Suck it up! NEXT…..

Suck it up - NEXT

I was truly blessed from the responses to the last blog post, SUCK IT UP; however, as I thought about it more and more, I just kept seeing the next chapter. So let’s continue the journey in this post.

I would rather start and fail than not to start at all.
Author unknown

In every situation, there is always a NEXT, but the NEXT is normally dictated by OUR response to the situation. I can look back at my life and see how I handled things and what came NEXT and I see a corresponding reaction to the action.

Before we move any further, let’s define the word NEXT: “coming after this one, coming after the one that just came, happened, etc., any other.” It seems pretty straight forward that next is only to be after something else. It’s an elementary process of order that we cannot change!

We will never realize the NEXT until we conquer the NOW! Adding to this even deeper, we are not to focus on the NEXT, but instead on the NOW. Confused yet? Stay with me! Most of the time we want what’s next without conquering the now. You see, this isn’t the case in real life. My wife and I were recently watching a movie and the leading man was having a conversation with the leading lady that went something like this: “You know what I hate most about the statement, happily ever after? It’s not the end of the story, but instead the beginning.” It’s the same for me in these blog post topics, as we SUCK IT UP and conquer the NOW, advancing to the NEXT is what matters. We are by design created to conquer, grow and increase rather than fear, hide and fail.

A good writer never sees the end of the story as the end, but instead as a start to the next great novel. A runner never sees the end of the race as an end, but instead as a conquered goal that advances them to the next one.

I know so many associate the statement, “SUCK IT UP” with a negative thought, but it can also be taken as a great motivator used for positive. It all depends on how you are willing to take it. Those three words have become my battle cry in moments of weakness. First, I know according to Philippians 4:13 (AMP) “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am [b]self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” Second, the excitement for what’s next makes me want to conquer the now.

So I kindly say to you this day, SUCK IT UP and know that you can do it!

SUCK IT UP!

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrow; but it empties today of strength.” Corrie ten Boom

I wonder how many of you reading this post have been told those famous, life changing, ALL- encouraging words, “SUCK IT UP”? Honestly, at the hardest moments in our lives, those three words could be just the ones that mean life or death, sink or swim, run or fight!

Life can’t be lived passively from a passenger’s seat point of view, BUT instead, on purpose from the driver’s seat. We have been given an amazing opportunity to live an amazing life. Most will come across a mountain on the journey of life and many of those mountains become a stop sign, instead of simply an obstacle to overcome.

To see or hear about someone overcoming an obstacle, is an amazing thing and not something to be taken lightly. I was recently watching a video of a jet doing a fly-by on an aircraft carrier. As the jet flew by, it overcame an obstacle that we call the sound barrier and as the BOOM thundered the skies, I got chills.

Think about the child who was told he or she will never be like other children, but they proved the voices wrong and went on to do amazing things. What about the soldier that lost his or her legs in the heat of battle and was told that they would never be able to walk normal again, but they went on to compete in marathons. We were never promised life would be easy, BUT we must FULLY live in the moment we have been given. Life is such a precious gift and I say these words to you with the greatest respect, love and compassion, SUCK IT UP!!!!! Let those three words become your battle cry for victory. If you have a negative doctor’s report or are in a bad financial situation, or whatever it might be, then write those three words on it and stop letting it have the victory.

“Problems are only a mask and have no power to win until you allow them to.” Keith Spanberger

It’s time we engage life like a fighter pilot engaging his or her advisory – head on and holding nothing back. No matter what has hit us, we can’t back down. We can’t give up. No matter what is going on right now, we have to SUCK IT UP and conquer whatever is holding us back. It’s never too late and we have not lost the battle as long as we still have breath in us. Even at death, (if you know Jesus as your savior), then it is not a defeat; but instead, a shift to the next place in life.

My wife is part of the P31 fitness family (www.p31fitness.com) and I am going to quote a phrase they put on most of their promotional items. “YOU ARE WORTH IT” and that is so true, you are worth it, so fight like never before!

If you have a SUCK IT UP testimony to share, then I want to rejoice with you and ask that you share it below.

