Achieve Your Goals This Year

Goals like resolutions are often broken without the intended results we wished for – I know, I have done the same thing only to feel guilty and disappointed in myself. However, last year’s goals were beat beyond my expectation and create a greater confidence in God and my purpose in life. Whether jogging, writing, blogging, dieting, prayer, spiritual growth or business projections, you CAN do it.

Here are some of the tools I use frequently in setting goals:

Write Each One Down Writing down your goals is essential in “fleshing out” your dreams. Placing your goals on paper builds a system of checks and balances.

Develop a Bull’s Eye Be specific. Be focused. You may have to rewrite your goals, as I have done, they can’t be general, for instance, “write a blog” may be better stated, “write on my blog twice a week.” A goal must be “zeroed in on” if you are to be satisfied with the results.

Collect Pictures Gather pictures (I call them “visual reminders”) to consistently remind me of the goals I created and the hopes of accomplishment. Place them in a prominent position so you can view them frequently.

Build a Theme This has been a huge plus for me in accomplishing my goals. For instance, my theme this year is “APPROPRIATING.” Simply appropriate my dreams into life settings. Having a scripture underneath my theme is a double positive, my scripture this year is, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Evaluate Often Check your goals often, don’t be disappointed if you didn’t accomplish one goal or two, I have set 18 Health, Reading, Praying, Living, Family and Financial goals this year, There will be many I accomplish, hopefully all of them but realistically some may fall by the wayside.

Do the Little Ones First You can build momentum to the larger ones by accomplishing the little goals first. I usually read my Bible, read my devotional, read a chapter in a book, pray, write in my blog, exercise and more; by 8:00 in the morning I have already accomplished half of my 18 annual goals. However, here is a caution, don’t be so mesmerized by the small goals accomplished that you’re not spurned on to the larger goals.

Don’t be Afraid of Baby Steps Some goals take longer, so I must be incremental, in other words, steps must be set to each goal, “How will I reach the goal?” For blogging, I set ten to twenty minutes to write so I can have two posts a week, maybe I write in the morning, maybe a little in the afternoon, but I stair step to the goal rather than take giant steps. Don’t be afraid to jog .5 miles for two or three months. Add 10% growth to your accomplishment the next month.

Pray About It Purpose in life is God-given and goals develop purpose in my life. It is reasonable to pray about the life I am living in God’s purposes.

Memorize Scripture This is something I stumbled upon to be honest. My wife and I decided to memorize together Psalms 91, not only did it erase fear but it placed our mind and spirit in a different frame of mind. Sharpen your mind by memorizing and meditating on the Word of God.

Celebrate Accomplishment When some goals have been accomplished I will go to a coffee shop, take my iPad and just savor the moment. Goals can’t be driven 24/7 – you must find time to think, relax and enjoy.

Comment: What system do you use to accomplish your goals?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

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Questions I Ask Before Making A Change

noGrowth and maturity are based on change. So change in a life growth plan is inevitable. To change is to step into tomorrow while holding on to foundational truths of yesteryear but letting go of bygone preferences. Since growth is incremental the decision to change must be the first step. Most of us agree to this point but how do we make personal changes, life changes and organizational changes for the best? The idea of change clashes with the change process. We know we should but how do we bring change to the table in an acceptable manner?

Maybe we should ask five heart searching questions, I ask myself:

Is The Change Necessary? Change for change sake is ridiculous. Change for revenge sake is evil. Change for the sake of finding something new is irrational. So I must ask myself  three intrinsic questions: Am I attempting to become obedient to the Word of God? Is it my desire to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit? Or, is the change a personal preference?

Is The Change Minor Or Major To Me? Before we ask the question on how it affects others I must ask myself how does this change me? What sacrifices will I need to make? Will it have long-term or short-term effects? How does it affect my family?

How Many People Will The Change Personally Effect? Change has a ripple effect. Will it affect just those around me, my congregation or my community – for the better or for the worse?

What Is The First Step I Must Take To Bring About This Change? Must I make some personal changes first? Is there something I need to begin personally before I make this change public? Am I willing to suffer the consequences?

