My Childhood Pastor - Phil Hollis

Rev. Phil Hollis
(April 23, 1950 - March 13, 2015)

Yesterday my childhood pastor died in a tragic motorcycle accident in Topeka, Kansas. Pastor Phil is responsible for my spiritual growth through my critical years of elementary and junior high school. I remember sitting in the adult service playing with my Matchbox Cars while listening to Phil's sermons. He is one of just a couple people, outside my family, that made a direct impact on my life which led me to becoming a pastor today. I would consider him my father in the faith.

I gave my heart to Jesus back in 1976, when I was just 7 years old, in the small Assembly of God church in Stanley, Kansas named Faith Chapel where Phil was pastor. He was very passionate in his relationship with Jesus. He would often go door to door around the church inviting people to church.

My dad served as the worship leader, and my mom served as the pianist under Pastor Phil's leadership at Faith Chapel for 5 years. It was a joy watching my parents serve as volunteers in key leadership positions in the church. Then many years later Phil's two kids, Jason and Brandon Hollis, would join me in starting Mercy Church in Kansas City, both playing critical leadership roles.

Pastor Phil would often tell me, even though I was just a little guy, that God had big plans for me and that one day he believed I would grow up to be a preacher.

The story I am going to share now is nothing short of a gift from God to me. I have been preaching a series entitled, To Infinity and Beyond at Mercy Church this month.  This week the theme is Living Beyond Yourself which is about the importance of leaving a spiritual heritage. While preparing for the message I called Pastor Phil to let him know how much I appreciated his investment in me as my pastor as a kid growing up. We ended up reminiscing about those early days in my life, 1978 - 1983. I hadn't spoken to him at any length for many years previous and getting to talk just two days before his passing was a gift. Pastor Phil, thank you for those minutes on the phone, you will be missed!

Please pray for Phil's wife, Sheila and his boys Jason and Brandon Hollis and both their families!

A Growing Faith

I was enjoying a great cup of coffee at Kaldi's Coffee on the Plaza here in Kansas City the other day when someone recognized me and proceeded to ask me some questions about faith and spirituality. I always enjoy those conversations!

The Question: 
If I want to grow spiritually, what should I do?

My Answer:
That's easy; and you can start today! I will admit this will seem elementary, but I can promise you the things that are easy to do are easy NOT to do. Many many Christians are failing to do many of the things I will put here. But if you do them your faith will grow so far beyond what you would have ever thought it could. I will admit though, each of these things must be done, you can't skip any of them. Now, don't get legalistic here or overwhelmed! It's the principles behind each thing that are important, and you can think outside the box of just how to accomplish them.

It's like a marriage; there are things you must do to have a healthy happy growing relationship with your spouse. But, it's more the principles behind each thing we must do that is important not just the thing itself. Make sense? Some people, even well meaning (though mis-informed, and even mis-led), feel that some of the things I will list here are "too legalistic"... and I believe they are ONLY if you make them that way. You don't need to make them legalistic. They can be what you do as an expression of your love and appreciation to God! In other words, I don't do these things to get God's approval or to get God to love me more or even to stop God from killing me. I do what I do because I love and trust God, and all that I have is His. Period. And that is how we all should live and love! And keeping in mind this is a journey, not a destination ... this is the path I am on, not perfect, but moving in the right direction.


1) Read the Bible. (Study)

Listening to Bible would be the same. Depending on my schedule I do both.

Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

2) Pray. (Meditation)

Simply communication. Talking and listening.

Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

3) Give. (Generosity) 

  • Giving Financial (Contributions)

It's unfortunate, but many Christians get hung up on this one issue for one reason or another and miss out on a level of blessing from the Lord that is theirs if they'd only obey.

I do believe and teach in 'Tithing' giving a tenth of your earnings to your local church, though I am also okay with people being givers of a regular amount whatever % that is. I've heard some people who reject the 'tithe' teaching to only find out that it was because they don't give anything.

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.  

