• You Qualify for God’s Best!

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    You Qualify for God’s Best!
  • The Ultimate Lifeline

    A few years ago, there was a television show called, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” In the show, you had the chance to win a million dollars if you could answer all the questions. If you didn’t know the answers, you had three lifelines. You could … [Continue Reading]

    The Ultimate Lifeline
  • Don’t Sell Yourself Short

    Doubt and disbelief can be one of your worst enemies. There are times when you won’t always reach the goals you set out to do. There will be times when you set high expectations in life, and the results don’t meet your level of expectancy. Well … [Continue Reading]

    Don’t Sell Yourself Short
  • Not a Care in the World

    Do you remember as a child, how you lived a carefree life? You didn’t have to worry about grown-up things. The responsibilities were different. My, how times have changed, huh? haha! As a grown-up, you have to make sure things get done. You have … [Continue Reading]

    Not a Care in the World
  • Laughter, the Universal Language

    One day I was watching a video and in the video, the person speaking just so happened to speak a different language. And although I couldn't understand the words that were coming out of their mouth, there was one thing I could relate to. It was their … [Continue Reading]

    Laughter, the Universal Language

Don’t Let Life Push Your Buttons

enter button
When I go to hit the “enter” button on my computer, I’m expecting a certain reaction. If I’m typing up something like a blog, I expect the cursor to return to the next line. If I’m typing up an email, I expect it to send. If I click on a file in one of my folders, I’m expecting a document or a picture of some sort to pop up. Whatever the case, I’m expecting a certain reaction.

You see, my computer is a machine. It was made to be manipulated. It was made to be programmed to do certain things. But unlike computers, people weren’t designed to be manipulated. We are creatures of free will, we can choose how we respond to certain situations.

Too many people are going around being controlled by the environment. They’re being controlled by the wrong people, certain life situations and circumstances.

If you’re allowing the wrong people to push your buttons, to get a rise out of you, you’re giving away your power. People push buttons expecting a reaction. Life challenges will come and go. But you can make the decision today, I will no longer be controlled by a circumstance or difficulty. My happiness doesn’t depend on others around me, my happiness depends on me.

People may push your buttons. Life may throw a curve ball at times. The neighbor’s dogs may not stop barking until 3am, but you can control your response. Instead of being reactive, be responsive. It’s one of the greatest things God has given us; our own free will, the ability to choose.

If life gives you every reason to get down, if the odds are against you; if your pet dog went to potty on the new carpet, don’t let a natural reaction of anger, sadness or defeat take over. That’s an opportunity to exercise your free will. Choose your response. You can choose disappointment, defeat, or you can choose happiness. You can choose peace.

When you take the high road and rise above it all, you’re taking back your power. Your attitude should be, “things may have taken a turn for the worst, but I won’t let that defeat me. I’m going to go about my day in gladness knowing greater things are in store. The day will turn around in my favor.”

You’re not a computer where life can hit a button and you’ll jump, leap and do tricks. You’re not an animal where people can throw a frisbee, and you’ll run and catch it in your mouth. No, you’re God’s own masterpiece. His most prized possession. He made you in His image.

You’re a person of free will and choice. You’ll do yourself the greatest favor when you choose happiness, and when you choose to laugh at the situation. Make the decision today that you’re going to get the last laugh. Don’t let a situation bring out your worst reaction, choose a response that will work out for your greater good!

~ Jarrod

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If you haven’t seen my latest inspirational video of encouragement Click Here!

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A Mess Before the Blessing

 

organizing
One day I was doing some cleaning and reorganizing at home. It was my plan to clean a corner in a room and rearrange some furniture.

In order to clear the space so I could rearrange the furniture, I had to pull out some drawers. I had to move other furniture to make room for the furniture I was trying to rearrange. Before I knew it, everything was in a mess. Pieces of old mail and documents were scattered all over the floor. Everything was out of order. Furniture was out of place.

I remember thinking to myself, what have I done? It’s a bigger mess than it was before. I thought, maybe I should’ve left well enough alone, and settled for the old way. And on top of it all, I just got home from work, I was ready to take a load off.

Then something rose up on the inside of me. I got a new strength, a new courage, a new determination. I said to myself, “if I’m going to rest and relax, if I’m going to enjoy a nice peaceful rest of the afternoon, I’m going to get this project done first.”

I started by attacking the mess in the corner first. That needed to be cleared so I can place the furniture where I wanted it to go. Next, I started with the floor. Slowly but surely, the floor became visible again. Progress was made. Finally, not only was the mess cleared, but everything was better than before.

