Monday, August 22, 2016

An 8-year-old's Explanation of God

-- By Danny Dutton

Written by an 8-year-old from Chula Vista, CA, for his third-grade homework assignment. The assignment was to explain God.

One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth.

He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.

God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime.  God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this .

Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.

God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.

Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church.

Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.

His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.

You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.

You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God.

Don't skip church or do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.

If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can.

It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.

But... you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases. And this is what I know about God.

Monday, July 11, 2016

God: Religious or Systematic

        


      I grew up in a Christian home with a strong belief in God and considered myself religious.  Until recently, I had never considered if God was religious.  I took it for granted that He was.  If God is religious would He be non-denominational?  Growing up my friends would ask me questions regarding my faith and denomination and I was more than happy to respond to them using the bible as reference.  However, when they asked about other Christians from different denominations along with other religious groups and the claim of serving the same God referring to Him by different names I would simply point them to scripture, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and there shall be one fold and one shepherd." John 10:16.  However, the Apostle Paul states, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints," 1 Corinthians 14:33.
     One key thing to scripture is its reference in context.  Miss the context of a verse and you open yourself to misinterpretations.  Now to get back the question of 'God's denomination' or lack thereof.   To answer that question let's examine the meaning and the origination of the word religion. It consists of a broad definition which is simplified to mean 'the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods."  Some argue if this is the case where would others such as Buddhism, Hinduism fit in.  A humorous case appears in the novel 'Tom Jones' by Henry Fieldings, confusing as what you thought was where he has one character say: "By religion I mean Christianity, by Christianity I mean Protestantism, by Protestantism I mean the Church of England as established by law."  By these definitions, religion can be said to be exclusively Christian.
     To make religion more inclusive, Kile Jones, a Ph.D. student at the University of Glasgow, Scotland wrote the following in an essay as a possible definition; "It is apparent that religion can be seen as a theological, philosophical, anthropological, sociological and psychological phenomenon of human-kind.  To limit religion to only one of these categories is to miss its multifaceted nature and lose out on the complete definition."
     Further confusion is rendered by religion's further separation into denominations - 'a recognized autonomous branch of the Christian church.'  This further strengthens the claim that Christianity is the only form of religion.
     Interestingly, when we look at a 'system', we see a general and simple definition, applicable to the context; a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method.  By definition, a system is a set of principles that can be successfully duplicated anywhere and for the most part is not affected by a theological, philosophical, anthropological, sociological and psychological phenomenon of human-kind.
     Looking at the definitions God could not be religious as there is no higher being than Himself and there is no other worthy of praise like Him.  As a matter of fact, there was an angel named Lucifer, who challenged Him in this regard as recorded in Isaiah 14:13, 14; You said in your heart, I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God ... I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."  Needless to say, he was cast out of Heaven.         Since creation, everything God did was done in a sequential and systematic manner.  He found that it simplified things and made it duplicatable.
      Sin entered a perfect world when man exercised his power of choice to make decisions based on information he chose to agree with emotionally. Nothing has changed.  Daily we continue to make decisions based on our personal preferences, culture and all other factors combined.  Most people, research shows, make their decisions based on emotions rather than logic.
      Armed with this knowledge we are manipulated by the press, salespeople, businesses, politicians and unfortunately, some preachers, to make snap decisions.   Can you leave your future and eternal life to an emotional decision?




Monday, June 13, 2016

Power of Prayer

A poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries.
She softly explained that her husband was unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food. John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store. visualizing the
family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can." John told her
he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.
Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The
customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.
The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?"
Louise replied, "Yes sir." "O.K." he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your
grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries."
Louise hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it.
She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.
The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.
The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe
it."
The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales.
The scale did not balance. So he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales
would hold no more.
The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list. It was a prayer which said:
"Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands".
The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise
thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, "it was
worth every penny of it." Only God Knows how much a prayer weighs.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Next Step to Success - "Be Thankful"

     In today's society, people have lost the true meaning of gratitude.  We open the door for the stranger who steps through and sometimes keeps walking without acknowledging the kind gesture. The words "thank you" are becoming increasingly extinct.  Personally, I have become immune to people being ungrateful and see it as being 'just one of those things' and I, go along my merry way.  My wife, however, isn't as tolerant and becomes infuriated by the total discard of the small phrase that consists of those two words.  Can the level of one's success and happiness be measured by the use of this small phrase especially if it is written?   As the clip below shows, there are some individuals who think it does.


