I CHOOSE

Today we have devices ranging from IPADS, IPhones , IPods and even restaurants called IHOP. I want to tell you that the secret ingredient to success in life is having the device called  “I Choose “  Well, actually it isn’t a tangible object that can be held. Nor is it an app that you can download from the App Store.
 

In fact, you don’t even have to download the app or buy it. God has already given it to us. It resides in us. In fact, I believe that it is one of the greatest gifts that God has bestowed on us freely.

That gift is the power to choose. In this nugget of wisdom , it is called “I Choose”. Yes, this is the secret to your success or to your demise. This really depends on what you will choose concerning the choices you make in life.

We make choices everyday. Whether we know it or not, we make choices concerning all three areas of growth (spirit , soul and body). When you think about it, we ARE our choices.

Your desire to improve your life begins with a teachable attitude. If you are not teachable, you will never grow physically, emotionally and Spiritually fit. We will never become what you were destined for nor will you ever reach your potential.

Your life, like clay can be a work in progress. No matter what your clay looks like, it can be molded by your willingness to be teachable and receptive to the lessons that life has for you.

Are you willing to learn something new? Are you willing to listen and apply life changing concepts? Are you willing to grow beyond your original programming of bad habits , wrong attitudes and poor nutrition that will lead you to become more like Christ?

If you are , then choose to personally grow and become more than a conqueror today? Eradicate old habits, develop new ones that will bring you closer to your goals in life.

Solicit the aid of people you trust and be accountable for the decisions you make concerning “you.” Today, choose to be teachable. For the choices you make in life will make your life.


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THERE ARE ALWAYS OPPORTUNITIES IN EVERY PROBLEM

Going out of Business Sale … Clearance sale … Half Off Sale … Buy One Get One Free … Outlets! Signs like these grab our attention. The reason? Opportunity is knocking.

 

Are you a person that sees opportunities in problems or seeing problems in opportunities. Let me share another, even richer opportunity that separates the successful spiritual investor from the one struggling to get by spiritually from paycheck-to-paycheck. The pivotal moment starts like this.

 

In the middle of a pretty good day, something happens and your day gets messy; a deviation from your agenda pops up … an unplanned adversity surfaces … something painful occurs. Remember, all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

 

You see, anyone can have peace when life is going well. Unfortunately, for most people, peace is dependent upon external circumstances. The external environment determines the internal state of mind.

 

You can see how dangerous this is because rarely is life calm. Here is the principle that allows us to achieve the next level of abundant living that God desires for His people.

 

The inner calm graciously offered by God need not be shaken by what is going on around you.   Recall what Jesus said, “My peace I give to you.” What God offers His children is radically different … peace that comes from within, independent of circumstances.

 

The best thing to do when an undesirable event disrupts your peace is to stop what you are doing, take a “time-out” and respond rather than react by making a conscious decision to walk in peace. Ask for God’s assistance. Try turning to and trusting in God in the midst of a messy day. Wait, don’t try, just DO IT.   God loves you. He knows everything, including what you need in that very moment to grow and become more like Him.

 

He is sovereign over the universe, and He allowed the adversity/opportunity to happen for a specific purpose for your powerful development and fulfillment.

 

The disruption to your peace is not from God; it comes from within you … and not from anyone or anything else. So don’t blame anyone or anything for your behavior, attitude or your unhappiness.   The lack of peace comes from the lack of awareness of how God is using this event to show you, protect you, or prepare you for wonderful blessings in the future, including, the mind of Christ.

 

Today, when you face a disruption in your agenda, adhere to what God promises His people, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” So take a time-out when adversity strikes, and perform some self-examination.

 

Do you have trouble applying the armor of God, trusting God’s promises and character, and believing Jesus’ work on the cross for you?   The great opportunity God is dropping in your lap right now is to ID the false belief you accept more than what God says. It is an old habit that has to die.

 

Prayerful digging will reveal where you really place your trust when adversity strikes. Whether you see life’s curveballs creating an opportunity for growth or you let them become an adversity that interferes with growth is your decision, so choose well.


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MAKE ANGER YOUR SERVANT, NOT YOUR MASTER

Anger is not necessarily the result of doing something wrong, dysfunctional or sinful. God expressed anger many times, so we know anger can be positive and serve us well. Did you ever ask yourself, “Why do I get so mad?” We often assume that our anger is caused by situations like a rude driver, an unfair criticism or a friend’s betrayal.
 
In reality, the answer is “nothing” around us causes anger, even though these situations are usually followed by our own angry reactions. In fact, the angry feeling is actually our own doing. Yes, it is a choice that you have made through a bad habit. You see, the lenses we use to view a situation precipitate the feeling of anger. Nevertheless, we usually blame others for “making” us feel angry.
 
