You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘intentional living’ tag.

 

And in the end, what we dwell on is what we become. Where we camp, is where we live and die. Louie Giglio

Our perspective — the way we interpret what’s happening around us — can make or break us in any given situation. Our perspectives shape us, how we think, how we engage with people, how we action in our every day.   Perspective creates opportunity to grow and opportunity to step out, or how it can hinder our progress and restrict us.

Clues to what type of perspective we have is in some of the phrases we regularly say or think.  If your perspective leans to the negative you may not even be aware of it. Thinking the worst can be second nature after years of doing it. But it can be influencing how you live life and keeping you from getting the best out of it.

A negative perspective says:

I can’t

I will never

I could never

That always happens to me

That never happens for me

That’s not possible

It’s language is negative and limiting.

It’s reactive vs proactive,  seeing the bad in people and in situations.

 

A optimistic perspective says:

I can

I will

I will try

It’s going to be okay

Let’s keep going

It’s language is positive and overcoming.  It is responsive and proactive, choosing to see the good in people and situations.

 

A faith filled perspective says:

I can do all things through Christ

I am more than a conqueror

With God nothing is impossible

 

Positive perception says that failure is part of learning, that we can do hard stuff,

We need to turn down our negative self talk and make intentional decisions to transform our perspective, from the inside out.

 

God is calling us to have an enlarged perspective of His faithfulness and power as we step into a new year, to be aware of His ableness vs our own limitations and vs what the world may say.

God sometimes has a totally different perspective than us.

His challenge for us is for us to align our perspective with His, to see things from His vantage point.

We can begin again and change the way we think.  Changing the way we think sets us on a new road that trusts more, dares more, loves more and lives more.

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OCT

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law.  Proverbs 29:18

The flipside of this proverb is the principal and truth that when you have a vision for your life you cast ON restraint – you have discipline and sacrifice in order to focus towards your vision and goal.

Dreams take action.  Hours.  Energy.

Dreams need nurturing and stoking, like a fire.

Dreams require doing and intentionality. 

Intentional dreaming results in intentional living.  There are choices you will make, both yes and no choices, that will influence the success of your dream and the timing of living it out. 

Sometimes we need to say no to things.  The greater YES within us should keep the dream alight.  Yes to the dream means no to distractions, passivity and living on cruise control.

 

What choices do you need to make to achieve your dream?

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“Big things are built one brick at a time.

Victories are achieved one choice at a time.

A life well lived is chosen one day at a time.”

– Lysa TerKeurst

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The Only 7 Things We Truly Can Control in Life—and How to Rock Them All

in my experience, life can be pretty complicated. Although most of us have plenty to manage in our day-to-day lives—jobs, relationships, family, exercise, sleep, you name it—there are really only a few things we truly have control over. I changed my life by identifying these variables and learning how to master them. And I think you can too.

Happiness and success (however you define either one) have a lot to do with each other. In fact, greater happiness has been found to lead to greater success. I think both can be achieved with some simple and straightforward habit hacking, or  making small tweaks to your routine which, little by little, add up to major changes in how you’re living your life.

We make millions of little decisions all the time, and the result of each one is either net positive, net negative, or neutral. The more net positive decisions we can make (and the fewer net negative ones), the better. Net positive decisions may require some effort: Brushing your teeth before bed, eating healthy meals, and regularly going to the gym are a few examples of actions that help you feel good and bring you one step closer to your goals despite the effort they entail. Net negative decisions—filling up on food that doesn’t make you feel good, skipping the nightly teeth-brushing, letting that downer friend cramp your style, or forgoing the gym—make it difficult to reach your goals because your decisions don’t make you feel good, empowered, or confident. They take more out of you than they give, interfering with your energy levels, sapping your motivation, and clouding your focus.

 

 

Get Up & GO!

The kitchen looked like a war zone. It was 10 A.M., and last night’s dirty dishes were still piled on the counter. I was in my bathrobe, my son was in his pajamas, and I didn’t have one speck of energy or motivation to handle the five thousand things demanding my attention. As I shuffled along, picking up dishes, I moaned softly to myself, Why am I so tired?

