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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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Message for Halloween 2010

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Mother Teresa

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

Life: “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death” New Oxford American Dictionary

Sorry, I really didn't mean to use a Mother Teresa quote two days in a row, but once again a statement of hers captured what I wanted to convey. The question of life up to this point has always been controversial and scientists can't agree on a definition of what it truly is. Therefore our society struggles with the question of human life, especially on when it begins. For a lot of my life (like most people I think) I dismissed the question as unanswerable with the knowledge I have. As I've grown older however and have experienced creating and losing life the question has become very simple to answer. Ask any responsible adult who has tried to have a child, there is no point after conception (when a sperm implants an egg and cell division begins) when a parent would be ok with losing that child. It becomes there responsibility and they will do anything in there power to protect it. Now this is not an anti abortion speech, it is a value of life speech. We've all made mistakes and fallen short of our full potential. But when it comes to life let's do our best to value it, and protect it. We should accept and embrace young women who are lucky enough to be carrying a life inside them, a life that could grow to change them and this world.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Message for October 30, 2010

I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.” Mother Teresa

Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. Proverbs 10:12 

Forgive: “stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake” New Oxford American Dictionary
When I started out, I meant for today's message to be about giving, then I found this quote by Mother Teresa and had to use it. But hey, love is a gift too isn't it? And so is forgiveness. And that's what struck me creating today's message; the definition of “forgive.” Now we all know what forgiveness means, but rarely do we really practice it to it's full meaning. Many times I think we forgive people just by telling them we forgive them or telling someone else we forgave someone, meanwhile we're still pretty much raging inside. But that's not forgiving, that's pardoning. We may release a person from consequences of their actions by pardoning them but have we really forgiven them. Next time an opportunity arises where we can grant forgiveness let's try to not only pardon that person but also forgive them in our hearts, because that's where forgiveness lies in the first place, right beside love.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Message for October 29, 2010

If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12

Mutual: “held in common by two or more parties” New Oxford American Dictionary

There's a true story of an event shortly after WWI began. It was Christmas, soldiers were tired of fighting, killing, and dying. So what did they do? For that one day, against the orders of their commanders, soldiers on each side implemented an impromptu cease fire and shared a Christmas celebration together. On that day politics failed to motivate them, orders failed to motivate them, even anger and vengeance failed to motivate them. The only thing that motivated them was their values found in spirituality. As the election season nears lets all remember that while we may disagree about politics or whatever, we have so much more in common than those things, most of us have mutual values. So let's be thankful for the values we share and focus on what we have in common with other people, see the bigger picture, and treat each other accordingly.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Message for October 28, 2010

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” Malcom S. Forbes

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14

Dignity: “the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect” New Oxford American Dictionary
How many times do we get up in the morning, look in the mirror and see nothing but flaws. Being a guy I don't usually see my flaws in a mirror, I see them on the basketball court, work, and even when I'm driving. My point is, I think most people do just what today's quote states. We run around putting a magnifying glass on all the mistakes we make and forget about all our successes. If everyone concentrated only on their flaws or mistakes no one would accomplish anything at all. Imagine if Ford only produced cars they were absolutely certain would last forever and never have a flaw. Some of you might be thinking right now that, that would be a good thing, but in reality they would never produce a car and if they did it would be well beyond the price range of most everyone. We all have flaws, and we will all make mistakes in life; it's part of the human experience. Let's embrace those not so perfect characteristics when we can and when we can't, forget about them. Concentrating on our beauties that God gave us will lead to a much more happy and dignified life. And isn't everyone is attracted to happiness and self confidence?

Message for October 27, 2010

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.” 
Vince Lombardi
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:7
Leverage: “the power to influence a person or situation to achieve a particular outcome” Oxford New American Dictionary
On October 1, 1913 a small frail child was born in Brazil, early in life he was told by doctors to avoid strenuous sports activities where he could be easily injured. He was a stubborn boy however and chose to learn martial arts, specifically Judo or Kano Jiu-Jitsu. Being small however, he could not effectively use all the technics effectively. Instead of giving up, at the age of 16 he developed a system that allowed him to fight effectively against opponents of any size using using leverage instead of strength. Because of his tenacity and unwillingness to give up, Helio Gracie created Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, one of the most effective fighting methods known today. In life we are all undersized at some point. Let's not give up when we feel overcome, instead let's use our creativity and imaginations to look for ways we could use leverage to accomplish our goals. Leave the strength stuff up to God.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Message for October 26, 2010

