January 31, 2013

Where Did My Day Go? 4 Steps For Daily Fulfillment

Don’t you hate the days when you come home after working 8 – 12 grueling hours & when you ask yourself “What did I even do today?” you arrive at the ever frustrating answer, “I don’t know, but I know I worked hard.” I have been there way too much for my liking, but thank God for change! Let me give you 4 easy steps to turn the dreadful question, “Where did my day go?” into a question of great fulfillment.

Step 1: 
Have a Plan
It is easy to go throughout the day & be pulled from one thing to another without even wanting too. The reality is that your day will do exactly what you want it to do. You have to be intentional to focus for your day, not expect your day is going to focus for you. Make a plan for your next day before you go to bed or as soon as you wake up. Your minutes are soldiers & you are the general, where are you directing them?

Step 2: 
Implement Your Plan
Implementation can be one of the easiest things to theorize & hardest to practice, but you have to do it! A great plan is meaningless if you don’t follow through. Prepare your heart & mind to make intentional decisions to stick to your plan throughout the day. You can’t do everything, know everything, or connect with everybody. Focus on your plan, put it into action; step by step, piece by piece, & second by second. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Step 3: 
Pause to Reflect
Push the pause button. Set specific moments throughout the day to reflect on the progress you are making. This will allow you to reevaluate your plan for the rest of your day. Are you making the progress you wanted? Do you need to rearrange your schedule to ensure your priorities are being accomplished? Move things accordingly.

Step 4: 
Remember, God is in Control
Breathe. While it is true that, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as sure as haste leads to poverty,” (Proverbs 21:5), it is also true that, “Many are the plans of a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails,” (Proverbs 19:2). Ultimately you can rest in the reality that God is in control of your day, even when you feel like you aren’t. Things will come up, interruptions & distractions will try to knock you off track. Don’t freak out, just refocus your heart & mind on God’s rule over your day & refocus on your plan.

You don't have to leave work frustrated, go to bed anxious, or wake up dreading another day. Take control of your day, minutes, & seconds. It's time for greater fulfillment through intentional daily living.

Let’s Do This Together:
What is the hardest part of making a plan for your day, week, month, or year & sticking to it? How can you change that today?

January 30, 2013

Kicking Discouragement: Getting Back On Track

Have you ever been tempted to not set any goals to shoot for because of the discouragement that came from past failures? Yesterday, I was speaking with my barber & she shared with me how this year her resolution was to have no resolutions because she was tired of making resolutions & then being discouraged when she quickly broke them. While I could easily relate, my heart saddened at the power of her discouragement.

Discouragement is one of our greatest enemies;

it can attack us swiftly or slowly. Discouragement comes to rob you of your joy, your strength, & your will to fight. The word literally means: to remove courage, to strip away boldness, to take away the spirit or heart, or to deprive of hope. 

Discouragement can be a powerful thing, but it is not unstoppable. It is like a drug that suppresses passion & depresses our hopes. When we slip we need to learn to kick discouragement & get right back on track.

In one of my favorite movies, “We Are Marshall,” there is a scene where the new head coach for Marshall University is trying to persuade the sole surviving facility from the coaching staff to come back & help him keep the football program going after a tragic plane crash earlier that year that killed around 100 players, coaches, & fans. The coach was so discouraged & felt so hopeless because of the plan crash that he wanted to quit, shut down the program, & live a different life. While they were talking the head coach saw a train coming in the distance & asked, “Isn’t that the train that slipped off the track a couple years ago?” “Yes,” the other coach replied. “It’s back on track,” the head coach said as he walked away.

What made the story so powerful was that the new head coach wasn’t so focused on a ‘winning’ record as he was showing up & putting a team on the field. Sometimes showing up is the greatest victory! If you get knocked off track choose to immediately get back on. You can’t do anything about yesterday, but you have full control over the choices you make today.

Just because your train may have slipped off track does not mean you have to let it stay off track. If you get knocked off track get back on. It really is as simple as that. Yes, you may have to push through discouragement, hopelessness, or feelings of failure, but when God is with you you have all you need to push forward.

