Thursday, April 24, 2014

Go to the Well...

On a different note,

I know it's Not always funny when God rocks the boat, but I will say I do find some humor in the fact that I have seen first hand how God deals with complacency. He does not desire us to get too comfortable, too ritualistic... Meaning, if our Faith is not being maintained, He'll make sure to give us a bump in the road to remind us of our need, dependency and focus. I'm sure some might take offense to that, but I personally am thankful for it!
My life is as busy as anyone's, and I do make an effort to create intimacy with the Lord, but for me routine is one of the ways I can stay productive. But I also in the back of my mind I ponder the day to day, and whether or Not I am getting too comfortable. We are on this earth for a short amount of time, so for us to be fruit & useful, we really can't afford to waste too much time! I consider myself a living example of God's Love! He has used me in scenario's I had no business being in... But, it was the acknowledgement that it was Not about Me! It was His Love, His Grace, His power, and so on... All I had to do is be willing!
I hope You see that within my writings I do try to be honest, open and transparent... I do not claim life or Faith to be easy! But I do say that letting Go is a very freeing experience! As we go through life we will endure trials & valleys, so it is the circumstances and How we deal with it that will shape us. I would never expect someone to endure a trial perfectly... as we are Not perfect! But I would encourage that person to keep the faith, remembering the times past... previous valleys... and that the Lord was there... providing, comforting, and typically redirecting to an even more fruitful path.
I'll be honest, I pray daily for things that most would find scary or unsettling. I pray for opportunity, I pray for redirection, I pray for His hand & intercession in my life, and I state that I am willing to give it all up for Him... I do not take those plights lightly, nor do I say them in a "mater of fact" way... I trust the Lord with my life... He has Always taken care of me, and made my life fruitful & worthy as long as I kept Him #1 in my life!
We WILL endure, Life does Go on, but it is our Faith that keep us grounded and steady. There is Nothing stable, lasting on this earth... Only the LOVE & Presence of our Creator! Find truth, solace, and comfort in that, and Go to that well for nourishment!

Good day & God Bless,
Chris

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dream Weaver...

On a different note,

Not to start off too morbid, but time is something we cannot depend on... tomorrow is Not promised, and every second of our life is ticking by... so, I ask "What are You doing with it?!"... The reason I propose this question is that a lot of us get caught up in the rituals, complacency and comfort-ability of life... we become reactionary. We probably do not set many goals, and if we do they are realistically over simplified or super easy to accomplish... and even in that, we are probably "ok" if they do not get met. Is this really where we wanna be? Is this really the life God had intended for us? Is this the best we can do?
I personally ask myself these types of questions constantly. I am Not "Ok" with average, and I for sure do not believe God put me on this green earth to blend in with a crowd. One of the things my Faith does for me is give me a sense of worth... meaning, I know I have a purpose! And, I know I seek & follow my Savior is just happens to be my provider & protector! Thus, as long as I am striving to bring positive change to this world, He's going to support it, or re-direct it! See, I am driving towards goals that are in line with His will... What is His will you ask? To Love one another, to Seek Him out and share His Love with the world! He is Number 1 in my life... Does that seem unrealistic?
As we grow our relationship with Him, and make Him the priority we then open the doors for His intercession... Yes, exactly!! HE... The Creator Now has a vested interest in Your Goals (Cause You work for Him)! So, we better first stop and check ourselves & our goals... hehehe... Let's see, My goal is world domination and ultimate money & power... (Insert game show buzzer sound)... FAIL! My goal is to create/perform music and share Love & Happiness with the world!! Ah ha... now we're getting somewhere!
This world is made up of people who have skills, gifts, talents, and experiences that all vary... BUT, we are ALL created equal! So, why can't should I preclude myself from setting goals & dreams? Am I not worthy? Or is it I am not willing to step out of my box? Or maybe I need to grow my faith a lil more before I step out of the boat... This LIFE is already happening... Right now! Get your footing (Spiritual grounding), Find your balance (Physical, Mental Emotional, Spiritual), Look Up (Set Your goals), and Jump for those stars (Follow Your plan to reach Your objectives)!!
I KNOW there is a plan for me... I know that if I am WILLING to step out of my boat in Faith, that God will continue to use me! WE are our own hindrance, WE are our own worst critic, WE allow the world to dictate our future... STOP living for the world, and reach for the Heavens!! You don't have to do it alone!

