NEW BOOK RELEASE: It’s Not Ok. And That’s Ok.

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NEW BOOK RELEASE

My wife Lynn and I just completed and published It’s Not Ok. And That’s Ok.

Co-Authors Ben & Lynn Hartings

“It’s Not Ok. And That’s Ok.” can be purchased here. 

Surviving through crisis early in life, it opened the eyes of Ben & Lynn Hartings to a world in need – in need of uncommon peace in the midst of crisis. Cancer and death had ravaged their lives, but joy and peace surrounded their journey.

This book is full of lessons and stories through when Life is NOT OK! Disease, Diagnosis and Death overcome our lives – These stories will lead you to the knowledge and peace that – “It will be OK” – regardless of the outcome, because of faith in Jesus Christ.

Read “It’s Not OK. And That’s OK.” to find inspiration through Grief, Anger, Crisis, and Death – be inspired to find uncommon Peace and true Joy eternal.

So Thankful for the opportunity to share.

Peace –

Ben & Lynn Hartings

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4: 6-7 NIV

Available for immediate purchase here. 

100 Miles!

I just finished riding 100 miles on my bike with my wife Lynn!!

When I got a double cancer diagnosis in 2013, I did not know where the path would lead. I had big goals and small goals. Marriage goals and kid goals.  I had targets for when I was 35, 50 and visions of grandeur for my retirement years.

In one phone call, life went from a timeline of near certain events to come…to individual heart beats…

Th-Thump, Th-Thump, Th-Thump, Th-Thump…

Here I am now, four years later – Alive!!!!

Life is now moments. Time is the only asset I have that I can never get back. My time may be tomorrow.  It may be today.  Or it may be 50 years from now.  Time…

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick…Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…

My rhythm was simply, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you – grateful for every single heart beat I was given.

Do you have a bunch of small goals or big goals?  Do you have a vision for your life? 

I still do…They are written down, shared and prayed over often.

What cancer has made me realize is unlikely outcomes, looking at my life and saying,

“Wow, you wrote a book! Wow, you wrote another book!”

“Wow, you just rode 100 miles on a bike and raised nearly $10,000 for Pelotonia (www.Pelotonia.org) raising money for cancer research!”

“Wow, your wife, mother of five children just rode a 100 miles with you (www.Pelotonia.org/lynnhartings)! That’s crazy…how did you do it?!?”

Looking at those unlikely outcomes without living the process seems like these may unachievable for you…

Goals to me have changed.  Visions of Grandeur for me have gotten bigger in the last four years…My kids, grandkids, vocation, love for my wife, investment in our future! Wow! I love it. They are so big!

But unlikely outcomes, like finishing 100 miles on a bike raising tons of money for Cancer Research, are just part of a process.

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The way it looks for me is a set of daily practices.

What I mean is, my end and your end are the same. We have the same goals for life.  Simple, distinct, visionary goals for our life, spouses, kids, and grandkids…vacations, destinations, and vocations…Europe, Asia, and Hawaii…ownership, partnership and leadership…TO STAY ALIVE!!!

All are goals. But for me it’s the process that matters…

Riding 100 miles yesterday, the process was pedal, breath, pedal, breath, pedal, breath – rest, rest, rest – pedal, breath, pedal, breath – don’t stop pedaling up this hill!

This simple process unveiled an unlikely outcome…101.40 miles finished to #EndCancer!

The process became the goal.  The goal to just never stop pedaling.

How did you train? Not enough.

How did you find time? We didn’t.

How did you raise the money? Dollar by dollar.

How was it all achieved? In the process of riding pedal up, pedal down. We committed to each other to never stopping. Pedal, breath, pedal, breath, pedal, breath…Honey, I won’t stop if you don’t stop.  I love you…let’s do this.

The process became the goal.

The unlikely outcomes of life are not by chance or by luck. Unlikely outcomes are achieved by men and women who invest in and make the process their goal.