  • Giving Time (Volunteer)

I feel, at least from my personal experience, Christians (and even those who do not consider themselves Christians) do a pretty good job here. I have people ask, "well isn't giving my time like giving money?" And the answer is - no, it's not. Giving of your money takes way more faith, trust, love and commitment, hence the reason it's so difficult for people to do. And why people make every excuse under the sun not to give, even so-called 'Biblical' excuses about "the tithe being an Old Testament thing ... and we don't have to do it." etc. All an attempt to feel better about what we do or don't do.

1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. 

Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

4) Go to church. (Community)

"Hey, you can be a Christian without going to church Timmy!" Yes you can! And you can also be a human without bathing, but you would smell much better if you did! Ha ha!

What typically happens to people is they have some falling out with someone at a church, then they get out of the habit of going. It's easy to do, and easy not to do. I get it! And frankly I could write a book on this topic alone. But let me just argue the point with this thought; Nothing bad can come of attending church, especially one you like and it a good fit. I mean seriously, you going to let some disagreement keep you away from fellowship with others and faith? That would be childish! Anytime you get a few people together there are going to be issues. It's just life. Life is messy from time to time.

I have been attending church weekly for 45 years now and I wouldn't change it! If I could go back I would still attend church every single weekend. And I am committed to attending church every weekend until I die, no matter the disagreements I have with people in the church or out of the church.

One last thought here, and I apologize ahead of time to those of you who don't attend church! Another important factor in attending church is helping to balance out whacky beliefs we have from time to time. This isn't always true, but I find it to be so many times; when Christians don't attend church their views can become a little out there. And they need community to help keep their feet on the ground. I think the reason for this is that people crave "spirituality" and they take in whatever they hear, therefor they are like that verse in Ephesians 4:14 that says: Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 

Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

5) Small Group. (Friendship & Fellowship)

As a pastor I encourage people to get involved in a small group. The reality is that many people are in a small group already, they just don't know it. And just maybe all that's needed is a little more intentionality, as it relates to "spiritual growth", but the people are most likely are already around you. And by definition a small group is just that, a small group. So if 3 people are meeting together regularly, then boom there it is - ingredients for a small group.

It's difficult to force friendships. Let's be honest here, not everyone gels with everyone else. We've all met those people who you feel you have known your whole life, it's easy to talk to them, interests are similar, goals, ideals, etc. all seem to be easy things to talk about. But then on the other hand we've all met those people who just make you wish you were deaf. Everything they like you hate. All that to say, find a few people you can related to, gel with, and forge some solid life-long friendships.

Little side journey: Good friends aren't those who are always there, but those who lead you and encourage you to greater heights of integrity, character, love, forgiveness, and faith. If they are gossipy, hateful, negative, divisive ... run away! Fast!

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

6) Diary. (Journaling)

I was encouraged many years ago to keep a diary. I have been good at times and bad at times at keeping up with it. But when I do it's such a joy to pen my thoughts, my struggles, my disappointments, my prayers, etc. I think it to be a valuable tool to spiritual growth. Plus it's something that will be given to my children when I die, so they can see my life parts of my life as I journaled them and get a glimpse of me by it.

Habakkuk 2:2 Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it."

Summing it all up:

I would like to add that not only are the things mentioned above important to DO, I would also encourage you limit or discontinue all-together things you know you shouldn't be doing. Make sense? If you are cleaning out a pool, but continue to throw dirt in as you clean, you will never get the pool completely clean and in the condition you wish to have it.

I sincerely hope that you have a kickass 2015!

Slay Your Demon (2 of 3)

Much like the story of David and Goliath our "inner demons" can seem too big to defeat, but "with God all things are possible" and "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world". We can win the fight to live right. So let's continue talking about how to "Slay Your Inner Demon."

3) Share with a trusted friend the demons you fight - This can be very scary, but vulnerability can literally save your life. It has saved me many times! I learned years ago that sharing my struggles was the best thing in conquering my struggles. Sharing my demons with trusted friends actually helped to empower me to keep fighting against them and win! Plus, frankly it took something that was in darkness and brought it to light and helped to hold me accountable.

If you are married, I pray you are as fortunate as I am and can tell your spouse about your demon! She has been the biggest help in keeping me strong and safe.

4) Always keep your guard up - Always protect yourself. Again, this is why #1 Knowing Your Demon is so important. It's so important to always stay on guard. I call this, "Having Healthy Boundaries." Like I said, knowing your struggle is critical because you can set boundaries up around yourself to protect yourself from external temptation.

