February 28, 2017

I was flipping through a magazine and came upon these words in an advertisement, “Act with confidence.” Napoleon Hill says it is not enough to act with confidence, we must practice it. For many people confidence does not come naturally, it is something we must be exercising, just like a muscle, or its strength and ability will be lost. Confidence is very closely related to faith. We are called to live our lives with a confidence which is rooted in our relationship with Jesus. The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:12, “In him [Christ] and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” This is one reason why it is important to say YES to the relationship with Jesus.

Fear will erode confidence. It will bring your progress in life to a grinding halt very quickly if you do not eliminate it from your life. Napoleon Hill wrote in his book, “The Law of Success” these words. “Where fear controls, noteworthy achievement becomes an impossibility, a fact that brings to mind the definition of fear, as stated by a great philosopher: ‘Fear is the dungeon of the mind into which it runs and hides and seeks seclusion. Fear brings on superstition, and superstition is the dagger with which hypocrisy assassinates the soul.’”

When we know the value of developing confidence and rejecting fear, why do we so often default to fear? Could it be we would be wise to consider what or who we are placing our confidence in? If the source of our confidence is grounded on a shaky foundation we just might find ourselves vulnerable to fear if the foundation is tested. The author of the Book of Hebrews suggests we “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

I would ask you to consider that you act with confidence, practice confidence, and live with confidence on the basis of what Hebrews 13:6 declares, “We say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’”

February 27, 2017

What is it you know and do? What is it, if you shared from your knowledge and experience and others followed your direction they would not only benefit from, but save years of trial and error getting to where you are in life? What if you stepped out in faith and courage and chose from an intention of love to do just that? How would you feel? How would others feel about themselves if they followed through and were the recipients of what you had to offer them?

You have been gifted and graced exactly what you need to fulfill your destiny and purpose on this earth, if you if simply follow through and be who you were created to be. You have influence and the ability to positively empower others to become the best version of themselves and impact this world powerfully for the next generation. This will only happen when you make a decision to become such a person.

Your life experiences and story provide you with a unique perspective and insights no one else possesses. These open the door for you to present what you know and do in a way no one else can. No matter how many others may be in the world seeking to share similar thoughts and ideas, your uniqueness is exactly what will reach and benefit a number of people who need to hear from you and you alone. You are their hope to the achievement of their goals and dreams. Your life has purpose and meaning. Don’t “bail” on your self, or others who are counting on you.

Jesus set an example in this process for us. John records His words for us in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus makes seven “I am” statements which reveal what He knows and what He did.
1. John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
2. John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
3. John 10:9, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.”
4. John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
5. John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies”
6. John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
7. John 15:1, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”

Jesus was willing to demonstrate not only through His words, but through His actions what it was He knew and did. Those who followed Him reaped the benefits of what He had to offer. Years later the Apostle John would write in 1 John 1:5-7, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. {6} If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. {7} But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

How will you respond to impact the lives of others? Your greatest strength is what you know and do?

February 26, 2017

The answer is right there before your eyes if you are willing to acknowledge its presence. Your willingness to be in the moment will allow a sense of awareness to begin to permeate your mind and heart. When you achieve that level of insight, there is an internal shift that begins to transform your perception of yourself and how you relate to others. The potentiality of a feeling of awesomeness will begin to well up within you as you sense you are loved and important to someone.

Now there comes a realization, for things to progress you must be willing to activate the internal switches in a way which will allow you to take action to bring forth the deep longings of your heart and draw another person into your life. In the midst of the challenge of showing your vulnerability, you provide the possibility of untold blessing when you open you heart to someone. Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, ” ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Only when you accept the possibility of the achievement of the relationship you always dreamed about, can there truly be an amazing and satisfying solution to the piece that has been missing from your life previously.

There is a Scripture verse that many have heard for a long time, but its power has been lost in its familiarity. This does not however diminish its truth when we claim it for ourselves. The words of Jesus are recorded for us in John 3:16. It reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The acknowledgement of the application of this verse to our lives, activates an inner awareness that such love can achieve a lasting and fulfilling relationship which allows others in and provides the opportunity of application to yourself also.

Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’” (Luke 10:27).

I encourage you to say YES to the relationship with Jesus, others and yourself.

February 25, 2017

Have you ever met someone who can always find dozens of reasons why something can’t or shouldn’t be done and very few why it could or should be done? Dr. David Scwartz in his book, “The Magic of Thinking Big” devotes a chapter to what he titled, “Cure Yourself of Excusitus, the Failure Disease.” Napoleon Hill said this about such a person, “The habitual procrastinator is always an expert creator of alibis.”

For many years I was such a can’t or shouldn’t be done type of person. I could assess and identify a half dozen or more reasons why it was impossible, almost instantaneously. I never saw this as a negative, but rather as a time and effort saving process. If it can’t be done, don’t waste your time trying. My blind spot was in the fact, the barriers I identified stopped me from seeing any of the alternatives and possibilities why it could or should be done. It was simply an easy way of avoiding a challenge. It was also the path to lost opportunities.

What is often left unidentified when we chose to live from such a negative place is, we are giving up the opportunity to express faith and Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Without faith we never place ourselves in a position to receive the rewards of successful completion of that for which we reached out to achieve.

Napoleon Hill writes in his book, “The Positive Action Plan,” “It is far easier to rationalize that it’s too difficult, too expensive, or too time-consuming than to accept the idea that if we are willing to work hard enough, smart enough, and long enough we can accomplish anything.

When we come to the realization we are 100% responsible for the attitudes we demonstrate, the words we say, the beliefs we hold and the thoughts we deliberately think, we open the door to the possibility we can become more positive in how we live our life. Such a decision will draw people towards us, rather than drive them away. The result, we are will not be alone, but will find others willing to draw alongside us and work with us to achieve a common goal and good.

February 24, 2017

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of our response to things that happen as a result of our choices. A month or so ago my mom had her main water line to her house replaced in her almost 70 year old house. The water pressure into the houses of the subdivision she lives in all have diminished water pressure due to the age and corrosion build up in the lines.

Recently the hot water pipe under the bathroom sink literally blew out as a result of the increased pressure with the new water line. It took 20 minutes to get the water shut off so the basement ended up flooded.

My wife went to help with the clean up since I was in Los Angeles at the time. During the removal of damaged carpet an expensive neckless I had lost about three years ago was found under one of the beds. Always be on the look out for the good that will come your way, even when something unexpected takes place.

I am not sure it was an even trade against the damage that was done, but it did provide an opportunity to see the good that came as a result of the consequences of a previous choice. Was the updating of the water line a good decision? Absolutely! It was the failure to consider what the outcomes might be when this action was taken that resulted in a burst pipe. Having the inside pipes checked would have been a wise action to have prevented what did take place. It would be a good thing to consider paying careful attention to the details which make up our lives. This is true in every area of our life, including the spiritual. We read in Hebrews 2:1, “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Inattention and unawareness to what is happening in our life do have consequences. The Apostle Paul warns in 1 Thessalonians 5:6, “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.”

Take the time to consider where your choices may be taking you so you can take action that will move you in the direction you want to go.