     After reflection, it is easy to see how saying thank you may lead to happiness and fulfillment.  After the earth was created and everything else was put in its place, God saw that it was good.  It was the sixth day and there was just one thing lacking; a caretaker.  He could have given the garden to the angels, however, they already had a home of their own called heaven.  They liked where they lived and they were not looking for another land of opportunity.  I doubt having angels inhabiting the earth was a part of God's plan.  He, therefore, added the finishing touches to his creation in the form of mankind.
     Everything was already in place.  Adam had fresh air to breathe, the freshest and coolest water to drink.  He was blessed with fruits, nuts and seeds from every herb bearing seed as food.  The only thing required of Adam, which came naturally at that time, was to give thanks.  He was never asked to pay rent neither was there a surcharge for food and water.  The only thing required of him was his faithfulness and gratitude.
     People who refuse to acknowledge kindness and thoughtfulness tend to be bitter and cynical most if not all of the time.  They blame their lack of possessions and unhappiness on others, not realizing that by giving thanks for the little they have more can be done with it.
     In teaching His disciples how to pray the Lord began with gratitude and the acknowledgment of God as Father.  What better example do we need for the expression of appreciation for all that God has done for us?
     Today, let's pause to tell God thanks for all he has done for us.  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good for his love endures forever.  This process will uplift the spirit and prepare us for what he has planned for us.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Faith’s Foundation

By Darrell Huffman
Faith is like a house; it must be built on a strong foundation if it is going to stand tests and storms. Faith’s foundation is the Word of God. You cannot build a great faith life without it. The best part about this truth is that the Word of God will never fail. Its success rating stands at 100 percent.
Solomon knew the power of God’s promises. He saw the Lord keep His Word to his father, King David, with the completion of the Temple (Israel’s house of faith) in Jerusalem. Solomon declared at its dedication, “Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses” (1 Kings 8:56 NIV). God’s own Word—His promises to the children of Israel—became the foundation for the Temple itself.
Nothing has changed since that time concerning the promises of God. God wants to be the foundation of your personal house of faith, and He is still fulfilling His promises. Therefore, you can trust Him to do what He has said.
In Hebrews 11, The Amplified Bible describes faith as “. . . the title deed of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see . . .” (v. 1). If I have the deed to a house, you can stand on its front porch and threaten me all you want to keep me from trying to enter the house. But it won’t make any difference what you say or do, because I have every legal right to grab you by the nape of the neck and throw you out into the yard. If I have the title deed, it’s my house, and I am going in! In the same way, faith will give you all the assurance you will ever need in this life to take what is yours according to the Word of God.
If you build your faith—your title deed—on God’s Word, it won’t matter if the devil hits your body, attacks your finances, or tries to steal your peace. You can kick him off your property because your faith will be the proof of ownership you need. With that assurance, absolutely nothing can stand in your way. So build that house of faith and move in! God’s Word promises that He gives “. . . everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him . . .” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV). So find out what His Word says—gain the knowledge you need to take hold of your title deed. As a deed enables you to lay claim to property that belongs to you, so your faith enables you to lay claim to God’s promises that belong to you.
Therefore, it is an absolute necessity that we know God’s promises so that we can begin to build our houses of faith, for “. . . faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). It is only as you and I hear God’s Word—His promises— concerning us that our faith will grow and be stable. That same Word then becomes all the evidence we need until the manifestation comes.
I challenge you to take the Lord at His Word. Since the Bible is God’s Word to you, choose to believe Him. When you do, amazing things will begin to happen in your life.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Four Steps to a Positive Attitude with Faith

It is not what happens to you that counts. It is how you react to what happens to you, especially when you have unexpected problems of any kind. In this message, you learn powerful strategies you can use to keep yourself thinking and acting positively and creatively. Here are four things you can do to assure that your attitude is the very best it can be, under all circumstances. 

Focus On The Future
First, whatever challenges you face, focus on the future rather than on the past. Instead of worrying about who did what and who is to blame, focus on where you want to be and what you want to do. Get a clear mental image of your ideal successful future, and then take whatever action you can to begin moving in that direction. Get your mind, your thoughts, and your mental images on the future. 