Thankfully, we don’t have to drag ourselves through life constantly running on empty. In fact, the Bible actually promises us “abundant” life. John 10:10 says, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly”(NASB).

Obviously, prolonged, extreme tiredness may be a symptom of a larger problem such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or depression. In those instances, you should seek medical help. But what about the otherwise healthy body that daily desires an afternoon nap or a fresh burst of energy (that’s not caffeine-induced)? I’ve discovered a few tips that have increased my energy. If you’ve been dragging lately, they may energize you too.

 

 

 

5 Things I’m Learning in This Dance With My Strong-Willed Daughters – We Are THAT Family 

  1. Not everything is a battle–but it can be if we make it one. If we are in constant battle about the same things–messy rooms, laundry and attitude, we might win a few, but it might cost us a relationship. Leave the small things, small. That’s not to say we let them have their way all the time, instead we focus on what really matters.
  2. Not everything is personal–but it can be if we take offense. That eye roll or audible sigh–it’s normal. That doesn’t make it right or less frustrating. But most words flung are coming from a hurt or misunderstood place. If we choose to be offended by every word or action, we are choosing something much bigger. Look past the words and get to the heart of the hurt.
  3. Not everything can be won–and if we try to win it all, we will ultimately lose. We are raising, unique, one-of-a-kind girls who will surprise and satisfy us. We have to step back and let them learn and grow and mess up. Most of all, we have to help them find the beauty in every place, especially the hard ones.
  4. Not everything is eternal–but everything is significant. Things in her world might seem small to us. And they probably are–that zit, that boy, that mean girl, that first B on her report card. But if we make what’s important to her insignificant to us, we wound.
  5. Not everything is understood and that’s why listening is the best gift. We may not always understand the drama, the emotion, the passion over the trivial. And that’s okay. We can offer them what they really want and need–it’s not a fix to their problem, it’s a listening ear. Some times the best thing we can do is close our mouth and let them talk.

 

 

 

“How do you balance family life and ministry life?” [PART 1] Q&A With Bobbie Houston #2 

This has to be possibly THE most frequently asked question in forums like this, and especially by young women in that fabulous season of early motherhood. However having said that, the question applies to pretty much every season of life, because there isn’t a season in any of our lives, where we don’t (or shouldn’t) feel something of the stretch and pressure of that new season.

Have you noticed that one word dominated this first paragraph … Seasons!!

FAMILY LIFE is full of seasons and MINISTRY LIFE is full of seasons … and the “art of balance” is to recognize, discern, adapt, navigate, appreciate, be thankful and of course, apply WISDOM to whatever season or “collision of seasons” you are experiencing.

 

 

HELP YOUR KIDS SAY ‘NO’ TO PORN – The Gospel Coalition

The first time porn was served at the cafeteria lunch table, my son was 11 years old. Does that seem young to you? Research suggests that one in three children ages 11 to 14 have viewed pornography on a mobile device. Add to that the very real possibility that a child will stumble across explicit content on YouTube or in a pop-up ad during innocent computer usage, and one thing becomes clear: parents must be proactive in talking about porn with their kids.
I’m not a fearmonger when it comes to parenting. In fact, I think fear is a terrible motivator for making parenting decisions. But if children are being exposed to porn at young ages, the loving thing to do as a parent is to equip them to know how to respond. The most frequent parenting question I’m asked is, “When should I talk to my child about sex?” My adamant answer is, “Much earlier than you might think.” If you’re concerned about your child being exposed to porn, you have to talk about sex, and you must do so early.

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We need to be intentional about energy management.

Yesterday we talked about some of the reasons and time limitations we face : Be Intentional With Your Time

 

 

Tony Schwarz says there are 4 types of energy:

Physical (Quantity)
Emotional (Quality) how you feel profound affects how you perform
Mental (Focus)
Spiritual (Purpose) when something has value we bring more energy to it

So, how do we learn to manage our energy more skilfully?  How do all 4 of these energy types work together for renewal and balance, and an increase in energy reserves.

