The Intent of This Blog

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

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Valuing Time


“If you don't value your time, nobody else will.” Unknown Author

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the LORD a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8

Kairos: “a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action: the opportune or decisive moment” Allwords.com

As humans we have a finite amount of time in this world, and you know a purposeful life requires time. It's important that we value the time we have to accomplish whatever it is that fulfills our lives. If you're a carpenter, the time you take to build a house is valuable and deserves compensation. If you're a doctor you've taken time from your life to learn a valuable and difficult skill, and that deserves reimbursement. If you're a stay at home mom, you will never be compensated with money, but you deserve payment non the less; the satisfaction of raising productive children cannot be valued. The point is, your productive activities deserve compensation whether it be monetary or other. We should value our time so that it is not wasted on meaningless activities that don't provide value to our lives. We should value our time so that we don't let others waste our time for us. And we should value our time, because every moment is a gift. Every moment we have is a kairos moment, what opportunity does this moment hold for 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.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Living Life


My business is not my life, my life is my life.” James Malinchak

Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Luke 12:27

Lacuna: “an empty space or a missing part; a gap; a defect” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The struggle for success in life has a tendency to lead us down a road that emphasizes work over everything else. We think we couldn't make our family happy with a nice new house and car if we don't work long hard hours. As a result we start to spend more and more time at work trying to provide for our life and family, and miss the very thing we are trying to create. Life isn't just about work, it's also about play, and relationships, and loving, and just plain enjoying what comes from being in the world God created for us. While it's honorable to be a hard worker, and it's very important to work with integrity, work should not be our sole focus, because in the end, it's a means to living, it's not living in and of itself.

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Love Stands


Love is, without question, life's greatest experience.” Napoleon Hill

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Diffuse: “spread or cause to spread over a wide area or among a large number of people” New Oxford American Dictionary

Every once in a while, I'm come across a message that is so perfectly true and summed up so succinctly that what I have to say seems utterly insignificant and hopelessly redundant. When love is experienced whole heartedly with honesty and passion, it cannot help but become diffuse around whoever experiences it. That's what makes it so great. Love truly conquers all. Just read the lyrics to this song performed by “The Pretenders” and Carrie Underwood and see if you can't feel the love it conveys.

I'll Stand by You
(Songwriters: Billy Steinberg; Tom Kelly; Chrissie Hynde)

Oh why you look so sad
The tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now

Don’t be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
Cause I’ve seen the dark side too

When the night falls on you
You don't know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you

So if you're mad get mad
Don’t hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now

Hey, what you got to hide
I get angry too
Well I’m a lot like you

When you're standing at the crossroads
And don't know which path to choose
Let me come along
Cause even if you're wrong

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you

Take me in into you darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you

And when, when the night falls on you, baby
You feeling all alone
You won't be on your own

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you

Take me in into you darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you
Oh I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by 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.
Jake

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Do You Work?


Let love dictate what you do next.” Robert T. Kiyosaki

You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. Ecclesiastes 11:9

Hyperbole: “exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally” New Oxford American Dictionary

Love is a staple of life and I've written about it a few times. But the love I want to talk about today is not the love you feel for another person, a dog, or a cat. The love I want to talk about today is the actions we love. Too many of us live a life without loving what we do. Too many go to jobs we don't enjoy, drive cars we don't like, in traffic jams we hate. If you don't love your life and you're in a position to change your life (and everybody is), what would it take to turn your life into something you love? Very few successful people hate what they're doing. In fact almost every entrepreneur who has found prosperity would advise you to find something you love, then do it, do it to the best of your ability and use your love for it to drive you towards triumph. We've all heard the saying, “Work at something you love and you won't work a day in your life.” Are you working everyday? If you are, why? Don't you think you'll be so much better at what you do if you love it? There are two things you can do if you're not loving life: one, you could change the way you feel about what you're currently doing, or two, you could change what you're doing. But actually, I'll suggest a third, do both. Let's get to love what we're doing and see how much more fulfilling life can be. That way we can say we never work a day of our lives; and it won't be merely hyperbole.

