Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Makeup and My Prayer Life

Leave it to an analogy to makeup to lead me to a better understanding of how important daily prayer is. I guess you talk to a child in terms he understands, so the same goes for me. Talk to me about makeup and the clouds part, light bulbs go on, angels sing. I get it! I see the light!

In this blog from the Faith & Family website, the blogger, Heidi Bratton tells about a very special tube of Mary Kay foundation that she has on reserve for special occasions. It's her favorite- perfect color, perfect application, but kinda pricey. It collects dust because she uses it so seldom. One day she saw it and tried to recall the last time she used it. It was 18 months earlier. Here was her moment of clarity:

Pondering the mentality of my make-up use, I couldn’t refute the thought that it really wasn’t about the money.The cost difference between the two products is only about $7, and while I’m not a spendthrift, I’m pretty sure I’ve squandered at least that amount since our 20th and probably in just one impulse buy at Walmart. The longer I thought about it, the more my makeup economizing seemed to be more closely linked to a philosophy—really a heresy—that I’ve also heard applied to prayer.

I’ll call this heresy the “Economy of Prayer Heresy.” In a nutshell, it proposes that we really shouldn’t “bother” God by praying about the small details of our everyday lives. We should, instead, wait until we have a need that is big enough or special enough for God to get involved. Here’s the problem. Where does that leave us and our relationship with God in the meantime? It leaves us with the best possible product for addressing our real and ongoing spiritual needs—that is prayer—gathering dust on a shelf.

Heidi goes on to remind us that no prayer is too small or trivial for God to care and that the concern doesn't go away just because we choose to ignore the need for God's hand:
In the same way that our skin care needs don’t just go away because we choose not to address them, our spiritual needs don’t just go away because we choose not to bring them to God, either. In fact, when we choose not to “bother” God with our little needs and concerns, we most likely buy into poorer substitutes, that is people, products, or promises that aren’t anywhere near as effective as God’s help and guidance.

The good news, unlike the Mary Kay foundation, God has an abundance of grace and mercy and he won't run out. Even better, if he's been collecting dust and only been brought out for the "very special occasions," he's ready and willing to hear your prayers and answer them. Heidi posted Philippians 4:6 to her bathroom mirror as a perfect reminder:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Read her whole blog here.

- Abby

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Amazing Music Video!

I came across this sweet music video by the band, OK Go. A few things came to mind while I was watching it:
1. Mousetrap (that game lasts like a week before you start loosing pieces)
2. I didn't pay close enough attention in physics class
3. How many takes did this require before they got it right? Judging by the amount of paint on them, a few, but not too many. Again, amazing.
4. Kudos to the camera operator!


- Abby

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

10AM on Wednesday

Thank the Lord! It has come! Spread the Word is just three weekdays long (plus the weekend before), but it's a grueling few days. When the clock struck 10 this morning, Carlos and I breathed a sigh of relief. Our "shift" was over.

Thank you to everyone who called in with a faith promise. That term really came to life this week. So many callers asked for prayer for a job. How do you make a gift when you don't have a job? That's faith in action. We're gifted $1, $5 and $10 gifts, $500, $1500 and $5000 gifts. Each one helped us reach those hourly goals and get over those hurdles.

We do a lot of praying and thinking during these campaigns. What makes people give? Why do they pick up the phone? God, please move people to call. Help us to say the right thing. What is that statistic? Like 3% of people who listen to listener-supported radio actually give. That's disappointing. Do people just tune out? Do they go away during Spread the Word or Shareathon and then come back when the coast is clear? If you listen throughout the week, you know they are missing out on a lot of great moments. Moments of teaching, witnessing, cheering, laughing and most important, miracle moments.

If you tuned out and now you're back, welcome back! We're happy to have you. You're as much of a part of our Spirit FM family as the person who gave $500 or $1200. If you don't give to this ministry for whatever reason, I'm asking you to consider it. Consider what you get from the music, the prayer, the discussion and then ask yourself what it's worth to you. It doesn't have to be Spread the Word time for you to make a gift. You can make your gift here.

So many lives are touched through your Faith Promise. One man emailed us listening online in Ontario, Canada. He listened to prayer time and appreciated the Thought for the Day. Another woman said her husband always wanted her to listen and she never did. He passed away in August and on the way to the cemetery she turned on Spirit FM. She's listened ever since and it makes her feel connected to her husband. There are countless emails just like that, so don't think you're just giving to a radio station. That's the least of what your gifts do.

