How to be confident about your future!

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I bright future is easy to see when you’ve got a shipload of money and your career is going from strength to strength. When relationships with loved ones are flourishing and you’re living the dream.

But if you base your confidence in things that can be lost in an instant, then don’t be too confident about your confidence.  When I look at friends who have houses and cars paid off and have reached the pinnacle of their careers, a small part of me becomes concerned. We don’t have a house, our car isn’t paid off and I can retire next week… for 2 days! The fact is, I’ll probably have to work until I fall over one day. I have many friends who are in the same boat. Some of them feel as if they are sinking. But some of us are only concerned for a few moments before we find confidence in our futures.

I have been blessed with the most amazing wife and sons. We are so close as a family and I don’t understand what it feels like to have marital issues. But I have friends who are going through very troubling times in their marriages and relationships. They are awesome people and so are their spouses, but they just can’t seem to work things out. In spite of the fact that their hearts are aching, they still keep going and have confidence in their futures.

The reality is that your financial status can change. You can lose your job, your house and your car in an instant. Your relationship can fall apart. Your health can take a turn for the worse. It sounds negative but it’s reality. If we find our confidence in these things that are temporary, then we will find that our confidence is also temporary. People say that the only constant in life is change. If that is true then we can never continuously be confident.

But here’s the thing that changes everything. God is constant! He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our moods change, our attitudes change, our likes and dislikes change, but God stays the same. In the same way that I see the sun rise every morning (when I’m awake), I know that the SON has risen and is alive and real. I know that this life is not all there is. I know that eternity is real. If you don’t believe that, then you’ll need to find your confidence in temporary things. I find my confidence in Jesus Christ. I don’t use this faith I have to judge others and to look down on those who believe differently. My life needs to reflect what I stand for as a Christian, and that is LOVE. I must love everybody! It doesn’t mean I agree with everything that everybody does. It does mean that I love them in spite of how they feel about me and about my faith.

My future is bright, not because my circumstances are good, but because my God is great. Our time on earth is nothing compared to eternity waiting for us all. So even if my circumstances here on earth aren’t perfect, I know that there’s an eternity of perfect circumstances waiting for me. And by the way… success shouldn’t be measured by the thickness of your wallet or the size of your office. It is measured by the lives that were positively affected by your presence.

So you can choose to have temporary confidence in temporary things, or unchanging confidence in the unchanging God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too busy doing nothing!

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I have come to the conclusion that most of us are missing out on life. We’re either too busy with things that don’t add real value to our lives, or we’re trying too hard to look busy.

How many of us are in a job that we don’t really enjoy, but endure? It should be a joy. But, instead, it’s a fight to get up every morning. We fight with the sun and the alarm clock. We especially fight with our bodies that just won’t get out of bed. We contemplate phoning in sick. And boy, are we good at sounding like we’re at death’s door when we’re on the phone to the boss. The only reason we get up in the morning is because we know we have a mortgage to pay. Also, car payments, credit cards, groceries and especially the meals and drinks bills over the weekends that keeps us sane, in an otherwise insane work environment. That’s not living – it’s simply surviving by making a living.  

As for the rest of us – we might not be that busy in life, but we love to give that impression. We always have to be doing something. Just have a look the next time you’re on a train or bus. Lift up your head from looking at your phone when you’re waiting for your coffee and notice how many people are busy. Either talking on their phones or typing on their phones or just staring at their phones. Have a look the next time you’re at the airport. It’s almost impossible to find anybody just sitting. The only time you might find that, is when they’ve traveled a long way and just don’t have the ability to stay awake anymore. People can’t even sit and talk to one another for more than a few minutes anymore. Pay attention to how many people sit in restaurants and coffee shops and prefer to be communicating on their phone, than talking to one another. We are losing the ability to socialize face-to-face and if I believed in evolution, which I don’t, then it wouldn’t be too long before we don’t have a area called Broca in our brains. Instead, we’ll have nimbler thumbs that help us to text quicker.

We must look busy because that’s what everyone else is doing and we don’t want people to think there’s something wrong with us. It’s so easy to be busy, but not really achieve anything. I wonder how many of us act differently because it feels expected. Would we sit at the airport and pull out our laptops if it made us look nerdy? Mostly, it makes us look important so that’s why we do it. Would we sit in public and stare at our phones if it made us look weird? No, we do it because it makes us look normal in an abnormal world. We want to fit in! We don’t want to look like “losers” who don’t have anything to do. Nobody wants to look like I often do – sitting alone in a coffee shop with no phone or laptop. Just a cup of coffee in front of me, talking to nobody and looking as if I don’t have friends. Now I feel guilty writing this while sitting at an airport. Sometimes, sitting and doing nothing is of more value than all the efforts to look busy, so it’s time for me to wrap up and to stop looking busy.

