Life Lesson Series – Time Management

Time-slips-through-your-hands

Time is an illusion, there is always time and then there is no time at all. It is here and gone in the same instant.

On the 28th this month I will turn 48 and for the most part, there is very little I regret  about my life. One of those is that I did not spend enough time with my kids as they were growing up. Don’t get me wrong, I was fortunate to be able to spend an incredible amount of time with them over the years but now that they have moved on to new chapters of their lives, and I selfishly wish I had even more memories to draw from.

Time management is a discipline that needs to be developed and takes a lot of work to do it effectively. First of all, I would recommend that you take inventory of your life. What in your life is most important to you? Go ahead, write them down, study them, make sure to include everything that is important to you. Now once you have your list down – rank them in order of importance. For some, this exercise will be difficult as you begin to rank them because, if your honest, you may realize some things are more important than you thought.

Now, for some, the next step will the hardest. Beside each of the things you listed, record the amount of time you spend on each of those things daily. If you don’t do this honestly, than you are just wasting time (pun intended!). I really think this exercise can be a catalyst in resetting your life. Helping you to refocus your efforts, to ensure that you have time to devote to those things you say is important.

An exercise I went through several years ago also affected the way I spend my time and honestly, still have to remind myself to do it on occasion. Usually, when I’m feeling overwhelmed that I don’t have time to complete everything on my list. So what is the exercise you ask? Purpose. What is the purpose of me spending time doing X? If I can define why something is important to me, it helps me to prioritize. A part of defining is to understand it’s purpose. I know it may seem a little trivial or kind of out there, but it worked for me.

Time is a gift from God and should never be taken for granted, especially by followers of Christ. I could do a whole other post on this topic  alone. And even if you don’t believe in God, you should never waste your time. All of us at some point, will die, at least physically. It’s funny how my mindset has changed over the years and continues to do so as I advance in age. At 18, I didn’t give time a second thought. I had my whole life in front of me with plenty of time to spare.

At 25, I started to realize I only had a certain amount of time to make “real” money and provide for my wife and kids.  Priorities changed and my life took a whole new direction. At 40, I started looking at what was really important in my life, what things did I need to concentrate on to ensure that my kids would be ready to leave their mother and I. Also, at 40, I took an honest assessment of what my testimony looked like to those around me. In other words, was I truly walking the walk of being a Christ follower or was it just talk?

So, on the cusp of being 48, I have begun looking ahead, at what my legacy might be in 30 or 40 years. Plenty of time to create, develop and implement a strategy of accomplishing the goals I have set. But, here’s the thing. I’m not promised tomorrow but I do have today!! So really, for me, that’s become my daily question. What will I do today?

Really had no idea this post was going to go in this direction and I’ve thought of scraping it and starting over. But, it is what it is so…..

Last point on time. For me, I have come to realize the most valuable commodity I have in life are the relationships I have with others. So when, I’m faced with a decision on where to spend my time or deciding what’s more important, the decision is usually based on potential impact my decision will have on my relationship with X. That’s why I think it’s critical to know what is TRULY important to you, so that you choose wisely where to spend your time.

Time is not given, you have to take it. Today I just want to encourage you to take time and do the things that are important to you. I have been blessed to have had time to spend with my wife and kids but I know that I am not promised tomorrow. My prayers haven’t changed, I pray that God will give me wisdom to help the kids find their own path and that each day I would grow closer to Him through my relationship with Christ.

May God multiply your time. Blessings to you all. Peace!!

Life Lesson Series – Listening

ears

I originally posted this back in December but thought it was worth a re-post for this series. 

This is one life lesson that is very much a learned skill and discipline. Ask yourself, How often do you truly listen to the world around you? When in conversation how often do you truly engage the person and listen to what they are telling you? More times than not, I catch myself thinking of my response more than I am actually listening to what is being said.

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say”. Bryant H. McGill

I love the quote above and think it’s absolutely true. It’s amazing how much more we get out of a conversation when we truly listen to what is being said instead of just hearing them speak. Another aspect of listening and respect is to have eye contact with the person you are conversing with instead of looking at our phones or fidgeting with this or that.

As a kid I had to go to speech therapy 2 times a week for a couple of years so that I could learn how to speak properly. Being born with a cleft pallet caused this process to take longer for me than it did other kids but looking back on it now I realize what a blessing that was, as it taught me how to listen. Time after time, my therapist would say a word or a sentence and then I would have to repeat it back to her. Another benefit of this is that with time I learned how to read lips proficiently. This ability has proven very beneficial over the years.

