Category Archives: Courage
What if answering ‘no’ to the first question automatically meant ‘yes’ to the second. Would you more urgency seek out your Life’s Purpose?
What if living in fear means that you aren’t pursuing what God wants you to accomplish? What if “keeping the commandments” is not your highest calling? What if your highest calling is pursuing an objective God hand-picked YOU to accomplish? What if God designed YOU with your positive AND negative aspects to make you the perfect person to accomplish something grand?
Would you answer God’s call?
YOU ARE SINGULARLY UNIQUE!
Out of an estimated 110,000,000,000 people to have lived on this planet, only one has possessed the exact combination of attitude, skills, knowledge, and passion that you do.
When you really think about it, that is an awesome thought! Out of more than 100 billion humans who have ever lived, you are singularly unique. You are literally irreplaceable! You are critically important to the human race!
You are literally irreplaceable!
If you fail to pursue your life purpose, you deprive this planet of your unique gift to the human race.
Consider this: What if you were meant to cure cancer, write a symphony, invent something amazing, be the Senior Pastor at a Mega-Church in Manhattan (or the beloved pastor of a 12-member Church in the middle of nowhere?) or pitch a perfect game 7 in a Cubs uniform to bring a world championship to Wrigley’s faithful?
But what if you thought about it quite a bit . . . but it seemed pretty hard and like it would take a long time to accomplish.
And you might fail.
So you never actually took action to get it done?
You settle for a life of quiet despair and hopeless mediocrity. . . knowing you could be so much more?
You obviously hurt yourself. You live in regret and misery most of your life. You hurt your children and strip them of many advantages you could have provided.
You hurt your family, your neighbors, and alma mater. You hurt your legacy. You hurt the economy. You hurt your House of Worship. You hurt me. You hurt the planet. You make needless the angels assigned to protect you. You defy the Almighty who created you — and only you — with your unique gifts.
Don’t do it! Don’t cheat us of your contribution: Give us what you’ve got!
God created you for the purpose of making this planet better. She designed each of us with a Purpose. God calls us towards that purpose. Our calling is not to bend ourselves into some ideal our parents, teachers, or religion tries to foist upon us. Our calling is most certainly NOT to avoid running afoul of ten negatively-framed commandments.
Your calling is not to become some theoretical perfect person by never making a mistake or taking any risks. Your calling is to make a bunch of errors so you can find out who you are . . . and become it.
Oh, and just so we are clear: No matter what self-delusional story I tell myself; I cannot be an effective witness for God while everyone can see I am not living up to my potential. No one is going to want to follow my God when they see I have God-given talents . . . that for some reason I refuse to use.
Our calling is to find out who we already are . . . and become it.
Our calling is to find out who we already are . . . and become it.
To living purposefully,
NOTE: This is part two of two. You should first read “You Can Be Anything in Life…Once You Decide To Not Be Who You Are Supposed To Be“
In part one we described how much the rest of this planet will miss your contribution(s) if you elect to become what your parent or priest or teacher or religion wants . . . instead of what you want to be.
But I want their approval.
You want them to be proud of you? Your friends and family are going to be proud of you when you are living in such a fashion that you are content and fulfilled. And if they are not, they don’t deserve the title ‘friend’ or even ‘family.’ And what happens when you cure cancer, or win the Nobel Peace Prize, or Pulitzer, or discover a new animal species, or invent something that revolutionizes the world. . . you think they are not going to be proud then?!
And, uh, you aren’t going to do any of those thing ‘being a good little worker bee,’ trudging in to a little job you hate, in your tiny little corporate cube each week. Doing work that you can’t stand. Just to “make a living.”
But let’s be clear: You are just “making an existence.” Working at something you don’t love is most certainly not “making a living.”
I know it takes courage to quit and find something you love. Especially when it seems like everybody wants you to “play it safe.”
I am sure Edison’s friends and family told him to ‘play it safe’.
But in daytime, of course, since people couldn’t socialize at night before he invented the light bulb.
I am sure that’s what Michael Jordan’s friends and family told him after he got cut from the basketball team his first year in high school.
Before he revolutionized the game, team sports in general, and the athletic apparel industry.
