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Archive for the ‘Finishing Well.’ Category

How to Find Happiness at Work.


Zappos believes in delivering it. Coke wants you to open it. Countless books try to help you achieve it. Research demonstrates that you are more productive with it.

And yet the truth is that so few people feel it, especially at work.


Is it because leaders don’t create “happy” workplaces? Is it because work is inherently miserable? Is it because of our attitudes about work? Or perhaps it’s who we’re working for (more on that in a minute).

A negative boss, bad working conditions and a toxic culture can certainly make people unhappy.

I’ve also seen how leaders can create happier and more productive employees by creating the right culture and work environment.

However, I believe the biggest determinant of our happiness at work is… us.

Our happiness has less to do with forces outside of us and more to do with what’s inside of us.

Happiness is an inside job… and it begins in our minds.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such thing.” – Philippians 4:8

I’ve met bus drivers, janitors and fast-food employees who are more passionate about their jobs and happier than some professional athletes making millions of dollars.

Our happiness comes not from the work we do but from how we feel about the work we do, and that is based in part on WHO we are working for.

Here’s a question to ask yourself… are you working to please yourself, to please your boss or to please God? Are your daily interactions and activities mundane and routine or are you pursuing every opportunity, even at work, as if you are doing so on God’s behalf?

As I wrote in The Seed, happiness is a byproduct of passion and purpose, all of which God provides in unlimited supply… if we turn our sights onto Him as our source.

But Jon, “I don’t know what my passion and purpose is,” you might say.

That’s okay, you’re not alone. The first step is to simply be the SEED. Plant yourself where you are and begin to serve and make a difference.

Realize that God has a perfect plan and even though you might not like your job some days, He wants to use you right where you are to make an impact on those around you.

Your work matters and when you shift your perspective, you grow.

When you work with passion and purpose, as if you are working for God,  you don’t have to seek happiness, rather it finds you.

So today, think about good things and how you can make a difference right where you are.

Scripture of the Day: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” – Colossians 3:23

By Jon Gordon

Finish Well.

One of my greatest flaws is giving up on things too soon. I typically start things strong. But all to often, I don’t know how to finish well.

As I’ve uncovered this uncomfortable truth in my life, I’ve also learned an important lesson:

In the depths of each of us is a great need to push through to the end.

A few months ago my husband ran his second marathon. He trained for months.

His goal was to qualify for the Boston marathon, such an elite goal for runners. But in order to do this he had a very specific running pace he needed to be on during the entire racecourse.

On race morning, my three girls and I headed out to the finish line. We had posters, cowbells and pom-poms to cheer my husband on. Throughout the morning I was anxiously looking at my watch, knowing his needed pace time and hoping that he would come through at his goal.

About twenty minutes before his goal time, we watched the winner of the marathon come through with police escort. The crowd roared as he seemingly effortlessly dashed to the finish.

Our anticipation was building. Would he make his goal? As more runners headed toward the finish line appeared, we would all shout, “Maybe that’s Daddy! Is it him?”

Then, his qualifying pace time for Boston appeared on the clock and there was no sign of him.

I was so worried about his feelings of disappointment; he had trained so hard.

About five minutes later… we saw him turn the corner, in his bright orange shirt and exhausted smile.

My girls and I became the loudest cheering squad at the marathon finish line. The last few yards of the race, we all got behind him and ran like crazy. We cheered him all the way to the finish line!

Even though my husband didn’t win or even meet his goal, he had accomplished something great. It was a powerful moment in his life.

He finished well.

In everything we do, whether we choose it or not, there is a finish point.

~ The day the last baby leaves the nest.

~ The moment we resign from a job.

~ The place where say our “goodbye.”

Seasons come and seasons go but the faithfulness of our God equips us to finish well.

Beneath the layers of frustration or fear when a season ends is this thread of courage from our God. This unchanging God who sees our efforts and hard work in each season and prepares us to move to the next.

