In all aspects of life

In all aspects of life

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Priority: God

Sometimes I hear events happening in other peoples lives and wonder how they can be so ridiculous as to let these things happen. I wonder how they can be so naive and wasteful. Or so incompetent. I heard about some people the other night that made me say that to myself. Now I sit here and wonder, what is it that I do that makes people say that? Honestly, I feel I have a well balanced life. Maybe a little on the busy side at times. I get out enough, and I rest enough. I eat well most of the time, and exercise. I spend time with my wife, and I spend time with friends, and sometimes I spend time alone. I read my Bible and pray. I am involved in some things, but not over committed. There is always things that can be tweaked, but mostly, I think I am doing well.

Matthew 6:33 "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

Maybe you aren't feeling balanced. Maybe life is out of whack. Spend more time in the Word. Seek God. Seek the things that God seeks. Prioritize God. Turn of the TV. Turn off the cell phone. Turn off the video games. Tell your husband/wife/family that you will talk to them after you spend time with God. You see, we can worry all we want. But when we fix our eyes on Christ, the things of this world grow dim. It might seem like a big task to sell your house, pay your bills, have peace in the family, love your spouse, etc... but not when you put God where he belongs. He goes first, family is second. He goes first, hobbies are second. He goes first, exercise goes second. Put God first and you won't have to worry about your 401k, your monthly bills, food, etc...because Christ will give you what you need.

Yes you need to pay bills, you need to spend time with your family/spouse/friends, you need a hobby, you need to exercise. Those are not bad things. But when God is your first priority the rest fall into place.

Who, or what is your priority? Video games? Exercise? Cell phone? TV? Make God your priority and your life will have peace.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


As I was reading in the book "Plan B" yesterday, I figured I had gotten the jist of the book, and not much more would surprise me. After all, I was in the 2nd to last chapter, what could be left? As it turns out there was more for me to learn. Pete Wilson mention a book called, "The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith" Now, understand I am not really a fan of, "follow these steps and God will do..." because that is not the way life works, no matter how much we want it to. But this book seems to be more about assessing your spiritual walk to see what needs to be worked on. And books can be a valuable tool in doing so.

 As Wilson started going through the stages I was trying to guess about which one I would fall into. I guessed there wouldn't be too many, after all we like to break things down into 3's or 4's, so when I read that stage four was "The Journey Inward" I said AHA! this must be the stage I am at! And I felt pretty good about that. After you have recognized that you are in need of a Savior, have been discipled, and done outreaches or other 'good' things, then you begin to look deeper into your life. So I was quite sure this was my spot. To my dismay the next sentence was something like this, "And this is where many Christian stall." Crap. Alas, there were more than 4 stages. I read on and tried to convince myself I was at stage 5 or 6, because there is no way I was a "stalled" Christian. But as I continued to think about it, and no matter how much I wanted to be on a later stage, I settled that stage 4 was a good assessment of where I was.

Stage 5 and 6 are "The Journey Outward" and "The Life of Love". But something is supposed to happen in-between stages 4 and 5 that perhaps isn't happening, and that's where many Christians get stalled. Don't worry about which stage you may or may not be on, that is not really what is of importance. Pete goes on to say(and maybe int he book too, I haven't read it yet.) that in-between stage 4 and 5 there is a transformation that takes place. I would guess that most of you, like me, are comfortable with how you live your life. You don't want to change anything. Or maybe you just don't know what to change. I see this part of the journey as being where 'the rubber meets the road'. Will our everyday life reflect how important Christ really is? Will the way we do business, our actions,  & our words leave a pleasant aroma? What will our spending habits say about us? What will our planner say about us? Are we actually going to give God the place he deserves in our life?

I think its all too easy to get stuck in this spot. God ends up getting the back burner. We get embarrassed to say that we aren't going somewhere, or aren't doing something because we believe God has called us to a higher standard. We don't want people to think we are crazy, or weird. Or, heaven forbid, actually letting our beliefs dictate how we live!

I plan on reading this book when I can get my hands on it. Not so I can work through the stages, because that is not what life is about. Its not a spiritual ladder we have to climb. Its just a tool to use to assess our lives and have the Lord look into our heart and see what needs fixin'.