I am sure ‘play it safe’ was advice that Martin Luther King, Jr. heard many, many times.
But mostly from African-American folk. Since back then we openly, notoriously, and chillingly discriminated against people based solely on the amount of pigment in their skin.
Luckily, for all of us, the Good Reverend “Had A Dream” and he would not be silenced. Not by the nay-sayers. Not by those who wanted him to “play it safe.” Dr. King’s voice couldn’t even be silenced by a cowardly assassin’s bullet.
I promise you that if Dr. King was given the choice to live to a hundred years of age doing a ‘corporate job’ he hated or die in the prime of his life doing what he loved. And what he knew needed doing. And what he knew God had blessed him and designed him to do.
He would choose the assassin’s bullet without hesitation.
How do I know that? Because Dr. King got to live before he died.
We are all going to die. Every one of us. Though we don’t know the exact day, we know that day is coming. The real question is not whether we are doing to die. Or when that day will be.
The real question is: Will we choose to live before that day arrives?
We are all going to die. Every one of us. Though we don’t know the exact day, we know that day is coming. The real question is not whether we are doing to die. Or when that day will be. The real question is: Will we choose to live before that day arrives?
My hope and prayer is that you choose wisely.
From my heart to yours,
NOTE: This is part two of two. You should first read “Was Jesus the Worst Prophet Ever?“
In part one we described how Jesus of Nazareth was either seriously future-vision-challenged . . . or perhaps we have not fully grasped what He meant when He described His mission in John 10.10 as “to give humans Life. And to give them Life in Abundance.”
So What is Abundance?
Abundance is a mindset.
Abundance is a mindset of peace and a life lived so confidently in God and Self that no matter what challenge, circumstance, or event happens — even if your family lives in . . . Australia, say . . . and your friends all abandon you.
And the IRS wrongfully seizes all your assets.
And you get fired from the job you love.
And you are served with divorce papers. Or receive the telephone call informing you a Loved One has died. Or your doctor confirms the worst after your last test.
You know those times. It seems all the lights in the world have gone out and the world is a very bleak and dark place. You can actually feel the dark pressing down upon you and you wonder if you will ever get out of this cave.
Abundance is knowing that is exactly when you and your God shine the brightest. It is Living in the Certainty that you and God have been here before and you probably will be back here again. And you and God always manage to get out in one piece. . . to bond, and to have some fun together while you were doing it! Ahhh, Life is Good!
Abundance is not faith that God has the ability to do something. Living in Abundance is Living with the certainty that She will do it.
Yes, I know. You wanted season tickets to your favorite sports team and music venue. And a promotion at work. And some credit from your kids once in awhile. It wouldn’t suck to have a tad more money, a mansion, and some fame, either.
Despite what you might have heard whispered in your Church, you can have all these things. Jesus is often unfairly misquoted as saying “money is the root of all evil.” He never said that. Never!
J.C. proclaimed that the “Love of money is the root of all evil.” And in doing so, the Wise Carpenter reveals one of the most profound Truths about human life. We do indeed need a house, we need money, and perhaps we even need some status and fame if we are actually going to make disciples of all nations.
None of those things are wrong. Money is not evil. Fame does not equate to being self-centered. Power . . . well, okay, power you have to be pretty careful with . . . but it is not inherently evil. Just Seductive. But, the Truth is Jesus promised all of these to you. Even Power. “Great Power” in Truth. He knows we will never be perfect in this Life . . . and yet He trusts us with “Great Power.” He is Dying for you to have all of these thing. In Abundance. It was His Purpose in coming to this planet! Be clear on that: He wants you to live in abundance.
And you know why we immediately think of wealth, a nice house, and a fast car as indicia of abundance? Because someone living in Abundance almost always possesses all of those material trappings.
But those material things are not elements of abundance. Fame, fortune, and status are the certain by-products of Living in Abundance.
And that is the hilarious irony of abundance: The person who Lives in Abundance does not need any of those showy possessions or material trappings. He or she usually possesses them because they naturally flow into your life when you Live in Abundance.
But a person Living in Abundance is absolutely confident that they possess everything they need to live, within them. The Abundant Life is a life of self-reliance and one firmly rooted in a deep, meaningful relationship with God. And a Life where everything is designed to further the purpose that God gave them in this Life.
