As I scan across the internet and see what people are saying, I find certain themes are prevalent. Many – especially young people – are questioning the existence of God. Is He real? Does He speak to us? And what about Jesus? What is He all about? Is He a myth?
These questions are sometimes posed outright, but more often implied in the views which are expressed. Furthermore, peoples’ actions give them away. It’s obvious that the many distractions of our age, whether they are career achievements, sports, or social life, can dull the nudge within a person’s heart. Often it seems that people don’t care.
This saddens me, but doesn’t surprise me. There have been so many mistakes by those of us in “organized Christianity.” Hypocrisy, apathy,and in-fighting sometimes have made us poor role models. But the faults of others don’t have to determine your life. (more…)
My grandson, Charlie, is in Middle School now, and a very bright guy.
Recently I thought of an episode which happened several years ago. He was about three, sitting on my lap, when with wide eyes, he began to tell me his story.
Spider Man, Batman, Pink Venom, Black Venom, and Green Goblin were having a “spend-the-night party.” He animatedly continued to create this adventure, which eventually led to a gi-normous (that’s bigger than gigantic or enormous alone) box falling on their heads and they had to fight it off.
All of us listening to Charlie’s imagination on steroids, couldn’t help but chuckle. What a creative mind! You could see the wheels turning as he churned out his tale.
Later, in a quieter moment, I began to think how we adults lose that creativity. What happens to us? Why are we always so methodical and logical about any visions or goals we might have?
Why do we always settle for the “norm?”
If everyone “settled for the norm,” we would have none of the cutting edge technology, space travel, or medical wonders of our generation. So some are not settling, but how about you? How about me?
The Bible says that faith is the substance of things “hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.”(Hebrews 11:1)
The hoped for is the thing I want to talk about today. The hope is like a blueprint in your mind of what you are believing for. If you don’t have a picture in your mind of what you are believing for, then how can you have faith for it? You can’t!
In another blog, I talked about the woman who came to Jesus, pushing through the crowd to receive healing from a hemorrhage. She had been living with the condition for 12 years, and had spent all of her money on doctors, but had not received her healing. Yet she clearly had a vision of herself being healed by Jesus, because she said that she knew if she touched Him she would be made well.
That was creative hope, which didn’t settle for what all of the natural evidence suggested.
Can you imagine what her family might have said to her that day? They probably would have told her that she had been to the best doctors, now just accept this condition and do the best you can with it. They might even have told her that God wanted her to be sick. But she knew better than all of them. She knew that Jesus could accomplish what natural man never could. And she was right!
That creative hope is from God.
He created us in His image, and He always has a special plan in mind about the progression of things. He has special plans for you, but if you are always too busy to spend time with Him, you will never know these plans. You will never develop the Godly hope He wants for us.
Let me encourage you today to spend time with God and His Word. Pray and expect Him to answer.
Ask Him to show you some plans He wants for you. As you continue in this direction, you will begin to see desires drop into your heart…Godly desires. Desires that your faith can then catapult into reality.
In the meantime, enjoy the journey. It’s truly an adventure when we are walking with God!
Are you ready for a reboot? Are you ready to clarify your vision and find the right path?
In the book of Proverbs, there are two paths mentioned – one of them more than once.
The first says There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 NIV)
You notice that’s stated twice. It must be important.
So what could this mean?
Look around. Almost everything is negative. The virus, the riots, the political climate. Everything seems negative.
Well, everyone is saying it. It must be right. Right?
No. Just because you are being bombarded with these negative ideas and emotions, doesn’t mean that you have to enter the fray.
That path might seem right to man, but the end of it is death. Death of your dreams. Death of your business. Death of your health, if you allow yourself to stay in that mindset.
I prefer the second path.The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter to the full light of day. (Proverbs 4:18 NIV)
That’s not to say that there won’t be obstacles and down moments.
However, through your faith in God, you can realize that you are an overcomer. You will be strong and courageous. You will choose to let your mind dwell on good things.
Of course, you will be wise and use precautions, and you will keep up with what is going on around you.
