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, September 29, 2010

Message for September 30, 2010

“Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.” Sephen R. Covey

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

Surmount: “to prevail over” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

For some reason I wanted to talk about this subject today, however I can't seem to convey what I want to say affectively. I just want everyone who's ever been in a bad situation and could not see an exit in site (and that's all of us I think) to think about our soldiers in harms way, especially the ones who have been captured by an enemy they do not know and cannot trust for the most basic things in life. There are people surmounting things we cannot begin to imagine every day because they want to protect us. So when things are hard, be thankful for the things we have and know it could be worse.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Message for 29 September 2010

My friends are my estate.” Emily Dickinson

There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" 
This too is meaningless a miserable business! Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:8-10
Abet: “to assist or support in the achievement of a purpose” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
I don't have a lot to say except that, lets not ever forget the importance of our friends. In a world where we can constantly be entertained by the media and satisfied by social networks on the internet it can become easy to forget about our friends, both the ones we have and the ones we could make. But friends can be so important to life, because they can act as a team mate and abet our purposes, they can be an ally when we can't accomplish something on our own. And they can temper our selfish desires and edify our actions when we go down the wrong path. I'm always amazed at the value my friends bring to my life.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Message for September 28, 2010

I can't believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary.” Lou Holtz

But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain." Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. Exodus 3:11-15
Enlist: “to participate heartily (as in a cause, drive, or crusade)” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
It's around election time again and so often during these times in our history I hear politicians opining that they're for the ordinary person. I often been perplexed by this because I don't believe that most people think they're ordinary. I think most of us have aspirations to be extraordinary. We may be carpenters, plumbers, or truck drivers making a median wage, but whatever the trade, I can't remember meeting a person who didn't think they were better than most at what they did for a living. But what about when it comes to being a valuable citizen? Do we strive to be the best we can at things like charitable giving, kindness, or motivation? While it is great and noble to do our best at a chosen trade, I think it is just as important to do the best we can for a purpose that is greater than ourselves. But I think a lot of us (myself included) are like Moses, looking for excuses and explaining why we aren't qualified to do those things that are hard and often times don't pay. But no matter how unqualified we think we are, God wants to enlist us all for a higher purpose, to make the world a better place to live, to stand up against what is wrong and fight for what is right. We all have different talents but each of us can be extraordinary workers for his purpose if we just try.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

For September 27, 2010

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincey Adams

If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:7-8
Conduit: “a means of transmitting or distributing” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
For a lot of us (myself included) it's scary to imagine ourselves as leaders with responsibilities. After all leaders are often blamed for the shortcomings of their followers and they are put in positions where the costs of mistakes are much higher. As a result many are discouraged from even attempting to be a leader, happy instead to be a content worker doing everything they're asked to the best of their ability. I think however that we should all see ourselves as potential leaders whatever our identity in life my be. Whether we are a janitor or a president we have opportunities every day to make a difference in someone's life. If we practice every day to be that sort of leader we will not only draw followers but we will be ready to take leadership responsibilities when they arise.

For September 26, 2010

The best of times is now.” Oprah Winfrey

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:5-6
Life: “the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Recently I heard a new George Straight song on the radio which said something like, “life is not the breath you take but the moments that take your breath away.” How many people are out there that can't remember the last time a moment took their breath away. As humans I think we should add a couple more goals to our lives; one, always recognize the moments in life that take our breath away, and two, try to provide an environment around ourselves that helps foster those moments for others. In other words try being the best you can at everything you do, whether it's being a friend, smiling, or charitable giving. Like Abraham Lincoln said, “whatever you are, be a good one.” I think if we do that we will accomplish those two goals I mentioned far more often.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

September 24, 2010

There are two kinds of people, those who finish what they start and so on." Robert Byrne

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

Finish: "the quality or state of being perfected" Merriam-Webster Dictionary

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 23, 2010

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas Edison

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
Persevere: “to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counter influences, opposition, or discouragement” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
There's a story I heard in the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill about a man who stakes a claim for a gold mine, invests in equipment, and goes about mining. After months of digging with no success he sold his equipment to a scrap yard and headed home in defeat. The man he sold his equipment to (having friends with knowledge of fault lines) saw potential in the abandoned mine and used his newly gained equipment to try his hand at mining for gold. Not more than a few feet from where the defeated miner stopped he found a vein of gold that made him rich. My point is, arm yourself with all the knowledge you can, and never give up. Thomas Edison tried over one thousand times to create a working light bulb before he succeeded. I don't think I've failed a thousand times in my life period, let alone on a single task (mostly because I haven't tried to accomplish much). Thomas Edison obviously was full of knowledge, but his knowledge failed him literally thousands of times. Edison's most important value when it came to inventing was his perseverance, because without it he would have never sought the knowledge required to succeed. If we all had perseverance like Edison we would hardly know defeat.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September 22, 2010

God doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the called.” Max Lucado

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20

Qualified: “fitted (as by training or experience) for a given purpose” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I was listening to a book by Coach John Wooden today and he was talking about the followers of Christ being part of a team with different roles and positions. I have to admit, I've never thought of it that way. I've had a burden my whole life that somehow I haven't been doing enough as a Christian because I'm not a missionary or pastor. Coach Woodens words comforted me because I realized that I'm part of a team for Christ and just as I was never the best point guard in basketball, preaching is not my strength when it comes to evangelism, I'm more qualified at other things. We are all qualified in our own way to be a part of Christs team, and He's asking us to join Him. Let's harness our strengths and be active Christians, not just bystanders riding the pine, God will teach you your position, you just need to join the team. Let's compete for Christ, you never know, someones life could be in the balance.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21, 2010

"Each of us feels that we are just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less without that missing drop." Mother Teresa

Then they brought young children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say unto you, whosoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it." and He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16

Insignificant: "small in size, quantity, or number" Merriam-Webster Dictionary

It's so easy to feel like an insignificant drop in the ocean. But just as the kingdom of God is of children the ocean is of drops and every drop can have a world changing affect. We are not insignificant if we choose to use the means we have to improve life around us. Who knows how much good you have already done. Just because you can't see the results doesn't mean there weren't any. Remember God loves the seemingly insignificant and works wonders through them. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

"Planning places effort where effort is most needed." Coach John Wooden

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Plan: "a detailed formulation of a program of action" Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Plans are mandatory for success. Can you imagine a skyscraper built without a plan? But so many ride through life with no plan except how to get to and from work. I think coach Wooden puts it best as to why plans work, so why don't we make more plans to better our lives? We need plans to focus our efforts plans that have a positive goal that coincides with Gods purpose for our lives. If we make plans that glorify God and follow them with enthusiasm we are assured of a successful life. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 19, 2010

You measure success by how much good you do for others.” Zig Ziglar

"How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see." When they found out, they said, "Five—and two fish." Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. Mark 6:38-43

Propagate: “to cause to spread out and affect a greater number or greater area” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Have you ever played the association game? You know, where you're presented with a picture, word, or object and you're supposed to say the first thing that comes to your mind. I wonder how many of us would associate charity with success? I have a feeling most of us, including myself, would associate success with the acquisition of physical objects like cars, houses, or boats. Think of how the world could change if the status quo was that people automatically associated success with the amount of good done for others. That very concept could propagate peace throughout the world, it could end war and hunger, and it could provide happiness to so many, especially the ones looking for happiness in objects. I'm gonna strive from now on to measure my success with how much good I'm doing for others.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

September 18, 2010

"You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." Henry Ford

If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. Galations 6:3-5

Action: "an act of will" Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I heard someone say one time "the world doesn't care about your ideas, but what you do with them." It's so true, I've known a lot of people that have had great ideas and never did anything with them, I've had a lot of ideas I never acted on, as a result nothing ever came of our ideas. Nobody cares because it doesn't matter if we have the ability to change the world what matters is changing the world. So if we have the ability to change the world and choose not to what does that make us? Let's act on our good ideas and see what it earns us. 

September 17, 2010

As I grow to understand life less and less,
I learn to love it more and more.” 
Jules Renard

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, Ecclesiastes 2:24

Divertissement: “a dance sequence or short ballet usually used as an interlude” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Life is full of serious stuff, work, commute, and a host of other things that take our time. Sometimes I think the most important thing we can do is stop for a little divertissement of fun. Like the saying goes, “if you don't have a little fun you'll never get out of life alive.” So lets just for a second let our hair down and have a little fun, there's plenty of time to be serious monday through friday. Just don't do anything I wouldn't do : )

