How Am I Right?

How Am I Right?

Have you ever noticed that asking the wrong question gets you the wrong answer?
We do this all the time.
While there truly are very few “stupid questions”, there are questions we ask that take us off course in life.
When we do that, we can derail the plans and purposes of God.
One of the ways we often do this happens in the middle of CONFLICT!

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What Is Good?

What Is Good?

Have you ever noticed that if you ask the wrong question, you get the wrong answer? 

Your friend asks you to stop by and pick up some frozen strawberries. You stop by a clerk on your way into the grocery store and ask, “Pardon me. Do you know where the strawberries are?” The clerk points you to produce where you find the boxes of strawberries.  You buy them and head on your way. When you finally arrive at your friend’s home, you find out that you have the wrong item. You have fresh strawberries, not frozen ones! What seems like a slight difference can have a huge impact. 

Think about the questions you’re asking in life. 

Could it be that you’re asking the wrong questions, and that’s why you’re getting the wrong answers?

One of the questions we are commonly asking is: What is good

Good is a good question, but it’s often the wrong question. 

Let’s put this in context.

Think about your kids. How many times have you caught yourself asking, “Will this be good for them?” Or “Is this good for their future?” Or maybe, “Is this food good for their bodies?” 

You might be doing this for yourself as well. Perhaps you’ve asked, “What’s a good goal for me this year?” Or maybe you’ve defended your behavior by saying, “Hey… This isn’t a bad thing that I’m doing. It’s a good thing. Why are you upset with me for doing a good thing?” 

There’s a problem with good.

Lots of things are good. 

Kids are good. Work is good. Friendships are good. Money can be good. 

Good things aren’t bad. They’re just not best things. 

Often we lose our lives to good things and neglect the best things.

That’s the problem with good. It’s not best. 

Maybe it’s time to start asking God what’s best instead of what’s right. Be careful, though. This isn’t a light-hearted prayer. This is a prayer that evokes significant movement and change in our lives. 

When we start to identify what’s best, we’re forced to say “No” to many good things.

Good isn’t bad, but “good” is the enemy of best. 

Maybe it’s time to stop asking God if this or that is good for your kids. Maybe it’s time to start asking God what’s best for your kids. And… If you respond to God’s best, it’ll require you to say “no” to many good things.

Under .02% or all kids involved in athletics will become a professional athlete. Every kid will stand before Jesus one day. Which one is best… participating in travel ball or being wholly committed to a church family? If you have to choose: Choose what’s best, not what’s good. 

Let’s stop asking “What is good?”. There’s a better question and that question is “What is best?” 

If we start asking that question, lots of things will change in our lives, our families, our hearts, and our environment as we align our lives to God’s best! 

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What is something GOOD that you need to sacrifice for something that’s BEST? 

The Next Steps: Episode #12 – He Is Our King

During this episode we’ll talk about how we define our relationship to God. We work so hard to define our relationship with everyone else, but often we leave our role in our relationship with God simply unexamined. Jesus had a lot say about this, and it all started when He declared “The Kingdom of God has come.” He is our King, and when we embrace that… everything changes!

The Next Steps: Episode #10 – You’re Not In Control

During this episode of THE NEXT STEPS, Kevin is going to talk about something we all struggle with in varying degrees: CONTROL. We often live under the illusion of control, but in truth, we are not in control of much. Listen as Kevin shares some simple wisdom that points you to the better way of living by surrendering and trusting God!

The Next Steps: Episode #9 – An Orientation of Purpose

During this episode of The Next Steps, Kevin quickly examines the life of Nehemiah to show us that living with an orientation of purpose changes our daily lives. Too often we live from an orientation of obligation, more focused on what we need to do instead of what we get to do. Nehemiah shows us how to find joy and contentment in purpose!

It’s Just A Season

It’s Just A Season

Every year we take one of the first portions of the year and dedicate it to prayer and fasting. It’s our simple way at Vortex to put God first as we enter in a new season. 

It’s interesting because, essentially those 21 days is a season within a season, a moment within a more significant, grander moment. 

There are lots of seasons within seasons.

I probably enjoyed this year’s fast as much as I have any to date. My wife and I worked as a team. It really elevated our levels of communication at home. We were continually trying to figure out how to make it work, and I really believe it helped us along the way! 

I’ve grown to enjoy the pursuit of being healthy. Our diet post-fast won’t change dramatically. We’ll have some options when it comes to meat, but we’ll still be regularly eating pretty clean. 

There are things I missed, but not that much. I’d say this is the first year that I haven’t had an “I desperately need to eat THIS THING after the fast is over.” 

As the fast neared its end, I’ve mourned it a little. 

This season within the grander season of a new year is coming to an end. 

That the thing about seasons: Seasons start and they end. 

There are seasons we live in for a long time. Some that come for just a short while. Some are pleasant. Some are quite difficult. 

But… all seasons end. 

If you’re in a season that’s been pleasant, rejoice. But… Also, know it’s going to end. There are less pleasant circumstances coming your way. Don’t let that take away from your joy in this season, but also don’t let your guard down. This season is going to end. 

If you’re in a difficult season, know that this to will not just pass, it will end. You are not trapped. It will not be this way forever. It’s a season, and seasons change. 

So, embrace that. Embrace that your season will change. 

Embrace that the pleasure may not last forever, and that’s ok.

Embrace that the pain won’t endure. There will be pain. Use it. Let it motivate you to take the next step in your journey towards this season. 

This truth is both comforting and challenging, but at its heart, it is ultimately liberating! This gives us permission to find joy in this season, whether pleasurable or challenging, because God is in control and it’s just a season! 

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What season have you been going through? How does the knowledge that this season has a beginning and ending change the way you approach navigating through the season? 

The Next Steps: Episode #7 – Little Things & Big Things

During this episode of The Next Steps with Kevin Simmons we’ll deal with the topics of BIG and LITTLE. Often we neglect the BIG things in life and don’t understand how our little decisions impact them. This is expanded in detail in the teaching of Jesus in The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. Let’s learn together how to be faithful in the little things so that we can grow the big ones.

How To Have Lasting Friendships

How To Have Lasting Friendships

Statistically, you probably can count your friends on one hand. The average American only reports having two close friends. You could’ve lost a few fingers in an accident and still count your friends on one hand if you’re living the average life.

This is a huge deal.

You probably think you don’t have time for all this. You’re too busy for friendships. As one of my friends recently said, “I barely have time for my kids and wife. How in the world can I keep a friend?”

It’s an issue of life and death.

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The Basics Of Friendship

The Basics Of Friendship

Friendship is an enigma wrapped in a riddle.

My friend Bob used to say that about things that were confusing. I don’t really understand it, but I get what it means. It’s a confession… a confessing of complication and confusion. It’s as if you’re saying, “This topic is so convoluted and difficult to understand that we can all have different opinions on it and all be right.”

Understanding friendship is like trying to nail down Jello (that’s another one of my favorite sayings from Bob… he has a lot of them).

Here’s a very simple principle for when things seem convoluted:
When things are confusing, go to the Bible for timeless wisdom.

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