Archive for the ‘Today’ Category

Today is the greatest day i’ve ever known because i will not give in to the struggles!

internal_struggles_by_valentin947-d4ojg9xDon’t confuse your path with your destination. Just because it’s stormy now doesn’t mean it won’t be sunny later. Let me say it another way, Do not confuse your circumstances with your day being the greatest you’ve ever known.

Strugglesto contend with an adversary or opposing force. Man webster’s got this definition absolutely right.

God designs every single day of mine to be the greatest day i will even know. Then the adversary or the opposing force comes to kill, steal and absolutely destroy that very same day. Struggles come in all shapes, sizes, colors and any time of the day or night.

Today being the greatest day of my life has nothing to do with my circumstances, my disappointments, my hurts, my fears or any of those types of things. Today being the greatest day of my life is dependent on one simple truth. God is God and i am not. i am turning my attention on Him and His heart and not my struggles or even His plans.

For every thing God has done or does the enemy comes up with a counterfeit. I wake up with great faith and trust in God but many days the enemy convinces me to fear. i am intentional about knowing who i am in Him and yet the enemy fills me with doubts about myself.

Ginny Owens taught me the true meaning of struggles and about Today being the greatest day i’ve ever known through her song “If You Want Me To.” This is where i live every day. Every word ministers to me overtime i hear it.

The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear. And I don’t know the reason why You brought me here. But just because You love me the way that You do. I’m gonna walk through the valley if You want me to

‘Cause I’m not who I was when I took my first step. And I’m clinging to the promise You’re not through with me yet. So if all of these trials bring me closer to You. Then I will go through the fire if You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen. When You lead me through a world that’s not my home. But You never said it would be easy. You only said I’d never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me and I’m all by myself. And I can’t hear You answer my cries for help. I’ll remember the suffering Your love put You through. And I will go through the darkness if You want me to

When I cross over Jordan, I’m gonna sing, gonna shout. I’m gonna look into Your eyes and see, You never let me down. So take me on the pathway that will lead me home to You. And I will walk through the valley if You want me to. Yes, I will walk through the valley if You want me to.

images-1i really felt that it was important to share just a small portion of her story as well as the song.

Owens was born in Jackson, Mississippi, with poor eyesight and has been blind since the age of two. She earned her bachelor of music education in 1997 from Belmont University, but found that most people were skeptical about hiring a blind music teacher. She entered the music business by writing songs for Michael Puryear’s Final Four Publishing, which led to a number of labels competing for her, before she chose Rocketown Records. She concentrated in singing and songwriting and began making CDs, and has been producing them since 1999 with Rocketown Records, a label under Michael W. Smith. Owens won the Nashville “Lilith Fair ’99 Talent Search”, which earned her a spot singing at that year’s festival, and the following year performed at the Sundance Film Festival.

Her music has been featured on television shows, such as Roswell and Felicity. Owens has also received three Dove awards, including New Artist of the Year (2000) and Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year (2001) for “Blessed” with Rachael Lampa and Cindy Morgan.

In 2005, Owens started a non-profit organization called the Fingerprint Initiative. The organization has worked in conjunction with other groups, such as Compassion International, International Justice Mission, and Habitat for Humanity. Owens was featured on national television, including NBC’s Today Show and CNN, for her contribution to help rebuild New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

In closing, i choose to present the greatest day God intends for me verses the perverted day that the adversary or opposing force would like me to buy into. No i’m not faking, i’m practicing!

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Today is the greatest day i’ve ever know because i will not over think anything!

Overthinking-671x1024If they would give a PhD in over-thinking, i would get one. i excel at the art of over-analyzing every little thing that happens to me. It’s exhausting.

The truth is that as an over-thinker i’m blessed with the gift of scrutinizing every little morsel of detail in my life. Friendships, relationships, the way the cashier looked at me when i bought 12 bags of Chocolate Chip Cookies that one time—ALL instances that are open for over analysis. my brain is always calculating and re-calculating. And that’s not all i as an over-thinker grapples with.

Examples:

Has anyone ever failed an eye exam? Because I swear you can fail eye exams. I’ve definitely left the Eye Doctor’s with glasses that seemed blurrier than my last pair. And this is because it’s unfair to give a person two PRACTICALLY identical images and ask which ones is clearer. With technology these days, you would think they could do away with this archaic method of optometry.

