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God is For You!

God is For You!

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CHOSEN.

WE ADOPTED BOTH our wonderful kids—Micah and Ashley—at birth. Some grieve over the thought of not being able to give birth naturally, but Beth and I believe that, eight years into our marriage, it was God’s will to build our family through adoption. Like all families we’ve had ups and downs, good times and bad, but through it all they are my kids and I love them. It’s difficult for me to quantify just how much. We tell them, “You were born of our prayers.”

When I got the call that Micah had been born, I was at my office, before the days of cell phones. I did have a car phone, so I jumped in the car to go home, but was so excited that I drove in circles as I tried to get a hold of Beth and thought about what I needed from my office. I can recall details about each one. I remember the first time I held that six-pound, ten-ounce baby boy. It was love at first sight. At just two days old he stole my heart as I stared into his piercing blue eyes. From the beginning he has been alert, fun, energetic, curious, and loving—all qualities I love about him.

As I held him, I experienced a kind of love that was new and that has grown deeper and richer through the years. Although I had taught about how much God loves us before this, in that moment I began to understand the sort of love for another that is totally and completely dependent on you. He was my son; I was his dad and he was home.

Then, two and a half years later, God brought Ashley into our lives. She was born on Easter Sunday, two weeks after her original due date. She has always taken her time and it has always been worth the wait. She had beautiful brown hair, brown eyes, and olive-colored skin. When I held her, she held me back. She melted into my arms. On Ashley’s Gotcha’ Day, the day we brought her home two days after her birth, the major news was a freak April Fool’s Day blizzard in the northeastern United States that dumped rain, sleet, and snow from Maryland to Maine, leaving hundreds of thousands without power and as much as three feet of snow on the ground. But at the Holland house the major news was Ashley. Forgetting it was April’s Fool Day, I called Beth to tell her the news of Ashley’s birth. I had to first convince her that this was not a cruel April Fool’s joke. Before her birth, I was scheduled to speak in a citywide outreach halfway across the country. Because Ashley went past her original due date I canceled that speaking engagement. I wanted to be able to tell her and her brother that they have always been more important to me than even ministry and I’m glad that I did.

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In a world of nearly eight billion people, only one boy is my son and only one girl is my daughter. As I held them I knew that I would love them and provide for them, but they didn’t know that.

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“I love you more than anything in the whole wide world,” I whispered in their little ears as I tucked them into bed each night. Micah, holding onto his pacifier with his teeth, would shorten “I love you” and say, “I…you.” Ashley would say, “I love you mucho.” To this day we can say or text, “Mucho!” and we know it means that’s how much we love each other. Today our kids are adults, and I love them more now than the day they were born. Whatever life brings their way, whatever challenges they might face, I want them to know they can always count on me to do the best thing for them. I want them to know they are significant and my love is secure. It’s mucho!

God also adopted us as His kids. John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, wrote,

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1

We are His children. God wants even greater and better things for all of His kids, as I do mine. In fact, the more we come to understand and believe that God is for us, the more it will impact the way we think, and the more we will develop a healthy mindset. How you live is a direct response to how you think, and how you think is based on what you believe.

Choose to believe the promises of God. Those promises are for you.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” —John 15:16

To continue reading about the Power of Mindset click here: https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/the-power-of-mindset/

To read more on the power of belief order a copy of my book 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living and Leading!  For free shipping until the end of January, visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

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“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 Holland does an amazing job of showing us a modern-day biblical perspective that is not only highly applicable, but interesting and entertaining. I highly 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 until the end of January visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/. My book is also available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version. 

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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.

 

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The Power of Mindset

I find it most interesting that God has given humans the ability to choose. Even when it seems that all ability to choose has been removed, it remains that I can choose my response. We can choose what to think, how to act, and which attitudes we will nurture. The God-given ability to choose must be given away; it cannot be taken. It must be relinquished of our own free will.  

The English Oxford Dictionary defines mindset as “the established set of attitudes held by someone.” To me, the sum of a person’s mindset comes from a person’s beliefs, and those beliefs determine our thoughts. Your thoughts are like the settings on a thermostat because they act as unequivocal set points—the temperature at which the switch is activated. If temperature is below the set point, the heater is on and the temperature rises. When the rising temperature passes the set point, the thermostat switches the heater off and the temperature falls passively.

