The Intent of This Blog

This blog is intended to be a tool for the growth of whoever wants to use it. It is a daily journal intended to help us be more introspective. Every day I will do my best to supply a motivational quote, a Bible verse, a vocabulary word, and a personal message from myself. Use these if you like as motivation to improve yourself. Then, simply answer the daily questions provided honestly and see if it has an impact on your life. Zig Ziglar said, "If you don't have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer." Lets not be just dreamers but doers. Remember Martin Luther King Jr not only had a dream, he also had an objective. Thanks for reading, Jake

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Complimentary Life


A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.”
Rabindranath Tagore

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Logic: “reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity” New Oxford American Dictionary
If you've ever watched “Star Trek” I'm sure you're familiar with the half human half vulcan character of Spock. Spock's logical vulcan characteristics make him great at solving logical problems, but those same characteristics seem to fail him when the problems he faces stem from emotional causes. Spock is at his best when he is able to use both emotions and logic to decipher and solve problems. Now I know we don't live in “Star Trek,” but I think there is a lesson to be learned. Neither emotion nor reason can solve every problem we face. While emotions can lead to better understanding of daily life and relationships, strengthen our bonds with fellow humans and animals, and be the driving force behind living; emotions in their purity can also lead to intemperance and foolishness. On the other hand, logic can separate us from our emotions, and reduce our value of life. In life we should understand that logic goes hand in hand with emotion and neither should be seen as disabling the other but complimenting it. And isn't life so much better when it's full of compliments?

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone today?
      2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
      3. What did I learnt 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, you make my day.
Jake

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Pathway


A genius without a roadmap will get lost in any country.” Brian Tracy

This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:17-18

Way: “a course (as a series of actions or sequence of events) leading in a direction or toward an objective” Merriam-Webster's Dictionary

Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 Every destination in life has a way. But too many times people like myself are too stubborn and self reliant to trust another's path. Too many times people like myself try too hard to blaze a trail when a road is paved, ready, and close by. It's true, innovation will always be a part of success, but every destination doesn't need a reinvented wheel. What's most important is that we set our sights on our destination and use all available resources to get there. So if you want to be a VP at your company, find out how a current one got there. If you want to climb to the top of the world, find out how other people summited Everest. If you want to be President of the United States, well, you get the point. Recently I had a computer salesperson at a big box store jokingly ask me what I thought GPS directions to the moon might look like. I have to admit, I was a little taken back by the question. It's not something most people would wonder about. But then again, in my engineering 101 class the first thing taught was that there are no bad ideas. Someday we may be hanging out at home and input a destination of Mars into our phone and directions will show up as if we were just going to the neighborhood super market. Whether it's apparent or not, there's a pathway to get to anywhere. Some destinations may require some exploration and road building, but there will always be resources at our disposal and partners to help us along the way. The most important of which is our Heavenly Father. With Him, the greatest of all destinations is possible and with Him we can't get lost.

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, you mean a lot to me.
Jake

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Pride Trap


Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy.” Benjamin Franklin

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

Humility: “a modest or low view of one's own importance” New Oxford American Dictionary

Don't get me wrong, there is a time and place for pride. It is important to take pride in our work and our daily activities because it can help insure that we do the best we can in whatever we do. But along with our pride it is important to be humble and remember the source of our successes and abilities. I'm reminded of the Monarchs of old who were surrounded with the want of power. Many would-be power players placed their pride in the influence and authority they could amass, thinking their own accomplishments could be the sole source of their pride. But the lack of humility caused many to become cruel and they became ensnared in power traps, where no apologies could satisfy their enemies and more power became unattainable. As a result many became infamous and lost their lives for their pride. Ironically, usually by people seeking power in their own trap. Let's remember the real source of our pride and remember to give all credit to the Almighty, because sooner or later He's sure receive the credit anyway.

