Uphill Or Downhill?

…And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice (Philippians 1:18).

Paul is in prison, yet he tells his friends that he is choosing to rejoice. Wow! 

Not only that, but this same imprisoned man also reminds his friends to…

  • … let their joy in Jesus overflow 
  • … conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ
  • … continue to have a servant’s attitude like Jesus
  • … don’t give in to complaining or arguing 
  • … look out for the interests of other people 
  • … rejoice in the Lord
  • … don’t rest on their laurels
  • … forget the past and press on toward the future 

John Maxwell has noted that most people have uphill dreams but downhill habits. That is definitely not a winning combination! 

Paul is making his friends aware of the possible downhill habits that may hold them back from their uphill dreams, and using himself as an example. This first step—awareness—is vital if we are going to break free of the things that are pulling us away from our God-given dreams. 

Solomon wrote, “The path of life leads UPWARD for the prudent to keep them from GOING DOWN to the realm of the dead” (Proverbs 15:24). 

Being prudent is saying, “I’m always on the lookout for what’s best.” 

None of us can go UP by ignoring our downhill habits, or even trying to coast through life. The only way to achieve our uphill dreams is to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal our downhill habits so that we can make a plan to turn those around. 

Check out these characteristics that Paul shares—

Downhill Habit              Uphill Habit
Complaining                    Rejoicing (4:4)
Selfishness                      Gentleness (4:5)
Worrying                         Praying (4:6a)
Grumbling                       Giving thanks (4:6b)
Fixing it myself                Giving it to God (4:6c)
Idle thoughts                   Thinking about my thinking (4:8)
Making my own way         Getting a mentor / partner (4:9)
Being discontent              Being content (4:11-12)
Trying to be self-made     Striving to be Christ-reliant (4:13)

A good prayer for all of us who have uphill dreams that we want to achieve—Holy Spirit, reveal to me my downhill habits. I acknowledge that I need Your help to see and break these habits. Then help me to replace them with Christ-honoring uphill habits that will allow me to achieve the purpose God has for my life.

9 Quotes From “Chase The Lion”

chase-the-lionI loved Chase The Lion by Mark Batterson! Before even reading the first chapter, I was already captured by the Lion Chaser’s Manifesto, and the book only got better from there. Please check out my review of this amazing book, and then check out the first batch of quotes below.

“At the end of our lives, our greatest regrets will be the God-ordained opportunities we left on the table, the God-given passions we didn’t pursue, and the God-sized dreams we didn’t go after because we let fear dictate our decisions.”

“It’s not just our sin that we need to repent of. It’s our small dreams. The size of your dream may be the most accurate measure of the size of your God. Is He bigger than your biggest problem, your worst failure, your greatest mistake? Is He able to do immeasurably more than all you can ask or imagine? A God-sized dream will always be beyond your ability, beyond your resources. Unless God does it, it cannot be done! But that’s how God gets the glory. If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small. It also falls short of God’s glory by not giving Him an opportunity to show up and show off His power.”

“We don’t die when our hearts stop beating. We die when our hearts stop skipping a beat in pursuit of our dreams. We die when our hearts stop breaking for the things that break the heart of God.”

“Impossible odds set the stage for God’s greatest miracles! And apparently God loves long shots. Isn’t that why He removed 9,700 soldiers from Gideon’s army? Isn’t that why He let the fiery furnace be heated seven times hotter? Isn’t that why He didn’t show up until Lazarus was four days dead? … We tend to avoid situation where the odds are against us, but when we do, we rob God of the opportunity to do something supernatural.”

“Get into God’s Word, and God’s dream will get into you.”

“When we fail to take action, we forfeit the future. Make no mistake: just as inaction is an action, indecision is a decision.”

“One misstep can end a dream journey. That doesn’t mean you operate in a spirit of fear. It does mean you operate in a spirit of focus!”

“In my humble opinion, no one is a natural. Sure, some people are more naturally gifted than others. But unless that giftedness is coupled with a complementary work ethic, it’ll only result in wasted potential.”

“I don’t believe our greatest shortcoming is not feeling bad enough about what we’ve done wrong. I think our greatest shortcoming is not feeling good enough about what God has done right. When we undercelebrate, we fall short of the glory of God!”

In the very near future I will be sharing more quotes from this book. To make sure you see them, put your email address in the box to the right and click “Sign me up.” I’ll make sure you’re the first to know when new content is posted.

Also be sure to follow me on Twitter and Tumblr, where daily I share quotes from Mark Batterson and other inspirational authors.

The Lion Chaser’s Manifesto

Just started reading Chase The Lion by Mark Batterson. Already hooked at this opening page!

Lion Chaser's ManifestoQuit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.

