Time for Change

There’s a saying a good friend of mine told me once that I’ll never forget: “The most successful people aren’t necessarily the most intelligent, but those who are willing to adapt their thinking to change.” So much of my life this past year has changed that there’s simply not enough room to tell you, and I’d have no idea where to begin. I will say, though, the very beginning of this new journey in life started with a single step of faith.

A few years ago, I saw a friend of mine do the exact same thing… no idea what he was going to do next, no idea how he’d provide for his family and no idea how to stop the nagging desire to ask “why.” But he did it. He took that step of faith. He sold out his life, committed himself to be truly utilized by God and is a better father, husband and friend because if it. What did I gain from it? He gave me a roadmap of how to get my “why” question answered, too.

Proverbs 16:3 says “Commit unto The Lord all things and your plans will surely succeed.”  There are other translations, but I like this one the best because it expresses to me that there’s absolutely no way… if I commit myself to His glory (not mine)… that I can mess this up! My investment in “God Things” is guaranteed.

Friends, people are watching you, and you don’t even know it. Take a chance for God. Take a step through that open door today that might not be there tomorrow. Be today. Do today. Go today… and you may even take some people along with you that you had no idea who they were! These are the things Toward the Goal Ministries desires for you. You’ve enabled us to do great things in some people that the rest of the world has discounted or written off. You’re helping us to help others. You, too, have the ability to be intentional in someone’s life that this world says they have no value. Scary? Yes, terrifying. Costly? Everything. Worth it? Every cent of your time! But remember… “successful people are those who will adapt their thinking to change.” That’s what growth really is, right?!

God bless you and your household,
Art Yoder, TTG President

Perspective Changes Everything

084In order to go forward in life, in situations, in emotions, in relationships, in forgiveness, in health, many times we need to change our current perspective. Our mind is one of the greatest weapons we possess. Our thoughts can fuel victory or defeat in every situation. Victory doesn’t always look like obtaining the results we want. Victory is being able to shift perspective, lean into Christ and trust Him in the results.

Changing perspective comes when we slow down emotionally and step back to take in the entire picture. It means to reframe our situation, come at it from a different angle, and think outside the box. It means asking myself, “What can I learn from this situation?” It means stepping back, identifying lies, detecting our typical patterns of thinking (negativity, doubt, skepticism, rejection, etc) and changing our thinking. It means making new pathways in our brain with new thoughts, replacing lies with truth, the negative with the positive, mistrust with trust, assuming the best rather than expecting the worst. It means building our strengths rather than focusing on our weaknesses, wearing names that fit rather than destroy. It means pointing out what others do right rather than what they do wrong. It means looking through somebody else’s lens in order to understand rather than judge. It means focusing on our blessings rather than our lack. It means looking at each ordinary thing or moment and seeing the extraordinary. It means enjoying the scenery along the path of life — each season of life, each day we have, each scene right in front of us. Problems become opportunities and failure isn’t seen as the arch enemy but a teacher in life. The chains of perfectionism fall to the ground when we realize there can be more than one right answer. As we shift perspective, a whole other picture emerges. If frees us to move forward, teaches us lessons about life, gives us direction and grows our faith and character. It frees us up to move forward in becoming the person God has called us to be.

Changing perspective keeps us moving forward, enabling us to move out of the “ruts” in which we have become “stuck.” It doesn’t deny the present or our weaknesses. It doesn’t negate our necessary grieving or processing, but enables us to manage our emotions, walk with steadiness and exude peace and stability. It takes our focus off of ourselves and onto others- serving and encouraging them, all the while keeping our hearts fixed on Christ.

What I look for, I will see. If I look for the same old things I always have and resort to my old patterns of thinking, I will continue to get the same results. If I look for the positive and plant new seeds of thinking I will find something very different and rewarding. Changing perspective is being intentional. It’s a choice. I’m choosing to move forward or backward. I’m choosing freedom or captivity. Perspective changes everything.

Philippians 4:6-9, Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:22-24

 

Increasing Measure

Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

We don’t need to worry about if God will “fill our cup” or not. We will be refreshed! As we’re generous, we “will” prosper, thrive, stretch and grow. This means we’ll then have a “larger capacity” to share of our time, talents and treasures with an increasing measure.

In referencing several Godly traits, 2 Peter 1:5-8 says, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Living out these qualities in “increasing measure” is the key in avoiding complacency and stunted growth.

It’s been said that…We can give without loving, but we can’t love without giving. This truth lines up with what Jesus says in Luke 6:35, “Love your enemies (enemies of the cross), do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High…”

In life, we’ve seen that as we freely give, God freely gives back in very innovative, creative and increasing measures.

Let’s all keep sharing our time, talents and treasures in increasing measure as we have opportunities to do so.

Bruce