★ Thought for the Day – Trial to Triumph! ★ 

Are you suffering today?  Aching from being hurt by someone’s betrayal or persecuted for something you did not do?  You are not alone, the Bible recounts in Genesis how Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery, only to then be wrongly accused of attempted rape and thrown into prison…BUT God used these horrible betrayals that people inflicted, and elevated Joseph to second-in-command of all of Egypt.  Take comfort from Genesis 50:20 (NLT) that God turn any trial into a triumph!!!

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

I love that, what was :intended to harm me,” was used by God to “save the lives of many people.  We cannot see the whole picture, God is always working and you never know how what God will turn a bad situation around.

Only God can turn A MESS into a MESSAGE, A TEST into a TESTIMONY, A TRIAL into a TRIUMPH A VICTIM into a VICTORY!
Only God can turn
A MESS into a MESSAGE,
A TEST into a TESTIMONY,
A TRIAL into a TRIUMPH
A VICTIM into a VICTORY!

There is no situation TOO BIG for God, NOTHING is impossible for Him!  Trust God today with everything!  He will never leave you or forsake you!!

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★ Thought for the Day –  Our Tongues Should Point People to Jesus ★ 

The whole purpose of our lives is to point others to Christ, not to ourselves.
Check out this awesome Instagram account http://instagram.com/undeservedgrace__

“The whole purpose of our lives is to point others to Christ, not to ourselves.”  Kristen Clark

As I have been reading through the Book of James, God has been showing me areas that I can improve on, so that I help point people to Jesus.  (I highly recommend you read it for yourself.)  One of the ways is in “Controlling My Tongue.”  My prayer and suggestion is for God to help us NOT TO BE LIKE what it says in James 3:7-10…

“People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue.  It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.  Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.  And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”

Nothing will turn people off from Jesus faster than hearing someone who professes to be a Christian, gossip, tell lies or use profanity.  INSTEAD we need TO BE LIKE what it says in James 3:13-17 which tells us that True Wisdom Comes from God…

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.  But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.  For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom.  Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.  For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

  • But the wisdom from above is first of all pure.  
  • It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others.  
  • It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds.  
  • It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”

So if the whole purpose of our lives is to point others to Christ, then we most learn to control our tongues!!  If we don’t then we will turn people away from what the point of our lives is all about.  We need to live our lives “mission-minded,” to see every moment, of every day as an opportunity to show the love of Christ to others.  In Matthew 28:19, Jesus tells us to “go and make disciples.”  We cannot do that if we are NOT CONTROLLING OUR TONGUES!  

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★ Thought for the Day – Are you Lukewarm? ★  

Mediocrity has to be one of my biggest pet peeves, it frustrates me beyond words because I can’t understand why anyone would settle for anything less than excellence.

In the Bible, the book of Revelation chapter 3, verses 15-16 even addresses this issue:

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold.  I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”

I am a firm believer that being a hard worker pays dividends and this quote from Zig Ziglar supports what I have always thought.

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“When you do more than you’re paid for eventually you’ll be paid for more than you do.”

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★ Thought for the Day – How Important is Jesus? ★      

Many people debate this question but if you look at what it says in John 14:6, the answer is clear:

If Jesus is the gate that we must go through to go to heaven, I would say He is really important! Romans 10:9-10 (NIV1984) is a great reminder of the simplicity of “getting right” with God and how important Jesus is!

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

If you want to learn more about this check out our previous post called ★ Thought for the Day – I Hate Religion and I’m a Christian… ★ that will help you on the path to connecting with God!!

Trust Him today!

★ Thought for the Day – STRENGTH FOR THE STRUGGLE ★

I am excited to have a special guest share how God gave her strength during a season of struggle.  Thanks, Kim from facebook.com/FitFamilyFaith.

Have you ever heard the quote, “I am thankful for my struggle because without it I would not have stumbled across MY strength.”  I’d like to edit it just a bit.

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“I am thankful for my struggle because without it I would not have stumbled across God’s strength.”