Look at Joseph’s life, Daniel’s, or King David’s: these men possessed the same grit and determination to Live Authentically and be true to their purpose at every point in their Life.
It mattered not whether they were living as shepherds or captives . . . or a potential midnight snack for some hungry felines. They Loved God and pursued their purpose exactly the same whether dealing with Potipher’s Wife or Nebuchadnezzar’s forgotten dream. They lived exactly the same when their fortunes improved, each becoming one of the very highest of the elite of the ruling class of a dominant world civilization. In those period of their lives, each possessed power, fame and money beyond the dreams of avarice.
And, yet, they lived the same as they always had lived: In simple yet confident peace, joy, truth and love.
They lived in Abundance.
They lived in Abundance.
May you Live Abundantly,
This was part 2. Return to part 1: “Was Jesus the Worst Prophet Ever?“
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
You create the portrait of your Life. You, and only you, get to choose each day the colors with which you will paint, the brushes with which you will paint, and each and every brushstroke. Sure, some people start with a better canvas. Many people begin their adult life with a much worse canvas.
But each of us has paint and paint brushes. If we would only stop complaining about our canvas, and begin painting, we would soon be delighted with the Life Portrait we are producing.
How are you feeling about the portrait you have painted of your Life thus far? Are you a ‘work in progress’? Are you hoping that some lucky incident will magically give you the Life you desire? Or have you produced the ‘masterpiece’ you always knew you could be?
The great thing about Life is that even if you feel incomplete, frustrated, and like you will never get to where you want to be . . . one simple choice can change all of that.
Tomorrow awaits. It is beckoning brightly. Affix in your mind the person you wish to be. Then dare to paint the Life that you want – one day at a time. Do not settle for anything less. Determine now — this instant — that you will let nothing and no one derail you tomorrow from doing whatever it takes to become that person.
And simply repeat that formula the following day. And the next one after that.
Will you have frustrating days where you feel you did not make progress? Of course.
But if you will make that commitment – each day – I promise that you will look back in six months, and a year, and five years from now and you will be that person.
And should you fail to make that commitment…you can be sure you will wake up six months from now, or a year, or five years . . . and you will be more-or-less where you are today.
The Choice is always yours! Why not start on this person you wish to be today?
From my heart to yours,
Please direct your attention to the main stage, and (if the Prefixed Life had an unlimited budget such that we could afford him on this grand occasion) to your ring announcer, Michael Buffer.
“For the hundreds who have visited the Prefixed Life…and the millions with the ability to do so worldwide . . .it gives us great pleasure to introduce the Blogging Match-Up . . . which will be decided by fifteen (or more or less) rounds of furious blogging action to determine the Heaven-Weight World Championship. . .
. . .and perhaps . . .
Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing, first . . .
In the Black Corner;
Our Veteran . . .
He Lives in gorgeous, sunny; traffic-, smog-, and crime-free Southern California . . .
Your liberal, left-of-Karl Marx-leaning, Commandments-are-not-our-God. . .
SCAAAAHHHHHHH…TTTTTTTTYYYYYYYYYYYY . . . . .BAAAAAA-LAAAAAACCCCCKKKKKK-BURN.
The Prefixed Life is proud to introduce,
In the White Corner, your challenger
She hales from the not quite-so-gorgeous or warm, or beach-front . . .
or cool (unless you mean temperature-wise) State of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
where she has two children, a cat, a degree in nursing, a gorgeous mind . . .
and a bizarre alarm clock.
From the exact center of the famous and historic
Philadelphia-Harrisburg-Scanton exotic triangle,
Presenting . . .
The Naturally-Talented, ‘Not-So-Dumb,’ Conservative-to-the-Right of Genghis Khan, Commandments-Point-The-Way-To-Heaven, Blonde Blogger,
KAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNN “For Patients Because I am a Nurse,” BBBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRR-TON.
Blonde Blogger Karen Borton
Ladies and Gentlement, AAAAAAARRRREEEEEE YOU RRRRREEEEAAAAAA-DY?
THEN . . .LETS GET REEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAADY TO CONTRAAAAAAA-PUN-TAL!