Focus On The Solution
Second, whenever you’re faced with a difficulty, focus on the solution rather than on the problem. Think and talk about the ideal solution to the obstacle or setback, rather than wasting time rehashing and reflecting on the problem. Solutions are inherently positive, whereas problems are inherently negative. The instant that you begin thinking in terms of solutions, you become a positive and constructive human being. 

Look For The Good
Third, assume that something good is hidden within each difficulty or challenge. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a major proponent of positive thinking, once said, “Whenever God wants to give us a gift, he wraps it up in a problem.” The bigger the gift you have coming, the bigger the problem you will receive. But the wonderful thing is that if you look for the gift, you will always find it. 


Look For The Valuable Lesson
Fourth, assume that whatever situation you are facing at the moment is exactly the right situation you need to ultimately be successful. This situation has been sent to you to help you learn something, to help you become better, to help you expand and grow. 

Do What Successful People Do
A Positive Mental Attitude and faith is indispensable to your success. You can be as positive as you want to be if you will simply think about the future, focus on the solution and look for the good. If you do what other successful people do, if you use your mind to exert mental control over the situation, you will be positive and cheerful most of the time. And you will reap the benefits enjoyed by all successful people. 

ACTION STEPS 
First, become solution-oriented with every difficulty you face. Make a habit of looking for the answers to your questions, the solutions to your problems. 

Second, seek for the valuable lesson in every adversity. Make a list of every idea or insight you can gain from every setback or difficulty. 

Third, think on paper. Take some time to write out every detail of the problem, and then take the most logical next step to solve it.


Have a wonderful week and as always: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospereth. (3 John 1:2)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Change Begins with Choice



Originally by Jim Rohn

If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree. 


Any day we wish, we can discipline ourselves to make important changes in our lives. Any day we wish, we can open the book that will open our mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish, we can start a new activity. Any day we wish, we can start the process of life change. We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year.
We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause.
As Shakespeare uniquely observed, "The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves." We created our current circumstances by our past choices. We have both the ability and the responsibility to make better choices beginning today. Those who are in search of the good life do not need more answers or more time to think things over to reach better conclusions. They need the truth.
They need the whole truth. And they need nothing but the truth. We cannot allow our errors in judgment, repeated every day, to lead us down the wrong path. We must keep coming back to those basics that make the biggest difference in how our life works out. And then we must make the very choices that will bring life, happiness and joy into our daily lives.
And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life: If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life—and it all begins with your very own power of choice.



Monday, March 7, 2016

It Only Takes 6 Steps to Change Your Life

Every person I know wish not to remain in the same position in life.  They want to move forward. Yet only a few actually decide to make the changes necessary to move.  It's incredible!  Only dead bodies I know actually stay in the same position, however over time it begins to decay.  Everyday we see people who are slowing dying due to a lack of decisiveness.  Today I want you, my reader, to decide to make the changes necessary to start living.  Why should you?  Because you are a child of God you were never created to "settle".  Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you simple ways that you can begin moving forward no matter your situation.  Remember, if we are children of the Most High God, there is nothing good He will withhold from us.

Here is an article I found to be useful.  It was written by John C. Maxwell - It only Takes 6 Steps To Change Your Life:  

Don’t get stuck in the same old average routine. Here’s how to start the domino effect of change.

Hope is the foundational principle for all change. People change because they have hope, and if people do not have hope, they will not change. You are responsible for the changes that you make in your life.
The good news? You can change your life if you really want to. You can improve it, make it better. And it all starts with changing the way you think. So are you ready? I am going to walk you through a six-step plan for achieving positive change.
Here’s how you give yourself a little hope:

Step 1: When you change your thinking, you change your beliefs. 

Change begins with the mind. Beliefs are nothing more than a byproduct of what you have thought about long enough, something that you have bought into—always remember that. What you believe, what you think, is just a collection of continual thoughts that have formed themselves into a conviction. When you break down the process of thinking into a manageable number of steps, you reduce the perceived risk associated with change. 

Step 2: When you change your beliefs, you change your expectations.

