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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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Optimism Through Purpose


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


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

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

Isn't it amazing how Joseph was able to see God working in his life through all the challenges and hardships he endured? I am continually amazed at the way Joseph, through all his hardships, knew and understood that he was a factotum of God and was able to realize the purpose God had for him. What if in all our life challenges we were able to see what Joseph saw? What if like Joseph we were all able to realize that God has a purpose for our lives? It is my sincere belief that working for God and realizing His purpose is the best way possible to become that “continual optimist.” Let's all strive to have the faith Joseph had and use the events, good or bad, in our lives as stepping stones for God's work instead of stumbling blocks towards our own 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?
Thank you so much for reading. You mean a lot to me.
Jake

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Power of Trust


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

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

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

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

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, July 28, 2011

Get Tied Down


By seeing the seed of failure in every success, we remain humble. By seeing the seed of success in every failure we remain hopeful.” Unknown

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:12

Extol: “praise ecclesiastically” New Oxford American Dictionary

As I was watching TV I happened to see a commercial that featured a kite. It struck me, kites fly exceptionally well, but only if they are held back by a string. Life is kinda like that, it presents us with winds of opportunity and failure, it both extols and denigrates us. Without something grounding us, providing stability in our lives, we can be blown out of control, and while we may soar high, eventually without something to provide a base in our lives we will crash. Our job is to find a base, so that no matter what life presents, we will be able to harness it for our advantage.

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.
Jake

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Get Educated!


“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.”  George Washington Carver
Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. Proverbs 16:22 
Manumit:  “release from slavery; set free”  New Oxford American Dictionary
One thing I’ve noticed about great leaders and innovators is that they all are learning.  They make it their business to learn.  They enter situations with a desire to know what others can teach them.  I recently saw a statistic correlating education with unemployment.  It stated that in 2010, those with a doctoral degree had just a 1.9 percent unemployment rate, those with a bachelors degree had a 5.4 percent unemployment rate, those with a high school diploma had a 10.3 percent unemployment rate, and finally those with less than a high school education had a 14.9 percent unemployment rate.  It’s clear that education empowers people to follow their dreams.  How much greater a chance do you think you would have at finding a great job you loved if you knew you had a ninety eight percent chance at getting a job?  Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “It’s too late for me to go back to school.”  Luckily affective education comes in more than one form.  Education is around every corner, every life experience brings with it the opportunity to learn, every book read sharpens our ability to comprehend, every educational audio program allows us to take advantage of knowledge during times we would normally waste, such as sitting in traffic.  These alternatives to school may not give us education on paper, but they do give us practical and invaluable education.  Most importantly, education, in all it’s forms is empowering.  No matter how you gained it, the knowledge of how to be a leader can get you a long way, not just with your employer, but with your co-workers or employees as well.  The ability to understand systems and how to create them can make you an indispensable employee, or a successful business owner.  And confidence in your abilities can open more doors than what you think.  The cool thing is, all of these skills are more easily gained in personal education than in a scholastic system.  No matter what our life situation, we can and should all be educated.  It’s the key to success in nearly everything.  
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.  You mean a lot to me.
Jake

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Keep Going!


“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”  Will Rogers
If you stop learning, you will forget what you already know.  Proverbs 19:27 (Contemporary English Version)
Volition:  “the power of choosing or determining”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary
God told Abraham, “Go to the land I will show you,” and at the age of seventy-five Abraham obeyed God and left.  He didn’t know where he was going, how he was going to get there, or what was going to happen to him along the way.  But God laid a path for him to follow, so Abraham started on his journey.  It wasn’t always easy, Abraham had to fight battles, and risk his life at times, but he didn’t stop.  I think we all know when we’re on the right track.  Who doesn’t really know right from wrong deep inside?  At times the challenges presented along our path will make us want to stop, or even jump track to an easier path.  Despite those obstacles, let’s do our best to be like Abraham and use our volition to continue forward on the track that God has laid for us.  He wants more for us than we can ever imagine and He’s even shown us the way to it. Let’s follow that path to the best of our abilities and see where it leads.  Somehow I doubt God will disappoint.
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.
Jake

