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Reach Your Potential-Take Control

 

Remember growing up how you had big dreams? You wanted to be a police officer, or fireman, astronaut, princess or President! Well, over the next 30 day’s I am challenging you to Reach Your Potential. It’s time to reclaim the dreams that God has placed on your heart.

I love the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. He received a dream from God at the young age of 17 and after an avalanche of adversity, which included being sold as a slave to Egypt by his own brother, later he was thrown in prison unjustly only to emerge as the second in command over the mightiest nation in the world at that time. Joseph learned how to be in control when everything else seemed out of control.

“I know, LORD, that we humans are not in control of our own lives.” Jeremiah 10:23 (CEV)

A recent study found that 61 percent of Americans feel at least one aspect of their lives is out of control. The top three areas among respondents were personal health, household matters, and finances.

I read in a book recently and discovered that when it comes to control, we make two errors. We overestimate what we can control and we underestimate what we can control. We have more control than we think in areas that we think we have little control and we have little control in other areas that we erroneously think we have a lot of control.

There are things we can’t control such as the weather, the growing national debt, whether or not our company downsizes or not. But what we can control is our own personal debt and having contingency plans in place in the event our company has layoffs.

In the story of Joseph he couldn’t control his brothers betrayal, or Potipher’s wife’s false cry of rape, or the global famine that occurred but what he could control was the choices he made within those uncontrollable circumstances.

You can’t control how your spouse, adult kids, or bosses act, but you can control how you react to your spouse, kids, boss and circumstance that occur beyond your control.

I have learned sometimes to be in control, you have to let go of control.

“You put everything under his control.” When God put everything under

his Son’s control, nothing was left out. However, at the present time we still don’t see everything under his Son’s control. Hebrews 2:8 (GW)

We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond to what happens to us.

There are three things we can control: (1) The thoughts we think. Philippians 4:7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (2) The attitude we adopt. Philippians 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: and (3) The actions we take. Ezra 10:4 Get up! It’s your duty to take action. We are with you, so be strong and take action.”

Start taking control!

Just a thought, Carl

 

To hear the message on Reaching your Potential follow link below:

http://www.carltoti.com/2014/09/reach-your-potential/

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How To Dump a Country

 I came across an interesting news story the other day. Not only is there a record number of people entering our country illegally, but there are also record numbers of people feeing America legally!

More and more American’s are giving up their citizenship. Go figure! Why would someone want to leave the land of the free and the home of the brave? You might think there has to be a romantic reason such as when someone travels to a foreign country, eats the cuisine, experiences the culture and falls in love at frst sight. Wrong! The real reason people are feeing America in record numbers is over taxes. Even Burger King is living America over taxes. Ok, “have it your way” BK.

In John chapter 17, Jesus offers up his High Priestly prayer. This section of Scripture has been called “The Holy of Holies of Sacred Scripture” because in it we hear God (the Son) speak to God (the Father) through the medium of Spirit-inspired prayer. In this prayer, Jesus speaks about three important themes: (1) the glory of God (2) protection for the Believer (3) and unity.

John 17:14 (NLT)
14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.

Jesus prays for our protection because He clearly states in this prayer that we are “in” this world but we are not “of” this world. When we choose to follow Christ we dump our old citizenship and become citizens of a new country. Philippians 3:20 says, “We are citizens of heaven.”

If you have done any traveling at all, you know that the local people in the country you are visiting can always spot a foreigner. We look different, talk different, dress different and think differently. As we travel in this world, can those who are of this world recognize that we are citizens of heaven by the way we talk, act, dress, think and live out our lives?

Today, as followers of Christ, we are finding it more and more apparent that we are travelers in a foreign land. There are some customs, some traditions in this world that we as Christians cannot embrace.

As a citizen of heaven, do you have some things in your life you need to dump? Do you have any old wordily habits that are lingering? God wants us to enjoy His blessings, but not to abuse those blessings.

Allow me to share three thoughts with you as you traverse the changing landscape of our temporary residency here in this world:

(1) If we are not careful, our enjoyments can become our enslavements. (2) Just because something is legal, that doesn’t mean it’s moral. (3) Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it.

Just a thought, Carl

P.S. if you would like to listen or watch the full message click here: http://www.carltoti.com/2014/08/how-to-dump-a-country/

Find Your Sweet Spot

Discovering your “sweet spot” in life is what takes you to a new stratosphere of living where you are doing more with less. There is a term that is applied frequently to athletes who enter a certain dimension of play–it’s called ‘the zone.’ ‘The Zone’ is an extraordinary dimension of optimal performance. The zone can be achieved not only by athletes but my musicians, mathematicians, business leaders and yes even stay at home moms.

What is the zone? Well, in baseball, the batter is in the zone when the baseball looks as big as a basketball. In basketball the player is in the zone when every shot drops into the basket because the basket looks as big as a hula hoop.