One of the things I had to overcome and still struggle with to this day is that I have a tendency to look at people’s lips when talking with them instead of making eye contact. As I said earlier, eye contact, is another key component of showing someone respect and something that I made sure to teach my children how to do. When you keep eye contact with someone as their speaking to you, you will also notice that it allows you to see more. Maybe not into their souls but it allows you to see more deeply into the person.

The life lesson of listening is one that is typically overlooked but over the years, at least for me, as become one of the most critical for me. Listening is one discipline I am constantly having to work at, as it is easy for me to be distracted but is also one of the most needed. Another component of listening, especially to God, is to simply be still. In  Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

In order to truly hear God, we must learn to be still and allow Him the opportunity to speak to us. To often I find myself going through the motions with God – my prayers become one-sided and I don’t take time to pause and let Him speak to me or during my study time, I may find myself trying to understand a particular passage of scripture and I simply breeze through it without actually taking the time to study or meditate on it, giving Him the opportunity to speak to me.

Again – Listening, to me, is one of those skills that we can never master but by being diligent to try, we can greatly improve the relationships around us.

Would love to hear your thoughts! Really, I would love hear your thoughts. Honestly, ………….I will listen.

Peace and thanks for reading!!

Life Lessons – Learning is the Key

th

One of the truly great gifts we are given in life is the ability to learn. I wish I had realized this earlier. I don’t have many regrets in my life but this is definitely one of them. It has only been in the last 20 years or so, that I have developed a passion for learning. Oh, if only I could return to my youth, how very different my pursuit of learning would be. And while I can’t go back, going forward, I can make sure that I learn something new every day.

“Learning is the only thing that the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets”. – Leonardo Da Vinci

During our lifetime, we naturally grow in our knowledge by simply living our life but how much greater could that be if we truly pursued learning as a life long pursuit. In the last 10 years, with the internet explosion, there is literally no end of resources available for anyone who is willing to learn more. I’m old enough to remember the Dewey Decimal System and how frustrating it was when the local library didn’t have that one book I needed to finish a report.

While it’s true that learning simple facts or researching specific topics is as easy as a Google search or asking Siri if she knows the answer, there’s more to learning than just knowing stuff. I submit to you, that while the informational highway has become an Autobahn for quick learning, we are becoming a society that is forgetting how to live and learn life with and from each other. Anyway, I guess the point I’m trying to make is this – learning math, languages, science, history, geography, etc. etc are vital in anyone’s development of knowledge but I hope that we never forget the art of learning from each other.

I’m an avid reader, always have been. I will read just about anything and appreciate anyone who has the discipline to start and finish writing a book. I love blogs and can spend hours on the internet reading various posts from people all over the world. I admit one of my favorite sites is Pinterest. Say what you want but it’s one of the greatest resources available to us today. You can learn how to do just about anything or at least gather new ideas to pursue further.

I love autobiography’s, to be able to delve into the minds of people as they were in the process of living their lives is just so cool to me. I also enjoy personal blogs where people share their thought processes. I love those moments while reading when it’s like – wow, I never thought of looking at that like this. I guess for me, reading represents my second favorite way to learn. It seems to challenge my imagination, my concepts of what I think I know more easily than anything else.

So my favorite way to learn, you ask? From others! I love being able to sit across from someone has they begin to unravel the truths they have learned while living their lives. To be able to see their facial expressions, see into their eyes as they talk, provides a connection that you simply can not gain any other way. As I said earlier, I hope we don’t become a society that forgets the art of learning through personal interaction.

Learning from each other is one of the ways we can “Share the Journey” with others. And I am so thankful for those men and women who have graciously given of their time to pour their knowledge into me!! My hope is that I may also  be found to be as gracious and giving of my time, that others may learn from me.

Peace and thanks for reading!!

Life Lesson Series – serving continued

Beautiful-Examples-Of-Love-High-Resolution-Photos-7

I ended the last post saying that Love was another component to serving others. I have not always had a desire to serve others. Actually, for most of my life, my desire was to see how I could get others to serve me. Ok, that was a little sobering to actually type out but being honest, that is the truth. Now there have been times over the years where I willingly gave of my time, money or other resources without regard to what was in it for me but not very often.

