Nugget of the Week: Stop Every Day and Look at the Size of God
I travel by air quite often and one of the benefits is that every time I fly I get a glimpse of God’s perspective. I like looking at my challenges from 37,000 feet in the air. No problem is too large for God’s intervention, and no person is too small for God’s attention.
Nugget of the Week: Say No to Many Good Ideas
One of the tricks of the devil is to get us to say yes to too many things. Then we end up being spread so thin that we are mediocre in everything and excellent in nothing. There is one guaranteed formula for failure, and that is to try to please everyone.
There is a difference between something that is good and something that is right. There comes a time in every person’s life when he must learn to say no to many good ideas. In fact, the more an individual grows, the more opportunities he will have to say no. Perhaps no other virtue is so overlooked as a key to growth and success. Becoming focused is a key to results.
There is power in the word no. No is an anointed word, one which can break the yoke of over-commitment and weakness. No can be used to turn a situation from bad to good, from wrong to right. Saying no can free you from burdens that you really don’t need to carry right now. It can also allow you to devote the correct amount of attention and effort to God’s priorities in your life.
I’m sure that as you read the title of this nugget, past experiences and present situations come to mind. I’m sure you recall many situations in which no or not right now would have been the right answer. Don’t put yourself through that kind of disappointment in the future.
Yes and no are the two most important words that you will ever say. These are the two words that determine your destiny in life. How and when you say them affects your entire future.
Saying no to lesser things can mean saying yes to the priorities in your life.
- John Mason, from the book An Enemy Called Average
WHAT YOU GIVE LIVES.
The secret to living is giving. When you give quick it is like giving twice. R. Browne says, “Whatever God does in your life is not so you can keep it to yourself. He wants you to give to others.” When you give only after being asked you have waited too long.
The Bible says in Acts, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (20:35). Giving is always the thermometer of our love. Getters don’t get happiness. Givers get it. When you live for another it’s the best way to live for yourself. John Wesley advised, “Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” That’s a good formula for a successful life.
The Swiss say, “A greedy person and a pauper are practically one in the same.” When it comes to giving, some people stop at nothing. Greed always diminishes what has been gained. Mike Murdock says, “Giving is proof that you have conquered greed.”
If you have, give. If you lack, give. G. D. Bordmen said, “The law of the harvest is to reap more than you sow.” The secret to living is giving.
- John Mason, from the book Conquering An Enemy Called Average
Nugget of the Week: Pray Until You Pray
Amazing things start happening when we start praying. Prayer time is never wasted time. Charles Spurgeon taught, “Sometimes we think we are too busy to pray. That is a great mistake, for praying is a savings of time.”
“The best prayers have often more groans than words” (John Bunyan). I experienced this when I had many pressing needs all around me. Honestly, I reached a point where I could hardly pray about my needs because there were so many. The only prayer I could manage was, “Help!” and I remember passionately praying it to God over thirty times until I experienced a breakthrough. Psalms declares, “O Lord, attend to my cry” (17:1). One of the smartest things I ever prayed was, “Help!” When you take one step toward God, God will take more steps towards you than you could ever count. He moved to meet my needs.
Prayer alone proves that you trust God. Follow Dwight L. Moody’s advice: “Spread out your petition before God and then say, ‘Thy will, not mine, be done.’ The sweetest lesson I have learned in God’s school is to let the Lord choose for me.” Do deep praying before you find yourself in a deep hole.
Prayers can’t be answered until they are prayed. Nothing significant happens until you fervently pray; pray until you pray! F. B. Myer said, “The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.” God’s answers are wiser than your answers. Ann Lewis said, “There are four ways God answers prayer: no, not yet; no, I love you too much; yes, I thought you’d never ask; yes, and here’s more.”
“Every time we pray our horizon is altered, our attitude to change is altered, not sometimes but every time. The amazing thing is that we don’t pray more” (Oswald Chambers). Unfortunately, nothing is discussed more and practiced less than prayer. Pray with your eyes toward God, not towards your problems. The Lord is my refuge! The Most High is my dwelling! He is my fortress, my God in Whom I trust! (Psalm 91)
Frequent kneeling will keep you in good standing with God. It is impossible to be prayerful and pessimistic at the same time. Mark Litteton said, “Turn your doubts to questions; turn your questions to prayers; turn your prayers to God.”
