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112 thoughts on “Living outside “The Box!” Doin it when you don’t feel like it!

  1. After receiving the news that I have early onset dementia with a life expectancy of 5-8 years after diagnosis, I then began to live. The bible verse that says it all for me is Job 1:21 and I also try (some days are harder than others) to live by the truth that “God doesn’t let bad things happen to good people, he allows things happen to people and if you always look to him nothing that happens is bad.”

    • Roger, Thank you for your encouraging word. Many people would head for “The Box” I also appreciate you honesty that some days are harder than others. I think that is true for all of us. Thanks again.

      Ken

  2. bro i have used humor to defeat satans attemts to beat me in every situation, it makes me find joy in all things and is my highest joyous pleasure to make ppl laugh. it is what i do when i don’t feel like it

    blessings on and all over you
    bill trowbridge

  3. Ken I work at a grocery store been their for the past 21 years doing all sorts of stuff, cashiering, working in the deli, stock and produce, I feel that working in the produce you actually accomplish the most you produce the most amount of work and excersize all at the same time. And you are selling stuff that are healthy foods. And you can produce the most amount of puns which is fun to do. but then when it comes to God at the work place it all has to be politcally correct , happy holidays instead of merry christmas, but I tell people I know Merry Christmas any way , and I always thank God that I have a job in these ecomonomically hard times. I also have my hard times people at work tell me I can’t express my fiath even when some has asked me to remember somebody that is ill so i used to tell them I will pray for them. now I have to tell a person I will be thinking of them. But at the end, I feel the main thing is to open your heart up to God and live the life that he would wan’t you to, and help bring others to God, and share his love to others . thank you ken for what you do to bring joy to so many people with spread the word of God to so many people . blessings donna a very loyal fan.

  4. I am 19 y/o I work at a restraunt(and wants a new job). The things that keep me going are A future family, proving to the world that through God I can do all things, and #1 my faith.
    In a few years i want to have a wife, kids, house, land these things have been my dream since I was 8 y/o things I have ALWAYS wanted. Things that have made me pure and waited ’till I get married.I want a wife who knows I will protect her or DIE trying through all the hardships in life. I want kids that when they are hurt they run up to me and say “Daddy I’m hurt will you fix my booboo”. I want a house that we can all live in safely and quietly and do God’s mission.
    I grew up in a trashy disgusting home everything was less than good there. I want to show that world that I can change who I started out to be to who God wants me to be.From rags to “riches” (although I will never be rich just the fact that I will be better than started).
    The #1 thing that keeps me going is my faith,without it I would be nothing. Nothing now nothing forever. With all the riches in the world wothout Christ as my saviour I would be eternally alone and condemned. Jesus my best friend is the best thing that keeps this guy moving he is my king, my brother and my best friend :).

  5. Dave
    I did not keep on going on. I became dismayed and discouraged and walked away from pastoring. As I look back I ralize the change I needed was a change in mayself. I did not need to change churches or vocations. I needed to spend time with God and draw into His presence. It is in His presence there is fullness of joy. It makes no differece what our lot in life may be, housewife, pastor, or laborer, we should do all for the glory of God. Where we are is a minsitry. If we stay close to God and keep our focus on Him we can face anything.

    • Dave,

      One day I said to a friend, “I am so sad that I wasted all those years and days” He stopped me mid sentence and said, “You have today.” Isn’t it great that we have today and that we can glorify him today. Thank you for your honest and thoughtful comment.

      Ken

  6. One word “HOPE”. A man in the desert lived 2 weeks without food, 4 days without water, but only 1 day without hope. Hope that you can continue on and do your best for God and your family and yourself. That is how I get through this life. Thanks Ken, looking forward to your blog and others answers.

  7. Ken
    In deciding to fight through all the upheaval in the Industry which I work I not only did I have to convince myself to Trust The Lord completely, my mind had to be set on Christ continually. Fear is what usually puts us in a box. Jesus is the only way out of the box. I don’t mean run around and convince yourself that because you are doing something Jesus is just going to fix things the way we want. I mean that if you Truly want the Will of Our Lord Jesus to prevail in your own life you can never let yourself go in the Box.When we get away from ourselves and find our Joy completely from him we are lifted up and out!

    • Hope,

      How I love your honest answer. Deciding to LIVE is not easy AND it is a choice. Every day we must decide to climb up on that rock that never fails. “On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand.” Always your friend,

      Ken

  8. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Other translations begin this verse with “Be joyful always”. That isn’t always easy to do, but in order for me to “get out of the box”, I try to focus on the second part and simply pray. After all, scripture teaches us that joy comes from the Lord, so why not go straight to Him in the first place? One way to always be joyful is to remember the meaning behind the word JOY. The letters stand for Jesus, Others, then You. Once your life is prioritized this way, you be fully equipped to know joy.

