The power of the mind is extremely powerful when it comes to the body being able to accomplish something. I don't know how many times in my life I have had to change my mental outlook in order to have the physical portion of my body accomplish what it needed to do. Examples of areas in which I had to "push through" were exercise, tasks on my job, or homework. Once the mind was changed then I was able to press on to the goal.

I can remember several nights in preaching school where I would stay up late preparing for an exam. I would use multiple ways of studying to help me remember the subject matter. There have also been nights that I have worked through being tired to accomplish tasks for work. Those tasks were not even "last minute" but simply because I get a lot of ideas at night.

There are also times where I see the end coming up when I have been exercising and will push through to get to the end - to cross the line or hear the timer beep. It was challenging but the end is exhilerating!

When I would cause my mental capacity to be stronger than my physical I knew I could do it! That brings us to this week's quote...

I have always believed that anybody with a little guts and the desire to apply himself can make it, can make anything he wants to make of himself. ~ Willie Shoemaker, Horse Jockey and Trainer
Some days there are going to be times when the physical side is more submissive to the mental side. In other words, it may be easy to push through your fatigue or lack of interest. Where as others are going to be the opposite. You are going to have to have your mental state climb high to become higher than your physical.

Of course, there are other areas that are not simply physical where you must climb high with the mental. Maybe it is an area like forgiveness, that you must work through some obstacles in order to allow yourself to release the weight you're holding on to daily. Another area may be spiritual. You are having lots of doubts in one or more areas of your spiritual belief or state. You are going to have to challenge yourself to work through and find what you need to achieve the belief that you're hoping for.

As you go through life, remember that the mental can be stronger than the other areas of your life. This will allow you to beat the odds when you are trying to accomplish things in life.

Now it's your turn...What areas in your life are you needing the "mental" to rise up so that you can make something of yourself?Share/Bookmark

Playing on God's Team  

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Are you on a team? Have you ever been on a team? From my experiences of being on a team, playing was much more fun than watching. Getting to be "in on the action" seemed to be more rewarding. Having the pressure on myself to do well for the team was what I wanted. Even to this day, I like to be involved in any team I'm on, versus watching others participate.

Unfortunately, when I played some sports in middle school, I sarcastically say that I was a "participant" rather than a "competitor." I was not anything near the "star" of the team, though I greatly enjoyed my time playing and being involved. As I became an adult, I grew more talented in various sports, though I found my niche in other areas, still greatly involved with the team.

With that desire to be involved in any team I'm on, one of the greater teams I enjoy being involved with is God's team. His always wins and anyone who plays on a team, enjoys winning!

With that, I take great joy in participating in God's team and His game plan to save man! It makes me look forward to each encounter I have with people. "How am I going to take this person one step closer to Jesus?" That is a thought I have most of the time. Sometimes, my human weakness gets in the way and I don't always see what I probably need to see in an encounter. However, it does make me look back and ask, "What part did I play with them?"

We have such a great opportunity to go in and be a "hero" to people by giving them the best thing they could ever want...Jesus! I don't care if they already know Jesus, give 'em more! No one ever had too much Jesus!!!

When I read this verse, I like to read it over and over...panning for a little more gold each time...and each time, I always found gold!

"There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men" (I Corinthians 12:6 NIV).
I love asking God to "surprise me" on a regular basis. And, I am amazed what it does for me. I am surprised almost every day! I never know what is going to be around the corner waiting for me to participate in.

I hope  you will take time to think about what part you play on God's team and put your self in the game and go look for the many opportunities that will come your way!

The best part about all of the times I ask God to surprise me...I have the opportunity to play on His team! I am never the star...that will always be Him, but I played a part!!! And it is awesome!

What will the weekend hold? What did your week/weekend entail???Share/Bookmark

Fullness of Jesus - Priest - Hebrews 2:14-18  

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Priests are probably not thought of today as much more than member of clergy tied to a particular denomination. However, in the Old Testament (aka Hebrew Bible) the priests seemed to have one of the busiest jobs. They were offering sacrifices, declaring people clean/unclean, and a host of other responsibilities. The High Priest had a responsibility on the Day of Atonement to enter into the Most Holy Place to make atonement for the whole nation, but first he had to make sure he was "clean" before he could enter.