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

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Differentia


Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.” M. Scott Peck

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! 
How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:13-18

Differentia: “a distinguishing mark or characteristic.” New Oxford American Dictionary
Difference: “a point or way in which people or things are not the same” New Oxford American Dictionary

Differentia is a root word for difference. Notice how positive the definition is. It highlights how things are distinguishable. Now notice the definition for difference, it focuses on how things are different. Everyone knows people are different, everyone has heard that we should celebrate our diversities. But not everyone acts like they understand the beauty in our differentia. When we make fun of others, pointing out their flaws and bolstering our ego by finding ways we are superior, we should remember that we were all formed by the same creator. We were all given a purpose here on earth. So when we disparage others we are really saying that God failed in His creation of them. Is that something we really want to do? Remember these two words, “differentia and difference,” while the definitions for both are accurate, what would you like people to point out about you, differences, or distinguished characteristics?

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

Thursday, August 25, 2011

An Inveterate Love


“We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults.  Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.”  George Eliot
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6
Inveterate:  “having a particular habit, activity, or interest that is long-established and unlikely to change:”  New Oxford American Dictionary
God sends His love to us in many different forms.  Hawkeye is a brown labrador retriever, but I think there is a little more to him than that.  In God’s infinite wisdom, He has graced us with furry friends that often teach us more about humanity and life than most people can.  So as Hawkeye lay on that cold gymnasium floor, he may not have known why his master could not play with him, or why a large crowd was gathered in the gym with him.  All he knew is the man he loved lay in a wooden box.  And naturally, he knew his place was still by his side.  Maybe it meant nothing to him, certainly there was nothing he could do to bring his master back, he didn’t know the man he loved died as a navy seal, when the helicopter he was riding in was attacked and destroyed by terrorists in Afghanistan on the sixth of August, 2011.  What Hawkeye knew was loyalty and love, and he showed it in an unwavering way that is often absent among humans.  On the day of his master’s funeral, he paid his respects and said goodbye in a way only man’s best friend can.  To thousands who have seen his picture, Hawkeye embodies a love that is seldom found outside a dog.  A love that is not judgmental, and is not dependent on appearances or circumstances.  It’s a love I can’t help but believe is bestowed on us by our Creator.  Like a loyal dog, He has an inveterate love for us and will not leave us or forsake 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?
Thank you for reading.  You mean a lot to me.
Jake

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Love's Neighbor


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


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


Forgive: “stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake” New Oxford American Dictionary

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

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, August 23, 2011

Live on Purpose


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

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Aspire: “to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

There are times in most of our lives, I think, when depression can set in as a result of feeling as though we're just floating along without a real purpose. One of the keys to avoid that sort of feeling, is to remember what we aspire to. When we begin each day on purpose, our life will be sure to feel purposeful, and when we live with a purpose, so much more can be tolerated. A bad day at work can be eased by a fun event planned for the evening, or a long plane ride can turn exciting, when we look forward to our destination. Trying events in life are bearable when we have something bigger to set our sights on. What's more, when our lives are focused on our Creator and what He would have us do, we will never be without a purpose. Let's live on 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 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

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Smallest of Touches


When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Helen Keller

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalms 73:26

Opportunity: “a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something” New Oxford American Dictionary

I recently read a story from the New York Times about a seven year old little boy named Owen Cain who had a severely disabling motor neuron disease. His parents and caregivers tried numerous methods to help him communicate and give him an escape from his disease, but nothing was working. One day however, the boys nurse brought in an iPad and propped it up in front of him. Then according the New York Times “he did something his mother had never seen before. He aimed his left pointer finger at an icon on the screen and touched it.” Immediately a new world was opened up to Owen, possibilities and opportunities became apparent with one touch. This world can be a harsh place for all of us. In times of doubt, discouragement, or despair, don't give up, there is always an opportunity. If Helen Keller would have let her difficulties in life define what she could accomplish, the world would not be the place it is today. Maybe this little boy will enlighten the world through his window of opportunity. I guess he already has enlightened mine. While we may not be in this little boys situation, our efforts in everything we do could be changing somebodies reality. I'm not sure if the people who helped develop the iPad ever thought that it would be used this way, but it was, and it changed little Owen Cain's world. So whatever we do, let's do it to the best of our ability and remember that we could be changing someones world through the smallest of touches.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Step One


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

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17

Grateful: “pleasing by reason of comfort supplied or discomfort alleviated” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