Several years ago I remember hearing this verse in a sermon and was immediately captivated by it: Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus, God’s son, came to serve us and give is life as payment for our sins. Why did He do this? What was his motivation in serving us and ultimately giving his life in exchange for us? A love so great, so vast that even infinity doesn’t come close to measuring it. A love which desires to be in fellowship with you and I, regardless of our transgressions. Imagine someone loving and caring about you so much that nothing, not even death would ever deter them from having that relationship with you.

That’s exactly the kind of love Jesus has for you. We only need to accept what is truly the perfect gift. Once we do, we can begin to faintly understand the depths of His love. It is His love found within that compels me to serve others as He served us. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, seeking opportunities to help those in need. The tendency of most people when they see something about helping those in need is to think about those folks that may need help with material things such as money, food, shelter, clothing, etc. And yes, that’s part of it but to only focus on that aspect is to not fully engage in serving each other.

What about those who are in need of companionship, a word of encouragement or to feel needed. Surely all of us would agree that each of us desire to know that we are loved, at least a little. So maybe instead of asking how we may be able to serve one another, maybe we should ask how can we show love, one to another.  1 Peter 4:10 – Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 

As faithful stewards. Faithful meaning to do what we are called to do. Steward meaning to wisely use what we have been given. To serve others, extending God’s grace in all it’s forms, that we may show others that God loves them. Jesus was real clear about this as we find when reading Matthew 22:37-39  – 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

Peace and thanks for reading!!

Life Lesson 1 – Share the Journey

journey

Ed Dorsey, Richard Hilton,Truman Bryant, Bob Cannon, Mickey Redfern, Pete Carter, Tommy McMillan, Dixie Glisson, Scott Willis, Chuck Allen, Craig Schmidle, Dr. Ron Davidson and Bobby McGraw. Some of these names you may recognize but most of them you probably don’t. If you know me however, then you know each of them, if only a little bit. Each of these men, at various points in my life, helped to form the man  I am today at 47.

There are some other men who were friends of mine back in the day or are friends of mine today that I have enjoyed doing life with or am enjoying life with now.

Today I found myself reflecting back on each of these men and the parts that each of them have played in my life. I have written several posts about my dad and Coach Hilton. I have mentioned my Grandfather, Truman in passing but it’s amazing to me how all of these men have played such a critical part in my life at some of the most critical times in my journey of life.

Bob and Mickey came along side myself and several other young men shortly after Lisa and I had gotten married and started raising our family. Both men, freely gave of themselves, pouring their wisdom into us – much of which, I didn’t realize or understand at the time. They talked about their relationship with Christ, their wives, their kids – the things they did right, did wrong and always shared with a heart that let you know they genuinely cared about us.

Pete and his wife Sheila, simply adopted me as their younger brother and just loved me. I don’t know how else to describe it. They were and always have been there for me when I needed them to be. They have seen the good, the bad and the ugly; graciously loving me through all of it. I could never repay them for all that they have done for me. I don’t get the opportunity to see or to talk them as much today but I know they are one phone call away!

Tommy and his wife Bonnie have been great friends to Lisa and I for many years now. Their girls and ours have grown up together and through it all, they have always been there to support, encourage and challenge Lisa and I to be better parents. I have learned from Tommy to keep a positive attitude no matter the situation or circumstance. To be steady and consistent, knowing that if you do all that you can do, that is, all you can do.

Dixie was the first “Real” pastor I ever had!! From him I learned a multitude of biblical truths that helped me to become the husband and father I am today. He helped me to understand that the burden I carried of trying to be perfect, was simply an unattainable goal and that God was not asking me to be perfect – but to allow the “One” who was, to guide my life. He is one of the nicest, gentle men you will ever meet but also one who will lovingly challenge you to be the best you can be.

For the rest of the men I mentioned on the list, all of them have or continue to play an important role in my and my family’s life. There is really no adequate way to convey what all of these men have meant to me personally  and/or to my family. I am forever indebted to each of them. As I think about all of these men, what stands out to me most is the sincerity and honesty in which they have always conducted themselves.

So, what’s the point to all of this? All of these men were willing to share themselves with me, to do life with me, brothers trying to help me become a better man. We were never meant to do life alone and men especially, get this wrong. One of the great lies we (men) fall prey to is that we should not need help. As men, we should be able to do everything on our own. I am scared to think where I and my family would be today if I had followed the path of Lone Wolf. Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. 