The point of this blog is not about being critical, but rather about 3 questions we need to answer honestly:

  • Are we succumbing to the world’s pressure to always look busy and important?
  • Have we got to a stage where we are more comfortable talking to a screen and microphone than a real person?
  • Have we lost the ability to effectively communicate face-to-face?

The concept so often seen in classic movies where the creation overpowers the creator has become a reality. We have created technology to serve our needs, and we have ended up serving it! It controls us and there’s no disputing that fact! The question is, “Are you and I strong enough to prove who’s really in control… us or our screens?”

The most important shot…

Most important

“The most important shot in golf, is the next one.” 

These are the words of a golfing legend, Ben Hogan. He knew what it took to be a winner. He also knew what it felt like to 3 putt from 4 meters, on the final hole of the Masters and throw away the title!

Life is a lot like golf. We get better at it as we practice. You can’t expect to grab your clubs once in a blue moon, and think you’re going to break the course record. It takes hours of mishit shots, lost balls and hitting out of the rough to make a champion. To succeed… we have to fail. Because it’s through failure, that we learn and grow and improve. 

Are you refusing to take risks in life because you are too afraid of failing? That, in itself, is failure. By not taking risks you are failing to live, to grow and to improve! Sometimes we need to be in life’s “rough” so that we can learn resilience.  And the one thing we must never forget, is that we can’t do anything about the shot we have just played, but we can focus on the next one. Your next thought, action and decision is the most important one, because it will determine your future.

Golfers have caddies who carry their bags and give them advice about club selection and the course. In golf, caddies walk behind golfers to rake up the bunkers and replace the divots. In the same way, God walks behind us to clean up the mess that we have made and to prepare us for the next chapter in our lives. He makes something beautiful out of our mistakes.                                                                                                                             Caddies walk next to golfers to encourage them. God walks next to us, every step of the way, to encourage us to keep going. No matter what has happened in our past, He is concerned about here and now.                                                                                                    Before the day’s round begins, caddies walk the course to make sure of every little detail. In the same way, God goes ahead of us to prepare the way.

The one thing however, that caddies will not do, is actually play the shots.

God is with us every step of the way, but the way you choose to live, is up to you. It’s completely your choice. God wants the next thing you say to be encouraging, but it’s up to you. God wants the next thing you do to be for the benefit of others, but it’s up to you. God wants the next thought you have to be a positive one, but it’s up to you.

God wants your life to be one of significance. It’s totally up to you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The END and BEGINNING

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When Jesus died He said: “It is finished!” That meant 2 things.

It meant that it was the END. The end to sin having control over us. The end to living a life as a victim. The end to needing to feel alone and abandoned. By dying on the cross for every single person (no matter what we’ve done), he put an end to anything in this world having power over us.

When Jesus rose on the the 3rd day, it signified the BEGINNING. The beginning of a life where sin has no more control over us. The beginning of living a life of victory. The beginning of a life where we know we are not alone.

For you to enjoy that Easter egg you were given, you had to accept it and open it. In the same way; for you to enjoy that life of victory that was offered to you by Jesus, you need to accept it, live it and enjoy it. Everything that Jesus is offering is good.

“Then on the third at break of dawn, the Son of heaven rose again.
O trampled death where is your sting? The angels roar for Christ the King”

If you know Jesus as your Saviour, may you continue to live a life of victory in Him, because of what He did for us.                                                                                                            If you don’t know Jesus – He knows you. He created you to be a unique, wonderful and loved masterpiece. He is on your side and desires a life of victory for you. When you feel surrounded by problems, know that God surrounds you and He cares so much about you that He gave up His own life, by choice, so that you and I can be victorious in Him.

Have a wonderful Easter, enjoy all those chocolates and, more than anything, know that you are special and loved. HAPPY EASTER

 

 

 

 

31-0

Goal

About 15 years ago, American Samoa played a soccer match and lost 31-0. It’s still a record score for an international soccer game. At that stage they were ranked stone last on the FIFA world rankings. The amazing thing is that the soccer world felt embarrassed for them, but the team that suffered this humiliating defeat saw it differently. They were passionate about their sport, they had the most amazing team spirit and their faith was the most important thing in their lives.

