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, June 30, 2012

We are Representatives


I believe my words will be heard by many, so I want to say only good things.” Chief Joseph (paraphrased)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

Attache: “a person on the staff of an ambassador, typically with a specialized area of responsibility” New Oxford American Dictionary

There's a story, I don't know how true it is, but I think it's teaching anyway. It tells of Alexander the Great confronting one of his soldiers who had acted cowardly in battle and ran away. When Alexander asked him for his name, the soldier replied, “Alexander.” At this, Alexander the Great was taken back. He told the soldier, “Either change your ways or change your name.” As Christians, we are representatives of our faith, everyday day, all day, wherever we go, and whatever we do. We are attache's for Christ and the Christian faith. As such we should be mindful of our actions and words, so that they reflect our values accurately and do justice to the name “Christian.” I would never encourage anyone to rid themselves of the name Christian. But if we're not acting in a way that sheds positive light on that name, we have the responsibility to change our ways. The good news is, we have a loving Heavenly Father who is willing and ready to change our hearts and in turn change our ways. He sent his Son to die for us and change us from the inside out. All we must do is accept Him.

Daily Journaling Questions
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming for?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you for reading.
Jake

Friday, June 29, 2012

Team Possibilities


Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” 
Henry Ford

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their hard work. For if one of them should fall, the other one can raise his partner up. But how will it be with just the one who falls when there is not another to raise him up? Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Cooperation: “association of persons for common benefit” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

There are aspects in all of our lives we don't enjoy. We all have asks to accomplish we don't really want to put an effort towards. However, when we band together as teams, we can solve many of the difficulties and problems life presents much easier. The modern car was made possible when Henry Ford devised an effective way for his employees to work as teams in an assembly line. The great 300 Spartan warriors led by King Leonidas could not have done what they did without teamwork. And obviously the best basketball teams use teamwork most affectively. I reference legendary coach John Wooden of the UCLA Bruins. Personally, I know, and I think we all know, we can do most anything if we have a good friend with us. A good friend can help us by providing company through hardships, support through difficulties, and encouragement through discouragement. So let's be good friends, partners, and team mates. In doing so we can help each other to make this world a better place to live. All the while accomplishing much more than we ever thought we could.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What am I dreaming for?
      6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
As always, thank you so much for reading.
Jake

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's a God Thing


You know it's a God thing, ya know I thank God every single day, I'm just His instrument and He's using me on a consistent basis daily... He's using me to extend His word... I'm a prime example of How God can turn something that was bad into something that was very great.” Cam Newton (statement after winning 2011 BCS football championship)

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 
2 Corinthians 5:17

Attest: “declare that something exists or is the case” New Oxford American Dictionary

Whether Cam Newton was being truthful or not during his statement after winning the BCS Championship Bowl Game is secondary as to what he accomplished. Instead of talking about his accomplishments and his victory over the opposing Oregon Ducks he testified for God in front of an audience of millions of people. Some could say that he did it to alleviate pressures and criticisms leveled at him by people who believe he cheated the collegiate athletic system to receive payment for playing football; but to me it makes no difference. In the eyes of many he gave God the credit for his accomplishments and if there is just one kid out there influenced by Cam's testimony, God's work was accomplished through him. So much of our success can be attributed to God simply by the positive attitude faith in Him can foster. Let's all try to remember that; not only when we're tempted to glorify ourselves, but also when we don't feel too positive about life. God's love has a way of changing our hearts and attitudes when self satisfaction in ourselves will always fail. It was good to see a famous athlete attest to that.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What am I dreaming for?
      6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you so much for reading.
Jake

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Accomplishment Through Adversity


“Whether or not you think you can or you can't. Either way, you are right!” Henry Ford

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Ability: “talent that enables someone to achieve a great deal” New Oxford American Dictionary