Thank you again for praying for us and this ministry. Know that your prayers were heard and answered.


Friday, March 26, 2010

All I Need

I love many (actually most) of the bands we play at Spirit FM and I've been to A LOT of concerts. It's an interesting role I play at these shows. I'm a Spirit FM employee but also a fan, so naturally I am more excited to see some artists than others. With that being said, I have a top 5 list of bands that I want to see live and will always go see no matter what. In no particular order, they are: Shawn McDonald, Needtobreathe, Article One, Mat Kearney and Mercy Me. I've had the pleasure of seeing Mercy Me a few times and two weeks ago I saw Needtobreathe. They were absolutely amazing. Last night I checked another off the list when I saw Mat Kearney at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Three down. Two to go!

Mat did not disappoint. I really was impressed. The band was great. His stage presence was great. His banter was great. And you can tell that even though his lyrics are "subtle-Christian" lyrics, that he loves to Lord. He told the back story on one of my favorite songs of his, "All I Need." He said he had friends from New Orleans who had just gotten married and had come to stay with him to avoid a storm. Turns out it was Hurricane Katrina. Here are some of the lyrics from "All I Need."

The walls are shaking, I hear them sound the alarm
Glass is breaking so don't let go of my arm
Grab your bags and a picture of where we met
All that we'll leave behind and all that's left
If everything we've got is blowing away
We've got a rock and a rock till our dying day
I'm holding on to you, holding on to me
Maybe it's all we got but it's all I need
You're all I need

And if all we've got, is what no one can break,
I know I love you, if that's all we can take,
the tears are coming down, they're mixing with the rain,
I know I love you, if that's all we can take.

The lyrics are great and the music is even better. If you've got a minute, check it out on iTunes. It's on the album "Nothing Left to Lose." Maybe you're not facing a hurricane or a flood, but we all face trials where we feel like we've lost everything. "All I Need" encourages us to hold on to the ones we love and to Christ Jesus, first and foremost. Just like the line: "We've got a rock and a rock 'til our dying day." He's all we need.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Let It Rain

The Leaky Roof
I just read this and had to share it: "Sharp afflictions are to the soul as a soaking rain to the house. We know not there are such holes in the roof till the showers come and then we see it drop down here and there. Perhaps we did not know that there was such unmortified cuts in our soul till the storms of affliction came, then we found unbelief, impatience and fear dropping down in many places."
That floored me. I just sat there mouth agape, blankly looking down at the page thinking to myself, "How true is that!"
The moment I read that a flood of a thousand memories past came pouring into my brain. Times when under the strain of the situation (the storm) I was dealing with, my spiritual roof began to leak. Its times just like those that test us as Christians. That test me and my faith in God. If there are any chinks in our armor, trust me, under pressure they show up.
I forget the Psalm that says something to the effect of, "Save me, God! The waters have reached my neck!" but it comes to mind now with all this water and leaky roof talk. Sorry, that was more side note for me than anything...
But something that I have learned in life is that when we go through these times of trouble, God is able to reveal to us the areas we need to address. As a home owner you don't even realize you have a leak until the roof of your home has a yellow stain pop up or you see water coming down from the ceiling. As Christians it can work the same way! We may not realize the areas where we have let holes open up in our lives until the storm comes and we are up to our necks in water. (I knew I could tie that verse in somewhere) Its during these times that God can deliver us from whatever the situation may be and show us places that by prayer and yielding to the Him we can make the repairs we so desperately need.
Troubled times are not always bad things. When we go through them with God, we grow in our faith, we deepen our commitment and we stretch those spiritual muscles a little bit. So if your roof is a little leaky, go to God and let the Master Craftsman get to work.
Be Blessed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Addiction

So I Love Coffee...

It was pointed out to me the other day that I may have an addiction to coffee. Like a real problem. Funny enough, as I write this I do it with a warm cup of delicious Starbucks Grande White Chocolate Mocha to my left. This man said to me that he has notice how often I speak about coffee and how he never really sees my without a cup in my hand. By the off chance he does catch me without one, I generally say, "I just finished a cup" OR "I'm heading out to get a cup." He said I have a real addiction problem. To which I laughed off...but I starting thinking about...