Belief is the knowledge that we can do something. It is the inner feeling that what we undertake, we can accomplish. For the most part, all of us have the ability to look at something and know whether we can do it. So in belief there is power… our eyes are opened, our opportunities become plain, our visions become realities. Our beliefs control everything we do. If we believe we can or we believe we cannot, we are correct.

Step 3: When you change your expectations, you change your attitude. 

Your expectations are going to determine your attitude. Most people get used to average; they get used to second best. Nelson Boswell said, “The first and most important step toward success is the expectation that we can succeed.” 

Step 4: When you change your attitude, you change your behavior.

When our attitude begins to change, when we become involved with something, our behavior begins to change. The reason that we have to make personal changes is that we cannot take our people on a trip that we have not made. 

Step 5: When you change your behavior, you change your performance.

Most people would rather live with old problems than new solutions. We would rather be comfortable than correct; we would rather stay in a routine than make changes. Even when we know that the changes are going to be better for us, we often don’t make them because we feel uncomfortable or awkward about making that kind of a change. Until we get courage and get used to living with something that is not comfortable, we cannot get any better. 

Step 6: When you change your performance, you change your life. 

It is easier to turn failure into success than an excuse into a possibility. A person can fail, turn around and understand their failure to make it a success. But I want to tell you, a person who makes excuses for everything will never truly succeed. Don’t you know some people who just have an excuse for everything? Why they could not, should not, did not, would not, have not, will not. I promise you, when you excuse what you are doing and excuse where you are, and you allow the exceptions, you fail to reach your potential. It is impossible to turn excuses into possibilities. 

Be Blessed.

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Light to the World

Image result for hugh rowe

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.  Matt 5:16 (NIV)

Earlier this year my dear mother had to be rushed to the hospital as it was becoming increasingly difficult for her to breath in addition to having abdominal pains.  After she was examined by the doctor she was immediately prepared for surgery as the cause of her discomfort was an inflamed appendix.  Recovery that should have taken three days turned into three weeks.  During this period our concern was not so much directed at the healing process but to some extent the care being given.

As my wife and I visited her in the hospital, we could not help but notice the nurses spent most of their time attending to the machines that were hooked up to her.  As a matter of fact the majority of the staff who entered her room did so without saying a word.  They entered the room looked at the machines and walked right out. No one took the time to attend to the patient lying on the bed. Sometimes we wondered if we were invisible.  Interacting with them we realized they were wonderful people, however, wonderful and caring are not synonymous.  We thought all was lost until in walked the angel who first attended to my mother and when she was satisfied that the patient was okay went over to the machines.  She had to be commended.

Joseph's Memoirs
Principles for Success
We are living in a world where people are increasingly fixated on making a living without caring about others and why should they?  The christian model has been thrown away yet businesses are looking for the substitute that does not exist.  Corporations are searching for the Josephs, Daniels, Esthers and Ruths and it's not that they are coming up short.  Where are those who will stand up and deliver God's values and be counted?  Where are the individuals who will care for the customer and the patient as the Good Samaritan did?  Who's fault is it that these people are not coming forward? Well, in some cases corporations have to bear the responsibility.  They wish to have the people who exhibit Christ-like values but wish for Christ to be left at home.  You can not ask an architect to design a building with natural light then insist that there be no windows and the roof be solid.  Life doesn't operate that way. Unfortunately, in an attempt to gain and remain employed the christian sacrifices their values for the 30 pieces of silver.  Thus losing their initial value.

Christ reminds us that we "are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trample under foot." Is it any wonder that the work place is becoming increasingly stressful for everyone.  Christians can't 'shine' as they should and are overcome by the corporations routine. (Matt. 5:13) Joseph never made a substitution in his values.  When he was asked to, his response was, "How then can I then do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"  (Genesis 39:9).

Christianity is a noun that tends to transition into a verb.  It is who we are because of who our Heavenly Father is.  Our actions do not dictate who we are BUT because of who we are, it dictates our actions.

Many businesses have permanently closed their doors as they have overlooked the simple principle of caring for others beginning with those they employ.  Research has shown that employee engagement is decreasing in the workplace, however, in an effort to maximize profits few changes have been made.  Take care of the people and profits will follow.  Many companies have proven this to be true. Provide a warm work environment and a service built on integrity, quality and other Godly values and you will be known by many.  To have Godly values you first have to know and acknowledge Him as your source of strength.

