Doesn’t it stink when you do everything right and it seems like everything goes wrong?  And worse, it seems like God Himself is the one putting you in those tough situations – or at least, He doesn’t seem to be in a rush to get me out.

Going along with the continued theme of “Getting Out of the Pit”, I was reading earlier this week about the time when the Lord Jesus Himself found Himself in a sort of “pit” of His own.  The story appears in Luke 4:1-13 – the story of when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness.  That story touches me so much because it shows that Jesus really did go through everything we go through as well.

Think about it – He was doing everything right.  He was 100% obedient to His Father.  He agreed to come down from heaven and live on this horrible sin-infested planet called Earth.  He agreed to be born in a filthy manger in the middle of smelly animals and their disgustingly unsanitary environment.  When we had our first child, we paid $400 out of pocket to ensure that we wouldn’t have to share a room with another person.  Imagine sharing it with the cast from Old MacDonald’s farm!

Jesus did everything right.  He fasted.  He prayed.  He obeyed His parents.  He loved everyone.  He did everything right!!!  So why does God put Him in this situation – “being tempted for forty days by the devil”?

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Community – one of the most overused words in churches everyone.  Everyone talks about it, but so few actually experience.  Is it possible to live healthy lives without it???

NO!  Check out week 4 of THE DANIEL PLAN as my good friend Michael Guirguis talks about the importance of community and why it is essential for a balanced, healthy life.  And make sure you stay tuned till the very end of the video for a memorable ending to this week’s message.

And come join us for The Daniel Plan – either in person or by following along at - and find out what it means to “glorify God in your body.”  Enjoy!

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“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it.  That factor is attitude.”  William James

Never is that more true than in marriage.  There is no such thing as a marriage that doesn’t have conflict.  The only marriages that don’t have conflict are the ones where they aren’t trying – where either one or both of the people involved have simply given up.

Conflict is the most difficult part of marriage – it’s the part that can be a cause of a tremendous pain and hurt.  But I believe that conflict doesn’t always need to be negative.  Conflict can actually strengthen a marriage [or any relationship for that matter], if we simply learn to follow some Biblical principles on how to fight fair.  In fact, conflict is often times the very thing that catapults relationships to new heights and new depths.

Therefore, I believe the following:  the goal of marriage is not to be conflict-free.  The goal is to handle the conflict correctly when it occurs. 

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One of the most important steps in making any significant life change is the process of SETTING GOALS.  And that was the topic of this week’s message.  Check out the Week 3 message in THE DANIEL PLAN - delivered by my good friend Peter Karras - and learn why it’s important to set goals and how you can increase your chances of success by setting godly goals for your health.

Come join us for The Daniel Plan – either in person or by following along at - and find out what it means to “glorify God in your body.”  Enjoy!

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Still working on that “special project” for the next couple of weeks, so again here’s another oldie but a goodie.  I wrote this post two years ago after my wife and I attended Family Life’s WEEKEND TO REMEMBER conference – a great marriage conference that every couple should attend at least once.  And speaking of marriage events, there’s a new event coming to DC in the fall called I STILL DO.  God willing, we’ll be going to that as well.

Your spouse is NOT your enemy.
Your spouse is God’s gift to you.
You and your spouse were made to be dangerous for God.

Those three statements summarize the main lessons that I took away from this past weekend’s Weekend to Remember conference that Marianne and I just attended.  As promised, this week I’ll be sharing different lessons that we came away with from the conference.

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Week 2 of THE DANIEL PLAN and now we’re getting into the good stuff.  Special thanks to our special guest speaker this week – Steve Messeh – who talked to us about his experience with The Daniel Plan and the key principles needed to ensure lasting change.  In addition, you want to make sure you get to the end of this video and see what his wife Nadia had to say about her experience with the program as well – truly a life transformation!

Come join us for The Daniel Plan – either in person or by following along at - and find out what it means to “glorify God in your body.”  Enjoy!

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This is a guest post from Marina Abdel Malak – a favorite when it comes to guest posts.  In her previous posts, Marina spoke about her battle with ANOREXIA NERVOSA and how God got her through it.  Thanks to God, Marina has overcome her illness and therefore has become an inspiration to many people (including me!).  And Marina is now more than just an online blogger…she is now a PUBLISHED AUTHOR!  Way to go Marina!  And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.

pope shenouda smilingHave you ever been so down and frustrated that you knew you were angry, but you weren’t quite sure who you were angry at?  Just sort of angry at ‘life’ in general?  I know I’ve felt that way before – especially during the time I was admitted to the ICU.

I felt hopeless and tired. I remember how weak I was; how pathetic I felt. I felt frustrated with life and wanted it to end. I didn’t know if God was ever going to get me out alive, and at times, I actually didn’t want to be alive. I was angry with myself. But more so, I was angry that life had been so harsh on me. I didn’t understand why this was happening. All I knew was that this was the ‘last straw’. I was breaking down, losing hope, and losing faith.

During that time, my parents would often comfort me and support me with three quotes from the late Pope Shenouda III (1923-2012).  I’ll never forget those three statements that my family always said when they came to see me:  “’this too will end soon”, “God is here”, and “all is for the good”.

Three short statements, but the power and hope they instilled within me was incredible. Continue Reading…