Let me illustrate this point. I remember attending my daughter’s basketball games during her middle school years. There are two groups of people watching the same event at a basketball game; if our team scores a last-minute, game-winning basket, I am excited, so is the rest of the group. But someone rooting for the other team who experiences the same event may actually be angry or frustrated, or have other negative emotions immediately after the shot goes in.
 
The event, “a made shot,” doesn’t cause the anger. If it did, everybody experiencing the event would be angry. You see, the difference is the lens through which we witness or experience each event. That is what determines our emotional response.
 
Understanding this key point is so freeing and eye-opening. Anger (or any negative feeling) is a great warning system. Anger informs us when something is not going right or when potential danger exists.
 
If I were in the jungle and saw a tiger, I would get angry, sad, worried, scared or frightened. That’s an example of a good warning system letting me know I am not safe, and it pushes me to action. There are physiological actions stirring within our bodies. Science calls it the “flight or fight’ reaction. Without negative feelings, I would probably walk along merrily and be devoured by the tiger.
 
When someone insults us or treats us badly, we should get angry. That tells us there is a problem in the relationship and needs to be addressed. Hopefully, we look at our options and choose appropriate options as we respond. Hence, the need to forgive.
 
God has given us free will to control our feelings, thoughts and actions. Will we choose unkind words and find a way to “get even”? Or will we problem-solve and forgive? It is our choice, no one else’s. Despite our backgrounds or the current circumstances, we are responsible for our own behaviors. We can’t blame anyone for our emotional outbreaks.
 
Unfortunately, we often let anger rule us. It becomes the main influence in our decision-making. Anger serves us well as a warning system. However, anger is a very poor master. None of us expresses our feelings appropriately all the time. However, the Bible tells us in Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
 
Today, notice when you feel angry and STOP! Then, thank God for a great warning system. Then, look past the anger to the actual problem the anger warned you about and address it. Ask God to raise your awareness and look within. If you do not, your warning system (anger) will continue to alert you until the problem is resolved.
 
Allow God to help make your angry response your servant instead of your master. Follow His attitude, actions and teachings. Whether you use you anger to function better or you let it ruin you, it is your decision, so choose well.
 

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OUR RESPONSIBILITY (Pt. 2)

The past is what God allowed in our lives so we would draw close to Him. One outcome of the past is that it prepares us for the good works He has planned for us. God uses both good and bad situations that occurs in my life to make me the kind of person He desires me to be.   

There are unique situations that everyone goes through in life.   He knows what it will take to develop your character and your inner man to become more than a conqueror in Christ.   This is what God intends as He continues to build His Church.   Remember, His church is not a building but people and He is committed to building His people into an army that is visible, bright, influential, and courageous.

Forgetting my past would cause me to miss opportunities to learn about God’s grace, forgiveness and love, and to turn what Satan intended for bad into something God can use for His glory.

When we look over our past, we do need to process it with a very specific focus on Jesus, the Cross and God’s plans and goals. That will transform our lenses so we can take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and allow God to come into those old areas of hurt. Then, lasting healing will occur. Truth will replace the ripples of distortion that fog our lenses. The new creation will be moving toward completion. 

Today, don’t ruminate about your past.  But don’t ignore it as if you’ve had a brain transplant. Your past constantly affects your moment-by-moment decisions. So examine your decisions today to understand how your past affects them. As you reflect, your awareness will be raised so you can identify what is at the center of your heart.  Also, why you do what you do.  

This truly is transformation that Paul talks about in Chapter 12 of the book of Romans.   Today, be aware of how you respond to challenges and difficult circumstances.    Remember,  victorious christians are not exempt problems.   They are victorious because they recognize problems and find solutions and resolve them.   Defeated Christians are those who have problems and talk about them without any resolutions.   


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OUR RESPONSIBILITY

As we come to Jesus and begin to understand who we are in Him, a major task before us is to examine our past, see it through Godly lenses, and put it behind us so we can excitedly and productively start marching forward. Paul makes it clear when he said in Phil 3:13, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,…….. “ He knows he is not perfect. But he determines to forget what used to motivate him—his past achievements. He reaches forward to become all Jesus wants him to be. He is moving in the right direction, toward Jesus, and he is intentional about not turning back.
 
That’s where we need to be, too, taking one step at a time on our journey in life, living out and accomplishing His purpose for us. In the aforementioned verse, Paul talks about forgetting. But what does he really mean? He is not talking about having amnesia.
 
Your Past is Passed (Is it really?)
 
