Interview with Jim Laudell, author of Highpoints

Thanks to a great blogger and my friend, Josh Hood. In a recent interview he asked some pertinent questions about the book, Highpoints. Here is the interview in its entirety.

My friend Jim Laudell just released his new book, Highpoints.

I recently interviewed him about the book and the difficulties of climbing:

JOSH: What inspired you to write Highpoints? JIM: While hiking and praying in Breckenridge, Colorado the challenge of climbing compared to spiritual growth was birthed in my heart. I began collecting artivcles, reading news stories and discovering scriptures bringing the subject of the book more fitly framed in my mind. I love a challenge. I love mountains. I want to grow closer to God. those three desires moved me to write Highpoints.

JOSH: Most people “live low on the mountain” and never reach the highpoints; why is that? JIM: Comfort, complacency and contentment steal greater heights from each one of us. We plan but never purpose in our heart to begin to climb. Once we make up our mind we want to go higher, pray about it then purpose in our hearts, that is when spiritual growth takes part in our life. People who never climb will never know the heights of living for God in joy. In the book Highpoints, I wrote, Once you have climbed the first mountain of His grace and glory, you will aspire to climb another and another. Once you have tasted of the best that God offers – you will never be satisfied to “live low on the mountain”

JOSH: You talk in the book about how the higher we climb, the more uncomfortable it can get. How can we overcome this? JIM: The higher you go, the thrill of reaching the top, superscedes the desire for the weightier “past loves” of life. In Highpoints we wrote, “The zest of life is found when we totally and unconditionally surrender to His divine leadership and direction,” the higher we go the less important everything else becomes.

JOSH: What’s the biggest takeaway you want people to have after reading the book? JIM: Yearning for His presence is the key to change. We can’t always change our circumstances, but we can change ourselves within our circumstances. Yearning means to be deeply affected with passion, to passionately seek for the presence of God and to bring His glory upon us. God delights to dwell within us and to come upon us. to lead us to higher places in His presence.

Go directly to Josh Hood’s blog site here:  http://joshuamhood.com/interview-with-jim-laudell-author-of-highpoints/

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Exceeding Expectations

Gary forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was mad. She told him “Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE!!!” The next morning when his wife woke up, she looked out the window to find a box… gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale. . . Gary has been missing since Friday!

This story illustrates exaggerated missed expectations. When you plan, work, push, pray and sacrifice and it doesn’t end well. Maybe you simply miscalculated. Maybe your expectations was too high. Maybe there were unforeseen events that interfered. Maybe you was expecting a ten million dollar response on a $100 budget. Whatever the case, you expected a Ferrari and got a bathroom scale.

So, what now! Well, we can groan, sigh, cry, smirk, grieve, complain or we can learn. Learn?? Yes, learn where we went wrong and develop a better course of action. If we always do what we always done we will always get what we have always got. Let’s plan better, let’s delegate better, let’s take a different course than depression, discouragement and dismay.

Let’s look at a few things;

Expectations must be believable In other words, our expectations must be real. Don’t plan for 1,000 if you never hit 100. Computer developers started in a garage, rock singers started in a garage, why do you plan to start your business in a 10 story high-rise. If you do it well they will come, it is true, if you have the means, the money and the manpower to make it happen but reality is that life is more like climbing a flight of stairs than taking a brisk ride on an elevator.

Expectations must be well planned The best dream, when done poorly, will most likely, end poorly. Delegation – check! Fundraising – check! Media outlets – check! Momentum building – check! All must fit together because the outcome is the outflow of our outstanding performance. Awesome results are a product of awesome planning.

Expectations must be believable I can tell myself a million times I am a million book author and never sell a million books. Does that mean I give up? No! Does that mean I don’t write again? No! It simply means, I haven’t got there yet. I am working on it. I am stretching for it. But is 100,000 books believable? Is it achievable? Life does have a way of throwing you a surprise some of the time but Dorothy, we aren’t in Kansas anymore – most of our dreams must fit within the achievable and with God, our dreams can fit within the miraculous. Maybe you and I both will be surpirsed today when God does something greater than our expectations. Can He? Sure! Will He? Absolutely!

Comment: What are some of your expectations yet to come?

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.

