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Showing posts from June, 2013

“We’re all born with an expiration date.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book,Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 105). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Now you might say, “Bill, that is a horrible thought to focus on heading into my weekend”.And I guess that can be true.But I think it also has great value and motivation.
I have just turned this month 65+1.That is how I am expressing my age now.Because of my age there are some things that are now more important to me.For one is the amount of sleep that I have.I don’t stay up as late as I used to so I can I get up earlier the next day.I want to experience as much as I can each day, to accomplish as much as I can each day, and to enjoy as much as I can each day.I seem to value what opportunities I have more than I did when I was younger.I really value each minute of my day.I don’t want to waste it by sleeping.
I also want to make sure of my preparation for what the next phase of life will be or I should say where our existence will have no…

“Our souls are not designed for despair.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 99). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Have you read the story in the gospels about where Jesus came to the grave of His friend Lazarus and saw the grieving of the people there and of how Jesus wept?We think it is because of His friend’s death but He a few moments later raised Lazarus from the grave.No that wasn’t it.
What it seems to be is that Jesus was feeling His love for these people and He saw their pain, their grief and that this wasn’t His plan.Death wasn’t His plan.He had a better plan but our representatives back there in the Garden muffed it up by disobedience and going against His plan for their own plan and death then came into existence.They were driven out of the Garden and could no longer eat from the Tree of Life.He had a better plan than this.
We were not designed for death.We were not designed for despair.He had a better plan but we chose to not live it.Hi…

“Without prayer, we have no relationship with God.”

A thought by Miles McPherson, (2009-11-01) from his book, DO Something!: Make Your Life Count(p. 69). Baker Books. Kindle Edition.

I am spending a lot of time reading the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John over and over this year in order the get to know Jesus better.I wanted to see how He reacted and responded to situations but that doesn’t mean that I have a relationship with Him.
I am a Los Angeles Dodgers fan.I have followed the Dodgers for nearly 60 years.Now I have listened on radio and watched Vin Skully on TV for a big part of those years. He has been the play-by- play announcer for the Dodgers since 1950.I know his voice, I know what he sounds like but I have never talked with him.I have no relationship with him.
I can read the gospels over and over and even memorized them but until I connect with Jesus in a personal way He only is a great role model. And He wants to be and can be so much more.
Have you connected to Him through prayer and asked Him to be a part of your l…

“You become effective by being selective.”

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. 42). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

I can’t help reading in Facebook all the people who are playing the blame game.For so many they blame the Democrats, specifically President Obama.Look how his policies are hurting America.For others it’s the Republicans.They are holding up what needs to be done.  It’s their fault.
There are others that say that it is my parents fault.They are the reason why my life is the way it is, or my husband, or my kids.In truth we are looking to find whose fault it is that I am in the mess that I’m in.When I find that out then I am going to blame them.
There is a great story in the Gospel of John about this blind man that Jesus healed.The disciples wanted to know whose fault it was for his being blind.In John 9 (Msg), “Jesus said, ‘You’re asking the wrong question.You’re looking for someone to blame.There is no such cause-effect …

“We may see a bolder, brighter tomorrow, but when we look at where we are today, our strength fades.”

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. Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

I am having a sciatic nerve problem today and am finding that back pain can affect my view of my future but it doesn’t have to.

What situation are you in today that is affecting your view of tomorrow?  Maybe it is financial, or relational or occupational or so many other circumstances that are in our present.  Now a focus on how Jesus faced His present shows that negative present circumstances don’t need to affect our view of the future.

Take for instance His present negative situation of having 5,000 hungry people out in the middle of nowhere and needing to feed them.  He saw how the present negative situation could be used to stretch His disciple’s faith.  You see He already knew what He was going to do.  He had a plan and He used the present negative situation to fulfill it.  And that is true with whatever …

“But you can become someone else.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2003-09-04) from his book,Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 350). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I was sitting today at Starbucks with a couple of my friends and I said that I was born a pessimist and the lady said, “No way, I can’t believe that.”
Well I was.One day I was looking at myself and decided that was one thing that I wanted to change.I wanted to be a positive person not a negative one so I set out to change and I have.
What about you?What is it that you want to change?Now I am always going to be fairly short.Being six foot is not an option but weighing less than 260 lbs. is.I set out to change that and I have lost 50lbs.
What do you want to change?2 Corinthians 5:17 in the New Testament of the Bible gives us some hope here.It says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”That is a part of having a relationship with Christ.He changes some of those things that we don’t lik…

“If you no longer believed in the future, you would lose all hope.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14 from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 99). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I start each day with exciting anticipation.The reason is because I start my day reading the Bible and in prayer.My faith is strengthened by the Bible and my anxieties are given to God through prayer.It is a great way for me to start my day.
How do you start your day?Some turn on CNN, Fox News or their local news station and get all discouraged and fearful. The task of those outlets of information is to get you hooked on them so they push the negative to keep you involved. It plays on your fears, your anxieties to an unbelievable level.It tells you that things in life are getting worse and that kills our hope
But the Bible pushes hope.It tells you that God has a wonderful plan for your life.It says that you are loved by God.It says if you need anything just ask.It says that everything in your life as a Christ-follower works out for you…

“The darker it gets, the brighter our faith can shine.”

