Friday, October 21, 2016

“Everything that blesses and burdens our lives is tied up in the choices we make.”

From a thought in 10 Choices: A Proven Plan to Change Your Life Forever by James MacDonald, (Click on the title to go to to buy the book.)

That is so important for us to realize.

James says, “Someone argues: But I didn’t choose to have cancer or for my company to go bankrupt. I didn’t want my spouse to leave me or my child to rebel.”

And that may seem to be true to us but he goes on, “Well, first of all, there is probably more personal responsibility in each of those situations than any of us readily admits. Secondly, your choices may not have entirely determined those outcomes, but there are many people who are doing better than you are in a similar circumstance, and their improved outcomes from such terrible conditions are 100 percent related to how they have chosen to deal with them. It’s not what happens to us, but how we choose to respond makes the difference. There is just no escaping the power of personal choice.”

He says, “So why even try? Why not embrace the reality that your future, for good or bad, is tied up in the choices you make from here going forward? Does that sound too good to be true? If the answer is yes, it’s because you believe the lie that a good life is a lucky thing some people stumble into rather than a wonderful thing responsible people choose!’’

Deuteronomy 30 :19 in the Bible says, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life.”

James earlier said, “All of your hopes and dreams; all of your deepest heart longings; and all of the things about which you seldom speak but silently ponder and anguish— those things are right in front of you. The key is believing with all your heart that the choices are yours and then making the right choices that can alter the course of your life. You can do it. I believe with all my heart that you can and that you will.”

So how are you doing in making right choices?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

“Every generation must steward what’s been entrusted to them.”

From a thought in Chase the Lion: If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It's Too Small by Mark Batterson. (Click on the title to go to to buy the book.)

This thought hit me as I was reading.  God has entrusted us with so many opportunities to do so many difference things today but will what we do today last beyond today?

What Mark asks is, “What are you doing today that will make a difference one hundred years from now?” 

Oh I know it is hard just trying to survive today let alone to feel the responsibility of making a difference one hundred years from now but God has created us with a plan. 

Mark says, “Every generation must steward what’s been entrusted to them. It starts with honoring the generation that has gone before us by learning everything we can from them. But that’s only half the equation when it comes to passing along a generational blessing.”

He then says, “It continues by empowering the generation that comes after us. That’s how the baton of blessing is passed to the third and fourth generation.”

Earlier he said, “One of the biggest mistakes we make is thinking in terms of one generation. It’s not only shortsighted; it’s also selfish. We think that what God does for us is for us. And it is, but it isn’t. It’s also for the third and fourth generations. We think right here, right now. God is thinking nations and generations. The key to dreaming big is thinking long. And the bigger the dream, the longer the timeline. If you’re thinking in terms of eternity, you should have some dreams that can’t be accomplished in your lifetime.”

He continues, “Before the Battle of Long Island, General George Washington reminded his troops whom they were fighting for. It wasn’t just for their freedom as first-generation Americans. ‘The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army.’”

So will what we do today last beyond today? 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

“Pride is the first chapter in the book of failure.”

From a thought in Chase the Lion: If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It's Too Small by Mark Batterson. (Click on the title to go to to buy the book.)

Mark then says, “Humility is the first chapter in the book of success. God won’t put you in a position of leadership until you take a posture of servanthood.” 

Mark tells of “When he was a young man, Benjamin Franklin was quite scathing in his editorials, more than a few of which targeted the Puritan preacher Cotton Mather. In a rather magnanimous gesture, Mather invited Benjamin over for dinner one night and showed him his library. Franklin spent much of his time and money as a young man acquiring one of the largest libraries in America, consisting of 4,276 volumes. As they walked through a narrow passage into the library, Mather yelled back at Franklin, ‘Stoop! Stoop!’ Franklin didn’t understand the exhortation until it was too late and bumped his head on a low beam. Like any good preacher, Mather turned it into a sermon. ‘Let this be a caution to you not always to hold your head so high. Stoop, young man, stoop— as you go through this world— and you’ll miss many hard thumps.’ Many years later Franklin told Mather’s son that he never forgot that moment, that lesson. ‘This advice, thus beat into my head, has frequently been of use to me,’ said Franklin, ‘and I often think of it when I see pride mortified and misfortunes brought upon people by carrying their heads too high.’”

Mark goes on, “One of the defining moments of my life was getting cut down to size by a summer intern. I made a prideful statement about National Community Church, and he called me on it. At first I was defensive. But I’m so grateful he had the courage to call me out. I certainly don’t want to give the impression that I’ve conquered pride. Like each of the seven deadly sins, pride has nine lives. You have to fight the battle every single day, but there are decisive victories. And that was one of them. It was that humbling experience that gave birth to a little mantra that we repeat around NCC all the time: If you stay humble and stay hungry, there is nothing God cannot do in you or through you.”

In the Bible, Proverbs 16: 18 says, “Pride goeth before destruction.” And Proverbs 18: 12 says, “humility precedes honor.” 

So which book are you reading, the book of success or failure?