Relational Health

I have a confession:  I’m a workaholic.  If that’s you, then this post if for you.

As workaholics, we can often push aside healthy habits for the sake of ‘getting the job done’. In society, health has become a popular subject.  We are told to watch what we eat, start working out and live a more balanced life.  So often we work hard to maintain a fairly healthy life.  We work to achieve physical health my eating right and maintaining a workout routine.  We work to achieve spiritual health my being faithful in the spiritual disciplines of prayer and the study of scripture, among others.

One of the areas we workaholics can often fail in, though, is in the area of our social health. Although eating healthy is important and our relationship with God is paramount, I believe our spiritual health will speak a lot to not only our physical health, but also our ability to put our spiritual health into practice.  With this said, here’s a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have a healthy network of relationships in your life?
  • Are you finding yourself isolated or investing in relationships?
  • How are you working to be a friend to someone else?

If you would identify yourself as a workaholic I want to challenge you, especially through Christmas and New Year’s, to take a break from the work and invest in someone else.  Bring your social health into the picture and work hard to build around you a healthy network of relationships.  Because in the end, we are relational beings created by a relational God.

Dear G20…

Dear G20 Participants and Protesters,

Welcome!  It is a pleasure to have you in our wonderful city!!  We as a city do not take the privilege of hosting this Summit lightly.  Hundreds, if not thousands, have been praying for these two days of decision. Here are a few items we have been praying for…

We pray…

  • …your stay is not only profitable, but full of the wisdom and favor of God.
  • …your agendas will be ones that glorify God and are for the good of His creation, most notably mankind.
  • …for the protection of all our guests this week, both those here with good motives, and not-so-good.
  • …that during your stay here,  you will see that even in the most difficult times there is hope.
  • …your return home in a few days will be one of positive reflection and excitement toward the future.
  • …for you, the protester – that wisdom will rest upon you as your voice is heard in a peaceable manner.
  • …that the watching world will see more than just a city rising from despair, but a city awakening to a loving God.
  • …for the nation you have come from – that the leaders and citizens will know the blessings of God.
  • …for you, the Pittsburgh resident – that your eyes will be opened to the true privilege it is to live in such a great city!

Through all our prayers for you our guest, know that we value you and appreciate the platform we as a city have been given.  May your stay be full of joy, achievement and the blessings of God afforded to this great nation!

Charles Spurgeon Quote

Rich Jones shared the following quote this morning at Element Church from Charles Spurgeon.  What a powerful and challenging quote!

Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, if sinners will be damned, at least let them
leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms
about their knees, imploring them to stay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If
hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one
go there unwarned and unprayed for. (Charles Spurgeon)

A Walker & Worship

walkerLast night I popped into the sanctuary at Allison Park Church for the end of the Worship Night that is held there each Wednesday through the summer. I was actually just stopping in to talk to a friend real quick, but decided to hang around and enjoy the presence of God. While I’m in the back, I noticed an older woman sitting along the back wall of the sanctuary with a walker sitting in front of her. She was probably in her mid to late 70’s in age, but her passion for God was remarkably vibrant. As I observed her worship, I was so inspired! She was sitting in her chair with her walker in front of her worshipping God with such passion and zeal that seemingly made the walker a sidenote. I was actually waiting for her to get up and start running around.  She would occasionally stand and then sit, but regardless of her position, it was evident that she was not just filling time.  She was doing something she had done many times before…spending quality time with her Savior. Her love for God was more real and genuine and most experience with over coffee with a close friend.

As the worship team sang “…and right now, in the good times and bad, You are God alone…” I saw her with hands raised high, oozing the passion and innocence of a child.. What a goal to strive for. Maintain passion for God through the various stages of life.  If ever I’ve watched something that depicts what I want to be, that would be it.

Lord, let me age with wisdom. Let me maintain a sense innocence. Let me grow with an ever-increasing passion. Let me live a life that is pleasing to you and inspiring to others.