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, March 26, 2012

Commit to Something


Your commitments can develop you or they can destroy you, but either way, they will define you.” Rick Warren

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

Fidelity: “faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support” New Oxford American Dictionary

What are you committed to? Millions of people go through life hardly ever making a commitment. Probably the most common commitment made by people is marriage; and by the divorce rate these days you would hardly think that is a commitment. It's about time we find something to commit to in life. Without commitment the buildings we see in big cities wouldn't exist, the shows we enjoy on television wouldn't play, and the books we read wouldn't be written. All the accomplishments we enjoy in life are the direct results of commitments. We all have the ability to do great things, but non of us can achieve much at all without commitment. It's obvious I know, but for some reason most of us still don't get it. We float through life hoping a good job will come our way or a decent house will fall in our laps, and sometimes those things do happen. But great things are never achieved without fidelity and commitment to a cause. Let's all try to find something of value we can be committed to and see what it can accomplish. I know it can be hard to specify a cause to commit to, but we could start with committing ourselves to God, in that way we can assure we will receive the benefits of God's commitment He's made to 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

Sunday, March 25, 2012

God's Word


“The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but change our lives.” Dwight L. Moody

Now I'm turning you over to God, our marvelous God whose gracious Word can make you into what He wants you to be and give you everything you could possibly need in this community of holy friends. Acts 20:32 (The Message Bible)

Transmute: “change in form, nature, or substance” New Oxford American Dictionary

The Bible is unquestionably the most tested book to have ever existed and it has never been proven false. Still many choose not to believe fully in it. Some believe there are parts of it that are accurate and parts that are flawed, some believe it was perfect but has been tampered with through the ages, and still others believe it is a farce created by humans to control other humans. No matter where you stand in your belief in the Bible, it has probably changed your life. If you believe in it, I have no reason to continue, you fully understand the power of God's word. If you don't believe, I'm sure you have ancestors who did and you would probably agree with me, their beliefs helped to shape or even create your life. And if you're on the fence, I'm sure you've seen what it can do and the influence it's had around you has affected you in some way. This world is full of people who don't have hope, it's not that they're without potential, but they can't see it, they need a purpose. Whether you believe in the Bible or not, it's acting believers never lack for purpose. It's teachings, while constantly pointing towards the cross, transcend Christianity, and it's sayings are inscribed in the minds of believers and atheists alike. It has the ability to transmute the hardest heart into the meekest spirit. It has the ability to speak to us in a way that supersedes words alone. The Bible has changed the world we live in, in ways no other entity has. We owe it to ourselves if anything its trial. We study history and theories everyday, why shouldn't we test histories biggest influence?

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

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Consigned with Character


“Bodily vigor is good, and vigor or intellect is even better, but far above both is character.”  Theodor Roosevelt
“Go,” He told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent).  So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Consign:  “send (goods) by a public carrier”  New Oxford American Dictionary
We have been consigned.  Sometimes for our own good, sometimes for the good of others.  When Jesus sent the man to the pool of Siloam, it wasn’t because the pool had powers to heal his sight.  Jesus held the power.  It was to test the character of the man.  I think you would agree with me that, our characters are tested on a daily basis.  It takes upstanding character to be honest at times.  It takes upstanding character to do the right thing, even if it doesn’t matter.  And it takes character to be a consigner.  The origin of the word consign was founded the 16th century, in the dedication of children to God.  When a baby was consigned it was set aside for His purpose.  The root of life is found in character.  Like the blind man went to the pool, we live.  With heaven in store and with heaven as a goal, what really is the purpose of a century of living here on earth?  Character.  Jesus could have restored the man’s sight with a thought, word, or desire; much like He healed the woman who merely touched His garment in belief.  But He didn’t.  Both the man and the woman were healed by Jesus through their character.  Their character gave them the strength and conviction to act on their belief.  It takes action to accomplish anything.  It takes character to produce action.  And character is the foundation, the reason for life.  We are all consigners to the will of our Creator.  We are all the public carriers of the goods from a higher power.  Character is what drives us to deliver His goods.  Character is what makes the difference.  Athletes with hall of fame skills wont deliver without character.  Leaders with all the knowledge a graduate degree can bestow won’t earn followers without character.  And without character we...  Let’s build character.  Let’s deliver.
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone today?
  2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
  3. What did I learn today?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you for reading.  You mean a lot to me.
Jake

