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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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Team Possibilities

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 most affectively, 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.

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?
As always, thank you so much for reading.
Jake


Monday, June 27, 2011

It's a God Thing!

You know it's a God thing, ya know I thank God every single day, I'm just His instrument and He's using me on a consistent basis daily... He's using me to extend His word... I'm a prime example of How God can turn something that was bad into something that was very great.” Cam Newton (statement after winning 2011 BCS football championship)

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 
2 Corinthians 5:17

Attest: “declare that something exists or is the case” New Oxford American Dictionary

Whether Cam Newton was being truthful or not during his statement after winning the BCS Championship Bowl Game is secondary as to what he accomplished. Instead of talking about his accomplishments and his victory over the opposing Oregon Ducks he testified for God in front of an audience of millions of people. Some could say that he did it to alleviate pressures and criticisms leveled at him by people who believe he cheated the collegiate athletic system to receive payment for playing football; but to me it makes no difference. In the eyes of many he gave God the credit for his accomplishments and if there is just one kid out there influenced by Cam's testimony, God's work was accomplished through him. So much of our success can be attributed to God simply by the positive attitude faith in Him can foster. Let's all try to remember that; not only when we're tempted to glorify ourselves, but also when we don't feel too positive about life. God's love has a way of changing our hearts and attitudes when self satisfaction in ourselves will always fail, and it was good to see a famous athlete attest to that.

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?
Thank you so much for reading.
Jake

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Accomplishment Through Adversity

“Whether or not you think you can or you can't. Either way, you are right!” Henry Ford

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Ability: “talent that enables someone to achieve a great deal” New Oxford American Dictionary

After a construction accident that left him broken in a hospital room and his father dead, Washington was ready to give up on his dreams and responsibilities. He tried to inspire friends and colleagues to take up his responsibilities and finish the work he had started, but it was useless. No one felt they could achieve what he was asking them. It appeared he would not be able to accomplish what he had started before he was injured. Then he realized he could still use one finger, his mind worked perfectly, and he had a loving wife willing to help. He used his finger to tap messages on her shoulder, which she in turn communicated to Washington's foremen and workers. It took 13 years, but Washington Roebling finished the work his father, John Roebling, started, and today we have a Brooklyn Bridge as a statement of what perseverance can accomplish. We all have abilities beyond what we think, and in a way, we're all trapped in a situation that seemingly limits us. But if we focus on our goals and have the will and courage to explore our capabilities, I think we'll all be surprised at what we can accomplish.

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?
Thank you so much for reading.
Jake

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Our True Value

Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.”
Albert Einstein

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3-10

Meek: “enduring injury with patience and without resentment” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I have a dog at home that my wife bought for me. He was from the Peugeot Sound area, a good distance from where I live. It so happens he was the last puppy of the litter, maybe he was the runt, I don't know. In any case, being a Golden Retriever he was rejected probably eight or ten times by people choosing puppies. Does that mean he was the least valuable puppy of the litter? That puppy has grown up to be the best companion anyone could ask for, and if you're a dog lover you know what I mean. So what does that have to do with todays message about being valuable? It is not what we have, our personal status, or our looks that make us valuable. It's what's inside that determines or value; we call them values for a reason. When Clyde was a puppy there were obviously people who looked at him and decided for some reason he wasn't as valuable as the others. What they couldn't see was the heart that was within that dog. Let's take picking out puppies as an example for picking who we value, and remember our judgement of what they are on the outside has nothing to do with their true value as a person.

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?
Thank you so much for reading.
Jake

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Easiest Way

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”  Beverly Sills
For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  Romans 8:24-25
Phlegm:  “calmness of temperament”  New Oxford American Dictionary
If you’ve ever fallen asleep watching TV, you’ve probably waken up in the middle of the night with a shouting salesman staring at you through the set, trying to convince you of a recently discovered way to get rich in a couple months, while sitting on your couch at home.  Sadly, those scams still exist because people want to believe what they’re being sold.  There’s an old car sales line that goes something like, “there’s a butt for every seat.”  Unfortunately, there’s also a well-meaning, hopeful person for every scam.  I’ve been fooled by them myself, multiple times.  Even though we’ve been fooled before, we say to ourselves, “this time it’s different, this guy was really nice and seemed really honest.”  And maybe he was, maybe he was fooled by the same scam and became a scam salesman.  Life is full of scams, and we’ll never be able to recognize everything as a scam.  There’s one way to best ensure we aren’t fooled by them.  That is to realize success takes a plan, and it takes work.  Even God made a plan of salvation for us.  He could have just as easily made perfect beings without the ability to choose anything but perfection.  But what is perfection without imperfection, what is good without bad?  We have to work through the imperfections, and through the bad things in life to get where we want.  And getting around all those obstacles that are sure to get in our way takes a plan, and it takes effort to execute that plan.  Let’s set goals for our lives, then make plans to reach them.  That way we won’t be so distracted when shiny objects pop out at us, or roadblocks come across our paths.  
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?
Thank you so much for reading, it means a lot to me.
Jake

