When My Number is Up!

Jesus taught us in Revelation 1:18, I am the living one. I died, but look–I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. God is God and I am not! Since my motorcycle wreck, I’ve been given many, many, many sermons from well-meaning people about the dangers of motorcycles. So, I want to share my life philosophy on living and dying.

I belong to Jesus Christ and have for over forty years now. I believe I am indestructible till God is finished with me. I also believe I was knit together in my mom’s womb and am created with my own unique hard wiring. I have always loved adventure and life on the edge. I don’t believe I foolishly take unnecessary risks with my life but neither do I live in fear.

In Florida in 2012 an equal number of pedestrians were killed by accidents as motorcyclists! I recently heard of a woman at Virginia Beach who was struck by an umbrella that caused cardiac arrest and she died. People die riding bicycles,  walking, sleeping and believe it or not, a funeral director told me many people die while sitting on the toilet! Thousands die each year driving their cars. I have a friend who was struck by lightning playing golf and died. I remember a dear friend who was out talking to people about the Lord. They had just went to talk to a lady who wasn’t home and when they stepped off her porch, he had a massive heart attack and dropped dead on the sidewalk.

If we stopped everything that possibly could lead to an accident and our death, we would all just sit down and cower in fear. I could become a hermit, a recluse, never venturing out from the confines of my home and guess what. I’m still going to die when my number is up!

I refuse to live my life that way. I live in total confidence that when God is done with me, when I’ve finished my purpose, He will call me home no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I may or may not get another motorcycle but if I choose not to, it won’t be because I fear something may happen. Fear not is one of the most used phrases in the New Testament. Live your life with vigor. Examine yourself and see how much fear controls you.

100% of every generation dies, at least so far. Fear more that you haven’t lived than that  one day you will die! Settle the question of being right with God and realize your number will be called when He decides and not before!

blessings,

Scott

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Happiness From Within

motorcylejustme

One month ago tomorrow, two of the things I’ve enjoyed most over the last couple years were removed from my life. Since November of 2014, every time I had a chance to feel the wind in my face riding through the country on my Harley, I’d say to myself, It doesn’t get any better than this. I loved to ride. In a year and a half I put 7,200 miles on that bike, mostly on a bunch of 45 minute rides. It was exhilarating to me. For the last month, though, I’m still not totally healed from the wreck, I’ve very much missed those rides. I’ve thought all I need is to heal and be able to get another bike just like the one I wrecked.

As a consequence of injuries, I’ve also not been able to go to the gym. My second enjoyable thing was working out four days a week. Getting in good shape and feeling really great, looking half decent was very important to me. Going to the gym made me feel alive.

During this time, I’ve been pondering, so where does my happiness come from? Can I be happy without some external stimulus that makes me feel alive? Is God trying to teach me that true happiness can only come from Him and from within? If I need something outside myself to know happiness, is it really achievable, sustainable and realistic?

Just a couple of days ago, after being somewhat depressed about my losses, I’ve come back to the basics. My life does not consist of the things I own. My life consists of a surrendered life that seeks to know and please God. To stay in a place where I am teachable and humble. Life is about surrendering as fully as I know to do God’s will and to serve other people on a daily basis. Out of that foundation life flows.

When I am in that sweet spot of surrender, then all of life’s external things can be icing on the cake, but those things in themselves can never be the cake! Getting this truth turned around always brings me to a place of discontentment. Getting this right, always brings me a settled sense of peace and contentment from within.

Blessings,

Scott

 

 

 

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Close Call Brings Awakening

Over the past several months, I’ve begun each day with a simple three-part prayer. I asked God to allow me surrender fully to Him just for this day; I ask for anything in me that isn’t good to be made clear to me and finally, I ask Him for someone to serve during the course of the day with no expectation of return.

Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, we went to church as always, then I headed out for a little motorcycle ride before lunch. In November of 2014, I bought a small Harley Sportster 1200 custom with some money I inherited from my mom. I’m sure she’d be thrilled with my choice! I’m learning so much about being selfish and self-centered over the past year and a half, but my pride and joy, that sweet blue Harley never entered my mind.

Sunday morning about 11:30 when the bike and I were both down after having a car turn into me, the bike down in the road with parts and pieces scattered and me in the back of an ambulance waiting to be transported to the hospital, I began to have my eyes opened. I’m not speaking for anyone else in the world, this is just for me. I realized spending that much money for something only I would enjoy, knowing Gayle would never ride and then when I rode, it was just me usually going off for some personal enjoyment while others waited and wondered if this ride would be the one I don’t come home.

I couldn’t slice it any other way than this was not something I had ever thought about. Now it seemed like one of the most selfish choices of my life. At the hospital, Gayle said, this was my second most feared call. I said, what is your first, she said, someone other than you calling to tell me you’d been in a wreck. She also told me every time I went for a ride and came home, when she heard the rumble coming down the street, she felt some relief. Mind you, she never said anything to me but enjoy your ride and be careful.

Always liking life on the edge, I’ve really enjoyed having the bike. I’ve seen how quickly things can change. I know I could be killed any number of ways when my number is up. I also believe I’m indestructible until God is done with me. The issue isn’t the bike, it is how self-centered the entire choice and effects have been. I’ve come to see at the heart of most my life’s issues is selfishness and self-centeredness.

