Carey Green | coach | entrepreneur | speaker | mentor http://careygreen.com Moving You Forward, Breaking You Free Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:18:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 I’ve never seen a happy runner http://careygreen.com/ive-never-seen-a-happy-runner/ Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:05:48 +0000 http://careygreen.com/?p=6887

If you are a runner, I don’t mean to offend…

But I have noticed that runners never look happy while they are running.

Sweat. Grimmaces. Outright painful expressions.

That’s what I typically see when I pass them on the road.

For a long time, it’s kept me from seriously considering running as a way to keep myself fit.

That and the fact that I have never enjoyed running – not since that time our coach in Middle School gym class made us run laps the whole class.

But I’ve realized that I’m believing a lie – and I’m applying it to running.

What’s the lie? I think it comes in various forms. Here are a few examples..

If it’s not easy or doesn’t feel good to you, don’t do it.

Enjoyment is most important.

You can have what you want without doing the work to accomplish it.

That last one, in particular, is a killer… and it’s everywhere in our day.

A few days back I heard someone make the observation that we in the Western world live in a time in history when we don’t have to struggle for much in the way of basic necessities.

• The majority of us have food-o-plenty.

• We have a roof over our heads.

• None of us is walking around naked (at least not because we don’t have clothes).

We don’t have to struggle for what we want in the most basic areas of life and that can (and apparently does) lead us to think that all of life should be that way.

But it’s not. Clearly.

Nevertheless, we buy the lie without thinking (like I have, about running) and live as if it IS true.

So, I’ve started running.

On the treadmill. Down my street and back. On purpose.

I’m doing it as a mental exercise – like lifting weights to gain muscle I’m pushing myself into something I don’t particularly enjoy in order to build a stronger mindset and ultimately to break the power of the lie.

• I want my WILL to be stronger than petty likes and dislikes.

• I want my commitment to doing what is BEST to outweigh my desire for ease.

So, I’m one of those unhappy-looking runners now.

And I AM happy about it.

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What’s your current struggle to THINK right so you can DO right? I’d love to pray for you, so hit “reply” and let me know.

Cheers!

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So goes the war: The battlefield of the mind http://careygreen.com/so-goes-the-war-the-battlefield-of-the-mind/ Mon, 10 Jul 2017 13:19:48 +0000 http://careygreen.com/?p=6878

It IS a war, you know? There really is a battlefield of the mind.

If you are on my daily encouragement email list, then you know that a few days back I shared with you how I’ve been acting irritable and defensive – and how my wife has been calling me on it (she’s good at that, in a good way).

At the end of that email, I told you what I was going to do to try and address the issue and that I’d give you an update.

This is that. 🙂

I finally got a new journal and wrote the following statement – a full page of it – on the first day.

I am a kind, patient, and curious person because of the Holy Spirit of God who IS my life.

It reminded me of the punishment teachers would give in elementary school – having a student write out something on the chalkboard 100 times, “I will NOT call Suzy a cootie-factory…

But it struck me as WAY more important than that – way more POSITIVE.

In writing out that sentence I’m declaring the truth about myself, what God says is true of me. I’m aggressively stepping into the battlefield of the mind.

From what I understand about the way the brain works in conjunction with the mind, focused attention like that, repeated over time, DOES soak in (for lack of a better term) and slowly begins to change beliefs and therefore the actions that flow from them.

I’m only 3 days into it at this point… but am optimistic about what can come of this new practice/habit/discipline thing.

And to be clear – I don’t see this as some kind of “Life hack” or trick.

I see it as a way to make use of the way God has designed me – body, soul, and spirit – to maximize my growth.

And in case it’s not clear, I feel I should also point out that behind this effort is a belief – GROWTH IS INTENTIONAL – at least the kind of growth I’m talking about here (beating a bad habit/response).

We are told to “put to death the deeds of the flesh” (Romans 10:13). That sounds pretty intentional to me.

The battlefield of the mind is real.

So… I’ll update you more as I get deeper into this thing – but would like to hear your thoughts about what I’ve done so far.