Remember what He said to Joshua before he was stepped into a place he had never been? “Be strong & courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be dismayed. For I am the Lord your God & will be with you everywhere you go,” (Joshua 1:8-9). Our greatest confidence & weapon against discouragement is the promise of God’s presence. Go today in the confidence that as you stay on track or get back on track the Lord is with you.

Let’s Do This Together
In what areas of your life is it easy to get discouraged when you get knocked off track? How can you look to God’s presence for a greater sense of courage?

January 26, 2013

Shut Your Wife's Mouth

Shut your wife’s mouth and die. Husbands, the minute you choose to silence the voice of your wife you have intentionally cut of one of the greatest sources of God given wisdom, discernment, support, love, & instruction for your life. I know we like to think we know everything & we got it all figured out, but if we were to be completely real with ourselves we are often clueless.

I remember driving in the car with my wife one time & she asked, “Babe, are you lost?” I confidently responded, “No, I’m just trying to figure out where to go.” Aren’t many of us like this? For whatever reason we believe that knowing what to do, knowing where to go, knowing what to say, & knowing how to solve the problem in every situation makes us a man; it doesn’t.

A true man & husband knows how to exalt his wife, draw the greatness of God out of her, & allow her to step into her place as a ‘rescuer.’ Yes rescuer. “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him,” (Genesis 2:18). The literal translation of the word “helper” is rescuer. And, if we were to be completely honest, most of us husbands need to be rescued from foolish words we speak, hasty promises we make, the consequences of our irresponsibility, & from being overwhelmed with such a powerful call of God on our marriage – we were never meant to do it alone.

Husbands, I want to empower you to thrive in your marriage. And, I want to spare you from missing out on so many awesome blessings in your marriage. Let my words sink deep into your heart & spur you on towards unlocking the greatness of God in your wife.

Husbands, your voice is not the only voice that matters in your marriage. Your wife has a voice. God has given it to her. Listen to her. Learn how to listen to Him through her. Pray that her voice would be so in tuned with His that you can’t tell the difference.

Stop saying, “She just nags me… She never encourages me… She always complains… She only brings out the bad stuff…” Take you place as a husband & pull the greatness of God out of her. “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue,” (Proverbs 31:26). Let us be husbands who empower our wives to take their place & radiate with the glory of God.

Let’s Do This Together
Where have you written off the voice of your wife because it has become too ‘familiar’? How do you need to shift your heart in order to empower your wife enter into God’s greatness for her life & your marriage?

January 25, 2013

28 Year Old Babies #1

As a husband I have been constantly slapped in the face with my immaturity & my boyishness.

There have been so many times where I have sat in bed & prayed, “God, how come nobody taught me this? How come I can’t have my needs met first? Why is it that I need to be so selfless?” However, I can hear God responding, “It’s time to grow up. It’s time to be a man.” Mature adults are responsible, selfless, sacrificial, hardworking, vision-oriented, & can put of temporary pleasure for long term gain.

Growing up is definitely not an easy thing, especially with the age of “adulthood” in America being pushed back later & later. You know, they say people aren’t really entering into adulthood until their late twenties, early thirties? That is just crazy!

Our culture is perpetuating a lifestyle of immaturity & people are accepting it; they want it that way. Immaturity can be fun for a season, but it is devastating as a lifestyle. Nobody wants to baby a 28 year old man; not attractive. However, this is often what happens when we are meant to step into adulthood, but are constantly striving to have our pleasures met before being responsible.

We’re 28 year old babies when we are constantly shucking our responsibilities, trying to work as ‘few’ hours as possible so we can have more ‘play’ time. We’re 28 year old babies when we are constantly looking to our parents to pay for our bills while we use our money to ‘hang out’, ‘party,’ or ‘date.’ How fake is that? How you going to have your parents paying your bills & then you take some girl out & act like you have money; that is teenage stuff.

Adulthood is not an age thing, 
it is a maturity thing. 

