(Image courtesy of http://www.acadianaweightlosssurgery.com.)

I won't bore you with details; I'll get right to it.

There are two things that have been shared with me in the last week that have greatly influenced - even changed - my life, particularly my thinking.

The first is a video from the "I Am Second" series.  This ministry interviews celebrities who have decided to put Jesus first and themselves second.  Tim Tebow, Phil Robertson, Albert Pujols, Josh Turner, Josh Hamilton, Lecrae, Tony Dungy, and Ashley Rawls are a few notables who have done the several minute interview.

The interview that particularly made me change my way of thinking was one that I first watched last week, after a good friend shared it with me.  The video tells the miraculous story of David Ring, but I'll let him tell you more about his story himself:

(Video courtesy of I Am Second.)

Wow.  I'm afraid to watch it right now because I think I'll start crying
again, and then I won't get this article done.

His attitude on life has totally changed my thinking.  At the end, David says when he gets to Heaven he is going to ask God, "Lord?  Why have you been so good to me?"  What?!  Are you kidding me?!  I thought he was going to ask, "Why me, God?  Why did you choose to give me this disability?"  Nope.

David has something that I want.

What an incredible perspective to have!  I have been trying to teach myself to have David's attitude when I feel discouraged or when things aren't going my way.  "Why have you blessed me so much, God?"  It is a simple statement with the possibility of a profound perspective alteration.

The second thing that has influenced me greatly was another video I just watched tonight by Pastor Judah Smith from Seattle, Washington.  Judah delivers a gripping message on the love of Jesus, specifically in regards to Barabbas, the murderer who Pilate released instead of Jesus.  Just watch this:

(Video courtesy of S.M. Lockridge.)

Wow.  Once again, I am blown away.

I have been a Christian since I was six years old.  After nearly two decades of being saved by the blood of Jesus, you might think I fully understood the love of Jesus.  Nope.  In fact, if you were to read my journals from years past, you will see many times the written prayer of a man desiring to know - to feel - God's love for me.  God's love is always something I believed saved me, but that was all.  After that, I was responsible for living right with His occasional help.

I'm so thankful God chose tonight to reveal to me the extent of His love.  His love is not just for other people; it's for me too.  And it's for me when I fail and choose myself before Him or others.  Holy cow!  What a Savior!  "How deep the Father's love for us!"

I believe many perfectionist-minded people, often times found in the first-born of the family, such as myself, are guilty of thinking they need to earn God's love; instead, just accept it.

I said I was going to keep this pretty short and sweet, so I'm about to abruptly end this post.

May these two resources be as influential and life-changing in your life as they were in mine!

"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).