Discipline.

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Jim Rohn says, “Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built. A lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure.” If you study the lives of great leaders and achievers in any field you will discover they all possess one central attribute. It is self-discipline. Whatever skills or quality you want to improve, you must practice tirelessly. That is where discipline comes in. The key difference between experiencing and only dreaming is discipline. Discipline makes possible the countless hours of practice that leads to mastery. Disciplined people make it look easy 

The term discipline originates from two Latin words – “pupil” and “to learn.” Self-discipline is your ability and willingness to teach yourself how to work systematically and progressively toward a goal until it is achieved. Self-discipline is not easy. It is doing the right things, the right way, day after day, week after week, and year after year until your goal is realized. It is not for the faint hearted.

I remember reading a life-changing phrase: “If you don’t have discipline, you don’t have anything.” Discipline is what you need to get you where you want to go in life. There are some things in life that would be great to have – a new car, a new home, a better job, a better marriage. Then there are some things that are must have’s – food, water, and air. Discipline ranks in the must have category. Why? Because if you don’t have discipline no plan, dream, or goal no matter how big or well-designed won’t amount to anything unless someone has the discipline to follow through with it.

You build momentum through discipline. If you want to excel and truly be successful, it is impossible unless you are a disciplined person. We live in a time when people want quick and easy success. There is no such thing as an instant or overnight success. Discipline is doing what you really don’t want to do so that you can do what you really want to do. It is paying the price in the little things so that you can buy the bigger things. When you face pain and pressure you will give up your dreams and goals unless you have self-discipline. Work on your own self-discipline. And don’t give into compromise or short cuts.

Julie Andrews the famous actress and singer said, “Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.” Initially, discipline comes from other people. Our parents, teachers, coaches told you what to do and you did it. As you grew up it became your responsibility to practice discipline and become a self-disciplined person. Self-discipline is an inside job – no one can do it for you. Self-discipline becomes a lifestyle, and a life-long habit. When you do what you need to do rather than what you want to do you will be amazed at what will happen in your life.

How long should you work on your dreams? Every day as long as you can or until you have achieved them. Each day do something that is moving in the direction of realizing your dream or your goal. If you become a diligent and self-disciplined person you will succeed. I will guarantee it!

See you Sunday in church!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning.

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I’ve always been motivated by the phrase, “Winning starts with beginning!” Tragically many people have a dream, a goal, or something they want to accomplish but they never put their plans into action. The simple fact is that you will never see your dreams become a reality until you get up and do something about it. You may have the most fabulous, detailed, and well thought out plan for your life but nothing is going to happen until you choose to tap into the power of positive action. God does not bless good intentions. He blesses positive action. If you want to accomplish great things for God, you have to cultivate the action habit. Great plans without implementation mean nothing. A God-given dream has the power to propel you into action.

​I want to challenge you to “initiate action now.” Having a God-given dream is an inspiring thing. It fills you with hope and inspiration. It gives you a purpose and a direction for your life. It enables your faith to grow and helps you to persevere even over the rockiest roads. Yet, if you don’t put action behind your dream, it will amount to nothing.

​Once you have decided on an objective to strive for, you must take some form of action toward it each day no matter how small the steps may be. “The longest journey begins with a single step.” Make sure that each step that you take is leading you in the direction of achieving your goal or objective. Many people fail to take specific action toward the realization or dreams because they allow procrastination and excuses to keep them from beginning. Inertia is something that we all battle. It is hard to take action if you are busy watching television, wasting time or just goofing off.

​Realizing your dream is not quick and easy. It involves self-discipline, time management, and a detailed action plan. Those who exert little or no effort toward the realization of their dreams can’t hope to achieve anything of value. When you convert a great idea into action amazing things happen. Determine what you want out of life and then get into action! Remember the simple fact is that you will never see your dreams realized until you get up and do something about it.

​Winning really does start with beginning! Begin today to move forward in faith. Stop using excuses and procrastinating doing what you know you should do. Remember someone is waiting on the other side for you to get your act together. It may mean an eternity of difference in that person’s life.

​See you Sunday in church!

I’m Positive!

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As Proverbs puts it, “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7) If we think with a positive attitude we can actually influence our health, our mental attitude, and the way we relate to others. One of the major growth areas for most of us is developing the right kind of thinking. God has given us the power to choose the way we think. If we allow ourselves to dwell on negatives, or hurts, or mistreatment we become a negative thinker. I challenge you to think big!

Dr. Ben Carson gives a great definition of thinking big: “Thinking big means opening our horizons, reaching for new possibilities in our lives, being open to whatever God has in store for us on the road ahead.” Thinking big is another way of restating one of my mother’s favorite sayings, “You can do anything that they can do – only you must try to do it better!” That’s thinking big!

