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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Monday, October 31, 2011

Persevere


Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas Edison

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

Persevere: “to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counter influences, opposition, or discouragement” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

There's a story I heard in the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill about a man who stakes a claim for a gold mine, invests in equipment, and goes about mining. After months of digging with no success, he sold his equipment to a scrap yard and headed home in defeat. The man he sold his equipment to (having friends with knowledge of fault lines) saw potential in the abandoned mine and used his newly gained equipment to try his hand at mining for gold. Not more than a few feet from where the defeated miner stopped, he found a vein of gold that made him rich. My point is, arm yourself with all the knowledge you can, and never give up. Thomas Edison tried over one thousand times to create a working light bulb before he succeeded. I'm not sure I've failed a thousand times in my life period, let alone on a single task. And trust me, that's not to brag, it's mostly because I haven't tried to accomplish much. Thomas Edison obviously was full of knowledge, but his knowledge failed him literally thousands of times. Edison's most important value when it came to inventing was his perseverance, because without it he would have never sought the knowledge required to succeed. If we all had perseverance like Edison, I can't imagine we'd know much at all about defeat.

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


You're Beautiful


I'm beautiful in my way, cause God makes no mistakes, I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way.” Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga)

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:4-8

Idiomatic: “peculiar to a particular group, individual, or style” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Do you ever feel you have to fit into a mold to be a contributing part of society? The truth is, we are all unique people with idiomatic ways of doing things, but so many feel they don't fit in because they're somehow different. But why fit in? While it's important to be able to get along with other people, it seems to me fitting in just limits us as humans, it forces us into a mold that may not suit us. In life there are two types of molds we can try to fit into, God's or societies. Helen Keller for example was extremely limited in her physical abilities, but instead of succumbing to life’s challenges and fitting into the mold society would say she fit in, she chose God's mold and set her strengths free to overcome her obstacles and make the world a better place. Like Helen Keller, everyone has strengths and talents, but so many people are using them ineffectively because they're trying to force themselves in a mold they don't belong in. Lets all set our abilities free by breaking out of the prisons we have built for ourselves in the molds society has set up for us, instead choosing the mold that God has set aside for us, thereby realizing our boundless potential. Molds are for objects being shaped, who do you want to be shaped by?

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, October 27, 2011

The Wisdom of Love


A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:35
Antagonist: “on that contends with or opposes another” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
To be honest, when I first heard today's quote, I wasn't even sure I agreed with it. But after thinking about it I believe it's correct. As an example, I have a friend who owns a retail business. He happened to hold a contest to win some free items one time. Everything went smoothly, a winner was chosen, and all went well, except for one contestant who felt their entry deserved to win the prize. This contestant made a big deal about it and continued to slander my friend's business. What this disgruntled contestant didn't know, was that my friend had decided that since all the entries were so good, he was going to award the prize to all the candidates. He even awarded the prize to the antagonizing contestant as well. As a result, this person turned from being a challenging opponent to being one of the best proponents of my friend's business. My point is, treating people with love instead of what would seem to be justice, can lead to results we could never dream of. Next time someone cuts you off on the road, or cuts ahead of you in a line, instead of getting angry, try smiling at the person. Chances are, they know they're in the wrong and your kind attitude will impact that person more than any sort of finger waving or verbal accosting.

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, October 26, 2011

Get Determined


Nothing can resist a human will, that will stake it's existence on its purpose.” Benjamin Disraeli

I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

Determination: “the act of deciding definitely and firmly; also : the result of such an act of decision” Merriam-Webster

We've all heard the phrase, “where there's a will there's a way.” But do most of us really live by that motto? I know I don't. It's hard to acquire and maintain strong determination in a world where so many of our dreams and desires are seemingly shot down before they can take flight. But wait! We should all remember this one point, dreams can only be killed by the dreamer. When Henry Ford decided he wanted to build affordable cars, others thought he was crazy, other's tried to shoot down his dreams by persuading him that they weren't feasible or attainable. Nevertheless, he knew that he was the only one that could officially kill his dreams, so he kept dreaming with a purpose. He refused to give up, saying, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” But he gave them cars instead, and his dream changed the world. However, it was only after he put his dreams into action through determination. Through determination, Henry Ford acted out on his idea, seeing it to completion, thereby developing his idea from a mere dream into a vision. Determination made the difference between a dreamer and a visionary in Henry Ford. What dreams do you have that could change the world? God gave us amazing abilities to think and to dream. Let's use them not just for personal entertainment but as visions for a better future.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What God Wants


Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Benjamin Franklin

Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." John 2:8-10

Delectation: “delight, enjoyment” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

You may believe that drinking is wrong, and that is perfectly fine, there is great wisdom in abstaining from alcohol. But that is not the point I want to make with the quote and Bible verse today. The point I want to make is this, “God loves us and wants us to be happy.” There are many things in life besides beer that provide satisfaction and happiness, and God, like a loving father, wants to provide it for us. Look at the trees, at the sunrise, at the way an eagle soars. If we stop and take a moment, it is quite amazing what God has provided for our delectation. I find it difficult to look at what God has surrounded us with and believe that He doesn't love us. If we concentrate on the beauty in life, I believe we won't be able to help but appreciate it more and more. Add to that that Christ's promise to prepare a place for us in His Father's house in John 14:3-4 and I have to believe, God really is saving the best for last. Considering the majestic creation we enjoy here on earth, I think we all have something unbelievable to look forward to in 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 about today do I want to remember forever?
      6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Monday, October 24, 2011

Just Ask


“Mentors are not a luxury; they are a necessity.” Irvin “Magic” Johnson

When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, Proverbs 2:10-11

Sagacious: “keen in sense of perception” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I guess you could say, I'm a typical guy. I remember being asked one time how far I though I would drive lost without asking for help. The most accurate answer I could come up with, was, indefinitely. I don't know about you, but I'm a stubborn person. I like to learn for myself, do things myself, and generally am resistant to accepting help. While sometimes self reliance is a good thing, it can also be a roadblock to success. Even Jesus needed his cousin, John the Baptist, to baptize Him before He could begin his ministry. My point is, everyone needs help with something, and trying to gain wisdom by yourself is like trying to reinvent the proverbial wheel. There is so much wisdom to be had by gaining mentors. What could take a stubborn person a lifetime to learn could be communicated by a mentor in a matter of hours, if not minutes. Let's resist our natural disposition of stubbornness and pride, and seek the sagaciousness that can be obtained by mentors through the simple act of asking for and accepting help. Maybe then we won't spend so much time lost and wandering through life.

Daily Journaling Question:
      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, October 20, 2011

Small Things Make a Big Differences


“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Create: “cause (something) to happen as a result of one's actions”

When you look at how small things in the world can make such huge differences, it becomes a motivating factor to not let even small ideas pass without action. Almost everyone has an idea they think could change the way people live or even improve the world; few however act on their ideas, believing they couldn't possibly succeed, or that no one cares. But what makes a guy like Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, any more special than the rest of us. He's smart, but not unusually so, he's rich now, but hasn't always been. At one point, Steve Jobs was a regular guy with an idea. The difference is, he pursued his idea and worked at making it succeed. We'll never know what our ideas can accomplish without pursuing them. Imagine if everyone who had a good idea had faith in it and tried to produce it, what kind of world would this 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 about today do I want to remember forever?
      6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When Trust is Better Than a Thank You


“Courage is not about knowing the path, it’s about taking the first step.”  Katie Davis
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.  1 Corinthians 4:2
Amazima:  Ugandan word meaning “the truth of Christ”
As she cared for an infected wound, caused by a broken bottle, on a boy’s foot, for the second day in a row, then taught him how to treat himself with antibiotics, she noticed one thing.  He never said, “thank you.”  She wondered why for a second, then the answer came to her.  He trusted her.  For over three years she had been in his community caring for children and anyone else who needed it.  It started as a mission trip helping in an orphanage, then transformed into a life full of adopted orphans and abandoned children, all calling her mommy, or auntie Katie.  It took less than a year for her to find out, helping Ugandans was more than a temporary mission.  It was the purpose for her life.  Katie Davis went from helping one child at a time as part of a team in an orphanage, to running an organization called Amazima, that among other things, pays for the complete education of 400 children and feeds 1000 children five days a week, and the numbers keep growing.  When she started on her journey in Uganda, she had no idea what the path would look like or where it would lead, but she had the courage to take the first step.  Since then she has followed the path God has laid out for her and the Ugandan people, step by step proving trustworthy by remaining faithful.  So now, when a child forgets to thank her, Katie Davis can hold her head proudly (though I doubt she does) because it’s proof of her trustworthiness.  As recipients of anything, let’s all strive to remember to say thank you.  It really does make a difference.  And as we give, let’s remember, the reason we may not receive a thank you is because we’re receiving something much more valuable, trust.  And that’s when trust is much better than a thank you.  
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.  I encourage anyone who’s interested to check out the work Katie Davis is doing by http://amazima.org/, I think you’ll be moved.
Jake

Ignite!


