Archive for the ‘Am i There Yet?’ Category

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There are lots of voices in my ear with many words attempting to convince my mind to go this way or that. But God… with patience, will reveal the right path that i am to take as i enter into His presence. It will become absolutely clear!

It’s said that if i want to lead an orchestra i’ll have to turn my back on the crowd. If i want to orchestrate heavens symphony i must be willing to turn my back on the earth. Sometimes God allows me, His disciple, to separate from the crowds. It is a place where i go into my own wilderness so i can find Gods voice. This in spite of the fact that i may be standing in the middle of crowd of people.

It takes courage to believe in my own music, the symphony i hear, and to be faithful to write it out accurately so that others can hear it.

When i am true to the one thing that i alone was created to do, i am able to reach into an inner strength, a “knowing in my gut” that i am doing the right thing, even when nobody in my circle understands.

Here’s what i know… –i am DESIGNED for PURPOSE and DRIVEN by PASSION.

Designed: made or done intentionally; intended; planned.

Purpose: the reason for which something exists or is done, made,

Driven: to send, expel, or otherwise cause to move by force or compulsion.

Passion: any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling,

If i’m driven by purpose without passion my work will be mediocre and never the best. If i’m driven by passion without purpose, i’m a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. If driven by both, i am a creative force in God’s creation which is waiting to cooperate with me.

Steve Jobs lamented that in most people’s vocabularies “design” means veneer. “It’s a word used for interior decorating”…the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. “But to me,” Jobs said, “nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”  He said, “To design something you really have to get it! Be passionately committed to thoroughly understand something. The design of the Mac was not in how it looked…it was how it worked.”

i have at times, been guilty of paying way more attention to how i looked instead of how i worked, more specifically how i responded to God, His word and His call. A hospital delivery room is ugly – but the baby is beautiful.

i am officially turning my back on the unresolved issues of my past. The music i am about to conduct will change everything in my future.

Cristina Marrero “Normal is over rated, and so is spelling.You want perfection? Go out and buy a spell check, but know this: Spellcheck won’t keep you warm at night or love you unconditionally. I will stick to being abnormal and a bad speller. Makes life more interesting. After all, what fun is there in being normal or perfect?”

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When my children were young we had a discipline that worked well for us when they did something they knew was wrong. We didn’t count to three but i suppose it was built-in and not as obvious as it is today. Our intent was to instill good behavior and not emphasize the bad. We decided that they would write the truth or the good behavior according to the bible, thus confess what was to be their words and actions versus the wrong. Example, If one of them spoke unkind to mom or dad they would write… “I honor my father and mother.” It started out when they could barely write with having to write it 10 times and at the last time used it was 5,000 times of whatever the correct behavior was. There were a couple other twists as well. Once the assignment was given all privileges ceased. All of them, even a trip to Dallas to be with grandparents held no privileges until all 5,000 times were written. During that incident we knew we had accomplished something as my son volunteered to help my daughter write so they could enjoy the trip. I said there were a couple twists and the second one was how the verses had to be written. They could not write a column of I and a column of honor and so on. They had to write it as a sentence and they had to say it as they wrote it. Get caught not saying it or writing it in columns and it was torn up and started over.

i have been disciplined by someone whom i have put in the position of authority over me, someone whom i have given permission to correct me. The following are the words of that correction.

“I am going to make an observation that will require you to read between the lines. God has brought great changes into your’s and Ann Marie’s life in the last three months especially. You have been fasting and allowing God to make the adjustments that He wanted to make and you guys have grown leaps and bounds.  But the real test is when you walk into circumstances that surround you with the relationships and circumstances that locks you into an old way of thinking and relating. Then you find out just how much of the change has become permanent.”

Thus todays post is applying my own method of correction to myself. With-out going into detail of my bad, i am writing or in this case typing word by word what the proper behavior is for my bad. It would seem that not enough of the change has become permanent.

i do not allow myself to get fatigued doing good because at the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit.

i do not allow myself to get fatigued doing good because at the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit.

i do not allow myself to get fatigued doing good because at the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit.

i do not allow myself to get fatigued doing good because at the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit.

i do not allow myself to get fatigued doing good because at the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit.

i do not allow myself to get fatigued doing good because at the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit.

i do not allow myself to get fatigued doing good because at the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit.

i do not allow myself to get fatigued doing good because at the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit.

i do not allow myself to get fatigued doing good because at the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit.

i do not allow myself to get fatigued doing good because at the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit.

