Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Our move to Colorado Springs a few years ago included many changes and pursuits. Included in those pursuits was the search for a home. We spent many days driving around attempting to find a place that met all of the needs of a family of six. Number of bedrooms and bathrooms was crucial. Plenty of storage space and enough room for us all to eat and hang out together was also very important.

However, our drive by conversations when sizing up a potential new Casa De Hobson began to turn to a more important topic driven by this question: How well would we be able to defend ourselves in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse?

Yes, at that time we had two teenagers who were spurring on this discussion, but I must admit…I joined right in! I mean… who doesn’t want to make sure your home is defensible if and when the Zombie Apocalypse takes place!

This experience in searching for the ZOMBIE DEFENSIBLE HOME is just a sign of the times. There is definitely a vast amount of fascination with zombies in our modern culture: The Walking Dead, Endless Movies and Video Games, Jeeps – The Zombie Apocalypse Edition (which I have seen two driving around my hometown of Colorado Springs!) and you can even find Zombie Preparedness on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Website!

Though it seems like Zombies are a modern day creation and rage, they have actually been discovered in many historical books and writings. In fact, according to one definition, Zombies have actually been mentioned in the Bible!

One of the definitions of a zombie is: the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, by a supernatural force.

So…using that as a reference point, read what we find in Matthew 27:50-53, right at the end of the story of Jesus’ Crucifixion:

Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead.

They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

WHAT?!

When Jesus died, dead people came to life by a supernatural force! And when He was resurrected, they went into town and said hello!

This story causes me to have so many questions, like:

What did these people say when they went into town? Did they continue to live? What did their friends and family think when they just showed up for dinner? Did they look the same as before? Did they smell bad? Were their clothes, hair and teeth all rotted? Why hasn’t Steven Spielberg made a movie about this yet?

And the last question: did Jesus create a Zombie Apocalypse?

Well, maybe Apocalypse is the wrong word to use here. However, according to the definition given above, a Zombie Uprising might not be too farfetched! Those who were dead, were now alive and empowered by His Spirit.

The life in Jesus must have been so powerful that at His death, the life that was released from him caused dead, rotting flesh to reanimate and literally bring people back to life. That’s a powerful picture and one I believe we can learn from.

We could debate all day on whether Zombies are real and if an Apocalypse of the Undead is coming. That would be an entertaining conversation, but at the end of the day it would be just that…a conversation.

I would rather ponder the lessons that might be hidden in the story of Jesus and the “Uprising” that occurred at His death.

However, to get there I am about to make a hard right turn and I ask you to come with me, no matter how crazy what I am about to say sounds.

I believe a Zombie Apocalypse has already taken place, and it is an Apocalypse of the worst kind.

The Apocalypse I speak of is one that creates spiritual and emotional zombies who fill our streets, neighborhoods, schools, churches, and cities.

It is the type that causes:

  • Young men and women to take their own lives before they even reach their prime.
  • People to live out their existence online and through video game personas because real life hurts too much.
  • Individuals to check out of Church and other social gatherings because though it is community they crave, the pain involved in real, raw relationships is too much for them to endure.
  • A generation to fake happiness and mask pain, because no one is allowed to be truly honest.

Unfortunately this Apocalypse is real and one that we cannot ignore.

The question is…What are we going to do about it?

I believe the only option we have is to follow the example of Jesus and create a different kind of Zombie uprising; one that is filled with life rather than death, builds rather than destroys, and that causes people to come out of the tombs of demise we as a society and culture have created.

The first and most important step is this: We must do what Jesus did and die to ourselves. It is the only way to stop the epidemic that is taking place. We must be willing to lay down our lives, reputations, and self-serving pursuits. Death to self is the only way that life will spring forth and alter the wave of lifeless emotional and spiritual zombies that is spreading in our world.

The moment Jesus died, immediately an army of those who were dead rose up from their graves. When He was resurrected, they filled the streets. Life and death are more contagious than any air borne pathogens known to man. And we are the carriers of both. We read in Scripture, “Life and Death is in the Power of the Tongue.”

