Happy Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingImageWe need three positive emotions to balance out every negative one according to Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Professor of Psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill. As a Pastor and Life Coach, I can’t help but believe that many people are living with a deficit. The good news is we don’t have to be stuck that way. We can “choose” good feelings.

I remember this principle coming home to me in a very real way when I traveled out to the remote village of Kakamega Kenya. When my friends and I got off the bus from Nairobi, we were greeted by enthusiastic children and adults. As two of us were white, we got special attention. Many of these children had never seen a white person before and were amazed as they looked at our skin. Continue reading “Happy Thanksgiving!”

Nahushtan: When Blessings Turn Into a Curse

SnakeEverybody wants a blessing! I don’t know of anyone who goes to a minister, or a witch for that matter, and says, “Please curse me.” Everybody I know is looking for a blessing not a curse – including me.

The problem is that when we become discouraged or depressed, it is easy to get caught up in behaviors and attitudes that lead to curses instead of the blessings that we desperately seek. When we want, and need, a blessing the most is the very time that we are most likely to head in the other direction and end up in the middle of a full-fledged curse. Continue reading “Nahushtan: When Blessings Turn Into a Curse”

Thanksgiving Can Change Your Life – Part 2

looking-up-906888_1920Last time, we looked at three blockers that keep us from living happy successful lives. If you have not yet read part 1 or would like a review, you can find it here.

Today we look at four more ways that the gratitude we should experience in our lives gets stopped by our thoughts, words, emotions and actions.

Continue reading “Thanksgiving Can Change Your Life – Part 2”

Thanksgiving Can Change Your Life – Part 1

prayer-1380214_1920Sometime around the first century BC, Cicero the Roman Consul is credited with saying, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Nearly five centuries later, Saint Ambrose would add, “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” As old as these quotes are, the art of thanksgiving is still much older. We see the practice all the way back in the very first book of the Bible.

A quick scan of scripture will quickly reveal the importance of thanksgiving to God, but like almost everything, what is important to Him is also very beneficial to us. Studies have shown that grateful people feel better about life, are more energetic, more successful, healthier, more generous, better thinkers, have better relationships and much more.

Most of us intuitively or experientially know that being thankful makes us better people, so why is it sometimes so difficult to put on an attitude of gratitude? If we listen closely, we will probably hear ourselves saying things to ourselves and others that is counter-productive to a heart of thanksgiving. Over the next two blogs, I will unveil seven blockers that turn what should be a thankful heart into a grumbling one.

Continue reading “Thanksgiving Can Change Your Life – Part 1”

How’s Your Gratitude?

GratitudeHow’s your Gratitude? We can all use a tune-up from time-to-time, and even if you need a complete overhaul, God is more than willing to help.

Research Scientist Dr. Barbara Fredrickson studied the role of gratitude in our daily lives. It might not be surprising that she observed a direct correlation between Gratitude and Joy. It is easy to imagine that joyful people have a lot to be grateful for. What she actually discovered however, was more profound. She discovered that it was not joy that made people grateful, rather it was being grateful that led people to joy.

Continue reading “How’s Your Gratitude?”

“We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Church”

12 Biblical Reasons Why We Still Need Church


churchAccording to polls, per capita church attendance may be lower than any time in American history. Has the church-age run its course? Is church no longer needed except for the occasional wedding, funeral or concert?

If God has anything to say about it – and He does – church attendance is as important as ever.

Continue reading ““We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Church””

Love Is A Verb

loveisaverb*** Warning Do Not Read this if you are a Hopeless Romantic ***

To be painfully honest, falling in love, as we have learned from our culture, is more related to the way we feel about ourselves than it is about the way we feel toward the person we are supposedly in love with. The romantic notions that pervade our modern minds and emotions are more rooted in the literary inventions of poets and storytellers than they are real life. Continue reading “Love Is A Verb”

Maybe It’s You

itmightbeyouSeveral years ago while working as a Worship Pastor, the leader of the Youth Praise & Worship Team – who I will call Bob for the sake of anonymity – came to my office noticeably frustrated. I set aside what I was working on and asked him what was bothering him. He said, “Pastor Rodney my whole team got up and walked out – they quit.” I looked at him somewhat surprised and said, “You’re whole team?” He answered, “Yes!” I asked, “Even John? (Not his real name.) Bob replied, “Yes.”

Now to put this whole thing into perspective, John not only served on the Youth Praise Team, but also on the Main Team. I had worked with him for some time, and he was a model teen – the kind every parent hopes for. He was personally motivated, extremely personable and very respectful of everyone. This kid took college classes while still in high school and is a highly respected professional today. Continue reading “Maybe It’s You”

Is Life Really Unfair?

unfairHave you ever experienced a time when you were praying, seeking God, doing good deeds, going to church and more, yet you were struggling to get by?  Have you ever been frustrated when someone seems to be living the good life despite godless actions and mistreatment of others? Have you ever heard yourself pray, “It’s not fair God?”

If the truth is known, many of us have probably been there at some point in life. We work and struggle to obey God only to watch others – who don’t give God a second thought – pass us by in the race of life. It can be a real challenge to remain humble and trust God when we feel overlooked. Continue reading “Is Life Really Unfair?”