Does it sound helpful? Why or why not?

Is it something you’d be willing to try? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience.

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How The Power of Belief Works To Amplify Your Life http://careygreen.com/how-the-power-of-belief-works-to-amplify-your-life/ Thu, 08 Jun 2017 14:01:26 +0000 http://www.careygreen.com/?p=6586

I think you’ll agree that the power of belief is a bit mysterious.

There are millions of questions we could ask. Here is a sampling:

  • What IS belief?
  • Is it different for each person or is there an objective reality behind it?
  • Why is belief easy for some people and excruciatingly hard for others?
  • How can an individual change, improve, and use the power of belief?

Like I said, there are millions of questions. And I can’t answer all of them.

But I have spent a significant amount of time pondering, observing, learning a bit, and applying what I’ve seen – and I believe I can help.

So, regarding the power of belief, I’m going to…

  1. Show you why and how our beliefs underly everything we feel, think, and do
  2. Explain how even your negative feelings can be impacted and overruled by belief
  3. Show you how truth-based beliefs, applied diligently, can change the outcomes you experience in life.

Ready? Let’s get started.

POWER OF BELIEF - DESIGN DETERMINES FUNCTION

We don’t expect a computer to operate like a car.

Why?

Because it’s a computer, not a car.

Computers compute. Cars drive.

The two are designed differently which results in differing functions.

They were each made to specifically do what they do.

As human beings, created in the image of God, we operate according to the same principle.

It all begins with our wiring (that’s my way of saying it). It’s the way we human beings are designed by our Maker.

And if we can understand the basics of how we are designed as human beings – we’ll be able to understand more of how we function AS human beings.

And that’s something worth knowing when it comes to the power of belief.

Diving into the unseen

There’s a part of us that is hidden, unseen – what some biblical authors call the “inner man.” That term is fine but I lean toward referring to it as the soul.

We’ll take the time to dissect the particulars of what makes up the soul in a later post, but for now, it’s enough to say that nobody can see it, not even us.

But even though it’s unseen, the soul is ESSENTIAL to how we function as human beings made in the image of our Creator.

I believe that the soul is the realm of belief – so you can see why we’re talking about this.

That statement may strike you odd – we tend to think of belief as a function of the mind or the brain – and that’s right.

But the soul is where mind, will, and emotion reside – in fact, mind, will, and emotion are what make up the soul.

It’s in the soul that those three aspects of our personality intersect in a complex stew of human messiness (most of the time).

They are the sum of who we are.

But it’s also where the beauty of being “fearfully and wonderfully made” is most apparent (Psalm 139:14).

Here’s how I see it… on the bottom half of the diagram…

believe - think - feel - act - 1

Take a minute to look at the bottom half of the diagram. You’ll notice that belief and thinking are shown as two separate things.

That’s because it appears that they ARE different things.

Beliefs are foundational. They are at the core of how we function.

Yet, we aren’t always aware that they even exist.

And they dictate the way we interact with the people and circumstances we face in life.

You see the beliefs of the people around you expressed every day.

  • Why does she respond so dramatically to everything?
  • He’s always bragging about his accomplishments. Why?
  • She hardly ever asks about me. Conversations always wind up being about her struggles.
  • It’s always somebody else’s fault in his mind. He’s always the victim.

The power of belief, that’s why. 😉

And it doesn’t matter if the beliefs are true or not.

It doesn’t even matter if they are based in reality or fantasy.

What we believe necessarily dictates how we interact with the world around us.

How does it work?

The power of belief manifests in our lives like this…

believe - think - feel - act

Let’s pick something common to illustrate how it works: Let’s say you tend to believe that other people don’t like you.

There may be legitimate reasons for you to believe it. There may not be.

Regardless of how or why, you believe it.

#1 – It all STARTS with belief.

So, to play out our imaginary situation let’s say that you walk into a room and see a handful of people you know.

A couple of them smile at you. One of them even waves.

But there’s another person, a woman, who you don’t know well but you do know her.

