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, January 30, 2012

Just Say It


“Say the words, say the words, say I love you.”  Toby Mckeehan and Mark Heimermann  (From the song “Say the Words” by DC Talk)
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.  Romans 13:8 (New International Version)
Munificence:  “the quality or action of being lavishly generous; great generosity”  New Oxford American Dictionary
Just do it!  Just do it?  Just say it.  Say it again, and again and again.  I love you.  The three little words that describe the reason for this world, the motivation for this world, and the inspiration that makes this world a beautiful place.  Without love, there is no “doing.”  Without love, we can’t “just” anything.  With love, we move mountains.  With love, we sail the oceans.  And with love we stoop on bended knee.  But how do we know love.  It’s ultimate expression depends on the individual.  For some, doing means everything, for others, attitude means everything, and there are those who appreciate the spoken word most.  For some the words come with difficulty, for others they flow naturally, but for everyone, they are perhaps the most powerful words in existence.  I love you.  There’s something vulnerable about that phrase.  Saying it with honesty means opening our hearts.  Saying it with honesty means we have to care.  Saying it with honesty means we can’t hide our feelings.  Let’s be free with our hearts.  Let’s be munificent with our love.  Let’s be honest, open, and sincere, and let the people we love know it.  That usually takes more than just words.  But the words are a requirement.
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, January 29, 2012

You're a Roller


“How can I doubt my value, when I’ve already been purchased.”  T.D. Jakes
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (New International Version)
Bedraggled:  “dirty and disheveled”  New Oxford American Dictionary
You’re no Hyundai, you’re a Rolls Royce.  I mean no slander against Hyundai, they make great cars.  But you won’t find many kings or queens chauffeured in one’s back seat.  No, kings and queens prefer vehicles worthy of their perceived majesty.  They want vehicles that make them appear to be kings and queens.  Think of this, the Ruler of the universe chose you.  He wasn’t looking for a bargain, He didn’t have to cut a deal, He wanted you so badly He was willing to sacrifice His own Son.  Is there anything you want so badly you would sacrifice a life for it?  I guess my analogy of the Rolls Royce is wrong isn’t it.  No car, no matter how beautiful, is worth the life or injury of an only begotten son.  We’re all worthy of a king.  We know because the greatest King, the King of kings, has already purchased us with the life of His only begotten Son.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, so that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16  God wants to enjoy everlasting life with us.  He wants to enjoy our company.  And He wants to have a relationship with each one of His creations.  Remember, when God finished creation, He said in Genesis 1:31 that it was “very good.”  God designed us, God purposed us, and God made us very well.  He thinks we make Him look like not only a king, but God.  Sin has bedraggled our societies, it’s tarnished our image, and it’s filled us with guilt and shame.  But God has redeemed us, He’s justified us, and His greatest desire is our salvation.  We just have to say yes.
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 Principal


“Strong leaders encourage you to do things for your own benefit, not just theirs.”  Tim Tebow
“What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting.”  Jesus, Matthew 18:7 (New Living Translation)
Principal:  “the person with the highest authority or most important position in an organization, institution, or group”  New Oxford American Dictionary
Do you ever do things you don’t want to do?  Paul lamented in Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”  For anyone who’s ever been addicted to anything, you know that at times it can be impossible to do what it takes to break the power of our inner desires.  Paul knew that even he, the author of the majority of the New Testament, was a slave to sin, he knew that sin lived in him.  He knew that even though he wanted to do what was right, he couldn’t do it on his own.  He knew that it takes help, it takes humility, and it takes a leader to find the way out of the place where we can’t resist on our own.  We are all tempted, we are all addicted, we are all in need of a leader.  Thankfully, there is one leader that knows absolutely what is to our benefit.  There is one leader who knows the way.  There is one leader we all need to be following.  He is the Principal and Creator of the universe.  He is the author and perfecter of our faith.  Hebrews 12:2  And faith is the key that unlocks the doors to the ultimate benefits of life.  That’s why Paul finished his lamentation in Romans 7:25 with the exclamation, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” 
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone today?
  2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
  3. What did I learn today?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Friday, January 27, 2012

He'll Never Forget


Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Abraham Lincoln

God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10

Adulation: “obsequious flattery; excessive admiration or praise” New Oxford American Dictionary

