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“Remember that I don’t need anyone’s approval to be happy.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 432). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)


This is such an important fact to remember.Happiness is a choice.I choose to be happy.But so many people live in such despair because they are looking to please someone who is unpleasable.It is impossible to please some people.And that is their problem not yours.
Rick says, “It is a fact of life that on our broken planet filled with broken people, there will always be those who will demean how you look, dislike what you do, disapprove of what you believe, dispute what you say, and disrespect who you are. But they cannot control your emotions unless you let them. Disapproval doesn’t have to devastate you.”
I love this verse in Psalm 27: 10 (NLT).“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.”
Does that comfort you today?Is that what you needed to hear?Well God loves…

“Anytime we accuse God of unfairness, we are actually doubting his goodness.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 420). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

There are phrases that are there for us to say that are phrases that don’t need to be said.Like the phrase, “Life isn’t fair.”Of course it isn’t. But that is not where we need to dwell.
Now I start each day with the phrase, “God is good.”That gives me the focus that everything that happens to me may not be fair or may not be good but as it goes through a good God then it is changed into something that happens for my good.
But it is so easy to hit the “live isn’t fair” button.
Rick says, “Anytime I accuse God of being unfair, I am foolishly implying, ‘God, I’d make a better god than you, because if I was God, I’d be more fair than you are.’ The next time you start to rant about God’s unfairness to you, remind yourself of these facts: 1. Everything I have is an undeserved gift from God. I …

“God only creates original masterpieces.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 411). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

That is a tremendous thing to realize and to come to grips with.We want everyone to do it our way, to think like we think.I understand the way we sometimes look at our kids and someone will say that they are just like you but is that a good compliment?God only creates original masterpieces.And that is where acceptance comes in.
But too many times envy and rejection can come in.We envy someone else for what they look like.I wish I could be tall like them.Or we reject them because they are different than us.But as Rick says, “God distinctively shaped you for a life unlike any other. Only you can be you. Only you can live the life God designed you to live. But it’s also true that you cannot live a life that God designed for someone else. To attempt to be what you weren’t created to be alwa…

“You cannot keep yourself from talking about what you care about most.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 375). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)


I love the Dodgers.I have been a big Dodger fan since they were in Brooklyn and I am so excited about the fact that they are headed to the playoffs to play the St Louis Cardinals and then on to the World Series. I hope. But I don’t write a blog five days a week about the Dodgers.I write about my biggest passion which is my relationship with Jesus Christ and what a difference He has made in my life.That is what I have a passion to share.
What about you?What do you care about the most?What do you want to share with people?
I love Jesus Christ.There is no way I can live each day without Him in my life.Yes I sometimes mess up but He is only a confession away.My guilt is taken care of by His forgiveness.When I confess my sin to Him He cleans it up to the point that I live as if I had never do…

“Vulnerability is emotionally liberating.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 354). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Yes there is a risk of rejection in there but there is also freedom.As Rick says, “Of course, vulnerability is risky. It can be scary to lower your defenses and open up your life to others. When you reveal your failures, feelings, frustrations, and fears, you risk rejection. But the benefits are worth the risk. Vulnerability is emotionally liberating. Opening up relieves stress, defuses your fears, and is the first step to freedom.”
He continues, “The more honest you are, the more of God’s grace you get. You will also receive grace from others. Vulnerability is an endearing quality; we are naturally drawn to humble people. Pretentiousness repels but authenticity attracts, and vulnerability is the pathway to intimacy.”
God has built you just the way you are with your strengths and your we…

“But God is never limited by our limitations.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 350). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Now we are only limited by our limitations when we aren’t honest about them or try to hide them.But when we are honest about them then God can use them to bring glory to Himself.But our dishonesty shows that our desire is to make us look good not Him.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4: 7 (CEV), “We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us.”God can do so much in and through us if we really accept that fact.
Rick says, “Admit your weaknesses. Own up to your imperfections. Stop pretending to have it all together, and be honest about yourself. Instead of living in denial or making excuses, take the time to identify your personal weaknesses. You might make a list of them.”
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12: 9 – 10a (NLT), “I am glad to boas…

“It is the hidden parts of your body that are indispensable.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 337). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

But we spend most of our time and effort and money on those things that can be seen.  We spend so much on our complexion, our looks, our outside but we let our stress, our worries slowly rob us of what really matters, those parts of our body that we cannot see.