For those men and women, the unlikely outcome is simply a side effect of their process.

That’s how our family lives…Goals are far off in the distance…Let’s live the process in the next twenty minutes that is proven to give us the best chance to get there. Let’s live the process today. To finish 100 miles, let’s finish the next twenty pedals, the next mile, get to the next turn, finish the next hill.

The 101.40 miles finished, the unlikely outcome was a side effect of that process!

Live the the process today, you never get this time back! Finish strong!


To Donate to our efforts, follow the links:
http://www.Pelotonia.org/benhartings
http://www.Pelotonia.org/lynnhartings
To learn more about Pelotonia, go here http://www.Pelotonia.org

Hands in Prayer

Using your body to orient your prayer is important.  The use of your hands can help you to create a posture of prayer.

The prayer below is a great example of this. The first part of the prayer is done with your palms up, visualizing yourself receiving all that you need from God.

The second part is prayed with palms down, visualizing all your cares and concerns being left on the lap of the benevolent, loving Father God.

The Prayer goes like this:

(Place your Palms Up, holding them out in front of you)

God, you have given me life. With open hands, I give it back to you.  My time, my property, my talent, my everything…knowing that this life is only an instant compared to my life with You in eternity.

(Place your Palms Down, visualize them on the lap of God)

Father, to you I release the cares and concerns of this world.  I place these cares upon your lap – cancer, death, hurt, pain, weakness, sickness, (substitute your concern), knowing you loved me enough to give your only Son Jesus.

I’m simply a sinner in need of a Savior and today, I accept that what you have done for me is sufficient.

In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

May this prayer help you as it has helped me today.

Come, Take My Yoke Upon You

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me and you will find rest for yourself.”

I’ve heard that phrase many times and to be honest, when I first heard it…I thought, that sounds crazy Jesus…put a big piece of wood on my back and I will feel better?  Are you nuts? My back is already killing me!

In order to understand the phrases of Jesus regarding his yoke, review the picture above…Look at the oxen.  A yoke is always used optimally with not just one, but two oxen. They are side by side, with equal sharing of the load.  Hence the phrase, “you must be equally yoked.” If the yoke is uneven, one oxen is shorter than the other or the wood is not perfectly fashioned with equilibrium at it’s center, the unequal force will cause pain and anguish for the oxen as the push against one another.

Or, imagine putting a full grown male on one side and a young, newborn oxen on the other.  How much burden would the full grown male have to bear?  A lot!!!

But this is Jesus’ request, come to me, take my yoke upon you. You are young, still not full grown and I want to carry the yoke and allow you to learn…

Yes, and LEARN FROM ME… The other component of being yoked as an oxen is there is a process of learning.  An experienced oxen on one side will be yoked with an inexperienced oxen in order to learn from the seasoned veteran.  This is a commonplace practice still amongst the Amish communities in the US and Canada and non-industrialized countries.  But our modern, industrialized and technology driven society loses this meaning. They take two oxen, a veteran and a rookie and put them together.  The veteran shoulders the burden of teaching the rookie the ropes.  Turn here, stop this way, pull in equal force, eyes forward, chin up…and so on.

Jesus is calling us to come with him, under the SAME YOKE!  Come walk with him, allow him to teach us, lead us, pull when we are too weak, lift when we cannot stand up, carry when the burdens are too heavy and grab your hand when you are about to fall.

Look at the picture once more with this agricultural, non-industrial understanding and review Jesus’ words once more. He desires to carry your yoke, teach you under his wing and hold your burden for you. Because, when we do that, it becomes easy, the burden is light and we find rest for our souls.

Jesus said:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

 

FOMO Disease

Do you suffer from FOMO disease? From the “Fear Of Missing Out” disease?

Or are you intoxicated by the mojo of the JOMO!?!? From the “Joy Of Missing Out?