Run to the roar.
Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-given passions.
Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.
Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution.
Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.
Face your fears. Fight for your dreams.
Grab opportunity by the mane and don’t let go!
Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.
Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God.
Don’t let fear dictate your decisions.
Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails.
Live for the applause of nail-scarred hands.
Don’t try to be who you’re not.
Be yourself. Laugh at yourself.
Dare to dream God-sized dreams. Dare to be different.
Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.
Chase the lion.

Book Reviews From 2015

Links & Quotes

link quote

“Such is the Christ with Whom we have to do, full of grace and truth. Let us draw near; let us keep near; let us allow Him to pour out His love on us; let us bring others to Him to be partakers of the same overflowing love.” —Horatius Bonar

“O soul, if you trust Christ, the blood is on your brow today; before the eye of God there is no condemnation. Why, then, do you need to fear? You are safe, for the blood secures every soul that once is sheltered thereby. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, but if you believe not, trust where you may, you shall be damned.” —Charles Spurgeon

“I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence.” —Walt Disney

“You have a body. But it is not yours. ‘You have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body’ [1 Corinthians 6:20]. You are always in a temple. Always worship [1 Corinthians 10:31].” —John Piper

Speaking of our bodies, more young men are having heart attacks. Check this out to protect your health.

Have you ever thought about God being reasonable? T.M. Moore has an insightful post on this—God Who Reasons.

Brett Kunkle shares a great apologetic piece on an early and reliable account of Christ’s resurrection.

Taking a Sabbath rest is a reward, not a restriction.

[VIDEO] God wrote a book—

13 Other Quotes From “JumpStart Your Leadership”

JumpStart Your LeadershipOne of the things I appreciate about John Maxwell’s work is how many other authors and deep thinkers he reads. Dr. Maxwell then sifts through all those works and brings the best of the best to his books. Here are some of the other quotes John shared in his book JumpStart Your Leadership.

“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.” —William Jennings Bryan

“No man is a leader until his appointment is ratified in the mines and the hearts of his men.” —Infantryman’s Journal (1954)

“The supreme quality of leadership is unquestionably integrity.” —Dwight Eisenhower

“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” —Ken Kesey

“Let him that would move the world, first move himself.” —Socrates

“The most essential quality for leadership is not perfection but credibility. People must be able to trust you.” —Rick Warren

“Looking back, my life seems like one big obstacle race, with me being the chief obstacle.” —Jack Paar 

“Effective leaders reward dissent, as well as encourage it. They understand that whatever momentary discomfort they experience as a result of being told from time to time that they are wrong is more than offset by the fact that ‘reflective back talk’ increases a leaders ability to make good decisions.” —Warren Bennis

“You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful idea in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality.” —Walt Disney

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” —Rosalynn Carter

“The outstanding leaders of every age are those who set up their own quotas and constantly exceed them.” —Thomas Watson

“Do what you do so well that those who see you do what you do are going to come back to see you do it again and tell others that they should see you do what you do.” —Walt Disney

“The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven.” —Knute Rockne

You can read quotes from John Maxwell in this book by clicking here.

You can read my review of JumpStart Your Leadership by clicking here.

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading & watching from today…

“Christ calls us to take risks for kingdom purposes. Almost every message of American consumerism says the opposite: Maximize comfort and security—now, not in heaven. Christ does not join that chorus. To every timid saint, wavering on the edge of some dangerous gospel venture, He says, ‘Fear not, you can only be killed’ (Luke 12:4).” —John Piper

“Impotent dreaming will not do. The religious urge that is not followed by a corresponding act of the will in the direction of that urge is a waste of emotion.” —A.W. Tozer

“We dare not eat our seed. It’s our turn to give ourselves in mission. It’s our turn to take the baton and continue the tradition that began 100 years ago and with God’s help participate in the greatest evangelism the world has ever seen.” —Bill Leach

“Here’s what I know: If you don’t do it, it can’t come back to haunt you. That doesn’t just go for taking nude pictures of yourself. It also goes for speaking angry words, buying something you can’t afford, flirting with a married coworker, gossiping about a friend, drinking alcohol, using drugs, or letting a relationship go too far.” —Mark Atteberry

[VIDEO] The hilarious Ken Davis says, “Husbands: Do Not Answer This Question!”

Pastor Dave Barringer tells us to stop trying to be the perfect spouse!

I love this: Special Kneads Bakery creates jobs just for special needs adults.

Great reminders: 14 quotes from Mother Teresa on changing the world.

Believe it or not, there was a time when the US government promoted sexual purity & abstinence.

Good news: the Obama administration is dropping their appeals against some businesses after the Supreme Court ruling on Hobby Lobby’s case.

%d bloggers like this: