Focus Forward

13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Phillipians 3: 13-14

Want to wreck your car?

Drive while looking backward.

Want to wreck your life?

Live while looking backward. 

We were meant to live out of the windshield, not the rearview mirrors.

Focus forward and glance back. 

God has called YOU to strain toward what is ahead.

Strain for the prize!

The great cloud of witnesses applauds you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where am I?

There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” Benjamin Franklin

If I had one wish I would wish for a map telling me exactly where I am in my life right now. Why this wish? Because if I know where I am I can chart where to go next. How about you would you like to know exactly where you are in your life right now? I don’t mean physically, we are talking about your stage of life, are you where you want to be? If not why?

God teaches us in his book of Proverbs chapter 3 verse 5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” How can this help me know where I am? God wants you to trust HIM with all your HEART. You heart is referring to your mind, will, and emotions in other words your innermost being. Trust in HIM with your innermost being such as how you think, choose, and feel.

God wants us to trust HIM and lean NOT on our own understanding. He wants us to think of Him in every situation then HE will direct our path. We don’t have to do life alone, we are to lean on Him in everything. Everything that matters to you matters to Him.

Choose right now to trust God with everything you care about. Tell him about it. Tell Him about your co-worker that bugs you, or your spouse that drives you nuts, or the lack of money in your bank, or your neighbor who has a dog that never stops barking. No matter how big or small choose to trust God right now with it.

Imagine what your life will look like if you took this one part of the Bible and applied it right here right now. Imagine what it would look like to have your path directed? Imagine how this would impact your immediate life.

No more dumpster diving for dates!

So you’ve gone on several dates and ended up all stinky. What is going on here? What seems to be the problem? Are you just picking wrong people, or are there any good people worth picking, or do you need to find the latest dating app, or read the latest dating book? While many of these problems may be occuring, chances are there is something else causing you to wind up stinky at the end of dates. Maybe you are dumpster diving for dates!

Have you ever picked someone to go out with in hopes that you can fix them? Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself that they will look better to you over time? Have you lowered your standards to keep someone around? My friend, you are experiencing an epic problem that our world is experiencing. There’s hope, this is a problem that can be solved. It starts with the person in the mirror.

We all have within us our unique identity it’s what makes us uniquely set apart from others. We each think different, choose different, and feel different with a variety of needs that span the globe. Simply put, your identity is the unique in you. Here is the kicker, without an awareness of or health within your identity you will struggle to find people who are a good match for you. Let me explain.

Without a clear view of who YOU are you will never be able to see who THEY are. Does this make sense now? How you see you is how you see them, if YOU is not seen accurately chances are your view of THEM is inaccurate as well. Think of a pair of glasses, they are prescriptive in helping you see more clearly. If these glasses are broken they will skew the picture creating an inaccurate view of self and situations. Are your glasses broken? Are you seeing yourself accurately? This is the first question as we learn how not to dumpster dive for dates. Check your glasses.

If you have good glasses meaning they aren’t broken, you will stand a pretty good chance of seeing yourself but more important, you will see others clearly. Seeing yourself is important in selecting friends and dates however seeing others clearly is vital to being able to determine whether someone is good for you or not. Suppose you know yourself pretty well and have a decent level of confidence, chances are pretty good you aren’t going to date and marry a drug dealer right? If you have extremely poor vision of yourself and others you just might meet and date a con artist, or a liar, worse yet, you may meet someone harmful!

Dating isn’t meant for missionary work. We don’t date to change people, we date to grow a great friendship that has tons of laughter, fun, togetherness and an ability to solve simple and tough problems without staying stuck forever. If you can do these things together chances are high you are in a good relationship that didn’t come from the dumpster.

If you are dating someone and there is intense jealousy, or every conflict gets hung up and blows up, you may be in a dumpster relationship that will never stop stinking. Here are a few other signs to look for in a stinky relationship: Criticism, defensiveness, you feel like you have lost your mind, your feel isolated from your friends and family. If any of these are what you are experiencing you may have a dumpster relationship.

Imagine what it would be like to talk to someone about anything in the world and they wouldn’t make you feel unsafe. This is what a great relationship looks like. Spend your energy becoming the kind of person that can foster this relationship, then go out and you just may find someone just like you in this sense where you share these traits.

NO MORE DUMPSTER DIVING FOR DATES!

Be weird because normal doesn’t work

Resist the urge to blend in.

Blending in is easy and builds the wrong kind of muscles, the easy muscles.

Instead build the weird kind of muscles, the kind that gains the type of results you want anyways. Need some help? Try these as some examples of ways to be weird and build weird muscles:

  • Cancel your credit cards and pay them off
  • Resist the quicksand of the “not enough” life that social media offers
  • Read excellent books
  • Be a filler not a drainer
  • Rise early and get moving
  • Pray often
  • Thank at least 5 people a day

This is a start as you set out to be weird.

Why weird?

Because so few people are actually doing this.

Begin today!

Application:

What is one thing you can start doing today to break out of the ruts? Share your story here.

Life detour OR God’s wake up call?

Sometimes we end up somewhere different than we intended.

Detours are God’s way of getting our attention to check the road we are on and make course corrections.

Don’t dismiss the detour, embrace the change of scenery.

Ask yourself the simple question, “What can I take away from this detour?”.

Application:

When was the last time you encountered a life detour? Were you made aware of a course correction during that time?

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