Are You An Information Junkie?

An information junkie is, typically, a great guy or gal with wonderful dreams and desires for life.  Probably not unlike you and me.

They know that information is power.  At least, that is what they’ve heard…and that’s what they believe.  That’s true enough…sorta.

So you’re half-way there…

Information is power… when it’s acted upon!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got “tons” of good stuff (much of it unopened or half read) on topics that will connect you with your dreams and desires in life.  Not much power there…except the power to gather dust.

And, oh yea, the power to trick me into thinking I’m closer to achieving my desire simply by virtue of the fact that I have all that good information close at hand (er, I think so…although I’m not totally sure anymore what I actually have….or how it might be relevant.)

So, what do I do to start converting the information to power?

  • Get off the “I’m gunna do this, and I’m gunna do that” treadmill…
  • Admit (outloud), “I’m an information junkie and my first gunna is to get straight
  • Take the time to make a priorities list of the things you consider the most important for you…
  • Pick the top 3 and “parking lot” the rest (ie: “parking lot” means don’t destroy but give a much lower level of priority)
  • Intentionally focus on the 3 (This will take practice…remember you’re being delivered from an addiction to information)
  • Form action habits within your top 3 priority list.  It will not take as long as you think to start forming healthy habits once you start acting on something

Remember:  Information with Action is Power!  You can do it! 🙂

Gary

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Experimenting With Prayer (2)

The “withering the giant in his tracks” is the kind of praying that I’m after.  Learning how to open a can of (well you know what) all over the devil is my petition.  And along with all of the “Atomic praying” I want to discover the kind of communication with God that feels like I’m talking to my best friend.

Guess What?

You gotta get gutsy.  You gotta look at apparent failure (when you thought you offered your best prayer and nothing happened), realize failure is only failure if you quit, and pray again….maybe smarter this time because you take another approach that you’ve learned from experimenting a bit…or alot.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.”

So, instead of whining, “God doesn’t answer my prayers…boo hoo,” refuel yourself with Scriptures that deal with God’s answers to your issues, ask the Holy Spirit for some wacky strategy and jump in the pool in the deep end, again.

  • Sing your prayers for awhile
  • Write them in the form of poems…even if it doesn’t seem like very good poems.
  • Pray early before the day begins
  • Pray late after the busy-ness has taken a break for another day
  • Walk around the block
  • Walk in the woods
  • Talk to God when you’re mowing the grass, or doing dishes

There are as many legitimate ways to communicate as there are stars in the heavens, and as many authentic styles as there are grains of sand on the seashore.

THE IMPORTANT PART: Try 2, 4, 10, or 20 until you find something that works for you.

Have you found something that works especially well for you.  Share it here.  It may be the very thing someone else that’s reading this hadn’t thought about…they try it….it changes everything for them.  And, it doesn’t have to be profound.  Something simple is often the Master Key.

Gary

I’D LOVE TO HAVE YOU COMMENT AND SUBSCRIBE IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY 🙂

Btw….Here’s one of my prayer atmosphere videos that is very popular:

Experimenting With Prayer (1)

Prayer.  We’re supposed to do it.  We want to do it (to one degree or another).  But…if honest, most of us would say that we don’t feel we’re very good at it; Or, even understand it.   So….I have a brilliant solution 🙂   Let’s experiment…

Ummm….is that okay with God? Isn’t prayer something that is too holy to play with?

“No.  As a matter of fact, I think God wants us to “play/experiment” with prayer. Frankly, it is a great way of demonstrating a desire to get good at our relationship with Him.

In discussing this subject with men in my church, the common consensus was that prayer events were pretty much designed by and for WOMEN.  Not that that is automatically a bad thing!  It simply ignores that fact that men and women relate differently on a social level. And, therefore, men relate to God differently than women do.  Related Examples:

  • Women are talkers for the pure enjoyment of talking “In Details” with each other
  • Men are doers and only talk in “Headlines” and only speak enough to get the job done

They felt that this carries over into a “prayer life.”

What do you think? (Please leave a comment and join the discussion).

(To be continued…)

Gary

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Want to Reverse the Curse?

Life Tornadoes! We all have them! In fact Jesus made a promise with a statement of His provision.  He said these words recorded in John 16:33 (Holman Translation) “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

There is peace to be had right in the eye of the storm.  If anything else Jesus said is true (and all of His words are true) then this is a statement of fact as well.  BUT….we know that is true theologically.  However, how do I apply that in the nasty now and now of life’s torments?

