it out. Sometimes we play this mental head game where we try to just dismiss the thought and bury it deep into our subconscious where it goes to live, subtly gnawing at our confidence. It is far better to acknowledge you feel that way. Say it out loud and then recognize the lies. “I feel like an imposter because…” There is a good chance the reason following that statement isn’t true. If you’re still worried it is then…

THREE: Ask for feedback. 

This is so important because other people have a way of seeing areas of our lives that we are otherwise blind to. Find a trusted friend, mentor or coworker and let them know what you’ve been feeling and why. Give them permission to give honest feedback. They may have an area or two where you could improve. I bet they will also be able to tell you all the ways you are qualified and the positives that you completely forgot about while you were focusing on your flaws.

FOUR: Don’t fall into the comparison TRAP.

We live in a world where everyone constantly posts their highlights on social media and we can’t help but see them and immediately compare our results with theirs. We forget that apparent success by someone else can be deceptive and doesn’t always reflect reality. We also forget that even the most successful has flaws, faults and days where they’re not feeling it. Stop comparing your low points with someone else’s high points. Look at yourself, your results and the ways you’re working to move forward.

FIVE: Remember who YOU are (and how you got here).

We can learn a lot from the story of Jesus’ first temptation in the wilderness.

MATTHEW 4:1-3 (NLT) Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”

The amazing thing about this to me is that right before that Jesus was baptized and the heaven’s opened up and the voice of God said, “This is my son dearly loved son, who brings me great joy.” NOW the enemy comes along and is like, “If you’re God’s son…”

First, he tries to cast doubt on who Jesus is and then he puts expectations on the identity. “If you were really who you say you are you would do this” or “You would have achieved this by now.”

There will always be voices (even if they are our own) that try to cast doubt on our authenticity, or that feeling that we should have done more by now. We must silence those voices. Don’t ever let someone else’s lack of belief in you keep you from believing in yourself. If the someone can cause you to doubt your identity, ability, intelligence then they can rob you of your power to accomplish those things. Guard the voices that you listen to. Be who YOU are. You’re not an imposter. You’re exactly who you’re supposed to be. So keep going.