In physics, energy is defined simply as the capacity to work. Therefore the more energy you have – or the more energy you renew – the more fuel you have in your tank, and the capacity you have to get things done. Unlike cars, human beings have four distinct energy needs: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The better and more regularly we meet each of these needs, the healthier, happier, more focused and more effective we become.

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be intentional

 

Are you ‘ready to go’ in the morning?

Are you able to maintain high levels of energy during the day?

Do you rely a lot on caffeine or energy drinks to keep you going?

Do you have energy left in reserve at the end of the day?

When we start to pursue our dreams and to live our life to the max the best thing to have is an abundance of personal energy, to have all our tanks full and to go forward in high gear and at full speed! What good is it to have great personal goals if there is simply not enough energy to follow through with them? If we have that extra energy everything will become easier to do.

We are often obsessed with time, and there never seems to be enough of it.

We try to squeeze more into every minute of every day.

We eat fast food on the run and chat on our cell phone while driving, eating, or exercising. We get drive through coffee and watch TV “on demand”. At the end of the day, we fall into bed exhausted, but sleep doesn’t come easily because we’re constantly thinking about the next day.

We want more hours in the day so that we can do more. But there are only 24 hours in each day, 168 hours in the week.

There are two problems with time. The first one is that after a certain number of hours fatigue inevitably sets in. There is only so much we can do.

The second problem with time is that it’s finite, and most of us don’t have any of it left to invest. Our dance cards are full and yet we’re never finished.

There is a strong case that energy management can save you more time than time management.

The way we’re working isn’t working.

We need to manage our energy vs managing our time.

Though time is finite, energy can be expanded, renewed and used more efficiently.

We need to be intentional about energy management.

 

What do you to to make time work for you?

What are your energy management strategies?

 

 

(see the post tomorrow to find out HOW!)

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When to Say “No” to Good Things

Here are 4 questions to ask yourself to help you decide when to say “yes” and when to say “no” to good things:

1. Am I protecting time with my spouse? Be intentional in setting up a weekly or monthly date night with your spouse. If a volunteer opportunity comes up that interferes with your date night, just say “no.” Plan around this special night so you are able to love your spouse well before loving others well.

2. Am I protecting time with my kids? If you are missing your son’s basketball games or your daughter’s dance practices to pursue other good things, then you are not protecting your time with your kids. Spend time with your kids before you commit to spend time with your clients or colleagues. Also, before you commit endless hours serving in your community, first make sure you spend quantity time with your kids. And when you do serve in your community, do it with your kids.

3. Is this an area that I can use my gifts? Avoid spreading yourself too thin. Give your best to just a few important things, rather than a mediocre effort to too many things. Be strongly committed to the opportunities that allow you to use your gifts well.

4. Do I have margin in my schedule? Just because you have an open slot in your schedule doesn’t mean you have to fill it, even with good opportunities. Be sure to leave some open time for rest, reflection, and unexpected occurrences that will surely arise.

 

 

 

 

 

What Will Your New Spouse Be Like?: An Answer – Gary Thomas

Want to know what your current boyfriend or girlfriend will be like as a husband or wife?

The answer to this question could be the most important piece of information to consider before marrying your boyfriend or girlfriend. Or letting your kids marry their boyfriend or girlfriend.

And the best part? The answer to this question can be said in one sentence.

 

The Question:

What will my significant other be like as a spouse?

 

The Answer:

“The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.”

(This is according to my good friend, Dr. Steve Wilke.)

It’s as easy as that. What are they like now?

 

 

 

Instead of Building Your Platform, Build Your Character

Pastor, words like “platform” and “influence” are important.

But if we aren’t careful, in our desire to build our platform and influence, we can end up building our EGO.

As leadership gurus Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges say, “EGO stands for ‘Edging God Out’.”

BUILD YOUR CHARACTER

Instead of building your platform, focus more on building your character.

According to the Apostle Paul, the qualifications to be an elder-pastor are about character, not gifting.