Discouragement is the Vision Breaker

What breaks the vision in two? What destroys dreams? What makes the future look bleak? Nothing like discouragement. The haunting past can creep upon you when you are least aware, take you down and keep you down. Discouragement tries to steal the hope of a person and endeavors to bankrupt his gift and shortcut his abilities.

Here are a few tips on removing discouragement from your life.

Recognize the “button.” If you are to defeat discouragement you must ask yourself, “When did it start?” and “Why does this affect me?” There may be a button pushed beginning the process of discouragement. Did you lose a position? Are circumstances loaded upon your shoulders? Do you fee you have failed? These questions and more will help identify the pushed button that causes a cascade of guilt, fear or anxiety. Finding the beginning of discouragement can help identify it and minimize its effect on your life.

Turn to the positive. Everyone has positives in their life. Sometimes a walk by the lake, a change of scenery, a book and a cup of coffee, or a conversation with a friend can turn the discouragement into relief. Don’t spend a lot of time around negative people – seek positive friends who will build you up. Yes, you need to face the facts and not ignore your difficulties but a positive attitude can be the encouragement you need to see the better side of the situation.

Praise God. Turn your eyes upward and praise God for the good, His handiwork and His work in your life. Realize God can bring the discouragement to pass away quickly. Lift up your head and acknowledge your blessings. Count all the good things God has done in your life.

Tell a friend. We alluded to this previously but exposing your weaknesses to a friend is difficult to say the least but doing so can release a flood tide of built up emotions. Don’t overwhelm them with every detail but ask them to listen and to pray with you.

Comment Below: What would you do to destroy discouragement in your life?

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.

Successful… or not?

Faithful is the new definition of success. Success means different things to different people. Promotion, more money, new car or new house. To a pastor, success may be defined as a bigger church, numerical or financial growth, bigger buildings or a “big” preaching opportunity.

But God defines success as “faithfulness” in Psalms 101:6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me. God keeps His eyes upon the faithful. The faithful walk with God. Faithful, according to this verse, is walk with God, walk in a pure life and serve God.

Success may not follow you but in Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:… The discovery of success is found in goodness and mercy following, you have been found faithful. Success is not wrong but integrity must not be compromised at the expense of success. Success may follow the faithful but faithfulness doesn’t always follow success.

I would say that sometimes the most radical thing you can do with your life is to simply be faithful.

Michael Hyatt

Let me share three reasons we must choose to be faithful:

Faithfulness brings blessings. Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings… Blessings and success are oftentimes worlds apart. Blessings is best described as family, friends, health, His presence, peace, joy, rest, well, you get the picture. There are people who own very little – in the business term of success – they have failed, but they have a happy marriage, enjoy peace in their family, no doubt they are blessed. Maybe successful in another definition.

Faithfulness brings opportunity. Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much… integrity is strengthened in the little things. Fading away in a few sprinkled compromises may bring success but it can never bring faithfulness. Faithfulness breeds character. The principle is simple, Faithful in little – faithful in much.

Faithfulness brings reward. Matthew 25:21 …Well done, thou good and faithful servant… Success may bring certain rewards here but faithfulness will bring a reward for eternity. Compliments are varied and encouragement is somewhat lacking – many seek for men’s approval only to be disheartened. But one day, the faithful will hear, from the mouth of God, “Well done!” Faithfulness is worth it!

Comment below: What does being faithful mean to you?

Entering into the Time Zone

When I was a young preteen the peak interest of the news was putting a man on the moon. Science fiction was the top seller for years. Super heroes and comic book interest peaked and outer space dramas were produced in rapid session. One TV program was Outer Space, with a mixed up crew spiced with humor and drama scenes. One spellbinding question remained in fiction, movies, TV programs and comic books, “Is there the possibility of Time Travel?” Many spinoffs were developed and became a talked about topic of interest.

Today men still believe in the time zone – the ability to make up all those years of procrastination only to think they will catch up later in some magical retreat. I can’t count the times I have heard people say, “I started on a book but….” To dream – to try – to fail is not a tragedy but to dream – to NOT try, and to fail; is a tragedy. We can’t go back and recreate life but we can begin to live the dream  today, to focus on what is important today and to write the book you have always wanted to write.

Fear, lack of focus, time restraints, undisciplined, etc have always been the most common excuses but rising early, using the lunch hour, giving up an hour of TV, or honestly facing your challenges are the actions that will stop the time zone and resurrect the dream within you. Let’s start today.