I have met some very mature 22 year-old adults & I have also met some 40 year old boys. Trust me, adulthood does not have to be boring; it is actually tons of fun! However, when we allow the fun of it to overtake the responsibility of it then we enter back into the realm of childhood. I don’t know about you, but I want to live as a mature adult, one that my wife, family, friends, colleagues, & God can say, “That is a grown man. He is a true example of what a man should look like.”

Let’s Do This Together:
Would you like to date or marry someone who was your age, but still thought like a child? Where in your life are you still thinking like a child & fighting adulthood?

January 24, 2013

Saints & Sinners

I once heard someone say, “Don’t label me a saint so you can hold me to a standard that you believe that you can’t or are not called to live up too.” Isn’t it true that in our hearts we tend to label people saints who we look up to in the faith? Most often we do this because we believe they are more holy than us, more powerful than us, or closer to God than us. However, when we do this we tend to elevate them, but lower our view of ourselves to point of labeling ourselves sinners.

However, give me one passage in the Bible where God identifies His children in Christ as sinners; sinning does not make you a sinner. Who you are is not defined by what you do, it is defined by who God says you are. Though our actions are meant to be an overflow of our identity, our actions ultimately don't dictate our identity, God's word does.

Hebrews 10:14 identifies believers as having been "forever made perfect" through the sacrifice of Jesus. This is past tense, already done (made), and 'forever' established. Yes we are still 'being made holy,' being set apart in our daily walk through the power of the Holy Spirit, but this does not nullify the truth that by Christ's “one offering He forever made perfect those who are being made holy.” Only God has the right to identify us, for that is the right of the Father. 

As long as believers identify themselves as sinners they forfeit the reality, full inheritance, & authority they have as forgiven, redeemed, & more than conquering sons. Just because I sin I am not a sinner (identity). That does not mean I will never sin, but partaking of the sin nature as a saint does not identify me as a sinner. It just means that I am a son of God, a saint, who sins; in that moment I am acting outside of my true identity. But as long as I label myself a sinner I will continue to live that way because my actions will always follow my view of myself. 

Our sin can never override the identity that God speaks over us. One of the major reasons the body of Christ is not walking as victoriously as it should is because believers have knowingly & unknowingly identified themselves as things that God has never said they are. Many have forfeited their authority & power in Christ over sin because they have believed false identifies that the enemy has fed them. Once we enter into Christ through faith our identity is never determined by what we have done or will do, it is always determined by what God says of us.

Let’s Do This Together
Do you see yourself as a Saint or a Sinner? What labels have you given yourself or have others given you that keep you in a low view of yourself? What is God’s truth of you pertaining to those things?

January 22, 2013

Accomplishing Your Goals #2: A Badge of Honor

If I have learned anything from my mother & father it is that as their child I am unconditionally loved & they will dispose of me. I shared in Accomplishing Your Goals #1 how my experiences of failure became springboards for growth because of how my father responded. Then I posed the question, if this happens naturally, how much more spiritually?

John tells us that whoever believes in Jesus becomes born of God (John 1:12). Spiritually they have the legal right to call God their Father & they have the legal right to be called a child of God; they have been adopted into His family & will never know the absence of His presence again (Romans 8:15, Matthew 28:20). As a child of God you have to know that Jesus has promised that He would not leave you as an orphan, but send His Spirit to be with you forever! (John 14:5-18).

One question that I am constantly asking myself is, “If I can try anything in the natural, fail, but still be unconditionally loved & never disposed of then why would I think my heavenly Father would stop loving me or dispose of me if I fail?” I have to constantly train my soul (mind, will, & emotions) to come in line with the reality that as a son I can never fail. My spirit is always alive in God, He calls His children more than a conquerors (Romans 8:37). I have to train my soul to come in line with the truth, with the spiritual reality every child of God should be experiencing – the conquering experience.
Yes, I may fail at a particular task, but I can never fail ultimately – the work that God begins in His children, He always ensures its completion (Philippians 1:6). As a son, every temporal failure is a stepping stone for greatness! As I am focusing on & pursuing the dreams that God has placed in my heart I can be fully confident that failure will never define me.