We must begin to speak life into this generation. We must live out real, raw, transparent lives filled with mistakes, times of doubt, and moments of bad judgment and yet still full of LIFE! While death is the language of the day, we must stop speaking it, even when it is masked in religious overtones and well-meaning intentions.

I am very thankful for a group of men God has allowed me to be a part of whom have helped me came alive once again. And from that group I have learned a very powerful principle: Real life is not about right and wrong, it is about life and death.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes unto the Father except by Me.” Powerful words from one who has known death and who is the very essence of Truth and Life.

Through our words and actions, we must stop beating the life out of people which is creating Spiritual/Emotional Zombies who are void of life. We must be willing to die to ourselves, opinions, style, and differences.

Jesus brought love and life into every sphere of culture He encountered. As we have read, He even brought life to those who were dead! The only people who were unable to embrace and receive the life He brought were the religious crowd.

The Zombie Apocalypse we currently face will not be stopped by our Theological grand standing or immovable personal stances we make. No… All that will do is create more death and the epidemic will just continue to grow.

The awesome thing about THIS CURRENT ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE is that ALL ZOMBIES CAN BE CURED AND BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE! I know…because I have been one.

And no amount of religion or well thought out arguments could bring me back…

No, strangely it was death that brought me back to life. The death of one that is life. And the death of others who were willing to love me as I am, accept me in my emotionally and spiritually dead state and fill me with life once again. (It is a strange paradox that to overcome death and bring life to the walking dead of our generation we must die.)

It’s never too late to “turn” a zombie in this current Apocalypse. But, stop trying to fix them – they are a Zombie…they don’t want to be fixed. Stop filling them with well thought out Theological arguments and opinions – they are dead…they cannot hear you. Stop judging them – cutting into a zombie does nothing but cause limbs to fall off of that which is already dead.

Instead…pour a big bucket of life on their soul. Love them until their heart beats once again. Don’t worry if they don’t respond. They are a Zombie, don’t be surprised when they act like one.

And, Last of all…..

Well, the next point will have to wait. For you see…there is more than one Zombie story in the Bible and another powerful lesson to learn.

Until then…Go be like Jesus and spread life. You have an Apocalypse to stop and an alternate uprising to begin.

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There’s something about being in my forties and heading toward fifty that got me thinking about my life… what have I accomplished? …will I leave a worthy legacy?  …what will I do next?

Mid-life crisis?  Maybe.  Natural progression of thought of a man growing older? Possible. Or is it something more dark and sinister? Could it be the roots of years of trying to measure up… years of being graded…. a lifetime of living for the accolades of others… worrying about making my mark… ambition fueled by the need to be recognized.

And, many would say, “What’s wrong with any of that? Isn’t it just being human?”  Well… maybe that’s true. However, whether it’s natural or not, I’m done with it. Finished with chasing false finish lines, and living up to my own self-induced standards of defining success; I’m through with collecting proverbial trophies in some lame attempt to justify my existence and earn my next opportunity.

I know… that is the way of our modern world: build your Resume in order to move ahead… get a better job… make a better life… make your mark.

Unfortunately…. That’s not going to work for me anymore.

You see… I BURNED MY RESUME. Yep…that’s right. Not only did I burn it, I shredded it.  Yeah, I literally took copies of my RESUME and shredded and burned it.

You know why? Because I am FREE!

Oh yeah… that’s right!

I have checked out of the pursuit of selfish ambition that leads to nowhere! Because I have realized that I have been a hypocrite. Yep… that’s been me… the selfish, prideful hypocrite building a resume that does not matter.

“Have you lost your mind?” you may ask.

Well… Maybe. But I don’t care. Because I am happy and free. Free from what? Free from me.

I have realized that to many times we allow our past mistakes and failures to rule our lives and guide our steps. However, an even more dangerous dilemma is when we allow our past Successes to hold us back from the great adventure that beckons us each day. We’re to busy “polishing trophies” and talking about “the good old days.”

Success can make us just as afraid of failure as failure can, because we become paralyzed by the concern of whether we can measure up one more time.

You know what…Who cares?!

Does it really matter!?