She glances up at you then continues the conversation she’s in.

#2 – You immediately begin to think something about her actions BASED ON what you already believe.

“She doesn’t like me. She’s never really liked me. I wonder why?”

Because her response is filtered through your preconceived belief, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll examine what you’re thinking.

It resonates with what is already “true” in your belief system, so why question it?

So you keep asking the pointless questions that will only lead you to a worse place…

This is where your beliefs begin to manifest in the outward world, where their effect can be seen.

#3 – Feelings rise that validate what you already believe and think.

Your emotions are responders, plain and simple.

They respond to what you think, which comes from your beliefs.

Your emotions aren’t bad or good – they are simply responses.

So… since you BELIEVE that people don’t like you… and you THINK that the woman who glanced at you doesn’t like you, and her quick glance confirms that to you…

… you begin to FEEL upset about her response.

You may be hurt. You might become angry.

But your emotions respond in alignment with what you think, because of what you believe.

And it happens this way EVERY TIME.

#4 – Actions flow out of what you feel, based on what you already believe and think.

Since your beliefs and your thoughts and the corresponding emotions have convinced you from the inside-out that what you believe is true, you act on it.

You typically can’t help but act on it.

You may give the woman the cold shoulder.

You may glare at her all evening.

You might give in to insecurity and withdraw from everyone, extrapolating your beliefs about her actions to be demonstrative of the way everyone feels about you.

You might overcompensate by becoming boisterous, trying to be the life of the party so everyone WILL like you.

You could leave immediately to go home and pout.

But the truth is that your actions flow out of your feelings, which respond to your thoughts, which are based on what you already believe.

And it all combines based on the particulars of the circumstance you find yourself in. And all of this happens in nanoseconds.

At the root of this domino-effect process is this truth: Your BELIEFS RUN THE SHOW.

See, that’s not so complicated. 😉

Your life is amplified by the power of what you believe.

It could happen in a negative way – like in the situation above.

It could happen in a positive way – for example, if you refused to believe that the woman’s action represents anything except that she didn’t think about her actions at all, or she’s engrossed in a gripping conversation, or she’s just as insecure and uncomfortable in crowds as you are.

But as a follower of Christ, there’s an additional, vital question to consider:

Is this believe-think-feel-act process happening in a way that amplifies Jesus’ work in your life, giving glory to Him and aligning you with His purposes for you? Or is it doing the exact opposite?

THAT is the thing that matters.

The good news is that you are not a victim of your preconceived beliefs.

  • Beliefs can be examined.
  • Beliefs can be changed to align with truth (not what you feel or have learned to believe).
  • Those new beliefs can lead you to better, greater, more Christ-honoring thoughts and actions (and sometimes, even feelings).

And YOU get to decide whether it will happen that way or not.

Yes, the Holy Spirit is in you. Yes, he could transform all of this and make you a perfectly Christ-like person in your beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions – on the spot.

But He typically does the work through the means of your faith-based determination.

As you BELIEVE (there’s that word again) that He has already made you an overcomer (Romans 8:37), a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), one who is inhabited by the King of the universe (Galatians 2:20)…

Then you begin the work of THINKING on that level, understanding what it means for you practically in the relationships and day to day activities of life…

Then you may begin to FEEL you are something more, a victorious child of the King, a co-laborer with Him in making a difference in the world…

Then you have the opportunity to ACT “as if” all of that is true. Because it is.

The power of belief is that it is what enables us to embrace God’s reality, to see the world (and our role in it) as He sees it.

As you and I come to understand that and apply it practically – THEN we get to see the new creation we really are come to life and become a blessing.

I find myself in need of reminders about this process, this truth – regularly.

One of the most effective ways for me is through music – and there are certain bands that are particularly effective at helping me out. Switchfoot is one of them.

Here’s a song right along the lines of this topic. I encourage you to ponder the lyrics – and be careful you don’t hear them saying “Self-effort is the key.” That’s NOT what they are saying.

