Archives For hope

Fallen down? Broke your word? Walked in the flesh? Join the club. I feel like Peter this morning after denying Jesus three times. It is so easy to say, “Yes Lord I will stand for you,” and then it’s a whole other ball game when we are actually in the heat of the moment. I told God that I would not put my time with Him below writing, but I did. Slowly but surely they switched places. Frustration began to build until I reached out back to Him and got in my Bible first thing this morning. It is amazing how the word washes us! I feel new and hope has returned. I’m back on my feet and ready to fight for His kingdom and glory. I learned these 3 lessons from Rocky and Peter!

rockyrockcros

1. Retake the test. God is so cool. We don’t fail but just retake the test. In God’s school there is no “F” instead there is a “try again.” There are consequences to our actions, but we will keep taking tests until we pass them. It feels to me like God is saying, “Get back up son and try again.” Just like a child learning to walk, He picks us up and tells us “try again.”

“Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.”~ Micah 7:8

2. Chance for redemption. I love the Rocky movies. He fails, then trains and redemption comes in the end through the battle. Peter denied Jesus three times and Jesus after His resurrection says three times, “Do you love me?” Then He said, “Feed my sheep.” He asked the same amount of times that Peter rejected Him. I’m sure that this strengthened Peter in the end when he was martyred.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”~ Thomas A. Edison

 

3. We are still a rock. Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter when he was anything but a rock. He does the same for us. You are called out by what you have not attained. He calls you the rock before it is true. We need to accept what He calls us and walk in it as if it is true, not something we are trying to obtain. God calls us righteous so walk in His righteousness. This is not something to gain rather something that has been given by Jesus’ shed blood and resurrection. This is what makes us like a rock; our righteousness in Christ.

We all fail. We all feel some days as if God made a mistake calling us. We all feel anything but righteous. What God says about you is the truth. Hold on to that. Just like Rocky and Peter we need to get back up off the mat. Renew your strength in God and fight on!

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When did we start caring so much about what other people think? I love watching my kids and think, “I love that they’re unashamed.” They tell me what they want when they want it. They also have no problem telling me how they feel. When they holler that they have to poop or stick their finger up their nose to get a booger makes me laugh. Don’t get me wrong, we are teaching them manners, but it is the spirit in them that is awesome. The world has not laughed at them and has not told them to be ashamed. These 4 things help me to be authentic like my kids.

You are unique. Play the music of your life loudly and proudly be unashamed. (tweet it)

Photo: Having fun editing  :)

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1. Know who we are in Christ. Do we really know who we are? Sometimes I forget, do you? We are made righteous through the shed blood of Jesus. Yes, we still screw up. God sees us as perfect. Jesus stood in the gap and said give me that sin. It’s mine! Give it to me! We need to recognize and know that we are a new man or woman. The old is dead. Live like it.

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

2. Be you. I’m not like you and you are not like me. We need to be comfortable in our own skin. When I’m not free to be me I feel phony because I am being phony. When do we forget this simple thing? Don’t attempt to be different like some do. Just be you.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” ~Dr. Seuss

3. Hang around the right people. I say this a lot because it affects so many things. You will be who you hang around with. Hang around people who challenge you to be better, but love the core of who you are. It’s the spirit man who should remain the same and the fleshly man who should change. The more we die to the flesh, the more we will change and be a light to the world.

“It’s difficult to soar with the eagles when you’re scratching with the turkeys!” ~Unknown

4. Focus on your strengths. Manage your weaknesses and put everything in you into your strengths. Don’t be like Rudy, instead be like Michael Jordan. The difference is, one didn’t have the natural gifts to play the sport so played for 2 seconds in college and the other was a sports super star.

“My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.” ~Bill Gates

So walk with your head high. Don’t be embarrassed when you fall. Just say, “I bonked” like my kids say. They fall, get up and keep going. Focus on your strengths, on who God made you to be, and surround yourself with people who believe in your awesomeness! Be authentic!

What are some ways that help you to be authentic?

