The Intent of This Blog

This blog is intended to be a tool for the growth of whoever wants to use it. It is a daily journal intended to help us be more introspective. Every day I will do my best to supply a motivational quote, a Bible verse, a vocabulary word, and a personal message from myself. Use these if you like as motivation to improve yourself. Then, simply answer the daily questions provided honestly and see if it has an impact on your life. Zig Ziglar said, "If you don't have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer." Lets not be just dreamers but doers. Remember Martin Luther King Jr not only had a dream, he also had an objective. Thanks for reading, Jake

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Unfailing Power

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

- Excerpt from the song Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” - Matthew 19:26

Deprave: “to make bad” - Merriam-Webster Dictionary

“Time flies when you’re having fun.” Ever heard that phrase? Probably, most of us have. Is it true? And if so, why? Ever heard this one? “Misery loves company.” If I had to guess you’ve heard that phrase too. Why? It seems to me these little observances are, for the most part, true. But why should fun last only a little while according to our perception? Why should we try to bring others down with us? Is humanity that focused on negativity that it seems to slow down time? Are we so proud of our unhappiness that we want others to join us in it? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” - Luke 6:31 “Perception is reality.” Are you seeing a pattern in today’s message? So many of us live by simple little phrases that influence our life greatly. But I’m not sure if we ever spend much time trying to determine if they’re worth living by. Here’s what I once thought was a Bible verse, “God helps those who help themselves.” That’s actually a quote by Benjamin Franklin and you’ll never find God saying anything close to it in His word. The closest you’ll get to that quote in the Bible goes something like this. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” - 1 Peter 5:6-7 It’s no wonder societies around the globe have trouble functioning. We make up these little sayings and then either live by them, or worse, measure ourselves to them, knowing full well there’s no excuse for bad behavior. Love him or hate him, Bill O’Reilly is right when he says, “You can’t excuse bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior.” But as humans we like to live by averages. We say to ourselves things like, “Compared to the average person, I’m doing pretty well.” That may work for our salaries, but it doesn’t work for our moralities. “Nobody’s perfect.” That’s another line we like to use, especially when we’ve been called out. It’s true though, no one is perfect. So how do we reconcile ourselves to a God who requires perfection for salvation? We don’t, we can’t. “I’m too far gone.” That’s one of the saddest lines I’ve heard. “Jesus could never love me.” Could anything be more false? Satan loves to inject these little phrases into our minds and call them wisdom. Jesus injected Himself into this world to bring truth. Like a coward, Satan wants to bring us all down with him. Jesus came down under His own accord to die for us so that we could be lifted on high with Him. What a contrast. Satan is constantly accusing, constantly injecting false negativity into our hearts. Jesus wants to lift us from our depravity and sorrow. It’s true, God requires perfection. However, He knows we would never achieve it. That’s why He sent His Son to erase our imperfection with His perfect sacrifice on the Cross. Jesus died a perfect man so that we could be perfected, not through our own efforts, but through His. Let the truth shine in your heart today. Reject the negativity of the world. Who cares if someone else has more things than we do. Who cares if someone else has the day off. With Jesus in our hearts, who could be more joyful? Answer, no one. And here’s why I say all this. We have too much to do. There’s too much at stake to let negativity and the devil drag us down into depression. There’s too much at stake for us to believe in failure. There’s too much at stake for us to succumb to depravity. There is no failure with Jesus. He has a plan for our lives that can overcome and circumvent any obstacle. He loves us too much to leave us to fail when we’ve called upon His name to save us. Reach out to Him. Let Him pull you to new heights, let Him give you hope and courage. Then follow Him in reaching out to our fellow man. We may not have the strength in ourselves, but we have the Savior. In Him lies the strength to pull a soul from the depths. It is for us to guide a helpless hand into His saving grasp. But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” - Matthew 19:26
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,

Jake

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Action Of Words

“Honor lies in honest toil.” - Grover Cleveland

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, Selah. - Psalm 67:1

Selah: “a term of uncertain meaning found in the Hebrew text of Psalms and Habakkuk carried over untranslated into some English versions” - Merriam-Webster Dictionary

What did he mean when Grover Cleveland said, “Honor lies in honest toil?” I think we all know what it means. But when we think about it from all aspects, could that phrase mean a lot of things? Could one honestly toil at making the world worse? Could you or I honestly work at being evil? The word “Selah,” is a word in the Bible that cannot, as of yet, be translated into English. It’s technical meaning is unknown. But taken in context, it has meaning. It’s a word of affirmation and recognition. It’s an “amen,” a “please,” a “yes,” and many more words rolled into one. It’s like the phrase by Grover Cleveland. We can interpret it into confusion, or we could take it for what it means, in reality. Honor does lie in honest toil. And no, we can’t honestly work at ruining lives. We all know what it means to labor honestly. That it means to work hard for what is good and right. And we all know that when we work for what is good and right it brings satisfaction. Satisfaction that comes from knowing that we did something honorable. God is a God of action. There’s nothing wrong with talk. There’s thinking and ideas in talk. But at some point, for words to make a difference there must be action. That’s why God gave words power. Notice how God’s words throughout the Bible led to happenings. “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” - Genesis 1:3 Sure, there are times in the Bible when we get a glimpse into the thoughts of God through His conversations. However, none of God’s words are left without action. How much do we talk and expect honor to come from our words alone? Can honor come from words alone? What difference does it make when we talk without putting our words into motion? More than we think. There is potential in words. They are a spring that stores up energy in order for something to happen. They do things even when we don’t intend them to. All words have an impactful meaning. When we use them, disregarding their potential, we risk doing harm. So while we understand that honor can be gained through an honest days work, let’s understand that words can do work too. And honor can come through words as well as anything else. We were given words and mouths for a reason, and we should use them for a good reason. The same as we would use our bodies. “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” - 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,