Failure will never be a label I wear with shame; rather it is going to be a badge of honor. A badge that will always remind me of the reality that as a son I can’t fail, I can only grow, learn, & overcome! When we live in the reality that we cannot fail, there is no limit to the dreams we can pursue & no fear to hold us back! Let this be a year where you dream dreams you never dared to dream & you pursue things you have never dared to pursue.
Let’s Do This Together
Where in your life have you felt like a failure? What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? How many more dreams would you pursue?

January 20, 2013

The Power of Expectation

Growing up, birthdays were some of the greatest times of the year for me. I loved wakening up in the morning with the expectation that something awesome was going to happen that day. I remember asking my parents for gifts, to throw me a birthday party, or to make me fried chicken. The feeling of anticipation to experience what they were preparing was always a such a thrill. I imagine David feeling the same ways when he wrote, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3).
You see, expectation positions your heart in a vulnerable way. I have heard people say, “I just choose not to expect things from God or people so that I don’t feel let down when things don’t happen.” What a sad way to live. You can’t allow past let downs keep you from opening your heart to the awesome things that God has in store for you. When you do this you position your heart in a way that may cause you to miss out on what He has. With a closed heart, even if He were to drop something in your lap you may not recognize it.

Expectation also guards us from apathy. When people have allowed their heart to become apathetic they are no longer motivated, excited, or hoping for greater things. Expectation always keeps you on your toes. It allows you to be fully satisfied with all that God has blessed you with, but eagerly waiting for more. When you have a heart of expectation, you know that your Father always wants to give more!

Finally, expectation prepares your heart to receive from God. Your eyes are peeled, heart wide open, & hands out ready to receive what He gives you. True expectation also does not just expect to receive from God, but it prepares to receive from God & allow it to overflow into the lives of others; it is an action word. Expectation will always move us into godly action. Even as we wait for the fulfillment of our expectation, we are moving towards great things! It is as the famous missionary William Carey said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.”

Let’s Do This Together:
In what areas of your life have your lost expectation for God to move? How has this affected your life? What is one thing that you are expecting God to do in your life & what are you attempting as you wait for it to be fulfilled?

January 19, 2013

Accomplishing Your Goals #1: Failure Is Not Final

Today I’m continuing on a statement I made earlier this week in my post Focus On Your Goals #1: It’s A Brain Game. I wrote, “When you are pursuing a goal failing is not the hardest part of the process. The hardest part of the process is training your mind to stay focused on the goal, training your heart to have resolve, & training your spirit to know that a son can never fail. When the mind, heart, & spirit are intact defeat will never be known & victory is most assuredly yours.” We’re going to finish up this six part series in the next two posts by focusing on training your spirit to know that a son can never fail.

Now this may seem contrary to the statement I wrote in Focus On Your Goals #2: Staying On Track, “Failure is not an option, it is a reality.” In a short term sense this is true. However, in the ultimate sense, when you know that you are a son then failure is never final & it is never fatal. You are not a failure just because you fail. 

Growing up I played sports; I was good & I was confident. When reminiscing on my athletic experience there is one foundational component to my confidence that rises above the rest, the affirmation of my father, Chon F. Sevier. There were numerous games on the line where I needed a clutch hit, had to come in to pitch & close the game, or when I was down some points in a wrestling match & had a short time to come back. Most often than not I was successful during these times, but there were a couple of times I failed.

I remember one championship game in the all-stars where I was asked to come in to close a game & I blew a lead. Our team was eliminated & I was devastated. But, I remember my fathering coming alongside of me & telling me that he was so proud of me. I felt horrible for losing the game, but from that moment on I was no longer afraid to fail.

There was another time in my first year of wrestling when I was going up against a guy who was extremely good & had been wrestling for years. I was actually beating the guy & it would have been a huge upset, but I made a rookie mistake, he did a reverse, & he beat me by a couple of points. Again, I was devastated & my coach blew up on me, but my father pulled me aside & affirmed me in how proud he was of me, how great I did, & how much I was growing as a wrestler; that moment became a catalyst for me to work harder, reach higher, & pursue greater things.