After a construction accident that left him broken in a hospital room and his father dead, Washington was ready to give up on his dreams and responsibilities. He tried to inspire friends and colleagues to take up his responsibilities and finish the work he had started, but it was useless. No one felt they could achieve what he was asking them. It appeared he would not be able to accomplish what he had started before he was injured. Then he realized he could still use one finger. His mind worked perfectly. He had a loving wife willing to help. And a team in place to accomplish his ideas. So he went to work, using that one finger with all his might. He would tap messages on his wife's shoulder, she in turn communicated them to Washington's foremen and workers. It took 13 years, but Washington Roebling finished the work his father, John Roebling, started. And today we have a Brooklyn Bridge as a testament of what perseverance, one finger, and a team willing to help can accomplish. We all have abilities beyond what we think. And in a way, we're all trapped in a situation that seemingly limits us. However, if we focus on our goals and have the will and courage to explore our capabilities, we'd all be surprised at what we can accomplish. If a man can build the Brooklyn Bridge with one finger, what can we do?

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What am I dreaming for?
      6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you so much for reading.
Jake

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our True Value


Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.”
Albert Einstein

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3-10

Meek: “enduring injury with patience and without resentment” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I have a dog at home that my wife bought for me. He was from the Peugeot Sound area, a good distance from where I live. It so happens he was the last puppy of the litter, maybe he was the runt, I don't know. In any case, being a Golden Retriever he was rejected probably eight or ten times by people choosing puppies. Does that mean he was the least valuable puppy of the litter? That puppy has grown up to be the best companion anyone could ask for, and if you're a dog lover you know what I mean. So what does that have to do with todays message about being valuable? It is not what we have, our personal status, or our looks that make us valuable. It's what's inside that determines or value; we call them values for a reason. When Clyde was a puppy there were obviously people who looked at him and decided for some reason he wasn't as valuable as the others. What they couldn't see was the heart that was within that dog. Let's take picking out puppies as an example for picking who we value, and remember our judgement of what they are on the outside has nothing to do with their true value as a person.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What am I dreaming for?
      6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you so much for reading.
Jake

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Easiest Way

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”  Beverly Sills
For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  Romans 8:24-25
Phlegm:  “calmness of temperament”  New Oxford American Dictionary
If you’ve ever fallen asleep watching TV, you’ve probably waken up in the middle of the night with a shouting salesman staring at you through your set.  No doubt trying to convince you of a recently discovered way to get rich in a couple months.  All while sitting on your couch at home.  Sadly, those scams still exist, because people want to believe what they’re being sold.  There’s an old car sales line that goes something like, “There’s a butt for every seat.”  Unfortunately, there’s also a well-meaning, hopeful person for every scam.  I’ve been fooled by them myself.  Multiple times.  Even though we’ve been fooled before, we say to ourselves, “This time it’s different, this guy was really nice and seemed really honest.”  And maybe he was, maybe he was fooled by the same scam and became a scam salesman.  Life is full of scams, and we’ll never be able to recognize everything as a scam.  There’s one way to best ensure we aren’t fooled by them.  That is to realize success takes a plan, and it takes work.  Even God made a plan of salvation for us.  He could have just as easily made perfect beings without the ability to choose anything but perfection.  But what is perfection without imperfection, what is good without bad?  We have to work through the imperfections, and through the hardships in life to get where we want.  Getting around all those obstacles that are sure to be in our way takes a plan, and it takes effort to execute that plan.  Let’s set goals for our lives, then make plans to reach them.  That way we won’t be so distracted when shiny objects pop out at us, or roadblocks come across our paths.  That way we’ll have a destiny, not just a fate. 
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming for?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you so much for reading, it means a lot to me.
Jake

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Trying to Find the "Why"


