faith, Family

The Most Important Choice You’ll Ever Make

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A theme I share often in Quadzilla is the idea of “choosing your hard.” Most people like to put off the hard work today and deal with it later. Procrastination. For physical health, that means we can expect life to be hard later. Everyone knows someone who is in really rough shape, a “victim” of “hard living.” We say, “It’s a shame they didn’t take better care of themselves.”

If we procrastinate about our health, our future self will likely have poor health, be overweight, stiff, over medicated, and spend way too much money and time on doctors and drugs, etc. The wise alternative is to do the hard work of taking care of ourselves today to maintain good health now AND later which reduces risk of the poor health and related pains and expenses that go with it. Follow me?

In the Bible we read about the same idea regarding our spiritual health.

Check this out from Matthew 7:13-14

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

The narrow, unnatural, unpopular, difficult path leads to life forever with God in Heaven. The wide, easy, natural, popular path many prefer to take today leads to death, destruction, and eternity in Hell separated from God. Everyone faces the choice of which path to take.

Will you choose the easy way today and ignore God, do whatever pleases you for this short life on earth, and spend all eternity suffering the consequence of that choice? Or will you take the narrow and unnatural path today, drawing on the power of Jesus to help you live a different way today (and a very healthy, fulfilling, peaceful, and joy filled way) so you can live in Paradise with God for all eternity where there is no pain, sorrow, or suffering?

I don’t know about you, but to me the choice seems obvious. Do the hard thing now, go against the flow for the short time we have to live this life here on earth and receive God’s blessing now and for all eternity. Don’t wait.

Now is the time to choose Jesus. No one can do it for you. Your good deeds and “I’m better than the next guy” comparison won’t cut it. You must acknowledge with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and the only one who can save you from your sins. This is the most important choice you will ever make.

Note: If you have questions about the choice I’ve described, I’d LOVE to talk with you about it personally. Just click HERE to start the conversation.

Fortitude

Making Time

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YOU WILL ALWAYS MAKE TIME FOR WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU.

I really like this quote. It reminds me that I CHOOSE how to spend my time everyday. Granted, there are things we must do (like work) that take our time whether we like it or not. But I’m often surprised at how much time I REALLY have to do the things that are important to me.
Few notes:
1. You first have to identify what is important to you. This may require some serious thought. Like me, you may find that what is actually important to you is not exactly what you first thought.

2. Take inventory of your time to identify where your time is currently spent. If you don’t like how you spent it, then CHOOSE differently next time.

3. While it is impossible to actually “make time”, we can CHOOSE to spend our time on the important things we’ve identified.

What is important to you? I hope it includes taking care of yourself – and I mean your whole self:
-your mind through reading, art, personal development, etc.
-your body through good nutrition, regular exercise, and rest
-your soul through prayer, Bible study, meditation, helping others, etc.
‪#‎liveonpurpose‬ ‪#‎beyourbestself‬

Fortitude

Fairness is a Matter of Perspective

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Bitter or Better? A natural reaction to life’s negative circumstances is to say that it’s not fair. Bad things happen to good people…to us. We wonder why. We look for people to blame. We might even get mad at God.

Part of Sunday’s message at church was about the fairness of God. As a Jesus follower, I believe that God is ALWAYS good, and that His plans are WAY better than mine, even if I don’t see it in the midst of difficulty. He is not fair, nor does he have to be… – he’s God. In fact, He is infinitely more patient, gracious, and merciful than anyone.

Truthfully, it’s not fair that God had to sacrifice his only son Jesus on the cross in order to make provision for sinners like you and me to have eternity in heaven with God, but he did. All we have to do is believe it. That’s not fair, but it’s the kind of unfairness I’m grateful for. Fairness is a matter of perspective. Do we ever complain when unfairness is to our advantage?