Have I Prayed About It? No, I mean really prayed about? Haws God-given His stamp of approval? Do you feel the peace of God or do you wrestle with it? Have you asked for the counsel of godly men around you?

If bringing myself to the place of confidence is the first step then bringing others to the place of confidence must be the second step;  I ask others:

Who Is Affected By This Change? I may discover some resistance that I may not have anticipated had I just asked this simple question among my peers or those who circle around me. Not all change will attract all people but all change must attract God’s blessing. A circle around you is imperative to creating change around you.

Do You Understand What Must Die And What Must Live? Have those around you create a checklist of the essentials and the nonessential, list the positives and the negatives, list what lives and what dies? This exercise will cut off unmet expectations and hidden turns in the future.

Do You Understand Why We Are Making This Change? The big why Is more important than the what must change, who must change or when will we change? If the why is not clear then step back and wait.

Have We Prayed About It? Prayer together is the solidifier. Melting together means staying together. Prayer creates an atmosphere for change. If we haven’t prayed then plans, purpose and projects are skeletons of vision resulting in disappointments.

 

Comment: How do you prepare for change?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

When Do You Need A Mentor?

Picture1Now – Is the correct answer. Life is better when another set of eyes views the project. Life is better when another heart feels concern. Life is better when another mind has assisted in thinking out the process. Life is better when two carry the load.

A young couple found another couple in their church; this couple had been married about ten years more and had served God since their teens. The young couple heard laughable and insightful stories to encourage them through the bumps in their own marriage.

A pastor was navigating his church through difficult waters, stressful and tired, he and his wife called an older pastor and his wife over for dinner. The evening went quickly and after the older couple left, the pastor’s wife smiled at her husband, “I feel totally refreshed.”

An aspiring writer wanted to put something together but kept hitting rough spots; she called an experienced author and asked if they could meet over coffee. They did and continue to meet – inspiring each other.

A mentor may meet once but most likely will meet several times and often. A mentor is not a counselor but a coach. Not “I have all the answers” but “let’s find the answers.” A mentor doesn’t push but coaxed. A mentor is concerned and you should be honest but a mentor is not a garbage can to put your trash in.

Mentors Coach You To Go To The Next Level. If you wish to grow in a more rapid pace you will need a coach. A true mentor will encourage you to take risks with careful consideration, to spend money frugally, and to make decisions prayerfully.  A wise mentor will not push you to the next level but will persuade you to take the next step.

Mentors Address The Vision. Mentors will dig until your true vision comes to the surface. Mentors will prod until your true feelings are exposed. Mentors ask questions about your vision, your dream and your purpose in life.

Mentors Discover The Path. A mentor will encourage you to take the first step in the right direction. A classroom, a conference, a phone call, a book, may be the right step but a mentor will help you find what the next step is.

Mentors Will Pray With You. A real mentor knows prayer unveils truth, discovers direction, and fills the heart. Compassion is the unique quality of an effective mentor. You may not see them every week but when you do you know it is a God moment. Praying together helps the heart to find its purpose.

Comment: What do you feel is a great characteristic of a mentor? Do you have a mentor?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

When to Say NO

noThere is probably not a harder word to say with conviction than the word, “No!” For the motivated and vision driven leaders we have a tendency to lean on “more is better.” Busy is the key word in business – so we work harder, schedule tighter, press on more and push until exhausted. When we do say, “No,” it is usually with a bowed head and droopy eyes; as if we had just been informed someone had passed away. No is negative – is our perception but I would like to introduce you to the positive no; the positive way to say, “No” with conviction and tenacity. Should I be able to say, “No!” without guilt? We like to please people but by saying, “No” at the right time is to be able to live with a light in your eyes even though you have turned down a worthy request.

Here are several reasons why “NO” needs to be your next answer:

To Have The Freedom To Say “Yes” To The More Important. When you refuse the insignificant and choose the important, you have just made a mature and essential choice. You have freed up your time to dive headlong into your vision and to intensify your efforts towards your dream. Doing what someone else deems important keeps me from doing what I feel is important. Ask yourself this question, Does this lead me to my important goals I have set?

To Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Worry And Fear. More to do will bring on more stress – give yourself some breathing room. Over committed translates underachieved. Set your focus around the necessary instead of the weighty. Ask yourself this question, Does this contribute to my stress or my delight?

  • Schedule your day, week and month with opportunities not jobs.
  • Set goals with liberty and room to reset the goal when necessary
  • Scratch items that can be delegated or dropped without repercussions

To Have More Thinking Time The ability to think is having a vacation in the mind. Writers, authors, speakers, leaders and pastors need time to think – creativity flows into spontaneous delivery. A short trip to the coffee shop, a walk in the park, or time with the family can have an amazing flow of energy and excitement back into the heart of the artist. Sometimes simply changing location will broaden your horizon. Ask yourself this question, Does this add to my life or subtract from my time?

To Enjoy Life Schedule time off, relax and enjoy moments of inactivity. This is one of my greatest difficulties is doing nothing. I am not advocating laziness or slothfulness nor procrastination but rest, sleep, relaxation and a day off. While writing a particular chapter in my last book, Highpoints, I had come to a place where my mind just wasn’t as sharp. My words were scrambled more than my eggs were for breakfast. I put on my jogging outfit and went for a couple of miles, upon returning fresh words filled my mind and I finished the chapter with greater ease than before. Ask yourself this question, Does this bless me or mess with me?

To Follow My Dream When pursuing the ideas of others I forfeit the dreams in my heart. To accomplish what the vision within me I must say, “No!” to the distractions around me. Don’t feel guilty about saying, “No,” when you are fulfilling the dreams within you. Focus is the supreme key to productivity. Ask yourself this question, Does this take me into my dream?

Comment: When do you say, No”?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

Why You Shouldn’t Quit Today

4581Michelangelo spent 4 years painting the now infamous Sistine Chapel The Creation of Adam masterpiece. The physical demands of standing on a scaffold painting above his head were torture. One night, exhausted by his work, alone with his doubts, discouraged by a project that was too great for him, he wrote in his journal a single sentence: “I am no painter.” Yet for 500 yrs now this picture has spoken of God’s great desire to be with the human beings He created in His own image! When you feel like saying “I am no _____________” … DON’T QUIT! (Quoted by Pastor Derwin Ward).

From start to finish the climb is not a rocket shot straight up. Nor does life continue to go up on a sharp incline but it is rather a spiral of events leading to the achievement. Dreams are fulfilled in a mass of events rather than a series of events. Your confusion is another progressive step upward. Your indecision is another stair step. Life is not always confined to easy stair steps – you are looking for a fast escalator but instead it is a maze. Insecurity will come one day, indecision the next, rejection another then WHAM! A simple step forward moves you closer to your dream, closer to your passion and guides you, ever so close, to achievement.

When you say, “I am not a writer!” or, “I am not a designer” or, “I am not________” You just moved closer to the place, position and more so, the person you have wanted to be. Defeat may be your biggest boost to victory. Trial and error is a lesson for those who will try again.

Never let success go to your head and never let failure go to your heart – Pastor Chris Farley

Pattern Yourself after the Best Not after the Worst

When you are re-evaluating your loss it will be simple to compare yourself to those around you who have failed. If you are at the bottom of the barrel it is easy to look at others at the bottom of the barrel. Joseph in the book of Genesis was put in a pit and a prison but he had a palace in his heart. When you are in a fit of despair pray until the dream becomes real to you again.

 

Rather Than Quit Why Not Reinvent?

  • Reinvent by putting pictures up of recent accomplishments.
  • Make of list of your wins.
  • Don’t despise the day of small things.
  • Go back to the basics.

Ask yourself “WHY” did that work? Instead of asking when and where and who and what – ask the biggest question first – WHY? Once you answer the WHY the dream will live again, the adrenaline will flow and hope will turn into courage.