    But then, back to your original question, what if all that still isn’t getting it for you? The book of Proverbs tells us to choose our friends wisely. I am sure you have a friend or two that seem to be always upbeat. That kind of attitude and outlook on life is infectious and contagious. I personally choose to associate myself with such Spirit Filled positive people. And isn’t there usually that one special person you can talk to that seems to always be able to cheer you up? I keep that person’s number on speed dial.

    But it helps me to remember that in order to be lifted up, I need to get down, on my knees.
    Thank you for all you do, Mr. Davis.

    Blessings,
    Scott Trammell

  9. Hi Ken,

    I am already drawing from the responses of other readers to your question. I can’t wait to see your answer.

    I am a happily married mother of two and a nursing student. I have many mornings where I would rather sleep in than get up and get things going in the house. It’s difficult much of the time to stay encouraging and keep a smile on my face. Usually I succumb to yelling and barking orders. I don’t like this about myself and have spent a LOT of time in prayer about it.

    God is always faithful when I go to Him for help. My prayers have been answered in the most humbling ways sometimes. My youngest son was struggling with emotional problems and cried every morning before school. Most days he would vomit, too. I got on him one time (after months of this) and made a harsh statement about making it to the bathroom to throw up instead of hitting the carpet. While I was angrily cleaning up, he came to me with his little tear stained face and said, “Momma, I’m sorry for always throwing up. I’ll clean it up.” I just grabbed him and held him and cried with him. We stopped right then and there and prayed (which we often did) and I apologized for being rough with him.

    God keeps me outside the box my humbling me. He sometimes shows me how He sees others and it can be overwhelmingly moving at times. God uses us exactly where we are. We just need to keep our focus on Him, even when we don’t “feel” like it. I tell my children frequently, “We’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do.” I need to always remember that we need to do everything for our Lord. That doesn’t always make things any easier, but it does give us a great reason to keep on going and doing so with a cheerful heart.

    AND, my son is much better now. We had a 5 year struggle, but with God’s help and the help of a wonderful Christian Counselor, my little man is doing great. He is also sold out for Jesus and amazes me all the time with his insight and compassion for others. He is wise beyond his 10 years.

  10. I suffer with chronic pain, what keeps me afloat? A short anecdote I heard a long time ago, “Once I complained I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.” That, and being able to see the funny side of most things, especially yourself. God bless you Ken.

  11. Dear Ken,

    There is only one way to keep going when you have nothing left to give and that is on your knees. I have to continually remind myself that it is His plan for my life that is unfolding and as long as I ask for His help He will give it. I remember when my first husband left me and my 2 young children for another woman. I went to bed for 2 days and cried my eyes out. Then I realized that no one else was going to raise my children, nor even be there to help me. So I got on my knees and remembered that He never gives us anything we can”t handle with His help. I raised those 2 children alone for many years and then God sent a wonderful man into my life who became their step-father and is very dear to them. Their biological father died at the age of 41 and once again I got on my knees and remembered that I was not alone in their care. My sons best friend (the son of my best friend from high school) died when he was 15. The girl next door died in a car accident at 16. My father died one month before and God saw us through it all. I have further “survived’ salmonella, breast cancer and a total car accident and I am here to witness to the goodness of the Lord. He doesn’t make bad things happen – they are the result of the sin in our world – but He is faithful to see us through all our sufferings and if we join them to the suffering of Jesus they are redemptive. I often “offer up” my suffering as a prayer for someone else who is in pain or a difficult circumstance. Thanks for the opportunity to put this into words – maybe I should be a writer in my next vocation:)

    • Beth Ann,

      I often “offer up” my suffering as a prayer for someone else who is in pain or a difficult circumstance. So many people forget this, me included. Life without pain is “The Box” The question isn’t will life have pain. the question is what will we do with it. Your attitude blesses me.

      Ken

  12. People are depending on me to get the job done.
    I want to be a person of my word.
    How can i do thst if I don’t get movin.

  13. I was raised on a ranch. When you live with crops and animals, you don’t have a choice….you either take care of responsibility or stuff dies and in this case, that stuff is your livelihood. You live in a do or die world. That’s always carried over with me, probably making me the type A person I am today. I think everything is do or die. Maybe not the best reason to push forward, but it’s been my lot in life!

    PS – we’ve had an offer, you may have new neighbors by the time you get home!

  14. I have found through reading God’s Word and living a life in pursuit of knowing Him better, nothing is wasted. Even the days when I feel that no one cares, that nothing I do matters, and it would be better if I disappeared, I know that God is steadily reminding me that I am His, and in spite of everything else, that’s all that matters.
    One passage that has stuck with me and has kept me going is Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, but wec also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does NOT disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

    • Dave, Love to hear that thought developed sometime. It is true that one has to keep moving. I wonder sometimes though if it helps to have someone you don’t have to fake it with. Very thought provoking. Thank you for joining the conversation.