Those moments have been forever burned into my heart, mind, emotions, & spirit. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about me or how many times I seem to fail, my father is proud of me. These experiences of failure have become a springboard of growth, learning, & confidence. A true father will never give up on his son or daughter & his son or daughter will never be seen as a failure in the eyes of his or her father. If this is true naturally, how much more spiritually?

Let’s Do This Together:
How has the affirmation of your father or lack of affected your pursuit of your goals? Where in your life have you felt like a failure, how have you responded?

January 18, 2013

Grown Men Wanted

Marriage is one of the most powerful things that exists in this world. It is also one of the most mysterious. It reveals things in you for both the better and the worst. After being married for 2 ½ years I have been confronted with my own immaturity,  selfishness, unwillingness to sacrifice, & the little boy in me that wants his needs met before he does anything for anybody. Marriage has shown me how much growing as a man I need; there are too many little boys trying to wear grown man pants.

Over the last couple months I have been challenged by God to become a husband who is a grown man. Grown man? That’s such a mystery in our culture. What makes a grown man? When does a man become grown? Does being married make me a grown man?

Grown men are needed more than ever in our day & age. We need them to be husbands, fathers, friends, & leaders. A man is not a grown man because of age, title, offspring, job, resources, or physical strength. A man is a grown man when he can model the life of Jesus Christ to all around Him.

When the selflessness of Christ overtakes a man he enters into a deeper revelation of manhood. When the unconditional love of Jesus flows from a man then he takes a step into manhood. When the sense of responsibility that Jesus has for His church fills a man for his family, friends, wife, & kids then a man begins tasting manhood. Being a grown man is not an age thing, it is a heart thing, mind thing, emotional thing, spiritual thing, & living thing.

Grown men don’t seek to have their needs met by the people around them before they seek to meet those peoples’ needs. A grown man knows how to go to the Father on behalf of his friends, family, wife, kids, church, & community. He takes responsibility to provide for his family emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, & resourcefully, the way God takes responsibility in providing for His children. And, a grown man knows how to secure those around him, affirming them, calling out destiny in them, standing when they can’t, & declaring over them who they are even when they don’t see it.

I have heard many lament because they don’t believe there are many models out there for them. Or, they lament because maybe they have seen a man model what it means to be a good worker, but not a good husband or father. Grown manhood pervades every area of life & just because you haven’t seen it modeled right before you does not mean you are not responsible to set a new pattern for those following you. You want to see a grown man, look at Jesus & the way He interacts with His church; that is grown man status. Let Him be your model.

Let’s Do This Together:

Men – How have you been challenge to mature into manhood in the last month? What do you think has hindered you from maturing in the past?

Women – How would your life be different if the men around you where to live as grown men?

January 17, 2013

When You Shouldn't Have Been Born

My life is good. 28 years ago today God allowed me to take my first fresh breath of His air. Doctors told my mom numerous times that she should abort me because it would be dangerous to have me. She was constantly sick while I was in her womb. There were tons of complications. They even told her that both she & I could die if she went through with the pregnancy.

According to doctors & according to the enemy I was not supposed to be born. But how many of you know that God loves a challenge? What is “not supposed to be” in the world is no match for God’s “I purposed it.”

As I reflect on the last 28 years of my life there have three truths that have been pillars for me: God is in control, He is good, & He loves me. The prophet Isaiah tells us of Jesus that, “To the increase of his government & peace there will be no end,” (Isaiah 9:6). God really is in control; there is nothing that can happen outside of His governance. It doesn’t matter how things seem to look, there is no power, authority, dominion or government that is above Jesus rule.

Therefore, I may not always understand what I am going through. I may not always understand why I am going through it. The situations may be hard & the circumstances may even be hurtful, but God will ultimately work it for my good (Romans 8:28). His thoughts & plans for me are always good (Jeremiah 29:11). Even the things the enemy means for evil, God can & will turn it out for my good (Genesis 50:20). He has the power to work it for my good & He wants to work it for my good!

