Posts Tagged ‘Success’

You Can Be a Hope Ambassador!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Having hope and offering hope to others  is perhaps the single most important key to experiencing true happiness.  I recently found a terrific description of hope written by James Goll of the Encounters Network, and published by the The Converging Zone Network.  I know you will be encouraged, as I was by Mr. Goll’s message of hope…it’s foundations, it’s benefits, and understanding how to obtain it !

Hope Ambassadors…

Theme verse: I Corinthians 13:13a (NASB): ”But now faith, hope, love, abide these three…”

In a time of great uncertainty, it is a necessity that we be people of hope. In recent years, we have had a good deal of teaching on faith and some on love, but the missing commodity in the Church is an understanding of HOPE.

It behooves us to look to the Lord in these days and call forth solutions to life’s problems. We must focus our gaze, not on the revival of evil, but we must set our gaze up higher and be a prophetic people with answers for today’s dilemmas. It is time to be Hope Ambassadors.

In my own life, I tend to be a parabolic prophetic person. As most of you know, I have gone through a severe “Job-like season” in the last decade of my life and ministry. I have been grappling with difficult things and complex questions. This has forced me to go back to the foundational bedrock of my faith. I declare that God is good all the time and that all things work together for good. Because these two foundational truths are laid firm in my life, I believe that the greatest level of purpose and impact is yet to come.

As I have found it necessary in my own life, so I believe it is necessary in many lives. It is time for teaching on good mental health in the Body of Christ! Yes, the world and the Church are both waiting for Ambassadors of Hope!

Definition of Terms:

Webster’s Dictionary states that “hope” means to cherish a desire with expectation of fulfillment.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Greek Words states that “hope” is a favorable and confident expectation, the happy anticipation of good.

Scriptural Foundations of Hope:

Ephesians 6:17 states as a vital part of the full armor of God, we are to put on the helmet of salvation.

I Thessalonians 5:8 gives us a commentary on this verse and tells us this is the helmet of the “hope of salvation.”

The Roman helmet that Paul the apostle makes reference to covered the ears and even the front of the forehead (or the mind). We are to filter what we hear through a positive expectation of good and thus be able to think on whatsoever things are true, honorable, right, pure, of a good report and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). As a man thinks so is he (Proverbs 23:7). Therefore, it is imperative that we put on our HELMET OF HOPE.

Two Pictures of Hope:

Hebrews 6:17-20 (NASB) In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before usThis hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfastand one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Hope therefore is:

1. A place of refuge for mankind likened unto the Old Testament cities of refuge where people could flee and take hold of the “horns of the altar.”

2. An anchor of the soul – the mind, the will and the emotions.

A ship passes its anchor through the unstable element of water to the stable element of the Rock below. The world in which we live is like the water – unstable, impermanent, insecure, ever-changing and tossed around in its form. But hope in Christ Jesus is an anchor that passes out of eternity into time and fastens us to our foundation of bedrock below – to the Rock of Ages.

Hope is a Person!

Colossians 1:27 (NASB) …to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Titus 2:13 (NASB) …looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.

The Benefits of Hope:

Romans 8:24-25 (NASB) For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

We are saved by hope. We do not quit. We persevere because we are convinced by a greater reality than our temporary surroundings!

Romans 15:13 (NASB) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in the hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Through faith, the power of the Holy Spirit enables us to abound in the amazing power of hope.

Colossians 1:27 says when you have “Christ in you” you have the hope of glory – a sure expectation of unending ages of glory in the presence of God.

Ephesians 2:12 (NASB) …remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

The condition of the lost: without God, without Christ, and without hope.

Ephesians 1:17-19 says we can be filled with the hope of His calling in Christ Jesus. You are a person of destiny. Be filled with the positive expectation of good in your life. Something good is just about to happen!

Ways to Obtain Hope:

Romans 15:4 (NASB) For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Yes, through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we have great hope! Learn from our forefathers in the faith, and let hope arise!

Lamentations 3:21-24 (NASB) This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”

Right now, recall the history of the Lord in your life. Declare the testimony of His goodness over your own life and that of your family. Recall. Remember. Declare the truth that He has never left you or forsaken you. Great is His faithfulness!

5 Tips For A Happier Work Day

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

 

We have been taught all our lives that in order for us to be successful and happy we must:

 

  • Study hard to
  • Get good grades, so we can
  • Get a good job and
  • Make lots of money, so we will
  • Become Successful, then
  • Retire and relax

 

How many of you are now discovering that this is a huge lie, and, in truth, has led to a life of being busy instead of productive, frustrated instead of successful, and unfulfilled instead of happy?