I went to a drug seminar at the University of Kansas and we were dealing with the problem of smoking and how it takes years off of our lives.  And they said that it would be easier to get people to stop smoking because it causes bad breath than that it will kill us.  It is all about our misplaced priorities.

Rick says, “You have several prominent features on your body that you could live without. It is the hidden parts of your body that are indispensable. The same is true in the Body of Christ. The most significant service is o…

“You are the way you are because you were made for a specific ministry.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 300). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

At certain times in our life, we stop and search for God’s call on our life and when we find that it seems He’s not calling us into fulltime Christian service, Pastor, Missionary then we head out and start planning our life for what we want to do.But that is not the reason why we were created.God made each one of us for a specific ministry.You see He has shaped you to do something.For some it is law, other’s teacher, some mothers, it might be to be a salesman or a policeman or even a writer, maybe computers, it could be a doctor or a nurse.But He has create each one of us for specific tasks at specific times.And as you grow they may change.
Rick says, “He planned exactly how he wanted you to serve him, and then he shaped you for those tasks.” The Bible says in Ephesians 2: 10 (NIV), “We…

“Refocus your attention on something else.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 269). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

This is the way to start to handle a temptation.Rick says, “Every time you try to block a thought out of your mind, you drive it deeper into your memory. By resisting it, you actually reinforce it. This is especially true with temptation. You don’t defeat temptation by fighting the feeling of it. The more you fight a feeling, the more it consumes and controls you. You strengthen it every time you think it.”
I know you have found that true.I don’t want that donut but I really do.I don’t want it, I don’t want it but I really do want it, I really do want it.Will power can only go so far especially in spiritual issues.
Rick then says, “Since temptation always begins with a thought, the quickest way to neutralize its allure is to turn your attention to something else. Don’t fight the thought,…

“Temptations keep us dependent upon God.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 266). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

I love it.The Enemy’s plan for temptation is to take us away from God but in reality it can drive us to God.
The Bible in Hebrews 4: 16 (TEV) says, “Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.”
As Rick says, “God’s love is everlasting, and his patience endures forever. If you have to cry out for God’s help two hundred times a day to defeat a particular temptation, he will still be eager to give mercy and grace, so come boldly. Ask him for the power to do the right thing and then expect him to provide it. Temptations keep us dependent upon God. Just as the roots grow stronger when wind blows against a tree, so every time you stand up to a temptation you become more like Jesus. W…

“Refuse to be intimidated.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 262). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

That is easier said than done isn’t?Maybe you have a child that is going through those terrible two’s.I mean the task of helping them through this difficult time of life can be intimidating can’t it?Maybe you’ve just retired and you don’t know what to do now.You now it seems have no identity.Your work was your life but what do I do now?Or you have a dream that you believe God has given you to do.It is bigger than you are and you are really intimidated.
There are so many things in our lives that can intimidate us even temptations that the Enemy brings across our path.Rick says, “Many Christians are frightened and demoralized by tempting thoughts, feeling guilty that they aren’t ‘beyond’ temptation. They feel ashamed just for being tempted. This is a misunderstanding of maturity. You will…

“It helps to know that Satan is entirely predictable.”

A thought from Rick Warren (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?(p. 259). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

It is so important to know the way the Enemy works but our focus needs to be more on God and what He wants.But it helps to know how to defeat the Enemy when he comes and tempts us.
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians says in 2 Corinthians 2: 11 (NLT), “We are very familiar with his evil schemes.”He has been using this method from the beginning of the Bible. He used it with Adam and Eve and because it worked he continues to use it.
Rick says, “In step one, Satan identifies a desire inside of you. It may be a sinful desire, like the desire to get revenge or to control others, or it may be a legitimate, normal desire, like the desire to be loved and valued or to feel pleasure. Temptation starts when Satan suggests (with a thought) that you give in to an evil desire, or that you…

“One of the most concise descriptions of His character is the fruit of the Spirit.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 258). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

You might say, “OK, I want to be like Christ.What does that mean?”And I’m glad you asked.As Rick says, “One of the most concise descriptions of His character is the fruit of the Spirit” and you find that in Galatians 5: 22– 23 (NLT). And it says, “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Now how He does this in our lives is very slowly.As Rick say, “Fruit always matures and ripens slowly.”
He then says that one of the most important spiritual truths you will ever learn is “God develops the fruit of the Spirit in your life by allowing you to experience circumstances in which you’re tempted to express the exact opposite quality! Character development always …

