“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!

 

Faith, Fact OR Fear

Faith, fact or fear

Faith, Fact OR Fear

Today I shared at Living Water Teaching’s US Headquarters, in Caddo Mills, TX on “Faith, Fact OR Fear”.  Please go check it out and also help me get this teaching out to as many as possible.

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.

I would love to hear from you below!

Greatness Through Serving

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“Greatness Through Serving”

Today I shared at Living Water Teaching’s US Headquarters, in Caddo Mills, TX on “Greatness Through Serving”.  I used Matthew 20:20-28 as my reference.  I believe with all my heart that TRUE & LASTING greatness only comes through serving others!

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

I would love to hear from you on your thoughts on serving and also how you would define it, below.

Healed, Whole & Healthy

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We live in a world where people sink billions of dollars into health and fitness, with not many really ever seeing a lasting return or result.

I just read a 2015 stat that showed the health club market was $81.2 billion dollars.  I wonder how many of those billions that are spent on health memberships are never used?  I think if you’re not willing to invest in yourself at your own house, then it’s a far jump to say you would actually show up at a GYM.  Another $5.12 billion was spent on exercise equipment alone.

Now this is NOT an attacking blog about just health and fitness, so please stay with me.

Let’s look at those three little words from my title:

  1. Healed – “To make free from injury or disease:  to make sound or whole. To make well again:  to restore. To cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome.  To restore to original purity or integrity.”
  2. Whole – “Free of wound or injury. Free of defect or impairment. Physically sound and healthy:  free of disease or deformity.  Mentally or emotionally sound.”
  3. Healthy – “Free from disease or pain:  enjoying health and vigor of body, mind, or spirit. Showing physical, mental, or emotional well-being. Beneficial to one’s physical, mental, or emotional state.”

(All three of these are taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.)

When I read those three words, I get brought back to God’s original design for mankind.

Genesis 1:26 (AMP) Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.” Verse 27: “So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them”.

Webster defined image as, “A reproduction or imitation of the form of a person or thing, a visual representation of something.  Exact likeness.”

I love the last two words, exact likeness!  God made me in the image of Him, an exact likeness.  Now I’m sure someone, somewhere in the world, would love to do nothing more but take this apart and redefine it for me BUT it doesn’t matter to me!  My relationship with God is based purely on that, relationship; not a religion, and for sure not mankind intellect.

God made man in His image, but because of decisions made, things took a turn from His perfect plan.  BUT, my Jesus put all things back in order for those that call on Him, confess in Him and believe on Him!

I love what Benjamin Franklin said, “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”  Or I would say, the decision-making power to pursue it yourself.  The power of a decision is truly awesome!

So, what does healed, whole, and healthy mean to me?  Does it mean that life is perfect because I live by faith and not by sight?  Does it mean that all I have to do is speak words off the pages of the Bible and boom, everything changes?  A little hocus-pocus and SHAZAM, it’s all fixed?  Sorry, but no, life is life and it comes with that which seems like a roller coaster ride.  But as a faith filled believer, we should have a hope that life and all its tips, turns and loops can NOT shake us from.

Healed, whole, and healthy to me means first and foremost that I know who I am in Christ Jesus.  I know what the Word says and I walk in a revelational relationship with my God.  It means that the Joy of the Lord is my strength (Psalms 28:7 AMP) no matter what life brings my way.  It means that in every area of life, spiritually, physically, financially, emotionally, and socially, I see what Jesus did for me before I see the situation.

Healed, whole, and healthy might not be revealing right now in the natural realm that there is nothing missing and nothing broken, BUT, the hope we have in the greater One that lives in us does and that’s all that matters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temple Dominion

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Greetings to all the Kingdom Thinking family.  Debbie and I are excited to have another power packed guest post this week from our good friend, Julieann Hartman.  You can read more about Julieann in her bio at the end of this post.  So put on your seat belt and get ready!

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own”? (1 Cor 6:19 NKJ).