Jake


Monday, August 25, 2014

Galvanic Life

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” - Douglas Adams

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.  Do not forsake the work of Your hands. - Psalm 138:8

Galvanic:  “having an electric effect: intensely exciting” - Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I wish I had finished... I should have gone to... I was stupid to have... Ever found yourself saying sentences that start out this way? We all have. It’s easy to wonder if life would be better if we finished college. There are things we all know we shouldn’t have done. Now we’re trying to add up the cost to our lives. They’re lessons lived. They’re experiences that can be used to teach others. There’s nothing wrong with admitting the mistakes we’ve made. However, we can’t go back. And to lament how our life could be if we would have only... Well, that’s to reject what God is doing in our lives. We’d all like to know what life would be like if we would have gone down better paths. However, I don’t think many of us would sacrifice our families for a degree, a job, or a mistake erased. I’d love to know what it would be like to be an engineer. But not without Whitney (my wife). And in many ways, not without the job I have now. I’d love to say that I’ve never been divorced. But not at the sake of the baby girl born January 9, 2014. I’d love to be able to say all kinds of things about my life, but I know God had a purpose through it all. And I won’t reject that purpose. I know there may be someone reading this who can’t see that purpose right now. Some who are asking, “Why?”  Some who are in the midst of one of those, “Learning experiences.” Keep going. Keep trusting. Commit to the Lord. I’ve been in those times. I’ve let my life float aimlessly. I’ve seen what the world can do. And I’m sure there are more of those times to come. However, looking at what I have; who I love, and who loves me; seeing what God has done in my life... I wouldn’t change anything. I love this galvanic life that I’ve been given. That’s what God can do.  

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,
Jake

Friday, August 22, 2014

Optimism Through Purpose


“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.” - Harry Truman

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!  And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.  For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping.  But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. - Genesis 45:4-7

Factotum:  “an employee who does all kinds of work” - New Oxford American Dictionary

Isn't it amazing how Joseph was able to see God working in his life through all the challenges and hardships he endured? I am continually amazed at the way Joseph, through all his hardships, knew and understood that he was a factotum of God. And that he was able to realize the purpose God had for him through it all. What if, in all our life challenges, we were able to see what Joseph saw? What if, like Joseph, we were able to realize, that God has a purpose for our lives? It is my sincere belief, that working for God and realizing His purpose is the best way possible to become that “continual optimist.” What if we all strove to have the faith Joseph had? Using the events, good and bad, as stepping stones for God's work in our lives, instead of stumbling blocks towards our own success. After all, what is success in life anyway?  By all accounts Joseph could have deemed himself a failure when he was sold into slavery by his brothers. But without that awful event in his life he would have never ascended to be the prime minister of Egypt. With that in mind; would you rather be successful in your own mind, as compared to your neighbors, having everything go your way, encountering little to no hardship, and have history forget you as a middle to upper class average citizen? Or would you rather be at times disappointed in life's turns, but have history look back on you as a noted person with a purpose? I remember hearing a woman, after going through something difficult say, “I like it when things are difficult, because I know that blessings come from difficulty.” We live in a world full of difficulties, that's what the choice of sin did. But we have a God who can turn those difficulties into blessings. That doesn't happen anywhere else. Let's be thankful for that, for what He does for us, that He can make “All things work together for good.” Romans 8:28 But only if we let Him. Let's let Him.

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,

Jake

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Passion

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have with you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” - Harriet Tubman

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ. - Colossians 3:23-24

Passion:  “the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and His death” - Merriam-Webster Dictionary

You’ve probably heard of the Midas touch. That it’s a term named after a legendary and mythological king Midas who could tern anything into gold simply through a touch. You’ve probably known people who seemingly had this ability. A name may be popping into your mind right now as you read this. Perhaps it’s you. It’s hard to know what exactly it is. This ability to make anything succeed simply by being involved in it. However, I think it has a lot to do with passion. What’s the difference between a good piece of art and a lackluster one? What gives a photo or painting that “spark” which makes all the difference? For me, art needs to stir my imagination. I need to be able to wonder whether a certain brush stroke could be any better, or if the artist meant to imply on object or feeling into an abstract shape. A good work of art can be studied and stared at and never quite understood. Where does that come from? I’m not sure, but I don’t think an artist can really deliver the art they’re capable of without passion. They may be able to deliver good work, technically sound work, but not great work. There’s something about passion that gives a curve better proportion, a space better imagery, a composition better quality.  It’s not the brush, the technique, or the medium, but the stroke of passion that makes all the difference. The same equipment has been used. The same time of day and year. The same light and location. But no one has ever been able to replicate an Ansel Adams photograph. Why? It’s what he was made for. And I can’t help but believe he had a passion for it. There may be things we have a passion for but that we’re simply not made for. You may have a passion for painting, but can’t paint to save your life. You may have a passion for driving fast, but could never control a car the way Michael Schumacher can. But, you were made for something. There is something you’re better at than anybody you know. I don’t think most of us don’t know what that is. However, most of us know of something we’re confident in. It’s those things, that when passion is applied, become brilliant works of art. I don’t care if it’s in a sale, an everyday job, a painting; they all can be brilliant works of art, when passion and skill is applied. You have a work of art in you. It was given to you by the Creator. The Creator who gave His Son a passion. A passion for you and me. It was the greatest passion that day a little of 2000 years ago that lead to our salvation on the Cross. So that no matter what we’ve done, no matter where we’ve failed, a Midas touch could be applied to our lives. And not a mythological Midas, but a true and real and everlasting value that can’t be compared or bought with gold. It took a passion to accomplish that task. A passion we can all appreciate. A passion no one can emulate, but that we can all be inspired by. What is you passion?

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,

Jake