      Ken

  15. The overflow, that is what keeps me going.

    I look at the work today that is tedious, boring, and sometimes mundane and realize that the overflow or the by product of this hard work as the reason to move forward and continue to do things that I sometimes do not want to do.

  16. As a homeless housing coordinator (Homeless advocate) for the Kenai Peninsula, I deal with alot of the “unloveable” people. Some of my everyday people are the people I hear mothers gently telling their children to “stay away from” just out of pure safety.
    Loving them isnt always the joy of my heart, nor exactly what I want to do. However praying as I go through out my day, singing the songs that fill my heart and then simply remembering MY life on the other side of the fence gives me a whole new view on “love the least of these.” When I remember that there is only one step between myself and that unloveable person… I have just a li’l more vigour in wanting to help them get out of the hell hole they are in.

    • Cass, Bless you for your work. Christ was very clear about how we should respond to “the least of these” Thanks for your work on the front lines.

      KEn

  17. 2 Corinthians 1:4 (paraphrased) “We comfort others with the same comfort we ourselves have received.”
    After surviving two diagnoses of cancer in two years, while I was rejoicing on the mountain top, I looked down into the horrendous valley I had just traveled through. All the remnants of my “normal” life lie strewn along the path. I had a new “normal” now. Not better, not worse, just different. Then I noticed another person diagnosed with cancer, and another, and antoher. Why had I endured this adversity if for no other reason than to come along side someone else and say with sincerity of heart; “I know how you feel.”

    • Lydia, Well written and very encouraging. Many of us find “remnants of our normal life scattered along the path.” You might think of writing an article on your experience. Thanks for sharing some of them here.

      Ken

      • I agree with Ken, Lydia. Your well-written paragraph made this reader yearn for more. There’s just gotta be a story there! And don’t be daunted by the notion. It doesn’t have to be a 300-page novel but I’m sure what you have to say would be appreciated somewhere in the Cancer Support & Awareness Community. (I capitalize for my respect of the disease; it clearly means business.) So write it, Sistah! I have a feeling you just make them award a Pulitzer for Pain & Perseverance. (:o>)

  18. I’m still trying to figure that one out…. My husband of almost 34 yrs was killed on his way to work a few months ago. I’m still living the nightmare. I’m trying to be brave….. it’s the little things that seem to defeat me. In 34 yrs of marriage I never so much as had a repairman of any kind, EVER come to the house! I know I am not alone. I couldn’t have emerged from the darkness without the Lord’s help but…… it’s a lonely world I live in now. Sometimes….I’m human enough to desire someone with skin on to talk to and laugh with, someone I can see …
    I feel as if I am fresh clay in the Master potter’s hands. A work in progress. I have no idea what the future holds for me….. I am learning the hard way, to trust Him….again. I think when I master the trust….that then I will be able to have real joy again. So much to learn…..one step at a time, one day at a time.

    • Bev,

      I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers were with you today. A friend of mine Cynthia Clawsen sings a song that says, “It won’t rain always.” It has been a blessing to me in tough times. Grab a kleenex and give it a listen. Let me know what you think. Praying for you. Here is the link for the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNXn-yAmxao

      • Thank you! I had completely forgotten about this beautiful song with the powerful message! I have been listening to it all day in my head. Funny how this grieving stuff works……things you know, i.e. scriptures, bible truths, promises from the Lord…..it’s amazing which ones surface when you need them the most or whom the Lord uses to deliver the message He is really trying to get across to you at that moment in time! I miss my husband terribly….and those words sound so vague and hollow but, I know what all is encompassed in that little word “miss”. I have never known anyone my age that has been through this…. I never dreamed that anything like this would happen at this point in my life. I was so unprepared for this emotionally and physically. In that respect, it has really kicked my butt! You know, Satan has tried every way he could to gain the victory in this tragedy spiritually….he isn’t winning! It isn’t because of anything I am presently doing….. thankfully, years ago I gave my life to Jesus. He has been protecting me and carrying me when I couldn’t walk, he has been listening to the whispers of my heart when my lips couldn’t form the words. He is teaching me to depend on Him and with each prayer that I have prayed pleading for his help and guidance, I am learning to recognize His hand at work in my life more than ever before. He has been with me every step of this dark journey. I’m beginning to see the sun peek through at times. I can see the Lord is healing my heart. I praise God that I know that I haven’t “lost” my precious husband… I know exactly where he is! He is in heaven…..standing around the piano with our friend Anthony and others singing praises to his Lord and having the best time of his life! Thank you for delivering that message to me!! 🙂

  19. I am a student in a Master’s program trying to get ready to teach high school math. This semester alone I am taking 11 credits in 8 weeks. There is an assignment due every day – a paper here, a lesson plan there, or teaching a class for practice. On average I read 4 chapters of material every day. Since I am in my 40’s, I also need to balance my roles as wife and mother with the requirements of my program. Often everything I need to do seems more like an insurmountable mountain.