The Christian is asked to be a thermostat, not a thermometer. We are to set the temperature, not report the temperature. Even when others are unreliable, untrustworthy or unfaithful, we are called to be reliable, credible, trustworthy, steadfast, and in a word, faithful. Why? Because God is faithful to His promise, even when we are not.

Eventually, the temperature falls below the set point and the cycle repeats. What is your setting? Is your mind set to please God or yourself? Who is Lord and Master? The Bible teaches us to take care what we are thinking, since it might, in fact, be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our direction in life springs from our hearts, so we need to govern our hearts and minds continually. This principle is most clearly stated in Proverbs 4:23:

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (ESV).

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (NLT).

What you feel and think in your heart is who you truly are. The heart is like a mirror. You are not what you see when you look at yourself from the outside; what you truly are is seen from the inside. You are not who others think you are, but rather who you think you are. Reset your heart as you would a thermostat.

Your mindset is the beginning point for this new life.

To read more on the power of mindset order a copy of my book 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living and Leading!  For free shipping until the end of January, visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

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“Regardless of your current circumstances, 70 Seconds will inspire you by revealing sound principles and practical actions you can take to improve your leadership abilities as a Christ follower.  Dan’s book is readable, insightful and provocative for all aspiring leaders who are dissatisfied with the status quo and determined to improve their leadership skills and the lives of believers around them.”  – Bob Russell, Former Senior Minister, Southeast Christian Church

Free shipping until the end of January visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/. My book is also available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version. 

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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.

 

 

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Christmas Towns, Part 5

Christmas Towns, Part 5

Take a walk with me through some of the towns where the story of Jesus took place.  Along the way you will meet people who struggled to understand what God was doing.  In each town we will learn something significant about what it means to believe God.  I’m sure the individuals had doubts, yet they were certain that God had a plan and would carry out His plan.  As we walk through these towns, take notice, you may catch a glimpse of yourself and what God is doing in your life.

The fifth town we come to in the story of Jesus is Capernaum.  Capernaum was the main center of Jesus’ activity during His public ministry.

Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali—to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles – the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” – Matthew 4:13-17

Jesus moved to Capernaum on purpose.  It was a part of God’s bigger plan.  Centuries before Isaiah prophesied that God would bring light to these people.  And did He ever!  That small fishing village on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee served as home base for Jesus during his three-year ministry.  The people in Capernaum were blessed because the Son of God lived in their town.  Once, when Jesus was returning to Capernaum, Matthew wrote that Jesus was returning to “his own town.” (9:1)  It was as though Jesus’ attitude was, “This is my city and I’ll give my best to it.”  And did He ever give his best in Capernaum!   

While Jesus was in Capernaum, He did a boatload of effective ministry.  For one thing, He performed a disproportionate number of miracles in Capernaum including…

Healing the centurion’s son.

Healing the nobleman’s son.

Healing Peter’s mother-in-law.

Healing the paralytic.

Amazing!

And that wasn’t all of the miracles.  There’s more!  He cast out the unclean spirit and it was likely here that he raised Jairus’ daughter to life.  Each one was a part of God’s bigger plan.

In Capernaum Jesus started off his ministry with a small home-based group made up of three young fishermen and a tax-collector.  This is where he met Peter, James and John who lived nearby, and also Matthew, who lived in Capernaum.  In fact, soon after his decision to leave everything to follow Jesus, Matthew threw a party at his house and invited Jesus as well as his family and friends, most likely as a going away party for himself. 

In Capernaum Jesus taught truth.  In the synagogue in Capernaum, the people got to hear Jesus deliver His powerful speech on the bread of life.  Wow!  Jesus gave his very best and so much good was done in that town.  

But was His best good enough?  Did the people repent?  Did they believe in Him?  Did they follow Him?  Not at all.  

Sadly, eventually, Jesus cursed Capernaum for their unbelief.  Read for yourself.

Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” – Matthew 11:20, 23-24

Even after all His effort the town was filled with unbelief.  It’s shocking to me that the people heard Jesus preach in their synagogue and experienced healing in their bodies and yet that was not enough to convince them to turn back to God.  But God had a bigger purpose for Jesus living in Capernaum; Jesus’ job was to be obedient.  Jesus gave his best beacuse he was ultimately serving God and fulfilling His bigger purpose.  He left it all on the court, as we like to say in sports.  Obedience is never a waste of time or effort.  

