The Difference Between Ordinary & Extraordinary  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , ,

When you get a group of people working together, over time, things start to emerge. At first, people may be going at a good speed to accomplish the task. Then, after a while, some will likely start to fade out. The task will become boring, too hard, someone's bound to have a headache, the temperature is too hot or cold. Sometimes, when the task is "just about finished", they'll quit to let the rest finish the job. Other things tend to emerge. The task will be enjoyable, challenging, beneficial, etc. These descriptions will be used, even if the previous thoughts/feelings are experienced. I once read about the difference between ordinary and extraordinary, and it was surprisingly simple. This brings us to this week's quote...

We must overcome the notion that we must be regular... it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre. ~ Uta Hagen
The difference: "a little extra". That is all it is. Simple, huh? There are too many regular people, what is fun about regularity? How many will try the new variation of a food item (i.e. candy bar, burger, pizza, etc.) just because it isn't the 'regular' one?

You don't have to be regular. Regular is the "middle of the road", same ol', same ol'. Go bigger! Go the "extra" to get yourself from ordinary to extraordinary!!!

Don't let being regular rob you of something that could thrust you into something great, unthinkable, extraordinary!

Have a great end of your week!

Striving for the "Extra" in life...Share/Bookmark

Being a Tool - Acts 9:15  

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Fathers...Fatherhood is such an honor. To be given the privilege, responsibility, and challenge to raise your children, you should be thankful. Also, God chose to give you your kids because you have an ability to love and care for them that others don't. What a cool thought!

Yesterday, we looked at an instance in Saul's (of the New Testament) life where he was to go and find a man named Ananias who was going to take care of the blindness he was experiencing. Saul had been an evil man, up to this point, and Ananias was nervously scared to approach him. However, Ananias is told to "go" because Saul is a "chosen instrument", aka tool. He was selected to carry out a specific task based on the abilities that he possessed. Here are a few applications to choose from to use this week...

  1. If you were a tool in a workshop, do you view yourself as "usable", or do you envision a tool that is marred and broken, not able to be used? Are you surprised you're still in the workshop? Once Saul came to his senses, after being humbled by the temporary blindness, I bet he felt ashamed and not capable of being used. However, God used him for BIG things! Part of that reason was because he continually understood who's in control, and it wasn't him, but God. Practice the Isaiah 6:8 philosophy and be used by God!
  2. When I think of a tool, it "serves" me in a way to help achieve a goal. My favorite verse on serving is I Peter 4:10, it encourages and challenges me, at same time, to use what talents I have been given to serve others faithfully. Be the tool that God designed you to be!
  3. Ananias asked God, "Do you really want me to go to Saul?" (paraphrased) God said "Go!" How many times have we had a "scary" task before us and we asked God "Do you really...?" Pray that you will be trusting of God's challenges. Pray that you will be bold enough to walk through the door of Opportunity. Pray that God will use you, today, in surprising, Kingdom-enhancing ways. Be the tool and be used the way that God designed you! You weren't chosen for the task based on popularity...but because you have talent/usefulness that is able to get that job done at that particular time. Be used!
I greatly look forward to what each and every day holds, regarding how God will use "my design" as a way to make a positive difference in someone's life. I hope you share in that, also. How has God been using you? By you sharing, it will encourage others in their faith.

Eager to be used...Share/Bookmark

Happy Father's Day!  

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Tomorrow is Father's Day. It is my first Father's Day. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I have a son that is just a few months old. He is the best! He is a miracle, a blessing, an absolute joy to have. He's got the best and most beautiful mother in the whole world, which I am blessed to call her my wife!

This year will be special since it is my first one. What was your first one like? (leave comments below). Actually, each day seems like Father's Day. Each day I wake up and see his face he gives me BIG smiles. When I come home from work at noon or in the evening, I get the same great response...BIG smiles! Sometimes, it is combined with some rapid arm and leg movements! Oh, it's priceless!

We "waited" ten years...and it has been ever-so-much worth the wait!!!

I hope you are able to have as good of a Father's Day as I will have!!!

Not able to get enough of fatherhood...Share/Bookmark

Better Tomorrow  

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If you're anything like me, when things don't go well, you tend to mull it over in your mind. The time that you "mull" will vary depending on the person and the situation. You may have doubted yourself or thought how you could have done things differently/better. Regardless, it occupies your mind more than is needed and may get in the way of how you operate. Along these lines, this week's quote reminded me to have a better tomorrow...

You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time. ~ Charles F. Kettering
A relationship book I read, makes a metaphor of computer "windows" as a way of describing how women continue to think about things after they have happened. Specifically, in conflict with their spouse. The "window" cannot be closed until the matter is resolved. Guys may not operate much like this in their relationships, but I operate like this in certain situations. You just can't "move past things" until the window has been closed.

However, open windows don't allow us to "have a better tomorrow" if we think about yesterday all the time. This quote challenges me to forget yesterday, when you can, and revel in what can happen today or in the future.

Though the past may have had its setbacks, tomorrow has possibilities. Look forward to those and not worry about the setbacks!

Have a great rest of your week...Look forward to the weekend!

Working on forgetting...Share/Bookmark

Love Acting - I Peter 1:22  

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When I worked at a Community College there was a lot of effort that went into public relations, from the coaches. Each week the "Booster Association" met for a PR dinner for different coaches to tell news from their sport from the previous week. Most of the news depended on a sport being in season. Since these Association members and any guests help support the Athletic Department, there tended to be a lot of schmoozing that went on, from the coach to the member.

