What does courage look like in your life? How can you live more courageously in a world filled with apathy and indifference? Do you care? Does it even matter to you? Are you a person who goes along to get along? According to thefreedictionary.com this means, “To conform to general expectations so as not to disrupt or endanger one’s sense of security or belonging.” Is this a place where courage exists?
Dr. Maxwell Maltz suggests a practical response in his book titled, The New Psycho-Cybernetics. He writes, “When you systematically strengthen you self-image, and understand that you are not your mistakes, you find it infinitely easier to take risks without undue worry over what others will think or temporarily appearing foolish if you stumble.” He goes on, “Another helpful suggestion is to practice acting boldly and with courage in regards to ‘little things.’ Do not wait until you can be a big hero in some dire crises. Daily living also requires courage. By practising courage in little things, we develop the power and talent to act courageously in more important matters.”
Encouragement is a valuable ally and partner to courage. Are you surrounding yourself with positive and encouraging people who lift you up and support you in your goals and dreams? Your choices in who you associate yourself with play an important role in how you will live your life and face the challenges which come your way.
Moses reminds us in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous, don’t be terrified or afraid of them, for Yahweh your God who goes with you; he will not leave or forsake you.”
David encouraged his son Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28:20 declaring, “Be strong and courageous and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for Yahweh, my God, is with you. He won’t leave you or forsake you.”
These Scripture verses will hold more benefit to you if you have made the choice to say YES to the relationship with Jesus. Perhaps this might be the place where you can find the courage to stand up against the pressure to conform to general expectations in our world and keep from acquiescing to a mindset that lacks the courage “to act justly, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8).
A quick search on the internet and you will find many sources who will tell you, “You are what you eat.” It is not my intention in this article to focus on any aspect of the food you decide to ingest, though good nutrition is always more beneficial than poor nutrition.
During the time Jesus spent in the wilderness before beginning His ministry, He experienced what has been identified as a temptation to misuse His power and authority and turn stones into bread. In that moment He quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” A look at the literal meaning of what Jesus declared would suggest we should live our lives on the basis of the whole utterance of God’s languaging.
Words have energetic power. They carry not only their own vibrational frequency, but also the emotional intention of the one who has communicated it. Since we are spiritual beings living in a physical body our overall well being and health must include taking good care of our whole being, including the spiritual. What the One who created us has to say about us is important and it would be in our best interest to know and follow it.
I mentioned in yesterday’s blog we purchased a piece of electronics on our way home last evening. When I open the box today, which I still have not done, if I want to make the best use of this item, it will be to my advantage to read the instruction manual which came with it and follow the directions provided. I could simply open the box, plug it in and fiddle with it until I get it doing something, but is this approach really in my best interest? Yet this is what many people do with the spiritual aspect of their life. They never even attempt to find out the full potential of what could be in their lives if they would say YES to the relationship with Jesus.
Discovering the power of the integrated wholeness of who we truly are, beyond just a physical being, introduces us to potential we did not know we didn’t know about ourselves and the universe around us. Make a decision to discover the whole utterance of God’s languaging and its transformational power in your life when you follow it.
Yesterday produced a number of situations which provided opportunities to be reminded of the value of patience. The day began with a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up some items before the day got started. When we arrived back to my Mom’s house she was ready to head out immediately. We had a busy day shopping planned. Our first stop was Walmart to price out some specific items of clothing for my daughter, Andrea and I. The selection was not the greatest so we moved on to the mall.
I should be honest and state up front. My style of shopping starts with, know what you are looking for, find it, and leave as quickly as possible. Waiting for three women to look for clothing and shoes in a variety of stores is not my favourite past time, but patience is a virtue, right? A couple of hours of shopping with very little to show for it we moved on to lunch.
The lunch took about two hours to complete. It is now after two in the afternoon and I still have not picked up the couple of items I went out to buy. A shoe store and a second hand store later, it was deemed we needed to return to my mom’s house to let the dogs out and give them some exercise. Now after 3:30 Andrea and I head out to another Walmart in search of what we were looking for. This time it was a superstore which we were unfamiliar with and involved a lot of walking before we found the section we were interested in. The selection really wasn’t as good as the smaller store, but we got what we wanted, waited in the line and eventually got back to the car. A quick stop at Staples to pick up a box of envelops for our business and a chat with a sales person in the electronics section revealed a sale on an item we were interested in. There was only one left of these items left in stock and they would hold it for us.
We had a better idea, we would go back across the street to the mall and check out prices there first, so no hold was placed on the item. When we arrived at the farthest point from the car in the mall and had decided to return to Staples, we received a call on my cell phone from my wife. She had gone looking in a high end consignment store a significant distant from where we were and found “two perfect outfits for my daughter at a really good price. We needed to come, “right away.” Remember we are at the farthest point in the mall from the car. We are right across the street from the Staples store and now we need to be at a “used clothing store” (did you pick up on my attitude here?) a good distance away, right away. Oh yes, my mom was also calling, when will you be back for supper?
When we arrive and go into the high end consignment store, my wife and daughter disappear to check out these outfits. I am left standing there, waiting and waiting and waiting. Finally the store owner suggests I could take advantage of the chair they have for such occasions. Later she comes by to compliment me on my patience. I was glad in that moment, my diminishing patience level was not visible. When it was announced neither of these ‘perfect” outfits fit, I showed proper sadness, and we dashed back to my mom’s for supper. They really were nice outfits and an incredible discount.