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 16, 2010

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." Anne Frank

As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." Luke 21:1-4

Charity: “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 15, 2010

A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:35
antagonist: “on that contends with or opposes another” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
To be honest I'm not even sure I agree with the quote I chose for today. But I'm thinking about it and it may be correct, in most instances anyway. I have a friend who owns a retail business. He happened to hold a contest to win some free items one time. Everything went well and a winner was chosen and all was well. Except for one contestant who felt their entry deserved to win the prize. This contestant made a big deal about it and continued to almost slander my friends business. What this disgruntled contestant didn't know is that my friend had decided that since all the entries were so good he was going to award the prize to all the contestants. He even awarded the prize to the antagonizing contestant as well. As a result this person turned from being a challenging opponent to being one of the best proponents of my friends business. My point is, reating people with love instead of what would seem to be justice can lead to results we could never dream of. So next time someone cuts you off on the road, instead of getting angry, try smiling at the person. Chances are they know they're in the wrong and your kind attitude will influence that person more than any sort of finger waving.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 14, 2010

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Napoleon Hill

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Byzantine: “Highly complicated; intricate and involved” The Free Dictionary

It's easy to fixate on the areas of life where we've failed or feel we've been treated unfairly. But life can be a byzantine process and if we understand that it's our job to take advantage of bad situations and be cautious when times are good I think we can enjoy much more happiness. I know it's easy for me to say and I can't comment on some things such as a death of a loved one, but I honestly can't think of anything that failed in my life that hasn't turned out better than what my original plan was. The key is to have faith that God has a purpose for our life if we choose to live for it, and no matter what, we can be assured that we have made a positive difference in this World, and that to me is priceless.

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13, 2010

I'm beautiful in my way, cause God makes no mistakes.” Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga)

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:4-8
Idiomatic: “peculiar to a particular group, individual, or style” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Do you ever feel you have to fit into a mold to be a contributing part of society? The truth is, we are all unique people with idiomatic ways of doing things, but so many feel they don't fit in because they're somehow different. But why fit in? While it's important to be able to get along with other people, it seems to me fitting in just limits us as humans, it forces us into a mold that may not suite us. In life there are two types of molds we can try to fit into, God's or societies. Helen Keller for example was extremely limited in her physical abilities, but instead of succumbing to life’s challenges and fitting into the mold society would say she fit in, she chose God's mold and set her strengths free to overcome her obstacles and make the world a better place. Everyone has strengths and talents, but so many people are using them ineffectively because they're trying to force themselves in a mold they don't belong in. Lets all set our abilities free by breaking out of the prisons we have built for ourselves in the molds society has set up for us and choose the mold that God has set aside for us and realize our boundless potential. Molds are for objects being shaped, who do you want to be shaped by?  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 12, 2010

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Benjamin Franklin

Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." John 2:8-10
Delectation: “delight, enjoyment” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
You may believe that drinking alcohol is wrong, and that is perfectly fine, there is great wisdom in abstaining from alcohol. But that is not the point I wanted to make with the quote and Bible verse today. The point I want to make is that “God loves us and wants us to be happy.” There are many things in life besides beer that provide satisfaction and happiness in life, and God, like a loving father wants to provide it for us. Look at the trees, at the sunrise, look at the way an eagle soars. If we stop and take a moment, it is quite amazing what God has provided for our delectation. I find it difficult to look at what God has surrounded us with and believe that He doesn't love us. If we concentrate on the beauty in life we will find that we appreciate it more and more, and that God really has saved the best for last.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2010

"Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country." Bertrand Russell

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Trepidation: "characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance" Merriam-Webster Dictionary

On this day, the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on the United States I don't want to say much, instead l just want to meditate on all the people who have sacrificed so that the majority of us don't have to.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 09, 2010

"God never made a promise that was too good to be true!" D.L. Moody

And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.  Psalm 50:15

Promise:  "to pledge to do, bring about, or provide". Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 08, 2010

“When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into m life, then I was prosperous.” Wayne Dyer

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14

Tutti: an Italian word meaning “everyone or everything”

Many search for happiness trying to find out who they are. Like a puzzle piece they look for where they fit, believing that until they find out, they will not be fulfilled. What if instead of trying to find who they were, people tried to find out what their purpose is? The question becomes simpler and the result will last forever. I'm a good mechanic, I'm a good carpenter, and I can bake. But those things do not define me. All of those things are skills that I have that can make me happy, but none of them can make me happy forever. I am a being with a purpose, and my purpose is to serve others. And isn't that everyones purpose? Whether we like it or not we will serve others. I can't think of anything in life that lives only for itself, you know, it's the whole “circle of life” thing. What separates us from animals is that we have the ability to understand what our purpose is. When we do that life has meaning and we find ourselves and true happiness. The easiest way to lose yourself is to lose your purpose by living for yourself, and in turn the easiest way to find yourself is to live with a purpose and serve “tutti.” Now just to find out how to best fulfill your purpose, that is up to you. Whatever you do, realize it is to serve, then, no matter what you do, you can find happiness.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 07, 2010

