Who Speaks Into Your Life?

 

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Can you believe that 2017 is within spitting distance? As I get older, it seems like time is accelerating at a blinding pace.  In fact, it feels like the years are flying by at an exponential rate.  This gives me pause to consider how I go about increasing the quality of the days I have left.

One of the best ways I’ve found is to surround myself with the voices of those who are where I’d like to be.  Who are your mentors?  Your heroes?  Who are those men and women who have accomplished those things that you’ve only dreamed about? Those are the voices of hope and reason amid the chaos of mediocrity.

My dream is to be an author who makes a difference with my art in the lives of others.  A voice crying in the wilderness guiding people to the green pastures of joy, hope, peace, and victory.  So, I’m listening to men and women like Michael Hyatt, John Maxwell, Andy Andrews, Joyce Meyers, and others whom I respect and trust.  They are all where I want to be.

This year, I’m determined to make huge strides toward my objectives.  If you’re like me, I’d like to share a free ebook I’ve found that I am going to use to get me down the road toward my goals in 2017 and beyond.

Let me know if it helps you  toward your goals and dreams.

http://bestyearever.me/a19403/2017ebook

 

Reboot Your Gratitude

I’ll confess, I can tend to be a half full. You know the type, the skeptic, the realist, you know negative.  God has been walking me through a process of renewing my mind.  Here’s what He’s been teaching me. For several years now, I can’t get off  Romans 12:2, Phil 4:8,  and Ephesians 2:6.  Joyce Meyer’s says, “You never fail God’s tests, you just keep taking them over and over until you get it right.”th-1

Is it just me, or sometimes does life stink? You think things will work out one way and everything seems to turn out just the opposite of what you’re believing for? You were believing for the sweet life, and you got lemons.

So, when life throws you a lemon, how do you reboot your mind to get it lined up with the Word?

How do you make lemons into lemonade?

You add sugar.

Gratitude is like adding sugar to lemon juice.

It makes sour things sweet.

Studies show that being grateful and giving thanks effects every area of your life. It effects your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Here’s how gratitude reboots your thinking:

1.  It honors God – the word actually commands us to give thanks to Him, Psalm 100, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise.” In 1 Samuel 2:30 –  God says, “I will honor those who honor me.”

2.  It renews your thinking by changing your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have.

3.  It’s God’s antidepressant – you can only have 1 thought at a time, you can’t think a grateful thought and a depressed thought at same time. It is impossible!

3 Ways to Increase Your Gratitude

  1. Start a gratitude journal – write down all those things your grateful for and read and add to it during your devotional time.
  1. Get a gratitude accountability friend  – Someone who loves you enough to tell you the truth.
  1. Hang around grateful people.

Even when gratitude doesn’t change your circumstances, it changes your perspective – from the lens that is limited by your circumstance, to the unlimited lens of God’s perspective.

Keep On Dreaming

 

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Are you like me and at times you feel like you missed the boat, because the dream you thought God put in your heart just sailed on by and left you standing on the shore, and all you could do was to wave as it passed you on by?

Maybe you think you’re too old.  Mose’s dream journey did not begin until he was 80.    Show me where God put an expiration date on dreams.

Maybe you think you don’t have enough education.  Remember, God used a bunch of uneducated fishermen to turn the world upside down for Him. I think too often we’re trapped in the conventional thinking of this world.  God says He chose the foolish things of his world to confound the wise.

So what do we do if our dream doesn’t happen the way we thought it should, or when we thought it should, or how we thought is should?  Maybe our dream was too small.  I’ve heard if we can accomplish our dream in our own strength without God, then our dream is too small.  Or, maybe, we weren’t willing to pay the price and do our part  with God to bring it to pass.


No matter what, I challenge you – dream again.  Take a chance.  Take the risk.  Do what’s hard – it is worth it.  Dream a God-sized dream whether you are 8 or 80, never, never, never stop dreaming.  Dive into the Word, sit at His feet, and get dreaming.  If you’re breathing it is not too late!

If you need to jump start your dream, I highly recommend reading “Chase the Lion” by Mark Batterson.  It will reignite you fire! #chasethelion

 

Chase The Lion

 

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New Book by Mark Batterson

I recently had the honor of being selected to be on the launch team for Mark Patterson’s new book “Chase the Lion.”  Today, I got a sneak peek of the first two chapters.  I can honestly say that it’s the only work that I’ve read where I wanted to post every other sentence on Facebook or Twitter.  Immediately, I was challenged to dream big, and to revive dreams I’ve set aside.  He approaches the topic from a fresh perspective that I’d never thought of before.  It is INSPIRING!

I can already tell that this book should go on everyone’s “Have To” read list.

What is your dream?