What about you? Are you stalled? Are you shying away from God because of unexpected events? Pain? Have you even acknowledged you need a savior? Have you started down the discipleship path? Where are you & where are you headed?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

1 Thessalonians

I was reading this book last night and not really getting much out of it. And then after chapter 3 I kinda felt like I was reading someones mail. Those first chapters were all about how thankful Paul, Timothy, and Silas were for the church in Thessalonika(?) And why were they thankful for them? Well they were living life and doing everything they could to obey Christs' teachings. They were working hard and being honest. They weren't giving in to sin. They were resisting. They were doing well. They didn't all turn into evangelists, prophets, teachers, etc...they were just doing their work. And they were giving God praise. And Paul was urging them to do so more and more. Continue to grow. Continue to love God. Continue to resist sin. And look forward to when Christ will return from heaven to take us to be with Him. At first I wasn't getting much out of Thessalonians, but as it sank in I began to realize that this is what life is all about. We build our lives on the principles set forth by God, and then continue in them. Live life, love God, love His principles, work to adhere to them, and look forward to eternity with God. Life will happen. We will have our share of "Plan B's", but continue to be faithful to God. Be faithful to his decrees. He will comfort you and He will guide you. It's not our job to make things happen. It's our job to be faithful and follow Christ. Just like the church in Thessalonika.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I love connecting with friends I haven't talked to in a while. Its so nice to chat and catch up. I got to have lunch with Jamie today. It was great. I hadn't seen him since our wedding. That is a friendship I will cherish the rest of my life.

I heard a great radio broadcast the other day. I believe it was Chip Ingram. He was talking about how we as Christians put our salvation on ourselves. We wouldn't actually come out and say it, but with our actions and how we think, that is what we believe. We get caught up in having to read our Bible, or having to pray, or having to go to church; that we forget that our salvation is in Christ's grace & mercy. You don't have to read the Bible, you don't have to pray, and you don't have to go to church. Those are things we ought to do, but we don't have to do them. Doing those things does not make you a better Christian. Doing those things doesn't mean that God owes you anything. Its funny, sometimes we'll (sorry for switching tenses so much) feel like God HAS to bless us, or give us this promotion, or sell our house, or etc... because we pray and read our Bible and go to church. But truth is, He doesn't. God owes us nothing and we owe Him everything. We ought to read our Bibles because that is one of the ways God has chosen to reveal Himself to us. And as a created being who loves his Creator, it makes sense to want to get to know Him better. We ought to pray because God loves to listen to us. Whether we are happy, sad, depressed, joyful, or anything else, He loves listening to us and talking to us. We ought to go to church because its beneficial for our spiritual walk to be around like minded individuals and to to listen to Godly sermons. The Bible also tells us in Hebrews "not to forsake the gathering of the saints". But none of those things will save us and get us to heaven. That can only be done through Jesus Christ.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm in.

Well, after a long wait lots of paperwork and more waiting I am finally a part of the US Air Force. Allyson and I are very excited for the adventures that lie ahead. Next ahead for us is more waiting. (suprise suprise) I will be lined up with a job sometime and then I will be given a departure date. I'm guessing sometime around September-October, however it could always be sooner or later. I would imagine that October would be a nice time to be in San Antonio. The current forecast looks a little to warm to be doing drills.

I have already been scoping out military discounts. Some of which I am pretty excited about. Like free pizza at papa murphys. Wherever we end up, I hope there is one close by.

Next thing on the list that would be nice to have out of the way is the house. It would be good to not have to think about it anymore. I believe that the Lord has called us into the Air Force, and so I believe he will work things out for us. Which is sort of what I have been studying about.

