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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Friday, December 30, 2011

Life is Worth Living!


 “No fist is big enough to cover the sky.” African Proverb

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:2-4

Sustenance: “the maintaining of someone or something in life or existence” New Oxford American Dictionary

When we live life for ourselves it can become a miserable venture. Bad situations and unfortunate events seem to happen for no reason, with no redeeming value. I'm not trying to convince anyone that when we live for something bigger than ourselves, sadness will somehow disappear and all will be well, all the time. But when we live for a higher purpose, tragedies and failures can become more tolerable. When we live for a higher purpose we understand there is a reason for the circumstances in our lives that transcends solitary events, we know have a home above us that far exceeds this world in every possible way. So let's try to improve our perspective on life by focusing on the sky above and make the good news of Christ our sustenance, and in doing so, ensure life will be worth living.

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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

We Have This Hope


I have a tremendous amount of hope, because I believe in Jesus Christ who was raised from the dead.” Billy Graham

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, Psalms 33:18

Hope: “grounds for believing that something good may happen” New Oxford American Dictionary

We live in a world where hope seems to be a fading commodity. Everywhere we look we see wars, famines, floods, pollution, and even the threat of global warming. You name it, if it can ruin your life, it's out there and it's a threat. But we have a hope that can surpass all doubts and depression, a hope that nullifies the woes of this world. What is death if it means we get to be permanent residents of heaven? When life seems like a hopeless existence full of toils and turmoils, remember we have a heavenly father that has guided this world through disasters, wars, and catastrophes before. He can, has, is, and will guide it again. Ultimately He promises a new world. One without the effects of sin. One where hope is unnecessary, because what was and could ever be hoped for, is a reality. Living for that world can change our perspective on everything in this world.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone today?
      2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
      3. What did I learn today?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      6. What are my goals for tomorrow?

Thanks for reading.
Jake

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Getting Out of Our Way


Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” George Herman “Babe” Ruth

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

Fortitude: “courage in pain or adversity” New Oxford American Dictionary

Recently I heard of a man named Peter White. He does a documentary series for BBC radio called, “Blind Man Roams the Globe.” When I heard of him I knew I had to hear his show. I wanted to get a perspective of world adventures through the senses of a blind person. It was fascinating to hear San Francisco described without visual descriptions, to hear it described using sounds, smells, and feelings. But as I was listening I was struck by something else, I was impressed with how courageous this man was. Not only does he travel around the world constantly having to ask people for help and directions, somehow he had the idea that he could travel through and describe the world as a blind person. Then he actually stuck to his idea, and followed through on his plan. If Peter White has the ability to be a blind tour guide, what do you think we can accomplish? Let's all try to be a little more like Peter White, forget about our fears and doubts, and follow through on our ideas. What if we could all eliminate our biggest obstacles, ourselves?

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone today?
      2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
      3. What did I learn today?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      6. What are my goals for tomorrow?

Thanks for reading.
Jake

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Go Live Life


“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

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 2:9-10

Animation: “the state of being full of life or vigor; liveliness” New Oxford American Dictionary

“Go live life,” read the note by the door of a Gary's apartment. The man had been an executive for Blue Cross Blue Shield but lost much of his short term memory ability in a car accident and had to use sticky notes to remind him of what to do at certain moments in life. Things like “brush your teeth,” “take a shower,” “or go to bed.” But the most telling note I think is the one to remind him to “Go live life.” I think we could all use that note by our door. So many of us our so busy with work, play, or whatever, that we forget to really live life. So let's get out there and take a note from this man with limited memory, go live life, become animated, and see what miracles we can find.

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

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Big, Small, and Important Things


“Oh, the places you'll go”: “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way!” Theodor Geisel

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

Aspiration: “a hope or ambition of achieving something” New Oxford American Dictionary

Throughout history, successful people and influential events have been driven by a motivational force rooted in hope and aspiration. There are very few people or nations in history who have had greatness or achievements forced on them. At some point they decided to jump at an opportunity, and in doing so achieved greatness. After WWII Theodor Geisel visited Japan, still harboring animosity towards the nation for their actions leading up to and during the war. However, the personal relationships he was able to foster in Japan helped him move past his entrenched animosity, enabling him write an important allegorical book about the American post war occupation of Japan. It made clear the importance of people, even though you may not be able to see them, and the importance of rebuilding a strong country with goodwill. Today Japan is one of the United States strongest and most important allies, and the book “Horton Hears a Who” by Theodor Seuss Geisel, (Dr. Seuss) the allegory of Japanese and US relations, still teaches children that people are important no matter how small and anything is achievable not matter how big.