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The way circus elephants are trained demonstrates why we struggle with breakthrough. When young, they are attached by heavy chains to large stakes driven deep into the ground. They pull, yank, strain and struggle, but the chain is too strong. One day they give up, having learned that they cannot pull free. From that day forward they can be chained with a slender rope. When this large animal feels any resistance it stops trying because it believes it cannot break free. How often are we like this? We have failed, therefore we don’t get back up. We are defeated before we start. I heard someone put it this way. We don’t fully believe we can attain that which we are working towards so we give half effort and get half results resulting in a stronger belief that we cannot.                         Photo By:      http://kcnewmanphotography.zenfolio.com/1069189_120665741437120_47305734_n

Belief is so important because our minds are always deleting things. I have said this before but it bares mentioning again. Have you noticed when you buy a new car, all of a sudden you see your car everywhere? How did you not see this before? Because our minds are constantly deleting things. It is important to have an attitude of HOPE for this reason. The reason why most of us don’t accomplish our dreams is because we set our goals inside our mental barriers where it’s safe. What if you stretch out to new thoughts of possibilities? A sure-fire way to know you are headed in the right direction is if you are doing something beyond yourself. Something that needs divine help and other people to come alongside you.

Think of how many other barriers have turned out to be only mental obstacles:

  • “Landing and moving about on the moon offers so many serious problems for human beings that it may take science another 200 years to lick them.”~Science Digest, 1948
  • “Rail travel at high-speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”~Dr. Dionysus Lardner, 1793-1859
  • “Heavier than air, flying machines are impossible.”~ Lord Kelvin

Restore your mind. Stretch what is possible. Don’t be like the trained elephant. Open your mind to how big the possibilities God has for you may be. Our attitudes should be; if God can bless anyone and make anything happen, He can make it happen for me. I choose to believe that God has a destiny for me. I refuse to feel tension and shrink back. I will continue to hold tight to that which He is calling me. Will you hold tight to where He is calling you?

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God made you for a purpose. When I hear this most of the time I think, “When do I get to start living that purpose out.” I believe that this is a common mistake. We put the purpose of our lives at some distant point in the future barely out of our grasp. Our whole life can go by before our eyes without even knowing it while waiting for our purpose to be here. What if your purpose is now? When can you start enjoying your life? Life should be like running. Your eyes are up, you have a route, but you focus on one step at a time while you take in the surroundings. These 3 things help me to enjoy the day.

next step!

1. You are preparing for something. (Eyes up) To continue to use running as an example, when you are training for a marathon you have to put in a lot of hours of training. I don’t enjoy every training day but I have learned to enjoy it most of the time. It is preparing for the race that gets me most of the time, not the race itself. So find something in what you’re preparing that you enjoy. I like seeing the wildlife when I run, the feeling after running, and I think creatively when I run. Enjoy this time of preparation in your life!

2. You have a route. When I take off running, I have a route designated and a time that I am trying to be done by. This rarely happens exactly as I plan, but I leave with an idea of where I’m going. This does not mean that I am not enjoying the run, in fact it frees my mind up because I don’t have to think about where I’m going. I can just be in the moment. Areas in my life that I have decided to go on a certain path I have peace. It’s those areas of my life that I have put off decisions are where I struggle with joy. Decide a path and go. If it’s wrong you can redirect, but stop taking up today wondering.

3. This day is the only day like it. (Focus on the step) Enjoy the insignificant days. As my family, business, and church involvement grow, I always think I wish I would have enjoyed _____. You never know what is happening today that you are going to miss. Even the things that seem like a pain will be missed. It is a pain some nights getting my kids ready for bed when I’m exhausted, but I’m 100% sure I will miss it. So even when I am exhausted, I think “I’m not going to be able to do this much longer.”

So be like a runner with a focused gaze on the finish line yet living out each step. Don’t wait to start living. Be fully alive today by charting your course, preparing, and taking it one step at a time.

What things do you do to focus on this step?

 

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Who struggles with feeling like you are not good enough? I do. I love to work at several things and I have moments of confidence and moments where I feel like I suck at life. Speaking and writing are such vulnerable things because you are putting a little piece of yourself out there each time. Rejection of a piece I wrote often feels like rejection of me. We all long to be accepted, championed and for someone to tell us that we are special. The problem is that every person is going to be rejected and ridiculed. These 4 things keep me confident!

