Sunday, March 31, 2013

Purpose Driven Life - Day 3 What Drives My Life

Today I started to underline my nuggets. Now, I can go back and get the big ah ha moments, questions to ponder or sentences to meditate on. 

To answer today's question, I think most people would say my son is my driving force. To a certain extent that is true. However, I believe my driving force is to do better than the generation before me and to propel the next generation to go even further. 

I know I want my life to be purpose drive - guided, controlled, and directed by God. However, I don't know how to get to that place.

While reading the 5 common things that drive the average person's life, I realized most of them do not apply to me. A small part of me is driven by fear of failure and the need of approval. Unfortunately, I can see my fear of failure has manifested in my son. It has been a battle the last 2 years to break him from it. I tell him and have been telling myself, I have nothing to gain if I don't try. What's the worst that can happen? I think the need for approval is in all of us, whether its from our spouse or romantic interest, or friends, coworkers, family members, etc., we want their approval/acceptance.

The benefits of purpose driven living seems like a world of utopia. Does this activity help me fulfill one of God's purposes for my life? That one question eliminates all the extra, even the good extra. That one change in our mind set reduces/eliminates stress, fatigue and conflict. Who knew?

Some of my other nuggets:
- You become effective by being selective
- Without a clear purpose, you will keep changing directions, jobs, relationships, churches, and other externals
- IF you want your life to have an impact, focus it! Prune away even good activities
- Never confuse activity with productivity
- Living to create a earthly legacy is a short-sighted goal. Build an eternal legacy.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Purpose Drive Life - Day 11 Becoming Best Friends with God


POINT TO PONDER:

God wants to be my best friend.

VERSE TO REMEMBER:

“Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him.”
PSALM 25:14A (LB)

QUESTION TO CONSIDER:

What can I do to remind myself to think about God and talk to him more often throughout the day?

God wants to be my best friend! Wow! I never heard it phrased that way. I never thought about God wanting to be my best friend - keeper of my secrets, hopes, and dreams. Whoa! I don't know if I can handle it. I don't know if I CAN be what is required to be God's best friend. This chapter later states we can't wrap our minds around that concept.

This chapter focuses on two ways to build the relationship to becoming friends and eventually best friends with God. First, I have to have constant conversations with God. Similar to what many women do with there girlfriends, I need to talk to God about any and everything. He wants to be part of every experience, activity, conversation, etc. God is not asking me to change what I do, but change my attitude to include Him.

Warren suggests having short conversational prayer with God. Many people (or maybe its just me) feels like you have to have all these holier than thou words and have to pray a certain way. In reality, God just wants us to spend time talking to Him. Another suggestion is to use "breath prayers" throughout the day. "Breath prayers" are statements you can say in one breath, such as "Order my steps", "I need you". I did not realize it, but I have already started doing it. When my students are working my nerves or I am trying to refrain for saying or doing something, I say "Jesus, be a fence."

The second way to build a relationship with God is to meditate. Meditate is another word "activity" I shied away from. Just sitting and thinking about God. I felt like I did not "hear His voice". I would question how would I know. This is heavy duty big time Christian living stuff. However, Warren made it plain. He poses the question, how many times have you sat around worried about something? Then, you meditated on that fear. Now, just change it to meditate on God.

Now to the question of the day. What can I do to remind myself to think about God and talk to him more often throughout the day? Earlier this year, I started waking up to the Contemporary Gospel station on Pandora in the morning. I noticed it started my day off upbeat. In the last week, I started listening to the gospel station again in the car. Listening and mediating on the Word brings me closer to God. This group is a way for me to develop a real friendship with God and discover my true purpose. The book suggests setting an alarm to remind me to have a conversation with God until it becomes natural. I might incorporate that too.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Purpose Driven Day 2: You Are Not An Accident


Disclaimer: Most of the posts for Purpose Driven Life are my notes from the book and some reflections. 


POINT TO PONDER:

I am not an accident.

VERSE TO REMEMBER:

“I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born.”
ISAIAH 44:2 (CEV)

QUESTION TO CONSIDER:

I know that God uniquely created me. What areas of my personality, background, and physical appearance am I struggling to accept?
Day 2: You are not an accident. What areas of my personality, background, and physical appearance am I struggling to accept?

I think we all have struggled with each of these areas at one point of time in our lives. We live in a society that constantly compares one person or thing to another. So it is not surprising we compare who we are to others. However, Warren reminds us that each and every one of us has been created for a specific purpose. We were not a mistake or accident. 