Good day & God Bless,
Chris

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reality Check...

On a different note,

Today I will speak from a personal and introspective perspective... who knows, maybe others have felt this way or still feel this way. I hear so much about success, how to find it... or create it... or whatever. I so appreciate the "You" movement in motivation, I really do, but I think it creates a false sense of reality at times. We glamorize certain things in life and then try make it look so easy... when in all actuality, it is Not that easy for most. I can remember years of frustration in my early adult years... Really because of a false sense of reality & false sense of entitlement. I felt I was set up for failure. Constant disappointment... but even in that comes some victories, some accomplishments, and in that is where I should seek my fulfillment.
Not everyone will be President, Not everyone is cut out to be a pilot, Not everyone will be on American Idol... So, the area of Goal setting I believe we divert at times is the "Realistic" part... We must set achievable goals... well, how does one do that? Facts... If I am trying to lose 150 lbs... I'd better do my research... I'd better be prepared to sacrifice EVERY day for my goal! And I better meticulously document, plan out and enact such goals... You see, we all typically set unrealistic goals, oh and expect them in a short amount of time... And that is where disappointment, failure, doubt comes in!
Example: I am continually doing vocal exercises, trying to expand my range, increase control, and such... I remember desiring to learn how to use my Falsetto voice. At the beginning it was so foreign, that it only frustrated me... I found some exercise after that, and began the process of teaching my vocal muscles to do it. I can tell you I am still refining and honing it in after prob 3 years of exercises. YEARS of daily exercises to perform one small task. So, I set a goal, I did the research and found exercises, I committed to the Long haul, and put Years of daily work in to it... What did I earn? Success! Allow me to give you the alternative... I played football for many years... worked VERY hard, and almost made the NFL... But looking back, I'm not sure I did the right things to truly put me in a place of victory. I thought Just desiring it, and putting hours in was enough... In reality, I wasn't doing the right things, I wasn't investing enough, AND I probably should of realized my peak potential many years in to it... Either way, I did not meet my goal... Lack of a plan, lack of defined investment, lack of transparency and honesty on my part...
I cannot define what YOU will be successful at, but I do know it is going to take a plan. Success does not happen by chance, goals aren't met by entitlement. You know the saying "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it"... I hope this does not come across as negative, but as a gut check... and opportunity to regroup, refocus, and recommit to Your dreams! Please look up the definition of "S.M.A.R.T" goals... Use Your time, money, effort, & energy wisely!!

Good day & God Bless,
Chris

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fear Factor...