How many of us are unhappy with things in our lives? I think all of are to some degree. One of the keys to happiness is gratefulness. According to some experts it is the most important trait we can have, because if we live gratefully we assure ourselves of happiness. Can you imagine someone being unhappy while saying that they love their car, family, job, home, and life? Likewise can you think of someone that is happy while describing all their possessions and life as being horrible and intolerable? I know we all have different levels of possessions, some people drive new Mercedes', and some drive used Kia's, but I can't tell you how many people I've heard complain about their premium German sports sedans, while very few complain about their 500 dollar junkers, I think it's because they're grateful that they just run. It's not about what we have nearly as much as our attitude towards it. If we have an ungrateful attitude towards our situation or belongings we will never be happy. The first step towards solving that problem is to find the good in what we have, focus on it and be grateful for it. Step two is to be happy, and it will come naturally, but only after we complete step one.

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, August 18, 2011

Success Through Hardship


What marks whether you're going to be successful is how well you deal with the bad days, not the good ones.” Condoleezza Rice

And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. Genesis 39:2-3

Progress: “forward or onward movement toward a destination” New Oxford American Dictionary

Joseph is a pivotal character in the saga of judaism, he was the catalyst in transforming the tribe of Abraham into Israelites. He is known for his successes in everything he did, such as being head of Potiphar's household, head of an Egyptian jail as a prisoner, then head of much of Egypt's infrastructure. Records of him can be read in the Old Testament and in Egyptian hieroglyphs. But Joseph achieved all his successes through hardships. The day when he was thrown in a pit to be sold as a slave to traders could not have been a good day and they day he was thrown in jail after being falsely accused of trying to rape Potiphar's wife could not have been a good day. But Joseph persevered through those bad days and stayed true to his purpose, God's purpose for him. Because Joseph was unwavering in his purpose, the bad days he endured actually put him in a position to succeed. He would have never interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams if he had not been sold as a slave and thrown in jail. So let's remember Joseph on those days that aren't going so well, he went through much more than most of us ever will, yet he found success through his hardships, and so can we, if we choose to be true to our purpose and the purpose God has for 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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bad Things Happen


It's not whether you get knocked down, 
it's whether you get up.” Vince Lombardi

But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. 2 Thessalonians 3:13

Resilient: “able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions” New Oxford American Dictionary

I think we've all heard the phrase, “the good die young,” and a lot of people have the idea that living an upright life is boring or stupid and we're all gonna die anyway so we might as well have fun and do whatever. The fact is that bad things happen to good people and to bad people alike. Sin effects us all whether we deserve it or not. We all will be tried and tempted to give up on living an upstanding life. But our reward for living a good life is the happiness and contentedness we have in our hearts and the everlasting life we are promised after this one. Looking at our lives in that perspective will bring more happiness than all the possessions and fun activities the world can offer. I'm not saying we should give up all those other things, just focus on what matters most and live accordingly.

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, August 15, 2011

Be a Compeer


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

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

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

The word compeer originally denotes more than just a companion. It's origin is from the anglo french word cumpere, which literally means godfather. We all have a compeer in God. He will always be there to guide us through whatever sort of situation we may be in. In turn let's be faithful compeers to on another. When we see our neighbors in need, let's make the effort to lend a helping hand and see what helping others can do for 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?
Thank you for reading.
Jake

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Symbol or a Cross?


“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.” Helen Keller

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all unto me. This He said, signifying what death He should die. John 12:32-33

One of the best and most widely known symbols today is the cross, but the cross is not known because of it's shape or it's purpose, and it was not arbitrarily chosen to be the symbol of hope for the Red Cross or the Christian church. The cross as a symbol, is known for what happened upon it. 2000 years ago Christ chose to die on a cross to save humanity from sin. In that act He accomplished what no human could ever fathom. Now when a cross is seen, people around the world automatically see it as a symbol of hope and salvation, whether it be on the side of an ambulance, the steeple of a church, or on a donation center to alleviate world poverty. It is not a symbol chosen by man but rather realized. So when doing God's work, remember, it's not your accomplishments that matter, but Christ's. We only need to lift Him up and what He did will speak for itself.