Finally, I can trust that God will work things out for my good, not just because He is in control & He is good, but because He loves me. How great is the love that God has lavished on me that He calls me a son? (1 John 3:1). He loved me enough to send His Son Jesus on the cross for me (John 3:16). This is something that my natural father, Chon F. Sevier, has helped me to understand so much. The love of a father is unconditional, sacrificial, selfless, affirming, & never ending. God’s love for me never fails.

A life that was not ‘supposed’ to happen has happened & it is making things happen in this world. My life is good & so is yours. No matter where you are at in your life today God can work it out for good if you will look to Him. He loves you, wants to work for your good, & He has the power to do it.

If you still don’t believe me, check out this video below about Nick Vujicic (http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org). A man with no arms & no feet; who, according to the world was not ‘supposed’ to have a good life. He believed different…

Happy birthday to me :)

Let’s Do This Together:
What is one specific way your life would be different if you truly believed God was in control, He wants to work for your good, & He loves you?

January 16, 2013

Pursuing Your Goals #2: When You Don't Feel It

In order to develop resolve in your heart you have to begin to change some deeply impressed emotional & mental patterns that have previously dictated your life. Whatever you have allowed to become a pattern in your life has also become an expectation. When the going gets tough & your thoughts have caused you to feel like you need to quick, whatever you have consistently done in those situations has directly or indirectly become an expectation for your life. Your thoughts will always trigger your emotions & when you allow your emotions to dictate where you are going to go, you most often get into trouble; children are led by their emotions, not mature adults.

Jeremiah, the Old Testament prophet, tells us that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The reality is that our emotions often lie to us. As a result, we sell ourselves short because we don’t feel like we can continue. We submit to our emotions & they become our masters. The minute you don’t do something because you don’t feel like it, even though you know you need to do it, you have allowed your emotions to become your master.

When you set your mind to waking up, the alarm clock goes off, & your eyes fight to open, the first things that you say to yourself is, “I don’t feel like getting up.” You think you don’t want to get up & you feel like you don’t want to get up. Most often people stop there. That is the time to push. Do what you need to do because you have resolved to do it. When you don’t feel it, do it anyway!

If you live only by your initial feelings you will never accomplish the dreams & goals God has placed in your heart. If first place Olympic runners stopped whenever they ‘felt’ tired they would never cross the finish line. If world renowned authors stopped whenever their hands ‘felt’ weak they would never have finished a book. If Nelson Mandela would have given up his fight for equality when he ‘felt’ fear then his people would still be polarized. If Jesus quit when he ‘felt’ pain & rejection humanity would still be lost. You have to train your heart to have resolve.

You have to learn how to “set your heart on things above,” (Colossians 3:1); this means you have to make an intentional choice to choose against your emotions at times. You have to train your heart to have resolve by constantly reminding yourself of the goals & plans that God has placed before you. You have to learn to speak to your heart & say, “I know you are feeling like quitting, but there is no turning back,” or “I know you are feeling left out because you can’t go out with everyone right now since you’re on a budget, but you have determined to be debt free! No turning back.”

When pursuing your goals, resolve must be the position of your heart. Without a heart of resolve you will continually fall into the old patterns, ways of thinking, & emotional pits that have kept you where you are up to this point. It is time to train your heart to have resolve.

Let’s Do This Together:
In what one area have you allowed an old emotional pattern to become an expectation for your life? What is one specific way to train your heart to have resolve in order to combat that old pattern?

January 15, 2013

Pursuing Your Goals #1: Training Your Heart

I started this series with the statement, “When you are pursuing a goal failing is not the hardest part of the process. The hardest part of the process is training your mind to stay focused on the goal, training your heart to have resolve, & training your spirit to know that a son can never fail. When the mind, heart, & spirit are intact defeat will never be known & victory is most assuredly yours.” Today we’re going to look at the heart.

One awesome thing about motivational speakers, coaches, teachers, & leaders is that they know how to get your blood boiling; they are movers, movers of things & people. It is there job to learn how to train the heart of a person. That’s right, train the heart.

