Posts Tagged ‘Failure’

Hope Our Anchor Of Life

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” – Hebrews 6:19

When you hear the word anchor, what images and thoughts come to mind? A large heavy object used to secure and hold a boat securely in place, keeping it from drifting off into danger? A large, heavy secure bolt, beam, or brace used to ensure a building is strong, stable, and safe? A strong device, that when fixed, ensures a rock climber is held safely and securely while dangling perilously high above the ground? A key military defensive position critical to protecting an important area, troops and/or citizens?

Another definition offered by dictionary.com is “a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; mainstay.”

We have all had times in life when we needed and “anchor”; those times when we feel helpless and seek support, security, and stability in the people, things, and places familiar to us, that have always been there for us, and that we feel we can most trust and rely on to support us and make us feel safe and good. It is great to have these “anchors” in our lives, and they can be very helpful and comforting in dealing with some real rough storms in life or at work, but just as with the physical and mechanical anchors used by sailors or boaters, contractors, rock climbers, and our military the people, things, and places we put our trust in sometimes let us down, disappoint us, and fail us because they just aren’t capable of meeting the need, filling the void, and providing the true hope that our hearts really need and thirst for.

That is exactly what God offers us in his promises; a firm and sure anchor of hope! In The Message a modern translation of the Bible, Hebrews 6:15-20 tells us:

When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.

We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline (anchor), reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us…”

So, the next time you find yourself needing an “anchor” grab hold of the only person, place, or thing that offers us true unshakable security, strength, safety, stability, rest, peace, and comfort. Reach out and grab hold, tightly, to God, your creator and Heavenly Father. He will not disappoint you, fail you, leave you or forsake you. He will be an “anchor” for your soul, and make you more happy in life and at work.

Rest For Your Soul

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

I used to race bicycles competitively. From 1990-1997 I raced in over a dozen states. In order to do so, I trained regularly and rigorously. You may be familiar with cycling, if only from watching the Tour de France on TV. In cycling, the riders will form packs or groups to work together and conserve energy. Each rider taking a turn in front then slipping back to take shelter and rest until it is again their turn to “take a pull”. Riders in groups will even share food and water, knowing that they are stronger as a group.  They will watch after each other and work together in hopes that the group will be successful and make it to the finish ahead of the other riders.

In some cases riders who become fatigued get “dropped” from a group and are left alone. They may, for a while, attempt to work very hard to maintain the pace of the group, and even hope to rejoin the group, but invariably the physical and mental demands to maintain such a pace can cause them to “crack”.  At that point the wise tactic is for that single rider to drop back to another group, take shelter from the new group, rest, and recover.  If you race long enough, it happens to everyone. From experience, I can tell you that, when you are “dropped” and left alone, it is an awful feeling. The feeling of being “dropped” and left alone is difficult to overcome. The physical weariness is one thing, but mentally motivating yourself to continue and finish can be a great battle of will.

However, when another group comes along and you are able to join them, you become re-energized, refreshed, and recommitted to finishing the race. The new group accepts you,  welcomes and encourages you, provides you the relief and rest you need, they pull you along, they nourish you, and there is exchange of important race information and friendly conversation. They are just what you need to finish the race you started!

Something else I know from experience is that sometimes in life and in our careers, we can get “dropped”; we become both physically and mentally weary and fatigued; the burden becomes so great that we feel as though we just can’t continue or finish; we want to give up. In those times, God wants to be that group that comes along when we most need it. He will always accept us right where we are, there is always a warm comforting spot for us in his arms, he wants to give us the rest we need, he wants to renew our strength, he is “the bread of life and wants to nourish us, he offers the peace we are looking for, and he wants so much for us to talk and share our lives with him. He is the one who can help us, not just continue the race, but to finish it…and finish strong!

Go to him, find rest for your soul, and allow him to help you find happiness in life and at work.