Now, listen closely, because this is a very important point. It seems clear and silly when I say it. But it is a powerful point to me and hopefully to you, too. It’s one with many ramifications that clarify journeying for the prize. Here it comes: When you accepted Christ as your personal savior, you didn’t get a brain transplant. Think about it! If we had been totally transformed at the point of salvation, we would never have sinned again. How sad that as believers, we do still sin.
We must do something so that the Holy Spirit can complete His job—perfecting us. Well, there is something very specific. It all comes down to decision-making. Decision-making, or exercising our God-given gift of free will, is OUR RESPONSIBILITY.
 
We are to be good stewards of our decision-making opportunities. In order to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us, one thing we need to do is examine how the past adversely influences our everyday decision-making. That’s right, most of our decisions or choices we make are made out of habits that we have formed throughout our lives.
 
We all have limiting beliefs that need to be jettisoned from our lives. We need to forget the old way of thinking embedded in our sub-conscious and be transformed. Yes, transformed by the renewing of our minds.
 
In other words, how can we believe that “all things are possible to him who believes,” if we have limiting beliefs that say, “ I can never do that,” or “I don’t have time”. Or how about these, “I would love to help, but I do not have any skills”, “I don’t think anyone would notice, why should I bother,” I am too old,” I am too young,” etc. The list can go on.
 
Stay tuned for the conclusion of this transformational thought about OUR RESPONSIBILITY. Make today the beginning of a new era in your life. Forge ahead and soar like a butterfly who was transformed from a lethargic caterpillar, “forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”
 

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FEELING STRESSED

Everyone gets unwanted surprises, unexpected problems and troubling times. Life might knock you down with a devastating blow. Whether it was a negative relationship, job loss, death of a loved one or a financial crisis, everyone experiences some sort of loss and many wind up in the pit of despair.
 
But the difference between victors and victims is that victors pull themselves up from the pit they fell into. They reach out and grab the hand of God and He lifts them up. But we have to take action and do the climbing. We have to get up.
 
Remember Peter and John going into the temple? There was a lame beggar who was carried to the entrance of the temple every day. His daily task was to beg for money. When Peter and John were walking to go to the temple for the prayer service, the beggar reached out to receiver money as was his custom. Peter looked at him intently and said, “look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I will give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ , GET UP AND WALK!”
 
Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and HELPED him up. As you read the story, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk. Peter helped him to a point. The man had to want to get up. He had to start moving. He had to do something that he never had done before. Why should he? He made money from the compassionate church people who felt sorry for him.
 
If you want to accomplish anything in your life, there has to come a time that hoping, wishing, complaining and blaming others has to come to an end. Why? It will just keep you in the pit. If you do not master your emotions, (yes all of them) then you will be continually mastered by them. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, get up and pursue the things you were meant to do.
 
Realize that you are His masterpiece. You were created in Christ Jesus for good works. You were not made to sit around complaining, hoping things will change. Nothing in your life will change until change begins in you.
 

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FULL OF EMOTIONS (Now what?)

Did you ever come across people who do not want to resolve their problems. They are those who don’t really ask for advice. They just want someone to listen to them talk.  Other people might not be emotionally strong. When trouble, challenges or problems come their way, they cannot cope very well.
 
When crisis strikes, many people do not have a strategy to handle adversity, failure and stress in a positive fashion. When pressure increases in a container, what happens? Eventually it explodes, doesn’t it? This is what happens to people who lack the ability to deal with stress induced situations.
 
Without the fortitude and courage to face the challenges, people either give up, breakdown or resort to unhealthy habits of addictions.
 
Today, if you feel weak in a situation and you feel overwhelmed, become proactive. By doing this, you take the first step to become emotionally strong. Say this, “I am strong.” Remember the Bible says, “let the weak say I am strong.”
 
People who have this mindset never say, “that’s how I feel, I can’t help it,” or “I can’t forgive them for what they did.” Do not ever be the victim of your own feelings. If you are emotionally down, begin to sing as the prescription for depression is written to you by Isaiah the Prophet in Chapt. 61:3; “put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, etc……..
 
What is he saying? He is telling us motions are the precursors of emotions. Follow this prescription as you would any other prescription given to you by a doctor for an ailment.
 
By taking this prescription, you will always set in motion any attempt to ward off any regrettable emotions that might affect or hurt someone else. Do what is right and feelings will follow. Don’t wait to feel right to do something.

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NOTHING EXISTS W/O ITS OPPOSITE

I have been talking about the Law of Polarity and how it operates in every area of our lives. You begin to see how God created this law as a means to enable you to learn and discover that within every perceived problem lies its solution, within every perceived failure also lies success.
 
