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I think most of us, at some points in our lives, have been overcome with fear.
Tons of the most famous people in the world struggle with fear.
Gallup Poll answering the question, what scares Americans most? In order the answers are:
2. Public Speaking
4. Being closed in a small space
6. Needles and getting shots
8. Flying on an airplane
10. Thunder and lightning
11. Going to the doctor
12. The dark
Judges 6 Living Bible (TLB) (Roughly 1191 BC)
6 Then the people of Israel began once again to worship other gods, and once again the Lord let their enemies harass them. This time it was by the people of Midian, for seven years. 2 The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelis took to the mountains, living in caves and dens.
3-4 When they planted their seed, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and other neighboring nations came and destroyed their crops and plundered the countryside as far away as Gaza, leaving nothing to eat and taking away all their sheep, oxen, and donkeys. 5 These enemy hordes arrived on droves of camels too numerous to count and stayed until the land was completely stripped and devastated. 6-7 So Israel was reduced to abject poverty because of the Midianites. Then at last the people of Israel began to cry out to the Lord for help.
8 However, the Lord’s reply through the prophet he sent to them was this: “The Lord God of Israel brought you out of slavery in Egypt, 9 and rescued you from the Egyptians and from all who were cruel to you, and drove out your enemies before you, and gave you their land. 10 He told you he is the Lord your God, and you must not worship the gods of the Amorites who live around you on every side. But you have not listened to him.”
in Self Help
This show will challenge you. Throughout history and up to the present day thousands upon thousands of people have made it through some really hard times. This is a sermon I shared recently that illustrates that life hands us all some very difficult times but there are some who push through them to bigger and better lives.
Victor Frankl in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, found meaning in his suffering while in a Nazi concentration camp. Here are some ways you can find a meaning in your situation to move past it:
What has it taught you?
Has it made you stronger/kinder/wiser?
Even simply enduring a bad moment has meaning in making your happy moments better.
“A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it.” ? Ray A. Davis
Joseph was seventeen years old. He was a shepherd.
He did not participate in his brothers’ misconducts. In fact, he brought the reports of their mischief to his father, Jacob.
He was the favorite son of Jacob. Jacob loved him more than all his brothers. Jacob made a coat of many colors for him.
His brothers hated him for this reason and could not even talk with him well.
Joseph was rather naive to tell his dreams to his brothers about his future supremacy and his brothers’ submission to him. That intensified their hatred towards him.
So, when the opportunity came at Dothan, they planned to kill him. But Rueben tried to rescue him by persuading them not to kill him. His brothers sold him to the caravan of Ishmaelite going to Egypt.
His life was changed in a moment, from being the beloved son to the slave in an unknown land, Egypt.
Joseph was sold to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard.
Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of attempted rape.
in Self Help
P X 4 = P
I’ve never been a “math whiz” but from time to time I make up an equation that impacts most of our lives.
Here’s the solution to the equation then I will jump into its parts:
P X 4 stands for Problems, Pruning, People and Pressure.
What’s the final P? PERFORMANCE
In order to reach a high level of performance there is a long road that you have to travel.
Each of these “Ps” (Problems, Pruning, People and Pressure) has a way of PUSHING you to PERFORMANCE!
Isaac Settles in Gerar – Genesis 26
26 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. 2 The Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; [a]stay in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your [b]descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham.
PROBLEMS have a way of creating steel in your spine or jello in your soul.
2nd P = Pruning. To grow we must be willing to be cleaned up from time to time so we will grow.
Toward the end of my talk I share the "OPs" that you and I can leverage.
There are many people who fail to leverage their problems, pruning, people and pressure thus turning them into excuses or stumbling blocks in their lives.
Most of the time EXCELLENT performance is a result of Problems, Pruning, People and Pressure. I would say 90% of the time.
