God gives us valleys to appreciate the Mountains!

What a difference a week makes. Last week was no short of incredible. I felt God all around me the entire week. Just a closeness like I havent felt in a long time.

Then I came down off the mountain.

Sunday, I went to Westridge as normal and just wasn’t into it. The message was about when its ok to be angry, the music was just so so. Nothing to write home about. Then I went home and slept most of the day, paid bills, balanced check book. Just a really down depressing day. I felt like I was all alone, again. I was looking at the same four walls I had looked at for a year, and I was STILL alone.
So, as usual, I reached out. I called Kari and she built me up as usual. We seem to know just what to say to pick the other one up. Last week it was me picking her up and now she is doing the same for me. You would think that two friends who are as passionate for Christ that we are, and probably the two biggest third day fans on the planet, would end up together. Thats not what either of us know God uses us for. Even though she picked me up a bit, I was still way down. So, Sunday night I went to bed earlier than normal but had trouble sleeping.
Monday started off just like Sunday, except I had to drag myself to work. A chore that becomes less and less enjoyable everyday. I love my job and the people I work with, but the drive and the environment add to the problems in my life.
So last night, I called Dwayne. We had made a pact to be accountability partners several weeks ago when Loren preached on accountability. I laid all my cards out. I felt alone, I was tired of it, I didnt know what God wanted me to do, struggles in my life, etc.
It was just what I needed to do.
And Dwayne didnt hold back.
He basically built me right back up. He told me that I was such an example to him because whenever I face adversity in my life, I turn it over to God. My problem is that I turn it over only once I realize that I cant face it or fix it alone. That I still struggle every day, especially at work. I work in a high stress environment and before I know it, I am cursing worse than a sailor out at sea.
Dwayne gave me the scripture James 1:5-6 ”

5If you need wisdom–if you want to know what God wants you to do–ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. 6But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. ”

He challenged me to make that scripture my own in my quiet time. To ask God for wisdom and to pray that God said if I asked for wisdom He had to give it to me because that is what He said He would do in His word. Then as the phone call ended, Dwayne prayed for me. There are no words to describe what his friendship means to me. Like I told him last night, we started in a small group and it never ends.

So in my prayer last night, I read James 1 back to God and asked for what He wanted me to do. God gave it right back to me. As I read the rest of James, it talks about controlling your tongue, being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Things I deal with every day at work. Dwayne even told me that maybe God has me here at my job to be an example to others. Something I haven’t been very good at but I cant help but think that this is what God is wanting me to focus on. Controlling my anger, stress, and what I say. He is telling me to become the example.
So this morning, I came in and made a huge ‘X’ and hung it over my door. No one has asked me what it means yet, but what it reminds me to do, is to work all day long, to be the eXample of what God wants me to be.
Today, I’m climbing back up the mountain side…..


Unbelievable day….

Unbelievable. That is the only way to describe the incredible day that I have had. The day started several days ago and what I mean by that is the plan that I had for today. I had set aside in my mind, that today is the first day of a new me. I say this a lot but when I fall, I pick myself back up, and start again. Today was going to be me starting again. And what a day it has been….
Tim was here for the past week just looking at 4 different walls than those of his apartment. We talked about his life, my life, problems in both. I think he helped me as much as I hoped that I helped him.
Well I have told him how awesome Westridge Church is and today he went with me there. It started off very slow nothing spectacular but the message was so incredible, and the music to end the service was unbelievable. The band did “Indescribable” and closed with a chorus doing “King of Glory” but God was in the house and that gym was about to blow. I was emotional, Steve the band lead singer was crying it was just unbelievable.
Then I go to the men’s small group from the exchange and connected with some new guys living the same walk that I am on. We had a great small group meeting and it was great to feel like a part of something like that again.
Once at home, a close christian friend of mine called and was upset because the person she thought would be there when she needed them the most, wasnt. And would not be there tomorrow or the next day. I was able to counsel her and by the end of the phone call, had her laughing and empowered enough to do what she needed to do. Then after she had done what she needed to do, she called again. Once again, God gave me the words to say to her to build her up again. God is so awesome but it is more personal when you can see God using you.
Just like last weekend on my way home, God put me in the position to be able to help someone with a flat on their LIMO. Their jack would not work and they asked to borrow mine. After I had helped change their tire, they offered to pay me and I simply just told them, the next time you see someone in the position you are in now, stop and help them because I helped you. They could have paid me a lot of money, but God gave me the words to say at that time. Granted, they may drive right by the next person they see with a flat, but at least they will think about it.
I just need to take the time, to rest and know God is in control. I need to be able to listen and hear his voice. I haven’t had a lot of luck in that area in the past, but I want to know what God wants in my life.
I asked Tim what he thought I wanted in my life and he said he knew I wanted to be married to have a family. I agreed with him but I also am sticking to the message God gave me. I wont settle for anything less than what God has in store for me and I want to be the best that I can be for God to give me to someone else.
However, I also told him the story of what an impact Ken Pate had in my life. How he was there when Tanya’s grandfather died. How he and I prayed in that funeral home for her situation. Just what an awesome witness to me he was. I would love to be a Ken Pate to someone or to a group. I don’t know if that is God’s plan for me but often I feel led to that. I even thought when I got this house it would be awesome for a small group because it is so wide open. It is all up to God now. I just have to be quiet and hear His voice.

How quickly life changes…..

