How Not To Quit

 FREE DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE BELOW!!

FREE DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE BELOW!!

In today’s #GodsGotThis Blog we are going to talk about HOW NOT TO QUIT BY A GUY WHO HAS QUIT A LOT AND LEARNED FROM QUITTING AND EVEN MORE FROM PERSISTENCE



I have been away from the blog for quite some time. It’s been holidays, illness, work load you name it and I have missed it probably more that y’all! I have talked to so many people lately and this one thing continues to come up. I have even really wrestled with quitting myself!! A LOT over the past couple of months and I can’t guarantee I will never have those feeling again, but I can share how to get away from always living in the pit or the shadows and actually coming out and enjoying the sunshine once in a while.



To start with, here are a few areas to adopt and work on the discipline of STICKTOITIVENESS 🙂



  • Try to discipline yourself… Discipline is at the root of every success story. If you are lazy this is what you might lack.

  • Hard-work has NO substitute… If you wanna do it, it ought to have enough sweat and blood in it. Working hard doesn’t mean you work hard on useless things. It means that you go that extra mile to know about stuff…The stuff of your passion, your message, your breakthrough.  Learning from things is also hard-work.

  • Hard-work doesn’t matter if you don’t improve… Even if it seems to yourself that you are working  harder than God himself but forget to improve then you are going nowhere. (By The Way… You’re not working harder than God himself) Improve yourself, change with the opportunities.

  • Appreciate yourself for your small wins… This is one of the most forgotten piece of advice in the history of advising. If you don’t appreciate yourself for you small wins, you feel depressed even if you lose once.

  • Its okay to quit BUT… When you have given it all you have and more then its okay to let go. Maybe, it just wasn’t for you or maybe letting go will open up something you have been missing. You see all people quit but  in this quote from former President Barack Obama (and this is not any political agenda or anything.. just a great quote.) 



"The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere." —Barack Obama



Henry Ford said “If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right”.



I know for those of you listening that are passionate about your call and dealing with road blocks you’ll get what I am about to say…

But, I didn’t come this far to only come this far! 

Harriet Beecher Stowe- Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.





Sometimes hearing things like that can just be plain frustrating!! When you have tried so hard and don’t seem to be getting anywhere, it’s tough to just keep going.. BECAUSE THAT’S ALL YOU’VE BEEN DOING!! Well, you keep on.


G.K. Chesterson, a Christian philosopher came up with a great phrase that is surrounded by the basis that if what you propose to do deserves your attention, and is not so trivial that time should not be wasted on it, do it to the best of your ability.

Here is what he said: 

‘If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing badly,’ 

In other words, if a thing is worth doing it is worth making an attempt at it, rather than not trying at all.

That really makes room for mistakes and also for improvement.


Here is a tough reality: Not giving up is a mindset. And it’s a mindset that you CAN adopt. It may not be exactly what you want at the time, but it is an essential part to success.  

Galatians 6:9 in The Message has a great way of putting it about quitting:

9 So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit.

Here are a few things you can tell yourself to get in the mood and mode of NOT QUITTING!

  • I persist when things get tough.

  • I will either find a way or make one.

  • Every problem has a solution, and I have the perfect ability to find it.

  • Every day I gain more knowledge and insight about what works and what doesn’t, which means I’m getting stronger and wiser.

  • Setbacks are temporary.

  • I will find a way through this.

  • Think! What’s the best thing to do now?

Having an “I won’t quit” mindset will make it much easier for you to persist—and refuse to give up—until you achieve your goal. Persistence can always defeat resistance if you adopt the right mindset for your life.


I hope this speaks to your heart and that you have found some truths you can carry with you for the rest of your life. It’s not easy to get out of the habit of just quitting instead of persisting. I wish I could say I have achieved it.. I’m a work in progress for sure!! I will say however….There is a way and there is a hope and most assuredly   LIFE! …even when we may doubt, there is hope. 


So, before we go today I want to share another great scripture with you from the Bible and remember as Paul said to us from God’s heart in Philippians 4:6-9  


6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.


And that He surely will my friends. The choice is yours. Judging stops when we make a decision to stop it, we just need to discipline ourselves to hold faithful the truth of God’s Word! That being said…. Don’t give in, don’t give up and never forget

#GodsGotThis!

We have a few special offers for you below. One is the FREE download promised that goes along with today’s blog and will help you in your effort(s) to stay focused and not quit! It is a small outline to help you make a plan to DESIGN YOUR LIFE!!! You will also have an opportunity to be a part of the new system we are launching called THE FLIP!!! We have a very special limited time offer for those of you in our community already that information is below as well. Thank you for allowing us to serve you!!



Are you ready to do…. THE FLIP?!

The Flip white button.png

THE FLIP

If you’d like more info about THE FLIP and how you can be involved… Get in quick while we are doing the Pre-Launch!!

We have some more FREE stuff for you… after you get that first FREE eBook that I wrote, you’ll have a special offer at a limited time price just for this campaign and a chance to get in THE FLIP!!! You can start by clicking here:

https://ap579-cd7a70.pages.infusionsoft.net


Day 7: The 7 Day Morning Makover Challenge!!!!

7 DAY CHALLENGE.jpg

DAY 7 IS HERE!!

Have you changed?

Take Time To Review Your Morning Routine Regularly

 

Creating routines and habits for your mornings are a great thing. They allow you to do what you need to do to move ahead without having to spend a lot of energy and time thinking about it. That’s a good thing. It’s can also be a dangerous thing when you’ve focusing on the wrong things and are in the habit of doing things that don’t help you reach your goals.

When we get into a routine, it’s hard to stop and ask ourselves if it’s working as well as it could be. Even more importantly, with a routine and a set of habits firmly established, it’s easy to keep going even when the circumstances changes. That’s why it’s important to take some time every now and again to review our routine and habits, including the new morning routine.

Set aside a little time every few weeks, or even months to review your routine. Put it on the calendar and make sure you do it. It won’t take long and it will be a very valuable exercise in the long run. Our lives and circumstances change. Our routines should change with it. Just because something has served us well over the past few weeks and months, doesn’t mean it will continue to do so. Which brings up a good point…

When you sit down to review your morning routine (or any routine or habit you’ve been working on for that matter), ask yourself this:

Is it working? Is it working really well?

If it is, simply carry on. If it isn’t, it may be time to make some changes and tweak it until you find something that works well for you at that particular point in time.

Another way to look at it is to find what you love and what you hate about the new morning routine. Change it accordingly until you get as close as possible to loving everything about it and still getting the results you want.

Remember, this morning routine will change and evolve over time as you, your circumstances, and the people in your life change and evolve. Embrace the changes and look at them as an indication that you’re making progress.

Keep tweaking and improving your morning routine and don’t be afraid to mix up your goals for it. Maybe you started out by making exercise a priority first thing in the day. As time goes by and you become more fit and make time for it later in the day, your focus may shift to meditation, or learning a new language. Keep evolving, keep changing, and keep using those precious first few hours of each day to establish some positive change in yourself and those around you.

 

Psalm 119:59 ESV

I considered my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies.

We’d love to hear from you!! How has the week gone? What have you done different? What are you going to do different? What have you noticed? Join us on our Facebook Group Page and chime in!! See you on the inside!! #GodsGotThis!!

Day 6: The 7 Day Morning Makeover Challenge

7 DAY CHALLENGE.jpg

The Importance Of Habits And Routines

 

With your new morning game plan figured out, it’s time to not only put it into action, but make it your new morning routine. Why is this important? Because you want to make sure your new plan happens every morning without fail and turning into a routine is the best way to make sure that happens.

Before something becomes a habit or a routine, it takes a lot of willpower to things happen. That’s energy that you will need for other things throughout your morning and busy rest of the day. Yes, it will take some willpower, mental energy, and drive at first to create the new morning habits, but once they are set, it will become automatic like brushing your teeth before bed.

Once you come up with a good working morning routine, stick to it for a few weeks. That’s the best way to turn it into a strong habit. Before long, it will feel like the new normal and you no longer have to remind yourself to do each thing along the way. It will have become a habit and a routine you’ll follow automatically. It will take a lot less effort and mental pep-talk to get things done… even if your new routine includes a 30 minute run, or getting up at the crack of down to work on your most important business task for an hour.

Watch out for moments when you slip back into your old habits and routines. It’s going to happen. The key is to catch it early and get back on track as quickly as possible. For example, let’s say you’ve been doing well with waking up 30 minutes earlier and going for a run before you start your day. Then one day you oversleep and can’t make it out there. Or the weather turns too bad, you get sick or hurt, or something else pops up that keeps you from going on that run. That’s life. It happens. What’s important is what you decide to do the next morning.

Your most important job whenever life gets in the way of your new morning routine is to get back on track as quickly as possible. Do what you can as soon as you notice the disruption. If the weather is bad, do a quick workout at home, or head to the gym to run on the treadmill. If you overslept, try to squeeze in a few minutes of meditation or doing something to grow your business before you get back to the rest of your day. Most importantly get back on track with your regular morning routine as soon as possible. Get back into your new habits the next morning if at all possible. Actively remind yourself to get back on track for a few days until it routine is firmly back in place. You’ll be glad you did when you start to see the results you’ve been hoping for.

 

2 Timothy 2:15 English Standard Version (ESV)

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,[a] a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Day 5: The 7 Day Morning Makeover Challenge

7 DAY CHALLENGE.jpg

Come Up With A New Morning Game Plan

 

Now that you have a pretty good idea of what you want to do in the morning, what you don’t want to or need to do, and where to find the extra time needed, it’s time to put it all together in a new morning game plan.

The best place to start is with the new set of tasks that are most important to you. Figure out a preliminary time during which you want to get them accomplished. If your goal is to go for a run in the morning, you may decide to do that first thing before getting a shower and having breakfast. If your goal is to meditate/pray each morning, you may decide it would work best after you’ve had a cup of coffee. If your goal is to find some time for reading or your favorite hobby in the morning, you could carve out some time before everyone else gets up and while you enjoy that first coffee. The same goes for wanting time in the morning to work on your business or learn something new.

Then work the rest of your morning chores around these new plans. It may take some shuffling around and mixing up of your current routine, but with a little creative thinking and a bit of flexibility, I’m sure you can come up with a working plan.

Making over your morning and turning it into a new routine isn’t something that comes natural to most of us. It takes a little while to get into the groove of things. We’ll look at this in a little more detail tomorrow. For right now, my suggestion is that you write your new morning game plan down. It’s easy to forget what you’re planning to do. Writing it down will not only give you a reference to refer back to, but also solidify your new plan in your mind.

Put the note, or notebook where you jotted down your new plan on your night table or somewhere else where you’ll see it first thing in the morning. It will serve as a reminder of what you’re intending to do and do differently in the morning now.

Even though you’ve written your plan down, it’s important to realize it’s not written in stone. The well-laid out plans don’t always work when put into action. Adjust it and make changes as needed until you come up with a new morning game plan that works well for you and the rest of your family. Once you have that it’s time to make it the new routine… something we’ll talk more about tomorrow.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.

17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Day 4: The 7 Day Morning Makeover Challenge

7 DAY CHALLENGE.jpg

Determining What You Should Be Doing Is Crucial

 

Yesterday we talked about finding the time in your busy morning to do the things that are important to you. Today I want you to think about what you should and what you shouldn’t be doing in those first few hours of the day. That’s an important idea to ponder. So often we get stuck in a rut or a routine and do things because that’s what we’ve always done. We do it without really thinking about whether or not it’s the best use of our time.

It’s Not About Cramming More Things Into Less Time

Making over your morning isn’t about figuring out how to cram more tasks into fewer hours. When you read books and articles on productivity and time management, that’s often the main message and gist of it. While it can help in the short term, it isn’t a good long-term strategy for meaningful change. Very soon you’ll hit the limit of how much faster and how much more efficient you can get.

Shift your thinking and don’t try to add to what you do in the morning. If you want 15 minutes for bible study, meditation, or exercise, don’t just think about getting up 15 minutes earlier, or shaving 15 minutes off your morning routine by showering faster, getting dressed in record time, and rushing through breakfast. In other words, don’t add to your already lengthy list of things that need to get done. You’ll only feel more rushed and stressed if you do.

It’s About Making Smart Choices About Using Your Time

Instead, what you should be thinking about is the best use of your time in the morning. Compare your perfect morning with your current morning routine. What aren’t you doing on your ideal morning? If you can start by cutting things out, finding time to do what’s important to you becomes much easier.

There are two great ways to find things you can stop doing. The first is to look for busy work. This is something you do out of habit that doesn’t necessarily need doing every day. Maybe it’s checking your email first thing in the morning or playing around on Facebook for half an hour while you drink your coffee. If that’s how you choose to spend your time, that’s perfectly fine, but if you’re doing it out of habit it may be time to rethink it.

The second way to quickly earn back time is to see if you’re doing things or others that they can do themselves. Kids are the perfect example. We start out fixing their breakfast, making their lunch, cleaning up after them, picking out their clothes, and making sure their backpack is packed and ready to do. When they are very small, we have to do these things, but all too often we continue to do them long after they’re capable of doing things on their own. The same goes for things we do for our spouse. Maybe there was a time when you had less to do in the morning and it made sense to take on the majority of morning chores. Did things change and if so, is it time to lighten your load and get help from your partner? A few small changes may be all it takes to make the time in your busy morning for what’s important to you.

Isaiah 43:19 NIV

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Day 3: The 7 Day Morning Makeover Challenge

7 DAY CHALLENGE.jpg

Finding Time In Your Busy Morning

 

Mornings are busy and they can be quiet chaotic. If you have a young family and plenty of people to get ready and out the door, you know this first hand. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way, no matter how busy you think you are first thing in the day. Earlier I shared with you how the first few hours in the morning set the tone for the entire rest of the day. Do you want that to be rushed, frantic, and feeling like you’re constantly running and trying to catch up? Or do you want it to be calm, collected, productive, and with a feeling that you’re in control? It’s up to you and it’s all about embracing two simple concepts.

Get Up Early Enough

It’s tempting to hit the snooze button and catch a few more minutes of sleep, isn’t it? It’s even hard to set the alarm early enough that you have plenty of time for everything you want and need to get done. I get it. If you’re not a morning person, moving up the alarm by 30 minutes to carve out a little extra time can be tough. Trust me though, after the first few mornings it’s not nearly as hard as you think and something you’ll quickly get used to.

Getting up early enough and avoiding the snooze button at all costs is the key to an unrushed morning. Here’s the problem with cutting time too short, or worse hitting the snooze button a few times. It gets you behind from the very start. You have to rush to make it out the door in time and any little problem or speed bump along the way turns into a huge problem. Not being able to find the car keys is suddenly a major crisis because it could cause you to be late for work and the kids to be tardy at school. Remember, your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start it chasing down time and things, that’s likely how you’ll spend the rest of your time.

Getting up early enough on the other hand puts you ahead of the game. You’re in control. You can take care of everything that needs doing in a calm manner and still have time for the important things you want to work on. In short, getting up early enough sets you up for an amazing, productive day.

Restructure Your Routine

Before we wrap this up, spend a little time thinking about your current morning routine and where you’re spending time. Look for things you can change and tweak to find more time for the things you really want to do. For example, if you want an extra 20 minutes in the morning to meditate, look at what you could take care ahead of time, eliminate, or delegate to make that time. If you spend a lot of time getting breakfast for everyone, get in the habit of setting the breakfast table the night before. Get your spouse to get the coffee ready, so all you have to do in the morning is push a button. Teach the kids to make their own breakfast and take the dirty dishes to the sink, rinse them, and put them in the dish washer. Make sure clothes are set out the night before (including yours), and that book bags, purses, briefcases, and car keys have a designated spot and that there where they need to be before you turn in for the night. Small changes like this to your morning routine can make a big difference. I challenge you to come up with a few small tweaks that will save you at least 30 minutes in the morning.