I found this on addiction...

A scientist conducted an experiment in which he made cocaine available to some
monkeys. These monkeys could pull a lever in their cages to release a little cocaine into their feeding tray. Not surprisingly, the monkeys became addicted to the drug. As the experiment continued, the scientist found that if the addicted monkeys could get additional cocaine hits any time they wanted by just pulling the lever, all of them would overdose. They all ended up killing themselves.

The scientist then tried another experiment with addicted monkeys. He began to
withhold the fix when the monkey pulled the lever. Over and over these monkeys pulled
the lever, trying to get cocaine. They continued to pull the lever not ten times, not a hundred times, or even a thousand times. Those addicted monkeys pulled it an average of 12,800 times!

Powerful addictions can rule the lives of people—addictions to work, food, gambling, sex, alcohol, or drugs. Some finally reach a point where they lose any hope of breaking free. Some even turn aside from help offered, convinced that they’re a hopeless case.

But there’s hope in Christ. He can set any person free from the addiction of sin. He can give you a fresh start on your life. When you invite Christ into your life, the change begins to take place—from the inside out. You can’t beat addictions on your own, but through the power of Christ, you can be set free. “It is not I who lives, but Christ in me”
(Galatians 2:20).

So after reading this I look back at my beautiful sand colored cup with its brown 60% post consumer fiber belt and think. Am I really a slave to you? The short answer was, No. The long answer was, Maybe. Its true, I cant start my days without it. I get headaches from lack of it. I get cravings for it. All signs of an addiction, a dependency on my espresso mocha goodness.

To be honest, in the grand scheme of things I highly doubt my coffee "addiction" is taking anything away from me spiritually. Its not robbing me of my time with God, or time with family or friends which addiction to things like, drugs or sex or alcohol can and will do. But it made me think that in earnest...the only thing I need or want to be addicted to is Him. My life should start with God, not a cup of coffee, His strength should be what gets me through, not a mid-day java jolt.

If anything, my conversation with a friend about my coffee intake has helped me see my life through a different pair of eyes. Which is a good thing. I see my need for Him, my need for a savior and I acknowledge how I should make sure my life is free of any addiction that would keep me from spending time with the things that matter most. God, family, work and friends.

Be Blessed.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Great Episode of Oprah

I used to be a big Oprah fan. My college roommates and I would tune in most days and I longed to be a audience member on her "Favorite Things" episode (OK - I still long for that). In recent years, she's said some things about her faith and the idea of being "spiritual" that have kind of rubbed me the wrong way, so I'm not watching too much anymore. But a couple of weeks ago, I tuned in for an episode about people who live lifestyles that are out of the ordinary. Lisa Ling was the correspondent and first she went and learned about life as a geisha. Most of the show though, was dedicated to the Dominican Sisters of Mary. Lisa Ling stayed overnight at their convent in Ann Arbor, Michigan and then a few of the sisters were brought on the show.

I have to say the one thing that stood out the most to me was their happiness. These ladies were so joy-filled! I've met several nuns in my day. Some were very serious and others could be better described as "merry," but each of them in their own way to me is a model of dedication to Christ. It's not an easy life. In these times especially, the value of a woman is so heavily placed on beauty and her role as a wife and mother. To choose to live a celibate life and to never marry or have children (or make-up in most cases!) takes a true calling.

If you missed it, click here to see a portion of the segment. There is even a local girl, Gina in it. She's pals with Olivia. The after-the-show segment here talks about the importance of silence and meditation. What a great message forall of us who often have difficulty slowing down and spending some quiet time with God. It's also a reminder to pray for vocations to the religious life. There are plenty of people and things leading our kids into the complete opposite direction of a life dedicated to Christ. We need to be strong in our prayers and support as well.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Meatless Meals

This afternoon, I have to sit outside a Chick-fil-A for four hours. It's for a very worthy cause: we're collecting donations for Help Brings Hope for Haiti, Inc. Unfortunately, it's going to be a torturous time due to the fact that because it's Friday and Lent has begun, I can't eat meat! No chicken nuggets, fingers, sandwich with the yummy pickles on it... Sure, the waffle fries are fair game, but it's not the same. There's just something about holding a chicken nugget between my thumb and index finger and scanning the painters pallet of sauces I've laid out before me. Do I go Honey Roasted BBQ? Polynesian perhaps? or to the classic Ketchup? So many choices! It's beautiful.