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trying to Find the "Why"

“I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle.”  Jane Austen
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Philippians 2:3-4
Egocentric:  “centered in or arising from a person's own existence or perspective”  New Oxford American Dictionary
Yesterday I talked about sharing our “whys.”  Today I want to talk about finding other people’s “whys.”  Why does you wife turn on the hair dryer at 7 am when you’re trying to get just a few more minutes of precious sleep?  Why doesn’t your dad let you take the classic Camaro to prom?  Or why does your husband constantly have to annoy you with his devastatingly boring and seemingly pointless car shows on saturday morning?  At times, it’s easy to assume that others are thinking only of their desires.  But when we try to see past our own wants and comforts, we might be able to see that those annoying things are done a lot of times for our benefit.  Maybe we should appreciate that our wife puts effort into looking attractive for us.  Maybe someday we’ll thank dad for protecting that classic muscle car so that we could inherit it someday, undamaged by terrible teenage driving.  Maybe a husbands interest in cars could be appreciated for the interest and ability it gives him to repair the family sedan.  We all are selfish in our own ways.  Sometimes the greatest selfishness we can exhibit can rise from the assumption that others are being selfish toward us.  I can’t count how many times I’ve assumed my wife was acting without considering my desires, when in fact she was deliberately trying to please me, but I was too wrapped up in my own little stupid world, I couldn’t see it.  While it’s important to develop and communicate our reasoning, it’s equally important to recognize the reasoning and the “whys” of those around us.  We might be surprised at how our outlook on the world can change if we try to assume that others really do have good intentions.  
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?
Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate you.
Jake

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's all About the "Why"

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.”  Martin Luther King Jr.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39
Cogitate:  “think deeply about something; meditate or reflect”  New Oxford American Dictionary
I’m sure you’ve heard the standard investigative questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Of those questions, the “why” can shake the foundations of our world, of our existence, and of our faith.  Why did the Holocaust happen?  Why were we born better off than others?  Why, why, why?  Of the investigative questions, the “why” can never fully be answered.  We will never fully know why someone chooses to take the life of another, or why someone chooses to give their life to save another.  But understanding why people do what they do has the power to change the way we feel about anything.  Without the reason why, the killing of Osama bin Laden would have been simply murder.  Without knowing why Christ died on the cross, it would have been just another cruel crucifixion.  But understanding those whys puts a reason to the events.  Seal team six becomes a heroic icon instead of a band of murderers and Christ is known as our Savior instead of merely a great teacher.  In our relationships with others, we should try our best to communicate why we act, behave, and do the things we do.  Leaving home for nine hours a day is appreciated when our spouse knows we are earning a living at work, not just abandoning them because we don’t care for their company.  That’s an obvious and small example I know, but what if we made our intentions as clear as that in whatever we did?  Not only would it earn us trust among our peers, but it would also edify our actions.  Because we’re not capable of fully understanding ourselves, let alone others, and our communications skills will never be perfect, we may never be able to fully and affectively communicate our motives.  But just the act of trying shows genuine and honorable intent.  Let’s try to improve the communication of our “whys,” and see if our “whys” don’t improve along with 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?
Thank you so much for reading, it means a lot to me.
Jake

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Are You a Killer App?

