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How to Achieve Goals

Greg DenningSeriously, We All Need to Be Better

“Thank you Captain Obvious.”  I know, I know.  But we could all use more focus, more drive and more determination.

THAT WOULD ACTUALLY GET SOMETHING ACCOMPLISHED!

Obvious again, right?  HOW do we get more focus, drive and determination?

Do you want to know how to achieve goals?  Here’s how to do it.

Let’s consider an old fashion compass.  Isn’t it amazing?  Almost unbelievable-it always points north.

Suppose we were to visit the factory where compasses are being manufactured. At first the needles of the compass point every direction, but once they’re magnetized they will only point to the North ever after.

They Will be Constant and True

They have received focused power. Now that needle can be depended upon. Other things may try to attract it, to dazzle it, to beckon to it, to win it’s affection.  But the magnetized needle remains true to its objective. Neither storm, nor mists of darkness, nor obstacles will deter it from its determined course.

One of most important events in any persons life occurs when that life is magnetized by purpose, potential and peak performance.

Leaders ensure that their muscles, their emotions and their minds are magnetized and synchronized to their plan for success. Nothing can stop us or turn us aside IF we are accurately focused and fully energized by the support of our consistent actions and habits.  Let your dreams drive you.

Just think about that.

Imagine what you can achieve once your life is magnetized with a firm determination. What heights could you reach with such a strong conviction?

Obstacles that deter the efforts of the fainthearted would dissolve in the face of such a firm, determined resolution. Distractions lose their power when one’s life is wholly dedicated to living on purpose.  Detours are unacceptable for one who has caught the vision of their lofty potential. Adversities become hurdles to the champion of peak performance.

“It is perfectly astounding how undreamed of mental and spiritual faculties rush to our assistance when once we have committed our whole soul to one unwavering aim.”

Others who lacks focus and supporting energy will stumble and fall and throw in the towel at the first little problem. When magnetism is lost, the needle points in all directions; or no direction at all.

Refuse to allow the needle of your ‘success compass’ to lose magnetism or to point to ultimate failure. Of course there will be failures on the path to success; in fact the path is marked by failures, but NEVER should we allow that precious needle to point toward the ultimate failure of quitting or acquiescing.

Never Lower Your Standards Just Because of Difficulty.  Remain True

Sadly, some people bear a striking resemblance to a weathercock that changes its position and its point of view with every passing breeze.  That’s what I call the ‘weathercock commitment’ of the chance builder. Instead build within yourself a striking resemblance to the North Star.  Immovable in the pursuit of purpose and potential.

While living on the beach in Nicaragua, I noticed that every night just after sunset a very bright star or planet appeared on the horizon in the same place. It was always there.  I loved looking for it each night.

In contrast, shooting stars are beautiful but lack dependability. They randomly shoot in all directions and lose our confidence.  Admiration for flash and fizzle lives and leadership quickly dwindles.  “Meteors dazzle but never guide.”  A real leader “shines most beautifully as a fixed star in the sky of truth.”

So how do you get your mind to remain firm even in the face of great difficulty?

There is an interesting characteristic in most societies. We love to identify ourselves as belonging to something, or believing in something. Really we’re all walking billboards. We put Apple stickers on cars, bumper stickers supporting our candidate, posts on our Facebook page.

Beginning today identify yourself as a success builder; dependable, reliable, constant. Place mental bumper stickers in your mind and in your life that identify you as a finisher on the path toward greatness.

Let your actions say to others, “You can count on me.”

“On the night that Benedict Arnold betrayed his country, everything at the colonial headquarters was in commotion. No one knew how far the treason had gone.  Gen. George Washington sought out the father of Daniel Webster and asked him to stand guard through the balance of that long, awful night.  He said, “Captain Webster, I can trust you.”  The father of Daniel Webster was predictable.”

We should ask ourselves, can others count on me?  Can I count on myself?  Can God count on me?  Are my habits predictable?  How about my routine?  What about my work ethic?

Real accomplishment is nearly impossible if we are half determined, partially committed, moderately devoted.

As my friend Ty Bennett teaches, when we are fully committed we do what is necessary;  when we are partially committed we do what is convenient.