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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Build a Foundation


All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don't discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others.” Danny Thomas

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. Psalm 37:25-26

Foundation: “an underlying basis or principle for something” New Oxford American Dictionary

You can change the world! It was 1940 something, a young comedian and entertainer, so impressed by a church service put his last seven dollars in the offering. Being an expectant father with looming hospital bills, and the last little bit of money he had gone, he prayed for help. And help came, the next day he scheduled a role that payed him 70 dollars, getting him out of a jam one more time. But for the next couple years Danny continued to struggling in his career. So once again he prayed for help. He prayed at the feet of St. Judas Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes, saying, “Help me find my way in life, and I will build you a shrine.” In the following years Danny's career boomed and he became famous around the world. Remembering his promise Danny used his fame and popularity to begin raising money for the shrine during the early fifties. It took approximately ten years but in 1962 Danny Thomas opened the doors of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. A facility that has saved thousands of children's lives, comforted families across the globe, and has never required payment from those without the means. Without a dollar to his name or even a job to provide a steady paycheck, Danny Thomas built a foundation that changed the world, you and I can too, it begins with one act of random kindness at a time. (For more information about Danny Thomas and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital I encourage you to visit www.stjude.org you won't regret it.)

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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Character Muscles


“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

I just want everyone who's ever been in a bad situation and could not see an exit in sight, (and that's all of us I think) to think about our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines in harms way, especially those who have been captured by an enemy they do not know, and cannot trust, for the most basic things in life. Right now there are people surmounting obstacles and facing challenges we cannot begin to imagine, simply because they decided to go into the business of defending freedom and justice. When things are hard, let's be thankful for the things we have and know it could be worse. Let's be thankful for the people who work for us. We didn't hire them, and they're not on our payroll, but they're working for us non the less. Let's be thankful for the blessings that seem mostly like everyday rights, like the ones that allow you and I to post and read messages on the internet. Life isn't always good, but it's always what we make of it. Let's do our best to overcome with good and with the Lord's help we will never be overcome by evil.

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Building a Phalanx


“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” Kenyan Proverb

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

Phalanx: “a group of people or things of a similar type forming a compact body or brought together for a common purpose” New Oxford American Dictionary

Teamwork, we all know the concept, we know what it can accomplish, and most of us have experienced it at one point or another. But why is it so difficult at times? I remember watching an episode of Top Gear (a British car show) where the objective was to drive a car to the North Pole, and in the meantime try to beat a dog sled there along the way. We all know the Arctic is a inhospitable place, freezing cold, home to deadly bears, with no efficient means of rescue. The Arctic is a perfect example of an obstacle requiring teamwork. But it's cold and inhospitable environment also fosters among other things, short tempers, despair, and hatred. All things that hinder affective teamwork. Life is kinda like that, full of obstacles and trials requiring more from us than we are sometimes willing to give. At the same time, it seems like there's always something trying to beat us. Sadly, when we need it the most, we have a tendency to reject help, and the concept of teamwork can seem revolting. Sometimes it can feel like there couldn't possibly be anyone that would even want to be on our team. During those times, remember, there is no point at which we can't call on our Father in Heaven for a helping hand. No matter what are record of accomplishments and failures, He's always wanting to join our team. He's on the sideline asking to be put in the game. The decision is ours, He's not going to force His way into our lives, but He's always available when we choose to let Him in. During the difficult times in life, lets try to remember what we need the most, forget our pride and ask for it. Likewise, when times our good, lets remember, those are the best opportunities to build a strong team, a phalanx; so that we will be able to meet any obstacle and overcome it, experience any trial and survive it.

