What God Wants

Posted: January 11th, 2017 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

What does God want  760x570 What God Wants

When life gets full or complicated or I’m not sure what to do or what decision to make, it always helps me to pull back to the big picture…to ask some fundamental questions. And for me, the biggest one is simply…what does God want?

Of course, inherent in the question is the presupposition that there is a God, that He has actually revealed what it is that He wants and that I’m accountable to Him for whatever it is. So if you’re with me on those points, let’s keep going…

I’ve been thinking a lot about several verses from the Bible that all point to one inescapable conclusion…

God wants to be wanted.

He wants to be pursued.

He wants to matter to us.

Now wanting something is very different than needing something. God doesn’t need anything. He certainly doesn’t need me. But amazingly, He does want me. And He wants me to want Him.

One of the best things that can happen to me in the course of my day is for my phone to buzz and then see a text message from my wife. I love seeing her name show up. I especially love the texts that communicate she’s been thinking about me and wants to be with me.

I want to be wanted. So does Robyn. And you do too. We all do. We want to know that we matter, that someone values us.

God wants that too.

Here are a few of the verses I’ve been considering lately…

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

If we delight in the Lord, He gives to us.

If we trust Him and seek Him, He rewards us.

If we make His Kingdom and living according to His ways our priority, He provides for us.

Now all of this might sound selfish or self-centered to you, but God is the one who has set it up this way. When we pursue Him, He delights in rewarding us.

Maybe you’ve already stumbled a time or two on your New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you’ve already become discouraged and given up. What if the answer is to first align yourself with what God wants? And then worry about all the lesser goals after Him.

Make your #1 priority this year to delight in and seek God. Spend time with Him each day reading His word. Talk to Him throughout the day. Invite Him into your conversations. “Take Him along” when you run errands. Thank Him for your family, for your life, for a place to live.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking of God as an impersonal, far-away force. He’s not. He’s a person. And He wants you.

And He wants you to want Him.

If you need a guide to help you get started, you might want to check out my 40-day devotional, “I Believe God.” CLICK HERE to get the Kindle version or paperback on Amazon.


Are You Agitated and Anxious?

Posted: October 17th, 2016 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

DSCN3437 1 760x570 Are You Agitated and Anxious?

It’s sunny, very windy and 80 degrees in Fayetteville, Arkansas today. But 7 years 8 months and 3 weeks ago, it was a different story. A severe ice storm had just hit. Trees were down and power was out all across Northwest Arkansas. Lots of trees were lost in that storm. Trees that did survive lost branches.

This morning, as I sat on our patio, I heard a loud rustling sound and then a tree branch fell on the driveway about fifteen feet from where I was sitting.

IMG 2904 Are You Agitated and Anxious?

It’s not uncommon to find branches like this after thunderstorms or just a strong wind like we have today. These branches are the result of the ice storm in January of 2009 when they broke off from the trunk and died. It’s inevitable they’ll crash to the ground. It’s just a matter of a time. All it takes is some agitation from the wind. And yet the same wind that agitates the dead branches has no effect on the healthy ones.

IMG 2910 Are You Agitated and Anxious?

In the moments leading up to His arrest, the gospel writers tell us Jesus was “troubled” and “overwhelmed with sorrow.” The same Greek word is used in both instances, it literally means:

to agitate, trouble a thing by the movement of its parts to and fro, to cause one inward commotion, take away calmness of mind, to disquiet, make restless, to strike one’s spirit with fear and dread, to render anxious or distressed

Do you ever feel that way?

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST.


The A La Carte Christian Life

Posted: October 12th, 2016 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

As Americans, or maybe it’s just as humans, we like choices. We enjoy going out to eat, opening the menu and getting to decide what we want to eat. We get to decide whether we want soup or a salad and what kind. We can choose a baked potato, french fries or no potato at all. We can have our steak rare, medium or well-done. And if we don’t like anything on the menu, the chef may even prepare something special just for us.

To order “a la carte,” literally means “according to the card/menu.” It’s our choice. Not the server’s. Not the chef’s. Not anyone’s choice, but ours.

There’s another type of meal service though. It’s called, “Table D’hote.” It literally means, “the host’s table.” In this type of dining, the menu is mostly planned and our food choices are limited. Essentially, we eat what’s put in front of us.

