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Showing posts from April, 2013

“The more you trust Him, the more you'll risk on His behalf.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within(Kindle Location 380). Kindle Edition.

When you really learn that He can be trusted then you do want to step out and risk more.You just don’t want to waste the fact that you are connected to Him.
Now there is the other side.In the gospels in the New Testament there is the story of the two times that Jesus fed great groups of people with just a few pieces of bread and a few fish and even had some left over.You would think that the disciples would really trust Him to provide food for them but they didn’t and Jesus got after them.He fed 5,000 then 4,000 with a few loaves and some fish.
What about us?He has shown us that we can trust Him but we still live with so much worry.I mean look how He brought us through April but we’re not going to survive in May.He has shown He can be trusted but we are afraid to risk.
They saw Him feed 9,000 people but they were wondering where their next meal was …

“His desire is not to conform us, but to transform us.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Kindle Location 441). Kindle Edition.

Jesus didn’t die to get us all to look or be alike but to be who we were created individually to be.
Now as a parent I understand the desire to do this.We have two children who are now adults with their own families. Our son came first and we found some ways to deal with him and his personality but then our red headed daughter came along and what worked with Brett didn’t work with Stefanie.God made them both unique with different personalities and different needs and different potentials and it was up to us to see that and to enhance that.We were not to make Stef like Brett.God created them both as individuals.
That is the way God sees us.His desire is to not conform us to be like everyone else but to transform us into the person He created us to be.It seems like everyone else wants us to be the same. They are constantly striving to put us into a …

“Being bold does not require a “leap of faith.” It asks only that you take the first step.”

A thought by Les Parrott, (2012-08-02) from his book, You're Stronger Than You Think: The Power to Do What You Feel You Can't(p. 155). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

I am having a real problem in getting started writing today.We came over to Las Vegas from Pasadena, California to see our daughter and her family and I am a little distracted.Now the battle in me to write or not is based on two things, one I’m tired and two is the boldness I have that someone needs what I am going to write so I have to do it no matter what. As you can tell the second one is the argument that won.
Now the key is first finding the right quote and then writing the first sentence.I did that and now I am writing.I just had to start.
There is something bold that you know you need to do and maybe you are just waiting for that something to inspire you and then you do it.The key is you start doing and then you will be inspired.
Pretty simple huh?But it is not easy.Do you know what keeps me doing t…

“We are the focus of his love and the most valuable of all his creation.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book,The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life, The) (p. 32). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

You and I are a creation of love not a mistake.It is so important to realize that. It is so easy to get caught up in believing the lies of life that says we are junk, we are a mistake but we aren’t. Some parents may have made a mistake but you aren’t a mistake.God out of love created you and He created you the way He wanted you to be.
Society sets this standard out there that if we don’t match up to it then something is wrong with us.And people who matter to us may say that we aren’t smart or we don’t have talent so we believe them.Because they matter to us then what they say must be true.But it isn’t necessarily true.We each matter to God so much that He sent His Son to die for us.That is real love.That is real truth.
The price He paid for you shows your worth.
So who do you believe?

“Bitterness is the enemy of love because it makes you unforgiving and unwilling to give love unconditionally.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (Kindle Location 224). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Pain is such a horrible thing for so many people.Now it is something that can be your enemy or your friend.It is all in how you view it but it is for sure something that you can’t ignore.
Pain as an enemy drives people to excessive use of something that will mask it, dull it but as a friend it leads
to finding the cause so something can be done about it.Pain as a friend is a red light that there is a problem.  If we don’t see it as a friend that leads us to the cause then it can potentially lead to death.
Pain in a relationship not dealt with can lead to bitterness which can damage ones potential to love and be loved.That is what is happening today inside of so many very lonely hurting people.If they would just stop and seek the cause then they could look for the cure.  Emotional pain is very real and its cause is usually …

“Failure is closely related to risk, which is closely related to success.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 1534). Kindle Edition.

That is one of the main reasons why we don’t risk.Most of us don’t see failure as a friend but our enemy.But those who have made it their friend are not afraid to risk.
So much of our life is controlled by our perspective. Take for example our view of failure.If it is viewed as your enemy you want to stay as far away from it as you can.Some people have a failed relationship and it hurt them deeply so they are never going to get in another situation where they can be hurt again.They are going to play it safe and keep from getting close to people.No way are they going to step out and risk that happening again so they live a lonely safe existence.
Another person sees the failed relationship as an opportunity to learn.They see where they went wrong and they strive to change, to grow.The failure was a learning opportunity for them so they head into a new …

“Your dream, your true passion, is found just outside the boundary of your comfort zone.”