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Friendly Reminder


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

Lets always remember the importance of our friends. In a world where we can be constantly entertained by media, and satisfied by social networks on the internet, it's easy to forget about our real friends, both the ones we have and the ones we could make. But friends are so important to life. 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. Let's always remember the importance of our friends.

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


Monday, December 19, 2011

Cross


Cross
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.  Galatians 4:4-5
Ethereal:  “of or relating to the heavens : heavenly”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Two timbers lashed together.  They form a cross, the tool used to sacrifice our King and Savior.  Although used to execute many, Jesus made it infamous as a symbol to portray His love for us throughout time.  But why a cross?  The point where the beam and the post form a crossing, an intersection, that is what gives the cross its distinct capability to carry out its purpose.  Its purpose to torture, maim, and kill.  But the cross is so much more than the intersection of two pieces of wood.  It’s the intersection of our mortal lives and our everlasting potential.  It forms the point at which we can cross from mere humans to justified, redeemed, and saved souls.  Like every symbol and message He’s given, God’s symbol of our salvation is so much, so much more than merely what meets the eye.  In everything, God provides a message and a lesson.  Finding them can change our lives forever.  The cross and the crossing is the ultimate example.
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone today?
  2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
  3. What did I learn today?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What's Your Impression?


Sometimes new ideas can come from something as mundane and functional as your windshield wipers.” Donald Trump

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Impression: “a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression” New Oxford American Dictionary

Phasing is a musical technique that requires two instruments to play the same melody but at slightly different tempos. The effect produces an almost warbling ring to the music. The style has influenced many electronic composers and produced what some call, “the minimalistic music movement.” But phasing was not the product of a creative mind alone. It was actually the product of windshield wipers on a rainy day in New York, and creative observation. Steve Reich is one of the only composers living that can say they influenced music composition, and some say he's America's greatest living composer. No doubt Reich is a gifted musician and composer, but his inspiration and fame came as a result of his impression of windshield wipers. What's your inspiration?

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What Innovation Can Do


“Don't be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

The LORD said to Noah, “GO into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Genesis 7:1
And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him. Genesis 7:5

Innovate: “make changes in something established” New Oxford American Dictionary

Common knowledge in the world today would state that the easiest way to get along, is to, “get along.” Innovators like Steve Jobs or Noah might disagree. The success they found in their lives resulted from doing things differently. They had visions for the future; and whether they were supplied by God, or their imaginations, their visions proved successful. However, what matters most, is that they had the courage to follow through on them. Let's be like the innovators of this world, confidant in our ideas, with the courage to follow through on them. After all, I think you would agree, the world doesn't care so much about our ideas as much as our accomplishments, and accomplishments most always happen through the execution of innovative ideas.

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

Monday, November 21, 2011

Is it OK to be Rich?


No Legacy is so rich as honesty.” William Shakespeare

How useless to spread a net where every bird can see it! These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves! 
Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it. Proverbs 1:17-19

Probity: “the quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency” New Oxford American Dictionary

Do you know anyone who hates “rich people?” I think we probably all know a person or two who have a healthy skepticism of wealthy people. In some ways they're right, there are a lot of so called rich people who gained their wealth by taking advantage of others, and that is wrong. There are others however, that are good and honest people. Consider the author of Proverbs, Solomon, who was one of the richest people to ever live. God granted him his riches. Then there's the idea Donald Trump puts forth that, “rich is a state of mind more than anything.” My point is, wealthy people, like all other people, come in all shapes, sizes, and moralities. Furthermore, why should we even worry about other's ill-gotten gains, when we’re told in Proverbs 1:17-19, that the problem will take care of itself anyway? I don't think there's anything wrong with having possessions, if we're honest and demonstrate probity in gaining them. And remember, riches can bring misery, when they come at the expense of others. Let's try and cast our nets to gain riches where only our Creator can fill them. If we do that, we will ensure the greatest riches possible for ourselves.

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

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Will It!