Abraham is the only person in the Bible referenced as a 'friend of God'. King David was a man after Gods heart, but that doesn't mean they were friends. If I met someone who loved football, and golfing, and grilling brats I would consider that a person after my own heart. However, we could have conflicting personalities. And I think Davids personality kept him from being a friend of God. Abraham was obedient to Gods call on his life. He left his family, friends, and wealth and started the adventure God called him on. He believed God when he was told he would have a child in his old age. When I read Abraham's story it seems to me that his every response is 'yes Lord'. He doesn't get in to asking about all the details(not every time anyway). He is just faithful and believes that the Lord will take care of him as he is obedient to what the Lord tells him to do. And I think that is what makes him a friend of God. And that's what I want to be as well. I want to follow the Lords plan for my life and believe He will take care of me no matter what I am doing and where I am going. Even if the road seems tough.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Idle Talk

I was listening to the local Christian radio station the other day, and someone on one of the shows made a brief comment about how people these days are making light of everything with sarcastic comments and jokes and not taking life more seriously. It didn't take me but a moment to agree with her. Things that should be taken seriously seem to be blown off with a "that sucks" or "too bad for them" or something along those lines. We ( I ) tend to be far to flippent over things that should be taken more serious. Not that I actually mean it, I just like to make jokes and keep the mood light. However, there are topics that ought not to be made light of. There are happenings in the world that grieve the heart of God. Injustice, famine, poverty, slavery, etc... these are not things that should be passed over so flippently. All of this is prefaced with what the mens group at church is doing their current study on; The Fear of the Lord. It has been such a great study about how we need to keep the Fear of the Lord alive and healthy in our lives. I've been thinking about that such thing and how I can/need to better implament the Fear of the Lord in my life. *insert radio comment* Then, on Sunday I decided to flip open my Bible and read a little before service began. Not out of any habit or anything, its just that none of my friends were in church Sunday and Ally was talking to someone so I thought I'd pass a few minutes reading. I happened to read John chapter 7. Now, remember I'm having these thoughts about not being so sarcastic and trying to be more serious about serious things. And growing the Fear of the Lord in my life. Nothing was really sticking out too much, and then I happened to make it all the way to verses 25-27.

Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? 27 But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.”

I was stunned. I got this picture of a few friends hanging out together, just taking it easy, having 'fun' when this conversation begins. They are so flippent about the situation without any fear of the Lord in their lives. They reduce Jesus to a common man simply because 'they know where he comes from'.

I don't want to be like these guys.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Almost there

Well, everything in Fargo went well! I scored an 87 on the ASVAB which is better than I was thinking I would do. I was relieved when that was done. Trying to remember highschool math was a bit harder than I thought it would be, but I guess I did good. Everything was normal on my physical too. Though I found out I have flat feet. I still have about a month before I can swear in because of a tube I had in my ear back in December. I think I'll be headed back up to Fargo around June 6th. Can't wait!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Well, another tax season is over and done with. Its nice to slow down a little. Working a million miles an hour was getting old.

I don't remember where I was with weight last time I posted, but I made weight last week! I weighed in with my recruiter at 202lbs. That was a really nice feeling! I've been able to eat a little more than before now, but still have to be careful. Tomorrow I head to Fargo to take the ASVAB and my physical on Thursday. I am actually pretty excited! It feels like its been a long time in the making. Then I have to wait 45 days or less for the Surgeon General to approve my paperwork (because of the plates in my jaw) and then I can go in and take my oath, hopefully sometime around the end or middle of May. Then its just a waiting game. They will line me up with a job and send me off. I could be gone as early as June or as late at October. Depends on how picky I want to be.

On a side note I made an 8 mile run on Sunday. Thats the longest run I've done yet. It felt really good! Had my knee not bothered me so much I might have tried to go a little farther.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Things that have been on my mind.

I followed the Egypt protests fairly faithfully. I thought it was great to see the people win and get waht they wanted. It made me think that if people in America REALLY didn't want something to happen, that we could do the same thing. But we're probably either too lazy or too apathetic do protest for 18 days. If we have to say we want something to change more than once, we probably won't do it. Kudos to the Egyption people who cared enough about their country to make something happen.

Kind of on the same note; Mexico. I heard a story a few weeks back about two police officers who had been captured and be-headed, and then the entire department just quit. It disturbed me and made me quite angry. What would we think if something like that happened in Alexandria? Would we just let the police officers quit? I don't understand why Mexico, or some other nation (the U.S.) isn't more direct in eliminating the drug cartel. Instead of hiding and quitting and being afraid, go after them. I'm sure they know who the big boys are...take care of them. And by that I mean kill them. I'm probably oversimplafying things some, but come on. Over 10,000 people were killed in Mexico last year because of drug related violence. Be a little more aggressive.

