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Showing posts with the label Chasing Daylight

“We must resolve not only to leave the path of doing evil, but also to passionately pursue a life of doing good.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus. Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Locations 440-441). Kindle Edition.

Now I understand the need to stop doing evil.I do.I know that my having a relationship with Christ means a change of direction in my actions but there is more than just that.In anything we do there needs to be a replacement action involved.If I quit doing something then I need to start doing something.
So what positive difference did we do today?What person is glad we are in their life?Who did we help today?Who did we give a positive greeting to today?What unselfish action did we do today?Who did we give a smile to today?Who did we make feel glad that they are alive today?Who did we encourage today?
Oh, I’m sure you’ve been working hard and not giving in to the temptations that have come your way but what good did you really do? What if we changed our focus from protection to projection?What if we changed our focus from us to them?What if we quit worrying abo…

“Two roadblocks that often mislead us are lack of authority and lack of resources.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book,Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 1147). Kindle Edition.

My dad was a minister and there were many phrases that he said that have stayed with me.One was, “A short pencil is better than a long memory.” I use my notes app on my iPhone all the time. Another was, “No paper is so thin that is doesn’t have two sides.”I strive to always see the other side.But one that came to my mind this morning was, “What your faith covers you now have.”
I was just reading on my Kindle, Matthew 9 in the Message paraphrase and Jesus said something to a couple of blind guys that reaffirms my dad’s phrase.It says, “He touched their eyes and said, ‘Become what you believe.’”Become what you believe.The reality was they were blind but the reality was Jesus could give them sight.He said, “It’s up to you.Choose what you’re going to believe and that will become a reality.”
What are you becoming by what you believe?I’ve been wrestling ove…

“Life is the sum total of what you do with the moments given you.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 179). Kindle Edition.

In this moment I have two choices.One is to stay here at Starbucks and finish the thought that I have been given or go home and turn the Dodgers on TV and maybe be frustrated.
Now granted either choice does not have life or death complications but they do set out the choice of self or others.You see I do not write just for my own enjoyment.I hopefully write for your encouragement and edification.I watch the Dodgers for me.
Of course I could do both.I could go home and watch the Dodgers and then when the game is over write this blog but there are some problems attached to that choice.One is, the thought I have right now may not be there when I’m ready to write and the thought may be exactly what you may need.You also may not be there when I post it later.This is the moment.
The other reason is because I could really get disgusted with what I see with …

“What God can do through a person who's willing to act is limitless.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus. Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Locations 436-437). Kindle Edition.

The last couple of days have been interesting.As I was getting ready to write down my thoughts I heard a commotion and looked up and a young guy was running out of the Starbucks with my iPhone.That kind of stopped what I was doing but I’m back.What I was doing when I was so rudely interrupted was reading about a young guy that this thought Erwin McManus made me think about.His name is Blake Mycoskie who is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS.
Do you know the story of TOMS?Do you have a pair of TOMS?I am wearing mine right now.“While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Blake witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. His solution to the problem was simple, yet revolutionary: to create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. Blake’s vision soon turned into the simple business idea that provided the powe…

“The greatest opportunities require the highest risk.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Locations 1405-1406). Kindle Edition.

Today is in Margaret and my life a very exciting day.It is our daughter Stefanie’s birthday.She was born 30 years ago today between 12:00 am and 1:00 am in Porter Memorial Hospital in Valparaiso, Indiana.The fact of being a parent is for sure one of the greatest opportunities two people can have together but it also has such high risks in it.
There is the risk of childbirth.It can be a life and death situation.Nearly six months back we saw that potential when Stef and Andrews’s little Harper was born.She was at risk.Margaret and I barely made it from Pasadena, California to Las Vegas, Nevada before Stef went into the delivery room.The birthing of a child has risks.
Then raising them to adult hood has risks.But there are so many great opportunities along the way.I love the privilege of being a parent and I love the privilege of being a grandpare…

“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 …

“Power without humility is a bad combination.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book,Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 2555). Kindle Edition.

To some having power with humility would be an oxymoron but to Jesus it was the key to power.
Humility is when you say you need help, power to many is when you don’t need help.“I have the power to do what I want.”It is all a dependency issue.It is all in who you depend on.Humility is a dependency on God.It is saying, “I need You God in my life to give me the power and to use the power as you would use it”. Humility is real power.
Now the problem with power without humility is that it many times is used from a self-centered motive.And in that situation others can be hurt.
The other day there was a NASCAR race where two drivers were having problems between each other and one of the drivers at the end of the race purposefully drove his car into the other guy’s car and caused the other guy to wreck.And the other guy was injured to the point that he won’t …

“No football team has ever won a Super Bowl on the strength of the huddle.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book,Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Locations 2494-2495). Kindle Edition.

