RSS

Active Waiting

Active Waiting

Happy Resurrection Day!  The resurrection of Jesus 2000 years ago changed everything for everybody.  God promised it would happen and it did.

Recently I woke up at 4:15am with Isaiah 40:31 rehearsing itself in my mind.  Does that ever happen to you?  Just as you are coming out of a deep sleep maybe there’s a quote, a scripture or maybe a song that just won’t seem to leave you alone?  For me, on that morning, it was something Isaiah wrote: “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.” 

Just prior to that, I had met a man who was at the end of his hope. 

Literally. 

As I recall, he had come to the church looking for help.  He was asking for a hand up, not a hand out.  He needed hope in the worst way.  Everything in his world was in total chaos and getting worse by the day.  He had hoped that there would be more work in his field of construction, but, at the time, jobs like that were scarce.  He had hoped that the relationship with his fiancé would be stronger, but it was falling apart and the pressures of not having enough money just seemed to make everything worse.  Worst of all, he had hoped that he could provide for his daughters, but times were tough and everything he tried seemed to fail.  He wasn’t just having a bad day.  He was in distress and needed something to grab onto.

More recently I had a call from someone I haven’t spoken to in at least seven years.  He explained that was waiting in the school carpool line to pick up his daughter and that he had been looking for a number in his phone when he came across my name.  He said he felt like he needed to hear a familiar voice.  As I listened, he described that he had been laid off several months ago from a high-level position and as of yet nothing of lasting significance was opening up.  He was afraid.  He cried.  I understood.  He needed hope.  

Most everyone I know has had a time in life when they’ve struggled for something solid to hold onto.  We’ve all had times when we’ve felt like what Peter must have felt as he went from walking on water to nearly drowning.  One minute he’s walking on water and I imagine him thinking, “Hey, I’m walking on water!”  Not really thinking that he’s a big deal, but more of the thought that he just did what Jesus called him to do and the next thing he knew was that he was walking on water.  Everything was working out until it wasn’t.  So long as he focused on Jesus everything worked out.  However, when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and he begin to sink.  As he sank, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 

And Jesus did. 

He reached out his hand and pulled him out of the water and as he did, yelled one word to Peter over the sound of the storm.  In English it takes four words to translate.  But in Greek it’s only one word.  Jesus yelled “Oligospistos!”  Translated that means, “You of little faith!”  What Jesus said to a man who was just saved from certain death was to call him a name.  At first it seems strange, even uncaring.  But Jesus was teaching Peter.  He diagnosed the root of Peter’s problem as fear.  Next, Jesus asked Peter a question, “Why did you doubt?” 

It’s still a valid question.

And it’s really more a lesson to be learned than a question to be answered.

Some things are hard to believe, even if they are true.  Take God’s promises, for instance.  They can be hard to believe; either because they have not happened yet, or because they are unusual or seem extreme.  The resurrection was one of those things that was hard to believe, especially for those closest to Jesus.  While all of His disciples struggled with doubt, Thomas was the last of the Twelve to believe.  Jesus came to Thomas and said, “Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27b).  Believing that God CAN do something is very different from believing that he WILL.  The promise that God will renew your strength if you’ll wait on him can be hard to believe especially when you’re afraid, or panicked or terrified. 

______________________________________

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know…his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead…

(Eph. 1:18, 19-20) 

______________________________________

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in everybody who believes.  When God exerts himself, dead things come back to life!  But I’ll say it again: Believing that God CAN do something powerful is very different from believing that he WILL. 

Let’s jump back to Isaiah’s words, “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.

The word Isaiah that is translated “renew” literally means “to exchange” like changing into a new set of clothes.  Isaiah is talking about active waiting.  Whatever you are hoping in as a source for your hope, peace, or joy can be exchanged for hope in the Lord.  That promise is for everyone.  By hoping in the Lord, your weakness will give way to God’s strength.  To bring us perspective and hope Isaiah goes into great detail: God stretches out the heavens like a canopy…he brings out the stars when its time and calls each one by name an never misplaces even one of them…he never gets tired…never needs to catch his breath and he knows everything, inside and out. There’s more:

______________________________________

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope (wait) in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”

(Isaiah 40:29-31) 

______________________________________

I know lots of people who need their strength renewed.  Maybe you are one of them.  I know quite a few people who have set out on a course only to discover that the plan hasn’t quite happened the way they thought it would.  The question is what are you going to do next?  My tendency and desire it to fix things, to do something.  Seldom is my first thought to wait.  God says that waiting on Him always turns out well.