My prayer and hope for all who read this is that you have people around you that you can do life with.

For those of us who have a little more life experience than others, it is our responsibility to seek those people that might benefit from our experiences in life so that we may help them avoid some of the shortfalls we encountered along the way. To encourage the next generation, challenging them in love to hold fast to the truths that will sustain them for a life-time. That’s how I feel about the gentlemen above and I hope to do the same for those that follow me.

Our lives, our journey was never meant to be a one man operation

Peace and Thanks for Reading!

A Study of Joseph – parallels of Jesus and Joseph

I know the last post was a bit lengthy so I will try and keep this a bit shorter. Here are some more comparisons between Joseph’s and Jesus’ lives.

The first is the exaltation of the two. For Joseph, enslaved, then imprisoned for false charges brought against him had to endure a heavy price by serving in prison for years. Jesus, was also falsely accused and was not only imprisoned but put to death by the cross, paying the ultimate price for the sins of all man kind! Joseph was exalted to be Pharaoh’s right hand man while Jesus was exalted to the right hand of the Father following his resurrection. The Egyptians now bowed at the feet of Joseph and one day, ALL the world will bow down at the feet of the Lord.

Philippians 2:8-11gives us the full picture –  5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself  by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The second is the Gentile bride. Joseph was given Asenath to be his bride. Obviously she was Egyptian and therefore, also, Gentile. Jesus, upon His exaltation, took a bride for Himself, which is the church, predominantly from among the gentile nations.

So as we look closer at this we see that by all appearances Joseph has found peace among the gentiles in Egypt. His life is now going good and there is prosperity once again for that which is under Joseph’s control has Egypt enjoys 7 years of an immeasurable bounty of crops. For Joseph, however, he is still separated from his people, his family, and his home! He still has to deal with the fact that he was rejected by his family (brothers), cast aside if you will, for it was easier to get rid of him rather than to be confronted by him day after day.

Jesus, like Joseph, found acceptance among the gentiles (predominantly) after His exaltation as His bride (the church), was established. And like Joseph, Jesus was rejected by His people and His family.  He too was discarded as people found it easier to kill Him, rather than have to confront who He was, day after day.

For Joseph, the seven years of famine forced His brothers to seek help, salvation from death and therefor brought them once again, face to face with their brother. Likewise, we know that a day is coming in which, the nation of Israel, will endure extreme hardships that will force them to seek help, salvation from their plight and once again will come face to face Jesus.

The last parallel between Joseph and Jesus will look at is the reconciliation of Joseph to his family and Jesus’ reunion with those who have believed in Him. But that will be in the days to come.

Peace and thanks for reading!

A Study of Joseph – Temptation

It’s been said that you are: about to experience a trial in your life – are in the middle of a trial in your life – or just came out of trial in your life. Take heart and know that you are not alone as we all feel like that at various times in our lives. The true measure of our character is not revealed when things are going well but rather when things are seemingly at their worst. How we respond in these “worst of times” moments is what people seem to remember most in relation to our character. And know this, bad things or circumstances happen to EVERYONE! Even to those who seemingly are doing everything right. Let’s continue with our study of Joseph.

When we ended our last post, everything seemed to be going great for Joseph. God had not only blessed Joseph but also Potiphar and his entire household because of Joseph. Finally, things were going well for Joseph. Although not ideal for sure, he was finding success and was improving his standing in life. Then it happens, life inexplicably throws Joseph’s world into turmoil.  At the end of Genesis 39:6 we read – Now Joseph was well-built and handsome. This fact was not lost on Potiphar’s wife and after some time had passed, she boldly asked Joseph one day to “Sleep with me.

Joseph’s response – Genesis 39:8-10 8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. Joseph responded exactly as he should have but to no avail, for day after day, she relentlessly pursued him and Joseph remained steadfast, not giving in to temptation. One day she went as far as making sure the house was completely empty so that when Joseph came to work there would be no interruptions or eyes to see! In verse 12 – She grabbed him by his garment and said “Sleep with Me!” But leaving his garment he escaped and ran outside,.

Take note of how Joseph dealt with this temptation. He did not try to plea with her again or try and ignore it. He got away from her clutch and RAN!! Too many times when we find ourselves in a situation similar to this, we think we are strong enough to stand against temptation…why risk it? RUN and run fast!