God and the Pens

I recently posted the following on another blog I write for on the ‘Network Pittsburgh‘ website. Below is a short excerpt (you can read the rest here).Pittsburgh_Penguins

With the recent unbelievable victory of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals, it has me thinking, “Is God a Pens fan?” While I can’t answer that question completely (because I’m not God), this is what I am sure of – God is a fan of underdogs. In fact, God prefers underdogs. Where most see hopelessness or no future, God sees potential and purpose.

In some circles, people have the idea that God is angry and loves to see people mess up so He can ‘smite’ them or destroy them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. God cares about people and is actually constantly striving to redeem their mistakes for their good and the good of His purposes.

(Continue reading here)

Hello, My Name is Barabbas

Only hours before the crucifixion of Jesus, He was ushered before Pilate, the Roman official entrusted with governing the Jewish nation.  As Pilate observed the case against Jesus, he soon realized it wasn’t very solid.  Rather then simply making a decision right there, he chose to place the decision in the hands of the crowd.  What  were the crowd’s options?  To release an infamous felon, Barabbas, or the man that now stood before them, Jesus.  Although the decision was now out of Pilate’s hands, he was nearly certain the crowd would choose the much safer and more popular Jesus. Much to his amazement, though, the Pharisees, acting in pure jealousy, enraged the crowd and persuaded them to choose Barabbas.

In this choice, the crowd chose life for own man and sure death for the other. Although I’ve heard and read this story numerous times, this weekend it struck me that Jesus gave His life ultimately for each of us, but in that moment, He was hanging on the very cross that was meant for Barabbas.  Imagine being Barabbas…a man made famous by his crimes…a man who truly deserved death…a man that was a serious threat the safety of his nation…a man that was now free.  Barabbas’ freedom paved the way for Christ’s imminent death on a violent and embarrassing cross.

Why Jesus?  Barabbas should have been on that cross.  Barabbas should have been the one receiving the just punishment for his crimes.  And yet it was Jesus on that cross.  And while Barabbas was the one that deserved the cross, Jesus hung in his place.

Barabbas serves as a representation of you and I. You are Barabbas.  I am Barabbas.  We are the ones that deserved to hang on that cross…to be humiliated…to be punished…and yet it was Jesus.

The Response of Life


Life is.

Life is given.

One act.

One word.

One moment.

Forever changed.

Forever changing.

Forever challenging.

My life.

My legacy.

My responsibility.

If Only…

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8

We often take for granted the steps that were taken for our freedom. We walk in peace, and often prosperity, oblivious to the price that was paid for us to live such a life. I find myself often saying to God, “If only you would do this…, I’d know You love me.” Sure we might not say it verbally, or only to close friends, but we are all guilty of this at one time or another.

I know I needed this, but let me remind you as well. God loves you and I more then we could even fathom. He’s already bankrupt heaven to show us that, and there’s no doubt, if it was necessary (which it isn’t), He would do it again in a second.

Why does He loves us so? Because we are the prize of His creation. I know I don’t usually feel like that, but it’s not because He hasn’t tried to show me. It’s most often because I let myself get distracted by the frustration of my humanity. If you’re guilty today of the “If only…” statement, remember: He’s already proven His love and if you stop for a moment and look, He’s still pursuing you now.

Order in the Midst of Chaos

Today I went for a short walk in a local park, as I enjoy doing when its nice out and I have a day off.  As I was walking and pondering the greatness of God’s creation it struck me how chaotic nature appears.  There are weeds and branches and trees going every which way.  Fallen trees laying here and there.  It doesn’t seem to be very organized and yet in the midst of all this apparent chaos, God’s fingerprint rests. If you were to look deeper you would see an organizational structure to each of these plants that will trump any creation of mankind.

It is really a microcosm of life.  In the midst of our chaos and busyness, God is there. Although it sometimes seems as if chaos & confusion has won the battle.  If you look deeper, God’s peace can be found even in the midst of the greatest chaos.

In the midst of the busyness of your life, do you find peace?

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