Much like your parents attic, treasured memories lay within. So, wipe the dust off my ruminations and remembrances, sit back and enjoy!

Man Law Tuesday #4

Ever since that first man picked up a hammer and chisel and created the first wheel out of stone, men have created and engineered ways to use that wheel to get from one place to another. This week’s Man Law(s) center on driving, so sit down, buckle-up and get ready for the smell of burnt rubber as I peel off this series of laws!

1) No man shall drive slowly in the fast lane.

2) No Man shall knowingly cut-off or pull out in front of another man.

3) Men don’t need directions because we never get lost. If we happen to go 50 miles past the turn off to the interstate, it's because we wanted to take the scenic route for our significant other's enjoyment…we’re just romantic that way…enjoy!

4) When going anywhere with your spouse or significant other, you always drive. You own the road and can always find your way to anywhere. If she doesn't like the way you drive, tell her to close her eyes.

5) Under no circumstances should a man ever ride in the back seat. Unless he’s with three or four of his male friends. If grandma can walk to the car...she can sit in the back!

6) Regardless of how horrible the music is, you are never allowed to touch another Man's radio/CD player while in his car. It is his vehicle and you are obliged to listen. The ONLY exception to this rule is if he’s playing Peaches and Herb, Captain and Tennille or Donny and Marie. Then you are required to not only change the music, but must destroy the tape or CD and you’re allowed to NEVER ride with him again.

7) When calling shotgun, all riders of the car must be outside, and shotgun can only be called when the car is in view. Riders in the car are not allowed to run to shotgun and steal it before the person who called and deserves it arrives there. The driver of the car has no authority to decide on who gets shotgun. If a legitimate confrontation comes up where the rightful owner of the shotgun cannot be determined then it will be decided by one round of paper rock scissors. If the two contenders tie 5 times in a row then the rightful owner of the shotgun is to be decided by a UFC cage match in which the first blood drawn decides the rightful owner of shotgun.It is acceptable for you to drive your girlfriend’s car. It is not acceptable for her to drive yours.
~ V

A Year in The Life

One year ago today I stood at the end of a long aisle waiting for the most incredibly beautiful, most caring and loving woman I know. As she walked down that aisle and Aleah sang ‘Have You Ever Been in Love’ I realized, no…not like this. The day was perfect…everything from the music (every piece selected meant something special to us) to our vows and the sand ceremony, was special in every way imaginable and incredibly moving!

This year was filled with laughter and tears, joys and sorrows…growth and pain and excitement and most importantly…bonding. The happiness, laughter and joys helped us maintain perspective and strengthened us. The tears, sorrows and pain made us cling to each other as we shared our fears, hurts and emotions. We learned to lean on each other and on God. With all of this blended together, God built our foundation and continues to build our house! Lisa’s boys still deal with my role as step-dad, what that means and how this may or may not make their dad feel. My kids still deal with Lisa’s role as step-mom, what that means to the memory of their mom and how they and Lisa fit into each other’s lives. It’s complicated, especially for the kids and their real or perceived loyalties, but we have seen an incredible and continual bonding both between them and with us!
With Lisa, it's been an incredible first year! Whether it's working alongside her or laying in bed at night and talking, I simply love being with her! We laugh together...sometimes AT each other...cry together...share our concerns, fears and dreams together. The love, care and respect she shows for me on a daily basis humbles me and causes me to strive to be a better man...better husband.

Lisa…if I had to do all over again, I would…gladly and without a moment’s hesitation! Because:

To Me
You are the sun
Because you brighten my day
You are the moon
Because you light my way
You are the sands of the desert
Because your beauty is measureless
You are a map
Because you brought me to happiness
You are a book
Because life with you is a romantic adventure and we are the story
You are a tree
Because you support me fully
You are keys
Because you set me free
You are air
Because you surround and hold me
You are a glove
Because you fit me like one
You are the earth
Because you are my foundation
You are water
Because you quench my thirst
You are food
Because you satisfy me so
You are the wind
Because you push and encourage me
You are a song
Because you bring joy to my heart and harmony to my life
You are the stars
Because your love for me is endless
You are my heart
Because you own every bit of it

Happy first, my love! I look forward with great anticipation and excitement to the next 50!


