“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”.

 

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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!

 

Redefining Your Life is Not as Hard as You Think

 

pexels-photo

The greatest gift we guys can ever give to ourselves, and to our family and friends, is to live this life the best we can!

When 2016 started, many did the traditional New Year’s resolutions and right away fell into a statistic of failed resolutions that is shared by many around the world. Now I know that it is not on purpose but it is a matter of fact, that many make big promises with little results. Losing weight, kicking habits, or just becoming a better version of oneself is not to be reserved for a once a year event, but instead, to be walked out daily.

I have done this year after year, until in 2015 when I took a different path and chose a word and made it my focus for the year. In 2015, the word was “Simplify” and I made some steps throughout the year to simplify my daily world. However, by the end of the year, I discovered that simplifying my life turned into a lifestyle I wanted to embrace.

Now we enter into 2016 and I found the word “Purpose” saying, “Pick me, pick me” and so I did! Purpose can simply be defined as the very reason we exist.

Now purpose for me as a husband, father, friend, public speaker, coach, mentor, CEO for a non-profit, entrepreneur, writer and podcaster is very important and that is the reason for the title of this article. There will never be a life well lived if the purpose for that life is never found, embraced and then walked out.

Sometimes just some small changes can help us redefine the life we are living and here are just a few ideas.

  1. Stop sweating the small stuff. Even though this is an old statement, it is one of great truth. People die daily stressing over things they can’t change. We have got to decide once and for all, “If I can’t change it, I’m not going to stress over it”. Worrying will not change anything BUT our health!
  1. Never allow another to decide the value of you. I myself for years based my worth on what others thought about me. When that is the case, then the life we live will be purely based on what others allow. We must take control of our lives and get off the emotional roller coaster once and for all.
  1. Living life forward creates a sense of value that is life changing all its own. A great way of doing this is by serving others. It could be volunteering your time in your community, at your church, your child’s school, etc. and as we do this, we soon find that we forget about us and our problems and get a new perspective on life. That new perspective could be all we needed to put us on track to living that well lived life.
  1. Be true to you. You’re one of a kind, a masterpiece and so live like it. Stop being a follower of the crowds and start blazing a new trail.
  1. Be adaptable and flexible and learn to flow with the waves and not against them. I think that many feel that if they become adaptable then they are giving up control of their own lives. But that’s so far from the truth! Being adaptable or flexible simply means we are flowing with life, which is better, and not becoming like a ship in the ocean being battered from all sides by the waves that surround it.
  1. Learn to love you because if you don’t find yourself lovable, how can anyone else! If you can’t stand to be around yourself, then how can we expect anyone else to want to be? Many live life with a love/hate relationship with themselves that seeps out and onto other relationships unless we come to terms with our own selves.

These are of course not the end all answers, but simply suggestions to a new start in living a life well lived.

So today, start living your life on purpose with purpose. It truly is up to you!

This article originally appeared on http://goodmenproject.com/ on January 6, 2016

CLICK HERE to go to original post.

CHANGE

change 4-9-15

“The one consistent thing about life is change.”
Dr. James Zirkle

When we think about change, most of the time it is not something that one looks forward to OR it’s for fear of something that could happen. Even the very definition “to become different, to make (someone or something) different, to become something else” can spark fear if it is not put into proper perspective.

2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP) “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

Just knowing that change is needed is not enough, we must implement it. Honestly, we ALL have areas that must receive some type of change and in this post I am going to focus on one that hit home for me. It’s in the area of health and fitness. (Just an FYI, a Health and Fitness page will soon be coming to the http://www.kingdomthinking.org site and I have some awesome contributing editors that have a wealth of wisdom in this area!)

My wife, Debbie, and I have really tried to implement a cleaner eating and healthier lifestyle over the last few years. As you incorporate change, you will find one of two main reasons why someone decides to make a change. The first area brings us back to fear of what could be or even might be. Fear and faith cannot dwell together and fear will zap everything if we allow it in. The next area is one that is defined in a quote I read yesterday from Charlene Johnson, “In my 20’s I forced myself to workout – and my every effort was focused on getting a better body. Now in my 40’s the physical side effects are just a bonus. Now I see my fitness as a gift that helps my mental wellness, my quality of life, creativity, patience, strength, confidence and longevity. Funny how the wisdom and experiences change our perspective.” That quote pretty much summed up why we are making the life changes we are, but for those doing it in fear, you’re fighting a losing battle. It’s like trying to drive a car with no motor.

“Fear creates powerless pursuit.”
Keith Spanberger

I’m going to end this post here, but only for NOW! I want you to take a piece of paper and pen and write down the areas where you have allowed fear to take over. Now give these areas to God and walk away from them and NEVER look back. Last, destroy the paper and step into the peace of God that surpasses ALL understanding.

It’s time for YOU to live a fearless life, so live it on purpose with purpose!