 

Get Help

Gather positive friends around you to encourage you in your journey. Research your topic again. Be the best you can be by investing into yourself. Grow in the areas you want to be great in. Study and read often on your subject. Push until something happens.

 

Your Set Back is Your Get Back into the Game

While you sit and soak and sour it may be easy to throw in the towel but I am willing to throw the towel back at you and say, “Get back in the game.” Fight harder. Stay true to yourself. Laugh and enjoy the closest ones around you. Live again. Dream again.

 

Comment: What has been your experience? Have you tried, threatened to quit then tried again?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

The Sixth Swing

Picture2I have asked a guest blogger, Niki, to write today. More information about Niki is at the end of the article

 The sun was finally shining again after several days of wintry bliss.  A gentle breeze was blowing just enough to make one entertain the idea of kite flying and the hint of spring brushed the air.  The playground was filled with smiling children grateful at last for a chance to be outdoors. Laughter saturated the air with a happy melody promising that winter soon would give way to sunnier days.

Her eyes met mine and a smile quickly spread across her face when she recognized me.  Her hand shot up in the air and back down again as if she became embarrassed midway through her greeting.   She darted around the slide out of sight and I began explaining to my daughters who the little girl was.

Several times she walked briskly in front of our family jabbering with a friend about the last time we had seen each other.  Then she would run to the woman who had brought her to the park.  I presumed she was telling her about us because of the vigorous pointing in our direction.

Sometime later as we were swinging and Daddy was giving “monster pushes” to our five kids, I noticed she occupied the sixth swing.  The girlish chatter was gone along with the giggles and grins I’d seen from her moments before.  She sat motionless in the swing, her small hand clutching the chain and her cheek resting against her knuckles.   She seemed to stare at nothing in particular though I caught her stealing frequent glances at our family.  She was momentarily oblivious to her friend’s pleas to join her on the slide again.

My heart broke as I watched her and replayed what I knew of her tragic story in my mind.  She had two sisters; her mommy and daddy were no longer married to each other; her daddy’s new girlfriend was the one who had brought her to the park; and her friend was the new girlfriend’s daughter.

Watching her sit motionless on the swing, I imagined her looking at our family and wishing she could have what we have.  A year ago, she did.  Now her little world was turned upside down and broken, and she was left to pick up the pieces and to try to make sense of it all.

Tears filled my eyes as I realized she had joined the ranks of so many other little boys and girls of our world today whose lives and homes were broken.  For some, the selfish effects of divorce have become common place, but never to those who suffer from its reality.

Once the infection of selfishness becomes obvious, changing one’s behavior is difficult, almost impossible.  The cure requires a heart transplant strengthened by daily Bible reading and prayer time to counteract the symptoms.

It has been said that marriage problems are simply “me” problems.  If I could learn how to get “me” out of the way, I could have a successful, thriving marriage; and therefore, raise healthy, thriving children.

Is my marriage immune to the disease of selfishness? Have I always been perfectly unselfish?  Don’t let me mislead you.  My husband and I have had our fair amount of struggles, often stemming from selfishness.  But for the grace of God, it would be my own little girl sitting idly in that swing wishing she wasn’t a statistic, inwardly longing for a “perfect” family. 

No family is perfect; there are no easy marriages.  Every couple must make a decision to love unconditionally– a love that is not subject to one condition or any condition.

Unfaithfulness, harmful addictions, and even “falling out of love” are symptoms of the condition of marriages and the raging disease of selfishness.  Sadly, selfishness has affected all mankind which is evidenced by the number of broken homes and failed marriages. 

The lives of children are impacted negatively by Mommy and Daddy’s decision to divorce simply because it’s too hard to learn how to live together and love each other unselfishly.  Physically, the child’s heart races and their stomachs sicken when they hear Mommy and Daddy fighting for their own selfish rights.  They wonder what they did to cause this or if they could be good enough to keep it from happening.  The enemy seizes the opportunity to ruin another soul because the parents think they are entitled to fulfilling their own selfish desires.

What can be done to keep the disease of selfishness from infecting our marriages and keep our little ones from being left alone on a swing longing to have a family life that only their parents working together through Jesus Christ can give? 

