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Prayer For Young People

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I have a HUGE prayer that I’m lifting up to our Almighty God. Millennials and Generation Z individuals have left and are leaving God’s church in big numbers across the US. All believers can come up with lists for why some do: well-meaning older people tell these individuals they “need more faith’, someone use religious practices against them, they don’t feel close to God in the church environment their parents did, and many more.

My prayer is that regardless of why someone left the church or has never been a part of it, that they are reached by someone godly and righteous that can discuss on the individual’s level why a relationship with Jesus can change their life and also love them like Jesus loves everyone. Sometimes all it takes is listening to someone about their issues with church to find out they have been hurt or left underserved. I pray that we reach the unreached and underreached for Jesus.

I feel moved because I’ve been reading this whitepaper: https://www.millennialswhitepaper.com/ and I’m an older millennial myself. I didn’t feel God moving in me while growing up in the Catholic church. I felt the ‘Catholic Guilt’ and shame because I didn’t have biblical knowledge like others even though I should have. I didn’t feel that the church helped me desire a close relationship with Jesus, just wanted me to have head knowledge. I don’t fault the Catholic Church for this, but it’s one example of where people can attend church but not build a relationship with Jesus and could cause them to leave the church. For everyone who has left the church, they HAVE A STORY WHY THEY DID. Are we willing to listen to it honestly?

I pray that we help these individuals reach Jesus by helping them on their walk. If someone wants to attend church service with you, THAT”S AWESOME! But what if they are afraid to do so, or don’t like the church you attend? I pray that we meet people’s individual needs to meet and follow Jesus. Maybe that means connecting them with your friends that attend a different church that this individual will feel more comfortable in, helping them find podcasts and blogs of churches and church leaders that will speak to them where they currently are, or just speaking with them over time and ministering to them yourself until they are healed enough to attend a church service somewhere.

I know inviting people to church can change their life so please do it, but if someone isn’t there yet then be like Jesus and serve them where they are and help them grow their curiosity, love, and desire for Jesus. Don’t assume because someone says they are not going to church that there’s nothing else you can do for them. Pray for them, love them, and help them.

Review: 30 Days to Understanding the Bible

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Reading the Bible can be intimidating for anyone, from those who are new to knowing God, to even to those who’ve attended church for decades.

Regardless of your reason for wanting to know the Bible better, I highly encourage reading 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders. This book gives a great walk through of the all the books in the Bible, in an easy to understand way. Anders does a great job of breaking down the Bible between the Old and New Testament, and covering other important teachings in the Bible:

Old/New Testament

  • Structure of the Old/New Testament
  • Timelines in history of the books
  • Geography of stories
  • Important Era’s, Figures, Locations and Storylines

Other Teachings

  • Ten Doctrines of the Bible
  • Teaching Plan
  • Miracles in the Bible
  • Parables of Jesus
  • Prophecies in the Bible

Overall, this book is a great read for those who want to understand more of what they read in the Bible. It’s an invaluable guide to understand the makeup of the Bible before, during, or after you’ve read God’s Word.

Review: Everybody Always

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Everybody Always is another engaging read from Bob Goff. I believe this book far exceeds Bob’s earlier writing of Love Does, using personal stories that anger the reader when learning of Bob’s unfortunate vandalism of his rental car and loss of property, to thoroughly rooting for a former witch doctor.

I feel that learned a lot about Bob from this book, both from a personal side with his great stories of being there for his sick neighbor and serving her well, and learning about his service to Uganda. It’s amazing to me that with all the travel and items on Bob’s itinerary he still put’s his phone number in the back of this book for anyone to call him.

I believe that if you read Everybody Always you’ll be half tempted to call Bob after you finish the book and thank him for putting into writing his memories, Go focused thoughts, and encouragement. The world could use more Bob Goff’s and my prayer is that you’ll read this fine publication and think about how you can encourage others each day.

Review: Love Does

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Some authors write in a way that make you want to continue reading a book even when you need to stop and do something important, and that describes Bob Goff. In Love Does, Goff does a great job of telling short stories in each chapter that keep the reader engaged and giving their mind something new to chew on every few pages.

I find it refreshing to read about Goff’s adventures in the book, and Chapter 21 is one of many examples. Bob’s wife had his hearing tested early in their marriage because she thought he had hearing issues, but as it turned out Bob was just selectively listening to his wife! While some may not find that funny, Bob does a good job of comparing his selective hearing with his spouse and selectively listening to God. At times I think most people selectively listen to God and this chapter encouraged me to think through that part of my life.