- John Mason, from the book An Enemy Called Average
Nugget of the Week: Trust God
Many people believe in God, but not many believe God. One of the most incredible places that we can live our lives is in a continual position of believing God. The man who puts God first will find God with him right up to the last. For every divine direction that we receive from God will include us believing in Him.
It’s been my observation and experience that nothing human works out well. All great things have God involved in them. Dare to go with God farther than you can see. If something is beneficial for you, God will put it within your reach. For the Bible says in Psalms 84:11, “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Never undertake anything for which you wouldn’t have the conviction to ask the blessing of heaven. A small man stands on others. A great man stands on God.
“God never made a promise that was too good to be true” (D. L. Moody). One of the great things about believing God is found in Luke 18:27: “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” What the superior man seeks is in God. What the small man seeks is in himself or others. You have never tapped God’s resources until you have attempted the impossible.
The fact is that anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist. Look around, nothing is more real than miracles. Nothing great has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that God inside them was superior to circumstance. With God’s strength behind you, His love with you, and His arms underneath you, you are more than sufficient for the days ahead of you.
The way each day will look to you all starts with who you’re looking to. Look to God. Believe God. When you believe God you will see an opportunity in every problem, not problems in the middle of every opportunity. Joshua 1:9 says, “Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (LB).
-John Mason, from the book Let Go of Whatever Makes You Stop
The election for the next President of the United States is right around the corner. It’s a time to, now more than ever, trust God and act for the good of the people around us. To truly listen, to discern, to pray, to do more!
Do more than exist, live.
Do more than hear, listen.
Do more than agree, cooperate.
Do more than talk, communicate.
Do more than grow, bloom.
Do more than spend, invest.
Do more than think, create.
Do more than work, excel.
Do more than share, give.
Do more than decide, discern.
Do more than consider, commit.
Do more than forgive, forget.
Do more than help, serve.
Do more than coexist, reconcile.
Do more than sing, worship.
Do more than think, plan.
Do more than dream, do.
Do more than see, perceive.
Do more than read, apply.
Do more than receive, reciprocate.
Do more than choose, focus.
Do more than wish, believe.
Do more than advise, help.
Do more than speak, impart.
Do more than encourage, inspire.
Do more than add, multiply.
Do more than change, improve.
Do more than reach, stretch.
Do more than ponder, pray.
And do more than just live, live for Jesus. Remember, God is in control and will use you right where you are today.
-John Mason, from the book An Enemy Called Average
There’s No Better Exercise For The Heart Than Helping Someone Up
What we do for ourselves alone dies with us; what we do for others is timeless. No one is more deceived or cheated than a selfish person. Invest in the success of others. When you help someone up a mountain, you’ll find yourself close to the summit, too.
Proverbs 11:24-25 (ESV) says, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”
You grow to the extent that you give out. By giving out, you create more room to grow on the inside. So, don’t give ‘til it hurts; give ‘til it feels good. Make this commitment: to leave others better than you found them.
If you treat a person as they are, they will remain the same. If you treat them as if they were what they could be, they can become what they could be. Practicing the Golden Rule is not a sacrifice; it’s an incredible investment.
If you want others to improve, let them hear the nice things you say about them. People will treat you the way you view them. Find the good in everyone. Draw out their talents and abilities. To lead people, let them know that you are behind them. It is the duty of all leaders to make it difficult for others to do wrong, easy to do right.
What means most in life is what you have done for others. Most people can smile for two months on five words of praise and a pat on the back. The best way to encourage yourself is to encourage someone else. “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves,” said James Matthew Barrie.
- John Mason, from the book Know Your Limits, Then Ignore Them
Be Strong and Courageous
Never try to defend your present position and situation. Choose to be a person who is on the offensive, not the defensive. People who live defensively never rise above being average. We’re called, as Christians, to be on the offensive, to take the initiative. A lukewarm, indecisive person is never secure regardless of his wealth, education, or position.
