Focus & Peace

Sunset at Seal Beach in Huntington Beach, California

Sunset at Seal Beach in Huntington Beach, California – Photo taken by https://reachonedesigns.wordpress.com/

Focus & Peace

I want to share something that has been on my heart lately. We will start in John 14:27 (NLT) “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.”

My pastor just used a quote that I have read many different versions of but this one sticks for me, “If it costs you your peace, then it’s too expensive”. I believe that true peace is a gift from God paid for by the Blood of Jesus.

Webster defines peace as “a state of tranquility or quiet” and for most, this is not where they find themselves this moment. I can tell you this, without focus it’s impossible to keep your peace and nothing in life is worth our peace.

Much of the time, Christians think that life is going to be all rainbows and roses, but God never promised us that. He did, however, promise that when struggles in life come, and they will, He will always be there with us in the midst of the storm. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” His only begotten son, Jesus, became our out!

Here is the perfect scripture to ground us in the fact that our peace comes through our focus. Isaiah 26:3 NLT ” You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” I must keep my thoughts focused on Him, NOT because I have to BUT because I GET to! I use this statement often, “In Him is the answer to every question, the solution to every problem, and the peace in every storm”.

So, what’s your level of peace this very moment? If there is an absence of peace, then I would venture to say that there is also a lack of focus. Make the decision to redirect your focus to Jesus and watch how your peace seems to find its place back in your life. Remember, worry and peace can’t dwell together just as light and darkness can’t.

So here are some ways that you can bring your focus back in line and regain your peace.

1. Laugh more – Laughter has been proven to be a powerful tool in relieving stress and worry which are focus thieves.
2. Take time to check out – Find time in your day to just zone out and not think about anything. Our new smartwatches have a breathing app and I have found that just taking a one or two-minute breathing break does help greatly.
3. Control your media intake – Watch what you allow into your life. This could be from social media, TV, radio and YES, friends and family.
4. Exercise – YES, this requires you to move in some way, shape, or form! Move, stretch, run, walk, do something to get the blood pumping.
5. Journal – I have found journaling has all positive attributes and no negatives unless you’re just lazy! To me, journaling is just thinking on paper and writing about whatever comes to mind and a certain moment in time.

These are just a few; this list could go on and on and that’s what I would like it to do in the comments below =) Let’s hear your thoughts and ideas. GO….

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50 Strong

50 Strong

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Hiking trail view along Abalone Cove, San Pedro, CA – Photo taken by https://reachonedesigns.wordpress.com/

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”
Nelson Mandela

My hope is that this post will find its way into the right hands this day to encourage and maybe add some humor and joy to it.

I realized this morning that I’m in the 30-day countdown till I turn 50 which to many that means I’m going “over the hill”. Well, that is NOT the case, as I’m doing it with great joy and NOT with fear and trembling =). I’m actually excited about the climb, the peak at the top and getting to see what’s next!

I just asked a group of friends that are very special in my life but also way younger than me, to be like a sounding board for my blog and podcast which are all getting relaunched on June the 1st. Their youthfulness is inspiring to me. So many reach a certain age and seem to think they don’t need youthfulness around them, but we all need each other!

I can remember at one point in my life thinking 50 was forever away and that “yes” when I got there, I would be old! But now I exuberantly say, “Bring it on”! So, which brought me think, “What Biblical nugget can I share about 50?” When you search the number 50 out in the Bible, you can find it many times and used in so many different ways. But one way stood out to me that was being used in a passage of deliverance. How is the number 50 related to deliverance? Well, I’m glad you asked! Fifty symbolizes deliverance or freedom from a burden. God commanded ancient Israel that every 50th year, on the Day of Atonement, that a Jubilee was to be declared with the sound of a trumpet (Leviticus 25). During the Jubilee year, ALL debts were settled in favor of the debtor and inheritances were returned to their rightful owners. Also, those who worked as slave laborers in order to repay a debt were granted their freedom to return home to their families and land. I’m actually seeing my Jubilee year coming I guess you would say and am ready to hear the trumpet sound. =)

I say often, “Life is a journey” and by design, I believe the journey was only to be the transition to a new place when we stop breathing. Until then, we should be seeking the adventure in every second and enjoying every breath no matter what life throws our way. We should be looking for ways to better ourselves and NOT be looking for excuses to slow down and accept that we are too old to do what we want or enjoy. Debbie and I were out jogging last night and talking about a friend we met through a local running club. They called him “Papa Turtle” because at 70+ he could run forever it seemed. He inspires me to push myself further than what feels comfortable and reach for things that others say you shouldn’t be doing anymore.