We already wrestle the demon within (thinking about doing bad in our mind or dreams) but to coupe that with an opportunity to "do what you are wrestling with doing already in your mind" is a recipe for disaster.

There are times that my struggle is worse than others. Meaning, there are times it's almost like I have no demon to wrestle, I sometimes feel like, "yay I must have killed it!" Than a couple months go by and it's resurrected. This is why I always keep my guard up.

5) Starve Your Demon - This means do not feed your demon! You only made the craving more intense. You must starve it. For example if your demon is *lust, do not fuel that lust with lyrics, images, or people that will only inflame and agitate your inner struggle. The weird thing about the lust struggle is that sexual images do not satisfy the craving, it actually intensifies it. It makes it worse. Sexual images actually feed the demon of lust.

(*I will do a blog this week just on that one demon; LUST, and how to cage it and even tame it! I will give thoughts and things I hope will help both the single person and the married person!)

6) Feed Your Spirit - This is absolutely critical to your survival, coupled with previous point! Your inner man, your spirit man, which I would consider the REAL you, the God part of you,  this is the part of you that wants to do right, be right and live right. You must build this part of you up by 1) Reading the right things, 2) Saying the right things, 3) Believing the right things, 4) Looking at the right things, and finally, 5) Doing the right things.

To Be Continued ...

Why Pastors Have Affairs (2 of 3)

1)      Stay Close to Jesus.
To me this is the biggest and most critical thing in keeping yourself from an affair. Live as close to the one who is Holy! And this seems strange that I’d say this writing about “Pastors” but even we pastors can stray away from Jesus. Weird I know, but we can get so busy doing the work of the Lord and forget the LORD of the work. Your relationship with Jesus is the #1 most important thing in living a holy life!
2)      Work On Your Marriage
I speak on this all the time … but a good marriage takes work, so work hard on it. It doesn’t happen just because you walked an isle and said some, “I dos and I wills and I promise” it takes so much more than that. Do it! I highly recommend couples read at least a book a year on marriage, attend a marriage series at church or seminar or do a marriage retreat once a year. Anything you can do for “continuing education” on the subject of marriage!
3)      Work On Yourself
Spirit, soul and body! Take time for yourself. Make sure you are not wearing yourself out! Make sure you are getting rest, exercising, reading, taking time off, journaling, etc. Not only that, but if you have issues, which you do, work through them with a counselor, or close wise friend.
4)      Protect Yourself
You know what your boundaries are, come on! If you find someone at your work attractive you can’t go to lunch with them every day! Come on, you are smarter than that! “Oh but we work together!” So, why don’t you go to lunch with the weird ugly person? Be smart. Don’t put yourself in situations that could compromise all that you believe! Know and understand that we are ALL susceptible to the lures of an affair, and people who feel they are not, are MOST vulnerable! The Bible says that “pride comes before a fall.” Be humble, smart and make wise decisions!
5)      Have Real Accountability Partners
Having REAL accountability partners! Not suedo-accountability partners! Have people of the same sex that you are completely honest and vulnerable with about your every struggle, temptation, fear, dream, passion, etc.
6)      Don’t Look at Porn
I realize this one falls under “protect yourself” and “live close to Jesus” but I felt it needed to be a stand-alone. I truly believe Porn is poison. It is addictive. It is something most men struggle with, and all men are tempted with on a regular basis. The bottom line is that men are visual, and they want to see women naked. Again, it’s important to “protect yourself” however you need to keep you from looking at Porn. I use, I am sure there are others out there.

To Be Continued ... It's About You

How to Get a Full-Time Ministry Job

What does it take to get a full-time job?

That's a question I wrestled with right out of bible college, as I know many bible college graduates do. The principles I will share here apply to ANY college graduate who would like to do something they love full-time.

I’ve had several young college graduates over the years, fresh off the campus of some Bible College ask me about how to get into a full-time ministry job. And I actually do have some thoughts on that subject, being in ministry myself for over 22 years now, 15 of which have been full-time. I have a few pointers for young ministers who desire to be in the ever-so coveted ‘full-time ministry’ position.