That’s verse 9 of Galatians 6 but verse 10 goes on to say, “Right now, therefore, every time i get the chance, i am to work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to me in the community of faith.”

i spent this morning grumbling and complaining, to myself of course, that i was tired of who i am and what i do. i tried as hard as i could to think of who i would rather be or better yet what i would rather be. my conclusion is that i have been this and done this for so long i can’t even imagine something else. It seems like all i do is give, that i am always watching out for and thinking of others and i am tired of it… thus the writing assignment.

Well i won’t bore all of you by continuing with my writing assignment in this post or blog. i’ll let you get on with your day and i’ll get back to the assignment which i’m thinking is 100 times.

i do not allow myself to get fatigued doing good because at the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit.

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i’ve heard this over and over, and have said it myself as well, “i’ve struggled with trying to hear God’s voice concerning my future and where he wants me. i’ve searched for His direction and all i really want to do is His will. The problem is, i feel like i’ve had no response. What am i missing or doing wrong?

i don’t claim to have all the answers but, i can share from my experiences in dealing with these questions. Sometimes i’ve  made it hard. What i mean by that is sometimes i was “too spiritual” to hear what was actually in black and white and right in front of me. Example, as i was working a job and raising my children i used to constantly ask God about what he wanted me to do with my life.

Long after my children were raised i came to the conclusion that what He wanted me to do with my life at that time was work and raise my children. Earning a living and paying bills on time is important. Investing in my son’s and daughter’s character and godly upbringing was the highest item on God’s priority list for me. God was very practical and His will was clearer than i recognized.

So, now when asked by someone about knowing God’s will i tell them that the first question to ask themselves is, what are their current responsibilities and what is their life situation? Are they married? God wants men to be fabulous, loving husbands. If they have children, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). Nothing will have greater significance. Do i have elderly parents? If so help and assist them through their end of life.

An old saying says, “Bloom where you are planted.” That means, right where i am is filled with plenty of God’s will for my life. However, there are times when I’ve been at a crossroads and i could go several directions. In those instances i want to know which way is God’s choice.

In those times i need to look at what my natural giftings and desires are? i have things that i am good at, things that i have a passion for, or have some natural ability for. Early in my life i learned to not skip past these gifts but to develop them. Ann Marie went to a seminar one time and they told her to do what she enjoyed doing and then find a way to make a living at it. Looking for something harder or more complicated in order to serve God may just complicate the process or plan that He has already equipped me for.

When it comes to ministry, it is important to understand my spiritual gifts because that’s the area where God probably wishes to use me. Reading the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Romans 12:6-8 and Ephesians 4:11 give us an idea of the value of the gifts that Christ gives to the Body of Christ. i have taken many gift assessment tests which have helped me identify the unique way God gifted me.

So…as i continue to search for God’s direction, i ask myself what do i LIKE to do? my career choice should match that and ministry may also involve that same thing. If i get along well with teens, then that’s a natural and maybe i should volunteer to help with Youth. i need to experience several of these possible passions by volunteering until something really hits home.

Sometimes other people have seen me much clearer than i have seen myself. i am never afraid to ask others what they think about me doing this or that. Get input from a few friends, the pastor or other church leadership, see what they see as your spiritual gifts.

Many people say that in asking God for direction they feel they have had no response. It’s during those times that i feel that God is silent because He’s saying, “ed you decide this one for yourself.” This is a silly example but i don’t need to ask God whether to go to the grocery store if the refrigerator is empty – i am to just go.

Now that I’ve said all that, i should be hearing God’s voice on a regular basis. God desires it; he is not trying to withhold himself from me and he does not delight in my frustration or confusion. God is speaking all the time but i need to learn to tune in to his frequency.

God speaks to me through His Word, through others, though my dreams, and most quite often through my circumstances. He also speaks to me directly in a still small voice right into my heart. Learning to tune out all the distractions and distinguish HIS voice verses my own voice or the voice of the enemy of my soul is possible and highly desirable.