Psalm 5:3 In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

Day 2: The 7 Day Morning Makeover Challenge

7 DAY CHALLENGE.jpg

Define Your Perfect Morning

 

(To those of you on the challenge.. don’t cheat if your are skipping ahead!! See you tomorrow!)

Here is my question for you this morning. What’s most important to you? What is the one thing you really want to do on a daily basis that would make a big difference, but you just can’t seem to find the time for?

In short, what good habit do you want to cultivate that would make a real impact on your life? Think about this for a moment. It could be in any area of your life from exercise and healthy eating to self-improvement or getting ahead in business or at your job. It could be working on your relationship with your kids, finding time for creative pursuits, or getting in the habit of reading every morning.

Once you’ve figured out what you want to work on, what you want to improve, and what’s important to you, we’ll think about how you can make it part of your morning routine. Sit back and imagine your perfect morning. It isn’t stressed or rushed. Most importantly it’s a day when you have time for everything on your list. Maybe it means having time for a long shower. Maybe it’s going for a run before breakfast. Maybe it’s having a few minutes to connect with your spouse over coffee or maybe it’s carving out an hour first thing in the morning to work on your side-business.

That’s a lot of “maybes” but the key is to start with what’s most important to you and think about how you could fit it into your morning routine. Remember, you’re just dreaming and imagining at this point. We’ll work on figuring out where to find the time to fit it in and how to make it all work out later on. For now I simply want you to paint a vivid picture of what your new morning could look like.

I want you to become very clear on what you want that perfect morning to look like. Imagine it in as much detail as you possibly can. Write it down in a journal or on a piece of paper that you can refer back to as needed. In short, define your perfect morning. (would love to hear about it on our Facebook group!)

Why is this so important? Because you can’t start to make any meaningful changes until you know what your goals are. You need to know your destination before you can start to pick a route and figure out how you’ll get there. That’s what today’s task is all about. It’s figuring out where you want to get to. Don’t stop until you have it figured out and firmly pictured in your mind.

Today’s Challenge Verse:

Proverbs 2:2-5 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
3 yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
4 if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.

Day 1: The 7 Day Morning Makeover Challenge

7 DAY CHALLENGE.jpg

Impact of a Morning Routine

 

I love mornings. Each new day brings new opportunities and it’s a chance to start fresh and do better. How you start your day, or more specifically how you spend those first few morning hours has a big impact on the rest of it. Think of it as setting the tone for your entire day. That’s why making over your morning is so important. It’s about much more than those first few hours.

 I’m sure you’ve experienced this yourself. Let’s use the snooze button as an example. You set an early alarm to make sure you have time for exercise, meditation, or simply some much needed “me time”. You have every intention of getting up and doing whatever you’re setting out to do when you set the alarm in the first place. Some mornings - hopefully most mornings - you get up when the alarm chimes and go for that walk, do your meditation exercise, or read a book for twenty minutes. Then there are those days when you just can’t make yourself get up. You hit the snooze button multiple times, or turn the alarm off altogether and go back to sleep.

Think about how the rest of those days went. Did you notice a difference in how you felt? How much did you got done on the mornings when you got up with your first alarm? Were you able to do all the things you set out to do? How did those days compare to the ones when you hit the snooze button over and over again?

If I had to take a guess, I’d say that the mornings when you got up as soon as the alarm went off went a lot smoother.  I bet you accomplished what you have planned to do, too. Chances are that sleeping through the snooze button didn’t just affect your morning, but the entire rest of your day. You set the tone for how your day is going to go first thing in the morning. That’s what the old saying about getting up on the wrong side of the bed is about. Let’s make sure we get up on the right side and start our day off in a positive and productive way.

Over the course of the next seven days, I want to guide you through the process of making over your morning. As we’ve already established, this is an important tasks and a good thing to work on and pay attention to. Not only will you enjoy your mornings more even if the alarm goes off much earlier than you’d like, it will make the entire rest of your day go much smoother.

I find this is the best time to be alone with God as well (you have to go to the bathroom sometime!)

Here is a scripture for you today, ask God to share with you what He wants just for YOU to get out of it today:

Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

Go make a difference today!! Get ready for Day 2 and visit us at the Facebook Group Page today to share your day today!!! #GodsGotThis

Whose Judging?

Judge.jpg

The Emotional Dangers of Judging and How to Stop

Do you find yourself often judging others and criticizing them? Are you also critical of yourself? You may have formed a habit of judgmental thinking that you didn’t realize you had.

Judging is a common issue and can have negative emotional consequences. Although some level of criticism is normal, frequently judging others or yourself can lead you down the path of negativity, suffering, and misery.

Learn the emotional effects of judging:

  1. You decrease your own happiness. Judging usually involves negative emotions. You focus on the negative qualities you see in others and yourself. You miss out on the positive aspects.

  2. This leads to dissatisfaction with the world, your life, your friends, and other things.

  3. You hurt others, and harm yourself in the process. Because of the negative feelings you cause when you judge or criticize, you can destroy friendships and relationships. You can sabotage connections at work or other places. Life can become very difficult.

  4. You become more critical of yourself. One of the worst negative emotional effects of a judgmental mindset is that you criticize yourself as well as others. Your self-talk becomes very negative as you mentally beat yourself up, and your self-confidence plummets.

Tips to Avoid Judging

If you’re struggling with a judgmental mindset, take heart! Whether you’re criticizing another person or feeling bad about yourself, you can break the cycle. You don’t have to remain in the pain that it causes.

Use this process to avoid judging yourself and others:

  • Instead of jumping to negative conclusions, look for positive qualities.

  • 1 Peter 3:8 NIV 8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble

  • For example, you may be critical of someone who eats a lot of junk food and struggles to lose weight. You may feel this person isn’t leading a healthy life, and you know some simple changes can help them. However, you aren’t aware of the real reason they eat, such as emotional issues or years of abuse.

  • When you find yourself being critical, remember that you don’t know their story. Give them the benefit of the doubt. They may have perfectly valid reasons for their thoughts or actions.

  • 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

  • Practice acceptance. Everyone has faults, idiosyncrasies, and issues. Learn to accept these challenges you see in others without judging them or making them feel bad.

  • Work toward accepting your own faults as well. Perfectionism is overrated and unachievable. Errors can teach you more than success.

  • Acceptance can lead you to sympathy and empathy. It can also open up the doors for you to truly connect with others. Practice acceptance and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results!

  • Colossians 3:12-14. NIV

  • 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

  • 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

  • 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Judging makes life more difficult and interferes with your well-being. You end up creating pain and suffering that isn’t necessary. You miss out on the good and positive qualities in others and in yourself.

Alternatively, you can turn on joy in your life when you take steps to become more accepting!

  • Once you learn to recognize a critical thought as soon as it happens, counteract the negative thought with a positive one.

  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 The Message 3-6 The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

Remind yourself that you can’t see the whole story. No one can see into another person’s soul and read their past! In fact, you most likely don’t know why they think or behave the way that they do.


I hope today spoke to your heart and that you have found some truths you can carry with you for the rest of your life. It’s not easy to get out of the habit of judging that’s for sure. I wish I could say I have achieved it.. I’m a work in progress for sure!! One thing is for sure….There is a way and there is a hope and most assuredly life…even when we may doubt, there is hope. 


Before we go today I want to share another great scripture with you from the Bible and remember as Paul said to us from God’s heart in Philippians 4:6-9  The Message


6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.


And that He surely will my friends. The choice is yours. Judging stops when we make a decision to stop it, we just need to discipline ourselves to hold faithful the truth of God’s Word! That being said…. Don’t give in, don’t give up and never forget

#GodsGotThis!

The Question WHY?

I must first apologize for being absent the past couple of weeks. We had a hurricane, I’ve had health issues and this week dealing with the death of an incredible young student at my children’s school.. one of the reasons for today’s blog.

It is a question asked by so many people and the answer is usually one that is not good enough… the question is WHY?

Why did this happen? Why is my life like this? If #GodsGotThis so much then WHY could a God of love allow something like this to happen.


All great questions and the answer is probably not one that you want to hear. I have some why questions in my life too. I didn’t ask for cancer in my life and I’m not perfect, that’s for sure, but I’m a pretty good guy… Why do I get something like cancer?

Death is probably the leading cause of the question Why. Death in most cases doesn’t come by appointment and in most cases again.. is never on time.

The anguish, crushed emotions and the feeling of death that comes along with situations and circumstances that create the space to ask the WHY question are many times so overwhelming, so powerful and so draining it can end someone else life.. It can end either physically or mentally. 

I even know of some good Christian people who have walked away from the faith over a why question.


There is no GOOD answer when you deal with a crazy, unexplainable death and the answer.. “Well, we’ll find out when we get there” typically isn’t a good answer either. 


I do believe, that even though circumstances can be horrific to us, there is always a bigger picture and yes, always a reason. God doesn’t just kill to kill like that and he doesn’t just “kill” someone to teach us a lesson anymore than he just “gave” me cancer to teach me a lesson. Now, he will use the circumstance to teach, especially if we are open to it. 

I tend to believe that we as humans are selfish by nature. We want what we want and it is a life long discipline to learn how to put others before ourselves. There is no doubt an evil force in this world at work. We have an adversary named Satan. Although he is a diabolical agent of evil, he isn’t strong enough or big enough to be every evil.

That’s a big statement there for sure, I know. The reality is, we are pretty good at being evil ourselves and there may be things we consider to be evil that aren’t evil at all.


For example…I tell my kids to make their beds and clean their rooms all the time. They hate that and even consider that my request is too much and at times they may even consider it to be an “evil” request. 

So, I’m sure you can fill in the blank with things that we could consider evil all on your own and save me hours on this podcast in examples. 

The next point is that I would say evil is necessary in the aspect of understanding the value of good. Again.. no clean your room, now your grounded or you lose something and to the child, I am now an agent of evil, doing an evil thing. The flip side of that coin is that they can learn the value of doing their chores and live into the the “Good Life”!!

Good becomes even more valuable. Not because I want to teach a lesson, because it is always a consequence of no good.  It is not the opposite of, but a consequence of (the so-called evil).

Okay…. All of that does not say that someone dying is a consequence of someone not being good. Quite the contrary. It is an opportunity, in what is or can be perceived as an evil to experience something very good.

A professor at Oxford has a great point about that: 

Oxford philosopher Richard Swinburne puts this in perspective:

If God is to allow us to acquire knowledge by learning from experience and above all to allow us to choose whether to acquire knowledge at all or even to allow us to have a very well-justified knowledge of the consequences of our actions—knowledge which we need if we are to have a free and efficacious choice between good and bad—he needs to provide natural evils occurring in regular ways in consequence of natural proce

So, when it comes to suffering and specifically children… Are we saying that for God to be good, he has to perform miracles constantly around the world with every child to be safe from anything.. no matter what? So then, two kids are playing at the dinner table and little Johnny grabs the steak knife playing like in a cartoon and as he plunges the knife into his brother Steve’s side.. God then miraculously turns the knife into rubber and the whole family laughs because God will always do a miracle and protect little children. If we lived in such a world, children wouldn’t learn morality because many of their choices would lack moral consequences. Okay, then at what age does that cut off. If God is that good..why then does that miracle even stop??  Now, I suspect the more serious answer will be that God should every day orchestrate tens of thousands of amazing miracles to protect children. But if God constantly worked through providences, then God would still have to interfere constantly with free will. For example, how does God prevent parents from getting drunk, or texting, or nodding off, while driving? How does God providentially keep all children everywhere at all times from the fatal occurrences that might afflict other family members? How would God providentially keep all children from being harmed by the intentional cruelty of adults? He couldn’t do all these things unless He was to make Himself unmistakably apparent. After all, even the most ignorantly spiritual person would conclude, sooner or later, that there’s something about the universe that prevents children from coming to harm. In the real world, parents and their children must learn to be responsible because natural laws do work in regular ways.

And suffering has other benefits.

Many important spiritual lessons can be learned from the suffering and/or death of children—Things like: courage, patience, compassion, selflessness, humility, and so on—but I’m going to focus on what today is the biggest issue in this podcast. The death of children, whether other people’s children or our own, we learn that we can never base our ultimate happiness on this world. We have The American Dream—that we can have our kids grow up, graduate, achieve successful careers, marry great spouses, and have wonderful children, and through our children, and our children’s children, we can gain a sense of immortality an incredible legacy—That is forever in danger. There is nothing worldly that we can count on, including what most people love most: their children. Instead, we must look to God for our ultimate and eternal fulfillment.

Only worshippers of God can accept this. We shouldn’t expect those who only live for this life not to bitterly complain that God is unfair for threatening what to them is the top priority and value in life.

Suffering can be valuable for children, too. In my ministry, I experience many times an illness that affects a child. It is at that time we can best understand our own mortality and the value in life. I have even faced this with my family dealing with my disease of cancer in my body. I thank God for being aware of my own mortality and the value we have on each other and family as a result. What a shame to be unaware of that value and benefit in life. To be numb to good and evil both. That is ultimately the worst evil at all.

So, the question why to me takes on a different meaning. I don’t think the question why is a question that can ever be answered. I don’t even think that why is an appropriate question. The question best asked is HOW?

How could this happen? That can be answered. It could have been a freakishly awful health issue, a horrible accident, a mishap of someone else’s careless actions… so many answers can fill in the blanks. 

God is the one who allows us the opportunity and the blessing of mortality to understand the value of life and free will to be able to live it by the choices we choose. The benefit is to look to live a life the way God describes and when a bad thing happens, we then know how to be the hands and feet of God to a person who is suffering. 

We offer love, we sit in silence, we hug, we prepare meals, we help with housework, we help pack boxes and so on. We love each other and love each other through some horrific situations that eventually can be things God can use in your life or the life of someone else to share that incredible value of life and love and freedom. 

Freedom always comes with a price. For me as a Christian, it came with the price of Christ dying on the cross. For me as an American, it came and comes daily by the sacrifices and lives of those serving our country. The freedom I experience in my community from the protection of law enforcement, fire officials, first responders and so on. They pay a price for me to enjoy my freedom. Someone always pays, the reality is that it just sucks when it is you. 

It’s not fair to pick and choose. I wouldn’t want someone else to have my cancer instead of me, that is just pure selfish and evil in itself, I deal with it and believe God for my healing. I’m not in a pick and choose situation.. I can’t do anything about it.. well, that’s not all actually true.

I can live. I can enjoy life while I have it. I can help others experience hope and peace through the experiences I have had to get to a place that I can in my suffering. And then there are just times we suffer together and get through it.

I started today by saying you probably wouldn’t like the answer, and you still may not and still may think it’s not good enough. Well, then, what is good enough? How is that good enough a fair answer in life for everyone?

God loves us regardless.  Now some people say “As long as we trust God, everything will be okay.” However, the Bible is quite clear that God will walk with us through life’s problems, and that he will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8; Hebrews 13:5). But he never promises a life free from pain or suffering. Throughout the Bible, the people who trusted God most were also the people who suffered the most. Look at Job or the Apostle Paul. They each suffered greatly. But they held on to their faith because they understood something important: God's ways are different from our ways. What seems best to us is not always what’s best to God.

When my mother-in-law was dying of cancer, I couldn’t say “Praise the Lord! My mom is going to be with God!" I prayed for her healing and hoped God would keep her around for a whole lot longer. Yet, when she died, I was faced with the truth that she is happier today in heaven than she would have been on earth. If I really wanted the best for her, then I needed to trust that God's way was the best, even though it wasn't the best for me.