“I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle.”  Jane Austen
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Philippians 2:3-4
Egocentric:  “centered in or arising from a person's own existence or perspective”  New Oxford American Dictionary
Yesterday I talked about sharing our “whys.”  Today I want to talk about finding other people’s “whys.”  Why does you wife turn on the hair dryer at 7 am when you’re trying to get just a few more minutes of precious sleep?  Why doesn’t your dad let you take the classic Camaro to prom?  Or why does your husband constantly have to annoy you with his devastatingly boring and seemingly pointless car shows on saturday morning?  At times, it’s easy to assume that others are thinking only of their desires.  However, when we make an effort to see past our own desires and comforts, we might be able to see, that in many cases, those annoying things are done for our benefit.  Maybe we should appreciate that our wife puts effort into looking attractive for us.  Maybe someday we’ll thank dad for protecting that classic muscle car.  So that we could inherit it someday, undamaged by terrible teenage driving.  Maybe a husbands interest in cars could be appreciated for the interest and ability it gives him to repair the family sedan.  We all are selfish in our own ways.  Sometimes the greatest selfishness we can exhibit can rise from the assumption that others are being selfish toward us.  I can’t count how many times I’ve assumed my wife was acting without considering my desires.  When in fact she was deliberately trying to please me.  But I was too wrapped up in my own little stupid world, I couldn’t see it.  While it’s important to develop and communicate our reasoning, it’s equally important to recognize the reasoning and the “whys” of those around us.  We might be surprised at how our outlook on the world can change, if we try to assume that others really do have good intentions.  
Daily Journaling Questions:
    1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
    2. What did I learn today?
    3. What am I thankful for?
    4. Who did I love today?
    5. What am I dreaming for?
    6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
    7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate you.
Jake

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's all About the "Why"


“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.”  Martin Luther King Jr.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39
Cogitate:  “think deeply about something; meditate or reflect”  New Oxford American Dictionary
I’m sure you’ve heard the standard investigative questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Of those questions, the “why” can shake the foundations of our world, of our existence, and of our faith.  Why did the Holocaust happen?  Why were we born better off than others?  Why, why, why?  Of the investigative questions, the “why” can never fully be answered.  We will never fully know why someone chooses to take the life of another, or why someone chooses to give their life to save another.  But understanding why people do what they do has the power to change the way we feel about anything.  Without the reason why, the killing of Osama bin Laden would have been simply murder.  Without knowing why Christ died on the cross, it would have been just another cruel crucifixion.  But understanding those whys puts a reason to the events.  Seal team six becomes a heroic icon instead of a band of murderers and Christ is known as our Savior instead of merely a great teacher.  In our relationships with others, we should try our best to communicate why we act, behave, and do the things we do.  Leaving home for nine hours a day is appreciated when our spouse knows we are earning a living at work, not just abandoning them because we don’t care for their company.  That’s an obvious and small example I know, but what if we made our intentions as clear as that in whatever we did?  Not only would it earn us trust among our peers, but it would also edify our actions.  Because we’re not capable of fully understanding ourselves, let alone others, and our communications skills will never be perfect.  We may never be able to fully and affectively communicate our motives.  But just the act of trying shows genuine and honorable intent.  Let’s try to improve the communication of our “whys,” and see if our “whys” don’t improve along with it.
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindnes today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  6. What am I dreaming for?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you so much for reading, it means a lot to me.
Jake

Friday, June 22, 2012

Are You a Killer App?

It's not what you say, but what people hear.” Frank Luntz

For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:11 (Jesus)

Killer App: “an application that would dominate and redefine it's category” Paul Allen

What do you think of, when you hear the word, “Thermos?” Probably the same thing I do. A container to keep our drinks warm; right? In truth, the company Thermos, manufactures all kinds of products besides their “thermoses.” See, that's an example right there of what I'm talking about. Their core product is so dominant that it defines a product category. It's truly the killer app of drink canisters. When I say “thermos,” you naturally hear “drink insulator.” Quick, now say your name. What do you think people naturally hear? We may never be the killer app a thermos or an iPod is, but with God's help, we can define what, who, and why we are. What do you want people to think when they hear your name? That question has the ability to change who we are, because it gets to the heart of what we desire to be; it's introspective to the core. Very few of us want to be bad, or dysfunctional people, but too many of us let the world lead us. We are like a boat adrift on a river, we float and bob down the rapids, instead of powering upstream. In life, circumstances can influence us greatly, but a purposeful identity can give us the ability to influence the world. Let's do our best to be a positive, godly influence to our surroundings. That way, we will never have to guess what people are thinking when they hear our name.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      6. What am I dreaming for?
      7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thank you so much for reading, it means so much to me.
Jake

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Get in the Game!