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”     ~Vincent van Gogh

1. I’m made for a purpose. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Every Veggie Tales show ends in, “God made you special and He loves you very much.” We tell our kids this, but have you taken ownership of this for you? You are an intricate part of His plan designed for a special purpose. Hold on to this even when you can’t tell what the heck He made you for.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”~ William Shakespeare

2. Delete the bad. Our minds are always deleting things. Have you noticed when you buy a new car all of a sudden you see your car everywhere? How did you not see this before? Because our minds are constantly deleting things. It is important to have an attitude of HOPE for this reason. Let’s continuously delete the bad. I had five comments this past week on how much my writing has impacted different people. How cool is that? I also had one person telling me my advice was terrible. I will choose to delete that one!

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” ~ Aristotle Onassis

Photo By: KCNewman Photography

 

3. Save the good. The Israelites were instructed to build monuments of remembrance at different points in their journey. We should do the same. This will help us remember when we were unsure and it worked out. I’m going to start writing down positive comments, answers to prayer, victories, and hopeless situations that became victories. There is good and bad that happens daily; choose to save the good.

4. Set a timeline. When you are starting something set a timeline. You are going to do the new task until a certain date then check if it is fruitful. If you don’t, a negative comment can derail you especially early on in the process. I have decided to write twice a week for a year and check if there is fruit of the effort by the end of the year. It really helps when I have a blog post that gets two views or a few hundred. Both have happened. The timeline has helped me to keep going when I had two views on a post.

“Our  greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always  to try just one more time.”            ~ Thomas A. Edison

This subject is so important because if we don’t have confidence we are going to hesitate and give a half-hearted approach. This will lead to a less than desirable result, reinforcing the unbelief in ourselves. Restore your hope and faith! Take a note from the Veggie Tales saying, “God made you special, and He loves you very much.” Now act like it!

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Restoring Hope

Zechariah Newman —  June 20, 2013 — 23 Comments

I remember it like it was yesterday.Tears rolling down my face while sitting in my car six and a half years ago. You see a song was on, “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller. My wife, Rachel and I had been trying for two years to have a baby. The lyrics that struck me were,” I will move ahead bold and confident, taking every step in obedience. While I’m waiting I will serve You. While I’m waiting I will worship. While I’m waiting I will not faint. I’ll be running the race even while I wait.” It felt like all hope was gone. I was angry and confused at why God was not giving me this thing that I desired so much. But, hope was not gone as we now have three kids. We are beyond blessed, but the truth is we were then too. I just couldn’t see it. So renew your faith and hope with these 3 things!

“Hope is the physician of each misery.”  ~Irish Proverb

1. Praise and worship. Hard to do, I know. It is much easier to praise God when He is giving me what I want. I listened to John Waller’s song about 1,000 times because it told me what to do. Man when my little Zoe was born Rachel and I cried like babies. God is so good! Even through the hurt and pain He is still good! Praise His goodness. Praise Him whether He answers your prayers or not.

Zechariah 9:12 “Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.”

2. Talk about what God is going to do. This is not what I was doing most of the time. When we have a problem we like to talk about it and think about it constantly. Then we wonder why our faith and hope are gone. Talk about what God is going to do. Today is the day of change. Today is the day for healing. Today is the day for breakthrough. If I’m going to wait on God, I might as well wait in Hope which is defined as “the confident desire: a feeling that something desirable is likely to happen.” Stand in Hope!

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

3. Help someone. This helped me. When I was helping others, the pain, selfishness, and grumble attitude left me. I was able to refocus on what good things I had and not the one my heart longed for. You see when we have a deep pain in our hearts it feels like all of life is terrible, but it is not. Helping others gets our focus where it should be; outward instead of inward.

When you are walking through the desert of despair, HOPE is water to your soul. (tweet that)

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If you are in pain, I am so sorry. The sun will rise again. It is so easy to say when you are not going through something at the moment, but it’s true. It is too easy to gloss over the Bible and see the stories of great men and women. The fact is they all had to wait! For example, Joseph waited 13 years in prison, Moses 40 years in the desert, Rachel and Hannah waited years for children, and Jesus 30 years to start His ministry. Renew your expectant Hope. As I write this my youngest, Hope, is starting to cry. So I say to you Hope is crying out. Will you pick her up? Rise up and restore your faith because God is good and He is faithful and He does care about your pain.

So let’s help restore each others’ faith and hope. What is a time that looked impossible, but God came through?

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