On a different note,

Did you know that one of the biggest catalysts in life is Fear? The hard part is learning to decipher fear, and use it to your advantage, versus a reason to give up or run from trials. Fear truly seems to be a recognition, one of clarity, one that ponders the severity of a given situation. The dictionary calls it "Apprehension" or a an emotion led by impending pain or danger. Hopefully we've all learned over the course of our lives, we should not be led by our emotions.So, maybe we need to analysis the strength of fear in our lives and make sure we're not allowing it to control our decision!
I have been very fortunate to live a life full of experiences, and in all honesty there were times I was fearful... I was not always the dare devil, go getter, and "try anything once" kind of guy. Learning to over come fear takes time, just like learning to ride a bike, or learning to have a positive attitude. We must be willing to face these things with honesty, vulnerability, and transparency! This is going to help US get out of this box we live, and truly experience LIFE in all its glory.
Last night Joy & I were fortunate enough to take on the experience of Trapeze work... just for a few hours. Climbing the skinny later, to a very small platform, and then hanging over the side trusting the cables, trusting the guy holding You, until you step of in a leap of faith... People that are led by fear might have a hard time experiencing something of this caliber... If you break down fear, it's typically rooted in a sense of losing control. The Unknown! I would agree we ALL need to be careful, and make healthy decisions. But how many things have we avoided, ran from, or denied based on a fear of losing that control in our life?
Faith in itself is relatively intangible, meaning it's not something you can touch. It is something I have to step out of my box, and trust in the Lord to guide, protect and provide for me... I take a leap of faith! And Yes, it was a progression... I did not jump head first in without hesitation, weariness, awareness, or without doubt... But the fact is, I did take that step! Just like I did jumping out of an air plane in the Army, just like I did getting up on that trapeze, just like I do riding my Harley... My lack of control did not keep me from seeking Spiritual fulfillment... from my blessings, my salvation... and to be honest, the fear of being wrong about my Faith was one of the catalysts that inspired me to seek the Lord. Trusting Him, and not letting my fear of Not knowing get in the way of Knowing!
Fear is a very powerful emotion... We can let it lead us, and miss out on some incredible experiences, and possibly even a relationship with our Creator. Or we can be willing to step out of our box, and give life a try! How many successful people do you know who didn't have to take a leap of faith? Who didn't have to circumvent Fear in order to reach new heights?

Good day & God Bless,
Chris

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Communication is Key...

On a different note,

I'm not sure how much I have written in the past on communication, but I hope it was a lot! It truly is the key and a foundational characteristic we should ALL look to grow. I don't care if it is work, friendships, marriages, children, or any other interpersonal relationship... it will Not flourish without communication!
The interesting thing is, there are certain aspects of communication that will carry weight, and truly make the difference when it comes to the depth of intimacy. Since most of the world lives with fear & doubt, we encounter emotional walls in our surface level relationships. People are too scared to be honest, or even to be willing to listen to the heavy stuff. So, this only provides a shallow level of openness. It's like teasing a dog with a throw toy... Talking a good game, but not really committing to the act. Commitment & Dedication do not have a 50% level... ALL or nothing!
Look at it like this... If You run a company and You are reliant on your customers to survive. Your company would Not exist without the customers end of the interaction. How long would You stay in business if You didn't ask your customers for feedback? Or if You even factored in their needs at all? And how fruitful would you be if You didn't take that feedback and their requirements to heart? Like that business, if You do not engage your relationships in a reciprocal manner, it will not survive!
We are self serving, thus this level of communication takes effort, practice and focus. And in all honesty, I wasn't able to live in this manner until it was shown & proven to me! I learned to be transparent, open, honest, vulnerable in my walk with the Lord... I had to be willing to bring EVERYTHING to Him... Own my stuff, and be honest about it. I had to learn to be forthright, in spite of how hard it might of been. I also had to stop & listen... That allowed me to truly know Him, to truly receive understand & revelation, thus equating to an intimate, reciprocating, fruitful, and loving relationship. I had to fight the desire to retract, self serve, and put the relationship above my fears and unwillingness to be vulnerable to someone I cared for.
I stand before You a man who is not great at this, or many other things... but one who puts for effort, desire, and takes the time to try and live a healthier life. I put value in things that are fruitful... My friends, family, the Lord, my job, home and my Amazing wife! I can look back and see the wake of pride in my younger years... living just for me! Relationships are key to our Journey... we should choose wisely, and then invest, commit, and sacrifice for their growth!
Communication will change all facets of our lives if we commit to it... Living in the "Know" and engaging our loved ones on a level that provides grace, love and blessings!

Good day & God Bless,
Chris

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Seek Inspiration...