Remember the spies who were spying out the land of Canaan? For 40 days, all of the spies canvassed the area Moses had directed. When they returned, there was a conflict of opinions. Ten of those men saw a perceived problem and decided they were like grasshoppers in their sight. One of the men had reported that “we are well able to defeat them”. The majority of people declared the battle futile. Two of them said the victory will be ours.
 
Isn’t it interesting that everyone saw the same thing. The difference lies in your perception of the problem. This is all based on your perceived abilities, strengths, and confidence level. The next time you are confronted with a problem (the giants) and the situation looks grim, remember that every problem has a solution. That solution lies within you and will be resolved if you believe you can resolve it.
 
The moment you decide you are defeated, you are. The moment you decide you can overcome, you have. Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in US. In US. In US. In US. See what Paul was telling the church. It is in YOU. (Eph. 3:20)

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NOTHING IS EVER ONE SIDED

“Beloved friends, if life gets extremely difficult, with many tests, don’t be bewildered or confused as though something strange were overwhelming you. Instead, continue to rejoice, ………….(I Pet. 4:12)
 
During my career in Law Enforcement, I was sworn to protect life and property. One area was the enforcement of the Vehicle and Traffic laws of the State of NY. Understand there are hundreds of laws regarding Motor Vehicle operations on a public highway.
 
Take speeding for example. Throughout my town there are speed limit signs. Even unposted roads have speed limit restrictions. If you did not know it, oh well. They are there for the safety and well being of the people. They are for the benefit of the community, not the state. If you don’t agree or believe in the law, it doesn’t matter. It is not contingent on your belief. Laws exist whether you believe in them or not.
 
As I have written in my last post, the Law of Polarity exists for a reason. Having an understanding of this important law will provide the means to fully experience life. You need to become aware of it, accept it, express heartfelt gratitude for it and you will experience abundance and fulfillment in this world.
 
This strange law you might ask me; what is it, why does it exist, and how can it be utilized to achieve abundance and fulfillment in my life? I am glad you asked. As you know, there are two sides to everything in the spirit and natural realm of life. Learning to fully understand, comprehend and master the Law of Polarity is necessary in achieving the sense of harmony, fulfillment and well being physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Why did Peter tell us “not to think it strange or odd when we come across challenging and difficult circumstances? The Law of Polarity was created by God and exists as a means to enable each of us to explore and experience life to the fullest. A life experience absent of the Law of Polarity would deny you the ability to fully experience your life.
 
As an example, if what you perceive as bad did not exist, would you know when you were having a good experience? If poverty did not exist would you know what it was like to experience wealth? If failure did not exist would you know what it was to experience success? If there existed no such thing as death we could not fully enjoy and appreciate what it means to experience life. If we were never lost, how could we experience being found.
 
The Law of Polarity contains a full spectrum of possibility ranging from the extreme light to the extreme dark and any number of points in between. By developing this understanding and learning to fully accept the things you cannot change may show up in your life in the way of events, conditions and circumstances and learning to understand that ALL THINGS, regardless of how you perceive them, work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:28)
 
By understanding what Peter wrote and what Paul had written to the church in Rome, you will have made incredible progress in your given ability to mold, shape, and achieve a quality of life that you were meant to live. Regardless of where you may currently find yourself right now, within that spectrum of possibility, you possess the potential as well as the ability to experience the abundant life Jesus had spoken about.
 

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WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Nothing is ever one-sided; everything contains its opposite. God has instituted laws. One particular law I find fascinating is the Law of Polarity. Sir Isaac Newton discovered a scientific principle revealing that any action has an equal and opposite reaction; forces come in pairs. With Faith, there is fear, when there is gain, there is loss. There is increase, there will be decrease. When there is joy, there is sadness, there is positive, there is negative, etc.
 
Everything has an opposite. Everything is dual, everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree. In life, it is the flip side of the coin, your right, my left, the front, the back. Heat and cold may appear to be opposites at first glance, but in truth they are simply varying degrees of the same thing. The same principle applies to love and hate, light and darkness, etc.
 
I remember this in my life not too long ago when my Mom passed away. Subsequent to her passing, my daughter had given birth to her son and another daughter got married. Where there is life, there is death. When something begins, something has ended. When something ends, there is always something that begins.
 
When you understand the law of polarity as written in Ecclesiastes chapter 3:11-8. “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”, etc. Solomon was declaring everything contains its opposite. One aspect of a quality cannot be experienced without the existence of the opposing aspect.
 
Today’s lesson: you can transform your thoughts from hate to love, from being weak to being strong. ” Let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich, let the blind say I can see. Because of what the Lord has done for me.” In addition, transform your fear to faith by consciously taking charge and choosing which side of the spectrum you want to think on. Remember, it is within your power to choose, so choose well.
 

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