“If we do not plant knowledge when young, it will give us no shade when we are old.” Lord Chesterfield

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart's desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” 2 Chronicles 1:7-12

Lore: “knowledge gained through study or experience”

Wow, what a verse. I don't think I can expound much on that. But then again it is the Bible isn't it. If I could say anything, seek knowledge first, the other stuff in life will come. Without a certain amount of lore we wouldn't be able to handle the blessing that life can bring anyway. Asking for riches without knowledge of how to handle money is like asking for a Ferrari without any driver training. It won't last long. If you really desire something, learn about it, prove that it's justified, and work hard for it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

September 06, 2010

“We are still masters of our fate. We are still captains of our souls.” Winston Churchill

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Maven: “one who is experienced or knowledgeable” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I don't know if anyone is like me, but sometimes I feel that since I didn't accomplish something five years ago, that it's somehow too late to try now. What I want to constantly realize is that nothing is ever too late. I want to always think of myself as a “master of my fate” like Winston Churchill said. I think that is a key to becoming a maven of life. The past is behind me, the future is shaped by what I do now, not what I did five years ago. Since I am a temple of the Holy Spirit and have been made responsible for it's well being I choose to make the most of life in order to make this temple the best it can be.

September 05, 2010

"No objective leads to no end."  Norman Vincent Peale

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.  Psalm 33:11

Purpose:  "something set up as an object or end to be attained"  Merriam-Webster Dictionary 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September 04, 2010

People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." Zig Ziglar

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

Impetus: "stimulation or encouragement resulting in increased activity" Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I think we all go through times when we feel anything is possible, then when things don't turn out like we expected or something becomes seemingly too hard, our motivation decreases and we start to give up. I want to encourage everyone not to forget to motivate one another and seek out motivation in order to create an impetus to accomplish our goals. I don't know anyone who accomplished a substantial goal without strong motivation.

Friday, September 3, 2010

September 03, 2010

Summer afternoon . . . summer afternoon - the two most beautiful words in the English language."  Henry James

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Psalms 19:1

Contented:  "feeling or showing satisfaction with one's possessions, status, or situation"  Merriam-Webster Dictionary 

I don't have a lot to say except that I had a great summer day that I appreciated very much. It was good to see nature in all it's beauty. I hope you noticed it too. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September 02, 2010

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.” Herman Cain

In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but in the revenue of the wicked is trouble. Provers 15:6

Treasure: “something of great worth or value; also: a person esteemed as rare or precious” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Many people equate success to a dollar amount in their bank, a title before their name, or a specific achievement. What I have come to understand by observing people and listening to people convey what they have learned throughout life, is that success is held within each of us, not adorned on the outside. Yes, money, fame and accomplishment are signs that someone might be successful, but like a runny nose is not a guarantee of a cold they are not guarantees of true success. True success can not be flaunted or bragged upon. You may have a negative checking balance, a small apartment in a run down neighborhood, or you may have just lost your job, but none of those things determine that you are a failure. To be a success all you need is a smile on your face and a happy heart. Christ had very few earthly belongings, but He is the ultimate success. Remember, our treasures are not just here on earth but in heaven as well. Every time we smile and bring happiness to another person it's like cashing a check for unlimited value in our heavenly bank. If success is held within our hearts we will not be without it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 01, 2010

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Lewis B. Smedes

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12

Pardon: “the excusing of an offense without exacting a penalty” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Don't get me wrong, I'm not holding any grudges right now and don't feel like I have anyone to forgive, this quote just really hit me today. In the past I've been so angry at people that I couldn't imagine ever wanting to forgive them for what they did to me. But now that those transgressions towards me are in the past I'm a much happier person than when what they did to me ate at me, too bad I couldn't have gotten over it sooner. I'm reminded of a Will Smith song to his son titled “Just the Two of Us,” it has a line that goes “throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad, let God deal with the things they do cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” I can't say anything better than that.