Priests were very busy, the people were very busy bringing sacrifices to the priests. Jesus came and became both the sacrifice and the sacrificer (priest) for mankind! That is so powerful to me! He wasn't just the perfect person who offered sacrifices for people, he was ALSO the sacrifice! Not only that, He was the sacrifice that sufficed the need for all sins, before and after. His one time offering was all that was needed (Hebrews 9:28, 10:12). That allows us to have such an "easy" life, one which we don't have to offer "tangible" sacrifices for our sins. However, reminds us that we are still to offer ourselves as "living sacrifices" on a daily basis (Romans 12:1-2). As you think about Jesus as wearing the "hat" of priest, here are some applications to take with you...
  1. Say a praise prayer to God for creating such an awesome plan for Jesus to play the part of Priest and be the sacrifice at the same time...so that we could be continually forgiven! (I John 1:7)
  2. Jesus gave/gives us hope when He gave himself up for us "sinners" (Romans 5:8). May it lift your spirits and your walk as you reflect on what it means for Jesus to put aside any selfishness and allowed His perfection to take on the look of imperfection by "bearing our sins" on the cross (I Peter 2:24).
  3. Jesus loves you!
Different "hats" that we wear require different responsibilities and expectations. Examining some of the things that Jesus did makes me appreciate Him all the more. I hope it will do the same for you.

Appreciating Him...
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Opening the Window of Opportunity  

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Just recently I was cleaning off my son's bed for the evening so he could go to sleep for the night. As I was doing that, I couldn't help but to think of all the toys he has. In amidst all the toys that he owns, he plays with only a handful of them. Not only that, but it seems that whenever we are at the store he wants more.

Why is it that he seems to not be happy with what he has already? Why does he want more all the time to add to the lot that he already has?

Most of this is simply being human. Some of it we, as his parents, may have taught him, especially since he was the first child. Either way, it can be frustrating to see all that he has and for him to appear to have little appreciation for the things he has already. Part of the humor in having a lot is when you "go through" toys to thin them down, he will see something he hasn't played with for a long time and become excited all over again.

As adults there are times which we are not any different. We like to have more, but being thankful for what we already have is also very important. With that thought, here is this week's quote...

There is no better opportunity to receive more than to be thankful for what you already have. Thanksgiving opens the windows of opportunity for ideas to flow your way. ~ Jim Rohn
There is a lot of energy which comes from a person who is wanting to do more. There is a drive that fuels the person who looks for the next thing to be better than the last. Similarly, when a person is not content with how things are in any area of various life aspects, and tries to get to the next level.

However there is danger in that, as well. Slowing down and being thankful for what you do have may be beneficial, no matter who you are. Allowing yourself to simply reflect on life and enjoy what life has brought you will bring some peace to the soul and provide a world of opportunity for things to come. It will allow you to appreciate what you already have as you "go through" what you already possess or have accomplished and become excited once again.

Take some time to be thankful!

Now it's your turn...what are some thing you're thankful for?
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Fullness of Jesus - Prophet - Deuteronomy 18:15-22  

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To use the word prophet in today's society is not common. A person who is said to be a prophet is usually looked at as odd. Usually a prophet is thought of as one who foretells the future; not just one who boldly proclaims a truth. Those who have claimed to be foretelling prophets about the, in the recent past, about the "end of time" have ended up being incorrect, which tells us they were not a prophet at all.

Jesus was not only predicted by prophets, He was a prophet Himself. As we reflect back to yesterday's lesson, here are some things to take with you...
  1. Prediction to Suffer ~ As Jesus was predicted to suffer, and he did, may we see him as encouragement to what we must endure here on earth. Hebrews 12:2 encourages me to look past the pains of our "cross" to the joy that is on the other side.
  2. May we see the fulfillment of the over 300 Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, which come true in the New Testament, as something that helps solidify our faith in Him.
Jesus was Prophet, Priest, and King. There was much responsibility that came from wearing these hats. May we thank Him for taking on each of these as He continues to be our Savior!

Wowed by Him...
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