While i was driving to work the other day i caught myself spending a lot of time thinking on things that do not matter. Example… on my drive to work i pass a church with a digital sign out front which these to promote certain thoughts or sermon titles, but it has a huge clock on it as well. i’ve been making this drive for 4 months and every single day i look at the clock and it is ALWAYS wrong. It runs at least 10 minutes fast and even though i know that… it makes me think for a moment, as to whether i am late or not.

At first my thoughts were on trying to figure out why nobody fixes it or, if there might be some intention to it. Perhaps they have tried to fix it and it needs more repairs than their budget will allow for so they just ignore it? Then i thought about how people show up for church late and that maybe they set it ahead so people think they’re late and hurry to get inside? If that was the case it would only have temporary success as people would eventually figure out that the clock is early and they would go back to being late. Nope i have not found out a legitimate excuse for this situation and yet it still bothers me every day. i found myself this week thinking about writing a letter to them and asking them to fix the distracting clock. Then i actually found myself trying to figure out when i could stop by and offer to assist them thus being a part of the solution versus the problem. When i go by in the morning it’s about 5:40am so that wouldn’t work but maybe in the afternoon? The problem with that is that it doesn’t get my attention in the afternoon so it’s unimportant enough to even get a moment of thought.

Over thinking right? Spending too much thought time on something that is none of my business, not relevant to me, and actually has no impact on me what-so-ever.

overthinkingThis led me to see other areas where i do the same thing. There’s a street light that has been burnt out for weeks and in my thoughts it should have been repaired by now. Perhaps nobody has reported it but how’s that possible? Surely if i’m noticing it someone else is as well? Then i thought the other day that i should stop and get the serial number on the pole and report it myself just to be sure. Over thinking right?

The people who know me would probably agree that i also over-think God and God things as well. i usually find a single verse or thought and then spend weeks looking at it over and over. It’s kinda like an old dog bone that has been chewed on until it begins to fall apart. But for me i’m convinced there’s one more decent bit of flavor left for me to find.

Some people say, “Let it go.” That’s the ultimate insult for me as an over-thinker, because if i could just “let it go,” then i would have “let it go” long ago. i don’t like over-thinking, it’s hard work, but i just find myself doing it.

Today is the greatest day i’ve ever know because i will not over think anything!

 

“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.” Marilyn Ferguson

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

UnknownThat being said, “Today” i will not accept fear!

Fear comes naturally to most people. When i was a child i developed a fear of getting into trouble. Then the first time i hurt someone’s feelings i learned to fear ever doing that again. Being a creative person i have always had a deep inner fear of creating something that nobody else thought was creative or even useful. Every once in a while a small but firm piece of fear tries to tell me that Ann Marie doesn’t really love me and is one day going to leave. As a parent there is a fear that you didn’t do all you could for your children that in the end it will come out that i failed them too often.

All of these fears can bring my life and dreams to a crashing halt. The only way to get rid of the fear is to realize the truth. The first truth is that God does not give me fear and in fact does not want me to fear. His desire for me is exactly what it says in 2 Timothy, that God promotes within me a spirit of power, love, calmness, a well-balanced mind, discipline and self-control. Seeing that as a destination i can now take a small step “Today” towards it.

“Today” i will not fear rejection. Instead i will embrace it as the price i am willing to pay for freedom. “Today” is the greatest day, i’ve ever known. Not because everyone accepts me but because i will not allow fear of being rejected to stop me from being who God intended for me to be.

Life lesson two is this. Mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean they are failures, it just means i am supposed to learn something from them. Some of these life lesson will come easy. Others will take time and more than one attempt. Some will try to scare the day lights out of me. “Today” is the greatest day i’ve ever know because, i will decide to want it more than what i’m afraid of.

 

i hope you don’t mind but i have another question. Are the problems of life keeping you from the promises of life?

UnknownProblems according to Webster’s are any matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty. 

Promises according to Webster’s are declarations that something will or will not be done, or given. 

“Today” is the greatest day i’ve ever known because i will not let matters of the world involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty keep me from the declarations of God that something will be done or given to me!

Here’s the first thing to know about these two seemingly opposing words. God is involved in both problems and promises.

Problems 1 Corinthians 10:13 “For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear].

imagesPromisesBut God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable andstrong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.

