One Man’s Victory

It always amazes me when I see competition among believers.

I’m not talking about healthy competitions that compares with the disciples desire to be valued in the eyes of Christ.

Some of that can spur us to greatness as we leave our laziness, apathy and fears and hunger to succeed in the Kingdom of God.

I’m talking about the raw, unheeded ambition of the carnal mind.

That desire to be great that is embraced with the hands of greed that will strangle anyone who dares to challenge.

I’m talking about that ugly, adulterated, sinful lust for power, position and prestige that is bred in the bed of jealousy, envy and pride.

When this epitome of nasty nature raises its eyes to take hold of a prize, never realizing the price paid for what is coveted…

The disasters that follow are both heart wrenching and horrifying.

No one knows the anguish filled steps that led to the other man’s mountaintop.

No one knows the sorrow that held that woman’s hand on her journey to success.

No one knows the torment of her nightmares that she finally turned into the dream.

Never suspire another man’s gain before you realize the price he paid.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

Exodus 20:17

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus…

Romans 15:5
*not my photo (Google)

10/28/22

A Note On Success

I saw this posted the other day, and it caused me to pause…

“Cancel telling kids college is the only way to be successful.”

I’d have to somewhat agree a bit, but might I throw a bit of a curveball and some kindling to that line of thought?

Success is an attitude of the heart and mind as well as the actions of the body and emotions.

It’s a lifestyle that begins when you wake up everyday by the thoughts and choices you choose, which in turn, can create successes or failures.

It can last for a lifetime if you think well, choose well and have determined follow through…

So, I guess I’d personally say, “Don’t cancel the thought of “college only”, and don’t cancel the thought of “trade only.””

My suggestion would rather be, the better approach is to decide to be successful by who you are more than what you choose to do, and THEN, what you choose to do, do it well and with purpose and watch successes come more easily!

One Without The Other

[I do not own nor possess this pic: Google.]

I read today all the notes in the article stating what a “cool mom” she had for attending all his travel games when she could’ve been at church or at work or in the bed sleeping.

I heard the praises she made as you fussed at that teacher, really giving her “what for,” after she had the audacity to flunk the test over a little glancing over the shoulder when all the kids need is just a little break from all the stress and demands.

I watched as your job gave you that award for all your hard work and extended hours that took you away from house and home for days and weeks at a time.

Is this what true achievement is now?

Are these “successes in modern culture” what show you’re full of vigor and forthrightness?

Is this what true purpose has come to?

I read the comments that say, “You’re a cool mom” because you sat with your kid at the tattoo parlor yesterday.

I hear the accolades of how great a job you did while allowing your daughter to “spread her wings” and try out the pride of life. After all, it’s the latest and greatest and “will bring her the best destiny.”

I watch as the news pours in on the wonderful attempt you took last week to bail your son out of jail for the fifth DUI since he was 16 because he promised to quit … again.

Is this what true love is now?

Are these strides to be “popular with the next generation” what show you’re full of compassion and admiration?

Is that what true affection has come to?

It seems the world has turned upside down. It seems we have reduced it all down to a common denominator. We are calling good evil and evil good, and yet, we stand here wondering why there is so much hatred, so much strife and so much utter destruction.

There is no internal goodness that brings you to right without an ultimate Truth.

There is no natural tendency toward mercy without an equal balance of justice.

One can never truly live without the other.

For where all mercy is driven, the sin goes without correction.

For where all justice is prevailed, the chance for grace is long forgotten.

One must have the other in a beautiful symphony called life,

And the only ability they have to meet is through the eyes of the One who knew no sin yet became sin to bear our wages of immediate death that we might live eternal…

Penned 7/16/21 – MG

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21

Whimsical Wednesday

A little late is better than never…

How far will you travel to seek your heart desire?

How deep will you search?

How high will you climb?

How treacherous will the adventure become?

Are you willing to go?

Life can be as fulfilling, heartbreaking, thrill-seeking or peaceful as you want to make it.

Live with no regrets.

Survive with no remorse.

Let your heart soar to new heights and rediscover something new to you!

Knowing you and Embracing you

Becoming a person of authenticity and purpose isn’t easy to do, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, deliberate effort and patience…lots of patience. To become a person of purpose, it’s almost like you’re training for the run of your life or for the fight of a lifetime.

Purpose follows persistence and persistence follows passion.