Sometimes when we give our best, doing what we believe God called us to do, we may not get to see the outcomes we think our effort warrants.  Sometimes obedience feels like a colossal waste of time.  Don’t misunderstand me; I’m a big proponent of using our gift(s) in ways that bring tangible results.  We just need to remember that God is working out His plan and we get to be part of it.  Jesus gave His absolute best in Capernaum and still most of the people remained in spiritual darkness.  

Like Jesus, we should intentionally give our very best too, trusting God every step of the way.  We should “leave it all on the court” for God, even when we may not experience immediate tangible results.  

One way we can do this is to do a personal heart-check by asking ourselves some big questions. 

  • Am I content and thankful to God for where He is currently using me.  Am I mostly discontent or frustrated with my current assignment?  

  • Am I giving my best for God or have I stopped giving my very best to serve others in my city, business, church or family?

  • Am I trying to please man or God? 

Jesus was effective because He knew that his purpose on earth was to please God in heaven.  

That’s our purpose too.   

How are you doing in your Capernaum?  As we walked through the Christmas Towns what new insights occurred to you?  Maybe you saw yourself and what God is doing in your life.   I’d love to hear what lessons have meant the most to you.  Comment below.

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You can choose to receive an email whenever the next blog is posted; just click the “FOLLOW” button in the top right of this page.

For more inspiration read Your Life in One Day (click here): https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/your-life-in-one-day/ 

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Dan’s book is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version. For special offers visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

“I’ve known Dan as a tremendous preacher, teacher and wise friend for nearly 30 years. But my respect has increased even higher with 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living & Leading! Although Dan’s words are geared toward leaders, his insights will help anyone who needs inspiration to get unstuck or courage to overcome fear. I will tell everyone I know about this book.” Lorri Allen – Speaker, Author, Radio & TV Personality 

 

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Christmas Towns, Part 4

Christmas Towns, Part 4

Take a walk with me through some of the towns where the story of Jesus took place.  Along the way you will meet people who struggled to understand what God was doing.  In each town we will learn something significant about what it means to believe God.  I’m sure the individuals had doubts, yet they were certain that God had a plan and would carry out His plan.  As we walk through these towns, take notice, you may catch a glimpse of yourself and what God is doing in your life.

The fourth town we come to in the story of Jesus is Nazareth.  Nazareth is where Jesus grew up. 

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”  Luke 2:39, 52

 

Most of what is written about Jesus’ life covers a three-year time span, specifically the last three years of his life.  Yet, Jesus spent most of his life in the small, out-of-the-way town of Nazareth.  After being born in Bethlehem and spending a short time in Egypt, he spent the majority of his childhood as well as all of his teenage and young adult years in Nazareth. 

Here’s the thing…Nazareth wasn’t an impressive town.  It definitely wasn’t a destination location.  In fact, if ever anyone wanted to hide from the law, they often would go to Nazareth.  No one thought well of this town.  A well-known saying during that time was, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”  Yet Jesus became known as Jesus the Nazarene.  It wasn’t a compliment.  It was intended to define Him. 

Jesus wasn’t embarrassed about growing up in Nazareth.  When Saul saw the bright light on the road to Damascus and asked, “Who are you?” Jesus answered, “I am Jesus of Nazareth…”  I like that.  The sign nailed above Jesus’ head on the cross included: “Jesus of Nazareth”.  While the world around him thought little of anyone from Nazareth, Jesus owned it, because that’s where he grew up.  He redefined what it meant to be from Nazareth.  But that didn’t mean it was always easy.

Tragically, as Jesus was launching His ministry he wasn’t supported by His hometown of Nazareth.  He was rejected.  Their familiarity WITH him hindered their faith IN him.  In fact, the residents of Nazareth knew Jesus so well that once when He returned to his hometown…well, I’ll just let you read what happened.