On a different note,

I wonder what the difference is between people who are self motivated or those who require external stimulus? Maybe it's just having the desire to seek it out, or sit back and wait for it. Either way, I think we can all agree that all of us require inspiration periodically. I think other wise, we get lost in the complacency of life... the mundane... a routine which can get us in the reactive versus proactive... or possibly stunt much growth in general. I think we can all recall seeing things in our lifetime that were beyond comprehension within a day to day life... Imagine if someone wasn't inspired to send a rocket to the moon? Imagine if no one thought electronic messaging was a good idea? Imagine if Kelly Clarkson didn't try out for American Idol?
To achieve new heights or to fulfill our destiny's, we must be willing to step out and take a leap of Faith. That is going to take some type of inspiration! Whether it's the Lords hand gently guiding us, instilling a feeling of confidence... or maybe a family member encouraging us to push through our personal challenges to show the world our true capabilities... Life is full of ups & downs... mountains & valley's... Success & failure... Yes & No's... So remember to keep that as a constant. So, it's how we maneuver, deal with, and persevere through these fluctuating times that will define us!
I believe in the power of prayer for multiple reasons... first & foremost is God listens! We may not always get Our way, but He hears! Our Faith provides us Hope... ergo, things expected! That in itself can provide motivation, strength, and confidence! It also allows us the chance to focus, unify, and seek that spark of inspiration in a situation. If we are Not seeking in life, then we are running blind... We should be seeking opportunities, we should be seeking our Spiritual foundation & path, and we should also be finding those glimmers of Hope, Love, Intercession and Inspiration!
This message today was started by my thinking of my life... and how some days I just don't want to do it... And how God knows exactly what I need and any given moment! And even if it's only 10% of the time, He inspires me in those mellow times... He'll have my Wife share words of hope & faith... He'll send a message from a dear friend, that lights a fire in my heart... But always knows what I need! I feel God uses me to inspire at times, He uses me for many tasks and I've always found such security in that! You see, if we seek opportunity, seek inspiration, and seek a path, we will find it! Admitting our need for intercession does not make us weak or stupid, but quite the opposite! I am but one, but WE can move mountains!

Good day & God Bless,
Chris

Monday, April 7, 2014

Just a moment...

On a different note,

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an event my wife was involved with built around art, music and giving back to the kids in our community. It was an incredible event... truly encouraging expression, hard work, giving back and unity. These events happen on different scales, but all with the same intent. Selflessness... I am always amazed at the willingness to lift others up at these events, from the host, the artist and even the sound guy. It allows people an opportunity to sacrifice, invest, and donate their time, talents & treasures, and imagine the impact it will have on the children involved. As parents we have the opportunity to provide those "ah Ha" moments with our children, possibly changing the course of their lives!
I remember being a boy first playing pee wee football, and it was way outside of the norm for me. Learning a new sport, having to practice, and having to be part of a team... sharing, one focus, one goal, unity... Like these kids yesterday, I'm sure not every day was glamorous or exciting... it is work to invest in something, even if it is something you Love to do. I remember football being a burden at times, questioning whether it was the right place for me. Or whether I truly wanted to commit to the hours & focus it required. And then it happened... one of those pivotal moments. It was 8th grade, coach Poulin used me as the example in front of the entire team. I wasn't very big, I probably wasn't the fastest at that point, but he said I had Heart! He said everyone on this team should be playing with this much heart & effort! That set the course for years to come... Like the youth that played classical piano at this event yesterday... on stage... ovations... from 5 to 12 yrs old... What a Joyous occasion!
Life is but a series of moments they say... some god, some not so good, but I find such gratitude in the little things... these mountain top moments, that truly can redirect, replenish, and rejuvenate! My wife, who until just a few years ago had never leveraged Her skill & gift, was not front and center... one of 11 piano's on that stage! Being congratulated by other artists, being adored by the crowd, and even having it being a center piece for a musical event that could change the course of a young persons life... So often we forget these moments... so often we forget the power of a split second... and so often we forget the power, weight, impact of a gesture!
I continually implore people to do things on purpose, to encourage, inspire & invest in others, why? For these reason... We can be the hand God uses to change the course of someones life. We can be God's catalyst to push someone else to the top of a Mountain... even if just for a moment! Just a moment!

p.s. So proud of My Wife, not sure she realizes the impact she has in the world around her!

Good day & God Bless,
Chris