Monday, July 25, 2011

What about Worry


"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength."  Corrie Ten Boom
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.  Proverbs 12:25
Consternation:  “feelings of anxiety or dismay, typically at something unexpected”  New Oxford American Dictionary
The Lord will provide.  As I was thinking about what to write in today’s message about worry, I realized I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to write sufficiently about the topic.  But as I sat trying to think about what to say, the words, “the Lord will provide” popped into my head.  I’ve literally written hundreds of these messages and hundreds have started out this way.  When there’s nothing I can say, I begin to write.  And it seems the Lord has always provided something.  I’ll admit it, I’m not qualified to write about inspiration, or wisdom, or knowledge, or anything of the sort.  But there’s a goal behind The Daily Self Growth Journal, so I can’t let my worries get in the way of progress.  At some point, whether I have something to say or not, I have to write.  Every day, worry prevents a breakthrough somewhere in the world.  Every day, somebody lets worry stand in the way of their dreams.  The problem is, it has become acceptable for people to allow problems to become unsolvable because of consternation.  But when a problem is big enough, we all know there’s no time to worry.  Remember the crew of Apollo 13?  They were on the other side of the moon without enough oxygen to return home.  They were going to die in space unless they solved their problem.  If you’ve seen the movie, you know that every second counted.  There was no time to worry because reality dictated their schedule.  In the end, the crew solved their problem and returned home safely because they approached their situation through the realization of reality, instead of the anxiety of imaginary events created by worry.  That’s not to say there wasn’t stress, there was plenty of that, but they didn’t let it affect what they had to do.  How much better off would we be if we approached problems without worry.  If we saw challenges as problems to be solved, instead of mysteries to be worried about.  How much better off would we be if we all realized we have a loving God that will provide.  With heaven in store, is there really that much to worry about after all?
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 ton to me.
Jake

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fish with a Net


“Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory.  He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.”  Henry Ward Beecher
“But among you it will be different.  Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be the first among you must be the slave of everyone else.”  Jesus (Mark 10:43-44)
Charisma:  “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others:”  New Oxford American Dictionary
You can catch more fish with a net than with a line.  It’s a simple idea, but I think the reality of it’s truth is lost among many of us.  For example, the other day I heard that somebody entered the United States Presidential race with a platform focused on reforming foreign trade.  While that is a very important topic, and in time may become a driving issue, such a narrow focus can get lost in the weeds with all the other problems we face.  Winning presidential candidates often run on all encompassing platforms such as hope, or American exceptionalism.  It’s the same for us as Christians.  There are dozens of Christian denominations that came into being because of small disagreements on issues most people don’t understand and nobody can definitely define.  But Jesus says that if He be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him.  Doctrine is a line and Christ is the Net.  It’s not that doctrine isn’t important, but trying to bring people to Christ using doctrine is like trying to become president by running on the importance of reforestation in southern California.  And the concept of the net goes beyond politics and religion, it applies to life in general.  No matter what the subject, situation, or obstacle we face, let’s try to remember the concept of the net.  And as Christians let’s definitely make sure we’re fishing with the Net.  
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, you mean a lot to me.
Jake

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Greatest Gifts


“Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers, remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs, that just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care, some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”  Garth Brooks
And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.  1 Chronicles 4:10
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.  James 4:3
Grant:  “agree to give or allow”  New Oxford American Dictionary
You'll notice I included two Bible verses in today's message.  I did, because I didn't want anyone getting me wrong.  I don't think God will give you anything you want if you just ask and believe He will give it to you.  Likewise I believe God will grant us more than we can possibly imagine if we have faith in Him.  There are a couple things we need to look at to explain; first, God wants what is best for us, second, God grants us things, he doesn't give us things.  In order for God to grant us something, by definition, He is agreeing to give it to us or allow us to have it, and he would not do that unless He agreed is what was good for us.  So when we ask for something, let's have an open mind that God knows what is best for us and trust that if we don't get exactly what we want, God has something far better for us right around the corner.
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.
Jake

Let it Shine!