“We put so much on skill, and not enough on will.”  Michael Irvin
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10
Will:  expressing facts about ability or capacity: a rock so light that it will float on water | your tank will hold about 26 gallons.”  New Oxford American Dictionary
“Je n'ai pas peur des soldats, car ma route m' a été ouverte, et si les soldats viennent, j'ai Dieu, mon Seigneur, qui saura comment libérer la route qui mène à Sieur le Dauphin. C'est pour cela que je fus nais.”  Translated, “I'm not afraid of the soldiers, for my road was opened, and if the soldiers come, I have God, my Lord, who knows how to free the road to the Sieur Dauphin. That's why I was born.”  Those words spoken by Jeanne d'Arc became what is known as her most famous quote which is usually truncated to simply, “I am not afraid...  I was born to do this.”  After decades of war that tore France apart, it took a 17 year old woman with courage, conviction, and will to turn the tide against the English and Burgundies.  Joan of Arc became a commander of a French army when she was only 17 years old.  Naturally, she was doubted and excluded from meetings with other military leaders.  Nevertheless, she achieved great and undoubted success.  Some claim that she was merely an inspirational leader, other scholars sight evidence from her opponents that she was a feared and respected military tactician.  But after being shot in the neck with an arrow and continuing to fight, there’s no doubt she was tough.  And after leading a perennially defeated French army to eventually reclaim French authority, there’s no doubt she was an effective leader.  We all will be doubted, and our skills will be questioned, but it’s up to us and our Creator to determine our ability, and our ability is determined by will more than anything.  Remember, it wasn’t oratory skills that gave Helen Keller the ability to inspire so many, and it wasn’t her sharp eyesight that gave her the ability to learn so much by reading books.  No, she was in fact blind and deaf, it was her will that inspired, encouraged, and for lack of better words, willed her to accomplish what she did.  Then again, maybe it was her inability to hear her nay sayers that gave her the ability to will.  Whatever it is we’re supposed to accomplish in life, there’s a good chance it has little to do with our natural abilities and everything to do with our will.  
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone today?
  2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
  3. What did I learn today?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Becoming Beatific


You may not like it, but you have to deal with it…. If you want better for yourself, you won’t stop looking at yourself. You will try to change things. You either have a chance to fix it or you can soak in it for the rest of your life.” Mary J. Blige

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of Heaven. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1,26

Beatific: “blissfuly happy” New Oxford American Dictionary

Many of us, without knowing it, surround ourselves with negativity every day. For example, I'm a person who's into information, I see questions everywhere in everything. As a result. I'm constantly on google, watching the news, or listening to commentary, all in search of answers and information. That's all well and good, but as you all know, news and commentary can be very depressing. Very rarely does someone turn on the news or open a paper and see a positive and uplifting story. Unfortunately, all this consumption of negativity often results in depression or pessimism. Thankfully, we are also surrounded by positivity; most every song you hear on the radio, business you visit, or car you drive has a positive success story behind it. However, it takes an optimistic attitude to see them. An optimistic attitude is like a pair of binoculars, it allows you to see things that are often too difficult to see from a normal perspective. Optimism can make things more beautiful and enlightening, it can lift our spirits and fill our future with hope. Luckily, the more we use it, the more valuable and natural it becomes. So let's try to use our optimism as much as we can. Maybe then, when we look in a mirror, we will be more likely to see a beatific, instead of a depressed person looking back at us.

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

Valuable Ruminations


“A penny for your thoughts, oh no, I'll sell for a dollar, they're worth so much more after I'm a goner. And maybe then you'll hear the words I've been singing, funny, when you're dead how people start listening.” Perry Kimberly (from the song “If I Die Young” by the Band Perry)

My command is this: love each another as I have loved you. John 15:12

Rumination: “think deeply about something” New Oxford American Dictionary

Ok, so I know today's quote seems kinda strange, but I think there's a message in it. So many of us go through life feeling completely ignored. We may be happy one day, sad the next, and nobody seems to notice. And maybe we don't even want people to notice. But we all have opinions we think are important, ideas we believe could improve things, and knowledge we know could change something. Unfortunately, people don't always want to listen. What I want to get across today, is that your ruminations are valuable and they do matter. So keep expressing them, even when it seems like no one is listening. The day will come when they will be valued. At the same time, try to remember, others are going through the same things you are. Here's your chance to make them feel valued.