So true but we sure do like to try.So much we try to do sitting in our office or in front of the TV.We know we can make a difference.We have the talent, the ability and the idea.We are going to do it.We have the play, the plan we just don’t have the drive to break the huddle and go for it.
What is it that is keeping you from doing “it”, whatever “it” is in your life?What is it?There is something that you use as a reason or should I say an excuse for not starting.Stop for a moment and come to grips with that specific reason and then set it aside and go for “it”.Make it a stepping stone not a stopping place.If it’s a closed door to you open it up or knock it down.Don’t let it stop you.
Like in football, they get a penalty and lose some ground or they get tackled for a loss so they get in their huddle, come up with another play and then try again.…

“You can exist without ever failing, but you can't really live without facing it.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 1502). Kindle Edition.

That has been the picture of Margaret and my life.It is really unbelievable the life that we have lived.I am right now sitting outside at Zeli Coffee Bar on the street where the Rose Parade goes down in Pasadena, California with the sun shining on my face.A little over a year ago we were finishing three great years of adventure living on Long Island just outside New York City.We then moved to Seminole, Florida for an exciting nine months on the Gulf of Mexico with my mom, my sister and brother in law and my brother but then the opportunity came and here we are in Pasadena.A lot of potential failures along the way but here we are.
I was reading this morning in the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of Philip.He had had the privilege of meeting an important Ethiopian official and made a difference in his life because he had gone where an angel …

“There must be a shift from where we have potential to where we are potent.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 2388). Kindle Edition.

Have you read the story in the New Testament of the man who gave talents to three of his servants and told them to invest them and make a difference with them?Two of them did what he said but one of them hid his.When the man came back he was upset with the man who hid his and doubled the two who invested theirs.
Every one of us has been given talents, has been given potential.Many do all they can to strive to live out their potential and are rewarded but some don’t even try. They live in the, I have no talent, no abilities; life is not fair so why should I try, world of hiding.Granted in the story the man gave 10 talents to one, 5 to another and one to the third but he did give talents to all of them and he had expectations for each one of them.The same is true of each one of us.
You have a potential even though you don’t believe it and aren’t using …

“We never have the luxury of hurting only ourselves.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Locations 2410-2411). Kindle Edition.

I read at least two newspapers every day and for the last while I have been reading about the two high school football players who had been at a party drinking and who had raped a 16 year old passed out girl.Well this weekend they were found guilty and these two boys and their parents took it pretty hard.There was one father of one of the guilty boys who had been an alcoholic in front of his son and who said with deep emotion that he was to blame.He felt responsible because he had not been a father figure.
Now many alcoholic fathers will say, “I’m not hurting anyone but myself” but this sad story shows that it isn’t the truth.Our influence as parents goes a long way in the development of those around us.
Now of course this young man is responsible for his own action but the father was an influence.There are so many who will be hurt by the agg…

“Whenever we take on a God-sized challenge, self-sufficiency is no longer an option.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Location 843). Kindle Edition.

That is one of the main reasons we are given the opportunity of taking on God-sized challenges, He wants us to depend on Him.When we can do it on our own then we don’t need Him and someone else. We do that so we won’t share the credit and also many times so we won’t fail.The need to not fail drives us more it seems than the need for faith.But to Him without faith it is impossible to please Him.To please Him or bring Him glory is the reason why we are alive.Somehow we need to really get that into our life view and live it.
Now I know there is fear in faith but there is also fear in failing.Failure takes something out of you and faith puts something in.
I can point to many God-sized challenges in my life but I think that retirement has been one of the most challenging opportunities that God has ever given me.For a while I wasn’t sure if I would find the…

“For too long we have accepted the popular notion of a faith that is just for us.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Locations 1105-1106). Kindle Edition.

Somehow we have to understand that life is a relationship.First it is a relationship with our Creator, God, and then it is a relationship with those around us.God is love.
I like that Lis the first letter of love.True love has an upward part to Godbut if there is no outward part to others then the L becomes an I which means self-center and that is not what God came to earth for.His love to us spills out to others. That kind of loves shows that our faith is real.
Our faith is to have both an upward and an outward part to it.The upward only is religion and the upward and outward is relationship.If we have a relationship with Him then we also will have a relationship with others.
So is your faith a religion or a relationship?

“The courage we often need to engage our greatest challenge can be found only in the midst of engaging that challenge.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Locations 1884-1885). Kindle Edition.

That is so true.The courage I needed to write this new post didn’t come until I took the risk and copied the quote and put it on a blank Microsoft Word document and started writing.Then it started happening.If I would have just searched and not made a decision to do it I would never have started.Courage comes from the action.
There is an old movie called The Ten Commandments that has Charlton Heston playing Moses a major character from the Old Testament.It shows some slaves coming out of Egypt who are chased by the leader of Egypt with his army and these people come up to the Red Sea and they are trapped.Now Moses tells them that God has told him that if they step into the Red Sea everything will be OK.They did it I think more out of fear than courageBut as they walked into the Sea the water started making walls on both sides of them and their…

“Prayer can be a religious form of rebellion.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Locations 2186-2187). Kindle Edition.