While we may not feel like victorious marathon runners crossing a finishing line, we can rest our souls that our God is there, pushing us through to the end.

With His strength, His wisdom and His guidance we can… finish seasons well.

Today I wonder… is there a season of life near end and you are feeling discouraged? If so, I understand what that’s like. While it’s tempting to quit before it’s finished, today I want to encourage you to lean into the faithfulness of God and… finish well.

He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding.
Daniel 2:21

By  Nicki Koziarz.

Around The Corner.

“Go down ahead of me to Gilgal.

I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.” 1 Samuel 10:8 (NIV)

God had given Saul specific directions from the prophet Samuel on how to win in a battle Saul was going through.

Saul was instructed to go to Gilgal and wait on Samuel to come and offer a sacrifice unto God.

Then Saul would be told what to do next in his life.

But in 1 Samuel 13:8-14, we find that Saul did not wait and did not follow what the Lord told him to do.

“He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter.

So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.”

And Saul offered up the burnt offering. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.

“What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD’s favor.’

So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”

“You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said.

“You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.

But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.” (NIV)

Saul did not wait on the timing of God’s direction. He started looking at the situation around him.

He began to see, in the natural, the men beginning to leave; the men he was counting on.

He began to fear and think, “My enemy is going to come into this territory and attack me.”

Then he began to feel, “I will take matters into my own hands and not follow The Word given to me.

It’s getting too late, The Word or promise given to me is not happening, I will just stop waiting and believing that God will come through for me.

This is just taking too long!”

Is that where you are right now?.

Are you like Saul, looking at how hard it’s getting?.

Are you beginning to move according to what is going on around you?

Saul’s promise was coming.

The manifestation of his promise from God was on its way; it was moving on the road toward him!

His promise was almost there when Saul decided to quit waiting, watching, believing and speaking what God said. His breakthrough was on its way.

The change in his situation that he had been waiting on was just a few moments in time from him, and Saul gave up and canceled it all to discover that “Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived.”

That’s what God wants you to know.

He knows what time it is.

He loves you and He will keep His Word – will you?.

Are we going to give up because it looks like it is getting late?.

Are we going to try to make a breakthrough happen by ourselves and in our own power?

Decide today to dig your spiritual heels in the ground and not give up! You shall finish strong! 

Scripture Of The Day: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14 (NIV).

By Jamie Carte.

The Finishing Line.

The time is here again, the end of another year.

For many reading this, 2011 has been a year of processing, shaping, formatting and fitting.

Yes, the trials and hard times came, and are still here, but we have to really know and believe that they came, and are still here, only to make us strong. 

Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.

For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. (James 1:2-4, NLT).

In the year to come 2012, we can still experience God “having our back.”

Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.”

That is why we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6, NLT).

And we can still give him what he wants presented from us.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you.

Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable.” When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? (Romans 12:1, NLT).

We must have confidence deep down within that only comes from God the Father.

We must know who we are in him and move forward in him.

If there are folks running the race with you on the ‘track field’ who want to turn around or want to stop running and stay behind, you may have to tell them “Okay, I’ll see you later!

2012 for me is going to be a year of experiencing that vision, dream, or promise that I’ve been working on, holding on to, and waiting on God to do and complete through me.”

As this year comes to an end, there is one thing we can say: we’ve survived!

A survivor is one who has remained existent and outlasted the circumstance and situation; one who didn’t give up, but hung in there.

We’ve made it to the finishing line. Now all we have to do is cross over into 2012 and start a new ‘workout’ (processing, shaping, formatting, fitting), getting us ready for the upcoming experiences mentioned above.

In the ‘workout,’ we have to put our total trust, increased faith, and dependency in and upon the coach of our ‘track team,’ the Lord our God.

Scripture Of The Day: “For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” – James 1:3-4 (NLT).

By Brenda Gittens.

The Turn-Around.

God can write a story like no other can.

