It’s Time To Rise and Shine and Enjoy New Beginnings

I Can Only Imagine How Bright Things Will Be With God’s Light On Them

This Sunday was about new beginnings… It’s the beginning of Pastor Lee’s fifth year as a valuable part of our church family. It’s the beginning of Epiphany, the commemoration of the coming of the Magi, the first manifestation of Christ to the gentiles. It’s the beginning of a new year full of so many possibilities and opportunities “I Can Only Imagine” what wonderful things 2019 has in store.

The key to it being a great year is the attitude in which we choose to approach it. We can concentration on the negative empty part of the glass or focus on the positive water portion. To make this point Pastor Lee told a story about three men each carrying two sacks, one in front hanging around their neck and the other on their back. The Legend of Three Men and Their Sacks,

The first man carried the good things his family and friends had done in the sack on his back and in the front sack he had all of the bad things that had happened to him. Because the bad things were always in front of him they got all of his attention. This kept him from making much progress in life.

The second man had the good things he’d done in the front sack. This allowed him to see them and share them with others. The sack on his back had all of his mistakes. The weight of these was heavy and slowed him down.

The third man was walking much easier and making better progress. When asked about his sacks he answered, “The sack in front is great. There I keep all the positive thoughts I have about people, all the blessings I’ve experienced, all the great things other people have done for me. The weight isn’t a problem. The sack is like sails of a ship. It keeps me going forward. “The sack on my back is empty. There’s nothing in it. I cut a big hole in its bottom. In there I put all the bad things that I can think about myself or hear about others. They go in one end and out the other, so I’m not carrying around any extra weight at all.” This appears to me to be the best way to live.

The only way we’ll ever accomplish the things God as put us here to achieve is by asking for His guidance and persisting through difficulties. When researching for last week’s blog post, “Living Life Well Is All About Perspective” I came across a person that is a great example of persistence and perseverance. His name is Nick Vujicic, He was born with no arms or legs and has accomplishing amazing things. He’s a great inspiration. If he and God together can do the things they are, then what’s my excuse.

In Isaiah 60:1-6 it says that this Baby that the Magi went in search of is the light in the darkness. He is the Guiding Star in our a dark world.

It’s the beginning of the rest of a super great life and I’m seeking this Light to guide my path.

Living Life Well Is All About Perspective

What Ever Your Situation – Attitude Makes All the Difference

Perspective is “a particular way of viewing things that depends on one’s experience and personality”. Our individual perspective effects every part of our lives. It’s up to us to decide how we are going to view things.

As a part of preparing for the new year, I reviewed the past one. In many aspects this past year was a dismal failure. Revenue was considerably less than our target. It was even less than the previous several years. We didn’t get anywhere near the blog traffic that we planned to. It would be easy to focus on those negative things and let them become my perspective.

At the same time there were several positive things that happened during the past year. While the financial numbers were down, we paid off more debt than any previous year. My goal was to write and post at least one solution each week and I did.

Years ago, I would have fixated on the negative and not seen the positive. This disappointment would have been the way I viewed things. This unproductive attitude would have been blocking my moving forward to bigger and better things. This was not any way to live life well.

At a point nine or ten years ago, I decided I was tired of living in this negative funk. There was no one specific thing that caused this shift, but rather a collection of small things. They consisted of reading, learning, journaling, praying and believing. Over those years I didn’t realize the difference that was happening but now looking back I can see and feel a major difference.

We have the power to choose what our attitude is going to be. With this power we can change our perspective. The 5th Decision in The Traveler’s Gift is, “Today I Will Choose to be Happy”. In this Joyful Decision, Anne Frank says, “Our very lives are fashioned by our choice. First we make choices. Then our choices make us.”

I’m not saying that it’s some easy flip a switch kind of magic. It’s hard work, but worth it. If you fall down, you get back up. When you fall down the next time you get back up again. We’ve all seen kids learning to walk. They don’t try it once, fall down, and never try again. They’re persistence is what makes it happen. They keep trying over and over, one small step at a time, until they succeed. They don’t give up.

With it being the New Year many of the blogs and podcasts that I follow have focused on planning and goal setting. One of those was Ray Edwards interviewing Cliff Ravenscraft about how to make our resolutions stick. In the interview they talk about how we may not have control over the circumstances, but we always have control over how we will choose to respond or what actions we will take. To make this point they use Nick Vujicic as an example of perseverance. He was born with no arms or legs and has achieved and accomplished more things than most people. If you feel that you had a rough year and things didn’t go like you had planned, you need to quit whining and watch these videos.

If we keep moving forward and continue getting back up after we’re knocked down anything is possible…just ask Nick.

I will persist without exception.