OK, back to the issue. No meat today! It's Friday and it's Lent. If you've ever wondered why Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent, it's not because the Pope owns Long John Silver's. Abstinence from certain foods has been part of the history of man since the beginning. Abstaining from something helps us refocus on what is important and it cuts out things that might have seemed important. One belief on why meat was chosen is because most people feel that giving up meat (beef, chicken, pork) is an inconvenience. We should inconvenience ourselves from time to time to remind ourselves that God is the top priority and pleasures are a lesser priority.

So what's for dinner tonight? Of course, you can probably open the door to any Catholic church's social hall and belly up to a fish fry. And during Lent the fast food fish sandwich commercials seem to pop up more often than in other times of the year, but if you want to take a pass on the Fillet-o-Fish and make something at home, looking for a veggie recipe can really open up a world of options for you. The other night I made a Vegetable Lasagna that was scrumptious. Here's the recipe , and it's Weight Watchers (pictured above)! I also made this Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables last week and (thanks to the load of cheese in it) it was tasty as well.

Growing up, we would do the Long John Silver's thing most Friday nights. Looking back on that now, I cringe, but I can't lie - it was pretty good! No matter what you do for your Friday night dinner, try to do something as a family. You'll make meatless memories that can last a lifetime!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Air We Breathe

How Desperate Our We For God?
I have a thing for cheesy Michael W. Smith music. The ones from back in the day when he had a mullet and looked like a Christian music version of Billy Ray Cyrus. It was glorious. He was like a Christian-Pop-80's-Synth-Mullet-Rockin version who was belting out tunes for Jesus telling me to go west young man. Awesome.
To steal a line from Smitty himself, if God really is "the air we breathe" do we really live every moment as if our lives depended on Him? John 15:5 says, "Apart from Me you can do nothing"
Why do we then try and live our lives like we can do it all ourselves? We press and push and fall and stumble and try to make it on our own. We struggle until when? We can't anymore. That is when we reach out to our Heavenly Father. For 11 rounds we have been fighting with something...depression, heartbreak, loss...whatever it is. We finally get knocked down and the referee is counting...5, 6, 7...we are on the brink of disaster when we cry out, "LORD! SAVE ME! DO SOMETHING!"
Did we have to get there?
Did we have to fall so far?
David, one of my absolute favorite Characters to me in the bible once wrote, "I seek You, my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You." Desperate. But for David, it was a constant need. He worshiped God to satisfy his hearts desire. He recognized his own need for a Savior. Not just in the desperate times, but in all times. He desperately longed to spend time with his God. Our God. We should too.
Yes, God will come to your rescue when you are down on the mat about to be counted out. Yes, God will save and react to our most desperate hour. But God also longs for us when things are OK. When life is fine and we are walking through the sunflowers. We should all spend a few moments with Him. Not just asking God for help, but in worship. Remembering the One who saves, who heals, who lifts, who makes right, who is good, who loves so perfectly...
God is there. God is ready. God is willing be there to save you in your most desperate hour of need. But wouldn't it be nice to have God with you from the start of the fight and not just the last round. Might save us from the loss of a few teeth and a nose job.
Be Blessed.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Me vs Me


Lent is a week from today. Ash Wednesday or better known to me as "dirty forehead day" is the official start to 40 days of sacrifice leading up to Easter Sunday. Not being Catholic the whole idea of lent was foreign to me up until a few years ago. Being that Abby and I were going to be the morning duo for Spirit FM I thought it would be a good thing if I did it as well. So I prayed and asked God what I should do and also if He could NOT ask me to give up coffee. A week later I gave up coffee. Not because the clouds parted and a voice from the heavens said "Carlos, give up your coffee addiction for me!" It was more because if I was going to do this, I needed it to be a real sacrifice.

So this morning we talked about Lent and an article I found in Relevant Magazine. A great website by the way. In the article this is something the author wrote:

So my Lenten theme this year will be 1 Samuel 3:9 (“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening”). How will this play out? I don't know yet, which is why I'm asking Him for direction. I do know that the very act of asking, and turning things over to Him, changes things—and changes us. Whatever Christ asks me to give up, I’m guessing it won’t be chocolate (I’m sort of hoping not). I have a feeling it’ll be something more along the lines of Pride. And yet I’m also trusting Him to be more specific. For example, praying daily for humility. Or turning off my BlackBerry. Or both.