His sovereign ability to reach into a person’s future and erect a monument of victory is incomparable.

He literally delights in crowning the lowly as prince, and in using the stumbling blocks that have been placed in our paths by others as stepping stones to a throne of His making. 

It’s amazing how he could pull a life from the pit and transform it in such a way that it becomes unrecognizable to the enemy.

Such was the life of Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob.

From the pit, to the prison, to the palace, Joseph meandered his way to destiny despite the roadblocks he encountered.

God glorifies His great name in the time of opposition because He specializes in the principle of resurrection.

The concept of a thing living again after it had been presumed dead is a wonderful reality in the mind of God.

In other words, “It’s not over until God says it’s over.”

Certainly, the very life of Christ upon the earth testifies and confirms that there is no opposition – whether it be in the form of a pit or in the form of a grave – that can stop God from reaching down and lifting a life to the place that He has destined for it.

You see, God takes great pleasure in moving a person from the depths of seeming defeat and ushering them to the pinnacle of success.

He delights in bringing life out of death and in making “the stone which the builders rejected” into the chief cornerstone (Ps. 118:22).

Yes, it is His utmost delight to move beyond your circumstances and do the impossible on your behalf.

As a matter of fact, He will ‘flip the script’ until your enemies become your footstool (Ps.110:1) and those who fought against you turn and pray for you to bless them (Ex. 12:32).

Indeed, resurrection, restoration, metamorphosis of status, and newness of life are prominent spheres of His mighty dominion.

For this reason, we see Joseph, though severely mistreated in his youth, rising to great power in the very place he was sent to die.

He became governor in the land of his captivity and ruled over those to whom he was sold as a slave.

Without doubt, Joseph must have understood that though he was ‘persecuted’, he was not ‘abandoned’; and though he was ‘struck down’, he was ‘not destroyed’ (2 Cor. 4:9).

Thus, he remained faithful to God and to his vision, and was buoyed by both as God worked behind-the-scenes of his life.

In the end, Joseph, the Hebrew slave of the Egyptians, died as Joseph, the Hebrew ruler of the Egyptians.

God finds great pleasure in turning the tables in your favor.

His joy is contained in ensuring that you end well.

And so now may the God of the ‘turn around’ bring restoration and increase to every area of your life; and may your tomorrow be exceedingly greater than your yesterday. 

Scripture Of The Day: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV).

By Kerri-Ann Haye-Donawa.

Finishing With Purpose.

School was the place I found my solace and love before I moved in with my foster family.

I craved the positive attention from the teachers then the way I crave God’s presence now.

I moved to Atlanta to pursue my higher education.

 When a janitor accidentally threw away the files of sixty incoming freshman, I lost my independent student status and was unable to continue my studies while they tried to sort out the mess he made.

With two other siblings in college, my foster parents couldn’t afford to pay my tuition.

 It devastated me.

By the time everything was straightened out it was too late for me to qualify for the grants and loans I needed to pay for school.

 For two years I struggled and worked two and sometimes three jobs trying to save up to pay and fix the problem created when my file was lost.

 No matter how hard I worked, something would go wrong and I couldn’t get back in to finish at my original school.

 My return to college became an obsession; the jobs I selected and everything I did gravitated around getting a degree.

During the third year of trying to finish college, I rekindled my relationship with God.

My desire to finish school and realign my life with the plan I drafted in high school began to change.

 Deep down I had begun to associate my worth and ability to offer something to the world with having a college degree.

Education had become an idol in my life because it defined my worth by how much of it I possessed.

The more I learned about God, the more I learned about who He said I was and the purpose for which He created me.

The principals governing my life—when I was willing to do almost anything to graduate—changed.

 My heart and mind opened to the truth of what determined my worth based on God’s word instead of having a degree.

Serving God and being debt free conflicted with my original path, but was the path God’s word illuminated for my feet to walk.

My appetite to please God and complete the work He formed me to do became more important than meeting a deadline.