A good way to begin is through journaling. Journaling is a spiritual exercise whereby you write out your thoughts, questions to God, and impressions from scripture and then also leave time for stillness and listening. Posting these blogs do that for me.

It’s up to me to still myself before the Lord and focus on Him. As i do i sense his heart and hear his voice. How do i avoid mistakes? First i slow down and don’t let so-called “once in a lifetime opportunities” rush me. i give time to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and ask for his help as i work through the process. i can also ask spiritually mature disciples to read my journaling as they can help me distinguish voices. A big one for me is to compare what i’ve write down as God’s voice against God’s Word. If it doesn’t match it’s not God’s voice. He never contradicts Himself or His written Word.

In closing, rely on God’s promise. “…and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. And a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:4-5)

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Doing my best doesn’t just happen. It must be intentional. i begin by having a plan for making small, but consistent improvements each day and thus that is MEASURE #14.

Being the best isn’t about knowing the most. Being the best is about confidently admitting i don’t know it all, while embracing every opportunity to learn and grow from the wisdom of others and through circumstances. i need to have confidence in my ability to learn, not in the amount of information i already know. i must remember that wisdom comes from gaining knowledge and experience over the course of time – not a day or a week – but over a lifetime.

Wanting to do my best, means becoming proficient at what i do. Here‘s a few things i consider and am working towards:

  • Despise not small beginnings.
  • Don’t be satisfied with Good or Better.
  • Never stop learning.
  • Outwork everyone.
  • Serve.
  • By the end of the day make sure i am a better person than when it started.

Small consistent improvements of the above each and every day allows me to be the best that i can be each and every day. Let me expand on these small consistent improvements.

Despise not small beginnings:

It’s amazing to me to see how many people think certain jobs are beneath them. i guess it’s alright for them, so long as they understand that as long as certain kinds of work is beneath them so will certain grades of pay be beneath them.

Then there are those who have the idea that they have already “paid their dues,” or who have “not-in- my-pay grade” syndrome. i am always willing to roll up my sleeves and “chip in” and help others finish the task.

Don’t overestimate myself:

One of the saddest moments i’ve experienced is having a conversation with someone who once was “all that,” but who now has decided to live off of his or her previous successes. In many cases these types of people have one year of experience at this or that, and then just repeated it over and over? I understand that past accomplishments are merely a foundation for what i am currently doing.

Never Stop Learning:

When i meet people, the number-one thing i try to discern is whether they possess personal integrity. The second thing i try to discern is are they teachable. A teachable spirit is one of the most important traits leading to success in life. Basically, it is an attitude that drives the individual to find out the “why” and “how” of things, rather than just the “what.” One tool to discern this attitude is to ask, “what’s the  most interesting book or article you’ve read recently.”

Outwork Everyone:

It’s said that, “the only place you’ll find “success” before “work” is in the dictionary. It’s sad to say this, but it is such a treat these days to come across someone who really knows how to work. The following poem says it all. The heights by great men, reached and kept, Were not achieved by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Serve Others:

The great philosopher and physician, Albert Schweitzer said, “The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

That says it all.

By the end of the day make sure i am a better person than when it started:

Let me share a secret that i’ve found useful when it comes to taking on big projects – such as changing my life. The secret is, take life one step at a time. i don’t need to conquer the world today, but my small consistent improvements will surely make me better at the end of the day than when i started.

This all takes discipline. Discipline that many are not willing to apply and thus at the end of the day, week or even year they will be exactly the same or even worse than when they began. That’s why i continually remind myself that i must do today what others will not so that tomorrow i can do what others can not.

MEASURE #14 is this, Start right now, whether you have to make the plan or whether you have to implement the plan, regardless the goal is for small, consistent improvements and to that, i say “yes!”

Prior to reading or listening to this post or podcast there is a short 1 minute video regarding this idea of doing my best. Please click that link first and then come back to the post to read or listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn9tt0zgY9E

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Good, Better, Best, never let it rest, till your Good is the Better and your Better is the Best.