    I have to constantly remind myself that if I trust in the Lord I can run and not get weary. Isiah 40:31. I also pray. I find that whenever I am getting overwhelmed and ask for His assurance I am on the right path, He sends me just what I need.

  20. I have been reading all the posts that have been posted and everyone has spoken of relying on God, and it does my heart good to read these words of encouragement.

    I have lived through a period of time that was such a test of faith. I kept telling myself that “one can only have a testimony after a test”, or “What lies behind you, and white lies before you does not compare to what lies within you”.

    I would pray and pray waiting for an answer. “Be still and know that I am God” is what would come. I was so thankful that during this time my children and I were not seriously sick, We were in a roll over and only I got hurt – not even the glass broke in the van. There are so many ways that God showed his protection and provision and with each new tragedy that came into our lives, I was reminded of His goodness. I did not always see it at the time, but looking back now, I can see His hand in it all.

    I have seen that His calm that came into my life like never before is the witness that I was providing to others at the time. I have seen that the blessings that He provides goes beyond explanation and certainly beyond what I would deserve.

    How do I keep going? Because I have been taught through this that is “running the race” and “fighting the good fight” are essential. I need to be that example to my children, and to others in my life that “know not God”. I wish I could say that God picks me up by my bootstraps, but the truth is, it is a choice to pick myself up — and God gives us the strength, and one of the rewards that will follow is such a deep peace that passes all understanding!

    • Gina,

      I love your comments. Certainly reminds me that life is not easy. But we have a choice in how we respond to it. Thanks

      Ken

  21. I can’t say I’ve ever run out of ideas, but when the words aren’t coming I’ll get inside my characters’ heads, sometimes have random conversations as them, listen to their music or music that goes with the story, research, and sometimes look up pictures that resemble them.

    • Ashley,

      I love the freedom of fiction. Someday I want to write another book with characters. My first was “Sheep Tales” But first I am going to finish this one on living Fully Alive. Then IF I’m still alive, I will certainly lean on you for advice.

  22. I would LOVE to go to the box, but I know many people who have put themselves in the box and that has affected me and I wasn’t even close to those people. I can’t imagine the pain they put their loved ones through. I think what keeps me from going to the box is the thought that there are a few people that I know that would be devastated and I don’t know how many people would be devastated that I wouldn’t even imagine would be affected by hearing of my death (especially if it were a suicide). The other thing that keeps me going is that I have family history information that I want to share with family, but it will take time to put it all together and I don’t want to die before I do that (having a purpose in life). Most days, I don’t want to be here just because I want to live in a perfect world where no one bothers me or causes me pain. I don’t want to have to deal with the frustrations of life. I keep thinking, “If I were dead, it would be like sleeping. I wouldn’t know anything, so I wouldn’t care.” Another thing that keeps me from going to the box is that I don’t know what God would do with me if I took a life (my own). I’d rather not find out (just in case I would end up in Hell for killing myself, although, I don’t think God works like that). Also, what keeps me going is people like you and the people who respond to questions like this. When I read about someone who is worse off than me, I start feeling better about my life, “Wow, I don’t have it so bad after all.” I feel bad for them and maybe pray for them. Then, I think, “I need to stick around so I can pray for people.” I know, I know. If I weren’t here, God would call someone else to prayer, but I guess believing that I’m here to pray for people gives me another purpose in life. Keep reminding people to stick around. I don’t want to have to deal with another suicide; four is too many for me as it is.

    • Marilee, Thank you for commenting on this topic. I think there is another reason you should not even consider going to the box beyond the pain it would cause your loved ones. God is not done with you yet. If you look around you, I wager you will find opportunity to bless people WITH YOUR LIFE! A thank you, a smile, an encouraging word go further than you will ever know. Sometimes I wonder if my work matters very much and then you write that it help you keep focused on living. GOOD. Keep living my friend, beyond just staying alive look for those opportunities to take some risks and really live. If you are not already doing so, Someday God will call you, but it won’t be to a box. Stay away from the box. I encourage you to talk with a trusted counselor or friend about your feelings. I need you. We need you. Today, if you look, I guarantee you will see the hand of God in your life. Take His hand and life my dear friend. Live!

