I hope you have enjoyed these sermons from Charles Stanley and are able to use them as you work towards your goals in 2014. The last sermon is Passing Opportunities Part 1 and 2. Charles Stanley describes opportunities as a favorable time or occasion, a special moment when we are can make a decision that will impact our lives in a positive way. He says God gives us opportunities every day and we need to be sensitive to them because they may not be around long. We don’t want opportunities to pass by!
He tells us that we are where we are right now because of opportunities we have been given. Now that can be a good thing and maybe not. If we allow opportunities pass we may not be in the place that we hoped to be in. He gives us thee example of the blind man in Mark 10:46-52 and how he took the opportunity to call out to Jesus and ask for his sight. If he had let the opportunity pass because he thought he was just a poor beggar who had no chance of talking to Jesus or would’ve listened to those who said be quiet he would have never gotten his sight, instead he continued to cried out to Jesus and because of his faith he was healed. In fact Jesus stood still while on his journey to listen to a poor beggar do you not think he is listening to you?
Every day we have opportunities discern where they are coming from and use spiritual discernment to take advantage of them.
This sermon can be found by visiting:
2) Go to search for archives and go to page 82 or go to the month and year
3) Click on Passing Opportunities Part 1 June 13, 2011 and Part 2 June 14, 2011
Dare to Dream by Paula White is an inspiring book that encourages the reader to move beyond fear, failure and pain and move into embracing all that God has to offer you. The reason I found this book useful is that it makes you do some serious self examination and I think that is important as we try to grow into the person God wants us to be. So many of us have dreams and goals but have no idea how to manifest them. One of the first things we need to do is to work through the stuff and the emotional baggage that starts to hang on us weighing us down and making us too exhausted to pursue anything. In Dare to Dream, Paula talks about these vital topics:
- See Yourself Through New Eyes (drilling to the core of your identity, seeing yourself as God sees and evaluating your life and future on God’s terms)
- Become an Expert on the Subject of You (ask yourself tough questions, she address 4 critical insights, and conducting your own needs analysis)
- Move Beyond Loss (lose without losing your identity, make the decision to get up and go forward, regain your significance, 8 vital steps to recovery)
- Shake off Painful Memories, Worries, Fears and Failures (health your emotional pain, take the risk and try again, accept change as good)
- Take Control Over What You Think Say and Believe (take control of what you think, reinforce your thoughts by what you say, change faulty habits)
- Establish New Boundaries (set healthy boundaries, the art of saying no, clear up boundary confusion)
- Embrace a Lifetime of Discovery and Transformation(dare to dream new dreams, take on the challenge of continual growth, and enjoy your journey and yourself)
This is a meaty book that requires you to be honest and do some serious reflection on your life. I think it is perfect for the new year!
“Create in me a pure heart, O’ God and renew a steadfast spirit in me.”
I believe that before we can actually do the Lord’s work and pursue our dreams we need to make sure our heart is pure. When our heart is pure it pours into every aspect of our life. Including our goals, our purpose and our relationships with family and friends. When our heart is pure we are more focused, disciplined and aware of our opportunities, when it isn’t everything is a bit fuzzier. Think about how difficult it is to finish a task when you are angry, or how hard it is to live authentically when you are harboring anger or resentment. Our sin will entangle us and keep us from fulfilling our purpose because we become so wrapped up into it. Personally speaking this is one of my prayers for myself that God give me a pure heart and that he renew in me a steadfast spirit. A steadfast spirit will move your forward on the path that God has for you to walk in this life. As children of Christ we should desire a spirit of faith that can’t be shaken when obstacles, disappointments or even failures arise.
Most of you have probably visited Joyce Meyer Ministries. There are no shortages of resources that include broadcasts, podcasts, daily devotionals, book excerpts, magazines and a bookstore. I’ve seen Joyce in person and I have to say although it was a little grandiose she really has a way of motivating and inspiring people. Her broadcasts are worth a visit to the site alone (there are some good ones on finishing the race and discipline). You can spend a whole afternoon sifting through her site and finding material that speaks to directly to you and I can guarantee you will probably find it! Take advantage of all Joyce has to offer and get encouraged to charge full force ahead in 2014.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
When we’re feeling discouraged or hopeless sometimes talking to a friend just doesn’t help. When we’re in the rut the only one who can give us the strength and encouragement we need is our Father. He can lift us up and give us the will to moved forward. This scripture hits me in the heart because I know the comfort we are in search of when we are disappointed and heartbroken can only come from the Lord. No one loves us like the one who created us. So if you are stumped or at a crossroad start by going to God in prayer and then believe in his mighty power and hand in your life. His encouragement isn’t a ten minute conversation it is eternal encouragement that is never ending. He allows us through his grace to make mistakes, fall, and even sin, but he is there to pick us back up and heal our hearts. Remember your God WILL help you!