NO… NO and again I say NO!

Success is temporary. Failure is seldom fatal.

So what do I think matters?

Life…. Living… embracing the moment we are in.  And… knowing who we are regardless of what we have accomplished. Like I’ve said, I’ve been a hypocrite.

Hypocrite: a person who’s action do not match their stated beliefs.

As a stated follower of Jesus Christ, I have said that all that truly matters is what God thinks of me; my self-worth and value are determined by who I am in Christ, not in what I do or what others think of me.

Hypocrite! Hypocrite! Hypocrite!

Well… I’m done being a hypocrite. I want to walk in what I have preached and stated: I am loved by God and He is who I live for. What other people think of me or my own self-induced list of requirements to be successful is not what defines me.

And… I am free!

Free to truly love people as they are, because I’m not trying to prove my worth to them.

Free to take risks, because I am not bound by my past… good or bad.

Free to laugh, free to cry, free to live, free to give.

Free to delve into new relationships even though I’ve been hurt before.

Free to Forgive.

Free at last… Free at last… Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

                                           John 8:36

Yeah… I burned my resume, and yeah I might be crazy. But I’m free… I’m happy… and best of all… I can love and… I can love again. I can forgive. I can stop looking at others through their resumes and just see people who God loves unconditionally, and I can do the same.

So… here I go… into a life without resumes. Measured only by the love of Christ and measuring others with the same.

It’s gonna be fun!

Wanna come along?

(Thank you to my friend who looked me in the eye and said, “Harlan, it’s time to shred your resume.” I am forever grateful.)

UnWritten Chapter 12

Posted: May 23, 2013 in Life
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The Following is an excerpt from the book, UnWritten. The book follows Raphael, an Angel on a special assignment.  He delivers final messages from selected individuals, in the form of letters.  The book has offered many hope and encouragement to live life to the fullest and to leave no moment UnWritten.

UnWritten Chapter 12

Conner Mason stepped out into the cold mid-winter air. A
stifling chill traversed up his spine. A combination of thermal
underwear, purple running suit, green sweat pants, and an old faded
sweatshirt proclaimed his pursuit of warmth over style. A torn,
knitted, grey hat and mismatched gloves completed his chaotic
ensemble. A vision of fashion he was not; but he was warm and
endeavoring to remain dedicated to his newest resolution. Conner
made a vow to run two to three miles four days a week. So far, he had
been faithful. Four months had gone by and he was still at it. Even
his wife, Amber, was impressed with his commitment. She was not
only impressed but she was also thrilled that he had lost twenty-five
pounds. Conner was not obese, but he could definitely afford to lose
a little weight. He had become very concerned with his health after
numerous visits to the doctor revealed high cholesterol and the
symptoms of clogged arteries. Conner was only forty-six.

Amber smiled and waved as Conner began his morning run. The
Mason family resided on the outskirts of a small town in Western
Colorado. While the town was in the valley, their home was up in the
base of the Rocky Mountain range. Their property was exquisite:
hidden away amongst an extraordinary display of evergreens and
pine trees. A blanket of snow completed the picturesque scene. The
closest home to them was almost a mile away.

Conner and Amber were high-school sweethearts. They followed
each other to college and married during their junior year. Conner
studied marketing and Amber became an accountant, which people
always found difficult to believe. She did not possess the stereotypical
personality of an accountant. She was an optimistic, joyful, “life
of the party” cheerleader type. In fact, she had been a cheerleader all
throughout high school and college. Conner would often say to
Amber, “You know, your unforgettable smile is the inspiration to all
of my success.” This was an enormous compliment and true. With
overwhelming student loans, an old 71 Imperial LeBaron, and no
assistance from their families, Amber and Conner worked hard to
build their own marketing business from the ground up. They
started in the spare bedroom of their old apartment in the town
below. Conner was a classic over achiever, and Amber was brilliant
with numbers and finances. She also possessed the natural beauty of
a homegrown supermodel. In addition, her smile was the inspiration
for the name and logo that had become the calling card for the
Conner empire: Unforgettable Inc.