The Bible is the word of God and is powerful and life changing. In 2 Timothy 3:16 God tells me that all Scriptures in the Bible are inspired by God. So if i am dealing with a problem where can i find  the answer? How about Psalm 50:15? God says, “call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”

There’s an old hymn that goes like this. “Standing on the promises I cannot fall, Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call. Resting in my Savior as my all in all, Standing on the promises of God.” That brings me to another question… am i standing on the promises of God or the problems of the world?

images2 Peter 1:4 is one of my favorites. “By means of these He has bestowed on me His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them i may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.” Exceedingly great promises so that i may escape problems.

“Today” is the greatest day i’ve ever know because i will stand on the promises of God. In fact “Today” is the greatest day i’ve ever know is a promise in itself.

 

 

There’s no place like home. Heals click. There’s no place like home. Heals click. There’s no place like home. Heals click, and Dorothy imagesmagically is back in Kansas. That’s not the way it works with, “Today”… is the greatest day, i’ve ever known. It’s not wishful thinking nor is it “name it and claim it.”

In the movie The American President, which i’ve probably seen a dozen times, Michael Douglas gives his “America isn’t easy” speech. Here’s a portion of the speech and then i’ll share my take.

“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.”

“Discipleship isn’t easy. Discipleship is advanced relationship with God. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause the enemy, the world, is gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free choice? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” You want to claim Christianity as being free? Then the symbol of your faith cannot just be showing up at church on Sunday it must be extended as love. The symbol also has to be one of His creation exercising his right to turn their back on God in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your lives. Then you can stand up and sing about being a Disciple of God.”

Unknown“Today”… Is The Greatest Day, I’ve Ever Known isn’t easy.  You’ve gotta want it bad! There will be circumstances that would want you to believe otherwise. There will be people that will cause you to wonder. Even the word says in Matthew 6:34 that, “Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” What makes the Michael Douglas speech different from my version is God. There is nothing more worth while to believe in, to want badly, and fight earnestly for, than a single day in God’s plan for my life.

So again, “How far do you want to grow and mature during the remaining years of your life?” What did you come up with? How you answer that will play a part of whether your day is the greatest day you will ever know or whether is will just be another day in a series of days that just all seem to run together.

“Today” is filled with endless opportunities. “Today” i’ll do my best by filling my mind with things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; by meditating on the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. “Today” my declarations will be “i will” verses “i’m done”.

“Today” i will treat each moment as a gift from God and see the unique tapestry of life that God is preparing for me.

“Today” i will keep it simple.

“Today” i will call forth my Spirit man to lead me and guide me verses my mind, will and emotions.

“Today” i will walk in peace regardless of what is said about me, or to me.

“Today” i will value my time.

“Today” i will effectuate a small change in my life.

“Today” i will find something humorous about myself.

“Today” i will do what others will not.

images-1“Today’s” life lesson. i cannot control everything. No matter how much i meditate on the Word, how much time i spend with God, how many classes i take, how many books i read, so that i do everything “right,” something can, and will, still go wrong. Let me change that. It won’t necessarily still go wrong, but it will still be different than what i expected. That’s life, things seemingly just happen, i cannot control everything no matter how much i might want to or think i can. So why fight it especially with what God says in Isaiah 55:8-11 “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.

In closing let me leave you with a question. How far do you want to grow and mature during the remaining years of your life?

My mind, will and emotions want me to believe that today is different from any other. That, it could be a good day, a bad day or even a really terrible day. my heart and spirit man tell me that today is no different than any other day, that “Today is the greatest day i’ve every known!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTNNBu5kreM

images-3For some time now i have been saying that there are no good days and there are no bad days… just days of grace. At first i added “there are no good days and there are no bad days, just days of grace… some to endure and some to enjoy.” While that seems like life for most of us, i no longer believe that God desires for me to endure a single moment of the life,  circumstances, and including people.

The reason my mind, will and emotions would like for me to wait and see if today is good or bad is because Ann Marie is going through surgery today. In fact by the time this post is read it will probably be all over. i’m posting this prior to the actual time because the results of that surgery have no effect on whether Ann Marie and i declare this day as a good day or a bad day. We determined first thing this morning when we arose around 4:00am that “Today is the greatest day we’ve ever known! Psalm 118:24 “This day belongs to the LordLet’s celebrate and be glad today.”

i make no claim to having mastered this idea that there are no good days nor bad days, just days of grace, but i do take intentional steps and speak intentional words to grow into it in every way conceivable.