On the Sabbath, he gave a lecture in the meeting place. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability?” But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “He’s just a carpenter—Mary’s boy. We’ve known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and his sisters. Who does he think he is?” They tripped over what little they knew about him and fell, sprawling. And they never got any further. Jesus told them, “A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child.” Jesus wasn’t able to do much of anything there—he laid hands on a few sick people and healed them, that’s all. He couldn’t get over their stubbornness. He left and made a circuit of the other villages, teaching.” (Mark 6:1-6, The Message)

Jesus loved them but they did not believe in him.  That didn’t stop him or slow him down.  We may sometimes believe that where we grew up is holding us back or that certain people are not being supportive enough.  Don’t allow the rejection in one place to stop you from doing what God has called you to do.  Jesus chose to follow God.  We can make that same choice.  We get to choose how to best move forward in life.  We are definitely PRODUCTS of our past, we are NOT PRISONERS.  

We get to grow into what God has for us right where we are.  Maybe you’ve felt like you were born in the wrong place or even at the wrong time?  Have you ever felt like if you had just grown up somewhere else other than where you did, that you’d be better off today?  Or maybe you believe that if you had grown up in a different family that everything would be so much better for you today.  Whether we grew up in an inner city, suburb or small town, near mountains, an ocean or desert, we can see that we are products of our past.  God knew where you would grow up.  Maybe the reason WHY you live where you do is because that’s exactly WHERE you need to be to grow into WHO He intended you to be to do WHAT He’s called you to do.  

Nazareth represents times of preparation and growth.  What can you do to grow mentally, physically, spiritually and socially?  One thing you can do is to take time to write down a specific action item next to each area.  Here are some examples to get you started.  

Mind:  Be thoughtful.  

Engage in meaningful conversations, listen to podcasts when you drive, or read a good book or magazine.  Also read Matthew 22:37; 2 Peter 1:5-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; Romans 12:2

Body:  Be active.

Move. Whether you walk, bike, surf, work out, or garden.  Also read 1 Timothy 4:8; Romans 6:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 9:27; James 3:2-6; 1 Peter 4:1; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Spirit:  Be mindful of God.  

Consider God in everything you do.  Talk with God often, read his word daily, find a place to serve someone somewhere and do it consciously for the sake of Christ.  Also read John 8:29; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Colossians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 1 John 5:3-4

Relationships:  Be friendly. 

Be social and plan time with a friend(s) and be patient and kind to everybody.  Keep a few friends close…take time for a hot tea and conversation…or maybe call or text them just to check in.  Also read Matthew 2:39; 7:12; Luke 6:31; Galatians 5:6b; 1 John 3:18; Romans 12:9-21; John 13:34-35; Galatians 5:13.

Everyone grows up somewhere.  For Jesus, it was a town called Nazareth.  Was it perfect?  Not by a long shot.  But He grew up mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially right where he was and so can you.  We are PRODUCTS of our past, NOT PRISONERS. 

I’d love to hear from you.  Comment below.  Where did you grow up?  What difference has that made in your life?  

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You can choose to receive an email whenever the next blog is posted; just click the “FOLLOW” button in the top right of this page.

For more inspiration read Your Life in One Day (click here): https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/your-life-in-one-day/ 

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Dan’s book is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version. For special offers visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

“I’ve known Dan as a tremendous preacher, teacher and wise friend for nearly 30 years. But my respect has increased even higher with 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living & Leading! Although Dan’s words are geared toward leaders, his insights will help anyone who needs inspiration to get unstuck or courage to overcome fear. I will tell everyone I know about this book.” Lorri Allen – Speaker, Author, Radio & TV Personality 

 

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Christmas Towns, Part 3

Christmas Towns, Part 3

Take a walk with me through some of the towns where the story of Jesus took place.  Along the way you will meet people who struggled to understand what God was doing.  In each town we will learn something significant about what it means to believe God.  I’m sure the individuals had doubts, yet they were certain that God had a plan and would carry out His plan.  As we walk through these towns, take notice, you may catch a glimpse of yourself and what God is doing in your life.

The third town we come to in the story of Jesus is Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is where the wise men went in search of Jesus.

