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Showing posts from August, 2013

“It is hard for us to have a correct valuation of our own strengths and best assets.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet (2012-02-01) from his book, 11: Indispensable Relationships You Can’t Be Without(Kindle Locations 651-652). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.

That is really true.I appreciate what Leonard Sweet is saying here.We need other people to give us a correct assessment of our own strengths and best assets.This has been what I have prided myself in, the fact that I really knew me and didn’t need other people but that came from what I think was a protecting of myself from differing opinions.This wasn’t what God really had in mind for me in realizing my full potential in Him.
I love the self-assessment tests that we can use in our important search for who we are. I have used a number of them.Have you ever taken the test in the back of StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath and then read it with the results in hand?It is such a valuable tool in this area.  It is someone else who helps in the correct valuation of your own strengths and your own best assests, but it is only the beg…

“Our readiness to forgive will draw others to ourselves in that we will be known as a safe place to fail.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 1741). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

What a great thing to be, a safe place to fail.I have within me the perfectionism of a melancholic.That is where God has been working on me all of my life in my relationships.The success of dealing with it started with me failing and needed His forgiveness. I think it has helped to make me a safe place to fail.
Are you hard on people?Are you quick to be hurt by them and then holding a grudge, never forgiving them?Then you are a very lonely person.Then you are not a safe person to be around because none of us are perfect, we all fail.
Have you ever been forgiven?How did it make you feel toward the person who forgave you? I mean you hurt them and they forgave you.For one it freed them from the act of you hurting them.They were free of the pain and the possible bitterness that they could have had, that they had a right to have but they gav…

“Forgiveness unlocks gratitude and gratitude unleashes love.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book,Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 1691). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I asked Jesus to come personally into my life at 5.To be honest, there weren’t a lot of sins for me to confess at 5 so I didn’t for a lot of years appreciate what forgiveness was all about.But in my thirty’s I went through what I call my jerk time.It was basically a time of total self-centeredness and it eventually brought me to a time of resigning my staff position at a large church.I then started selling pizzas and started falling in love again with my family and with God.At that point I found out what forgiveness was all about.My gratefulness and my love took on a total new dimension.
God brought a very godly pastor into my life at that time who led me back to a life of wholeness and healing.God forgave me and Margaret forgave me and those relationships took on a total different meaning in my life.I live each day with deep gratitude …

“God's favorite context for miracles is sacrifice.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 1580). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I have been having a problem this morning with finding a thought that quickens some thought in me that I pray would do the same in you.Now the temptation is the desire to write something that has a lot of readers.But the miracle may be in God using the thought for one reader as a defining moment in their life. It’s in the context of sacrifice where miracles happen. What does that say to you?Where are you having great anxiety and you need God to work?Stop and think about what sacrifice maybe God is asking you to do.

Money is usually where we think about sacrifice but what about time?Maybe you have no time but God wants you sacrifice some time to reach out to a hurting person.Maybe it is money and you fear you’re not going to have enough to meet your obligations but you feel God wants you to give to someone who needs your help.What are yo…

“If you don’t want to tell those closest to you about a decision you are going to make, it’s probably not a good decision.”

A thought by Greg Darley (2010-11-15) from his book, Passion Is Not Enough: Four Elements to Change the World(Kindle Locations 914-915). Backstage Publishing. Kindle Edition.
People are so very important in our lives.It is sometimes so easy to just hibernate and not let anybody in but that is not God’s plan.He looked at Adam when He created Him and said that it was not good that He was alone so He created Eve.
But in our decision making we many times don’t want anybody to mess us up with their opinion so we isolate ourselves.Now you don’t need a lot of people involved in this area but you do need those who are closest to be there with their experience and thoughts.
Now this is not something that I am good at.I am good at having thoughts about other people of having a lot of options for them but I’m not real good with involving others in my own decisions.This thought kind of hits me where I live.I think it is a pride thing and in no way is that good.I don’t like any negativity so I stay a…

“Your life story does not have to be dictated by your hardship.”

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.

It doesn’t have to be but for many it is.The other day, I made a mistake but I don’t remember what it was.I do remember sitting in a recliner and reading 5 books to Addison, then listening to Ashlyn and Marissa tell of the two auditions for commercials that Ashlyn went to and also Brett’s great interview for a new job and Margaret’s handling some difficult situations at work.What I see and how I see it is my choice.The mistake wasn’t the focus of my day.For some that is all they see.
Yes, when I grew up as a traveling evangelist’ son I think we had some difficult times but what I remember was my dad, sister and me singing from one end of the United States to the other and even up in Canada.I remember the 49 states that I have been too.I remember so many exciting times.Yes, I have said that my mom was am…

“When we are free from fear, we are finally free to live.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 1466-1467). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I have been going through something that I haven’t gone through for a while.I am retired, but my wife. Margaret is still working and will probably be working for another 8 or 9 years.Now I have usually lived with the idea that no matter what did we would make it.I have lived really without fear but I’m not really doing so well now.I’m having some fear of when we are both retired if we will have enough.
We have moved many different times clear across the country to start a new church with no sense of fear.We did it because we believed God was calling us to do it.We didn’t do it for us but we did it for Him.He has always taken care of us.Our faith has always been rewarded.
Now this blog has been a good time of reflection.I started writing this earlier in a coffee shop in Old Pasadena which is about a mile and a half away.I stopped wr…

