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Showing posts from September, 2013

“If the future looks dull, routine, or confining, you may need to start looking to make changes.”

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. 88). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

It is so easy to let your life become that.Someone said that a rut is a grave with the ends knocked out and there is no growth, adventure, excitement or life in a grave.
Is that where you are today?I hope not but I know that the cares and pressures of life have a way of sapping out all hope, all life.But you can do something about that.
I was challenged by John’s thought right before this one where he said, “One of the ways to judge whether you’re growing and in a conducive growth environment is to discern whether you’re looking forward to what you’re doing or looking back at what you’ve done.”Maybe that would be a good place to start.There may have been some great days in your past but the past is past.Set into motion again some of the habits you did in those good days and then change your focus, your attitude and maybe you…

“When you change your attitude regarding a problem, you open up many opportunities for growth.”

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. 86). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

Most of our attitudes toward our problems are negative.“I can’t believe this is happening to me.”“What did I do to deserve this?”Nothing good ever happens to me”Two things happen with that kind of attitude – One, you don’t solve the problem.And Two – you get depressed.Most people see problems as enemies.
But other people see them as friends.They see them as opportunities to grow, to learn, to solve.Those people have a total different attitude toward life.Life to them is not to be feared but to be enjoyed.Life is an adventure to them.
Which person are you?Which person do you want to be?
You can change, both for the good or the bad.It starts with who you are around.If they are negative then you will have a tendency to see life that way.But if they are positive then you have a tendency to live life with some excitement.Maybe tha…

“Trials and temptations are not the punishment of God, but the process of God.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul(Kindle Locations 3029-3030). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
So many people have the mistaken idea that if they have a relationship with God that everything will be perfect.  I am in the process of reading the Gospels 13 times this year and I’m finding that Jesus life was not perfect.  In fact one of the first things He went through at the beginning of His ministry was a time in the wilderness being tempted by Satan.   He also went through many, many trials.
“Trials and temptations are not the punishment of God but the process of God.”  Because we don’t really get this we lose out on the benefit of the process.  God wants us to grow.  HE wants us to become like Him.  So what is He like?
One of Jesus close followers, Philip asked Him one time, “Lord, show us the Father.  That is all we need.”  He wanted to know what God was like. So Jesus replied to him, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the…

“Anyone who does what he must only when he is in the mood or when it’s convenient isn’t going to be successful.”

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. 82). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

In this section of his book, John quotes the very successful musical composer, John Williams who states, “I developed from very early on a habit of writing something every day, good or bad. There are good days, and there are less good days, but I do a certain amount of pages it seems to me before I can feel like the day has been completely served.”  And he has been very successful because of his commitment to being consistent.

So many times we wait for the mood.  We say, “I have to be in the mood to write, I have to be inspired.”  But it seems we hardly are ever in the mood or inspired so we don’t write.  I like that he has made a commitment to compose each day no matter the outcome.

I have made a commitment to write this blog five days a week and I have written 355 posts since I started.  Some have been good, some not s…

“Hard work is really the accumulation of easy things you didn’t do when you should have.”

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. 79). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

Oh if we would just do the things we could do today and then not have to do those plus what we have to do tomorrow. That is when life becomes hard work.
Back when I was in college I found that if I had a job I did better in my studies.I had to make use of the time that I had so I didn’t waste it.I would do the important things first.
What about you? What is really important to you?Do your priorities set your agenda or do others or even  leisure?
I am retired now.No one sets my agenda but me.In those beginning months of retirement I found that a little frustrating until I found something I was to do every day that met my purpose for my life.Retirement doesn’t mean I no longer do my purpose it just means I have total control of my time to do it.
Procrastination only adds to the pressure.Those things we keep putting off just won’t…

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day.”

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. 79). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

I know, I know that doesn’t sound exciting but that is the way it works.
Now the first step is a goal.What do you want?Have you stopped and really looked at what you want from your future?One thing I have set as a goal is to pay off all our credit cards.We will get a raise if we do that so I have set up a plan to do that.It means we have to daily discipline ourselves to not use then and then to pay off the card with the lowest balance first and then pay a little over the minimum on all the others till they are paid off.I already have three of them paid off.
The first step is the goal.Take some time and set some goals and set up a plan.Remember, it is a cinch by the inch but hard by the yard.In other words it is easier to accomplish a long term goal by setting up smaller daily goals.What am I going to daily do in order to a…

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”

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. 79). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

What is it you need to start doing today that will change where you are headed?We may say I don’t like a specific occurrence in our life but we don’t do anything different.We stay in our room and wish and wish and wish and even pray but do nothing different and wonder why it doesn’t happen.
Now for the most part we know at least one thing that we could start doing to make the difference to change the direction.We know but we just don’t want to start doing it.
John speaks to the need when he says, “When you make the right choices – however small – and do it consistently over time, it can make a huge difference in your life.”
I have been slipping back into doing two things that I know I can’t do to stay healthy and to lose weight.I had found that walking and not eating anything with wheat in it have made a major difference in…