Table D’hote dining isn’t worse than a la carte, it’s just different. It’s really a matter of expectations. If I sit down to eat and expect to have the freedom to order whatever I want, then I may be very disappointed by the Table D’hote experience. If, on the other hand, I know what to expect and know the chef is the best in town, then I can enjoy the experience and even look forward to whatever surprises may be served.

I think one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in life is…CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST.


Abba, Father

Posted: September 22nd, 2016 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

What do you do when you hit bottom? When your best efforts aren’t working?

It wasn’t long ago I found myself in a season like that. I was stuck. I was out of options. I didn’t know what to do next. I was down on myself and had lots of doubts. Not about God, but about me.

Then one morning, my wife, Robyn, said I’d been talking in my sleep the night before. My first reaction was a little bit of panic. I had no idea what I might have said.

She said it was only one word. It was loud and clear. And it didn’t sound like me.

Sounds a little freaky, huh?

She said I called out…

(To read the rest of the post on my new site, CLICK HERE.)


God is With You

Posted: December 15th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 God is With You

20 Days of Believing God (Day 11)

God is with us.

Not far away. Not unconcerned. Not uncaring.

God is with us.

He’s not just the God of 2,000 years ago. He’s not just the God of the future. He’s the God of the here and now.

He’s present with you. Right now. In this moment. Jesus is with…you.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:14)

God became human and lived with us.

Jesus lives with you. Today. You don’t need to ask for His presence. He’s already present with you. Right now.

He is with YOU.

Are you afraid?

He is with YOU.

Are you in pain?

He is with YOU.

Are you discouraged?

He is with YOU.

Are you worried?

He is with YOU.

Is your marriage in trouble?

He is with YOU.

Are you lonely?

He is with YOU.

Not just with other people.

Jesus is with YOU.


14 Moments I Wish I Could Live Over

Posted: September 13th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Untitled design 6 300x225 14 Moments I Wish I Could Live OverOn the day before he died, I asked my dad if given the chance, what moment from his life he would live over. Without hesitation, he said, “The first time I kissed Sylvia.” Sylvia is my wonderful step-mom.

As my youngest daughter gets ready to move to Germany in a couple weeks and my other kids have already left home, I can’t help reflecting on the past 30+ years. So I was thinking about which moments from my life I’d live over again if given the chance.

I reserve the right to amend my list, but here are my top 14. It was going to be a top-10 list, but I kept adding to it. By the way, for those of you who are sticklers for details…if a moment is common to all of my children, then I only counted it as one moment. Hey, it’s my list, so I get to make the rules.

I’d love to see your top 10 (or 14) moments…or as many as you’d like to share. Leave a comment with your list. Here’s mine, in no particular order:

  1. The night I met my wife, Robyn, in August of 1984. Three months later, on the night we started dating, I knew we’d get married. It would be fun to relive our meeting and know that night she was going to be my wife.
  2. The meeting at Willard Straight Hall (the student union) at Cornell in which someone explained the gospel to me and I placed my faith in Jesus. My eternal destiny changed in that moment.
  3. Beating North Bergen High School, 12-0, in the first game of my senior year. I don’t think expectations were very high for us as a team, but we finished the year 7-1-1. I wouldn’t want to relive the game against Jackson, our only loss and the one that kept us out of the playoffs.
  4. The births of each of my children.
  5. A snow day. Either as a kid or when my kids were little. Nothing better than anticipating a snowstorm and then hearing that schools are closed.
  6. Any time my dad and I drove across Route 70 from Brick, New Jersey to Philadelphia to see the Phillies play. The trip usually included a stop at Olga’s Diner.
  7. Any late afternoon, summer day by the pool in my backyard or at the beach when I was a kid.
  8. A Saturday afternoon as a family at the Otter Creek pool in the late ’90′s.
  9. Playing stickball in the street with my friends before any of us were old enough to drive. We’d play for hours and usually only stopped when it was too dark to see.
  10. Road trips I’ve taken with each of my daughters.
  11. The night last fall when my son and I watched the Razorbacks beat LSU at Razorback Stadium. It was cold and windy, but we were bundled up and enjoyed watching a great game together.
  12. Almost any moment during the fall or holiday season when my kids were little: going to the State Fair or pumpkin patch, loading up the van and driving to Louisiana for Thanksgiving, cutting down our Christmas tree or watching their reactions on Christmas morning.
  13. Going to Disney World as an 11-year-old and staying at the Contemporary Resort. The monorail running through the lobby was magical to me. It’s what got me interested in the hospitality industry.
  14. A weekend get away at a mountain-top home Robyn and I took in October of 2013 OR our 25th anniversary stay at a B&B in Eureka Springs. Both were amazing! Sorry, no details.