“You don't have to feel like a waste of space, you're original, cannot be replaced.  If you only knew what the future holds, after a hurricane comes a rainbow.  Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed, so you could open one that leads you to the perfect road.  Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow, and when it's time, you'll know.  You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine, just own the night like the fourth of July, 'cause baby you're a firework.”  (Katy Perry from the song “Firework”)
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  The same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:15-16
Radiate:  “(of a person) clearly emanate (a strong feeling or quality) through their expression or bearing”  New Oxford American Dictionary
We all are fireworks, we've been given qualities that are unique and valuable unlike any other person.  Every one of us can change the world around us, and we will, whether we want to or not.  But it is our choice whether we want to celebrate the qualities we've been given, so that God's nature can be radiated through us and throughout the world.  Let's try to remember that we are God's fireworks and He wants us all to be a part of the most amazing grand finale we could never imagine, all we need to do is let Him light the fuse.
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, October 17, 2011

Play with Emotion


“We gotta play with emotion but not let emotion play with us.”  Chip Kelly
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
   “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Pique:  “a feeling of irritation or resentment resulting from a slight, esp. to one's pride”  New Oxford American Dictionary
“Where were you when the world stopped turning, that September day?”  If you’re an American, those leading words in that song written by Alan Jackson probably stir emotions you’d probably rather do without.  Of course, I’m talking about the terrorist attacks of September 11, and I think we all have emotional reactions to it.  But it’s how we react to our emotions that determine whether our actions are productive or not.  If we let our emotions drive our actions, more often than not, our emotions will drive our behavior, steering us down a road with a grim destination.  On the other hand, if we use our emotions to inspire a purpose, those same emotions can be the fuel that energizes us down a predetermined path towards a fruitful goal.  Whatever we do, let’s remember the dangers and the importance of our emotions.  Let’s remember to approach everything with emotion, but to act in a way that would inspire positive and inspirational emotions from those around us.  In short, 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?
Thank you so much for reading.
Jake

Come On... Have Some Fun!

"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing." Dale Carnegie 
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,
Ecclesiastes 2:24
Jollification:  "lively celebration with others; merrymaking"  New Oxford American Dictionary
It goes without saying, life can be stressful, hectic, even plain upsetting at times.  That's why some say it's a "rat race."  Even trying to do what's right and living a meaningful life can cause distress at times.  There comes a time for everyone to just have fun, to have a little bit jollification; maybe even a lot.  You might remember, Jesus used His first recorded miracle to supply a wedding party with wine when it ran out.  Apparently He thought it was important enough to have fun, that He performed a miracle for it.  Can you think of another time Jesus performed a miracle for anything that was remotely frivolous?  Maybe He thought having fun wasn't quite as inconsequential as some may think, maybe He thought it was important too. 
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, October 13, 2011

Just Give it Away


“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.”  Jesus  (from Luke 6:37-38)
"No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money.  Matthew 6:24
Stipend:  “a fixed regular sum paid as a salary or allowance”  New Oxford American Dictionary
I am convinced, the only way we can be sure of keeping something is to give it away, and the surest way to devalue what we have is to hold onto it.  I don’t necessarily mean that if you have a car you love, you should give it away as a strategy to retain it.  I mean, give it away in your heart.  If we aren’t generous with what God has blessed us with, He has other uses for it.  I’ve lived in a lot of economic situations in life.  As a kid, my family was poor monetarily and economically.  Now, while I’m not rich, my needs are fully met with a lot of luxuries added on to boot.  But my economic value has never affected my happiness or my satisfaction with life.  In fact, and you may have noticed this too, many times in life, the more I’ve had the more I felt I needed.  Nothing has ever made me feel poorer than having a ton of stuff.  I know it’s sad, but I bet you’ve experienced the same phenomena.  However, as I’ve learned to trust God for my well being and learned to appreciate Him for absolutely everything I have, I could not be more satisfied.  I can honestly say, God makes me feel rich beyond description.  Viewing our possessions as gifts from our creator makes everything we have seem truly invaluable, and inspires a desire to share what we have with others.
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