How many times have you asked yourself “how do I get off this hamster wheel?” If I only had more time…

Truthfully, if I had 200 hours in a day, I’d fill it. With so much social media, entertainment and work to be completed, it would be easy. I’m average. And the average American checks their email 150 or more times a day…and email is for old people!! What about Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, IMessages, GroupMe and on and on….

The word priority comes to mind. The FOMO disease produces a fear that we will miss something if we don’t go, sign up or participate. It steals your joy! 

The mojo from JOMO emanates from the priority of your life. Yes, priority, singular – not priorities. The word priority was added to the English language over 500 years ago but only in the last 100 years has it been made plural. We are meant to have one priority, not many. But I will sacrifice this point and give that you  can have not one, but a list of top 5-7 priorities in life. The top one really matters though as all others must serve that one. 

With so much to do and so little time your mojo from JOMO will be killed if we don’t figure this out. Don’t let your JOMO Mojo die.  Prioritize your life and live by that. If you don’t prioritize your life someone else will. Read this again…If you don’t prioritize your life someone else will. 

Everyone has the same problem. Too little time. The only way to get more is to steal yours. Make a list, and live by it. Say No! Your work will demand more if you don’t have priorities. Facebook will steal more if you don’t have priorities – FB makes money stealing your time…get it?!?! More screen time for them, more money for them and less priorities for you.  

In order to really find number one priority, Create space to figure it out. That might sound crazy, but take a week off with no to do list. Take a sabbatical. Take a weekend away. Do something to create space. Then write. 

If you find it hard to think of your priority (#1), Imagine a 100 (one hundred) or 500 (five hundred) year vision for your life. Think beyond you, beyond your kids, grandkids, your life and what imprint have you left behind? What would unique thumb print on this world do you want? What’s your legacy?

Thinking this way will start to build your mojo for JOMO. 

I believe #1 is always our Lord Jesus. I encourage you to pray about that and find it too. From there, depending on your life right now (single, married, married with kids, retired, etc) everything below #1 may be different. But it’s your thumbprint to form. 

Find your priorities and then give something up that’s not one of them. Yes, exercise your JOMO to kill your FOMO. Let your Mojo rise!!!

I would be willing to share my priorities if you’d find it helpful on your own journey. Just email me and I will shoot them to you. Benhartings@gmail.com. 

My Mojo grows every day thanks to the joy from JOMO!!

Christianity vs. Other Religions

 

Have you ever asked the question, “What is the difference between Christianity and other religions in the world?”  If you have, take three minutes and watch this video.  It sums it all up in an incredible way.

Jesus is exclusive in his sacrifice and as God’s son heals, once and for all for everyone.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

Pentecost: All Heaven Breaks Loose

“All Hell broke loose!!!”

In the Garden of Eden, the gates of hell were blown open the sin of Adam and Eve.  “All hell broke loose!!”  From that day forward, the devil ran rampant across the earth.  At various moments, God through his covenant people, the Israelites tried to establish a renewed covenant with his people.

At Mount Sinai, God came down covering the mountain in midst into which he called Moses.  He called only Moses, however there were 70 other elders with him who waited upon his return.

Now the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction.” So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God. But to the elders he said, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a legal matter, let him approach them.” Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top. Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. Exodus 24: 12-18

During Moses time on the Mountain, the Lord made a pact, a covenant with His people.  Written on stone tablets, the ten commandments were given to Moses and this new covenant would be the restoration of the covenant broken in Eden.

Moses was gone for 40 days and 40 nights.  Entrapped in the presence of the living God!


During this time, the elders became concerned as the fire of God consumed the mountain – Read again Exodus 24, “The appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the mountain top!”

Oh no!  Moses is dead...The 70 elders were concerned and for forty days they waited…becoming more concerned and impatient.  

Now when the people saw that Moses was delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.

At this, Aaron agreed, telling the people they should make a golden calf, in honor of the Egyptian God of Creation, Ptah, whom was represented by a bull or calf.