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 so much to me.
Jake

Our Rescue


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

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

Faith: “complete trust” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

On the 13th of October, 2010, 33 miners in Chile were rescued after being trapped over 2000 feet underground for 69 days. No mine rescue of its magnitude had ever been accomplished before and it took hope for those miners stay alive and sane for the more than two months they spent trapped in an underground tomb. We can all take heart by this rescue, if those miners could go through what they did and not lose hope we can go through whatever trials we face in our lives with hope that a better day will come. Whether it be loneliness, fatigue, depression, or sadness we may be experiencing, tomorrow can be a better day, and the future holds unlimited happiness and joy when we realize the benefits granted to us by Jesus Christ. But we must take action on our hopes and have faith in the fulfillment of them. Then we can look forward to the day when, like the master in Jesus' parable found in Matthew 25:21, our Heavenly Master will say to us, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

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

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's All About Content


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

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

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

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

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, August 11, 2011

Empathy is Rewarding


“The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” Meryl Streep

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12

Empathy: “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another” New Oxford American Dictionary

I just read an article about what people need once they realize they are dying. Among the things they needed was someone to go through the experience with them. Humans need companionship and love; they need empathy. Imagine if no one ever cared about you or what you were going through. Isn't it helpful when someone understands your emotions and wants to be there for you? So in life, whatever our situation, let's try to be empathetic to the situations of others. Before getting mad because someone is driving slow in front of you, remember the last time you were trying to find an address in the dark somewhere you'd never been and some jerk was impatiently tailgating you (I say that cause have a tenancy to be that impatient driver). Remember, empathy is rewarding, no matter what side of it you're on.

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, August 10, 2011

Keep Swinging!


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


Don‛t you know that you yourselves are God‛s Temple and that God‛s spirit lives in you? 1 Corinthians 2:16

Thankful: “conscious of benefit received” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

To be honest, sometimes I feel very tested. Sometimes it seems like getting ahead in life is just too hard. The aspirations I have seem to require more and more sacrifices, and the steps toward them seem to be getting taller and taller. Sometimes when opportunities present themselves, I don't even feel like grabbing for them. Sometimes I'm not sure I have the will or the strength to reach for the next rung. I'm sure you know how I feel. Right now I'm imagining Tarzan swinging through the trees. The funny thing is, for him to get anywhere, he has to grab hold of every opportune vine that comes his way, otherwise, his momentum would stop, he would stop swinging and he would be stuck to hang on for dear life, with no opportunity to go anywhere but down. Even though it's tough to reach for the next rung sometimes, it's vital to keep moving. We should be thankful for the opportunities we're presented, and remember their importance. Let's try to live thankful lives in the realization that we're here on earth to fulfill a mission and see how we can improve our lives and the lives of those around us.

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, August 9, 2011

Trust a Heart


I do not know God's head but I do understand and trust his heart.” Zig Ziglar

Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4 (New International Version)

Trust: “Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Merriam-Webster

One day, when Corrie Ten Boom was walking with her father as a little girl, she asked him a very adult question. Her father knew that she would either not understand the answer or it would be too traumatic for her to know. I paraphrase, but he said to her, “some answers are too heavy a burden for little girls to bear, so daddy's have to carry them for their daughters.” It's the same with our Heavenly Father. Some knowledge is too much for us to handle, so He carries it for us. There are things we will never know the reasons for, but we can know that no matter what the reason may be, events can work out well for us if we believe in God and are called according to His purpose. We can know that because, not only does He tell us so in Romans 8:28, but throughout the Bible, God reveals His character and heart to us. And He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has plans to prosper us. So you may be asking, “with all the bad things that have happened to good people, how do I know if God has a plan to prosper me?” The answer is easy, if you're breathing, He does. Let's live like God has a plan for us. A plan to prosper us and not to harm us. How empowering and humbling is 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. You're the reason I write.
Jake

Monday, August 8, 2011

Turn Towards the Son


When you turn toward the sunshine the shadows fall behind you.” Hellen Keller

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (New International Version)