That’s the way life can be sometimes. In order to get to the blessings in life, you’ll have to go through the mess. But be encouraged today, God is rearranging some “furniture” in your life, so to speak. He wants to organize blessings in a way that will not only clear the mess out of your life, but it will leave you better off than before.

Don’t get discouraged when it seems life is a mess. See is as a sign that blessings are on the way. The finances will come in order. The child will straighten up. That business will finally take off.

So don’t settle for the old way. Don’t become overwhelmed by the mess. Stay steadfast, be unmovable, keep doing a good work. God will take the mess and shower down abundant, overflowing blessings in your life. And you will come into the divine rest that He has for you!

~ Jarrod

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Be sure to check out my recent YouTube video: “Change the Tape” Check it out here:

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The Palm Tree Rises Again

palm tree
I heard about the palm tree and how God gave it something special the other trees don’t have. You see, when a hurricane comes through, the palm tree is the one that’s still standing. You would think the oak tree would be the one to endure the storm. After all, it has big branches and limbs. It’s trunk is wide and more sturdy with the ability to stand against stronger winds. You’d think that even the pine tree in all it’s grandeur and magnificence would be able to withstand the hurricane, seeing how it’s able to tower above it all.

But out of all the trees, the oak tree, pine tree and the magnolia tree, it’s the palm tree that has something special. It’s flexible, it has the ability to bend and don’t break. The hurricane thinks it has won the battle. The hurricane has given all it has. But at some point in time, even the hurricane will run out of strength. The strong winds have to subside. After it’s all said and done, the palm tree will rise again to it’s original state. Because of the way it was made, it will stand straight up again.

What’s interesting about the palm tree is, you’d think that after all the damaging winds and rain that it would be weak and frail. But research shows that after the storm, the palm tree is stronger than it was before, because it replenishes itself at the root.

Realize today that just like the palm tree, you will rise again. You can stand the storm, you can endure it all. The “winds” of life may come, the “hurricanes” will bend you this way and that way, so to speak, but the good news is, you will bend but you won’t break. God put something special in you that will cause you to stand again. Unlike the oak tree and pine trees, you will not only stand again but you’ll come out of it stronger than before.

Psalms 92:12 says, “The righteous will flourish like the palm trees.” You will rise out of it all and come into the flourishing finish that God has for you!

~ Jarrod

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Be sure to check out my recent YouTube video: “You’re a Person of Great Worth” Check it out here:

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Quotes about Peace

God brings peace
God wants you to have His surpassing peace. In fact, that’s what the angel declared in the scripture, “Peace on earth and goodwill towards all men.” The good news is, God doesn’t just want you to have peace once a year. He doesn’t want you to only have peace at Christmas time, no you can have peace everyday of the year.

I’ve put together a few Bible verses that reminds you of God’s peace and helps you to meditate on it:

“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.” – Psalm 29:11

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

“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

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

“LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.” – Isaiah 26:12

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 5:13

When you allow God’s peace to fill your heart, you can walk in His contentment regardless of the situation. Chaos can be surrounding you but you can still choose to accept God’s peace. Let His peace fill and flood your heart today!

~ Jarrod

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If you haven’t seen my latest inspirational video of encouragement Click Here!

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What is Worthy of Praise?

think-on-these-things
Whenever a person makes a grand mark in the area of success, people see it as an opportunity to celebrate. If a child, who has been struggling to keep their grades up, gets a superior grade on their report card, the parents look for ways to reward them. After months and months of training, and a toddler finally becomes potty trained, by nature the parents will praise the child.

Yet too often, we find ourselves looking at where we went wrong. Some people will meditate on thoughts of defeat and failure. But if you’re going to come into the best that God has for you, you’ll have to change your thinking.

Scripture tells us to think on thoughts that are of a good report; think on thoughts that are worthy of praise. That means in your own life, you can began to ask the question, what is worthy of praise?

Maybe you didn’t close the deal on that business lead. Maybe that relationship didn’t work out. Maybe that presentation didn’t go the way you expected it to. In these moments, it’s so easy to dwell on the negative and rehash what went wrong.

And yes, it’s okay to problem solve. It’s okay to try to resolve the situation so you can do it better next time, but at some point in time, you’ll have to bring balance to life. Quit focusing on where you came up short, and start celebrating your own accomplishments. Rejoice over your own victories!

Let that be the question you ask yourself today; what is worthy of praise? Maybe I didn’t close the deal on the business lead, but I just landed a great opportunity with an important and influential client, that’s worthy of praise. Things might have took a turn in the wrong direction yesterday, but today is another day to do it better, that’s worthy of praise. Maybe my child didn’t do all the chores, but they aced the exam in school, that’s worthy of praise.

