Are You Honest?

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” Winston Churchill

How often do you stumble over the truth?  There are two thoughts you can take from Churchill’s wisdom here.

First is about being honest.  Tomorrow, April 30th, is National Honesty Day in the USA.  We’ve all gotten used to telling lies, or stretching the truth a bit.  What would happen if we all started telling the truth?  There’s a movement circulating around the world with regard to businesses and people being authentic.  The two are very similar, in fact, if we were to start being more authentic, I think there would be fewer lies in the world.  We wouldn’t have the need to lie anymore, because we’re comfortable with who we are and don’t feel the need to be anyone but ourselves.  This challenge of authenticity and truth often pops up when you talk with seniors in high school or college freshman who are attending a college or studying a major simply to appease their parents, or because they were told to by society.  When you talk with these students about their career path, they usually look uncomfortable, sigh a lot or try to change the conversation quickly.  Because of how the world is right now it takes a lot of courage to stand in that truth, to be authentically you.  Similarly, you may find that uncomfortable look with those who aren’t living their purpose at work and just doing a job to get by.

Second, consider the power of the truth.  It’s been said before “the truth will set you free.”  You’re never free no matter how many lies you tell.  You’re also not free if you’re not willing or able to be yourself.  The truth is more powerful than any amount of lies you tell or truths you stretch.  You will never regarded as competent or respected if you’re not authentically you.

You have a choice: continue to tell lies and support a dying culture, or move into your power and live your authentic, truthful life.

What truth will you discover and share today?  Share your thoughts below.

Inspiration and Purpose

April has been all about purpose, and what better way to end the month than with some inspiration about purpose!

“Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.  Give the world your best anyway.” Mother Teresa

“To succeed…you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.” Tony Dorsett

“You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die, only how you’re going to live.” Joan Baez

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” Dalai Lama

“I know in my heart that man is good…And there’s purpose and worth to each and every life.” Ronald Reagan

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” Carl Jung

“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” W. Clement Stone

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose.” Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

“Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.” Wayne Dyer

“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” Napoleon Hill

There’s lots of inspiration about purpose out there.  Do you have a favorite purpose quote you could share with us?  If so, share it below!

The Timing of Purpose

Have you ever felt like you were born at the wrong time? Or that you should have been born at a different time?  I’ve found someone who can identify with you:

“He (Jesus) was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve (apostles).  After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.  Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.  Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.  For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.   But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.” 1 Corinthians 15:5-10

These are the words of a man by the name of Saul, Saul of Tarsus.  As Saul he was raised in the Jewish faith and was going to become a Pharisee, an important Jewish leader.  On that path Saul chose to persecute Jesus’ followers until one day, as the passage references, Jesus appeared to Saul.  Jesus changed Saul’s opinion of himself, and changed his name to Paul, and Saul, now Paul, did a 180 and started spreading Jesus’ message, not the message of the Jews.  While Paul was alive while Jesus was on earth, he never met him.

But there was a reason that Paul ran in a different circle, or seemed to have been born at the wrong time.  All that happened before Paul saw Jesus was preparation for what his true purpose was.

You may feel like Paul, thinking that you’ve been born in the wrong time or place.  While you may indeed be suited for a different time or place, consider that your birth was at exactly the right time for your purpose.  Rather than complaining or removing yourself from things because you feel like you’re out of place, learn the lessons that you’re being given.  You never know how those lessons will serve you in the future.

Have you seen your purpose put to use the events in your past?  Share what you have learned about your life and purpose below.

In the Garden

This year is unique because we’re honoring both Good Friday and Earth Day today.  The interesting thing about Good Friday is that some of it happened in a garden (check out the story in Matthew 26).  Let’s take a trip back to that garden, or to a garden near you as we think about Earth Day and Good Friday with 3 questions you can ask yourself today.

Why are we here?

Why visit a garden, live among nature, immerse yourself in the scents, sounds and textures of a garden?  What is it about visiting the ocean, a park, the mountains, a nature preserve or forest?  Why do we feel different when we’re surrounded by nature?  There’s something about the raw power, renewing energy and strength of being one with nature that touches us in ways that other people, buildings and cars just can’t match.

