Thursday, June 28, 2012

GETTING OUT OF THE BOX

By:  F. Kong

Popular author and motivator Zig Ziglar tells us a story.

Many people set low ceilings on their expectations and capabilities. In the process, they place themselves in a “box.”

Alexander Whortley took that a step further and literally lived in a box. It was a mini-trailer, three feet wide, four feet long, and five feet high. He lived there until he died at the age of 80. His box was made of wood, had a metal roof, and it housed him and all his meager belongings. Regardless of where he worked, Whortley chose to spend his life in that cramped space, even though larger, more comfortable quarters were always available.

Few of us live in a “box.” However, too many of us have a tendency to “box” ourselves in and continue to do things one way because we’ve “always done it this way.” In many cases, time and experience have proven that “this way” is the best way. However, I challenge you to periodically take a long walk or quietly sit and think about the way you do things. Ask yourself if there might not be a better way. Could your procedures be simplified? Are they necessary at all? Could they be done more cheaply or efficiently? Could your product be longer?

Shorter? A different shape? Another fabric? Another color? Sometimes you can come up with simple ideas that make a big difference. Incidentally, one advantage of a continual personal-growth-and-education way of life is that the broader and deeper your knowledge base, the more creative your problem solving approach to life.

Simple example: For years men’s coats had an inside pocket only on the right where pens and other items were kept. One day somebody had a thought: Since most men are right-handed, why not put a pocket on the inside left so that they can reach in, extract the pen with their right hand, and begin writing?  Not monumental, but it saves a second or two and it’s sold lots of suits.

That’s thinking out of the box.

Famous playwright George Bernard Shaw says: “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”

Some people wait for that flash of inspiration but it never comes.

The thing is to get you to start doing something and then the inspiration does come.

People who think out of the box are usually people with multiple interests.

They love music, they love arts, they’re into sports, they adore literature, they study history, they travel and they don’t confine themselves into one solitary thing.

Prominent professor and psychologist Frank Barron says: “The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive and more constructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person.”

And before you start thinking of somebody you know in the office realize that the person is the one that stares right back at you from the mirror.

You can think out of the box. You can be creative.

Learn a second language, take up a new craft.

Enroll in cooking lessons, go and join a skydiving club, go out there and enjoy life and pretty soon you will discover that you’re adding strength and resource to your creativity.

You know what makes us different from animals?

We are created in the image and likeness of God and God is the Creator.

This is why He has gifted us with creativity too so that we can enjoy this wonderful gift of His, this thing called life.

Enjoy it and live it to the fullest.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

UNKNOWN ZONE

By:  S. Bohnert

I pull open the blinds and look out to another day of uncertainty. What will this day bring, Lord? Why can’t I get it together? That terrible pain down deep in my emotions has hit me again this morning; it is a hurt that causes me to cry out even though the pain is not felt physically.

Author, Byron Bohnert wrote, “Oftentimes following God does feel very uncertain, but if we just hold on for the ride it’s always worth the trip.”

That uncertainty is what I call the “Unknown Zone”. One day while sitting in front of my computer and searching the Internet, I started talking to God. “Lord, I’m sailing into unchartered waters. I don’t know where I’m going.” Then while looking down at the screen, I noticed the words on the bottom right, “Unknown Zone”. Have you ever noticed it on your computer? It’s the place you go while waiting to reach your site.

We will all enter this zone several times in our lives through starting a new marriage, family, job, church, school, or home. It actually all starts at birth. What will this life of mine bring?

[The Future—Determined and Unknown] Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny. (Ecclesiastes 6:10 New Living)

You know you have a destination to reach but you’re not sure how you’ll get there. The anticipation of what lies ahead can be exhilarating and the possibilities will be limitless as you enter this zone.

By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God's call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. Hebrews 11:8 (Message)

However, it never occurs to us that these unknown zones can turn around and leave us battling fear and hopelessness. Therefore, we find ourselves traveling into another unfamiliar zone during times of divorce, job loss, death, bankruptcy, broken relationships. The list is endless.