And just a side note here, I completely understand desiring to be in full-time ministry; I really craved it like I crave food after missing several meals. It was all I could think about, and there were times I wondered, “Would I ever be in full-time ministry?” And it bothered me with each passing day that I wasn’t, because I really wanted to be doing my ‘calling’ full-time. Many nights I would fall asleep crying as I prayed for the opportunity. I really struggled while waiting tables at restaurants during those early years, knowing my heart was really in ministry, but I knew it was all part of the bigger picture, my life’s journey.


I am not going to state the obvious things that are necessary for ministry, i.e. a true heart for God, people skills, healthy spiritual disciplines, being a person of strong character, and integrity, etc. etc. You know this, or should!

1)  Be a great FOLLOWER.  

How well you follow another leader will determine how well you lead others, or if you get to lead others.

If all you really want is to be in the position of ‘leader’ you are missing the whole point of Jesus’ example of servant leadership in ministry. You do not influence people with a position or title, many young leaders miss this. They think they need the position to lead, but they don’t, they just need to be able to influence, then they’ll be the leader. This is why many would-be leaders don’t ever rise to leadership: They aren’t effective at influencing others.

“Leadership is influence” John Maxwell

Jesus came to serve, not be served and that is true leadership. If all you want is to be large and in charge, it’s not going to work out so well for you, especially in the church world. In the church world it’s all about humility and that’s something we all struggle with.

2)  Treat your volunteer position or part-time staff position like you would a FULL-TIME position.

I don’t mean put in crazy hours and sacrifice your life or the life of your family, but be diligent, committed, engaged, be organized, be a go-getter and model hard work and faithfulness.

I spent seven years as a volunteer in the local church before I was ever even considered for a ‘paid’ position. I worked my rear off FOR FREE! Not to mention many years I spent in a church that I wasn’t ever told “thank you” by any of the paid leadership, and that was okay, because I wasn’t doing it for them. I don’t regret one second of it! I was getting an education, and if I’m being honest here, maybe more of an education in ministry than I did even at Bible College. It was a hands-on education for sure.

I never felt ‘entitled’ like so many I see today do. I knew I had to earn my keep with blood, sweat and tears. I didn’t expect anything I didn’t earn. Just because I went to four years of Bible College didn’t mean jack crap in the real world, and I knew that. I had to prove myself by getting the job done, and done well. Everyone MUST prove themselves. Education is very important, but an education doesn’t supersede being able to get-r-done. I don’t care how many degrees you have -- if you can’t do the job, then what’s the point? Again, education is really important, but it is only part of the picture. Knowing HOW to do something is much different than actually being able to DO it.

The worst thing you could ever say to a pastor/boss/supervisor, “If I was full-time I could do a better job.” Ha ha! I actually had a young staff member say this to me years ago. And I said, “What you do as a part-timer is what we’ll get if we hire you full-time, just more of it!” And that wasn’t much, if anything.

My dad taught me to “work as unto the Lord, not unto men.” Which he said, “Son, even if you are volunteering for something, do it with all you got, as if your life depended on it. Do it better than everyone else, and you will be rewarded!”

We had a volunteer here at Mercy Church back several years -- we’ve actually had many wonderful volunteers -- but one sticks out to me because he went on to full-time ministry, and I knew he would. Why? Because he was AWESOME as a volunteer, far exceeded most all ‘paid staff’ at the church at that time. He never asked for anything, he just got it done, and got it done very well. He went on to Bible College, then on to work in youth ministry at a very large church in Arizona. And guess what? He is knocking it out of the park, of course, I knew he would, I saw it in him as a volunteer.

Proverbs 18:16 A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.

This is the very reason I was hired on at a mega-church down in Texas with no real prior “full-time” experience. The pastor called my VOLUNTEER REFERENCES and I received HIGH reviews. And any pastor knows that how you are as a volunteer so you are as a staff member.

A pastor sees that you knocked it out with no pay, and that tells him you’ve got a great work ethic, and that your motivation is in the right place. You are doing it for the love of God and ministry, not the money.

3)  Don’t treat your volunteer position or part-time position as a mere ‘stepping stone’ to great things.

