Posts Tagged ‘fear’

SHAKE, RATTLE and ROLL

Written by Les Dahl on November 1st, 2016. Posted in Peace, Sage's Scroll

dark-clouds-over-sea

 

“I will shake heaven and earth…”   Haggai 2:6

We had no plans to leave Jamaica. Living in paradise is not always easy, remedy but our roots had grown 31 years deep. So the gnawing sense that Father was asking us to move back to Canada felt uneasy. None of us readily breaks out of our comfort zone.

But change was blowing in the wind, sale and the words of Haggai were echoing around the world in the mouths of present-day prophets: “I will shake heaven and earth…”

Interesting how we distance ourselves from the “Word.”  We’re sure He’s talking to someone else, not us. Little did we realize that we were heading for some shaking and rattling to get us rolling! 

One of the first lessons we had to learn was to let go. Not easy, because the response is counter-intuitive. Instinctively, when our status quo is threatened we tighten our grip on the things that give us security.

But when God starts shaking things up, the only safe response is to let it go. We need not fear for He watches over us to catch us if we slip. His intention is to break loose things that impede our moving forward.

One of dangers in life is that we too easily become comfortable and complacent. The demonstration of peace, hope and well-being is displaced by the mundane. The light and joy within dim. We trudge from day to day.

In His mercy, God shakes us out of our death spiral so we can break into abounding life. “I’ve come to ignite you with a spectacular display of life,” Jesus said. (John 10:10)

But we must choose. Either our relationship with God stays in a familiar rut or we pluck up courage to face reality. I chose the latter.

“Who are You? Show me something about You that I’ve not known. Tell me some things You share only with Your closest friends.” I’m desperate.

His answer is immediate and simple, “Okay, but first you’ll have to get rid of some old notions about Me. And we will dialogue differently from what you’re used to—what you call ‘pray.’  Are you up for that?”

“Second, you’ll need to change the way you engage with My Word (the Bible). You can’t just read it casually or even dutifully. You must anticipate as you read, listen for my faint whisper as I speak to you. Focus your full attention or you’ll miss it.”

“Each morning I will give you a sword.  With it you can chop through every circumstance you encounter and defeat the enemy waiting on your path to ambush you—that old snake who still hisses in your ear, “Did God really say that? You don’t really believe that, do you?”

“Third, I’m going to assay your faith, or lack of it. I will uncover the cancerous anxiety, doubt and unbelief embedded in you. You believe I exist as Creator and King of the Universe—that’s faith. But I’m bringing you to trustliving with the awareness that I am an intimate part of your life and that every single thing that happens is for your good.”

“My objective is to instill in you what John expressed when he wrote, “We have this confidence toward Him: we know that He hears us when we ask, and therefore we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

“One last thing. This is no quick fix, it’s a process. At times it will feel like open heart surgery. Sometimes it will feel like you’re going through hell. Don’t stop! Even when you feel like it—don’t quit!”

“There is a through…you will make it through, I’ll see to that. And there is an other side…I’m talking here-and-now, in-your-lifetime; and it’s beyond what you can imagine. Are you up for it?”

My choice is clear…

Shalom

3 Actions That Turbo-Charge Your Life

Written by Les Dahl on May 5th, 2016. Posted in Peace, Sage's Scroll

Balance on Rock

 

F-E-A-R has two meanings:

‘Forget Everything And Run’

or

‘Face Everything And Rise.’

The choice is yours.”

Zig Ziglar

 

The desire to be powerful—to overcome fear—is embedded deep in the human soul. Made in our Creator’s image, we are gifted with power—the capacity to responsibly manage the earth and to creatively resolve personal issues.

Personal empowerment is like a flame. The embers of its fire must be fanned and kept ablaze. Like a seed, it must be nurtured if we would taste its satisfying fruit.

 

3 Turbo-Charging Actions That Empower

 

 

1. Tweak – “improve by making fine adjustments”

 

Personal empowerment rests on health, work-life balance and relationships. Without proper attention to these, our power to deal effectively with situations and people is compromised. The capacity to make transforming choices is not achieved by overhauling but by tweaking.

 

Small steps made consistently form new habits,

and new habits change old outcomes.

 

Instead of a crash diet to improve health, replace just one bad eating habit. A healthy lifestyle is exactly that, a style of living that is cultivated over time.

Similarly, just one “fine adjustment” to priorities at work (or at home) can dispel unnecessary stress.

Something as simple as smiling, listening attentively, or saying “thank you” can transform relationships.

 

2. Retool – “adapt or alter to make more useful or suitable”

 

The measure of personal empowerment is affected by character and personality.

Character is your personal brand. It is who you are and what you stand for defined by your values.

Personality is how you market yourself. It is how you represent yourself as you interact with others, the image you create by which you are identified.

 

When failure erodes self-confidence,

step back, identify the defect, and retool.

 

A flaw or a quirk can sabotage your success, undermine your resolve, jeopardize your command of situations and tarnish your relationships. Continual failure erodes self-confidence.

 

3. Re-calibrate – “adjust points of reference to take external factors into account”

 

To maintain optimum power, goals, perspective and attitude must be re-evaluated regularly and re-calibrated as necessary. The standard by which progress is measured and the points of reference by which our course is charted must come under the scrutiny.

  1. Does my standard truly reflect who I am becoming?
  2. Do my points of reference keep me on track?

 

Goals

Circumstances are designed to produce two outcomes.