If I am completely honest and forthcoming, I am struggling with my body image. Now don't get me wrong, I think I am cute :) However, I am not at all happy with my weight. When I really think about it, I am 30 pounds heavier than the day I gave birth to my son over 16 years ago. Why is that? I know it is a simple solution: eat less, workout more (honestly start working out). Like everything else, it is an accountability issue for me. 

Wait I just had an AH HA moment. Why can't I have accountability to myself but I can be accountable to others? I need to go reflect on that! 

As far as my background is concern, I don't think I have had issues with it since my late teens, early 20's. Back then I wished my parents were married but I realized they were doing the best they could based on what they knew. I did make a conscious effort to break some generational key curses. For instance, neither one of my parents graduated from high school, let alone college. My mother later earned her GED and graduated from nursing school. Another curse I broke was becoming a teenage parent. Both of these curses were at least 2 generations old. I just wished my siblings would have done the same. 

As for my personality, I am pretty happy with with who I am and display. Sure there are things I could work on but that is why we are always striving to do better. 

I AM NOT AN ACCIDENT OR MISTAKE. I am grateful I realized that statement at an early age. 

Purpose Driven Life - Day 1 It Is Not About Me


Disclaimer: Most of the posts for Purpose Driven Life are my notes from the book and some reflections. 



Earlier in February, on of my college friends , Dr. Educator, posted on Facebook she was planning to purchase "Purpose Driven Life". I felt like that was my nudge from God to pick the book up again and actually walk it out this time. I suggested to her to invite others and have a daily group discussion on Facebook. We had 15 people sign up with about 4-6 people posting. 

What I really like about the book is the set up and the supporting materials. There are a few pages to read with a point to ponder, a verse to remember, and a question to consider. In addition, we post our reflections. There is a website purposedriven.com which provides daily notes and a sermon to go with the reading. 

This has been a great start for in 2013 to get my spiritual walk in order. Since I share more freely on my blog than on FB, I plan to share MY postings from the closed group.

Discussion - Day 1

POINT TO PONDER:
It’s not about me.

VERSE TO REMEMBER:
“Everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.”
COLOSSIANS 1:16B (MSG)

QUESTION TO CONSIDER:
In spite of all the advertising around me, how can I remind myself that life is really about living for God, not myself?

Let's discuss!

If you want to hear a message, please check out http://www.purposedriven.com/day1/


Here is what I posted for Day 1:

My take-a-ways:
- It is not about me. Now that is definitely an eye catching and thought provoking statement. It is about me fulfilling God's purpose IN and FOR my life.

- I do not decide my purpose. I have to seek my inventor, God, for that answer.

- I am not my creator, the Creator. Therefore, I can't determine my purpose.

- All the self-help books I have read over the years will not reveal my purpose. It may make me successful and content, but not serve my purpose.

- I need to quit speculating about my purpose and seek God through prayer and His Word to find out my purpose. He will reveal it to me.

- I am ready to learn how to do less in life by focusing on what matters the most.

Reflections: Reading today's chapter brought a few things to the forefront of my mind. For instance, God has to be the starting point and the source of everything. Another point is I (we) was (were) created by God for a specific purpose. It is our job to allow God to reveal it to us and walk in it. Like everyone in this group, I am many things to many people. However, we are here on an assignment/purpose from God.

Confessions: In the past, I had mixed emotions when I heard someone say I know my purpose or I am walking in my purpose. I was glad they did but at the same time bothered because I did not know and still don't know my purpose. I would wonder if they said it to sound holy or if they really knew their purpose.

I know in order to know my purpose, I have to really KNOW God not know OF Him. I have been ashamed to ask how do you get to know Him and build a true relationship with Him.

Question to Consider:
In spite of all the advertising around me, how can I remind myself that life is really about living for God, not myself?

I believe asking God to guide our hearts and minds to make decisions based on His desires and not our own. I have encountered people who seek God for the smallest of decisions. Because it is a lifestyle for them, you don't "see" them running to the prayer closet or saying let me seek God. It is just a part of them.




Hello Blog World

I can't believe I have not blogged alllllllll year! Really? What's really going on? I plan to get back to it. 

I created a few vision boards this year. I plan to work on my spiritual walk, my finances, teaching, losing weight/becoming more healthy, getting organized, and building stronger relationships (romantic, familial, and friendships). 

BB is graduating from high school this year. Senior year is so expensive. I am still trying to figure out how we are going to pay for it all. In addition, he has been having a lingering shoulder injury which will probably requires surgery. 
 
So what has been going on in your world?

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