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Ask God to Build Your House

Ask God to Build Your House

37SHARESShareTweet I guess I could lie to you — but lying never did anyone any good, so I won’t. It’s the truth that sets people free. So, I’m going to be really honest. I find myself spending so much of my time trying to recreate paradise...
Focus on Your Calling

Focus on Your Calling

43SHARESShareTweet Even when it’s good, living for God can be hard. On any given day, the decisions we face can be overwhelming, whether we face one or two big ones or a number of small ones that have a cumulative effect. If you’re a leader bent on...
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Ask God to Build Your House

Ask God to Build Your House

I guess I could lie to you — but lying never did anyone any good, so I won’t. It’s the truth that sets people free. So, I’m going to be really honest. I find myself spending so much of my time trying to recreate paradise — forgetting that Paradise was lost, and won’t be regained until I see Jesus face to face. Here’s the worst part: I try to recreate paradise without even realizing it. It’s like it’s my baked-in default strategy. Can you identify?

Psalm 127:1 is what I’m digesting these days. It just may be what the Great Physician ordered for you, too.

“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”

Life outside of Eden it’s really, really hard — even when I think it isn’t. That’s why I gravitate toward working in my own power — and the truth is that I don’t have what it takes — even when I think I do. I’m not alone in this struggle, am I?

It’s too easy for me to do things in my own power, without seeking God, without asking him for wisdom, strength, courage and humility. Realizing how serious a sin this is, I’ve begun, once again, to ask God to build my “house.” What about you? Is it time that you ask God to build your house, too? 

“Is God building my house, or am I just hard at work, expecting his approval? Ouch. . .”

The fact is that I’m not a very good driver at all. I need God in the driver’s seat of my life, so I’m going to ask him to drive not just in the morning, but throughout my day. 

Is God building my house, or am I just hard at work, expecting his approval? Ouch. That’s what’s hitting me these days, and I’m on my knees asking him to forgive and change me. More than that, I’m asking him, again, to build HIS house through me. I think there is a difference between asking God to build my house or his.

I’m pretty sure that when I see Jesus, I’m going to instantly understand that a good chunk of my life was spent doing things in my own power — not intentionally, but simply because I had so much to do! I don’t want to spend any more time working in my own power.

The truth is that I don’t have to do anything except what Jesus calls me to do. And the only thing he’s called me to do is  . . . build His house. That’s what he’s called you to do, too.

 

HOW ARE YOU DOING? HAVE YOU BEEN TRYING TO RECREATE PARADISE OUTSIDE OF EDEN? ARE YOU ASKING TO BUILD HIS HOUSE THROUGH YOU? 

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy, chime in.

I’m the author of “A Call for Courage: Living With Power, Truth and Love In An Age of Intolerance and Fear” (Thomas Nelson Publishers). If you pre-order it before March 13, you can get all kinds of free bonuses.

If you’d like to request an interview, or explore the potential of having me speak to your group, click here.

 
 
 
 
Parkland, Parenting & People Skills

Parkland, Parenting & People Skills

“Ignore your children, and they will go away.” That phrase, which came to me a number of months ago, after contemplating all that’s happening in our country, won’t let me go. I hope, in a positive way, it won’t let go of you, either. This week’s tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida is a reminder — for all of us — that life is fragile. But it is far more. It’s a reminder that we need to be a lot more intentional about turning things around than we have been up to this point. 

To be a parent is to care about the emotional development of your child — and, it means helping your child develop good interpersonal communication and conflict resolution skills. If you aren’t doing that, you are missing a key aspect of parenting.

Is your child learning how to interact with other people in healthy ways? What do they do with their anger? Teenage depression is at an all-time high. When we consider that many instances of depression are due to anger turned inward, much of the teenage depression problem may actually be a problem with unresolved anger. 

To parent is to be engaged with your child. If you don’t know what to do, get books that will help you. Talk to others who have parented successfully. You don’t have to have a PhD to parent. You, however, need to make time. Are you eating meals together? Have smart devices dumbed down your family interaction?

Take your family back by becoming a better parent. When you meet the emotional needs of your child, you help him or her grow up to become a responsible, healthy citizen. And, isn’t that what America needs, big time, right now?

ARE YOU CARING FOR THE EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF YOUR CHILD? HOW ARE YOU DOING, AS A PARENT, AND WHAT POSITIVE IMPROVEMENTS CAN YOU MAKE, TODAY?

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy, chime in.