 I realized finishing well didn’t have to mean finishing college the way everyone else does or expects you to do it.

Finishing well means doing what my Father in heaven sent me to do, trusting him to qualify me to do it, in a way that pleases him.

Scripture Of The Day: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (NIV).

By Shawneda Marks.

To the End.

But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (The Bible)

The end of a thing is better than its beginning.” Ecclesiastes 7:8a NKJV

Thanks be to God that he has brought us through to the end of another year. 

As I thank God for everything that has, and hasn’t, happened in this year, I realize that I could easily be tempted to just settle down and wait for the year to end and to get my hopes back again in the new year.

The fact is the year isn’t finished yet and God can still do great and wonderful things in a few days!

“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)

I want to encourage you not to settle down, passively waiting for the end because, God can do your exceedingly, abundantly above a split of a second. You may never know, the promises of God for this year still have time to be manifested. This is if you don’t give up right before the end.

Let’s press on to the end!

But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)

Wishing you a Blessed Week!

I have told you this, that His joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full! (John 15:11)


——————————Let’s proclaim Jesus-Christ.—————————————————
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God, …
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
For Christ in you, the hope of glory
——————–John 3:16; John 1:12; Romans 8:17; Colossians 1:27———————————

 This sender is DomainKeys verified

By “Anita Antwi”

The Reservoir.

If you’ve ever observed athletes during any extended race, you’ve noticed that they exert the greatest strength during the last few meters of the race, or as it is commonly called, “the stretch” of the race.

It happens because the finish line is visible and the desire to reach it intensifies, signaling a release of stored energy that invigorates the mind, body and spirit, causing the person to persevere or strive forward. 

The Bible says that we overwhelmingly conquer—Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

(Romans 8:37).

There is never a reason to quit; we are destined to overcome.

We are fashioned by God.

And the same place that stores and releases physical energy and strength also stores and releases supernatural energy and strength.

There’s a reservoir inside of each and every one of us.

For instance, how many times have you looked back over your life and wondered how you survived some of your worse setbacks?.

How many times have you thought about quitting just to discover that the end was closer than you thought?.

We are equipped with the power to overcome, triumph and prevail.

I am reminded of the story of Moses and the Children of Israel concerning their captivity.

Moses was told NO on ten different occasions by Pharaoh.

But he did not lose faith or give up on the mission—he persevered. He was the personification of a reservoir.

Now, what is a reservoir? Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives us three definitions of a reservoir:

1. a place where something is kept in store; 2. an extra supply, a reserve; and 3. an organism in which a parasite that is pathogenic, or disease-causing for other species lives and multiplies without damaging its host….

” Given these definitions, a reservoir can be a person, a place, and a thing.

And if we were to shed spiritual light on these three definitions, they might read as: 1. a place where strength, energy, endurance, courage, faith, patience, love and understanding are kept in store; 2. an extra supply of mental apparatus; and 3. a person that is not afflicted by their adversities, but remains steadfast and overcomes the challenges and attacks that usually harm and destroy others. 

It may take a while to reach the pinnacle in your life, but at your disposal are the tools for survival—they’re in your reservoir.

If you need strength, it’s in there. If you need peace, it’s in there.

If you need courage, it’s in there.

And if you need endurance, it’s in there too.

For the greatest assets in life are not material possessions, superficial beauty, or monetary gain; the greatest assets in life are the Fruits of the Spirit that are constantly multiplying inside of you.

It explains how you got back up after a fall.

It explains why you didn’t commit suicide after a difficult breakup or vicious attack.

It explains why you can still smile in the midst of a storm.

It explains your confidence despite the odds that are against you.

It explains how you beat cancer.

And it explains how you overcame depression.

It explains how you have persevered.

You are a reservoir!

Scriptrue Of The Day: “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” – Romans 8:37 (NKJV).

By D’edra Y. Armstrong.

Finishing With Eternity In Mind.