A thought by Les Parrott, (2012-08-02) from his book, You're Stronger Than You Think: The Power to Do What You Feel You Can't(p. 144). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

That is why so many dreams aren’t realized.It comes down to what we want most, our dream or our comfort?Most people come down on the comfort side.But that means they don’t really live.
Have you found that something starts happening to your body when you sit in a comfortable chair too long?It gets so hard to get out.Margaret my wife may ask me to get up and do something for her but I don’t want to.Oh I want to help her but not if I have to get up out of my comfortable chair.But if I stay something will start happening to my relationship and something will start going wrong in my body.My body and my relationships were built for action.The world outside of that chair has real meaning and real potential and it just means that I have to get up to realize it.
Comfort sucks us in doesn’t it?We will do anything t…

“God specializes in giving people a fresh start.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book,The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life, The) (p. 37). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

It starts with forgiveness.We ask Him for forgiveness for living our life by our self and messing it up and He forgives us and gives us a fresh start.That is also what He wants us to do.
He wants us to give those people around us who have messed up with us and maybe hurt us a fresh start when they ask us to forgive them.He will give us strength to forgive them.Now I know we don’t always want to do that.We don’t think that is fair.I mean they hurt me.They don’t deserve a fresh start, they deserve justice but that is also true of us.But God forgives us even though justice says He shouldn’t.
Our problem is we want a fresh start but we don’t want them to have one.We think we deserve it and they don’t but it doesn’t work that way.The truth is justice says it must go both ways.
Now the key is asking.We ask and He forgives.If…

“Jesus understood His purpose was to save us not from pain and suffering, but from meaninglessness.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Kindle Location 222). Kindle Edition.

I find it so interesting to hear people who say they are Christians say that now that I am a follower of Christ there will be no pain and suffering in my life.If there is it means I don’t have enough faith.But what that really means is they haven’t read the story of Christ.If they read His story and the story of those closest to Him they would see that they had great pain and great suffering.
Yes they had pain and suffering and yes they had meaning and purpose and fulfillment and reward.They had a reason to live and they understood the reason for the suffering.They were serving Christ not Him serving them.They lived for a cause that was great than themselves.And that is what real living is all about.
So what are you living for, no pain or suffering or meaningfulness?

“Counting your blessings keeps sadness at bay and heightens a positive outlook.”

A thought by Les Parrott, (2012-08-02) from his book, You're Stronger Than You Think: The Power to Do What You Feel You Can't(p. 134). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

I could share right now ten blessings in my life.I would have no problem doing that but I know that that wouldn’t benefit you.My blessings are different than your blessings.
I do have problems in my life and I deal with them and strive to solve them but I don’t dwell on them or count them.That would be discouraging to me.I find it more beneficial to look at my blessings.I find that is where my power comes for me to face my problems because I see how God is blessing and not Satan is defeating.
As I said, I do deal with my potential problems before they become major problems.To me solving is better than sobbing.Sobbing gets me nowhere except defeated.Counting blessings keeps me encouraged.It’s all in the focus.Solve the problems you can and count your blessings.
So what are ten of your blessings?

“The most damaging aspect of contemporary living is short-term thinking.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?(Purpose Driven Life) (p. 50). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

That is so true from so many standpoints.
Right now my son and his family are living with Margaret and me.I go out every morning to Starbucks and when I came home today my two granddaughters (Addison, 3 & Ashlyn, 6) were excited and saying, “apple, apple.”We have a daily ritual of eating an apple together and when I was done today I said, “My work is done here.They love apples.”
When my kids, Brett and Stefanie were young and at home they were excited when I would come home with donuts.I wish I would have started the apple business with them instead of donuts.I love donuts, probably more than apples and at that time of my life I wasn’t thinking long range but the here and now and that wasn’t healthy for any of us.
Now Margaret and I did deal with the important issue which was their relationship with Christ.They both perso…

“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.”