      Your friend

      Ken

  23. Hi Ken,
    The things that keep me going on those~hard to keep my chin up days~is the people God has placed so carefully in my life. Also, when I see what some other people go through in life, it makes me appreciate the minor inconveniences of my life. It seems if we take a good look at other people around us, there’s always someone way worse off. I have made a pack with myself, when I get down~I’m only allowed a certain amount of pity time~then it’s time to get my self back to “living life” again. It’s hard for me to “live life” while in a pity party. That’s why I only allow a short time. Thanks for all your inspiration, you are one of the people God has blessed me with. I love your sense of humor Ken!! 🙂 🙂

  24. Ken,

    As a pastor who crashed and burned at my last church from overwork as well as from being in a rather toxic environment, I definitely did not want to get into a pulpit again. God reminded me that my first love, always, is Him. Jesus is the vine, I am a branch of that vine. If I try to “graft” myself to anyone/anything else for nourishment, I would quickly shrivel up. That’s what keeps me going with devotions and prayer time, even when I don’t feel like it or it feels fruitless. I know God is there, nourishing me even if it feels mundane.

    By the way, I watched a lot of Christian comedy DVDs when I was recovering from burn-out, especially Bananas comedy. Loved your set on there :-).

    Anne

  25. Ken, My best friend & bride of 37 years went home with the Lord last October after a 4 year struggle with ALS. I have found that there is much I don’t “feel” like doing. However, I hear her telling me to “press on”. I find regardless of “feelings” I need to look at the facts. When I feel alone I need to realize the fact that the word says “I will never leave you or forsake you”. When I don’t feel like going to church or other functions with brothers or sisters, the fact is I should not “forsake the gathering of the brethren”. It’s hard to “fake it” and I confess at times I do. But on the whole I just turn my eyes upon Jesus, for “the joy of the Lord is my strength”. That is what kept my wife smiling and that is what keeps me going. That is the reason I intend on seeing you in Attica NY on Oct 6th with friends and family. That will be exactly one year to the day that we gathered to say goodbye to my wife. She walked into Jesus’ arms at 4:08 the next morning. Thank you for sharing the gift of laughter with so many even on those nights you may not “feel”like it.

    • Ted,

      Please be sure to say hello and remind me who you are. I look forward to seeing you in NY. Thank you for your honest comments. Good friends are the ones we don’t have to fake it with. I pray that you will be comforted and encouraged by good friends and the love of Christ. See you soon

      Ken

  26. These comments are encouraging and amazing. I’m already lifted up!

    I love to sleep. But I get up at least an hour early every morning to spend time with God. Believe me when I say I hate getting out of bed. But when I do, I am so blessed by the Presence of my Father. I pray through the Word, soak in Him, talk to Him, pray for others and try to listen. Watch the day open up with Him. It’s crazy, but as I go through the day, I see how He prepared me for that time, that day, that person.

    On the day that my husband called me at 6:30 a.m. telling me he had been in a near-fatal accident. The day our son came clean about drug addictions. The many days that I have been care giver for family members. The day my mom died. You get the picture.

    He is my source. He inspires, I write. He shows, I dream. He gives me visions, I create. He makes me aware of a person’s needs. He sets up sweet times of ministry. Sometimes I miss it. I ask for another chance. I’m still trying to figure out how to stay ‘on’ with Him every moment – like in Walmart! Or … well … He’s always there.

    On the practical side, days are super full for all of us. I find if I spend fifteen minutes doing cleaning, throw a load of laundry in, write for one hour (at least!), etc. A little bit in each area helps me. Care giving days are sometimes twelve hours or more. I have to keep myself well and healthy and I won’t let others make me feel guilty about taking care of myself, spending that lingering time with God. I can’t help them if I don’t.

    When I let myself laugh with my grandsons – no really laugh – belly laugh, something happens. My problems don’t go away. But something real is changed in my attitude, my demeanor. And I’m ready to get back up, get out of selfishness, and get back into life, whatever it brings.

    Time with God. Time in prayer. Time laughing.

  27. Hi Ken; I love your Ministry and your encouragement through comedy and laughter. In 1997 I suffered a brain anuersym and was not expected to live through the night. My family were all called to come home and patiently waited around my bedside. I lay in a coma for several days and God performed a miracle in my life and healed me. The doctors could not explain it but many many people were praying for my healing and we know God touched my life and raised me up again. When the anuersym first happened and all during the long recovery, I had the most perfect peace and a closeness to God that I had never experienced before. I have been a Christian for many many years and my first husband, was a Pastor, however he died at the young age of 36, so I have been a servant of God for many years, but this was different. I could hear the birds singing that I had never noticed before and when I would hear the wind blowing, I would think of the song, “Even winds whisper His Name”. I was, and still am after 14 years later, in awe of His presense and am constantly reminded of Him and His presense in my life. Even though it was a tramatic experience, it has been such a Blessing to feel such perfect peace and the closeness we share as we walk together day by day. Every day is a gift.