Friday, March 23, 2012

Building Courage


Only the fearful can be courageous.” R.C. Sproule

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

Loath: “reluctant; unwilling” New Oxford American Dictionary

So much of what we do as humans is influenced by fear. People like myself miss out on the rush of adrenaline induced by jumping off a bridge by choosing not to go bungee jumping. It's because I'm scared to do it. Some people take a little longer to travel places because they're scared to fly. And most of us fall far short of our potential success because we're afraid to take risks as entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and investors. Most of us have jobs or careers in which we do things everyday that we didn't know how to do before; and it was probably scary taking on new responsibilities that we weren't sure we could handle. But it was expected of us, so we did it. What if we expected greatness of ourselves? What if we expected to follow through on the ideas we know could be successful? We all have an idea or two we think could make a difference, but are probably a little frightened to enact them for whatever reason. It's natural to be scared, but courage is what makes the difference. Let's try to trust in God and be courageous in the knowledge that He loves us and promises to be with us. I think we'll find if we try to build our courage, the more it's exercised, the less it's needed.

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Can You Heal Your Hood?


If we don't heal our own hood, who will?" Cornell Hayes Jr (AKA Nelly)

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Caritas: “Christian love of humankind; charity” New Oxford American Dictionary

How many times have you heard or thought the words, “I wish 'they' would do something about that?” Most of us can identify deficiencies in life that can be improved or even eliminated, and almost all of us know some way to improve the plight of humankind. But we all hope somebody else will act on our wishes. We vote for presidents, senators, and representatives on the basis of the hope they'll enact our ideas. I once heard a statement from an air force general who said, “never pass by a mistake.” I think most of us pass by mistakes everyday. At some point it becomes our responsibility to make a difference. It can be difficult to take on responsibilities we don't really want, but if we don't, who will? The record books of historical heroes are filled with people that had ideas and then acted on them. As Christians let's show our caritas and do what we can to heal the wrongs around us. What can you do to heal your hood?

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, March 21, 2012

Recipe for Success


People want a recipe. Recipes guarantee that if you follow these steps in this order, you will get a favorable outcome. But team building is not about a recipe, it’s about taking the necessary time to build this team for this purpose.” Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K)

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:1

Proxy: “a person authorized to act on behalf of another” New Oxford American Dictionary

Turn on the television anytime after midnight and a good portion of the channels will be running paid program ads. Many of them espousing ways to get rich this way or that, ways to stay healthy with certain kitchen products, or ways to stay fit with certain machines or contraptions. They're selling recipes for success. They usually feature people claiming wildly successful results because of the product, arguing that the recipe being sold changed their lives. And they could very well be right. At the same time however, try to interest the average person in a get rich quick scheme and they'll laugh straight at you, because they've seen the failures and disappointments those recipes can bring as well. My point is, we're all different, we all have a different purpose, and no earthly recipe can work for everyone. But there is One who has a specific recipe for each one of us, because He has a specific purpose for each one of us. He wants to build a team with us, not one with identical interchangeable ingredients, but a team made of ingredients that compliment each other. Let's take pride in the idea that we're a special part of a team God is putting together. Not every role will be right for us, but we'll be right for a role that is key to the purpose God has for His team. Let's follow His recipe.