The antidote for the disease of selfishness is found in Philippians 2:3-4 where we are told to count others more significant than ourselves and to look to the interests of others.  Another antidote, found in Galatians 5:26 cautions that we should not become conceited, provoking or envying one another.   More importantly, we can live I Corinthians 13:4-6: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. This will ensure that we not only keep our little ones from the sorrow of a broken family, we can provide a thriving one for them!

I challenge you to immediately take the first steps in relieving the symptoms of selfishness in your life.  Don’t wait for your spouse to start the process.  Be the change in your marriage today!  Do what it takes to ensure that your child never occupies the sixth swing.

                 Picture1                               

Niki enjoys homeschooling her five children, homemaking, sewing, and creating inspirational art for the home. She has been married for twenty years to her best friend, Steve. They have two precious blessings resting in the arms of Jesus. Their family has enjoyed working together in children’s ministry since 1992 and Niki is currently working towards getting her first children’s book published. She is the blog author of For Journey’s Sake and can also be found on face book writing about her passion to mentor and encourage women and girls on their journey to becoming Proverbs 31 virtuous women.

It Couldn’t Be Done

IT COULDN’T BE DONE

4581Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, as he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one we know has done it.”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you,
one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle right in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That cannot be done, and you’ll do it.

By: Edgar Guest

Fasting from Social Media

For as long as I remember the first month of January has always been a time of personal reflection, goal setting, extended prayer and fasting. Fasting is defined as an abstinence of food but I have broadened the meaning, personally, to abstain from extra curricular activities, reading anything other than inspirational or spiritual content, and social media. Doing without these “daily” activities has been the highlight of the year. Even though the first few days of going without food, reading content and social media, is difficult, it has been extremely rewarding.

Before you quit reading, please, let me explain. Practicing the Daniel Fast for 21 days has been better for me physically and mentally. Daniel, in the Bible, ate only fruits and vegetables for 10 days. later, he entered into another fast continuing for 21 days. The 21 day fast consists of eating only fruit, vegetables and grains, especially abstaining from sugar, fat, and chemically induced foods.

Reading material consists of inspirational materials only, basically, not reading the news, (which usually I do every day). Starting a Bible reading plan has been fundamental and writing regularly in my prayer journal during these 21 days, has been paramount. A prayer journal has been a record of prayers, thoughts and ideas during the 21 days, however, writing occasionally through the year has been a regular practice also. Sometimes picking up a devotional book has been invigorating, pick up a copy of Highpoint Book, for your 21 day Daniel Fast.

Through the last ten years a 4 to 5 day stay in a cabin or condo has been the highlight of the 21 day Daniel fast. Staying alone writing, praying, jogging, thinking, goal setting, and prioritizing has been a true delight. Working harder with greater determination without a time of rest, reflection and relaxation only wearies the spirit and damages our thinking.

Abstaining from social media has been a retreat from blogging, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Checking email becomes less frequent. Sorry if I don’t acknowledge your birthday, update my status or send out a Tweet of something I just read but a 21 day break will enhance my social media later.  I have set some automatic Tweets and may send out some automatic blogs but my next written blog will be towards the end of January.

Why would anyone want to do so a grueling task? Before you count me as a legalist, I have no force, duty, work or command obligating me to this 21 day fast. Fasting for 21 days is a joy, a love, a complete step of “knowing what is best.” Many may start a diet, a budget, or “turn over a new leaf,” but for me starting the year off with a 21 day fast has a long list of benefits.

Focus is increased To see clear – clutter must be removed. While subtracting lesser elements from my life the important comes to the top. Priorities are maximized in my life.

Writing is clearer Clarity is grasped by every writer. Clarity is best when you have eaten right, prayed well, and removed less meaningful tasks from your schedule.

Prayer is richer You are no closer to God than when you pray. Prayer is intensified and enriched.

Bible reading is enlightening While not striving to be a scholar the love for the word of God has naturally increased during the 21 day Daniel fast. The Holy Bible is a mirror of who I am and a testimony to who Jesus really is.