The message is simple…

Don’t let the beliefs of the past keep you from fulfilling God’s future. You get to choose.

Enjoy.

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Why Lack of Clarity About Goals Leads To Certain Failure [BT #2] http://careygreen.com/why-lack-of-clarity-about-goals-leads-to-certain-failure-bt-2/ Thu, 18 May 2017 16:00:31 +0000 http://www.careygreen.com/?p=6579

I hate lack of clarity… I just hate it!

Relationships are built on the foundation of clarity – whether in your personal life or in your business. Think about it…

  • Marriage partners HAVE to understand each other in order to love each other well.
  • Business teams HAVE to be on the same page when it comes to processes, direction, systems, delivery – if they are going to succeed.
  • Clients HAVE to possess the right expectations of what you’re going to provide to prevent you digging a hole for yourself and your company.

And ALL of that requires clarity.

A lack of clarity not only impacts relationships, it impacts how effectively you are able to reach your goals.

Think about your business dreams for a moment. What are they?

More customers?

More revenue?

Scaling?

More exposure to the experts in your niche?

What are you doing to reach those goals? Are you just sitting there hoping they happen?

That is NOT going to cut it – not only as it applies to business but also in life.

You can dream up all the incredible, far-fetched, impossible goals you want – but if you LACK CLARITY on the following two things you’re going to miss your goals every – single – time.

What ARE the two areas?

  1. Clarity on what the achievement of your goals will LOOK LIKE in real life.
  2. Clarify on how you are going to attain that outcome.

Let’s take a look at each of those briefly…

Lack of clarity about what your goals WILL LOOK LIKE.

You’ve heard the quote from Zig Ziglar,

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.

Zig Ziglar - aim at nothing

The Zig-meister himself

It’s a witty truism.

But it’s a truism BECAUSE is is true.

Zig was talking about a lack of clarity.

If YOU don’t know what you’re aiming for, who will?

And it goes for every area of your life – relationships, business, family life, etc.

So take some time to clarify your goals. Be specific.

  • What is it you want to achieve?
  • What will it look like, smell like, taste like, feel like? (I know, that’s an odd way to talk about it – but it helps, trust me)
  • What benefits come from reaching it?
  • Who will be impacted by it, positively and negatively?
  • Why is it important?

If you don’t clearly understand what it’s going to look like when you reach your goals you’ll have a hard time knowing if you should celebrate or not – because you won’t know if you’ve really reached them.

So get some clarity on where you are headed.

Lack of clarity about how you are going to REACH your goals.

This is the piece you hear the most about in goal-setting conversations – and for good reason.

If you don’t have a clear path to your goals, they are not goals – they are dreams. Wishes. Wants.

Think of it as charting a course on a map to a destination you want to reach. You will NEVER get there by wandering, only by knowing where you are headed and determining the path to get there.

So… the way I do this is through a process I call “Regressive Goal Setting.”

  • START with your goal.
  • STEP BACK one step prior to its completion and determine what would need to happen to get from that step, to the goal.
  • STEP BACK one more step, do the same thing.
  • Repeat over and over until you to WHERE YOU ARE NOW.

It sounds laborious, I know. That’s because it is.

But it’s important that you get clarity on HOW you are going to get to your destination.

lack of clarity will kill your goals - here's a great way to prevent it

Here’s an image of the sticky note goal board thingie – for those of you who are a bit more visual. (click to see a larger image)

Another way I’ve done this in the past (which is very helpful) is this…

  1. Use a white board.
  2. Get a couple of pads of sticky notes.
  3. Do a personal “brain dump” of everything they can readily see that will contribute to reaching your goal.
  4. Write each of those things on its own sticky note.
  5. Stick them on the board.
  6. Go get a cup of coffee, a sandwich, whatever – clear your mind.
  7. Come back and brainstorm again, trying to see things you missed the first time.
  8. When you think you’re done – sequence them according to the order they need to be accomplished – stick them on the board sequentially.