To be merely a spectator, is to be, virtually powerless to influence the outcome.” R.C. Sproul

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. Genesis 2:19-20

Entail: “involve (something) as a necessary or inevitable part or consequence” New Oxford American Dictionary

To be honest, most sporting events, such as basketball, football, or baseball, are better watched at home on a television than in the stadium where they're actually happening. It's much easier to see what's going on, you can clearly tell who the players are, and there are usually professional and knowledgeable commentators describing what is happening. But if you want to be more involved in the game, you must travel to it's location. Screaming at the TV and jumping up and down in your living room cannot do a bit of good for the athletes in the game. I happen to live in the beautiful pacific northwest of the United States of America. A place where eagles soar, salmon thrive, and the Seattle Seahawks call home. Those attending their home games at Qwest Field are called the 12th man. They're called that because their efforts in the stands make the stadium one of the loudest, if not the loudest stadium in professional sports. And it makes a difference. Qwest Field perennially registers the most false starts by visiting teams than any stadium in the NFL. The noise at times incapacitates the opposing teams ability to communicate, delivering a huge home field advantage to the Seahawks. The fans that come to cheer for their Seahawks don't see themselves as merely spectators, they are involved in a way that can be vital to their teams success. When God created this world, He was the main event, but He wanted to involve man in the process. He could have just as easily, if not more easily, taken care of everything for us. But He had no intention for us to be merely spectators in this world. So immediately He gave Adam tasks, one of which, was to name the animals. He built an environment which entailed our involvement from beginning to end, and commissioned us to be stewards of His creation. Let's take a look at our lives. Are we involved in life to our fullest extent? Are we being good stewards of the gifts and abilities we've been granted? No, we shouldn't overburden ourselves to the point where life is no longer enjoyable, but sometimes we have to turn off the TV set, get out of our living rooms, and get in the game. We might be surprised at the results it can affect.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      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, I appreciate you.
Jake

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sacrifice's Precipitation


No sacrifice, no victory.” Stated by the character Sam Witwicky in the movie “Transformers”

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Precipitate: “send someone or something suddenly into a particular state or condition” New Oxford American Dictionary

Ok, so it might be a little strange or dorky to quote a line from the movie Transformers, but the quote is exactly right, and I wanted to talk about it. Rarely in life does anyone achieve much of anything without sacrificing something. In fact, I think I could safely say, no one has ever achieved anything without making some sort of sacrifice. I gave up time and comfort to be able to join the military; and at times, I still sacrifice those things for my job, but it's been well worth it, because it's brought me a life I find fulfilling, and lifestyle I feel blessed to enjoy. However, the sacrifices I've made are insignificant to the sacrifices of others. Everyday, people suffer much more than I do to make a living. And millions have died defending their countries and communities. But even those sacrifices, however amazing and honorable they are, can't compare to the ultimate sacrifice made on our behalf. When God sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for us, He showed us a love beyond compare. That act immediately precipitated our salvation. And while every sacrifice throughout history has had its reward, none can compare with the reward we can daily reap through the crucifixion of Christ. There will always be times in all of our lives when we don't feel like making a sacrifice, but we could all benefit from remembering the blessings we enjoy because of the sacrifices of others. And we would do well to realize the potential gains that can be made through the sacrifices we make now.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read, it means a lot to me and I appreciate you.
Jake