We had taken down a number of set of curtains and run them through the washing machine while we had been out shopping. The hems on two of the panels for the front windows had come out. My wife hand sewed them so they could be hung up before my daughter and I could head home. Task accomplished, car packed up, Andrea and I decided to swing by the Staples store. The sales person apologized but they were now sold out of the item we wanted.
Climbing back into the car we headed home. Traffic was moving well and had witnessed several vehicles fly past us travelling at excessive speeds through the first third of our trip. As I looked in my mirror I saw a pickup truck travelling at very high speed attempting to pass us on our right. There was incoming traffic coming off the ramp into that lane. I barely got the words out of my mouth, “that guy is not going to make it” as he passed us, when he collided with another vehicle. I am so thankful neither vehicle spun out on the collision or we would have been collateral damage. In that moment I stated, without even thinking, “That guy’s hurry just turn into a bunch of lost time.”
I began to think about the consequences which can surface when we fail to be patient. My wife left one of our church business cards with the owner of the consignment store should another outfit similar to what my daughter had tried on came in. What if I had not shown patience while in that store? What would have that have done to our reputation and representation of Christ?
Lesson learned for today. I trust it stay fresh enough in my mind to guide my responses in the future. May this help and encouragement to you to be patient. Patience is a fruit of God’s Spirit and available to us when we say YES to the relationship with Him.
By the way we, were able to get to a Staples store closer to home before it closed and pick up the piece of electronics we were looking for.
I am closing in on having written the Daily Thoughts for the Day for 18 months. This was something I was not sure I could do, but decided to attempt. What benefit others have found in this journey I will likely never fully know. I do know I have received incredible value. I have learned much about myself, about the topics I have written about and a whole lot more.
Conversations with friends in recent weeks have swirled around the expectations of people today regarding the concept of “free.” When my wife and I began home educating our children in the 1980’s, it was our assumption we were responsible for the process, including any costs that might be incurred in doing so. Today, the internet provides both opportunity and many sources on how you can accomplish this task for free. In some provinces in Canada the government will provide funds for you for home schooling. We often find parents who contact our company asking, “What can I get for $xxx.00? This is how much the government gives me.” I really have to constrain myself sometimes from asking, “You don’t contribute from your own pocket for your children’s education?
This week my mentor, Joel Bauer, in the one year on-line training course I am taking, challenged me on giving away for free, all my years of education, knowledge, experience, insights, and growth. His perspective is, “When you undervalue, or give away your life’s work, you are not perceived has offering anything of value and you are not taken seriously.”
This concept of wanting everything for “free” has been around the church for a long time. Charge for what you do and you are perceived as greedy, selfish and a whole lot worse. 1 Timothy 5:18 tells us that a worker is worthy of his wages. Yet, we are all guilty of the allure of the “free.”
Intellectual theft and copyright infringement in a variety of forms is alive and well in our world today. In fact it is often promoted and excused in promotion of the concept of “free.” This does not make it right, or beneficial in the long run. The pursuit of “free” often produces a sense of entitlement and at the same time a lack of gratitude, appreciation and satisfaction in life. The phrase popularized, but not coined by Warren Buffett, “having skin in the game,” speaks about having a stake, some sort of personal investment or commitment in what you are involved with or in. The concept of “free” gives you none of that and as a result produces less value overall.
So let me ask, after having potential free access to the Thoughts For the Day for the last eighteen months, whether through Face Book or email (you can go to my blog site and access all of the posts) for free, who would be willing to pay a small membership fee to continue having access to the type of information I am sharing? (Let’s say $9.97 per month, or perhaps $99.97 per year. The yearly price works out to approximately 27 cents per day).
I would really like to hear from you, even if you have been silently reading these posts and have never pressed a like or dislike, or made a comment. I am not saying I will move to a membership basis, I am simply thinking our loud at this point. Knowing you are out there, at least let’s me know I am not simply doing this for myself. Thank you for your response.
I picked up a used book a while ago by Tom Wilson the creator of the cartoon Ziggy. I flipped it open to the middle of the book to discover a series of cartoons. In the first window Ziggy is parachuting from an air plane which is in the process of heading for a crash landing. His comment is, “I wonder how Upcreek airlines is going to apologize for this little inconvenience.”
In the second window Ziggy is floating in a small rubber raft circled by a number of sharks. The plane is off in the distance sinking into the water. It is daylight in that moment. He then is quoted as saying, “. . . Looks like the seas aren’t going to be any too friendly either!!”
The third window reveals time has past and it is now dark. The sharks are still circling his small raft. Ziggy looks up to the sky and asks, “What did I ever do to deserve this??!!” AND from the sky comes the reply, “Wanna list??”
Previous to Ziggy’s adventure in the skies and water he had visited an hermit who offered him some insight. The hermit told Ziggy, “Our future is shaped by our past . . . . So be careful what you do in your past.”
I thought to myself, “This sounds a lot like what I have been sharing over and over again. What you think, and what you believe, and what you say, and the intention of your heart matters, because it impacts your actions which determine the outcomes in your life.” You reap what you sow. If we want to see change in our life we have to make changes in our life. Saying YES to the relationship with Jesus opens the door for the old to pass and the new to come (2 Corinthians 5:17). We must also be willing to take action to change our thoughts and beliefs which shape our habits which impact our actions. Learning how to bring change to our mindset is important. Do you know how to do that? Finding out would be worth your time and effort. You do not want to allow a negative past to create a negative future.