What I LOVE about this process is…

  • It’s in front of you on the wall at all times.
  • You can add new things that come to mind or that you discover as you are working the sequence – without having to erase or entirely redo your sequence.
  • You can take the note/step you’re currently working on and stick it on your computer screen or desk until it’s completed.
  • Then you can replace it on the board, remove the next one, and get to work on it.

You’ve got a clear road map. You’ve got the ability to adjust it as you go. You’ve got the ability to SEE your progress easily and clearly.

Wow – maybe I like this one MORE than the other. Isn’t that funny, I’ve convinced myself. 😉

Tweet this to someone you love:

Do you see how a lack of clarity can kill your goals?

It’s a lot of work – no doubt.

It’s going to require time. Yep.

You’re going to have to expend some mental energy.

But the results – OH MY FRIENDS – the results are going to be incredible.

Not only will you KNOW where you are headed and HOW you are going to get there…

YOU ARE GOING TO BE ENCOURAGED on the journey.

So.. get to work!

To wrap up here’s leadership and business expert – Ken Blanchard – speaking on the importance of having clear goals.

 

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Forgiveness of sins is REALLY possible. Even in a world that won’t call it “sin.” http://careygreen.com/forgiveness-of-sins-is-really-possible-even-in-a-world-that-wont-call-it-sin/ Tue, 16 May 2017 13:00:59 +0000 http://www.careygreen.com/?p=6445

I can say all kinds of things about my abilities,

but the only thing that proves it is when I do what I say. Right?

In this passage, Jesus said He could do something that is impossible to see – forgive sin.

How can THAT be proven in an objective way, a way that others can see?

The answer was lying before Him. The man who He’d just forgiven was also paralyzed.

So He said,

Which is easier? To say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Rise and walk?”

And to prove that He COULD do what He said (forgive sins), He commanded the man to rise and walk.

And he did.

DON’T MISS THE POINT: Jesus can and does forgive sin.

Your sin. My sin. The sin of the world.

Do you get how HUGE that is?

All of us have sinned (the Bible says so – Romans 3:23). We all bear a very real weight of guilt before God. And in one way or another we all know at least some of the negative impact that fact has on our lives.

We wrestle with self-condemnation. We struggle daily with personal insecurities. We experience the tug of war between wanting to be more than we are and feeling consigned to much less. It’s a daily emotional battle that stems from our sense of personal guilt.

Those are indicators – warning lights on the dashboard of our souls – screaming to us that we need forgiveness.

But we don’t want to admit it. We don’t want to feel “bad” about ourselves. So we enthrone self-esteem and turn away from the need to be honest with ourselves. We join the voices of our culture that minimizes sin. We categorize things the Bible clearly calls “sin” as alternative lifestyles, personal freedoms, and how we “identify.” Instead of admitting our sin and turning from it we celebrate it as who we are.

And our guilt problem gets worse.

It’s no coincidence that our bent toward normalizing sin coincides with the highest incidence of psychological and emotional struggles in the history of the world.

We are not making things better. Only Jesus can do that. And like the man in this account, we have to find a way to get to Him in spite of the obstacles.

I beg of you – as I have to urge myself every morning – turn TO Jesus. His willingness to love and forgive sinners like us is astoundingly limitless. His ability to bring true healing and fulfillment to the human soul is verfied by millions.

Which is easier? To say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Rise and walk?”

Jesus has proven that He can and will forgive sin. One day, we will all see that fact with ultimate clarity.

My prayer is that more and more of us experience it in this life, that we will learn to rise and walk.

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The Formula For Becoming Known (and why you should want to) [BT #1] http://careygreen.com/the-formula-for-becoming-known-and-why-you-should-want-to/ Thu, 11 May 2017 15:00:21 +0000 http://www.careygreen.com/?p=6566

Becoming known…

It’s what every blogger, podcaster, coach, professional, sales leader, and anybody-who’s-anybody wants these days.

It’s what personal branding and reputation management are all about.

It’s got me thinking asking a question – one that I think if not only valid to ask, but IMPORTANT to ask:

What out there in the jumble of internet and social noise is REALLY worth paying attention to?

