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Finally back home after a much needed vacation. Loved having time to spend with family, enjoy the So-Cal weather, and even bump into a friend from high school in the airport bathroom–go figure–. Also played a bunch of Hearthstone while I was away (not sure what to think of it). Anywho, I’m back and ready to get blogging. Pictures incoming.

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How High Will You Climb? by John C. Maxwell

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Just as a farmer spends time and energy cultivating his fields a man needs to spend time cultivating his attitude. Pruning out the bad attitudes while meanwhile nourishing the good attitudes. John C. Maxwell’s How High Will You Climb?, talks about steering the internal mental plane of attitude. No matter the turbulence we encounter, with God as our co-pilot, John reminds us, we are not alone on this adventure.

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How High Will You Climb? features short, easy to digest chapters as well as Biblical and personal application. John does not shy away from sharing solid Biblical truth. But no matter how many times I tried to sit down and read this book, I couldn’t manage to break into it. The hook isn’t there. That is not to say that I didn’t glean some nuggets in my readings:

“Remember, the difficulty really becomes a problem when we internalize unfortunate circumstances. Another thing to remember when the weather gets rough is that what really matters is what happens in us, not to us! When the external circumstances lead to wrong internal reactions, we really have problems.” p60

In the end, I did not find How High Will You Climb? to be captivating. This is not a book I would recommend to friends or family who follow JBG.

I was given a copy of this book by BookLook Bloggers. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

Mario Kart Goodness – The Fun in Playing with Others

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Went over to my friend Jon’s house to celebrate his birthday last night. Had a great time catching up and eating some savory tacos followed by a slice of delicious cookie cake. As the evening passed by, Jon suggested playing some Mario Kart Wii.

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Man, I had forgotten how amazing it is to play a video game with three other people. Reminded me of all the good times I had playing Mario Kart 64 in high school/college. Even though I got my butt kicked, I had a lot of fun having a chance to play with others.

When was the last time you played a multiplayer game? What game was it?

Walking to the Car

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Had an interesting situation happen to me today as I was walking from my house to the car. A woman approached me, in tears, and told me about the $10 worth of medicine she needed to buy her son and how she wouldn’t get paid until Friday. She even offered to pay me back. Truly one of those moments where I was torn over what to do. I immediately wanted to know:

  • Was the woman lying?
  • Did her story add up?
  • Were her tears real?
  • Where did she come from?
  • Was she canvasing the neighborhood looking for handouts/drug money?
  • Ultimately, what did God want me to do in that moment? I know we are supposed to be His hands and feet.

So hard to respond to others when so much unbelief and pessimism clouds how we see people and the world. Christ calls us to push past this though and simply trust in Him. As a Christian, the money is ultimately His anyways.

She walked all the way up the driveway.

She walked all the way up the driveway.

Regardless of how I responded, what would you have done? Check out the poll below and vote. Add an answer if you need, leave a comment if you want to talk, and then check out the verses from Matthew below.

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” – Matthew 25:31-46 (NIV)

Show Favoritism

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I could tell I was half awake this morning when I read James 2:1 like this:

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must show favoritism.”

Instead of how it was written (emphasis mine):

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must NOT show favoritism.”

This could be a long day. . .

Perseverance

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I did not want to get up this morning. I did not want to go to work today. All I could think about was coming into an office that is experiencing the throes of change. I want answers to:

  • “Who is going to be fired in two weeks, if at all?”
  • “What does my job/position look like in the midst of these changes?”
  • “What does the future hold?”

As I got ready this morning, I decided to read from the Book of James. A few weeks ago my pastor quoted a verse to me from it; yesterday our guest speaker mentioned it.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,”

I cringe every time I hear this verse from James 1. Equating suffering with being joyful sounds odd to my ears. Who wants to be joyful while living in/through hard times? I remind myself that God is always calling us to embrace Him and let Him do the heavy lifting. Reading on, a word (bolded) stuck out to me in verse 3:

“because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

Perseverance is a word I am quite familiar with. Growing up, I even used to listen/sing a song about it by GT and the Halo Express. When I think of of the word perseverance, I think of a quote made famous by Meet the Robinsons.

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

Despite my company being the verge of possibly shutting down… despite people’s attitudes/moods in the work environment as things get tough… despite not knowing where I am going to land in the future, I know that I need to have faith and persevere. James 1:4 goes on to say:

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Living in the valley, walking forward in shadow, I know that this is where Christ works. I know that I want to be where Christ works.

Don't forget you are not alone.

Don’t forget you are not alone.

Going through personal difficulties? Encountering obstacles? I want to encourage you to keep moving forward. However, I want to further encourage you to not do so on your own. God wants to shoulder your burdens. He will give you what you need to persevere.  Will you let Him?

 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5

On the Deck of a Sinking Ship

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Yesterday (5/15), one of my co-workers was let go. When I asked if more people would be let go I was told that there would be an “evaluation period” for the next two weeks. Basically, if the firm I work for does not pick up any additional work in the next two weeks, more employees will walk out the door for the last time.

I have never worked on a sinking ship. I have never had to worry about my job not being there tomorrow. Circumstances have changed.

Mentally, I have already abandoned the Titanic via the nearest lifeboat. I am actively searching out different positions at other companies. Not sure where I am going to land though.

Already I have seen God working in my situation. I know the following verses to be true:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6: 25-34 (NIV)

However, I am learning that it is one thing to believe something to be true (in my mind) and something completely different to truly believe it (in my heart).