How Do You Relate to God? The 4 Postures

howdoyourelatetoGod How Do You Relate to God? The 4 Postures

Reading is one of the ways I draw close to God. It’s been said that writers are readers, so one of the questions I always ask people who tell me they want to write a book is this, “Do you like to read?” Today, I want to share a book worth reading in the hope that it will help you draw close to God. I hope it will inspire you to both read and write a bit more…

One of the books I’ve been reading the past few weeks, which has greatly enhanced my understanding of how I relate to God, is With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God by Skye Jethani. In it, Skye outlines four postures many people assume in how they relate to God to better manage fear and control in their lives. Instead of simply seeking deeper communion living with God, I found parts of myself living from each of these 4 postures. Maybe you can relate to these…

Thanksgiving is Good for Your Health

Thanksgiving Grace is an inspiring video produced by Mark Perez & Grove Films.
Click here to watch now.

No matter how much you eat this Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is good for your health. I’m not talking about massive amounts of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes or a second helping of pumpkin pie.

I want to invite you to a much more satisfying meal that’s good for your health: a Thanksgiving of the heart. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. (Psalm 118:1) A steady diet and exercise of Thanksgiving does wonders for your heart, mind and body. And thanksgiving is essential for cultivating a beautiful life. Here’s why… Read on.

Becoming A Thriving Artist

Becomingathrivingartist Becoming A Thriving Artist

As you think about your creative work and walk with God, have you ever asked yourself, “What does it take to become a THRIVING artist?” How does an artist thrive personally, professionally and spiritually? It’s been a question that’s been muddling around in my mind a lot the past month. The Lord keeps impressing on my heart the word… thrive.

It’s one thing to be alive. It’s a whole other thing to thrive. In the 12 acre organic lemon and avocado grove I work and oversee, there are parts of the grove that are healthy and thriving. Lots of fruit everywhere. There are also definitely parts that are not thriving. The lower portion of the grove is susceptible to freezes in the winter, killing off our avocado trees. In other parts of the grove, we have squatty, bare, anemic-looking lemon trees that resemble Charlie Brown Christmas trees. If you want to thrive, read on…

Stay Focused on Your Finish Line

Stayfocusedonyourfinishline2 Stay Focused on Your Finish Line

Two weeks ago, I had to keep telling myself to stay focused on my finish line. I was slugging it out in the half-marathon portion of the 70.3 Ironman triathlon event in Augusta, Georgia. Earlier that morning, I swam 1.2 miles and rode 56 miles through the South Carolina and Georgia countryside, but now my legs were saying, “Enough!” At least I had two legs to run on. (Don’t mock the tights…I get enough from my eighth grader!)

Whether you are in a race or not, when you’re struggling, perspective is everything, which is why you need to stay focused on your finish line. There are people in your life who are looking to you for inspiration and who need you to persevere. Read on…

Your Elusive Creative Genius – Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling Eat, Pray, Love that came out a few years ago has some remarkable things to say about creativity, genius, writing and the creative life. Though I wasn’t a big fan of the book and all the accompanying merchandising that came with the movie, I do appreciate her honest search for integrating her creative and spiritual life. Read more…

I Love Being the Father of the Bride

fatherofthebride I Love Being the Father of the Bride
Last Saturday, I had the incredible honor of becoming “The Father of the Bride.” What is there not to love about being the Father of the Bride? My oldest daughter, Janae, married the love of her life, a fine young gentleman (the whole O’Connor family loves) named Jonathan Kirchner. For all of you, my Art, Life & Faith friends, you know one of my deepest desires is to help you cultivate a beautiful life. Today is my privilege to share one of the most beautiful days of my life. Read on…

A Prayer for When You Don’t Know How to Pray

whenyoudontknowwhattopray A Prayer for When You Dont Know How to Pray

Do you ever feel like you don’t know how to pray? Or what to pray? If I was sitting in church or a classroom, I hope I wouldn’t be the only guy to raise my hand. I try to make it a regular practice to get up early in the morning, make my first cup of coffee and sit in the leather chair in my office to pray and read. It’s my first step into sanity for the day because I know how easy it is for me to get derailed throughout the day. But that’s just me…

Honestly, there are so many days when I’ve got so much on my mind that all that seems to pour out of my heart to God is, “Blaaa–eeech!”  I wonder if my prayers look like me swinging a thin little broomstick at all chest-beating gorillas in my mind? If there are days when you don’t know how or what to pray, I have a beautiful prayer I want to share with you. It comes from Brennan Manning, one of my favorite authors. Read on…

The Art of Letting Go

theartoflettinggo The Art of Letting Go

I am slowly learning the art of letting go. In the past month, my oldest daughter Janae became engaged to the love of her life. I’m learning to let go of my daughter. After three months of hard work cutting down avocado trees at The Grove, I now have weeds to cut and lemon trees to prune! I’m learning to let go of the idea that my work on the property will ever be finished. I am also in the midst of difficult business and creative challenges. I’m learning to let go of certain things I have no control over. If anyone has ever said to you, “Oh, you just need to let it go,” even if you feel like slapping them, there’s still wisdom in their words.

Do You Have a Lurking Dream Killer?

Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit…We shall see what will become of his dreams!” Genesis 37:19-20

The Sixth Commandment says, “Thou shall not kill.”

Do you have a lurking dream killer in the darkened closets of your heart and mind? The voices of well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) parents, friends, colleagues, and critics who squash your artistic dreams in favor of pragmatism.

Beware the lurking dream killers in your life.

You are not alone. Joseph had a whole family of dream killers.

Revisit your dreams today. Re-engage your imagination.

Dreaming and your imagination are gifts from God.

Dream today in massive, biblical proportions.

 

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Are You Leaving All Outcomes to God?

20130422 110203 Are You Leaving All Outcomes to God?

In my desire, struggle and journey to cultivate a beautiful life, one of the most helpful things I’ve learned to bring me peace is this simple truth: Leave all outcomes to God. In our work, life and relationships, if we want peace, we need to let go of our illusions of control and leave all outcomes to God.

Thomas Merton, one of my favorite spiritual writers, drives home this point when he writes about work and play. Read on…