"I don’t need ‘easy’; I just need ‘possible.’" —Annasophia Robb as Bethany Hamilton in Soul Surfer
Greatness doesn’t come from “easy.”
"Easy" is not a prerequisite for achieving your goals.
The desire for easy is an enemy of greatness.
An enemy of triumph.
An enemy of destiny.
You are a game changer, an earth shaker, and a history maker…
And you are meant to change your world.
Complacency never accomplished anything…
And you should be making a difference.
So don’t buy into the lie of “easy.”
Don’t shy away from risk just because it seems too hard.
Don’t be afraid to fight when all seems lost.
Your achievement is not determined by the ease of your circumstances.
It’s determined by your drive.
It’s determined by your willpower.
It’s determined by your perseverance.
So don’t quit. Keep running your race.
And as you go, make sure you’re running the right course.
Don’t run after “easy.”
Chase after possibilities.
You should invest in other people.
You should show them love and share your wisdom.
You should do what you can to help them, teach them, and encourage them.
But in the end…
You can’t make decisions for other people.
You can’t force them to listen to reason.
You can’t make them do the right thing.
It’s not your fault if they continue on the path they have chosen. They have free will.
That means you can stop feeling guilty if they don’t choose wisely.
You can stop feeling inadequate.
You aren’t God.
There comes a time when you need to let go.
But letting go doesn’t mean giving up.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for other people is to pray for them.
So keep praying. Keep loving. Don’t give up hope.
And maybe, in due season, you’ll see the turnaround come around.
People who have your back, no matter what…
Because they love you.
Family isn’t limited to blood relations.
You can choose to be family.
God chose you to be part of His family.
"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…" John 1:12 (ESV)
You’re a King’s kid. If you believe in Jesus, you belong to God.
So don’t worry about anything.
God loves you.
He’s got your back, no matter what…
Because you’re family.
Do you ever wish you had more power to change things?
Well, you do…
With your words.
There’s a proverb that says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
You can change the world around you with your words.
Life gets worse with things like gossip, complaining, angry words, and pointless criticism. These things just hurt others and make you look jealous or ungrateful.
But when you use your words to encourage someone…
To build someone up…
To say thank you…
You are changing the atmosphere around you for the better.
Who knows? Maybe your words are all someone needs to hear to get the confidence to do what they’re supposed to do.
Maybe your words will be the tipping point for the change you want to see.
Maybe your words will change someone’s destiny.
Maybe your words will change your own destiny.
Your words are a weapon of change…
But it’s up to you how you use it.
Is negativity surrounding you? Change it with your words.
Is fear threatening your outlook? Change it with your words.
Is hopelessness consuming the people around you? Change it with your words.
Change your atmosphere with words of joy, confidence, and hope.
Don’t let anything negative or harmful come out of you.
You carry death and life in your mouth.
You have the ability to influence the world with your words.
You are one powerful person.
Andy Stanley taught a series about decision making that boils down the process to four questions. They’re so simple, yet they help clear some of the clutter that confuses the decision making process.
And because I love you, I’m summarizing the four questions for you (the best I can remember them), and I’m also linking it up to video clips of Andy talking about each of these questions.
You’re welcome. =)
1) “Am I being completely honest with myself?" Am I telling myself the truth, or am I letting my heart trick me into believing that what I want is okay?
2) “What story do I want to tell?” How do I want my life story to play out? Do I want this decision to be part of my life story? Will this decision leave me with regrets that will forever be part of who I am? What do I want to be able to tell my kids and grandkids in the future?
3) “Is there a tension that needs my attention?” Is there something inside of me warning me to be careful? Am I going to be crossing any legal, ethical, moral, or personal lines that I have?
4) “What would be most honoring to God?” If He’s the One I live for, will He get glory and a smile out of it?
These questions could apply in any decision you make, but they’re especially helpful in big decisions where you don’t have a lot of time to make the decision.
Maybe you’re facing a big decision now.
Maybe your head is telling you one thing while your heart is telling you another.
Maybe things are unclear in your situation.
What are you going to do?
You should definitely pray about it.
You should definitely see if God says anything about it in the Bible.
You should definitely talk to some wise people about it.
But if you’re short on time, these might also be good questions to consider.
In the end, own your decision. You should have peace about your decision. You are the one who will have to live with the results of your decision. Your family will have to live with the results of your decision.
Remember, God has a destiny for you. He has a future and a hope for you. He has good intentions for you because He loves you.
Jesus came so that you could have life and have it to the full. He doesn’t want you to be weighed down by chains of regret, shame, and undesired consequences.
He wants you to be free—not just for yourself, but so that you can help others to find freedom in Him, too.
Live wisely so that you can stay within His perfect will for your life.
God has great things in store for you…
So make your decision a good one.
It’s your choice.
It’s your move.
"Shoulda, coulda, and woulda won’t get it done. In attacking adversity, only a positive attitude, alertness, and regrouping to basics can launch a comeback." —Pat Riley
"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." —Oscar Wilde
"…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." —James 2:17 (NIV)
Intention isn’t enough.
Regret doesn’t accomplish anything.
You need action.
Fear will attempt to keep you from trying.
Obstacles will stand in your way.
Doubt will be there to discourage you.
It is your choice to press on and do something in spite of these things.
Wishing, hoping, and praying are good starts…but they won’t amount to much unless you act on them.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
You are not alone.
In light of that, do whatever it is that you are called to do.
"Life is uncertain, but God is not uncertain. The world is uncertain, but God is not uncertain. Circumstances are uncertain, but God is not uncertain…and He’s still got the whole world in His hands." —Andy Stanley
In a world full of “maybes”…
There can be certainty.
“Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12 (NIV)
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever." Psalm 23:6 (NKJV)
“Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.” Psalm 54:4 (NIV)
"Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:17-18 (NIV)
So even though the ground may be shaking beneath me…
Even though the people around me may be shady or unfaithful…
And even though the future may be unclear…
I won’t live afraid. I won’t shrink back. I won’t lay down to die.
I will press on. I will hold my head high.
I will live free…
For surely the Lord is with me.
He’s got my whole world in His hands.
I’m sure of it.