I know that doesn’t take away your pain for your situation but I hope it’s comforting to know God may not always take away our suffering, but he will always walk beside us, leading us toward the best future possible—an eternal life with him.

I hope today spoke to your heart and that you remember how valuable life is. There is hope, even when you may doubt, there is hope. One last thing before we go today I want to share a  great scripture with you from the Bible and remember as Paul said to us from God’s heart in Philippians 4:6-9  


6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.


And that He surely will my friends. The choice is yours. I don’t think, I know you’re valuable to God and others we’ve talked about it and there is page after page of it in the Bible for you to read! That being said…. Have faith, know you’re loved…..Don’t give in, don’t give up and never forget

#GodsGotThis!

Transformation Infatuation

I’m sure you’ve seen it. Commercials on every channel promising a better you. Skinnier you, richer you, more secure you, more popular you. It’s everywhere and at some point, it becomes information overload to many and a stumbling block to others. When thinking of transformation, a usual thought goes right to weight loss and when thinking of major weight loss, there is a show for and about that attracting MILLIONS of viewers every season. You guessed it, The Biggest Loser. Without a doubt, it’s amazing to see the transformation and also see the dedication it takes to get there. But what happens after the trainer isn’t screaming at you all day? What happens when the healthy stocked fridge is no longer stocked by a crew member, but by you? A study of contestants from “The Biggest Loser” found their metabolisms slowed during and after the competition, making it difficult to maintain weight loss.

Thirteen of the 14 contestants studied regained weight in the six years after the competition. Four contestants are heavier now than before the competition.

Nearly all the contestants have slower metabolisms today than they did six years ago and burn fewer calories than expected when at rest. What does this mean? It means that the transformation infatuation we have in our culture 1. Doesn’t always work and 2. If true transformation is a desire, it requires information and dedication.

I do want to say that there is nothing wrong with a desire for transformation, that is key and good desire, however, there is a difference between dedication and infatuation.

Infatuation means an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something. Intense but short-lived. That doesn’t sound like much of a transformation at all does it? That sounds like coming to a program at 425lbs, leaving at 189lbs and 3 years later you are 450lbs.

That wasn’t transformation that was imagination suffocation!


In an incredible resource and article I found in a blog I follow from positivepsychologyprogram.com  written by an young and very talented writer by the name of Courtney Ackerman I wanted to share a small section of what she shared with the world in an article entitled:

What is Self-Acceptance? 25 Exercises + Definition and Quotes

The article has many sections, but one of the first is entitled What is the Meaning of Self-Acceptance? And Courtney goes on to say….

Self-acceptance is exactly what its name suggests: the state of complete acceptance of oneself. True self-acceptance is embracing who you are, without any qualifications, conditions, or exceptions (Seltzer, 2008).

For an academic definition, we can turn to Morgado and colleagues’ (2014) working definition:

“[Self-acceptance is] an individual’s acceptance of all of his/her attributes, positive or negative.”

This definition emphasizes the importance of accepting all facets of the self. It’s not enough to simply embrace the good, valuable, or positive about yourself; to embody true self-acceptance, you must also embrace the less desirable, the negative, and the ugly parts of yourself.

If you’re thinking that accepting all the negative aspects of yourself sounds difficult—you’re not wrong! It’s not easy to accept the things that we desperately want to change about ourselves; however—counter intuitively—it is only by truly accepting ourselves that we can even begin the process of meaningful self-improvement.

In other words, we must first acknowledge that we have undesirable traits and habits before we start off on our journey to improvement.

Amazing insight and very helpful in today’s podcast, thank you Courtney...

So, how can a person find a place of transformation and be confident it is the correct one and one that can be maintained? Good question. Especially when there are literally thousands of requests for your attention to their solution.

However, the initial question is probably a question that was fueled by the feelings in your life like: Maybe you’re sick of your life, your waistline, your bank account or the person you’ve become.

Well, guess what?! You’re more flexible than you think! You can become just about anything or anyone you like. Whether you want to get fit, build wealth, or revamp your social life, you can do it!

It’s far from easy, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.

These strategies can help you become the person you’ve always wanted to be:

  1. Identify your core values. You won’t be happy if you create a big change that puts you in conflict with your values. Most people have never really taken the time to identify their values. Take a day to consider the values that are most important to you. Write them down. For those of you who are wrestling with what your personal values are, this week we are offering a few worksheets to help with that. All you have to do is email us at community@godsgotthis.love and we will send you your FREE copy of your MY VALUES WORKSHEET. It will give present some questions to help you answer and identify some things that are key and important in your life and we want to provide that to you this week for free just by simply requesting it. We’ll give you the information at the end of today’s podcast too.

A good scripture that helps paint a picture of solid values in your life is found in Luke 6:32-42 ESV

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. ...


  1. Create a vision of the future. Think about the end result of the transformation you want to make. If you want to lose weight and become fit, think about how you would look and feel. Maybe you’re more interested in becoming wealthy. What would that look like? What kind of house would you own? How would you spend your day?

  • Is your transformation reasonable for you? For example, you might not be able to make a trillion dollars, but you could still build great wealth. Are you willing to put the work into what it takes to reach that vision for your future? If you don’t, you’re right back to being that person who was heavy then lost the weight and then slowly gained it all back.

  • To fully understand your future, you must be willing to trust the one who holds it all in his hands.

Jeremiah 29:11 is a scripture you hear me use a lot and for good reason. It’s true and it works!! In the case here when you are planning your future out, it is good to align your thoughts with truth and here is what it says:

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”


  • Make sure you are aligning with truth. That is the best form of success.


  • It’s important to address each of the issues that creates emotional discomfort. You’re likely to quit if you don’t.


  • Either come up with a plan to work around those issues or just relax and let the negative feelings go.

  • You’ll know you’re in a good place when you find yourself chomping at the bit to get started. Procrastination is a sign that something is awry.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

What a great place to start.  A place of confidence and truth now plan a realistic approach to fit that truth that you feel honors God as well.

  1.  Determine why. Why do you want to make this change? Create a long list of reasons why you want to transform. Get excited. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big here, it’s just a list, after you are done, you can go back and re-evaluate it. This is your chance to reach for the stars and at the same time an opportunity for you to make some grown-up decisions. The question was “why do you want to make this change?” Does it have a purpose? Does it make sense? Does it not only benefit you, it actually will benefit others? Start your why list.

  2. Identify the qualities and skills you’ll need to develop. If you want to transform your body, you might need to learn more about exercise physiology, nutrition, and develop some discipline. Consider what it will take to accomplish your transformation. Doing a few sit ups and running a couple miles is good, but that alone will not provide the transformation you want if your running is on the way to McDonalds to get a double cheeseburger, large fries and a milk shake. Discipline is vital. A good partner to discipline is accountability. Who can you trust and confide in that becomes an accountability partner? Your spouse? A best friend? A family member? Create on your list the qualities and skills as well as the form of accountability for each area of transformation you are striving for.  Proverbs 16:9 NLT says

  3. Identify the resources you’ll require. Do you need a personal trainer, gym membership, and a blender? Maybe you need money and a mentor for your transformation. Figure out the resources you’ll need. Planning for success requires forethought. Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  It makes no sense to go to the efforts to fail, it makes all sense to go to efforts to succeed, so do it. Think it out. What are the details behind your desire of transformation? Yes, this list is getting big, however, it’s better to have a big list than a huge disappointment!

  4. Make a plan. Start at the end and keep working backwards until you reach a step that you can do today. Avoid worrying about the details of step 11. You can worry about that when you’re finishing up step 10. You don’t need to see 10 miles down the road to back out of your driveway. So, if your transformation is not about your weight it’s about finances then the end of your plan would be for example: I am debt free and have a thriving interest earning savings account, a debit account with actual cash in it, a retirement fund and if you have children perhaps you would say you have a college fund with the money it takes to pay for college in cash. Okay, you get the idea then you go backwards from there for example, I put an extra 100 per month in my savings account, created a college fund account and put in X amount of dollars per month there and it goes on. If you have a plan in place, it is much easier to follow it if it makes sense to you.

  5. Audit your plan. Imagine following your plan and note how you feel at each step. You’re bound to feel some emotional resistance at one or more points. If you didn’t, you would have made the transformation long ago.


Okay, and now we are at the last in our list today to defeat transformational infatuation with a transformational aspiration!

Don’t quit! This is the most challenging part for most people. You fail if you quit. You can’t fail if you don’t. Keep on going no matter how bleak things seem. You can always go for it again. I could share so many illustrations of people of success who didn’t get there without many prior failures. I’m sure you’ve heard of many as well. A little bit of progress each day or week is all you need. As you might be well aware, I have said #GodsGotThis a time or two in my life and by saying that, I am proclaiming a truth I chose to align with. There is no doubt in my mind he is perfect in all his ways and more than able, that being the case, I’d much rather follow his lead than my own. The key is as I just mentioned, DON’T QUIT! Press in, trust him and things will work out just fine!

You can transform yourself starting now. Build a vision and create a plan. Stay the course until you’re satisfied with the changes you’ve made. After you have made those changes, continue to stay the course, you’re in for the long haul. Running isn’t about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be. This is a marathon called life, enjoy the journey!

Don’t forget…

#GODSGOTTHIS

Running After What?

^^^^^^^WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE ^^^^^^^^

This week's theme is about RUNNING AFTER WHAT?! So many things we are running away from and to and the clarity in our lives that we so desperately need.

Hear a story about two businessmen with similar goals and up against a clock yet they both had dramatically different outcomes.

The challenge this week is to identify where you are going and how you are getting there. We'd love to hear your comments below and if you are not on our mailing list, please visit us at GodsGotThis.Love and subscribe to our weekly magazine.

Thank you so much and as always, no matter what circumstance or situation always remember

#GodsGotThis!

An Almost Love

an almost love.png

This week I've been sharing a message about AN ALMOST LOVE. If you haven't had a chance yet to tune into a special edition podcast this week, please take some time to go download and/or listen to it. It's a powerful story about an almost love set back in 1944 at the height of World War 2.  You can visit our podbean site at http://www.godsgotthis.podbean.com

Okay, you know how it is. If you are a follower of Christ perhaps.  The kids are sick ... so church is missed. You have to leave earlier the next morning ... leaving no time for quiet prayer. Bodies need exercise so reading the Bible gets pushed aside. Of course, we have to eat so meals must be prepared ... so worship becomes secondary. Reports and projects have to be finished (and you just found out!!) ... you get the idea. Obviously, the list goes on and on of what can keep us from the closeness of God.

I felt this week that as hard as it is for some to actually commit to Christ, that is really the easy part, it's the living for and with him part that is hard.  Life can get in the way. We have our issues in life, then we find something happens, we find someone who looks much better than anything we've ever seen, we find a love in Jesus Christ that looks so beautiful and we have to move in his direction.

Then... For some of us, something happens. Little by little, a piece at a time, STUFF gets in the way and then soon enough the same stuff is really what you spend all of your time with and on and the beautiful love, the peace, the freedom you found in Christ....Get's buried under a heap load of your life.

You may go months some even years and not even think about it again. Oh, there are a few reminders, Easter and Christmas come along and you remember, you celebrate, you feel guilty as well and you think "Man, I need to get back in church". Well, yes you do, however, the first step is in recognizing that the one you love the most, the one who gave all for you, is waiting for you.

You see, being a good person and being a good busy person with good intentions is not what it takes to honor the sacrifice that a man named Jesus Christ paid for you, before the cross, at the cross and after.  He was mocked, beat, tortured and murdered by bloodily being nailed to a cross in such a way that the nails pierced through both feet at the top and out the heal area and then each through his wrists. He paid a price knowing you would be born, born into a world that was all screwed up and lived it right and by example to show you how to do it and do it even better. But then, we have too much laundry? The house needs to be cleaned? The kids have sports or dance? The meeting at work? School? You get it and... Really? What that is is AN ALMOST LOVE.

Yes, this is a tough one today. It was tough for him too. I know that there are many times in my life that I do the same thing. There is a scripture that exposes that and what it is like for the one we love and it says:

and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. Hebrews 6:6 ESV

 

So when we know him or knew him, in all actuality, walk away from him, even secretly, by that I mean saying the right things at times to give the illusion that all is good, when really what has happened is, you have a hammer in one hand and a spike in the other. Then turn and begin the process of sticking them to his skin, lining it up and then hammer away. Bursting through his skin and then pounding into the wood behind. Yes, it's graphic, gross and sounds horrible. IT IS!!!!

Another ALMOST LOVE is basically the same as above, perhaps you have thought about it, thought about him, but you and your stuff are too much to think about and how he could possibly fit, want you and that it probably wouldn't work. Yes, it can.

The other ALMOST LOVE is like our love story I wrote this week. We come to a place, find something beautiful there and see there is someone you think you have fallen for. Someone you could spend the rest of your life with, but somehow, things happen or get in the way through choices and actions we choose and the chance slips away through the night.

Here's the reality, ALMOST LOVE is NOT LOVE. Love is a commitment, a life, and a passion. Love is doing the hard things. Love is established boundaries and respecting and following them.

Love is chasing after the girl when you know something is there instead of letting her slip away. 

(listen to the podcast, you'll get it) :-)

I don't mean to sound like the mean teacher slamming the ruler on the desk, however, it the pop of that ruler hitting the desk is enough to snap you out of it, shake your head and realize it's time to wake up and do the work, then I'm happy for that.

You mean and meant enough that he was willing to do what he did FOR YOU. To see in Hebrews 6:6 of how we can crucify him afresh, which obviously means to crucify him over and over and over again by the countless amounts of people who fall into what the scripture is revealing.

The revealed hope is, IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE YOU. Run after your love! Don't let it slip away! This is the best thing that has or will ever happen in your entire life! Do what it takes and if you need help in the process, reach out!! Reach out to us here at #GodsGotThis or reach out to a follower of Christ, reach out to your church, to a new church.. Something!

My hope is that you say yes to him and experience the abundant life he promised and died for.

Again, feel free to reach out at: community@godsgotthis.love or visit our website for resources and connection as well. Whatever you do, whatever you face, circumstance or situation, never forget:

#GODSGOTTHIS

 

SOMETHING BIG!

PODCAST SOMETHING BIG.jpg

Listen to SOMETHING BIG at GodsGotThis.Podbean.com

 

You see it on the news. You hear it on the radio. Someone every day is living it large, making a dream a reality and doing something big!

 

Maybe you want to be the next Charles Dickinson and write an incredible book that lasts for generations! Perhaps a bit more like Jorge Paulo Lemann. That’s right, a name not to familiar and that is just how he likes it. One of the top 5 richest people in the world. He lives in Sweden and owns a few things, one of which is a little store called H&M. Jorge is worth over 24 Billion with B dollars. It could be that you want to do something big to leave your mark on the world, something small like Tim Berners-Lee did and he’s still alive. He is the man who invented the three little letters we use everyday www. Yes, contrary to some beliefs he actually invented the internet.

 

You see, a person doesn’t have to have the pre-requisite of being famous to be SOMETHING BIG! Today, let’s talk about the next biggest thing here on planet earth. This person may not be currently watched by Fox or CNN or CNBC or MTV or TMZ, but is being watched by G-O-D! Yes the person I am talking about, the one who is really SOMETHING BIG… is YOU!!!!

 

If you have ever been to a church more than 5 times in your life and possibly if you never have, there is a probability you have heard this scripture:

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

THAT MEANS SOMETHING BIG!!!!!!!

I have been a passionate person my entire life. I haven’t always been focused, but I have been passionate. I have always wanted to and felt the drive for greatness. I sure don’t mean that in some egotistical way (although, there was a time in my life, and I wouldn’t have admitted it then, that I was). I mean I feel like I always felt there was to be something more. Something I was to do to leave a mark, something to bring transformation. When I was in high school, I left the last 2 years my Junior year to go to a vocational school. I went for Marketing Sales and Services. Why? I felt like I wanted to own my own business one day. Fast forward over 30 years and I have. Not just one, but several and I’m still going.