And now please direct your attention ring side to our humble referee, dressed in a simple garment of shimmering white, who bears scars in His hands and feet but has the beautiful smiling face of a caring, shepherding, carpenter . . .for the pre-fight instructions:
“Alright, Karen and Scotty:
We went over all the rules in your respective locker rooms before this bout. Obey My commands at all times. Love your God and fellow humans with all your heart. No low blows, no kidney punches, or feline jabs to the diaphragm.
And remember, the Goal is NOT to knock each other out; the Goal is NOT to Divide or Conquer.
Our goal here is to unite, empower, equip, find common ground; and, ultimately to enhance and deepen our relationships with God, fellow humans, our planet, our communities, our respective Houses of Worship, our families, and even with ourselves;
So . . . touch gloves and let’s have a good, clean, Truthful, Joyous, Loving and fun match.
And may the THOUGHTS that lead to SALVATION . . .
This post begins with OVERCOMING FEAR: THE COURAGE TO BECOME A HERO (PART 1)
We all want and need heroes. And we can all become heroes. But JFK was certainly correct when he advised of would be heroes: “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
But if you know your purpose and Live with direction, courage is often nothing more than the power and testicular fortitude to say “No.” J. K. Rowling hit it right on the mark with: “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” – J.K. Rowling
Sometimes it takes a great deal more courage to stand opposed to our friends. And sometimes that is what a Real Man is called upon to do.
And the rewards are incredible. According to Morihei Ueshiba: “Loyalty and devotion lead to bravery. Bravery leads to the spirit of self-sacrifice. The spirit of self-sacrifice creates trust in the power of Love.”
No matter what, though, we have One Friend we need never stand up to, we have One Friendship that will always be completely in our corner, and fully backing us.
And NOT just when we ‘are good.’ When we fail. When we fail miserably. When we sin in the worst and most despicable way. When our friends desert us and our problems appear insurmountable. When everything in our world seems dark, and when all other lights seem to have failed.
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 NAS
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 NAS
“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
Haile Selassie said, “We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community.”
The prophet, Isaiah, offers this on courage: ‘Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.’ – Isaiah 41:10 NLT
There is no higher praise a man can receive than being labeled courageous. There is no moniker evidencing greater disdain than calling a man a “coward.” In most tribal cultures courage, for men at least, courage is the only characteristic measured in determining one’s place in society.
A man who possesses an abundance of courage will be forgiven a host of other shortcomings, but it is difficult to appreciate any other quality in a man who lacks courage.
“Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”, as Maya Angelou astutely penned.
“Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency” – Maya Angelou
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 NIV
According to Winston Churchill, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Indeed, courage is multi-faceted in the way it manifests itself. It can be seen in one who faces death or destruction bravely. It is witnessed in the character of one who is unwilling to sway her opinion in the face of peer pressure or government or religious coercion. It may be seen in the soldier charging a machine gun nest to save his buddies, but is no less valid when it is a man deciding to become the unshakable emotional fortress for his family — when life becomes complicated and troubles abound at home.
Are you paralyzed with fear?
That is okay.
Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator, telling us what we must do. The more scared we are of somehing, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
There is only one way to silence that fear: Do it! Do what you fear!
You are the only person who has ever – or who will EVER – possess your combination of attitude, skills, education, passion and temperament. That is an awesome thought. You are literally irreplaceable!
You are very important to the human race!
Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, a homemaker, a race car driver, or an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action. Do it . . . or don’t do it. But thinking about it without ever taking action will only deprived this planet of your unique gift to the human race.
Consider this: If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or invent something amazing and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, you may even destroy yourself, you hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.
God created you for the purpose of making this planet a little bit better. If you refuse to do what you can; you take your God’s name in vain. Period.
Creative work is not selfish or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got!
Our calling in this Life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be. It certainly is NOT our “calling” to avoid doing a bunch of negatively-framed commandments.
God designed us for a Purpose. And He calls us towards it. Our calling is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine; or some vision our parents, teachers, or religion tries to push on us.
Our calling is to find out who we already are . . .and become it.
Our calling is to find out who we already are . . . and become it.
Onward and upward,