If 50 is in your line of sight OR way back behind you in the rear-view mirror of life, make no excuses for why you can’t any longer do what you really want to do. Instead, start reminding yourself that YES you can! As in the Nelson Mandela quote I shared above, there are many more mountains to conquer; so start climbing!!

Start today, right this very moment, investing in yourself. Read new books, exercise, step outside the box of the norm for you, and trade those old negative habits in for some new positive ones. Make whatever age you’re at the most impactive one of your life yet.

Hit the Reset Button

Reset Button

Hit the Reset Button

I’m going to date myself a little here – when I think about “Hit the Reset Button” I’m reminded of when I played Atari as a kid. I would get stuck in a place I couldn’t find my way out of or obtain a score that I didn’t like and I would reach over and hit the big old red reset button. Can I get a BIG amen from all those out there that can remember that same thing??

So now let’s bring this topic to a present point that is relative in all our lives. Hitting the reset button as a child of God, one who has an eternal hope, is something that we all have access to. Our kingdom reset button is God’s grace and love. I see so many people struggle in life with their past which every day becomes their present and then their future UNLESS the cycle is broken! How do you break the cycle? HIT THE RESET BUTTON!

Failure and/or sin can only hold on to you as long as you will let them. You might be able to check all the boxes on the failure scale BUT that doesn’t make them eternal unless you let them. Not one person is without sin in this world, not even one. God’s grace is for all and there is no expiration date or a limit to the number of times that we can use it. His love for us is limitless just like His grace.

Paul gave us a perfect example of a winner’s mindset in Phil 3:13 – 14 NLT “I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, (14) I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.”

I see one word that is key to you moving on and getting back on track in your life. He said “forgetting” which is defined like this: “to cease or fail to remember; be unable to recall, to fail to think of; take no note of or to neglect willfully”. Honestly, the good, the bad, and the really uglies of yesterday need to be left right where they are – in yesterday. Those 3 things are part of the past and this new moment that you are in deserves your best which should be aimed at a higher place than yesterday. If I can’t fix or change it then all I have left to do is FORGET it!

So here are 4 things to do once you have hit the reset button:

1. Put God First In Your Life: When God is truly first then the past has no power to rule over you. He has redeemed the past and placed a new in the present. So put HIM first. Your relationship with Him is like no other.
Matthew 6:33 AMP “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.”
Phil 3:10 AMP “[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope].”

2. Forget: Stop dwelling on what was and put yourself in the now 100%. Make this moment shine like no other. Phil 3:13 – 14 NLT “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”

3. Live In The Now: We spend so much time focusing on a future that we have not been promised. I wonder how many spent their last moment worrying about the future and yet never see it manifest. Worry and regret both destroy our bodies, minds, and relationships. Here’s a great question to ask yourself each morning. “What am I doing with what God has given to me?” Note that I didn’t say “in the future” but instead, the focus is on what I have in my hands right now. So live in the now! Phil 4:6 NKJ “Be anxious for nothing.”

4. Forgive Yourself: I might be opening myself up for an attack, but I don’t care. Jesus died on the cross for all sins, past, present, and future all at once. The forgiveness doesn’t flow when you ask for it; but instead, all sin was paid in full forevermore at the cross. Me going to God and repenting is me acknowledging that I have fallen short and yes, that I’m sorry and then thanking Him for the completed work of Christ on the cross. If He can forgive me then I can surely forgive myself.

Every day away from God makes us weaker, just the same as when we fill our bodies with junk day in and day out. The weaker we are, the easier of a target we become spiritually, physically and emotionally.

So “Hit the Reset Button” and allow yourself to start anew and make this very second, minute, hour and so on, shine like never before!

 

“Influence”

This post is a teaching I did at Living Water Teaching’s US headquarters located in Caddo Mills, TX.  You can CLICK HERE to listen to the recording now or CLICK HERE to go to iTunes and download the Podcast.

Influence is defined as: “The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.”

One of the most important choices we make in life is what we ALLOW to influence us. Please take note of the word, ALLOW. We allow what influences us, it can’t take control and do it all on its own!

One major influence is what or who we spend the most time with. What we listen to, watch, read and allow to be in our lives, becomes a potential influencer.

In Proverbs 13, we read about the topic of wisdom. I really like v:20 in the NLT translation, which says: “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”

There are two powerful forces that battle to influence us, wisdom and foolishness. The Bible reveals to us in Proverbs 9 that they are competing for our attention, calling out for us to follow them. So many people take the bait, hook, line, and sinker!

