Devotional – Commit & recalibrate

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;”

Psalm 37:5-7, 9, 11, 21 NIV

I believe today’s devotional reminds me to stay on the straight and narrow path of things. Whatever decisions I make today, please give me the wisdom and strength to pray first and throughout, and then think and do them only in service to You and Your Kingdom – whether it be replacing anger and annoyance with love; replacing exhaustion with rest; responding to pushed pressure with being still and patient; making the call based on love, faith, and righteousness; making time for relationships; and going out of my way to serve people.

Doing these things will make for a successful day; an enjoyable life; good health; immense productivity; catharsis of the unnecessary/unhelpful/toxic; a sense of relaxation; the strengthening of my relationship to God and others; and instilling confidence in knowing I am doing the right thing, or at the very least – allowing even the bad decisions work for the good for those who believe in Him. It’s a win/win/win/win/win…win situation.

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Devotional – 02.15.19 Part II

SUFFERING

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Romans 5:3-5 NIV

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Romans 8:18 NIV

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

James 1:2, 4 NIV

““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””

John 16:33 NIV

Lord, I am grateful for Christ’s suffering and overcoming it. You give me the long view that makes temporary suffering bearable. You give me the benefits of suffering – not just the bad (transformation, deep love, perseverance, hope, Your character, true peace, unshakeable faith, real joy, etc.). And You bring me way closer to You.

I’m also grateful that You give me the strength and tools to undergo suffering. I’ve benefited so much from immersing in Your Word daily; my idealistic, positive outlook; and my past experiences.

Devotional – 02.1.19

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV

What’s going on in my life right now that feel lacking, and could use a reframe?

I will rejoice through all of these, and be joyful in You. Why? Because if I turn away from the bad things that are happening in my life, to what‘s god, I realize there are wonderful blessings in action right now for me. I have a family that loves me and completes me. I am doing work that I enjoy. I have resources to get work done more effectively (Chris, Jolly, Arianne, Mikee, HON Team, etc.). I have and make free time to spend with You and develop myself. I am doing work that makes impact, are fun, improves economies, and builds capital for the Kingdom. I’m in perfect shape to strengthen my health. I am traveling the world (currently in Shanghai, China) and seeing Your creation. And the list truly does go on and on – hence why I can always fill my gratitude journal every day.

After writing this out, it’s even more easier and deserving to rejoice in You.

Devotional 02.10.19 – Suited up

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Ephesians 6:11 NIV

What’s my full armor today? Honoring the Sabbath; loving people; serving people; changing the channel, literally and figuratively; prayer; including You in all conversations; not bad-mouthing all people, even for fun – knowing well that they’re going through a battle I know nothing about, that Jesus died for them, too.

The devil doesn’t stand a chance.

For the umpteenth time…

This was a devotional I read and wrote about on 01.20.18.

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:4-7 NIV

“Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”” Luke 15:11-32 NIV

These stories make me so happy. I fall off the altar so many times that by the world’s standards – I’m a lost cause, and a waste of time.

But God thinks and acts differently. He will always go out and look for me and bring me back home, no matter if it’s 10 or 10,000 times. He is my Father and I am His son, and that’s all that matters. This is how valuable I am. This is how much my Father loves me. This is a model for my parenting. This is a model for bringing others to Christ as well.

Book Notes – “Pour Your Heart Into It” by Howard Schultz & Dori Jones Yang – Chapter 7

These are passages from the chapter that grab me, and notes.

ACT YOUR DREAMS WITH OPEN EYES

“A business plan is only a piece of paper, and even the greatest business plan of all will prove worthless unless the people of a company buy into it…they will not accept it unless they both trust the leader’s judgment and understand that their efforts will be recognized and valued.”

“The only way to win the confidence of Starbucks’ employees was to be honest with them, to share my plans and excitement with them, and then to follow through and keep my word, delivering exactly what I promised – if not more. No one would follow me until I showed them with my own actions that my promises were not empty.

I would take time.”

“It was a stretch, and plenty of people told me it was impossible. But that was part of the appeal, for me and my for many other people at Starbucks. Defying conventional wisdom, achieving against the odds, offers a thrill that’s hard to top.”

“…we finally opted to take the Il Giornale name down from the espresso bars and replace it with Starbucks. Throughout the process, I knew I had to leave my ego at the door. I wanted everyone involved to make the best choice for the long-term value of the business and select the name that would best differentiate us from the competition.”

