Posted in Faith, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 28, 2010

As many of you know, John 10:10 is my favorite verse in all the Bible.   Actually, it’s the last half of the verse that’s my favorite, because the first half describes what the devil is up to.

Isnt’ that how life works?  God is up to something, yet at the same time, the devil is up to something as well.  God is working in our lives and we see signs of His goodness, yet the devil can be raising all kinds of…well, hell in our lives at that moment.  It’s this dichotomy that causes tension inside of us. 

How is it for you?  Do you see signs of God’s hand working, but at the same time along comes the devil to try to take it all out from under you?  Here’s what I do:  focus on the last half of the verse, “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full!”

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Always Watching

Posted in Business principles, Integrity, One Year Bible by PCraig on May 26, 2010

Nearly every day holds the temptation to cut corners, act selfishly, and withhold some of the truth – don’t do it!  Here’s the thing:  it may not affect you today, but sooner or later it will catch up to you.

In today’s reading from the One Year Bible we find the story of David and his affair with Bathsheba.  It’s one of a continual sliding into more and more sin to cover up the original sin.  That’s usually how it works with most people.  “I told and lie and they acted like they believe it, but now I have to keep lying so they don’t find out.” 

It may look like you can get ahead in business by being a little deceiving to your customers, but sooner or later they will sniff it out and shop elsewhere.  You may think that your parents won’t ask your friend if you were really over at their house like you said, but when they do it’s over.  Or, you may believe that your spouse won’t notice all the time on a chat site with someone of the opposite sex, but sooner or later it will come out.  And besides all of that, God is always watching. 

Even though you may look like you’re getting away with it, or no one’s paying attention, you need to know that it is affecting your relationship with your Heavenly Father.  When you displease Him with sinful behavior, you need to know that it is taking you out of alignment with His will and purpose for your life.  The impact may be delayed, but don’t be fooled into thinking that no one will notice.  God does.

I’m asking God to keep my pure from the inside out and not let anything come between me and His favor over my life.  Anything in your life that you need to come clean about before  God brings it to light?

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Get Sensitive

Posted in Holy Spirit, One Year Bible, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 25, 2010

I don’t like it when people are over sensitive about their feelings – do you?  It makes you have to be careful about what you say around them because you know they might take it personally.  However, there’s another kind of sensitivity which is good and needs to be cultivated, and that’s a sensitivity to the Spirit of God.

Every time you remember something in just the right time – who caused that to happen?  Whevever you are put in a difficult situation and a Scripture pops in your head – how did that happen?  Or, you are trying to make a decision on something and suddenly someone’s talking about that exact issue and you feel a divine direction – where did that come from?  I believe this is exactly how Jesus said the Holy Spirit would work in our lives (John 14). 

Here’s what I’m trying to do:  cultivate a more sensitive heart, so I can hear that tender voice a little more easily.  Honestly, there are times that I believe He’s trying to get my attention and I’m just too caught up in other things.  I don’t want to miss the divine direction that God promises to give to us because I’m crowding Him out.  Instead, I want to get more and more tuned in to the right frequency so I can hear everything He wants to share with me. 

Spend some time today just being still and listening for that voice.  Watch for Him speaking through the circumstances around you as well.  Expect Him to lead you, guide you and bring you into a place of alignment with God and you’ll discover He’s there.

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The Wise Listen

Posted in One Year Bible, Wisdom by PCraig on May 24, 2010

It’s tough to listen to the truth at times, but when it comes from a trusted source, you better pay attention.  I’m probably like many of you and don’t care for criticism, but when someone I trust that loves me and has my best interest at heart, then it’s different. 

I’ve known people who had people who care deeply, and want nothing but the best for them, share some hard truths only to be ignored or rejected.  Unfortunatly, this means the person is only harming themselves according to Proverbs 15:32.  Wise people can tell the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. 

Over the years, I’ve learned to spit out the criticism from people motivated by jealousy, envy, or other negative emotions.  Sometimes hurting people just want to go out and hurt others to not feel so alone in their pain.  A wise person doesn’t pay any attention to these critics.  However, when someone you love and trust comes and shares a weakness or potential danger in your life, the wise take heed. 

Is there anyone in your life trying to get your attention about something they see?  Are they someone you know loves and cares for you?  If so, what might happen if you listened and acted on what they are saying?  What problems could evolve if you ignore them?

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Posted in Purpose, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 22, 2010

You can’t read the story of Jesus from the Gospels without seeing that He knew where He was going.  Let me ask you a question, “Do you know where you’re going?”  I’m not just talking about when you die.  I’m talking about while you live.  There’s something worse than death and that’s being dead while you’re alive.   Each day we have a choice to live that day on purpose.

I used to love to play pinball machines when I was a kid, and the more complicated the better.  Especially exciting were the ones that kept the ball in a slot for a few seconds while racking up points.  How many people live like a pinball?  They just go wherever life takes them and even hope for slot where they can sit and still rack up points. 

Here’s the reality: life is going by faster than you think and there’s not a day to waste sitting in some slot like a pinball, or to bounce aimlessly off of one situation to the next.  Instead, determine that every day is a day of destiny.  That God has put purpose and meaning behind every hour of every day.  Choose to grasp it, pull it toward you, and wring every drop of destiny out of it.  Living a life of purpose beats living like a pinball any day – it’s what you were designed to be!