“Conversations on Purpose for Women: 10 Appointments That Will Help You Discover God’s Plan for Your Life,” written by Katie Brazelton is a companion book to Pathway to Purpose for Women and is specifically for those women who want to find another woman who can serve as their purpose partner-helping them down the path to finding their unique God-given purpose. I have read her book Pathway to Purpose and encourage you to pick up a copy and then recruit a friend and work through the companion book together. The books is divided into three sections:
Part 1: The Power of Conversations on Purpose
Part 2: Purposeful Appointments
Part 3: Seeing the Bigger Picture
If you enjoy working with a friend or want to support one another I suggest reading trying out this workbook. Also don’t forget to read Pathway to Purpose for Women!
I’m becoming a big fan of Valorie Burton and one reason is her advice is applicable and practical. That is why I’m suggesting you take a look at her site ‘ Get Unstuck. Be Unstoppable.’ Look under the section Freebies and Media to read some inspiring articles and hear what Valorie has to say on a number of topics. I especially enjoy her blog. If you are interested in becoming a Life Coach she has a whole section on resources and if you are interested in being coached she has assessments and offer on demand individual coaching and monthly coaching.
1 Corinthians 9: 24:27
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Set before us is a race and to finish this race we must exercise self discipline. There is spiritual training that we need to prepare our mind, body, and spirit. If we are lazy about our spiritual growth than we will fall behind. If we lack self discipline our thinking and our goals will be scattered and unfocused causing us to be aimless. God didn’t give us a race we can’t finish, he has quipped with us everything we need, we just have to utilize our resources wisely. If you are trying to accomplish anything you need perseverance, endurance and discipline. A marathon runner doesn’t wake up one day and say, “I think I’ll run 21 miles today.” If they did they’d be pretty sore and most likely they wouldn’t come close to finishing the race. That runner had to train consistently, be diligent and self disciplined to reach their goal. The race isn’t usually easy and that is when we get discouraged, but if we can keep our eye on the prize and not on the obstacle we can stay focused and accomplish what we set out to do.
I heard about “The Barbarian Way, Unleash the Untamed Faith Within,” through an interview I saw with Lisa Whelchel when she was discussing why she want on Survivor. Well, she sold me on it and I purchased this unconventional book by Erwin Raphael McManus. Mr. McManus calls us to live with untamed faith by giving our heart and putting our faith into God. I like this book because it reminds us that being a Christian is a radical thing to do! We are following God, which isn’t popular in today’s world. But, he asks us to look at the disciples and how they took risks, they followed God and his plan for them by having radical faith in him. They risked their lives to do fulfill their purpose for which God had in store for them. We have to ask ourselves do we have radical faith? Are we willing to put all of our faith in him and not waver? Or are we holding back and stopping ourselves from doing what is beyond our dreams? Have we become to civilized with our faith?
Take a look at this quote from the book, “God’s ultimate end for our transformation is to unleash the untamed faith within. When his Spirit is poured into our lives, we are inspired to an extraordinary level of living. Barbarians never exist simply to survive. Barbarians wake to live land live life fully awake.”Wow, right? Barbarians do the radical by not settling, but by having the courage to live their dreams! What better encouragement for 2014 and beyond!
Check out his new book entitled, “The Artisan Soul,” that sounds inspiring as well.
Joel Osteen has a way of inspiring millions through his sermons and his books. His website, Joel Osteen Ministries has multiple resources to inspire and encourage! The site has articles, broadcasts, podcasts downloads, a magazine, a blog and much more.
Here are a few articles and resources that caught my attention:
You may also want to check Joel’s new book, “Break Out, Go Beyond Your Barriers.”