Og Mandino said, “Always  do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”

Something happened the other day that reminded me of doing my best. It’s been a month ago when i shared about how foolish i felt after forgetting a catering event and the potential of 50 people standing outside of the building expecting breakfast, was not going to to as expected. i shared in that post about a woman who came in a few minutes early and after i share my dilemma she volunteered to help in any way i would like. She was the woman who went to the local Dunkin Donuts for me.

Yesterday we gave away the final donuts left in the freezer from that event. Today she came in and handed me some money and explained, “when you asked me to get donuts i doubled your request thinking that it wasn’t going to be enough and ever since then i have felt terrible for taking the money for my poor discission, so i’m returning it today.

i tried to convince her otherwise but nothing i said was changing her mind. She said, “it was a heart issue and that she had to be the best person she knew how to be and that she had felt terrible ever since.” i then understood that her returning the money was the only option. Here’s the amazing part, i had been sitting there working on this weeks posts about Good, Better, Best.

Vanessa  Kerry said, “One of the things I’ve learned is that when you fight for something you believe in  and you tell the truth and you do your best, you can always hold your head up  high and no one can take that away from you.

This woman wanted to hold her head up high. In-spite of my trying to make light of it and trying to convince her that there was no need to repay the money she would have no part of it, she was telling the truth, and doing her best.

i am learning to recognize the reality that just because something is good, is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things i can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Also true is the fact that some things are better than good, and these things deserve more attention in my life. But then there are the best things that should out-weigh any other options.

Perhaps this story will help? A childhood experience introduced a now elderly man to the idea that some choices are good but others are better. He lived for two years on a farm. He rarely went to town. His Christmas shopping was done in the Sears, Roebuck catalog. He spent hours poring over its pages. For the rural families of that day, catalog pages were like the shopping mall or the Internet of our time.

Something about some displays of merchandise in the catalog fixed itself in his mind. There were three degrees of quality: good, better, and best. For example, some men’s shoes were labeled good ($1.84), some better ($2.98), and some best ($3.45).    1

Today as he considers various choices, he remembers that it is not enough that something is good. He is still very much aware that other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice is more costly, it’s far greater value may make it the best choice of all.

In closing… Whether it’s in regard to my actions or my words… Best: is of the highest quality, excellence, or standing. Best is most advantageous, suitable, or desirable.

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Good, Better, Best, never let it rest, Till your Good is the Better and your Better is the Best.

It seems like there is always one post that is odd or different in nature from all the rest even though it is in regards to the same topic. Today is that post. While all the other posts talk about doing or being at my best today’s post is about finding my BEST ideas. Today’s post contains more research information then spiritual application but i found it interesting so please, bear with me. If you don’t care for this kind of post perhaps you could change your mind and everything will change. Find some value, some nugget in the information. Stop counting the cost of having listened to what your currently viewing as worthless. By the closing of this post i found several elements to be thankful for, hot showers being one.

i’m in the shower, mindlessly scrubbing my toes when—bam!—a prophetic thought pops into my head. Maybe i finally solve that glitch bugging me on my computer, pad or smart phone. That’s the glitch right there, too much electronics. Maybe i learn something terribly more important. The meaning of life, perhaps.

Those aha! moments aren’t locked inside my bottle of shampoo. It would seem that the shower creates the perfect conditions for a creative flash, drawing out my inner genius, so to speak.

Research actually shows i’m more likely to have a creative epiphany when i’m doing something monotonous, like fishing, exercising, or showering. Since these  routines don’t require much thought, my mind flips to autopilot. This frees up my unconscious to work on something else. my mind goes wandering, leaving my brain to quietly play a no-holds-barred game of free thoughts.

Ideas i have in the shower are so different from the ideas i have at work. Thinking hard about a problem deactivates my default thought process. This isn’t a bad thing—it allows me to focus and gives me the strength to stop day dreaming and hit the deadline. But it can also trap me. When i’m deeply focused on a task, my brain is more likely to censor unconventional, and creative, solutions… and who am i to disagree with the researchers

Strange as it sounds, my brain is not most active when i’m focused on a task. Research shows it’s more active when i let go of the controls and  allow it to wander. Shelley Carson at Harvard found that highly creative people share one amazing  trait, they’re easily distracted. And, that’s the beauty of a warm shower. It  distracts me. It makes me defocus. It lets my brain roam.