Conner waved back at Amber as he continued down the driveway.
He could not help but grin as the picture of her smile invaded
every portal of his senses. As he reached the end of the drive, his
grin began to fade. He slowed down his pace until he came to a
complete stop. He stood and stared into the trees while looking at
nothing. Once the cold winter chill had pilfered the last drop of
warmth from his well-insulated body, he moved. He put his head into
his hands and knelt down in the snow. He began to cry; his tears
froze upon his face. With deep sorrow, realizations emerged. He
would never see that smile again; he would never kiss those lips; he
would never hold her just to hold her. Amber was gone and she was
never coming back. Nevertheless, Conner still saw her waving to
him, still saw her unforgettable smile, and still heard her encouraging
him to keep running. This morning there would be no running.
He had tried. However, all he wanted to do was go back to the house
and achieve drunken stupor status once again.

Raphael watched from the trees as Conner slowly made his way
back to the house. It had been two months since Amber left the
earth. Two months since Amber poured out her final words. Two
months since Conner started drinking.

It’s been two months since Amber placed her words in my care. And
two months since…I failed, Raphael thought.

The words she used in her letter to Conner moved Raphael.
Unfortunately, every attempt to deliver her letter had been unsuccessful.
He left it on Conner’s bed, on the nightstand, on the bathroom
sink, by the TV remote, on the kitchen table. He even tried putting it
in the refrigerator and in what had become the liquor cabinet. Conner
never saw the envelope with his name on it; or, he chose to ignore it.
His sorrow and pain had driven him to a place of depression that
made it difficult for him to care about anything or anyone.

Raphael watched Conner stare at Amber’s picture for hours at a
time. Staring was not bad. The problem was the habit he paired with
his staring. Guzzling, that was the problem: bottle after bottle of
whiskey, gin, rum, cheap beer, and wine. Raphael did not know
much about the consumption of alcohol, but he did not think it was
good that Conner was gulping down bottle after bottle of every kind
of liquor he could get his hands on.

Next to the picture of Amber was another picture, a picture that
remained turned over, a picture of three children. Conner attempted
to ignore this picture. In the early years of marriage, Conner and
Amber stayed consumed with earning degrees and establishing the
business. They did not even talk about children. Once college was
complete and the business was established, Amber yearned for a
child. Conner, consumed with the business, was not sure of the
timing. However, his undying adoration for Amber caused him to
change his mind. They began to attempt to build a family. After three
years of trying and an abundance of medical testing and advice, the
medical community informed them that Amber was unable to bear a
child. She was heartbroken. Conner was frustrated and deeply
distressed; his heart ached for Amber.

After facing the reality that she was unable to become pregnant,
Amber warmed up to the idea of adopting. As she researched the
possibility, she realized what an incredible gift adoption could be for
the child and the parents. She researched many adoption agencies
and read every story on adoption she could find. Locating a baby
consumed her. On March 19 of that year, they adopted their first
child, a baby boy whom they named Daniel Conner Mason. Two
years later, they adopted another boy whom they named Christopher
David Mason.

Amber was a wonderful mother and Conner quickly embraced
fatherhood, as the boys became the center of their lives. At the same
time, Unforgettable Inc. was becoming one of the most sought after
marketing firms in the nation. Amber stayed as beautiful as the day
he met her, and the boys made her smile seem to shine even brighter.
Conner was feeling on top of the world and very blessed with his
God-given family.

One day, when Daniel was nine and Christopher was seven, existence
at the Mason household changed. It is a day that Conner will
never forget. He worked late that day but was anxious to get home.
Amber left work early, picked up the boys from school and rushed
back to the house to make dinner. She called Conner to confirm he
would be home by six. He told her he would try. He pulled into the
driveway at 6:45 p.m. Amber met him at the door and greeted him
with her radiant smile. She pulled him close, placed that unforgettable
mouth on his, and kissed him as if her life depended on it.

“What is this all about?” he inquired with a grin.

“What, can’t a wife passionately kiss her husband when he’s late
for dinner?” she replied as she playfully tilted her head and smiled.