“God allows and at times causes us to go through the kinds of circumstances that strip away all falsehood and leave us with our real selves

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 2979). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Who are you?Really, who are you?If all you’ve gone through are the blessings of life then you may not really know the answer to who you really are.Who you really are comes through in the struggles of life.
Oh it is great to share about your faith through the good times of life.You may say that all the good stuff is because of your faith but you may have a different story when life isn’t so good.
Margaret and I have had the privilege to sit under the ministry of both Erwin McManus and Rick Warren.They have been two men who have had a great impact on my view of life.They are both men whose faith has been tested through great struggles.
Margaret and I sat Tuesday night and listened to Rick and Kay tell Piers Morgan on his CNN program of their immense struggles after their son’s suicide this past summer.We went to Saddleback their church the …

“Even in the worst of circumstances, the grateful of heart are able to find sources of joy and inspiration.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 1808). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Margaret and I were talking about some people we know and the horrible life they have.Life can be tough.But some people are miserable in their tough lives and even their good lives while others live with an anticipation and hope.  Why is that?
What do you see in your life?Do you see despair or do you see joy and inspiration.How grateful you are goes a long way in determining your perspective.Another way to say it is, what glasses you see through determines what you see.
Think of the statement, “I don’t deserve this.”There are two ways you can say that.I can say it with the idea in mind that I am better than this.No way should I be going through this.  I DON'T DESERVE THIS!!!  It is with a haughty feeling sorry for my-self attitude.God will not reward that attitude.You will be miserable.
Then there is the feeling of unworthiness bu…

“Until you can see the work of God in the worst of circumstances you have not yet begun to see your life from the eyes of God.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 1827-1828). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I am right now reaping the benefit of someone’s worst of circumstances.I have been reading the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles.I just finished it yesterday and have now started reading the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans.I have just been reading of the difficulties of Paul and of how he finally is put in a prison in Rome.And from that prison Paul wrote a big portion of the New Testament including his letter to the Romans.
Here is the point.If Paul with all his energy, his devotion, his drive had not been put in prison a big portion of the New Testament would never have been written.God saw Paul’s life differently than even Paul saw it.
Oh that we could see our worst of circumstances through God’s eyes.He sees it all.
God is good and He is right and He is faithful and He can be trusted and His way is best and one d…

“To say you don't have any talent is to contradict God.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 2650-2651). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

We say some statements that if we would stop and think don’t make any sense.We want so much to be and sound humble.  But putting our self down is a reflection on God.He doesn’t make junk and He created us with a purpose in mind and He gave us the talents and abilities to do it.
Now saying that we don’t have any talents could also be an excuse to not be all that we were created to be.Who we are is God’s gift to us and what we do with it is our gift and responsibility to Him.
Erwin says, “All of us are complex and represent a composite of intelligence, passions, personality, skills, talents, and gifts. The dynamic interaction of all of these are the material from which we draw our potential.”God has called us to realize that potential.
What is the talent that God gave you?Do you know?Are you using it?That is the sweet spot in your lif…

“Bitterness requires that you live in the past; hope requires that you live for tomorrow.”

A thought Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 1722-1723). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

This is totally different from where I have been reading.Where I was reading today in this book was for me in my life and I then felt I needed to go back and I found this thought.This thought is for you.You must be living in a life of no hope, living a backward focus life of despair, of bitterness and of deep pain.Just like all of those people in the Gospels who were damaged when Jesus passed by who were healed when they reach out to Jesus and He then stopped and touched their hurt.Jesus wants to do the same for you today.
So what situation in your past are you focusing on which produces your bitterness?Are you tired of living with no hope, living in pain, living with such bitterness?Then you are going to need to let go of your past and look to God for your hope for your future.It is a total change of focus.It starts inside of you.Ju…

“The focus of generosity is the contribution we make in the life of others.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 2350). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Generosity is the opposite of greed.But some people have the mistaken idea that it is connected in the CHRISTian life with what we get in return.They don’t say that but they believe it and live it.They give to get.
Erwin goes on to say though that “God’s goal for all of us is not that we become affluent.God’s goal is that we become generous. When your pursuit is for wealth, you leave generosity behind.”
Do you remember the parables of the talents?Three servants were given varied amounts of money by their master and they were to make more.Two of them doubled theirs but one hid his and that one wasn’t rewarded but punished.Do you realize that what they were doubling was not for them but for their master?It was his money.Their reward was in the deep satisfaction of being faithful to their master.
Generosity means giving not getting.HE doesn’…

“You have to give yourself more and bigger whys so you can keep wanting to put in the effort to grow.”