Let today be your opportunity to thank God, the creator of the universe, for every thing that is a cause for celebration. Things may not always be right, but He makes it right. Choose to rejoice over what’s going right, and not what’s going wrong. It will make all the difference in your outlook on life!

~ Jarrod

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Be sure to check out my recent YouTube video: “Stay True to Yourself” Check it out here:

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Laying Brick or Building a Skyscraper

building a skyscraper

I heard about these two men who were working the same project. It required them to be many stories up in the air on scaffolding to complete the job.

A reporter came along and asked one man, “What are you doing?” He responded with disdain: “I’m laying bricks. I have to work at extreme heights and lay bricks everyday.”

The same reporter asked the other man the same question, “What are you doing?” He responded with enthusiasm and excitement, “I’m building a skyscraper. Years and years to come, this building will go down in history with importance and prestige. Great people will come through and I am proud to be part of such a great and tremendous opportunity!”

What was the difference between the two men? One was just going through the motions of everyday life. Yet, the other man saw it as an opportunity.

Day in and day out, we can find ourselves asking the question: “Am I just laying bricks or am I building a skyscraper?” When you go along your day to day activities, let your hard work take effect. You’re not just going through the motions. You’re not just getting through the day, you’re taking part in an opportunity. It’s your opportunity to make a difference not only in your life, but in the lives of others for generations to come.

See the opportunity when you go into the office today. See the opportunity when you have to take the kids to practice. See the opportunity to clean house and do chores.

Know today that your hard work is not in vain. It may appear to be a hassle, it may appear to be mundane everyday tasks, but every work of your hands matter in the grand scheme of things. Keep building your skyscraper. Years and years to come, you will be rewarded for your good works and it will all come back in your favor!

~ Jarrod

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Be sure to check out my recent YouTube video: “Happy People Have Sad Days Too” Check it out here:

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The Power of Positive Thinking

The-Power-of-Positive-Thinking
If you’re going to come into your very best, you’re going to have to let go of the stinkin’ thinking. Many people have let negative thoughts hold them back from the best that God has for them. We dwell on thoughts of defeat, thoughts of doubt, and thoughts of insecurity. But there will come a point in time when you’ll have to take charge of your thoughts and move on into victory.

When you wake up in the morning, let it be your declaration; “today is a new day, I’m going to rise to the occasion.” “Despite the setbacks, I’m going to launch forth into new heights.” “I may not have met my mark yesterday, but today is a chance to go above, over, and beyond in a whole new way.”

The power of positive thinking will take effect, when you take the proactive approach. When you choose thoughts of victory, you’re setting yourself up for a destiny of victory. You will take on the path in which your thoughts take.

On the other hand, if you wake up thinking, “nothing good will ever come to me.” “I’ve tried and failed.” “Why should I put forth an effort? Nothing ever worked out for me before,” then you’re setting yourself up to fall into more of a spiral of defeat.

Let it be your declaration today that you’re in it to win. God has put something in you that will cause you to come to a flourishing finish. But you have to believe in what He says about you. Choose today to come into agreement with God’s word. It says you’re a victor not a victim. You are a masterpiece. You are God’s most prized possession.

Don’t adapt the victim mentality, adapt the victor’s mentality. Come into a higher level of thinking; a thinking that says “I am an overcomer.” “God causes me to triumph.” “I may have had a bad past, but I don’t have to have a bad future.”

Take the proactive approach. Let go of the stinkin’ thinking. When you adopt a new mindset, the power of positive thinking, according to God’s word, will take it’s full effect and you’ll come into all that God has for you!

~ Jarrod

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Be sure to check out my recent YouTube video: “Motivation to Lose Weight” Check it out here:

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Look for the Signs

look for the signs
All around you are signs of God’s blessings, honor and favor. When you waken to a brand new day, it’s a sign that God has a purpose for your life. When you find yourself in the right place at the right time to meet that person you have so much in common with, realize that’s no coincidence; it’s a sign of a divine relationship that will cause you to grow and thrive.

When you go about your day, look for the signs. Look for those little confirmations showing you that God is in control. He has your steps ordered. He has your best interests at heart.

When you get an email from a friend that says all the right things, with all the right words of encouragement regarding your situation, don’t see it as a coincidence, see it as a sign. God is speaking to you. Let it serve as good news; good tidings of comfort and joy.