Health and fitness were always a passion of mine and my health was not something I worried about. I felt physically strong, ate the right foods and exercised 5 times a week.  However, my life and my family’s life were completely turned upside down when I went through a season of illness as a result of Lyme’s Diseases. The illness left me physically at my weakest point in my life. However, through this season, my family and I craved God and His Word like never before. We were completely dependent on Him. Although I grew up going to church, I believe that I grew stronger in the Lord during that season than in all the years preceding that. It was only God’s strength that carried me through those difficult days. I often tell others that though I was at my weakest physically, I never felt stronger spiritually. I praise God for the works He did in me and my family through that time.

We ALL go through seasons of struggle in our lives.  They come in different forms, but the best way to get through them is the same. GOD’S STRENGTH.  Here are some things I learned that I pray can help you to hold onto if you are in the midst of a difficult season:

  • God promises to never leave us or forsake us. He is right there beside us, whatever we go through. How comforting!  Deuteronomy 31:6 says:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

  • God can bring something good out of the situation. As it says in Romans 8:28, God causes ALL things to come together for good to those who LOVE Him and are called according to His purpose. Trust God because He is using your current situation to mold you into something beautiful!  What was meant for harm, God can turn around and use for His good!  Genesis 50:20a says:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good…”

  • God uses trials to refine and mold us to make us more like Him.  I came through this storm a much different person than the one I was going into it.  I have a stronger faith, a deeper compassion for others and try to make the most of every opportunity because I know each day is a gift and my priorities are very different now.
  • The things we go through in this life are temporary, but we can have hope in eternal things. John 16:33 says

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  

Whatever you are going through today, lean into God and rely on His strength.  Arm yourself with Bible verses that you can speak out loud and pray when doubts and worries creep in. (Below are some verses that helped me.)

Praise God, He has restored my health and I am able to resume my passion of fitness again, but my goals are very different now.  I view it a gift that I must steward and use for His glory.  My mission is more about forming relationships and using my story to help others who may be going through struggles of their own.  I can say with confidence that I am thankful for my struggle because without it I would not have stumbled across GOD’S STRENGTH.

Be Blessed!

Kim

http://www.facebook.com/FitFamilyFaith

INSTAGRAM: @fitfamily_faith

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If you would like to read more on this topic, check out:

★ Thought for the Day – What Does God’s Love Mean? ★

 

★ Thought for the Day – Are you a Good Listener? ★

If you asked someone close to you if you were a good listener, what do you think they would they say? Do you think you are a Good Listener?  Stephen Covey made a profound statement about this, he said:

22 - Daily Dependence - Stephen Covey - Most People do not listen with the intent to understand_ they listen with the intent to reply.jpg
“Most People do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

Part of any good relationship is being a good listener; the same applies for a projects.  I have always likened Architecture to being less about building buildings and more about listening to, and understanding the different agendas of the project stakeholders.  A truly successful architect, is one that can create beautiful spaces suitable for human habitation while balancing the owner’s need for a building along with the various consultant’s desire to accomplish their individual piece of the project in the shortest possible way (which typically is not aesthetically pleasing) with the contractor’s desire to make the most amount of money in the cheapest way possible.  In addition doing this while defending and maintaining the original design intent as value (or “de-value”) engineering suggestions from both the end users and contractor threaten the integrity of the design.

Every project is like constructing a puzzle, but without the picture on the box…You need to listen to all the stakeholders in order to understand how to achieve the project.  I read this once and thought this nailed it…

“Look for a good listener and you’ll find a good architect.” Unknown 

Regardless of your vocation, this Thought for the Day is for you too.  Start today with the purposeful intention to listen to other to understand and not just respond with your viewpoint.

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★ Thought for the Day – Got Values? ★

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Values are an integral part of “who you are.”  I love this Dilbert comic strip because it is clear that the management have none, and that their whole reasoning behind establishing company values is not really to empower the employees, but to eliminate raise requests.

Do you know who you are and what you stand for?  You can’t wait for management to tell you what your values should be, you need to decide that for yourself.  It is vital to know who you are and what you stand for before you are in a compromising situation, otherwise when the pressure comes, whether from a boss or a colleague, you will fail the test…Proverbs 10:9 says it perfectly…

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”

You have heard the expression “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”  It is really true, eventually a lack of integrity will catch up to you and your true character will be found out.  So I ask you…Got values?