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. 77). Center Street. Kindle Edition.

I think for the most part GOD has put within us the need to know why.  It is what motivates us.I know as a parent it gets more difficult to keep answering the why questions of our small child or to give them the why for what we want them to do but it is so important in there growing to become who they were created to be.
I like what John said about his mom. He said, “When I was a child, my mom continually gave me whys to keep me going. She would say things like, ‘If you eat your vegetables, you can have dessert.’ She knew I needed to know the benefits of eating vegetables when I didn’t want to do it. That kind of training set me up for success, because I started to learn the relationship between motivation and discipline.”
I have seen so many adults who have quit asking the why questions and have lost their motivation to liv…

“When you find yourself in a state of confusion or curiosity about the way things are going, go ahead and ask HIM if there’s something HE’d like to say to you.”

A thought by Bill Hybels (2010-06-29) from his book, The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond(p. 56). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

One of the tremendous privileges of having a relationship with GOD is to have a relationship with GOD.I mean it is unbelievable that GOD is interested in me personally.That HE knows all about me and all that I do and that HE has a plan for me personally.But the key is to listen to Him as HE wants to communicate to us.
In the sentence right before this one Bill says, “’When the circumstances of your life start to shift,’ I suggest, ‘at least consider that it might be due to God.’”That is an awesome thought.That maybe what I am going through might be because of GOD and I can stop and ask HIM if there’s something HE would like to say to me.That is a tremendous possibility for us to grab hold of that we don’t usually stop and contemplate.When things are starting to go bad we usually think that things just don’t go my way.We feel sorry for ou…

“If you pursue loving God and loving others, love will pursue and find you.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 2123-2124). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

The key is it is both.It’s in pursuing to love God and pursing to love others that love will find you.In our self-centeredness we are constantly looking for someone to love us but in God’s mind and plan that is backwards.
Now if I am striving to love so I will be loved I will not find true love.We are to love no matter whether it is returned or not.We are just to love. That is what real love does.But if i strive to love God and love others then that selfless act will bring love to me.
Earlier Erwin says, “God is inviting us to focus on loving rather than on being loved. God knows that only when our hearts are in this position are we able to experience the love we long for.”
Margaret and I go to Erwin’s church, Mosaic Hollywood and Hank Fortener, the other Teaching Pastor at Mosaic shared yesterday that this is also the way you recei…

“Life is an adventure to be explored and excavated for its endless unexpected surprises and treasures.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul
(Kindle Locations 1844-1845). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

How do you view each morning, with dread or excitement?Your view goes a long way in your enjoyment of the day and your view is a choice.I know I harp on this a lot but I know it makes a difference and I believe it may be what you need today.
I love looking at each day as an adventure.I have never lived this day.It is an unknown.There are things to be done and things to be seen that I have never done or never seen before.There are new stories to hear and to learn.Have you found how interesting people are if you just stop and listen to their story?Now I know my story.That is not an adventure.Hearing your story for the first time is. People are very interesting.
I tried a new coffee shop in our neighborhood yesterday.I’m going to take Margaret to it tomorrow.We tried a new food for us last night, we liked it.We’ll do it again.
I am 65+…

“Memories have a way of defining not only who you were, but who you are and who you will become.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 1815). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

And to some extent, memories are a choice.He also says, “I remembered a life filled with pain and disappointment, not because that was all I experienced, but because it was all I had brought with me.”
So what memories are you holding on to, what are you repeating over and over?What memories do you celebrate?That tells me what kind of life you are living.If all you remember are your failures, your pains, your rejections then you are living a life of deep hurt of deep despair, and probably a life with a lot of anger and no hope.Why do you do that when you also have good memories that could bring you joy?
Now some would say, “I am a realist” but remembering the good things is also being a realist.For some I’m afraid they like the attention that they get when they show how they are a victim.That is not healthy.That is not GOD’s way.
If you a…

“Perspective is not shaped in a vacuum; it is formed in the context of gratitude.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 1784). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Right after this thought Erwin says, “An ungrateful person sees the glass as half-empty and wonders who is holding out on him. The grateful see the glass as half-full knowing that someone has shared with them more than they deserved.”You see, it is not your personality but your perspective.There is the key to how we view life and whether we enjoy it or not.It is our choice.
So are you ungrateful or grateful?Do you see GOD as good or holding out on you?Do you start your day with despair or excitement?Are you grateful for the opportunity of a new day and what you have or in despair because of what you don’t have and angry at what it costs to live the day?
Yes, I know that life is tough and that living has its struggles but it also has its blessings. Whether you are grateful or not creates the view of your life.
I have been slowly letting s…