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..