What’s Your Story?

I have had this title going off inside me for some time now. I hope that by the end of this post, you will be on the right path to finding your story.

I want to ask you a question – WHAT IS YOUR STORY? I’m sure this question prompts many different thoughts. We all have a story and each story will vary because no one path in this life is the same. But I want us to not look at our story as defined by the life we have lived; but instead, by the one life that was given.

1 Peter 2:9 (AMP) “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s} own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Now, let me ask you again after reading this scripture – WHAT’S YOUR STORY? Our real story starts as a YES. The very simple answer to a life-changing question. Do you believe?

We, as believers, have been chosen and set apart. We are designated for something great; royal above any royalty this world has ever seen. If we dig into the deep meaning of this word, “chosen” we find: “to pick, gather, picked from among the larger group for special services or privileges”. If you go back and reread the scripture now with this meaning and see it as God speaking personally to you, then you will see and know your true story. Your story is uncommon and there will never be another like yours. So live like it, and do it all to the glory of God!

Just a heads up, my next blog post is a kick-off on Kingdom Relationships.

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!

When you feel like God’s not listening…..

God-is-waiting

“The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you
want most for what you want right now”
Zig Ziglar

Have you ever had one of those days that makes you feel like God is just not up there hearing what you have to say? (Now this is NOT the time to get a holier-than-thou attitude and say, “Oh no, not me,” but instead, just be real.) WELL, “I” have been in this place and it’s not a good place to be in!

For most people, it’s hard to find joy in waiting, as we are a society that wants everything NOW. We teach our children to have patience, but when it comes to us and God and our prayers, we think we must have an instant miracle, move, and/or manifestation, or something must be wrong. We bounce back and forth between “is it me or is it you God, who is delaying this”? We track the response time as if the answers to our prayers are on a travel schedule. I believe that one of the secret recipes to a joyful Kingdom in life is finding joy in the moment. Now I will be the first to admit that this is NOT always easy. I have learned that in those times, the best thing I can do is reassure myself of God’s promises by daily diving into His Word. Here are a few anchor scriptures that I cling to:

Deut 31:6 (NKJ) “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

1 John 5:14 (AMP) “And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.”

Mark 11:24 (AMP) “For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].”

You see, the truth is that God never leaves us, He always hears us, and He never withholds from His kids. Even before we gave our life to Christ, He knew us and through the power of choice we either let Him in or keep Him at bay.

So how do we overcome?
1. Don’t let the situation change who you are. (I stole that from my wife!!!) – You see, we can’t let a temporary circumstance create a change in us, but instead, we must create a change in it.
2. Don’t give up! His Words in Mark 11:24 are powerful words to hang your prayers on. Make those three words your battle cry in tough times. I have my own three-word battle cry and it is “SUCK IT UP”. (CLICK to read “SUCK IT UP” post)
3. Continually fill yourself with the Word and don’t stop when things get good, but instead, make it your lifestyle. I like how Tony Robbins says that “leaders are readers,” but I take it one step further with what you put in you is what comes out during those tough times. A good business book can give you insight into certain techniques and processes, BUT nothing that truly pertains on how to live and thrive in His Kingdom. So get a good balance on what you are filling yourself up with, but always focus on the Word.
4. Stand no matter what! 1 John5:4 (AMP) “For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith.”

Those are just a few thoughts that will help you in your daily life. I hope in some way you have been encouraged by this post and would ask that if you know someone else that could benefit from this, to please forward it to them.

QUESTION: How do you handle the season of WAIT?

I look forward to your response.

Ladder to the Top!

I want to start this blog post by asking a question for YOU to answer. What is “the Top of the Ladder” to you? This answer will be the same for many, as society has dictated what they think it is and then for others, it will vary in answer. When I left the Emergency Medical world as a paid career and started with Living Water Teaching, it was a desk job and a high position of authority. But all these years later, after reaching the rung in the ladder we call CEO, I find it very different. Now don’t get me wrong, it does come with a desk and also authority, but much of the time a desk to me is like an anchor and authority becomes a pain in the backside. =) But I love what I do and until God says move, I’m here in the place I call CEO land. (I will come back to my thoughts a little later in this post.)

Let’s look at the definition of CEO for a moment: “A chief executive officer (CEO) is generally the most senior corporate officer (executive) or administrator in charge of managing a for-profit or non-profit organization. An individual appointed as a CEO of a corporation, company, organization, or agency.” I would add here that for me and many others in the business world, we see God as our senior partner. Here is an example of one: http://www.buckknives.com/index.cfm?event=why.message .

I heard a movie quote once that said, “Life is an uphill climb, so enjoy the view”. The climb to that position of CEO is much of the same – a climb and for many, it is the only thing that matters. They become obsessed with it and focus on nothing else, only to get there and lose themselves and sometimes even their families, friends and their health. To be a CEO of a corporation that is making a difference is an amazing thing; but to only be there for a paycheck just seems a little crazy to me. But to each their own!