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

Monday, November 14, 2011

Finding Value


In the hopes of reaching the moon, men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.” 
Albert Schweitzer

So will I sing praise unto Thy name forever, that I may daily perform my vows. Psalm 61:8

Worth: “sufficiently good, important, or interesting to justify a specified action; deserving to be treated or regarded in the way specified” New Oxford American Dictionary

I remember reading a personal blog a while back about how a man and his wife liked to go on horseback trips in Utah's desert canyons. He said he liked the desert because there aren't a lot of trees. As a result, you can focus on just one, and really see it's beauty. It reminded me of a quote I heard one time, I can't remember it exactly, or who it was by, but it said something like, “That which is most common is most often forgotten.” We pass by so much beauty in our lives everyday, sadly, too often we forget its value. Its commonality somewhat reduces its worth. However, that doesn't have to happen. What if, every time we saw beauty, we also noticed it? When we hear someone say thank you to a stranger, see a snow capped mountain standing majestically against a blue backdrop, or experience the welcomed smile of a friend we haven't seen in some time, let's not forget to value it, all those things of beauty have worth beyond calculation. Sadly, the ugly things in life have value as well, properly valuing beauty is the only way to make the positive things in life outweigh the negative. Wouldn't you rather live a life where the positive outweighs the negative? I know we can't control everything or maybe even anything that happens to us, but we can contribute value to those things. Let's choose to, and concentrate on, valuing the good things and devaluing the bad things. Maybe life will suddenly become more valuable.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone today?
      2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
      3. What did I learn today?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      6. What do I want to accomplish tomorrow?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Something to be Proud of


Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Abraham Lincoln

Out of my distress I call on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. Psalm 118:5

Liberty: “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views” New Oxford American Dictionary

Ok so I'm a wimp, I admit it. It was very emotional for me to watch the last scheduled mission of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on May 14, 2010 (the last actual mission of Space Shuttle Atlantis occurred on July 8, 2011, it was also the last Space Shuttle mission). Since I was a child, space has been the final frontier and a pinnacle of human achievement. The US space program was a huge source of pride for me, because it says to anyone interested, “You can do anything you put your mind to, if you're willing to work hard and make the necessary sacrifices.” Who didn't dream of going to space as a kid, because of the American space program? Wrought with recession, the final days of the space shuttle program seemed like the last gasping breaths of American achievement. However, on the morning of December 3, 2010 the X-37b, a miniature unmanned version of a space shuttle landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base. I couldn't help but smile, because when it seems like the efforts of free societies around the world are under attack and failing, it's so good to see a success. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm passionate about freedom, liberty, and democracy. They foster environments where self reliance, volunteerism, and free teamwork, join to create lasting achievements beyond what was thought possible. Freedom, no doubt, is guilty of many wrongs, but it also bears the scars of abuse and vandalism. It's something that is shaped by its members, it's us to you to make the best of our freedom, be proud of it, and fight for it. Not everyone has it.

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

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Good Things in Life


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. If we could somehow see the entirety of life and existence, and see the true and lasting effects of our life's events on earth, I'm convinced we would see that from our current perspective, we really don't have any idea what is best for our lives. If only we could adjust our mindset to take advantage of bad situations and be cautious when times are good, I think we could 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, because, like everyone else, I lack the foresight to see the outcomes of life events, but I honestly can't think of anything that has 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 if we live for His purpose, we can be assured that we will make a positive difference in this World and that this world will make a positive difference on us. That to me is priceless.

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Changing Lives


Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.” Swedish Proverb

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

Altruism: “the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others” New Oxford American Dictionary

In society, there is something most people don't think about, it's called “social capital.” It is measured in the number of bonds people have to one another and the strength of those bonds. It's what keeps cultures, communities, and families together. Sadly, that capital has been decreasing and degrading over the years. Many attribute it to the the widespread use of technologies, such as computers, phones, and digital entertainment. Years ago, people took the time to hand write letters (on paper no less) to one another. Slowly, that faded into phone calls, then emails, now texting is the preferred method for many people to communicate. While it has become easier and easier to communicate words to one another, the ease of it has reduced their value somewhat, and the perceived emotion of true communication has been almost completely stripped away. In many cases, people aren't really sure what their friends think of them, or if they even value them as friends. It's time people band together again and form networks of altruistic support for one another. During the mid eighties the Moose Lodge had nearly 1.8 million members, by the looks and the numbers of their buildings, I'm afraid to know what their current membership level is. For a lot of people, it's not an easy world to live in right now. Empathetic support is needed as much as it ever has. It's important to take time for our friends and family. You never know, the simple act of ensuring that a friend feels more valuable than a TV show may change a life, maybe their's, certainly yours.