The prophet is speaking to you and me through time to remind us that in the Lord we have a never-ending source for hope.  That’s something that’s worth waiting for.  To hope in the Lord means to trust in or look expectantly to the Lord.  When you hope in the Lord you will not be disappointed.

Remember the man I told you about earlier?  The one that had come to see me at the church.  The one who was at the end of his hope.  As I listened to him, I thought about Isaiah’s words and recommended that he do what so many others, including myself, have done in those moments when we felt like we were sinking.  I told that we would provide food and maybe some connections, but more importantly I recommended that the most important thing he could do was to turn to the source of all hope.  I reminded him that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead was at work in him.  He agreed.  We prayed together and when he walked out, his arms were full of groceries and his heart and mind were full of hope.  He had hope because he had faith in the Lord.  He seemed encouraged.  His strength seemed to have been renewed.

What would be wrong if you actively waited on the Lord to renew your strength? 

What if your entire life was lived in only one day?  What would that look like?  What time of the day would it be for you?  Morning?  Afternoon?  Evening?  Find out in Your Life in One Day blog: https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/your-life-in-one-day/

_______________________________________ 

To learn how to build your life on the power of belief order a copy of my book 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living and Leading!  For free shipping, visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

“Wow! Did I need this book! Dan Holland has done a masterful job in bringing us back to what really matters when our backs are up against the “walls” of life. FAITH!…not intellect…. not talent…not money….FAITH! Read this simple, yet powerful biblically based book that can change your perspective on how to handle anything the world throws at you. Remember, God says, ‘I will never leave you!’”

Kent Allen, Vice President for Advancement, Oklahoma Christian University

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Want To Make A Difference?

Want To Make A Difference?

You don’t have to be beautiful or attractive or even talented to make a lasting difference in someone’s life or to live with incredible purpose.  You just need a little drive, determination, single-mindedness, focus and resolve.  What’s more is that, while it may be nice, you don’t have to be liked or accepted by others to have a positive impact; but you do have to like yourself.  Where you’re headed in life matters infinitely more than where you came from.  In other words, how you live is more important than where you were born.  Where you were born was yesterday.  How you live is today; You only have today.  Enjoy life…today.

 

Be the Best You

“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Is 53:2-3

Jesus wasn’t physically attractive but he was popular and he did have purpose.  What was true for Jesus is true for every human being.  Life flows from your heart and mind.  Pay more attention to your heart and mind than everything external.  I am not saying that you should make an effort to be ugly, or mean-spirited, or brash, or sickly, or out of shape.  It’s just that the most talented athlete with an ungrateful spirit is simply talented and nothing more.  The most beautiful person with an ugly attitude is simply unattractive, or worse repulsive.  After all, physical beauty is skin deep. 

Sometimes we are seduced into believing that being liked by someone, accepted by others, beautiful by comparison, or talented in a certain skill is what matters most of all.  But those are all things that change and frankly over which we have very little control.  As a result of this delusion, you may find yourself spending your emotion, money and time trying to impress people you don’t even like, although you should probably should love them…even though you may not like them.   

 

Enjoy Life…Today

If you’ve been humbled by life’s circumstances, had your faith tested through hardship, or are weary of wandering aimlessly through daily life, maybe the best advice is the advice that Jesus would give;  Love God with every fiber of your being; also, love your neighbor as you love yourself.  Love God; Love your neighbor.  That’s all.  Maybe you should determine that you will live all out.  Forget the past; press on in the life God has given you.  Run!  Run!  Run!