However, you won’t have negative news and thoughts pounding your ears and mind. You will think about God’s Word and His faithfulness to you.
This can be your time to rise to new heights.
If you are ready to reboot 2020 and declare it’s a year of promise, take a look at Connie Ragen Green’s free 2020 Vision Quest Challenge. Her challenge will bring boldness and clarity to you help you set your path.
I’ve known Connie for several years now, and have benefited from lots of her training. She is refreshingly authentic, and really smart in her approach to business.
You can get your free 2020 Vision Quest Challenge by clicking HERE.
Take a look.You’ll be glad you did.
Blessings and Keep on Soaring…
Daniel Goleman is recognized as being one of the foremost thought leaders on brain health and function. His biggest area of research has been in an area known as Emotional Intelligence.
Most of us realize that our emotions have a great deal of influence over us.
From the standpoint of marketing, we know that emotions sell. That’s why, in order to sell you a car, advertisers show you a beautiful woman wanting to ride with you. Or a healthy happy family you are going to keep safe. They may spend a little bit of time showing the engine, but not much time. Expert marketers know that the emotional image you see will sell you.
The image makes you feel good, and you buy. It’s as simple as that.
But beyond the surface of marketing through your emotions, I want to take this deeper. When Goleman uses the term: Emotional Intelligence, he identifies it as another aspect of your brain’s dynamic. Like your IQ. It’s another indicator of brain health.
According to Dr. Goleman, your emotions can sometimes be a more important indicator of your success in life than your IQ. Also, when you go through stressful situations – such as what the entire world has gone through recently – your degree of emotional intelligence can determine how well you cope with the crisis.
You can have an extremely high IQ and very low emotional intelligence. And vice versa.
Okay. So what is it exactly?
Continuing with Goleman’s research, there are five basic areas of our Emotional Intelligence. We’ll look quickly at these five.
This means you are aware of your emotions as they happen. Sometimes we can
just feel bad” or sad without knowing why. If we are aware, we will start analyzing so that we can do something about it.
Emotional awareness and self-confidence are essential to being able to understand and control these emotions.
This is a big one. Self regulation means that we are able to control strong emotions such as anger or anxiety.
When these strong emotions are trying to take over, it’s good to pray. Or take long walks. Or write in a journal, allowing those emotions to be expressed in a healthy way. Not with rages or excesses.
For self-regulation, one must be conscientious, trustworthy, innovative, and adaptable. All of these important elements can see you through tough times.
When someone is highly motivated, they can more likely overcome difficulties.
We all know people who are usually positive and those who are usually negative. Given the same set of circumstances, some people always see gloom – or not.
Through self-discipline, we can train ourselves to overcome those negative thoughts which bombard us. We can replace them with positive thoughts.
To have and keep motivation flowing in our lives we need commitment, the drive to achieve, initiative, and a positive mindset.
So far we have been thinking inwardly. Now this one – empathy – looks outward.
Instead of self-awareness, empathy is other-awareness.
You’ve heard the phrase, Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. That’s what empathy is all about. Understanding others. Their emotions. Their hurts. Their motivations.
This ability to understand and empathize with others is essential to a healthy emotional life.
Empathy helps you to be aware of how your words and actions are affecting others. When you see that you are negatively impacting others, you can change that behavior.
The fifth area of emotional intelligence is how well you work and relate to others.
You can build good quality relationships. You can even help others to grow in their emotional health.
For good social skills you will need to be able to communicate well, work as a team, build rapport, initiate change, and hep resolve conflict.
A good leader has to have good social skills.
So now that we have looked at an overview of what Emotional Intelligence is, let’s see how we can rate ourselves.
There are signs that someone suffers with low emotional intelligence.
- They frequently complain
- They show lots of fear and anxiety
- When they are offended, they aren’t open with the offender, but they gossip and complain secretly.
- They sulk.
- They show mood swings.
- Often they have fits of rage.
Emotionally healthy people act differently.
- They are positive most of the time.
- They look for ways to overcome problems.
- They are open and honest with people.
- If negative issues arise, they talk to the person – rather than gossip about them.