The stories in his book, like the one listed above, do a great job of making readers laugh and question how they relate to Goff. If you’re one who likes a good read and also likes being challenged to think about your faith with God, then Love Does is a good read for you.

Yeshua Our Redeemer

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I watched the movie Risen on Easter, as I hadn’t viewed it before and was intrigued. I was curious to find out how the plot would unfold through the backstory of a non-believing military tribune.

IMO the movie was well done, and I was moved by the continued theme of leaving violence in the past and leading people with love, the message Jesus brought his followers.

Ultimately like Christ followers of today, the tribune experienced the love and life change of Jesus, or Yeshua as they called Him in the movie. “Yeshua (ישוע, with vowel pointing יֵשׁוּעַ – yēšūă‘ in Hebrew) was a common alternative form of the name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (“Yehoshua” – Joshua) in later books of the Hebrew Bible and among Jews of the Second Temple period. The name corresponds to the Greek spelling Iesous (Ἰησοῦς), from which, through the Latin Iesus, comes the English spelling Jesus.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Near the end of the movie after the tribune has abandoned his post he is shown traveling with the Apostles to find Jesus. The tribune has a choice of killing his former second in command to avoid capture or be caught. Instead he chooses love and states “there’s no enemies here” and leads the Apostles to safety without violence.

Just like Yeshua taught his followers over 2,000 years ago to lead with love, we’re called to love and even pray for our enemies. While it’s not easy to do I’m slowly starting to see how if God can redeem my sins by sacrificing his own Son, then I can forgive others.

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25

I Figured Out My Personal Growth Process!

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I finally did it, I figured out my Growth Process and why I have ups and downs when it comes to personal growth! I was reading The Decision Book, an admittedly nerdy book that discusses 50 different models for strategic thinking (a lot of graphs and theory). One of the models I came across was The Flow Model.

The Flow Model.

In a nutshell The Flow Model describes how a person wants to be happy (don’t we all), and how if we are aren’t challenged then it can lead to Boreout (getting so bored you check out). If you’re challenged too long/much you can suffer from Burnout. Everyone has heard of Burnout, but Boreout really resonated with me for a few different reasons.

When it comes to work I want to be continually challenged, which is typically for many experienced business owners like myself (winning at work is in my blood). While it’s healthy to want to work hard and succeed in my career, it becomes a challenge in itself to be challenged continually in a corporate role for people like me. I was doing some reflecting this weekend and realized my bosses haven’t had to micromanage me or worry about my performance as much as others in the organizations I’ve been in. While this is great that I can be trusted to get the job done, it usually means my development and growth is left up to me, as my boss is usually busy developing other people who ‘need it more’.

So where does that leave me? I’m not mad that I get less development coaching than others, but I have to be very intentional around my personal growth, because no one else will prioritize it for me. In my lazy movements I sometimes dream about coasting for a few weeks at a time, as no one would notice I’m not growing as long as I keep my good performance image up, but that just isn’t me. I NEED challenges to be happy, per The Flow Model as I’ve recently discovered. It’s refreshing to have a model that I can reference to explain to people where I need guidance and why I feel the way I do when it comes to my professional development.

Hope for the Hopeless

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Have you ever felt helpless, hopeless, or lost? I hope not, but if you answered yes then you know after escaping whatever caused that feeling in your life you don’t want to return.

My hope is that everyone would band together and give hope to those who have no hope today; children in third world countries.

Compassion International is a great group that I work with to help children have hope for their future. I sponsor a beautiful little Maria in Brazil and a handsome little Yosimar in Peru! It is rewarding to read the letters I get from them and empowering to build into them with words of encouragement I send back to them.

I encourage everyone reading this to help a hopeless child today by supporting them here.

With love, Josh

Sharing Your Ambition

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A man watching sunset from an observation post

I get a lot of inspiration in life by reading, listening to podcasts, and conversing with others. Knowledge attainment and application really matter to me. So, as happens often, I was inspired by a recent podcast by Bob Goff, “Dream Big – Always Have a Few Dreams Cooking“.

Goff has become an inspiration to me recently as I’ve read his books Love Does and Everyone Always. Bob has such a way of encouraging and motivating people to do something good for others and strive for your passion.