Whether you believe in Jesus like I do or not, you still have a choice to make about life’s circumstances. The truth is that you alone CHOOSE whether the hard times make you a bitter person or a better one. ‪#‎truth‬ ‪#‎bebetternotbitter‬ ‪#‎lifeisnotfair‬ ‪#‎dealwithit‬

Fortitude

Stop Drinking Poison

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Forgiveness can be scary and difficult to deal with, yet I think it’s really important in helping us to be our very best. There are two sides to forgiveness; forgiving others and forgiving yourself. You might think I’ve forgotten about others forgiving you, but I didn’t.
While it is appropriate to be sincerely sorry for hurting someone, and appropriate to ask for forgiveness, we technically can’t control whether or not the other person will actually forgive us. We need to focus on what we can control, and that is our actions.

Forgiving others – The saying goes, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” If you think about it, this is perfectly true. Holding a grudge and being bitter or angry with someone who hurt you only hurts you more. The other person likely doesn’t even know you are mad at them. Even if they do know (and don’t care), why would you give that person the power to make you miserable while clinging to unforgiveness? Today’s challenge is to CHOOSE to forgive whomever it is that has you bitter, angry, hurt, etc. and embrace the FREEDOM of letting go of the pain. I’m not saying to forget it; memories are memories, the past is the past, what is done is done. I’m just saying to end the madness that bitterness and anger create in your head by choosing to forgive.

Forgiving yourself – Sometimes this is ever harder than forgiving someone else. I think it is for me. I’m pretty good at beating myself up over my past mistakes. Honestly, some mistakes still try to haunt me today. I have to choose the advice above to keep me from getting down. My past mistakes are part of what has shaped me to be who I am and where I am today. Hopefully I continue to learn from my mistakes and slowly but surely become better than I was yesterday. I don’t know about you, but I’m choosing to put the poison away.

If you feel like you have made too many mistakes to forgive yourself, I invite you to meet my friend Jesus. He is waiting to carry your burdens and help you find freedom from the past in his love, grace, and mercy. I would love to introduce you to Jesus if that sounds interesting to you.

Fortitude

Reduce Stress with Values Based Decision Making

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What are your values? Values are NOT ethics or morals. Values are what is important to us, what we ‘value’, and what gives us PURPOSE. Most people have approximately 5-7 core values that identify who they are at their core. Each person’s values are unique to that person. Values reflect who we are on a daily basis, in everything we do at home and at work. When we align with our values on a daily basis, we have more energy and feel more fulfilled because we are leading from what’s important to us. When we don’t align with our values, we feel less authentic and become demotivated about our daily lives. So who are you at your core?
Think about what is important to you and write it down. It might be helpful to recall a great experience, or day, or time in life when you were on top of the world. What were you doing? How did you feel? Take detailed notes of this time and look for key words that describe what is important to you. Remember: Don’t pick values you think you should have. There are no right or wrong answers. You are trying to discover the values you know to be yours.
Why is this important? I’m glad you asked. Making decisions is simplified when you are living out your core values. When you know what is important to you, you know longer have to wrestle with the choice in front of you. You already know what to do; you simply decide in alignment with your core values. If you don’t choose according to your values, you will be miserable. We have all done this and it hurts.
I think most of the stress in our life would be eliminated if we would simply choose in alignment with our values. The problem is that we don’t consciously think about what our values are on a daily basis.
So if you want to reduce stress in your life, live your best life, and be your best self then do this exercise.
1. Think about what is important to you, what you value, who you are at your core and WRITE IT DOWN. Choose words or phrases that help you identify your values so you can easily remember them.
2. Review your values often. Tattoo them in your mind. You may need to refer to your list for a while until it really sinks in. Post them in places you can see them often. Talk about them with those close to you.
3. When faced with a decision, choose in alignment with your values and experience the freedom and confidence of knowing you have chosen well!

If you want more help to figure out your values, or how to tie your values to your purpose, or to answer questions like, “What on earth am I here for?” I strongly recommend Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life”.