When we think about pursuing goals & moving forward in a certain direction we don’t often take into account the magnitude of the heart’s affect on the pursuit. Your heart is the seat of your emotions, affections, passions, & desires. And, as you begin to pursue things you have never pursued it is absolutely necessary to have a heart that has resolve. However, resolve in your heart does not just happen; you must train your heart to have resolve.

Resolve is an unwavering determination; resolve says, “I’ve made my decision & I refuse to change it!” When we start something new it is very easy to feel emotionally excited about it. Our hearts are exuberant. We can see the possibility of a new way of life, we can see more money in our bank account, we can see our bodies looking different, or we can see ourselves in that job we always wanted.

However, when our feet hit the hard cold pavement of the road that leads us there & reality sets in, all of the sudden we’re not so excited anymore. When the alarm clock goes off in the morning, “what happened to all that joy?” When I have to sacrifice not going out with friends over & over so I could save money, “what happened to all that excitement?” When I have to actually plan out a schedule for my day, manage my time, & make hard decisions, “what happen to all those warm feelings that came when I thought about a new way of life?”
Resolve confronts those emotions in the greatest sense. When emotions say, “I don’t feel like getting up.” Resolve answers, “I don’t care what you feel like. You are going to do it because you need it.” When emotions say, “I really feel like yelling at this person.” Resolve answers, “You will control yourself because you’re only going to cause more hurt & create greater distance. Remember, you said you want to be closer to this person.” When emotions say, “I feel like this is too hard.” Resolve answers, “It is hard, it won’t be easy, it does hurt, but the way you were living before is only going to keep you where you’re at. No turning back!”

Let’s Do This Together:
What goals have you been excited about pursuing this year, but when you started moving towards them feelings seemed to say the opposite? How have you responded?

January 14, 2013

Focus On Your Goals#2: Staying On Track

As I shared in the previous blog, when you are pursuing a goal failing is not the hardest part of the process. The hardest part of the process is training your mind to stay focused on the goal… As you learn to train your mind you are going to be confronted with wandering thoughts, distractions, discouragement, old thought patterns,  & negative ways of thinking. However, you have a choice of how you respond to these things!

If you find your mind falling prey to these wanderings & have thoughts like, “This is how I have always thought,” don’t get discouraged. Your mind CAN be renewed & refocused. That is why Paul encourages his readers to “be transformed by the renewing of their mind,” (Romans 12:2).

Renewing means starting again; to make like new. When you start towards a goal, but get deterred, start again! Seems simple right, seems like common sense right? Well, it really isn’t common because most people, when they get stuck in a mental rut or get derailed, believe the lie that they can’t get back on track. But, YOU CAN!

It is at the point of derailment that most people say, “I’m just a failure. Every time I start towards the goal I fail & I’m tired of feeling like a failure.” I’m sure you have heard the inspirational quote, “Failure is not an option.” Let me just keep it real, failure is not an option, it is a reality! The reality is that as you are doing things you have never done, thinking ways you have never thought, & pursuing things you have never pursued, failure is part of the process. But, just because you fail does not make you a failure! You need to learn how to see failure as a stepping stone, building block, &  teacher. 

It’s your greatest failures that can often lead you to your greatest successes.

If you fail, get back up! It’s time to “prepare your mind for action,” (1 Peter 1:13). No more excuse about how you can’t think different. This is a flat out lie & victim mentality. You have to train your mind with the truth, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Many are waiting for Jesus to come down with a mystical wand & endow them with strength by striking them with the wand. Wake up call, He gave you the strength the minute you received Him into your life & were filled with His Spirit. No more waiting for more power to think different, you have the power. Start today! And, no more allowing the fear of failure to hold you back! Whether it is starting a new business, getting in shape, being a better spouse, doing your homework, or growing in your relationship with God; it’s time to train your mind to stay focused on the goals set before you.

Let’s Do This Together:
Take a moment to share some of the thoughts that can distract, derail, or discourage you & some of the failures that have kept you from moving forward? What are you doing to confront these ways of thinking &  getting back on track?