Chances are you haven't heard of a company called “Center Rock,” or it's president Brandon Fisher. I know I hadn't, not until I heard the names recited by President Barack Obama during the 2011 State of the Union speech. You see those are the names responsible for something called “Plan B,” a plan that turned out to be the successful operation that rescued 33 trapped miners from 2000 feet below ground in a Chilean mine. Brandon Fisher and Richard Soppe from Center Rock arrived at the scene of the accident shortly after the miners were discovered alive and stayed there for much of the rescue operation offering their expertise and help throughout the process. It was their plan that those miners owe their lives to. But on october 12 and 13 while the news cameras were rolling on the miners appearing one by one from the half mile long rescue tunnel, neither Brandon or Richard were anywhere near, instead they opted to watch the rescue on their televisions and celebrate at home, far away from any source of public praise or adulation. Even though they may not have received the public appreciation they deserved, everyone in that company felt deep pride in what they were able to accomplish. We'll all accomplish things in life from time to time that go without immediate recognition, but that should not sway us from using our talents in the most effective way possible to help our neighbors. It's not the rewards we receive here on earth that we should be striving for, but the greater rewards we earn from our Father in heaven. He will never let us down and will never let our accomplishments go ignored forever.

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, January 26, 2012

Heart Work


Don't despair too much if you see beautiful things destroyed, if you see them perish. Because the best things are always growing in secret.” Ben Okri

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

Assurance: “a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise” New Oxford American Dictionary

Daniel Ruettiger was five feet five inches tall, weighed 165 pounds, suffered from dyslexia, and was a perpetually reminded of what he couldn't do. But he had a dream that was bigger than what anybody thought he could achieve. He wanted to go to school at the University of Notre Dame and he wanted to play football there. His poor academic abilities meant he had to attend Holy Cross College and was rejected three times by Notre Dame. His size and lack of athletic ability made it impossible for him to get a sports scholarship there as well. But his heart made up for what he lacked in academic and athletic ability. He worked so hard in the classroom at Holy Cross that he was eventually accepted into Notre Dame and worked so hard on the tryout field that he was able to make the practice squad for Notre Dame Football. Eventually his hard work lead to him playing the in the last two plays in the last game of his college football career. For all his hard work he got to suite up for one game and play in two plays. But at the end of that game he became the first player to ever be carried off the Notre Dame field by his teammates and to this day there have only been two. Today “Rudy” works as a motivational speaker, and is involved in helping student athletes through the Rudy foundation. He gives Rudy awards based on his four C's “courage, character, commitment, and contribution.” His story also inspired one of the most inspiring movies of all time “Rudy.” Hard work and character may not always get us exactly what we want, but we can be assured it will always be recognized in one way or another. Whenever we feel we aren't getting anywhere in life, let's remember Rudy, and what he has accomplished through his four C's and hard work, or should I say heart work.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I helps 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, January 25, 2012

The Universal Language


If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.” Gustav Mahler

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 59:16

AIR: “a tune or short melodious composition, typically a song” New Oxford American Dictionary

There's a truth in music that can't be found in words alone. A melody can draw honesty from our soul when our mind seeks to hide the truth. It communicates with the heart instead of the logic, and there's no one it can't tell its story to. Music can bypass the abilities or disabilities of the human body. It can betray a musicians secrets and convey untold stories locked behind the bars of inhibition. The Grand Ol Opry member and award winning country singer and songwriter, Mel Tillis had a terrible stutter that completely vanished when he sang. Beethoven was deaf, but he still expressed himself through music and is one of history's great composers. Evelyn Glennie is the first musician to maintain a full time career as a solo percussionist, and she is deaf as well. The great blues musician Jeff Healey learned to play guitar and was even featured in the Patrick Swayze movie “Road House,” as a blind man. Reams of paper could be filled with the stories of unlikely musicians, but the truth is, music is a gift our Creator has blessed us with, so that we can express what can't be communicated in mere linguistics. I think you would agree, music is most prevalent and meaningful when we find ourselves speechless. Sometimes it's good to be quiet, sit back, stop trying to explain the logic of things and enjoy the beauties of creation that have been given to us. Music is one of them.

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, January 24, 2012

Be Still


It is one of the great ironies of my life that only when it became virtually impossible for me to keep my body from moving would I find the peace, security and spiritual strength to stand in one place, I couldn’t be still until I could—literally—no longer keep still.” Michael J. Fox

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts His voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations He has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46

Refuge: “anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape” Dictionary.com

We live in a world torn apart by war, politics, and disaster. Every day there is a new emergency somewhere, and it seems our environment may be crumbling. I cannot speak with wisdom as to all that is happening in our world, but we have a God who can and did in Psalm 46. He says that He is our refuge in a world such as ours.