My hope is you will turn your faith loose in every area of your life.  As you do, I caution you to keep your faith in God rather than in actual outcomes.  The direction of your faith has a lot more to do with its impact on your life than the size of it.  I hope that your faith will shift from something that is simply available to you to a faith that invites you into God’s adventurous will for your life. 

Find a way to engage and enjoy life today.  And as you run with purpose, notice how beautiful and loved you feel.  You were created to run, to live fully, today.  

How are you choosing to live all out?  I’d love to hear from you.  Comment below.    

 

What if your entire life was lived in only one day?  What would that look like?  What time of the day would it be for you?  Morning?  Afternoon?  Evening?  Find out in Your Life in One Day blog: https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/your-life-in-one-day/

_______________________________________ 

To learn how to build your life on the power of belief order a copy of my book 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living and Leading!  For free shipping, visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

“I’ve known Dan Holland for more than thirty years and this book is a beautiful watermark of his faith. It is an enlightening read that reminds you that God desperately desires to use you in EVERY chapter of your life. He skillfully communicates that trusting fully in God’s love and promises are the keys to successfully getting through the adventures he calls you to. This book challenges you to walk bravely into the arena of your life and to listen carefully for what God is calling you to do!”

Kim Carbia, Career Coach; Author of “Faith and Unemployment”

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Power of Appreciation

The Power of Appreciation

Everybody wants to be appreciated.  

Living in harmony with others may be the most overlooked, but most needed, lesson on what it means to live and lead successfully.  To live in harmony with others, it is important to communicate appreciation, publicly and privately. 

_____________________________

Relationships Are Like Icebergs

_____________________________

If you ever go on an Alaskan cruise, you will get to see some massive icebergs.  Did you know that what you see of an iceberg above the water is usually only one-ninth of its actual volume?  Remember the Titanic?  Everything was fine.  The ship was making good time until it hit an iceberg that ripped a hole in the hull of the ship.  It wasn’t what they could see that was the problem; it was what they couldn’t see.  

It’s the same way with relationships.  One day everything can be smooth sailing.  The next thing you know, something happens that threatens to sink the unity.  No wonder we use the expression “tip of the iceberg” when describing a problem or difficulty that is only a small manifestation of something much larger. It happens in business, marriage,  Most of what a relationship is about is below the surface. Relational icebergs can be dangerous to navigate.  But not impossible.  From my experience, people either learn how to communicate appreciation effectively or they stay stuck or worse, sink a relationship.

We should enjoy times of peace and use those times to invest in relationships.  Like I’ve said, one of the most effective ways to invest in any relationship is to communicate appreciation, publicly and privately.  Commending others should be the first thing on our relationship checklist. 

_____________________________

How can we show appreciation? 

_____________________________

There are lots of methods to show appreciation to others.  None of them are wrong and all are better than nothing.  I’ve commended others through a timely letter, a short note in a card, a pat on the back, a text, a phone message, and even through e-mail.  I’ve also passed along compliments through others, knowing that my words would eventually hit the intended target.  

In life and business, faithful service should never be taken for granted.  It should be recognized and appreciated.  Each time you communicate appreciation to someone, you are making deposits into the relationship bank between you.  Most people BELIEVE that showing appreciation is a good thing.  Of course BELIEVING it’s a good thing and CHOOSING to do it are two different matters.  If showing appreciation and gratitude is so powerful and effective in building a healthy culture within a business, church or family than why is it often overlooked?  I think one significant reason is because it comes off as too feely-touchy and can’t be measured.  That doesn’t make it any less real.  Think of a time when you were shown appreciation.  Just the memory alone can bring a slight smile to your face or cause a slow nod of your head as you recall genuine words spoken or timely praise given to you.  Being appreciated is powerful.  

I’ve experienced the power of appreciation first hand many times but one instance stands out.

It was my twentieth anniversary, in 2009, of being the senior minister at a church.  The leaders of the church had planned a very nice sit-down meal in my honor.  They flew my mother in from Phoenix, a last-minute surprise for me.  The place was packed and I was humbled.  I must admit that it was nice to hear good things said about me, and before I was dead.  I even enjoyed the ribbing and roasting that went on that night as well.