Now Conner was a little confused, “Yeah…I guess I was
expecting a smack from the frying pan, not a smack from your
pretty little mouth!”

He pulled her close and kissed her again, enjoying the moment.

The boys watched from the living room, gave each other looks of
disgust, and then yelled out together, “UGH…that’s gross, Dad!”

Conner yelled back, “Oh yeah!”

He ran in and tackled both of them as they started a wrestlingtickling
match. Amber laughed as she watched from the kitchen. Joy
filled the house as she called them into the dining room for dinner.
They sat to eat and enjoyed small talk of the boys’ day at school and
talk of their sporting tryouts. Conner shared good news of another
major client he signed with Unforgettable Inc. Amber listened
intently, enjoying the manly exploits of all three of her boys.

Conner noticed she was not talking and turned to ask, “What
about you, babe…what’s going on with you?”

Her eyes twinkled as if she had been waiting for him to ask the
question. She turned toward him, and he stared intently into her
eyes. Her smile conveyed a joy that words could not express.

“Are you…?” Conner asked.

“Yes…” she said, “I am pregnant!”

The boys yelled out, “What…pregnant?”

“I can’t believe it, I thought it was impossible! I mean, the
doctors said…” Conner breathed out every word. “Are you sure?”

“Yes…It’s true! I went to the doctor today. I didn’t tell you
because I wanted to be certain before I said anything…please don’t
be mad!”

“Mad? Are you kidding? This is wonderful! This is a miracle child!”
Conner jumped up from the table and picked Amber up in his
arms. He hugged her and kissed her cheek as he swung her around
in the air.

“Uh, honey…” Amber spoke up, “I’m pregnant; you may want
to be a little more careful?”

“Oh yeah…sorry. I just cannot believe this. This is amazing!”

Christopher said, “Does this mean that I won’t be the youngest
anymore?”

“Oh man…what if it’s a girl!” Daniel blurted.

Conner pulled Amber and the boys together for a group hug.

“Listen, everything is going to be just fine. Boy, girl…it does not
matter. We will just have one more in the Mason Clan to love!”

Almost seven and a half months later, the new little Mason
edition arrived. Conner announced, “We will call her Amber Grace.
Amber after her amazing mother and Grace because it’s a miracle she
is here.”

It appeared the Masons had the perfect lives. Three beautiful
children (one of which, according to the medical experts, should not
have existed), a thriving business, and a love for each other that
seemed to grow by the moment. It was a season of joy. A season
Conner thought would last forever. It lasted for almost three years;
then came “the news.”

See You On the Stage!

Posted: August 30, 2011 in Life
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Life is strange sometimes.  Just when you think you have it all figured out…the script changes. Like a play in which you have rehearsed your role but suddenly find that all of the other actors are improving: so you have to join in.  The show must go on. The unexpected takes place. Tragedy makes an unwelcome appearance on the stage of existence and the script has to be rewritten. New actors appear, sometimes uninvited, and you have to rewrite the dialogue in order to include them.

Again…the show must go on.

You stop and ask…who’s directing this strange play?  Am I?  My friends?  My relatives?  My spouse? My Boss?

I keep making choices, so am I the director? But are my choices simply reactions to what the other actors are doing?  Am I following the right script? Who did these rewrites?  Wait…is it time to improv again?

Then the scene changes, and more actors appear.  But the script they are using doesn’t sound like the one I was just in.  This feels like a different play all together. New director? Maybe. But who is it?  Who is controlling the action on the stage?  I thought I was, but I couldn’t be.  I would not write this.  But I must read my lines, play my part.  The show must go on.

The show sometimes makes me tired.  It feels that each scene requires a different role.  But I am just one actor. Sometimes all of the other actors behave as if they are the directors.  Could they be?  Could I be reading the script they wrote for me.  If so…it does not feel right.  But, my improvs and rewrites aren’t much better.

Oh wait…now I hear the voice.  It must be the director.  He just said, “Cut”.  Good time for a break. He’s motioning to me. I think He wants to talk to me.  Just a minute, the show will have to wait.  The director wants some time with me.  I’ll be right back.