Denzel Washington once gave a speech at a graduation ceremony and he started by saying: “Always put God first.” He is an amazing actor, yet that is not the most important thing in his life. It’s very important, but it’s not the most important thing. In the same way, soccer formed an integral part of their lives but it wasn’t the most important thing. They desperately wanted to win but not at all costs. For them it was more important to make sure that their relationship with God and with one another was in place. The amazing thing is that it was exactly that, that changed their results on the soccer field. They started winning because they knew what was really important in life. They made sure that the important things in life were in place, and then they followed their passion. It took a lot of work. It took years of huge losses, but they kept working hard and they were always willing to learn.

A few years after that record loss, they won their first international match. And then another and another. By 2015 they had improved their world rankings by almost 50 places.

You see, we all have passions. And that’s great because without passion we can die while we are alive. The important thing is that we realise what the Samoan soccer team knew all along. Our passion and our talent come from God. And if we give priority to the Giver, the gift becomes far more exciting to live out.  They were given awards for progress, but their true reward came from God.

 

 

 

 

 

past vs. FUTURE

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At 6:25 this morning I was woken up by some serious shaking going on. It felt as if it was part of a dream but I soon realised it wasn’t. It was a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that was rocking our apartment building in Darwin. One week ago, Darwin was also hit by a category 2 cyclone called Marcus. The absolute force and power of nature is frightening. It is something that we have no control over. All we can do is take cover and make sure we are safe. It’s so scary because it is out of our hands and every single one of us likes to be in control.

There are however so many things that we do have control over. Yet we allow things to control us, that don’t need to. One thing that doesn’t need to control you is your past. What others have done to you or what you have done to yourself , can only control you if you allow it to. There are far too many people in this world living as victims. When you are bullied at school or abused by someone or you grew up in poverty or you have messed up badly because of stupid decisions you have made, you have a choice! You can either let it define your life and let it defeat you, or you can stand up and say: “I can’t change my past, but I will not allow it to control my future!”

Don’t allow the dark things that have happened in your life, to take away the amazing potential that is waiting to come out. Right now you are standing in the doorway between 2 rooms. The one room has a bright light shining, representing the possibilities in your future. The other is dark. You have a choice to step into the dark side, close the door and allow your past and your circumstances to steal your future. Or you can step into the light, close the door to your past and don’t allow it to affect your future anymore.

You see, Satan is calling you to reflect on all the negative things in life and he will keep reminding you of it if you allow him to. He wants you to fail! He wants your life to add up to nothing. On the other hand, God is calling you to a life of victory and hope. All you need to do is trust Him and turn away from that darkness. Don’t live one more moment as a victim. Choose Jesus and live a life of victory!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If not now then when?

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Procrastination is something that causes great ideas and world-changing innovations to never see the light of day. That great ambition was birthed in you for a reason. You have something to offer the world and you are the only one that can make it happen.

That day you come up with that great idea, you are excited and passionate. Then that little voice in your head starts niggling away at you telling you that you can’t do it. It tells you that it’s a silly idea. It tells you that so many before you have tried it and it either never worked, or its been done before. And then, when you have the guts to share it with people, they question you and your ability to pull it off.

Let me tell you what; when that happens you’re in the perfect position! Wanna know why? Because when your idea is big enough that people doubt whether you can do it, you are thinking BIG. And thinking BIG is the way that world-changers think. When your ideas scare you spitless and they cause others to doubt you, you have come up with something that others aren’t willing to attempt and that is taking you out of your comfort zone. And it’s outside of your comfort zone where great things happen.

I believe that it’s God that plants these seeds off great ideas in us because He knows the potential He has created in each of us and He wants us to attempt things that are too big for us. He wants to be right there, alongside you, making it happen. Want some proof. What better proof than Gideon. He was a farmer from the most insignificant family in the most insignificant tribe. He was given an army of 300 untrained men to fight against a military powerhouse of 130 000 warriors, and to top it off, his “army” never had any weapons. Gideon was given a choice: “Will you do it or not?”

That’s the choice we face today. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. You need to draw that line in the sand or that line with a paintbrush. Make that decision today whether you are going to bow to the pressure of that voice telling you you can’t or whether you are going to believe that what you are going to pursue today is your destiny and nobody is going to stop you from realising it. Remember… “If God is for you…”

And when you have made that decision, persevere! It’s gonna be hard and it’s gonna get bumpy. But remember to look up. That’s where you will get those sock absorbers that will allow you to take on any terrain that lies ahead.