Have you ever felt like your dreams were on hold? Have you ever wondered why it is taking God so long? Often, we find ourselves questioning God on His motives and why He hasn’t moved on our behalf. I know that I was and am at a place where I wondered this exact thing. For nearly twenty years, I have had a heart to serve people through coffee. And then the unexpected would happen and keep kicking us off course. God often will speak to us through the trials that we go through. There are times that I know that He has put things on hold for our dreams. I wouldn’t say that it’s on hold, but that it’s not the right time.
Daniel was a man of integrity and of great faith. He had been praying and fasting for the nation of Israel and their release. Daniel knew that there was power in fasting and prayer, but it seems like an eternity to hear from God. As a matter of fact, it had been several weeks before God would respond to Daniel’s prayer in the form of an angel.
“And the man said to me, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling. Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia.”
Daniel 10:11-13 NLT
I often wonder if our dreams and visions have been hindered because of this very situation. Your prayers enter the very throne room of God and He responds to them (see Ps 18). Not only does He respond, He comes with great authority. There is the threat from the enemy that tries to get in the way of the dream and vision that God has given to you. This causes those dreams to be on hold for a period of time. In 2 Corinthians 10:4, Paul wrote that the “weapons of our warfare are not flesh and blood but for the tearing down of the stronghold.”
As you and I pray and wield the sword, the word of God, we begin tearing down the stronghold of Satan. The answer to the prayers of the saints are answered and we see the miracles of God come forth. My prayer is that though your dream and vision may be on hold, that you wield the sword of the spirit and begin to tear down the power of Satan.
What are you waiting for to happen in your life?
I have to admit, I thought doing a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) would work out for me and for my family. I thought that if I got out there and tried to convince people to get on board, I would become financially secure. I really could make a difference selling a product that helped “change lives.” I know you have gotten “that” email or DM from a friend of yours. You know… “What would you do if you could make an extra $500 a month? Let me show YOU how!”
Now, let me preface this with two statements;
I learned a lot in the year that we did It Works. Personally, the name itself is what turned me off initially. Seriously?? But I understood the marketing aspect of it. You don’t forget a name like that! I digress. I will say that we never went for broke. We were thoughtful in our intentions and followed a lot of the ways that the “experts” in the company did.
I remember often being told that you can make these things work even if you do not have a salesman personality. I am sorry to report that this is not true. You are in the market to sell the product, the distributorship, and yourself to anyone that you talk about your MLM.
You may ask, are you still in MLM. Yes. We no longer do the conventions or stay on long phone calls listening to the directors hyping us up. We just listen to the people we know and suggest a product that we have we truly believe that they need it.
Are you a recovering MLM distributor? Are you a current one? What have you/are you learned/learning about the process?
I am amazed at the awesomeness of God. I seriously stand amazed at what God is doing and will do for His kids. In Psalm 91, it says that “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Right now, I believe that we are experiencing the peace of God by the rest of God. We are to be resting in Him in the shadow of the Almighty. Following the “rest” of God is “This I declare of the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him.” We are refugees of this world in the arms of Christ as we fight on. It is so easy for you and I to preach to one another. The hard part is living it.
Several years ago we discovered a major leak in our kitchen. We had been soaking towels from time to time and could not figure it out. I moved everything in our mudroom out thinking it was coming from the wall where our bathroom is. Dry as a bone. I looked by our water softener, which we haven’t used since we moved in, dry as the desert. I looked at Sara and said “it’s the fridge.” I was avoiding that because you and I know that it’s not cheap buying a refrigerator.
The easy thing to do is to rant and rave at the fact that, yet again, we are forking money out that we don’t need to be spending in our one income family. I have to side step here and will readdress this at a later time but for a one income family with three kids, God has been taking great care of us. The hard thing to do is to stand back and go, “God we need a great deal.” Where’s your faith?! Speak to that fridge and tell it to dry up in Jesus name!
Let’s be real. Perhaps God wants to bless my family with a greater fridge. Maybe someone will give us a new one. Maybe we will find the deal of the century. What if we didn’t? I look at the three Hebrew boys in Daniel who were commanded to bow to the statue of the king and refused. It was said that even if God didn’t save them, they still would not bow down.