Ok…how long was I gone? It felt like hours and just for a moment.  But, I am ready to get back on the stage.  The director assured me that He wrote the script and He is directing all of the action. There are many who are trying to rewrite what He wrote for me, but as long as I listen to His direction…the show will go on. He told me not to worry.  He has it under control.  Just do my best with the lines He has given and He’ll keep directing me into the next scene. Some scenes feel like a tragedy; some like a comedy. There is even some action, mystery and romance. But he weaves them all into the story He has written for my life.

He also said not to worry if the other actors seem to go off script, because they have their own.  Some of them are listening to the director and some are not.  What is important, He said, was that I love them, treat them well, and follow the script…or scripture He has given me.  Keep inviting them into the play I have written He told me.

So, off I go into the next scene of life. So glad the Director has it all under control. Oh wait, I think He’s calling you.  Go ahead, listen to what He says; He wrote the script and makes it all make sense.

See you on the stage.

If I Ruled the World!

Posted: July 6, 2011 in Life
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Have you ever sat and daydreamed about what you would do, if you ruled the world. I mean… really ruled the world. Ultimate power, anything you wanted. Whatever you said would be done. I have thought about this and here are a few things I would change:

 First off, broccoli would taste like chocolate. In addition, so would every other vegetable that is supposed to be good for you but is the table nemesis of millions of kids at dinnertime. “Eat your broccoli… it’s good for you!” Well, if it’s so good for me then it should taste good… like chocolate! There is no way that something that tastes that putrid can be good for anything! Just saying! All of you broccoli fans just keep eating away… I’m holding out for the chocolate version… and it’s coming, because I’m going to rule the world!

Second, and I hope I don’t offend anyone with this, just being honest. I would make all “passing of gas” smell like flowers. Wouldn’t that be great?! I mean, no more blaming it on the dog, or on a child or relative. No more nervous stares in the middle of crowded elevators when the smell is passing by. Instead, people would turn to you and say, “Thank you!, I love the smell of roses!”

Next, everyone would be nice. There would be no mean people! Traffic jams would occur only because everyone was preferring each other, not because of road rage. Moreover, the court systems would go extinct because no one would be prosecuted and no one would sue anyone and everyone would just be nice!

Lastly, everyone would be a millionaire. There would be no poverty or lack of food for anyone. There would be no homeless people. There would be no sickness or need for doctors. All disease would be banished.

If I ruled the world, everything would taste good, nothing would smell bad, everyone would be nice, and no one would have a need.

Sounds like heaven doesn’t it? But… I don’t rule the world, and neither do you. But, God does and He has created a real heaven. Heaven…that place sounds real good. No wars, no disease, no evil, no sorrow.

The hard part to understand is, if heaven is so great, then why didn’t God just put us there to begin with? Because this place called earth is no heaven! There is death and disease and mean people and really bad days. So what’s the deal?

Think about this… if I never saw darkness, I would never appreciate light. If someone wasn’t mean to me, then I would never know when someone was being nice. If I had not experienced pain, I would not truly appreciate comfort.

The reality is if I ruled the world I would create a world without consequences and people would basically be robots who just did what I said, because that is the only way I could make everyone be nice and not let there be any pain! God wants a relationship with us… His creation. And He wants us to choose a relationship with Him. But if He makes us choose Him, then we do not have a genuine relationship. So, He gave us all a free will. And in our freedom to choose, we as people sure do bring a lot of pain, and heartache to one another, don’t we? But, we can also choose to follow God. We can choose to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We can choose to repent, say we are sorry for all of the bad choices we have made with our freedom and we can receive God’s forgiveness. And we can spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Heaven will be full of people who chose God. Who received His gift of forgiveness of sins through His son Jesus Christ. And it will be full of people who can appreciate His love, peace, kindness and forgiveness because they have experienced the pains of life.

The bible says in James 4:14-15, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

Our lives on earth are a brief moment in the light of all eternity. And I think we would all love to rule the world and have things our way. But, if we had everything our way, would we really appreciate what we have? Would we truly understand what a gift life is? And would we appreciate God – the true ruler of the world, who in His infinite wisdom does not give us everything we want, but does supply all that we need for now, and is preparing a place for us in Heaven.