  28. Someone told me a long time ago that feelings follow action. No matter how bad I feel, if I get off my sorry duff and go DO, and ACT like I’m happy, I almost always come out of my doldrums. And my Dad always says ‘it could be worse’. I just have to look around – it certainly could be!!

  29. Wow, what a wonderful way to start the day. I was out of town when you first posted this. I found myself dealing with a storm of all things. I didn’t even see it coming. You know how when you are on a lake and you see clouds in the distance but think you still have time to play, only the storms churn up quickly on water and there you are tossed and turned – praying to make land — It was kind of like that. My visit turned into one of those deals where my wisdom, good looks, and charm fell hopelessly short. 🙂

    I am so much like the apostles when unexpected storms come up — I have empathy for them — my first thoughts are “oh we are gonna die and there He is sleeping!”

    Staying out of the box – in moments like that – means recognizing my limits, learning to trust God — again. And accepting the fact that it’s okay to seek dry land, be a sponge when I need to be, cry if I have to and pray without ceasing. Staying out of the box also means giving myself permission to tell the truth – admitting that I don’t know how to handle this, I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to do – but I love you and I’m here. sometimes, that is enough. you know?

    I hope that makes sense. Great post Ken. Glad I saw this today.

  30. My story is not around work but life itself. Last year on Aug 22 my world fell apart. My Mom and I left church that Sunday night ahead of my son and his friends. Thirty minutes later I received a phone call from his girlfriend that they were in a wreck. Hannah and Justin(my son) were in the back of his friends truck when Michael lost control throwing them out. I arrived just in time to ride to the hospital with him. I prayed on the way the God would take care of Justin. I left him in God’s hands. After they told me Justin was gone I questioned God about taking care of him. God’s response was I HAVE. After that I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to work, go to church, or live. I would be smiling on the outside but the inside was a mess. Months went by and I could feel myself pulling away more and more. People God put in my life is the only thing that kelp me from completely sinking. Then in April it was coming time for revival at church.I was talking to one of my friends and told her I didn’t know how to get back. To make a long story a little shorter I prayed that God would give me a swift kick during revival. Well be careful what you ask for. He sent 2 wonderful messages that gave me that kick.
    After revival was over I kelp remembering the feeling of God telling me he had taken care of Justin. So with God’s love, mercy and grace I have came a long way back. Knowing that Justin is in the presence of God gives me peace. I knew he felt the call to become a pastor and had accepted that call. He had talked to our pastor which is my uncle on the Wed before the accident on Sunday. I did not realize the impact my son had on the people around him until he was gone. Knowing the witness he was and knowing God has taken care of him and me gives me the strength to go on. He was more of a witness in his short 18 yrs than I have been in my years. Thank you for all the inspiration you give in God’s name. We saw you at Family Fest this year and fell in love with you.

    • Oh my…Donna I am so sorry. Wow what an inspirational post. I will so pray for you on Mon, Aug 22. From one mom to another I just want to say so very sorry. I cried when I read your post. But I am encouraged by your son. Only in heaven will you know how many lives he touched. I pray your mom/family members and church will just love on you.
      Becky

    • Donna, What a tragic loss and what an inspiring outlook. What would we do this out the hope of eternal life and the comfort of a loving Father. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am putting together a audio clip of an interview with a man who lost his 17 year old son in almost exactly the same way. I would love to share that link with you when it is available. I also met him at family fest.

  31. When I don’t want to do things, I find that the reason I don’t want to do things is that I am only thinking of myself. Then I have to turn it around, and think of others. “What can I do for someone else today, to make someone else’s day go better?”
    For example, a problem such as not wanting to go to work can be solved by bringing in a box of donuts, a pan of bars, or some fresh cut flowers in for your coworkers.
    It always gets me motivated to get myself into work, and suddenly everyone is a little bit happier.

  32. God created everything as perfect.He knows our comings in and going out.He knows what’s best for us.It’s just a matter of how we respond to each situations in our daily walks in life. For me life is not a struggle but a learning experience of how Great is our God. All we need is just to trust and obey.Partial obedience is disobedience to His statutes and commandments.I have peace,love and joy in my heart because I believed in Jesus Christ the Son of God that through His precious blood, He save mankind.”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but will have eternal life.”(john 3:16).There are only three things we need to learn in life to deal with our everyday existence and relationship with other.HUMILITY,PATIENCE AND LOVE.

  33. After living in an verbably abusive marriage for 27 years I have a new life with a wonderful man. We have a family motto, “Live,Love, Laugh” You have to laugh, don’t take life so serious! After all God has a since of humor Too!