 

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★ Thought for the Day – What Defines You? ★    

20 - Daily Dependence - Lego MovieLast night we rented from Redbox, “The Lego Movie” with the kids and it was great the second time around!  Besides cuddling with my 10 year daughter who was thrilled when I came home with the DVD, it is so good.  I initially was skeptical about the movie but I came out singing this highly addictive song “Everything is Awesome!”  If you have not heard this song, you can watch it at the bottom of this post…you will be singing it within minutes…you can thank me later when you are driving everyone around you crazy…hahaha!

20 - Daily Dependence - Lego Movie - EmmitThe Lego Movie is about Emmet, an ordinary LEGO figure, who lives an ordinary life – without much consequence / achievements whatsoever.  As it unfolds, he is mistakenly thought to be the “extraordinary MasterBuilder” and is recruited to join a quest to stop the evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.  The movie chronicles the Emmet’s transition from ordinary to extraordinary, but it was not a result of new powers, imparted intelligence or added tools…instead it was from a change to of attitude!  When Emmit started believing in himself nothing was impossible!

There are a lot of great nuggets that can be gleaned from this movie for our professional and personal lives.  You have heard the cliché, “Attitude is Everything”…well it really is true.  But if I am being honest, just because you say “everything is awesome” (or sing it in the case of the Lego Movie), does not make it true.  There are plenty of things in life to weigh you down and stop you from reaching your potential.  But the key is what your attitude or response to the circumstance that will define you.  I have seen this time and time again in my life, that when I have focused on the positives (which there are many), and pushed through the negative aspects, it was amazing what I achieved.  The same is true for believing in yourself…that attitude can take you a lot further than your natural talent or skills ever can.  Plus it is infectious!  No one wants to be around a “Debbie Downer”…(you may remember the Saturday Night Live character portrayed by Rachel Dratch).  A positive attitude can change not only whether a project is successful, but more importantly, whether a team will “gel” together and build the comradery that is necessary to keep a company moving forward.  W. Clement Stone once said:

“Like success, failure is many things to many people. With a Positive Mental Attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order and prepare to try again.”
“Like success, failure is many things to many people. With a Positive Mental Attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order and prepare to try again.”

I’m not sure what is defining you today…but I want to encourage you to focus on the positive aspects in your life and watch what will happen!

 

★ If you would like to hear this highly addictive song “Everything Is AWESOME!!!” click here…

 

 

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★ Thought for the Day – Anxious to Do the Will of God? ★

Chapter 4 of 1 Peter is really incredible because it talks all about how to live for God and what you can expect when you become a Christian. It starts out with…

“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude He had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2 (NLT) 

What would things be like if, instead of being anxious about life, we were “anxious to do the will of God?” If instead of viewing Christianity through “Rose Colored Glasses,” we lived our lives “ready to suffer too?” We need to break those glasses and understand the truth that we will suffer for Christ, there is no “if” in that passage…but that there are benefits to the suffering for being a Christian. 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NLT) says

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“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad — for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

Verse 14 tells us what the result will be if we persevere…

“If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.” 

How many times are you surprised when trials come?? If we are honest, probably more times than any of us would care to admit to, I am sure…but I love what results…”trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering” which results in joy and that “you will be blessed.” My absolute favorite part is found in verse 16, which if we grasped this, it would forever change our perspective!

“But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!” (1 Peter 4:16 NLT)

Repeat this over and over…

“Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!” Instead of the “woe is me” attitude, because you were insulted or had to sit alone at lunch or lost a friend because of your faith; if we really saw it for what it is, a “privilege,” we would be completely on fire for God! I would like to encourage all of us to start this day in a new way…let’s be anxious to do the will of God!!