We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us”  Marianne Williamson
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.  Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.  Psalms 37:5-7
Manifest:  “easily understood or recognized by the mind”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary
As a kid you probably heard the song “This Little Light of Mine.”  Here are a few lines.
this little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine 

Hide it under a bushel no 
I'm gonna let it shine
How many of us live that way as adults?  God has given us all talents to share with the world and wants us to share them with others.  That's how His work is done in the world.  We have been given the great honor to do God's work.  What if we thought of it as a responsibility instead of an option?  That doesn't mean we have to run around professing our belief in God.  I've met a lot of people who are offended by people who profess their faith boldly, but I don't think I've ever met someone who was offended by someone who lived with a Christian nature.  Most of the time I think the best way to share our Christianity is through our actions instead of words, and when someone asks, why we act the way we do we can explain that we are just acting as God asked us.  Our actions not our words display our characters.  Let's show a character that is shaped by Christ.
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, it means a lot to me.
Jake

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Good from the Bad


The truth is; people will give there lives for what they believe to be true, they will never give their lives for something they know to be false.” Charles Colson

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

Veracity: “habitual truthfulness” New Oxford American Dictionary

If God is all powerful and is all good, why do bad things happen?” I hear this question all the time and it's always difficult to answer, and I'm not sure I'll ever fully understand until I meet God. But here's an example. I just googled Charles Colson, three out of four of the the first results had to do with Christian outreach. When I opened them I found out he is the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, he has written at least 20 books on Christianity, he has received 15 honorary doctorate degrees, and in 1993 he received the Templeton Award, the largest religious annual award in the world. And when Mike Wallace asked him about the Watergate scandal during the Nixon presidency he replied, “I thank God for Watergate.” You see, before he became an active Christian, Chuck Colson was president Nixon's Special Counsel, known as a brutal hatchet man, he became active in covering up the Watergate scandal, and eventually served seven months in prison for obstructing justice. But he thanks God for it, because without those events happening, he would have never found God the way he did. So in that way I think we can all thank God for the Watergate scandal, even though it was an event that divided and left a mark on our country; because it gave the world a person like Chuck Colson to change so many lives and in the end make it a better place. So I think what the real question should be is, “what good has come from the bad things that have happened 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?
Thank you for reading, it means a lot to me.
Jake

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Freedom's Responsibilities


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

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

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

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

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, you mean a lot to me.
Jake

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Speed and Angels


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


Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

Attitude: “the orientation of an aircraft or spacecraft, relative to the direction of travel.” New Oxford American Dictionary

Speed and angels” is a term used by United States Naval aviators to describe altitude, and speed of course. In an airplane every foot of altitude could be the angel that saves an accident. Speed, combined with attitude determine altitude. Without airspeed a wing cannot generate lift and its attitude determines whether it is climbing or diving. So why all the aviation references? It is my belief that just like in an aircraft, our attitude determines what direction we are going to travel in life. If we have a negative attitude, just like an aircraft we are going to head down, likewise if we have a positive attitude, we are going to head up. But distinctly unlike aircraft aviation, the more positive our attitude in life, the more speed we can generate. In life, not many people get anywhere with a negative attitude, it takes a positive attitude to get ahead. Let's set our attitudes toward heaven and in doing so ensure that we are always heading in the right direction. Let's develop some “speed and angels” and see where they lead.

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, you mean a lot to me.
Jake

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Greatest Letter


Man is a knot into which relationships are tied. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière)

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Correspondence: “communication by exchanging letters with someone” New Oxford American Dictionary

The Bible has long been regarded by christians as the ultimate guide for life. It's the ultimate “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.” But there is another purpose to the the Bible that is perhaps more important than that. The Bible is God's method of showing us who He is. It gives us a way to see God and be inspired by Him. As humans, we do not leave the people we love very long without corresponding with them. Multi billion dollar industries have been created just so people could communicate with each other while being separated. When Adam and Eve first sinned and became as the serpent said in Genesis 3:5 “like God, knowing good and evil” God physically left us. I can't presume to know God's motives, but I think He had to leave us to avoid fostering a rivalry between Himself and His creation. But God loves us more than we will ever know in this life; He could not, would not, and did not leave us without His correspondence. In every story we see in the Bible there isn't just wisdom on how to act, but God saying to us, “this is who I am, I know you're all gonna do this stuff and this is how I feel about it and how I react to it; and no matter what, I still love you.” His Word is there to comfort us when we're sorrowful, to give us wisdom when we falter, and to inspire us when our hope fails. No matter who we are, or what we've done we all have “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” All we have to do is accept Him as a friend.

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, July 17, 2011

Is that a Wall or a Door?