  34. take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. This is an action command. Sometimes I have to repeat this action over and over again and ‘take my thoughts captive’ In order to do this I have to replace a sad, bad, or negative thought with a happy, good, or positive thought. It takes work at times.

  35. I am semi-retired due to health. I work part-time as church sect. My kids are all grown & live in 5 different states. Hubby is retiring this fall. When I am struggling with whatever issue and can’t put on a “happy face” I let the Lord do it. I go to Him, His Word, His strength. Even the times that I CANNOT feel like going to Him, I go and leave it with Him. So many verses to help. but my favorite is Zeph. 3:17 (ESV)
    The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
    he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
    he will exult over you with loud singing.

    I DEPEND on this verse. I have lived life since my retirement in ways I never knew I could. God opened the door to a ministry for me to Encourage others. I have a very small ministry from my home with Barnabas Inspirational Ministries. God has helped me design business size cards that have Scripture & encouragement on them that I give to others and in some cases sell for custom orders. When I am in my box God reminds me of a card that I designed from Him to encourage myself. Thank You God for putting me in the box so I can be that encourager to others and to myself for YOUR GLORY.

    • Sharon,

      You are amazing. I love this statement you made. “I have lived life since my retirement in ways I never knew I could. God opened the door to a ministry for me to Encourage others.” Too many people quite living at retirement. You prove that God is never done with us. Thank you!

      Ken

  36. Sometimes it IS hard to get up and repeat what you did yesterday, but what does it for me is purpose. I have to have a reason to do anything and there usually is a reason to do most things, even the mundane.
    I have to have a goal, something I’m working towards so even cleaning the loos is one step closer to reaching that goal.

    • Debbie,

      Reminds me of someone who washed the smelly feet of some men, because of a lofty goal. Your short post is long on wisdom. You rock girl.

      Ken

  37. 1) Have kids…they refuse to let you rest!
    2) Keep around people of all ages….they also refuse to let you rest.
    3) Keep a list of things to do; cross them off when they are done. Not only a “true” bucket list but a daily list.
    4) Watch funny DVD’s…I hear Ken Davis might be a good choice:)Ha!
    5) Listen to really happy music it makes the work/drive, etc. go so much better, (My top pic/only pick is Southern Gospel.
    6) Finally but most importantly wake up at least 1/2 hr earlier than necessary and pray, pray, pray. I would not even consider getting out of bed without praying through what needs to be prayed about. A daily biblical reading is also a good follow up if you can do it soon after rising. I like the through the bible in 365 day versions.

  38. When I am feeling empty, warn out and burned out from my job of Graphic Design (which I have been doing for 28 years now), I always remember the bible verse Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” So in other words, I remind myself to stay in the race…because God is in my corner and cheering me on. That’s where I get my strength to keep going. Tom

  39. Ken,
    As a pastor, I feel like something is wrong if I am not positive and encouraging – you know… a K-LOVE pastor. That’s what folks want and expect most of the time. But the truth is, sometimes the only reason I go to church is because I work there. Ministry can suck the life out of you in a heartbeat. The weird part about it all is that I seem to be at my best when I feel like I am at my worst. I think it is the reality of God doing His best work when I feel too tired or burned out to put my best effort forward. In some ways fatigue forces me to let go of the reins and let God take charge. Maybe He’s in charge all the time and my fatigue just gets me to the right place spiritually to watch Him do His thing. 🙂 Leaving for Lake Powell, see you in October.
    Bobby Fisher

    • Bobby,

      Your honesty is one of the reasons I love you, and trust you. The other reason is that you remind me of a Native American friend of mine.

      Ken

  40. The way I get through a day is to focus on Jesus and what He expects me to do with my life. There are many days when life becomes overwhelming but we have to continue on. The “fake it till you make it” saying works pretty well. Start off with prayer that you can’t do this alone and ask for help. Remember the Footprints poem that when we can’t do it He can. Then just start doing what needs done next. It is easier to focus on one step at a time to finish a race than it is to look at the whole marathon course. It is when you look at all you have to do that it really becomes overwhelming. In order to follow Jesus we have to just place one foot in front of the other. He didn’t say we had to do it perfectly or rapidly just one step at a time.

  41. When I find my day as a salesperson not able to sell myself out of a paper bag, I must trust in the one who is my creator and call for His help to remove that paper bag off my head. Then I will be able to see things from His view point.

  42. I am a nurse that work in a hospice house in BC, Canada. I have been a nurse for 42 years and have seen a lot of life and death! The power of GOD’S love dwelling inside of me guides thru the mine field of people’s lives.