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, January 23, 2012

What is Your Weakness?


If one does not fail at times, then one has not challenged himself.” Ferdinand Porsche

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


Paucity: “the presence of something only in small or insufficient quantities or amounts; scarcity” New Oxford American Dictionary

I think we all know we're gonna fail from time to time. I remember when I was going to college to be a pilot. The classwork was easy for me, flying the airplane wasn't hard either. So at the end of the quarter when I had to take the private pilots written test I went in confidently; but when I received the results from the test it turned out I had failed. My instructor told me he though I had the wrong test booklet to go with the computerized questions. Whatever the reason I was crushed by the results of the test. I had hardly failed at anything up to that point and I couldn't believe what had happened. But I will never forget what a friend said to me after I told him what happened. He said to me, “whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger.” Now I'm sure you've heard that saying before, as have I, but from that point on, I not only remembered the statement, but have tried to apply it to my life. I still hate to fail, however I realize I have a paucity of intelligence and skill at certain things, and that failure results in more learning than any successful accomplishment ever could. Let's try to realize our imperfections, use them to drive ourselves to learn, sharpen our skills, and seek wisdom from God. Then we will be more prepared to challenge ourselves, face failure, and build upon our character, to ensure future successes.

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

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Truth Is...


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Thomas Jefferson (U.S. Declaration of Independence)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3.28

Egalitarian: “of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities” New Oxford American Dictionary

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the words I quoted out of the United States Declaration of Independence, it was with the knowledge that slavery still existed in the world, the new states, and in his own home. Abolishing it would be a long uphill fight, and I'm not sure even Jefferson understood the true implications of the words he wrote in his famous preamble. Still he wrote them, and they have become a beacon of freedom for people throughout the world. Nonetheless, some have charged that Jefferson was a hypocrite and that he doesn't really deserve his place on the mantle of U.S. or world history. But while it's true, Thomas Jefferson was not a perfect shinning light for morality in all he did throughout his life, I believe God impressed upon his heart to write what he knew was true, what was nearly the entire reason for the fight for independence from Great Britain. Sometimes when God calls us to do His work every part of us wants to refuse, citing imperfections and delinquencies that seemingly would prohibit our involvement in the work of God. But if God were to wait for perfect people to do His perfect work, could you imagine the progress that would be made? God's perfection is almost always represented through imperfect mediums. No matter what our situation in life, whether we are in prison, or living in a monastery, we are all in a position to do the work of God. Let's forget the accusations of hypocrisy, reject the labels placed on us, and give our lives for more than ourselves. I think we'll all be surprised at how trying to change the lives of others can change ours.

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, January 19, 2012

Bad Decisions


Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.” Albert Einstein


In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Serendipity: “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way” New Oxford American Dictionary

We're all humans and we all make mistakes. I remember reading a story in Readers Digest about a high school baseball pitcher named Cameron Hall, who by chance injured himself playing tackle football for fun one afternoon. His injuries were severe enough that he was rushed to a hospital and administered an emergency CT scan. This all happened the day before he was supposed to pitch in a tournament, in front of college scouts, where he was expected to be recruited. To injure himself like this, Cameron had to make a number of what most of us would consider bad, or unlucky decisions. As it turns out however, the CT scan revealed a colloid cyst in his brain. Fortunately the diagnosis was made soon enough to administer a successful operation and a full recovery was possible. Sometimes “bad” decisions aren't bad at all, sometimes they turn out to be the best decisions of all. As humans we can't see future results of current decisions, but we have a Maker who is watching over us, and if we trust in Him we can have faith that unfortunate events can prove serendipitous in the end.

Story taken from “From Brain Surgery to Ball Field: The Luck of a Teen Athlete” by Michael Rosenwald from Readers Digest

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, January 18, 2012

Indomitable Purpose


“Men's best successes come after their disappointments.” Henry Ward Beecher

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the Prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed. Genesis 39:21-23