Every wall is a door.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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

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

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, you mean a lot to me.
Jake

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Strength of Mercy


The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi


Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:37-38

Remission: “the cancellation of a debt, charge, or penalty” New Oxford American Dictionary

With tears in his eyes, James Knowles offered whatever apology he could. “I've already forgiven you,” was the answer he received from Beulah Mae Donald. There was hardly a dry eye in that courtroom, and the southern jury quickly ruled in Beulah's favor to the tune of seven million dollars. Two years earlier James Knowles and Henry Hays, both members of the United Klans of America had killed Beulah's son Michael Donald in a racist attack. The seven million dollar verdict bankrupted the klan and with it severely disabled racist and klan organizations around the United States. Forgiveness can be the hardest thing to give, but it can also be the most powerful weapon we can ever wield against ill treatment. I can't help but wonder if the forgiveness that Beulah Mae Donald was able to find in her heart made clear once and for all, to all involved the evil of racism. Of course there are still evil people in this world doing evil things. But no longer can good people in good conscious sit on the sidelines and allow clear racism to exist. Remission of sins can do something punishment can rarely do, it can change a heart. As an experiment, let's see how man hearts we can change, and see how we're treated because of it, in the end, you may find that a reduction of your mercy is needed.

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.
Jake

Getting Ahead


The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

Commit: “to put into charge or trust” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I found this quote by Mark Twain and immediately knew this is what I wanted to talk about today. Then I found this Bible verse and immediately knew I wanted it to support my message. But then I put them together and they didn't seem to fit. But I knew these are the statements I needed to use. Then it hit me. While both statements are valid in their context there is a lesson to learn about what success really is. There is getting ahead, but without a team that is all it will ever be, winning can never come without a team. In the life of mortal man all we can ever do is get ahead, but we will never win without the Lord on our team. If we always put the Lord on our team by committing our plans to him I think we will begin to see the world and mankind in a different way. What if we saw mankind as a team instead of a group of rivals to overcome. What if when we found a way to succeed, instead of using it to get ahead of our competition we used it to reach back and bring as many as possible with us. I have a theory that, whatever we do it should benefit everyone. That would go a long way in reducing rivals and it would ensure that we were always a member of the best team on the right side.

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.
Jake

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Living!


“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus one day, so I never have to live without you.”  Winnie the Pooh
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  1 Corinthians 15:22
Narcissistic:  “inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.”  Dictionary.com
Today I saw a commercial for a TV show about miraculous events.  The headline read, “One miracle can destroy the world.”  In light of that, I want to talk about the miracle that saved the world.  The miracle of a Man rising from the dead one Sunday morning.  The miracle of God’s Son destroying the bonds of death, destroying the penalty of sin, so that we may all live in eternity with Him.  As it happens, the commercial for the TV show I saw aired during a break in the movie “The Bucket List.”  It’s about two men, who, in the realization of their soon approaching death decide to do all the things they always wanted to do, but never found the time.  It’s a harsh look, not only at death, but life.  It makes the point that life is fleeting, life is temporary and meant to be enjoyed while we can.  But what Christ did for us on the cross changes everything most of us feel about death.  It can remove our anxiety about death, our anxiety to enjoy life while we have it, the anxiety about saying good-bye.  Salvation means that we can be immortal, it means that we have all eternity to perform the things on our bucket list, it means we can forget about the bucket all together.  With salvation we can view death, not as an end to life, but as a gateway to a new life, as a beginning to eternity.  That miracle performed on the cross changes everything, it saved the world, it saves us; it means that living without someone is only temporary.
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, it means a lot to me.
Jake

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Accomplishments of Optimism


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

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

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

You can't accomplish anything unless you try. So if you want to get something done, try, and then be optimistic about it. Imagine building the tallest building in the world; it seems pretty much impossible (at least it does to me). Now realize that all of the tallest buildings in the world were built by people who decided, that is what they wanted to do. Now imagine them saying to themselves as they broke ground, “I'll never be able to build the tallest building in the world.” What sounds more unrealistic, building the tallest building in the world, or the person who has, thinking that they couldn't? So lets get out there, dream big, have confidence through optimism, and remember to spend a lot of time asking God for help. Remember the promise in Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

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, you mean a lot to me.
Jake