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

There is an Answer


It is our decisions, not our conditions that determine the quality of our lives.” Tony Robins

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8

Upbraid: “find fault with (someone); scold” New Oxford American Dictionary

I think we could all agree, most of the time our decisions determine our conditions. So if we want to improve our conditions, we need to make the correct decisions. But the question remains, being fallible people, how do we make the correct decisions? James make's it clear. God want's to be our source of wisdom. He is waiting for us to let Him guide our lives and our decisions. He doesn't want to upbraid us, He want's to assist us, so that we can have better conditions in life than we ever thought possible. So let's never forget to ask God what He thinks, it's not likely we'll hear an audible answer, but if we pay attention in faith, I think we'll discover, an answer is there.

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

Eliminating Worry


There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” Alfred Hitchcock

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27

Anticipate: “to give advance thought, discussion, or treatment to” Merriam-Webster

Are you like me and find yourself worrying from time to time? Sometimes I feel worried when I can't even think about something to worry about. Questions race through my mind. “What will I do if, or how will I do this?” My goal in the future is to replace worrying with anticipation. It's like worrying, but in a good way. It has the power to take the negative feelings out of preparing. For example, I could worry about an upcoming test, which will lead to sleepless nights, cramming, and an overall negative attitude about what's going to happen. Or, instead of worrying, I could anticipate a test coming up, prompting me to develop an orderly process to learning, an effective way of studying, and an overall positive attitude towards the event. The test will then become a way for me to prove I know the material instead of a way for the instructor to prove that I've been a poor student. When a company like Apple develops a new product, more often than not, they do marketing research and operational tests on it. That way they can anticipate the problems it may have, or how customers react to it, then they can fix any problems, or develop it further. Anticipation gives them the ability to produce a product they don't have to worry about their customers being satisfied with. Let's do our best to replace worry with anticipation. Isn't that what God did for us? He anticipated the fall of humanity, as a result He developed a plan of salvation for us. Having a plan can change 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?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Monday, October 10, 2011

Decisions, Decisions


My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out.” Ronald Reagan

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Assuaged: “make (an unpleasant feeling) less intense” New Oxford American Dictionary

From time to time in all of our lives, we come to crossroads that require us to make decisions. Decisions like, what kind of house or car to buy, whether to drive after having a few alcoholic beverages, or whether to stay up all night before work. Obviously sometimes decisions are easy, but sometimes they can be very difficult. However, when we view every decision as having a real effect on our lives, I think they can become much easier. For example, the decision to go deeply into debt by the temptation to buy more than we can afford could be assuaged by the goal of being happily debt free, or the desire to cheat on a partner could turn to disgust when weighed against the rewards of a happy family (another good goal). Unfortunately, I think too many of us don't believe our decisions will ever make much difference, especially the ones with seemingly distant consequences. Since it's hard to imagine paying our house off 30 years from now, or saving enough money to retire with, some people never actually expect to do so, therefore never start trying. The point I'm trying to make is, if we set deliberate goals in our lives and focus on them, what were once difficult decisions can become simple and immediate. Let's all try to set firm and deliberate goals in our lives and focus on achieving those, Once we do that, decisions almost decide for themselves.

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

The Perfect Day


You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” John Wooden

The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12

Service: “contribution to the welfare of others” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Whenever I think of starting a day by helping someone, I always imagine that being a great day. For example, I'm sure you're like me and have passed disabled cars on the way to work and have felt sorry for that poor commuter who suffered a break down. It's likely that their already hectic day has been compounded by a punctured tire or engine problem. I've always had an inkling to give a hand, but either it's been too late to get over and stop, I'm afraid I might compound the problem, or I'm just too lazy. There are lots of other examples, but my point is, too many times I fail to help when I have the ability. However, despite our failures as servants, I can't think of anyone I know, who wouldn't be joyous at the idea of genuinely helping someone else. And in the end, isn't that selfish too? How different would this World be if people fulfilled their selfish desire to be happy by helping others instead of trying to beat others? I think you'd agree, the answer is obvious. Thank God for people who have a desire to serve, I know they've blessed my life many times. Let's do our best to be a help and blessing to others, and see how many perfect days it can bring 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

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's Your State of Mind?