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to Trump a Roadblock

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalms 23:4

Resolved: “to reach a firm decision about” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Sometimes in life it's important to be stubborn, to be resolved, to tie that knot and hang on. Life presents challenges and obstacles everyday. All of our goals will be impeded by doubt, distractions, and deceits. But determination can trump all road blocks. Through steadfast faith and a stubborn hope we can accomplish all of our potential. And who can determine what our potential is? Only our Creator. We are creations of God and what better maker could one ask for? How powerful is that phrase? We are creations of God... And He wants the best for us. “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 Let's live with boldness. I'm reminded of a movie entitled The Bear about a small orphaned bear cub alone and trying to survive in the forest. In one scene he encounters a predator on a log crossing a river. With nothing left to do he roars with all his little might. To his surprise, his would-be attacker backs away. But it wasn't the roar of a cub that made the difference, it was the roar of a large male grizzly watching over him from behind that was the driving force. We are all like that little bear. At times we're backed in a corner with nothing but our helpless roars to defend us. But right over our should is the most powerful force in the universe, ready to defend on our behalf. As little as our power may seem at times, and as helpless as we can feel in life, let's determine to hang on, to stand fast with the power of God. It's a power that is unstoppable, unlike any other, and unwavering in it's willingness to rescue. Let's tie a knot and hold on with Jesus.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
As always thank you so much for reading, you mean a lot to me.
Jake

Monday, June 18, 2012

Resolute Determination


The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work.” Oprah Winfrey

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered. Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." Genesis 32:24-28

Resolute: “marked by firm determination” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I continually struggle with laziness. That's one reason why I write this journal. It keeps me focused on something other than entertainment, on something more, something bigger than myself. Have you ever noticed that continual entertainment is really depressing? There have been times when I didn't feel like it at first, but I forced myself to get out in my shop to get some work done. And do you know what? It made me so much happier than if I had watched TV all day. Everything worth while is worth work. Just as it took a struggle for Oprah to build her television empire, and a struggle for Jacob to receive a blessing from God, it will take a struggle to accomplish our purpose. However, significance and joy are worth a struggle. So many people have gained so much in life by being resolute. They are determined to accomplish what they have set out to do. What could we accomplish with just a little more determination? Furthermore, what could we accomplish if we coupled our determination with our purpose from God? There's a marketing pun used by a company that makes home air conditioners that states, “Nothing can stop a Trane.” That's not really true, there are a lot of things that can stop a Trane or a train. Jut as Burlington Northern and Union Pacific couple there engines together to to make their trains more unstoppable, when we couple our engine, our drive, to the truly unstoppable force of our Heavenly Father, we are sure to be unstoppable, until we have reached our good and honorable destination. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” Luke 13:31 Let's call on, let's hold true to, let's bind ourselves to the everlasting, all powerful words of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      4. Who did I love today?
      5. What about today do I want to remember forever?
      6. What are my goals for tomorrow?
As always thank you so much for reading, I appreciate you.
Jake

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Self Employment

“The reality is, you work for yourself regardless of who signs your check.” Zig Ziglar

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23

Indenture: “A formal legal agreement, contract, or document, in particular an agreement binding an apprentice to a master” New Oxford American Dictionary

Most people spend a lot of time looking for, dreaming about, or trying to retain a steady, dependable job. While it's comforting to have security in employment and income, the most important thing when it comes to job security is a strong work ethic, not necessarily a dependable job. What if we did our best to concentrate on becoming invaluable employees at whatever we do. Every day scientists and engineers lose their jobs from projects in organizations like NASA or Boeing, but do you think they spend a lot of time out of work? Probably not. They proved themselves at the top levels of their field, and their accomplishments ensure people will want to hire them. Let's try to ensure that we are the best employees at whatever we do, whether we're actually working for somebody else or working for ourselves. We will never escape the indenture we have to ourselves, so we should be the best possible apprentice to whatever we undertake. If we're determined and driven to become significant, we will be accommodated.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today'?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      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, June 13, 2012

The Journey!