“Battle Plans for the New Year”

welcome-sign

“F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything and Run’ or ‘Face Everything and Rise.’ The choice is yours.”
Zig Ziglar

We have crossed the threshold into a brand new year. I am so excited about this new year, as I know it is going to be my family’s best year yet!

On January 1st, when I woke up that morning, the first words my eyes read was the scripture, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭43‬:‭19‬ NLT)
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This year is the NEW year for me; it is going to be an EPIC one for my family and everything we put our hands to will prosper. To add to this, my pastor has been teaching on the subject, “Welcome to the New”. So here we are and again, I AM PUMPED!

I personally started this new year off a little differently than normal. Typical tradition is to make a New Year’s resolution. With 50% of people failing at their resolutions by the end of January and 9 out of 10 people quitting by March, it’s obvious this ritual does not work very well. I recently read a devotional on the topic of having a word for the year instead of the typical resolution. I took time and prayed on this, because I wanted God’s word for me and my life. My word for 2015 is “Simplify,” but I chose to put that word into action back in November instead of waiting for the new year to begin.

Finding the word for the new year is not the answer to all things, BUT it helps bring focus to our lives and choose the path we take to reach our goals. My word was very clear and I knew the depth of it in my life.

Here are a few things I recommend to help you once you have your word:
1. Research the definition of your word.
2. Keep your word before you at all times and post it clearly in areas where you will see it throughout the day.
3. Tell your friends and family members your word and what you are doing, so they can help support you.

These three steps will go a long way in helping you take your word and make this year the best year ever!

As you look at this new year, I encourage you to find your word and decide what the word FEAR means to you. Now it’s time to take action!

SO WELCOME TO THE NEW!

Merry Christmas

merry christmas

From our family to yours, we pray that you have the most blessed Christmas ever. We also pray that your time with family and friends is truly blessed BUT that the true reason for the season is not forgotten. Jesus and His life, death and resurrection. I want to encourage you to take time and reflect on ALL He has done for you.

Blessings,
Keith, Debbie & family (Josh & Ashley Underwood, Ricky & Megan Spanberger, Parker Spanberger, Suzy Cate and the whole zoo of furry family members)

SONY DSC

Rejoice this Season & Every Season, You are a Conqueror

SONY DSC

Merry Christmas & Happy New Years from our family to yours =)

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you “Be of good cheer”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of all”
Andy Williams – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It truly is a beautiful time of the year with all of the decorations, lights and festivities all around, but to say it’s the happiest season of all, is not so true for many. The holiday seasons are an emotional roller coaster for so many. Some are stressed by countless hours of decorating, cooking and cleaning, while others are stressed with getting the perfect gifts and making sure everyone on their list is happy with what they are getting. Some are lonely, while some are already focusing on the next year so much, that they lose the remaining days in the present year. We see many walking around defeated while others walk around joyful and yet both are hearing and singing the same Christmas songs like the one I opened this post with.

So many have lost what the meaning of the season is about. You know where I am going with this, BUT that’s not where I’m stopping. You see, I’m a Christian and YES, I celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior. However, I don’t just reserve that for this time of year; but instead, I make it my lifestyle. I don’t think God expected us to stop at seeing Jesus as a baby in the manger, but instead, to see the fullness of His life all around us. When I think about the birth of Jesus, I think about the greatest gift ever given and a showing of love for one another (me and you) that is beyond our comprehension.

The greatest way to make this season the “hap-happiest season of all” is by taking our eyes off of us and putting them on Him first and then on others. We need to look for ways to spread joy that goes beyond the traditional gifts and such. Please don’t think I’m being harsh by what I’m writing. I have loved ones that have gone on to be with the Lord that I miss dearly and also dreams that have not YET come true. I have had struggles and setbacks, BUT none of them change who I am or who I belong to! According to Romans 8:37, “We are more than conquerors” and so that is who I am, a conqueror. You’re bigger than your situations! You are mightier than whatever obstacle is before you! If you know Jesus, then YOU have something in you greater than what is coming against you, according to 1 John4:4. As a Christian life can only be lived from the inside out, then, and only then, will life be truly fulfilling and the emotional roller coaster will come to an end and it will truly be the hap-happiest season of all!