January 12, 2013

Focus On Your Goals #1: It’s a Brain Game

When you are pursuing a goal failing is not the hardest part of the process. The hardest part of the process is training your mind to stay focused on the goal, training your heart to have resolve, & training your spirit to know that a son can never fail. When the mind, heart, & spirit are intact defeat will never be known & victory is most assuredly yours. Let’s talk about the mind for a second.

Your mind is either your greatest asset or enemy. It has been said by Navy Seals that the average human being only uses 20% of his or her body capacity because as soon as the person’s mind tells him or her it is time to stop the person usually stops. When you are pushing past a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual barrier, it will hurt! This is natural. But just because it hurts does not mean you don’t have the capacity to go farther. You’ve heard the mantra, “No pain, no gain!”

When you’re pursuing a goal you have to keep the end result in mind. If you are doing something you never done you will, at least at one point in the process, want to quit. However, the desire to quit is not quitting! Choosing to allow yourself to be mentally taken out of the game is quitting because your emotions & body will follow your thoughts. Sometimes you need to talk back to your mind & say, “Shut up! You’re going to think what I command you to think & my body is going to do what I command it to do!”

Have you ever felt powerless to change your thoughts? Most often people feel as if they cannot control their thoughts; they feel that whatever thoughts come in their minds they have to just accept them. Let me encourage you, you are not powerless to change your thoughts. You don’t need to accept everything that finds its way into your mind.

Paul tells Christians to, “Set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-2). We have to learn how to intentionally set our mind on the right things. Why? Because our mind wanders, gets distracted, & can be easily deterred.

What are some thoughts that have kept you from focusing on your goals or have knocked you off track?

Please take a moment to share & let’s walk this journey together. We’re going to pursue great things this year & not settle for anything less.

January 11, 2013

Thank God It's Friday

Thank God it’s Friday! You feel me? It’s so easy to go into our Fridays excited about the weekend, exuberant that the week is over, but already dreading Monday. As a result, it leads us to go into our Friday half-hearted. You know the kind of thoughts that could flow through your mind, “I’m just going to do what I got to do today to get by… I need my energy for this weekend… It’s Friday, I’m not working hard… I gave it my all the last four days, I’m clocking out early & they better not saying anything about it.” Anybody? Or, is it just me that has had these crazy thoughts?

Today, choose to make your Friday great. It is not how you start, it is how you finish! I’m sure you’re familiar with the story of the Tortoise & the Hare (Turtle & Rabbit). Starting strong is only the first step, it is finishing strong that matters. You don’t work hard because you are trying to please somebody. You don’t work hard because you need to prove anything to anybody. And, you don’t work hard because you are trying to become somebody. You work hard & give your best because that is who you are, no matter where you are, no matter who is around you, & no matter what you are doing.

How are you going to make your Friday great? How are you going to add value to the lives of your family, co-workers, or employer? You may be saying, “Well they never add value to my life! They didn’t do anything for me this week.” Perhaps what you are saying is true, but that is not the point. Who you are is not based upon what others have or have not done. You are setting a standard of value for your life & choosing to add value to the lives of others, regardless if they deserve it or not.

So I ask again, how are you going to make your Friday great? What is one thing that you could do today to finish strong? What is one thing that you could do today to add value to the life of someone else?

Please take a moment to share. I would love to hear your thoughts about how you are going to make your Friday great, finish strong, & add value to the life of someone around you. 

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. 
It is the Lord Christ you are serving." 
(Colossians 2:23-24)

January 8, 2013

Make Yourself Indispensable

As a worker, never settle for just doing what is required of you, be a builder. Constantly think about how you can make your job better, how you can grow it, & how you can multiply it far beyond what it could be. Add value to what you do.

Your boss should have no question of why you should stay on the team. Your boss should cringe at the thought of having to let you go. When you’re a builder your boss will see you as an INDISPENSABLE asset to the organization. 

Start today by thinking of 3 ways you can add value to your organization & then do them.