It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” Ursula K. Leguin

Then the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. Joshua 24:16-17

Travel: “to be enjoyed or successful away from the place of origin.” New Oxford American Dictionary

I have found that in life people (myself especially) can become fixated on a goal. While goals are important and achievement is accomplished through setting goals, sometimes it is important to stop, realize, and enjoy the moment. Every goal or destination brings with it a journey, and it is in the journey that we all spend our lives. So while we set goals and plot destinations, let's enjoy the process in reaching them, because if we can't do that, we won't enjoy life. And let's not forget to include God in our journey, He's the best companion we'll ever have.

Journaling Questions:
    1. How did I help someone today?
    2. What did I learn today?
    3. What am I thankful for?
    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, June 12, 2012

Waiting for the Sun


He that can have patience, can have what he will.” Benjamin Franklin

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 6:12

Phlegm: “calmness of temperament” New Oxford American Dictionary

I don't get to golf very often and when I do, I don't do it very well. But I do enjoy it, and sometimes I'm fortunate enough to find myself on a beautiful golf course getting frustrated trying to hit a small white ball into a small white hole that is always too far away. I remember one of those days; it was spring time in the North West United States. And in the spring time in the North West it rains a lot, (much like the rest of the year) but that day was a tease. The weather would be decent, then it would start pouring for a few minutes, then the sun would come out for a few minutes and the cycle would repeat. Needless to say, it was not perfect golfing weather. When I started my round there were a few other golfers on the course attempting to brave the weather like myself. But by the time I reached the eighth hole most of them must have called it quits. I assumed so, because I never saw another golfer until I finished the eighteenth hole. Part of me feels kinda bad, because after they all left the sky cleared enough to let the sun through and it was absolutely beautiful. I had one of the greatest outdoor experiences anyone could ask for. I had one of Oregon's best golf courses literally all to myself and I didn't have to pay extra or play during odd hours, I just had to stand under a couple trees to avoid getting wet for a few minutes. Our lives can be kinda like my round of golf. There are times when it rains, there are times where quitting seems like the wise thing to do. But if we have patience, the sun is waiting to shine through the clouds and put a whole new perspective on what rain can accomplish. The rain comes and goes, but through it all the sun is always lurking, always waiting behind the clouds.

Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      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

Monday, June 11, 2012

Beauty Unnoticed


“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Confucius

He hath made everything beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

Descry: “catch sight of” New Oxford American Dictionary

Two white sea gulls hovered in the wind above the bridge where I was sitting in traffic. One seemed to be chasing the other but looked content to lag slightly behind. They dove and climbed and banked and looked like they were perfectly happy in the moment. They were beautiful. If you live anywhere near water I'm sure you're familiar with sea gulls, they're common and often disregarded. Sometimes they're even considered a nuisance; and like anything, they can be. But like everything God has made they are beautiful. Perfectly graceful in the air, they stay aloft with hardly a wing beat. Content to glide, use, and compromise with the wind to determine their course, they exemplify the design God created them with. So much in life is like a gull, unnoticed and beautiful. Everyday we take for granted the beauty we live with. There is hardly and ugly tree, but we pass by them everyday without ever noticing one. I can't think of a single homely mountain, but how often do we really stop to appreciate them? Let's try to appreciate the beauty around us. If we lift our eyes with the purpose to see it we will find it everywhere. God has blanketed us with His everlasting love and it's interwoven with the beautiful things He's made for us. Let's descry and enjoy it today.

Daily Journal Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      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

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Good Fruits


If my life is fruitless, it doesn't matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful, it doesn't matter who criticizes me.” John Bunyan

By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Matthew 7:16-18

Perquisite: (perk) “an advantage or benefit following from a job or situation” New Oxford American Dictionary

