Do The Hard Things

You have to make the call you are afraid to make.
You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.

You have to Give more than you get in return right away.
You have to care more about others than they care about you.
You have to Fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter

You Have to Lead when no one else is following you yet.
You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
You have to grind out the details when its easier to shrug them off.
You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
You have to search for your own explanations even when you are told to accept the “facts.”
You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
You have to try and fail and try again.

You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
You have to keep moving towards where you need to be no matter what’s in front of you.
You have to do the hard things. The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you.

The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on.

Those are the things that define you. Those are some of the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.

The Hard things are the easiest things to avoid. To excuse away. To pretend like they don’t apply to you.

The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people don’t have the courage – or desperation – to do.

Do the Hard Things. You might be surprised at how amazing [God really is.]

—Unknown

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Get Up & Win The Race

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face, my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race. A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well, excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.

Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son, and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one. The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire, to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.

One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd, was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”

But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip, the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace, and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face. As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.

Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face, which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win the race!” He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all, and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win, his mind went faster than his legs. And he slipped and fell again. He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace. “I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win the race!”

So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last. “If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”

Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten…but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.

Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye. “There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try? I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”

But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face. “Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all, for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.

Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place! You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win the race!”

So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit, and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit. So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been, still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win. Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again. Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place, head high and proud and happy — no falling, no disgrace.

But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place, the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.

And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud, you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd. And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.” “To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face, the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.

For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.

And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face, another voice within me says, “Get up and win the race!”

—Attributed to Dr. D.H. “Dee” Groberg

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We Are Living Proof

Of perfect creation on one hand and an imperfect nature on the other
We are Living Proof
Of incredible generosity in one moment and the height of selfishness in the next
Of This we are also Living Proof
On our best days discipline feeds the seed of potential that yearns to grow in our hearts.

And on our worst days this seed is choked by the weeds of pride, our own wisdom, and our own smarts.
But we still proclaim
That Living Proof is our Aim

Because we recognize and embrace

That we are Kings and Queens
Paupers and peasants

We are great and we are small

In moments both good and bad – yes in every moment – All
Even in this moment some of us are up and some of us are down

But the call to be Living Proof
Compels us to move forward and pursue our crown
Why you ask?
Because we are sons and daughters of the King of Kings

And in our possession are the resources of His Universe

The ability to understand and embrace every truth

And with every morning sunrise
Our human spirit and search are made brand new

Why?

Because we are perfectly created.

Why?
Because we are Living Proof.

We are Living Proof of God.
We are Living Proof of Grace.
We are living Proof of that athlete or that runner
That runs with ALL their heart to win the race
And then stumbles and falls
Flat on their face
Does the athlete stay on the ground as the world presses in and laughs?
Is that athlete paralyzed when enemies run over them and snort in derision as they pass on by.

Does the runner crumble when friends and family pretend to help but in reality – treachery and deceit they mask?
Do we REACT in the moment – give up – walk away – shrug our shoulders and say “What’s the use”?
Or do we RESPOND by getting up dusting off and pressing on – to make God’s dreams come true?

Do we rise up?

Do we rebuild?

And show the world that we are Living Proof?

Yes. Yes. We must run our race
And every day we must get up

We must keep going, keep running, keep seeking
And we must continue to trust

That the end of this life will not be failure
Will not be darkness, sadness, and rust.
It is not the opportunity or the struggle

Disappointment or achievement that will define us at the last,
It’s whether we strive continually to make sure the darkness of our past stays in the past.

It’s how we respond to mountains high and yes…valleys low.

Its whether we learn the lessons, embrace the process and continue to grow.
Will our mindset be to look up?

We will always seek to build?
Will we stop being our own worst enemies?
To old grievances and habits will we cease to yield?
Will we run the race before us?
Believe we are bound for greater things.