Indomitable: impossible to subdue or defeat” New Oxford American Dictionary

Joseph is the quintessential example of success through adversity. He found success in Potiphar's house after being sold as a servant to him, and he found success after being thrown in jail on false charges of raping Potiphar's wife. I can't imagine Joseph enjoying the things that happened to him and the situations he found himself in, but he must have had an indomitably positive attitude and willingness to work, because in every situation Joseph was able to far surpass what would be expected of someone in his predicament. At this point you might be expecting to hear a speech about improving ourselves to the status of Joseph through self reliance and perseverance. However, that's not how Joseph gained success. It wasn't Joseph who was responsible for his success. It was his Trust in God that gave him the ability to keep a positive attitude. It was his willingness to live God's purpose that allowed him and accomplish what he did. When we put our trust in God and allow Him into our lives He has a way of blessing us in every way, beyond what we could ever imagine accomplishing ourselves. Let's put our faith in God and trust that He has a purpose for our lives and see where He can lead 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, January 17, 2012

Be Genuine


“The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.” Amelia Earhart

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. Romans 12:9-10

Authentic: relating to or denoting an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposive, and responsible mode of human life” New Oxford American Dictionary

Handing out gifts the young actor realized he didn't even know what the Christmas presents contained. His manager had picked them all out. But those kids in the Chinese children's hospital loved the gifts they received and thanked him over and over. At that point he says, “I felt like such a fraud.” You see the gifts were mostly a part of a public relations event. The kids didn't know and the audiences watching didn't know either, but Jackie Chan knew, and he vowed he would never do it again. Today after 48 years in the movie business he is still focused on charity, but now it's genuine and authentic, he picks the gifts (as many as he can) himself. He says, “I realized that when I see somebody smiling, I'm happy, so one by one, year by year, I do more charities and it makes me happier.” I think being genuine is a key to being happy. No matter how many cars we have, what kind of house we live in, or even what we do to help others, if they're meant to impress others they will never make us happy, they will never be fulfilling. People will see through our insincerity and even our good works will fall flat, their effectiveness reduced, and their satisfaction all but eliminated. Let's Be Genuine.

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, January 16, 2012

Finding Strength


“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

Venture: “a risky or daring journey or undertaking” New Oxford American Dictionary

I dreamed a dream in time gone by...” Those opening song lyrics from “Les Miserables” thrust an unlikely Scottish woman into the world spotlight and a lump into millions of throats. Success and fame followed quickly, and it was a struggle for her to cope with it at times. To get where she's at now required courage and strength. She had to accept a venture that she had little experience and no success in, but she had a dream to sing and the talent to pull it off, and that is what she did. Like Susan Boyle, we all have talents for success, and weaknesses that distract from them. But what if instead of focusing on our weaknesses, we focused on our strengths and let the struggles that come with venturing after them grow our character, and build our success? We will all undoubtable fail and feel like no one cares, but remember Susan Boyle didn't win “Britain's Got Talent,” and afterwords she felt as though no one wanted to hear her sing again, obviously that was not true, but she did not surrender, and her loss gave her the strength to cope with future struggles as a celebrity. Let's take advantage of our struggles, learn from our failures, and remember who we're really serving to ensure a successful 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?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Best Days


Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.” Michael Caine

Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
 They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:30-31

Vigorous: “strong, healthy, and full of energy” New Oxford American Dictionary

Sir Michael Caine is a British actor famous for leading roles in movies like “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “The Italian Job,” and “Secondhand Lions.” Many people don't know this about him, but Michael Caine is a Korean War veteran. In an interview I heard recently he said he experienced things in Korea that made him realize the great things in life, things that made him want to live life to the fullest. So since the age of nineteen that's what he's been doing. I think there's a lesson to learn from that. So many of us live waiting for life to begin. When we're in grade school we can't wait for high school, then we can't wait to get a job or go to college, then we can't wait to earn better wages and buy a house. The list goes on and on till we're elderly and telling our grandchildren to enjoy life cause it goes by so fast. Whether you're reading this and you're eight years old or eighty, right now is the perfect time to start living life to the fullest. If you don't start now, you'll always look back wishing you had. Right now provide the best day's of our lives if we choose to appreciate them.

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, January 12, 2012

Live with Mettle


“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” C.S. Lewis

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Mettle: “a person's ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way” New Oxford American Dictionary

When Viktoria was suggested to be, “like a mother” to Hanni Levy, Hanni was quick to correct, “no, she was not 'like' my mother, she was my mother.” Years earlier in a brave and somewhat foolish decision made in desperation and fear, Hanni approached Viktoria Kolzer, a movie theater cashier for help. At that point Hanni was alone in the world with no where to go and no one she could trust. She took a leap of faith that Viktoria would act according to her values with courage, and approached her. Hanni's leap of faith proved to be a wise choice. Not only was Hanni, (a jew in Nazi Germany, who's real name was Hanna Weissenberg) able to successfully evade the Nazis with the help of frau Kolzer, a special bond between her and Viktoria was formed, a bond that lasted a lifetime. When faced with decisions requiring mettle in the face of adversity, let's try to remember stories like Hanni's and what could have happened to her if Viktoria had not acted with courage on what she knew to be right. We're all afraid of something, but the faith that God is with us can develop courage and mettle within us that can destroy all the obstacles created by fear.