Why sit beneath the cross and observe a death?  Why gather in buildings around the world honoring this death?  Why wear cross pendants around our necks and place them around our homes?  What is it about the cross that captivates us?

Can you see the beauty?

If you’re in a park you must notice the fresh greens, brilliant colors and animal life around you.  You may even be able to see a pond or waterfall.  Even though we’ve created some amazing things, nature still manages to amaze us.  There is just something so special and unique about what creates itself outside every spring, and throughout the year.  Maybe you see budding tulips, a sneaking squirrel, seeds you planted sprouting, bunnies nibbling on fresh spring leaves or trees growing their leaves for this new season.  What do you see?

What is the beauty of the cross?  Is there beauty to be found?  Listen to Jonny Diaz share what he thinks is the beauty of the cross.

Will you be thankful?

Take time while you’re at that garden, while you’re honoring the earth this Earth Day to say a prayer or do a meditation for the world; that the world would revive and continue to sustain life.

Take time in that garden to remember a garden many years ago which witnessed the tears and fate of a man.  Say a prayer or meditation of gratitude for His actions some 2000 years ago, that continue with us today.

What are your thoughts for Good Friday and Earth Day?  I’d love to hear them.  I invite you to share them below.

Thoughts of Easter

Easter is this Sunday.  Have you given some thought to what the holiday means to you?  Here are some thoughts to consider.

“The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.” Robert Flatt

“The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world.  Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice.  But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice.” Henry Knox Sherrill

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”  Pope John Paul II

“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.” Basil C. Hume

“The resurrection asserts a truth which is by no means always written legibly for all men on the face of nature. It tells us that the spiritual is higher than the material; that in this universe spirit counts for more than matter.” H.P. Liddon

“Easter is not a time for groping through dusty, musty tomes or tombs to disprove spontaneous generation or even to prove life eternal. It is a day to fan the ashes of dead hope, a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising, to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dead past into the vast and inviting unknown.”  unknown

What does Easter mean to you?  Share your thoughts below.

A Celebration of Love

Let’s set the scene for today’s verse.  We’re in the garden where Jesus of Nazareth was buried after he was crucified on the cross 3 days ago.   Women came to visit the tomb that morning where he was buried and found it was empty, the stone has been rolled away, and the guards are stunned.   The women shared the news with Jesus’ disciples and Jesus’ 2 best friends wasted no time in checking out what had happened, and then returning to report to the other disciples.  But one of the women, Mary, remains behind in the garden.  She is approached by a man, who she believes is a gardener, but finds out it’s actually the risen Jesus.  Here’s where we pick up the story:

“”Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” John 20:17

What just happened?  Well, Jesus was dead, he rose from the grave and before going back to heaven stopped at the garden to see Mary.  Yes, I said before. Jesus couldn’t wait to tell his friends, those he loved, that he was risen.  He revealed himself to Mary, someone who passionately believed in and trusted him.

This is the whole story of Jesus’ life wrapped up in one verse of the Bible.  Jesus came to earth just so that he could live, die and rise again, because he loves us SO much.  His love for us, for you, is like the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning when they first see the presents beneath the tree.  There is a lot more to the story of Jesus, but the most important thing to know is that his whole purpose, the whole reason he came to earth and we are celebrating Easter on Sunday, is because Jesus loves you passionately, completely, eternally.  And he can’t wait to tell you the good news of the amazing future he has prepared for you in heaven.

This Easter I encourage you to open your arms and heart wide to the love that Jesus has for you.

Passion and Purpose

What’s the best way to express your purpose?  With passion of course! (If  you’re still not sure what your purpose is, you can get started here)

Are you living your purpose, let alone your life, with passion?  Here are a couple ways to know if you are.

1-you want to get up in the morning, maybe you even spring from your bed in the morning with a smile on your face!

2-you don’t groan about doing more work, but are excited to have another opportunity to do what you do best.