Instead of loosing our peace or loosing our hair, we are, in the shadow of the Almighty, to come to Him and pray. I have been reading a book called “Just Like Jesus” by Max Lucado which as revolutionized my way of thinking. Yesterday’s was on “being led by the unseeing hand.” What would have happened if I had been lead by my own hand? The next verse of Psalms 91 would not happen. “For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague.”
But Will, your fridge is leaking. How is that rescuing you? This question may arise in your mind. There are always tests that we live in. The enemy loves to have a cackle to try you on what God’s word says. The enemy knows the word and if he can get you off track, he can get you out of the shadow of the Almighty, he will do it.
Be led by the “unseen hand” by being in communication with Him. I am finding myself more each day being challenged in this area. If I had a rough week, what would have happened if I had not communicated with the Lord my need? He would not have had the opportunity to fight that battle for me and I would have been off track for what He had planned for me. With the fridge leaking, my peace is not if my appliances are working, my faith is not in the finances to replace the item, my thoughts are not on who is going to help install it, my focus is not on the principal of the matter. My peace is in Him who gave me the focus to focus on Him who will provide a way even where there seems to be no way. What are you doing this week to be in the shadow of the Almighty? How are you communicating with Him? Are you communicating with Him? Open the lines of communication with your heavenly Father for He desires to talk to you about everything.
I have noticed over time that there is a great need for education with Social Media. Have you ever seen a “I bet this won’t get a like” or “have you seen me?” that is outdated? There are hundreds of opportunities for people with malicious intent to serve your with malware, viruses, and permanent damage to your computer. There is no need to be fearful, but there is a need to be observant. Here are a few things that I have learned over many years of dealing with Social Media scams.
There are a whole lot more that I could post. It important to use caution when browsing Social Media, but there is no reason to fear because you are equipped to handle it. Simply put, don’t share something that you don’t know where it came from and don’t click on things that aren’t familiar to you.
Do you have a story of a time when you fell victim or caught someone who was trying to finagle their way into your social media? Share it below!
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Declaration of Independence 4 July 1776
There were 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. These men knew the weight of what they were doing. They knew the gravity that was to be held by their decision to break ties with England and become the nation that we live in today. I often wondered what went through the mind of these 56 men when they signed their death warrant to the King. I believe that they felt in their heart that this was the right thing to do and that someone had to have the nerve to do it.
These men would give up their freedom so that this nation would embrace freedom. The Declaration of Independence was one of the most controversial documents in the history of the country. This document would expose the true feelings of the colonist of America towards the King and his policies. To go against the King of England was to go to your death. Wow. These men decided that their lives were worth losing over this nation’s freedom.
Those men would go down in history as the greatest traitors. They would turn the nation of misfits into a nation of greatness! As you go about your day enjoying the liberties afforded to you, remember those men.
What are your plans for the Fourth of July?
“But the Lord said to Samuel”; “Do not look at his outward appearances or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.”
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave nor forsake you.”Deuteronomy 21:6
Have you recently found yourself unemployed? Whatever the reason for your departure, you have entered in the new world of endless hours and countless opportunities. It is easy to get home from the initial meeting and throw in the towel in life. Perhaps just giving up is an option. The only problem with that is…you’re a rock star and rock stars don’t quit. So what do you do now that you are an Unemployed Rock Star? I have five keys that I am finding that works in my life as I go through this journey.
1. Read. I found myself at a place where I didn’t want to read. Why? I have the gift of cynicism. You know – why try if it is going to fail anyway, right? Reading helps jog the mind into activity and also grows the knowledge of the person who is reading. When you read while you are unemployed, you are more likely to get out of any funk that you are in.
2. Stay on Schedule. I was tempted at one point to just stay in bed and not get up until noon. I didn’t want to be on a schedule because I had just spent the last twenty years doing just that. If that is the case, why did I stay on a schedule? It gave me purpose. That’s right, I am not just aimlessly floating around the universe. Keeping on a schedule will help you in your job hunt too and self-employment endeavors as well.
3.Stay Active. Who doesn’t like to sit around all day and binge watch the season of their favorite shows? This may be okay for a day or so, but like lobster to the rich…it will get old. Its important that you get up and get out. Make a plan to walk. Make a plan to run if you can. Make a plan to move off the couch and into the office to look for a job. Simple steps to staying active will help you become even more the rock star that you already are.
4. Keep Looking. There are millions of jobs out there that you don’t qualify for. There are thousands of companies that are not looking for you. Here’s the kicker – YOU HAVE CHOICES!That means, you can keep looking until you land that amazing opportunity that you have been looking for.