 

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)

 

When the Magi arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus wasn’t there.  Who were these wise men and why did they go to Jerusalem?  The Greek word for wise men is Magi; that’s where we get the word magician.  The word Magi is plural so there were at least two wise men and maybe three or more.  It is likely that they were from Babylon and had learned about Balaam’s prophecy from Daniel (Numbers 24).  Daniel and his three friends had been taken as prisoners of war by King Nebuchadnezzar and were forced to be part of the Babylonian wise men.  In fact, Daniel eventually led the Babylonian wise men.  Because Daniel was faithful and lived according to his beliefs and taught his beliefs to a godless nation, 500 years later wise men from that nation would travel a far distance to worship the Son of God.

To their credit, when the Magi saw the star, they set out to find the new-born king.  They went directly to Jerusalem because they knew about the prophecy in Numbers chapter 24 and it was logical that a king would be born in the capital city.  Jerusalem was known as the City of God, the center of religion in the first century.  It was the perceived happening place.  So, it stands to reason that if you were looking for a newborn king of the Jews that you would go to Jerusalem.  That is why the logic of the wise men led them to Jerusalem.  It made good sense.  It was logical. 

But God threw a curve ball to the Jews because Jesus, King of Kings, was born in an out-of-the-way place.  The wise men had part of the truth but not all of it or they would have never stopped in Jerusalem.  They knew about Balaam’s prophecy but not Micah’s prophecy.  If they had known about Micah, they would have traveled straight to Bethlehem.  Since they understood other Old Testament passages such as Numbers 24 and maybe even Genesis 49 (since the chief priests referenced it), they would have understood what Micah was talking about.  But they had to be told about this by the chief priests. 

 

“When he (Herod) had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “ ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.” (Matthew 2:1-6).

 

Jerusalem represents the places we travel in search of God.  Today, like the wise men, people may look for God’s work in logical places and, sadly, may not find him there.  There are some indicators as to whether or not you are in a “Jerusalem.”  You will know that you are in a Jerusalem if you find people who are threatened by the thought of a new king. 

 

“When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.” (Matthew 2:3) 

 

The reason Herod felt threatened seems obvious.  He thought of himself as king and the thought of someone taking his place was unthinkable. He had taken the title as king of the Jews, but he knew he didn’t deserve it.  He wasn’t one of them.  So, of course, he felt threatened.  But why were the people threatened?  Why was it that “all of Jerusalem” was disturbed?  Could it have been that a new king would disturb status quo?  In their current system they were comfortable.  But now they felt threatened.  So, what did they do?  Nothing.  The people did nothing.  33 years later the people would demand that Jesus be crucified, but at his birth, they did nothing except feel disturbed. 

But King Herod did something; he devised a plan that started with a lie. 

 

“Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”  (Matthew 2:7-8).

 

Just as King Herod was threatened, the powerful and well-positioned are still threatened by the authority of Jesus.  But we should not allow the unbelief of others to detour us from following our pursuit of truth.  Like the wise men, God promises that we will find Him when we seek Him with all our heart. (Jeremiah 29:13) 

It perplexes me that the religious teachers did not go with the wise men.  They knew about Micah’s prophecy of the Messiah being born in Bethlehem and did nothing.  The Magi had obviously traveled from afar and yet not even their long pursuit caused enough curiosity for religious teachers to travel with them to Bethlehem.  They might have discussed it or talked amongst themselves about “those crazy men from the East,” or maybe they just returned to their homes to life as usual.  Clearly, knowing about what God can do is infinitely different from seeking Christ.  Later, Jesus gave a stern warning placing being right above doing right. 

 

You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.” (John 5:39-40, The Message)

 

Curious, isn’t it.  We can put forth so much effort to learn Scripture and confuse that activity for following Christ.  I want to be crystal clear; Studying God’s word is absolutely necessary to following Christ.  It’s fundamental.  Jesus warned those who hold up their goodness while ignoring truth, but that’s a topic for another blog.  For now, let’s just say that knowledge is NOT a substitute for obedience.  Jesus said when we put into practice what he taught us, we are “like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24)

We don’t have to know much to seek Christ.  We just have to seek him.  Seek and you will find is the promise.  Paul wrote, “Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” (Philippians 3:16).  Don’t worry about what you don’t know; put into practice what you do know.  That’s what the wise men did. 