Something important to note about foolishness; it’s deceptive, and it can appear informed and attractive. We see it all over social media, in print, on tv and hear it on the radio. I was thinking about the news as I wrote this and the effect it has as we listen to it and then when you add the pictures to it as well, it can get so much worse. Most of the time, it provokes us to react because of the things we hear and see, and not in the right way.

To get a true understanding of wisdom and foolishness, let’s look at how they are defined.

Foolishness is defined as: “Lack of good sense or judgment; stupidity.”

Wisdom is defined as: “The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.” 

Wisdom and foolishness express themselves through the words of the influencers which we allow into our lives. We’d like to think we’d never be influenced by foolish people. However, foolishness is deceptive and can appear informed and attractive.

When we read 2 Corinthians 11, we read where Paul was frustrated because the church allowed foolishness to deceive them. We read about their faithfulness as well as their foolishness, along with false apostles. Paul brings truth to light to distinguish the wise people apart from the foolish people. Here are three ways he did it; they can help us in our daily lives.

1.  Fools listen to anything anyone says. Wise people compare what they hear to God’s Word and in prayer receive revelation. They also seek wise counsel from those that they trust. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
2.  Fools look to move up the ladder, becoming anyone and saying anything to get ahead. We call this type of person a YES person. Wise people are faithful with the opportunities God gives them, and they always put others first. (2 Corinthians 11:7-15).
3.  Fools boast about their achievements (2 Corinthians 11:17-18). The wise know to boast in the Lord. (2 Corinthians 11:30-31).
Listening to foolish influences carries harmful consequences, but listening to the wise can help makes us wise (Proverbs 13:20).

In a world so full of opinions, the Bible must always be our rudder of truth and wisdom.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself:
1. Who or what influences you the most? Based on the three things previously mentioned, are those influences wise or foolish?
2. If necessary, what is one way you can begin now to change who and or what influences you today?
3. What is one situation you need to ask God for wisdom about? James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”.

 

Time For A Change….

Time for change

If you were sitting in on one of my meetings and I asked those that would want a change in their lives to please raise their hand, would you be one of them?

I just read an article through a very well known publication that stated 1 out of 3 people are really happy with their lives. So my question is, what about the others? Where are they in life and why are they still in that place?

If you would have raised your hand, then it’s time for a change, a solid change, one of “NO return trip” offered!

Change defined is “to make or become different“. That’s the goal in times of change. But that’s not always the end result.

“Greatest fear, unfulfilled potential”
Movie Quote “The Circle”

Potential is defined as “the capacity to become or develop into“.

So many live their entire life with unfulfilled potential. Books, ideas, inventions, and dreams are just hiding inside of them. They are haunted by the could have been and should have been monsters. They must learn to slay these monsters DAILY and NOT allow regret to hold them back.

So what can you do right now to bring change into your life, with the potential you have inside of you? The answer is limitless! There is no end to what you can do or become. The only limits in life rest between your two ears.

It’s time to stop looking at your story in the rearview mirror of life and now see it in the present of who you are and what you can be.

Right this moment, you have so much potential fighting to find its way out of you and so let it out! Stopping looking for a person, event or book to be the ultimate answer for you becoming all that you have dreamed about becoming.

Today is your day to shine, so make it count!

 

Character

Character 5-18-17

“Character”

Tuesday, I shared at Living Water Teaching’s US Headquarters, in Caddo Mills, TX on ”Character”. Please go check it out and also help us get this teaching out to as many as possible by forwarding the info and or sharing the links.

You can CLICK HERE to go online and listen to the message.

You can also go to iTunes by CLICKING HERE and subscribe to the Kingdom Thinking podcast which makes it easy to stay up to date.

You can also stay current on upcoming events, meetings, podcast, special promotions, etc. by CLICKING HERE and signing up for our newsletter. We do not share your info with anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Always remember to keep living life forward and NEVER give up!

P.S.  We would love to hear back from you below!

 

PROMOTION

Promotion Green Road Sign

“PROMOTION”

Today I shared at Living Water Teaching’s US Headquarters, in Caddo Mills, TX on”Promotion”.  Please go check it out and also help us get this teaching out to as many as possible by forwarding the info and or sharing the links.

You can CLICK HERE to go online and listen to the message.

You can also go to iTunes by CLICKING HERE and subscribe to the Kingdom Thinking podcast which makes it easy to stay up to date.

You can also stay current on upcoming events, meetings, podcast, special promotions, etc. by CLICKING HERE and signing up for our newsletter.  We do not share your info with anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any time.

We would love to hear from you below!