Debbie and I and all of our family want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

The End To The Beginning

The end to the beginning

It’s hard to believe that 2014 is almost over. Take notice of one word in my last sentence, “ALMOST”! That word identifies things to come or not yet attained. So many are already looking at next year and not even thinking about the remainder of this year. Joseph’s life changed in a second when he stood before Pharaoh and I believe God wants to do the same for each one of us. God gives us each day to live and love to the fullest, but we lose it by thinking about what’s next and not about what’s happening now. I love this time of year; I love the fall colors and winter weather and as Christmas draws near, I love the lights and festive atmosphere that’s all around. I love the time with my family and friends, but most of all, I love what it represents – the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I firmly believe that a thankful heart lives in the NOW, because that is what we are thankful for. A hopeful heart lives in the future and for what is to come next. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as the greater focus is now and living the life God has given us to the fullest with purpose and on purpose.

Sometimes, the fewest words speak the loudest message, so I am ending this post with a link to one of my favorite writers. His name is Michael Hyatt and after hearing his first podcast I was hooked! I have learned most of what I know about blogging and Podcasting among many other topics from him. He has a site – http://bestyearever.me/ which I would recommend to all that is geared towards making 2015 your best year yet. BUT again, I believe taking what he is saying and applying it to TODAY will help you greatly. Remember that 2014 is not over until the last second of the very last day, SO it’s not time to quit!

QUESTION: What could you do NOW to make the greatest impact on these last days of this year? I believe how you finish sets the stage to how we start, so it’s time to press in and give it ALL you’ve got.

I would love to hear what your goals are for the remainder of 2014 and then for 2015, so please share them below.

Passionately Pursuing Your Dreams

Debbie Spanberger by statue of Anne Frank, by Mari Andriessen, outside the Westerkerk in Amsterdam

Debbie Spanberger by statue of Anne Frank, by Mari Andriessen, outside the Westerkerk in Amsterdam

I want to open with two life-changing quotes that touched my heart when my wife Debbie, daughter, Ashley, son-in-law, Josh and myself all took a tour of the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. http://www.annefrank.org/

“I want to go on living after my death” & “When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived.” Anne Frank

These are actually parts of an entry in her diary and were painted on the walls of the museum in two separate quotes.

I was reading back through my journal tonight as I often do and was reflecting on good times and Kingdom inspirations. I got to my entries from that tour and closed my eyes and I could see myself there once again. I was walking room-to-room and taking in the history and the writings of a little girl that touched the hearts of thousands if not millions and those numbers are growing daily. She is honestly the pentacle of a dreamer in so many ways. She did not let her surroundings or situations define her. She actually defined them through her smile, her laugh, her love for life and no matter what was going on in her life and around her, she continued pursuing her dream. I remember looking at the pages of her journals in the glass cases and hearing them being read; in the midst of a horrible time in history, she pursued her dream daily with such a passion and purpose.

When she said, “I want to go on living after my death” it’s as if time took notice to her desire and even after her death in March of 1945 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she just kept on living.

What is the desire for your life? Mine has been, even before the day I toured Anne Frank’s house, to make a mark in this world that would be alive and make a difference long after I have taken my last breath.

We ALL have to take a stand for the dreams we have and run with them no matter what life is throwing our way. Anne’s life has touched and changed lives around the world, but what if she would have not picked up that pen and journal and started writing? What if she would have let circumstances dictate what she was going to do and have?

You see, no matter how long life is, it’s never long enough and you will never get back the time that has already passed by. What if your life journey is the next Anne Frank story? What if your dream could touch the lives of millions and change them forever? It can and could, BUT only if you live it! Anne Frank lived her dream and even though she died, she has lived after her death and touches lives every day. So start NOW purposely pursuing your God given dreams.

QUESTION: So what has been holding you from pursuing your dream? Realize what it is and stop giving it that power!

That’s it for this week, BUT there is going to be more to come on this topic! I would love to hear back from you below with your comments, suggestions and feedback. Or you can e-mail me at kspanberger@gmail.com.

I want to also encourage you to check out the Kingdom Thinking Podcast on iTunes at: http://goo.gl/0kx3Ya ; it would be a blessing if you could let others know about us.

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