“Strangely enough, the eternal work of God is done largely on a human timetable.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 1408). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Wow.The potential that is available through us is astounding and also the potential to stop from happening because of us is overwhelming.
I am reading right now daily of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament and specifically right now about God’s moving Paul from Jerusalem to Rome where God had a great plan for Paul.Now he is in the middle of being taken to Rome by Roman soldiers.The Jews in Jerusalem are trying to kill him.  But God wants Paul to write a big part of the New Testament.During this difficult process to get him there Paul doesn’t know God’s full plans but he was just following one step at a time.
Now from that background, what if during one of those times of Paul’s standing up with Christ’s story and bringing out great hate from the Jews, what if he had said, “Enough is enough, I am tired of being hated”?  What if h…

“If you value today and find a way to enjoy it, you will invest in today.”

A thought by John C Maxwell (2012-10-02) from his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential (p. 75). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

This is it.Today is Friday.I have never lived today before and I will never live it again.The way I start it has a lot to do with how I make use of it.My expectations go a long way with my effectiveness.
Now I, personally, start my day in the Bible.Today I read Psalm 106.It showed the importance of following Him and what happens if we don’t and what happens when we do.It ended with “Praise the Lord.”Good reminder to start the day.Then I read the last part of Acts 22 and of how God was moving Paul to His desired destination.It showed how each incident had a part in moving Paul to Rome where He wrote a big part of the New Testament.Each incident in the day is important to God.
John Maxwell also says, “And the small steps you take today will lead to the bigger steps you take someday.”
Let’s say you start your day with griping a…

“Your commitment fuels a devotion and a passion that last long after the average person has given up.”

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. 147). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Love is a commitment not a passion.I should say authentic, true love is a commitment.In so many areas culture has changed the definition but not the reality.Now commitment does lead to passion.
Some in this day would say its passion then commitment.As long as the passion is there then the commitment but that is where the till death do we part comes in.
The commitment is what has kept Margaret and I together now for nearly 39 years.To be honest we have had 36 great years together but there have also been three bad ones.Commitment kept us together through the three bad ones.
Now I love the passion.I deeply love my wife but I also know the importance of the commitment.We made a covenant on November 9, 1974 in Maud Wesleyan Church for better or worse, richer or poorer, till death do us part.We made that vow be…

“It was God's promise, but it was Joshua's responsibility to bring it to pass.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book,Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul(Kindle Locations 1334-1335). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

The promise that God gave to this Old Testament character, Joshua was, "You will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give to them."
There is the promise but there is also the task.He is saying, Joshua, “I’m going to give you the opportunity to lead these people but then you must lead them.”Along with opportunity goes responsibility.
God has given me the desire and the opportunity and the passion to encourage people through blogging. Now I know He will give me inspiration in what to say but it will go away if I don’t sit down and start writing.Sometimes it doesn’t even start coming until I have set down with my laptop and looking for a thought and then start writing.
To be honest, today I was tempted to not write but the opportunity to encourage someone today got me to come to Intelligentsia…

“Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.”

A thought by John C Maxwell, (2012-10-02) from his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential (p. 70). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

After I get off the scale every morning I am motivate to either make the added effort to lose the weight I’ve gained or lose more weight.That should be enough but when I am standing before that Oatmeal Scone at Peet’s the self-discipline must take over.
Now the motivation has a way of getting our attention.For John his heart attack motivate him to be more health conscious but for some that could be too late.The discipline is the key.
I have done a good job of losing weight until the last month or so.The scales are showing me I need to start saying, “no” to some things and “yes” to others.That is where the success is.It is in the daily actions that I do that leads to my success.
My desire on writing my blogs is to encourage and motivate people to become what they were built to be.I also want to give steps and examples to hel…

“The least attractive emotion not only for me, but for any person, is self-pity.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell, (2012-10-02) from his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential(p. 61). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

I totally agree with that thought.
Whenever some negative situation comes into my life these self-pity thoughts race into my mind.If I stop and repeat them to someone then I am in for a major battle but if I don’t rehearse them and repeat them then they just become passing thoughts.
I am a born pessimist or as some would say a born realist and I have made it a lifetime task to not let that view of life take control of me.I read the newspaper from the back, I read a Psalm every day, I step away from negative conversations, I stay away from talk radio/TV and I don’t get into controversial conversations.
There is a problem with this, though.When I am fighting a negative reaction inside of me and someone in my family is reacting from the negative, I tend to attack them and preach at them.I am learning to somehow keep this to my…

“The number one problem in the world is people’s living disconnected lives.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet (2012-03-13) from his book, What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person (Kindle Location 155). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