One particular man’s words are precious to me even to this day.  Tom Jarzynka stood and reminisced about the funeral I had done for his son, Zac.  It was the largest funeral I had ever done.  Zac, and his girlfriend, Brittany Smith, both in high school, had died in a tragic car accident together.  “They were two of the most popular and polite kids at Oviedo High,” wrote Mike Bianchi in the Orlando Sentinel, on May 17, 2002.  People stood in line five hours to pay their respects and grieve with both families.

Zac and his brother had come often to our church with their mother, but Tom rarely, if ever, attended with the family.  In the weeks following the funeral, Tom and I talked a lot about God, Jesus, and baptism; and spent lots of time in specific Bible study.  It was a blessing to baptize Tom.

Now, seven years later, Tom stood to speak at the church dinner in my honor.  He said, “When people care for others the way this church cared for me and my family, it comes from the top down. It’s not an accident.”  Looking at me, he continued with a simple, “Thank you.” 

These words of encouragement and honor have stayed with me. 

I hope that you too can think of a time when someone gave you appreciation.  It’s wonderful to see people who are thankful for you and what you do.  Gratitude can also act like glue, holding together a hurting marriage, a strained friendship, or a difficult work relationship. 

_____________________________

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.” – Proverbs 18:21

_____________________________

Sometimes appreciation is the juice that keeps you going one more day.  If that’s true for you, imagine the impact your appreciation has on others.  Make it a point to speak words of appreciation to everyone around you.  Speak words of appreciation to…

…your husband or wife. 

…your kid(s). 

…your mom or dad. 

…your co-worker. 

…your boss.

…your friend(s). 

…your enemy(s).  

Everybody wants to be appreciated.  

 

(Photo Credit: Micah Holland)

_______________________________________ 

To learn how to build your life on the power of belief order a copy of my book 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living and Leading!  For free shipping, visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

“I LOVE Dan’s new book on leadership.  Simple messages with great biblical depth to inspire. You will be blessed if you buy this book.” Al Robertson, Author, Speaker and Star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty

Free shipping – visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/. My book is also available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Eight Peace-Pursuing Actions

Eight Peace-Pursuing Actions

What would happen if you assumed the best about others?  What if your opinions and facts were put on the back burner for a time, so you could gain understanding of a person or situation before you acted or spoke in a situation?  The best way to pursue peace on a daily basis is by constantly positioning (or repositioning) our hearts so that we put others ahead of ourselves.  

God doesn’t ask us to do things that we’re incapable of doing.  That would be cruel.  When we don’t pursue peace, it’s not for lack of ability; it’s because we don’t want to do it.  Simply said, WE CHOOSE not to pursue peace.  However, we can choose to pursue peace instead because God says we can.  It all starts with what I BELIEVE about someone.  

If you start thinking of others as better than yourself, the pursuit of peace will get easier and your actions will follow your beliefs.  What are signs that you are becoming a leader who pursues peace?  Hopefully, you will find yourself doing the following eight peace-pursuing actions more often.

1. You believe the best about others.

To live in harmony with others, it is important to avoid jumping to conclusions.  Assumption is the absolute lowest form of knowledge. Yet we do it all the time and often unconsciously.  If you are pursuing peace, you will avoid passing judgment based on mere outward appearances.  You’ll be slower to judge someone’s motives based only upon what you see or hear.  Even if something stinky might be going on, treat people with dignity and respect, allowing them the liberty to hold divergent views or give them the space to explain themselves.

2. You are willing to risk the relationship.

Often our society encourages individualism to the point that it is easy to develop an apathetic attitude toward others.  It’s a “live-and-let-live” worldly attitude. In pursuit of peace, you will love God and the other person enough to pursue peace, even if it means risking the relationship.  If you are a peace-pursuing leader, you will not have indifference toward others.  You will act in love and courage, going humbly and frankly to a friend and asking for an explanation, even if what they did seems indefensible.