Think of some of the greatest athletes you know they have found and know how to enter ‘the zone’ of optimal performance, also known as the Sweet Spot, the Flow or the Effortless Present. How do high achievers discover their sweet spot? Well it doesn’t take a degree in science the sweet spot is acquired through intentional and sustained practice by highly focused athletes resulting in spectacularly amazing feats in their field of expertise.

When the conditions are right in your life, marriage, business, walk of faith you can enter into your zone. It takes intentional work coupled with sustained focus in a designated area of your life to attain it, but you can!

Look at it this way; there are four levels of learning, applied to anything in life. I learned this in my Life Coaches Training:

Level one: Unconscious Incompetence.
I don’t know what I don’t know.

Level Two: Conscious Incompetence.
Now I know what I don’t know.

Level Three: Conscious Competence.
I know what I know.

Level Four: Unconscious Competence.
I am not aware, and I know.

Anything in life that you have learned: from riding a bike to flying an airplane occurs through this process. Take driving your car for instance. There are times you are in ‘the zone’ and can’t consciously remember if you stopped at all the red lights after you arrive at your destination.

Dr. Richard Keefe, the director of sport psychology at Duke University, explores this phenomenon in a book called On the Sweet Spot: Stalking the Effortless Present. He writes in his book, “The more you do something, the more the brain changes to devote its energy to that function.”

Do you want to attain new levels of output in your life? Then imagine what would occur if you became more intentional with your choices and time. Begin to intentionally practice at prayer, start Scripture reading and memorization. What could happen if you hired that Life Coach, took that course at The Kings University or pursued a mentoring relationship with a role-model in your field of interest? What new level could your marriage go to if you made a new commitment and begin to live out of it? I challenge you today be more intentional about achieving your goals and your results will be spectacularly amazing!

Just a though,
Carl

Father Figure


Here at Trinity we were blessed this year to have the director of the Family Research Council Tony Perkins, at our Heartline women’s clinic annual banquet. His organization has done extensive research on families, and this is what they made an amazing discovery: http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF09A40.pdf

The research revealed that the church, to a certain extent, could fill the void of an absentee parent when the single mother or father immerses himself or herself in the life of that church. What hope this discovery offers single parents who are struggling to fill both roles!

As a pastor, my heart goes out to you, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)

I firmly believe one of our biggest challenges in America isn’t the economy or the current immigration problem. No, I believe our biggest challenge is the decline of family values and fathers who have checked out. Here at Trinity I have the high honor and sacred trust to preach to thousands weekly. In my communication I like to address men as men. Because I know a man wants to be addressed as a man. So let me speak to all the men with a father’s heart. This is not in any way meant to condemn you, but to challenge you.

Men, if you have fathered a child, you should be married to that child’s mother – not just living with her. Do you know why that is important? Because every commitment you make in life is formalized. Whether you buy a car, rent an apartment, or buy a home, you sign an agreement. Marriage, however, is much more important than an agreement or a contract. It’s a covenant. God loves marriage and God designed marriage. Why?

Malachi 2:15 (NLT)
“15 Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.”

Marriage is for the benefit of children and society at large.

But you might say, “Pastor I’ve made mistakes. It’s too late. I can’t undo what has already been done.”

Okay granted, so from this point forward say, “God help me be the best father I can be from this point forward, under the circumstances.”

God is a God of second chances and He will help you and bless you. Do not be negligent in committing to raising your children and loving them the best you can under the circumstances you are in.

If you’re in a blended family, love those children as if they were your own. And please, don’t play favorites. Love them all the same. Love them uniquely, because we need to love them differently because they have different needs. But don’t love one more than the other.

The Bible is filled with examples, in the Old Testament of the patriarchs of old loving one child above another child and creating all kinds of anarchy and rivalry, jealousy and contentions.

This is my challenge men; my prayer for you: don’t be AWOL. Be present and love your God, wife and children.

God Bless.

 

To hear more check out my video sermon @ http://www.carltoti.com/2014/07/4orty-4our-acts-2-detonate-part-10/

Give And Take

 

Relationships are selfish by nature. We are in relationships for a reason; there is something we expect to receive from them. We usually give something in exchange for something else. All is good if we are mutually agreeable under God to what that exchange is. Exchange is good – exploitation is bad. Any time we enter a relationship with selfish motives as opposed to benevolent motives, we set that relationship up for its own demise. We must enter our relationships with the expectation to give not to receive.

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:28 (NIV)

When we enter a marriage expecting to receive, we begin to exploit the relationship until it is dry. It is easy to begin reducing our relationship down to a business transaction. It becomes a quid pro quo. “I gave you this. You must give me something of greater value in return,” reduces our relationship to a series of loans and debts, sinking the relationship into emotional bankruptcy. Get your relationship out of the red and into the black by making more deposits than withdrawals.

Just a Thought,
Carl