Ten minutes

While Christine was in the shower. While I refrained from checking emails and succumbing to other “digital rabbit holes.” As I’m ignoring my negative self-talk about how much pain I’m in, how I’ll do it later, or other debilitating stories….

…I ran for ten minutes with Sugar instead amidst all of that.

Not only did my lifestyle NOT have to change; but now I feel incredible from the dopamine, my body is primed for burning fat now, my self-discipline muscle is strengthened a little more, and I can go on with my day without the thought “I should exercise” taking up space in my brain and robbing it of potential elsewhere.

Devotional – 01.17.19

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Psalm 9:10 NIV

Lord – I ask that You enter my thoughts, my conversations, and my actions. I want to be closer to You. I want You there through it all with me. I want You to help fight my battles and make my decisions. I want to enjoy Your love.

I am tired of losing battles, making mistakes, being on the wrong side, hurting people that I love, and doing things alone – all because I forget, I am prideful, and selfish. I feel stupid that You’ve always been available and ready to provide and love and help; but I also rejoice in that same fact as well. I’m grateful that You are unchanging, always ready with grace, and always ready to love.

“Things are never as good or as bad as they seem.”

This was a quote by Andrew Ross Sorkin, while I was reading “Tribe of Mentors” by Tim Ferriss

There are two extremes that don’t help you – one is when you over-dramatize something to where you victimize yourself, not letting you see things objectively. This either shuts off or delays alternative solutions to a problem. You also create fear and it debilitates you.

The other extreme is when something seems to be too good, you blind yourself from potential pitfalls that you need to build stop-losses on, and you put too many eggs in one basket.

The best perspective is to be thankful for the good things and rejoice in the bad things; understand that they are both temporary moments – which gives you a light at the end of the tunnel for bad situations, and motivation to enjoy and be present for the good, fleeting moments.

Persistence matters more than talent. The student with straight As is irrelevant if the student sitting next to him with B grades has more passion.

Book Notes – “Tribe of Mentors” by Tim Ferriss

These are notes from my reading on January 14, 2018.

JOSH GORDON-LEVITT (p147)

“Our culture puts such a premium on the notion of originality, but when you really examine just about any ‘original’ thought or work you find it’s a composite of previous influences. Everything’s a remix. Of course, there’s such a thing as being overly derivative, but I tend to mostly value sincerity over originality. I think I perform better when I forcus less on being original and more on being honest.”

“I never really liked the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, so it wasn’t that. At that time, I’d never even cared all that much what other people thought of the movies and shows I got to be in. Mostly, I just loved doing it. I loved the creative process itself, and I realized I couldn’t let my ability to be creative depend on somebody else deciding to hire me. I had to take matters into my own hands.”

“I came up with my own little metaphorical mantra for this, something I’d think to myself when I needed encouragement, and that was “hit record.” I’d always played around with my family’s video cameras, and the red RED button became a symbol for my own conviction that I could do it on my own. I taught myself to edit video and started making little short films and songs and stories.”

“‘It’s really easy to say what you’re not. It’s hard to say what you are.’ In other words, you can spend all day undermining other people, and even if you’re right, who cares? Anybody can talk about why something’s bad. Try doing something good.”

“I think moving away from my hometown was one of the most fruitful things I ever did. We can’t help but define ourselves in terms of how others see us. So being around nothing but new people allowed me to define myself anew. I’ve since moved back, but the growth I got out of living away was huge.”

“My wife turned me on to Google Scholar. It’s like Google, except it only searches academic and scientific studies. So when I want to know something, rather than reading some sensationalistic clickbait, I can find out what the actual evidence says.”

“Fame is seductive…I’m not saying you’re a bad person if you want to be famous. I’m just saying you might be heading down a path that won’t lead to happiness. Of the famous people I know, the ones who are happy aren’t happy because of the fame. They’re happy for the same reasons everybody else is: because they’re healthy, because they have good people around them, and because they take satisfaction in what they do, regardless of how many millions of strangers are watching.

In any field, there’s usually some kind of mythological reward you’re supposed to receive if everybody considers you a success. But in my experience, there’s a lot more honest joy to be had from taking pleasure in the work itself.”

[when I feel overwhelmed or unfocused] “ I like to write. I sit down and describe my situation in writing. I type. I use complete sentences. I guess I write it as if it’s for an audience, even though I never show it to anyone. By having to explain it to a “reader” with no prior knowledge, I’m forced to identify and parse all the elements and nuances of what’s really going on. Sometimes I arrive at new answers or conclusions, but even when I don’t, I’m usually thinking more clearly and breathing a bit more easily.”