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.
Jake

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Compliment Someone


There is no effect more disproportionate to its cause than the happiness bestowed by a small compliment.” Robert Brault

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

Blandishment: “a flattering or pleasing statement or action used to persuade someone gently to do something” New Oxford American Dictionary

Do you know the power of a compliment? One day a teacher had her students write a compliment about every other student in the class. Over the weekend the teacher wrote on a separate sheet of paper for each student the compliments they received and gave them to the respective children the next week. She was surprised to see the joy it brought to the kids and was impressed by the success of the exercise. However, I don't think even she knew the impact of those compliments. Years later that same teacher found herself eulogizing one of those students after he had died in the Vietnam war. Following the funeral she was approached by the soldiers parents who showed her something they thought she would be interested in. It was the note of compliments he received in school, and it was with him when he died. It had been folded and refolded, taped and repaired, and worn thin after years of use. By this time, other alumni from the soldiers class gathered round and shared with her their own stories on how important those notes were to each one of them. They all either carried their compliments with them at all times or kept them in a cherished place. That's the power of a compliment. What we say and do to others can last a lifetime. Let's make sure that the lifelong impression we make is a good and kind one.

For a longer version of the story by Gayle Shemezis I encourage you to visit http://www.all-creatures.org/stories/thepower.html

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, January 10, 2012

Successful Temperance


“It's nice to be the best, but not when being the best brings out the worst in you.” Rodney Dangerfield

If you find honey, eat just enough-too much of it, and you will vomit. Proverbs 25:16

Intemperate: “having or showing a lack of self control” New Oxford American Dictionary

In 2007, Scotts, the large manufacturer of gardening products, sued a small company name TerraCycle, because its packaging was too similar to their Miracle-Gro brands packaging. You may think that such a large company could destroy a small startup, but that was not the case. According to Tom Szaky, one of the founders of TerraCycle, it was “the best thing that ever happened to [them].” The suit against TerraCycle meant their name appeared all over the news, and when word got out about TerraCycle's high quality products and responsible manufacturing processes, their sales went up 122 percent, leading to company growth and new product lines. Sometimes being too big and too successful can lead to downfall. I think we've all seen large companies try to protect their brands by attempting to damage new companies or other brands. In most cases I think people see through their schemes to maintain power, and reject it. In the pursuit of our dreams, let's remember to be temperate in our success. Success at the detriment of others is no success at 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?
      6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading.
Jake

Monday, January 9, 2012

Work on Purpose


Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose.” Leonardo da Vinci

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29

Constancy: “the quality of being faithful and dependable.” New Oxford American Dictionary

God has a purpose for all of those who choose to live for it. History has seen time and again, great people succeed when they showed constancy to the purpose God made them for. How else can we explain all the bullets George Washington and Winston Churchill escaped. They should have been killed multiple times. Each man had their clothes torn by enemy bullets, and yet each man went unscathed. We could explain their safety as simple luck, or dumb fate; however, it becomes more and more difficult, and looks more and more like divine providence, when you consider what they accomplished later in life, and the results of those accomplishments. I challenge all of us to study the events of human history and see if we can't see the hand of God in action. I'm confident we'll all be inspired to towards a purpose.

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

Friday, January 6, 2012

Laugh a Little


Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.” Jack Handey, "Deep Thoughts," Saturday Night Live

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Proverbs 17:22

Mirth: “amusement, especially as expressed in laughter” New Oxford American Dictionary

Sometimes it's vital to just laugh. While serious thought and selfless actions are always important, you can lose motivation without a little mirth. Some of the most stressful times in my life were times when I laughed the most. Our mind naturally looks for coping mechanisms, or ways to ease stress, and one of the best ways to do that is to laugh. Sometimes it may even seem a little inappropriate, but that's ok. While laughter may not always cure disease, it will almost always relieve tensions, and that's healthy for your body and mind. So let's approach life with a little humor. We know we're gonna mess up so why not laugh at our shortcomings, maybe then we won't take ourselves too seriously. After all, if we didn't take ourselves so seriously we probably wouldn't get so disappointed in ourselves.

