The Voices In My Head

Posted in Counsel, Distractions, Dreams, Encouragement, Holy Spirit, Mind by PCraig on November 9, 2017

It happens to me every week. I want to quit. I’ve wanted to quit my run halfway into it. Just last week I completed my first half marathon, but after several miles, I asked myself, “Why can’t we just walk?” Toward the end, the voice got louder with each step.

But if it’s not running, I’ve had other things: my marriage, my job, my writing, my blog, or even God. This is just the nature of life. The temptation to quit is a recurring theme.

And if the voices in our heads were not enough trouble, the voices in our culture also urge us to “throw in the towel,” “make a change,” or “take it easy on yourself.”

What these same voices fail to tell you is there is a price to pay for quitting, just like there is for success. Somehow, the enemy voice doesn’t mention what the cost will be for giving up: poor self-image, weakness, depression, missed opportunities, and far worse.

In my experience, the thing that keeps me going is answering this question, “Why am I doing this?” I then try to remember the dream. “Why I am doing this hard thing that I am doing.” I try to get connected to the original vision, because that keeps me going when the going gets tough.

This is what the apostle Paul did when faced with imprisonment for preaching the good news of Jesus. He would remind himself of who he was in Christ, the great work that he was doing, and the reward that awaited at the end. We can do the same!

Plus, God is faithful to provide encouragement if we are looking for it. Sometimes it comes through a song, a Scripture reading, a friend, a blog, or the whisper of the Spirit’s voice inside our heads. Tune into the right voice today and you can keep on keepin on to the finish line.

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When Chased By A Killer

Posted in Attitude, Character, Choice, Dreams, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 18, 2017

I love the story of David and his rise from shepherd boy to king of the nation of Israel. In today’s reading of the One Year Bible, I was reading about David’s escape from King Saul (1 Sa. 22&23), who wanted to kill him. It made me think, just because you’re anointed and chosen by God (he would be King Saul’s successor), doesn’t mean you won’t have challenges.

Too many people think that life’s supposed to be easy and if you’re doing the right thing, then it should be smooth sailing. Not sure where that idea originated, but nothing could be further from the truth. Gallup did a study and asked people to identify the worst and best event of their life. They found that there was an 80% correlation between the two events.

Many people find that some of the worst events of their lives have led to some of the best days. Why? Because they knew they couldn’t control what came to them, but they could control what came out of them. Over and over again, David displayed honor, respect and love for the person trying to hurt him. He couldn’t change Saul’s actions, but he could choose his. People may want to kill your dream, but it doesn’t mean you let them.

You may not like how things are going at work, your marriage, or other areas, but what’s happening to you is not as important as what’s happening in you. We can live as a victim or a victor and much of it is by choice. Trust that your best days are yet ahead, walk in faith, expecting good things, and just like David; it will lead to better days ahead.

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Dreamweaver Video

Posted in Dreams, Weekend Reflections by PCraig on April 27, 2017

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Dreamweaver

Posted in Dreams, Encouragement, Events, Perspective, Victorious Living by PCraig on April 20, 2017

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God Is With Us

Posted in Dreams, Encouragement, Perspective, Victorious Living by PCraig on January 19, 2017

Some of us think that if God is with us, then life will go smooth, when the Bible actually paints a different picture. For instance, over and over in Genesis 39 we find this phrase concerning Joseph, “the Lord was with him.” Yet, in that same chapter Joseph is falsely accused and thrown into prison. I guess the good news is that the Lord was still with him in jail.

Remember this today as you may be going through a struggle, just because your going through something doesn’t mean God’s not with you. Also, just because God is with you, doesn’t mean you won’t go through some stuff.

The main thing to focus on is God’s promise for your life. Joseph hung onto the dream that God had given him that would one day be fulfilled. Don’t let your current detour or distract you from the dream God has yet to deliver.

Joseph’s life is a witness to a God who will bring you through! Never lose hope or give up, for God is with you.

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Nehemiah Impact

I’ve had incredible feedback from the Nehemiah series that just concluded this past weekend.  God is stirring up a wave of commitment to get involved in making a difference in the world.

Since the series has had such an impact, I thought I would take some time to recap the principles from each week.

Week 1 we learned to express passion, seek God, and take action toward our cause by:

  • Ask what breaks your heart?  (human trafficking, poverty, other…)
  • Pray and ask God to speak, grant favor, and empower you
  • Activate your sense of personal responsibility rather than excuses

Week 2 we saw that we are a leader whether we think are or not.  God specializes in using ordinary people who:

  • Have clarity.  If you can’t define it you can’t do it.
  • Make a plan.  Define your next step and then take it (repeat this process).
  • Communicate passionately.  Get lit up about your cause and others will too.

Week 3 we learned that whenever you move forward for God, your enemy wants to stop you.  To defeat discouragement you must:

  • Overcome attacks from the outside by taking criticism to God and get back to work.
  • Overcome attacks from the inside by remembering the Lord is with you, and keep fighting for your cause.

Week 4 we discovered that our enemy distract us and discredit us.  To avoid this we must:

  • Not allow the good to keep us from the great work God has for us to accomplish.  We must declare: “I’m doing a great work and I’m not coming down!”
  • Not allow any compromise that would blow our testimony.  We must declare: “I’m not giving up…on my good name, my integrity, or my cause!”

Nehemiah stood the test and completed the project as an ordinary cupbearer.  Without any grand miracles, he just put these principles into practice and with God working with him a great work was done.  The same can happen for you.  What great work does God have in mind for you?  What distractions, discouragements and excuses have kept from making progress?