But what makes the shower different from a boring board meeting? Doesn’t my  mind wander there, too?

Well, yeah. i have the scribbles to prove it. But a  shower is relaxing. It’s a small, safe, enclosed space. i feel comfortable there. On top of that, i’m alone. It may be the only alone time i get all day. It’s my chance to get away from the outside.

When i’m that relaxed, my brain releases everyone’s favorite happy-go-lucky neurotransmitter, dopamine. A flush of dopamine boosts my  creative juices. More alpha waves will also ripple through my brain. Alphas accompany my brain’s daydreamy default setting and encourages creative fireworks.

Wait! There’s more! The time i shower, also plays into the equation. Most wash up either in the morning or at night, when we’re most tired. According to the journal Thinking  and Reasoning, that’s our creative peak. The groggy morning fog weakens my brain’s censors, keeping me from blocking the irrelevant, distracting thoughts that make great ideas possible.

There you have it. i’m distracted, relaxed, and tired. The shower creates the perfect storm  for my BEST ideas.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder says, “Every job is good if you do your best and work hard. A man who works hard stinks only  to the ones that have nothing to do but smell.”

If you read these posts with any regularity you’ll know that i refer to something i call the “flip side.” It’s the other side of what i’m sharing, usually it’s the negative side or effects of something. So would the “flip side” of Good, Better, Best, never let it rest till your Good is the Better and your Better is the Best, be, Bad, Worse, Worst, never let it rest till you bad is worse and your worse is the worst?

No! i’m not going there, just throwing out the thought. Sometime in the future i or you will be making a decision about whether to do something Good, Better or Best and i or you will remember the Bad, Worse, Worst and it will encourage us to make the wiser choice or at leas smile.

There are some things that i know about myself and when i do my best.

i do my best when i do what God wants me to do, in words and actions.

i do my best by challenging the way i did things yesterday.

i do my best when i’m part of the solution instead of the problem. W.  Edwards Deming said, “It  is not enough to do your best, you must know what to do, and then do your  best.”

i do my best by expecting nothing less than my best.

i do my best by giving away the credit (especially if i crave it).

i do my best by practicing my gifts so i become skilled in using them. Daniel Defoe says, “The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear”

i do my best by eliminating excuses and taking responsibility.

i do my best by getting up when i’ve been knocked down.

i do my best by allowing my passion to see action. Maya Angelou says, “Nothing will work unless you do.”

i do my best by keeping my promises, to others and to myself.

i do my best by showing integrity.

i do my best by delivering more than what was expect.

i do my best by making time to refresh and refill my inner spirit.

i do my best by having a strong foundation in the Word. Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live your life – one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.”

i do my best by training my mind like a pro athlete. Thomas Edison said, “If we did all the things we are capable of doing,
we would literally astound ourselves.”

i do my best by doing tasks that make a difference and inspire others to do the same. Norman Vincent Peale says, “If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind.”

i do my best by serving others even when it’s at great cost to me.

In closing… i have to let go of  some GOOD things in order to choose others that are BETTER, then i have to let go of some BETTER things for the BEST, because the BEST, my BEST, develops faith in God.

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Good, Better, Best, Never Let It Rest. Till Your Good Is The Better And Your Better Is The Best.

Jarod Kintz says, “What does it mean to be the best? It means you have to be better than the number two guy. But what gratification is there in that? He’s a loser—that’s why he’s number two.”

That’s what i would call stinking thinking just as these kinds of statements i sometimes make. Statements like, “i gave it my best but, i’m not sure it was good enough. i think i gave it my best shot. all i can do now is wait and see. i did my best but…”

Good, Better, Best, Never Let It Rest. Till Your Good Is The Better And Your Better Is The Best is simply  a change of mind. There are times when i do a good job and leave it at that. There are times when i do a better job and leave it at that, as well. The problem is that when i do the good and the better thing, i ended up dealing with the reality that neither were my best.