A thought by Steven Furtick, (2010-09-21) from his book, Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible (p. 30). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

It is really difficult when a child is sick especially when they are a baby.Right now our daughter, Stef and her husband, Andrew’s little seven old daughter, Harper is very sick.She is in the hospital going through a lot of testing to find out what is wrong.
It is in those times when we can do nothing that our faith really comes into play.I don’t understand how people without a relationship with God can handle those times.It is difficult when you do have faith.I mean those who believe totally in their ability to do whatever needs to be done must have real problems when they can’t do anything.
I am so glad that I have a faith in someone who can do everything.He is someone I totally trust. He created us so He knows everything about us.He also gave knowledge and abilities to Doctors and Nurses to deal with the complex…

“Anticipation ignites a thrill in the present caused by nothing more than a possibility in the future.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book,Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 90). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I have a friend who can look at a menu and taste each item on it in anticipation.He can enjoy his food without eating it.His food pallet is that refined.
Have you ever stood in a line to ride a rollercoaster?Now you were either scared to death or excited and ho you anticipated it went a long way to whether your thrill was exciting or not.
I was watching the US Open in golf this past weekend and Phil Mickelson was looking at a very difficult shot that he had to make and he was picturing or anticipating the outcome.Now many people would look at the shot and anticipate missing it and of course they would.But Phil was anticipating how he was going to make it.He didn’t make it but it was an impossible shot and he came very close.
I read a Psalm every day in the Old Testament in the Bible.David is one of the main writers and I like how he face…

“We may not be able to accomplish everything we can dream, but we will not accomplish anything without our dreams.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 89). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I found that to be true.I was driven in Las Vegas by a dream that wasn’t accomplished but it held me steady for 15 years so other things could be accomplished.Dreams are very important.God knows us and knows we need them.He built us that way.
I am today living out the benefit of living 15 years in Vegas.I had never lived more than five years in any one place until Las Vegas.Because of my dream we stayed 15 years there and we needed to stay there that long for the other things in our life to be accomplished.He used it for His purpose and for our betterment and other people’s betterment.
Now I did have to deal  emotionally for a period of time with the dream not being accomplished.I didn’t go back to Vegas for over four years but I now see what has been accomplished because of the dream.It is different but it is unbelievable.God has a pla…

“The true enemy of faith is certainty.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival (p. 125). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

What do you know for certain?It seems like it is only what is in your past.So nothing from this moment on is certain so it has to be lived by faith.Oh you think you know but you don’t really.
I know so many people at my age are living from the certainty that what will make them happy is retirement.I mean they are working long hours so that they will have enough in their retirement fund to be secure in retirement.That is their total focus to have enough to live on but really that desire for certainty is robbing them of peace and adventure that comes by living by faith.They are certain that they will be happy if they have $500.000 saved for their retirement then they can have fun living without any responsibilities.
But to me certainty has a boredom factor in it.And there is no excitement, no adventure in being bored.And boredom doe…

“Your mistakes may define your past, but they don’t have to define your present.”

A thought by Mark Batterson, (2011-01-18) from his book, Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny (p. 140). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.

That is such a life-giving thought.So many people just want to die because of some mistake that they made.They can’t forgive themselves and so they live in such despair but they don’t have to. Yes that mistake may be there and your marriage is over or you can’t work in that job but life isn’t over.The story of Zachariah in the gospel of Luke in the Bible is a good place to look.
An Angel came to him one day and told him that God had heard his prayer and that his wife, Elizabeth was going to have a son.But Zachariah said to the angel, “Do you expect me to believe this?I’m now an old man and my wife is an old woman.” He must have been praying this prayer for a long time.  But because he didn’t believe him that it was going to now happen the angel took his ability to speak away from him.He blew it and suffered some consequences.But the story doesn’t …

“We are designed to learn, to adapt, to grow, to change, to develop, to progress, to become.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 79). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
I know some people that all they hunger for is to retire.To just stop working so they can do nothing.Now i did go through a time of real adjustment when I retired because I loved what I was doing so I decided to adapt and to keep at it but without pay.
I have found that deep inside me is a hunger to grow, to learn, and to do.The reason why it is there is because that is the way I was built and that is the way you were built.I am so glad that I had parents who understood that.My mom still at 85+ craves to learn and to do. I love that about her.I know it is frustrating sometimes to those around her.They wish that she would just sit down and sleep and stay out of their way but I love it.That’s not my mom.
You see to stop doing what you are designed to do means you’ve died. I’ve met some people who have died before they have died.They just w…

“One of the most basic truths about love is that it can’t be forced.”