Most of us sell ourselves short by thinking too small. Whether because of fear of failure or desire to appear humble we try to get by with a scaled down dream that appears easily achievable. Big thinking involves having a God-size dream for your life. Abraham is a great illustration of a man who had to trade his small dream for a big God-size dream. One night, God told Abraham to go outside and look up in the sky. Then he told him to count the stars. When Abraham looked up to the sky, it was filled with millions of stars. There were too many to count. As he looked up into the star-filled sky God said to him, “That is how many descendants you will have!” (Genesis 15:5) For a childless man who is approaching 100 years old that was a big dream!

Big thinkers stop focusing on the impossibilities and concentrate on the possibilities in every situation. Matthew 17:20 states, “Nothing will be impossible for you.” We waste enormous amounts of time, energy and resources focusing on all the impossibilities or problems of the situation. We worry and toss and turn at night thinking about all the reasons why it won’t work or all the obstacles that we are facing. We fill our minds with negative fear-filled thoughts. I’ve learned that impossibilities vanish when a man and his God confront a mountain. Nothing is impossible! Cut the word impossible out of your dictionary. Too often progress has been halted, obstructed, and delayed by persons who use the word impossible. When uttered out loud the word impossible is devastating in its effect on the subconscious – thinking stops, progress halts, doors slam shut, research and experimentation come to a screeching halt. Dreams are discarded – projects are abandoned. Give yourself permission to believe it is possible – no matter what the experts may say.

 

Optimism.

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What do you see when you look out of your window at the world? Do you see the proverbial glass half empty or half full? When you get up in the morning do you say, “Good Lord, it’s morning,” or “Good morning, Lord.” When setbacks knock you down, do you get back up or do you stay down? The world can appear pretty threatening and grim when our mental disposition is covered with fear, doubt, and pessimistic thinking. Price Prichett in his excellent book, Heart of Optimism writes, “Which can do more to increase a person’s lifespan – positive emotions or not smoking? A famous fifty year study produced a remarkable finding. Specifically, those who were positive and optimistic lived on an average longer than those who had more negative thoughts and emotions. Compare that to the benefit of not smoking which increases life expectancy only by seven years. Research indicates that negative thoughts and emotions are more hazardous than cigarettes to your health and life expectancy.” [Read more…]

Responsibility.

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​Do you want to be successful? Do you want to do great things with your life? Do you want your life to count and make a difference? If so, you are going to have to take responsibility for every facet of your life. Taking responsibility for yourself isn’t easy in the modern world. We have been conditioned to believe every external circumstance and every other person is the cause for the parts of our lives that we don’t like. People now focus more on their rights than their responsibilities. [Read more…]

On Persistence.

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​Persistence is one of the most common qualities of great achievers. Great achievers often achieve great things simply because they refuse to give up. When all things are equal, persistence usually will cause one person to rise above the rest. As the others give up and quit the race, one by one, the person who simply refuses to go away ultimately will prevail. The person will be the one who takes home the first place trophy. Success often comes not through skill, ability, or ingenuity, but old fashion stickability. [Read more…]

Wishes.

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If you found an Aladdin’s lamp and its genie offered to make all your wishes come true, what would you wish for? Health? Happiness? A long healthy life? A more successful career? Greater achievement? These wishes, in reality, are your dream for the future. Your dreams do not have to remain in a fantasy world. Dreams do come true – but not by accident, nor luck, or simply wishing that they would come true. Dreams come true as we follow some steps in any endeavor. I believe that God is waiting to bless you, your business, your family, your church or organization in ways that you can’t begin to imagine. [Read more…]

The Gift of Consolation.

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The gift of consolation is one of the most precious gifts of our Lord’s coming at Christmas. God offers real comfort – not simply the type that weakens the human spirit. When we are suffering or going through a difficult painful trial – God moves in to bring consolation and comfort. He has promised, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” There is a condition attached, “An if” commitment. You will be blessed, you will be cared for if God is your friend and Jesus Christ is your Savior. Accept this wonderful gift of consolation and comfort that God specifically offers to you. [Read more…]

Gifting.

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During this special season we think a lot about giving gifts to people who are special to us. Likewise, we need to think of the gift Jesus Christ brings to each of us during this Advent Season. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at five gifts the Lord’s coming has made possible for us. Each one of these gifts is priceless. But like any other gift they must be received and opened. [Read more…]

Give Thanks.

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“Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks unto the Holy One; give thanks because he has given Jesus Christ, His son” describe, for me, what Thanksgiving is all about. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It has been a special time for me to praise and give thanks to God for all the wonderful blessings that He has bestowed upon my life. I don’t think the Lord wants any pompous proclamation on Thursday as much as He wants a little humble service and heartfelt gratitude from each one of us every day during the year.  [Read more…]