 

★ Thought for the Day – All the Time in the World ★ 

In the 1995 film, “The Usual Suspects,” the protagonist made this statement:

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“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

Brilliantly delivered by Kevin Spacey, I have never forgotten the line and profound reality.  If you asked, most people would say that they believe in some sort of higher power or as I do, in an all-powerful and loving God; but ask how many believe in the Devil and the response will be quite different.  The Barna Research Group released findings from its nationwide survey of adults’ spiritual beliefs and found:

“Four out of ten Christians (40%) strongly agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” 

From the Article: “Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist,” 4/10/2009

4 out of 10 people believe that the Devil “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.”  In the past 10 years, there has been an enormous increase in the amount of Hollywood offerings focusing on the Devil, demons and other evil incarnations.  It is ironic that people will go in droves to watch about the Devil and his unseen activities on the silver screen, but then turn around and say that he does not exist.  Sadly, I would say that the “trick” is working quite effectively.

Much like Kevin Spacey’s deceptive portrayal of an ineffectual and innocent crippled man in “The Usual Suspects,” Satan’s activities are not obvious; he comes in unassuming forms and in unexpected ways.  That is why we need to “Be selfcontrolled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  (1 Peter 5:8 NIV84)

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“Satan’s greatest lie: You have plenty of time to get right with God!”

This haunting picture is a great reminder…People think they have all the time in the world to live their life however they wish, indulging in anything and everything.  Maybe tomorrow or next year or sometime in the future they will change.  In Matthew 24:36 (NLT) Jesus gives some insight about the end times:

“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself.  Only the Father knows.”

No one knows the hour when the end will come; or to put it plainer, when YOUR END will come, so don’t wait, “get right with God” and accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for the redemption of your soul.

 

 

 

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★ Thought of the Day – What Difference Does a Daddy Make? ★

17 - Daily Dependence - Saving Mr BanksDisney’s “Saving Mr. Banks” pulls the curtain back to allow moviegoers to learn how the beloved 1964 classic “Mary Poppins” almost didn’t make it to the silver screen because of the author’s reservations and fears of what Walt Disney would do to her beloved book.  At first I was skeptical about watching a movie about Mary Poppins, but before the end credits started to roll, I was tearing up and feeling that this incredible film had made it to my top 10 list!  From the writing to the acting to the cinematography, there was not a single thing that I was not captivated by!

As they flashed back and forth from 1961 to P.L. Travers’ childhood, the director brilliantly illustrated what a difference a Daddy makes in the life of not only a child but also the entire family.  The film shows what an involved, tender and very loving man her father was (at first) and how she cherished and idealized him.  Unfortunately, decades later, the effects of alcoholism and a tragic event, plagued the author’s life and paralyzed her from living her life.

In his book “What a Difference A Daddy Makes,” Kevin Leman makes this bold statement:

Daddy’s have the God-given responsibility to support and train up their children in the way that they should go (see Proverbs 22:6) and to be the best earthly example of what their heavenly father is like…that is the difference a “Daddy” makes!

 ★ ★ Please share this blog with all the “Daddys” you know! ★ ★

 

 

 

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★ Thought for the Day – The Benefit of Discipline ★   

When you hear the word discipline, what comes to mind?

Adversity?
Exhaustion?
Pain/Suffering?

All of those are probably true but what I try to look at is the benefits that will come from the adversity or exhaustion or pain that will result from being disciplined whether it be in my work ethic, my finances in what I buy or don’t by or in my time at the gym (…which honestly needs to be improved….hahaha!) I like what Jim Rohn once said:

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“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

There is a clear result of how you get from goals to success! In the book of Hebrews, chapter 12, verse 11, I really like how it is stated:

“No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

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The question is will you accept the discipline and reap its benefits or fight against it?

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★ Thought of the Day – What are You the Architect of? ★ 

I once read this definition of Architecture:

“By the simplest definition, architecture is the design of buildings, executed by architects.  However, it is more.  It is the expression of thought in building.  It is not simply construction, the piling of stones or the spanning of spaces with steel girders.  It is the intelligent creation of forms and spaces that in themselves express an idea.” 

As an Architect by vocation, this quote beautifully captures what an architect is.  Ultimately though, before any piling of stones or spanning of girders, a tremendous amount of decisions and problem solving must occur.  In both architecture and in life, I believe to be successful, these skills are paramount.

And that leads us to, what are you the Architect of?  Life is a series of decisions that we have to make, so….what choices are you making in your career and in your personal life?