A thought by Les Parrott, (2012-08-02) from his book, You're Stronger Than You Think: The Power to Do What You Feel You Can't(p. 132). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

So many think it is the opposite of that.My life is totally what happens to me and I have no control over it.I am a victim. But it is so liberating to believe that that isn’t the case.
I mean so many sit and dwell upon their past and live in such a helpless, depressing way in their life.I can’t be happy, I can’t make a difference, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t but the truth is they are saying I won’t because they have given into their circumstances.But God didn’t create us that way.
Of course there is a part of our life that is controlled by what happens, 10 perfect.But most of it is controlled by how we respond to it.Do we give in or get up and do something?
Jackie Robinson was born black. He couldn’t change that. He was also born with unlimited potential.Now he was a baseball player who prejudice said he c…

“Private pain and hidden hurts always make us weaker

A thought by Les Parrott, (2012-08-02) from his book, You're Stronger Than You Think: The Power to Do What You Feel You Can't(p. 92). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

When our kids were young and still at home, when they were sick or had been hurt they would naturally run to mom.I have spent many nights in a bed by myself because the kids wanted to sleep with mom when they were hurting.She was great in giving comfort and nurture in their time of need.I also had my place in those times too.
But have you noticed that society takes over as we get older and says that you need to hide your pain?You don’t need anyone.I know that one of the reasons for this is the fear of rejection when we get older.But the truth is we are not weaker because we need help but we become weaker when we don’t ask for it.
Here is the point, God doesn’t want any of us to be alone in our pain but Satan wants you to be.Satan wants to put false thoughts into your mind that makes you feel totally alone.…

“The more you dwell on an irrational belief, the more likely you are to worry.”

A thought by Les Parrott, (2012-08-02) from his book, You're Stronger Than You Think: The Power to Do What You Feel You Can't(p. 57). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Now most irrational beliefs are negative and they come from a false idea.I hear so many of them and I see how they control people.
I can’t do anything. I’m too short. Nobody will ever love me. I’m not smart. I’m ugly. I have problems taking tests. Nothing ever goes right for me.
What about a rational belief…
I can do all things through Christ. God created me exactly the way He wanted.He doesn’t make junk. God loves me. Everybody is smart in some area.I am smart at… I think my smile/hair/eyes/friendliness is my best feature. I have studied and I can do this.I know I can. All things work together for good.
There is a rational belief that counteracts each irrational belief.So the choice is which belief you will dwell on which leads you to worry or faith.It is your choice.Take some time and find a rational belief in the are…

“What areas of my personality, background, and physical appearance am I struggling to accept?”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book,The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life, The) (p. 35). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Rick posed this question at the end of his chapter, You Are Not an Accident.In this chapter he deals with the fact that God created you the way you are with a purpose.In other words you are not an accident.
I am also reading the Apostle John’s view of Jesus and what He said and did while He was here on earth.In the beginning of Chapter 9 there is a story about a blind man.And the disciples who were with Him asked Him a good question, “Who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?
Have you ever asked the same thing about something in you that you don’t like?Like that characteristic is a curse or something.Society has set a standard that is not a standard of God.Remember, He created you and you are not an accident.
Jesus did answer the question about the blind man.It says in John 9:3 (English Standard Versio…

“The easiest way to discover the purpose of an invention is to ask the creator of it.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life, The) (Kindle Location 203). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

I love going to Starbucks and it’s not because of the coffee.It is for the people.When I stepped into the first Starbucks opened in Las Vegas where I lived I noticed that they were selling a book by the head of Starbucks.I read it and every other book about his reason for Starbucks.I didn’t go to who thought they knew the purpose behind Starbucks.I went to the guy.
That is why I went to the one who created me to find out why i am here.I started in Genesis and went all the way to the end.You go to the creator, the founder to find out the purpose.
Why did Apple create the iPhone?You have to ask them.Why did Edison create the light bulb?You have to go to a book that is about him to find out why he did it?Why was Saddleback Church in Orange County in California started?You don’t go to Erwin McManus the founde…

"When we overthink, we prevent our intuitive minds from doing their work."

A thought by Parrott, (2012-08-02) from his book, You're Stronger Than You Think: The Power to Do What You Feel You Can't(p. 16). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

This can and has been a problem for me.It is so easy to have a problem and overanalyze what to do.Too many times I would think it to death.
Sometimes analyzing needs to be done but sometimes we need to just do what our heart and mind is saying we are to do, to not overthink it.
I remember the day that I knew Margaret was the one I was going to marry.I didn’t need to solve all the problems.I just needed to ask her and then go from there.I’m glad I didn’t overanalyze it and do it.There were a lot of things that would have said we shouldn’t do it.One was, I was 27 and she was 17.One was, her father was a Cincinnati Red’s fan and I was a LA Dodger’s fan.Our first fight was over that.I have come a long ways since those days.But there were issues that would have said it might not work but we are still at it now 39 y…

“Parents report a higher sense of meaning and purpose in their lives than do adults without children.”

