Just Do It

Standard

 

Perfection is over-rated. An idea doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be implemented.

~Unknown

 

Are you like me?  You get a great idea and then it never gets implemented because you spin your wheels trying to get it just right before you do it.  I’m learning to start somewhere, because somewhere is better than no where.  Once I get it started, then I can improve it as I go.  It saddens me a bit to think of the trail of great ideas that have fallen into the ditch of inaction, but it th-1encourages me to change my ways and stop the bleeding.  How do you get things implemented?

 

 

Don’t Quit

Standard

02_09_8_prev

Lately, I’ve talked to so many people going through extremely difficult situations.  Some are just hanging by a thread.  Maybe you’re like one of those on the verge of giving up.  Don’t quit. You only lose when you quit.  I ran across this poem and thought it might encourage someone.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit…
Rest if you must—but don’t you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.

The goal may be nearer than
It seems to a tired man with rolled up sleeves
;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things go wrong
That you mustn’t quit.

– Unknown

 

 

Brilliantly Put . . .

Standard

Sometimes you run across a statement that just says it all.  This is one of them;  I love this quote. You can cancel your counseling appointment – here is your answer simply and aptly put – pick your problem.  I think we lose some of life’s biggest truths under a mountain of rhetoric.  This one peels back the veneer. Thank you Mr. Covey

th-1“Every human has four endowments — self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.”
– Stephen R. Covey

JOY the Heart Check

Standard

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the source of true joy.  Jesus said, if you want to be great, you need to be the servant of all.  Apparently, inherent in achieving joy, is dying to self. I remember a wise person once told me that you never know if you have a servant’s heart until someone treats you like a servant.  Has anyone ever treated you like a servant?  I choose to think of it as a heart check, and if I find any resentment lurking, I find a way to go the second mile. It never fails to turn resentment into peace and pride into joy.  True joy comes not from what we get, but from what we give.  What are some other ways that you jump start your joy?heart

3 Simple Steps To Dream Again – Part 3

Standard

3. Don’t give up on your dreams.  

Or, as they say in the classic film “Galaxy Quest”  “Never Give Up Never Surrender!”

You don’t lose until you quit. Your breakthrough could be moments away.  Keep looking up, keep trusting God and when your circumstances overwhelm you, and it all looks impossible. Simply change your perspective and look at it through God’s eyes.

Ephesians 2:6 encourages us that we are seated with Christ in Heavenly places.  Notice it says, “are seated” not “will be seated.”  When we’re seated at that altitude, we can have access to the big picture that helps us see beyond the immediate obstacles to the glorious potential.

Seeing it through from God’s perspective helps you keep your heart right. When we see things from God’s perspective it changes everything.

After 23 years, Joseph’s dream came to pass just as he had seen it at 17 years of age.  When the famine forced his family to come to Egypt in search of food, they bowed low before Egypt’s great ruler   . . .  Joseph – just like in his dream.  In Chapter 45 Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers.  In this passage, he also reveals his heart of forgiveness, and his right perspective – God’s.  Having God’s perspective caused him to trust in God and believe beyond circumstance which protected him from bitterness, and unforgiveness.

So Joseph didn’t let his past determine his future, made others successful, and he never gave up.  Joseph saved Egypt, he saved his people, and he changed the world.

Take a pointer from one of the greatest heroes who ever lived, Joseph. Never ever stop dreaming no matter what, the world needs your dream!

 

3 Simple Steps to Dream Again – Part 2

Standard

You haven’t heard from me for a while because I’ve been working on an exciting project.  I just finished a chapter for Brian Tracy’s new book “Transformed” which comes out in the fall!

Now back to Joseph and the art of dreaming.  As we continue the story of Joseph, I’m gonna give you a job.  I want you to watch for these things in Joseph: expressions of self pity, complaining and griping, excuses, blaming his past relationships or experiences for his current problems, excuses why he cannot do something, anything, giving up, or quitting. In fact, I want you to watch for any sign, any sign at all, of any dysfunction in his life.

So Joseph arrives in Egypt and gets sold to Potiphar the head of Pharaoh’s Palace guard.  We are now in Genesis 39. At once he goes to work with all his heart and immediately Potiphar starts noticing that everything Joseph touches gets better! See Genesis 39:2. Here we see our second key to dreaming again.

