Category Archives: influence

The Gift Of Choice!

The reality that I am created in the image of God still blows me away. And if I am honest, most days, I don’t even come close to even come close to getting what that reality really means. What I do know is that it means that God loves me BIG and has given me this human experience as a gift to grow in my relationship and understanding of Him.

When we actually take the time to step away from the busyness of life, we can’t help but to think about all the gifts God has given us to be thankful for. I encourage you to take time everyday to think about some of the great blessings God has blessed you with and take the time to show some gratitude by saying thank you.

Out of all the great gifts that God has given, one that amazes me to my core is the gift of choice. God has given each one of us the gift of being able to choose for ourselves the life we will experience and live. When we stop and think about it, that gives us great reason to rejoice and be happy, because with that choice comes great power to decide and determine the direction of our life and living.

The thought of this great gifts makes me think of the tremendous responsibility we have been given to be the “master of our fate and captain of our soul” as talked about by William Ernest Henley in his classic poem “Invictus”.

Invictus

“Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

So what are we to do with this great gift of choice? We are to choose wisely to live the life of blessing we were created for and we would do well to learn as quickly as possible that our choice do indeed have consequences. So, let’s start off with an extra positive choice:

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” -Philippians 4:4

Once again, we see the tremendous power we have at our disposal. We have the ability to choose who or what is going to be the focus of our lives. Others do not get to decide this for us, unless we give our power of choice away to them. It is our power and our choice – what we will focus on. I want to encourage you to focus on the God Who made you and His amazing plan for you to live a life of blessing made up of living, learning, laughing and loving.

You’ve got the power – will you use it? That’s the BIG QUESTION isn’t it. We have the power, but most of us never ever get around to using it. We might every now and then tap into it, but for the most part, we tend to wander around aimlessly, just getting by. You have the amazing power to choose the life you will live – choose wisely!

It is interesting to me that Philippians 4:4 tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord” two times, almost as if there is some understanding that we are not really going to get it the first time. When it comes to choice, we can be happy or sad, mad or glad – the choice is ours. I choose to rejoice in the God, Who gave me the power to choose for myself and look forward to growing in the blessing of that incredible power that changes everything…

A Majority Of One!

It is hard to recognize the world we are living in now a days, because it has become so destructive, disillusioned and divisive. We look for things to disagree on and grab hold of things that will drive a wedge between us and others. We walk around with a chip on our shoulder, praying someone will try and knock it off, so we might have a chance to knock them off. It has gotten down right ugly and doesn’t look to be turning around any time soon.

The really sad thing is that we see this in places that it used to never be expected. We see it in churches, families and friendships. Now a days it seems the least little thing can become bigger than life and destroy what it took years to build and develop. In the Bible, we find Jesus praying for just the opposite for those that chose to follow Him. He prayed that we might be in agreement, unified and together as one. He knew that we are stronger together than a part.

“20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” -John 17:20-23

There is great power in our getting past our differences, which are usually not really a big deal anyway. Division is a tool of the enemy used to keep us a part, so that he can deplete us of our resources and sap us of our strength. This leads to our being broken with very little hope of recovery on our own. The real tragedy is that all of this work to block the blessing of God from flowing into and through our life.

It has never been a part of God’s plan for us to attack one another. It has never been God’s agenda for us to go to war with one another. God does not want us bickering, fighting and quarreling with one another. God wants us to come together with Him and with each other, so that we might be one united relationship of supernatural power that can face and overcome the worst the devil and this world has to throw our way.

Below Are Five Suggestions For Doing Your Part To Help Us Come Together As A Majority Of One:

1.) Look For And Yield To God’s Will! This means letting go and laying your will aside, so that you can pick up God’s perfect will as your guiding light and purpose in life.

2.) Deal With Your Own Challenges And Sins! My Grandmother used to say: Sweep off your own porch, before you start trying to sweep off someone else’s.” The truth is that we all have our on battles to fight and once we fight and find victory in ours, then we just might be ready to help others with there’s, not because we are better, but because we are learning.

3.) Practice Humility! If you really want to get good at something, then you need to practice all the time, over and over again. We need to practice humility, because just when we think we’ve got it, we usually get proud of ourselves and blow it!

4.) Be An Encouragement! Everyone needs some more positivity and less negativity in their lives, so why not start with yourself. If you will start, then you might encourage others along the way and at some point you will need someone to encourage you.

5.) Embrace Reconciliation! To reconcile is to become one, regardless of our differences. The truth is: What unites us (JESUS) is stronger than anything that can divide us.

I encourage you to do your part and promise that I will be trying to do mine!

Activate Appreciation!

My word for today is appreciation and it’s one of those words you actually have to think about a little bit. When we think of appreciation, we often think of someone else appreciating us or our appreciating someone else, but appreciation is so much more. Appreciation is an attitude of gratitude, an acknowledgement of action and an admiration of accomplishment.

When we think of the word appreciation, it is usually attached to something that you have done for someone or something that someone has done for you to help make life a little better and/or easier. It really is a beautiful thing and the truth is, we need a lot more of it in our world today. The cold hard reality is that many people that should be appreciated, never are and many that reap appreciation are really getting someone else’s reward. The other sad thing is that many of us have allowed ourselves to become to busy and distracted, which leads to our missing the opportunity to live in the power of appreciation.

As I was thinking of appreciation today, it was not so much from the stand point of wanting it for myself, but to try and make sure that I do better at expressing it, offering it and sharing it with others. In my own life, I have found that appreciation received, motivates me to want to do more and better. I believe this is true for almost any of us. We want to know that what we do matters.

Appreciation Is An Attitude Of Gratitude! It is a small way of saying “thank you”. An expression of appreciation spoken or written is one way of counting our blessings. Taking the time to think about who and what we appreciate helps to fix and shape up our attitude and a good attitude is key to living the blessed life.

Appreciation Is An Acknowledgement Of Action! When we let someone know that we appreciate them or we let others know what we appreciate, then it is an acknowledgement of appreciation for whatever action touched us enough to motivate us to say this is something that matters to me and has made a difference in my life.

Appreciation Is An Admiration Of Accomplishment! Taking the time to in some way express appreciation shows that we admire and value the person or thing we are appreciating. When we admire something, we are giving it value and making it matter even more in the grand scheme of things.

I encourage you to take some time to think about the people, places and things you appreciate and let it be known. You will be amazed at the difference it will make in your life and in the lives of others…