It’s How You Choose To Look At Your Life

I saw a meme recently. It said something to the effect of, “Nothing makes you clean your house like a friend calling and saying he’ll be over in 10 minutes.” Lee and I are hosting our growth group on Wednesday night, and we’ve been in full cleaning mode since the workday ended.

Normally, this would be a gripe session about an aching back, tired muscles, and dry, cracked hands. But before I started cleaning, I took my wife’s advice by grabbing my mp3 player and listening to a sermon from Elevation Church. Now, I know it may sound strange to fill my time by listening to someone preach, but if you’ve never heard Steven Furtick preach, you’re missing out. This sermon, however, was delivered by Steven’s wife Holly, and it helped me remember to keep things in perspective.

Instead of being pissed about how dirty the grout gets, I should be thankful for the tile floors that decorate the house. Instead of getting furious at the cats that shed all over the place and leave nice, regurgitated ‘presents’ on my lanai, I should be thankful for the companionship they provide and the calm, soothing effect they have on my wife (she’ll be the first to tell you there is no better therapist than those with claws). Instead of fretting about having the house look perfect, I should be focused on the opportunity to invite my friends over and share in continued fellowship with them.

My favorite band Sister Hazel has a song called Change Your Mind. Before he performs it, lead singer Ken Block reminds the crowd that, “It’s not your life. It’s how you choose to look at your life.” All you have to do is change your mind.

So when you’re feeling stressed, change your mind. When you think you can’t, change your mind. When you feel alone, remember that He is always there for you. You just need to change the way you’re looking at your situation.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”Philippians 4:8 

101/365 Suck It

That title is directed to the negative forces that tried to knock me off my rock today.

As I’ve mentioned before, the growth group Lee and are leading is studying the book The 4:8 Principle. The core of the message is to focus our thoughts on all things that merit praise, and to not dwell on the negatives.

Well, the negatives began this afternoon when I noticed one of our cats had tinkled on the kitchen counter for some reason. “Breathe, Gil. Relax. Just clean it up and move on.” That was me employing my 4:8.

I wiped up the pee and searched underneath the sink for the cleaner/sanitizer. If you’re like me, then you can appreciate the cluster *bleep* the ‘under the sink’ can be. As I reached for bottle after bottle, I noticed some of them were wet.

{insert ‘Oh Shit!’ moment here}

The good news is it was not a leak from the plumbing or anything like that. But the hose on my faucet was leaking and had the whole under-sink area flooded.

“Stay calm, Gil. You can handle this.”

At first I thought I’d have to get a whole new faucet, but upon further inspection, I realized I just needed to replace the hose (difference between $100 and $10).

Still, I had all this water underneath my sink to deal with. My super awesome neighbor Brad lent me his wet vac, but since I had to take my daughter to practice, clearing out the water would have to wait.

I drop off my daughter and head over to the Home Depot in Wesley Chapel (not the one I normally go to by my house). I find the replacement hose for my faucet, and as I go to check out what do I see? A brand new Ridgid wet vac (out of box floor model) on sale for $50.

See? Staying positive and employing the 4:8 principle does lead to increased joy.


067/365 Focus on the Joy

After a long – and somewhat brutal – day at work, I thought it was going to be tough to go to my growth group and lead the discussion. But then I remembered that all I had to do was focus on the joy, and just like that, while sitting in traffic, God reminded me of where my mind needed to be.

Philippians 4:8
New Living Translation (NLT)

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

060/365(6?) Leap of Joy

When I first started keeping this daily blog, I was reminded by a friend of mine that we’re in a leap year and my posts should be xxx/366 instead of 365.

So here we are on Leap Day and I am still referring to a 365 day year. Perhaps I should have gone back and corrected the numbering on all my earlier posts.

Especially after a night like tonight in which Lee and I kicked off a new growth group through church. We will be covering the 4:8 Principle, which is a study of the Bible verse Phillipians 4:8, and is centered around finding joy in all that we do.

After all, who couldn’t use an extra day of joy in their lives?