I’m the author of “A Call for Courage: Living With Power, Truth and Love In An Age of Intolerance and Fear” (Thomas Nelson Publishers). While the official release date is March 13, 2018, you can pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold.

If you’d like to request an interview, or explore the potential of having me speak to your group, click here.

 

Your Tower of Power

Your Tower of Power

When I was a boy, my teachers used to warn us not to run in the hallway because we could get hurt, or hurt someone else. How true. But when it comes to the ultimate source of safety, peace, strength and courage, the wisest thing we can do is run — to the LORD.

You need a safe place. A place where you can go to renew your mind, refresh your spirit and gain strength. More than ever in America, our busy, distracted lives are costing us dearly. The good news is that there’s a place you can go for a daily “reset” that will positively impact everything in your life. But it’s more than a place. It’s a person, and that person is God himself.

King Solomon was the wisest man (apart from Jesus) who ever lived. He penned Proverbs 18:10, a beautiful “brick” you’d be wise to lay down in the bedrock of your daily routine. Here is Solomon’s timeless, practical wisdom, for you:

“The name of the LORD is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.”
(NIV)

Your “fortified tower” is the highest tower to which you could possibly run. That tower is none other than the God of creation, the God of salvation, the LORD.

 

IT’S PERSONAL
Whenever we see the word “LORD” in the Bible, it’s not just a title. It’s the personal Name of God, given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, in that unforgettable account recorded in Exodus 3:1-16 (NIV):

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”  Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

“God is a consuming fire,” says Hebrews 12:29. He can consume all your worries, and strengthen you with supernatural power.

“Why walk, when running will get you to safety much quicker?”

The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey — the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. O now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.’”

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob — has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
    the name you shall call me
    from generation to generation.”


TIME TO RUN

God, the LORD, can be your high tower, your fortress. When you are within his arms, nothing can touch you without his approval. Those things that he allows are actually for your benefit and his glory.

There is a time to walk and a time to run. Nowadays, in America, it’s time to run — into the LORD’s arms. Why walk, when running will get you to safety much quicker? Every day, set aside time to read the Bible, even if briefly, and let God be your source of fortification.

“Which version of the Bible is the best,” you ask? The one you read and apply.

IS IT TIME FOR YOU TO RUN? THE LORD PROMISES TO BE YOUR FORTRESS — AND WHEN HE IS, NOTHING WILL SHAKE YOU.

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy, chime in.

Available wherever books are sold.

I’m the author of “A Call for Courage: Living With Power, Truth and Love In An Age of Intolerance and Fear” (Thomas Nelson Publishers). While the official release date is March 13, 2018, you can pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold.  If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

Hope Has A Face: Jesus Christ

Hope Has A Face: Jesus Christ

One of the most important things today is to have a sense of HOPE. Many people, understandably, are experiencing a penetrating sense of discouragement. There’s so much hate, and so much falsehood circulating these days. The good news is that if you struggle with negativity, despair and the downers, there’s a remedy. To combat despair, look to the face of hope, Jesus Christ.

It’s easy to talk about Jesus, or to read about him in the pages of the Bible — yet to forget that he is the source of all true, lasting hope. He can provide new hope every single morning and throughout every day. Jesus, hope itself, had — and still has — a face. He is just as real today as when he walked the earth the first time. Hope is eternal, and when you put your hope in Jesus Christ, you’re on solid ground. 

To read the Bible is to look to Jesus Christ, the face of hope. That’s time well spent. To buid your hope, look to Jesus, embrace his words, and adjust your life to what he says. That’s one pursuit you’ll never forget. It’s one pursuit that will change your entire LIFE.

GET DAILY “FACE TIME” WITH HOPE
Let’s land this plane. The question is simple and significant: how can you build your hope and look into the face of Jesus? Here’s what I have found makes ALL the difference every day of my life — and I know you’ll realize it to be true, too. Find an undistracted place where you live, grab a Bible, and spend a few minutes reading it. (If you can do this at the very beginning of your day, before anything else, it will intensify your time). But before you read, pause and genuinely say this to God, “Open my eyes, heart, and mind to what I’m about to read. I want to see your face. Help me apply what I read to my life.” Then, read. When you’re done reading, pray again, asking God to help you remember what you read so you can put it into action.

If you approach Bible reading this way, you’ll never be the same, because you will have come to realize that reading the Bible is so much more. It is to gaze into the face of its author, Jesus Christ. That is what makes all the difference. 