Well, Matt, that’s okay for you, but I’m not wired that way. Really? Okay, I’ll give you that we are not all alike, we are not all wired the same way. Some are the life of the party and some can’t wait to get home from the party. Some want to run the business and some are just fine working quietly in the back of the business. That much is true, however, here is the truth spelled out in Ephesians 1:11-12

11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. Ephesians 1:11-12 The Message

Here are a few foundational points to consider when considering that it is you that is the SOMETHING BIG on this big blue ball and only called that way by the creator of the universe, no biggie right? I mean, come on.. whether you like the President of the United States or not... If he were on TV giving a speech and just stopped and looked dead into the camera and said.. You know what MATT CRUMP?. you are incredible. There is no one quite like you on this planet and any company on this earth should be blowing your phone up for the chance to have you and here is his phone number… WHAT!!?????? It’s like that.. only better. 

So..back to those foundational points. Let’s look at Jeremiah 29:11

 

  1. God said “HE KNOWS THE PLANS”. That means he isn’t going to make them up as we go, it’s not dependent upon what school you finally graduate from, how much money you come from or get to, nope.. he said HE KNOWS! That means my friends that you are destined for SOMETHING BIG.. LIKE...

  2. God said “PLANS FOR GOOD” He didn’t say plans for the worst, plans for destruction, plans for you to always fail, nope, he said SOMETHING BIG Good there comes from the Hebrew word SHALEM which in English means a few things like completeness, soundness, welfare and peace. Also safe, i.e. (figuratively) well, happy, friendly; also (abstractly) welfare, i.e. health and prosperity. So, when he says GOOD in our language he means SOMETHING BIG!

  3. God said “NOT FOR DISASTER” Like I said before not for bad or (as noun) evil (natural or moral)one), worse(-st), wretchedness, wrong. (Incl. feminine raaah; as adjective or noun.) and not for evil, misery, distress or injury. What??!!  All that? But, I thought God was supposed to protect us, so why did my Grandpa die of cancer, or my child die at birth or my son get killed at war. Well, as you can see from this ONE WORD, that wasn’t God. Yes, we live in a world that has bad things. We have screwed it up pretty good. Why do you think Jesus even had to come back on the scene? It was so far out of order, so far away from God, it took God to bring it back to where it needed to be and now we have a choice, it might even be better to say, the example to follow of Jesus Christ. Many choose not to. It’s an unbalanced world, however, God’s plan never changed, we just need to learn his heart and press more into it, understanding that YES.. YOU ARE SOMETHING BIG!!!

     

     

    4. God said to “GIVE YOU A FUTURE” Wait a minute.. a future? But if my life sucks and nothing else is better.. wrong mentality, there is something better and it comes through YOU.. SOMETHING BIG!!!!! The word future from the Hebrew means literally, a cord (as an attachment); figuratively, expectancy -- expectation (-ted), hope, live, thing that I long for. Wow!!

     

    5. God said “AND A HOPE” So to live a life pointless and hopeless is to live exactly the opposite of what he has already said he will do!!! He has already said there is a plan for hope and yes it can feel like there is no hope, I understand that and I have felt that, like maybe last week! Vetikvah means literally, a cord (as an attachment); figuratively, expectancy -- expectation (-ted), hope, live, thing that I long for that’s SOMETHING BIG!!

     

    So now we know the plans for us what about the SOMETHING BIG?! For that we’ll look to Ephesians 1:11-12

     

    6. In Christ “WE FIND OUT WHO WE ARE.” When you KNOW who you are, you’re confident. When you KNOW who you are you are courageous.

    7. In Christ “WE FIND OUT WHAT WE ARE LIVING FOR” When you KNOW what you are living for it’s the difference from living fully alive to living a life on autopilot.

    8. Before we knew “CHRIST HAD HIS EYE ON US” When you KNOW that Christ has his eye YOU, individually, it empowers you with a pure purpose driving others to the same place in their life instead of being a person without that confidence who will constantly drive people away from destiny, including one's self.

    9. He had a “DESIGN FOR US FOR GLORIOUS LIVING “ When we KNOW who we are, what we are living for and that Christ had his eye on us, the Hollywood glorious living is not what is being said, it is a living that honors God in all we do because we know where it came from, it is a person of gratitude for what they have and a person who is humble enough to receive the awards and rewards of living a glorious life. Oh yes, we get stuff, but the difference is the stuff won’t get us, that’s GLORIOUS LIVING!

    10. “HE HAS AN OVERALL PURPOSE WHAT HE IS WORKING OUT IN US” Yes he is and we know it for sure. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give a future and a hope.

 

When these points I have just shared with you become not just knowledge in our heads, more like an empowerment to our core, it is then when we can realize that we were made to be a HERO. A person who is destined to do SOMETHING BIG. A hero is a person of bravery. This person has usually overcome huge obstacles to survive or to rescue others and is willing at any given moment to overcome their obstacles and fears. A hero is a person where integrity, honor, honesty, intelligence, wisdom, action, morality and love work in harmony to balance that person through a grounded knowledge and understanding of their identity in Christ. 

 

SOMETHING BIG is BIG when it is never about you individually and alway them collectively. 

 

So, my friend, this is your day, this is your week, your month, your year and your life. You have been equipped, empowered and established by the biggest SOMETHING BIG there ever was, is or will be. Take these words of truth to defeat the true of you. Okay, just so that doesn’t fall flat at the end here… When I say what’s true of you, I am saying the part when you quickly think, “Oh, that would never be me” or “I can’t because” kind of true about you or us for that matter to a confidence about the truth of what God created in, for and about you. Knowing these things can only be the fuel needed in our faith tanks to blast us off into SOMETHING BIG!!!

 

If you’re ready for a change in your life and tired of the some old whatever and youre ready for SOMETHING BIG, we’d love to pray with you and help you meet the BIGGEST SOMETHING BIG of your life named Jesus Christ. Feel free to reach out to us here at community@godsgotthis.love or reach out through our social media and message us there we’d love to chat. My friend, there is hope and not just some flimsy hope, I’m talking SOLID. No matter what you are facing, things always seem different when you don’t have to think about it anymore, you just live into the hero you are, spring into action and do SOMETHING BIG!

 

I hope today spoke to your heart and that you have found some truths you can carry with you for the rest of your life. There is hope, even when you may doubt, there is hope. Before we go today I want to share another great scripture with you from the Bible and remember as Paul said to us from God’s heart in Philippians 4:6-9  

 

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

 

And that He surely will my friends. The choice is yours. I don’t think, I know you’re SOMETHING BIG, we just read it today in God’s word! That being said…. Don’t give in, don’t give up and never forget

#GODSGOTTHIS

The Bottom Floor

The Bottom Floor.PNG

A couple of weeks ago I talked to you about a young lady named Sasha setting records all over the world for her success in climbing and we’re not talking up some tree in the backyard, I’m talking about solid chunks rocky earth hundreds of feet in the air. The struggle is real and the celebration at the top is always a moment you never forget. The climb is a powerful experience requiring stamina, skill and fortitude. 

 

Think about incredible athletes like Sasha, headed out to the mountain they are about to climb, all their gear with them, prepped for days, weeks, months and even years for the perfect situation and the perfect climb. Do you think that they would go to all that trouble to get there, look at the mountain they are about to climb and then say “Ah man, I’m probably just going to fall off and die, what’s the use, forget it!”

 

No, that would just be plain stupid to plan and prepare for something so much that when you get to it you just give up and quit.  Today I want to talk to you a little more about the climb for sure and the fortitude to make the climb, but if we are ever going to climb the ladder of success, you’ll never get to that penthouse view without the right foundation.

 

When it comes to tall buildings, downtown New York City wasn’t the first place with tall buildings. No, we have been infatuated with reaching the sky for centuries. From the tower of Babel at Babylon to enormous architectural masterpieces still standing as the great pyramid’s throughout Egypt. Yes, it’s easy to think of many examples of structures over our human history and even more recently in the past 150 years or so, mankind has developed strategies and technological breakthroughs making it possible to have buildings 1500 to almost 2000 feet high!!

 

I don’t know if you have ever had a chance to see a skyscraper or just a really tall building and stand in front of it and then just look straight up. It will be a matter of seconds before you notice yourself becoming a little wobbly and for some, it’s just plain impossible to stand there and look without getting sick or scared or both!!!

 

Have you ever wondered what it takes for buildings like that to be able to get so tall? Well, you have guessed correctly if you’re first guess was the foundation. There are so many combining factors that make for the success of a solid structure like that, but today, I’d like to talk to you about something powerful for those and something powerful for us “THE BOTTOM FLOOR”

 

One of the first skyscrapers built was built in the late 1800’s in Chicago called the Chicago’s Home Insurance building, it was finished in 1884 at 10 stories high. Obviously, that doesn’t sound too high compared to buildings of today, but go stand on its roof and lean over and then tell me how tall a 10 story building is!

 

The only way to build a building that keeps going up is to first start going down. It takes, in most cities a lot of digging. The World Trade Center had to be dug 65 feet down before it hit bedrock. They had to devise a plan to keep the water table from flooding the huge hole and at the same time stop the walls of that hole from falling in on themselves. It took a lot of engineering to come up with what it takes to build these enormous buildings. Some of the other issues besides the sheer weight is wind! Before I talk about the wind, here’s an interesting fact, an average house can weigh usually around 70 tons but the Empire State Building in New York City weighs about 350,000 tons! Okay, so the wind. The taller you go the more wind is an issue and can cause a building to sway and that is not good. So one of the ways to help stabilize these structures is by building a much wider foundation. So the wider and deeper it goes the more it is able to sure up and steady these swinging steel structures and stopping them from falling right over. Oh, there is the way the walls are constructed and the steel beams as well that play a major part.

 

Here’s another interesting fact. When the 110-story World Trade Center towers were built in New York in the early 1970s, more than I million cubic yards (765,000 cubic meters) of soil and rock were removed and dumped in the Hudson River to create 23.5 acres (95,100 square meters) of new land, on which another skyscraper was later constructed. That was a deep hole and a lot of dirt!

 

I mentioned a moment ago that when builders begin building a skyscraper they don't start by building up. Instead, they start by digging to the bedrock in order to create a foundation of stability. They have to go down deep and excavate tons of soil, sand, clay, rocks, and worms (sorry, I used to dig up worms when I was a kid). They do all of that to finally reach that bedrock so that they can build something that would be worthy of breaking through the clouds and called a skyscraper.

We’re a lot like that in many ways. Our lives, careers, and families work the same way. If we want to build up we have to first dig deep and develop our foundation. It's not always easy to dig up all that stuff we find below (the fears we have, the wounds we carry and the things that hold us back) but once we uncover them we can reach the core of our foundation and begin the building process to reach even greater heights. Another interesting tidbit of information is the area that’s dug up prior to going down to the bedrock is called overburden. It’s defined as “the rock and subsoil that lies above a mineral deposit."

Today I want to talk about some of those layers that we must dig up to build a great foundation. If you visit some of these beautiful and massive buildings you can typically walk into a huge area usually 2 stories high with shops and escalators or elevators leading up or down. That’s because THE BOTTOM FLOOR or ground floor is usually made of some of the thickest walls and material. It’s THE BOTTOM FLOOR that is your first impression, place of direction and for some a place of reflection. 

Before we finish this building and enjoy all it has to offer, we first have to do some digging. 

When taking some time for self-reflection and a desire to make that climb to the top, it’s important to think about what's holding you back. 

What needs to be unearthed and dealt with? Oh yeah,  it's so much easier just not to address or confront it…. but remember a key factor of a skyscraper. 

If you don't dig dip, you'll never be able to build a solid foundation needed to live the life and legacy you really want.

Once you dig down deep you'll find that core that you can build on, creating a massive and strong bottom floor before you will ever get to the next step. That is to build from your foundation floor by floor with the principles and habits that will help you soar to that penthouse view!

 

So, what are some of the things you can find at THE BOTTOM FLOOR? What are some of those layers to be dug up or revealed in our lives, Those layers that are like the overburden covering the bedrock of our lives?    Well....Here we go!!!

  1. HUMILITY - The only way to achieve being a fantastic leader, and enjoying an incredible life is to be an excellent follower. A BOTTOM FLOOR person who is humble (which is an adjective or verb) which describes a person (or thing) who is not arrogant or overly proud, but modest, simple and lowly. ... "Humility" is an attribute making it a noun form of the same word basically meaning "a modest view of one's own importance.” Humility often means recognizing that we are created by God and interconnected with and dependent upon others. C.S. Lewis said of humility: “True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. I recently heard the story of Maria and Miguel. They have been married for 22 years living in Medellin Columbia. When they found each other, they were both drug addicts and got worse when they found each other. After they realized they really needed each other and had fallen in love, they used that gift to beat the addiction to drugs they both faced. I didn’t mention that because they were so poor and had no jobs they couldn’t afford housing, I didn’t say they were homeless, they just couldn’t afford housing. When they first met in their drug-addicted situations they made their home, get ready… IN THE SEWER! Not some sewer like you would think of under the streets of New York City, it was more like a giant concrete septic tank. What’s more interesting in this story is that after they got clean and have remained clean, they still live in the sewer! They found a place of comfort with each other and have made that place their home. They have a little kitchen, a bedroom area, and electricity in their little home now. I’m sure quite possibly many of you would be thinking, man, if they are drug-free now and happily married, why not find a better place to live. The answer is simple, humility. They love each other and they are happy with what they have and it works just fine for them. I’m not saying to go live in a sewer to be happy, I’m just saying that for them BOTTOM FLOOR living has been pretty good.

 

  1. GROUNDED - A person who is grounded has the ability to be completely aware and conscious during the present moment. You’re a person who practices a deep sense of mindfulness and don’t really live around the “what ifs.”  Just like getting a foundation that holds hundreds of thousands of tons of weight and pressure, it takes time and isn’t always easy, but it is achievable. Simple personal exercises like breathing, walking, taking some time to relax with some calming music, stopping to listen instead of waiting for the next opportunity to get your point across. I recently read a blog from a person whose life was just changed dramatically and some could even say turned upside down. The person, Amina, was originally from Kenya and had lived and worked away for about 30 years. She was doing well, however, and unfortunately her visa ran out and although her employer had tried to get it renewed without her knowing and twice at that, it was to no avail! Amina had to return to Kenya, a home she had been away from for 30 years! How can a person get through a situation like that? Her friends and life she had built and enjoyed for all of those years suddenly changed. That is was is special about Amina. Here are a few things she shared that got her through that time in her life and she accredited it how in an article entitled

  2. How I Keep Myself Grounded After Life's Hardships    Understand that "some things are and some things are not”

  3. I believe like Maria and Miguel Amina understood a vital principle in life, to be grateful. Out of that posture, she was able to write a few points that are excellent ways to understand how to live and be GROUNDED. 1. FOCUS ON THE NOW - As friends and family were saddened and made it tough to stay positive Amina was reminded of a quote from Louis C.K. "Some things are and some things are not.” She came to the conclusion that the job and the visa were things that are not. She said "what could have been' is just a waste of cognitive energy. So I try to be mindful and focus on the present, and just the very next step that I'm supposed to take.” And of course, her second point was 2. BE GRATEFUL - She practices being grateful and takes a few moments every morning to reflect on the things she does have. The opportunity to live in another land for over 3 decades and now has friends and experiences she would never have had before. She has a Kindle with books she has even yet to read on it and so grateful for the opportunity to have that and also a blank piece of paper. She has something to write, something to say and is grateful for that opportunity in life. Writing is one of her passions, as is mine and she is focused to write even if no-one else is reading. It’s a passion and part of things in her life that have helped her to not only be grounded but a shining example of what it means to be a BOTTOM FLOOR person. Thank you, Amina! (And I’m hoping to introduce you all to her one day in a future podcast if we can work it out!)