I know that may not sound right but check this out.Sometimes we may be reading through the Scripture and we don’t like what it says.It is saying specifically that we are not to do something that we are doing and so we say, “I’m not going to accept what it says; I’m going to pray about it.”When you do that, you are rebelling against God, against what He has already said.
Prayer is not a place to strive to change God’s mind but it is a time to connect with God.Now if you connect with Him and tell Him that you are having problems with doing what He says and you ask Him for help in understanding and doing what He says then prayer is not rebellion.Or you ask Him to change your actions to do it His way with the right attitude then prayer is an act of obedience.
The key is to not use prayer to get your way when you know that it is not God’s way.F…

“Live out what God has already spoken, and you will not find God silent.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of   Every Moment(Kindle Locations 2144-2145). Kindle Edition.

It is so interesting how people want to know God’s direction for their life.  But they haven’t spent time reading the Bible or going to church and hearing God’s word through His messenger or opened a book that some Godly inspired writer has written.  And they are saying they don’t know what God wants.  It seems that they are waiting for a direct voice from God to them personally but the problem is they are looking in the wrong place.
Now I have had God speak to me directly today.  It was as I was reading in the Acts of the Apostles early this morning.  He then spoke to me as I was reading from the Gospel of Matthew.  It was also from my time of prayer and then as I was reading this book by Erwin MacManus. I heard Him personally because I was spending time in the areas where He has already spoken and He applied it personally to my life.
There …

“Allowing us to fail is not a punishment from God, but a part of God's process for shaping who we are.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Location 1500). Kindle Edition.
That thought can be a tough one to deal with.I mean in the America way, failure is failure.It means you failed at what you were doing and there is no good in that but from a God perspective failure is a tool.
Now to be honest, this is a hard one for me.I still have some failures that hit me at my self-worth and that can be a problem, the focus on self, on self-worth.Now God is interested in my worth but He is more interested in my character.He wants my worth to come from Him and what He has done for me and through me but this self-stuff can get in the way.That’s where His working on my character comes in and His using of failureeHe.
Now that puts failure on a positive plain instead of a negative one.And that is a choice.Do I get better or bitter?If I think it is a punishment I don’t learn the lessons and grow but I get defeated and discouraged.But if…

“We have put so much emphasis on avoiding evil that we have become virtually blind to the endless opportunities for doing good.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Locations 329-330). Kindle Edition.
It is all a matter of focus.If I am always looking down trying to keep from tripping over a crack in the sidewalk then I miss all the beauty that is around me.
Yes there is a lot of temptation out there to do evil and we must be careful but if I make looking for good things to do then the evil goes by the wayside. I don’t see it.
It is all about focus, what you are looking for is what you are going to see.
I am reading right now in Luke in the New Testament of that horrible, evil Thursday night and Friday that Jesus went through before He was killed.To any of us looking at it there was nothing good in it.But Jesus had a focus on the reason why He had come to earth and this horrible day was all a part of His coming and He never wavered.What would have happened to us if He would have decided to avoid the pain, the evil of this particular day?Then w…

“It is amazing how often the very ones who are supposed to encourage us to move forward are the ones who hold us back.”

A thought Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Locations 1760-1761). Kindle Edition.
There is a person who is one of my heroes.After she had gone to college, she decided to leave her home town of Denver, Colorado and to move to Los Angeles to live her dream to be an actress.Her parents went with her as far as Phoenix and then she went the rest of the way by herself.
She lived with a friend in one of the toughest parts of LA and each day she would head out into the city to a movie or TV studio to work.She also found a very good church that met on Sunday night in a night club in downtown LA. She would drive there by herself at night.That is also where she met a young guy from Las Vegas who was in seminary.By the way she married that guy who happens to be my son.
Now that is a story of someone who had people who encouraged her, who didn’t hold her back but that is not true of so many people.If her parents would have discouraged her f…

“The divine potential of a moment is unlocked by the choices we make.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 182). Kindle Edition.
There are so many choices to be made in a moment but only a few that will make a difference, only one or two that are divine moments.
Have you ever realized that you were living a divine moment, that you were being used by God to make a difference?For sure of all the choices it was not the easiest one to make.There was some effort on your part, maybe even some risking and for sure there was an inward battle but there is always a reward.Sometimes you reap the reward immediately but most of the times it is down the road but there will be a reward.
For me writing has a divine twist to it but it always has some difficulty attached to it.I mean there is always some reading ahead of time and that takes effort especially the right kind of reading.
I love reading mysteries.I just finished one mystery on my Kindle and just loaded a new one last night so I was dr…