Who am I kidding? He's asking for Everything. To quote C.S. Lewis, “Christ says, ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it.’” (Mere Christianity) Funny how we never see this on an Easter card.

I love the idea of not so much giving up "something" for lent, like coffee or candy or something that in the grand scheme of things we can live without. But making a deep sacrifice and giving up the things that make me comfortable. I struggle with Pride, I struggle with my Ego, I struggle with my blackberry and the idea of truly becoming a servant for 40 days is tough! Opening up every morning and LOOKING for God to use me! Its a scary thought.

Imagine, everywhere you go looking for God to use you in some way. Walking around town with the intention of being a servant. I love what she wrote about C.S. Lewis, “Christ says, ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it.’”

I know God appreciates our sacrifice of coffee for breakfast or candy for my snack, but can't we go deeper than just the surface? "I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it." That line keeps repeating in my head. For me, this lent, I am going to sacrifice myself, that God may use me how He wishes. Each day I am going to open up and start by looking for ways to be a servant. Daily giving up my Pride or my Ego and truly have that servants heart. Imagine the kind of world we would live in if we all had that heart. Its not going to be easy. I need to pray for wisdom and strength and Lord knows He's going to have to remind me of my sacrifice. Especially the day its pouring down rain and I drive by the guy with the flat tire and no umbrella and God gives me that tug on my heart to get out my comfy car and get wet.

Pray about maybe making a sacrifice for Lent this year. Maybe give up something small this time, like TV for an hour or coffee for breakfast. Or maybe go big this year and do something that could truly change your life.

Be Blessed.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

We Need Talking Cars

The Car Horn

As much as you would like to think your car horn is a great way to communicate on the road, it really isnt. It has a very limited vocabulary. Not only that, its so hard to use the horn to communicate correctly. Think about it. You hold the horm down just a split second too long and you've gone from "Hello" to "HEY YOU! MOVE!"

So let's fix that. I found this system on how to properly use your car horn. Its similar to Morse code, in which the frequency and duration of beeps convey specific meanings. This will enable us to communicate with each other more clearly.

Here's the code:

In a parking lot

Short honk: I seek your attention.
Medium honk: I seek your courtesy.
Long honk: I seek your doom for stealing my parking spot.

• On the freeway

Short honk: Caution! Your maneuver was unwise.
Short honk plus medium honk: Your maneuver was unwise, and I am carrying a grudge.
Two short honks and a long blast: Your maneuver was unwise, and all that keeps me from exacting revenge is the prison sentence of 25 years to life.
Three long blasts: Call a lawyer (I would add, PRAY! So you don't get here. I'd hate to see a listener of mine go to prison.)

• At a traffic light

Short tap: Perhaps you haven't noticed, but the light is green.
Two short taps: Perhaps if you weren't trying to drive, text and eat a takeout order of fettuccine Alfredo at the same time, you would have noticed that the light is green.
Two medium beeps: Perhaps if your parents had raised you to have consideration for someone besides your selfish, unintelligent self, you would have noticed that the light is green.
One prolonged blast: Perhaps you have fallen asleep, here let me help you. I will not stop the horn until you move.

• For other occasions

Short beep: Lighthearted salutation. It can be used to acknowledge passing neighbors or inform other people in your car pool that you have arrived to pick them up.
Short beep, medium beep: Punctuated signal of annoyance toward cyclists. The short beep warns; the medium beep adds emphasis. Similar to saying, "Hey you, MOVE!"
Medium beep, long beep: Excitement! It can be used to celebrate Buccaneers victories, support world-peace demonstrators or express appreciation for attractive pedestrians.

I found this list and thought it would help us all communicate just a little bit better. After the day that I had yesterday driving around Tampa. I need to make copies of this and start handing them out on a daily basis. Drive safe, take a deep breath and PRAY! Good luck on the roads.

Be Blessed.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Going Through The Fire

The Refiners Fire

We had an interesting Thought for the Day today on the morning show. Its not often that one sticks with me throughout the day. But I haven't been able to get this one out of my head. All day its just been on replay in my head. So I figured I would write something on it. If not for your benefit, then mine.

