Be creative (2)

Be creative (2)

Philippians 2:13 NLT

You will only have good ideas if you value ideas. Otherwise you’ll drift through life living off other people’s ideas. Creative thinkers: (1) Explore every option. Exploring a multitude of possibilities helps to stimulate your imagination, and imagination is crucial to creativity. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Why? Because it looks for new ways to put your knowledge to work. (2) Embrace ambiguity. Creative people don’t feel the need to stamp out uncertainty. They see all kinds of inconsistencies and gaps in life, and they take delight in exploring those gaps or using their imagination to fill them in. When you find an unmet need, you can either conclude that nothing can be done about it, or pray and look for a way to meet that need (Philippians 4:19). (3) Celebrate the offbeat. Creativity explores off the beaten path. Kingman Brewster, former president of Yale University, said, “There’s a correlation between the creative and the screwball. So we must suffer the screwball gladly.” To foster creativity, you must be willing to tolerate originality and oddness. (4) Are not afraid of failure. American philosopher Charles Frankel said, “Anxiety is the essential condition of intellectual and artistic creation.” Creativity requires a willingness to look stupid. It means going out on a limb knowing that limbs often break. Creative people know these things and still keep searching for new ideas. They refuse to let the ideas that don’t work prevent them from coming up with ones that do.

Soul food: Rev 19-22Mark 11:12-26Ps 129Prov 12:27-28

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Be creative (1)

Be creative (1)

Genesis 1:27 NLT

Why do we celebrate the birth of our children? Because like God, we helped to create something. The famous American football coach Vince Lombardi said, “The joy is in creating, not maintaining.” It’s a mistake to believe that God is only interested in “spiritual things” and not “secular” things. Yes, you must grow spiritually. But you must also use the gifts He’s given you to fulfill His purpose here on the earth, and to bless others. You don’t have to be rich or have a high IQ in order to be creative. You could be a creative hairstylist, or come up with a new recipe, or create a job opportunity for prisoners by which they rebuild their lives. That’s not just secular, that’s spiritual! You’ll notice that the cross has two posts: vertical and horizontal. The vertical post represents your relationship with God, what He wants to do for you and what He wants you to do for Him. The horizontal post represents what He’s called us to do for each other. You say, “But I’m not very creative.” Once you discover your God-given gift, it will release your creativity. Paul writes, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them” (Romans 12:6 NKJV). Stop putting yourself down just because you are not as creative as you’d like to be. Creative thinking isn’t necessarily original thinking. In fact, people mythologize original thought. Most often, creative thinking is a composite of other people’s thoughts discovered along the way. So the word for you today is: Be creative.

Soul food: Exo 20:16Deut 19:15-20Rev 21:8

 

 

Have you been treated badly?

Radio Kansel

Have you been treated badly?

Luke 6:23 TM

When you’ve been treated badly, always ask yourself, “What can I learn from this experience? How do I respond in a more Christlike manner? Am I willing to acknowledge my mistakes? How can I grow wiser and handle similar experiences better in the future?” When all is said and done, the answer to misunderstanding is forgiveness. Now, forgiveness doesn’t mean you necessarily agree with or want a close relationship with the person who mistreated you. But it does mean that you let it go. When you bury the hatchet, don’t leave the handle sticking up! In other words, don’t just forgive – choose to forget! Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be great is to be misunderstood.” And here’s an even better statement: “To be greater is to forgive the one who has treated you badly.” Paul refers to the Christian life as “the high calling of God” (Philippians 3:14). So take the high road! What does that road look like? Jesus tells us: “Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is…the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable…be glad when that happens…all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my…witnesses have always been treated like this” (vv. 22-23 TM). By living this way, you also take back your power by refusing to let another person dictate your mood and your outlook, and you keep your joy.

Soul food: Rev 10-14Mark 10:35-52Ps 4Pro 12:25

 

 