You can either WASTE those situations or USE those situations.
in Self Help
Craig shares a sermon about the impact of our relationships. There is something special about having REAL relationships versus online relationships. He teaches from a Christian perspective.
in Self Help
This show will help you look at gratefulness in a different way. David Steind-Rast is a monk who has his thumb on being happy in life.
Brother David Steindl-Rast has been a practicing Benedictine monk for over half a century and was one of the first Vatican-sanctioned delegates to participate in Buddhist-Christian dialogue. He is a recipient of the Martin Buber Award for his outstanding role in building bridges between religious traditions, and serves as a senior member of the Mount Savior Monastery in Elmira, New York.
Born in Austria in 1926, Br. David came of age during the Nazi occupation. Years later, he would write of the brutality of this experience as compelling him to contemplate, "the existential situation designed to hide, to disguise, and to camouflage our confrontation with death."
“The root of joy is gratefulness...It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
“Look closely and you will find that people are happy because they are grateful. The opposite of gratefulness is just taking everything for granted."
“Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy -- because we will always want to have something else or something more.”
in Self Help
Many of you know I Pastor Faith Outreach Chapel in Baltimore MD. I've been pastoring there (as well as doing many other things) since 1994. On Sunday November 2, 2014 I shares a sermon called "Which Fork?"
“Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked.
'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat.
'I don't know,' Alice answered.
'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.” ? Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I share a story about Jerry show who was shot in a robbery.
Every human being has to make choices….to choose a path.
I will tell you a story of Monty Roberts and much more...
At the very end I share a story...you might want to get the Kleenex.
JohnCarver@wildblue.net - Email
in Self Help
From Andy Stanley:
During his earthly ministry, Jesus announced a new covenant, unhitched from the Old Testament. He initiated that new covenant when he died and rose from the dead. Suddenly, commandments that had sounded extreme when he gave them to his followers weren’t extreme at all. Thou shalt not fear. We all want to keep that commandment, but too often it feels impossible. There are legitimate reasons to fear some of the obstacles and setbacks in our lives. But if it were possible not to fear . . . that would change everything. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Do you tend to take risks or avoid them? How has that tendency influenced the direction of your life? 2. Have you ever known someone who missed out on opportunities because of fear? If so, what did you learn from observing that person? 3. Talk about a time when you were paralyzed by fear. What happened? 4. During the message, Andy said, “Because of Jesus, you don’t have to be afraid, even when there’s something to be afraid of.” Does that statement give you comfort? Why or why not? 5. Read Matthew 14:22–31. Talk about a time when you or someone you know pushed past fear and took a bold step to follow Jesus. How did that event affect your faith? 6. What do you fear right now? What is one practical thing you can do this week to remind yourself not to be afraid because Jesus is with you? What can this group do to support you? MOVING FORWARD What do you fear? Be specific, and then remind yourself to fear not—not because there’s nothing to fear but because Jesus is here. You don’t have to be afraid . . . even when there’s something to be afraid of. CHANGING YOUR MIND
in Self Help
"Defeat should never be a source of discouragement, but rather a fresh stimulus." -- Robert South
We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Their expectation is focused.
There is a, constant, battle to not FOCUS on what you SEE!
David was no joke! He wasn’t afraid of the lion and the bear as a young man and he SURE is ticked off now…these people took his wives.
David reached an end to his discouragement, got up and FOLLOWED GOD’S DIRECTIONS!
There’s a HUGE difference between staying down when you get knocked down and getting back up when you get knocked down.
"In America, failure is considered a disruption in progress," says Scott A. Sandage, a history professor at Carnegie Mellon University who teaches a course on success and failure. "Even as the understanding of economic challenges increases, there's an intensification of shame around failure."
Jesus Christ (0AD - 33 AD) Jesus stuck to the truth of his message, despite the consequences. On many ocassions, he had the opportunity to escape or change his message. But, he felt the right thing to do was to suffer outer humiliation and pain in order to leave a legacy of spiritual truth.