     

    3. SUPPORTED - Support actually means to bear a part or all of the weight. Is that a description that could define you? A person who is supportive isn’t a person that’s just all clingy and does whatever you want (you can get a puppy dog for that) they challenge you, stand beside you when you need them, and give you the space you need to roam free and grow as a person. They are a cheerleader and not a groupie. A great quote that embodies what it means to bear a part or all of the weight was spoken by the 35th President of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy:

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” 

  1. TRUSTED - This can be one of those tough places. 1. It’s hard just to trust and 2. To qualify as a person of trust means you have to be a person who can trust. There are so many things that can rob us of trust in our lives. Failed relationships, abusive relationships, lies, manipulation, laziness the list goes on and on. Trust is a precious commodity in our lives and once it is lost, it is so hard to get back. The old saying goes trust is not given it’s earned is a powerful phrase, however, the latter part deserves a look, earned. That means that we have to actually trust to allow the trust to be earned. Trust is built with consistency, not only for others but in ourselves. Trust is also one of those let go places. It can kind of be like going to an amusement park and seeing one of those bungee jump towers. You know what I’m talking about, the ones that look like they are a mile high with a piece of dental floss attached to your body preventing you from becoming a stain on the pavement. That kind of let go. It’s not easy and not easy for most, but it is possible. Life can be so much of a rewarding experience with trust in our lives than without it. Without it, we’re always looking over our shoulders, constantly living in doubt and never really enjoying much of anything. I don’t think there are many people who on the 32nd floor of a skyscraper obsess over the fact that they aren’t sure about THE BOTTOM FLOOR. In many cases THE BOTTOM FLOOR can build your trust so much, you never think about it and actually, enjoy the reason you showed up. THE BOTTOM FLOOR can be a place of calm, a place of hope and yes, a place of trust.

 

  1. FIRM - What an interesting 4 letter F word! Firm means having a solid, almost unyielding surface or structure. There’s no better understanding of this word than to look at what Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-27 in The Message:

24-25 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.

26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”

Jesus started from a posture of trust in what he was saying, and although this translation is provided as a better understanding in English for us to understand, the essence of what he said really shines through. He wasn’t offering some home improvement, he’s offering something better and stronger built on a firm unyielding surface. These are words to build a life on. They incorporate all of our 5 points here: Humility, Grounded, Supported, Trusted and Firm. These are all foundational BOTTOM FLOOR essential attributes. And like in verse 26 when he said if we just use his words for some Bible study instead of actually working them into our lives, we’re building a house on shaky, shifting sand instead of that firm, unyielding bedrock that provides the foundation for a solid, thick and trustworthy BOTTOM FLOOR.

What this all comes to is that Christ is our foundation, our bedrock and on that life can be built. Your life. That means you’re not the penthouse, you’re the BOTTOM FLOOR that the penthouse gets its joy from. Without the bedrock and without the solid walls and well thought out construction of you, there is no penthouse. Each floor of a towering skyscraper is built on trust, floor by floor, higher and higher each floor is a rung in the ladder of a successful life allowing the climb to the top not easy, but possible. 

My friends, if you are ever going to climb to the top of success in your life, you’ll never get there without a good BOTTOM FLOOR. It’s never a place to turn our noses up to, it’s a place of respect, dignity and of course trust. 

 

I want to encourage you today to evaluate your place in life. Are you living on shaky ground right now? Questionable relationships? No real firm foundation in your life, just drifting? Is the overburden of your life a cluttered minefield of broken trust, lies, depression, and hopelessness? Then I suggest it is time to start digging. Find a place where there is good soil and an incredible view and then layer by layer dig deep until you reach the bedrock of your soul. Jesus has been and is there waiting for you. He’s not only the bedrock, he’s the shovel that helps you dig, but you have to put the shovel to the ground. As you do, Christ begins a work in you and the layout begins for an incredible BOTTOM FLOOR. When people walk into the doors of your life and look around with Christ as your foundation, then the BOTTOM FLOOR looks like a welcoming place. A safe place. A place of potential and dreams. A place that when the top floor is reached isn’t just about how ornate the penthouse is, because that is going to be awesome for sure, it’s about the view!

 

This is possible and it’s possible for you! No matter what condition you find yourself in now, be it poor health or poor self, it can all be turned around making the new creation even better. It’s girded up with HUMILITY because it is GROUNDED, SUPPORTED and TRUSTED with a FIRM foundation able to withstand heavy rain and winds. It’s very construction was thought out in a special way just to withstand those assaults.

 

If you’re ready for a change and tired of home improvements and just want a brand new place on a firm foundation, we’d be happy to pray with you and help you meet this bedrock of life named Jesus Christ. Feel free to reach out to us here at community@godsgotthis.love or reach out through our social media and message us there we’d love to chat. My friend, there is hope and not just some flimsy hope, I’m talking SOLID. No matter what you are facing, things always seem different when you don’t have to think about the foundation.

 

I hope today spoke to your heart and that you have found some truths you can carry with you for the rest of your life. There is hope, even when you may doubt, there is hope. Before we go today I want to share another great scripture with you from the Bible and remember as Paul said to us from God’s heart in

Philippians 4:6-9  

 

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

 

And that He surely will my friends. The choice is yours. I think you make a pretty awesome BOTTOM FLOOR. That being said…. Don’t give in, don’t give up and never forget

#GodsGotThis!

8 Cracks in the Rock

#GGT The Climb.jpg

I have heard it said that the very best comes after the hardest climb. No doubt that it is true, but man that climb can be horrible!! 

7 years ago a girl with a passion made an effort to be the first. Being first wouldn’t come without a price. Sasha Diguilian had begun climbing at the young age of 6 years old and considered a professional by the young age of 18. It was at this age that no woman had climbed a 9a formation before. She was determined to do it. In 2011 Sasha climbed Pure Imagination a 9a (5.14d) in the Red River Gorge, making her the first American woman to climb a route of that grade. She had her goals set and she had them set high. 

I watched the video as she climbed. She fell several times, caught by her rope and continued trying over a 6 day period until she finally reached the top. As she got there, here entire countenance changed. She looked out over the horizon and just said WHOA! I can’t believe that just happened. Her hands bloodied by the rocks and the tape ripped from her skin, when she reached the top she said, "SCREW THE TAPE, I MADE IT THROUGH THE CRACKS, I DON’T CARE IF I BLEED.” 

She has been climbing her way to the top ever since with records set all over the world. 

The only way Sasha could even set a record is through her first grip on a stoney surface and pulling herself up. Each time, reaching for more, pulling her weight and bleeding as she goes until she gets there, the goal, the top. 

 

There are so many incredible climbing stories I wanted to share, but they all have the same ending. Getting to the top. The very best comes after the hardest climb. 

 

According to Isaiah 2:2-3:

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Many scholars and commentaries point to the prophecy contained in this scripture of the millennial end and if you want to study a ton about that, feel free to do so.. it is awesome to study, however, today, I want to look at it from a different perspective. Thinking for a moment about Sasha and her being the first woman in history to reach a height of that difficulty was amazing. She hasn’t been the only woman who has tried it since, but she set the way.

Looking at verse 2 and 3 we can see something similar.  The mountain of the Lord is established. Interestingly the mountain of the Lord isn’t really one of the tallest mountains in the region, talking about it is more about the height of God and his position. And then to say “LET US GO UP” means someone had to go up prior and set the pace, blaze the trail. I realize that I may not be holding to the eschatological statement here, but bear with me a moment and look at another lesson of climbing. 

I don’t know if you have ever been hiking on a mountain, but it is tough and if you go real high, the oxygen get’s thinner and it is harder for even the most conditioned to scale and to scale fast. I have climbed mountains and hiked trails and I’ll tell you, the best ones are the ones with a path already cut. It makes it easier to follow and easier to know how much further you have to go. Getting to the top is still tough and still a complete joy when you get there. The view is incredible, The air is crisp and clean. It’s beautifully amazing!!

It is when the trail hasn’t been cut that things are a bit harder. A bit scarier and require much more talent, patience and careful placement of your hands and feet. In Sasha’s situation, some had gone before her, but in her class, she was the first. She had a goal and a desire to do something, something that would make her feel incredible inside and something she could do for others women as well. When she made it to the top as the first recorded woman in history, she set the stage, she raised a bar and she said that women could do it. 

As we go climb even higher in our own journey, we will mature and our motives change. The path we’re on will become increasingly lighter and brighter. The huge blessing is that once we get high enough to catch a glimpse of God’s glory, we will be absolutely blown away. So much so, we begin to realize how big he really is! Our thoughts will become more like His thoughts. Our actions will become more like His actions. As we climb, following the path that he has set before us, we will become more and more humble in the light of His glory. Our time will be spent going higher and what’s even better is the opportunity of going back to help others climb, just like Christ helps others climb. 

The climb is never just about a personal goal of achieving the top rank and planting a flag, it’s about learning how to get there and teaching others how to do the same. The view always looks better when you have someone else to share it with. It’s almost like it’s hard to describe and explain unless you go there too. When we get there with others, they see a view that becomes even more incredible shared.

In 2 Peter 1:2-7 we can find some ways to climb to the top of our mountain. Some ways to experience the climb, but each area we place our hand and every foothold we can find is essential to have had the prior area firmly planted and understood in our lives. Let’s look at 1 Peter 1: 2-7 and see what it says:

2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[a] his own glory and excellence,[b] 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[c] and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

We can see in verse 5 where the cracks in the rocks are like Sasha found and it all starts with faith. Here are those 8 cracks that get to the top of every mountain and wait until you see what is at the top!

  1. FAITH and faith

  2. Virtue and virtue with

  3. Knowledge and knowledge with

  4. Self-Control and Self-Control with

  5. Steadfastness and steadfastness with

  6. Godliness and Godliness with

  7. Affection and affliction with

  8. Love.

 

We can clearly see that the first step in this climb is a step of faith and a place where you have to believe that #GodsGotThis. It is an abandonment to a faith that somehow, you will get to where you are going. In this case, the climb, if each crack in the mountain of life we are climbing is adhered to will always lead to love.

There are some treacherous storms that can cause us to slip from the cracks and our bloody hands lose the strength to just hold on any longer. Some of those storms are bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentment. All of these areas in our life are the sins we carry that weigh us down and cause us to carry more weight than we were intended to carry on this climb in the first place!

When climbing like Sasha did, she began getting bloody hands and had to quit a few times. Some of the sin in our lives can cause and create those bloody hands and even though we may overcome bitterness in our lives, when we have to face self-control and we can’t bring that part under control in our own lives it causes all the height we were able to gain to slip right past us as we fall as our hands lose grip in the cracks of life on that mountain.

From faith, we go next to the crack called VIRTUE. Virtue means behavior showing high moral standards. So to go from the faith in Christ and pulling up to virtue, we must be willing to live a life by showing a high moral standard. Let me tell you when you are climbing a vertical climb of a 9a, you are going to be seen by everyone and it’s not easy to hide a high moral standard by slipping up through low moral defeat. To get to that place of virtue, we must surrender and that takes faith. Faith to swing your hand under all the pressure of your own weight to a place of virtue. Once getting a hold of virtue in your life, it’s not easy to get to the next crack, KNOWLEDGE. Here’s a deep definition of knowledge, it’s what you know. Duh, right?! Yes and we learn in life through our struggles and pain and yes, from our ups and downs. Slipping from this height in the climb isn’t always as bad as it seems, not if we move by faith, to a place of virtue which then creates such a firm grip in knowledge it helps move us up another level to the next crack a little easier, but this one is a little hard to reach. It’s called SELF CONTROL. Sometimes we may get stuck in the knowledge we have attained by forgetting that we got there by faith and a virtue in Christ. Sometimes wounds along the journey can make us not want to forgive someone and by not doing that the next hold above our heads feels like it is just out of reach or we just no longer have the strength to get there. Self-Control is not just a sexual place that some may first go to in their minds, it can be a place of second-guessing others, a place of anticipating their moves even though they haven’t moved yet. It can be a place of passive-aggressive bitterness that is so hard to escape from, yet can cause us to slip from the cracks on our climb to the top. Keeping things in check, keeping things where they should be through the knowledge of Christ and the virtue we have found through our faith in him helps us to swing up to the next crack in our climb from Self-Control to STEADFASTNESS. This is a firm hold a deep crack to grab in the rock of this mountain. Steadfastness means resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering. This is a place where you WILL NOT BE MOVED! It’s about half way up the climb and you’re pretty high now and just too far to turn back, however, you can still slip and fall, but if you really grasped knowledge, you set a stake in the rock and secured a safety that could help you if you slipped. Many times we may try to climb alone, but the best climb is with someone who can come along your side, someone to encourage, someone to keep us accountable and ensure we are staked in strong. This is a steadfastness that will be like a ladder rung helping us to the next crack called GODLINESS. Godliness is quick to be thought of as in definition as Christian Character, and although it does contain it, it is not primarily that by definition. It is more. Godliness is DEVOTION IN ACTION. I read an interesting article that talked about Enoch. We are told in Genesis that Enoch walked with God and Enoch pleased God. (Genesis 5:21-24) Hebrews 11 says that Enoch was one who pleased God. Enoch’s life was centered in God; God was the focal point, the very place to hold firm in this climb we are trying to climb. Enoch walked with God; had and awesome relationship with God, and he pleased God. Just saying all of this, it is easy to see and to say he was devoted to God. There is the meaning of godliness. DEVOTION IN ACTION. By this point we are pretty high in our vertical climb of this slick mountain called life. It’s okay to take breaks to lean back once in a while on your safety. We have a bag of rosin to keep our hands from slipping (for us that bag of rosin we carry is the word of God in our hearts...it is vital in what we are doing, always preparing us for that next step and covers us. We don’t want to fall from here, we’re up high enough, a fall could be fatal. But we still swing our arm and hand to the next crack in the mountain and this one is called AFFECTION. Affection can easily be considered love, however it differs just a bit. It means a gentle feeling of fondness or liking. This is a place similar, but not exactly to the top yet. I can have affection for someone, but not be in love or passionately love. If you remember dating your husband or wife, before you said the big L word to each other, you just liked being with each other. Spending time together. Finding things you enjoyed doing with each other. It became an affectionate place and if you firmly grip the crack in this mountain when you swing your hand up to the next spot to hold, you get to the place you have been trying to get to, you get to the top. When you get to the top of this mountain, you find LOVE. From faith all the way to love. What a journey and what a climb. 

When I saw the video of Sasha making it to the top she was elated. Excited and overwhelmed. She took it in. She did it!!

You can too. It all starts with faith and faith to make the first move in your life. It’s all about THE CLIMB!!

 

 

Thank you for joining us this week, we appreciate you visiting. If you would, please like todays blog here and at our podcast site and while you are at it, leave a comment, wed love to hear from you! If you are not already subscribed to our mailing list and receiving our Monday Magazine and other emails, please visit our site at http://www.godsgotthis.love and click SUBSCRIBE when the little window pops up, or look for the newsletter subscribe button and it will do the same. We are so thankful to be able to provide all that God has given us to do and if there is anyway you can be a part financially to help us with the costs, we would be ever so grateful. When you get to the website, you click on the donations link and you will be guided from there. Please consider joining our community by being a monthly supporter and helping us to reach the world with God’s message of Hope Revealed that #GodsGotThis!