3. You know how to apologize.

Rarely is the strain in a relationship as one-sided as we want to believe.  If you are pursuing peace, you will ask yourself, “How have I contributed to this conflict?”  There is great power in an apology.  Sometimes saying “This was my mistake. I’m sorry” can take a load off our backs, or turn around a situation altogether, allowing us to start over.  The bottom line is this: When tension rises in relationships, act and speak in love.

4. You listen well.

James writes, “…be quick to listen…” (James 1:19).  Have you ever had an argument all ready to go, so that you were waiting for the other person to stop talking so you could set them straight?  This is a violation of this Word of the Lord from James.  If you are a leader who pursues peace, you will be known for being quick to listen, not speak.  To truly listen is to gain understanding. Solomon wrote, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold” (Prov. 3:13-14).  Gaining an understanding can be life-saving.  My mom has a plaque on her wall that teaches us: “Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.”  It’s important that we take the time to understand others as we choose to live in peace with all men.

5. You speak thoughtfully.

James also writes that we should be “slow to speak” (James 1:19).  This means we take into consideration the other person’s condition or circumstances before we respond.  It’s possible to say the right thing, but to say it at the wrong time.  It’s also possible to say the right thing in the wrong way.  If you are pursuing peace, you will be seen as one who thinks before speaking and chooses their words wisely.  You will be known as a person whose words improve relationships and situations, rather than a person out to prove a point.  Words can turn a good situation into a disaster in seconds.  Wisdom means not always saying every word that comes to mind.  Reflect on your thoughts and edit your words.  When said, they can’t be easily taken back.  Don’t try to put out a fire using gasoline.  Sometimes the best thing to do is to stop talking.

6. You keep emotions in check.

By now you’ve figured out there is a James 1:19-20 theme going on in the middle of these peace-pursuing actions.  If you are a leader who pursues peace, you will be “slow to anger,” as James says.  When anger takes over the only thing we can think about is getting what we want. T hat is why James tells us that rarely does our anger lead to the righteousness of God.  Generally, we do not make good decisions when we’re angry because we usually do not care about the consequences of our decisions at that moment.  I don’t know about you, but the angrier I become, the more convinced I am that I can read what’s going on in somebody else’s mind.  And I can’t.

7. You live in reverse when needed.

I’ve often been guilty of living in reverse.  Too many times the first step we take is to turn up the heat and bake our attitudes and thoughts for a while.  If you mess up and don’t listen, speak too quickly and angrily, put it in reverse.  Peace-pursuing leaders are humble enough to ask for a redo.  Putting others first and the pursuit of peace is not natural.  Just look at two toddlers trying to play side by side.  Parents say, “We need to share with our friends” and “We don’t hit our friends” ad nauseam until kids get it.

8. You choose gentleness.

Gentleness is a choice, not a feeling.  Monumental leaders are not ruled by emotion, but by the Word of God.  We do what’s right, not what feels good.  If you are praying for reconciliation, unity, and a sense of oneness, understand that communication must take place, and it must be done in a spirit of gentleness.  If you are a person who has been wrongly accused, you would do well to remember the wise counsel of Solomon in Proverbs 15:11: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

______________________________________

“…seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14b

______________________________________

These peace-pursuing actions are things each of us desires from others and they cost us nothing to give.  Peace isn’t something you will stumble upon and it can’t forced; it’s something you intentionally seek and pursue.  Will you always achieve peace?  No.  Yet, pursuing peace is like God giving you a gift because in the pursuit of peace He brings you peace of mind and you may find peace with those you never believed possible.  

Here are some questions to help you in the pursuit of peace…take time for deep thought.  Maybe when you’re with a friend over coffee or lunch have a engaging conversation using these questions as a guide.  Ask the question and then just listen. 

Do you believe others were created by God? 

If so, how do your thoughts, actions, and habits show evidence of that belief?

Are you praying for others?  How has the discipline of prayer shaped your walk with God and others?  Journal about what you have learned from investing in relationships.

Are you gentle with others?  How does this affect your leadership abilities?