5. Don’t Give Up Hope. This might be the most important part of this piece. Why? When you have looked and looked over and over again for a job, it is easy to get depressed. It is easy to get discouraged. I have been there! You can’t give up hope. Too many people need you. I don’t mean your family and friends – they are important. I mean the world needs you. Why? Rock stars don’t get to where they are by themselves. They have a community that knows their potential.
Okay. Now you have 5 ways to set in a great habit. What are you going to do next?
After the fact, there was an addition that I felt was important for this piece. It might be the most important part of this post.
Learn. I know I mentioned reading earlier. I feel this is beyond simply reading. This is the part where you can now reinvent yourself. I sure dud. I changed professions and entered a new career. I learned lessons in IT which opened the door to a renewed passion in technology. What are you wanting to learn?
You grab my latest book Unpacked : Life Lessons of an Unemployed Rock Star for 1.99!!
First, I want to take a moment and apologize for the silence since last month. I am one who doesn’t like to put a piece on here without giving you 100% and I honestly haven’t had content pouring out of the wells of inspiration. I often wrote my posts on things that I personally went through and am currently going through, yet I haven’t been able to pour it into this avenue.
Partially it is because of technology. My laptop completely quit and that was my primary medium to write. And partially because I’ve not had the desire. Not that you guys aren’t important. You guys are amazing! However there are times that the joy just isn’t there. The words just do not fill the page.
There are times that we feel robbed in life. You didn’t get the promotion you thought you’d get. You didn’t have the money to get something you wanted. Your dream suddenly vanishes. Your child goes off the right path. Your spouse leaves. Do I need to keep going?
Today I got to thinking about what I could do. It is so much easier to give up. But that would be counter productive. Here are a few things that came to mind that I’ve done in the past that have helped.
1. Turn on some great music.
I don’t mean a Tear in my Beer or some song about getting even. I mean upbeat music.
2. Dance like no-one else is watching.
Don’t do this while driving. Seriously. Don’t. No One wants to see that. And it’s dangerous.
3. Get out if the house.
Being in the house can be great but when you’ve been robbed… it is like locking yourself in prison.
I have found that if I read, it takes my mind off of the robbery.
I’m not perfect. Just read the first part of this entry. I struggle. That just means I’m still alive!
Let me know what you think; comment and like this post. Share with a friend. No…really….
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Today, many of you who read this will go out and BBQ, celebrate the day off or watch some great sports on TV. There will be some who will party like its 1999. There will be a few that will wake up and find that today is just another, ordinary Monday morning. However, there are those that will wake up this morning on a cot in the desert of Mosul or in the war-torn countries in the Middle East. Some will wake up on a ship in the Gulf while many will wake up on a base in Germany. Then there are the bodies of those who fought many years ago for our freedom and yes, even the unknown soldier’s tomb will have a wreath laid upon it. There will be those that will somberly remember their family members to whom they said their final goodbye not so long ago.
Today, as you go out, don’t feel guilty about enjoying that freedom. Go out and thank God above that there are those to whom went before you in battle and sacrificed theirs for yours. I love the quote in the beginning of this piece. Why? It is so easy to forget the lessons that we have learned upon fighting for that very freedom – both good and bad. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and remember all of those to whom went before us.
“Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me.”
Casting Crowns Does Anybody Hear Her
Many of us, where we should feel the most comfortable, wear a façade in the church. Behind the masks lie hurt, pain, betrayal, history, sickness, and so much more. We are covered up to protect our true identity, our true selves, who we are in Christ. While you and I should feel completely raw and transparent, we find ourselves in fear of ridicule and rejection. Where we should be completely open and honest, we find ourselves entangled with exaggeration and denial. Where we should be received by our peers, we become ostracized and rejected. Where we should be accepted, we find ourselves shielded from approval.
I know that it is a bit raw. One of the things that you and I must come to terms with is that we are all wearing some sort of a façade or a mask. A façade is nothing more than a cover-up that hides us from the real person that God has called us to be. As a believer, I found myself under all the categories that I mentioned and so much more. I let one of my co-workers read the first part of this portion and they made a statement that is ever so true; we are often trying to come to Jesus completely clean when Jesus wants us to come to Him just as we are.