The schmoozing didn't stop at these luncheons. Sometimes, a member of the Association, or public, would stop by the office of a coach, unannounced, to visit with them. I remember visiting with an assistant coach about such an occasion. He basically said that, as a coach, he would visit with them to keep their interest, but he had more important things to care about than them. So, he told him things to "make them happy." He was putting on a show...acting, if you will. Are there times we fall victim of that with our brethren?

Christians are part of a group of people who have the privilege of being able to go to heaven. However, there are times which we may show some imperfections. Sometimes we may be offended/bothered by someone. Sometimes we forget that we are encouragers to one another. When we show those imperfections, whether it is having to "schmooze" through a conversation, choosing not to speak to someone because they've offended you, or some other reason, we are falling victim of being a "love actor". Here are some applications to choose from to help not be a "love actor"...

  1. If you've been offended, pray that any offense will not prevent you from holding any part of a grudge against that person or group of people.
  2. Approach the person from which has offended/bothered you. Not talking about them to others.
  3. Remember that part of your Christian responsibility is to encourage being with your brethren on any particular gathering is not about what you will get out of it, but to be there for your brethren.
  4. Pray that people will accept you, strengths and weaknesses, and you will accept the others in the "family" the same way.
  5. Offer forgiveness when you've been wronged and pray that it will not be a wedge in your relationship with that person, in the future.
  6. Pray for God to use you in unimaginable ways to make the church family a closer group of people.

Peter told his recipients, that since they have purified themselves, they should be sincerely loving each other. We, also, should be accepting this challenge!

Have a great week!!!!

Continually working on this...Share/Bookmark

1,000th Visitor!!!  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in ,

Yesterday, June 5th, my blog had it's 1000th visitor! It is neat to see how many people visit the site - from all over the world, literally!

Hope the words God gives me have been a benefit to you in some way!

Blessings ~Share/Bookmark

Agent 4-243643?  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , ,

If you don't know what the title of the blog means, you can look it up on your telephone keypad and try to "unlock" the code (Leave the first number as a number).

The world is full of those who like to ride on the coattails of others. You can see them as those who want things accomplished, but rely on other people to do the work. Once it is accomplished, then they can move ahead. They aren't willing to make the bold move themselves, for whatever the reason. They choose to accept things as they are since they are not doing anything about it to help the cause. This brings us to this week's quote...

There are two primary choices in life;
to accept conditions as they exist,
or accept the responsibility for changing them.
~ Denis Waitley
Which group identifies you, in most situations? Is your agent number 47473, 26675246, or 2667522368? (being gripe, complain, or complacent). Being an agent takes work. Even being one of these agents takes a sense of work. The effort that is put in being these agents could be put into being agent number 243643 (change, if you haven't figured it out yet). Being this agent will allow things to get accomplished for the betterment of a cause. However, this type of agent doesn't mean that you step on other's to accomplish your purpose.

The world already has enough 47473, 26675246, or 2667522368 agents. It needs more agents that are willing to put their efforts into making the world you live around a better place - be it your community, church, workplace, home, school, etc.

Always at the Academy...Share/Bookmark

Hope Central  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , ,

Hope is an anticipation of an expected desire. We hope for lots of things: weather, grades, etc. However, it is difficult to have much hope in things, such as, weather because we are not in control. The pattern may be leaning toward a certain pattern, but that could change in a matter of hours. Sometimes, our hope in salvation tends to be more like that of the weather. We may be confident in the technology that helps aid in the forecast given by the weather person, but there is still that small bit of doubt that things may not turn out like he says. Have you ever treated God that way? The Bible gives "forecasts" throughout but we're still a bit skeptical or have a small bit of doubt that says, "What isn't like that?"

Peter tells us (I Peter 1:13) that we are to set our hope fully (perfectly) on the grace given to us through Jesus Christ. No room for any doubt. Get on board at Hope Central and enjoy the ride; fee supplied by grace. Here are some applications to choose from to use this week...

  1. We are blessed and cursed with a memory. The blessing - all the good things. The curse - all the bad things. You enjoy remembering the good things that you've experienced. But you don't enjoy the bad things. The problem is, they're both memories. Though you will most likely never forget the things you've done in the past that are "wrong", if you are struggling with the concept that God has forgiven them (but you haven't forgiven yourself) ask God to help you. Ask Him to help you appreciate how God wipes that away from the record book, appreciate the present, and look forward to being used by God in the future!
  2. Feel like just one of the more than 6 billion on this earth? Feel like if someone opened a paper and saw your picture in the obituary section there wouldn't be much of a response? To God, you're not just a number. He cares for each person He created. May this reminder help you lift your head up and smile. May it put an extra skip in your step. Go out and enjoy your life in Christ!
  3. What did you hope to be when you were asked as a child? Fireman, ballerina, teacher, doctor, mommy, daddy, etc. We all have hopes. What are your hopes to "become" when you "grow up in Christ"? What are you expecting yourself to be like? How are you making the effort to get there? If you're "there" was it what you thought or do you need to go back to "school" to become more of what you'd hoped? Are the fruit of the Spirit growing on your branches or have you withered already? We can be "older" but not "grown up". May God bless you with continued opportunities to grow in Him.
The Hope Central may be big and crowded, but your train is still waiting on you. You don't need to worry about a departure time, just being one in the crowd, or not being able to pay. At Hope Central, Jesus has already paid the price and your ticket is stamped with "GRACE" on it. An easy way to remember that is "God's Riches At Christ's Expense" (Something I picked up from another source year's ago).

Enjoying the ride...Share/Bookmark