To read more about Pursuing Peace click here: https://dan holland2819.wordpress.com/2019/02/24/pursuing-peace/

_______________________________________ 

To learn how to build your life on the power of belief order a copy of my book 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living and Leading!  For free shipping, visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

“In 70 Seconds Dan Holland opens a door into the life and leadership of Joshua, exploring not only the fascinating history of God’s very personal dealings with the Israelites after the wilderness wanderings, but also the driving forces that formed and sustained one of Israel’s most versatile commanders. With clear insight and warm personal anecdotes, Holland illustrates the ‘How To’ of putting faith into action and claiming God’s promises and rewards for God-given leadership at all levels. I heartily recommend this book to anyone wondering what God has in store for them, and how, exactly, to get started building a monument worthy life.”

Melanie Hunter, Partner at Hunter & Kalinke

Free shipping – visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/. My book is also available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version.

_______________________________________

You can choose to receive an email whenever I post a new blog; just click the “FOLLOW” button in the top right of this page.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pursuing Peace

Pursuing Peace

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

When I take communion, a weekly observance of eating the bread and drinking the cup, I am reminded I am deeply and personally loved by God.  And without the sacrifice of Jesus, I could not be in God’s presence or experience His peace.  Afterward, I try to remind myself that He loves every person in that same way.  This puts me on the same level with everyone else, even those with whom I might be struggling.  Regardless of what I think about someone, Christ died for him or her.

_______________________________

The reason God didn’t tell us to like everybody is because He knows we won’t or maybe that we couldn’t.  We won’t like everyone.  Instead, God tells us to love everyone, and that includes our enemies as well as family or friends, with whom we are at odds.

______________________________________

I can think of no better time than the present to get good at the skill of pursuing peace.  We live in a defensive and aggressive culture.  We seem to have lost our ability to dialogue when we disagree on important issues.  People seem more easily offended than ever before, and there is much we can disagree on these days.  Some situations and circumstances lead us to make conclusions about an individual or group of people that are incorrect.  Everything from how someone spends their money to how a person votes can cause us to jump to conclusions.  We have lost the ability to talk to others without making it personal, without taking offense.

The call to pursue peace can indeed be intimidating and difficult, so hold onto your sense of humor.  The ability to laugh is divine.  Don’t laugh at people.  Laugh at yourself and with people.  Give God space to work in your life and in the life of those with whom you have conflict.

Give it time.  Peace isn’t cooked in a microwave and can’t be ordered at a drive-through window.  God hasn’t asked us to change anybody, but He has asked us to love everybody.  And since I don’t have to change anyone, I’m better able to live out God’s prescription for peace that Paul wrote down for us:

 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32)

 

God doesn’t ask us to do things that we’re incapable of doing.  That would be cruel.  When we don’t pursue peace, it’s not for lack of ability; it’s because we don’t want to do it.  Simply said, we choose not to pursue peace.  However, we can choose to pursue peace instead because God says we can.  Let’s at least be as patient with others as God has been with us.  And this brings us back to where we began in Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

 

Living at peace with certain people can be illusive.  Sometimes it feels impossible!  Yet my job is to obey God and God’s job is everything else.  When the Lord requires hard things from you, he also sees what is needed and provides.

To read more about God’s Provision click here: https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/provision/

_______________________________________ 

To learn how to build your life on the power of belief order a copy of my book 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living and Leading!  For free shipping, visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

“In 70 Seconds Dan Holland opens a door into the life and leadership of Joshua, exploring not only the fascinating history of God’s very personal dealings with the Israelites after the wilderness wanderings, but also the driving forces that formed and sustained one of Israel’s most versatile commanders. With clear insight and warm personal anecdotes, Holland illustrates the ‘How To’ of putting faith into action and claiming God’s promises and rewards for God-given leadership at all levels. I heartily recommend this book to anyone wondering what God has in store for them, and how, exactly, to get started building a monument worthy life.”

Melanie Hunter, Partner at Hunter & Kalinke

Free shipping – visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/. My book is also available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version.

_______________________________________

You can choose to receive an email whenever I post a new blog; just click the “FOLLOW” button in the top right of this page.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Live in Reality, not Fiction

Live in Reality, not Fiction

Choose to Live in Reality, not Fiction

God promised Joshua that He would be with him, and God guarantees you the same thing. 