It's not what you say, but what people hear.” Frank Luntz

For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:11 (Jesus)

Killer App: “an application that would dominate and redefine it's category” Paul Allen

What do you think of, when you hear the word, “Thermos?” Probably the same thing I do. A container to keep our drinks warm; right? In truth, the company Thermos manufactures all kinds of products besides their “thermoses.” See, that's an example right there of what I'm talking about. Their core product is so dominant that it defines a product category. It's truly the killer app of drink canisters. When I say “thermos,” you naturally hear “drink insulator.” Quick, now say your name. What do you think people naturally hear? We may never be the killer app a thermos or an ipod is, but with God's help, we can define what and who we are. What do you want people to think when they hear your name? That question has the ability to change who we are, because it gets to the heart of what we desire to be; it's introspective to the core. I don't think many of us want to be bad, or dysfunctional people, but too many of us let the world lead us. We are like a boat adrift on a river, we float and bob down the rapids, instead of powering upstream. In life, circumstances can influence us greatly, but a purposeful identity can give us the ability to influence the world. Let's do our best to be a positive, godly influence to our surroundings. That way, we will never have to guess what people are thinking when they hear our name.

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?
Thank you so much for reading, it means so much to me.
Jake

Monday, June 20, 2011

Get in the Game!

To be merely a spectator, is to be, virtually powerless; to influence the outcome.” R.C. Sproul

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. Genesis 2:19-20

Entail: “involve (something) as a necessary or inevitable part or consequence” New Oxford American Dictionary

To be honest, most sporting events, such as basketball, football, or baseball, are better watched at home on a television than in the stadium where they're actually happening. It's much easier to see what's going on, you can clearly tell who the players are, and there are usually professional and knowledgeable commentators describing what is happening. But if you want to be more involved in the game, you must travel to it's location. Screaming at the TV and jumping up and down in your living room cannot do a bit of good for the athletes in the game. I happen to live in the beautiful pacific northwest of the United States of America. A place where eagles soar, salmon thrive, and the Seattle Seahawks call home. Those attending their home games at Qwest Field are called the 12th man. They're called that because their efforts in the stands make the stadium one of the loudest, if not the loudest stadium in professional sports. And it makes a difference. Qwest Field perennially registers the most false starts by visiting teams in the NFL. The noise at times incapacitates the opposing teams ability to communicate, delivering a huge home field advantage to the Seahawks. The fans that come to cheer for their Seahawks don't see themselves as merely spectators, they are involved in a way that can be vital to their teams success. When God created this world, He was the main event, but He wanted to involve man in the process. He could have just as easily, if not more easily, taken care of everything for us. But He had no intention for us to be merely spectators in this world. So immediately He gave Adam tasks, one of which, was to name the animals. He built an environment which entailed our involvement from beginning to end, and commissioned us to be stewards of His creation. Let's take a look at our lives. Are we involved in life to our fullest extent, are we being good stewards of the gifts and abilities we've been granted? No, we shouldn't overburden ourselves to the point where life is no longer enjoyable, but sometimes we have to turn off the TV set, get out of our living rooms, and get in the game. We might be surprised at the results it can affect.

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?
Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate you.
Jake

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sacrifice's Precipitation

No sacrifice, no victory.” Stated by the character Sam Witwicky in the movie “Transformers”

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Precipitate: “send someone or something suddenly into a particular state or condition” New Oxford American Dictionary

Ok, so it might be a little strange or dorky to quote a line from the movie “Transformers,” but the quote is exactly right, and I wanted to talk about it. Rarely in life does anyone achieve much of anything without sacrificing something. In fact I think I could safely say, no one has ever achieved anything without making some sort of sacrifice. I gave up time and comfort to be able to join the military; and at times, I still sacrifice those things for my job, but it's been well worth it because it's brought me a life I find fulfilling and lifestyle I feel blessed to enjoy. But the sacrifices I've made are insignificant to the sacrifices of others. Everyday, people suffer much more than I do to make a living. And millions have died defending their countries and communities. But even those sacrifices, however amazing and honorable they are, can't compare to the ultimate sacrifice made on our behalf. When God sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for us, He showed us a love beyond compare. That act immediately precipitated our salvation. And while every sacrifice throughout history has had its reward, none can compare with the reward we can daily reap through the crucifixion of Christ. There will always be times in all of our lives when we don't feel like making a sacrifice, but we could all benefit from remembering the benefits we enjoy because of the sacrifices of others. And we would do well to realize the potential gains that can be made through the sacrifices we make now.