- They are kind and understanding in their dealings.
- They inspire others for greater goals.
Well. I’m sure that most of us can recognize some areas where we excel – and others where we need to grow.
So how do we grow?
- We Practice Awareness. We become more aware of our own emotions. We also make an attempt to understand others better. What are their emotional needs? How can we help them?
- When we have negative emotions, we don’t just brush them aside. We deal with them. We spend some time thinking about why we feel this way, and how we can overcome it. (Hiding our emotions will lead to anger and anxiety).
- We feed our spirits with good words. As a Christian, I recommend reading the Bible on a daily basis. If you haven’t been doing this, start with Psalms and Proverbs. You will find lots of motivational material there.
- We take care of our physical health. Our bodies affect our emotions and our positivity. When we eat well, exercise, and get proper rest, it will pay off with our attitude.
- We should surround ourselves with positive, like-minded people. Other people can pull us up or down. When we choose positive, growing people to surround us, our energy grows. So does our attitude.
On going through these items, I have realized that every area of someone’s life could be impacted by their emotional strength. Their career, their family, their social life, and their own quality of life all hinge on their ability to effectively handle their emotions and relate to others.
It will be worth the time and energy it takes to do a self-evaluation. Then to honestly look at themselves and make the changes needed to grow.
I’m doing this for sure!
Do you pray a lot? I mean, do you find yourself praying for others and not just your family? Do you pray for the condition of the church? Do you pray for the condition of our nation? Our world?
Our Father is looking for people to pray for His will to be done in the earth.
He says, “You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent. And give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (62:6-7)
Now we know that Jerusalem is the physical city on one level – and the spiritual City of God on the other. In other words, the universal church. He wants us to pray for the church to rise up to be a praise in the earth – all across the earth.
So why doesn’t He just do it? Remember, He set up the world to have men as managers. Adam was to take dominion of the earth and be a manager under God’s authority. Of course, Adam allowed the devil to usurp the authority, and man lost his role, but eventually Jesus would bring it back in fullness.
Now our Father wants us to cooperate with Him to bring His glory and His purpose to the earth in fullness. We can’t do it on our own, but working with Him, we do our part. We do it by speaking into the atmosphere the Words of our God. Decreeing His purposes into the earth.
Our part is to pray and decree what our God says. He says that salvation has come for all who will receive it. He says healing and deliverance are here for us now. He says that prosperity is here for us now. He says that as we pray, He will open the eyes of many to believe and receive Him.
What do you say? Do you say, “Woe is me?” Or do you agree with your Father and say what He says?
Our Father is looking for those who will speak His Words into the earth, and He will bring them to pass.
Count me in, Lord. What about you?
I Timothy 1
Paul had a tremendous respect for Timothy, a young man who was called of God as a fellow minister. In these next two letters, the older apostle gave instruction which any of us could take to heart. He gave godly counsel on attitudes and behaviors which would make Timothy fruitful for God.
Timothy had been given by God a call – and prophecies to go along with the call. (V. 18). He was now operating in the gifts God had given to Him, but Paul knew from experience that there was warfare which went with the call.
What do I mean? The devil is not going to sit by and let someone operate in the gifts without trying to talk them out of it. At times he would send people across Timothy’s path to ridicule him and mock him. At other times he would bring persecution and anger from those in authority.
What God loves, the devil hates! He will do all within his power to stop the move of God in Timothy’s life (or yours, or mine).
So how does Timothy stand firm? He wages a good warfare by the words which have been spoken to him. He speaks those words into the atmosphere, and reminds the devil of them. He takes the word of God in the Bible and speaks those also.
Do you remember when Jesus was in the wilderness being tested of the devil? What did He do? He spoke the Word of God back to the devil.
It is written. It is written. It is written.
We follow after His example. When we are tempted of the devil to give up our call (and we are all called to do something), we say “It is written…”
When we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, he has to flee from us. He has no choice.
Some have not done this and have suffered shipwreck, according to Paul.(V.19). Yet Paul reminds Timothy of the importance of waging a war with the Words of God.
That’s a good reminder for us also.