God was burning with anger at their denial of his covenant and rushed Moses back to His people from the mountain in a fury of anger.  Moses finding the people worshiping a calf, destroyed the tablets of the the ten commandments and in order to pay for denial of the covenants, 3,000 men were killed that day (Exodus 32:28).

Don’t forget this…

All Hell had broken loose, again! And another 3,000 people were dead!


At Pentecost, the Jewish people pause to celebrate the feast of weeks, or the celebration of the first harvest, of wheat in June.  Growing up as a farmer, I know this time of year, the first wheat is being harvested and a feast is celebrated.  The Jews commemorate this feast in honor to the Lord.

At Pentecost, in the year of Jesus’ death, something different occurs.  The Harvest was ready, the crop was ripe.  The people gathered and the Lord appears.

On Sinai, the fire of the Lord appeared and consumed Moses. This same fire descended upon the Apostles of Christ at Pentecost.  The disciples of the Lord were anointed of the Lord, and His Spirit for the first time descended upon the earth!

All Heaven broke loose!!! Consuming the Hell of Satan!!!

The Spirit of the Lord flooded out, and in the first ever sermon of the church, Peter covered the people of Pentecost in the word of the Lord! AND 3,000 PEOPLE WERE SAVED THAT DAY!!! (Acts 2:41)

The Spirit breaking loose at Pentecost resulted in the permanent restoration and institution of the church.  And in reference to the salvation history, the 3,000 killed at Mount Sinai were immediately restored and 3,000 men were saved!


Tomorrow in church we celebrate this restoration.  Don’t miss what is happening tomorrow. It is rooted deeply in scripture…

The covenant people’s continued failure to make amends with the Lord.  And we continue this today, we cannot keep our covenant with Him. I can’t keep a covenant with anyone. I fail every day.

But I know, at Pentecost the Lord restores our value once and for all.  He restores in word (tongues), in actions (fire), in community (not one but many receive), in history (restoration of the 3,000 men) and for all eternity (anointing, covering of the Spirit)! The Lord anointed Pentecost, the celebration of the first Harvest. Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection, he had prepared a harvest – and now was the time to prepare his people for reaping.

We are in this season now, until His return. Our Pentecost, the celebration of Harvest is every day, all day in the covering of the Spirit of God.  The Spirit continues to pour – All Heaven will break loose tomorrow!  All heaven is loose upon the earth!! Come Spirit, Come!!

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” Matthew 9:27

Into the Wild

The Devolution of Man…

 

Men are meant to be men.  We are meant to honor, love and protect women.  Not so we oppress them, but so women can be free.  This requires something from men, an honor and strength unique to man.

This is controversial I know…But I’m on a trip with my brothers this weekend.  We go every year with my nephews as well.  There will be 15 men from 60 years old down to the youngest being 4 our weekend adventure.

As look around, I want for my son more than what these quotes outline about our culture:

This morning, the Washington Post highlighted a study showing that the grip strength of a sample of college men had declined significantly between 1985 and 2016. Indeed, the grip strength of the sample of college men had declined so much — from 117 pounds of force to 98 — that it now matched that of older Millennial women. In other words, the average college male had no more hand strength than a 30-year-old mom.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/439040/male-physical-decline-masculinity-threatened

Boys and girls are different, after all. But spend time with teen boys today and you’ll find that their common experience revolves more around Call of Duty than around work or even sports. As kids get older (and even during their teenage years), the male gaming experience is supplemented with copious amounts of porn.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/439040/male-physical-decline-masculinity-threatened

Now, for parents of the privileged, raising a boy to be a young man has to be an intentional act. You have to ignore the voices who are telling you to indulge your child’s inclinations — no matter what they are — and train them to be not just morally courageous but also physically strong.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/439040/male-physical-decline-masculinity-threatened

Pray for me and my brothers, as a fathers. May I introduce my son to being strong, not to conquer anything but his own mind, body and soul to harness that strength for the betterment of his future wife, his family, his community and first & foremost his own morality.

Trust, I will be praying for you.