Friday, January 30, 2015
In this world there is a lot of options, more options than ever before in history. When we try to decide what we should do with our lives it’s easy to get confused and a little lost. Should I have picked another education? Is this the right job for me? Did I ruin my future when I didn’t take that opportunity I had last year? Should I move somewhere else?
As a Christian I want to be sure I don’t waste my life, but how do I know what road to pick when I stand at a crossroads? Another difficulty is how do I reach those high goals I have set up for myself when this is where I am today? How do I go from here to there? When you are confused about what to do with your life and how to get from where you are to where you need to be wisdom is needed.
Steven Furtick has written an awesome book called “Greater: Dream bigger. Start smaller. Ignite God’s vision for your life.” Furtick writes about how we won’t all live great lives as rich and famous people, it’s just not how this world works. Everybody can’t be super successful at the office. On the other hand we don’t have to get stuck in a life of boredom and complacency either, we are meant for more than that. We are meant to live a life with passion, purpose and vision. We can all live a greater life. We can’t all be great (like Beethoven or Michelangelo) but we can all live a life that is greater.
The greater life starts with using what you have. Even if you don’t have a lot of money or special talent you do have something you can use. We all have something, because we were all wonderfully made. It’s easy to get stuck focusing on what we don’t have and miss what’s right in front of us, what we can do. The thing is, as Furtick writes: “you have everything you need to do all that God is calling you to do right now.”
The first thing we need to do is take inventory of what we have. What do you have in your life right now? How much money and skill do you have right now? Stop dreaming about where you wish you were or what you wish you had and put what you have to work. Whatever you bring to the table God can easily multiply. If you bring nothing, nothing will happen.
Another good thing to remember is that our greatest limitations is God’s greatest opportunity. If we decide to do our small part we give God an opportunity to show up and do His great part. When we are ready to step outside of our comfortable but mundane lifestyles it’s easy to get stuck in the “if…then”-mentality. If I just had more money, then I would follow that dream I’ve always had. If I knew for sure that it would work out, then I would take the next step. If I just had more time, then I would do it.
Steven Furtick suggests another way for us to view our lives. If God wanted us to have a particular skill, we would have it. If God wanted us to have more time or money don’t you think He would have given it to us? So if we don’t have it maybe He doesn’t want us to have it right now, maybe what He wants for us is to work what we have.
Many times in life we need to learn how to handle little, before we are ready to handle the responsibility that comes with having plenty. Furtick suggests that instead of praying “God, please give me more” dare to pray “God please use what I have, and make it overflow.”
Monday, January 19, 2015
Friday, January 16, 2015
When I have a really bad day I like to visit Lakewood church online and listen to their very talented musicians sing positive and uplifting songs that always manage to lift my mood. Sometimes when we get hurt by people in this world we feel the need to wrap our hearts up in a protecting coat. It's easy to become hardened and bitter as we go through struggles and are hurting, but if we instead choose to focus on what's good we will be able to gain new strength and hope.
The music during the services at Lakewood church have the power to fill me up with new energy every time I listen to them. Music is so powerful. Last time I had a bad day I listened to the Young Adults service called "Do It Afraid" at www.lakewoodchurch.com and felt so much better afterwards.
Monday, January 12, 2015
I'm convinced that living The Life of Love is the most awesome way you can choose to spend a lifetime on this earth! Although it is also the most difficult challenge you can take on in a lifetime. Loving other people is hard, sometimes really hard.
I love this time of year because the beginning of a new year gives me the motivation to do some positive changes to my lifestyle. This January I have decided to prioritize making time to watch one online church service a week from different churches around the world. This week I decided to watch a message called "Being Rich-in what matters most". The first service in this series is titled "Good news, bad news".
Pastor Craig Groeschel does a good job at motivating me to get better at loving people. Today I learned that although I don't feel very rich I am rich! And because I am rich it's important that I learn to be good at being rich. I don't want to spend all my money and resources on myself. I want to be good at being rich in what matters most!
I want to learn to be much more generous and loving. I want to make a difference in the city where I live and in the world. I want to love and serve others more than I want happiness these days. LifeChurch.tv is doing a good job at helping me get closer to this goal. Let's do this!
Thursday, January 8, 2015
|Christmas morning, a time of joy or a time of frustration?|
Living “The Life of Love” is all about loving people everywhere we go, it sounds so nice but as we soon discover is a lot easier said than done. My mother used to say: “human relationships is the hardest thing in life”, and the older I get the more I tend to agree with her. When it comes to loving people it is far from easy at times, even if we know that the ones who deserve our love the least often need it the most.
I love books and by now I have a few favorite books that I like to go back to every now and then for wisdom and advice. One of my favorite books is “Soul Detox” by Craig Groeschel. One of the chapters in Soul Detox is called “Radioactive Relationships: Loving unhealthy people without getting sick.” This time of year, after a big holiday season, I have a feeling many of us could need the advice in this chapter.
|Some people make you smile, others suck the energy out of you.|
Most of us have at least one person in our family or inner circle who isn’t that easy to love. Although we know that it is our duty to love each other we often find it really difficult. Craig Groeschel have a few tips on how we can manage to love the unhealthy people in our lives without getting sick. Groeschel explains that most “toxic people” are of three different types: the chronic critics, the controllers and the tempters. Whatever the type of unhealthy person you have in your inner circle the first thing you need to do is set some clear boundaries.
It is our mission to love everyone equally, but that doesn’t mean treat everyone exactly the same. The more difficult a person is, the stronger boundaries you will need in the relationship. Craig Groeschel writes: “First, you can tell people. “I won’t let you talk to me or treat me that way.” Set the boundary, explain where you stand and then stick to it. Be loving but firm as you establish the boundaries.
Next, if the difficult person in your life refuses to respect your boundaries and continues to criticize, tempt or violate you it’s time to seek help. Get together with others in your family or inner circle and decide to show a united front. If this doesn’t help you might need to seek professional help, call a counselor or therapist. If you can’t all attend the visit to a counselor together then go alone and get some advice from a professional on how to deal with conflict.
The last resort will be to cut off this toxic relationship from your life. Cutting off people isn’t something you should use as a way of dealing with conflict on a regular basis, but it might be needed in some extreme cases. If the toxic person in your life continues to criticize, abuse, threaten or harm you there is a real need for you to cut this relationship off. You don’t cut off people in your life just because you are having a difficult time with the relationship. The decision to cut someone off needs to be based on more than difficulty getting along. Once the relationship is so toxic that it has made you mentally unhealthy or is putting you in physical danger there is a need to end the relationship. Don’t tolerate a toxic relationship, cut it off so that nobody gets sick.
|The beginning of a new year is a good time to decide to make some changes in your relationships.|
Don’t settle for anything less than a relationship where you get treated with respect and love. When you decide to cut off a bad relationship remember why you do it. You cut off a relationship to protect yourself and keep yourself mentally, spiritually and physically healthy. If you are mentally unwell or in physical danger you will spend all your energy on just surviving. You need to be mentally, spiritually and physically healthy to have the time and energy to go out into world and love and care for other people. Don’t let a toxic relationship steal that positive energy and the ability to love others from you.