Thinking is clear Just eating the right foods can clear your mind but withdrawing from the clutter of life can expand your vision. If you are trying to find the will of God, the purpose of God for your life or the reflection of God’s character in your life, the 21 day Daniel Fast may be for you.

Life becomes sweeter It isn’t because troubles go away but the courage to face them has been the reward of spending more time with God. Worries become dim, complaints don’t sting as much and steadiness abounds.

Time is fulfilling Finally feeling the benefits of a day well done is an outstanding reward of abstinence. Goals are achieved, time is invested rather than spent, the day finishes with contentment.

God’s presence is near Finding a closeness to God is the real reason behind the entire 21 days.

Comment: What would you add to this list of benefits?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author

Two Things I Know About God

freeA Highpoint in life is knowing God and knowing what God wants from me. God is delicately, intrinsically and especially interested in my life. I could not and wish not to be an atheist or an agnostic because He has done so much for me I cannot tell it all. It is virtually impossible to say my life was a series of consequences, chances and fate while others are doomed to a life of misery, pain and emptiness. My choice for a better life was settled when Jesus Christ came into my life as a young man, I have never been the same. I have learned two things about God while growing in this faith: He desires for me to walk in His will and to totally, completely trust in Him.

The mother eagle nudges the small fledging eaglet to the edge of the nest, It is time to learn how to fly. You can’t stay in the nest forever, You were born to fly. She nudges the new-born bird closer to the edge. It appears to be a hateful, murderous act. To fall from this height to the gorge below would splatter the young bird upon the hard rocks below. this can’t be right. The mother bird works with a mandate, a mission and this time succeeds, the eaglet falls out of the nest, flapping its young wings against the rushing air, quickly making his way to a dreadful demise, death is imminent.

He can’t fly but the mother bird wanted him to try, she never leaves her eyes off of her young, she perches on the edge of the nest, she leaps. Flying downward at breathtaking speed, the eaglet flounders aimlessly to the ground but the mother bird scoops the young bird upon her back and rises, taking the eaglet back to the nest. God can come to me faster than I can fall and He desires I learn to live by faith. Two things God desires of me: to learn to fly (walk each day in God’s will) and to trust Him.

Maybe pain, emptiness, and wrong has been pushed upon you, you have fallen aimlessly to your own demise but call upon God today, He gives life, He can come to you faster than you can fall.

Order the book, Highpoints, For those Who Dare to Climb, at www.highpointbook.com

Comment: Have you ever fallen and found God was quick to catch you?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author

Confidence

4581Confidence. Sometimes you have it – sometimes you don’t. Fear  is the opponent in the wrestling match between fear and faith. Confidence is the trophy. If fear wins your confidence you will cower, shrink, pull back, make excuses and worry. If faith wins the fight between fear and faith – confidence has won. You push, you go forward, no recoil nor retreat, you write, you sing, you speak, you plan, you dive, you (in the words of NIKE) “just do it.”

Confidence continues in its strength with experience, with trust, with past accomplishments and with courage, most of all, courage. Confidence doesn’t cause fear to disappear but confidence stands with a vibrant proclamation, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.” Confidence has a strong foundation built on strength from my daily walk with Jesus Christ. It has little to do with the perfection of my art, the expression of my talent or the exuberance of my gift; but more with the simple fact; I did it.

Confidence doesn’t mean you won’t fail, be imperfect, hear criticism or create enemies but faith means I will continue with confidence in spite of them all. My accountability team keeps me humble, my wife keeps me dreaming and my Lord keeps me focused.

Confidence and pride can be related but don’t have to be – some of the most confident people I have met have been humble. Confidence is inner strength to move with outward resolve.

I have written not knowing if anyone would read, I have prayed and not known when the answer was coming, I have planned and not seen the end result but confidence wakes me in the morning with a renewed passion to write again, pray again and plan again. Confidence tries! Confidence tries hard!

Confidence says, go ahead, “you can do all things through Christ.”

Comment: What have you done to increase your confidence?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author