Example… Over the years i think i’ve done a fairly GOOD job in relationship with God. Notice i said think. i want to erase it and put know but i have committed to once written it stays. That’s so these post remain real. The problem with think is, it sorta, leaves a question as to what’s being stated. There’s another problem with thinking i’ve done a good job. It’s that i’m comparing my relationship with God to others and thus mine is good, by comparison

In the past say, seven years i again think that i have done a BETTER job in the area of my relationship with God. That change of mind, to go from GOOD to BETTER, awakened me to the relationships with others around me. That’s where i was faced with the truth that i endured people and did not enjoy them. God said, “STOP THAT” and i put some effort into doing better.” The same problem exists with better as it did with good. i’m still comparing and now i’m assuming that my Good was really good. Get where i’m going? If my good really wasn’t good then my better really can’t be better.

Two years ago at this same time i had a change of mind. It was to make the leap from BETTER to BEST. That’s not to say that i have arrived. BEST is not a destination, it is a journey of intentional living. my BEST is always growing and maturing in direct proportion to my intentions. While i still make mistakes, wrong choices, bad decisions, etc, i end many of my days KNOWING that i’m doing my best right where i’m at.

Let me take one last stab at explaining this. I’m driving down the road, i pass a gas station or two but pay no attention to the gas gage in my car and then i run out of gas. Good would be to check the gas gage. Better would be to check the gas gage and to drive in the direction of one of the gas stations. Best would be to check the gas gage, drive in the direction of the gas station and to stop and put gas in the car. There is a confidence that then comes from doing my best.

Checking the gage gave me valuable information but i did nothing with it so it was useless. The word of God is like that, filled with valuable information yet if left for simply good information it is useless.

Checking the gas gage and driving in the direction of the gas station was certainly better than doing nothing but ultimately it was still less than what was best. So i hear or read the word of God which is better than what was good if left there it still does nothing toward getting what i need in my life.

The best i can do is read the word which is good, move in the direction of the filling station by studying the word, which is better, and then stop, stay a while and fill up on His presence which is my best!

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This post is in honor of my turning 62 and rather than receive gifts i decided to give what I hope to be gifts. These are things that have been learned through much trial and error and… and take note in no way am i insinuating that i have perfected them. i am very much a work in progress.

These are in no particular order and I though it would be a little redundant to actually number them so here we go…

I’ve learned- that i cannot make anyone love me. All i can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned- that no matter how much i care, some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned- that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned- that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt me every once in a while and i must forgive them.

I’ve learned- that it’s not what i have in my life but who i have in my life that counts.

I’ve learned- that i should never ruin an apology with an excuse.

I’ve learned- that i shouldn’t compare myself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned- that i can do something in an instant that will give me heartache for life.

I’ve learned- that it’s taking me a long time to become the person i want to be.

I’ve learned- that i should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time i see them.

I’ve learned- that i can keep going long after i can’t.

I’ve learned- that I’m responsible for what i do, no matter how i feel.

I’ve learned- that either i control my attitude or it controls me.

I’ve learned- that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I’ve learned- that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned- that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I’ve learned- that my best friend and i can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned- that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned- that sometimes when i’m angry i have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned- that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.

I’ve learned- that just because someone doesn’t love me the way i want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love me with all they have.

I’ve learned- that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences i’ve had and what i’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays i’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned- that i should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned- that my family won’t always be there for me. It may seem funny, but people i’m not related to can take care of me and love me and teach me to trust people again. Families aren’t biological.

I’ve learned- that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes i need to forgive myself.

I’ve learned- that no matter how bad my heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for my grief.

I’ve learned- that my background and circumstances may have influenced who i am, but i am responsible for who i become.

I’ve learned- that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.

I’ve learned- that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned- that i don’t have to change friends if i understand that friends change.

I’ve learned- that i shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change my life forever.

I’ve learned- that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I’ve learned- that no matter how i try to protect my children, they will eventually get hurt and i will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned- that even when i think i have no more to give, when a friend cries out to me, i will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned- that credentials on the wall do not make me a decent human being.

I’ve learned- that the people i care about most in life are taken from me too soon.

I’ve learned- that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings, and standing up for what i believe.

I’ve learned- that people will forget what i said, and people will forget what i did, but people will never forget how i made them feel.