Who do you trust? Can people trust in you? It's easy for people to get caught up in the everyday living of their lives and forget about what they look like to other people. It's easy to be so engrossed in what we're doing, we don't even recognize that others may see a different image of us than what we believe we're projecting. I'm sure most of us like to think of ourselves as an apple or a peach tree, but in reality we may be more like a locust tree, providing little more than thorns. If you were to go to an orchard, you would probably notice the apple trees are planted with other apple trees, the pear trees with other pear tress, and so on. Farmers do it deliberately because they want similar trees pollinating each other to develop more of a particular fruit. We could take a lesson from that. You've probably heard the phrase, “Misery loves company.” Unfortunately that phrase is more accurate than we'd like to acknowledge. People have a tendency to associate themselves with others who display similar fruits. If I were angry at my job I would be much more likely to associate with people that were also angry about their job. While they may be comforting, these type of associations tend to foster negative attitudes and rotten fruits. Maybe we could take an example from nature and associate ourselves with people who bear good fruits, so that those actions which are good develop more readily, leaving the negative actions to fall away, chocked out by the good fruits of our spirit. A tree that produces rotten apples drops it's fruit on the ground to be thrown away and it is eventually eliminated from an orchard. But a to a tree that produces delicious apples, its fruit is picked and cherished, and it's valued as a productive tree. Value is a perquisite of bearing good fruit. How much could we all change our lives if we always tried to bear good fruit? How much could we change the lives of others if our actions were cherished?

Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      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 and I hope you come back tomorrow to see tomorrows message.
Jake

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Command Teacher


If all you give are orders, then all you will get are order takers.” Captain D. Michael Abrashoff

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:2-3

Bearing: “the way one behaves or conducts oneself” New Oxford American Dictionary

I am convinced that self-responsibility is a key aspect of our success, and part of the responsibility of a good leader is to develop people who are able to not only take care of themselves, but also lead others. As Donald Trump might say, God gave us a “ewge (huge), beautiful brain,” that is far more capable than we give it credit. It's our responsibility to develop brain power. Whether it be in our own skull, or someone else's. In many cases, when we treat people like they're stupid, eventually their spirits break and they will act the way we treat them. But when we treat someone like they're the most skilled, capable person we've ever met, more often than not, they will try to live up to that standard. You may have noticed how talent seems to always show up in sports teams that have a record of winning. It's not just because they recruit the best players, no, it has more to do with the players playing their best, playing like winners, for a team that's expected to win. The New York Yankees have won the most championships of any team in the history of baseball. When their players put on the pinstripes, they know they have to play like champions, because nothing less is expected of them. We should all try to develop a bearing that not only produces, but also elicits performance. Step one is to perform like champions ourselves, then teach others how to perform like champions as well. After all, through the victory won on the cross, we can all be champions for Christ, no matter what our skill set.

Daily Journaling Questions:
      1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
      2. What did I learn today?
      3. What am I thankful for?
      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, I appreciate you.
Jake

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's OK


How long must I pray, must I pray to You
How long must I wait, must I wait for You
How long 'till I see Your face
See You shining through

I'm on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I'm on my knees
Father, will You turn to me, yeah?

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?

From the song “Hold My Heart” by Tenth Avenue North, words and music by Jason Ingram, Phillip LaRue, and Michael Donehey

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.  From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.  I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.  For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.  Psalm 61:1-5

Enthrall:  capture the fascinated attention of”  New Oxford American Dictionary

Some days the quotes and the Bible verses I find are so powerful I don't feel qualified to follow them up with a message of my own.  This is one of those days...  The message I want everyone who reads this to get is this.  It's ok to wonder where God is, it's ok to wonder why you're going through what you are, it's ok.  From the beginning of time, followers of God questioned why they went through what they did.  A cursory reading of Psalms reveals a psalmist pleading for God, seemingly angry with Him at times, at times even demanding.  It's a point I've labored over and over, we're all humans, God designed us with emotions and needs.  One of those needs is Him, and that need produces emotions, those emotions are natural.  But like King David, let's never let our faith waiver, let's remember what our creator has done for us, let's remember the reward we have waiting; a life of perfection and eternity.

Daily Journaling Questions:
1.     How did I help someone in kindness today?
2.     What did I learn today?
3.     What am I thankful for?
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