A few years ago, Dad’s sister Louise fell ill with what would be her final battle with cancer.

Living several hours away from her, I had never gotten to see her more than once or twice a year my whole life, but my childhood is dotted with many fond memories of trips to Tennessee to stay with her and Uncle Edsel.

This particular day, since they lived near a favorite vacation spot of ours, my husband and I traveled a little farther and went to visit her.

It was hard to see such a vibrant woman quickly fading to a different hue from what I was used to.

As my time to leave drew near, there was so much I wanted to say, and I knew this was probably our last time together on this earth.

A lump stuck in my throat and tears began to pour out as I recalled what an incredible role model she’d been to me all through life.

She was an off-the-charts good cook.

She could sing and play nearly any instrument she got her hands on.

She was the consummate pastor’s wife and a loving mother, and everyone loved her quick humor and contagious laugh.

I stammered as I spoke the words to her, “All my life I wanted to be just like you.”

She smiled weakly, squeezed my hand, and said, “Be like Jesus, honey. Just be like Jesus.”

I’ve thought of that conversation many times since her passing, and thought of how she so easily she transferred any praise for herself on to Jesus.

What a mantle of wisdom to lay across my shoulders in some of the last words she ever spoke to me. It summed up pretty much everything I would ever need to know about life.

We hold so tightly to our little plastic trophies.

We keep refreshing our browsers to see if anyone “liked” our status on Facebook.

We’re not too far removed from the insecure teenagers we once were, who long to be remembered as the best-looking, the most valuable player, the most likely to succeed, as chronicled on the pages of the yearbook of our lives.

How ironic that what will define our eulogy isn’t what we amassed, but rather, what we gave away—in particular, those things we committed into the hands of the Father.

It will be our legacy on earth and it will be the yardstick of our eternal reward when at last we stand at the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ.

Jesus, in His final fleeting breaths on the cross, committed His Spirit into the hands of the Father and then declared, “It is finished.”

The Bible tells us of yet another event to come, when He will place something else into God’s hands.

1 Corinthians Chapter 15 tells us that Jesus will subdue all the kingdoms, rulers, authorities of this world system, and even the last great enemy, Death.

Our Jesus, the Role Model of all role models–the One under Whose feet lies everything that is or ever was—will come under the authority of God the Father in the greatest act of submission of all eternity.

And of His kingdom there will be no end!

Aunt Louise knew Whose lead to follow. I’m with her…I want to be like Jesus, too.

Scripture Of The Day: “Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.” – 1 Corinthians 15:28 (NLT).

By Lisa Crum.

Finishing Strong.

“I have finished my course” – 2 Timothy 4:7 KJV

The course God sets before us is seldom easy.

Running it takes commitment.

James MacDonald says, ‘I’ve lived long enough to know men and women whose lives were sold out to God a few years ago, but who’ve since walked off the track… gone AWOL… lost their longing for God.

Fear of following in their footsteps haunts me… and it should you, too…

The faithfulness of my walk with God depends on my willingness to stay in a relationship with Him.

I never want to lose the grip His greatness has on my life and the privilege it is to… serve Him till the day I’m welcomed into His presence.

That passion compels me.

It keeps me honest and humble… the last thing I want to do is crawl across the finish line a defeated, derailed Christian, or worse – give up the race before my life’s over.

I want to break that tape with arms high, my face to the sun.

‘ Paul said, ‘… I have finished my course… Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown…

‘ Notice, courage plus endurance plus faithfulness equals reward.

Photographer Jacob Riis said, ‘When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps 100 times without as much as a crack showing in it.

Yet at the 101st blow it will split in two, and I know it wasn’t the last blow that did it, but all the blows that have gone before.

‘ God’s Word is ‘… a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces… ‘ (Jeremiah 23:29 NKJV).

So, ‘[hold] fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ [you’ll] have reason to glory because [you] did not run in vain… ‘ (Philippians 2:16 NAS).

By Bob Gass.

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