★ Thought for the Day – The Mission of Christmas ★

The other day I heard this incredible song “Noel” written by Chris Tomlin and featuring Lauren Daigle with these beautiful lyrics…

Noel, Noel
Come and see what God has done
Noel, Noel
The story of amazing love!
The light of the world, given for us
Noel

Son of God and Son of man
There before the world began
Born to suffer, born to save
Born to raise us from the grave
Christ the everlasting Lord 
He shall
reign forevermore

It says it all!  Jesus was “Born to suffer, born to save” and is the “Christ the everlasting Lord” who will “reign forevermore.”  I have been listening to this song over and over, just enjoying the truth behind these lyrics!  But it did get me thinking…What does Noel even mean?  Have you ever thought of that?  Each year we sing the lyric in The Christmas Song and The First Noël, but until this year I never looked what the meaning was.  It’s interesting when I did a google search; I found several different definitions and variations which surprised me.  In an article, Chris Tomlin explained it this way:

“The word ‘Noel’ is derived from the French phrase ‘Les bonnes nouvelles’ meaning ‘the good news.’”

When I looked it up in my grandfather’s 1966 Edition of Webster’s Dictionary and found this definition:

113-daily-dependnece-noel-definition

So between the two, one could say that Noel is an expression of joy as a result of the “Good News” that the savior of the world was born!  In the post, ★ Day 15 – Reason for the Season – A Shepherd’s View of Christmas ★ we discussed Luke 2:10-11 when the Angels made the proclamation to the Shepherds about the birth of Jesus:

“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’”

You can read the full account in Luke 2:8-15.  The birth of Jesus is “Good News” and for those who believe in God’s Son, there should be great expressions of joy on our part!    The other night the temperature dropped below freezing, which for113-daily-dependence-elf-movie-poster Texas is quote unusual. We had a beautiful fire roaring and so we cuddled 113-daily-dependence-fireplaceup on the couch to watch the modern day Christmas classic…”Elf” starring Will Ferrell.  I am not a big fan of his movies but I never get tired of this slapstick comedy!  As the 5th highest grossing Christmas movie of all-time (according to Box Office Mojo,) the 2003 blockbuster hit that follows the lovable, exuberant elf named Buddy (played by Will Ferrell,) who left the North Pole to meet his real father in NYC after finding out he’s really not an elf.  The movie is full of great lines but one of my favorites is the after Buddy inadvertently insults a  writer and gets beat up for his naivety.

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Okay that had no relevance to my point, I just loved that scene.  But the point that I did want to make is that the joyful outlook that Buddy had towards Santa and Christmas is how I believe should be towards Jesus!  Wouldn’t have been awesome to have heard this in the movie!113-daily-dependnece-jesus-i-know-him

Could you imagine if that much joy could be channeled in service of Jesus?  How different would this world be?  Elf also inspired to share this in the Shepherd’s View of Christmas post which Buddy also said:

113-daily-dependence-bring-christmas-cheer-by-singingNow I am not saying that singing loudly will change the world’s problems, but rather when we embrace the “Good News” of Jesus will spur us on.  As we discussed in the last post, “feelings are not faith.”  If we wait to help people when we “feel” like it, it may not happen; but when we have the love of Jesus in our hearts we will be motivated to action by something far greater than feelings…MISSION!  What is the mission?  Isaiah 61:1-2 (NLT) says:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.”

This may sound familiar to you that you heard that somewhere else stated in the Bible, well that is from Jesus in Luke 4:18-19 in which he read those verse from Isaiah. In Luke 4:20-21 (NLT) it says,

“He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down.  All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently.  Then he began to speak to them.  ‘The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!’”

Isaiah prophesied over 700 years before Jesus came to earth about what the mission was going to be.  To bring good news to the poor, to comfort the brokenhearted, and to bring hope!  This is the mission not just at Christmas but the other 364 days as well!  We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus building the kingdom of God here on Earth by following Jesus’ mission!  John Piper said in the ‘Good News of Great Joy’ reading plan (http://bible.com/r/C7) on day 18,

“Christmas is a model for missions.  Missions is a mirror of Christmas.  [The] mission means danger. And that the greatest danger is distrusting God’s mercy.  Succumb to this and all is lost.  Conquer here and nothing can harm you for a million ages.”  ”  

In the devotion he made the point that Jesus came into the world and faced great peril both as a child and adult (especially in the last three years of His life) until His death on the cross faced.  Regardless of the dangers He experienced, Jesus said in John 17:18 (ESV) speaking to His Father:

“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”

Christmas is the model for us to live on mission to reach the overwhelmed, under resourced and far away.  I pray that as you read this you are not facing true danger like Jesus did but this year you may have strife in your home, conflict at work, or suffering the loss of a love one; but regardless of how you “feel,” I want to encourage you to stay on mission.  I read this in the “The Magic Of Christmas” reading plan the other morning from Durwood Snead who said:

“I am part of a kingdom—the greatest kingdom on earth led by an all-powerful King who has very specific things for me to do…The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me.  The magic of Christmas is that my King has chosen me to be an active part of proclaiming good news to the poor by my actions.”  

As a blood bought child of the living God, I am so thankful that “that my King has chosen me to be an active part of proclaiming good news” to anyone that He brings into my life.  One of my favorite quotes that describe me to a T is from Zig Ziglar…

"True joy comes when you inspire, encourage and guide someone else on a path that benefits him or her." 
“True joy comes when you inspire, encourage and guide someone else on a path that benefits him or her.”

This truly is my heart’s desire…to inspire, encourage and guide someone along the path to grow closer to Jesus!  And when you realize how incredible it is that God sent His Son to be the bridge so that we can have a relationship with Him, your whole perspective changes!  “Christmas is a model for missions,” this Christmas open your heart to what God’s purpose is for you.  Jesus is looking to us to be the guide or the light to bring the lost to Him.  Will you accept the mission?

113-daily-dependence-merry-christmas-scabbleIf you are interested to read more on this, check out:

★ Day 11 – Reason for the Season – Following Jesus Will Cost You ★

★ Thought for the Day – Let Your Light Shine ★

 

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★ Thought for the Day – A Season for Everything ★

89 - Daily Dependence - Ecclesiastes 3 - 1-8 - A Time For EverythingEcclesiastes 3:1-8 (NKJV) says,

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.

In Charles Stanley’s Life Principles Bible he had this commentary on verse 1…

“In His wisdom and sovereignty, God sets an appropriate time for everything.  At the right time, Christ was born (Galatians 4:4); at the right time, He lifts us up (1 Peter 5:6).  Don’t run ahead of God’s timing!  His blessings are always worth the wait.” 

We just concluded a 25 day consecutive series of post looking into the “Reason for the Season” and why we should be thankful at Christmastime.  If you missed it, you can catch up by ★ Clicking Here ★.  We spent that time delving into the significance of that Season and why it was so important for Jesus to come.  On Day 01 we started off with this quote from John Maxwell,

“Reflection turns experience into insight.” 

Today, as 2015 draws to an end, let’s not get ahead of God’s timing…Before we enter into a new year with fresh opportunities and a clean slate, I thought it appropriate to take moment in this season before January 1, to share with you what I have reflected upon that God spoke to me in the season of “Advent.”  My prayer is that like me, you would gain a new insight!  This will also be an opportunity for those that missed the series to get a sampling of what we posted about through the series.  Below are hyperlinks to each day’s post and one aspect that God really spoke to me about…

★ Day 01 – Reason for the Season – Why Do We Celebrate? ★

“Christmas is about Jesus being conceived in YOU!  It’s about Jesus growing in you and you delivering Jesus to the world around you.”  Robert Morris Senior Pastor at Gateway Church

★ Day 02 – Reason for the Season – Why I Say Merry Christmas ★

“First, meditate on the fact that we need a Savior.  Christmas is an indictment before it becomes a delight.  It will not have its intended effect until we feel desperately the need for a Savior.”  John Piper

★ Day 03 – Reason for the Season – Let Hope Arise ★

“In Scripture, however, hope is void of uncertainty.  In fact, certainty is at its core, because it rests in the stability of God, His character and His will, which are unwavering.  Biblical hope, then, can be defined as, “the confident expectation and desire for something good in the future…Hope is essential to our faith.”  121 Advent Bible Plan

★ Day 04 – Reason for the Season – Christmas Consumerism ★

“Celebrate Christmas with a spirit of adoration and joy.  Celebrate by stringing up twinkling lights on your front door.  Celebrate by humming the tunes of Nat King Cole and “Silent Night.”  Celebrate by giving to those in need.”  My Daughter, age 14

★ Day 05 – Reason for the Season – Faith Like Mary ★

“For the word of God will never fail.”

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant.  May everything you have said about me come true.”  And then the angel left her.  Luke 1:37-38

★ Day 06 – Reason for the Season – Christmas Should Change Us ★

Regardless of whether we are just starting out in life or reaching the end, their example shows that you are never too young or too old to experience God’s promises!”  My wife’s insight

★ Day 07 – Reason for the Season – Unwavering Acceptance ★

“Integrity is when your behavior matches your beliefs … when what you SAY and what you DO aren’t separate … it’s an INTEGRATED lifestyle.  Integrity will bring you peace.  Trust, Respect, Honor and Influence will happen for you if you walk with integrity.”  David Smith, Elder at Gateway Church

★ Day 08 – Reason for the Season – Christmas or X-Mas? – Part 2 ★

“He [Jesus] must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” of John 3:30 (NLT) 

★ Day 09 – Reason for the Season – Who Do You Belong To? ★

The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”  C.S. Lewis

★ Day 10 – Reason for the Season – What is the Spirit of Christmas? ★

“The beauty of the hope ushered in through Christ and made alive in us through His Spirit, is that it gives us the ability to have abiding hope, that transcends earthly circumstances and uncertainty.”  121 Advent Bible Plan

★ Day 11 – Reason for the Season – Following Jesus Will Cost You ★

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”  Matthew 5:44-45 (NASB)

★ Day 12 – Reason for the Season – Oh Holy Night ★

“God rules all things—even motel capacities—for the sake of his children.  The Calvary road begins with a “No Vacancy” sign in Bethlehem and ends with the spitting and scoffing of the cross in Jerusalem.”

“Yes, God could have seen to it that Jesus have a room at his birth.  But that would have been a detour off the Calvary road.”  John Piper

★ Day 13 – Reason for the Season – The Nativity Revealed ★

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”  2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT)

★ Day 14 – Reason for the Season – Joy to the World ★

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”  Kay Warren

★ Day 15 – Reason for the Season – A Shepherd’s View of Christmas ★

“The people that men consider to be NOBODIES, God considered them to be SOMEBODIES.”  Kevin Brennan

★ Day 16 – Reason for the Season – Gifts from the Heart ★

“The true secret of life is to give rather than receive, and no greater gift has been given to us than God   giving His only Son, Jesus, to make a way for us, to bring us hope and salvation.”   Chris Tomlin

★ Day 17 – Reason for the Season – Consumed with Busyness ★

“Want to Keep Christ in Christmas?

Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.”  Steve Maraboli

★ Day 18 – Reason for the Season – Jesus Is _____ ★

“Without Jesus, Christianity is just another religion among many. After all, He is the very essence of God who came not only to take away the sins of the world, but to reveal the Father to us in the flesh.”  Tony Evans

★ Day 19 – Reason for the Season – Everlasting Gratitude ★

“The greatest source of happiness is the ability to be grateful at all times.”  Zig Ziglar

★ Day 20 – Reason for the Season – The Father’s Love ★

“Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.”  C.S. Lewis

★ Day 21 – Reason for the Season – Neighborly Competition ★

“I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  John 8:12b (NKJV)

★ Day 22 – Reason for the Season – Part of the Stable Few? ★

“Worship will get you through the toughest times in your life, because it shifts your focus from the problem to the problem solver.”  Unknown

★ Day 23 – Reason for the Season – Can Christians Condone Claus? ★

“Santa Claus may be fun at Christmas, but he pales in comparison to the One who reigns forevermore. Jesus can give you what you really need.”  Max Lucado

★ Day 24 – Reason for the Season – Best Christmas Gift Ever! ★

“Status was never important to Jesus but selflessness was…Christ surrendered everything He loved in order that He might serve those He loved.”

“What did Christmas mean to Christ?  It meant giving up heaven, giving up the beauty of His home and selflessly coming to Earth.”  David Jeremiah

★ Day 25 – Reason for the Season – Christmas Isn’t the Destination ★

“Christmas doesn’t end December 25th…Its beautiful reality really should linger a little longer.”  Lysa TerKeurst


Let start off the New Year by closing out 2015 with a new insight!

 

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★ Thought for the Day – Begging God For_____? ★

As we come to the closing of another year, and the festivities begin with Thanksgiving tomorrow, and then right around the corner Christmas…I wanted to tap the breaks to help us get ready for that all important day that occurs in between….you guessed it Black Friday!  I saw this comic and thought it was priceless…and so true.  A little Black Friday humor!  I don’t know about you, but I do not subscribe to camping out all night or getting up at the crack of dawn to fight the crowd88 - Daily Dependence - Black Friday Realitys in order to get a great deal.  Now anyone who knows me, knows I always hunt for a deal and then will even try to negotiate the price further.  In fact my cousin even referred to me as Dave Ramsey Jr…but you will not see me captured on the news running through a Wal-Mart at 5 am for door buster deals.

So what is on your Christmas list?  What is the one thing you must have?  Maybe a LCD Flat Screen TV? A Coach hand bag?  A Fitbit, to enhance your workout?  Maybe a Self-Balancing 2 Wheel Scooter or a Drone/Quadcopter?  Whatever it is, you can be sure the desire for it has been feed by the incessant Black Friday marketing on which store has the best deal.  I was sick of the commercials before we even got out of October and we still have another month to go.  Tonight my wife and I made a run to the Target, and as we passed Home Depot they were in full swing selling Christmas trees in the parking lot…ugh…I want to transition from the red-faced child screaming “Daddy I want this _____” in the toy section, to what we do to God in our prayers.  Do you find your prayers centering on stuff or a job promotion or finding a spouse?  Do you pray to God with a transactional attitude that you bring a checklist of items for Him to grant?  Or do you pray to Him with a relational attitude that you want to grow closer and get to know God?  There is nothing wrong with asking God to be promoted or to find a spouse but when it is the only reason you talk with Him that is the problem.  What I hate more about the crowds on Black Friday is what the day turns people into…irrational, crazed shopaholics!  88 - Daily Dependence - Black Fridat MadnessIn the ★ Thought for the Day – Keeping Up With The Joneses? ★, we delved into the need to be content with what God has provided for us.  Proverbs 30:7-8 (NLT) is one of my absolute favorite verses on this subject, which says,

"O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.  First, help me never to tell a lie.  Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!”
“O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.  First, help me never to tell a lie.  Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!”

What would happen if instead of begging God to grant all of our greeds, we would selflessly pray for God to change our hearts to want what He wants…integrity and contentment?  A prayer I pray daily is for God to make me more like Him…to be a better husband, a better father and a better servant to all.  Proverbs 30 is so powerful; I especially love verse 9 that says,

“Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?”  And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.”

How different would our lives be if we embraced this wisdom?  The bridge between going to God for our greeds, to our needs is a grateful heart.  Psalms 100:4-5 (NLT) says,

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation.”

Too often we get consumed with what we don’t have instead of being thankful for what we do.  I know myself I get lost sometimes looking at the bank account and wishing there was more money and not appreciating all that God has done for me.  It is a natural feeling to long for more, or to get twisted up comparing our situations with others but God doesn’t want that for us.  He longs for us to get our priorities straight and trust in Him to be our provider, releasing all our anxieties.  The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Steven Furtick made this profound statement about this verse…

“One of the reasons we’re so anxious about what’s coming, is because we’re not thankful enough for what we have.  And so Paul says, if all you ever pray about is what you need but never stop and thank God for what you have, you’ll always be anxious.”  

Amen!!  There is such wisdom in that statement!  I know myself whenever I shift my focus from God and to my circumstance, anxiety always results.  Verse 7 of Philippians 4 goes on to say,

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Stephen Furtick went on to say,

“We all want the ‘peace of God’ in verse 7, but to get that, we need to first go through verse 6, and be thankful for what God has provided for us.  It is all about having the right    perspective with our priorities aligned with God’s.”`

When we were in at the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX, I saw this plaque and it got me thinking…

“What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”

If that were true, how much would be gone when the alarm clock broke the silence at 4:30 am?  It is really convicting to me.  Cultivating a heart of gratitude really is the key, I would like to reverse this Thought for the Day and pose this question to you…

88 - Daily Dependence - I Am Thankful forFor me I am so grateful for the life God has blessed me with – a beautiful wife and wonderful children, a great home and job…words cannot express my thankfulness!  Most of all I am thankful for who I am in God!  The late, great motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar said,

“The greatest source of happiness is the ability to be grateful at all times.” 

As we, as a nation set aside tomorrow for giving thanks, I would like to challenge us to do what Zig Ziglar said “to be grateful at all times,” and in all circumstances.  Let your thankfulness be not just once a year, but all 365 days!  In keeping with this philosophy, starting on December 1, 2015, we will be starting a 25 Day series where we will delve into the Reasons for Thankfulness for the coming Advent Season.

88 - Daily Dependence - 25 Days of Thanksgiving

You can see the first post here: ★ Day 01 – Reason for the Season – Why Do We Celebrate?

Or see them all (including this one) by clicking here…Reason for the Season

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

★ Thought for the Day – Stay the Course…Part 2 ★

In part 1 called ★ Thought for the Day – Stay the Course ★ we discussed the importance of maintaining our integrity and persevering in our walk with God regardless of the physical temptations that we face daily. Today we are goign to delve into what it means to Stay the Course with our Finances.  If you look at the top of the webpage there is link called $ Building Your Money Muscle $ which is all about handling our finances God’s way.

79 - Daily Dependence - Building Your Money Muscle

This is a passion of mine that has been fueled by two sources: Robert Morris, senior pastor of Gateway Church and from Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University (FPU) Class. Between them I have grown in leaps and bounds in my understanding of what the bible has to say about money, possessions and the hold it can have on our hearts.  Robert Morris wrote an incredible book called “The Blessed Life” which really opened my eyes to a whole new viewpoint on finances!  It is a really easy read (and for me that is saying a lot…) that unlocked the secrets of living a blessed life both financially and spiritually.  Dave Ramsey’s FPU class is a practical, step-by-step class which teaches you and your family how to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and build wealth in a God honoring way.  This class revolutionized our lives and we still apply what we learned 7 years later!  If you are interested in taking the class, click the FPU Class Finder to locate one near you.

Okay, enough background on me, onto our Thought for the Day…In Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT) Jesus started off His teaching about Money and Possessions with this polarizing statement:

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 

Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

“Store your treasure in heaven!”  This is a critical point to catch because if your singular focus is on gaining and maintaining wealth instead of what God is interested then your heart will always be divided.

I love what Robert Morris said in “The Blessed Life” book:

“When you get to heaven, will you look back on this earth and regret how much treasure you laid up here instead of sending it on ahead to heaven?” 

79 - Daily Dependence - Matthew 6-24Jesus continued in Matthew 6:24 that…

“No one can serve two masters.  Either you will hate one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.”

Handling your finances God’s way is more about getting your priorities straight then being able to balance a checkbook.  It is deciding in your heart that “no matter what God, I will serve you first and foremost!”

So how do we get to that place?  We need to go to the instruction manual…The Bible…and reading about what God’s Word has to say.  It is also about making changes in how you spend your money and not continuing to make poor financial decisions.  We need to learn from the past and make new choices that will benefit the future.  Dave Ramsey once said:

“My goal is for you to learn from my past stupidity not your future stupidity!”

79 - Daily Dependence - Dave Ramsey - Let My Hindsight Be Your ForesightOr another way of saying it is to…let my hindsight be your foresight.  Learn from others, whether from a mentor or pastor, a class like FPU or family and/or friends who have a biblical worldview on handling their finances.  Let other’s hindsight on their mistakes lead/guide you in a new direction, one which looks UP rather than INWARD.  Rick Warren made this great parallel:

“God’s BLESSING on you is always in proportion to your DEPENDENCE on Him.  Great anointing is the fruit of great trusting.” 

How much do you trust God to provide for your needs?  Now notice I did not say “wants,” I said “needs.”  That is a hard one for sure, one which I have to keep reminding myself on.  The Bible is full of truths about God’s faithfulness in this area…see Malachi 3:10-12 for just instance.  I could go on for hours on how I have seen this play out in my life!  Times when I tried to do it on my own strength and failed miserably…But then when I stopped, prayed and depended on Him, how God then opened the doors to opportunity and freedom!

The key is to stay the course.  “Stay the course” is a phrase used in the context of a war or battle meaning to pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism.  You may remember it used by Presidents George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan.  Don’t let the enemy or anyone knock you off this path to handling you finances God’s way.  The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 16:9 that he was going to stay in Ephesus to do God’s will “because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.”  Opposition will always come when we try to do the Lord’s work or to do things that honors God because it eliminates the enemy’s hold on you.  But I encourage you to press on through and stay the course because if you trust in God, He is faithful to work in and through whatever situation your poor decisions/choices have led you into!  But with that said you will need to make sacrifices.  One of the fundamental quotes from Dave Ramsey is:

“Winning at money is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge.  Most of us know what to do, but we just don’t do it.”  
“Winning at money is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge.  Most of us know what to do, but we just don’t do it.”

This is not rocket science, which is good because I’m not that smart.  It is simply saying no to the “wants,” and start going in a new direction…A direction with a new heart and new way of thinking.  There are so many promises from God that He will take care of our needs.  But we have to do our part as well.  It really boils down to behavior modification and not giving up!  I love this quote from Thomas Edison, he said:

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” 

Could you imagine what the world would be like if Thomas Edison gave up!  Be strong and persevere.  The journey to getting out of debt and attaining Financial Peace will have setbacks and difficulties but I promise with God on your side and with a resolute “will” that you are not going to give up, you will reach the prize that we all want…true Financial Peace with God’s blessings!

On “A Minute with Maxwell,” the Word that John Maxwell spoke about was “Will.”  He said that:

“Will comes out of a passionate desire to accomplish something.  We often hear the expression ‘where there is a will there is a way’…that’s true.   Basically the WILL makes the WAY.”

Get that in your spirit, “The WILL makes the WAY.”  That could not be any more evident than in the life of Jim Ryun who ran the mile in 3:51.1 (that’s minutes not hours!)  Now that is an indomitable spirit, Jim Ryun once said:

“Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going.” 

So are you going to form new habits and change your legacy and family tree, or are you going to keep running your finances into the red?  I will close this from Zig Ziglar.

"People often say that motivation doesn't last.  Neither does bathing, that's why we do it daily." 
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Neither does bathing, that’s why we do it daily.”

Everyday you need to immerse yourself in God’s Word to get a fresh outlook on life, a clean slate and renewed mind for your walk with Him and the direction for your finances!

★★★ Stay the Course! ★★★ 

If you would like to delve into more, you can check out a previous post called ★ Thought for the Day – Keeping Up With The Joneses? ★

 

 

 

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★ Thought for the Day – Carpe Diem ★

The world lost the comedic genius of Robin Williams on August 11, 2014.  Besides inducing laughter and smiles to people around the world, he was an incredible dramatic actor who brought characters like Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams (Patch Adams)
29 - Daily Dependence - Patch Adams
Sean Maguire (Good Will Hunting)
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and my personal favorite John Keating (Dead Poets Society) to life.
29 - Daily Dependence - Dead Poets Society
As I think about the joy that Robin Williams brought to his audiences, I am saddened to the core that he could not find enough for himself to prevent the depression from consuming him.  Life is fragile and at times like this it is natural to reflect upon our own mortality and take inventory.  Too often we take for granted that we have all the time in the world to tell people how we feel about them or to reconcile with a friend or family member that we are estranged from.  It is critical for us to realize that life is brief… James 4:14 (NASB) gives this somber reminder…

“Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”

That may be the case, but rather than despair, I think this should trigger us to make some changes….and to live life with purpose.  In the 1989 classic, Dead Poets Society, Robin William’s portrayal of Professor John Keating, inspired me to be more than I was, and to live life to the fullest!  In one of the most iconic scenes, Robin Williams gives this life lesson…

"Carpe diem.  Seize the day, boys.  Make your lives extraordinary." John Keating, Dead Poets Society.
“Carpe diem.  Seize the day, boys.  Make your lives extraordinary.” John Keating, Dead Poets Society.

Make your life extraordinary!  Our lives may be a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow, but we can leave an impact that lasts for generations to come.  It is time to stop wasting time…seize the day and make an impact!  I endeavor to that with my wife and children, as well as friends and pretty much anyone I come into contact with.  I am far from hitting the mark but I am always striving to do better.  As the new school year approaches, I have been encouraging my daughters to look for that person who is being left out or just doesn’t fit in, and be a friend to them.  The late great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar made this profound statement…

“You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.”
“You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.”

And that is so true!  People who know me today would probably be surprised to hear this, but I was that kid that was in need of kindness and a friend.  Living an extraordinary life is not about acquiring power or about monetary wealth or living in an extravagant house or driving a luxury car, but by making a difference in the lives of the people in your sphere of influence.  John Maxwell has one of the best definitions of success which is my mantra and what I would call living an extraordinary life…

“Success means having those closest to me love and respect me the most.”

If you asked those closest to you, what would they say?  I love how Anna Quindlen put it…

"When in doubt, choose the kids.  There will be plenty of time later to choose the work."  
“When in doubt, choose the kids.  There will be plenty of time later to choose the work.”

This Thought for the Day is all about making an impact on the people who are around you.  Take the time to spend with your children, (and your spouse) instead of working late, you will never regret that!  The very last command that Jesus made to the disciples in Matthew 28:19 was about making an impact, He said:

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” 

Life is fragile.  Life is brief.  Make an impact!  Seize the Day! 

So what does that mean for you?  What habits or routines do you need to break?  Do you need to start leaving work on time so that you are there for the people in your lives that need you to be around more?  What opportunity or decision are you hesitating on to make that could make an impact?  The choice is yours…


For those unfamiliar with the Dead Poets Society, check out this inspiring scene…Carpe Diem!

 

 


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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.

26 - Daily Dependence - Are you Lukewarm
“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 Integrity? ★

Roy E. Disney once said:

"It's not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are."
“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.”

Throughout my career, I have had bosses who wanted me to lie to our clients, to misrepresent what we had done in the past, and to “fudge” how much further along on the project then we really were. It’s moments like that, that will define who you are, and ultimately, what path your career will take…Regardless of whether you have to misrepresent yourself in a “BIG way” or “just a little white lie,” once you compromise you integrity, it WILL become the “new normal” and will be expected to be repeated.

Zig Ziglar puts a fine point on this thought…

“If people like you, they”ll listen to you. But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

So I pose the question in a different way… how important is your integrity?