In Jerusalem the Magi were faced with a choice.  A choice that had huge implications.  We face similar choices today.  We can choose to stay in our “Jerusalem” or we can choose follow the wise men and women who throughout time have set out in search of Christ.  Like them, ask questions and seek until you find Him.  When you find Him…worship him, just like the Magi. 

Great moves of God often begin with honest inquirers seeking in the obvious places for what God is doing.  In the same spirit of the Magi who set out in search of a new king, men and women throughout the centuries have searched for him.  And if ever a group or individual was threatened by that pursuit, seldom, if ever, have seekers changed the establishments.  Changing people is God’s business; our business is to be faithful.  

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You can choose to receive an email whenever the next blog is posted; just click the “FOLLOW” button in the top right of this page.

For more inspiration read Your Life in One Day (click here): https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/your-life-in-one-day/ 

_______________________________________

Dan’s book is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version. For special offers visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

“I’ve known Dan as a tremendous preacher, teacher and wise friend for nearly 30 years. But my respect has increased even higher with 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living & Leading! Although Dan’s words are geared toward leaders, his insights will help anyone who needs inspiration to get unstuck or courage to overcome fear. I will tell everyone I know about this book.” Lorri Allen – Speaker, Author, Radio & TV Personality 

 

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Christmas Towns, Part 2

Christmas Towns, Part 2

Take a walk with me through some of the towns where the story of Jesus took place.  Along the way you will meet people who struggled to understand what God was doing.  In each town we will learn something significant about what it means to believe God.  I’m sure the individuals had doubts, yet they were certain that God had a plan and would carry out His plan.  As we walk through these towns, take notice, you may catch a glimpse of yourself and what God is doing in your life.

The second town we come to in the story of Jesus is Bethlehem.  This is the town that takes center stage each Christmas because Jesus was born there.  Every detail surrounding his birth seems perfectly orchestrated.  The new-born baby lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes, an angel announcing the arrival of the Great Shepherd to shepherds in the field, and angels singing praise.  The one who was before all things and in whom all things hold together entered the world through a stable.  It’s a one-of-a-kind story! 

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.”  (Luke 2:1-5, The Message)

Sometimes God chooses to do big things in small, out-of-the-way places, in ways we may not expect.  No one expected this.  God’s son, the Savior of the world, was born in a stable in the little town of Bethlehem.  No one expected that such an important thing could happen there; but it did.  It happened because Joseph and Mary believed God and walked in obedience.  Just before time for Jesus to be born, a census was called for.  Who expected that?  God did. 

What blows my mind is that GOD KNEW that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem long before it happened.  Micah prophesied 700 years before this moment in Bethlehem, that it would happen.  God not only knew THAT the Messiah would be born, but He knew exactly WHERE he would be born.

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2)

What led TO Bethlehem and what happened IN Bethlehem were not afterthoughts in the mind of God.  They were before-thoughts.  He knew there would be a census requiring Joseph to return to Bethlehem just in time for His son to be born there.  He knew the inn would be full that day, so he provided a stable.  God knew. 

God knows about you too! “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)  Joseph and Mary were called according to His purpose and they believed God to work out the details.  You can too. 

In Micah’s prophesy God eliminated all other cities and towns in the world as possibilities.  Out of all the places where Jesus could have been born, God knew it would be in a tiny village, near Jerusalem.  It would not be Jerusalem, the capital city.  It would not even be Nazareth where his parents lived.  Both cities would have been logical choices, but God called it.

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Sometimes God chooses to do big things in small, out-of-the-way places, in ways we may not expect.  

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By traveling to Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary weren’t trying to fulfill prophecy.  They went because that’s what they were required to do.  That’s all.  They didn’t have a choice in the matter.  The government dictated that every person had to return to their hometown; regardless of personal circumstances.  Mary was about to give birth to the Savior of the world and yet not even she was exempt from the census!  God knew that would be the case.  Mary was pregnant, and because of circumstances beyond her control, “while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born” (Luke2:6).  So perfect!  God knew about all this long before it happened! 

I imagine that we’ve all had times in our lives when we’ve thought it wasn’t supposed to be this way or that way.  God is working while we are waiting.  One way that God works all things together for the good is that he plans ahead.  Bethlehem reminds us that God has been at work long before now.  We may not always see exactly what God is doing but we can always believe that He is doing something according to his will.  Our job is to be obedient which means doing the next right thing.  And for Joseph and Mary, the next right thing was to go to Bethlehem.