 Listen to Anthony and Mark chat about becoming known here.

My thinking about this subject was fueled recently by a great conversation one of my clients had on his Podcast, “In The Arena.”

Anthony Iannarino and his guest, Mark Schaefer were discussing Mark’s new book, “Known.”

One of the things Mark had to share that resonated with me was this…

And THAT is the answer. THAT is how we can know what is worth listening to and what is not.

If a person is becoming known because they are truly helping, because they are changing the world for the better – then they are worth listening to, or at least noticing.

What’s the secret to becoming known in THAT way in such a noisy world?

Mark says it’s Content Creation. But there’s more to it than just creating content. Your content has to be…

  1. High quality, and
  2. Consistent

Let’s take a look at each of those for just a second.

Mark Schaefer - becoming known

Mark Schaefer, Author of “Known”

High Quality

If your content is not high quality, why SHOULD anybody pay attention?

You’re just adding to the noise, trying to steal the attention of people who have little time to spare.

You’re a…

  • huckster
  • greedmeister
  • slick salesman (in the worst sense of the world)

You’re doing the very least possible in an effort to get the most attention possible. And it simply doesn’t work like that.

At least, it SHOULDN’T.

You’ve got to add something to the world that DESERVES the attention of others. Because it’s so good, so helpful, so wonderful.

Seth Godin has a few words to say about that. You should listen.

Consistent Content

In a way you probably haven’t thought about consistency proves that you have something important to say, something worthwhile to add to whatever discussion you’re trying to inject yourself into.

Why?

It’s proof that YOU believe in what you’re saying. It’s evidence that you’re not going to shut up or give up until people see what you see.

That idea applies across the board. It doesn’t matter if you are a retirement planner or an artist.

You can have one brilliant idea – post it everywhere you know to post it – and never become known.

But if you keep posting, if you keep iterating, if you keep finding new and engaging ways to offer what you know to the world, somebody is going to notice.

And even if it’s just one “somebody,” if their life was impacted for the better you can be assured they are going to tell somebody.

And it’s your CONSISTENCY that got you there, that enabled you to become known to that one “somebody.”

THE BECOMING KNOWN FORMULA:

Quality Content X Consistency

So, do you REALLY want to become known?

I’ve just described the kind of commitment it’s going to take to get there.

Are you willing to dedicate yourself to the tired, often thankless slog of studying, thinking, writing, erasing, rewriting, recording, editing, and more that it takes to become known for the RIGHT things? Things that add true value to the world?

Don’t kid yourself. That’s EXACTLY what it’s going to take.

I know – I’ve seen it happen over and over as I’ve worked with Podcasters.

So many people start a show without counting the cost beforehand.

They underestimate the time, work, and dedication it will take to make it a successful channel through which they can get their message out.

They’re looking for “easy” not “great.” And that’s what causes them to podfade (stop podcasting).

Doing good in the world is never, never easy.  Never.

So what will it be – for you? Are you willing to become known for the sake of making a difference?

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And just for the fun of it – here’s a video from one of my favorite bands about NOT being one to just add to the noise – This is “Adding To The Noise.” Enjoy. 🙂

 

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I’m afraid of myself. Really. http://careygreen.com/im-afraid-of-myself-really/ Tue, 09 May 2017 13:00:21 +0000 http://www.careygreen.com/?p=6441

This might be the weirdest verse in the whole Bible.

Here’s the story: Jesus just freed two wild men from demonic oppression. The demons left the men and inhabited a herd of pigs, which then went crazy (whatever pig-crazy looks like) and drown themselves in a nearby lake.

When the herdsman went into the city to tell what had happened… this happened.

The people begged Jesus to LEAVE THEM.

WHY would they beg Jesus to leave when He just freed them from the terror of two demonized wild men? You’d think the people of the city would be relieved, happy, thankful. But they weren’t.

They were more afraid of Jesus than they had been of the demons.

I’ve been wracking my brain about this one. It’s hard to grasp.