This is the line that been running through my head: For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, and they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness” Malachi 3:1-3

The actual process of purifying silver is a tedious job. I've seen discovery channel enough to know that. The silver goes into the fire, then out of the fire, into the fire, then back out of the fire. Over and over and over and over again...until all the impurities are removed. Leave the silver in the fire too long, the silver is destroyed. Not enough and what's the point, nothing changes. Sounds vaguely familiar huh? It did for me.

As I go through life's "fires" or trials in my life I realize that once I come out the other side I come out of it a slightly different person. If I had done things God's way and learned to trust in Him, lean on His wisdom and just basically do what I was supposed to have done, I come out of that fire a lot like that piece of silver. A little better, a little shinier, a little more pure.

The most amazing part of the silver purification process is the test to see if it is its purest form or not. This metal is perfect only when the ‘refiner’ is able to see His reflection in the silver. Jesus is looking for our lives to reflect His glory.

That's a pretty neat thought huh...I thought so. I wish I could claim it, but I can't.

Count it all joy when you face life's fires because its an opportunity for God to refine the work he is doing in you. Yes, I know it stinks when your in it. The fire can be hot and I've lived in Florida long enough to know that heat can be brutal. Makes me happy I'm going to heaven. If I can barely handle a Florida summer, a lake of fire forever is something I'm going to pass on. But its the going through that refining process that Gods majesty begins to reflect in our lives, in our speech and in our actions. Trust me I know the process isn't always fun, but you come out the other side a better person, a stronger person and with a faith that was deeper than before you went in.

My hope for me is that I continue to let the refiner work on me from the inside out. Each time becoming more and more the man he created me to be and if it gets too hot, Jesus Christ is our escape. We can run into His arms and feel His love and grace surround us. He is looking for His face to shine in our lives. I also pray he give me a little warning next time. If I'm going back in I'd like to put on my board shorts and sunglasses and maybe even a little SPF 45 on my nose.

Be Blessed.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Feeling Under The Weather

Yes, I'm Sick...

For me, being sick is a lot like a three year old throwing a week long tantrum. I’m cranky, require constant attention and no matter how great something is, it’s never good enough. Ah yes, the joy that is Carlos…sick. Really, the only benefit to being sick is that I can get away with almost anything.

I can beg for a remote control that’s juuuuuuust out of arms reach.

I can ask for my favorite meal and ‘poof’ it just magically appears. Campbell’s Chicken and Stars if you’re wondering.

I can even throw all desire for personal hygiene out the window. (True story, as a teen I had the flu and didn’t shower for 3 days, my mom literally brought a hose in the house and sprayed me in bed so I would get up and take a shower. Sadly, I think I am proud of the fact that I made it three days)

The thing is…when I am sick, even though I am physically miserable, I almost enjoy it to a certain extent. Don’t get me wrong, I would rather be 100% healthy and know that having a head cold is nothing compared to something truly horrible that could befall me. But who wouldn’t love a few days of being pampered and waited on hand and foot.

Well today as I was basking in the glow of feeling under the weather and the smell of Campbell’s soup wafting in the air I realized that at times my prayer life can become a bit “spiritually” sick.

Think about how you act when something bad happens in your life. Maybe you didn’t get that promotion you wanted or a bonus you thought you would be getting doesn’t happen or worse. When bad things happen, we can fall into a “Sick Carlos” kind of prayer life. We find our favorite spot and have a pity party with God. Now there is nothing wrong with asking God why something happens or to fix the problems in our lives. Just don’t let that be the only reason you fall to your knees before the throne and don’t let that become the only way you pray. If its all about you, you, you and fix, fix, fix then you may be missing a real chance for God to do something truly great in your life.

Before I became full-time staff at Spirit FM. I thought I was ready for radio stardom. I thought my talents were not being recognized and that the world was missing out on ME! Carlos the next big radio star! I really did think that way for a time. And trust me, I would pray, God why is this happening? Why am I not working in radio yet? Lord, help me find a place in radio. Please God point me in the right direction to do radio. On and on and on…I’m actually surprised God didn’t zap me from heaven. My prayer life was all focused on me not getting what I thought I deserved. When we become so engulfed by what we don’t have, we miss out on what we do.