It’s cool how God then rewards Joseph’s faithfulness by bringing despair and ruin to Potiphar’s wife…..but…that’s not what happened at all. To me, that seems to be what should have happened but alas, God had a greater plan for Joseph which would require Joseph to be in prison. So as we read the rest of Genesis 39:13-20, we see how Potiphar’s wife claimed that Joseph had tried to sleep with her and after she had screamed for help, Joseph had fled, leaving his garment behind. Naturally, after hearing these things, Potiphar had Joseph thrown into prison. Not just any prison however, Joseph was put in the same prison where the king’s prisoners were kept.

It’s easy to look ahead in Joseph’s story and know that in the end all things work out for Joseph. But at this point in the story, Joseph had to be thinking – really? I can’t catch a break! Do you ever feel that way? But like Joseph, we have a God that cares for us and loves us beyond our comprehension.

To close this post – Temptation will come us at in various ways, through various people and a lot of times, it comes at just that moment when all seems to be going well. It is up to us to guard our hearts and minds so that like Joseph, we can stand strong against temptation and also have courage like Joseph, to know when it is time to simply run or flee from temptation.

Last point. God is continually at work in our lives and has hard as it is sometimes to see that, we must keep faith and remember this!  Our character will be revealed in times of trouble and strife. My prayer is that all of us will be found to have Godly character in the most difficult of circumstances!!

Peace and thanks for reading!

A thought on Leadership for Fathers

I love the movie, The American President, exactly why, I honestly can’t tell you but I do. Every time it’s on, no matter what part of the movie is on, I usually end up watching till it’s conclusion. The movie has a lot of great scenes in it along with some very memorable lines. Tonight as I was watching it, I was struck by a scene – (the know the difference) scene. You can watch the clip that inspired this post here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKTqS4bXugg. There are a couple of expletives in this clip.

In this scene, Lewis (played by Michael J. Fox) is taking issue with the President (Michael Douglas) for not speaking up and taking a stand against another candidate who is constantly questioning the President’s values. As the scene begins to hit it’s climax, Lewis tells the President “people want Leadership Mr. President and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it, they’ll crawl through the desert to where a mirage, and when they discover there is no water, they’ll drink the sand”. President replies and his last sentence to Lewis is “people don’t drink the sand because they’re thristy, they drink the sand because they don’t know the difference”.

Is this not the problem that we are facing today? Maybe I’m wrong but we as fathers need to look at the scene again and replace people with “our children”. Our children want and more importantly NEED genuine leadership and in the absence of it, they will most definitely find any number of other influences to fill that void. It is our responsibility to teach, guide and yes, lead, our children on a path that is truly beneficial for them!!

It is our responsibility to be the spiritual leaders of our home. We have a whole generation of kids falling by the wayside. We, fathers, have allowed them to wander aimlessly in the desert in search of water to drink and sadly, for most of them, they won’t ever find it because we, men, have never led them to the water so that they would know the difference.

Peace and thanks for reading!

Knowing and Being Known

I know a lot about a lot of different things. I know history. I know english. I know sports. I know books, movies, and music. I’ve studied them and learned about them. Read them, played them, tried them, etc. What I don’t know, I can now google and learn all I ever wanted to know about anything. Pick the topic, subject, object, person, event, whatever you want to know more about, you can now begin learning about it in a matter of seconds! Amazing!! We literally have the world at our fingertips and at any time I can begin the process of knowing more about anything I choose.

I love history and especially in relation to wars. Why did they happen? What events took place to lead up to war? Who were the key players? What were they thinking and how did the events unfold? One of my favorite people to study and learn about, even today, is Winston Churchill. The man is simply fascinating to me. I love reading his quotes and even more so, reading his memoirs. And yet, no matter how much I study about him, his thoughts, actions, beliefs, etc., the truth is – I will never know him. As I was thinking about this fact; I realized that this is true for everyone I “know”. I’m not just talking about people I have read about or seen in the movies or on tv. Even those I know personally, my wife, kids, parents, friends, I don’t truly know any of them! I can’t.

I know you are probably saying – no, your wrong Scott, I do know my wife, my husband, my kids. Do you really? We may think we know the people around us but the truth is – we don’t really know if we know them or not. Here’s my point. We can only know a person as much as they let us know them. We are dependent upon how much of themselves they are willing to share with us. Our hope, especially with those we love, is that they are willing to share everything about themselves with us. So let me ask you a question. Are you someone that others would be willing to trust, to open themselves up for you to see all of them?