What’s interesting to me is that none of these are about work or money. Of course, money is required to do some of those things, but money or material possessions aren’t the focal point. It’s about relationships.

What about you? What’s on your list? Share yours in the comments.


Is There a Key to Life?

Posted: August 27th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

 Is There a Key to Life?

Is there anything more frustrating than getting ready to go somewhere, but not being able to find your keys? You search and search and search, but can’t find them. You know it’s bad when you look in places you’ve already looked or in places you know they can’t possibly be.

And have you ever looked at the keys on your key ring and wondered what some of them open…but you’re afraid to throw them away, because you know you’ll need one the next day?

Last fall, I participated in a wedding on a Saturday evening. After the ceremony was over, I realized if I headed home at that moment, I might possibly beat the traffic leaving the Arkansas-Alabama football game. The stadium is only two blocks from my house and the road would soon be shut down to traffic going toward my house.

I made it home just in time, but discovered the house was locked and I didn’t have a key. I had to wait outside for about thirty minutes until my son got home from the game with a key.

Keys. They’re great when you have the correct one and you know where it is. But it’s terribly frustrating when you need one to start your car or unlock a door and you can’t find it.

Does life ever feel that way to you? Like what you want is locked away and you don’t have the key? Maybe you feel that way about your marriage, parenting your children, work, your finances or your health.

In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, the nation of Israel is camped out on the eastern shore of the Jordan River. After forty years of living in the wilderness, they’re about to cross into the land God promised to Abraham hundreds of years earlier.

Deuteronomy is a series of messages Moses gives to Israel. Mostly, he’s reminding them of where they’ve come from, what they’ve experienced and how God has instructed them to live. Near the end of the book, we find these two verses in Chapter 30:

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Moses reveals that loving, obeying and committing yourself to God is the key to your life. The word “this” can also be read as “He.” Either way, the key to life is an intimate relationship with God. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

Do you want to experience all God has for you? Do you want His blessings?

Love Him. Obey Him. Commit yourself to Him. It’s the key to life. It’s the key that unlocks His blessings.

Please though, don’t confuse God’s blessings with an absence of difficulties or painful circumstances. Nowhere does God promise a life of comfort if we follow Him. We still live in a broken world where we can count on suffering. What we have is the promise of His peace and presence no matter what we face.

You and I get to choose today between life and death, between blessings and curses.

Which will you choose?

If you choose life and blessings, the good news is that the key isn’t lost or hidden.


Shameless Persistence

Posted: April 22nd, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Before I get to today’s post, I want to let you know I will soon be releasing an online video course called, “Intoxicating Marriage.” Proverbs 5:19 says, “A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” I love the picture of a couple so in love they could be described as drunk on each other. And that’s my hope for anyone who goes through this course.

It’s 12 videos that cover effective communication, spiritual growth, physical fitness, how to have an exciting sex life, how to be more romantic, understanding and meeting one another’s needs and more. The course will sell for $79, but for my weekly email subscribers, it will only be $39. If you would like to get it in on the $39 price, please click here to sign up for my weekly email. You’ll also get a free eBook when you sign up.

Now on to today’s post…

DSCN2774 300x225 Shameless Persistence
I’ve been hanging out in Luke 11:1-13 the past few days. Jesus has been praying when one of His disciples asks Him to teach them how to pray like John taught his disciples. So Jesus teaches them what’s commonly referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer.” It would probably be more correct to call it “The Disciples Prayer.”

He doesn’t stop there though. Jesus goes on to tell them a story about a man who asks a friend for some bread so he can feed another friend of his who has just shown up for a visit. Since it’s midnight, his friend tells him to get lost. Jesus then explains the man may not get out of bed and give his friend the bread based on their friendship, but he will do it because of the guy’s “shameless persistence.”

The application Jesus makes is in the following verses: keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking, because eventually you’ll receive. He concludes His teaching on prayer by saying, “If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”

This passage reminds me of Hebrews 11:6, which says, “…He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”

We often talk about having a relationship with God and getting to know Him better. Well here’s something we can know about God: He values perseverance. He rewards those who sincerely seek Him. He answers the prayers of those who shamelessly persist.