 

Start THE CLIMB this week, it just takes a little faith to start, but as you begin to grow and climb, the higher you get, the more you need to depend on the benefit of your journey to get to the top. I want to encourage you to start THE CLIMB this week. If you have fallen from it before, do like Sasha and get back to it, dont stop, you might get hurt, you might bleed, it might be hard, but you can do it!!!

 

I want to remind you of a passage of scripture to help you think the way God wants us to think, which helps us tremendously on our climb...Remember as Paul said to us from God’s heart in Philippians 4:6-9  6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

 

And that He surely will my friends. Keep climbing…..Don’t give in, don’t give up and never forget #GodsGotThis!

The Path to Opportunity and Defining Moments

opportunity1.png

Opportunity. It is one of the things we have every moment and the choice to say yes or no can make all the difference in the world.  We are told in the New Testament

2 Corinthians 12:9-11

9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

In a tough and fast-paced world, many times weakness is a major talking point. It is either mocked or it is examined. I believe that weakness should be one of the first places you look for it in your life because according to the scripture we just read, that is where the power of God works best!.

 

Our weakest moments are nothing more than opportunities that reveal defining moments. Those moments, those revealed opportunities, they can be what it takes to launch us beyond probability into the land of our dreams, our destiny.

 

It always seems impossible until it is done. Originally accredited to Nelson Mandella, however, no transcriptions are available or recordings to the fact.. either way.. its an incredible statement.

Let’s reflect a moment in verse 9 where it says my grace is all you need. I realize that we all may have a different definition for certain words and grace is no doubt one of those words. One main definition for grace is UNMERITED FAVOR. Another definition is simple elegance or refinement of movement. Those are nouns, there is a verb definition as well which is do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence.

So the last one is like saying, “Hey, thanks for having me and letting me grace you with my presence” lol

The other two are more what I want to reflect on. The unmerited favor and refinement of movement. The refinement of movement definition is one that means “The way she swam was with such great thought and elegant grace” So to understand that the undeserved and unmerited favor from God is a beautiful and graceful movement designed just for us to appreciate and enjoy. That place of grace reflected in our own lives is the place that makes the power of those moments work the best in our weaknesses. It can also be a great place of freedom and the experience of love from the Father to give you strength through that moment. The last part of today’s main verse in verse 10 is a confession that when I am weak, then I am strong. Developing the discipline to live through identified weak moments in our lives through the lens and practice of grace is a place that opens up opportunity in our lives to see a much clearer picture of the landscape in front of us which provides a confidence as to the direction that the opportunity shall lead.

There is another scripture I’d like to add to this moment with you that you may have heard or possibly not, but it is a great scripture that I have heard spoken of usually in only one way, however, I have found that it all comes with the grammar in which is used that opens up another avenue that scripture is Nehemiah 8:10

10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

I think it is fair to say that most people have many moments that they feel God is not happy and even more-so, not happy with them. So, if we have a thought process and understanding that God is not happy, how is it possible at all for us to be? 

Another point is happiness is a changing emotion, it moves with our circumstances… You can have a situation where let’s say your car is hit and totaled, you are perfectly fine, but the car is wrecked, not just any car, your dream car. You are not happy at all about that!! However, you have joy due to the fact that you have survived without a scratch and stellar insurance that will pay you to not only fix or repair the car, but enough left over to make a few tweaks you have always wanted to do.. Joy.

Okay, I’m a car guy, maybe not the best example, but I’m sure you get it. 

To look at the scripture now as it says, “the joy of the Lord is your strength” means.. WOW..1. He is a God of joy.. full of it. Not only is he joy, YOU can give him joy through worship, praise, grace-filled moments and a loving attitude in all circumstances and situation which makes him very happy and in turn changes the atmosphere in your life because of the choice and opportunity to choose praise over pessimism and joy over jealousy. That gives you strength and releases the joy that is in you which can overcome the emotion of unhappiness with the promise of joy and the ability to proclaim, “Yes, God does have this and he will see me through!”

Now that we have reflected a moment, let us look into how you receive that joy. As I mentioned, we already have it. It is a gift from God for those that call themselves followers of Christ and there is no doubt that the joy inside of us can be clouded up and over by our emotions. It is not always easy and definitely not always immediate, but it is possible. You have the opportunity to receive this unmerited favor and graceful gift of God, you just have to know how to get to it at times. That leads back to the joy of the Lord gives us strength and a posture or choice to accept that gift, not ignoring the things that make us unhappy, that would be lying. Lying to ourselves and to God. Be real with it. You can praise and be thankful while expressing the thing that leads to unhappiness by rejoicing over it to God because you know He is that insurance policy. It won’t just get fixed, it gets an upgrade!!! That is good news!! An opportunity that leads to a defining moment.

Since we’re talking about happiness there is a man named Thomas Aquinas. Thomas was born in 1224 dying in 1274 and is one of the most regarded figures in Western philosophy and theology, so great that he is even called the “Angelic Doctor” by the Roman Catholic Church.  Within a twenty year span, he wrote over forty books, including his masterpiece The Summa Theologica, in which he constructs a vast system integrating Greek philosophy with the Christian faith. Interestingly, in 1274 he had some kind of a vision that made him stop writing and within 6 months he died. His last moment and words reportedly were to have pointed to all of his books and said: “After what I have experienced, all that is just straw.” That in itself is most ironic when considering Aquinas’ views on happiness since in the Summa one of his main conclusions is that true happiness consists in a mystical (beatific) vision of God that is only possible in the afterlife. Well, his writings are still incredible thoughts and surely he knows the truth now. Hopefully, some of the things I am sharing will help reveal that truth to you as well. 

Here are a few great quotes I wanted to share with you from AQUINAS:

  1. Man’s ultimate happiness consists in the contemplation of truth, for this operation is specific to man and is shared with no other animals. Also, it is not directed to any other end since the contemplation of truth is sought for its own sake. In addition, in this operation man is united to higher beings (substances) since this is the only human operation that is carried out both by God and by the separate substances (angels). (Summa Contra Gentiles, book 3, chapter 37)

  1. “God is happiness by his essence: for he is happy not by acquisition or participation of something else, but by his essence. On the other hand, men are happy by participation.”

  1. It is impossible for any created good to constitute man’s happiness. For happiness is that perfect good which entirely satisfies one’s desire; otherwise, it would not be the ultimate end, if something yet remained to be desired. Now the object of the will, i.e., of man’s desire, is what is universally good; just as the object of the intellect is what is universally true. Hence it is evident that nothing can satisfy man’s will, except what is universally good. This is to be found, not in any creature, but in God alone, because every creature has only participated goodness. Therefore, God alone can satisfy the will of man, according to the words of the Psalms (102:5): “Who alone satisfies your desire with good things.” Therefore, God alone constitutes man’s happiness.” (Summa Theologica Part 2. Q.1. Article

 

I wanted to share some of this with you to help paint a picture of happiness and where it comes from and our choice to go after it. Understanding joy and happiness and understanding the power behind them are sure to free you in any choice or decision involved with opportunities in your life. 

 

I’m not saying it’s possible to never be unhappy, even Jesus wept. I am saying there are ways to get there when you find that you are not. 

 

Back to that "my power works best through your weakness" part and opportunity. When we can understand The Who and the What behind happiness, when we can understand the joy of the Lord, when we can understand happiness and joy in our own lives….they all point to a place of opportunity to hear from God and an opportunity to experience our defining moments.

 

Opportunities are available to all of us every day in many ways. Perhaps you are struggling with how to find new opportunities or wondering if the ones you have before you are the right ones. 

Do you know that old saying that goes “You’ll never find an atheist in a foxhole?” 

I’ve been in war and I’ve been with people in war and I’ve been in foxholes.. trust me.. there are all kinds of people in a foxhole and not always ones that want to help you in your walk with Christ if you already are walking there.. basically, not everyone has your best interest at heart and some will actually use you to get something for themselves. I know, you’ve never heard that before. 

 

In the war of life, we may find ourselves in foxholes many times and it’s important to know what you are listening to. I love metaphors, if you didn’t notice yet.. so, I’m talking about close relationships here. 

 

Understand this vital nugget of info. . .your speech, attitude and behavior are in part directly affected by your friends

Just watch others with their good friends. There are many times they will say the same thing, sometimes at the same time. Certain phrases or slang or pronunciation of words, and yes, even decisions about life and opportunities.

I Corinthians 15:33 says:

“Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”

 

In football, there is a penalty for those players that grab another player when the ball is in motion when they grab and don’t let go it’s called holding. Here’s the thing, God has such great plans for you and for your friends, however, if you have company corrupting good character and company holding you back from where God wants you to be… eject them from the game, find a different foxhole. I’m not saying to never speak to someone again (unless it’s necessary) I am saying things that hold you back will hold you back from the opportunity or opportunities that God has set before you. 

If you’re not maximizing your opportunities. . .there are a couple of chances it is because

 

  1. You don’t know something or

  2. You’re not willing to do something with what you know.

 

Romans 1:13 says:

"I do not want you to be unaware, [a]brothers and sisters, that many times I have planned to come to you, (and have been prevented so far) so that I may have some fruit [of my labors] among you, even as I have among the rest of the Gentiles.” Amplified Version

According to Strong’s Concordance the word Agnoeō (Ahg-Nah-A-OH) is used there in that verse for unaware or ignorance and it means:  “to be ignorant or not to know.”

Simply said, ignorance is not knowing the facts.

Ignorance is not knowing the facts but choosing not to do anything with or about that information and insight…..that is just plain stupid!

Benjamin Franklin said,

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

So, if we are to agree that stupid choices and options are off the table and we want to find a way to not be ignorant about a choice or opportunity we must realize then that the way around ignorance is knowledge.

If you lack knowledge... leave the lack and ignorance attack. Seek knowledge which is a destroyer of ignorance.

Psalm 119:66 in the New Living Translation says:

“I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge.”

It’s been said that if you don’t like where you are in life. . .chances are. . .there’s something you don’t know yet.

The best way to find knowledge is to seek it and seek it in a place that is designed just for you in a way that makes you more like God and his plan for your life. It is a desire for understanding a fire in your heart to just know!

 

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” — Napoleon Hill

A defining moment is a point in your life when you're urged to make a pivotal decision, or when you experience something that fundamentally changes you. Not only do these moments define us, but they have a transformative effect on our perceptions and behaviors. -Sydney Evans

An opportunity that is truly from the Lord will always increase your faith—not weaken it. You will also find that it will stretch you spiritually and tax you physically and emotionally. Even though you experience both levels, you will find great joy in doing God’s work.

Here is another way to test if the opportunity is from God: 

Does it violate the "golden rule”?  If you follow after this particular opportunity, will you be “doing to others as you would have them to do to you”? If the answer is no, then this is no opportunity from God. God won’t send you on a mission that doesn’t in some way bless, encourage or uplift others. 

About 14 years ago or so, I was at a crossroads in my life about some job choices. What was so hard was that I had 4 incredible options available to me and every one of them appeared that they could be from God. Talk about having a hard time. I mean, saying yes to any of them could seem like it was a huge blessing from God. I realized that I could not choose 4 options, only 1. For me, the only thing I really did then was pray about it and I asked a few Godly people what they thought and asked their advice. That was about it. I wish I could tell you I made a great decision and everything ended happily ever after. I did not and it did not. As a matter of fact, it almost brought me to ruin. The stress in our home, the loss financially, it was awful! There eventually was good that came out of it. That Romans 8:28 moment did occur. It just took over a year. The blessing of that time between the two opportunities for us was vital to our lives. There were moments that prepared us for the what’s next in our lives. Could it have happened differently, was there an alternate destiny, maybe and perhaps? Coulda, shoulda and woulda are just not a good enough reason to fret. Learn and move on. I probably, no, not probably, I know I would have benefitted from some other tools in my life at the time and wish I had them then when trying to identify those opportunities that are good. So, I thought I would share a few of those with you and hope they are helpful for you to identify those in your life as well. 

HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO IDENTIFY WHAT MAY BE THE POSSIBILITY

1. WHAT ARE YOUR DESIRES? MAKE A LIST OF THEM. It is okay to list all your desires and then you have a chance to come

    Behind them and make some cuts. You may say a desire is to be a millionaire so you can have the best shoe collection on

    The planet. Or you can say you want to be a millionaire so you can be debt free to not only fund your work and life dream

    But to help others reach their potential as well. I would say the shoe idea is one to be cut from the list. Doesn’t mean it is not

    A desire, it is just that in the grand scheme of your life, it doesn’t make the most logical sense. 

  1.     HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO PROCESS THE DESIRE(S) TO HEAR FROM GOD FOR AN OPPORTUNITY

                  A. ACCESS MY LIFE - Where is your ability to reach that desire? GO From A-B not A-Z. Take your time in the process.

                  B. WHAT IS YOUR YOUR TIME, TALENT  AND TREASURE CURRENTLY AND HOW DOES THAT FIT OR NEED TO FIT THE

                       OPPORTUNITY?   Do you have adequate time to invest in the opportunity and will the time invested be a benefit or a distraction?  

                              Are you already gifted with the talent to knock it out of the park? Most of the times God equips us for the work at hand, now I will

                        Say there are times that God can provide someone to come alongside and train you in a new opportunity, however, the majority

                        Of the time, the Bible teaches that God equips us for every good work 2 Timothy 3:17 that the man of God may be complete,        

                         Equipped for every good work. Lastly is a treasure. The first thought process when we hear treasure is money, however, I say it is

                        More than just money, treasure means things of worth. So the things of worth in your life. If you are married, a top priority for

                        Treasure is your family. My wife and children are the top priority in my life. Treasure also means collected value. So things like

                        Your home for example and then yes, of course, your wallet. Does what you have fit or not fit with the opportunity. God will NOT

                        Call you to leave your wife and children to be a rockstar. God will not call you to abandon your family home to chase a dream

                        God will not call you to frivolously squander those things previously considered a blessing for a pipe dream. Can there be a

                               Place of agreement between you and your spouse about what to do with what you have and what sacrifices you are willing

                        To make to pursue the dream, yes. Is it God to just abandon what he calls us to steward, no! So, how does your time, talent

                        And treasure fit or need to fit the opportunity. A very important set of questions to consider to see if it is the right opportunity

                        For you and your family if you are a married person. If single, the principles still apply from a stewardship perspective and a

                        Future perspective and legacy. 

                  C. WHAT ARE YOU ABLE TO DO TO REACH THAT DESIRE AND WHAT ELSE IS LEFT UP TO GOD TO SEE IT HAPPEN? 

                        We all have abilities to do something and something well. I can write fairly well and I’m learning how to do a better job lately. I

                        Would love to write a book and travel the world today. I can’t do all of that. I can keep being faithful to better myself studying

                        And writing and through that, I can just trust God for the other parts I can’t do. I can’t fund a trip to Africa. I’ve been invited

                        Already, I don’t have the money and means. God does. So what are some of those things you are gifted to do already and then

                        Some of those big places that you just have to trust God with?

D.  APPRECIATE PAST FAILURES: Failed attempts at an idea are better looked at as the value of the idea rather than a black eye.  In fact, most great opportunities aren't realized on the first attempt of an idea's execution but rather as the perfected evolution of previous failures. Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Michael Jordan…. I don’t know if the first two guys played

                       Basketball as well, but you get the idea 🙂

 E.  GREAT OPPORTUNITIES CARRY MOMENTUM: Great opportunities almost have a life of their own. When a serious opportunity comes along,  test it by lightly engaging. If it requires more effort than you're willing to risk, then it will likely die out. In that case, it likely wasn't worth the energy in the first place. But if it seems to move forward with just little taps of effort, then it shows promise and it may be worth considering. This isn't necessarily the way all great opportunities will require great work, however, some serious ones up for consideration in my lifetime experience just seem to flow and go without me beating my head against the wall. After all, wouldn’t you consider a great opportunity one that just seems to work and is fun and a blessing? YES!!! Why not.. it doesn’t all have to suck.. that’s why people look to leave what mess they might currently be in!