~ V

Man Law Tuesday #3

Man Law #3
Man Law stipulates that every member of the male species MUST, at a minimum, be able to prepare ‘decent’ food on a grill. Some of you think that you can simply avoid violating this law by never hosting a cook-out. However, this is not the case. If you are at a cook-out and a member of the Man-Law brotherhood asks you for assistance, it is your civic Man-Law duty to step up to the plate (or grill) and assume co-pilot duties. Grilling ineptitude is NO excuse…Here are five tips to help you avoid a Man Law violation the next time a grill is in your presence.

TIP #1: Much like the garage, grills and grilling are the sole domains of men. An agreement was made centuries ago…men don’t give birth, women don’t grill…period.

TIP #2: Only a fool doesn’t use the right tool(s) - Always use long handled tools to help keep your hands/arms as far as possible from the hot grill surface when cooking. It’s difficult to impress your family with your grilling prowess when you’re sporting burns and blisters. Use a good meat thermometer especially on roasts and thicker selections of meat as this will take the guess work out of proper doneness. I use the following to help me gauge: Rare 125 deg, M Rare 135 deg, Medium 145 deg, M Well 155 deg Well 165 deg. I don’t mess with chicken, ALWAYS cook it to at least 165 deg. REMEMBER! After you take the meat off the grill cover it and let it stand for 10 min. The meat will finish cooking and letting it sit will bring its juiciness back.

TIP #3: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES cut into a piece of meat that is still being cooked! With the exception of Tip #1, this is the most heinous infraction of the Man Law’s of grilling. If another man observes someone about break this law, it is the responsibility of the observer to ‘take out’, ‘disarm’ or otherwise disable and keep the offender from slicing and dicing. Cutting into a piece of meat while cooking opens the meat and allows the juices to escape and will result in drying it out. Use the thermometer mentioned in Tip #2.

TIP #4: If you have to use steak sauce on a steak, then you’ve never had a decent steak. Steak sauce covers the taste of a BAD steak; a good steak doesn’t need a sauce. Spices and herbs are another matter all together as they will enhance and draw out the natural flavors of the steak.

TIP #5: While at another man’s house standing around HIS grill, remember: With the exception of Tip #3, don't tell him how to cook since most likely he's been cooking on a grill since he was a teenager. Don't tell him how to better use his grill seeing he's been cooking on the same grill for 9+ years. Don't tell him "how you do it" because honestly…he really doesn't care. Respect the man...respect the grill...enjoy the food!

Yes...I would claim that I am a Jedi-GrillMaster, but I say that in all humility, because while I have mastered many techniques, there are endless possibilities and flavors to explore. Taste is a matter of individual preference and what's spot on for one, may just be mediocre to another.

Grill long. and prosper...

~ V

The Best Father's Day EVER!

Yesterday in our Life Group, one of the ladies mentioned that her 18 year old daughter and herself had been frequently saying the same things at the same time lately. The things that they had been saying, had all been quotes and sayings that the mother had no doubt said time after time over the years since the daughter was older enough to understand…now the daughter herself had automatically started saying these same things and she was becoming quite annoyed with the thought that she was in essence, becoming her mother! This cracked me up! The LAST thing a teenager and young adult EVER wants to be compared to is their parents…I know I was the same way and I would venture to guess that at some point you were as well. Later on when I was thinking about this, it started to move me…a parent who was so consistent with the wisdom and knowledge she was attempting to impart on her children, that she saw the results of her efforts come to fruition before her very eyes! A child who was close enough to her parents and trusted her parents enough to accept that wisdom and knowledge as her own!
Have you ‘hung’ around and immersed yourself in the life and teachings of Christ long enough that the things He would say or the things He would think or do comes as second nature to you? Think about how many hours a day we spent with our parents listening to them and their instruction while we were growing up. Watching how mom cooked a meal or how dad fixed the car…receiving guidance, direction and even discipline. How much time do we spend seeking guidance and direction from God? In order for someone to instinctively accept and live out someone else’s wisdom and knowledge requires trust and trust is gained through the intimate knowledge of the person’s character and requires an investment of time.