  43. How do I wake up each morning with joy in my heart, a bounce in my step and a right attitude with my mouth? I do not!
    I have to pray in personal and very up front ways with God to do the above things each day. What really thwarts me is when I am extremely tired… When I have a to do list a mile long, and especially when I feel inadequate about one of the projects, programs or daily priorities that are on that list. Right now, today as I write, I am in the last to do list for a fundraising event that I am the coordinator for, and we do not have a clue as to the number of people coming to this event! I have to keep in tune with my heavenly Father, asking for His will, His way and His plan to come through…and to continue giving me peace of heart and mind, insight and wisdom in each minute/hour of this day, and to just be grateful with whatever the outcome is for tonight. I have a great God, who loves me, and has been my Father since the age of 17. He has never failed me, forgotten me or left me hanging. He keeps me humbled each day in some way. What keeps me going besides prayer for my joy, my bounce and my attitude? Humorous people like Ken Davis on the radio, uplifting music and surrounding myself with people who love and encourage me along life’s way.

  44. Living outside the box. Just sending you this comment is a choice to live outside the box for me:)
    Sometimes living takes the life out of you and it’s hard to figure out how to even crawl out of the box, let alone live outside the box, but it’s all about choice. Ultimately we do everything for one of two reasons: to serve ourselves or to serve God (Matthew 6:24 paraphrased). Helen Keller said “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.” I agree with that with one caveat…the adventure must have a purpose, even if it is a small purpose. I try to hit the floor in the morning longing for purpose for my day and try to make choices for purpose when I can. To choose to live with a purpose entails awareness. At the end of the day I try to reflect on what purpose my day brought whether it was a gesture of kindness or something grander. I have always had the philosophy to “think or live outside the box” but not afforded the lifestyle luxury to get out of the big box of my life so I chose to live outside smaller boxes within my world. After my husband passed away I took some time to grieve and then chose to strike out on my “daring adventure” (to live outside the box). I moved 900 miles away which forced my hand to choose or make choices to live. I could see myself doing what you quoted earlier ‘dying but not being buried until years later’. It has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone. I jumped in the deep end not knowing if I’d sink or swim but knowing God was my anchor that gives purpose to living. Believe me, there were days I asked myself “what did I do?” but I thank God we can’t always see the bigger picture. If we did, we may never choose to live outside the box. So my answer is trust in God and daily awareness of choice (choice with a purpose). -janethege

    • Janet,

      Is this the Janet Hege I knew from YFC so long ago? Bravo for jumping in the deep end and depending on God. That is an every day challenge for me. thanks for your comment. Please let me know if are the Janet Hege I knew from days of yore!

      • Of course it is….is there another? What I wrote sounded really good but I confess I don’t do it everyday but I put forth the effort. Life is a journey. Your newsletter contains good stuff. I like reading and receiving it. The comments on “out of the box” have been good too. Greetings to Diane.

  45. We cannot afford the luxury of folding up and calling it quits. Someone is always depending on us to share that manifold grace of God with them. (I Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.) I always have someone depending on me, my husband, my teenage son still at home, 10 grand-children and their parents(1 daughter and 2 sons), my 81 year-old mom, my church of which my husband is the pastor and I am the pastors wife and there are many times I think ‘Dear Lord, I don’t think I can take much more’ but His Word says and that’s the key for me, His Word. His Word says He will not put on us any more than we can bear. I depend on His Word and His promises cause they are Truth! Thanks for letting me share.

  46. I just had to add after I read Gayle’s blog about depending on God when you have a to do list a mile long, it made me think about how I am all those things I told you I was in my listing before, plus I am the Sunday School teacher of the 2 & 3 year olds and I am studying late at night on Saturdays, now keep in mind we are a little country church, I wear many hats on Sunday morning, piano player, secretary, Sunday School Teacher, anyway back to my lesson for that morning, I had studied the night before and my lesson was on Elijah & Elisha and how Elijah went into heaven in the whirlwind when the chariot of fire went between them which I thought was too hard for little people. I just couldn’t figure out how I was going to get those little tiny minds to understand a whirlwind. Sure enough I was having all kinds of trouble in class and as always God intervenes as usual by bringing the commode to my mind and ‘how the water makes a whirlwind when you flush it.’ ‘Oh yes,’ they understood that perfectly so we were off to the bathrooms to flush the commodes! I then explained to them that the whirlwind that took Elijah went up to God! but that water was going down. Hey, whatever works! God sure does have a sense of humor, don’t you think! Thanks again!

  47. The older I get – the more I see the benefits of stepping outside of my box and into God’s box. I may not feel like doing it, saying it, or giving it; but knowing that my actions will be pleasing to the Lord motivates me to stop thinking and just do it.

  48. I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but it is hard to live outside the box when that box keeps getting bigger and continually comes crushing down on you.