That is so true in our homes with people we love.We all need each other.The reason why we were created was to love God which in turn means loving others.You cannot love just God.
I am finding it interesting that people who are so-called Christians seem to be leading the effort to protect our borders as a nation against outsiders coming in.That doesn’t really jive with our message of loving God and loving others.We seem to be desirous of protecting our individualism.
What if that was true of God and His message wouldn’t have been shared with the Gentiles?He created us all and He loves us all and we are to in turn love all.Christians should be at the front of welcoming those who are not like us to come to live in our Christian nation.God is bringing them here so we can share His love with them.
But we have to protect…

“When we value ourselves properly, we do not devalue others.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus,(2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 400). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

When we have too high an opinion of ourselves we can look down or disregard other people. Everyone is here to take care of me of my needs of my wants and my desires.
The opposite is also true.If I don’t value myself then I am afraid of other people.I don’t even want to talk to them let alone give them any value.I feel that I don’t have anything to give.
But each one of us has the potential for great worth and great value.And it comes from adding value and worth to others.We are instruments of God to reach out and make a difference in other people’s lives, to show them they are special.We don’t do it to get it but we get it because we do it.
How do you see yourself?How do you see other people?Jesus said that we are to love others as we love ourselves.Jesus gave His life for us.He did that for you.So how does that make you feel?You are loved…

“If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed up. He needs to stop, reflect, and change course.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell, (2012-10-02) from his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential(p. 55). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

I wonder how many of us would have seen that we were headed in the wrong direction if we would have just stopped and spent some time to think and to evaluate?The problem was we didn’t think we had the time.And that can be dangerous.
Margaret and I have made some major changes in our life in the last 18 months.We have lived in New York, Florida and now California.At one point in our time in Florida it looked like Margaret’s job was going through a major change and if we would have stayed doing what we were doing we would have been in a very difficult situation.
One day we were traveling to a horse show about two hours north of where we lived in Seminole, Florida and we decided to spend some time in reflection.That two hour trip brought us to some changes that brought us to Pasadena, California and a tremendous opportunity fo…

“To become intentional about growing, expect to make mistakes every day, and welcome them as a sign that you are moving in the right direction.”

A thought by John C Maxwell,. (2012-10-02) from his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential (p. 6). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

Mistakes go along with trying.It is one way you learn.The need to be perfect keeps many from growing and learning.
Now in many endeavors perfection is the needed result but there must be trial and error in order to get there.But in individuals perfection is not possible here on earth but growth is and there will be mistakes in growing.That is a part of learning and growing.
My son took his California driver’s license test this past week.He only missed one but the only one he will remember is the one he missed.That was the one he went back to see what they said was the right answer.It was the only answer we all discussed
There is so much to learn in trying and maybe in making a mistake.There is nothing to learn in not trying.The mistakes tell you that you are trying.
Have you ever bought a piece of furniture from Ikea and got …

“When life has meaning, you can bear almost anything; without it, nothing is bearable.”

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. 40). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

I go to a downtown Starbucks and read two newspapers every day.That is my routine and I do it seven days a week.Now I jokingly tell those people going to work on Monday through Friday that I am retired and I am always retired and I never have a day off and it took a lifetime for me to get this job.An older successful business man this morning said that he was looking forward to the day that he could sit in my other chair and not have to go to work.That is what he is looking forward to.
But the first six months of my retirement were very difficult.Not having a significant reason to get up every morning was difficult until I found my purpose or really extended the purpose that I have had in my life.My purpose has been to make a difference every day in some individual, in my community and in the world.I had that all ma…

“When we tell the truth, that's all we have to remember.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 1048). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I have found that sometimes it is difficult to tell the truth but I have also found that it is more difficult to remember a lie.I have lived the truth.All I have to do is remember what I have done but I haven’t lived a lie.I just made it up and I then have to remember it.To tell a lie makes life more complicated.
One of the reasons why I write this blog is to encourage you in your life.I want you to really enjoy your life.Today my purpose is to encourage you to tell the truth.
What do you want to be known as, a person they can trust or someone they can’t?What if you are filling out an application for a job you really want?It is your dream job.You have the ability to do it but you have to put down some references of people who have worked with you and who really know you.Now it is a job that the person must be trustworthy.Are you havi…

“The older we get, the more we feel we have something to lose.”

A thought by Jonathan Martin, (2013-04-19) from his book,Prototype: What Happens When You Discover You're More Like Jesus Than You Think?(p. 24). Tyndale Momentum. Kindle Edition.

I feel that on my self-focus days.  But the reality is I have just as much as I ever have.I have this day, no more no less.I may think that I have less time at 66 than I had at 26 but that isn’t always true.There are some 26 year olds who don’t have more days ahead than I have. None of us know how much time we have. The key is today is what I have so I must make use of it.It is God’s gift to me and I shouldn’t waste it on feelings of what I have lost or don’t have. I have what I always have.I have today.
Somehow that sets us free.Life is today and all of its opportunities and privileges.It is God’s personal gift to me.And how I use it my personal gift to Him.
Jesus as a human is a clear example of this.He used each day here on earth to its fullest.He didn’t waste His opportunities because He had a clear p…