Archive for June, 2014

You know that feeling when you have been hoping for something so long, and then the moment of truth finally arrives for the change to happen…and it falls through? That feeling where you’re back at square one having to reevaluate your next step?

It could be waiting for a job interview, or to hear from a college, or even from a guy/girl for a second date. It hurts…it feels like a punch to your stomach and can be a major let down.

What do you do when plans fall through or don’t work out how you wanted? How do you rebound?

Well, I experienced a set back yesterday morning, and while I am still trying to piece together where to go from here…Jesus is really speaking to me through this process.  So, here are a few tips that I hope will help you when you face these so called “set backs” in your life. These are not profound tips that will lead to deep thinking- but practical and easy ways to get you back on track.

Tip #1 – Dive into the word

I started reading James yesterday and I haven’t made it past the first chapter because the verses are so relevant to my situation right now. I think it’s incredible how a book that was written over 2000 years ago can hold so much wisdom and guidance for our lives today.

Faith and Endurance – “Dear brothers and sister, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

James 1: 2-4

Troubles = Joy. That isn’t something you hear everyday! What an awesome verse…a truth that we can hold onto in the mists of chaos and know that this set back we feel is perfecting us in Christ.

Tip #2 – Remember that God is Good

It doesn’t matter how seemingly bad you feel right now, God is Good, and he wants to pour his goodness over you and bless you abundantly.

Tip #3 – Community

As soon as I got my call of bad news, my roommate knew tip #1 was key and her only response was, ‘”For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”’ Jeremiah 29:11 That was all I needed to hear, and that verse immediately reminded me of the hope I have in Jesus.

Find a verse that speaks to your situation…write that verse on a note card and stick it on your mirror, in the kitchen, or in your car. Place it somewhere you constantly look so you can be reminded of God’s goodness. Let the words of the Bible fill you up. Surround yourself with a community of believers who will stand by you with encouragement and truth.

Be strong and endure the troubles!!

USA All The WayThe time has come and the 2014 World Cup is here. Countries and their soccer/football/futbol teams are preparing for one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Many players are realizing a dream that they have worked for all of their lives. The USA’s roster has been recently finalized, but with a lot of controversy and questions.

Landon Donovan, the all time leading scorer for the United States soccer team, was left off of the final 23 man roster that is headed to Brazil to represent the red, white, and blue. Many critics/journalists believe the reason that Donovan was left off of the final roster was because of a two month break that Donovan took in late 2012 and early 2013. Donovan took the break because he was both physically and mentally exhausted from the constant grind. Donovan has played 15 seasons professionally and his entire life has been dedicated to being the best player possible for both club and country.

Donovan’s break from soccer has been widely criticized for the timing because many viewed that he was supposed to be in the thick of preparing to make his final World Cup push with the U.S. With that being said, the public’s view on Donovan’s break should mean nothing to Donovan the person. He took the break because he felt his body was telling him to and because he was just not happy. On his break, Donovan took a trip to Cambodia. Upon his return, the people that were accustomed to the old Donovan, before his trip to Cambodia, were taken back by what seemed to be a little different Donovan. They noticed a happier person and a person that seemed to care more about others. The trip to Cambodia surely opened his eyes and provided a different perspective on life that I am sure he had probably never seen.

In recent interviews, Jurgen Klinsmann, the head coach of the United States Men’s Soccer team, described a noticeable difference that he realized in Donovan just after he returned from Cambodia. Klinsmann said that the nature of his conversations changed with Donovan. As opposed to soccer-focused conversations, Donovan would ask Klinsmann about all of his travels and the lifestyle that Klinsmann lived as the coach of the U.S. national team. Klinsmann saw Donovan’s topics of conversation as a red flag in that he believed Donovan was jealous of people that could travel at their own will and lead “normal” lifestyles. It seems like Klinsmann and his coaching staff are much less concerned about Donovan the person than Donovan the player.

It is very ironic that in one of the happiest stages of Donovan’s life he has also experienced one of the biggest disappointments. He has always excelled and been one of the best, if not the best, soccer players on the U.S. National Team. Klinsmann’s decision to not take Donovan on the team has stripped him of that identity and possibly his last shot at playing in a World Cup. Hopefully, the new perspective that the Cambodia trip provided him will get him through this tough time and allow him to move forward with his life and his soccer career. Donovan the person has to be encouraged and keep pressing forward in finding his happiness in life and not associating all his happiness with and in soccer. Soccer should be something that Donovan participates in and not what makes him as a person. No matter what level of competition that you are actively involved in – sports should be something that you do and not something that makes you.

In the end, I am disappointed that Landon Donovan, the soccer player, is not on the 23-man roster, but I am much happier for Landon Donovan, the person. He stepped up and did what was best for him, his happiness, and satisfaction in life. We can all learn something from what Landon did. Are you searching for your own, personal, happiness or are you more worried about making yourself look happy to others?

GO USA! C’mon YANKS!!!

Proverbs 29:25People are capable of doing so much more than they think they can. In fitness and in life we need to set our goals much higher.

I know you have probably heard fitness stories about people pushing their body to the extreme. The truth is your body is capable of doing so much more than you think, but mentally we are not able to push through the pain and suffering.

Well, in life we are capable of doing a lot more than we think we can. We are just not able to get past our own insecurities and the lies we tell ourselves. “I could never do that…” “I am not good at {fill in the blank}” “I am just too shy” “I am not a good reader” etc… It is time we set higher expectations and have more faith in ourselves and in our God. When you see someone else doing a job or doing a task that you don’t believe you could ever be capable of doing…just remember that they weren’t just all of the sudden good at that task or job. It probably took training and practice to get to where they are. At some point they might have been in your shoes telling themselves lies. The hardest part is pushing through those lies and taking the first step towards achieving the very thing you thought impossible.

Do you think Jesus’ disciples ever thought they would be capable of being Jesus’ right hand men? They were just your normal run of the mill people and Jesus chose them to be his disciples. They had faith, they stepped out of their comfort zone, and they learned as they went (it wasn’t easy).

If you don’t put yourselves in situations to learn…how are you ever going to get better? You can’t just sit back and say, for example, “I am too shy to talk to that person.” That is a weak excuse for the fear that they will reject you or think you are weird…your own insecurities are paralyzing you. Maybe you are a shy person and I grew up and sort of still am a shy guy, but what lies behind that is an insecurity. Try to step outside of that comfort zone and talk to people you normally wouldn’t. Take small steps in the process. Face that insecurity head on and see what happens. Most people will probably think you are awesome and hilarious and your confidence will grow from there and stream into other areas of your life. You will slowly be doing things you never thought you could do.

That fear of what you think other people are going to think about you is scary….I know, but it is not true. Raise your goals, raise your standards and set higher expectations for yourself! You were created by the hands of God. He has big plans for you and by not believing in yourself you are not trusting in His work!

Lets get after it!