“God’s plan is good.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 253). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Yes it is but all that is happening around us isn’t good.Yesterday was 9/11.It was not a good day in so many people’s lives.So many people want to blame God for what happened.If His plan is good then why did that happen?But in the Lord’s Prayer we pray “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”His perfect will is done in heaven but not done on earth. But if we put our trust in Him all things will work out for our good.Even the 9/11’s of our life.
God told Jeremiah in chapter 29 and verse 11 (NIV), “The plans I have for you [are] plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Then in Genesis 50: 20 (NIV), Joseph told his brothers who had sold him into slavery, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”Hezekiah echoed the same sentiment a…

“We are like jewels, shaped with the hammer and chisel of adversity.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 252). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

I know that this is not a popular subject but to the Christian it is such an important one.There is so much false truth out there that can cause real confusion for people. Just as a jeweler hammers away at the jewel to refine it and define it and the silversmith purifies the silver by fire God uses adversity to refine our character and make us like Christ.
Also as Rick says, “If a jeweler’s hammer isn’t strong enough to chip off our rough edges, God will use a sledgehammer. If we’re really stubborn, he uses a jackhammer. He will use whatever it takes. Every problem is a character-building opportunity, and the more difficult it is, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle and moral fiber.”What God does is chip off everything that doesn’t look like Christ.Also remember that …

“God uses problems to draw you closer to Himself.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 248). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

And we all have them and God wants to use them.

The Bible says in Psalm 34: 18 (NLT), “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit.”Are you hurting today?God is close to the broken hearted
Rick says, “Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days — when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re out of options, when the pain is great — and you turn to God alone. It is during suffering that we learn to pray our most authentic, heartfelt, honest-to-God prayers. When we’re in pain, we don’t have the energy for superficial prayers.”
The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1: 9 (LB),“We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put e…

“Without God’s Word you would not even be alive.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 237). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

James 1: 18 (NCV) in the New Testament in the Bible says,“God decided to give us life through the word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things he made.”
God decided to give us the opportunity for physical life, He spoke the word and we were created and He also gives us the opportunity for spiritual life, He gave us His Word, the Bible to feed on so that we might grow and mature.Such a tremendous opportunity that so many of us never use.
Rick says, “The Bible is far more than a doctrinal guidebook. God’s Word generates life, creates faith, produces change, frightens the Devil, causes miracles , heals hurts, builds character, transforms circumstances, imparts joy, overcomes adversity, defeats temptation, infuses hope, releases power, cleanses our minds, brings things i…

“Life is supposed to be difficult!”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 221). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Now that could be a statement that turns you totally off or it causes you to stop.  What does it mean? 
Here is the total context of the thought.Many Christians go through some very difficult circumstances in life.Rick says, “You’ll wonder, ‘Why is this happening to me? Why am I having such a difficult time?’ One answer is that life is supposed to be difficult! It’s what enables us to grow. Remember, earth is not heaven! Many Christians misinterpret Jesus’ promise of the ‘abundant life’ (John 10:10) to mean perfect health, a comfortable lifestyle, constant happiness, full realization of your dreams, and instant relief from problems through faith and prayer. In a word, they expect the Christian life to be easy. They expect heaven on earth. This self-absorbed perspective treats God as a g…

“Focus on what we have in common, not our differences.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Kindle Location 2335). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

It is so amazing what we focus on in our first impressions.I mean some people don’t want to get to know someone because of the color of their skin or their physical shape or their appearance or their age or so many other things.And they miss out on so many very special people who would add so much to their lives.
That even happens in the church, God’s supposed family.I mean do you look down on people in your family who are different than you?Now here is a thought, none of us are totally alike even if we are twins.God made us different and He wants us to focus on what we have in common not on our differences.
Rick says, “Conflict is usually a sign that the focus has shifted to less important issues, things the Bible calls ‘disputable matters.’ (Romans 14:1; 2 Timothy 2:23)Whe…

“Choose to encourage rather than criticize.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 210). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
In this chapter, Rick is dealing with people in the church.And it is also a good thought to be carried over to other relationships in our lives.
In dealing with the church though Rick says, “It is always easier to stand on the sidelines and take shots at those who are serving than it is to get involved and make a contribution.”And then the Apostle Paul in Romans 14:10 (PH) said, “Why, then, criticize your brother’s actions, why try to make him look small? We shall all be judged one day, not by each other’s standards or even our own, but by the standard of Christ.”
Rick then says, “Whenever I judge another believer, four things instantly happen: I lose fellowship with God, I expose my own pride and insecurity, I set myself up to be judged by God, and I harm the fellowship of the church. A …