I wonder if their thoughts went something like this…

“If Jesus can address the ugliness in these men with such decisive authority, what would He say or do about MY hidden junk?”

That’s when fear of exposure sets in. It’s when shame overrulues. That’s when we clamor to keep our sin hidden so the neighbors don’t know. So our spouse doesn’t know. So nobody knows.

We’d rather remain guilty in the dark than receive forgiveness in the light.

That’s like preferring to have cancer that nobody knows about than making the disease known in order to receive healing.

I don’t know if that’s it – but it’s a possibility.

We do strange things to keep up appearances. We even avoid the cure in order to hide the disease.

We are afraid of ourselves.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

“Jesus, give me the courage to seek the reality of forgiveness instead of the appearance that everything is OK.”

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The day of judgement is coming. And that’s a good thing. http://careygreen.com/the-day-of-judgement-is-coming-and-thats-a-good-thing/ Tue, 02 May 2017 13:00:04 +0000 http://www.careygreen.com/?p=6438

There are things in the world I hate. Yes, HATE.

False accusations. Slander. Starvation. Ignorance. Disease. Abuse of Power. Manipulation. Terrorism. Lies.

Inwardly, I rage against the wrong in the world. And inwardly I know I am ultimately helpless to stop it.

Do you feel the same frustration?

Many people do about a variety of things. And they do their best to spark change.

  • Marches.
  • Demonstrations.
  • Picketing.
  • Rioting.
  • Covert Ops.
  • Wars.

But human solutions are ALWAYS too little and ALWAYS short-lived.

That’s because we are unable to deal with the real problems.

The human heart is corrupt – and we live in occupied territory.

Over 2000 years ago, in human history, Jesus solved both problems.

His death and resurrection overcame the power of sin that corrupts the human heart and He condemned satan – the accuser of mankind and enemy of God.

But He patiently waits for all of us who long for something more to recognize and accept that all our railing against injustice and wrong will never defeat it. He waits for us to joyfully realize He’s our only hope of justice (2 Peter 3:9).

A final reckoning – a day of judgement is coming.

FINAL.

The enemy of God knows it (this verse demonstrates that).

But do we?

The day we long for is on the horizon. The day when Jesus will set all things straight, completing the work He’s begun.

It’s a comforting thing for victims and casualties of this broken world to know that their cause will be championed one day before the throne of the Judge of the universe.

He will pronounce sentence on all evil and injustice. Wrongs will be accounted for. Evil will be smashed.

And He will establish righteousness in its place. Forever.

Keep looking for that day. Pray for its quick arrival.

And prepare yourself. The stain of sin you bear must be accounted for, too.

As the Victor over sin and satan Jesus became the only shelter from the reckoning of the righteous Judge. He offers us His perfect life in exchange for ours.

When we agree to that exchange, He hangs our sin-stained life on the cross, forever reconciling it to God through the punishment He bore there.

And He freely gives us His life, to sustain us while we walk this planet and to enable us to stand confidently before the righteous Judge when that day comes.

Take heart. Judgement is coming.

All will be made right.

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Fear and faith – finding peace in EVERY storm http://careygreen.com/fear-and-faith-finding-peace-in-every-storm/ Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:00:20 +0000 http://www.careygreen.com/?p=6434

What exactly IS fear? Jesus says it is lack of faith.

☆ Fear focuses on circumstances. Faith focuses on the reality of God IN the circumstance.

That’s the key. Can I ask you to keep reading so I an explain? It won’t take long, I promise. 🙂

God – Creator of the universe and our FATHER – is present in every circumstance, working in it for our good and His glory. The eyes of faith seek to see THAT reality and believe it, more than anything happening in this present life.

Even as I type those words I know how naive it can sound to people who have suffered abuse, injustice, or tragic loss. It’s nearly impossible to believe that our good God is present in the moment when unspeakable evil is being done.

Nearly.

But what’s the alternative?

That God was absent? That He didn’t know it was happening? That He was powerless to prevent or stop it? Those options aren’t options at all – or else God isn’t God.