Leave The Stronghold – Enter The Land Of Judah

Monday, January 10th, 2011

 

“Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah” 

David is one of the most colorful and controversial people written about in the bible.  1 Samuel 22:5 is one of my favorite versus about David; I believe it describes why God called David “a man after my own heart”.  You see, David, even though he messed up a lot, had many fears, and was often beat down and troubled never stopped, seeking God, listening to God…following God…moving toward God…pursuing God…chasing after God…and most importantly praising God!

In 1 Samuel, David and his fighting men had been hiding in the cave of Adullam. He was fleeing Saul. Many of life’s down-and-out had come and joined David’s army. David was content to stay in the stronghold of safety. Then, God’s prophet came to David and told him that he must leave the stronghold and go into the land of Judah.

When life beats down on us and we get to the place where we want to hide in a cave, God often places people around us who prod us into moving in the right direction. He does not want us to remain in the place of discouragement. He wants us to move into the land of “praise.” Judah means “praise.”

I recall when I went through a very difficult time. It seemed to drag on and on with no change until finally I wanted to retreat to a cave and forget pressing on. It was a great time of discouragement. A godly man came to me and said, “You must keep moving! There are too many who are depending on you..now and in the future.” I didn’t totally understand what he meant at the time. Now I know he was saying that God is preparing each of us to be the vessel He wants to use in the life of another person, but we will never be that vessel if we give up and hide in our cave of discouragement. Not only must we keep moving, we must move into a new realm. Our attitude must move from discouragement to praise. It is when we move past discouragement to praise that we begin living above our problems. Make a decision today to go into the land of Judah.

Stand By Me, You, Somebody

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

Take a look at that first verse again; “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. It says “never”. That has been a tough one for me at times; admittedly, there have been times when I have been unhappy, sad, hurt, discouraged, dissapointed, disillusioned, afraid, lonely, or angry, and I have felt like God had foresaken me. But, without fail and at just the right time God always shows up! Oftentimes, he shows up in the form of a friend or family member, who knows just what I need, or don’t need.

Sometimes in life we just need someone to stand by us, not to do anything specifically, but just to know that they beleive in us and are willing to stand by us and with us. Do you have a friend or family member like that? I pray you do, and If so, I hope you recognize and acknowledge how blessed and fortunate you are. If you don’t, I pray God will meet that need; send you that special someone to stand by you, love you, and encourage you. I want you to pray for that too, then have faith and believe that God will help you find that “friend that sticks closer than a brother”.

Secondly, and just as important, I hope you will take the time to be that friend for someone else in their time of need…because no matter who we are or where we go…at some point we all need somebody to standy us. Do this and I know you will be happy in life and at work.

Playing For Change: Song Around the World “Stand By Me” from Playing For Change on Vimeo.

He Throws His Arms Around You

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Have you ever lost your way; I know I have. Sometimes it is difficult to see and understand who your real friends are and who truly loves you. We can easily become depressed, discouraged, disillusioned, and not know how to find our way back to center. If this is where you are or if you ever get there, just remember that our heavenly father is always there waiting for us to turn our hearts back toward him and return home.

“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20 from the story of the prodigal son)

You see God knows the world can be a tough place, he sees us struggling to live on our own with out him, he knows we are “only human” and has great compassion for us.  He wants and has so much more in store for us! His love is amazing, and he will never leave us nor forsake us. We just need to recognize our need for him, turn, and run into his arms.   When we do, we will be happy in life and at work because only he satisfies!

Get The Most Out Of Life

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

I have always been a very active and competitive person.  Beginning when I was very young I loved to compete at everything I did; I always expected to perform well and hated to lose!  I was up to competing at anything; I swam, played golf, played football, baseball, and basketball, I ran, and I cycled.  And, as I moved from athletics to career, I  loved to compete in business; always trying to do my best, do it better, do it faster, do it safer, etc.