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, March 20, 2012

The Ultimate Paragon


“What people want is very simple. They want an America as good as its promise.” Barbara Jordan

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. Genesis 28:15

Paragon: “a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality” New Oxford American Dictionary

In its right talon it holds an olive branch, in its left are 13 arrows. Its breast is guarded by a shield of red white and blue, and in its beak is a banner carrying the latin phrase, E pluribus unum (out of many, one). It is the symbol of the United States of America, a Bald Eagle, a symbol of freedom and hope to millions throughout the world. Its olive branch represents an offering of peace to any who will accept, but its arrows symbolize its readiness to use force against any who threaten what it represents. And it is protected by by a shield, proudly displaying the colors of the country of its origin. The founders of this country fought and argued over what its national symbol should be. Much thought went into its design and symbolism and I think it beautifully states what the United States should endeavor to emulate. I have a question though. What would our seal look like, if a peer were to draw up a symbol that embodied what our lives represent? Would it carry the virtues we desire others to see? Would it represent anything at all? All of our lives are meant to represent something whether we want them to or not. Let's make sure what other people see in us represents something greater than what we alone can accomplish. We have a Heavenly Father that is always as good as His promise. While as humans, we will never be paragons of what we represent, I believe we should try our best to live up to our promise.

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, March 19, 2012

No One Like You

I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue.  I’d go crawling down the avenue.  No there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do.  To make you feel my love.  Bob Dylan (from the song Make You Feel My Love)
“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  God  1 Samuel 16:7b
Carp:  “To find fault or complain querulously or unreasonably.”  Dictionary.com
“Never mind I’ll find someone like you.”  That’s the tag line in a popular song entitled, Someone Like You, by Adele.  It goes on to state that, “Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.”  That’s a face of human love I think all of us have experienced.  Denial, betrayal, and rejection.  Love leaves a lot for us to carp about.  Never mind, there’s no one like You.  Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for you and for me.  He lived a perfect life of love for you and for me.  And He still wants you and me to feel His love.  He went hungry, He was beaten and bruised, He carried His own cross down the Via Delorosa, down the Way of Grief for us.  Then He was crucified for us.  Nailed to a cross and hung to die a slow and painful death.  He died brokenhearted and rejected by this world.  But in love He rose.  He rose so that He could one day take us home with Him to a place prepared by Him to be enjoyed for all eternity.  When the love of life breaks our hearts, disappoints, and at times disgusts, there is a perfect love, always there, always waiting.  Never mind, there’s no one like Jesus.
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone today?
  2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
  3. What did I learn today?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you for reading.  You mean a lot to me.
Jake

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Somewhere to Turn


This is for yours truly
Just a little verse to remind me
We all got somewhere to turn
And I may not know, what its like
To send my only Son to save the world and watch Him die
And I may not know, how it feels
To hang there on the cross to prove that love is real
But I got friends that do
Yeah I got friends that do
Yeah I got friends that do
You know we all got friends that do

From the song “I've Got Friends That Do” by Tim McGraw

Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10

Credence: “belief in or acceptance of something as true” New Oxford American Dictionary

There is no better news than the fact that we all have somewhere to turn. No matter what happens in this world, even if no one loves us or cares about us, we have a God that loves us perfectly and more than we could ever imagine. Not only that, but He is there to bear the burden of our hardships if we should only ask. He can help us through trials in life when we don't believe help can be had. And as the Psalmist pleads in Psalms 51:10, He can create a pure heart and steadfast spirit in us. It's easy for many of us to believe in God, but at the same time it's difficult for most of us to place meaningful credence in what He promises to do for us. One of my favorite statements about the Bible and it's promises is said by Joel Osteen before his sermons. Talking about the Bible he announces, “I am who it says I am, I have what it says I have, and I can do what it says I can do.” How much can true belief in that change our lives?

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

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Under the Radar


Sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
 George Dana Boardman

You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers,
and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:23-25

Conspicuous: “standing out so as to be clearly visible” New Oxford American Dictionary