I once wrote a poem about how quickly life changes. Often, I look back and I am reminded of exactly how much this is true. This October 31, I will have been in Atlanta for 6 years. I can’t believe it has been that long. In that time so much has happened.

Recently, things have changed tremendously.

1 – Holley, moved to Florida to be closer to her family. I maintain a close friendship with her and her family even helping them find a generator when hurrican Ivan wiped out their house. Even though things did not work out with me and Holley, her family still means a lot to me.

2 – My relationship with Tiffany came to an end as well. Nothing happened that I can pinpoint, caused the breakup. It just happened. She needed more time that I was able to give. I needed more freedom than she was able to give. As usual, I maintain a close friendship with her also.

That is my problem. I have too many friends who are girls and not a meaningful relationship. All of them had aspects of the perfect woman that I want to be with but none of them had it all. One had the motivation, the drive the ambition, but didnt have time for a relationship. Another had the time, the same beliefs, but not the ambition. One had the ambition, the time but not the same beliefs and her job brought on a whole new stack of issues.
Now, the one I have a lot of fun with, has ambition, wants to spend time together, isnt very strong in her beliefs, and has this HUGE issue. She’s married. So I wont go there with her.

I am sticking to my solution. “Never settle for 2nd best never BE 2nd best.” I refuse to settle for second best and I am trying my best to improve my status.

Please keep all hands and arms inside until the ride comes to a complete stop!

A revelation….
A light coming on….
An Epiphany.
That is what I found this weekend on my vacation. As I sat on the balcony and looked at the people below, I began to wonder what brought these people together, what are their lives like, and what keeps them together. Really attractive men are with really attractive women. Really average men are with really average women, and so on and so on down the line. Granted, there are exceptions to every rule, but for the most part, this theory of mine is true.
Couple A – Young couple wearing hats, shorts, riding in a Nissan Altima. Both are dressed similar. No designer anything. Pretty average, but both are together and both appear alike
Couple B – Young couple wearing designer clothing, driving SUV. Both are tan probably from a recent vacation. Both are wearing designer sunglasses and are in great shape. Both appear to be living well. Both appear alike.
Couple C – Middle aged couple walking down the sidewalk. Both are dressed in blue jeans and t shirts. Both are a little overweight, both are physically not desirable in appearance.
All three couples seemed happy but if you had to chose who you would want to live like, of course all of us would chose couple B. The question is, why can the man in couple C not be with the woman in couple b? Or why does the woman in couple B not want to be with the man in couple A?
The answer is simple. Our lives have a rating. You can be with someone just above your rating if you are lucky, or you can be with someone below your rating if you so chose. Never will the man in Couple B want to be with the woman in Couple C and never will the man in couple A get to be with the woman in Couple B. Never.
And this applies to life as a whole, not just in relationships. The best parents dont have the worst kids. The best husbands dont have the worst wives, etc.
So how, you may ask, does this apply to me, Keith White?
I compared myself to the men in all three couples. I have a great house, I have a great truck, I have a great motorcycle, I have a great computer. All of these things I have worked very hard to have.
However, I have had a lot of second rate friendships and relationships. So I began to look at myself in those areas. Have I been the best friend that I could have been? Have I been the best partner in relationships that I have had? And honestly the answer to both is no.
I havent gone out of my way to help my friends. I havent kept myself up physically to be more attractive to the women I have been in relationships with. I have settled for friends that are low maintenance and I have settle for girlfriends that are also low maintenance.
So now not only have I stated the theory, I have proved it in theory and proved it in my own life.
So what do I do, to move myself from being the man in couple A or C to being the man in Couple B? And its not about the possesions, its about having the best life possible and working every day to achieve the best life. To do this, I have broken life down into 4 categories:

1 – Mental
2 – Physical
3 – Spiritual
4 – Financial

Mental: This is your overal attitude and well being. Are you a happy go lucky person that everyone wants to know? Are you confident enough to meet new people easily?
Physical: Your physical attractivness. Are you in shape? Do you keep yourself attractive or just let yourself go??
Spiritual: How is your over being in relation to your walk with God? Do you talk to God on a regular basis because this is totally healthy?
Financial: Are you stretched financially to the point that you cant do anything? Do you have financial baggage that drags you down?

So, the first step to move me out of couple C into a higher group is to have a plan.
What things do I know of that drag me into the abyss? In my case, appearance, stress, overwork, money. Three out of the 4 categories im slacking in. My spiritual life is not anything to brag about, but its a lot better than its been before.

My plan is to overhaul my life completely. To do this, I will set, and bust my ass every day to reach these, goals.
1 – Mental: Improve confidence and self esteem while also enlarging my surrounding people knowledge. How I will achieve this is to set the short term goal of meeting someone new, for friendship or casual acquaintance, and have a first name basis with them, every month. Also, I plan to have contact information, either phone or email of someone new every three months.
2 – Physical: Improve attractiveness by setting the one year goal of losing 100 lbs by next Sept. 1. Set the short term goals of going to the dentist, getting a haircut more regular and wearing less jeans during the work week.
3 – Spiritual: Improve my walk with Christ by getting more involved at the church that I go to and also attend the Exchange more regular since some people there I have met and interact with me more and more.
4 – Financially: Improve my financial status by paying off 2 of my short term debt by the end of Feb. Right now as it stands I have 4 credit cards. I intend to have 2 of those paid off with my tax refund regardless of which 2 it is.

So now, that I know what I want, I know what it will take to get it, the hardest part is putting my plan into motion….