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

Thursday, January 5, 2012

God Helps!


“If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it.” Jonathan Winters

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

Espoused: “adopt or support (a cause, belief, or way of life)” New Oxford American Dictionary

How many times have we heard the virtues of “self reliance” espoused. You may have even heard me talk about it before. I have always had the idea that it is important to be self reliant. Maybe it comes naturally to me because I'm a stubborn guy who never likes to ask for directions or help of any kind, I don't know. The funny thing is, as I was preparing today's message I was searching for a Bible verse about the importance of self reliance. Guess what, they don't exist. In fact the Bible talks about people who trust in themselves as being foolish. Benjamin Franklin who was a prolific writer of sayings and short quotes penned the phrase I think most people take as scripture, “God helps those who help themselves.” And I do believe there is some truth to that, you see it when Jesus told the crippled man to pick up his bed and walk, and in the story of the woman seeking to be healed desperately throwing herself at Christ only to barely touch the hem of His robe. If we were to examine them closely, most of Jesus' miracles involved action from the person requesting His help, but the beautiful thing is, the only action required was and is trust in the Lord. So in the future let's try to put our trust in God and transform our self reliance from, us against the world to, “if God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

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, January 4, 2012

Finding Happiness!


If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.” Doug Larson

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” "And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!”
Matthew 6:26-30

Indolent: “wanting to avoid activity or exertion; lazy” New Oxford American Dictionary

I've been sitting here trying to write a message about how to be happy. As if I have the answer? Sometimes I have to tell myself to get a grip and realize where the knowledge is, and it's not in me. It's so simple. Want to find happiness? Look out the window at the trees, at the morning mist over the fields and the sun shining through the faint clouds in the blue sky. That's where happiness is. I would love to watch TV all day and look at the shiny things people have made. And that's great, I'm proud of what humans have been able to accomplish. But those things aren't guaranteed to create happiness. Realization that God created a world full of beauty and perfection just to bring happiness to people. That's guaranteed to create happiness. What if we all became a little more indolent at trying to create our own happiness and a little more reliant on our Creator to fill our life with joy and contentment?

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, January 3, 2012

Hope... Provided


“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.” Author Unknown

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into his grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5

Encumbrance: “a burden or impediment” New Oxford American Dictionary

In 1996 Ted Williams' road to success diverted down a road of alcoholism, drugs, and homelessness. He had hopes of entering the radio business and using his voice to earn a paycheck, but his dreams were encumbered by damaging addictions. For more than a decade Ted made the streets of Cleveland his home. But in 2010 he celebrated two years of sobriety and said he found a “new sense of spirituality” to help him deal with future success. In the first days of 2011 a reporter of a local station discovered the “Golden Voiced homeless man” panhandling, and recorded him on video. The video went viral on YouTube and in a matter of days, if not hours, Ted Williams received high level job offers from many sources and was interviewed on the Today show. Ted's mother says it's all an answer to her prayers. Ted Williams is an example of how a life can change completely is just moments. Let's try to remember Ted while we go through tough spots in life and that we have a source of ultimate wisdom and power able to drag us out of the deepest holes if we just grab the rope.

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

PS: Continue hoping and praying for Ted Williams.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Living Our Purpose


It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Edmund Hillary

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Askance: “with an attitude or look of suspicion or disapproval” New Oxford American Dictionary

To be sure, no one has ever been, is now, or ever will be perfect. But we can all be perfect representations of God's purpose for us. Consider a duck, while on dry ground they're clumsy and seemingly uncoordinated, and if that's all we ever saw of them it would be easy to look at them with askance. They would exemplify the name “ugly duckling.” But put a duck in water and they form a natural and graceful bond with the surface, put them in the air and they can inspire awe and wonder. If a Red-Breasted Merganser being recorded flying 100 miles per hour doesn't inspire you, maybe the fact that an airliner flying at 21,000 feet once struck a Mallard will. If that doesn't do it, I'm sure the migration of the Black Brant, a nonstop flight from Alaska to Baja Mexico a distance of 3,000 miles taking 60 to 72 hours will. Maybe we're not good at everything we've tried, maybe we're not good at much at all, but we're all great at something. Walking, a ducks seemingly easiest task is their most difficult, not because they are faulty creations but because that is not their purpose. Let's be inspired by ducks and ensure our lives take fantastic flight by living 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