Jesus did not die so you or I could just have another set of rules and regulations to adhere to. Jesus did not go to the cross to suffer so that we could come together in a small gathering, pretend to like what is going on and the people that we are hanging around, act as if nothing is wrong with our lives, and to think that we are going to win the world to Christ. Friend, we are called to be authentic. Jesus did not hide His identity nor did He hide His true feelings. We often found Christ confronting the leaders of this religion
Whenever we are tempted to give up, we often miss this point – we are another moment closer to our miracle happening, we are another moment closer to our lives changing, we are another moment closer to the answer, we are another moment closer to the healing, etc. I know in my life it would have been easy to give up on so many things when it got hard. But if we all gave up on the hard things in life, we would have missed out on the great things that came out of it. Let’s take the ministry of Jesus. Jesus had more times than not been rejected for the message that he carried. He could have soften His message or changed the verbiage of it. However, He did not. He took His message out for those who would hear it. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus came to a pivotal point in His journey.
Jesus came to the Garden with His disciples who had joined Him.
“Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” Matthew 26:38
This is important to understand. So many people, well meaning, say that Jesus was willing to go to the cross without question. Jesus’ was to the point where he was going to die and He knew it. He was full of distress and grief in knowing that He would soon be going through the pain that He would have to endure. This encourages me. It shows me that Jesus felt what I would feel if I were faced with the same circumstance. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” What an amazing statement! Jesus could sympathize with what we would go through. His soul ached with sorrow and agony.
“And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will…He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.’… And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. “ Matthew 26:39, 42, 44
Jesus begged God to allow this cup to move from Him, but God would not. This would have been the point where Jesus had a decision to make. Being perfect, we see Him making the decision that He would go to the cross for us. Being a man, we have trouble reconciling the fact that He did not want to go to the cross. His decision was to move from the currently moment to another moment; the day that He would defeat the enemy and overcome the power of the grave.
On a lesser scale, I can remember a time when I wanted to give up. I had lost my job, could not find a new job, had vehicles breaking down, bills that needed to get paid, taking classes to get a new job but failing each test, and struggling to keep a new job because I had trials going on while I was starting over again. All of these things happened in an 18 month period of time for my wife and me. It could have been easier to give up and allow myself to just settle for what life was giving us. But I know that I was one moment away from victory. I was another moment closer to overcoming. I had to keep pressing into what God wanted for our lives.
When you want to give up just remember, you are one moment closer to your miracle! You are a moment closer to receiving all that you need! You are another moment closer to seeing that wayward child come home! You are one moment closer to seeing the healing of a loved one! You are one moment closer to seeing breakthrough! Don’t give up – keep pressing in!
I have found myself often early in the morning looking at a reflection. The person on the other side of the looking-glass could scare fleas off a dog. Perhaps if his hair had been more kept or even if his eyes were so bloodshot. He would be looking as if he didn’t know how he got into bed last night. I know, it doesn’t sound hyper-spiritual. Stick with me though. You never know where this could go.
Every morning I get up, I go to get ready for my day. I look in the mirror and make sure that I don’t have gobs of sleep stuck to my eyes. I also make sure that the hair I have in my head is mine and not strands from my cat, wife, or kids. I look in the mirror and I reflect on what I need to look like for the day. I make sure that I reflect the image of a successful person.
I have to admit I have been struggling though. I have not been the Godly daddy that I should be. There’s a mirror that I often fail to reflect on each morning. There’s a mirror that I often have to dust to get even see a reflection in the morning. I won’t promise or even have a new year’s resolution on it. There is always room for improvement but thank God I am doing better than I used to.
This mirror, the Word of God, is the litmus test of who I am to become. In James 1:21-25, James wrote on not just listening and reading the word but actually doing it. In verse 23-24 he writes “For you, if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.”
It’s so easy to look at the mirror in the morning to remove all the junk from your face and hair but the minute you walk out the door, you tend to forget what junk you had to remove. It’s not on the forefront of your mind for today’s agenda. I don’t want to be like that when it comes to God’s word. I want to always remember what I looked at in the mirror so that I can be improving not because I am under some kind of law but it is because I love the One who chose to love me regardless of what I see.
As I reflect on the man in the mirror, my prayer is that he will be a reflection of Christ. I pray that my children will see their father as a reflection of the Heavenly Father. I want to be the Godly daddy that I have been called to be. I don’t want to be weighed down by law, however, I want to be weighed down by His love.