Hard work and integrity

Hard work and integrity

Proverbs 12:11 NLT

In The Finishing Touch, author Chuck Swindoll tells about a man he met who made a great impression on him: “With a grin and a twinkle, he whipped out his hand. It was a hand you could strike a match on, toughened by decades of rugged toil. ‘You look like a man who enjoys life. What do you do for a living?’ I asked. ‘Me? Well, I’m a farmer from back in the Midwest.’ Swindoll asked him, ‘What did you do last week?’ He said, ‘Last week I finished harvesting ninety thousand bushels of corn.’ I then blurted out, ‘Ninety thousand! How old are you, my friend?’ He didn’t seem at all hesitant or embarrassed by my question. ‘I’m just a couple of months shy of ninety.’ He laughed again as I shook my head. He had lived through four wars, the Great Depression, sixteen presidents, ninety Midwest winters, who knows how many personal hardships, and he was still taking life by the throat. I had to ask him the secret of his long and productive life. ‘Hard work and integrity’ was his quick reply. As we parted company he looked back over his shoulder and added, ‘Don’t take it easy, young feller. Stay at it!’ Hard work and integrity! Those two qualities go together, and are the essence of a life well-lived. And when you practice them faithfully, you experience the highest level of joy and fulfillment in life.” The Bible puts it this way: “A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.”

Soul food: Luke 24:50-53Acts 1:1-11Eph 4:7-10

 

Keep calm and carry on

Keep calm and carry on

Acts 13:43 NKJV

In the days leading up to World War II, the British government commissioned a series of posters. The idea was to capture encouraging slogans and distribute them throughout the country. Capital letters in a distinct typeface were used, and a simple two-color format selected. The only graphic was the crown of King George VI. The first poster was distributed in September of 1939: YOUR COURAGE. YOUR CHEERFULNESS. YOUR RESOLUTION WILL BRING US VICTORY. Soon thereafter a second poster was produced: FREEDOM IS IN PERIL. DEFEND IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT. These two pos ters appeared on railroad platforms and in pubs, stores, and restaurants. A third poster was created but it was never distributed. More than 2.5 million copies were printed yet never seen until nearly sixty years later, when a bookstore owner in Northeast England discovered one in a box of old books he had purchased at an auction. It read: KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. It bore the same crown and style of the first two posters. It was never released to the public, however, but held in reserve for an extreme crisis, such as invasion by Germany. The bookstore owner framed it and hung it on the wall. It became so popular that the bookstore began producing identical images of the original design on coffee mugs, postcards, and posters. It’s the same message Paul and Barnabas brought to the first Christians in Antioch: “Continue in the grace of God.” Or in other words, keep calm and carry on!

Soul food: Rev 5-9Mark 10:23-34Ps 121Prov 12:23-24

 

Learn to be content

Learn to be content

Philippians 4:11 NLT

When you aim to grow personally and achieve things in life, these are commendable goals. But when you covet what someone else has or want to be just like them, you’re entering into territory that’s forbidden by Scripture. Contentment does not mean you should become complacent or settle for mediocrity and fail to achieve your God-given potential in life. Not at all! You’re supposed to work to improve yourself, while at the same time remaining totally dependent on God (See 2 Corinthians 3:5). Self-sufficiency means to be “sufficient in one’s self” instead of putting your faith in God’s assistance. Contentment, on the other hand, is to know with certainty and firm conviction that God is able to meet your every need (See Philippians 4:19). When you understand that truth, you don’t have to covet anyone else’s position, property, possessions, or personality. Why? Because you’re assured that all you presently have, and all you are today, is more than enough in the hands of God. Whatever you need to do to fulfill His will, you can do, not in your own strength but in the strength and power of Christ who dwells within your innermost being. Covetousness comes to us all naturally, but contentment must be learned. Paul writes: “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13 NLT).

Soul food: Rev 1-4Mark 10:13-22Ps 117Prov 12:20-22

 

The word for multitaskers

The word for multitaskers

Luke 10:40 AMPC

One of the great buzzwords of this generation is multitasking. Used properly, it can make you more productive. Used wrongly, such as trying to text someone while you’re driving, it can kill you. You will not enjoy today, or the gifts it contains, if you don’t have a balanced attitude toward work. One day Jesus visited the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. What a contrast! Martha was “overly occupied and too busy,” while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and soaked up everything He had to say. She was determined not to miss this precious moment. And Jesus s aid Mary made a better choice than Martha did. Now, He didn’t tell Martha not to work; He told her to stop getting frustrated and having a bad attitude while she worked. Jesus wants you to work hard, but He also wants you to be wise enough to realize when you should stop all activity and not miss the miracle of His presence in the moment. The Bible says, “Give your mind to what you are doing” (Ecclesiastes 5:1 AMPC). In other words, train yourself to focus your full attention on what you are involved in at any given time. Then finish it before starting something else. This kind of concentration requires discipline, but it’s worth it because being able to focus helps you enjoy the present moment. Breaking the bad habit of excessive multitasking may sound easy, but it’s actually quite difficult. So be determined to form new, balanced habits in this area. When you do, the quality of your life will improve.