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?
As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read, it means a lot to me and I appreciate you.
Jake

How to Trump a Roadblock

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalms 23:4

Resolved: “to reach a firm decision about” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Sometimes in life it's important to be stubborn, to be resolved, to tie that knot and hang on. Life presents challenges and obstacles everyday, all of our goals will be impeded by doubt, distractions, and deceits, but determination can trump all road blocks. Through steadfast faith and a stubborn hope we can accomplish all of our potential; and who can determine what our potential is. We are creations of God and what better maker could one ask for. How powerful is that phrase? We are creations of God.

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?
As always thank you so much for reading, you mean a lot to me.
Jake

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Resolute Determination

The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work.” Oprah Winfrey

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered. Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." Genesis 32:24-28

resolute: “marked by firm determination” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I continually struggle with laziness. That's one reason why I do this journal. It keeps me focused on something other than entertainment, on something more, bigger than myself. Have you ever notice that continual entertainment is really depressing? I didn't feel like it at first, but I forced myself to get out in my shop this afternoon to get some work done. And do you know what? I'm so much happier now, than if I had watched TV all evening. It's my firm belief that everything worth while is worth work. Just as Oprah struggled to build her television empire, Jacob struggled with God for a blessing. So many people have gained so much in life by being resolute. They are determined to accomplish what they have set out to do. What could we accomplish with just a little more determination?

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?
As always thank you so much for reading, I appreciate you.
Jake

Friday, June 17, 2011

Command Teacher

If all you give are orders, then all you will get are order takers.” Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:2-3

Bearing: “the way one behaves or conducts oneself” New Oxford American Dictionary

I am convinced self-responsibility is a key aspect of our success, and part of the responsibility of a good leader is to develop people who are able to not only take care of themselves, but also lead others. As Donald Trump might say, God gave us a “ewge (huge), beautiful brain,” that is far more capable than we give it credit. It's our responsibility to develop brain power. Whether it be in our own skull, or someone else's. I've noticed that when we treat people as stupid, eventually their spirits break and they will act the way they think you see them. But when you treat people like they are the most skilled person you ever met, they have a tendency to try to live up to that standard. You may have noticed how talent seems to always show up in sports teams that have a record of winning. It's not just because they recruit the best players, it has more to do with the players playing their best for a team that's expected to win. The New York Yankees have won the most championships of any team in baseball. When their players put on the pinstripes, they know they have to play like champions, because nothing less is expected of them. We should all try to develop a bearing that not only produces, but also elicits performance. Step one, is to perform ourselves, then teach others how to perform as well.

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?
Thank you for reading, I appreciate you.
Jake

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's Ok


How long must I pray, must I pray to You
How long must I wait, must I wait for You
How long 'till I see Your face
See You shining through

I'm on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I'm on my knees
Father, will You turn to me, yeah?

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?

From the song “Hold My Heart” by Tenth Avenue North, words and music by Jason Ingram, Phillip LaRue, and Michael Donehey

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. Psalm 61:1-5

Enthrall: “capture the fascinated attention of” New Oxford American Dictionary

Some days the quotes and the Bible verses I find are so powerful I don't feel qualified to follow them up with a message of my own. This is one of those days... The message I want everyone who reads this to get is this. It's ok to wonder where God is, it's ok to wonder why you're going through what you are, it's ok. From the beginning of time, followers of God questioned why they went through what they did. A cursory reading of Psalms reveals a psalmist pleading for God, seemingly angry with Him at times, at times even demanding. It's a point I've labored over and over, we're all humans, God designed us with emotions and needs. One of those needs is Him, and that need produces emotions, those emotions are natural. But like King David, let's never let our faith waiver, let's remember what our creator has done for us, let's remember the reward we have waiting; a life of perfection and eternity.

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 are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you so much for reading.
Jake

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Affecting Change

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Jesus (from Matthew 12:17)

After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.” So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats. He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. The men said, “This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.” With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way. 1 Samuel 24:1-7

Prodigious: “exciting amazement or wonder” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