God specializes in using ordinary people, so why not you and me?  Let’s get busy on the wall today and do something great for God, what do you say?

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Make A Difference

Posted in Dreams, Hearing God, Impact, Involvement, Prayer, Purpose, Used of God, Vision by PCraig on February 7, 2013

Over the past two weeks we’ve been looking at the story of Nehemiah to learn how to make a difference.  The reason is, there’s something inside of each of us that wants to make a difference.

One of the first things we learned is you start with a burden.  What breaks your heart that also breaks the heart of God?  For some it might be human trafficking, or child poverty, and for others illiteracy.  There are countless other causes of course.  But, to change the world it has to be YOUR burden, YOUR cause, YOUR sense of calling.

Next, you pray about it and seek the face of God asking what He would have you to do.  You look around for Him to point out others in your life that can help you in your dream after they see your passion.

Then, you must get clarity on what it is that you will do to make a difference.  What exactly is it you feel you must do?  If you can’t define it, you can’t do it.  Take it from something broad “I want to help poor people” to “I want to help these poor people that live here.”

Get your plan put together.  This is where the homework comes in.  You have to talk to people, read, listen to lectures, and go tour locations to come up with a strategy.  You don’t have to have the whole thing figured out, but what is your next step?  Don’t let yourself freeze up.  Get up and take the next step no matter how small it is today, then tomorrow take the next step, then the next, then the next and keep going.

John Wesley said, “Light yourself on fire and people will come from miles around to watch you burn.”  What can you get lit up about?  What passion do you have that stirs your soul?  Does it involve kids, youth, seniors, disabled, poor, ethnic, near or far away?  My challenge to you is find out what it is and get so on fire about it that it spreads and makes a difference.

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Dr. King & Nehemiah

Posted in Change, Dreams, Hope, Impact, Leadership, Purpose, Vision by PCraig on January 22, 2013

Just yesterday our nation remembered the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  His leadership helped pull the nation together in a non-violent way to confront racism.  He truly had an incredible impact upon our country in a time of unsettledness.  The power of his words stirred the hearts of many and brought hope of change.

In much the same way, Nehemiah of the Old Testament was used of God to bring hope and vision to those who had lost it.  His inspiring words and personal courage led people to do more than they had done before.

This weekend, we launch a new four-week series called NEHEMIAH: Making A Difference.  What we will learn is that Nehemiah wasn’t anything special, extraordinary or overly gifted.  But, he was simply willing to be used and gave everything he had to make a difference.  This series will inspire, challenge and encourage you to be more than are right now.  Discover the passion, drive, and power to make a difference in this world.

Also, to have greater impact, join a small group experience during this series.  You can sign up for Life Groups from our website: www.crossroadsavon.com

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Living Your Life Mission

Posted in Dreams, Purpose by PCraig on April 12, 2012

Just last night I met with several guys of our church for leadership training.  Our topic was discovering your life mission.  If there is anything that excites me it is this subject.  I am extremely passionate about everyone having a life purpose, discovering what it is, then living it out in God’s strength.

Too many people in our world settle for a mere existence rather than discovering their life purpose.  How sad to go through life simply going through the motions when you could have lived God’s dream for your life.

God told the prophet Jeremiah that He had a purpose for his life already established while he was in his mother’s womb.  I believe God had a purpose for your life as well before anyone ever got to see your slick body come out into the world.

Here’s my question:  are you living your purpose or just going through the motions?  Have you allowed this world to squeeze your into its mold and lost your drive, ambition and dream?  What did God have in mind for you before you were ever born?  Are you being the you He intended?

If not, here are some ways to get on track:

  • Pray, and ask God to reveal His original plan & design for your life
  • Examine your life and see if it’s headed in that direction
  • Look for God’s guidance through open doors & opportunities
  • What strengths or gifts are you currently not using for His glory?
  • Ask wise people around you to speak into your life concerning what they see in you
  • Form a plan of steps that can lead you to your life mission

How are you doing with living your purpose?  Have you made any recent steps to get on track with your life mission?

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The Tortoise Principle

Posted in Attitude, Dreams, Personal Growth, Victorious Living by PCraig on January 5, 2012

The power of consistency is easily overlooked.  Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?  It looked like that silly rabbit was going to win the race because of how fast he started, but the race went to the one who just kept going.  The tortoise wasn’t as exciting to watch, but he still won.

How many people do you know that started well but ended bad?  Or, what great thoughts have you had that go something like this, “I’m going to start my own business one day”?  Only you’re no closer to starting that business now than you were the day you said it 5 years ago.

What if instead of wishing for this incredible future, you just did something a little extra each day?  Think about how your goal might be accomplished one day at a time.  Rather than sitting back and dreaming of what might happen one day, why not take a small step toward your dream today?

There are no overnight success stories.  If you know someone that’s successful, it’s because there was a lot of prep time going on that you might not have seen.  Failure can come instantly, but not success.  If you want to get a better knowledge of the Bible, then read at least some of it today.  If you want to get to know others and build quality Christian friendships, then join a Life group today.

Moses spent 40 years in the desert before becoming the hero to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage.  David was a shepherd for many years after being identified as Israel’s next king before it happened.  Even Jesus spent up to age 30 as a carpenter before bursting on the scene as the Messiah.

My point is, don’t miss the value of the steady, daily, incremental improvements that later show up as success.  How do you want to change this year?  What life goal or dream remains unfulfilled?  Why not at least take a small step in that direction today?  Remember the tortoise, inch by inch it’s a cinch.

A small step today can lead to big things tomorrow.

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