On A Minute with Maxwell,  the Word was “Choices.”  John Maxwell quoted one of my favorite John Wooden quotes….

“There is a choice that you have to make, in everything you do. So keep in the mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.”
“There is a choice that you have to make, in everything you do. So keep in the mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.”

“In the end, the choice you make makes you.”  I love that so much!  That goes far deeper than just what career direction to go in or where you spend your 40+ hours a week….it really speaks of the level of integrity that you will walk out in your everyday life.  And it puts the responsibility right where it belongs…on me.  And on you.  What choices are you making today that down the road you will be thankful for?  Are there choices you are making that will become regrets, or areas that you are compromising in?  I think that for many people this quote is unfortunately all to true…

 

“I’m the Architect of my own disaster.”

I would like to flip it around and look at it this way…that “I’m the Architect of my own success”….Each one of us has the power to choose a life marked by integrity and honesty, but of course just like in Architecture, you have to be intelligent in what decisions you make.  Nothing changes if nothing changes.  I will close with final quote…

“The choices we make, almost always determine the level of success we have.”  John Maxwell
 
 

★ Thought for the Day – To Complain or Not to Complain ★

Mark Twain once said:

"Don't complain and talk about all your problems. 80 percent of people don't care; the other 20 percent will think you deserve them." 
“Don’t complain and talk about all your problems. 80 percent of people don’t care; the other 20 percent will think you deserve them.”

That quote may seem harsh, but I am sure you know someone, who from the moment you say hello, they go off on a rant, complaining about anything and everything.  Lets face it…complaining is fun.  It feels good to vent out all the garbage that we are going through.  I know myself, I am guilty of this more times than I would like admit.

14 - Daily Dependence - 321 PenguinsWhen my daughters were growing up they use to watch this cartoon 3-2-1 Penguins and one of my favorites episodes was “The Amazing Carnival of Complaining” which taught about the perils of complaining.

The grandmother in the story quoted from the Bible, Philippians 2:14-16,

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’  Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”

The apostle Paul challenges us with this “anti-complaining” statement because God often uses difficult situations to mold and shape our character to be more like Jesus Christ. Easier said then done right?  But don’t you want to be “blameless and pure?”

I want to challenge you that the next time you begin to grumble and complain, stop and ask yourself what may God be trying to teach me through this circumstance?

 

★ Thought for the Day – God Wants You! ★ 

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Happy 4th of July!!  Today is a day we remember the creation of our great nation back in 1776.  The day when The Declaration of Independence was signed and America was set free from the tyranny of an English king.  As we enjoy our fireworks and barbecues today, it is important that we not lose sight of the fact that many lives were lost for the freedom we enjoy, because freedom is not free!
Uncle Sam Wants You
Uncle Sam Wants You

I started to think about the efforts that are expended in order to enlist soldiers to fight for the rights we enjoy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  We have all seen some version of J. M. Flagg’s 1917 poster used to recruit soldiers for both World War I and II, which has become and iconic representation for our country.  Just as our country desires to have soldiers to fight in the war for freedom, God also wants to have you and I fight in the war for the salvation of His people.  My cousin used to call it the “God Squad” which always cracked me up…

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But the truth is, when you serve God in ministry, you are going into battle!  And God wants us to enlist and join the fight against the eternal enemy!

A common question people have is…”Can God really use me?”  Many people struggle with feelings of inadequacy when an opportunity avails itself.  The first thought that comes to mind when asked to become a part of a ministry is…”I am not equipped/capable to do that” or “I have never done that before, how could I possibly be of any use?”  Let me tell you from experience, that is the furthest thing from the truth…and a lie from the enemy!  God can use anyone…and I mean anyone!  Within the pages of the Bible, there is story after story of ordinary men and women that were used to do the extraordinary!  I was at a conference once when Jimmy Evans made this profound statement,

“God will turn your mess into a ministry!!!

And boy is that true for me!  All my struggles and past failures have been used by God in so many different ways throughout the years to help people avoid making the same mistakes.  I accepted Jesus as my savior in 1998, and if you told me then, all the things God was going to use me in, I would have just laughed uncontrollably in disbelief…but that solidifies the truth behind what Robert Morris once said,

“You don’t have to have great ability to serve God.  He has all the ability and is simply looking for people of availability.”