PASSION –> PERSISTENCE –> PURPOSE

Sometime, you will walk along life’s path and not really have a clue as to what your purpose is, and if you’re seeking that answer, this season of unknowing can be incredibly frustrating!! But, just as I’ve heard Pastor T.D. Jakes preach,

You’ve got to figure out what your passions are. When you figure that out, you’re half way there to finding your purpose! Just continue in that passion. Fine tune your strengths. Figure out your weaknesses and work to improve those areas needed. Get a coach who can challenge you and “get in your grill,” someone who will cheer you and not take “No” or “I quit” as answers. Keep pushing forward until you realize you’re working in your purpose.

Just as a boxer finally knocks out his opponent when he stays persistent in the fight, always looking for the weakness of his foe, and just as a runner finally crosses the finish line when she stays persistent even when her legs scream “just quit,” you will become an authentic person of purpose when you keep on keepin’ on!! 😉

Find You. Know YOU. Embrace you. Become who you were meant to be! You can do this! I believe in you!! 💕

What Do You Do In The Pit?

The story of Beniah, son of Jehoida, that is found in 2 Samuel, is always a challenging one for me. It’s not like he went looking for that pit, and it doesn’t appear he was expecting to find a lion when he fell in. Yet, when the adversity came against him, he was ready. He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t back up, and he didn’t cower in despair. He fought, and he fought valiantly, and only onlybecause of this response, he won!

This is really how we should approach life and adversity that comes our way. We are built internally with a natural “fight or flight” mentality; yet, if we approach every situation with a flight response, we will never learn how to persevere under pressure. We will never learn to excel despite the odds. We will never learn the depth of our strength and ability, because true character is produced through our perseverance in trials.

If Beniah had run in fear that day while in the pit, he would be dead, and his story could never be an inspiration to us today.

Something to think about… 😉

To Make A Dream Come True

Inspiration + Perspiration   =  

A Dream Come True

Okay, can we just get REAL for a moment? Dreams don’t just happen because we dream them. Dreams don’t become realities simply because we wish them so. Yeah, I know the world of Disney and Hollywood would like to have you think so. (No offense to both!)  No matter who tries to tell you otherwise, dreams take a lot of planning, hard work along with your inspiration to make a dream come to reality!
An Olympic runner doesn’t cross that finish line in first place simply because he dreamt about it when he was eight years old. A CEO doesn’t become a multimillionaire, because he lives his life in indecisiveness. A government official, small business owner, military officer, author or even an NFL player doesn’t become who they are just because they wished it into existence. No, a dream has to be inspired, first, but then, it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to bring it into existence.
dreams1
I think we rob this next generation, sometimes, by giving them all the materialistic things they desire, skip them through grades like their playing hopscotch and loan out credit to them like it’s water, because when you become an entitled people, you become selfish in your ethics, self-centered in your approach to community and demanding of all those around you to provide for your every whim and desire. You believe the world owes you something, rather than, believing you owe the world something. In turn, you kill the very abilities to dream and aspire plans and strategies to make those goals happen.
dream2America was founded upon people who had a dream. It has survived by having people who aspired to be great. However, it only become a great nation by being nurtured and pioneered by those who were willing to toil, sweat and even die for the dream they held within their hearts. So many gave up so much to make the great nation America has always been known as.
I know that in recent years, this vision of our country has been fought hard against, and there are many who would try to debate this notion of America being great. However, I will contend if America isn’t so great, then, why on earth are so many who don’t live here still desperately longing to come here, even by illegal methods? If America isn’t so great, then, why do so many despise the freedom, justice and pursuit of happiness that we enjoy here? But, I digress. That argument is for another post for another day…
The fact is simple, and it remains to be true: if you have a dream, and you want it to come true, apply some hard work, and you can make it happen! You may have to make some changes. You may have to acquire a great leader in your life, and you may have to overcome some incredible obstacles along the way, but if you dream it, AND you work hard to achieve it, you CAN make all your dream(s) come true!
dream3

What’s Your Talk When They Walk?

You can’t change someone else, their brand of crazy, their attitude, or even their perspective or opinions. They are who they are, and you are who you are. Only God does the changing when we yield to His hand. Expecting change and then getting angry when it doesn’t happen is simply a recipe for disaster and misery.

 

god-grant-me-the-serenity-to-accept-the-things-i-cannot-change-the-courage-to-change-the-things-i-can-and-the-wisdom-to-know-the-differenc

reinhold niebuhr

 

Yet, we all do it, don’t we? If you’re in leadership, I can almost guarantee you do this, unless, you’ve mastered the art of waiting patiently for God to “do His thing.” It’s tough to work alongside someone day in and day out, see their flaws, be convinced of what they need to change, suggest needed change, and then fail to see any successful change, isn’t it? Honestly, it can be downright aggravating, frustrating, really! Although, it can be quite a challenge to pour into someone all that you have within and still watch them walk away, we must remember Christ went through this very thing.