An example of God’s presence with Joshua occurs soon after Israel entered Canaan.  Israel was camped at Gilgal, and Joshua was out taking a walk, probably checking out his strategy for the upcoming battle with Jericho.  When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him.  It happened suddenly.  From where had he come?  One minute he wasn’t there and in the next he was.  In that moment Joshua experienced a change in perspective, so that he could now see the man.  The man had a drawn sword in his hand, which meant that he was prepared for battle.  It was threatening.  Before we get to his question, let’s pause for a minute as Joshua is caught off guard by the sight of this man.

Sometimes what we need more than anything else is a renewed perspective that allows us to see reality.

____________________________  

As I coach leaders, I often remind them that every day is a battle for perspective. 

___________________________________

There’s God’s perspective and then there’s mine.  As a leader, I want to see what God sees.  There’s God’s truth and mine.  We need His.  Joshua saw something new in front of him.

Something powerful happens in the human spirit whenever we focus our attention on something outside ourselves and beyond our trouble. 

Whenever I focus my attention on Christ and the eternal life that is beyond this life, I find exceptional joy and abiding peace.  When I focus on joy, I am better able to break through obstacles that life presents.  Not always without pain and not always on the first try.  But that’s life.  We can learn to concentrate on what God says, rather than circumstances.  I wonder how much God wants His kids to look up from their myopic, small, navel-gazing concerns to see Him, standing and ready to fight.  I pray that my kids will always search for what is true and live in what’s real.  We don’t just need a different perspective from the one we already have, we need one that sees what is in front of us, one that sees what is holy and true.  A perspective that can only be seen by faith and beyond the minutia of the moment.

Joshua questioned the man about his loyalties and allegiance because he did not recognize him as a heaven-sent messenger.  Joshua asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” (Joshua 5:13).

Here was the man’s reply and Joshua’s response:

Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.

Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?

The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.

And Joshua did so (Joshua 5:14-15). 

What a scene that must have been.  The commander of Israel’s army is meeting the Commander of the Lord’s army. I don’t want you to miss the Commander’s response to Joshua because it has some solid application for us.  Joshua wanted to know whose side He was on.  Simple.  This is not an unreasonable question between two warrior leaders. “Are you on our side or theirs?”  What does that answer “Neither” mean?  How can someone, especially a warrior, be on neither side in a battle?

God does not show up to gather opinions; He doesn’t come to choose a side.  He comes to take over.  

We are not to ask if God is on our side, although that seems like a common question.  Rather than asking, “Is God on my side?” the more appropriate question is, “Am I on the Lord’s side?”  This distinction is important today as we face many battles – physical, emotional, relational, financial, cultural, and spiritual.

The Commander continued, “…as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”  And that was it.  There isn’t a clear resolution to this encounter, but the obvious implication is the Lord will fight for Joshua and Israel as long as they maintain the proper priorities, which we saw throughout the preceding chapters.  The Lord was letting Joshua know, in no uncertain terms, that he was not fighting alone.  It wasn’t just that God was with him, but God was for him and would fight for him.  Joshua needed to be able to recognize when he was in God’s presence and that he could trust in Him.  As long as Joshua maintained his priorities, God would fight for him.  This principle still stands today: God wants our undivided loyalty and holiness in our lives.

____________________________

We are called to live in God’s presence.  Keep your priorities straight. 

____________________________

God had already promised Joshua that He would be with him just as He was with Moses, so Joshua didn’t need to worry about that.  I don’t know about you, but I tend to live better when I am cognizant of God’s presence.

God’s presence is what made that place holy.  In fact, the word “holy” is used as a reminder for Joshua of the seventy-second talk he had with God earlier.  It was a reminder that spiritual concerns, and not military preparations, were of first importance to the Israelites in their mission.  

The principle of holiness is still relevant today.  The concept of holiness: living for God because He is with us, is God’s expectation from the beginning of time.

God is with you right now.  God’s presence calls for holiness and undivided hearts, but the temptation is to see how far we can walk from God and still be okay.   Why would we not rather see how near we could live to Him?