Soul food: 1 Kings 16:1-18:15Mark 9:30-37Ps 108Prov 12:14

 

Everybody you meet has potential

Everybody you meet has potential

Galatians 6:10 NLT

Have you ever watched a train switch on to the same track as several disconnected rail cars, hook up, and together move forward? The truth is if you want to help people you’ve got to get on the same track, connect with them, and help move them forward. But before you can do that there are two rules you need to observe: (1) Never take anyone for granted. Tip O’Neill, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said that during an election one of his elderly neighbors told him, “I voted for you again today even though you didn’t ask me to. ” Surprised, O’Neill replied, “But I’ve known you all my life, Mrs. O’Brien. I took out your garbage and mowed your lawn – I didn’t think I had to ask.” In a motherly tone she replied, “It’s always nice to be asked!” (2) Believe that everyone has potential. Mother Teresa said, “We don’t have to be extraordinary in any way. I can do what you can’t do, you can do what I can’t do, and together we can do great things.” You may not be able to help everybody, but you can help somebody. The thing Andrew is most noted for in Scripture is introducing his brother Peter to Jesus. But Peter ended up bringing multitudes to Jesus. In the New Jerusalem you’ll see the name of each of the apostles written above its twelve foundations (See Revelation 21:14). And Andrew’s name will be there. How come? Because he believed everybody has the potential to make a difference once they know Jesus.

Soul food: 1 Kings 14-15Mark 9:14-29Ps 101Prov 12:12-13

 

God will forgive you

2019/05/22

God will forgive you

Psalm 130:4 TM

The psalmist wrote: “Help, God – the bottom has fallen out of my life!…hear my cry for help! Listen hard! Open your ears…to my cries for mercy. If you…kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit…that’s why you’re worshiped” (vv. 1-4 TM). But God’s forgiveness is worthless unless you receive it by faith – and then forgive yourself! You say, “But what about my past?” The moment you receive God’s forgiveness you no longer have a past – you only have a future. However, you must do three things: (1) Realize that everybody fails. Samson failed by getting too close to the wrong woman (See Judges 16). Jonah failed by trying to run from the assignment God gave him (See Jonah 1:3). Peter failed when he denied Jesus (See Matthew 26:34). Yet God forgave and used each of them for His glory. (2) You must process your emotions. Regret: “If only I hadn’t done it.” Frustration: “I did my best. Why wasn’t it good enough?” Self-pity: “Nobody loves me so I’ll just sit here and lick my wounds.” Paralysis: “I’ve done it too often. My mistake is too big. I’ll never get beyond it.” Your emotions are lying to you – don’t believe them! (3) When you fall, get back up again. “Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again” (Proverbs 24:16 NIV). Notice, the righteous as well as the unrighteous fall. So be like the lady who said, “I’m never down. I’m either up, or I’m getting up!” How about it – are you ready to get up and try again? If so, God will work with you.

Soul food: 1 Kings 12-13Mark 9:1-13Ps 128Prov 12:10-11

 

Recognize your gift, know your goal

 2019/05/21

Recognize your gift, know your goal

1 Samuel 12:21 NKJV

In order to succeed in what God has called you to do in life, you must recognize your gift and know your goal. When you’re clear about and committed to these two things, you need to demonstrate two qualities: discipline and determination. Fritz Kreisler, one of the greatest violinists of all time, had them. Crowds packed Carnegie Hall in New York to hear him. But the road to success was a bumpy ride. As a boy he wanted to do nothing more than play the violin, so his parents paid for him to have music lessons. But he didn’t make as much prog ress as they hoped, and after a few years he quit the lessons. Over the next several years, through college and early adulthood, he studied medicine but failed to complete medical school. He joined the army and failed to be promoted. He tried and quit many other pursuits. Realizing that the one piece of success he had enjoyed in life related to the violin, he went back to his instructor and said, “I want to play.” She said, “Fine, I’ll take you back as a student, but only if you acquire the irreplaceable quality that is necessary for you to become a great violinist. You must exhibit undefeatable determination.” So once again, here are your steps to success: (1) Recognize your gift. (2) Know your goal. (3) Dedicate yourself to the process no matter how long it takes. (4) Trust God to bless your efforts.

Soul food: 1 Kings 10-11Mark 8:27-38Ps 45Prov 12:7-9