Jesus spent hours, days, weeks and even years with Judas Iscariot. Judas stayed with him, ate meals with him, visited the sick with him and even watched him heal and deliver the bound. Yet, in the end, Judas still chose to betray Him and walk away. He chose to walk away from Jesus’ love, forgiveness and promise of hope.

Jesus, also, spent the same amount of time, and more, with Peter. Peter stayed close by His side. He was one of the three who went to the Garden of Gethsemane with Christ. Yet, when it came to down to the heat of the moment after Christ’s arrest, Peter denied even knowing the very man who had saved him. Thankfully, there was a moment of clarity later on for Peter, and he returned to Christ.

Let us never believe we are better than our Master, our Lord and Savior. If He had people walk away, we will, too. It’s how we handle these moments that will determine our success or failure in leadership. Do we let them walk away without a word, or do we confront? Do we confront with love or cruelty and hatred? Do we pray for them after they leave, or do we simply bash and gossip about the wrong choices they obviously have made?

 

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quoteaddicts.com

 

Let us always trust God is still in control even in the midst of our disappointments. Let us always turn to Him in the middle of our hurt and anger over someone walking away, and let us always follow in His footsteps of loving confrontation followed by prayerful concern for that one who left.

We never know who might be spurring us toward our destiny or who will, eventually, come back to join us in the journey.

 

What Are We To Do?

So, we find ourselves in this dilemma.

The dilemma of moving forward to the unknown, the uncomfortable, the unfamiliar or remaining here in the regretful, comfortable, familiar present. Neither place is easy. For, the beyond makes us confront, stretch and change, yet, the present seems like an old jacket which we used to love but has shrunk so much over the years that it doesn’t “fit like a glove” anymore…really, it doesn’t fit at all. So, what are we to do?

If we remain, we will conform. We will grow complacent. We will become okay with mediocre, and we will say goodbye to the hopes and dreams we’ve held so dear.

If we step forward, we will be challenged. We will doubt. We will question our talents and our skills. We might even find that our abilities weren’t what we thought they were.

So, what are we to do?

If we are to grow, if we to succeed, we move toward the mark. If we are to fulfill the dreams that burn so deep within our hearts that it takes our breath, we step up and take the chance. It may not come again. This door to the great beyond may slam shut, never to open like this again.

As we look forward, holding dear to heart all that was past, we begin a new tomorrow. We will find hardships. We will find challenges. We might even find an alternate path, but we will not go back. We will not quit.

For tomorrow is gone, and if the dream is to be grasped, we must proceed to what’s ahead. We must shift from what was and change our perspective. You never know, instead of falling, we might just FLY!

 

DAILY PROMPT:Dilemma

Desperate Living

Sometimes, we can get so caught up in our successes of today or our failures of yesterday that we accept the notion “all eyes are on us,” and that our success or failure will determine the destiny of those around us. Can I tell you, this is so far from truth! Yet, so many get caught up with this misconception from time to time.

                                     

6fb9aa026b06c1a7c9fa6047e48f604b

pinterest.com

Truth be told, this mindset actually stems from a source of PRIDE! To have the belief that our actions, or lack thereof, can determine the destiny of someone else is placing ourselves in the position of God Himself, and He doesn’t give us that kind of authority. Sure, our actions can effect someone else, and they can bring pain and difficulty, or joy and freedom, into a part of that person’s life; however, God is the only One who holds the key to someone’s destiny! What we do, does matter; please don’t get me wrong. Yet, over the years, I have watched too many people who believe their actions can make or break another person’s future. To allow ourselves the privilege of this kind of thinking is to simply think too highly of ourselves and our impact on other people.

johnmichaelhelms.com


We are all just living desperate lives of survival here, and we are all simply called to love God and to love our fellow man. We are instructed to reach others for His Kingdom by showing them His love and goodness. When we lay down our pride and work together to this end, we become a unified front against the desperation of this earthly life. We become the Body of Christ to fulfill His purpose and His glory and to put the enemy to shame!

So, let us never think too highly of our successes nor too lowly of our failures. Let us always encourage each other to see the greatness of our God rather than the greatness of ourselves. Let us lend a helping hand to lift up those who might have fallen a little lower, and pray without ceasing for those who have risen a little higher. Let’s put our hands into the hands of the Father as we keep traveling on together, one step at a time, toward our promise land.

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” Romans 12:3-5