It is sad that society and human nature as a whole, generally requires recognition in order for an accomplishment to be counted worthwhile. If a president eliminates needless hunger and poverty without recognition and publicly fails to unite political parties they may be seen as ineffective and a failure. Or if a teammate unites and drives a team, but doesn't score a winning touchdown, basket, or goal, they may be seen as inconsequential. But there are countless things that make our lives better, such as electronic devices, medicines, and knowledge, that are not widely attributed to a particular person. Most Christians have heard of the Biblical contributors such as Paul, David, or the writers of the Gospels. However, there are many passages in the Bible who's author is unknown. Many of the Psalms were not written by David but by unknown authors. Even though we may not know their names, their work remains invaluable. You may have noticed the word, “inconspicuous” happens to be a much more popular word than it's derivative “conspicuous.” I can't help but believe it's because accomplishments are seldom granted the recognition they deserve. It is doubtlessly discouraging to work hard at something that comes from the heart and is meant to improve society and remain inconspicuous. But, if an inspired writer of the Bible can go without recognition, I think we can handle doing our part to make the world a better place, even without acknowledgement. After all, anonymity can be a blessing at times, ask any celebrity who cannot escape the paparazzi.

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

Friday, March 16, 2012

We Have Work to Do


“Jesus isn’t back yet, so we have work to do.”  Pastor Daniel Fusco
For God so love the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.  John 3:16-17 (King James Version)
Dynamo:  “an extremely energetic person”  New Oxford American Dictionary
You know how I know we have work to do?  Because as I was getting ready to write this I googled “text of the day.”  Guess what?  Nothing from the Bible showed up until the bottom of page nine.  As is normal, we have replaced God with ourselves.  The word “text” has commonly referred to Bible verses for decades if not centuries, now it refers to a short message sent between mobile phones.  Don’t mistake me for an ultra old school conservative, I’m not.  I don’t even believe there is anything necessarily sinister about the current word “text” referring to phone messages instead of Bible verses.  After all, God did not speak to us through “texts,” but through His Word.  And His word is still here.  In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:1,14  Jesus my not live with us physically, but He can dwell in our hearts, He promised the Spirit to be with us, and He promised to come again to take us home.  The gospel is unmistakeable and simple.  We may not all be Biblical scholars, but we can all share the “Good News,” the Gospel.  It’s found throughout the Bible, at the core of the Bible, and in the foundation of the Bible.  Yes, we have work to do.  When Tim Tebow wrote John 3:16 in his eyeblack during an NCAA championship football game, it became the most the most popular google search during the telecast.  If enough people don’t know what John 3:16 is about that it can become the most popular google search... we have work to do.  If there are people who feel condemned by the Bible... we have work to do.    If there are children being born everyday throughout the world... we have work to do.  I feel a little bit like Jeff Foxworthy making redneck jokes, but examples could go on and on that indicate we have work to do.  Biblical prophecies may not be our thing, nor Old Testament law, or doctrine.  But the Gospel is for all of us.  As Christians, if it’s not our thing... I don’t know what to say.  We live in a society that values energetic people.  We see dynamos of business and politics on TV all day long.  Why can’t we be Dynamos for God, for His Gospel?  We can be.  We have work to do.
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone today?
  2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
  3. What did I learn today?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you for reading.  You mean a lot to me.
Jake

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Imagine Purpose


“I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast.  And when I run I feel His pleasure.”  Eric Liddell 
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2
Instauration:  “restoration after decay, lapse, or dilapidation”  Marriam-Webster Dictionary
As a boy, Clive would at times find himself lost in little imaginary animal kingdoms built by his brother Warnie and himself in the lids of cooky tins.  Similarly, as a boy I remember building roads and towns in the dirt of our family garden with my brother.  But we weren’t just building fake little roads with toy cars to drive on them, we were building alternate realities in our minds.  I’m sure you have similar memories as well.  Our imagination as children is almost boundless.  I wanted those little towns, complete with tunnels and garages, to be real so badly they almost were.  I hated it when my brother, who was older than I and less strict in realistically trying to fool his imagination, would pick up the Tonka Toys to use their shovels more effectively.  “That’s not how it works,” I would exclaim.  My imaginary world was replete with realities such as gravity and other laws of physics.  It’s easy to look back on those childish times and laugh at the power of our imaginations.  After all, imagination is what drove our belief in Santa Claus and his reindeer.  Through the experience of growing up, we’ve been taught that imagination is somewhat foolish and should be left for children or maybe Hollywood.  But it was through the instauration of his childhood imagination that Clive was able to impress so many with profound lessons in life.  Those animal kingdoms built in the depression of lids not only tickled his imagination, but eventually, the imaginations of  millions.  Ironically, wanting to be proper, childish imagination was a source of shame for Clive as a child.  But with maturity, childish imagination grew up in him and those boundless toy worlds became the backdrop for The Chronicles of Narnia.  C.S. Lewis was built for a purpose, for some of his life he rejected that purpose, but eventually he found what he called joy.  In living the purpose God built us for we can all feel that “joy,” we can all feel the pleasure of God.  Imagine that!
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone today?
  2. What act of kindness did I perform today?
  3. What did I learn today?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you for reading.  You mean a lot to me.
Jake