So you miss out on a promotion, happened to a friend of mine. He had the chance of a lifetime to become a very important person at a major financial firm. Everything seemed like the job was his. BUT, he didn’t get it. He did the pity party to God thing only to realize later that God had his best interest in mind. That financial firm had serious job cuts when the recession struck. That position he wanted was eliminated and the person who was promoted let go, while his job was held safe. Had he been promoted, he would have lost his job.

What I mean by this rant is one thing. Its not our place to understand everything that happens to us in life. God is not up in heaven with puppet master strings, casting lightning bolts down on us to see how we dance. When bad things happen. Look to God for direction and HIS will in our lives. Let Him guide our footsteps. He holds your best interest in His hands and wants to bless your life. Trust me. I know. The day I switched my attitude was the day I began to make the most of my part time status at Spirit FM. I began to take my time there more seriously, to practice my craft, to get better and then, when I was really ready. God opened the door. A BIG DOOR. I went from the night jock to morning show host in less than a year. Why? I don’t know. Only God does. So let Him guide your footsteps, turn your life over to His mighty hands and just hang on and enjoy the ride.

Be Blessed.


Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm Back / Fringe

Hello Again / Lessons from Sci-fi

So...I'm back...did you miss me? I missed the blog more than you know, I just took a little time to recharge my sarcasm, fine tune my antenna to God and make a little sense of a few things. So...hello again.
I love my DVR. Odd segue but its the best I could come up with.
I really do love that little guy. Sits there ever so quietly on my shelf just doing what its been told to do. I never have to check it, never have to remind it, only say to it, "SHOW ME" and out comes everything I ever wanted to see and hear in the 50 inch glory of my HDTV. (Insert angelic church choir here)
I was playing catch up on my DVR listings and made it a "Fringe" night. If your not familiar with the show its basically X-Files 2.0, only better and no David Duchovny constantly looking sad eyed even when he is trying to look happy.
This episode was all based around a tiny town called Edina where the inhabitants had been experimented on in the late 1970's by the U.S. government and been rendered horribly disfigured. One of the scientists at the time realizes what has happened and creates a giant transmitter that has the ability to conceals their true identity within the city limits of Edina. Meaning, if you were to wonder into Edina, you wouldn't see the people as they truly were, horribly disfigured, you would see them as looking as normal as you or I. Catch one outside the city limits and 'poof' the veil is lifted and the truth revealed.
How I made the jump to my faith I still dont know, but this made perfect sense to me...
As people, we are all little mad scientists in our own right. On the outside, you may see this perfect radio DJ, with the perfect life, always in the will of God. But you truly have no idea what is on the inside. What things I struggle with, where I fall short, or how. (Not that its any of your business) Romans 3:23 is all you need to know "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" and yes that means your pastor or priest and yes, even the Pope. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble.
Be it through our speech or our actions, we have all created our own little transmitters that hide who we really art to the rest of the world. Horribly disfigured people who dont deserve the grace of God.
The good news is that God sees right to the heart of the matter. He can see past all the fluff of our Christian walk, see through the facade of our daily actions and get right to the heart or it. Right to the heart of us. That dark little corner we try so desperately to hide. In the episode of Fringe, some residents even resort to murder to hide the truth.
Thankfully, our ever loving God already knows who we are and is ready to forgive. He sees me as I am and loves me regardless. He knew me before he made me, knew my strengths and knew my weaknesses, knew how I would rise and how I would fall and still loves me. Paul tells us, "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, sanctified, justified in the name of Christ our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit or our God"
So today, PRAY, let God get to work on the inside of your heart. In those deep, dark little nooks and crannies where we hide the hideous from the rest of the world. To be honest, I don't need to know, nor want to know what you struggle with. Find an accountability partner to help your walk and then give the rest to God. In the episode the town gets to keep their transmitter and keep their little secret; after the truth came out and the "sin" was removed. So let God work on you, I don't need to know how or when. Just don't try and hide it, hoping nobody ever finds out because someone already know...Eccl 12:14 "For God shall bring every work to judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Be Blessed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Random Thoughts

A while back my husband forwarded this email to me and I passed it around the office. It had us rolling. I came across it the other day and I thought I'd share. These are just a few of the random thoughts from 25-35 year olds:

- Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out.
-How are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

- I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

- Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

- How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

- MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

- I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

- Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don'twant to have to restart my collection.

- Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

Hope this made you chuckle!