My favorite John Maxwell book is called “Today Matters.” It has been a life changing book and i’ve read it at least 6 times and done to course at least 4 other time. Yep… it’s one of my top ten. Malcolm X says that, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” This goes along with my 2013 focus words. i must do today what others will not, so that tomorrow i can do what others can not.images-4

i’ll close with the words of Dr Seuss, “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”

“Today” is the greatest day i have ever known.

 

Deep Enough To Dream!

Posted: February 19, 2015 in Today
Tags: , , , , ,

Before going to bed last night i had to get another 1000 steps in to reach my daily goal. While walking i listened to one of my favorite imagessongs over and over. It’s called Deep Enough To Dream by Chris Rice. i won’t share the whole song as that’s not really what the post is about. The song i believe just set the stage for an incredible experience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy6IU3AzYlY

 

Lazy summer afternoon
Screened in porch and nothin’ to do
I just kicked off my tennis shoes
Slouchin’ in a plastic chair
Rakin’ my fingers through my hair
I close my eyes and I leave them there
And I yawn, and sigh, and slowly fade away

Deep enough to dream in brilliant colors
I have never seen
Deep enough to join a billion people
For a wedding feast
Deep enough to reach out and touch
The face of the One who made me
And oh, the love I feel, and oh the peace
Do I ever have to wake up

i think i found the place where my dream and my reality collided. i must have listened to it 15 times during my walk. While the verses are good the chorus is what i really love. Deep enough to dream in brilliant colors i have never seen! Deep enough to join a billion people for a wedding feast! Deep enough to reach out and touch the face of the one who made me! And oh, the love i feel, and the peace, do i ever have to wake up!

imagesIt must have gotten to my spirit because i had that kind of dream last night.

i was sitting at my desk working on what  i think is my next post. All of a sudden i hear my name being called… “ed.” Then i heard the voice say, “I would like your input on a matter.” “Sure,” came a quick reply even though i’m still a little off guard as to what’s going on. Then the voice says, “I see your writing about “The Greatest Day You’ve Ever Known and the idea that there are no good days or bad days just days of grace.” “Yes” i replied. “Well i have here a selection of days and i would like you to pick what day you would like me to give you tomorrow.” “Seriously?” “Absolutely, which ever one you pick, it’s yours.” Still dreaming but intrigued i am presented with my options.

The first day that could be yours is… You will meet someone who will invite you to come and speak at their church in a far away place. But, Ann Marie can not teach with you and in fact she can not even go with you.

The second day that could be your is… Your day will be filled trials and tribulations, and filled is the key word.

The third day that could be yours is… You have the ability to switch places with anyone you come in contact that day but it will be for the rest of your life and include every detail.

The fourth day that could be yours is… a day where you will be there in one way or another for every person you are doing life together with. All will need your listening ear, probably some council, encouragement, direction, etc, etc, etc,. You will not have a moment of silence.

The fifth day that could be yours is… You will go to the hospital and be with someone very close to you. You will have to wait patiently and you will have to fight your mind, will and emotions for much of the day.

The sixth day that could be yours is… You will not have a day. You will not wake up. You will come and spend eternity with me.

The seventh day that could be yours is… With every though you have, it will come to life in the very next moment.

The voice finished by saying, “The matter is in your hands. What day do you choose?”

Immediately i was reminded of how God came to Solomon while he was sleeping and asked him what he wanted. God is offering me the opportunity to choose my tomorrow! But how do i choose? There are so many implications and so many unknowns. Hummmm?

After what seemed to me like hours, i smiled and told God i had made my decision. my decision is… to leave the choice up to you! You God are the one with plans for me. Plans not to harm me, plans to give me hope. Plans for my future. So i give my choice back to you!

Then the voice said, “ed, you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.

The next thing i know i’m shutting off the alarm and rolling out of bed with the words to my song dancing in my mind. Deep enough to dream in brilliant colors i have never seen! Deep enough to join a billion people for a wedding feast! Deep enough to reach out and touch the face of the one who made me! And oh, the love i feel, and the peace, do i ever have to wake up!

As for what tomorrow holds… well, it will probably have bits and pieces from many of the choices i was given. The things i am taking away from the dream and let me just say, i am not a big dream person, so this is out of my comfort zone, but it’s this “Today” God reassured me of a tomorrow and that tomorrow when i call on Him He will hear and heed my call. I guess that removes the likely hood of choice number six.