2.  Make Someone Else a Success

Making someone else a success is the fastest way to personal success. Solve someone’s problems and your value will go up exponentially.  Don’t bring problems, bring solutions.

Luke 16:12  And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Now back to Joseph . . .

Before you can turn around, Joseph is totally in charge of everything Potiphar owns.  And just when it looks like he’s got it made in the shade,  Potiphar’s wife tells a whopper about him and gets him thrown in prison.  So Joseph gets thrown into the prison.  These were not pleasant accommodations. No windows, cots, toilets.  Check out Genesis 39:21-22 for signs of complaining etc.  Do you see any? No, because of his great attitude, before long he’s running the whole place.

A true leader understands that when you make someone else a success everyone wins.

So you can see where ever you put Joseph he’s gonna make them a success.  But you say things just seems to be getting worse . . . . well yeah.

Dreams take time.  Our culture has changed but God hasn’t, we must have patience to experience the fulfillment of our dream. We’re now in chapter 40. Meanwhile the clock is ticking this is about 11 years after he had the dreams.

About this time, the Pharaoh’s Baker and Cupbearer get thrown in jail because they ticked Pharaoh off and they both have troubling dreams.

Check this scripture out . . . with all Joseph’s problems he’s worried about someone else . . .

Genesis 40:6-7  The next morning Joseph noticed the dejected look on their faces. “Why do you look so worried today?” he asked.

They tell him they have had disturbing dreams and Joseph says interpreting dreams is God’s business, tell me the dreams. So they tell him their dreams, he interprets them.

Joseph tells the cup-bearer to please remember to tell the Pharaoh how he’s in jail unjustly and to please let him out.Then Pharaoh has the baker and the cup-bearer come to his Birthday Party.  Just like Joseph had predicted, the baker is executed and the cup-bearer is restored to his old position.

The cup-bearer is so grateful that he totally forgets all about Joseph for another 2 years. Now we’re in Chapter 41.That is until Pharaoh too has troubling dreams.  When he can’t find anyone to interpret his dreams  . . . then the cup-bearer remembers “Oh yeah, there was this guy in jail who told me and the baker what our dreams meant and it happened just like he said.”

So they send for Joseph, clean him up, and bring him to Pharaoh.  Long and short, Joseph interprets his dreams and Pharaoh makes him second in command of all Egypt on the spot.  From prison to the palace in a moments time. Then Pharaoh changed his name to  Zaphenath-Paneah which means “Savior of the world.”

To be continued . . .

3 Simple Steps to Dream Again – Part 1

Standard

Dreams and aspirations . . .  we all have them or had them. As kids, we come with a built in sense of destiny and nothing is out of reach . . . I’m gonna be president, a fireman, a ballerina an astronaut.  Notice how its all high an nobel, when was the last time you met a kid who said, “I want to be a bank robber when I grow up . . . that’s my dream.”

My dream as a kid was to be the first woman Supreme Court Justice.  My passion was to make wrongs right.

But for many of us, somehow these high and nobel dreams have drifted into a permanent dream state instead of becoming living realities in our lives.

God did not create us just to dream . . .  but to live.  He did not create us to be wallflowers, He created us to be dancers.  God did not create us to be spectators, He created us to be world changers. So, how do you get your dreams from concept to reality?

By definition, a dream is a strong desire to do something high or great. In contrast, the opposite of a dream or aspiration is aimlessness.  Without a dream, we become aimless.  Without aim or purpose.  You know the old saying, if you aim a nothing, you’ll hit it every time. But God says . . .

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

My goal here is to try to encourage and challenge you to pursue the dreams that are in your heart, and if your dreams are all but dead to stir those embers into a fire.  Because your dreams do not just impact you, they impact others.

It’s said that encouragement is the oxygen of the soul.  My hope is to give you oxygen.  Here is Key #1 of this three part series from the life of Joseph that just may help.