That prayer you’ve been praying, you’ve been faithful, you thanked God in advance, but it seems God has forgotten the promise, don’t lose hope, keep going about your day in expectation. Look for a miracle. See the signs that God has not forgotten His promises. The blessings will come in just the right time.

Even when people aren’t good to you; If it seems you’ve lost your hand of favor with people, unfair things may have happened to you– don’t see it as a setback, see it as a setup. What is the setup? It’s a sign that you’re about to breakthrough into a new level. You can expect favor in new relationships, better opportunities, better levels of increase.

God speaks differently today. You may not have a burning bush experience like Moses. You may not get a ram in the thicket like Abraham. An Angel named Gabriel won’t come unto you like Mary and Zacharias experience. But you can still see the signs that miracles are in store. So stay in faith. Don’t get your hopes down, get your hopes up. Look for the signs that God is about to do something extraordinary in your life!

~ Jarrod

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If you haven’t seen my latest inspirational video of encouragement Click Here!

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A Handy Advantage!

handicap-sprinter
Many people are set on a so-called “limitation,” a weakness, a setback. They let a doctor’s diagnosis cripple them for the rest of their lives. Now they’re tempted to sit on the sidelines of lives. They’re tempted to live a mundane, mediocre life.

But just because you were born with a handicap, just because you’re a little different than other people doesn’t mean you have to settle for less accomplishments. It doesn’t mean you have to go for the pity party. You can go on to victory despite a setback.

There are many people who have made extraordinary achievements despite the limitations. You can do the same. Instead of seeing it a handicap as something that can hold back, see it as something that can push you up. Don’t see it as a handicap, see it as a handy advantage.

This weakness isn’t there to put you into a defeated life. Your weakness serves for God to get the glory. On the outside looking in, you were supposed to sink to the bottom, but there’s something in you that will cause you to not only stay afloat but to thrive.

Every person has a handicap of some sort, some bigger than others. Some people have a handicap of staying focused during long periods of time. Their mind wonders. Others have a handicap of excessive talking, not know when to be quiet. Some people have a handicap of “coloring in the lines,” so to speak. Society says this is what you should do but you’re more of a free spirit.

These are not handicaps, they’re handy advantages. Some of the smartest people are day dreamers. Some of the most creative people have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. Some of the worlds greatest speakers had problems staying quiet in the class room.

Many people have allowed these things to keep them bound. But instead, turn what was supposed to be a setback into a setup. Don’t make excuses for what you can’t do. You’re not disabled, you’re well able. The very thing that was supposed to curse you can bless you. If you’ll push past the struggle and the obstacle, you’ll come out on top and go on to do what you thought you never could do!

~ Jarrod

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Be sure to check out my recent YouTube video: “What to do When People Stare at You” Check it out here:

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Be a Person of Praise!

Woman_Training_her_dog

Human nature has a way of throwing up a red flag when people are at fault. It’s so easy to see a person’s shortcoming, than to see their potential. Some people see it as their job to be a critic, to point out where you came up short. You’d think it was their occupation. Don’t be that person. Instead, be a person of praise.

Positive reinforcement says that we are more effective when we magnify what people are doing right, than what they are doing wrong. Make no mistake, there are times when you’ll have to give a little constructive criticism. Even parents have to discipline and set boundaries for their children. There are times when a supervisor will have to reference to a mistake in order to show an employee the right way. But I believe that every person by nature has a heart to want to do good. And when you magnify their accomplishments, when you point out where they went right, people will make an effort to keep doing the good thing.

I heard about this English teacher. Half way through the semester she changed her approach. Instead of taking a red pen and marking a big “X” next to the wrong answers, she took a highlighter and marked the answer the students got right. She made a point to tell the class, “look for the highlights on your paper, as these are the right answers not the wrong answers.” By the end of the semester, she told of how the test scores improved across the board. Even the students who were struggling in the subject pulled their grades up tremendously.

You could say this English teacher was a person of praise. We can all learn from her. One by one, let’s all highlight what others are doing right. Highlight their successes, their accomplishments. Highlight their attributes and assets.

When you’re a person of praise, you’ll see a rise of potential in others. You’ll see their passions increase. They will get better and better. And the good news is, the praise will come back and show up in your own life. When you’re good to others, they will be good to you!

 

~ Jarrod

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If you haven’t seen my latest inspirational video of encouragement Click Here!

If you liked this article, be sure to share it on Twitter and Facebook. If reading this article via email, forward it to a friend. Also, click here to visit the site. Leave a comment and participate in the online community. Also be sure to follow Optimistic Journey on Facebook and Twitter:

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