Devotional Tuesday – Be Quiet and Know This

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“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18

Satan is alive on planet earth.  This understanding will not be trouble free or painless.  Your enemy is intelligent, skilled, and personally driven by his cause.  He will fight viciously.  But God’s Spirit declares this is a new day for men He is making new.  The tide is turning, and the days of living in defeat and despair have been replaced with the full commitment of God’s men who are willing to fight in the open, hand to hand. Our collective focus on exposing, isolating, and moving aggressively against evil will change and reduce evil’s capacity to wage war.  We have overwhelmingly superior weaponry placed at our disposal and rising numbers of skilled warriors locking arms.  God’s men are on the march, and we are resolved to accept nothing less than a full victory, even if that costs our very lives.  In the words of “Brave Heart,” HOLD.

God has full confidence in your loyalty to His cause and your abilities to fight for Him when you are called upon by circumstances and the commission of Christ.  Your King has declared to you “All authority has been given to me.”  It’s time we deal with evil the right way — expose it, engage it and keep it on the run through Christ.

You will find that the biggest battle you will fight with the Enemy is in your own head.  Discipline your mind, because the attacks upon it will increase.  The spirit of fighting as God’s man is allowing yourself to be directed by God and applying what He shows you.  Every application will require your surrender in order to secure your victories. Ready yourself.

Father, you know war is ugly but victory is sweet. Thank you for the hope you have placed in me.

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Devotional Tuesday – Humble Pie

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“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” I Peter 5:6

Humble Pie is kind of like broccoli, you don’t eat it for desert.  Jesus’ style of humility has personal influence under the control and management of the Holy Spirit.  He whispers, stop talking about yourself and get interested in God and then others. He invites you to take some of that bonus you just got and pay it forward. Give it to someone or something that God brings to your mind. Humility before God manifests itself in controlling your ability to influence.  The trouble comes when we transfer that control to a feeling, the moment, convenience, a fear, or our appetites.  Each of us has influence, and we’ll project that on to others for better or for worse. The question is, how will you use yours?

Will you be the person that uses his position to intimidate, demand, and threaten the man who possess wealth for his own pleasure? God desires that we lead but also to remember who gave us this position of leadership and for what purpose?  He gives us money and things to use and enjoy but not exclusively for our purpose. It really does get down to out of control selfish behavior.  Not doing without thinking. God desires the best for us but knows that the best for us does not include self-absorption.  The aroma of selfishness really kills the sweet taste of humble pie.

The lens of Jesus was a mission on earth of humility, that’s where it had to start and finish. He had to learn the rhythm of possessing royalty without flaunting His crown.  You may not be a celebrity, but you have influence. Similarly, you may not be pulling down six figures, but I know you have relational capital in the lives of others, use it wisely.

Father, your recipe for humble pie is the best ever made.

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The Sexiest Man Alive

 

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I came across this video last night and thought it was appropriate to share on the blog.  It’s Friday so hopefully you can find some time to watch the video.  It is short, less than 5 minutes.

I couldn’t agree more with the points he makes, with of course, one exception.  He seems to make a blanket statement that everyone who plays video games is a slacker.  While that may be true the majority of the time, it isn’t the case with all of us.  I think there is a generational gap of people born before 1980 (or mid-70’s to be fair) and those born after when it comes to video games.  While it isn’t productive to spend 8 hours a day playing video games it also isn’t destructive to have an occasional binge.

My father loves to hunt and fish.  He will engage in those activities with friends and family but he loves it so much he has no issue with hunting or fishing alone.  Yet no one would accuse him of being a slacker when he spends three days in a row hunting.  There is no way I could play video games for three straight days, even if it was only for 8-9 hours each day.  But why is my hobby considered “lazy” and his gets the stamp of approval?  A hobby is something you do in your extra time.  As a relatively new dad, such things as “extra time” are rare and in high demand.  However, when a moment presents itself one of the first things I choose to do is flip on the PS4, even if it is only for 30 minutes.  I don’t see anything wrong with that.

Sorry for the rant.  Watch the video.  It is better than anything I could write here.

https://www.prageru.com/courses/life-studies/sexiest-man-alive

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10 Things Confident People Don’t Do

Today’s material comes courtesy of Travis Bradberry who is the author of “Emotional Intelligence.”  I hope you enjoy the read and can utilize some of these tips as we head into 2017 to become a more confident person in every aspect of your life.

In The Empire Strikes Back, when Yoda is training Luke to be a Jedi, he demonstrates the power of the Force by raising an X-wing fighter from a swamp. Luke mutters, “I don’t believe it.” Yoda replies, “That is why you fail.”

As usual, Yoda was right—and science backs him up. Numerous studies have proved that confidence is the real key to success.

Studies exploring the performance gap between men and women in math and spatial skills have found that confidence plays a huge role. Women who were asked to identify their gender before taking a spatial skills test performed more poorly than those who weren’t. Women also performed better when they were told to envision themselves as men, and both genders performed better when they were told that their gender is better at the task.