Now let’s turn this around – how open and honest are you with those who “know” you? Obviously, there are those that know more of me than others but let’s get deep here. Those who know you best – How much of you have you allowed them to truly know? OK, I will leave you alone now and let you wrestle with that one on your own.

I will end this post with this. There is one who knows you. And I mean knows you…even better than you know yourself. For He created you and most importantly LOVES YOU!! And this is the really cool part – His desire is for you to know Him. Imagine that, you don’t have to guess with God, he is waiting to share everything about Himself with you!! He provided His Son, to come and live among us, to die for us and to redeem us when our day comes. He conquered death and ascended to heaven and yet, we are not alone for His Spirit is here with us, for those who have accepted Christ as their Savior.

Peace and thanks for reading.

Knowing God – Evidence of Knowing God

What are some other evidences in my life that point to me knowing God? As we continue in Chapter 2, Packer lists 4 examples of how we can see evidence of someone actively knowing God.

1. Those who know God have great energy for God. This is so true as I look at the people I have known over the years who were actively knowing God. They seem to have a never ending supply of energy in serving others or taking part in anything related to doing “God’s work”. As I look at my own life I realize that the same holds true for me. When I am truly in God’s will, seeking His path for my life and taking part in serving others, I am always amazed by the energy I have. I can be tired from the week but given an opportunity to do something for God and I am ready to go with renewed strength and energy. Knowing this, how is it so easy for me to forget this! Selfishness if I am honest with myself; making it about me and what I want to do or not do as the case may be! and it’s easy to think about serving others as I look at this energy thing but it’s more than that – prayer, study, meditation, are other things that are easier when in God’s will. It feeds off itself. You study, you learn more about God, pray for wisdom to learn how to apply what you have learned to your life, then meditate on these things allowing God to speak to you and then live it.

2. Those who know God have great thoughts of God. Ask most Christians and they will tell you how great God is but look at their lives and they don’t live like they believe God is great. Packer uses the story of Daniel to illustrate these 4 points. Daniel knew his God was Great!! He had a great energy for God and he had great thoughts of God as well. Packer points out that history of the world is nothing more than “His-story” (God’s Story), eternal plan unfolding over the course of time and when all is said and done, it will be God’s kingdom that will triumph in the end. This truth is scattered all throughout the book of Daniel. In knowing this, do we as Christians live this truth in our thought life? Would others describe us as having great thoughts of God?  I challenge you to read Daniel 2:20-22 and understand that this a prayer being offered by Daniel. What do our prayers sound like? And then in Daniel 9, read verses 4, 7, 9 and 14. Daniel had great thoughts of God, not just when in trouble but always.

3. Those who know God show great boldness for God. How bold have I ever been for God? how bold have you been for God? I promise you, I have never been faced with anything like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were. Or how about the young lady at Columbine High School. With a gun to her head, the shooter asked her to denounce Christ and she would live. She chose Christ and was present with Him shortly after doing so. To have that kind of boldness, Lord, that is my prayer, right here, right now! That no matter what I may face, I would be bold to stand for you no matter the outcome!! I have nothing left for this point. May God strengthen us to be bold in all facets of our lives that others may see Him in us!!

4. Those who know God have great contentment in God.  Packer states “There is no peace like the peace of those whose minds are possessed with full assurance that they have known God, and God has known them, and that this relationship guarantees God’s favor to them in life, through death and on forever. ” As I read and think about this statement, I find myself thinking of Tim Tebow and the incredible testimony he is living out for ALL the world to see.  Doesn’t he seem at great peace with everything going on around him. He doesn’t seem at all phased by all the hoopla going on around him. He just keeps going about his business and don’t miss this – Tebow’s business is living in God’s will.

Couple of things as I wrap up this post. I think number is 4 is huge for me personally for when I am contented with God, the rest of my life seems to be in balance. Not that things are perfect but that I have a peace about life. I belong to Him, and He is free to do with me whatever He will. My desire is to live a long life that I may see my kids and grand kids grow as old as me while Lisa and I spend our days on a sunny beach somewhere. That may not be God’s plan for my life. So my prayer for myself is that I can live the rest of my days living by these 4 principles.

Peace and thanks for reading!