The Lion Chaser’s Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life
is to arrive safely at death.
Run to the roar.
Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-given passions.
Go after a dream that is destined to fail
without divine intervention.
Stop pointing out problems. Become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past. Start creating the future. Face your fears. Fight for your dreams.
Grab opportunity by the mane and don’t let go!
Live like today is the rst day and last day of your life. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails.
Live for the applause of nail-scarred hands.
Don’t let what’s wrong with you
keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Dare to fail. Dare to be different.
Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

#ChaseTheLion  #MarkBatterson

Finding The Secret Place

 

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I’m no early morning girl, in fact, if I were the one who created the world the sun would never rise before 8 a.m. Years ago, when the kids were younger I got up long before the sun on a regular basis, and spent quiet time with the Lord.  Honestly, at that stage of my life, it was early or never.   As the kids got older, life got busier and nights got later and my early morning time got later and shorter.  Amazingly, my peace and joy shrank in direct proportion to the time decrease. Then one day, I got “the email” asking me to review a book called “Early to Rise,” this great little treatise on the value of rising early led me to read further, which convicted me that the first part of the day could really be the best part of the day.  So,  I pulled on my big girl pants and set the alarm for 5 a.m.  What a difference an hour makes!

Keys to Finding Your Secret Place

  • I have everything ready the night before: coffee set, cup out, Bible

and other study tools and a notebook handy. Be sure to set your alarm.

•  Pick a quiet comfy spot free of distractions.

  • For the first 15 minutes I just sit and still myself and try not to let me mind run down my chore list for the day. Then I thank Him for all the great things in my life.  My family, home,  ministry, car, everything I can think of, nothing is too small to be grateful for! This helps to minimize problems and it maximizes joy and gratitude.
  • I read my Scriptures for that day, a Proverb, a through the Bible schedule, or whatever I want to study.
  • I journal what God is showing me as I read.
  • Next, I have a confession list of what I believe God wants in my life with the Scriptures to back it up that I speak out loud each day.
    • (example) God has great plans for me.  Jeremiah 29:11-13
  • Lastly, I make any requests I might have and thank Him for hearing me.

If I can do it, so can you.  I promise it will change your life.

How to Get Off the Emotional Roller Coaster

th “The truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone—a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.”  John 12:24

Just the word dying sounds like it’s the end of life.  The end of anything that’s good.  Jesus is telling us here if we want to find real life, we need to put others ahead of ourselves.  We may be thinking, “I am comfortable and I enjoy my time off and frankly, I don’t want to change anything.” I totally understand that! I love my time off!  I love relaxing and just spacing out!

When we moved from California to Oklahoma in 1989, it was to get involved in ministry.  I jumped in and started helping out in bus ministry and with the 4 and 5 year old class.  My husband on the other hand, felt he had not heard from God on what he was supposed to do, so he did the logical thing . . . nothing!  He just kept praying about where God wanted him to get involved.  He felt with something that important he surely didn’t want to make a mistake. In the mean time, he was really enjoying his time off.  You see, we had owned a business and sold it along with our home, so we had enough money to take a long rest and really get God’s heart on what we were supposed to do.

At least until the day I conned him into helping me out in the 4 and 5 year old class.  After the first day, he realized that “he hated working with kids!”  His feet hurt and he felt like it was a total waste of his time.  He felt his time would have been better spent in the adult service or praying about where God wanted him to get involved. However, I was pretty persuasive and before he knew what hit him, he found himself helping out again the next week.  He kept telling himself that maybe it would be better this week, but it wasn’t. I don’t even know how I did it, but there he was in class again for week three.  I wish I could tell you how amazing I am, but I’m pretty sure the real credit belongs to the Spirit of God; He was setting him up for his destiny!!

Sure enough, this day was different.  There was a young boy in the class who never paid attention to anything or anybody. He would crawl around the classroom or lay under the chairs and totally ignore you when you spoke to him.  He would never look anyone in the eye. This particular day would be a turning point for my husband and Clarke.  Kip got down on the floor with him and asked him if he could help him listen to the lesson.  He got up into his chair and helped my husband listen to the lesson.  From that day on, Clark and Kip were buddies.  He was hooked!

The last time we saw Clarke he was in fifth grade leading an altar team and praying with a group of kids to receive Christ. Kip’s life was never the same from that fateful day.  The rest is history that led to Bible School and 20 years as a Family Pastor.  Before this time, he lived on the emotional roller coaster.  One week, he’d feel great about life and the next he would be depressed.  The cycle was a downward spiral that repeated itself over and over again. It turned out that when he got his eyes off of himself and onto others his life leveled out. He has never been on that emotional roller coaster since that day!  Plus, it opened the door to God’s plan for his life.

The key was just what Jesus said, “You find your life when you lose it.” Many people think that only the pastors make a difference.  The truth is, everybody has the power to make a difference.  Get off the roller coaster and really start enjoying the ride!

How to Have the Family You’ve Always Wanted – Part 10

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Never Stop Dreaming

Children are dreamers, they see themselves doing great and noble things.  “When I grow up, I’m going to be . . . a firefighter, a policeman, a nurse, a princess.”  Yet, as the realities of life sink in around us, it is all too easy to give up on dreaming.

Is it because dreams involve risk? I don’t know, but I do know that I sit and counsel with way too many people who have quit dreaming.  Without dreams we do not live, we exist.  Without dreams there is no passion.  Without dreams there is no vision and as it is written, “Without a vision the people perish.”  Don’t let the comfortable and the convenient rob you of your destiny.  You were created for greatness, but before greatness comes dreaming.  Chose big humongous impossible dreams that challenge you.  Take the risk, dare to dream again.

This is one of the greatest things that you can model for your children.  Make dreaming big be the norm in your family not the exception.  Jeremiah 29:11-13 – God has great plans for you and your family!!!