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Innocence of Dreams


“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”  John F. Kennedy
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Matthew 11:25
Benign:  “gentle; kindly”  New Oxford American Dictionary
Remember when you were a little kid, someone would ask you, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  You’d inevitably answer that you wanted to be a fireman, a princess, or an astronaut.  Then something happened, we “got smart” and learned that we might not be able to be a firefighter or a princess.  But was that even true?  As Jose Bergamin puts it, “ignorance is learned; innocence is forgotten.”  When we were kids we had no idea what the limitations of life were, I remember thinking that my parents could buy anything they wanted because they had checks in the checkbook.  “We can’t afford that,” they’d say, and I would reply, “just write a check.”  While my innocence made me wrong about finances, it didn’t make me wrong about my dreams.  Sadly knowledge often prohibits our capabilities, knowing how difficult it is to become an astronaut, we give up before ever trying.  Knowing the dangers associated with fighting fires, we decide to take a safer path.  All the while our knowledge makes us ignorant of our true capabilities.  Many times the only difference between the little girl who grew up to walk in space and the one who gave up on their dreams, was desire.  To the achiever, no one could tell them they couldn’t or they wouldn’t achieve their dreams.  Their dreams may have been born in innocence, but they were driven by desire, sustained by confidence, and realized through action.  Let’s get back to what made us innocent, let’s never let anyone tell us we can’t, and let’s see what happens when we believe we can.  And remember, the Almighty is always on our side.
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.
Jake

Monday, July 11, 2011

Who Knows What's Going On?


“Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.”  C.S. Lewis
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.  Deuteronomy 29:29
Quandary:  “a state of perplexity or uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation”  New Oxford American Dictionary
When describing why he decided to leave a big secure company like Xerox, to work for an upstart software company called Microsoft, Charles Simonyi stated.  “[Xerox was] an old company in an old industry going downhill, walking in the dark.  It’s not that they didn’t know the answers.  That’s normal.  But they didn’t know the questions.”  I’m an aircraft mechanic and one time after a flight, a pilot attempted to describe to me a problem he was having with a particular jet.  He said that after a few minutes of flight he noticed that one of the tanks had less fuel in it than what seemed normal.  He described the problem as if that tank fed out more quickly while the other tanks took longer.  So with that in mind I proceeded down a path to solve the problem of trapped fuel in the other tanks.  Sure enough, with the help of a few others, I thought we found the problem and fixed it.  The next time a pilot was getting ready to fly that jet, he noticed shortly after startup that the fuel tank in question was low on fuel.  The problem I was trying to fix wasn’t the problem after all.  The problem wasn’t that fuel was trapped in the other tanks during flight as I had originally suspected, it was that on refuel, that tank was not filling.  The original pilot I talked to had not noticed that he took off with a jet that was low on fuel.  Once I knew the real problem, I could easily diagnose and fix it.  But in trying to find the problem I failed to ask the right questions, as a result, I tried to fix a problem that didn’t exist.  Answering the wrong question correctly gets us no further than answering the right question incorrectly.  We’re all gonna have problems in life, problems where the solution is difficult to find.  But before we give up, let’s re examine the problem.  It may be, the problem is something different than the one we’re trying to solve.  And let’s never forget, we have a God that not only knows all the answers, but also the real problems, and He is always willing to help.
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.
Jake

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Continuous Zeitgeist


A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” Lou Holtz

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! 
Psalm 8:3-9 (KJV)

Zeitgeist: “the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time” New Oxford American Dictionary

We all know how history has changed the way people view the world, it is always changing how we feel about our lives and our situation in in the world. But when I look at the beauty and greatness of nature I see a reality that is largely unchanged by our human history. The wildebeests still migrate the plains of Africa, the salmon still spawn in the streams they were born in, and the monarch butterfly still migrates through generations across North America. Nature goes about it's business without thought of borders, politics, or wars. While our human view and feeling of the world is always changing, I can't help but think, when we focus on things made with higher powers, our zeitgeist remains unchanged throughout history. While we are constantly improving on things like buildings, cars, science, and even human relations, nature remains constant because it was designed by a higher power with higher intentions. And I can't help but think that Adam, thousands of years ago, looked at creation with the same wonder Ansel Adams had, as he captured images of Yosemite, and as I do, when I see the snow falling and blanketing the valleys and hills with a beauty that could only be deliberate. Thank you Lord for providing us with beauty beyond our abilities to produce, and give us a desire and knowledge to maintain it the best we can.

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.
Jake