1.  Don’t let your past determine your future.

The story of Joseph starts to unfold in Genesis 37.  Here’s the 411.  Joseph is the son of the Bible Patriarch Jacob.  Jacob had just spent 20 years in Haran where 11 of his boys were born. He had 4 wives Leah, Rachel – who had died giving birth to Jacob’s 12th son Benjamin on the way back from Haran – Bilhah and Zilpah who were originally Leah’s and Rachel’s handmaids.  It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to see that Joseph’s blended family is dysfunctional to the max.  First off, there is Dad who tried to bring God’s plan into his life by lying, cheating, and conniving.  A trait he had passed on to most of his boys not to mention some serious moral flaws and fopaus.  To make matters worse Jacob showed blatant favor to Joseph, Rachel’s boy by giving him a coat that many scholars believe made him boss of his older brothers, something that just didn’t happen in Jewish culture. Talk about family tension!  So, it is not surprising that his brothers hated him and made no attempt to hide it.

Here’s an interesting side note:  the brothers couldn’t say a kind thing about him, and yet Joseph is one 3 or 4 characters in the entire Bible, one of them being Jesus, that not one negative thing is said about. In fact, Joseph is actually a type and shadow of Jesus.

As our story continues, Joseph has a dream.  He dreams that he and his brothers were out in a field tying up bundles of grain and suddenly his bundle stands up and all the brothers bundles gather round him and bow low before him. So what does the brilliant 17 year old Joseph do?  . . . He goes and tells his brothers.  This was like throwing gas on a fire.

Here’s what we can glean from this:

It’s not always wise to tell everything you know!  Some things are better kept between you and God. Not the millions of people on facebook.

Second,  not everyone is going to be excited about your dream.  In fact, the odds are that more people will try to discourage you from achieving your dream than will believe in your dream and help you achieve it.  Some will even try to sabotage your dream.

On with the story. Then, if things weren’t already bad enough, he has another dream this time the sun, moon and eleven stars bowed low before me. So has Joseph wised up?  No . . . this time he not only tells his brothers, but his dad as well. His dad gets on his case “What kind of dream is that?  Will your mother and I and your brothers all bow down to the ground before you?”

The word goes on to say while his brothers were filled with jealousy,  Jacob ponder what it could mean.

Soon after this, Joseph gets sent to check on his brothers who are watching the sheep. This was not out in the backyard, this was about a 70 mile trek by foot. Joseph’s brothers see him coming from a ways off and say, “Let’s kill this dreamer.  Then we’ll see what will become of his dreams.”  So they devise this plot to kill him and throw his body into a cistern and tell their Father he was eaten by a wild animal.

Luckily, his brother Reuben intervenes and says, “Hey, let’s not kill him . . . why have his blood on our hands, we’ll just throw him in the empty cistern, then he’ll die without us having to do it.”  And all the brothers thought it was a great idea.

Then they do what any rational thinking group of people would do, they cook dinner like nothing happened.  At this point in the story, there is nothing recorded about Joseph’s reaction to all this, but in Genesis Chapter 42:21 some 22 or so years later, we’re privy to a conversation the brothers have after they have come to Egypt to get grain and are accused of being spies.

“Speaking among themselves, they said, “This has all happened because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his terror and anguish and heard his pleadings, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why this trouble has come upon us.” Genesis 42:21

So we see that Joseph must have been terrified and begged and pleaded for his life and they heartlessly ignored his pleas.  We also see that 22 years later they are still plagued by the guilt of what they did.  22 years later they are still held captive by sin.

The good new is, Joseph does get out of the well.   The bad news is the brothers sell him as a slave to a caravan on its way to Egypt.

Let’s stop here in our story and go back to the point we were trying to make:  Don’t let you past determine your future.

Would you agree that if anyone qualifies as a victim, and has the right to play the blame game it would have been Joseph?  Later, you’ll find out that this is not how he chose to handle it. But the truth is, No one can keep you from your God-given destiny  . . . but you. Others can’t keep you from your dreams. We are the keeper of our dreams. No one can limit you, except you . . . its a choice.

You can choose to be a victim and remain a spectator for your entire life, or you can get up and make the world your dance floor.  Your past can’t stop God’s plan, your circumstances can’t stop God’s plan, your education, age, or your color; you are the only one who has that power.

While God did not cause all those awful things his family did to Joseph, it was playing right into God’s plan.  God got him right on the trade route to Egypt exactly where he needed to be to complete his assignment.

end part 1