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What happens when you fail?

25 May

Failure. Not sure anyone enjoys failure. I mean, we all know we will fail in life at some point. Some of us, more than others. But, if we know that failure will come, the more important question to ask is, what will we DO with our failure? What will we do when we fail?

For some people, it’s as easy as dusting off the old hands & moving on to the next thing. For others, it’s a bit more redundant…they keep doing the same thing over & over again. Failing each time. Possibly succeeding at the same thing they’ve been doing so many times. And for some, failure devastates them. It crushes them. So much that they are afraid to ever try again. At anything.

 

“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” ~Chinese Proverb

 

For years, I would try so hard to be the best at whatever I did that failure just wasn’t something that happened to me. Or so I thought. I guess every time I would “catch wind” of my impending defeat, I would stop doing whatever I was doing & reside from the process. I figured if I just “quit”, then it wouldn’t count as failure. If I just gave up, I could find some excuse for why I wasn’t interested in that route anymore. So, in my mind, I never failed. I just conveniently quit.

 

To fail is a natural consequence of trying. To succeed takes time & prolonged effort in the face of unfriendly odds. To think it will be any other way, no matter what you do, is to invite yourself to be hurt & to limit your enthusiasm for trying.

~David Viscott

 

Sure, there are plenty of things I have succeeded at. We all have accomplished something in our lives. No matter how big or small…successes are around us. However, when I look at what I have succeeded in…they are things that I could do. Yes, they were things that I knew if I just made up my mind, I had a decent amount of talent to succeed at. But, the things I quit? Ugh, they were things that I knew I couldn’t do. At least not on my own. You see, I have this problem with being in control of myself & my world. I surround myself with activities & concepts that I WILL succeed at. I create my own “challenges” for myself…but if I am painfully honest; my challenges are built on what I know I truly can do in the first place.

So, where does this leave me? What does this mean for someone like me? The answer? I DON’T KNOW. Yes, Staci, for once in her life doesn’t have an answer. I am terrified. Honestly, I am frustrated, ashamed, angry at the lies I have been telling myself all these years. Don’t get me wrong, what I have been successful doing…I really enjoy & has been extremely meaningful. But, the problem with this realization is that I feel like I am starting all over again. I feel like I did after I turned 18 &  moved out of my parents’ house. The potential for success, greatness, uniqueness…it was at my fingertips. The world was mine to discover.  This time, however, I am looking out over my life & what is to come with a different reality. I now have a husband & 3 little children who need me as I need them. And this life; the opportunities for greatness in God…I want my whole family to be a part of something beautiful. What is to come…it isn’t just for me. It’s for all of us. It’s my way to give back to God…ALL of me. Not just my shortcomings, not just my control, not just my sorry realities. No, giving God the good in me, too. My talents. My passions. My everything.

You see, I have realized that failure isn’t about what I’ve failed at or where I’ve fallen from. It is about what I do after I have failed or fallen. We all know what the fate would be for a baby who never got back up when he fell as he was learning to walk.  He would never experience a life of new opportunity. He would never experience a different perspective. We all know that it would be no fun to crawl on our hands & knees through the rough terrain…the rocky areas. Nor would it be very fun to always experience all life has to offer & the beauty of it crawling with our heads down. But, how often do we choose to crawl? How often do we stop trying…not realizing that if we just kept trying…we’d be able to walk & experience a whole new perspective for life? We need strength & a steady footing to get through the rough patches &  difficulties in life.  As well as strength to fully enjoy the best things in life. We will never learn how to be strong if we just give up. We will never learn who we are if we never try.

So, in celebration of my 33rd birthday today, I am letting go. I will do all that I can to allow God to make me who he wants me to be. Not who I think I should be or who I think I could  be for that matter. I’ve got to be honest enough to admit that who I am right now & who I’ve become isn’t working anymore. And what a beautiful birthday gift I am giving to myself. More God…less of me. 🙂

“My imperfections & failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes & my talents & I lay them both at his feet.” ~Ghandi

Today’s Billboard

23 May

By now, you may have seen this photo floating around on facebook. I came across it last evening…

Yes, it was awkward. Not just for Harold Camping & his followers, but for all people. I’ve had many conversations…some people making a joke about it, laughing & scoffing at the fact that the rapture did NOT happen. You know…we’re still here. Some people who have said they are truly concerned & scared about the possibility that the world could end someday. People discussing their own beliefs, their own thoughts about faith, Jesus, God & the rapture. Also, many conversations amidst fellow Christ followers who are upset & frustrated by Harold Camping’s claims because now we have to walk around with a sense of scorn placed on us because someone falsely misrepresented our Jesus. Those of us who follow Jesus believe in him & the Bible when it says; “No one knows the day or the hour…” as said in Matthew 24:36. We believe & know Jesus will come back…it’s just a matter of when.

Let me share some more scripture around Matthew 24:36. It says:

Matthew 24:36-44

The Day and Hour Unknown

    36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

   42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

God says that NO ONE knows. Not even Jesus. But, the Bible is full of scriptures that give us signs to be vigilant about that will give us warning. Here are some scriptures that warn of the “last days”.

2 Timothy 3

 1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

2 Peter 3

The Day of the Lord

 1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

 3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

  14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

1 Thessalonians 5

The Day of the Lord

 1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Something that always strengthens my faith is the truth that the Bible was not written yesterday. It wasn’t written 10 years ago! It was written thousands of years ago & IS God’s word. From the beginning of time. The relevancy of the writings & what is happening around us today cannot be denied. Matthew 24 is a very detailed portion of scripture that gives us a great deal of information on the last days & what is to come. I encourage you to read it. Here is a link to read it in full:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+24&version=NIV

So, yes, May 21st as supposed “Judgement Day” was awkward for all of us to some degree. But, the good news is that for every joke that is being made about it, for every laugh & roll of the eyes; many people have begun to talk about Jesus. Many people have begun to really evaluate their lives. If any good can become of Harold Camping’s false prediction, it will be the good of more people coming to believe & follow Jesus. Also, those who already follow Jesus are strengthened by the truth of his word that no one knows the hour & we should always be ready & live a life of devotion to him.

Matthew 24

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Francis Chan: Why We Can’t Afford To Get Hell Wrong.

21 May

I have always appreciated the writings & speakings of Francis Chan. I just wanted to share a video from him about his upcoming book. Really looking forward to his wisdom. 🙂