There's a saying that goes something like, “people get the leaders they deserve.” When Christ answered the trick question presented to Him by some pharisee's, of whether it was right to pay taxes to Caesar, He was able to see through to what the real question was. The real question they were asking was, is God more important than Caesar? Of course God was more important than Caesar and He will always be vastly more important than any human leader the world will ever know. But by accepting Roman money, the jews in Jesus' time accepted the responsibilities that came with it. Today in the United States, we are fortunate to live in a democracy, every four years we vote as a nation for our leader, the president. We have chosen as a nation to respect the authority of the culmination of our fellow citizens' beliefs. When we pledge allegiance to our flag, we are pledging allegiance to the wellbeing of our compatriots and their due respect, let's remember that, when we're tempted to hate our leadership. We may rightly disagree with their decisions, but we all have friends and family who chose to put trust in their leadership by voting for them. While we should view it as a responsibility to ensure good leadership, we can disagree without hating, and we can influence without tearing down. Let's be cognizant of what it means to actually hate and realize the damage we do to ourselves by tearing down another person. Through hate, we will guarantee our inability to affect change, influence, or progress. If we believe in our ideas, we should make them known, and if our ideas are good enough, people will notice.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Exciting Purpose

Apply yourself. Get all the education you can, but then, by God, do something. Don't just stand there, make it happen.” Lee Iococa

Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:28-31

Cosher: “To treat with special fondness.” Dictionary.com

In the early 1960's, muscle cars became an american icon when people discovered how fun a small car with a big motor could be. The sound of powerful V8's and the smell of burning rubber enthralled people all over the world. Muscle cars became a way of life, and the big three american auto manufacturers from Detroit (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler) were more than willing to accommodate anyone who wanted to go fast. Muscle cars became faster and faster each year until their their pinnacle during the late 60's and early 70's. As smog controls and emission standards came into full effect during the early 70's, the performance of the big american V8's was rapidly reduced, killing the era of the muscle car, and with it, the excitement of the american automobile. Faced with new challenges, the big three in Detroit took their eyes off the goal of exciting their customers, and their reputations floundered, with such cars as the Ford Pinto, AMC Gremlin, and Plymouth K cars. Not necessarily bad cars outright, but certainly not exciting cars. So what's my point? We're all gonna go through phases in our lives like the american automobile manufacturers. They'll be times when it seems we can do nothing wrong; then when obstacles appear, the things we did so right are no longer an option. But when our focus is a goal rather than a process, we can more easily ensure ourselves continued progress. Peter began to sink into the lake when he lost faith in his goal of walking on water, Detroit sunk into the doldrums of mediocre auto manufacturing when they stopped trying to excite their customers, and we will doom ourselves to failure if we lose faith in the abilities God has granted us with. No matter who we are, or what our position in life is, we all have an ability that no one else can match, but it's useless without a purpose. Let's find and follow a purpose.

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 are my goals for tomorrow?
As always, thank you so much for reading.
Jake

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Where's the Happiness?

Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it.” J. Petit

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Matthew 25:23

Faithful: “firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty” Merriam-Webster

I know this message is extremely short, but I want it to make a simple statement. If we're faithful in serving others, happiness will find us. If we're faithful in serving ourselves, happiness will always elude 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 are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you so much for reading.
Jake

Friday, June 10, 2011

How to Gain

Father God, I am clay in your hands,
Help me to stay that way through all life's demands,
'Cause they chip and they nag and they pull at me,
And every little thing I make up my mind to be,
Like I'm gonna be a daddy whose in the mix,
And I'm gonna be a husband who stays legit,
And I pray that I'm an artist who rises above,
The road that is wide and filled with self love,
Everything that I see draws me,
Though it's only in You that I can truly see that its a feast for the eyes - a low blow to purpose.
And I'm a little kid at a three ring circus.

I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
Don't wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.
I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
Don't wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.

From the song “I Don't Want to Lose My Soul” by Toby McKeehan, Michael Ripoll, Chris Stevens

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20

Conciliate: “reconcile; make compatible” New Oxford American Dictionary

I wear a reminder bracelet on my left wrist that states, “Jesus says – follow me no matter what.” I don't wear it so much as a witness to what I believe in, but as a reminder of what I live for. So much in this world is designed to become a focal point in our lives. It may be a beautiful house, a cool car or truck, or even a dignified job; whatever it is, it's not what we should be focused on. What if we always remembered that, all of the things of this world are an afterthought, a side course to what life is really about? It's not that having those things we want is impossible to conciliate with a God fearing life, but that God comes first. After that, we may just find, He will bless us with the things we desire. No matter what, I know God will never leave us unhappy. With Him a dirt floor can become a blessing, and homelessness a way to better enjoy nature. He promises that He'll take care of us, but we always find ourselves worried about our wellbeing. Like the children's song goes, “He's got the whole world in His hands.” As adults, when did we stop believing that? Let's treat everything we have like it's a blessing from our creator. If we do, I promise they will take on a value previously unknown. They will become invaluable, by that I mean, having them will be precious, but losing them will not be the blow it could be.