I’ve learned- that i don’t always need to be right.

I’ve learned- that being in control doesn’t always make things go the way i want.

I’ve learned- that blaming others will only hide my lack of taking responsibility, for so long.

I’ve learned- that i must not speak anything about myself that God wouldn’t say about me.

I’ve learned- that it is to my benefit to always be teachable in all situations.

I’ve learned- that grumbling and complaining gets me nowhere.

I’ve learned- that looking at the value of things versus the cost is wisdom applied.

I’ve learned- that i don’t need to impress anyone.

I’ve learned- that if i change my mind, everything changes.

I’ve learned- to not judge and label others.

I’ve learned- that where there is fear there is no faith.

I’ve learned- to look not get stuck in the past.

I’ve learned- to give up attachments to “things.”

I’ve learned- to live life according to God’s expectations and not other people’s.

I’ve learned- to take risks. The older i become, the harder it gets.

I’ve learned- that the most important thing i learned through education was how to learn. Once i got that, nothing stood in me way. Never stop learning.

I’ve learned- that i would rather say i tried and failed than live a life of regret.

I’ve learned- to dream big. Life is too short to only be mediocre.

I’ve learned- that music is the cheapest and simplest cure to many of life’s problems.

I’ve learned- that I need to surround myself with people way smarter than i am.

I’ve learned- that only those who are with me during the struggles deserve to be with me when i celebrate the successes.

I’ve learned- to pick and choose my battles carefully. There are only 24 hours in a day. If something isn’t worth my time, just say no…or outsource it to India

I’ve learned- that the world may seem big and scary. But the older i get, the more i realize that everything is man-made. Nothing is set in stone.

I’ve learned- that life is not easy. But having the right community with me during the journey goes a long, long way.

I’ve learned- that unity does not always include more than myself.

Lastly…

I’ve learned- that there Is no one person, no group of people, no single possession, no conglomeration of possessions that can do for me what God has and is doing for me. He gave me a most exquisite gift in my wife, a blessed gift in my children and a special gift with all of you that share some portion of my 62 years.

Stale, Stagnant, Vomit

Posted: July 13, 2012 in Am i There Yet?

This post is for today, Friday, the previous one was for Thursday as i forgot to post it.

“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit.

It is a serious awakening when you wake up in the middle of the night sweating profusely and all you can recall are those words. God says, i make Him want to vomit. i have know that i was not where i should be but i had forgotten those words and what the reality of my indifference really meant. Thank God for verse 19, which brings me a little comfort. i understand that the Father loves me enough to wake me from my sleep and speak some hard words to me.

19“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!

i cannot be hungry for God if i am being satisfied with other things. i am constantly nibbling on junk food from the world. i have lost my appetite for God and for life itself. Here’s how i know this is true. Matthew 5:6 He promises that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.

That means that i cannot simply add God to my lives. He’s not a lucky charm to be toted around in my pocket or on a key chain. Matthew says, “SHALL BE FILLED, not maybe, not possibly but SHALL BE!

Proverbs 4:23 – My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

God intends that there is an ongoing reality in my life of thirsting for Him. Then being poured out and becoming thirsty again.

Wesley Adams wrote a book titled “The Fire Of God’s Presence”. This is revival from heaven! When men in the streets are afraid to speak godless words for fear that God’s judgment will fall! When sinners, aware of the fire of God’s presence, tremble in the streets crying out for mercy. When, without human advertising, the Holy Spirit sweeps across cities and towns in supernatural power and holds people in the grip of terrifying conviction. When every store becomes a pulpit, every heart an altar, every home a sanctuary, and people walk carefully before God. This is revival!

The presence of God in the midst of people, in the midst of me will always be the catalyst for change. Without the presence within and around me i am left to a stale experience and empty, ineffective institutions and life. If i am to see my life transformed then i must become a desperate person unifying in vision and intercession, which will enable the heavens to open within and around me.

i must become a person whose values are overrun by God. Divine fire must not only be summoned but must fall. i must become a person which has been impacted by the full measure of the kingdom of God. i will then be a person in which supernatural power flows like a river of molten lava, altering everything and everyone in its path.

i must treasure the manifested presence of God in my life because that is my destiny!