I know I did, and I hear it expressed everyday from people I know and people I meet. Let me be clear, I am not saying that we shouldn’t study diligently and endeavor to make good grades, or that there is anything wrong with earning a lot of money, being successful, and eventually retiring.  But, if we are simply blindly and furiously chasing after grades, money, success, and material things we think will keep us happy once we stop working, we are in for a huge disappointment.  This is the huge lie that so many buy in to, only to end up feeling empty and as though there life has or has had no real meaning or purpose.

So, if this is a huge lie, what is the truth? I believe that the truth is this:

  • God’s love for us is extravagant and immeasurable. And,
  • God created each one of us in His image. And,
  • God desires to have a close intimate relationship with us, and
  • He has a plan and purpose for our lives;
  • To share and demonstrate his love by loving and serving others. And, in addition,
  • God created all things, including work and wealth. And,
  • Work and our careers are an opportunity to both experience God’s love and to love and serve others, and when we are able to make this paradigm shift (from the huge lie to the wonderful truth),
  • Our work and careers will have new and eternal meaning and purpose, and
  • We will begin to look at our work, our families, and are lives in a whole new, exciting, and energized way!

So how might this look practically?  Jon Gordon, speaker, consultant and best selling author offer these five tips to being happier at work (comments in italics added):

Monday-

Focus on “Get to” instead of “Have to” – While driving to work focus on what you “get to” do instead of what you “have to” do. With gratitude realize that you don’t have to do anything. You get to go to a job while so many are unemployed. Gratitude floods your body and brain with emotions that uplift you and energize you rather than stress hormones that drain you.

Plus, remember you are blessed to be able to have the opportunity serve and be a blessing to all those you come into contact with during your day. God loves it when we live an others centered life, he views our commitment to demonstrate his love to others as an act of worship.

Tuesday-

Don’t Expect your Boss, Co-workers and Customers to Make you Happy – Realize that happiness is an inside job. Our happiness has less to do with forces outside of us and more to do with what’s inside of us. The way we think about work, feel about work and approach our work influences our happiness at work. For instance, just by making yourself smile you produce more serotonin in the brain-which makes you feel happier. You’ll also be happier when you focus on what you are giving instead of what you are getting.

Only Jesus truly satisfies; let him come alive in your heart and show you how living for his glory will bring true joy into your life. Live by the spirit, and produce fruit!

Wednesday-

Don’t Seek Happiness – Ironically if you want to be happier don’t seek happiness. Instead share your strengths and decide to work with passion and purpose and happiness will find you. The research shows that people are most energized when they are using their strengths for a bigger purpose beyond themselves. Whatever your job, decide to bring passion to it and find purpose in it. I’ve met bus drivers, mortgage brokers, janitors and fast-food employees who are more passionate about their jobs and happier than some professional athletes making millions of dollars. Every job will get mundane and “old” if you let it but purpose and passion keep it fresh and make you happier.

If we are willing God can use us no matter where or what we are doing.  God is a master gardener, and if we allow him, he will equip and enable us to bloom where we are planted!

Thursday-

Focus on Excellence instead of Success – When you focus on success you can easily fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others, looking over your shoulder, feeling envious, playing office politics, and competing against coworkers instead of collaborating. However, when you focus on excellence you measure yourself against your own growth and potential. You strive to be the best you can be. You simply focus on getting better every day and this makes work more meaningful and rewarding.

God is the ultimate designer, creator, engineer, and manufacture, resource manager, and relationship builder.  He is a God of excellence; just take a look around at his creation. Follow his example by using your unique gifting to all you do well…let god take care of the rest!

Friday-

Celebrate Together – While we shouldn’t depend on others to make us happy, by building a positive team or support group at work we will be happier. So instead of expecting others to make you happy, you proactively create the positive relationships that enhance your engagement, productivity and happiness. One great way to do this to huddle with your team/group at the end of the week and have each person share their accomplishments, victories, and great moments of the week. This will produce great feelings on Friday that inspire you and your team to come back to work and make a difference on Monday.

God is a God of relationship; he wants to know each of us intimately, and he wants all of his children to enjoy fellowship with one another, sharing our lives, praying for one another, encouraging one another, exhorting one another, and lifting our hearts up in praise!

What makes you happier at work? Share your thoughts…and have a happy week at home and at work.

Blueprint For Our Lives

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

In the midst of everything that life has to throw at us, isn’t it good to know that God has it all under control. In fact, you could say that He has the blueprint for our life. We just need to give up control and trust him; walk in faith, a faith that holds on to God’s truths and promises. We need to stop striving, and start abiding in the one who creates us, loves us, and has a wonderful plan for our lives.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 says:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Overcoming Fear and Anxiety

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”   (John 14:1-4)

Picture this scene. You are one of those closest to Jesus. You are gathered with others close to him in an intimate room with Jesus. You are all enjoying good food and drink, sharing stories, and building more memories. You are thinking back almost three years when Jesus approached you and said simply “Follow me!”