HERE IS A CLARITY MOMENT:

When your excitement and hesitation are both equal and there is no way to do it on your own.  When there is nothing else that would make you happy but to do really just dig in and do it. Is the opportunity bigger than you and when you see and feel the energy of I can’t, he can, I could, I will, we can (God) does it just overwhelm you with excitement and passion to dig in?

Then you have found a way to identify a doorway to opportunity and a defining moment in your life.

There is no doubt we all have opportunity.  There is no doubt YOU have opportunity.  What those defining moments really come to in our lives are, are we solid enough and disciplined enough to do what it takes to get there and follow through? As you may know, I have written a book and it is not out yet. It is coming soon and I’m excited to say, closer than ever before! If writing the book was all it took to be a best seller I HAVE IT MADE!!!! The reality is, there are thousands and thousands of authors and books out there all the time, many you have never and will never hear of. For me, I am investing in myself with classes, seminars/webinars, meeting people, working on my platform, creating the movement that is to be the movement. It takes a lot of time and a lot of personal investment to learn and be productive. It rarely happens overnight. If this book does as well as we hope and the merchandise and speaking engagements and all the other things that go along with it as we hope… it will only happen if I am willing to take the time to do all the dirty work, all the long days and late nights that most of you have no idea I do just to do what I do and what I want to do. If it is worth it, then it’s worth it! They say opportunity only knocks once… I say opportunity is always knocking and if once is good enough for you, you don’t have your heights set high enough. 

You are valuable. God paid such a high price for you. If you were not worth it, he wasted his blood, suffered incredible pain all on a wooden stick for nothing. No, you are very valuable and that being the case, it is worth the effort on your part to give God some happy days and see the Joy of the Lord as your strength by surpassing the normal and living into the supernatural. You have an opportunity now to achieve defining moments in your life that will not only benefit you, but could very well benefit generations to come. Are you willing to pay the price? He did.

If you are not already subscribed to our mailing list and receiving our Monday Magazine and other emails, please visit our site at http://www.godsgotthis.love and click SUBSCRIBE when the little window pops up, or look for the newsletter subscribe button and it will do the same. We are so thankful to be able to provide all that God has given us to do and if there is anyway you can be a part financially to help us with the costs, we would be ever so grateful. When you get to the website, you click on the donations link and you will be guided from there. Please consider joining our community by being a monthly supporter and helping us to reach the world with God’s message of Hope Revealed that #GodsGotThis!

Dig in this week, go after those values and virtue in your life and in your families life as well. If you would like a kickstart personal planner like my Uncle Ben used, please email us and we’d be happy to send one out to you for FREE!! 

Remember as Paul said to us from God’s heart in Philippians

4:6-9  6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

And that He surely will my friends.

Don’t give in, don’t give up and never forget

#GodsGotThis!

#GodsGotThis

Virtue

Virtue.JPG

On today’s blog I am going to share with you the topic of VIRTUE and the ways to look at virtues in your own life and how you may or may not be incorporating them.  I hope you’ll stick around for the next few minutes and I look forward to hearing back from you after the blog in the comments section of the podcast. We value your input!

Virtue. It’s a small word and a big topic. There are many view points about it and I’d like to share with you some things you may not have considered, didn’t think you needed to consider or I’ll just pump you up and make you feel great since you already know all about it!

Maybe you heard of a guy by the name Aristotle? He was and is one of the most noted teachers about virtue. He is most known for his work entitled Virtue as the Mean Between Two Extreme States.

Before we go there, what is the basic definition of virtue? Well, a virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. The opposite of virtue is vice.

 

Pretty easy to see that depending on culture and language, a virtue could mean one thing to someone and something totally different to another.

The opposite, as just heard through the definition of virtue is vice.

Vice is defined as immoral or wicked behavior. Again, pretty easy to think of examples right away, however, it again could mean different things in different cultures.

I think it is very easy to see that we have a decline of good virtue, especially in America than we have prior, and yes, we have many virtue issues in our past and many vices as a country, however, we live in 2018 and we are the ones living in this world today. What are some things we can learn from those that have gone before us? What are some things we can learn from God that have been there, well, since time as we know it began.

I obviously can’t go into a forever blog today, but we can start somewhere. Let’s start with something you may be familiar with. The 7 deadly sins.

If you are wondering, no, there is not a scripture that lists and says this is the list of the 7 deadly sins. There are however, many scriptures that speak of them and even name a few. One of the most popular scriptures that actually has 7 points is found in Proverbs 6: 17-19.. Here it is in The Message for a quick and easy reference:

16-19 Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family.

 

So, now that we have heard scripture, here is the common list of the 7 deadly sins:

 

  • Lust
  • Gluttony
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Wrath
  • Envy
  • Pride

 

The “seven deadly sins” were originally based on a list of eight principal vices. The list was developed in the fourth century C.E. by the mystic Evagrius Ponticus, whose work inspired the writings of monk and ascetic John Cassian. In the sixth century, Pope Gregory I changed Cassian’s list of eight vices into the list of seven deadly, or cardinal, sins of Roman Catholic theology: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, and sloth. Gregory viewed these as capital, or principal, sins in that many other sins came from them.

 

Okay, put on your learning caps, I want to share with you a chapter from Aristotle's work Book II of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics as it was translated by W. D. Ross.

 

Chapter 5 [What virtue is: Its Genus]

Next we must consider what virtue is. Since things that are found in the soul are of three kinds--passions, faculties, states of character, virtue must be one of these. By passions I mean appetite, anger, fear, confidence, envy, joy, friendly feeling, hatred, longing, emulation, pity, and in general the feelings that are accompanied by pleasure or pain; by faculties the things in virtue of which we are said to be capable of feeling these, e.g. of becoming angry or being pained or feeling pity; by states of character the things in virtue of which we stand well or badly with reference to the passions, e.g. with reference to anger we stand badly if we feel it violently or too weakly, and well if we feel it moderately; and similarly with reference to the other passions.

Now neither the virtues nor the vices are passions, because we are not called good or bad on the ground of our passions, but are so called on the ground of our virtues and our vices, and because we are neither praised nor blamed for our passions (for the man who feels fear or anger is not praised, nor is the man who simply feels anger blamed, but the man who feels it in a certain way), but for our virtues and our vices we are praised or blamed.

Again, we feel anger and fear without choice, but the virtues are modes of choice or involve choice. Further, in respect of the passions we are said to be moved, but in respect of the virtues and the vices we are said not to be moved but to be disposed in a particular way.

For these reasons also they are not faculties; for we are neither called good nor bad, nor praised nor blamed, for the simple capacity of feeling the passions; again, we have the faculties by nature, but we are not made good or bad by nature; we have spoken of this before. If, then, the virtues are neither passions nor faculties, all that remains is that they should be states of character.

Thus we have stated what virtue is in respect of its genus.

 

Scheeeew, that is not something I say every day, but it sure helps us understand (mostly) where and what we are talking about and going.

I revealed last week that I am a great nephew to Benjamin Franklin. Yes, that Benjamin. My wife hates that I talk about it, and I surely don’t do that to brag at all, I am honored to be considered family with him and do want to honor that legacy in my life as much as I can. As for kites and keys, probably not so much! 🙂

 

I know that my great uncle had many faults in his life and was not completely a perfect example, and I’m able to say, neither am I. I have been researching my uncle a bit more lately and found out some really exciting things about him and feel like some of his passions are mine as well, I guess you can say it might be in my DNA.

 

Uncle Ben was very intent about virtue in his life. I know that because of some of his mistakes he was probably driven to better as a result of his past vices. I can relate with that.  He was so passionate about good virtue, he created what we would call a modern day planner and journal to inventory his life, be accountable for things in it and through observation of certain things in his life, he could make corrections easier.

 

One quote he was noted for saying was:

”By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin

He was born into a family of seventeen children, the son of a poor candle and soap maker. Benjamin realized early on in his life the importance of self-improvement. Though he only attended one year of grammar school, this young boy would learn on his own how to read and write. To improve and learn, he would study the writings of famous authors and force himself to write in their same style.

 

There is so much I could say about him and his accolades in life, I’ll save that for another time, one thing that really jumped out to me and created this buzz in my spirit to talk about this week was a list of virtues he wrote down. Mind you, when he wrote this and created his personal development plan to accompany them, he was 20 years old. Amazing!  He wrote in his biography about this time in his life: “It was about this time I conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wished to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into.” Okay, so here they are:

 

  1. Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  2. Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  3. Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  4. Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. Industry. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
  11. Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  13. Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

 

 

The desire to improve and grow is probably one of the top money-making efforts in print, events and the internet. It’s everywhere you look. People like top dog CEOs and successful business people to incredible athletes, artists or anyone else on the planet for that matter have found ways to develop and leverage their instinctive potential and talent. So when my Uncle Ben wrote these things, it wasn’t like he was the only one who ever had the thought, but he did have an opportunity.

 

There is no doubt that some seem to rise to the top while others don’t rise at all, and perhaps even sink to a lower level than expected. I believe that the one thing most vital between both groups of people is the desire to change and how to implement a way to do it.

 

That is why I brought up the personal development planner. What is vital in defining virtue in your life and doing something about it?

 

  1. Write it down. As we discussed the 13 points Benjamin Franklin wrote down, he wrote it, expounded each point and had a plan to personally examine the results.
  2. Shoot for the stars- What I mean by that is, some things can be so big that the only way we can achieve them is by trusting in Christ to get us to and through them. I can’t always see how I can get through a schedule I created to do #GodsGotThis and Hope Revealed ministry 5 days a week, but I was shooting for the stars, or, trusted that the vision came from God and only He could get me through and to it.
  3. Attainable time- Things don’t always have to happen NOW. I’m one of those guys. I like to do it and do it now. But some things just take time. A list of things nowable and laterable are key to success. There is no doubt that Benjamin didn’t claim to be anywhere near Christ, but he wanted to work on getting closer. That is something I am trying to do as well.
  4. Valuable Virtue- Some may jump right into the dollar value of that statement when at 20 and the son of a candle maker trying to figure his life out, dollars were not necessarily the prime focus of these points of virtue. They did, however, have incredible value and meaning to his life and could easily lead him on any path life directed and still hold him challenged and accountable.

 

 

I always feel that the best source of information can always be found in the Bible. The issue for some is not that they don’t want to look there, it is the unsureity of where to even look.

A biblical example is that someone with virtue displays wisdom, courage, kindness, good manners, courtesy, modesty, generosity, and self-control in their life. They treat others fairly and esteem others highly and value the sanctity of life. They treat others better than they are treated. Someone who has virtue has good, moral ethics and makes biblical choices in life.

 

One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:8 Paul (he’s the guy who wrote this chapter and much of the New Testament) really shared with us a glimpse into Godly virtue and a great how to list for ourselves. Here it is:  I want to share it with you again in the version of the Bible called The Message because sometimes it really has a way of hitting you right between the ears with understanding.. I like several versions, so I encourage you to look at a few, here it is Philippians 4:8-9  “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” I love reading that every time! It is like an emotional buzz for me, and sometimes it can feel like a smack in the face when I’m not living into those principles. What are some of those that were just mentioned?  True:  am I living in the truth of God’s word? Noble, am I living in a just and fair way? Pure, how about that holy living part, how is that going? Lovely, we’re not talking about some nice dress or suit and good manners here, it about living love out loud as Christ does. Then there is that things of good report line… That is reports of people doing good things for God and good things done by God that are noticed and notable. Unfortunately, virtues like these and behaviors like these are not as common as once a passion and target in people’s lives used to be. Does that mean that it is over and can’t ever happen again? NO! It means that you can develop your own VIRTUE PLANNER. By living into those virtuous plans and challenging yourself and family, it can seriously create the space and example for people to make a change in their lives as well!

 

On last weeks podcast about contemplation, I asked a question. If you knew that you were about to die, and you were okay with it and had time to think, what 3 words would you use to sum up life? I’m not asking that question again, however, it’s good to reflect on it a bit and start a place where you can develop your own list of things that are virtuous in your life. Here are a couple of questions that can help you develop out that list a bit more and will no doubt take some time and contemplation on your part to answer.

 

  1. What is your purpose on earth? We all have one, what is yours? It doesn’t matter if your 7 or 70 listening today. We all have a purpose and if you think you missed the boat and it’s too late, the boat just turned around and is coming back to pick you up, start thinking. You’re more than likely going to work this out on your own, so I would encourage you not to lie. You have no one to impress and no reason to lie to yourself. Be honest. Be real. Here is an incredible quote by Rosalynn Carter: "You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still don't win, at least you can be satisfied that you've tried. If you don't accept failure as a possibility, you don't set high goals, you don't branch out, you don't try - you don't take the risk.” So, as I mentioned earlier, REACH FOR THE STARS. What is your purpose on earth?
  2. What are your values? Another one of those, we all have moments. The serious part in this moment is, do you really know what yours are? Are they written? You have an example I just gave you from Benjamin Franklin, and of course Aristotle, but, what say you? Take time, look at other lists from people and jot down what really sticks out to you the most and develop a list. It doesn’t have to be huge, start with a goal of at least 5 or more. You’ll see that many of the values will come from your purpose. If you have a hard time with the value part, go back to purpose and rethink to see if you have really given that honest answer.
  3. What are your goals? The Bible is a very clear teacher and one thing that is easy to see is that God is the Author of life. We are taught that he knows the beginning from the end. Isaiah 46:10 says: declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ That being said, seeking God for understanding and wisdom about your goals would be the first place I start. That is another reason I say #GodsGotThis, because if anyone knows what up, it’s God. What are your goals? That is both a current and long term question. Use things you come up with from your purpose and values to help guide you on your goals.
  4. Hone in on your habits. There is no doubt we all have habits. Many we know and I’m sure there are several you and I may not be aware of at all. What is interesting about our brains is the simple fact that we can change. We can create new and delete old habits. It’s not always easy, but it is possible. I used the word HONE because it means To improve or perfect, usuallyregarding a skill. What habits will you need to get rid of and what new ones will you have to adopt and adapt to to live into your purpose, values and goals? What are some habits you can begin implementing now in small ways to reach a long term goal or goals? Here are a few scriptures to help you go after goals in your life:  “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”

~ 1 Chronicles 4:10

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

~ 2 Chronicles 15:7

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

~ Psalm 20:4

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

~ Psalm 33:11

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

~ Psalm 37:4

 

  1. Taylor your time. By being a good steward of your time you are reflecting the most valuable things in life. If a person just nonchalantly goes through the motions it is easily seen by others as what we now call FAKE NEWS. I absolutely loved reading this verse while preparing today’s podcast for you it is in Ecclesiastes 9: 7-9 and again, I’ll read it from The Message it says: Seize life! Eat bread with gusto,

Drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves.

Relish life with the spouse you love Each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange For the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it,

For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed. Wow! That is a great way to look at the value of time in our lives and the simple fact that you have but one to live. Live it well!!

 

 

Okay, I have put a lot of information out there today,  We’ve looked at several examples of virtue, obviously, the best coming from God’s Word is primary and all else is secondary. You will find many incredible resources available to you in defining virtue and values for your life, I would strongly encourage you to find those that honor God and his plan for us all. I am a bit partial to buy old Uncle Ben’s thoughts as it is, they have turned out to be very beneficial for generations of people and I hope they can be of great value to you as you seek to define and develop your own.