“Rich is a state of mind more than anything else.” Donald Trump

But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth. Deuteronomy 8:18

Substance: “the quality of being important, valid, or significant” New Oxford American Dictionary

I remember opening the Wall Street Journal website one morning and seeing a picture of Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and the headline, “Sixteen Tycoons Agree to Give Away Fortunes.” It struck me how honorable an act that was, and it struck me how judgmental towards others we can be. The world goes through crisis' from time to time, and during those times it seems like a lot of people want to blame the worlds problems on wealthy people. Coalitions form to figure out how to take their money, and barriers to trust are put up without thought. While it's true, many wealthy people have ill gained riches, and some deserve to have their possessions reclaimed, it's also true that there are wealthy people who are good and desire to use their money to make the world a better place. Let's try not to label each other based on income or possessions. Let's try to see people's real substance, and value them for who they are, not what they have. Let's appreciate what they can contribute to society and life. Furthermore, let's remember that we're all rich to somebody. Somebody has less than we do, and they may be a billionaire as easily as a poor family in a third world country. Money and possessions can't define a persons worth. Some who possess fortunes are substantially bankrupt, while others who seem to have nothing are invaluable in character and contribution. Before we make judgements based on perceptions that are often false, let's make an effort to know what peoples true substances are. Isn't that how we'd want to be treated 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?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs


“People don’t want tablets, they want iPads.”  Prasad Naik
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.  Ecclesiastes 9:10
Superlative:  “of the highest quality or degree”  New Oxford American Dictionary
If you’re not a fan of Apple, bear with me.  Steve Jobs, I was surprised to see that you died today.  I have never seen you in person, and I’ve never talked to you.  It’s safe to say that I never knew you.  Nevertheless I feel surrounded by you.  I bought your computers and I bought your iPhone.  I bought them because they were innovative, creative, and superlative.  There is a feeling of quality and thoughtfulness in all the products you created.  As I write this on my Mac, I’m enjoying multi-touch capabilities, iTunes, and memories of playing Oregon Trail on a Mac in the seventh grade.  Steve Jobs, I want to thank you for the products you’ve created that have changed my life.  Without my iPhone I don’t know if I would have ever experienced listening to the audio books that have helped me grow as a person.  I’m not sure The Daily Self Growth Journal would exist without the inspiration I’ve found in the Podcasts you made possible.  And I don’t know if my beautiful wife would have the success as a photographer she’s had without the joy of using your wonderful iMac.  I’ve never known you, but you have changed my life.  Thank you for your dedication to making people’s lives better.  I’m sorry you had to work until you died, but I appreciate your contributions.  I think we can all look to you as an example of a person doing their best.  You are an inspiration to many, and you will be missed.  "And now, one more thing..."  I’m gonna use the speech function you built into your word processor to help me edit this message.  Again, thank you.
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 bearing with my note of appreciation to one of my heroes, Steve Jobs.
Jake

You Have a Purpose


The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.” William James

Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, 
and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 


Function: “an activity or purpose natural to or intended for a person or thing” New Oxford American Dictionary

One of my favorite TV shows is “Art Wolfe's Travels to the Edge.” It follows the photographer, Art Wolfe, and documents the way he photographs the natural world. The scenery and images produced on the show are spectacular. I'm always amazed at the images he captures, because he always seems to be in the right place at the right time, to capture rare animals in beautiful photographs. One of his assistants even remarked one time that, (and I paraphrase) “He'll spend months trying to find a particular animal with no luck, but when Art Wolfe shows up, the animals just seem to appear.” In light of cases like this, I can't help but believe that God really does have a purpose for us all. Perhaps the animals appear for Art Wolfe because God's purpose for him is to share the beauty of nature with the rest of public. On the other hand, perhaps the success you've had is a result of God's will for you, not just your abilities. I believe we all are called for something, but I'm not sure it's something that we can figure out on our own. However, when we find it, I believe it becomes abundantly clear that it is what we were made for. If we follow God's purpose for our lives, I'm convinced we will live a more fulfilled and happy life than we could imagine for ourselves. Not necessarily because of greater success, but more importantly, because of the greater contentment that comes with fulfilling our 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?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Monday, October 3, 2011