Sight: “An observation to determine direction or position.” Merriam-Webster

Everyone needs a higher power. It doesn't matter if you believe in God or not. Obviously, if you believe in God, your need for a higher power is hopefully at least satisfied. But of late, I fear too many of us look for a higher power in the trust of things like: knowledge, science, or government. But knowledge, science, and government are all mustered from imperfect humans, and as a result, all of those things fail, the light of their hope quickly dims. Their light is like the sun's in the arctic circle during the dead of winter. It's setting is indistinct from it's rising, it's light is hazy and dim, it's cold, and it's disappointing. But if you've ever experienced the joy that can be had through the realization of God's love for you, and the triumph of His Son rising to set us free of sin, you know that the power of God is like the equatorial sun. It rises high in the sky, and it bookends a long day of bright light with a glorious rise and majestic sunset. It's warmth is true and even, it defies the hi's and low's of the seasons, and it's reliable. It's good to know that during our seasonal lives, where the hope of spring can often be crushed by the drought of summer and the darkness of fall, there is a sun that shines constantly, and unlike the planetary sun our world encircles, His light is always there to light our paths and warm our hearts if we only turn towards Him.

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. As always you mean a lot to me.
Jake

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Get a Mentor


“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”  William Shakespeare
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.  Proverbs 3:7
During a male elephant’s process of developing from an adolescent to an adult, they go through a phase called musth.  During musth, an elephants hormones change drastically, and even normally docile elephants can become very aggressive and dangerous.  Musth usually lasts a few days and then the affected elephant returns to normal.  But every once in a while, as in a story I heard of from a wildlife refuge in Africa, there is no mentor for young elephants going through musth.  As a result, their musth seems to last indefinitely and they can become very violent and even kill other animals, such as rhinos.  It isn’t until an older, mature male elephant is introduced to the group that the younger elephants return to normal.  They need an experienced elephant to put them in their place and teach them how to grow up.  In my own experiences growing up, I’ve noticed how easy it is, during any maturing experience, to begin to think that we have all the answers, that we’re powerful and self-sustaining, that we are capable without a mentor or teacher.  Those times can become very dangerous in our lives.  During those times without a mentor, we usually go through what’s called, “the school of hard knocks.”  We all need to realize that none of us have all the answers.  We all need mentors, no matter what period of life we’re in.  Any time we begin to think we don’t need help is when we become most vulnerable to making mistakes.  Even Henry Ford knew he needed help, and when his knowledge was questioned, he simply demonstrated that what knowledge he lacked, he gained through the knowledge of his employees.  He expressed that by pressing a button, he could call on a man with any answer to any problem he might have.  We may not have a button like Henry Ford did, but we do have access to a heavenly mentor processing all knowledge and power.  What’s awesome is that He wants to share it with us if we only ask for it and have faith in Him.
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

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Living Sagaciously


Knowledge is proud that she knows so much; 
Wisdom is humble that she knows no more.” Cowper

Wisdom is supreme; therefore make a full effort to get wisdom.
Esteem her and she will exalt you; embrace her and she will honor you.” Proverbs 4:7-8

Sagacious: “having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment” New Oxford American Dictionary

Being wise is much different than being smart. I think we all are familiar with some very smart people who could care less about wisdom, and therefore do unwise things all the time. No matter who we are, or what our IQ may be, we have the ability to be wise and sagacious. Case in point, there are times my dog shows more wisdom than I do. All it takes is a little time to think with a different perspective. In fact, I believe wisdom is rooted in the ability to see situations from different perspectives. For example, I could view marines as crazy because they decide to put themselves in a situations where they could be harmed, or I could be very thankful for people who are willing to endanger themselves to protect my family. One perspective gives me a negative attitude towards them, the other, a very positive one. In the story found in 1Kings 3:16-18, Solomon solved a dispute of child ownership between two women by trying to understand the situation from both sides. Knowing the true mother would value her child's life above anything and that the phony mother was driven by jealousy, he tested them to see who would naturally protest to the baby being killed and divided. It was a simple solution to a problem that could not have been solved without knowledge of multiple perspectives. Let's try to practice wisdom in all we do, let's try to see the world from multiple viewpoints, and let's see where a more sagacious in life can lead.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone today?
      2. What act of kindness do I want to 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


Use Leverage Not Strength


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