A thought by George Barna,(2011-06-01) from his book, Futurecast: What Today's Trends Mean for Tomorrow's World(p. 42). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

I can say that has been true of me.I really love being a parent.I also really love being a grandparent.
Right now my son and daughter in law and their two daughters are staying with us.We have set up some very awesome rituals the short time they have been with us.One of them is that Addison, the three year old, and I every morning eat a big juicy Fuji Apple.Today we invited Ashlyn, the 6 year old to eat it with us.Such a fantastic fun time we had.If you’re not a parent/grandparent you don’t understand what an awesome experience that is.
Margaret and the girls have their own ritual.Margaret gets up early and goes off to work but when she comes home she rings the doorbell and both of the girls come running to answer it.Such a celebration happens every day.
We have so many stories about our son Brett and our daughter,…

“The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is more precious than the one who stays away and says the right thing or says nothing.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person (Kindle Locations 2647-2648). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Actions do speak loader than words.There are some people who just don’t know how to say the right thing.I mean they really want to say that something that will encourage you in your tough time but they can’t but you know that they will be there whenever you need them.
There are others who walk in and say what needs to be said and then they are gone.They know what to say but then walk out.
There was a story in the New Testament of a Jewish guy who was robbed, beaten and then left for dead along the side of the road.A couple of very religious guys came by, maybe even said the right thing but then walked on the other side of the road and left him for dead.But then a Samaritan who was a part of a race who the Jews had problems with came by and stopped, put some oil on his wounds then carried him to a place and …

“It is not what is occurring in our lives that affects our behavior; it is what we believe about what is occurring that matters.”

A thought by David Stoop from his book,You Are What You Think (Kindle Location 295). Kindle Edition.

To one person something happens to them and they see it as a bad thing therefore it makes them mad or discouraged.They make everybody around them miserable.But the same thing can happen to another person and they see it from a total different standpoint.That means their behavior makes everyone happy to be around them.
How is your life going?It depends upon your belief system.Some believe that our world is falling apart because the Democrats are in power.Others believe that everything is great because the Democrats are in power?Which is right?Both of them are right because of the person's belief system.And because of our belief it affects our behavior.
Our perspective on what is happening and why it is happening goes along way in how we view life and in turn our behavior.
Take for example that you believe that life isn’t fair and that you have been dealt a rotten hand.Nothing good e…

“When you clear your head—when you still your rational mind enough to make room for your intuitive mind—you’re creating space for God to give you wisdom.”

A thought by Les Parrott, (2012-08-02) from his book, You're Stronger Than You Think: The Power to Do What You Feel You Can't(p. 22). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
I love legal pads.When there is a problem to be solved I many times write down 10 solutions on a legal pad  and then go from there. It can be so easy to fill your mind with so much stuff though that you can’t solve the problem.Have you found that so?But Dr. Parrot is saying here that there is a need for us to clear our mind so that God’s wisdom can be shown.
We spend so much time in the rational mind – write down ten solutions – and not enough in the intuitive mind where God’s wisdom comes through.Sometimes we need to take that legal pad or an iPad and find a quiet place and just clear our mind and then just start writing what comes to us.To just let God’s wisdom speak into our situation.
Yes, He does use our rational mind.He created it but He also created our intuitive mind and He wants to use it.It is a…

“The lack of genuine community and relationships beyond the single-family home are a contributing factor to the malaise of depression in our society.”

A thought by Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford, (2011-01-01) from their book, Right Here, Right Now: Everyday Mission for Everyday People(Shapevine) (Kindle Locations 2566-2567). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.

Somehow we have built within our worldview an idea of isolation even within our families that may not be totally healthy.Our little family unit has become the total it and it is causing us to be overworked and in turn underdeveloped relationally which is not God’s way of living. He has built within us a need for each other and when we become isolated on ourselves we have the potential for depression and self-centeredness.
We right now have 6 of us living in a two bedroom apartment and it is working.Of course it has been just one week but I really don’t for see a problem.Now I do believe that three bedrooms would be better so our two granddaughters would have their own room but living together has some value to it.
I do understand the need for independence but maybe not to the extreme …