I have an answer that helped me at a very tense period of my life.  And I believe it can help you. Please watch the video clip:


Worry – The Overrated Luxury

It ain’t worth it.  It’s overrated.  Worry is a very popular sport, but it’s never really been beneficial to anybody, anywhere, EVER!  In fact…

…the exact opposite is true.  It has been medically proven to contribute to many physical ailments.  It puts the potential of discovering creative solutions to the problems we face in a cruel, unrepentant, dank, dark torture chamber.  And, on top of it all, it holds faith captive, and deafens the voice of God, within.

The Bible actually addresses the subject of worry (and it’s marauding family of masqueraders) repeatedly.  By the way…I called them a family of masqueraders because the imps pass themselves off as common sense, rationality, and many other good sounding attributes.

A better solution: Make your mind stuff itself on a buffet of God’s words regarding worry, fretting, and the like.

  • Matthew 6:25-34
  • Philippians 4:6

Here’s a quote I’d like to share with you from a book called, “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews that I believe you’ll think on for a long time:

“Take a deep breath.  If you can breathe you are still alive.
If you are alive, then you are still here.
If you are still here, then you have not completed
what you were put here on earth to do.
If you have not completed what you were put here on earth to do,
that means your very purpose has not yet been fulfilled.
If your very purpose has not yet been fulfilled,
Then the most important part of your life has not yet been lived.
If the most important part of your life has not yet been lived…
If the most important part of your life is yet ahead of you,
Then during the worst times, you can be assured that there is yet
more laughter ahead, more success to yet look forward to, more
children to teach and help, more friends to touch and influence.

Why worry when you can wait on the Lord and renew your strength.  Why worry when you can be like King David of the Old Testament (at one of the worst points of his life) and spend your time encouraging yourself in the Lord your God.

Gary

If you find this helpful, join in the conversation and encourage one of the readers with your testimony of how you waited on God and discovered Him faithful as always.  Just select “Comment.”   If you haven’t Subscribed by RSS or email, please do so.  I’d love to encourage you in the Lord with new blog posts from my experiences of life.

Just the Facts…

“Just the facts, M’am” is one of those phrases that Joe Friday coined in the early days of the T.V. series, “Dragnet.”  But, there’s a difference between Facts and Truth:  The words Evidence and Proof are also used interchangeably but have meanings that are quite different.  Are you hung up and defeated in your life because you don’t know the difference?

Here are the definitions:  Facts = Apparent Circumstances.   Truth = God’s Perspective.  Evidence and Proof are similar.

Often, when a person get’s stuck in a rut and can’t seem to see the potential that is yet to be fulfilled in their lives, it’s because they are looking at the
apparent circumstances and evidence in their lives as if it were the TRUTH or PROOF about themselves.  If you’ve failed once, twice, three times, or many more…well…that’s just the facts, right?  That is all the evidence you need.  That’s the disgusting, discouraging truth about you.  You have all the proof you need that you’ll never amount to anything.  WRONG! What do you look like from God’s Perspective?

He sees you, still, with all the seeds of potential He created you for.  According to Ephesians 2:10 a Christ Follower was created in Christ Jesus to do good works.  And that’s not referring to wimpy, meaningless stuff.  It’s also not referring to “religious church stuff.”  You were created and infused with God’s grace to accomplish phenominal feats.  If you have a “dirt body” you were made in the image of your Creator.  He is creative.  You have His genes.  You shine with unique creativity in your own right.

In every pimp and con artist, there’s the potential of being a great man of God.  Every prostitute and cocaine addict are potential awesome women of the Most High.  Every lazy couch potato has the potential of a successful motivational mentor.  It’s a matter of deciding, is my past my facts or my truth?   Your future is not in front of you.  It’s inside of you!  DECIDE IT WITH GOD!

Gary

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Prophetic Evangelism

Throughout the years, there have been many different effective “tools” for presenting the Good News of Jesus Christ.  The 4 Spiritual Laws, Evangelism Explosion, Romans Road, just to name a few.  One that is proving to be extremely effective world-wide is something known as Prophetic Evangelism.  The current culture of Western Nations is becoming receptive – no, actually hungering – for the spiritual world.  We as Christians have the opportunity of meeting them on their turf – so to speak – with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit – except in terminology that isn’t religious sounding.  On July 24th and 25th in Davenport, IA, The Sanctuary Revival Center and Midwest Encounters teamed up to invade the annual Bix Jazz Street Fest.  In two days, we were able to communicate the love of God to nearly 750 people.

Life Is Like A Juggling Act

Learning to handle life like a good juggler will actually get you ahead in life with more satisfaction.  Let’s talk about that:

So, how do you become a good juggler?  First….PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.  Learning is the rule of all successful life.  Spiritual lessons included.  If you are afraid to make mistakes, you already have one (maybe both) of your “juggling hands” tied behind you.  Besides the fact that being afraid to make a mistake is usually based on one (or both) of two things.  Not wanting to look foolish to others, and not wanting to feel like a dork, yourself.  Well, get over yourself 🙂

  1. Rule #1: Lots of practice (accompanied by less and less “failing”) is the first rule.  Don’t get discouraged.  It’ll get better.
  2. Rule #2: You must focus.  The good juggler doesn’t let the balls out of his sight even for a second.  Keep your eye intently on the purpose.
  3. Rule #3: Keep moving:  Once the juggler starts throwing the balls, he/she can’t stop moving. That’s not an option.  Keep going.

There are so many good things to accomplish with your life.  Not the least (but actually the most important) is your life of learning to walk more and more steady with the Lord.

The only one who falls short of the goal is the one who chooses to stop….for whatever reason.

Gary

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Shoot…I did it again!

I’ve just blogged for 3 days on the immense value in starting your day with prayer which, itself, starts with sitting quietly and soaking without words.  Just consciously inviting the presence of the Lord.  I KNOW…yep…I ABSOLUTELY KNOW that it is a mistake to look at my email (or leave on the audible notifier)….or, anything else distracting.  This post comes immediately after doing it again!  Let’s talk about that:

What is sooooo hard about quietness?  How do we – practically speaking – turn the corner on this dilemma?  Can we “connect” with the Lord, anyway?  Or, do we just hope things are better tomorrow and live with a film of grey guilt over today?

Living with guilt until tomorrow is never the answer.

Let me ask you a question: When you get a flat tire, do you respond in frustration by getting a screw driver and putting a hole in the rest of the tires?  No, you don’t.  No matter how frustrated you are, you proceed to get the tire fixed.

It’s the same solution for “spiritual errors.”  Fix the “tire.”  Do something about it right there right then, if possible.

If you meant to start your day with a time of quietly waiting on the Lord — and instead — you realize you’ve let distractions rule your mind…even the good ones…stop!  Turn you heart to the Lord.  Fix the tire by simply connecting with Him in a few moments of worship.  Thank Him that He will never leave or forsake you.  Enjoy even a few moments in the confidence that you are moving forward in your journey of communion with Jesus.

There’s a joke for golfers that says, “As long as the last shot was closer to the green, it was a successful shot.”

Lighten up, my friend, and keep moving forward….even if only by inches.  It will get better if your heart is set on the goal.  Your new habit pattern of seeking God will get stronger!

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Soaking Without The Word? (Before You Pray…3)

The title, “Before You Pray” actually reveals our mindset about prayer.  In truth, the silence “beforehand” is part of the whole…a facet of prayer, not something done before praying.  Yet, the “soaking silence” is not the whole, either.

When my Mom used to make home made bread, she would say things like, “You kneed the dough until it feels right.”  I guess she had become accustomed, through trial and error, how the dough felt when it was the perfect consistency.

Well, oddly enough, you get more and more used to “when it feels right” to move from stillness to reading and meditating on a scripture portion. I especially like using the Psalms because they are “heart literature.” I often make them “first person” and say them in praise to God.  I will sometimes simply read until a phrase sticks out.  I’ll stop….read it again…turn it over in my mind…and “listen” intuitively to it.  Those “stand out phrases” I find to often be God speaking specifically to me.

Another way I use the scriptures is by taking a verse or two and “Reading it, Writing it, Singing it, Saying it, and Praying it.”  Then there’s simply the practice of reading a Bible passage gently and slowly several times. The passage itself is not as important as the savoring of each portion of the reading, constantly listening for the “still, small voice” of a word or phrase that somehow speaks to you.

There is an important time for diligently researching and studying the Word of God.  I believe those times are vital to faith.  But, the practice of coming to the Lord in silence and quiet (or with simple music) followed by a “quietness” of including and praying through the scriptures is a practice that is essential to spiritual development of the Christ Follower.

Gary

P.S.  I also am one of those tongues talkers and I saturate my prayer times praying in the spirit. 🙂

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