How do you treat your body?  How would you present and keep your house if you knew that a King or Queen was coming to stay in your house?  Heck, when I have a couple of friends over, I clean my house like crazy!  I can’t imagine what it would be like if there was a Royal Priesthood coming to stay at my house and I wasn’t equipped to accommodate them.  What about the Holy Spirit that lives on the inside of you?  Wouldn’t you want to present your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service? (Romans 12:1)  Now please don’t get me wrong, this is not to condemn you at all about how you treat your body!  We already know that “there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”. (Romans 8:1)

What about exercise?  I know there are a lot of people that don’t like to workout.  Do you like to do it? Is it the first thing on your “to do” list or is it such a low priority that you just keep putting it off for days and then years?  We do need to be good stewards over our bodies.  How do we do that?  How do we steward?  The definition of “stewardship” is the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving. (Dictionary.com)  Do you care about yourself enough to want to preserve yourself for as many years as you feel you want to live on this earth?  For an everyday person who is not an athlete, exercising 3 to 4 times a week – 30 to 40 minutes a day is perfect.  You have only one body.  You can lift, tuck, tan and enhance but you will not be able to replace it.  Think about your future because you will be in this body for the rest of your life!  Whatever you sow now is what you will reap later.  This can be good and bad.  Exercise has SO many positive effects.  It makes you alert.  It makes your heart healthy.  Makes your motor skills more precise.  It gets your blood flowing, it makes you more energized, it makes your brain process quicker.  There is nothing wrong with exercising. The only wrong thing about exercise would be if you have a wrong attitude about it.  When I was a trainer I heard over and over again, “Oh, I don’t like gyms, they’re meat markets!” or “I don’t want to mess up my hair!” or “I’m too embarrassed about my body!” or “I just don’t have the time!”  Nowadays, there are NO excuses.  There is something for everyone.  You can download an app and workout in the comfort of your own home and at any time!  You can join a gym, you can take a class, you can walk, hike, cycle, and the list goes on and on.  There is never a lack in finding something that will benefit your physical body and overall health.  My 78-year-old mother works out 3 times a week in a program called “Silver Sneakers”.  She loves it.  It’s a good workout.  She can do it standing up or sitting down.  It’s a time of fellowship, ministry and just plain fun!  Did you know that the human body is the only machine on earth that gets better and stronger the more you use it?  Every other machine made by man wears out with use!  But our bodies are made by God!

Now over-exercising is a whole other thing.  It can make you feel exhausted all the time and everything you do seems like it’s impossible because you are so tired and your body just won’t work at its full capacity.  It creates brain fog, complete exhaustion, short tempers and body soreness!!  Please take the time to take care of your body – in all ways.  Working out is supposed to help in your body’s overall health, not take away your energy.  I was guilty of that for many years.  The reason I over-exercised was so I could be so exhausted by the end of the day that fear, anxiety or any other negative impulse or thoughts would be overruled by my complete 100% exhaustion.  One thing I see so much of is posting on social media in the form of “look what I’m doing” selfies or “look at my cute workout outfit”.  Do you exercise for the Instagram photo or Facebook?  Or how about Snapchat?  That’s all fine but that kind of reason will definitely fade away in time.  Please do it for the goals and dreams ahead of you that God has put in your heart to do.  It will all be worth it someday when you see the fruit of all your labor for building the Kingdom.  I praise God that I was delivered from that mindset.  You see how something that is meant for good can be damaging to someone who leans on their own flesh to break bad habits or bondage?  We just don’t have that kind of power on the inside of us when we are not in Christ.

Sleep deprivation can be an enemy to our physical bodies.  We have to sleep!  Especially women!!  I don’t know about men because I’ve never been one but I can guarantee that they need sleep as well.  We have to rest our muscles, organs, and minds!!  As women, we have hormones and when we don’t sleep our hormones get all out of whack!!  For me, it all started when I had my first daughter.  I was up all hours of the night, had my second daughter and was up all hours of the night even more!  And then when they started to go to school, drive, have relationships…. need I say more!!  We have to be “hooked up to the vine” constantly to keep our minds from going places that they shouldn’t go in our emotions. (John 15:1)  I know that when I don’t get enough sleep everything I do the following day is with so much more effort.  Be honest about how much sleep you really need and then get it.  There’s no shame in needing 8 to 10 hours of sleep.  That might be what your body requires.  I know how easy it is to stay up and look at all your social media, to look at who’s doing what.  It’s so tempting but you will be the only one who suffers the next day when you’re so tired.  Actually, it will not only be you who suffers – it will also be everyone around you, too!