Yesterday was father’s day and we had made plans to meet Brittany and Bill half way between us and them, go to a park and have a picnic. Nick had gone with his dad and grandfather on a trip to canoe and camp along the Boundary Waters and Trevor spent the day with his girlfriend Whitney, but everyone else was there! We brought burgers and hot dogs to grill along with some other picnic fare and Brittany had made a bowl of potato salad and brought an Ice Cream cake. Although we went through some hard rain on the way there AND the way back home, while we were at the park, the rain held off! After eating, we just hung out talking and playing a few games (Apples to Apples and that one lawn game with the PVC pipes and golf balls strung together). But the best came as Lisa and the kids gave me their gifts. Lisa had purchased two books; 100 Reasons Why a Son Needs a Dad and 100 Reasons Why a Daughter Needs a Dad. The books themselves are pretty cool, but Lisa had asked each of the kids to read through them and write a little something next to a few of the entries…I will treasure these books for the rest of my life…what an amazing gift! Let me share a few entries with you:

A Son Needs a Dad – to be the role model for the father HE will become – Vinny
A Son Needs a Dad – who will help his mother – Yep, Kyle
A Son Needs a Dad – to let him be his equal now and then – Yeah! Trevor

A Daughter Needs a Dad – who gives her refuge in a home secured with faith – Because you were always my refuge, my safe place, my listener, my comforter - Brittany
A Daughter Needs a Dad – to teach her the importance of being a lady – sometimes when we’re eating you tell me to do manners - Hope

And this from my oldest – The older I get, the more I realize you were right…God has AMAZING things in my future. And God has been consistent with what you’ve told me. “I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me.” Thank you for loving me in my best & my worst times.

Anytime, my baby girl…anytime.

Like I said…it’s a pretty amazing thing to see your children pick up the wisdom and knowledge you’ve tried SO very hard to instill and actually own it for themselves…glory to God!

Thank you Hon, for the most incredible father’s day I’ve EVER had…thank you kids! I love each and every one of you!

~ V

The Seed of Hope

Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
I don’t believe in random occurrences. I firmly believe that God has an intent and plan for us. We are not the sovereign masters of our fate. Only God is sovereign. His sovereign control is called “providence.” He has chosen to give us a free will, and He has created a moral universe in which the law of cause-and-effect is a reality…but God is God alone, and there are no accidents and it’s obvious to assume that an all-wise, all-powerful God must have a plan. And though we regularly try to run from it, alter it or ignore it, fighting against the plan of God is pointless. Proverbs 21:30 tells us “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD” This is why the Tower of Babel was never completed (Genesis 11:1-9), why Daniel’s enemies were thrown to the lions (Daniel 6:24) and why Jonah spent some time inside the belly of a fish (Jonah 1:17).

Even what we would normally call “chance” or “fate” is under God’s control. Consider what Proverbs 16:33 says “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD”. Everything that happens in the world is made to work out according to God’s purpose. Evil exists, terrible things happen, but it doesn’t thwart God’s providence…nor will it EVER. God uses even sinful men for His purposes. “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases” (Proverbs 21:1). God worked in the hearts of the Egyptians (Exodus 12:36) and King Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:27) to bring about His purpose. Even when Man’s intent is purely evil, God can still bring about His will, as was the case when Jesus was crucified (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28).

David recognized that the Lord had a plan for him. Psalm 139:16 “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”. Jeremiah revealed that the LORD told him that He had a plan for his life, Jeremiah 1:4-5 “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’”. So, it goes without reason that God’s sovereignty reaches even to a plan for you and I.

Lisa and I are quickly coming up on 1st wedding anniversary and it has me thinking and realizing exactly how God has planted ‘seeds’ of hope years before Lisa and I even met. Back in 1997, when we moved from Green Bay to Baraboo, Amy met a young mother at the public pool where they had both taken the kids for swimming lessons. Over the next 9 years, Kari and Amy became very good friends and served on Baraboo’s version of the PTA together for many years. While I knew Kari, she was more Amy’s friend than mine. Amy even befriended Kari’s husband Jerry as he managed one of the local grocery stores.