My insides are turned inside out; specters of death have me down. I shake with fear; I shudder from head to foot. "Who will give me wings," I ask— "wings like a dove?" Get me out of here on dove wings; I want some peace and quiet. I want a walk in the country, I want a cabin in the woods. I'm desperate for a change from rage and stormy weather. (Psalm 55:4 Message)

We wrestle with so many questions. Will I make it through without being shipwrecked? Will I drown in the middle? Will I stay on course? Don’t you see how the disciples felt being in that boat during a storm? The King of Kings was right there in the midst of them and they still panicked.

“When you’re in a tight spot and problems are raging all around, there is a sense of uncertainty that tries to envelop the mind. If we are not careful, it is easy to get mentally sidetracked. By focusing on our problems and never looking up, we will fail to experience the peace of God.” (Trust Him in Everything by Byron Bohnert)

In the unknown zone you have to trust Jesus without knowing where you are going. Your possibilities can still be unlimited. God will open up opportunities you would have never known without trusting in Him during times of uncertainty.

These words in Isaiah 42:10-16 will give you courage as you travel into the unknown:

But I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way, who can't see where they're going. I'll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I'll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don't fall into the ditch. These are the things I'll be doing for them— sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute. (Message)

Monday, June 25, 2012

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

By:  Blackaby

Would you dare to believe that God, who called you to Himself and equipped you with His Spirit, could work mightily through you? Have you made the connection between the time and place in which you live and God’s call upon you?

World events never catch God by surprise. He placed you precisely where you are for a purpose. Daniel did not let the temptations of his day interfere with his relationship to the Lord. He knew that to make his life useful to God he must be obedient in all things. Regardless of what the most powerful king in the world commanded, Daniel refused to compromise what he knew God required of him.

 

History is replete with examples of Christian men and women who believed that God would work through them to make a significant difference for His kingdom. God placed Esther strategically in the king’s court at a crucial time when she could save the lives of God’s people (Esther 4:14).

 

God placed Joseph strategically to become the most powerful adviser to the pharaoh in Egypt and to save Jacob and his family from a devastating drought (Gen. 41:39-40). Are you allowing your surroundings to determine how you invest your life? Or are you letting God use you to make a difference in your generation? Ask God to reveal His purposes for you and His will for your life today.


But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies. - Daniel 1: 8

Sunday, June 24, 2012

LIVE OUT YOUR DREAMS

By:  D. Decker


Did you know that…

1. Lucille Ball’s (I Love Lucy) career didn’t start off so well. She was once dismissed from drama school for being too quiet and shy.

2. Big companies that have gone bankrupt:
- Quaker Oats (3 times)
- Pepsi-Cola (3 times)
- Borden’s
- Aunt Jemima
- Wrigley’s (3 times)

3. Clint Eastwood was once told by a Universal Pictures executive that his future wasn’t very promising. The man said, “You have a chip on your tooth, your Adam’s apple sticks out too far, and you talk too slow.”

4. Albert Einstein
did poorly in elementary school, and he failed his first college entrance exam at Zurich Polytechnic. But he became one of the greatest scientists in the history of the world.

5. Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded.

What if these people listened to the naysayers and gave up? What if they let their negative experiences stop them from pushing on?

Many of their great contributions and successes would be lost.

How does that fit into your life? Are you letting the negative setbacks pull you down? There are always going to be people who can’t see what you see. There will always be circumstances that shape your thinking and slowly begin to cause you to lose that drive and determination you may have once had. The key though, is to never give up and do what you feel is right. Constantly reinvent yourself and what you do. If you come across someone who doesn’t believe or share the same vision you have, be reminded that God gave YOU the vision to fulfill a certain purpose. Sometimes others just don’t see the same thing because God gave them a different vision to pursue.

Live out your dreams, stay focused and change the world.