I’m not sure why God has given me such a competitive drive, but he has.  In most instances it is a good thing, but it can be a problem at times.  I can get disappointed, discouraged, and unhappy about my performance, if I do not get the results I expect or want.  If I am playing golf, working out, cycling, or even just pitching to my two baseball playing sons I have high expectations.  If I am working on a deal or a project I have high expectations.  It can often be difficult for me to accept that I am getting older and can’t do the things that once came so easily.  I still want and expect to do well.  My perspective has had to change as my abilities and energy have changed.

I have learned to look at three important aspects of performance and be realistic about the results:

1. Ability – What am I genuinely and honestly capable of doing.

I used to be able to ride a bike 125 miles while averaging 22-23 miles per hour…not any more!  I used to be able to push myself at work, staying up late and getting up early to work on big deals and critical projects; not so much any more!

2. Motivation – How driven am I to accomplish something and why.

I used to live to hit the road on my bike and destroy anyone who dared to try to keep up with me; now I just ride on a trainer indoors to maintain fitness.  I once stepped on the golf course with the expectation of shooting 72-76 and beating whoever I was playing with; I now enjoy the opportunity to be outside and enjoy great fellowship with family and great friends.  I once could not stand it if I was beat out for a deal, order, or project; I now enjoy having a full but reasonable workload with deals and projects I enjoy and that allow me time to relax, refresh, and recharge.

3. Attitude – Determines how well I do what it is I am doing.

This has remained consistent because I believe it is still important to do things well.  Although I ride my bike much less, I still ride with a purpose; I spend 45 minutes instead of 5 hours, but still enjoy getting specific and purposeful workouts in.  I take on less accounts and projects, but I am focused and enjoy the relationships that come with those more than I ever did.

So as you seek to be Happy in life and at work, consider honestly and sincerely your ability, your motivation, and your attitude as you endeavor to take on your life and career challenges. Strive for excellence, but learn to enjoy what you are doing and to appreciate the people God has placed in your path along the way.

You Were Meant To Be

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I had lunch with someone I love today; a very special person who has been through a very difficult stretch of life over the last 18 months or so. She is a single mom. Her kids are 18, 12, and 8 years old. She and her three kids were all but abandoned by her ex-husband. He has continued to be engaged with her younger kids to some extent, but for some reason has chosen to remain very distant from her 18 year old son (I’ll call him Bobby). As you can imagine, this has affected Bobby greatly. He has experienced much pain and struggled to make sense of all that has happened in his life over the last two years. At a time when he expected and really needs his dad as a significant strong role model to finish raising him, affirming him as a young man, and releasing him as mighty man of God to be who God has purposed him to be, his dad has all but disowned him. Bobby, although he has experienced some victories and joy recently, has struggled to believe he is valued, to figure out his place in this world, to succeed in school, to stay out of trouble, and to see his future as anything but uncertain.

That mat have changed today! I beleive God has answered prayer and intervened for Bobby. He recently took a career assesment test and met with the career counselor for the results today. For the first time in a very long time, Bobby is beginning to beleive what the Bible tells us about about how God feels about all of us.

God tells us very clearly that we are his sons and daughters and that he loves all of us and has a good and perfect plan for our lives. He tells us that we have been fearfully and wonderfully made; knit perfectly in our mother’s womb! He tells that no matter what he will never leave us nor forsake us! God tells us that we are more than conquerors, and that all things are possible with him! He tells us that he knows every hair on our head! God has created us all, given us all life, you, me, and Bobby! he has a very special purpose for each of us, and has given us very different but wonderful gifts to use for this very special purpose.

Bobby had an “aah ha moment” today, as he began to see and hear from God what his spiritual gifts are and how God can use him and those gifts to serve others and make a future for himself and the family he will have one day. Suddenly Bobby has hope and sees a certain future; God has made him a new creation, and Bobby can see that throughout this time of difficulty God has been right there, in fact, if you look real close, you can see the fingerprints of God all over Bobby.