 

To read Your Life in One Day click here: https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/your-life-in-one-day/

To learn how to build your life on the power of belief order a copy of my book 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living and Leading!  For free shipping, visit www.CoachDanHolland.com/

_______________________________________

“In 70 Seconds, Dan Holland takes a refreshing look at one of God’s seminal lessons for life and leadership. In today’s world we are often left wondering how to interpret the scriptures God has left for us. In this book Dan does an amazing job of showing us a modern-day biblical perspective that is not only highly applicable, but interesting and entertaining. I encourage you to read it and apply these principles to your life.”

Nick Nanton, Esq., EMMY® Award Winning Director/Producer; Wall St. Journal Best-Selling Author

Free shipping – visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/. My book is also available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version.

_______________________________________

You can choose to receive an email whenever I post a new blog; just click the “FOLLOW” button in the top right of this page.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Does What I Do in Life Really Matter?

Does What I Do in Life Really Matter?

Does What I Do in Life Really Matter?

The spotlight was turned on Mandy Harvey when she received the golden buzzer on America’s Got Talent in June 2017; sending her straight to the live semi-finals.  I met her when she was interviewed at our church.  She talked about how her dream of being a choir teacher had been shattered when she lost her hearing.  She thought: Now what?  Do I matter now?  What do I do now?

Sometimes we think that when we’re defeated, the right thing to do is to withdraw, especially when we’re beaten.  It happens to all of us.  When we’re doing well, we rarely ask, “Does what I do really matter?” We ask that question when we’re defeated.  That’s the reality.

How can anyone understand the feeling of desperation and the confusing emotions Mandy experienced at that time?  Her father, Joe, encouraged her to sing again.  At first, she was timid about it.  “Okay, I’ll try it,” she said, lacking confidence.  She had to rely on someone else to tell her how she sounded when she sang.  She had known how to sing and even when she lost her hearing, she could still sing.  But she couldn’t hear herself sing, so it felt like it was worthless and pointless.

By relying on others, trusting her pitch, and watching tuning machines, she now sings on key, and keeps time.  Why?  Because she remembered what it felt and sounded like to do so.  We need to remember some things too.  The Lord said to Joshua, “Remember, I was with Moses and I’ll be with you.”

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” – Hebrews 10:35

Mandy’s deafness didn’t change, but her confidence did.  Sometimes our circumstances don’t change, but our confidence can.  The Lord can give us confidence in any and all circumstances, but we tend to assess ourselves based on what we see, instead of trusting His promises to us and His presence with us.

We ask the question about whether what we do matters or not at the wrong times—usually whenever we’re feeling defeated, not when things are going well.  Because of my deep love for my kids, it would grieve me immensely if they did not live up to their potential.  And God loves His kids more than that.  The amount of love we have for our children pales in comparison to the love God has for each one of us.  We cheer for our children and God cheers even more for us.  Why wouldn’t you make every effort to live up to your God-given potential?  You and I don’t live up to our potential whenever we forget, overlook, or ignore God’s promises.  The reason we can live fearlessly is because God loves us perfectly and eternally.

Every day God votes for you.  Every day Satan votes against you.  You cast the deciding vote. Every. Single. Day. You. Vote.

___________________________

To learn how to build your life on the power of belief order a copy of my book 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living and Leading!  Visit www.CoachDanHolland.com/

To read Your Life in One Day click here: https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/your-life-in-one-day/  

_______________________________________

“I couldn’t put it down. What a blessing it was to me! I realized right away that I have been WANDERING for the last couple of months! Reading 70 Seconds has given me a newfound energy and dedication to staying faithful and making sure that I “vote” everyday. I am now thinking that maybe this season of my life is part of God’s plan to give me rest and help me to really listen for His voice to determine what’s next for me and to choose FAITH over fear!”

Joi Williams, former head coach, UCF Women’s Basketball; former asst. coach, WNBA San Antonio Stars

 

My book is also available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version.

_______________________________________

You can choose to receive an email whenever I post a new blog; just click the “FOLLOW” button in the top right of this page.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,