God is not surprised by either world events, or personal choices.  God knew that a census would happen at that exact time in history, requiring Joseph and Mary to travel to Bethlehem whether they wanted to go or not.  In the same way that God was aware of the census, I believe He knows about the “Bethlehem moments” that happen in our lives.  It may very well be that normal circumstances have brought you to a difficult inconvenient place.  Maybe you would prefer to be somewhere different doing something else.  Everybody has moments like that.  Wherever you are and whoever you are with, honor God in this moment. 

Bethlehem reminds us to believe that God knows how to get us WHERE we need to be WHEN we need to be there.  We can easily miss the most obvious powerful truth about Bethlehem which is that God knew before.  Stay obedient.  Embrace what God is doing.  He knows how to get you where you need to be to do what He’s called you to do.  God had to get you where you are to take you where He wants you to go.

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For more inspiration read Your Life in One Day (click here): https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/your-life-in-one-day/ 

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Dan’s book is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version. For special offers visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

“I’ve known Dan for over 30 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 and Author of “Faith And Unemployment”

 

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Your Life in One Day

What if your life was just one day long? 

What if your entire life was lived in the context of one 24-hour day? 

What would that look like? What would it feel like? How might your perspective about your life change? How might your outlook about the lives of others be different?

The average life span is 80 years. 

If you’re a 35-year-old man or woman, it’s difficult to envision yourself as an 80-year-old.  But visit with an 80-year-old man or woman and listen their stories about when they married the love of their life or when their children were born or when they served their country and you’ll likely hear them make statements like, “It seems like just yesterday.”  Memories have a way of bringing yesterday up close.  Time is like that; the far-off future seems like it will never happen, and the distant past seems like yesterday.  

Assuming you live the average length of 80 years what would that look like if it were all lived in one day? Your life would begin at 7:00 am and end at 11:00 pm. That’s your entire life crammed into one 16-hour day!

Mathematically speaking every 12 minutes of the day would equal one year of life. You would get to celebrate a birthday every 12 minutes. That’s a lot of cake…and gifts! Each minute represents one month of your life and every two hours represents a decade of your life. Here’s how it works out.

  • 7:00am – 9:00am (Birth to 10 years old)

  • 9:00am – 11:00am (10 to 20 years old)

  • 11:00am – 1:00pm (20s)

  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm (30s)

  • 3:00pm – 5:00pm (40s)

  • 5:00pm – 7:00pm (50s)

  • 7:00pm – 9:00pm (60s)

  • 9:00pm – 11:00pm (70s)

  • 11:00pm – 1:00am (80s)

  • 1:00am – 3:00am (90s)

What time is it for you?

Referencing the above chart, for me the time is 6:20pm. That means I have 4 hours 40 minutes left in my day before I turn 80. Maybe I’ll have less time but maybe I’ll have more. Either way, I am choosing to live all out using the gifts God has given me for the good of others and to HIS GLORY for the next 4 hours and 40 minutes! I believe that at the end of the day, when everything is taken into account, what’s going to matter most, both to myself and others, is whether or not I feared God and did what he told me.

How about you? What time is it for you? How are you using your time?

You get to choose how to invest your time.

Imagine the impact if you lived on purpose for the next “minute” of your life? You get to decide. If there are commitments you’ve put off, people you’ve neglected or projects that no longer deserve your attention then do something about it. Stop putting it off. Don’t waste the next “minute” of your precious life wandering.

In the time you have left why not do what you’ve always said you wanted to do. Maybe you’re right where you need to be doing what you’re supposed to be doing. In that case, keep going and don’t look back. But maybe it’s time to do something new and different. You don’t need a bucket full of courage to get where you want to go, only a drop or two is enough to take your next step.

Don’t be that person who wants things to be different AND nothing to change. To get something new requires doing something new. Why not go where you’ve always wanted to go. Do what you believe to be the next right thing. Spend it with people who bring you joy. It’s time to move forward.

To read Part 2 of Your Life in One Day, click here: https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/your-life-in-one-day-part-2/ 

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Dan’s book is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version. For special offers visit http://www.CoachDanHolland.com/

 

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