Lisa grew up in a small town in western Minnesota, less than an hour from the South Dakota boarder. While she was growing up, she had a very close girlfriend by the name of Chris. Chris and Lisa were so close in fact, that Lisa even lived with Chris and her family for a time, eventually went to college together and to this day are still close friends. Chris had a younger sister who Lisa was close to as well…her name was Kari.

Kari was there when Lisa was married, she was there when both of her boys were born and through each preceding pregnancy...and she was there through the pain and disillusionment Lisa felt when that marriage ended. Kari was there when Amy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and knew of mountain top highs and shadowed valley lows of the journey Amy walked...and she was there when Amy's journey ended 9 months later.

Kari continued to follow my previous blog, reading about how I and the kids were getting along. One day several months later, Kari showed my blog to Lisa. Lisa told me that she spent the next three weeks reading my blog. Much later, Kari did confide that while initially it was a little weird for her to be the catalyst that drew Lisa and I together, she knew it just felt right. Kari was the photographer at our wedding!

Now, am I saying that I believe God wanted Lisa to divorce or Amy's life to end at such a young age so that we would be together? ABSOLUTELY NOT! What would that say about the character of God? Evil, death and disease entered the world when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. The verses from Jeremiah 1 that I quoted above, makes it plain that God knows the path our lives will take us, but we have this promise from Romans 8:28 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.' What I AM saying is this...in the face of such tragic occurrences, it's obvious to me that God had been and continues to be at work...working to turn tragedy to good and tears to joy...why? Because THAT is the character of God!

Thank you Kari...for allowing yourself to be God's seed of hope in both Lisa's life and mine.
Thank you Babe...for taking that step of faith, for reigniting my life and showing me how to love again!

~ V

Do you trust Him?

Job 42: 1-6 ‘Then Job replied to the LORD: "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."

Job had lost everything…his house, land, livestock, everything he owned…gone. And if that wasn’t enough, every one of his children died and he was inflicted with terrible, painful boils that covered his entire body which we scrapped at with broken pieces of pottery. Three of his best friends and even his wife, all asked him what he had done to deserve such misfortune from God…they all advised him to curse God so that he might die and be removed from any further suffering…But Job refused. In chapter 37, he did however ask God why, in spite of his faithfulness, this was happening. God took the next two chapters to answer:

The Lord spoke to Job out of a storm. He said, “Who do you think you are to disagree with my plans? You do not know what you are talking about. Get ready to stand up for yourself. I will ask you some questions. Then I want you to answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you know. Who measured it? I am sure you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? What was it built on? Who laid its most important stone? When it happened, the morning stars sang together. All of the angels shouted with joy. “Who created the ocean? Who caused it to be born? I put clouds over it as if they were its clothes. I wrapped it in thick darkness. I set limits for it. I put its doors and metal bars in place. I said, ‘You can come this far. But you can’t come any farther. Here is where your proud waves have to stop.’ “Job, have you ever commanded the morning to come? Have you ever shown the sun where to rise? “Have you traveled to the springs at the bottom of the ocean? Have you walked in its deepest parts? Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of darkness? Do you understand how big the earth is? Tell me, if you know all of those things. “Where does light come from? And where does darkness live? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their houses? I am sure you know! After all, you were already born! You have lived so many years! “Have you entered the places where the snow is kept? Have you seen the storerooms for the hail? I store up snow and hail for times of trouble. I keep them for days of war and battle. Where does lightning come from? Where do the east winds that blow across the earth live? Who tells the rain where it should fall? Who makes paths for the thunderstorms? They bring water to places where no one lives. They water deserts that do not have anyone in them. They satisfy the needs of dry and empty lands. They make grass start growing there. Does the rain have a father? Who is the father of the drops of dew? Does the ice have a mother? Who is the mother of the frost from the heavens? The waters become as hard as stone. The surface of the ocean freezes over. “Can you tie up the beautiful Pleiades? Can you untie the ropes that hold Orion together? Can you bring out all of the stars in their seasons? Can you lead out the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper? Do you know the laws that govern the heavens? Can you rule over the earth the way I do? “Can you give orders to the clouds? Can you make them pour rain down on you? Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’? Who put wisdom in people’s hearts? Who gave understanding to their minds? Who is wise enough to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens? I tip them over when the ground becomes hard. I do it when the dirt sticks together. “Do you hunt for food for mother lions? Do you satisfy the hunger of their cubs? Some of them lie low in their dens. Others lie waiting in the bushes. Who provides food for ravens when their babies cry out to me? They wander around because they do not have anything to eat. “Job, do you know when mountain goats have their babies? Do you watch when female deer give birth? Do you count the months until the animals have their babies? Do you know the time when they give birth? They bend their back legs and have their babies. Then their labor pains stop. Their little ones grow strong and healthy in the wild. They leave and do not come home again.”