Without knowing Christ you can not have Christ-like qualities.  It is time Christians realize they are needed now more than ever: arise and be counted.  If we remember this simple lesson: treat others as we would like to be treated not only would it make a statement of our connection with God but it would make us more desirable in life and in business.

Today my mother is recovering at home in the care of her children.  While hospitalized she saw how much we cared as she was never left alone.  God's law requires us to honor our parents and that we do.  At the tender age of ninety three she is looking forward to once more walking to church and doing her everyday chores.  Don't tell her to take it easy she will tell you she has a lot more to do and to give God thanks for.






Monday, January 25, 2016

Believe!

Today's article was contributed by Vaughn Edmeade, pastor, motivational speaker and author of Average Is Failure.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20 NIV

Wow! It is 2016 and with this new year will come new opportunities for us all.

But, what will be different this year from last year?

If there's one thing that MUST be different, it is this...; You've got to BELIEVE!

It's amazing how much God puts up with in our daily lives. We fail Him continually and yet He's still so patient and long suffering.

However, a short while ago, while on a Prayer Line, one of the participants said something that hit the rest of us right in the gut. It was this...: "God will often put up and work with our foolishness, but if there's ONE THING that seems to get on His nerves it is when we DO NOT BELIEVE.

All over the Bible, especially in the New Testament, God is continually challenging His people not merely to change their behaviors but rather to believe.

Jesus Christ told us that anything is possible to those that believe.  But He even goes one step further to tell us that blessed is the person who believes even without physically  seeing it yet.

So, in 2016, YOU'VE GOT TO BELIEVE. In one sense we know that we must believe in Christ Jesus. But here us what we often miss...: "We know we truly believe something based on our actions in response to that belief!"

I often use the example of a chair. When I see a chair I believe that it will hold me up. I go and sit down on it without asking the chair questions. The problem that many of us suffer from in our relationships, finances, spirituality, education, careers, and businesses, is that we don't really believe that God can hold us up like the chair if we sit at His feet, and do what He tells us to do.

God's plan often seems not to make sense.  The rich young ruler suffered from unbelief when Jesus told him to "follow Me." We don't believe God's plan even though we say He can exceed abundantly all that we could ever ask or think!

But listen, some of us can't afford to have a year like last year. Your relationships suffered last year. Your health, your finances and other areas of your life disintegrated because you thought your way was better than God's.

Let me encourage you to be intentional about believing and then acting upon what you believe this year.

People have been telling me since 2003 that I should be a pastor. At the age of 19 years old I laughed at this. I had no desire to be a pastor. I thought I had a better plan. My own plans ended up making it near impossible to get a good job, it got me kicked out of law school, it racked up debt, it caused me to go through a divorce, and live separately from my children.

In 2012 I began to accept that maybe I should've believed what God had been trying to tell me through so many people. Once I believed God's way was better and then aligned my actions with His plan He allowed me to graduate with my Masters in Pastoral Studies in 2015 with a 3.8 gpa!

There's more. I still didn't fully believe though and avoided seeking a pastoral position. After some encouragement from some new mentors I decided to send out my pastoral resume to various conferences. I never received an invitation or interview from any of them. But, 2 days after sending them out God introduced me to a pastor at a barbershop who had been looking for help with his two churches. Long story short, by the end of 2015 I became a pastor, and God has allowed me to do all the other things I had been trying even better once I chose to believe the vision He laid out for my life.

What should your next moves be?!
1. Believe the vision that God has been showing you for your life.

2. Respond to that belief with the evidence of your action.

3. Stop trying to control your own life in 2016. Let God do it.

While God laid out the vision I still had to do the hard work of carrying out the vision. However, God has done the harder part of handling the results. I do not have the traditional background of most pastors in my circle. But it wasn't my job to worry about the end result, it was simply my job to believe.

Abraham had no idea what the end result would be. God told him to leave his native land to begin life in a place he did not know. But Abraham BELIEVED God, and His belief was rewarded with great increase in every area if his life.

So, in 2016, whatever you do, begin with the belief that what may seem impossible is possible for you because there is nothing impossible to God. And He is able to do much more than you can even imagine!