Launching Forward In Life

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Life
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From the beginning of childhood, most everyone begins to dream of what they want to be. We all develop hopes of doing something great. Baseball player, fireman, tv star, singer. Some even dream of being moms and dads. Little girls dream of being a beautiful bride, they fantasize of meeting their prince charming and being swept off their feet. In addition, little boys start off dreaming of being a cowboy, a sports star, or an army man and end up dreaming of mortgages, bills, life insurance, and college tuition for their children!

We all have dreams, but as life goes on, we learn that we will never go forward, unless we start right where we are. Going forward is all about taking the right steps. Where you start from is not near as important as where you are going. You just need to make sure you have the right destination. Too many people let their starting point hinder their ability to going forward. Just remember, your starting point does not have to be your ending point.

 One of the greatest inventions of modern times is the GPS. Being able to type in a destination and have your GPS guide you there is an incredible convenience. However, 20 people can all start from different places but end up at the same destination if they have the right directions. Some will take longer to get there, but they will get there if they will stay on track. Nevertheless, there is a problem with GPS units, they are not perfect. And they do get people lost sometimes. And they don’t always account for weather, storms, traffic, accidents, detours and construction. Life can be that way. Sometimes, even when we think we are headed in the right direction, the storms of life can take us off course.

I have found that the greatest way to launch forward and stay on course is to listen to the One who made us and gave us life. Check out this scripture found in God’s Word.

Ephesians 5:15-17-Therefore be careful how you live, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

God gives us three keys in launching forward in this scripture:

 • Be Careful how you live

• Make the most of your time

• Understand God’s Will

When we are pondering our future, our destiny, our purpose in life, we will take steps in the right direction by heeding these three simple keys. When we are careful how we live, we won’t create obstacles by bad decisions. When we use our time wisely, we will do the things that will take us towards our destiny. And, when we seek to understand God’s will, we can live our lives doing what we were created to do.

 So…go ahead. Launch forward! Nobody’s stopping you!

 

I believe most people desire to live full, meaningful lives. However, life often seems to turn into a treadmill of performance, where we do the same things over and over each day, turning even good actions into monotonous acts of repetition. If you ever feel like life is just not what it should be, here are a few tips to living life to the fullest.

 • Be thankful.

Nothing changes our outlook on life like, “counting our blessings”. Be thankful for what you do have. Be thankful for your family, your spouse, your kids, your friends, your neighbors. Be thankful for the gift of life itself. Be thankful for a place to live, for food to eat, for transportation. Do not waste time thinking about what you don’t have; be grateful for what you do have.

 • Be courageous.

Do not live your life in fear. If you have a dream, go for it. Do not allow fear of failure to stop you from trying. Do not allow people to tell you why you cannot fulfill your dream. Be courageous and live life to the fullest in spite of fear and in spite of other’s opinions.

• Be compassionate.

Kindness and love open up the hearts of those around you. If you want your life to be full of compassion, kindness and love then sow it in the life of everyone you can. As the old saying goes, “You reap what you sow”. It is easy to sow cynicism, anger, selfishness, and the like. However, life is difficult to live to the fullest, if that is what you are reaping. Live a life of sowing compassion, and then as you grow older your life will stay full, because you will be reaping the goodness of others, until your days come to an end.

• Be encouraging.

The world we live in is full of negativity and criticism. It is easy to put people down and let them know everything they are doing wrong. Don’t do it! Instead, be encouraging. Encourage everyone you meet. Support people in their life dreams. Tell people what you like about them. Let people know they are important and that they matter, their lives have meaning, and they have a purpose. Encourage, encourage, encourage! The world is full of discouragement, but those who truly live, have learned to be encouragers.

• Live for what matters.

Invest your time and energy in what is eternal. Devote yourself to building relationships. Devote yourself to faith in God.  Devote yourself to love, kindness, mercy, grace, and generosity. Possessions will pass away, but our faith in God and our investment in others can last forever.

Live for what matters!