William Tyndale (1494 – 1536) - Translated Bible into English, which at the time was forbidden. For his controversial views he was later arrested and executed.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”? Winston Churchill
in Self Help
Several years ago I saw the movie "The Persuit of Happyness." It still impacts my life to this day. The movie was about a man named Christopher Gardner. This show shares words of wisdom from this amazing man. Some of his words have wisdom he has shared over the years include:
(1). “The Cavalry Ain’t Coming. You’ve Got To do This Yourself.”
(2). “Make Your Vision Larger Than Yourself”
(3). “It’s Your Responsibility To Pursuit What Matters”
(4). “We were homeless, we were not hopeless. There’s a world of difference.”
(5). “Do something that you love. Whatever you’re going to do is going to be tough enough. Find something that gets you so excited that the sun can’t come up early enough in the morning because you want to go do your thing.”
“The future was uncertain, absolutely, and there were many hurdles, twists, and turns to come, but as long as I kept moving forward, one foot in front of the other, the voices of fear and shame, the messages from those who wanted me to believe that I wasn't good enough, would be stilled.”
“Others may question your credentials, your papers, your degrees. Others may look for all kinds of ways to diminish your worth. But what is inside you no one can take from you or tarnish. This is your worth, who you really are, your degree that can go with you wherever you go, that you bring with you the moment you come into a room, that can't be manipulated or shaken. Without that sense of self, no amount of paper, no pedigree, and no credentials can make you legit. No matter what, you have to feel legit inside first.”
in Self Help
General Colin Powell is a man who has climbed from the bottom. In his speech he said:
“Find that which you love doing and that which you do well. When you put those two together, you have put into place the roadmap for a successful and satisfying life.”
“We complain a lot today about politics and politicians and often for good reason. But we can’t sit around waiting for superman or superwoman to come in 2014 or 2016. We the people are the supermen and the superwomen. We are the deciders.”
“As you go through life, listen to the other side. Have your eyes and your ears and your heart open to counterviews so we can get back what makes this country great in the political sense – the ability to compromise with each other and not just freeze ourselves on a spectrum of political desire from the right or from the left.”
“Make sure you share the talent and the time and the treasure you have with others who are in greater need than you.”
“If you want to save the world, start by saving just one kid. That’s what it’s all about.”
“As you move on into life, do what you can to reach down, back and across to help a young person stay in school, to help a young person believe, to help a young person to a brighter future.”
“Don’t stand on the sidelines complaining and moaning; speak out and vote. If you’re going to be a responsible citizen in this country, get qualified and make sure that you get registered and vote every single chance you get.”
in Self Help
There are three problems that keep us from loving fully as God intended:
1. We’re all imperfect. There are no perfect relationships because there are no perfect people.
2. Sin disconnects us. Adam and Eve had the first broken relationship and disconnected themselves from God and from each other. We’ve been excusing ourselves and accusing the people we love ever since.
3. The more disconnected we are, the more fearful we become. We crave intimacy, but we fear vulnerability. We crave acceptance, but we fear rejection.
You are a product of your relationships. Study after study shows that our identity is largely determined by what we think the most important people in our lives think of us. That’s why you should make sure that Jesus is the most important person in your life, because he will love you unconditionally.
We all have different connections: some healthy, some broken, some non-existent. It’s important to have healthy connections because it plays such a large role in determining your identity. People who have healthy relationships don’t have to ask, “Does my life matter?”
in Self Help
We all have mistakes in our pasts—financial, professional, academic, relational. Unfortunately, we tend to learn from our mistakes in the areas that matter least and repeat our mistakes in the areas that matter most. Sometimes that’s because we avoid owing our part of a mistake. It’s easier to blame others.
But once you’ve taken ownership of your part of a mistake, what do you do with the part owned by others? How do you get past the stuff other people have done to turn your life upside down?
To get Andy's entire series on the subject go to:
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