There is one thing I have learned in ministry, and that is we are in the people business, and if you are not genuinely concerned about others, you’ll never make it in ministry. If you are doing ministry more for yourself, your own ego, it’s not going to go well at all.

I know this all too well, because that was me for many years. I wanted ministry more for my own ego than I did to really serve people and further the cause of Christ. Now of course I could, and did, know that right answer when people would ask, “Why I was in ministry,” but it wasn’t the truth. I was self-deceived. But I knew the truth down deep, I wanted ministry for me.

I stopped doing the volunteer opportunities like mere steppingstones and began really pouring myself into them. Truth be told, many times employers will look at the volunteer “experience” as real experience, so make it worth having on your resume!

4)  Be so good that they’ll have to hire you full-time.

I have told many part time staff over the years, make me hire you fulltime! Make me go get a side job to pay you. I have had some staff take my up on that over the years.

5)  Help grow the church, not just your ministry.

Be a team player!

6)  Never ever, ever make excuses.

The worst line I can ever hear from someone, “we can’t do that now because …” or, “If only we had more money we could do something cool …” excuses, excuses, excuses. My personal opinion is that leaders don’t make excuses. This doesn’t mean we ignore obstacles, but a real leader looks for ways to get under, over, or through any obstacle!

Side note: Yes there are times that you can’t do something because of some limitation, whether its lack of people or money, I get it. But that is when a real leader thinks of another way to do it. Don’t let some little limitation stop you from doing something great. Don’t sell out to excuses. Because if you do, you’ll have an excuse for why you haven’t done anything great in life.

A Story of overcoming an obstacle: Back when we started the church, we didn’t have a facility. We rented a school for Sunday service, so we didn’t have a cool place to hold our youth mid-week service. And we didn’t have money, didn’t have a live band, and not very many youth either. That didn’t stop the youth from coming up with an idea to hold service in my garage each week. They hung black sheets to cover the junk in my garage, and set up some chairs, printed cool little bulletins and set up a little sound system to play worship via CD. It wasn’t long before they packed out my garage with 30-40 students every Wednesday night. It was crazy.

Where there is a will, there is a way!

One of the churches I had the most success in was a lame church, with lame leadership, a lame vision, lame facilities (church was in a trailer home converted into a church,) lame doctrine, lame area, lame pay ($25 a month was my salary) and only a handful of kids. We took that little handful of teenage kids and grew it to 24 students in six months.

I treated that ‘lame’ position like it was a full-time position with a big salary, an attractive health insurance package and a 401(k)! The position deserved my full heart, it deserved my full effort … I was doing it for God. And I used that experience on my resume!

7)  Be loyal to the boss/pastor.

One of the things that I learned the hard way was how to be a loyal employee/staff member. It’s critical to the success of the organization as well as to the relationships within the organization.  All bosses require it, even if they don’t verbalize it, they expect it. And it should be given, even if the boss isn’t all that great. And if you are in a situation where the boss is legitimately bad, move on. Don’t cause strife and division, move on and find a boss you can support and be loyal to.

Q: What if I am at a church that that isn’t growing enough to offer a full-time job?

Great question, I recommend making an appointment with the pastor/leader/boss and saying, “Hey, I’d love to be full-time, is that a possibility here, and if not do you mind if I start searching?” and any loving good pastor would say, “Absolutely you can! I will help you, I have many contacts.”

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Depression pt 2

Many times (most the time) we live our life according to our feelings; if we “feel” mad, we act mad, if we feel “hated” we act hated, if we feel “loved” we act loved, if we feel “successful” we act successful, if we feel like a failure” we act like a failure, if we feel “happy” we act happy … etc. You get the point. So we typically just go with our feelings … “feelings” dictate how we feel (of course) and how we act … in other words - we are what we feel.

I have learned an interesting thing not only from personal experience, but from many other resources through the years … and that is this; “Feelings follow action”.

The one Guru on this teaching that I am familiar with is Tony Robbins. Now, before you roll your eyes and think, “here goes some mumbo jumbo self-help stuff” he is just one of many people who teach this principle, but I like him because he is a Christian and not some New Age-ish weirdo spiritualist type dude who says to “draw from deep within your spirit self and ignite the inner you to connect to the spirit of the love god who floats around playing the harp… ya day a da”.