I imagine that many of you are facing some of the very things Bobby has been facing and struggling with. My hope is that you will know that God loves you, created you with a wonderful purpose and the gifts to accomplish that purpose, and wants more than anything for you to discover what that purpose is and use it to serve others and him every day. I encourage and exhort you to turn to God in prayer, tell him you are tired struggling and striving to blaze your own trail and do what you think is best, tell him that you want to discover his perfect purpose for your life and use your special gifts to serve him, ask him to reveal that to you, allow him to put his fingerprints all over you! You might be surprised, and it might seem crazy, but please trust him and follow his direction…I know if you do you will be Happy in Life and at Work!

To help get you started and excited about knowing that You Were Meant To Be, I have included a great song by Steven Curtis Chapman titled “Meant to Be”. It was recorded specially for Veggie Tales, but is very applicable to all of us, regardless of age. Enjoy!

I Am With You

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Both of my sons  (19 and 17 years old) have been going through some very trying circumstances.  You may have been through circumstances similar in nature to theirs; circumstances where you are doing all the right things, everything you have been ask to do…and more.  And, when given opportunities, you are performing as well or better than most,yet you are not receiving the same opportunities as others who are not conducting them selves with the same dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm.  As young men, this confuses and frustrates them.  This is not the way things are supposed to work.  The terrific character traits they are displaying and demonstrating are supposed  to be rewarded;   The response when this is not the case can be to become disillusioned, angery, bitter, and we may even want to just give up feeling like we are a failure.

I have been doing my best to encourage them, praise them for there tremendous perseverance and attitudes, and just helping them stay courageous and positive.  After a while, I admittedly run out of words that truely offer them what they need.  But, recently I found the perfect words in scripture.  I offered them to my two sons and I offer them to you, so that, if you are currently facing frustrating circumstances, or when you do find yourself faced with such a trial, you will be encouraged and lifted up.  Isaiah 41:9-13 says…

I took you from the ends of the earth,
       from its farthest corners I called you.
       I said, ‘You are my servant';
       I have chosen you and have not rejected you.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
       do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
       I will strengthen you and help you;
       I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 “All who rage against you
       will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
       those who oppose you
       will be as nothing and perish.

 Though you search for your enemies,
       you will not find them.
       Those who wage war against you
       will be as nothing at all.

 For I am the LORD, your God,
       who takes hold of your right hand
       and says to you, Do not fear;
       I will help you.

Refuge When The Storm Comes

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

I love the sunshine! Who doesn’t? But, the reality is sometimes it rains…on all of us; But unlike the weather, we seldom receive a forecast for the the rain and storms of life. We can basking in the sunshine of life and wham, next thing we know we are in the middle of a raging storm complete with torrential rain, strong winds, booming thunder, and frieghtening bolts of lightening. We can go from feeling happy and safe to being lost, confused, sad, hurt, angry, or bitter. The storms of life can really knock us off course, and in some cases make us fear that we will never be able to find our way back home.

When this happens, how do we weather the storm? How do we maintain our bearings? How do we make it back home safely? I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I hope this video will provide you with a better understanding of the storms in your life and offer you encouragement that, even in the worst of storms, there is a way to get back home safely.

Success or Failure…It’s Up To You

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

We have all likley taken tests in school; some that we prepared for and others we did not prepare for. If you were like me, I always did better on the tests that I prepared for.

And, if you have ever participated in competitions involving academics, sports, speach, music, business, etc., you also know how important it is to put in the work to prepare before you compete.

This timeless principle that preparation is critical to overall success is described well in the scripture that states:

“A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7)

I discovered the following short movie and resource that I beleive helps us realize how important it is for us to be very intentional and careful about what we “sow” into our minds, and how critical this is to being successful no matter what endeavor we pursue. I hope you enjoy it, and that it motivates you to “sow” healthy, good and positive seeds into your mind.

As you view and consider the message in the video, please consider these words:

“whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)