I have an e-book called “Christian Business Legends” and what I enjoyed most about it was the fact that these men and women were striving to fulfill their calling. It was not for a title or personal gain or even to say “LOOK AT ME”.

Let’s rewind for a moment to my take on the CEO definition. Now again, this is my personal experience on the position and it won’t fit all BUT it will fit many. The position goes beyond a desk or the authority. It goes beyond a dress code or even a lifestyle level. CEO to me is defined as the CHIEF EVERYTHING OFFICER. I have heard it said by many: “I would not ask of someone something I am not willing to do myself”, but those words don’t float for most. They sounded good when first spoken many years ago by those that meant it, but today (most of the time), they are words to push people to work beyond what should be asked. Also, being willing to do it and doing it is two very different things.

I find my world as a CEO to offer many different physical views. One is my desk; another would be a stage or platform from where I might be speaking from both nationally or internationally. Another is a forklift in the warehouse at the US offices here in Texas and still another would be driving a zero radius mower all the while still performing corporate duties, daily management actions and decision making and so on. All this said, it’s time we stop letting how this world defines what a job, career or calling is and redefine what it is to us.

One of my many examples of a real leader has gone on to be with the Lord – but his legacy of leadership is with me daily. I watched the co-founder of Living Water Teaching, Dr. James L. Zirkle, lead by example. Many could not keep up with his “full speed ahead” life, but he made an impact globally that few will ever touch. Those that are in the book I mentioned above, lead by example. TODAY, Christ leads you and me by example and not just by words (if you have that relationship with Him.) This is why I say all the time, “live life on purpose with purpose”, no matter what you’re doing in life. If you are not the CEO of a company, at least be the CEO of your life and household with the only senior to you being God!

So how can you today redefine the CEO you are?
1. Take inventory of your life, both in business and personally.
2. Who is counting on you today and how can you be a greater blessing to them?
3. Are you being fulfilled and finding joy in what you are doing? If not, then it’s hard to lead others without it.
4. Lastly, find what needs to be done and DO IT!

There are many more concepts to being a CEO, leader, manager, etc. – but not enough time to bring all that out here. I will be speaking more on this subject in upcoming blog posts and podcasts. And you can also ask questions below or email me directly @ keiths@lwtusa.org .

So that’s it for this week; BUT I would love to hear back from you below with your comments, suggestions and feed back.

I want to also encourage you to check out the Kingdom Thinking PodCast on iTunes at: http://goo.gl/0kx3Ya 

You can find out more about the ministry of Living Water Teaching which I talked about in the post @ www.livingwaterteaching.org.

I believe our life is truly meant to be the greatest adventure novel waiting to be written as we live it out. Start living the best life possible NOW on purpose with purpose. Live with no regrets and love without boundaries. Hold nothing back and charge life head on. I am excited for what’s next, because the excitement of anticipation and not knowing of what is next is what births each breath in life.

So stand strong, live life loud and bold! Take this new day gladiator style, ruling and reigning it and not letting it reign you.

LivXtrem4Him

FEAR

fear

Fear defined is “to be afraid of someone or something, to expect or worry about something bad”.

So many times in life, we live in fear of “what could be”. Many of those fears are based on false feelings based on no facts at all. Facts are not truth, but just information that life presents to try and knock us off course. We read in the Bible where the armies stood before Goliath in such fear that they just were hiding in their camp. All this changed when a sheep herder showed up one day bringing food who had already overcome his fears; NOTE – he overcame his fear!

I was watching a TV show on the very same day I was writing this post and the female actress said this, “You don’t ignore or hide from the things you’re afraid of”. For those that have listened to my podcasts, read my past blog posts or even heard me speak, you might have heard me say the statement: Taking life gladiator style. Gladiators to me were some of the most fearless combatants. I watch them in the movies charging their opponent head on, holding nothing back!

So back to the statement from the TV show and my thoughts about gladiators; we have got to learn to face our fears and charge at them, because as we do, we find out that they have no power BUT what power we allow them to have.

Debbie and I were just in Germany, spending time with our daughter and her husband. We traveled all over Germany and also to Holland, Belgium and Austria. (You can check out the pics on my Facebook page: CLICK HERE ) One of the things my son-in-law planned for us was the Kletterwald Rope course in Wiesbaden. (Here is the link to read more about them: CLICK HERE ) So we followed the direction of our fearless guide (AKA my son-in-law) and we skipped over at least three easier courses and entered onto the Red II (harder) course. Well with that said, “WOW”! Debbie and I were pushed hard throughout this rope adventure obstacle course in the trees, which I can assure you the US would not allow! Once in the trees, you have the option to suck it up and complete the course or call for help and be rescued by a rope course worker while hundreds of people below watch you wimp out. Anyways, we kicked that course’s BUTT! =)

I think about situations that range from dreamers being afraid of moving forward in their dreams or workers being afraid to face an abusive boss. Or spouses afraid to even talk to the one who has promised to be by their side no matter what. Fear is an enemy of ALL men and women; and again, can only be what we allow it to be.