Promising the Best


The best or nothing.” Gottlieb Daimler (from the motto of Daimler Benz)

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

Best: “most productive of good” Merriam-Webster

Instead of dwelling on all the things you can't do, figure out what you can do. What you will do.” At the time those words were being instilled in her by her mother, Nancy had no idea know how she would have to live and act by the mantra later on. Growing up with her little sister, Suzy, in the late fifties, she learned at an early age how disease can ravage a society. At the time, polio was the scourge of the land. In 1952, it affected 58,000 people, 3,000 of whom died and 21,000 were left disabled. Scientists and physicians were working on a cure, but many believed it would be impossible. That didn't matter to the Goodmans; Suzy, Nancy, and their mother did whatever they could to help. They even held bake sales to raise money for a Polio vaccine. As Nancy recalls, “So began Suzy's and my charitable life together. It was my earliest inkling of what goes into the chemistry of change: moment meets messenger, information becomes action. Hearts and minds shift to a new paradigm, money happens, and it all comes together.” Later Nancy would have to take that charitable life to a level I'm sure she never imagined, when she made a promise to Suzy, a promise to make a difference, “Even if it takes the rest of my life,” she said. And that promise continues with every pink ribbon you see. Suzy Komen lost her battle with breast cancer in 1982, and that's when Nancy Goodman Brinker says her “Life's work was born.” Since then, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has raised over 1.5 billion dollars to aid in the eradication of breast cancer, making it one of the most influential medical charities in the world. Because of the efforts of people like Nancy G. Brinker, along with scientists and doctors, breast cancer is no longer a death sentence. We owe a debt of gratitude to people like Susan G. Komen and Nancy G. Brinker for their persistence, selflessness, and will to do their best for others. In everything we do, let's remember, everything we do is ultimately for others, so like Nancy G. Brinker, let's do our best.

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?

Written referencing Promise Me – How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer, by Nancy G. Brinker with Joni Rodgers

Thank you for reading.
Jake

Be the Water


“When you preach, preacher, give em heaven, cause everyone else is giving them hell all week.”  Unknown (mentor of Elevation Church’s pastor and founder Steven Furtick)
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  John 4:13-14
Acolyte:  “an assistant or follower.”  New Oxford American Dictionary
Water has no ability to direct, instruct, or lead, but people will forge new paths and follow any trail to get it.  It’s a constant need that leads us from source to source, goal to goal.  Without ever demanding a thing from us, it continually leads us.  It seems funny to say, but water is inspiring.  Let me explain.  “General, if you will order a charge, I will lead it.”  That was the plea of a young Lt. Ord on San Juan Hill.  He was part of an American force fighting the Spanish to free Cuba from their control.  When Lt. Ord made that request to General Hawkins, they were pinned down by Spanish snipers in a seemingly impossible fighting position.  Knowing the attack would surely lead to heavy casualties, but also realizing they could not stay where they were, General Hawkins eventually told Lt. Ord, “I will not ask for volunteers, I will not give permission and I will not refuse it.”  At that, Lt. Ord got up and yelled, “Come on you men.  We can’t stay here.  Follow me!”  Inspired by his bravery, the men of General Hawkins 6th infantry followed the young lieutenant and charged directly at the Spanish Guns.  Lt. Ord was shot and killed shortly after he began the attack, but his men fought on bravely to eventually take the hill, accompanied by Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, General Jack Pershing’s Buffalo Soldiers, and other heroes in what Roosevelt referred to as “The Crowded Hour.”  When Lt. Ord stood up, he was a leader, his force of influence caused the others to follow.  But when he was struck down, like so many of the other leaders who lost their lives on that day, he became the water.  He became a reason to fight, not just a leader to the fight.  We are all leaders in some respect, but are we providing any water?  Let’s lead with water.  True, we may never become the water, but by leading from the front we put ourselves in the position to inspire.  What’s more, we can always lead towards the “Living Water,” our Savior.  Let’s give a little heaven.
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