That’s what makes faith such an unnatural/supernatural thing.

Faith looks deeper, it searches for what’s going on behind the scenes of our worst experiences. And it believes that God is gloriously present even when it is unable to see how – not because faith is naive or guilty of “wishful thinking” in spite of very real horrors – but because God PROMISES He is present and active in every nightmare situation of life.

That is what enables fear to give way to faith.

Sometimes throughout life, God graciously pulls back the curtain to SHOW US that He is present and active in every situation and He gives sight to our faith in those moments.

That’s what happened in this biblical story.

The disciples were stressing over a storm and the danger it posed to them. That’s natural. You and I would have been afraid just like they were.

But Jesus slept. He not only SAW the reality of God’s presence, He WAS the presence of God in that terrifying moment. He knew and believed that while the disciples didn’t – yet.

And STOP for a moment to notice their difference in responses to the storm as a result of their belief or lack of it.

And when Jesus was shaken from His sleep by the hands of fearful disciples, He graciously gave them a peek behind the curtain of the situation by commanding the weather into a state of peacefulness.

It was astounding to them. It was unthinkable, yet true. God actually WAS present in the midst of their terror. In fact, He was closer than they realized.

I get that painful, horrible, unthinkably evil experiences make belief hard. But I also get the fact that God Himself – who does not lie – promises that He is present and actively working for our good in those times (Romans 8:28). And here, Jesus graciously shows us how true it is through putting us into the boat with His disciples.

The kind of faith Jesus is encouraging BELIEVES and trusts that He is good and present even when it isn’t visibly apparent. Even when the circumstance is a storm that threatens to overwhelm us in every way.

Especially then.

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Perhaps the hardest mindset shift I’ve ever had to make http://careygreen.com/perhaps-the-hardest-mindset-shift-ive-ever-had-to-make/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.careygreen.com/?p=6431

One of the hardest mindset shifts I’ve ever had to make has crept into my life over the past 3 years.

I USED TO think along the line of what we often hear in our culture.

“You need to find your calling and pursue it.”

Living according to that philosophy I’ve incessantly wondered if I’m “on track.” I’ve felt like a failure at times because it feels like I’m always missing that REALLY important thing I’m supposed to do.

I won’t deny that there is an idea of “calling” in the Bible. We see it clearly in the lives of many of the heroes in the Bible (Moses is an obvious example. The Apostle Paul is another.). So it follows that God will do that same kind of thing in the lives of SOME people.

SOME people. Definitely not all.

I’ve learned that it’s a mistake to make a pattern for my life out of what God did or does in the lives of others – even biblical figures.

Read that again if you need to. It’s true.

So what’s the alternative? It’s what is reflected in this verse.

Jesus says, “Follow Me.”

  • My job is not to ask “How? In what specific way? Through what niche or area of gifting am I to follow?”
  • My job is simply to follow – day by day, moment by moment, AS JESUS REVEALS where He’s going.

It’s a relational thing.

It’s an intimate thing that REQUIRES moment by moment connection with the one doing the leading.

I have to watch and listen. I have to truly SEE my daily world and the people in it, instead of passing through on the way to a “greater” destination – somewhere, out there.

It requires an attitude of willingness and humility that compels me to do what Jesus instructs me to do – anytime, in the moment, even if I don’t think it fits my gifting or bent or preferences or sense of “calling.”

And if I’m going to do that, I have to be convinced that His motives are ALWAYS good and right and I have to believe that His wisdom is impeccable.

Even though His instruction to me may at times be uncomfortable or even painful, I’m not shaken because I trust HIM.

The result of this mindset shift?

Now the pressure’s off. I’m not stressing about tomorrow (at least not as much). The expectation that I’m supposed to be doing something “more” with my life is diminishing.

I’m learning to simply walk with my Savior – to listen – and to act as He speaks.

And I’m able to live thankfully, in increasing confidence, and growing peace.

I’d love to hear how this concept resonates with you (or not) in the comments below.

🙂 Have a great day, friends.

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