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” Richard Bach

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Inspiration: “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something” New Oxford American Dictionary

Everyday I sit down and take time to put together a blog that I hope is inspirational or motivational to someone. If just one person is affected by what I do I consider it a success. Most of us have probably heard the story of the little boy throwing star fish back into the ocean after a storm that washed up thousands of them on the beach. When asked why he's throwing the starfish back into the ocean when he can't possibly save all of them, they boy simply responds, “it makes a difference to that one” and continues. To put together my blogs I have to search for inspiration everyday; and I think it's made a big difference in my life. This blog is not only intended to help my readers but to also help me. Everyday in my search for inspiration I find something that helps me become a more positive, more motivated person. And that's the point I want to make; I think it could make a big difference in peoples lives if they simply looked for inspiration (cause they'll find it). So I'm praying that you find inspiration in your life and I ask you to pray that I find inspiration in my life. With that in mind lets try and live the most inspired lives we can and see how it can change our lives and the lives of those around us.

Monday, October 25, 2010

message for October 25, 2010

Knowledge is proud that she knows so much; 
Wisdom is humble that she knows no more.” Cowper
Wisdom is supreme; therefore make a full effort to get wisdom.
Esteem her and she will exalt you; embrace her and she will honor you.” Proverbs 4:7-8
Sagacious: “having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment” New Oxford American Dictionary
Being wise is much different than being smart. We've all seen very smart people who could give a hoot about wisdom, and thereby do unwise things all the time. No matter who we are we can seek wisdom and sagaciousness. All it takes is a little time to think with a different perspective. In fact, I believe wisdom is rooted in the ability to see situations from different perspectives. For example, I could view marines as crazy because they decided to put themselves in a situation where they could be harmed, giving me a negative attitude towards them, or I could be very thankful for people who are willing to endanger themselves to protect my family, giving me a very positive attitude towards them. When Solomon solved the problem of child ownership with the two women and one baby he used wisdom to view the situation from both sides allowing him to test them and see their reactions, knowing how a true mother would feel (recount the story in 1Kings 3:16-18). Let's try to practice wisdom in all we do and see where a more sagacious in life can lead.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Message for October 24, 2010

It's not whether you get knocked down, 
it's whether you get up.” Vince Lombardi
But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. 2 Thessalonians 3:13
Resilient: “able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions” New Oxford American Dictionary
I think we've all heard the phrase, “the good die young,” and a lot of people have the idea that living an upright life is boring or stupid and we're all gonna die anyway so we might as well have fun and do whatever. The fact is that bad things happen to good people and to bad people alike. Sin effects us all whether we deserve it or not. We all will be tried and tempted to give up on living an upstanding life. But our reward for living a good life is the happiness and contentedness we have in our hearts and the everlasting life we are promised after this one. Looking at our lives in that perspective will bring more happiness than all the possessions and fun activities the world can offer. I'm not saying we should give up all those other things, just focus on what matters most and live accordingly.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Message for October 23, 2010

Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you're alive, it isn't.” Richard Bach

Don‛t you know that you yourselves are God‛s Temple and that God‛s spirit lives in you? 1 Corinthians 2:16
Thankful: “conscious of benefit received” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
How much better do you think this world could be if everyone consciously looked for benefits they receive. Let's try to live thankful lives in the realization that we're here on earth to fulfill a mission; and see how we can improve our lives, and the lives of those around us.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Message for October 22, 2010

I'm not afraid, to take a stand, everybody, come take my hand, we'll walk this world together through the storm, whatever weather, cold or warm, just lettin' you know that you're not alone, holla if you fell like you've been down the same road.” Marshall Mathers (Eminem)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Compeer: “one that accompanies another” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The word compeer originally denotes more than just a companion. It's origin is from the anglo french word cumpere, literally godfather. We all have a compeer in God. He will always be there to guide us through whatever sort of situation we are in. In turn let's be good compeers to each other, when we see our fellow people in need lend a helping hand, see how much helping others can do for you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Message for October 21, 2010

Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?” Dennis and Wendy Mannering

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
Attitude: “the orientation of an aircraft or spacecraft, relative to the direction of travel.” New Oxford American Dictionary
You may be wondering why I chose to write the definition of “attitude” as it pertains to aircraft flight. I did it for a reason. It is my belief that our attitude determines what direction we are going to travel in life. If we have a negative attitude, just like an aircraft we are going to head down, likewise if we have a positive attitude we are going to head up. Let's set our attitudes toward heaven and in doing so ensure that we are always heading in the right direction.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Message for October 20, 2010

Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.” Thomas Paine

Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Proverbs 16:19

Integrity: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness” New Oxford American Dictionary

Have you ever heard the story about life being like a cup of coffee? (If not youtube it.) It talks about life being the coffee and the cup being our possessions. So many times people become obsessed with the cup, or their possessions thinking that those things will enrich their lives and bring happiness, eventually they forget all about what they really want, coffee, or life. Lets put our lives into perspective and realize what life is all about. It's about the love we share with others whether they are near or far, the relationships we have with friends and family, the laughter and happiness we experience, and last but certainly not least, our relationship with our maker. If we concentrate on what we fill our cups with, the cup will no longer be so important and we'll find we have the best cup of coffee anyone could ever ask for.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Message for October 19, 2010

“If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.” David Carradine

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it. 1Corinthians 12:27

Purpose: “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.” New Oxford American Dictionary

I watched a video today about a service dog in training. This puppy was great at everything but one, she couldn't contain herself from chasing birds. Because of that she couldn't be a service dog. But what could she do? She could surf, and so that's what she did, in one fundraiser she surfed with a paraplegic boy, stabilizing the board for him so he could stay on and being there for him when he fell. Because of her thousands of dollars was raised for the boys treatment. God has a purpose for us all, it's not hard, it's easy, because God knows are strengths and our weaknesses. Never let failure at one thing keep you from trying another. We can all live God's purpose if we choose to follow His calling and let go of the things we aren't good at and do the things we can.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Message for October 18, 2010

Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” Oprah Winfrey

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalms 23

Struggle: “strive to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance” New Oxford American Dictionary

We all live in a world full of dangers, hardships, and setbacks. But those things can only negatively control us if we let them effect our minds. I see babies all the time put in positions that would scare most adults (for example being tossed in the air), but they don't cry or worry, they smile because they enjoy the ride not even comprehending the possible dangers they face because they have complete trust in their loving parent. We are all that baby being tossed around, just remember God has us in his grasp and He will not let us fall if we choose to stay in His arms.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Message for October 17, 2010

Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.” Mark Twain

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. John 14:13

Providence: “divine guidance or care” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I think most of us live life without even tapping into a limitless source of comfort and power. God promises over and over again in His word that He is willing to shower us with gifts and blessings, all we have to do is ask. But I don't think most of us ever think of asking. The ways of people are so instilled in us and we can't imagine the power that is in asking. So try God, ask for His blessings and then watch for them. It is my belief that if we believe and our requests are righteous at heart we will receive what we ask.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Message for October 16, 2010

"Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits." Thomas Jefferson

"For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever
the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT)

Liberty: “the power of choice” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Many of us who live in free countries take for granted our freedoms, the freedom to speak about what we believe most of all. There are many people who live in this world who do not have the freedom to speak out about what they believe, their opportunities to make this a better world are much harder to come by. To those of us who live in free countries, lets use the freedom we have to make this a better world. And let's prove that we deserve freedom by using it in a way that is beneficial to all mankind.

Message for October 15, 2010

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. 
Henry Ford
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their hard work. For if one of them should fall, the other one can raise his partner up. But how will it be with just the one who falls when there is not another to raise him up? Ecclesiastes 4:9,10
Cooperation: “association of persons for common benefit” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
We all have things to do during life that we don't really like doing. But when we band together as teams we can accomplish many things much easier. The modern car was made possible when Henry Ford devised an effective way for his employees to work as teams in an assembly line, the great 300 Spartan warriors led by King Leonidas could not have done what they did without teamwork and obviously the best basketball teams use teamwork the best, I reference coach John Wooden of the UCLA Bruins. Personally, I know I can do most anything if I have a good friend with me. So let's be good friends, partners, and team mates and help each other out to make this a better place to live while accomplishing much more than we ever though we could.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Message for October 14, 2010

"Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world right in the eye." Helen Keller

The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2

Tough: “capable of enduring strain, hardship, or severe labor” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Sometimes our problems seem like the end of the World. I'm reminded of the Carrie Underwood song So Small” where it says, “sometimes that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand.” I remember basic training when my situation seemed so miserable and all I wanted to do was go home. At the time all the troubles at home seemed to be blessings more than hardships. But now looking back, it was a great experience, I have great memories from it and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. My point is that we often get caught up in little moments during our lives and focus on them until days seem like months and months seem like lifetimes and nothing seems temporary. How much better would it be if we were not so shortsighted and could see that this moment in our lives has the potential to be just as meaningful as the next and value it's experience, good or bad, and remember that while it may not be as enjoyable as the next, if we let it, it will make the good times that much better?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Message for October 13, 2010

Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles.” Samuel Smiles

Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor. Job 11:13-19

Faith: “complete trust” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

As I write this 33 miners in Chile are being rescued after being trapped thousands of feet underground for 69 days. No mine rescue of this magnitude has ever been accomplished before and it took hope for those miners stay alive and sane for 69 days while being trapped in an underground tomb. We can all take heart by this rescue, if those miners can go through what they did and not lose hope we can go through whatever trials we face in our lives with hope that a better day will come. But we must take action on our hopes and have faith in the fulfillment of them.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Message for October 12, 2010

People who don't take step number one, never take step number two.” Zig Ziglar

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17
Grateful: “pleasing by reason of comfort supplied or discomfort alleviated” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
How many of us are unhappy with things in our lives? I think all of are to some degree. One of the keys to happiness is gratefulness. According to some experts it is the most important trait we can have, because if we live gratefully we assure ourselves of happiness. Can you imagine someone being unhappy while saying that they love their car, family, job, home, and life? Likewise can you think of someone that is happy while describing all their possessions and life as being horrible and intolerable? I know we all have different levels of possessions, some people drive new Mercedes', and some drive used Kias, but I can't tell you how many people I've heard complain about their premium German sports sedans, while very few complain about their 500 dollar junkers, because their grateful that they just run. It's not about what we have nearly as much as our attitude towards it. If we have an ungrateful attitude towards our situation or belongings we will never be happy. The first step towards solving that problem is to find the good in what we have, focus on it and be grateful for it. Step two is to be happy, and it will come naturally, but only after we complete step one.

Message for October 11, 2010

Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow." Abraham Lincoln

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:3-5

Character: “one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

By no means am I an abnormally brave or courageous person, but like everyone I have done some things in my life I didn't want to do. If I had not done those things I don't know where I would be at in life right now. I honestly can't think of anything I have right now that is not a direct result of doing things I didn't really want to do. So in life when something comes along that you may not want to do, try to see the benefits in it, if they are good, jump at the opportunity, because from my experience, opportunities seem to always be mixed with trials. Maybe because trials show us what is truly good in life, building a character in us that sees flowers where thistles grow.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Message for October 10, 2010

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances." Martha Washington

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Psalm 15:13

Spirit: “the activating or essential principle influencing a person” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

There are times in all our lives where we experience heartache, I think the only way not to, is to avoid love and I don't believe that is a healthy alternative. But we also need to be able to keep our spirits up to be happy productive people. I believe that in times where heartache is unavoidable, our trust in God and the firm belief that He is with us and will guide us through the temporary times of trial is the best way to maintain a happy spirit.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Message for October 9, 2010

“Vows made in storms are forgotten in calm.” Thomas Fuller

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven. Psalms 107:28-30

Calamity: “an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster” New Oxford American Dictionary

I think we've all heard the phrase, “there are no atheists in foxholes.” It's true, people have a tendency to develop a godlike complex when things are going good, then when disasters occur they plead for mercy and help. I think we can see the result of this type of attitude with the recession. Many people are in debt they can't and don't want to afford because they made a promise to repay a loan during a time when they either felt they needed money or wanted something they didn't have the money to pay cash for, believing that during the good times ahead they would easily repay their debt. As a kid I remember every time I did something to get in trouble I would pray to God to fix the problem and I promised I'd never sin again. My point is, people have a tendency to in-debt themselves for instant gratification without a desire to follow through on their promises. It's comforting to know that, while in life, men almost never forgive our debts, God continually bails us out of our calamities and forgives our debts with no expectation for repayment, because He loves us beyond our imagination and desires more than anything to help us, all we have to do is ask.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Message for October 8, 2010

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us” Marianne Williamson

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalms 37:5-7

Manifest: “easily understood or recognized by the mind” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

As a kid you probably heard the song “This Little Light of Mine.” Here are a few lines.

this little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
Hide it under a bushel no
I'm gonna let it shine

How many of us live that way as adults? God has given us all talents to share with the world and wants us to share them with others. That's how His work is done in the world. We have been given the great honor to do God's work. What if we thought of it as a responsibility instead of an option? That doesn't mean we have to run around professing our belief in God. I've met a lot of people who are offended by people who profess their faith boldly, but I don't think I've ever met someone who was offended by someone who lived with a Christian nature. Most of the time I think the best way to share our Christianity is through our actions instead of words, and when someone asks, why we act the way we do we can explain that we are just acting as God asked us. Our actions not our words display our characters. Let's show a character that is shaped by Christ.