If he God could use me, He can use ANYONE.  All you need is a heart to serve!  The next time you feel like GOD can’t use YOU, just remember this list of Biblical Heroes and what God did with them in spite of their inadequacies!

God Can Use You!

Noah was a drunk.
Abraham was too old.
Isaac was a daydreamer,
Jacob was a liar,
Leah was ugly.
Joseph was abused,
Moses had a stuttering problem.
Gideon was afraid.
Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer,
Rahab was a prostitute.
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young.
David had an affair and was a murderer.
Elijah was suicidal,
Isaiah preached naked,
Jonah ran from God.
Naomi was a widow.
Job went bankrupt.
Peter denied Christ,
The Disciples fell asleep while praying,
Martha worried about everything,
The Samaritan woman was divorced more than once,
Zaccheus as too small,
Paul was too religious,
Timothy had an ulcer
… AND Lazarus was dead!

After reading that, you really have no excuse!!  Besides you aren’t the message, you are just the messenger.  1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (NLT) says…

“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”

I promise you, serving God will bless you MORE than those you are serving!!  Think of yourself as a mentor, which is simply…

“Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight.”  – Unknown

I love this definition because it is so true…your hindsight is what helps provide guidance for others.  If you feel unequipped, that’s normal, you just need a heart to serve others and a willingness to share your heart.  I will close by repeating 1 Corinthians 1:28-29 (NLT) once more because it is just that important!

“God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.  As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”

 

If you would like to read more on the topic check out:

★ Thought for the Day – Are You Qualified? ★

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★ Thought for the Day – Procrastination is the Thief of Time ★

"Procrastination is the thief of time."
“Procrastination is the thief of time.”

Edward Young penned these words in the 1600’s and it is so true!  I cannot imagine how much time I have wasted doing the things that were inconsequential, while putting off what had to be done…whether it be a term paper, waking up on time for class, (or now for work), or getting the project deadline completed.  I am the chief offender when it comes to procrastinating.

On “A Minute with Maxwell,” the Word of the Day was  “PROCRASTINATION,”  I could not wait to hear what John Maxwell had to say on the topic.  Do you know it took me 2 days to watch it??  Seriously, I put off watching a 60 second message on Procrastination!  I jest about this, but he made a great point, one which I want to be true of my life!  John Maxwell said:


“What I learned about Procrastination is very simple, it never works, and that there is never a convenient moment…People that are highly successful have disciplined themselves and they have conquered the habit of procrastination and they know the power of initiating. Do it now! Let that be your mantra!”

 

12 - Daily Dependence - John Maxwell - Procrastination
“What I learned about Procrastination is very simple, it never works, and that there is never a convenient moment…People that are highly successful have disciplined themselves and they have conquered the habit of procrastination and they know the power of initiating.  Do it now!  Let that be your mantra!”

This “Thought of the Day” is really for me…highly successful people do not procrastinate!  What will you do different today?

★ Thought for the Day – The Storms of Life ★

You have probably heard this before about the “Storms of Life”…You are either in a storm, coming out of a storm or headed into a storm.  No one likes the Storms of Life.  They typically come at the worst times (although I don’t know when it is a good time for one)…whether it be financial storm, a physical illness/injury, a loss of a loved one, or problems at school/work or in a relationship; whatever the storm, you can be sure it will bring it’s fair share of stress, but it can also bring something else…a changed life!  Haruki Murakami said:

"And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in."
“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in.”

I love that, and it is so true!  I can remember some really hard trials that I’ve gone through and when it was over the person I had become was very different, whether it be in strength, confidence or wisdom.  Often times, God uses adversity to help grow us for the next stage of life.

When you are in the middle of a storm, it is hard to see a way out, but that is where your faith must step in.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us:

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”  

It doesn’t say have faith when things are going great; it says have faith WHEN WE CANNOT SEE.  Don’t base your decisions on what you are seeing or feeling at the moment, base them on the TRUTH and promises in God’s Word.