(1) Experience which makes us wiser and stronger. Wiser—we don’t keep making the same mistakes because we learn from them. Stronger because we’ve been there, done that, so let’s move on to the next level.

(2) Clarity to see things as they really are. With distractions removed, we can see where we are heading and make the necessary adjustments to get there.

Jamaican reggae icon Jimmy Cliff says it well.

 

I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It’s gonna be a bright , bright sunshiny day.”

 

Perspective—

Under the pressures of work and of personal responsibilities we easily lose sight of the bigger picture. At work, our engaging tasks demand intense focus while at home, children and spouse demand consuming attention.

Exhausted and frustrated, we blame our family for our less-than-satisfactory performance at work, and we blame our job for the hopelessly dysfunctional performance at home.

The discontent brewing within will destroy us if we don’t take external factors into account, and make some necessary adjustments in perspective. Empowerment comes with a broad, positive perspective of work and home.

 

Oh, yes I can make it now the pain is gone.
All of the bad feelings have disappeared.
Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for.
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day.”

 

Attitude—

Sometimes when we’re going through hell, the ONLY thing we can control is our attitude—the way we think or feel about the situation.

When conditions are dark and overwhelming is not the time to think about goals. In that state, positive perspective is overshadowed by the encroaching storm. And I can tell you, there will be times when the storm is a Category 5 Hurricane.

Our experience of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, left us with a sober regard for one the most devastating forces of nature. There is absolutely nothing you can do but wait it out and pray!

We have since gone through personal situations that rank Category 5. It has taken several years to recover from one such devastation. (I still have mental, emotional and spiritual scars from it!)

 

You might be saying at this point, “Wow. I’m not so sure I can do all that personal empowerment stuff. If only there was an app.”

Well, there’s something even simpler and better than an app, and it’s already embedded in you.

Say what?”

That’s right…simpler and better than an app…Your tongue!

The simplest, quickest and most effective way to tweak, retool and re-calibrate your life into turbocharge mode is to

 

(1) Speak positively about yourself as you acknowledge your strengths and weakness (which will in time also transform into strengths). Research shows that a person’s self-image is affected by the words used to talk about themselves.

 

(2) Use active words, especially about the future. Replace “I’m gonna try my best…” with “I will complete this task and I will do my best!”

 

(3) Most importantly, define your own space and your own identity with your own power words.

 

Failing in this, you relinquish personal power to others. They will clip your wings and confine you to a box, their box.

 

I urge you, don’t scratch in the dirt with the chickens. You were born to rise above the ordinary. Soar in the skies with the eagles. No limits!

 

Shalom

 

SUNDAY MEDITATION

Written by Les Dahl on April 13th, 2015. Posted in Uncategorized

 

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Stumbled upon DREAM BIG an eBook written by Mike Francen. The humble pdf format belies the nuggets of inspiration, motivation and wisdom within. I share the following as a ‘Sunday Meditation’.

Don’t tell me ‘the sky is the limit’ when there are footprints on the moon!

If you are not working towards building your dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs.

We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.”

People may ‘write you off’, but you are NOT required to read what they have penned! You have the opportunity to proclaim your future; to write your eulogy. Make it epic!

YOU alone determine the outcome and finality of your life! Hell might defy it, heaven might embrace it, but in reality the final out­come is determined by YOU.

‘Status quo’ is for those who embrace the mundane and the uninspiring as their lot in life.

You are hostage in the place you currently reside — until you decide where you are going to be. Don’t let the pain of your past poison your future.

Don’t just ‘face your fears’ — DEFY THEM!

Never settle for meager, when God meant for your life to be magnificent. Paltry is not your lot in life; powerful and significant is the Divine order. The Almighty has His sights set on grandeur for you, orchestrated by His love, perpetrated by His Word.

Success is not final; failure is not fatal. Rejection is not terminal; it is merely someone else’s opinion. Man has opinions, but God has plans. If you are not dead; God is not done!

Some say, “You have to let God out of the box!” But I say, “GOD WAS NEVER IN YOUR BOX!!!”

I refuse to shop for a canoe when God tells me to build an ark!

It’s time to dream again. Never too dead for a resurrection … ask Lazarus!

Don’t believe the tombstone. You are more than a dash between two dates. That dash will never tell the tale that your life has unveiled.

Vision without passion will go to the grave as merely a ‘good idea’.

We must quit being busy and start being productive!”

When I stand before the Almighty to give account of the stewardship of my life, will I hear ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant’ or will He gaze at this soul and say: ‘Well…’ ?

People say: ‘take care’. I say: ‘take charge’! Dream big enough for God to fit into your dreams…”

The bad news – time flies! The good news – YOU are the pilot!

Shalom!

Image courtesy Photokanok / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My son, my daughter (2)

Written by Les Dahl on November 25th, 2014. Posted in Uncategorized

Morning by Photokanok

 

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How do I love you? Let me tell the ways.

My love is steadfast; it never ceases,

Day by day new mercies it releases—

Unfailing compassion, forgiveness and grace.

My love is perfect; it casts out all fear

Of judgment and shame—my Son bore it all;

And my Spirit lifts you up when you fall;

Shake off incriminating doubt—I AM here.

What can separate you from my love?

Trials, suffering, calamity, distress?

Sheltered in my Presence, lifted above,

In the midst of the storm you find rest.

In my love lies expectation undreamed of;

Press on, seize your promise—you are blessed.

 

Your Father,

Yahweh

 

Image courtesy of Photokanok at FreeDigitalPhotos.net