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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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!

 

NEW Kingdom Thinking Podcast #23

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Kingdom Thinking Podcast #23

Guest Post by Carly Hartman

 

Greetings and welcome to another Kingdom Thinking blog post. This week’s post is a guest post from a young entrepreneur out of California. We have been close to her and her family for many years now and I have had the opportunity to watch this young lady grow up to where she is today walking her dreams out one day at a time. I hope you enjoy it; I know I sure did!

Carly Hartman guest post pic

Hi! My name is Carly Hartman and I am an 18-year-old entrepreneur. I attend a community college in Moorpark, California and am studying business! I really do enjoy school and have always had a strong work ethic my whole life.

I attended Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, California and graduated in May of 2013. I graduated on a Thursday, and on Friday I started my first business. Cora Wear was born in May of 2013. Cora Wear is a clothing and jewelry line. I really enjoy managing and owning this business because I get to use all of my creative skills through designing clothes and making jewelry. I am still building a large foundation for this business but it has gotten and continues to get a lot of exposure from people around the world! I got a job in January of this year to raise money for my very first “official” design! My latest piece of clothing that I have designed for Cora Wear is a pair of workout pants with a decorative bow on the back. I designed these to create a stylish workout outfit for the athletic women in our society. You can check out my designs at http://www.corawear.com!

Business number two was started in December of 2013. This business is called Rich Youth Magazine or, RYMAG for short. I started RYMAG because I was looking around for advertisement for Cora Wear and I couldn’t find any cheap advertisement! All advertisement available for my company was never able to be under $20,000. I figured that other small businesses might be having the same problem, as well. In that case, RYMAG was created! RYMAG is an online and printed magazine that advertises and supports young entrepreneurs, actors, singers, songwriters, etc. Basically, anyone who has started something, ANYTHING, we interview them and publish their interviews in our seasonal issues. RYMAG has expanded with brilliant new ideas this summer particularly because of the help I have received from my team! You can see more regarding my magazine by visiting http://www.richyouthmag.com.

Last but not least, in February of 2014, I started my third and final business! Well, at the moment at least. After some personal experience in the pageant world, I realized that I wanted to start my own movement to empower teens and young women to be powerful leaders and world changers, in a pageant setting. I have been taught awesome morals and values from my amazing parents my whole life that I feel are worth sharing with my generation. This business is called Pageant 360. Our very first pageant to hit the books EVER is August 9, 2014 in Calabasas, California. We have a good amount of girls already that have applied to be in our pageant but are always open for more! Application, volunteer, and sponsorship information can all be found at http://www.pageant360.com! I have an amazing team that has helped me along the way to mold and shape this little vision and idea into a powerful movement and program. The winners receive a $500 cash prize in order to help them move closer and closer to their goal. We train our participants to have confidence, patience, high self-esteem, eloquence, poise, good posture, etc. They will hopefully be able to take all of these things that they have learned and apply them to their lives and fields of study.

Also, as a “side job,” I build and create websites for people! http://www.indie-gowebdesign.com is the place where I can help people launch their businesses, ideas, clothing lines, etc. God has given me an eye for graphic design and web design. I have built all of my websites on my own.

All in all, without my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I would never have been able or even continue to do the things that I have started! God deserves all the credit, glory, and honor because without Him, these businesses would not be possible in ANY way. My favorite part about these businesses is that I know that I cannot do them on my own. I need to trust in Him and rely on Him completely in order for them to be successful. He always guides me in the directions that I am supposed to go; He never leaves me nor forsakes me; He wants the best for me, etc. And the best part is, is that He wants the same for YOU. If you ever feel discouraged or feel down because you don’t feel like you haven’t accomplished much or because you feel like God would never want to use you due to all of the “bad things” you have done, you are WRONG! God is NOT a respecter of persons and He has a huge plan and purpose for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). God is for you and NOT against you; He is the Creator of all things good. If you think it is not God’s will for you to be successful in life that is also not true! It is God’s will for you to have Heaven on earth; delight yourself in Him and He will give you all the desires of your heart. The moral of this whole story, ha ha, is that God loves you with a burning passion that we can’t even understand. He thinks you are successful no matter what you do and you have a purpose! God bless you in all that you do, He is on your side.

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