You may be wondering, “what’s the best version of the Bible?” My answer is always the same — the one you read and apply.

HOW’S YOUR HOPE — AND HOW HAS THIS BLOG HELPED REMIND YOU OF ITS SOURCE? JANET AND I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM OUR READERS.

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy, chime in.

Available wherever books are sold.

I’m the author of “A Call for Courage: Living With Power, Truth and Love In An Age of Intolerance and Fear” (Thomas Nelson Publishers). While the official release date is March 13, 2018, you can pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold.  If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

Focus on Your Calling

Focus on Your Calling

Even when it’s good, living for God can be hard. On any given day, the decisions we face can be overwhelming, whether we face one or two big ones or a number of small ones that have a cumulative effect. If you’re a leader bent on honoring God, you must not only mind your decisions and decision-making abilities, but also your heart and head. The best leaders lead from within while depending on power from above.

If you find that living for Christ is easy, it may be a sign that you aren’t living for him to your utmost. Take 2 Timothy 4:5 (NIV) for instance. It’s a powerful reminder that leadership takes sobriety, steadfast determination and an unwavering commitment to finish what you start:

“As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

The stress of leadership — whether within a family, a business, or a church — can have an intoxicating effect. It can pressure us to think like someone who’s drunk or high. If we think like a drunkard, it’s only time before we act like one. A lack of clear thinking hinders many people from fulfilling the calling God placed on their lives.

What about you? Have you allowed hardship to derail you? Are you distracted with things that don’t really matter? Have you in any way settled for less than God’s best for you and your life? Now is a great time to get back on track, to be sober-minded and to do what God called you to do.

BONUS PODCAST!
Here’s a great podcast to accompany today’s blog.
It’s called, “Your Great Need for Humble Courage.” Give it a listen and let me know what you think. In the meantime, don’t let anything or anybody deter you from God’s calling in your life!

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy, chime in.

Available wherever books are sold.

I’m the author of “A Call for Courage: Living With Power, Truth and Love In An Age of Intolerance and Fear” (Thomas Nelson Publishers). While the official release date is March 13, 2018, you can pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold.  If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

Has Your Church Become A Non-PROPHET Organization?

Has Your Church Become A Non-PROPHET Organization?

The word “prophet” can refer to someone who has a divine gift to predict the future. It can also refer to someone with a gift to proclaim God-given truths in the here and now. Usually, the first definition is what gets top billing. It’s the second definition that should be getting our attention these days. Has your church become a non-prophet organization? If so, you’re suffering more than you realize.

It was Goethe who said, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Without truth, unapologetically delivered and embraced, people end up in chains. They can be enslaved without even realizing it.

A key purpose of church is for people to gather and hear undiluted truths about God in ways that they can immediately apply. Never has there been a more urgent time in our nation’s history for churches everywhere to proclaim God’s truths without hesitation — and to do it in ways that inspire people to live daily, in light of eternity.

One of the greatest things you can do with your life is make sure you are hearing God’s word taught so that it’s caught. If that’s not happening in your life, make this the month when you do all you can to find a church home where God’s word, the Bible, is being taught without apology — in ways you can understand and apply.

ENCOURAGE YOUR CHURCH LEADERS TO TEACH THE TRUTH IN LIGHT OF CURRENT EVENTS AND WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SOCIETY
Today, too much preaching skirts around current issues in the name of staying focused on the “gospel.” In reality, nearly every one of the New Testament books was written to help people apply biblical truths to what was actually happening in the culture.

In New Testament times, it would have been absurd to suggest preaching the gospel apart from what was happening in society. Help your pastor and other church leaders know that you want to hear the Bible taught and applied in light of current events. If they don’t do that, then how in the world are you and other people supposed to know how to live for Jesus Christ?

Pastors and church leaders are supposed to be prophets — proclaimers of truth who bring the word of God, the Bible, to bear on the issues of the day. Whatever the culture is facing needs to be viewed through the lens of the Bible. This is the great need of the day. And, if your pastor(s) and church leaders are already doing this, thank them — and God — for being faithful and true to the LORD they are diligently helping you love and serve.

HAS YOUR YOUR CHURCH BECOME A NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATION? IF SO, DO WHAT YOU CAN TO HELP TURN THINGS AROUND.

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy, chime in.

Available wherever books are sold.

I’m the author of “A Call for Courage: Living With Power, Truth and Love In An Age of Intolerance and Fear” (Thomas Nelson Publishers). While the official release date is March 13, 2018, you can pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold.  If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

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