Have you been praying for a family member to come to know Christ? Or for your marriage to be saved? Or a child to come to their senses?

Keep going. Don’t quit. If you’re going to be guilty of anything, don’t let it be quitting, let it be your shameless persistence. I know it’s hard and discouraging to keep praying for something when month after month, even year after year, the answer doesn’t come. God values your perseverance though. And somehow He will reward your sincere seeking.


Your Thought Life

Posted: April 1st, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

 Your Thought Life

SPECIAL NOTE: I’ve begun a free weekly newsletter in addition to blog posts on this site and my other site, GreggStutts.com. My newsletter comes out on Wednesdays and provides more free content around marriage and parenting, as well as special offers on new products I’m releasing. I don’t want to assume you’re interested, so I have not manually added you to that list. If you would like to subscribe, you can click here and receive a free resource. Now for today’s post…

What is the state of your mind today? What thoughts keep running through your head?

Do you feel anxious? Worried? Fearful? Insecure? Inferior? Jealous? Guilty? Shameful? Discouraged?

Are you telling yourself a good story about your life? Or are most of your thoughts negative and self-critical?

Do you say things to yourself you’d never even think of saying to someone else? Do you mentally berate yourself for mistakes? Do you hold yourself to a standard you’d never hold others to? Are you beating yourself up over past sins?

What are your thoughts about God toward you? Is He disappointed in you? Or angry even? Is He looking for you to step out of line, so He can give you a good whack?

In Romans 8, Paul says…

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

If your mind is governed by the flesh, then you are experiencing a thought life of death. As a result, your emotions are negative. And they’re overflowing into your relationship with your spouse, with your children and with others.

On the other hand, if your mind is governed by the Spirit then you are experiencing a mind full of life and peace. It doesn’t mean you have no problems or that life is easy, but it does mean your mind is not in turmoil. It means you are bringing your thoughts and circumstances and concerns under Christ’s authority.

Doing this doesn’t happen by accident though. It requires intentional effort. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul said, “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Think of a negative thought as an unwanted intruder in your home. If you let him in and do nothing to make him leave, then he will be content to make himself at home and eventually begin destroying everything he touches. You’d become a prisoner in your own home.

If you’ve let wrong thoughts about God, about yourself or about life enter your mind, then it’s time to take them captive and throw them out. That’s not enough though, they must be replaced with the truth.

An even better way to deal with unwanted intruding thoughts is to not even allow them into your mind in the first place. It’s like setting up a fence and an alarm system around your home.

Where are the negative thoughts in your life coming from? Here are some possible places:

  • Old thought patterns from when we were kids. Those negative things our parents, teachers or friends said about us.
  • The media. It could be the television news, your Facebook feed, Twitter or a website. Maybe it’s talk radio.
  • Your family, friends or co-workers. This isn’t to suggest you’re hanging around with evil people, but unless someone is walking in the power of God’s Spirit, they have the potential to speak negative thoughts into your life.
  • Satan and his demonic forces. They can whisper lies to us if we let them.

If you find yourself feeling negative emotions today, pause for a moment and trace your thoughts back to where the emotion started. The feeling of hopelessness or despair or worry didn’t just appear out of thin air. It began with a thought you allowed to come into your mind and take up residence.

It’s time to kick out the unwanted “guests” and replace them with Jesus, who said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” And His promise is to give us life and peace.


Need Your Help

Posted: January 28th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

The following is a post my daughter wrote last month on her blog. Since I think she’s pretty incredible, I wanted to share it with you…

Seven months ago, I took on a task that has since pushed me and challenged me in ways that I never wanted to be pushed or challenged. But I could not be more grateful for it. I learned to initiate conversations with strangers, friends, and family about a subject that can be awkward and uncomfortable for everyone, including myself, to discuss. Yet Jesus has so much to say about it. That subject is money.

Seven months ago, I began fundraising to go on Young Life College staff in Germany for a minimum of five years. It has been a gift to have these conversations and invite people to be a part of what God is doing.

Seven months ago, I had 0% of my budget raised. Today, I have 70%. And my goal is to be 100% funded as soon as possible. Will you help? Click here to watch (if you don’t see the video embedded below) the following short video to learn more!

You can contact me at: avstutts@gmail.com