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Coming Clean


As I come clean
I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face, aw huh
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take, aw huh
Nothing you would take
Everything you gave
Did I say that I need you?
Oh, Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean
Nothing you would take everything you gave.
Hold me till I die
Meet you on the other side

Pearl Jam (from the song Just Breath)

LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy; 

in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.

Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.
The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground; 

he makes me dwell in the darkness
like those long dead. 

So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.
I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;
I thirst for you like a parched land.

Psalms 143:1-6


Redemption: “the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil” New Oxford American Dictionary

The two poems I chose for this message relate the unending need of humans to be loved, even when it is undeserved. In humility they call out for grace, forgiveness and compassion. In our search for redemption there is one we will hurt more than any person can be hurt, one that loves us more than any person can love, and one who cares more than any person can care. After we insulted Him, doubted Him, and hated Him, He came so that we could kill Him and He could say to us. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." 
Matthew 11:28 Thank you Jesus.

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, March 13, 2012

Acknowledging What We Need


Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And Today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present.” 
Babatunde Olatunji

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Munificent: “larger or more generous than is usual or necessary” New Oxford American Dictionary

Sometimes what we need the most is mostly unwanted. How come encouragement comes easiest when we don't need it? How come bliss comes easiest when we are at peace? And how come it can be so hard to accept a word of encouragement or even praise when we feel discouraged and maybe even angry? The truth is, I don't have an answer for those questions. Everybody is different and the answers will no doubt be different as well. The important thing, is to recognize when we are rejecting what we need. Encouragement when we don't want it is probably when we most need it. Praise when it is unwelcome is probably most warranted. And motivation when it is not desired is probably when we most require it. To be able to see beyond our momentary desires and attitudes is to be able to hold the key that can unlock the door to a new attitude. We've all been given a munificent gift, the gift of life. We should, as the old adage goes, “count our blessings.” Maybe our moods could be changed, and maybe if our moods were changed, our lives could be changed as well. Whatever it is, our attitude starts in us, and a change in it has to start at the same place. Fortunately, God gave us the Holy Spirit to work within us to transform us by the renewing of our minds. All we have to do is acknowledge what we need and ask for it.

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

Monday, March 12, 2012

Living With Destiny


The Lord has promised good to me.
 His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.” John Newton (from the song Amazing Grace)

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4


Kismet: “fate; destiny” New Oxford American Dictionary

Patrick Doughtie's son Tyler lost his battle with cancer in 2005. He was only nine years old when he died, but his life is a testament to what a person can do in only a few years when God's purpose is working through them. Tyler's strength and courage inspired his dad Patrick to write a screenplay based on his story, called, “Letters to God.” In 2010, the movie was released and through it Tyler has been touching hearts ever since. Patrick admits the “letters to God” part was his own creative idea he thought would be neat to incorporate into the movie. However, while the movie was being made three years after Tyler had passed away, Patrick found himself looking through some of Tyler's things, he came across a notebook and started flipping through the pages, reading little things Tyler had written about various people and events in his life. Then he flipped to something he never expected, a letter to God. The movie took on a whole new meaning to him from that point on. It's amazing what God can accomplish through our lives when we let Him lead. Whether we're eight years old like Tyler Doughtie or 80, God wants to work through our lives to do amazing things. Let's let him. And let's pray for all those families that are struggling with illnesses and facing losses. There are millions of people going through hard times right now, let's not forget them and pray for God's work to be evident in their lives as well 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