Here are some things to hold onto if you are in the midst of a difficult season:

  1. God promises to never leave us or forsake us.  He is right there beside us, whatever we go through.  Deuteronomy 31:6 says:


    “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

  2. God can bring something good out of any situation.  God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him (see Romans 8:28).  Trust God to use your current situation to mold you into something beautiful!   Isaiah 61:3 says,


    “He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for His own glory.”

    Look at the underlined portions of this verse.  He will make something beautiful out of it, you will be singing praises, you will be stronger than before, and most importantly, He will use it for His glory.

  3. The things we go through in this life are temporary, but Jesus promises us that we can have peace because of what He did for us.  John 16:33 says:


    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” 

We all go through different storms in this life, but no matter the storm, the answer, and the solution is the SAME…Lean into God and rely on His strength.  Arm yourself with Bible verses that you can speak out loud and pray when doubts and worries creep in.  Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. I will close with a quote from Mark Batterson’s “Draw the Circle Devotional:”

"Don't just pray about it; act on it. There are defining moments in life when we need to prove to God that we mean business."
“Don’t just pray about it; act on it. There are defining moments in life when we need to prove to God that we mean business.”

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD!  There is hope; you just need to make the choice to trust Him.  If you are in a storm right now, just hold tighter because when you have weathered the storm, you will be amazed at who will be looking back at you in the mirror!

 

If you are interested you can read a related post called ★ Thought for the Day – Who’s Chasing You? ★

 

 

 

 

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★ Thought for the Day – Are You Qualified? ★

I can’t tell you how many times that I have felt so inadequate, unqualified and unable to do what I do.  Whether be in my family life as a husband and father or in business or in ministry, doubts and insecurities are always screaming in my mind that I am over my head.  I once heard John Maxwell speak at a Men’s conference and he said something that blew me away…he said that

“I am always one step away from stupid.”

That is a humbling statement, and great wisdom, that no matter how far along in your journey, you are always one bad decision away from blowing it!  We need to daily renew our mind and renew our relationship with our heavenly Father in order to serve God in our vocation, our families and our ministry assignments!  I know myself, I am not worthy to be used by God, but only through His mercy and grace that am I able to do anything.  I love how Jon Acuff put it…

“Next time you feel unqualified to be used by God remember this, He tends to recruit from the pit, not the pedestal.”

Another way to say it is that…

“God doesn’t call the QUALIFIED,
He qualifies the CALLED!”  Unknown

10 - Daily Dependence - Qualify the Called
If you want the answer to whether or not you’re qualified, I will tell you with absolute certainty, you’re not (…and I’m not either!)  That is why we need a daily dependence on God.  Don’t worry about being qualified, all you need is a heart to serve others and a willingness to step out in faith…and God will qualify you!
 

★ Thought for the Day – Waiting on God ★ 

Many people wrestle with believing in God’s faithfulness and goodness.  Waiting on circumstances to change, whether it be a difficult home life, financial hardship or physical illness can cause us to take our eye off this crucial attribute of God, which can cause a stumbling block in our relationship with Him.  In the old testament, there is a great declaration from the prophet Habakkuk, who chose to trust in what he knew about God…he said,

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord!  I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!  The Sovereign Lord is my strength!  He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”  Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NLT)

When you break down what he says, is absolutely incredible…S. Michael Houdmann commented on this passage with this insight…

“Habakkuk’s joy was not dependent on physical blessings.  Even if Habakkuk suffered extreme loss, he was determined to praise God.  Habakkuk remembered God’s goodness in times past and concluded God was worthy of praise.” 

I love that, “Habakkuk remembered God’s goodness in times past”...whether in plenty or in want, we need to always remember what God has done in the past, and trust in His ever-faithful nature.

Our family went through a terrible season of illness and difficult working conditions.  We were at our breaking point many times, but the one thing we clung to was the truth of God’s Word, and all the scriptures that pointed us to a loving, heavenly father who is faithful and good.  Psalms 27:13-14 (NLT) was one of the scriptures that have us great comfort…

"Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord."
“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”  


Whatever you are going through at this moment, I want to encourage you to keep your eyes fixed on God, your heavenly father and not on the circumstance before you.