You and the others had done exactly that; you left your homes, jobs and families and three years you all placed your hopes in Jesus. Even when many others had given up and turned back because they thought the cost was to high, the group now gathered, including you, had not. You had denied yourself, been through great hardship, and continued to put your faith in Jesus; you loved Jesus and were committed to following after him no matter what!

Then it happens. Jesus tells all those gathered that one of you would betray him. You are stunned. The room becomes quiet. Everyone is looking at each other and saying Lord? One of us? It can’t be!

But wait, it gets worse. Jesus then begins to tell you that he is leaving you, and that you will not be able to go with him!

Can you imagine how you would feel as you began to understand what Jesus was telling you? What would be swirling around inside your mind and heart? You had left everything to follow him, and now he was just going to leave, move on without you! Why was he leaving? Where was he going? Why couldn’t you continue to follow him? What would you do? What would happen to you and the group? How would you survive? You no longer have a home or any money. And what about the promised kingdom? It wasn’t supposed to end this way. In short, what the @#*%?

Would you agree that if there was anyone who had reason to be frightened, worried, and fearful, it was this group…the disciples, who had faithfully follwed Jesus for three years. All their hopes and dreams were being dashed in an instant. They had to be terribly confused and very fearful!

But, in steps Jesus. He knew how fearful and confused they were, for he himself had experienced being deeply troubled. As he contemplated going to the cross, he cried out to God “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.” (John 12:27)

Jesus knew what was required to overcome fear, and knowing that his disciples were about to experience great fear and anxiety, he wanted to let them know what to do and to comfort them.  That is when he says to them:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”   (John 14:1)

Jesus instructs, even commands the disciples and us to not allow our hearts to be troubled.  This may sound harsh or abrupt at first, but think about it, Jesus would not instruct us in this way (give us this responsibility) if we did not possess the ability to do it.  And he says as much when he says “You believe in God; believe also in me”.  He is saying you can do this; you have what it takes; because you believe in God, you have the power and strength to handle this, it is within you!  He is telling us to take our eyes off of the situation and circumstances, put them on God and then him, call on his Holy Spirit for strength and courage, and to exercise our faith.

If we believe in the truths and promises of Jesus, who overcame the greatest fear, the fear of death, and we exercise our faith in him by knowing and holding onto the his promises, we too can overcome our fears.  We have access to the very same truths, promises, and power that Jesus called on to overcome death!  

But Jesus does not stop there.  After he intructs the disciples on how to overcome their fear, anxiety, and worry, he comforts them by saying I know you are freaking out right now and I know you think that me leaving is the absolute worst thing that could happen, but let me tell you why I am leaving.  He then says:

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”   (John 14:2-4)

Now just stop and picture what Jesus is saying to his disciples and to you and me.  He is saying there is no real reason to be fearful, but since you are please know this…I am going to heaven where there are many rooms, and in fact, I am going there to prepare a very special room for each of you.  And, in case that is not enough, also know that I am not leaving for good; I will come back to take you to that special room prepared just for you.  Do you think this changed things for the disciples?  Do you think that they might have drawn new strength and courage to overcome their fear knowing this?  Of course, and so can we!

And the last and greatest thing he says to his disciples and to you and me (in this passage) is that because we know him, Jesus, who is the way the life and truth (John 14:6), we know how to follow him there.  So, once again he utters(to his disciples and to you and me) the same words he said when they first met, “Follow me!”

Believe in Jesus, put your faith in and follow Jesus, hold onto the truths and promises of Jesus, do not let your heart be troubled, be courageous, and call on the power that overcame death!  Do this and I believe with all my heart that you will find happiness 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.

Something New!

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Happy Life and Work wishes everyone God’s best this new year. My prayer is that your heart will be open to what God has in store for you in life and at work. I hope this passage and the short two minute video will encourage you to allow God to work in and through your life in 2011.

 

 

“This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”    (Isaiah 43:16-19)

Do We Really Know What We Need to Be Happy

Friday, December 17th, 2010

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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.

Perspective

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Sometime being happy and content in life and at work is simply a matter of perspective.  Growing up, and even after a I reached the age where I was considered a young man, when I would whine or complain about anything to do with my circumstances or feeling like I was being treated unfairly, my dad would remind me that “no matter how bad you think you have it, there is always someone who has it worse.”  My dad would then suggest I look around for one of those “someones” first to understand that I did not really have it nearly as bad as I thought I did, and second, to reach out and do something to help them.  I can remember this having a great impact on my life, and today when I feel the most energized, the most alive, like God is giving me strength, the happiest in life or at work is when I am serving others.

Philippians 4:11-13 describes it this way…

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

I hope you will watch this video, think about Philippians 4:11-13, remember my dad’s words, and be compelled to be a blessing to someone else today and everyday.  If you do this, I know you will be happy in life and at work!