On the podcast episode above I was introduced to the Dream Big podcast and their mission of getting people to pursue and share their ambitions. By the end of the episode I was excited as I was thinking through my recent ambitions and how I could share them with others.

One of my ambitions is to build into others and see them grow, so one of the first things I wanted to do was write this blog post about ambition to hopefully encourage others!

So what is YOUR ambition? When was the last time you thought about it intentionally and let it engulf your mind?

Next, what SCARES you about your ambition? Will people make fun of you for it if they found it? Will it stretch your skillset to make it happen?

Lastly, who CAN you tell about your ambition? Not everyone should post their ambition online for many reasons. But who CAN you share your ambition with that will listen, encourage you, and give you ideas on how to get there?

While it can be intimidating to share your ambitions with others, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and do it today! You never know how being intentional about chasing your ambition can lead to things you never dreamed of.

Review: The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth

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Personal growth is important in one’s life to achieve the currently unachievable, unreachable, or unattainable. While it may not be possible to grow yourself in every possible way, it is important to have a growth mindset to focus on growing where possible to increase your performance in life.

John Maxwell’s book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth is a great read to challenge one wishing to grow themselves. Below I’ve listed some of my favorite Laws of Growth from the book.

  • Law of Intentionality – I find it fascinating how many people expect to make changes without being intentional about it. Whether you want to change your diet, work habits, or how you go about life you should be intentional about changing the way you think and operate to cause the change to happen and stick.
  • Law of Pain – Pain isn’t always a bad thing. Yes, breaking your arm hurts because it isn’t natural and you should get that fixed, but when it comes to growing you may feel pain as well. You might feel the pain of hunger when starting a diet, the pain of friction in relationships as you change what you accept in life, or pain from your legs as your exercise more. Many changes can cause mental or physical pain that can either keep you stuck or be seen as a natural barrier to break down as you grow.
  • Law of Curiosity – I’ve seen too many professionals become good at their jobs and then they stop being curious. While it’s good to ‘arrive’ in your career and be good at it, it’s always important to remain curious. You never know what changes in your field may do to your chosen role. If you stay where you’re at instead of staying curious and learning new skills you may end up having to go job searching.
  • Law of Modeling – You can only go so far by yourself. Having a mentor or ‘model’ is important when one wants to grow. Why recreate the wheel when you are striving to grow in your job? Find an example of someone who has done what you are trying to accomplish and model that person’s growth yourself!

After reading this book I believe the reader will walk away with a list of items to chew on that will feed into their future growth. While a lot of Maxwell’s books are aimed at the working professional, anyone can use the Laws listed in this book for personal growth as well.

Review: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

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I think it’s important in the workplace (if you participate in it) to acknowledge that people work harder and are more motivated when given appreciation.

In the spirit of getting better at showing appreciation to my co-workers I was intrigued by the book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.

Without giving away the whole meat and potatoes of the book I’ll list the 5 Languages with some of my thoughts around them.

  • Words of Affirmation – Some people are very driven by verbal recognition of their work, efforts, and attitude. It can be a struggle for me to remember to encourage others in this way, but I think it’s important to do so, if for no other reason than to lift someone’s spirits.
  • Quality Time – Some people desperately crave time with their boss, co-worker, or others in the office to connect, think through ideas, or just catch up on what’s going on in the office. While this can obviously be abused by people who don’t want to do their job and rather socialize on the clock, it’s important to give people who need quality time the attention they need to feel valued and do their job well.
  • Acts of Service – Some people appreciate being helped with tasks at work, it shows you care for them. It’s important to remember that people who appreciate acts of service may still want the tasks at hand you assist with done their way, not yours. Helping in a different way than they’re used to, or at the wrong time may actually put the person behind schedule if they have to redo your work.
  • Tangible Gifts – Some people appreciate gifts that speak to them. Making sure you give an appropriate gift that the person would actually use and appreciate is a gift, a man may not appreciate tickets to a woman’s talk show for example. While gifts are appreciated don’t go overboard, or you could alienate people not receiving them at the time.
  • Physical Touch – This one is a ‘touchy’ subject, as going too far could land you in trouble. Some people do appreciate a high five, fist bump, pat on the back, or other subtle gesture showing you appreciate them, are excited to be with them, or are worried about them. Just be careful you don’t go too afar, or worse yet, use physical touch if you’re not sure how the person will take it.

Overall, I think this book is a great read for those who want to show appreciation to others in the workplace and want to understand ways people different from themselves expect to receive appreciation.