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 are my goals for tomorrow?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Forgive and Forgiven

Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King Jr.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12 (Jesus)

Exonerate: “(esp. of an official body) absolve (someone) from blame for a fault or wrongdoing, esp. after due consideration of the case” New Oxford American Dictionary

Hardly a day goes by without experiencing a possible offense. If we took every wrong action against us to heart, we would probably die of a heart attack before the age of 40. It's important to be able look past the offending actions of our peers and fellow citizens. As the Will Smith song, “Just the Two of Us” goes, “hate in your heart will consume you too.” Forgiveness is not a completely unselfish act, in most cases, forgiving benefits the forgiver more than the forgiven. At times, it can be hard to do, and as imperfect beings, there will be times when we all fail. But if we constantly strive to increase the percentage of times we forgive, we will get better and better, until someday, hopefully, we will be able to live up to the suggestion of Dr. King. From an outside perspective, we are all constantly in need of forgiveness; from other people and from God. Granting forgiveness to others increases the odds of being exonerated from our own misdeeds. We may never be able to satisfy people with our actions, and there may always be people who hold a grudge against us, but we have a Heavenly Father who has already forgiven all of our transgressions; past, present, and future. All we must do is claim His promise of love and salvation.

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 are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,
Jake

The Difference

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

Munificent: “(of a gift or sum of money) larger or more generous than is usual or necessary” New Oxford American Dictionary

Today I had a friend offer to pick up a cup of coffee from Starbucks during a break at work. When they came back to deliver my cup and I reached for my wallet to reimburse her, I was surprised to find out it was free. As it happens we're in the military and she went to get the coffee in uniform. When she tried to pay the cashier, she was informed that another man had already paid for them. The generous man thanked her for her service to the country and we all got a free cup of coffee. I will never know who paid for my coffee today and I will never be able to thank him. But I know his kind deed will come back to him. He will never know how he changed my day, but I hope he knows that he made a difference. Ronald Reagan said, “you can accomplish much if you don't care who get's the credit.” This kind man will never get the credit he fully deserves, but he accomplished a lot. Everyday, we all have opportunities to be like this unknown philanthropist. Who knows how many people we can bring a little happiness to, by one act of kindness. We may not get the credit, but we will get a reward. If nothing else, we will know we did something that made a difference to somebody, and there's nothing much more satisfying than that.

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 are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,
Jake

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The "Why"

The genius of this nation is not in the least to be compared with that of the Prussians, or Austrians, or French. You say to your soldier, do this, and he does it, but here, I am obliged to say, this is the reason why you aught to do that, and then he does it.” Baron Von Steuben

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26

Wiredrawn: “Finely spun; extremely intricate; minute.” Dictionary.com

Barron Von Steuben was a Prussian officer who came to the colonies to train American soldiers during the American Revolution; and to be honest, I'm not positive I know what he was implying in his statement, as seen in today's quote. But I'm going to take it as a compliment to the American soldiers he was trying to train. Skills based on knowledge and reason produce sustainable abilities that are tangible and able to be passed on. For example, one may be the best aircraft mechanic in the world, when it comes to accomplishing certain tasks on an airframe. They may be able to follow instructions meticulously and know how to accomplish prescribed actions flawlessly; never fully knowing the reasons for doing them. But if they can learn the “why” behind their actions they'll be better able to predict problems, find innovative solutions, and teach new generations to be self sufficient in their responsibilities. In a lot of ways I believe Christianity is much the same. The cornerstone of Christianity is our relationship with God, but belief without knowledge can become cumbersome and easily doubted when obstacles appear. As believers, we would be well served to not only live by faith, but also seek knowledge of what we have faith in; so that, at the very least we will be able to affectively represent our beliefs in a convincing way. While God promises the aid of His Holy Spirit to His believers, He gave us His word for a reason. In no way is knowledge a requirement for a relationship with God, but a loving relationship with our Creator precipitates a desire for knowledge of Him. I don't believe any of us can fully understand the wiredrawn concepts of Christianity and salvation, but like a loving spouse continually studies how to better understand their mate, a faithful Christian can also seek to know more about their faith, without expecting to fully understand the intricacies of God.

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 are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you for reading,
Jake