3-people think you’re slightly nuts for being so excited.

4-you’ve inspired others to join you in your purpose, or live their own purpose.

I’m sure you’ve met some of these people, and they’re some of the happiest people in the world.  They’re also some of the most successful.  It’s no coincidence that living your purpose often leads to success.  Try something different this week; made one decision each day in favor of your passion.  If your passion is cooking, don’t get takeout.  If your passion is writing, start writing a blog.  If you passion is children, offer to play baseball or soccer with the neighborhood kids.  Whatever your passion is, tell someone about it and take action in accordance with your purpose.

Want to work with someone one-on-one about living your purpose in your life, maybe even getting paid for it, stop by my website and send me a message, I’d love to help you!

Who do you know who lives their purpose and life with passion?  Is it you?  Share your thoughts below.

Inspirations of Beauty and America

April is Keep America Beautiful month.  It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate both Earth Day, National Gardening Month and help keep America beautiful all at once!  Today, enjoy these quotes about some of America’s natural resources!

“When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea.  He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.”  Adlai Stevenson

“Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”  Ancient Indian Proverb

“Who will gainsay that the parks contain the highest potentialities of national pride, national contentment, and national health? A visit inspires love of country; begets contentment; engenders pride of possession; contains the antidote for national restlessness…. He is a better citizen with a keener appreciation of the privilege of living here who has toured the national parks.” Stephen T. Mather

“O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountains majesties Above the fruited plain. America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea.” Katharine Lee Bates

“It is all very beautiful and magical here – a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it, let the sun bake it into you.” Ansel Adams on Yosemite

“My generation will be very environmentally conscious, because the way it is going now, we will desperately need to save our forests.” Jacob Hoffman (Age 12, 1998)

“May all your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you.” Edward Abbey

Do you have a favorite destination in the USA?  What makes it so special?  Share your thoughts below.

What God Designed

You know how sometimes you read something and think “Nah, that can’t be right”?  And then you thought about it and it made a bit more sense?  I had a moment like that while I was reading Ecclesiastes 7 the other night.  Verse 13 reads “Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?”

God makes some things crooked?  You mean to tell me that it’s supposed to be this confusing and challenging?  And I’m just supposed to accept that?

Have you ever taken a walk in a National Park or up a mountain to a special lake or scenic overlook?  Were you able to see that lake or overlook from the beginning of your hike? Were you able to see the whole road all at once?  I gather both your answers would be no, you can’t see the lake from the beginning, or else it would be pointless to go on the walk!

Sometimes we need to just trust that the road is supposed to be this crooked.

But just because it’s crooked it doesn’t have to be cluttered or unkempt.  Just because you’re living a life that God designed to require a little more patience than some, doesn’t mean that you should neglect the care of your life “path”.

God has a plan for your life.  Just like you can’t see more than the 100 feet in front of you with your car headlights at night, you can’t always see years into the future of your life.  Don’t be discouraged, take it as an opportunity to care for yourself, grow your faith, and prepare for that amazing view when you do get to that destination spot.

Feel like you’re on a crooked path?  Share your thoughts below.

The Blessings of Purpose

This month we’re talking about purpose.  Purpose is a funny thing because as we think about what our purpose is so often we think all sunshine and roses; that knowing and living our purpose means we’re all set to live a happy and fulfilling life.  But what someone forgot to mention is that sometimes our purpose brings us the tough stuff.   Our purpose should not be our fair weather friend, it should be something active in our lives all the time, especially when the tough stuff piles up.

A song came to mind as I was thinking about purpose and those tough days.  It’s Laura Story’s “Blessings.”  You can check it out on YouTube here.

“‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise”

What if we best learn our purpose through the tough times in our lives?  I dare say that’s the way many of us find our purpose.  Don’t be discouraged by the tough times in your life.  Instead, look for ways that they will make you stronger, better, and wiser.  Know that you will come through the tough times a better person if you choose to.

I’d love to hear the story of how you found your purpose, as well as what “Blessings” says to you.  Share your thoughts below.