A thought by Kyle Idleman, (2011-05-24) from his book, Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus (p. 135). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
I love my son, Brett and my daughter, Stefanie.I really do.There is nothing that I wouldn’t do for them.Now I know that they love me but in one sense there love for me was kind of forced on them.I mean Margaret and I acted on a desire we had and nine months later they each were born.It all happened through no chose of theirs.They each woke up one day and there we were.
But Margaret is difference.She definitely chose to love me.I wasn’t forced on her.She didn’t have to love me, she just does.Now there have been some difficult days in our life together but she still chooses to love me.She doesn’t have to love me but she does and she didn’t have to marry me but she did.I really do love her.
Now Brett and Stefanie made their choices of loving Marissa and Andrew and making their lifetime commitments to them.Brett’s love for Marissa and Ste…

“If you would be as zealous about caring for the sick as you are about a ‘Christmas tree’ being called a ‘holiday tree,’ health insurance wouldn’t be a problem.”

A thought by Kyle Idleman, (2011-05-24) from his book,Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus (p. 82). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
It might be very enlightening to know what Jesus really thinks is important.I know a lot of people think they know by what they are griping about on Facebook.That is one reason why I am reading and rereading the Gospels.I want to really know what Jesus thinks is important then I want to do it or not do it.
Now I’m not really sure why we spend so much of our Facebook time on how the government deals with Health Care or the other issues like the taking Christ out of Christmas.Maybe it is because that makes us feel Christian without doing Christian.We seem to think all of these stands we take are the Christian way. But is it really?
When I read the Gospels I find that His Kingdom in us is important, taking care of the sick is important, feeding people is important, right priorities in the church is important.He was upset that the church had …

“We spend most of our days waiting for permission to start.”

A thought by Seth Godin, (2011-03-01) from his book, Poke the Box (p. 80). AmazonEncore. Kindle Edition.
I’ve heard it many times that when we are waiting on God to tell us to start, He’s waiting on us to start.He’s given us the idea and He wants us to do it but we think there has to be a voice from heaven to tell us to start. Now one reason why we may wait for permission is to be able to blame someone else when something goes wrong.Let me tell you, even if it is something from God, something will go wrong.That is a part of the process.
But Seth also said, “Not starting is far, far worse than being wrong. If you start, you’ve got a shot at evolving and adjusting to turn your wrong into a right. But if you don’t start, you never get a chance.”
I don’t think being wrong is the worst thing in life.Not trying is.So I accepted the opportunity to start writing today.I didn’t need permission, I just needed to start.He gave me the desire, the dream, the ability and the opportunity.So it is up …

“It seems failure is no match for the person who believes in the future.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 76). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Does that make sense to you?It does to me.
I am reminded in myself some times of what I have failed to accomplish or where I blew it.The truth is there is pain there.I also know that if I stay there my potential to live life at its fullness is over.
I was reading today the last few chapters of Matthew in the New Testament of the Bible of Jesus death on a cross.Can you imagine how those who had followed Him were feeling?I mean everything they believed in was hanging on that Cross as a failure.What fools were we to believe that He was more than a man.But that was Friday and so many of us live in the Friday’s of our lives.We are fired, our marriage falls apart, we gave in again to that temptation, we followed the wrong person, we failed.It is horrible to live in the Friday existence of failure.
But Sunday was just two days away and their lif…

“It’s better to enjoy what God has given you than to look around to see whose grass is greener.”

A thought by Craig Groeschel, (2012-04-24)from his book, Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World(p. 120). ZondervanKindle Edition. . I know this isn’t a new thought but it is an important reminder.It is all about this matter of comparison.If I look at someone who has more I can get discouraged.But if I look at someone who has less I can get proud.Both are not God accepted qualities.
Now I understand the need to strive, to not accept mediocrity in ourselves but I also understand the need to be thankful.God is so good.He gives us so much in each day but He also gives us so much potential. He is so very good.Enjoy what He has given you, both what you have today and the opportunity for tomorrow.
I love my life, both the good in it and the difficult.They are both there for my good.He has taken a special interest in my life and a special interest in your life.He didn’t create me for your life; He created me for my life.He created me the way I am with a purpose in mind.He did the same f…