 

For those listening at the podcast site or reading along today at the blog who may be struggling with life in general. It may be a matter of health like I am involved with and in, it could be a matter of emotions. Perhaps you are feeling lost, lonely, depressed and just void. I understand those emotions as well. You’re not alone, as much as you may try to convince yourself that you are, I can promise you, you are not. Sometimes a fresh moment of assessment or reassessment is vital and valuable to hone in on those habits we just talked about. Kill the bad ones and give life to new ones. If after listening today you find yourself encouraged or encouraged enough to start, but just have a hard time getting going, please feel free to reach out to us here at #GodsGotThis and Hope Revealed, we would love to process a bit with you and seek God’s direction in your life. You matter, and because you can make all the difference in the world, we’re all in, YOU might just be what the doctor ordered!!

 

If you are not already subscribed to our mailing list and receiving our Monday Magazine and other emails, please visit our site at http://www.godsgotthis.love and click SUBSCRIBE when the little window pops up, or look for the newsletter subscribe button and it will do the same. We are so thankful to be able to provide all that God has given us to do and if there is any way you can be a part financially to help us with the costs, we would be ever so grateful. When you get to the website, you click on the donations link and you will be guided from there. Please consider joining our community by being a monthly supporter and helping us to reach the world with God’s message of Hope Revealed that #GodsGotThis!

 

Dig in this week, go after those values and virtue in your life and in your families life as well. If you would like a kickstart personal planner like my Uncle Ben used, please email us and we’d be happy to send one out to you for FREE!!

 

Remember as Paul said to us from God’s heart in Philippians 4:6-9  6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

 

And that He surely will my friends. Don’t give in, don’t give up and never forget #GodsGotThis!

Contemplation

 Subscribe for our Podcast today. Visit  https://www.godsgotthis.podbean.com  or iTunes today.

Subscribe for our Podcast today. Visit https://www.godsgotthis.podbean.com or iTunes today.

On this week's podcast, we are talked about contemplation and find some ways possible to look at the way you look at stuff. I hope you’ll stick around for the next few minutes and I look forward to hearing back from you after the show today. 

 

I DON’T KNOW!

 

 

You see, contemplation (the deep thought of something) is a really wild stage of change.......and ambivalence,(mixed emotions) can make contemplation a forever feeling like an extremely frustrating condition.

It can be something like a college student who doesn’t really know what he or she wants to do with their life, yet they are already in college and have to pick a major. It can be an incredible roller coaster of emotions laced with huge hills and fastly approaching valleys just to come up with one thing, but it’s a huge thing and becomes this major alright, I’ll say it.. a major contemplation.

When dealing with contemplation, it is important to note that interest in change is NOT commitment.   Tweet that! 

Mixed emotions or the fancy word ambivalence are the archenemies of commitment and a prime reason for that non-stop rollercoaster called contemplation.

Some rollercoasters are a blast, but to get on one and not ever know when it will stop and not know when you can finally get off, well, that is no fun at all!

Do you fully understand the range of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators that brings you to this point of contemplation? 

The honest reflection looks at a situation for the truth that’s present, not just the truth you see. There are some ways to be able to do that and we’ll talk about that over the course of this week.

I’ve asked a question this week…. to begin the journey of contemplation with you. The question was : 

If you had the opportunity to know your life was about to end, you are at peace with it and you could sum up everything you have learned about life into 3 words, what would they be?

 

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life.. My answer:

IT GOES ON and of course, God’s Got This

(Well technically that is about 7 words, but you  get the idea)

 

Contemplating a question like that can be quite hard for some. There are many issues around the answer as well as influence. That brings me to a point I’d like to discuss.

It is called motivators. A recent article written by Kendra Cherry at VERWELLMIND.COM says this Extrinsic Motivation refers to behavior that is driven by external rewards such as money, fame, grades, and praise. This type of motivation arises from outside the individual, as opposed to intrinsic motivation.  Kendra also writes that Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards. In other words, the motivation to engage in a behavior arises from within the individual because it is naturally satisfying to you. 

(Kendra’s articles can be found here: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-extrinsic-motivation-2795164 https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-intrinsic-motivation-2795385)


It’s super easy to move through the contemplation stage acknowledging only the extrinsic motivators that push you to change—but what about the intrinsic?

So, let’s say you are listening today to this podcast or reading it on our blog because you really just wanted to look more into contemplation and thought it would be interesting and beneficial to you, that is INTRINSIC MOTIVATION. Let’s say your wife told you that she heard about this article and told you to read it so that you can start learning how to make up your mind or the marriage is over.. well, that is extreme, but you get the idea, that would be more of an  EXTRINSIC MOTIVATOR.

Okay, so here we are at the intersection of CONTEMPLATION and PEACE.  The question I asked, in the beginning, today was, if you had the opportunity to know that your life was about to end, and you’re at peace with it and you could sum up everything you have learned about life into 3 words, what would they be?

That is a hefty question for sure and definitely not one to just launch into a quick 3 words. It may actually take a bit of, dare I say.. CONTEMPLATION.

There is something called the Transtheoretical Model and it was researched/studied back in the 70’s. The long story short of the Transtheoretical Model is it was a study of a bunch of smokers and the studies examed the experiences of smokers who quit on their own with those requiring further treatment to understand why some people were capable of quitting on their own. 

Ready for the powerful result? It was determined that people quit smoking if they were ready to do so. WOW! Really??!! Yes. Basically, if you make up your mind to do something, chances are, you will.

In the book of Daniel, (He’s the famous guy that you may have heard of thrown into a Lion’s den) you can read a very powerful story about a man and contemplation. He had many things to contemplate and the contemplations he made in his life were what built the character and legacy we still talk about today. In the book of Daniel, the first chapter and the 8th verse it says:

8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile (taint, dishonor) himself with the [a]king’s finest food or with the wine which the king drank; so he asked the commander of the officials that he might [be excused so that he would] not defile himself.

He made up his mind. That was a massive decision in the midst of a heated situation and several that he encountered. What made the difference in his life. Was he making choices based upon EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION or INTRINSIC MOTIVATION? By disciplining himself to live a certain way and to think a certain way, his responses end up being much different on the fly. Daniel didn’t just have this powerful miracle of a dynamic decision at that moment. He was a man of integrity. He fashioned himself to respond a certain way. He responded with humility.  Daniel also teaches us that, no matter whom we are dealing with, no matter what their status is, we are to treat them with compassion. 

As a result of his devotion, Daniel found favor with man and with God :

Daniel 9:20-23 ESV

20 xWhile I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the Lord my God for ythe holy hill of my God, 21 while I was speaking in prayer, the man zGabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, acame to me in swift flight at bthe time of the evening sacrifice. 22 cHe made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you dinsight and understanding. 23 eAt the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, fand I have come to tell it to you, for gyou are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word hand understand the vision.   

 

I wonder if Daniel wondered if he would ever hear something back about his plea. If he didn’t think so, why bother the plea. What’s even more awesome is that he was told that AT THE BEGINNING OF HIS PLEAS FOR MERCY…… A WORD WENT OUT.

 

We may not always hear the answer to our pleas immediately, however, we can never give up hope that an answer will come. I would say that the contemplations of Daniel are contemplated upon an assurance of divine intervention. To have that assurance would have to change the posture of contemplation. It’s a contemplation with a strong resolve to hear a word from God.

 

What have you been contemplating lately? Well, let me ask that a different way… How have you been contemplating lately? Even if the situation may seem like it’s not a spiritual one.. so... you’re contemplating what color to paint the living room, contemplating where you want to go eat for dinner, contemplating what fragrance you want in the smell good thing at the house.. whatever… Yes, It may not seem that every contemplation is serious or a high priority, however, the way you do it, is. When I was in the Army, we always had a saying, you will always do in war what you do in practice. I hated hearing that, but, the reality is, that is so true!

Daniel was eventually so good at the way he contemplated things, it managed to get him in and OUT of a lion's den and to me, that’s a pretty big deal. Maybe you will have some time this week to study a bit about Daniel…  Crack open the Bible and take a read and read through the lens that we have been talking about here.

Okay, that’s about as far as we’ll go today, maybe you've left input this week through our Wednesday YouTube show, our Thursday Blog (Right here below) and Friday Devotion on YouTube. 

May today be the gift of excitement in your heart. May you dream the biggest dreams as your reduced to the biggest purpose of all, love. 

I hope that this week has been stirring something up in your heart and hope that the rest of this week’s ministry will continue to speak to your heart as well. When it does, would you take time to comment and share what God is speaking to you? It could change someone’s life forever!

If you are not already subscribed to our Monday Magazine please visit our site at http://www.godsgotthis.love When there you will find a lot of resources available just for you and if you would like to be a part of the #GodsGotThis Movement, please consider joining the community and becoming a monthly supporter. Thank you so much for being with us today and every time you join us here at #GodsGotThis.  Be encouraged, grow small, never give up and never forget

#GodsGotThis! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Words. Reduce Me To Love

PODCAST June 26, 2018.jpg

On this week's podcast, Matt shared a personal and powerful moment about 4 words. Here is that podcast adapted for you to read and if you'd like to hear it and subscribe to the podcast you can subscribe at iTunes by looking for MATT CRUMP or you can also subscribe, download an app and have fun at https://www.godsgotthis.podbean.com

As always, we'd love to hear from you. Please comment here and remember..#GODSGOTTHIS!!

Today I'd like to share with you how to become bigger, by becoming smaller. We’re going to look at 4 words and those are REDUCE ME TO LOVE. If you’ll stick around for the next few minutes I'm sure it will be a blessing to you.  Let’s start in the Bible today in the book of John:


JOHN 3:30 NLT

30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

 

How is it possible to pray without ceasing and how can a non-stop prayer be a prayer of power and one that makes a difference? I’ve wrestled with how to pray always in my first few years as a Christian almost as much as anything I could imagine that was on my question list then, and almost as much as I wanted to hear what God’s voice sounds like when he would say “Hello Matt, I’ve heard you and here are all the answers to what you have been wondering in life.”

 

Although I must say that I still have never heard a voice from the heavens speaking my name and then holding a holy conversation with me, I can say I have heard from God and fortunately, I still do. Contrary to some people’s VIEW on TV lately that hearing the voice of God is like hearing voices in our heads and I might actually just be crazy especially if I answer back, I can say with all assurance, there is a difference. 

I don’t know if it’s the drugs I am on, the stress of the condition I am living with from the damage cancer is doing and has done to my body or, I just get plain wore out, I know there is no doubt I struggle with mood swings. I struggle with issues that I haven’t really talked about to many people. I figured it might be helpful if I talked about it today in hopes that it would help someone listening today to say. WOW.. really? It’s not just me??!!

Struggling with cancer and some unknowns, I also know of some knowns. I know that I wrestle so much with nausea and fevers and sweats and extreme fatigue. I feel trapped in a world that seems like groundhog day. I wake up, I shower, I try to do my ministry works for the day, I fight sleeping while doing it, I take naps, get fevers, have intense dreams, might fix dinner for the family if I’m not too nauseous and then go to bed. Not to go to sleep, but to live in cycles of sleep. I may sleep for 15-20 minutes, it may be an hour but usually not more than that at a time. Lately in those moments when I do fall asleep, I go to these places or dreams if you will that are seeming more real every time, so real that at times, I can’t remember which is which when I wake back up for the next round. I get through those cycles only to find it’s time to take a shower again and start all over.

If you could hear my voice… You'd hear I had another one of those nights..I didn’t get to sleep until almost 6 am!! Not a great way to start your day.

 

Before you start feeling all sorry for me, I must say, it’s not always like that, or at least it wasn’t, it has been more like that lately, enough that I wanted to talk about it with you today.

It is a place where I can easily get swept away into a place called NOTHING. That is a scary place to be and a place I am trying to escape.

So, back to the core of where I wanted to go today, the place of 4 words REDUCE ME TO LOVE. I recently read some of the works of Hannah Brencher and she is absolutely fantastic. She wrote some things that put words to my thoughts and some words I want to share with you.

I started out talking about the social world and the desire to be bigger and my being a student of that training. There is no doubt some of that training is absolutely incredible and life-changing, but if applied the wrong way, it could bring complete devastation into your life. 

John 3:30 says to become greater, we must become less, in other versions, it says He must become greater, I must become less. I have found in my life that the more I point to Christ and the more I focus on what He wants FOR others the better I learn how much he wants FOR me.

Here’s the point. To say the 4 words REDUCE ME TO LOVE is to say I want to be stripped of the pride and desire of life. I want to be stripped of the desire of more in my life. Not that I would say it’s bad to have more or want more from God. We are promised in so many places of what the benefits are to being a child of God, however, when we can come to the simplest of 4 words in our lives embodying the whole of who God is.. LOVE.

Let’s break it down a bit to the first 2 words,

REDUCE ME.

Is that such a horrible place? I am learning what REDUCE ME is meaning. Reduction of self, reduction of gaining things that may actually enslave me. REDUCE ME. It is a powerful prayer. It means I have come to a place where I have either learned, I am learning or I want to learn what it means to be REDUCED. In cooking, reduction leads to the blending of some incredible flavors, in retail REDUCED means a place of incredible value. In weight loss, REDUCED means a great place of personal gain. So, REDUCE ME in itself is and can be a prayer of excitement and value like never before.

 

TO LOVE.

To love means obviously not to hate. To love is a place where someone becomes selfless. When you first fall in love with the person of your dreams, to love is a place of incredible dreams, a place where money means nothing when you can have a few moments with that person. TO LOVE is a place when you have been praying for your child to be healthy and strong and nothing in your life could even matter to see that happen. TO LOVE is a place when you may know you have a limited time left with someone and nothing else in the world matters but those few precious moments.

 

Now, put all those words together, REDUCE ME TO LOVE. When we can pray a prayer like that, with the understanding of the depth of what it really means, JOHN 3:30 becomes one of the most incredible passages of scripture to catapult you into an incredible place of growth in life. 

There is a worship song that was written called "Breathe on Me, Breath of God”  it is an English Christian hymn by Edwin Hatch, a Church of England vicar and the Professor of Classics at the University of Trinity College in Canada. It was first published privately in 1878 and publicly published in 1886.

 

Here are the lyrics to that song:

1 Breathe on me, Breath of God,

fill me with life anew,

that I may love the way you love,

and do what you would do.

2 Breathe on me, Breath of God,

until my heart is pure,

until my will is one with yours,

to do and to endure.

3 Breathe on me, Breath of God,

so shall I never die,

but live with you the perfect life

for all eternity.

 

 

 

 

REDUCE ME TO LOVE. May I be less and you be more Lord. Yes, there is great benefit to working our jobs and working them well and striving to do our best and finding ways to make it to the top, however, the top may be very well be flipped the other way around. 

I want to encourage you this week to pray a breath of God prayer. To pray a REDUCE ME TO LOVE prayer. Just those 4 words, with the understanding of what they mean and a passion to see them fulfilled in your life. 

A place where I wondered what praying always meant, a place wondering what the voice God sounded like. You’ll find it when you can pray to REDUCE ME TO LOVE. May it be less of me and more of you. May others success be my success. May my desire to be less actually be a place I find more and that more never becomes a place where I could be self-centered, but selfless. REDUCE ME TO LOVE LORD. 

May that be a place that transforms the place of wake up, shower, live, sleep do-over to a place of wake up REDUCE ME TO LOVE.

May today be the gift of excitement in your heart. May you dream the biggest dreams as your reduced to the biggest purpose of all, love. 

I hope that today has stirred something up in your heart and hope that it will continue to speak to your heart. When it does, would you take time to comment and share what God is speaking to you? It could change someone’s life forever! Also, we want to share many resources, all FREE for you at our site https://www.godsgothis.love While there subscribe to our Monday Magazine which opens up an entire week of ministry, every week, just for YOU!

Be encouraged, grow small, never give up and never forget #GodsGotThis!