confident
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Stay Positive: I’m Confident (Wrap Up)

This past Sunday, we finished our latest series entitled “Stay Positive”. In this series we talked about the importance of staying positive in a negative world. Over the first four weeks we talked about Optimism, Gratitude, Encouragement, and a spiritual look at Enthusiasm.

For the last part of this series, we talked about the one closest to my heart, the desire to stay confident.  If we’re honest, we all have things attempt to rob our confidence. For some it’s the fear of the future. They’ve finished college, now what? For others, it’s the expectations of others. How do they measure up in the eyes of others? Still, others have a problem with their body image. If they could lose those last few pounds, gain some muscle (but not too much) be generally look good naked, they would finally be happy. (yeah right) These confidence killers plague all of us.

That’s why we no longer want to live on the unpredictability of self-confidence. We want to live with God-confidence. The three statements to live by are:

God is for me.

God wants to help me.

God is working on me.

These three truths can help you make it in the most stressful, confidence-sapping moments of your life. We do not rest in our own abilities but in the ability that God has in us.

We do not live FOR the approval of God but FROM the approval of God.  Below is the entire message. Let’s grow in our God-confidence together.

 

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Book Review: Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly

So I’m sitting with some pastors the other day and one guy says, “Have you ever read the book Killing Jesus“. Everyone begins to smile and nod except me. I was the only one who hadn’t read it. This guy looks at me like he’s about to tell me the cure to cancer. He says, “That book is amazing. I listened to the audiobook and actually thought I might have pull over while driving. It made the story of Jesus so real.”

After hearing that, I found myself visiting audible.com and listening to it myself on the way home that very day.

OMG!

This book is exactly as advertised. Bill O’Reilly and Mark Dugard do an amazing job of combining scripture and historical accounts to bring the story of Jesus to life like never before. More than one time I actually gasped out loud… that doesn’t happen to me.

Here are the following reasons I would suggest reading this book:

> Great way to tie in historical events during the time of Jesus to the narratives of the Gospels.

> This book will bring you face to face with the horrors of crucifixion much like the Movie The Passion of the Christ did for so many in the 1990s.

> It will give the other ‘characters’ in the Bible a lot more detail than you ever knew before.

Disclaimer- This book isn’t written to convert people. It’s written for historical entertainment. That being said you will have to take a few things O’Reilly says with a ‘grain of salt’ and do your own research before making conclusions.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to any student of the Bible hoping to gain fresh perspective on the life and times surrounding Jesus.

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Book Review: Unashamed by Lecrae

By far, Lecrae has shattered the box of Christian music forever. His book has challenged expectations again. Who would have thought a christian rapper would ever write a book or that it would be any good? But it was so good. Lecrae’s book, Unashamed, is an honest and sincere look at the author’s life. We travel with him through his massive highs, equally massive lows, and everything in between. What we find is an ordinary man with an extra-ordinary calling on his life and his pursuit of stretching himself to become everything God has created him to be.

Here are a few of my takeaways>>>

>> One aspect that really spoke to me was Lacrae’s honestly about the struggles all Christians face when it comes to ‘earning our faith’. He talked about how we struggle to understand God’s love for us because we struggle to see ourselves the way he does. Lacrae eventually realized God loves Him before he ever makes those right decisions. He’s operated FROM the acceptance of God not FOR the acceptance of God.

>> He talks a lot in the second half of he book about having a Christian World View. I thought I knew what that was but apparently not. His ideas brought fresh insight to an old conversation about who we as believers should be on the world stage. He challenged me to view myself in the same way.

>> Finding his own unique voice in the music industry. Whether you are a music, public speaker, business owner, or a single guy looking for a date; everyone is looking for something to make them stand out. It’s amazing to realize that many of us spend most of our lives trying to ‘fit in’ when we should really be looking to stand out as our own unique self. That’s probably my number one takeaway. The question of “Who am I?” “What makes me unique?” “What is my unique voice in this world?”

I have a personal ranking system with all books I read ranging from 1 (never admit I read this) to 10 (I need to read this again, blog about it, tell the world). This book definitely made it to a 10. It’s filled with great stories, great questions,  and great encouragement. This is the kind of book that I’ll probably end up buying a few extra copies so they can be given away to guests.

You should definitely give it a try.

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TD.2
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T.D. Jakes Speaking on Leadership

This is a amazing video where T.D. Jakes speaks on leadership.
It’s a must watch

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TD.1
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10 leadership tips from Bishop T.D. Jakes

In his newly published book, Instinct, Jakes dedicates a chapter to leading. Here are 10 quotes from the book that highlight his philosophy:

1. “Unfortunately, much of what I see today isn’t about fulfilling one’s true potential as much as it is about appearing to fulfill what other people expect.”

2. “We instinctively know how to lead if we allow ourselves. …When instincts are ignored, leaders become followers, and followers become unemployed.”

3. “Anything that we do for years that doesn’t match the inner imprint of our gifting will eventually become monotonous and routine, ritualistic and frustrating.”

4. “The same proclivities that made me an effective pastor didn’t necessarily produce the skill set required for greater leadership of my business team and personal staff. …I had to learn to distinguish ministry from management and potlucks from portfolios.”

5. “Leadership emerges not only when an individual can capably do what needs doing; the real test is passed when a person can implement what needs to be done through others.”

6. “When you operate independently in the midst of your team, it stunts their growth as well as your own. You don’t want to lead a task, run a business, direct a philanthropy, or guide a church if your stakeholders assume you don’t need their help. If you want to lead by your instincts, then you must create a vision large enough that you cannot achieve it alone. …Start pushing something that you can’t carry and watch how people will come to your aid. But pick up a box you can manage, and people will simply watch you carry the load.”

7. “Don’t allow the criticisms of others or the distractions of the urgent to deter you from your destiny.”

8. “I prefer leaders who have been in the trenches. I tend to prefer people who know what it means to rise through the ranks and see the organization from a variety of angles and positions. Because I am admittedly a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps person who worked his way up, always crawling before walking, I value people who have enjoyed wide and diverse experiences, people who have failed and learned something from what went wrong, people who shrugged it off and kept going.”

9. “Often our drives and tenacity come from the places that stink in our lives. The sweet smell of success is often preceded by the sour stench of past mistakes.”

10. “Many people seem to have trouble identifying their highest passion and gifting. I often tell them, ‘Your purpose is in your passions—not just what you love but what you passionately hate.’ …If you can’t stand to see bad hairdos, maybe you should consider becoming a stylist.”

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