 

 

 

12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans

May your actions speak louder than your words.  May your life preach louder than your lips.  May your success be your noise in the end.

The result of enormous success is often pretty noisy – lots of people talking, writing and sharing stories about it.  The actual process of achieving enormous success, on the other hand, is far more discreet.  But it’s this process that happens quietly, behind-the-scenes, that makes all the difference in the world.

1.  They have calm, consistent morning routines.

2.  They eliminate all needless busywork

3.  They do what needs to be done, TODAY!

4.  They gradually turn life’s obstacles around.

5.  They learn by stretching themselves to their limits.

6.  They turn to their intuition when making tough decisions.

7.  They mindfully focus on the positive.

8.  They create visual reminders of their long-term goals.

9.  They keep some kind of personal notebook.

10.  They have mentors they observe and consult with.

11.  They welcome honest feedback and criticism.

12. They keep their pride in check.

 

 

dear daughters (marry the right guy) – Susie Davis

the ‘Marry Mr. Right’ list:

  • He loves Jesus. More than you. More than his job. More than money. Or anything else.
  • He has a hard time keeping his hands off you. Sexual attraction, chemistry, whatever you want to call it is important. Now and later. If he’s uninterested physically, that’s just weird. Walk away.
  • He has a hard time keeping his hands off you BUT HE DOES. He does not ask for sex ~ or anything that vaguely resembles sex ~ before marriage. (See #1)
  • He will not compromise your reputation because he is lazy or selfish. In other words, he values and works hard to protect your p-u-r-i-t-y. (ie: would not hesitate to pay for two hotel rooms on a trip even if y’all were going to ‘sleep in separate beds’ in the same hotel room.) Yes, that’s so old-fashion but it’s also awesome.

 

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Romans 12 begins with a powerful call to transformation:  

 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

 

The message frames v2 in an interesting way:

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

 

We don’t want to be so well adjusted to the world that we just blend in.  But in order to live different we must act differently.  We must make different choices and do different things in order to be different.

 

“Because of Jesus, you no longer have permission to live life ‘normally.'” – Scott Thompson

 

Living differently – living a non normal life – means living deliberately and on purpose.  Intentionally.

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But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life-a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy.  Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.  1 Timothy 6:11-12  MSG

 

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  NIV

 

i love the way the Message bible puts it… RUN HARD AND FAST IN THE FAITH

to me that says: get committed, be devoted, push in, push in past the pain, keep at it, seize ahold of God

exercise is hard work.  my dad is a marathon runner.  he spends TIME training.  he works his body hard.  he sweats alot.  he has to choose to persevere to finish the race and achieve the goal.  so often we give up when the going gets tough. 

in life we forget to PURSUE the right things, to be INTENTIONAL about living a right life

we give up when the going gets tough and take the easier road

but we miss out on the reward and the achievement

 

so what does this look like in real life?

  • make wise choices
  • spend TIME with God
  • follow the Word of God
  • reject sinful actions and temptations
  • get involved in a church
  • feed your spirit
  • grow your character, esp how you relate to people
  • speak truth
  • be selective about relationships
  • etc etc etc

 

life is more than breathing

its an adventure led by God, to know Him and make Him known

there is reward in pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

we can never EARN God’s love or REPAY His salvation – but there is a lifestyle that pleases Him, responding to Him in love and honour

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ  Philippians 3:7-8

the best strategy for dealing with sin is to fix your eyes upon Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2

willpower is not enough

behaviour is driven by values.  to change your behaviour change your values – you have to value something/SOMEONE more

the key to dealing with sin is to encounter JESUS

the best strategy to being intentional and running hard and pursuing righteousness is to fix our eyes upon Jesus and to fall in love with Him more and more each day.

lets be INTENTIONAL at this

lets be intentional about the choices we make TOWARDS God and AWAY from distractions and discouragement

lets be intentional about believing God and His promises

lets be intentional about fixing our eyes upon Jesus

what do you do to pursue God and a righteous pleasing life?  how do you run hard and fast in the faith?

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