As I close, I really just want all who read this to know that you have dominion and authority over your life.  It is empowering to know that you can be successful by the choices you make and by some of the sacrifices you make: one being exercise!  You’re never too old to exercise.  There is always something you can do.  Whether you sit in a chair and wiggle your toes or you compete in the Iron Man Triathlon.  It is up to you.

You are not just a conqueror, you are more than a conqueror! (Romans 8:37)

About Julieann:

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Julieann Hartman is a native from Los Angeles. She’s been married for 25 years to an incredibly loving & talented Executive Producer of Television Animation and has 2 adult daughters who love the Lord with all their hearts! She’s had many careers in her life up to this point. She’s been an Actress, Executive Secretary, Material Supervisor on the game show Jeopardy!, Tae Bo instructor and Personal Assistant. She and her husband, Butch, are the Co-Founders of their Non-Profit Foundation “Hartman House” established in 2005.

No matter how exciting these careers might seem, NOTHING takes the place or even comes close to being a wife, a mother and an Ambassador for Jesus Christ!

 

What About 2016?

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So what about 2016?

The end of January is right at hand and I wonder how many are still thinking about 2016?

Thinking about the good, the bad and the really ugly of a year that has come and gone; did you hear that? A year that has come and gone! Ladies and gentlemen, we are in a brand new year. The chalkboard has been erased and it’s a fresh new slate just waiting for you to start writing.

The only thing we should really be thinking about from 2016 is “What did I learn?” Honestly, every day of life is a learning experience. The problem is that if we don’t recognize and make changes, then life basically becomes like 365 ground hog days with no true forward traction. Some people live their entire life never finding that place of joy and happiness. They always find themselves in want and call it need. They move from one horrible day to another and one day realize they have wasted their entire life away with nothing to show for it. Life was never promised it would be easy BUT it is also not meant to be the way I just described it. But we also don’t have to buy into a downward spiraling system that is all around us.

So let’s stop for a moment and look at our lives. TIME TO TAKE INVENTORY! Grab a pen and paper for this PLEASE! Be honest on the following:
1. Today, at this very moment, how would YOU describe your life?
2. When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see?
3. Do you like how you feel?
4. When you look around your home and in your vehicle, do you see excellence?
5. What would you like to see changed in the relationships in your life?

If any of these questions have a non-positive response, then it’s time for a change! That change cannot be left in the hands of God or anyone else. You have the power of change and the authority over your own life. Today is the second most important day of your entire life, second only to the day you made Jesus the Lord over your life. Why is this day so important? Because you have the opportunity to make a shift that will change your life forever!

My wife, Debbie, and I started a lifestyle change maybe 5 years ago. It’s been a roller coaster ride with more up’s than down’s but 5 years later, we feel better than we ever have. The smallest repeated positive change can make a huge difference over time. But again, we live in a society that wants it NOW! That’s why people are daily looking for the latest diet plan, the pill that will shred the pounds without all the work. I just heard a commercial for a workout item and the money backer for this invention said, “I like to stay fit but not workout”. REALLY!???! That’s like “I want to lose weight while I eat a bag of chips and drink a soda”. For us, we have tried many things, but a free app (MyFitnessPal) and some decisions about what we were not going to eat OR eat so much of, making smart food choices, and a good exercise regimen, turned about to be the answer. You can apply this to any area of your life, you just have to stop making excuses! Trust me, I know. I made excuses for years but now I see the proof and real desire!

So today, right now, STOP looking at 2016 and focus on the here and now and make it the BEST day, week, month, and year EVER!!!!!!

I would love to hear from you and also, if you have any questions on this post OR how we made the changes in our health and fitness, please feel free to ask. We really do want to hear from you. =)