Losing weight can be difficult. Proper eating goes a long way in helping that. I was doing very well, I was down to 206, a mere 3lbs from my goal. Then I went on a 5 day mission trip and I gained some weight ( I won't tell you how much) but I am now back to 209lbs. I should be able to go weigh in with my recruiter sometime this month, and maybe(hopefully) get to MEPS to take my physical. As the days pass it starts to feel more real.

Selling a house is probably hard. Ours has only been on the market for a week, but no lookers. It only takes one buyer. I am fully confident that we are in God's will and therefore He will take care of us. Whether its the house selling or somehow having it ready for renters.

I am almost halway through my half marathon training. It has been great. It's nice to see the progress from when I first started running in November. I could hardly run around the track twice(13.5 times makes a mile), this week my long run will be 6 miles, or 81 laps. I feel much better through out the day when I run in the morning. Which makes rest days difficult, though neccesary. On the same note I am planning on doing a half marathon on May 1st in Grand Marais. And another May 14th in Alexandria. Not long after I will (hopefully) be off to BMT.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Plan of action

I've decided to eat carrots and pea pods with the occasional power bar until I reach my goal. I've been having too many 'little treats' here and there, or a meal here and there that I shouldn't. I need to be a little more strict with myself, at least for a while. A week or two should get me pretty close. Maybe I'll through in some spinach leafs too.

It's kind of nice and re-assuring to know that God is bigger than me and his plan is greater than I am. It's nice to know that HE knows where and what I'll be doing, and when. At times I've felt like I have 'missed' God. Not gone where I should have, not listened when I should have, or something along those lines. And maybe some of that is true. But God knows. If we miss something He has for us, He doesn't give up on our future. I feel that God has prepared me for this time. The military is not known to be a place where Christians dominate the discussion, but rather the place where Christians fail to step up to the plate. I don't want that to happen. For the past two and a half months I have been preparing myself physically, and will continue to do so up until the day I leave for training. But, I got to thinking last week that I need to start preparing my soul as well. If I had done nothing to physically prepare myself, I would most certainly fail. The same goes spiritually. If I don't prepare myself, I will fail. I need to be in the word, praying, fasting, etc..preparing myself to stand up for Christianity. What that means, time will only tell. Maybe it's listening to someone, not doing what other people do...etc..who knows. But I do know that God has prepared me for what is next. Through all the good and bad times in my life, through the people who have mentored me and the leadership practice I have had, I am ready.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It comes and it goes

Christmas has come and gone. New Years has come and...well sort of gone. Now its back to the routine of living life. Tomorrow I get to celebrate my loves birthday. It should be a pretty grand day. Its always nice to celebrate those that you love. On birthdays, or just any day in general. We could set aside a special day every week for her, and I would be a-ok with that. We are going to go to 6th ave wine & ale...or as the locals call it, 6th av. A delicious pizza and glass of wine, or beer, or water ( I'd say soda but they don't serve it) Happy Birthday (a little early) Allyson!

Whenever I read a book, it makes me want to write a book. I am currently reading "Decision Point" by President Bush, and "The problem with pain" by C.S. Lewis. Both great books that I would recommend. But back to writing a book. I am too much of a technical writer, too straight to the point to write a book. If I wrote a book it'd be about 5 pages and cover every important topic anyone could be concerned with. Ok, well maybe not, but you get the idea. Unless I wrote a book about myself, buuut, that would be too revealing. So I'd have to pretend the story was about someone named...something other than Levi. Ya know, names changed to protect the innocent sort of thing. Maybe one day. But probably not.

Dieting and going to the gym are not very fun. Good for you; yes. But not enjoyable. Going to the gym can be fun when you see where you started and see where you are now. But the actual physical act of getting up and being there and working out is not. And dieting...well, I love food too much. But it is working. I have faithfully been going to the gym 5-7 days a week since the beginning of November. And I changed eating habbits at the end of November (when Air Force talk got serious) and this morning the scale read 209.5. Much better than the 227 is read when I began being serious after Thanksgiving. 17.5 down, and 6.5 to go. Plus, I am getting bigger muscles. For some reason that makes me feel good. So even if its not enjoyable, I'll continue to do it because it's good for me. As Hebrews 12:11 says, 'No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-its painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living..." I'll take it.