Message for October 7, 2010

Every wall is a door.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?" And Abraham said to God, "If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!" Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. Exodus 17:17-19

Opportunity: “a favorable juncture of circumstances” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

In life, it seems to me, opportunities are usually disguised as road blocks or walls. The thing about walls is that they usually are in place for the good of the whomever they're serving. The problem with us is that we need to adjust our outlook on walls. My dogs are kept in my yard by walls, they don't really like it all the time and I'm sure they don't see the good in them, but as their caretaker I see the good in the walls I put around them. They are much safer with the walls than without. Next time we come up against a wall, let's try to see the wall as working for us instead of against. I believe that everything in life happens for a reason (that includes road blocks), if we choose to understand the good that can come from them we can use them for our advantage instead of a hinderance.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Message for October 6, 2010

Begin each day as if it were on purpose.” Alex Hitchins (From the move “Hitch”)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Aspire: “to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

There are times in most of our lives I think when we can become depressed because we feel as though we're just floating along without a real purpose. One of the keys to avoid that sort of feeling I think is to remember what we aspire to. Then if we begin each day on purpose, our life will be sure to feel purposeful, and when we live with a purpose so much can be tolerated. Like a bad day at work is eased by a fun event planned that evening, trying events in life are bearable when we have something bigger to set our sights on. When our lives are focused on God and what He would have us do, we will never be without a purpose.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Message for October 5, 2010

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. Proverbs 26:20

Idea: “a transcendent entity that is a real pattern of which existing things are imperfect representations” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The funny thing about gossip is that it usually hurts the ones we love the most. I know we've all seen friendships destroyed, not because someone genuinely disliked their friend, but because they found entertainment in talking about them in ways they shouldn't have. I know we've all heard it before, but I think we would be much better off if when we had something to say about someone else we acted as if they were listening to everything we had to say. That doesn't mean all of our comments have to be friendly or nice, one of the most important roles of friendships are to edify one another, but all of our talk should be rooted in a positive goal for everyone. It's a massive cliché, but “if we don't have anything good to say about someone, don't say anything at all.”

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Message for October 4, 2010

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” Anna Quindlen

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" John 8:31-33

Genuine: “free from hypocrisy or pretense” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone should give up on trying to be the absolute best person they can be. My point in using this quote is for people to realize that perfection can only be found in our creator. Too many times people try to put on a fa sad of perfection, trying and make an impression on others. More often than not however, people see through those attempts and realize that the person is not being genuine. While it is honorable to build upon our characters, the second we start to believe that we can reach perfection is the second we enslave ourselves to a life of hypocrisy and self righteousness. When Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins He set Himself up as the keeper of our perfection. It is not our responsibility to find perfection in ourselves but to allow God's perfection to shine through us.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Message for October 3, 2010

Have you ever met a successful pessimist? Become an optimist, and see your world change before your eyes!” Chris Widener

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Optimism: “hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something”

You can't accomplish anything unless you try. So if you want to get something done, try, and then be optimistic about it. Imagine building the tallest building in the world. Seems pretty much impossible huh, (at least it does to me). Now realize that all of the tallest buildings in the world were built by people who decided that is what they wanted to do. Now imagine them saying to themselves as they broke ground “I'll never be able to build the tallest building in the world.” What sounds more unrealistic, building the tallest building in the world, or the person who has thinking that they couldn't? So lets get out there, dream big and spend a lot of time asking God for help.

Message for October 2, 2010

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” Ursula K. Leguin

Then the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. Joshua 24:16-17

Travel: “to be enjoyed or successful away from the place of origin.”

I have found that in life people (myself especially) are fixated on a goal. While goals are important and achievement is accomplished through setting goals, sometimes it is important to stop, realize, and enjoy the moment. Every goal or destination brings with it a journey, and it is in the journey that we all spend our lives. So while we set goals and plot destinations, let's enjoy the process in reaching them, because if we can't do that we won't enjoy life. And don't forget to include God in your journey, he's the best companion you'll ever have.