Don’t ever let your quest for balance become an excuse for not taking the unique, radical, invading move that God has directed you to take. Many times the attempt to maintain balance in life is really just an excuse for being lukewarm. In Joshua 1:6,7,9 the Lord says three times to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.” I believe that He is saying the same thing to all believers today.
When you choose to be on the offensive, the atmosphere of your life will begin to change. So if you don’t like the atmosphere of your life, choose to take the offensive position. Taking the offensive is not just an action taken outside a person; it is also a decision made within.
When you do choose to be on the offensive, keep all your conflicts impersonal. Fight the issue, not the person. Speak about what God in you can do, not what others cannot do. You will find that when all of your reasons are defensive, your cause almost never succeeds.
Being on the offensive and taking the initiative is a master key which opens the door to opportunity in your life. Learn to create a habit of taking the initiative and don’t ever start your day in neutral. Every morning when your feet hit the floor, you should be thinking on the offensive, taking control of your day and your life.
By pulling back and being defensive, you usually enhance the problem. Intimidation always precedes defeat. If you are not sure which way to go, pray and move toward the situation in confident trust and faith.
Be like the two fishermen who got trapped in a storm in the middle of a lake. One turned to the other and asked, “Should we pray, or should we row?” His wise companion responded, “Let’s do both!”
That’s taking the offensive.
-John Mason, from the book, An Enemy Called Average and nugget “Your Least Favorite Color Should Be Beige.”
Are You Making Dust or Eating Dust?
Are you making dust or eating dust? When you run in place everyone will pass you by. Failure’s most successful strategy is procrastination. Now is the best time to be alive and productive. If you want to make an easy job seem difficult, just keep putting off doing it. “We’re all fugitives, and the things we didn’t do yesterday are the bloodhounds”(Prism). Said Joseph Newton, “A duty dodged is like a debt unpaid; it is only deferred, and we must come back and settle the account at last.”
What holds people back? “There are those of us who are always ‘about’ to live. We’re waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down - until, until, until. It always seems that there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living” (George Sheehan). One of these days is really none of these days.
“Do not allow idleness to deceive you; for while you give him today, he steals tomorrow from you” (H. Crowquill). Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging-on of an uncompleted task. “One day, today, is worth two tomorrows” (Ben Franklin).
What the fool does in the end, the wise person does in the beginning. Start, it’s what will set you apart.
What Do You Attach To The Words “I Am”?
A son and his father were walking in the mountains.
Suddenly, the son falls, hurts himself and screams:
To his surprise, he hears a voice repeating
somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”
Curious, he yells: “Who are you?”
He receives the answer: “Who are you?”
Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!”
He receives the answer: “Coward!”
He looks to his father and asks: “What’s going on?”
The father smiles and says: “My son, pay attention.”
And then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!”
The voice answers: “I admire you!”
Again the man screams: “You are a champion!”
The voice answers: “You are a champion!”
The boy is surprised, but does not understand.
Then the father explains: “People call this an ECHO,
but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions. Life will give you back everything you have given to it.” (Anonymous)
Your life is not a coincidence. It’s a reflection of you! Proverbs declares, “As a man thinks, so is he, and as a man chooses, so is he.” If you would like to know who is responsible for most of your troubles, take a look in the mirror. If you could kick the person responsible for most of your problems, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for three weeks. It’s time for us to stay out of our own way.
Stop looking only at where you are and start looking at what you can be. Be careful of where your mind wanders; your words and actions follow it.
No one can defeat you unless you first defeat yourself. Self-image sets the boundaries and limits of each of our individual accomplishments. If you doubt yourself, listen to Alexander Dumas: “A person who doubts himself is like a man who enlists in the ranks of his enemy and bears arms against himself.”
You carry with you the world in which you must live. Know this: when you have a great dream, your mind will be your biggest enemy. Remember you are your own doctor when it comes to curing cold feet, a hot head and a stuffy attitude.
You may succeed if nobody else believes in you, but you will never succeed if you don’t believe in yourself. Whatever you attach consistently to the words “I am,” you will become.
- John Mason, from the book, Imitation is Limitation