What’s even more interesting is that the gender gap practically disappeared when participants were required to answer every question. Apparently, when the women were allowed to skip questions, they did so not because of a lack of knowledge, but because of a lack of confidence.

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent Van Gogh

True confidence is very different from egotistical swagger. When people believe in themselves and their abilities without bravado, there are certain things they simply don’t do.

They don’t make excuses. If there’s one trait confident people have in spades, it’s self-efficacy—the belief that they can make things Image result for making excuseshappen. It’s about having an internal locus of control rather than an external one. That’s why you won’t hear confident people blaming traffic for making them late or an unf
air boss for their failure to get a promotion. Confident people don’t make excuses, because they believe they’re in control of their own lives.

They don’t quit. Confident people don’t give up the first time something Image result for Don't quitgoes wrong. They see both problems and failures as obstacles to overcome rather than impenetrable barriers to success. That doesn’t mean, however, that they keep trying the s
ame thing over and over. One of the first things confident people do when something goes wrong is to figure out why it went wrong and how they can prevent it the next time.

They don’t wait for permission to act. Confident people don’t need somebody to tell them what to do or when to do it. They don’t waste time asking themselves questions like “Can I?” or “Should I?” If they ask themselves anything, it’s “Why wouldn’tI?” Whether it’s running a meeting when the chairperson doesn’t show up or going the extra mile to solve a customer’s problem, it doesn’t even occur to them to wait for somebody else to take care of it. They see what needs to be done, and they do it.

They don’t seek attention. People are turned off by those who are desperate for attention. Confident people know that being yourself is much more effective than trying to prove that you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what, or how many, people you know. Image result for Seek attentionConfident people always seem to bring the right attitude. Confident people are masters of attention diffusion. When they’re receiving attention for an accomplishment, they quickly shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help get them there. They don’t crave approval or praise because they draw their self-worth from within.

They don’t need constant praise. Have you ever been around somebody who constantly needs to hear how great he or she is? Confident people don’t do that. It goes back to that internal locus of control. They don’t think that their success is dependent on other people’s approval, and they understand that no matter how well they perform, there’s always going to be somebody out there offering nothing but criticism. Confident people also know that the kind of confidence that’s dependent on praise from other people isn’t really confidence at all; it’s narcissism.

They don’t put things off. Why do people procrastinate? Sometimes it’s simply because they’re lazy. A lot of times, though, it’s because they’re afraid—that is, afraid of change, failure, or maybe even success. Confident people don’t put things off. Because they believe in themselves and expect that their actions will lead them closer to their goals, they don’t sit around waiting for the right time or the perfect circumstances. They know that today is the only time that matters. If they think it’s not the right time, they make it the right time.

They don’t pass judgment. Confident people don’t pass judgment on others because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other Image result for Passing judgmentpeople down a notch in order to feel good about themselves. Comparing yourself to other people is limiting. Confident people don’t waste time sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up to everyone they meet.

They don’t avoid conflict. Confident people don’t see conflict as something to be avoided at all costs; they see it as something to manage effectively. They don’t go along to get along, even when that means having uncomfortable conversations or making unpleasant decisions. They know that conflict is part of life and that they can’t avoid it without cheating themselves out of the good stuff, too.

They don’t let a lack of resources get in their way. Confident people don’t get thrown off course just because they don’t have the right title, the right staff, or the money to make things happen. Either they find a way to get what they need, or they figure out how to get by without it.

They don’t get too comfortable. Confident people understand that getting too comfortable is the mortal enemy of achieving their goals. That’s because they know that comfort leads to complacency, and complacency leads to stagnation. When they start feeling comfortable, they take that as a big red flag and start pushing their boundaries again so that they can continue to grow as both a person and a professional. They understand that a little discomfort is a good thing.

Bringing It All Together

Embracing the behaviors of confident people is a great way to increase your odds for success, which, in turn, will lead to more confidence. The science is clear; now you just have to decide to act on it.

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Just Say “Merry Christmas” people

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Well it is that time of year again when so many of us get so excited that we go around wishing everyone a “Happy Holiday” because we are so concerned about what people may think, how people may feel or lord forbid if someone might get offended.

I have really never understood this approach.  No one seems to have these feelings around Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day or Thanksgiving.  No one is up in arms when we say “Happy Fourth of July!”

Even if I weren’t a Christian I would still have a problem with people refusing to wish others a Merry Christmas.  It is a NATIONAL HOLIDAY and that holiday is called Christmas.  There is no doubt in my mind that the left will eventually get Christmas taken off the list of National Holidays.  First they will get Congress to call it “Winter Holiday” and then eventually they will remove it altogether.

Check out this video by Dennis Prager (who for the record is Jewish) for an explanation as to why you should still wish people a “Merry Christmas.”

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Because we can always be better men