I’ve read and listened to most all Tony’s stuff and frankly it’s been a real blessing to me and my emotional life. Now I of course filter this through the lens of scripture for balance.

So here is my recommendation if you or someone you know is facing Depression:

1) Attend Church every Sunday!
2) Connect with others!
3) Read the Bible every single day!
4) Pray everyday!
5) *Get and go through some Tony Robbins books and CD’s.

*No I was not paid by Tony Robbins to say any of this … though he should throw something my way for as many people I have turned on to his books!

And finally can I just say, obviously I believe that GOD is the answer … but can we just be honest here? It’s takes more than just being a Christian to be healthy emotionally and spiritually and physically! I know and have known MANY Depressed Christians!

Depression pt 1

I am not sure if I have ever blogged on the subject of depression, but it is a very real emotional state that many people face. I am not sure if you’ve ever heard it said that “suicide increases over the holidays” but that is actually not true! The opposite is actually true … “Suicide rates DECREASE over the holidays”. Why?

  • People gathering together with friends and family.
  • Christmas celebrations evoke a sense of hopefulness and a renewed outlook on life.
  • Community awareness of reaching out and loving and caring for hurting people.

I’ve personally never been “depressed”, but I have been tempted to allow feelings of depression to creep in and take over my life… I think most everyone has faced “opportunities” to be depressed.

I have not read anything recently on depression so what I am going to say next is just from my gut … so I hope it can help you (if you are facing feelings of depression) or equip you to help someone you may know facing depression.

I realize there is medical and chemical side to depression that I am not knowledgeable of … though can I say that “food” is a chemical, so I would encourage anyone facing depression to eat healthy. (Like cut out all sugar, junk food and fast food … drink water only and eat lots of veggies!)

I do want to address depression from a spiritual perspective; depression is a feeling, or various feelings of (i.e. loneliness, failure, sadness, pessimism, hopelessness, worthlessness, loss, pain, etc.) and when we give into those feelings (allow them to dictate to us what we will and will not do) we further perpetuate the “feelings” of depression.

This is why I’ve encouraged those who are depressed to get out and do the things they WANT to do but the depression won’t let them do. Many times when someone is depressed they engage in activities that only feed their emotional state of depression, when what they should do is what would feed a positive mental state.

For example when someone is depressed they remove themselves from friends and family, they sleep a lot, watch TV a lot (that in itself is depressing to me!) they don’t get out, and sometimes they don’t clean themselves up … wearing sloppy clothes, and not wearing makeup, etc. Again, these are all things that further FEED the mental state that they want to beat.

*please understand that my heart goes out to those who are facing depression ... I have family members who are facing depression issues ... so I pray you, or those you know facing depression find the answers to make them alive again! I of course believe the answer is found in Christ ... a long with practical (and sometimes medical) things as well.

Feelings follow action … more on that in Depression pt 2

After thinking about my statement, “Secondly, “how can Christ’s life be formed in us? This is accomplished by studying Christ’s life. It would be hard to have something formed in us, if we didn’t get familiar with it” in Friday’s blog… I realize “studying” is only the beginning… because again simply “knowing” about something and not living it is actually dangerous. In my opinion the difference between “knowing” and “doing” is where true Christ-likeness lies!

To have Christ’s life formed in us we must put it into practice; we must LIVE IT! DO IT! This is where Christians have done the greatest damage to the name of Christ… when we “talk it, but don’t walk it”.

Paul later in the book of Galatians tells us exactly what “Christ’s life being formed in us looks like”… Galatians 5:22 – 24But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.”

Our life (if it’s being formed in the image of Christ) will exude LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL!

Of course, just like with any imperfect person, there will be flaws, failures, set backs, mistakes, sins, and short comings for which we are all guilty of… BUT… I truly feel (again, my opinion) if there was a way to measure our "good vs. bad out-flow" we should register heavier on the GOOD things coming from our life.

For example; 70% of the time our life should be proclaiming (in how we actually live… not just words) the list mentioned above and 30% of the time we’ll cut you some slack. Make sense?