PS I fractured my left foot and am bruised and scrapped up pretty good but not bad considering!

Blessings,

Scott

 

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Love or Fear

I read recently, our two primary emotions are love and fear. Most other emotions are secondary to these two major ones. For example, most agree anger, is really fueled by fear. If this theory is true and I believe it is, then almost all our thoughts and actions are motivated by one or the other.

Wow, has that had me pondering for a week! Like most guys, I thought I really didn’t have much fear in my life. But when I consider my actions based on what is motivating them, I’ve come to see I have more fears than I realized.

I fear, I may lose something I want or may lose something I already have and I fear I may not have enough. But there are some deeper seated fears like the following example.

For example, I catch myself regularly “sharing,” things that in my mind make me appear to be more important than I feel inside. Self-promotion is driven by the fear of not living a significant life. Ultimately, it comes from a place of insecurity and is seeking something from outside that is lacking inside.

My goal is to have my actions fueled by a genuine love that is seeking to serve others while guarding against anything self-centered, self-seeking or self-promoting. To humbly serve others with no need for recognition or accolades would let me know love is the fuel.

blessings,

Scott

 

 

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Character Transformation

Christianity calls the process of character transformation sanctification. It means to make holy or set apart. 12 step recovery programs ask for a willingness to have God remove our character defects. Galatians 5:19-22 in the Bible contrast the works of the flesh as opposed to the fruit of the spirit. So, on one side we have sexual immorality and the other we have love. On one side hostility, quarreling and jealousy while the positive side calls for patience. The dark side has drunkenness and wild parties and the positive side calls for self-control.

So, how does character transformation happen? Not in a vacuum that is for sure. So, I got a first hand lesson about character defects and change the past couple weeks. I’m coming to see if I am disturbed with some person, situation or issue in my world, the problem is within me. I have absolutely no control over other people, places or things, so the only thing I have to work with is what I can change!

Due to situations beyond my control and by doing the right thing, we have our daughter, our sixteen month old granddaughter and our newborn grandson living with us. We have been empty nesters for some time and have enjoyed the empty nest. Through a process, I’ve surrendered to God in the circumstance and have come to see, I ask for Him to remove my defects of character. He is using this circumstance to highlight what needs to change in me. God’s yellow highlighter has identified large quantities of selfishness, impatience, greed, lack of love and love of comfort to name a few.  Over the course of the weeks, He has helped me go from frustration, to acceptance to enjoyment. I’ve begun to notice my sixteen month old runs to her mom or my wife but not to me. I’ve asked, what is it about me she doesn’t come to me? My defect of being too impatient,  gruff and rough is being replaced by patience and gentleness and trying to gain her interest rather than demand it.

I’ve not allowed myself to go beyond today. What the future holds, I’ve got no clue. Just for today, I have plenty of opportunity to have my character defects highlighted so I can make the necessary adjustments in me, so I can maintain a high level of love, joy and peace on my insides. So my daughter and grandchildren see something attractive in grandpa and want to be around him. I know I will have gained some serious ground the first time my granddaughter runs to me for comfort! Until then, it isn’t important how many people are living at our address, what is important is my willingness to allow the Lord to make me more like Him and less like me.

Blessings,

Scott

 

 

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The Christmas Gift

It is more blessed to give than to receive. After spending several days with two of our granddaughters, who are 6 and 4 years old, I was reminded of a valuable lesson.

All of life is designed to teach us to bend our wills to line up with the Divine Will. Seeing the children, who are sweet as can be, yet still have a very robust will that can be beneficial or destructive, was like looking at myself in the mirror.

I was reminded of how willful I can be. Having a strong will can be a great asset but only when it is bent the right direction. When I exert my will against the clear will of God it is just as ugly as when a child exerts their will in defiance of their parents.

Virtually every major problem I have faced in my life has come when my will is more important to me than the will of God. So then, how do I focus that God-given gift to choose in the right direction?

One day at a time is the answer to that question. I make a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God and then daily surrender praying for the knowledge of His will and the power to carry it out. Continually looking to do the next right thing.

What a gift to give to God this Christmas. The gift of a surrendered will!

blessings and Merry Christmas,

Scott

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Making the Holidays Great!

Holidays can be the best and worst of times. I want to share 3 things that will help you maximize your joy through the season.

  1. We are all selfish by nature! It will take an intentional effort to not be that way, especially when someone else’s plans don’t line up with our own. Whatever gathering you find yourself going to, whether with family, friends or even those you aren’t particularly fond of, ask yourself these questions on a moment by moment basis. “What can I bring positive to this encounter? What good thing can I bring to this gathering?”
  2. Focus your attention on how you can serve others. Develop a pattern of looking to offer a helping hand. Initiate with others anything you think would be nice if it were done to you. Little acts of service to make someone else feel like someone cares, not only helps them, it will bring joy to you. The only thing that really matters in life is your life intersecting with someone else’s life and making a positive difference.
  3. Give something of value to some random people in your world who would not expect it.  A card with some cash, a gift card or whatever you feel nudged to give. Seek out a couple people you are acquainted with who aren’t on your Christmas list and just bless them in someway! You will be reciprocated with a large dose of joy.

As I reread these 3 principles, the common denominator is they move me out of myself and into another’s world. Someone said long ago, it is more blessed to give than to receive. I believe he was correct!

blessings,

Scott

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