We must learn to face fear big or small – no matter what it is. You have the power to overcome, to conquer, to triumph over every fear that could TRY and come your way.

So that’s it for this week BUT I would love to hear back from you below with your comments, suggestions and feed back. I also would like to encourage you to check out what we are doing on iTunes at: http://goo.gl/0kx3Ya

I believe our life is truly meant to be the greatest adventure novel waiting to be written as we live it out. Start living the best life possible NOW on purpose with purpose. Live with no regrets and love without boundaries. Hold nothing back and charge life head on. I am excited for what’s next, because the excitement of anticipation and not knowing of what is next is what births each breath in life.

So stand strong, live life loud and bold! Take this new day gladiator style, ruling and reigning it and not letting it reign you.

LivXtrem4Him

TODAY!

Photo by RKS Photography

Photo by RKS Photography

I want to start this week’s post off with a quote. This quote is by Admiral – William H. McRaven as he addressed the 2014 UTA graduating class in Austin, TX. He said, “What starts here changes the world”. What a powerful statement! To me, it’s a challenge that all should take. I want my dreams to change the world for the better and live way beyond my lifetime.

Today we can make decisions to move forward into our dreams. We can learn to embrace uncertainty and rejoice in the ups and downs of life. I just read a statement that said, “Enjoy the downs in life because there can be no ups without them”! A successful life has so much to do with our perspective of it.

Stop waiting on the perfect time; but instead, decide to give your absolute best and leave the rest to God. I love listening to Dan Miller and one thing he teaches is that we need to stop waiting for the perfect time and start doing with what we have now. People are not seeking you for perfection, but instead, realness that they can learn and glean from to help them step-up to a new level.

So what could you do right NOW to start moving forward in your dream? Then do it and don’t look back!

Well that’s it for today, but we have many great past blog posts I would encourage you to check out and we are also on iTunes at: http://goo.gl/0kx3Ya

I believe our life is truly meant to be the greatest adventure novel waiting to be written as we live it out. Start living the best life possible NOW on purpose with purpose. Live with no regrets and love without boundaries. Hold nothing back and charge life head on. I am excited for what’s next, because the excitement of anticipation and not knowing of what is next is what births each breath in life.

So stand strong, live life loud and bold! Take this new day gladiator style, ruling and reigning it and not letting it reign you.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and or suggestions below.

LivXtrem4Him

Renewing the Mind to Kingdom Thinking (Part-5)

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This week we are continuing the series on “Renewing the Mind to Kingdom Thinking”. Here is the link to the previous post just in case you missed it: http://wp.me/p1zGjk-e2

In the process of renewing the mind, we will find a limitless list of topics. That’s because the renewing process has to be done in all areas of life and it must be a daily action. What do I mean by a daily action? Glad you asked =). Each day we awake to new encounters; some good and some bad. And with that, we can’t live using yesterday’s answers. This is why spending all your time jumping from book to book, blog to blog, and conference to conference will NOT give you the full answer to your questions. They will help add knowledge to your arsenal but only YOU can find the real answers to YOUR victories. It can’t be done for you; BUT this is what most people want to happen. We live in a society that mimics what others do expecting to get what they got without spending the time seeking it. One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 6:33 where it tells us to “seek first the kingdom”. What is the Kingdom? It’s God Himself. We must learn that we are investing in ourselves when we answer the calling of that scripture.

You can read in the Bible about the new wine being poured into an old wine skin. The result of the new wine introduced into an old wine skin causes it to burst. We ourselves are like that old wine skin in the fact that we are trying to put new actions and dreams into our same old thinking. Business and ministries alike cannot be held to yesterday’s types and shadows. The way we did it yesterday was for yesterday; but today has to see a new level of leadership and attention.

I want to encourage you to renew your mind to the fact that yesterday might be filled with great victories and also horrible setbacks, BUT today is a new day. Take hold of it like no other day in your life and live it to the fullest.

I believe our life is truly meant to be the greatest adventure novel waiting to be written as we live it out. So start living the best life possible NOW on purpose with purpose. Live with no regrets and love without boundaries. Hold nothing back and charge life head on. I am excited for what’s next, because the excitement of anticipation and not knowing of what is next is what births each breath in life.

So stand strong, live life loud and bold! Take this new day gladiator style, ruling and reigning it and not letting it reign you.

LivXtrem4Him