Peace, Success, & Love,
Vaughn Edmeade

 You can keep up with him at www.AverageIsFailure.com
Instagram: @VaughnEdmeade
email: CoachVaughn.AiF@gmail.com

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Achieving More in 2016

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” - Matt 9:16-17

With the new year comes the resolutions.  Statistics show only a few will actually succeed.  If you are reading this then if you are willing to make the changes necessary to succeed then you will.  As Christ stated in Matthew 9:16 you can not add a new patch to an old garment and not expect adverse effects.  The same effect happens when you make new resolutions without first working on your old self.

I wish for you to succeed this year with all that you plan to do, however to ensure success you have to decide on the 'who you must become, to do what you must do to gain what you wish'.  If this process is overlooked then something is going to 'pull away'.  Below is an article I found in one of my favorite magazines, SUCCESS, written by John Maxwell.  I hope you will find useful.    

John Maxwell:  How to Design an Optimum Life  

It’s amazing how seven words can so dramatically shape the course of your life: “What is your plan for personal growth?

I can still hear my mentor Curt Kampmeier asking me that question, even though 40 years have passed. Answering it helped define me and chart the course of my career and my life.

On the day he asked, however, I had no answer. I scrambled and talked about how hard I was working and all the things I was trying to accomplish.

Curt just looked back at me with a knowing smile. He could see through all the bluster to the truth: I really had no plan.

If I were to ask you the same question, how would you answer?

Perhaps you’re like I was: You’ve never thought about creating a personal growth plan. The fact is, you won’t reach your full potential in any area of life until you have a map for personal growth. So you need to create one with specifics, tailored to your gifts and goals. Before you put pen to paper, let me share eight growth principles vital to charting your path to personal development.

1. Growth is not an automatic process.

Improvement doesn’t just happen. It takes time, effort and a plan. You may have heard the saying “what gets scheduled gets done.” The same principle applies to your personal development. Unless you set aside the time to grow, you won’t do much growing.

2. Growth separates those who succeed from those who do not.


Show me a successful person, and I’ll show you someone who is serious about personal development. Nobody becomes highly successful by accident. Intentional growth is the key.

3. Growth takes time.

I often say that experience isn’t the best teacher; evaluated experience is. When you look back on your experiences and reflect upon what you’ve learned, it spurs you to continue progressing. Don’t be impatient with the time it takes to grow. Instead use the time and the lessons you’ve learned to your advantage.

4. The more we grow, the more we know we need to grow.

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden loved the saying, “It’s what we learn after we know it all that counts!” So true. Personal development is a process with no end. The more you learn, the more you realize how much you still need to learn.

I’ve been teaching leadership for more than 40 years, and I learn things every day. Rather than becoming frustrated by this, I embrace it. You should, too!

5. Growth equals change.

Sometimes personal growth can be intimidating because it requires you to push beyond your comfort zone and make changes. That’s difficult for most people. It’s uncomfortable. It’s often easier to stay where we are. However, I’ve learned the most when I’ve been the most uncomfortable.

6. Growth inside fuels growth outside.

Your development journey begins with an inward focus. Start by making small internal changes. Before long, those changes begin to manifest themselves outwardly with big results. Your growth plan should reflect the patience and discipline this will require.

7. Growth requires a forward focus.

By definition, growth requires you to get bigger. It’s easy to celebrate past successes and milestones and focus on them. Warning: Too much of that, and you’ll get stuck! Shift your thinking into forward gear. You should want to be bigger tomorrow than you are today. Learn from today—and use those lessons to make tomorrow even better.

8. You determine the areas where you need to grow.

One big key to successful personal development is to grow in your areas of strength. Why is this so powerful? Because if you can master the areas where you are strongest, you’ll find yourself head and shoulders above the crowd. If you bog down in your weaker areas, you might waste valuable energy on a skill and never rise above average. Target your strengths in your plan.

Ultimately only one person is responsible for your growth and development: you. You might have a manager or mentor who pushes you or work in an organization that encourages employee development, but it’s up to you to lead your own journey.

- See more at: http://www.success.com/article/john-c-maxwell-how-to-design-an-optimum-life#sthash.gygyQgRq.dpuf

All the best for the new year.  Leave a comment below if you found it useful and thank you for sharing..