The Importance Of Getting Off To A Good Start

I loved watching the recent Summer Olympics.  Like many Americans, and perhaps many outside the U.S., I was intrigued with Michael Phelp’s march to Olympic history.  In every race, the announcers seemed to make comment about the importance of getting off the block quick to obtain a good start.  The feeling was that the team or individual who got off to a good start had a better chance in the race.

Perhaps the most important part of anyone’s day is the start?  The first moments of each day can set the tone for how we perceive the rest of it.  For example, if you get up thinking this day is going to be lousy, you’ll probably be right.  If you get up and read emails from work, read the bad news in the paper, and think about what’s not right in your life, then you’re getting off to a bad start.

What are some ways to get off to a good start?

  • Don’t check your email first thing.  If something’s that important, they’ll actually call you.
  • Be grateful.  You’re alive, there’s possibilities, hope and promise for today.
  • Read the Bible.  Start off with some good news.  Underline the promises you discover and claim them for yourself.
  • Meditate on things that are good.  Surrender your day to God in prayer.  Gain peace as you sit in silence before Him.  (Phil. 4:8; Ps. 46:10)
  • Exercise.  Get your blood pumping, your heart rate up and science confirms that you’ll feel better about yourself.
  • Don’t eat junk.  Garbage in garbage out – no brainer.
  • Try to do something for others as early in the day as possible.  Nothing makes you feel more confident and good about yourself than serving others.

There’s nothing like getting off to a good start.  So, what do you do to start your day?  Tell about it in the comments below.

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Today’s Decisions Could Be Huge

Posted in Choice, Decisions, Time, Wisdom by PCraig on August 23, 2012

There are defining moments in each of our lives and the difficulty is we often don’t realize it at the time.  For example, you decide to break up with your boyfriend and had no idea that it would lead to finding your future husband.  Or, you decide not to take a job in another city even though it meant more money, only to find out months later that you would have been unemployed because of the company going under.  You might not have known it at that moment, but those are pivotal times.

Yesterday, I was at the Avon Rotary meeting listening to longtime Indiana broadcaster and former news anchor, Mike Ahern (from WISH TV ch.8), reminisce about his 37 years in the industry.  He said one of the pivotal moments he remembers was in 1977 when Tony Kiritsis took a shotgun and wired it around a man’s neck and took him hostage.  The man and Tony wound up in a Westside apartment where police were held at bay for days.  During this time Mike said that microwave technology had made it possible for smaller and portable cameras to be taken on location for live feeds to the studio.  Little did they know that their first use of these cameras would be to live broadcast Tony with a shotgun wired around a man’s neck.  The dilemma this produced was what if he shot him on live TV?  Thankfully, for both viewers and the man, Tony ultimately surrendered without firing the weapon.

Mike’s point was that they had no idea how the new technology would make them a hostage themselves in this situation.  Once they began broadcasting the event live, it became difficult to pull out.

Here’s my point, you often don’t know how pivotal your next decision will be until afterwards.  This is why the Bible encourages us to seek wisdom every day.  Are you ready to make the wise choice in case it’s one of those life-changing moments?  You need to be, because you probably won’t know just how important the decision is until a day, week, month or even years from now.

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Ingredients To Fulfilling Friendships

Posted in Friendship, Marriage, Relationships by PCraig on August 16, 2012

What does it take to be a good friend?  Do you think you are a good friend?  Last Sunday we took a look at this topic in regard to marriage, but the principles apply to all friendships.  Plus, getting the right people in your life and the wrong people out is a key to success.  We must be the kind of person that will attract the right people into our lives for this to happen.

Each of us has an innate desire to have relational connection with others.  A need to know and be known by at least someone else.  We all have a God-given capacity for friendship.  God even said about the first man, Adam, “it is not good for man to be alone.”

Here are the main ingredients to a fulfilling friendship:

  • Unselfish – put others first, weep & rejoice over their circumstances.
  • Listener – seek to understand rather than be understood.
  • Fruitful – add value to others.
  • Get Near – don’t hold back and play it safe, do things together.

Before you go asking about the friends in your life and grading them, it would be better to take a look within.  Solomon said, “A man who wants friends must himself be friendly.”  It’s just this simple: friendly people have friends.  And the other beauty about being friendly is that it gives you more power to choose your friends.

So, what kind of friend are you?  Are you the kind of friend you wish others were to you?  Those were the main ingredients on my list, what would you add?

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You Are What You Think

Posted in Attitude, Victorious Living by PCraig on August 9, 2012

I’ve heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.”  Of course what people are saying is that if you eat junk, you’ll feel like junk, and junk up your arteries.  I think an even more powerful axiom is, “You are what you think.”  If you think like junk, you’ll live like junk.  Solomon said it like this, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

I am a firm believer in the power of self-worth.  If you get up, look in the mirror and see a bum, then chances are you will live like one today.  Likewise, if you look in the mirror and see a child of God that is adopted into God’s family to be an heir of His kingdom, filled with the Spirit as a saint to be Christ’s ambassador on the earth, then you’ll live like that.

What’s your self-image?  Does it come from comparing yourself to the physical appearance of airbrushed photos of models and botox-filled celebrities?  If so, you’ll probably feel you don’t measure up.  Try seeing yourself as God sees you.  Fill your mind with the thoughts of God about you, and let them cancel out the lies of the enemy.  Say this with me, “I am loved, accepted, chosen, anointed, approved, filled, and rejoiced over by my Heavenly Father.  I no longer need man’s approval, applause or accolades.  I live for an audience of One that accepts me for who He’s created me to be and gives the power to become more than I could on my own.”

See yourself today as a world-changer that’s empowered by the very Spirit of God and I believe you’ll live up to it!

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Should we just let Boston, Chicago and San Francisco go to hell?

Posted in Christian Lifestyle, Culture by PCraig on August 2, 2012

As far as I can tell, there have been three major city mayors that have jumped into the chicken fight and declared that Chick-fil-a is not welcome to do business in their cities.  All this comes as a result of the CEO (Dan Cathy) of the fast food chicken restaurant commenting to a reporter that he supported the “biblical definition of a family.”

Rather than weigh in on an American business owner’s right to say whatever he believes in, which could be anything.  Cathy could have said that he believed that eating more chicken is the way to eternal life, and most of the media would have paid little attention.  However, because he used the Bible as a guide for today’s values, he has come under attack by left-wing extremists who believe in freedom of speech as long as it agrees with them.

So, here’s my question, what do we do about leaders, like these three mayors and the cities they represent, who say people like Cathy aren’t welcome to do business in their city?  Do we just walk away and shake the dust off of our sandals?  Here’s my take on a Christian’s response:

  • Don’t fight fire with fire.  In other words, don’t yell back slanderous things about these mayors or the cities they represent, though there could be plenty of ammunition.
  • Realize that there are many good, godly people in these cities that don’t agree with their own mayor’s response.  Rather, they agree with Cathy’s definition of a family and are probably a little embarrassed or even angered by their mayor’s comments.
  • Wake up and realize that there is a battle for the souls in this nation.  When mayors of major US cities feel bold enough to speak against the traditional and biblical definition of marriage without fear of being voted out next election – that’s a sign!
  • We should pray for these cities and do all we can to support those who are lifting up the only Savior and only source of truth (the Bible) to these populations.
  • Do all you can to bring others in your area to Christ, knowing that all it takes for evil to win is for good men to do nothing.  How long will it be before the mayor of your city feels they can say something similar without fear of losing their job?

What was your response to recent events?  Are you doing all you can to live the life in such a way that people want what you have?  What would Jesus do?

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