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Honor’s Reward

Posted in Attitude, One Year Bible by PCraig on May 21, 2010

A power is released in your life when you honor others.  We see this over and over in Scripture and it is never any clearer than the story of David & Saul in 2 Samuel.  In today’s reading of the One Year Bible we find the way God will fight your battles if you’ll honor others.

What we discover is that David had opportunity to seek revenge against Saul, but refused to do it and instead, gave honor to him.  Because David did not take matters into his own hands, God handled Saul and allowed honor to come to David.  What would have happened if David had acted in revenge and lashed out at Saul?  It certainly would have been justifiable, but it wasn’t right.  Instead, God took revenge and lifted David’s reputation to yet another level.

See, you and I can seek to hurt others because of a hurt we have suffered, but what you risk losing is God’s favor.  Rather than taking matters into your own hands, why not trust God to fight your battles for you?  Is your God really so small that He needs your help anyway?

When you act out in trying to bring someone else down, what you are really doing is lowering yourself.  You may say, “Yeah, but he needs to be brought down a notch.”  Just know that in taking action by gossiping, trying to make them look bad, or acting out in anger – it is YOU that will truly suffer. 

Read the end of the story, Saul is beheaded and David winds up being the king like God said he would.  What did it take for this to happen?  Let God be God and you stick to honoring others more than yourself.

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Do unto others

Posted in Attitude, Heart, One Year Bible by PCraig on May 19, 2010

How you treat others when you feel mistreated, ignored, or overlooked says more about you than any accomplisments you achieve.  There is an awesome story illustrating this in today’s reading of the One Year Bible from 2 Samuel 14.  The setting is David is being hunted down by Saul for actions he’s never committed.  Saul thinks that David wants to steal the kingdom from him and David never had that intent. 

The most important part of the story is how David responds to Saul’s outlandish accusations.  I’m sure David thought, “Why me?  How could someone who is supposed to be a God-follower act so evil?  I’m just trying to do the right thing, and this man has it out for me!”  Yet, in spite of all the negativity around him, David chooses to remain pure of heart.

Where are those today who will do the same?  Instead of asking, “Why shouldn’t I retaliate after what they’ve done to me?”  Why not take the high road and stay pure in heart before God. 

I believe God is looking for a remnant of people who will walk before Him with a pure heart, I want to be one of them He finds and can bless.  Just read what happens to the end of the story with David and you’ll see how much better it is to stay pure.

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Happy Heart = Happy Days

Posted in Attitude, One Year Bible, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 17, 2010

I’ve come to the conclusion that every day is a downer for people expecting it to be.  In other words, if you’re looking for the dark cloud in every silver lining, you’ll probably find it.  My question is, “Why do you want to be one of those people?” 

We’ve heard the adage about seeing the cup half full or half empty, but I believe there is a lot of truth to it.  Here’s what the Scripture says in Proverbs 15:15 “For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” 

The Bible has much to say about having a happy heart and so does medical science.  People with a more joyous outlook on life are sick less often and live longer.  You may say, “Yeah Craig, easy for you to say,but you don’t know my circumstances.”  You’re right, I don’t, but I don’t think they’re going to change before your attitude does either.  Which comes first the attitude or the results?  I believe you attract what you hope and stay in faith for. 

As for me, I know it may be raining and grey outside, but the sun is shining bright in my heart.  Go ahead and give it a try for 30 days and see if your relationships, attitude, and over-all quality of life doesn’t improve.  I know one thing for sure, the people around you hope you will.

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Nothing Can Hinder God

Posted in Attitude, Faith, One Year Bible, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 13, 2010

Who do you have your confidence in – your ability or God’s?  Jonathan makes a great statement in today’s reading of the One Year Bible that would do us all well to remember.  He says, “…nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few.” 

How many of us think that we have to have perfect conditions in order to secure victory?  Instead, what might happen if you dared to step out of the boat – walk on water? 

Why not take a positive approach and believe that God might come through for you and bring victory?  Are you feeling a desire to start a new business, or participate in a daring outreach?  Instead of expecting defeat, take the attitude of Jonathan and wonder, “What if the Lord shows up?” 

If God is in it, then you can’t help but win!  I’m praying that I don’t hesitate to step out and trust God on the great adventure He has for me.  How about you?

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Posted in Business principles, Faithfulness by PCraig on May 12, 2010

Have you ever had someone make a promise to you like, “I’ll call you about this tomorrow”, only to fail to follow through?  Is there anything any more irritating? 

I just had this happen again recently.  A vendor (with truss systems) came and looked over a job I wanted them to do and said, “I’ll send you a quote by email tomorrow.”  Only problem is, that was last week and I still haven’t heard from him.  What is wrong with these people!  Do they think that customers like being lied to?  What would happen if they actually did the work (which I’m thinking I need to find someone else who follows through) and I delayed payment?  Would they be as understanding as they expect me to be? 

The Bible even talks about not making empty promises.  You see, I would rather you didn’t promise me anything at all, rather than promise and fail to deliver.  Or, here’s another suggestion, if for some unforseen reason you couldn’t get me the quote the next day, then email or call and let me know that, don’t just leave me hanging. 

In a sluggish economy, where everyone should value actually having a job, you would think people would pay more attention to the customer.  I’m I the only one in America bothered by this? 

Seems to me that if someone would actually put the other person first, they could have more business than imaginable.  I know I’m looking for them, and if I find them, I’ll let you know all their contact information so you can avoid the frustration of the over-promisers.  I bet there are tons of others who would do the same.

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