Acknowledging that we are human
But never giving in to the false story that says we should be ashamed.
So at the last when all is said – when all has been written and when all is done.
They will ask you how you kept running, falling, getting up
They will ask you how you won.
They will wonder why every time you tripped you immediately got up after every fall.
And they will wonder how you break through every obstacle, challenge, and every wall.
But you – You won’t wonder because you know this to be true.

We are human – we all make mistakes
But with God’s grace we are also Living Proof!

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Three Words

The next time you are frustrated, overwhelmed, anxious, angry, or fearful.

The next time you are full of remorse and in need of rescue from barriers that hold you back.

The next time things just don’t feel right at the job or maybe you’re stuck in a rut.

The next time relationships are in disrepair, undeniably broken, or non-existent.

The next time you feel alone with a huge hole in your heart.

The next time you’re in prison bound by the chains of past decisions that have come to fruition.

The next time you are fighting disease, despair, or darkness.

The next time you feel the weight of sin.

Or the next time you just don’t know what to do or which direction to go.
We would offer this encouragement and ask you to…
Think – Believe & Live three small words.

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What It Means To Me To Be All In For God

It’s a few more minutes of prayer with your heavenly father in the morning. It’s fasting one more meal than you planned. It’s a few more dollars in the plate – giving even though it hurts. It’s the full measure of devotion. It’s dedication. It’s follow-through. It’s intensity. It’s endurance. It’s fortitude and sustained commitment. It’s never giving up; believing against all odds; and maximum effort. Sometimes it’s giving more than you hope to receive and demanding more of yourself than people expect.

For This is the Essence of Being All In

It is surrender. It is sacrifice – and sometimes it’s enduring the pain of discipline for the reward of discipleship. Are you ALL IN?

It’s overcoming the world through faith. It’s living a life worthy of the fullness of the Father. It’s dwelling in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever. It’s clothing the naked, administering to the sick and feeding the hungry. It’s being his hands, his eyes, his feet, his mouth at all times and in all places. It’s diligence, it’s going on offense, it’s full throttle.

But it’s more than just fasting and prayer, and worship on Sunday morning, or a Wednesday evening. It’s living life on purpose for a purpose every waking moment of every day. It’s when every thought is truly captive to Christ.

It’s when we see God, when we feel God in:
• The Music we listen too
• At School
• On the Job
• In Our Families
• When he is the center of every Relationship

It’s when we give every ounce of our:

• Energy

• Effort

• Dependence
• Independence

• Fears

• Frustrations

• Failings

• Faults
• Dreams

• Hopes

• Our worst Moments

• And our Best Moments

Over to his Will.

For me…this is the Essence of Being All In…

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The ABCs of Life

A. Achieve Your Every Dream

B. Believe in the Power Within

C. Consider Other People’s Feelings

D. Do Unto Others As You Have Them Do Unto You

E. Exalt The Lord At All Times

F. Focus on Heavenly Things

G. Get Wisdom & Knowledge By Listening

H. Hope & Happiness Depends On You

I. Inspire Others By The Way You Live

J. Justification Belongs To The Lord

K. Kind Words Cease Anger

L. Love One Another As Christ Loves You

M. More You Give, The More Blessings You Receive

N. No One Can Change You But The Lord

O. Open Your Heart & Mind To New Ideas & Different Horizons

P. Put On The Full Armor Of God

Q. Quit Procrastinating

R. Rest In The Fullness Of The Lord

S. Stand Strong In Your Faith

T. Trust The Lord In Times Of Trouble

U. United We Stand, Divided We Fall

V. Vision Is Far As You Can See

W. Walk By Faith, Not By Sight

X. XCell In Everything You Do

Y. Yield Not Into Temptation

Z. Zero In On Your Goals

Written By Teresa Carter
Inspired By The Holy Spirit || 2-24-2009

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We may have different opinions, but we believe in the same promise that says this is a place [and a Nation] where you can make it if you try. We may have different backgrounds, but we believe in the same dream that says anything is possible. Our destiny remains our choice. We Do Big Things.

Barack Hussein Obama, Former President