If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we are, in a measure, shutting tomorrow out of our prayer. We do not live in tomorrow but in today. We do not seek tomorrow’s grace or tomorrow’s bread. They thrive best, and get the most out of life, who live in the living present. They pray best who pray for today’s needs, not for tomorrow’s, which may render our prayers unnecessary and redundant by not existing at all! True prayers are born of present trials and present needs. Bread, for today, is bread enough.

Bread given for today is the strongest sort of pledge that there will be bread tomorrow. Victory today is the assurance of victory tomorrow. Our prayers need to be focused upon the present. We must trust God today and leave tomorrow entirely with Him. The present is ours; the future belongs to God. Prayer is the task and duty of each recurring day—daily prayers for daily needs.”

E.M. Bounds

Big Announcement!

June 30, 2014 — Leave a comment

3d-jMy first book, Blessings in Disguise, is available in paperback today! It had only been available in eBook form until now.

You can get your copy here,

It will be available from Amazon and other book distributors later this week.

The content of this book changed the way I see life. If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time, I believe it will help you.

Thanks everyone for your support and helping me spread the word!

Easy Jesus

June 25, 2014 — 2 Comments

It’s astonishing isn’t it, how a plague can sweep the land unnoticed?
Such is the epidemic of comfortable Christianity.
Hammock
Subtract the miracles. Take out the speaking in tongues. Disregard supernatural healing. Extricate the necessity and work of the Holy Ghost. Remove anything that demands sacrifice or change on my part. Make me the sole object and beneficiary of my religion. Make God a vending machine to quench my transient thirsts.

And leave me with a perfectly worthless, but entirely cozy, Christianity. A people-pleasing, unobtrusive morality that offends no one (and helps no one). A predictable religion where I am in control and nothing drastic happens or takes me by surprise. A religion so indistinguishable that I cannot rightly differentiate it from anyone else’s, thereby avoiding conflicts and differences of opinion. Let me have so high a view of myself it makes the gulf the cross had to span rather small and insignificant.

I do not mind being entertained with tales of adventurous souls who sacrificed all. How I envy and admire their faith! But dare not replicate it. For my castle of comfort is too secure. And my grip on it has become its grip on me.

It’s not church attendance to me, it’s conscience easement. It’s not a children’s program, it’s a babysitter. It’s not a life purpose, it’s a moral hobby. It’s not a divinely inerrant manuscript, it’s a good storybook.

I don’t have to do what the Bible requires, I merely have to do what I think the Bible requires. And if I don’t read it, I can’t tell the difference.

I don’t want to be a soldier in a war. I want to be a vacationer on a cruise.
I don’t want a gun and a mission. I want a lemonade and a hammock.

Play music I like. Entertain me with your talent. Inspire and coddle me with an inspirational speech. That is all my “Christian” appetite requires.

Make me self-centered. Make me self-righteous. Make me deceived. Make me satisfied. Make me… an American Christian.
Give me comfort, not cost. Give me self-confidence, not Holy Spirit reliance. Give me humanized, watered-down, politically correct, convenient religion.
Give me…Easy Jesus.
____________________________

So many people are settling for Easy Jesus. I hope you and I are not one of them.

Thanks for taking a moment to read this. I’d love to hear any comments you have.

And please feel free to pass along “Easy Jesus” to anyone you like. I don’t mind at all.

It'sYourMoney2

A few years ago, I ran across a blog called WordsOfWilliams. It was a husband (Eric) and wife (Kelsey) duo who blogged about their life experiences with engaging candor and vulnerability. I shared the blog with some friends, and they became avid WordsOfWilliams readers as well.

Sometime between that day and this, Eric and I became friends. I don’t remember our first contact or how it happened, but we shared a lot of the same interests and immediately hit it off.

Yesterday, Eric launched his first book: It’s Your Money. I had the opportunity to interview him about money, budgets, time machines, and life in general. Our conversation went like this…

Eric Interview from Josh Hood on Vimeo.

It’s Your Money is available here for Kindle or in paperback.

What’s your best money advice? Leave a comment and let me know!

As the sun is the same in its nature and influences, though the earth and clouds, oft interposing, make it seem to us as varying, by its rising and setting, and by its different appearances, or entire withdrawment, when the change is not in it; so God is unchangeable, and our changes and shadows are not from any mutability or shadowy alterations in him, but from ourselves.”

- Richard Baxter

(theologian in the 1600′s)

Sun-behind-clouds

 

Richard Baxter Quote

“Love keeps no record of wrongs.” – 1 Corinthians 13:5 paraphrase

How does this verse apply to everyday life?

Hidden Scoreboards

Keeping score is easy. Keeping score in relationships is even easier.

Scoreboard

You may not realize this, but you have an internal scoreboard. We all do. It doesn’t have LED lights or advertisements on it. But it’s there, hidden in our heart. Continue Reading…

“…ye have not, because ye ask not.” – James 4:2

How does this verse apply to everyday life?

You are either a Starbucks person, or you are not. There is no in-between.

Ordering at Starbucks

The thought of paying five dollars for a cup of coffee either makes you shudder in horror, or smile with delight. Continue Reading…

The Power of Praise

January 29, 2013 — 4 Comments

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. – Proverbs 25:11

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. – Proverbs 3:27

How do these verses apply to everyday life?

I sat around a table recently with some close friends. We started with the person at the end of the table, and one by one, went around the table and said what we appreciated about that person.

the power of praise 2

We commented on the qualities we admired, the things they were good at, and what we loved most about them.
Then we moved to the next person, and all went around the table talking about them. Then the next person, and so on. Continue Reading…

Vending Machine

I was traveling on business awhile back, and had worked a long day. I was too tired to go eat anywhere, so I just picked up some dinner and took to my hotel room. After getting settled in, I realized I didn’t have anything to drink. I wandered up and down the hotel hallway until I found the vending machine… only to discover it was out of order. So I hopped in the elevator and went up a floor…only to discover the vending machine on that floor didn’t have the one thing I wanted.

With a sigh, I got back on the elevator and went down two floors. Thankfully, this one was working and well-stocked. But when I went to buy a drink, I discovered I hadn’t brought enough money.

Have you ever had one of those days?

Here’s why I bring it up: I only go to a vending machine when I need something. I’ve never gone to a vending machine when I wasn’t thirsty. I’ve never scoured hotel hallways just to check them and and look them over. I only interact with them when I want something. Continue Reading…