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

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Ardent Method


The better your attitude doing the things you don't really like to do, the more likely you are to be given more of the things you do like to do.” Zig Ziglar

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Ardent: “enthusiastic or passionate” New Oxford American Dictionary

How many times have we heard someone say, or even said to ourselves, “I'm too good for this.” I used to work in the construction business, and I know from experience that there is never any glamour in digging a ditch. No matter how good you are with a shovel, chances are, no one will ever compliment you on a perfect hole you've just dug. Nevertheless, many people have gone from digging ditches to running companies, not because they showed they were exceptionally good at digging ditches, but because they had an exceptional attitude while digging ditches. Whatever we're doing right now, whether it be digging ditches or earning a comfortable living, there's always room to grow in our lives and careers. It is our attitude that will determine if we will or not. So let's become ardent in everything we do, whether it be enjoyable or miserable, and see what a difference it can make in our lives.

Daily Journaling questions:
      1. How did I help someone today?
      2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
      3. What did I learn today?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ask For Wisdom


“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 wisdom and knowledge first, with them, the other stuff in life will come naturally. Without a certain amount of lore, we wouldn't be able to handle the blessings that life can bring anyway. Asking for riches without knowledge of how to handle money, or knowledge without the wisdom to use it wisely, is like asking for a Ferrari having never driven a car. It won't last long. If we really desire something, let's first prove that it's justified, learn about it, then work hard for it. But by all means, let's be sure we desire wisdom over possessions or abilities, it holds the key to success.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone today?
      2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
      3. What did I learn today?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      6. What are my goals for tomorrow?

Thanks for reading.
Jake

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Little Luck


“The harder you work the luckier you'll get.” Paula Deen

The lot is cast into the lap, but it's every decision is from the Lord. Provers 16:33

Lot: “one of a set of objects such as straws, stones, or pieces of paper that are randomly selected as part of a decision-making process” New Oxford American Dictionary

Every part of me agrees with the statement I quoted by Paula Deen. However, I think she would agree with me that luck isn't quite what it seems, especially in light of what is said in Proverbs 16:33. There's no doubt, when we work hard, we create more possibilities for ourselves, it's not a matter of luck so much as cause and effect. What's more, we have a loving God who is working hard for us at this very moment. But many times we either choose not to try, or actually work against God's will. Hard work with the right motivation will ensure we're working towards a goal that has been set by God, a goal that would seem impossible in human terms but is readily attainable with the help of our Creator. So let's cast our lots, see what comes of them, but make sure God breaths on them for a little “luck.”

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone today?
      2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
      3. What did I learn today?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What about today do I want to remember foever?
      6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Serve With Purpose


“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 my 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 literally meaning “all or together” Wikipedia

Too many times we search for happiness trying to find out who we are. Like a puzzle piece we look for where we fit, believing that until we find out, we will not be fulfilled. What if, instead of trying to find who we are, we tried to find what our 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 a good cake. But those things do not define me. All of those things are skills 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 all serve others. Nothing in life lives only for itself, 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 fulfill our purpose, life has meaning, we find ourselves and we can find true happiness. The easiest way for us to lose ourselves is to lose our purposes by living for ourselves, and in turn the easiest way for us to find ourselves is to live with purpose and serve, “tutti.” Now, just to find out how to best fulfill our purpose? That is up to each one of us. Whatever we do, realize it is to serve, then, no matter what we do, we can find happiness.

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What Success Is


“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 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, none of those things make you a failure. To be a success, all you need is a smile on your face and a satisfied 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.

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