Fight For Joy

Posted in Attitude, Choice, Joy, Perspective, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 28, 2015

In a culture that seems to deal with depression and discouragement on a regular basis, how can we find more joy?

Today, I just want to encourage you to fight for joy.  Fight relentlessly, consistently and audaciously.  Joy doesn’t come finding you; instead you must go looking for it.  Here’s the tricky part: you’ll often find it hiding as a challenge, difficulty or problem.  Instead of focusing on those, begin to look for the silver lining in the dark cloud.  What could you learn right now that could benefit you the rest of your life?  What strength might you develop while being pushed beyond your normal limits?  What character quality might grow in the midst of all that’s around you?

Know this, problems are never permanent, failure is never final and victory could be one day away!

Here’s how Paul talked about it, while chained up in a prison cell in Rome: “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.  I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.”  Philippians 3:1 NLT

Let’s fight for joy, it’s a fight we can win!

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Are We Really Bad Or Good?

Posted in Character, Deliverance, Heart, Perspective, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 20, 2015

Ever wonder, “Are we good people gone bad, or bad people gone good?”  In other words, do we have an evil root or a good root?  I would like to believe that we are all good people deep down, but we can sometimes get off-track and do bad things.  However, what seems more likely is that we are bad people deep down, but we can overcome it and live good lives.  Why do I feel this way?  Let me give some Scripture as a reference:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

Even the great Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:15-18 “…for what I want to do I do not do…I know that nothing good lives in me.” 

So, if we’re all wicked at the core and not good people after all, what hope is there?  Our hope is in God who sent His Son to be the only good person and be the only good sacrifice for our badness.  If we were naturally good, would Jesus have to die for us?    Who will rescue us from ourselves – Jesus!

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When You Feel Like Giving Up

Feel like giving up?  Are you tempted to quit?  If so, you are just like anyone else in life whether they be young or old, rich or poor, winners or losers.  As a matter of fact, winners are just losers that would never give up.

Everyone loses at some point in his or her lives.  The same team doesn’t win the Super Bowl every year, nor a golfer the US Open, or a movie star the Oscar each year.   In fact, what often happens is that those who get close but fail, only resolve to come back next time on top.

Wikipedia records:  In 1952, Florence attempted to swim the 26 miles between Catalina Island and the California coastline. As she began, she was flanked by small boats that watched for sharks and were prepared to help her if she got hurt or grew tired. After about 15 hours a thick fog set in. Florence began to doubt her ability, and she told her mother, who was in one of the boats, that she didn’t think she could make it. She swam for another hour before asking to be pulled out, unable to see the coastline due to the fog. As she sat in the boat, she found out she had stopped swimming just one mile away from her destination. Two months later, she tried again. The same thick fog set in, but she succeeded in reaching Catalina. She said that she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam. She later swam the Catalina channel on two additional occasions.

Each of us goes through seasons of testing, trying and difficult circumstances, but it is always too soon to quit.  If the disciples had quit, we wouldn’t have the New Testament or the worldwide church.  They endured persecution, rejection, loneliness and slander, but they never gave up.

I know your circumstances can seem overwhelming, but I hope you’ll believe that it is always too soon to quit.  You never know, the finish line may be just ahead and there’s always something to learn where you are today.

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I Take Offense At That

Posted in Attitude, Choice, Offense, Personal Growth, Relationships by PCraig on May 6, 2015

Have you ever heard someone say, “Well, I take offense to that!”?  Do they even realize what they are saying?  Most people who say it are thinking that they are the victim of someone else’s rude, insensitive or insulting remark.  However, what they are really saying is that you have power over me by how I took something you said.  Here’s why: I have options when someone makes a comment I don’t like.  One is to take offense.  But to do so, I have to “take” it as an option.  Two, I can choose to not take offense and instead overlook it, make an excuse for it or consider the source.

Too many would rather play the victim and blame the other person, but to do so is to give them power over you and dump trash on your own soul.  A better choice is to reject the offense, walk in love and shake the dust off your feet if need be.  Now that you know you have a choice, I pray you choose wisely.

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