God didn’t answer Job’s question, instead, God asked Job two chapters worth of questions…not to belittle Job. Not to slap him down for asking such an outrageous question, but I think He wanted to remind Job of what being God and in control was really all about. I love some of the questions God asked Job, because it reminds me of what a great God we serve and that while there’s NO WAY we can ever understand all of the WHY’s of this life, we can rest assured that God IS indeed in control and He cares! Think about that for a minute…our Lord has everything so under control that He has time to count the months until ALL of the animals give birth and to provide food for the lion cubs and the baby ravens. He commands where the ocean’s stop and the lightening appears. What an incredible God we serve and to know that He loves each of us far more than the animals (Matt 6:25-33)! In the end, the Lord restored to Job all that had been taken from him, in fact, God blessed him with twice as much as he had before. But, even if God had not, His power, goodness, mercy, and love would still be the same. God’s OK if we question and wonder why storms and trials come…He’s a big God. He can handle our questions! But, He does want us to remember WHO He is and that He’s ALWAYS in control. He wants us in the midst of whatever storm we are enduring at the moment to put our faith in Him…not in ourselves or ANYTHING of this world. Our God, who is mighty enough to lay the foundations of the Earth, command the oceans where to stop, and show the stars where to shine is also compassionate enough to care for the needs of you and I.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.’

Philippians 4:12-13 ‘I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.’

In the midst of the storm...when you're bailing water like mad and fighting the current...trying beyond hope to stay afloat...we become distracted by the seemingly urgent situation of the moment and we lose perspective of who really IS in control, how much He really cares for us and the freedom that comes by resting...I mean truly resting in Him.

~ V

National Man Day!

WHAT!!!??? Evidently, yesterday was National Man Day and I didn't find out until today...Ugh, if my friend Brian was here, he'd revoke my Man Card...

Check this out...

National Man Day.

~ V

Man Law Tuesday #2

Man Law number 2 is: If Anything is Worth Eating, It's Worth Wrapping in Bacon! Bacon is a MAN food...it's looking life in the face and laughing...HARD!

We've ALL heard of bacon wrapped shrimp...you can't eat shrimp in a more manly way than this!

And of course bacon wrapped chicken...the non-red meat, red meat!

Salmon provides healthy fish oils...bacon provides yummy, smoky flavored FAT! What a taste combo!

Bacon wrapped steaks is a staple for ANY real man!

Here we have the ultimate breakfast...bacon wrapped french toast sticks!!! Come and get it!!!

What an incredible idea! Take in a ballgame and enhance that ballpark frank by bacon wrapping it! Can't get more American than this!!!

Man up those party hor d'ourves, by bacon wrapping them, like these bacon wrapped pickles!

...Or bacon wrapped pineapple chunks!

...and for dessert? How about these chocolate covered bacon strips!!! Can't you just hear Rachel say 'Yumm-o!!'?

And for those who JUST can't get enough bacon, here we have...yes, bacon wrapped BACON!

And of course...what holiday is complete without the traditional bacon wrapped TURKEY? I call the wishbone!!

Just remember...if you can cook it, you can wrap it!

Bacon...it's NOT just for breakfast anymore!

~ V

Man Law Tuesday #1

OK...after much contemplation, I've decided that I've been WAY too serious in my blogging lately. So, I stepped back and thought to myself; 'Self...quit being SO heavy all the time!' Yeah, pivotal, I know...So, from now on, I declare Tuesday's to be....

You've heard of the law of the land, Murphy's Law, Maritime Law and even the Long arm of the Law. But this is MAN LAW. Little known, and never spoken of until now, Man Law's are little rules of life that men...REAL men instinctively know. So, without further ado...

MAN LAW #1: Talking in a Public restroom and other bathroom etiquette

1. Do NOT talk to anyone. If you see someone you know, a quick nod is acceptable, but NOTHING more!
2. A quick glance in the mirror is permissible, but absolutely don't spend a significant time arranging hair, clothing, etc. This is called 'primping' and is done in the restroom across the hall.
3. If you must wait, form a single-file line, and be sure to keep looking around, do not...I repeat DO NOT make eye contact! Read graffiti.
4. All graffiti is anonymous. Signing one's graffiti defeats graffiti's purpose and is not done by any man that has taste.
5. Given a string of unoccupied urinals, you must choose one on the outside. When one outside urinal is occupied, use the other side, then middle. Avoid standing directly next to somebody at all costs.
6. Don't start unzipping until you're protected by the privacy of the urinal. Always keep your eyes forward and look at the wall. Looking down means you're obsessed or don't know what you're doing. Looking at the people next to you is disturbing and in direct violation of ALL Man Laws.
7. Always flush. We're men, not animals in the forest.
8. When you find an unflushed toilet, STOP...quickly back out of the stall and use another.

I'm a man and that's MY law!

~ V

The Great American Pastime

I used to coach my oldest son's (Trevor) baseball team. For the first year, when he was nine, I just helped out as the head coach had to withdraw at the last minute due to personal reasons. The assistant had to step up and I could tell by the look of terror on his face that he was in over his head, so I stepped up and spent the next four years coached baseball. When Trevor reached 13, he tried out and made the Babe Ruth league and so ended my coaching days...or so I thought. Our town needed an 8 and under coach and Lisa's youngest boy, Kyle, would be on that team...so I thought about it, talked about it with Lisa and Kyle was very excited about the possibility of me being his coach (he started calling me Daddy-coach!). Honestly, it wasn't an easy decision as I had to make a choice between coaching and going out for HCO's production of Beauty and the Beast...ultimately Kyle's excitement won out and this would give me a chance to spend more personal time with him as well.

I have to admit that it's had its challenges; trying to hold the attention of 13 eight year olds during an hour and a half practice is NOT an easy task! Not to mention trying to keep 26 plus parents appeased! But the boys are fun and they had the chance to 'show their stuff' last Tuesday as they took their season openner 19 to 3!

So, if you see me at the end of the season and it looks like I have a few more grey hairs...I probably will!

~ V

Trusting in His promises

Mathew 6:25-34 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Whether it’s your kids, finances, your spouse, your job or a million other things, worry is very real and affects every one of us at one time or another. We believe God has redeemed us, broken the shackles of Satan, take us from hell to heaven, placed us into His kingdom, and has given us eternal life, but we have trouble thinking He can get us through the next couple of days. We believe God for the greater gift and then stumble and not believe Him for the lesser one…What does this say about us?!! When we worry we are saying in effect, “God, I just don’t think I can trust You.” Jesus basically said, ‘Hey! Why are you worrying? Look at the birds, or the flowers…do they worry about their needs? No! God supplies their needs every single day and if He will do this for these, the least of His creations, don’t you think He’ll supply that much more for you??’

By worrying, we are choosing to be mastered by our circumstances instead of by the truth and promises of God. Jesus wants us to realize it doesn’t make sense to believe God can save us from eternal hell, but not help us in the practical matters of life!

If you struggle with worry, I have found that studying the Word of God to find out who He really is and how He has supplied the needs of His people in the past can be an effective remedy. Also, studying and meditating on His promises helps to build confidence for the future. Stay fresh in the Word every day so that God is in your mind. In Ephesians 1:18-19, Paul tells us “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” When you catch yourself worrying, go back to Scripture or start singing a praise song…let God open your eyes (and heart) again.

Understand this…God gives each of us the strength we need just one day at a time. He gives us what we need when we need it and doesn’t weight us down with excess baggage. God gives us His grace in the hour we need it and His timing is ALWAYS perfect.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

Do you believe, I mean really believe in His promises?

~ V