“Do or do not. There is no try!” Yoda

I don’t believe in moderation in all things.  We must never allow moderation in our noblest attributes.

There is an inspiring story of two brothers who fought in World War I.

“They grew up together; went to school together; joined the Army together; did their training together; went overseas together; went into the trenches together and went over the top many times together. One morning their unit returned from No man’s land and one of the brothers was missing.

Immediately the other brother went to the officer in charge and said, “Sir I would like to go back into No man’s land to find my brother.”  But the officer said, “You cannot go. It would be a useless risk. Your brother is probably dead, anyway, and your risk would do no one any good.”  A little later Jim returned and said, “Sir, I would like to go back into No man’s land and find my brother.”  Again the officer said, “no.”  Later on he returned and again was denied. Then just as darkness was about to fall, he returned to the officer and said, “Sir, I would like to go back into No man’s land and find my brother.”  The disturbed officer said, “Okay, go ahead.  It’s your own life.  You want to throw it away; that is your privilege.”

So Jim climbed out of the trench and on his hands and face went under the barbwire and disappeared into the blackness of No man’s land.  Hours pass and he did not return.  Midnight came and went, but there was no word.  Just before dawn the sentry saw something moving out in the darkness.  As it came closer Jim was recognized and help down into the trench.  He went immediately to report his return to the officer in charge.

When the officer saw him coming he said, “Well, I hope you’re satisfied.  He’s dead, isn’t he?”  And Jim said, “Yes, he’s dead. But he wasn’t dead when I found him.”  Then he told the officer how he retraced the expedition’s course and how all night long he’d searched among the dead of yesterday’s battle.  And finally, in a shell hole he found his brother, unconscious from his injuries and suffering of thirst.  Jim raised his brother’s head into his lap and gave him a drink from his canteen.

Then after Jim had washed his face and made his position more comfortable, his brother regained consciousness before he died, just long enough to say five words.  He looked up to into his brother’s face and said, “Jim, I knew you’d come.”  Then Jim said to the officer, “Sir, I would rather have died 1000 times then to have left my brother out there in No man’s land expecting me, only to die in disappointment.”

Let’s develop ourselves to the point that when we reach success, it will say to us,  “I knew you’d come.”

REACH UPWARD!

Greg

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Infection of the Mind and what to do about it

Greg DenningWe know that wounds can get infected, that computers can get viruses, but we don’t often consider that our minds can become infected too.

And those infections can be the most damaging.

Someone once said,

“You are what you think about most of the time.”

That’s a true statement. Thoughts lead to feelings which lead to desires. Desires turn into actions and then habits, and your habits shape the person you become.

Sometimes our thoughts can get infected with criticism, negative self-esteem, doubt, pessimism, negativism, depression, cynicism and other ism’s.

We must be diligent to protect our mind and direct our thoughts!

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While living in a tropical island in the Caribean, I picked up some kind of nasty infection either from a bug or something else. The infection got in my elbow and it started to faster there and got worse and worse what caused a huge swelling. My arm kept swelling and that caused a fever too. And I had to get some pretty strong injections and get a lot of the infection  out of my arm to take care of itself. But I thought that was a great  lesson before we could give it to go away, we had to get the infection out and take care of that.

Today I want to talk about the same thing. Getting infectious thoughts out. All the great leaders and great teachers of all time have talked about this. That your thoughts determine really who you are and who you become. And the bible said ‘as a man thinketh in his heart so is he’. And that’s the case, what you consistently think about is what you become and what you are. So today right now you are not really who you are, you are who were. Or in other words, you are the sum total of all the things you have thought. You are the sum of all your past thoughts, which turn to desires and emotions, which then turn to habits,  and which then turn to the development of the character and the destiny.

So really have got to work on getting those negative and infectious thoughts out of our lives, we have got to avoid that.

There’s been a lot of studies done about the energy level. So everything is energy, even the objects you think are  solid are energy. So, thoughts are energy, your body is energy and everything else is. So negative thoughts have lower energy. They’ve done tests on negative music and movies and even pictures and anything that’s negative and has a negative association lowers your energy and your strength. So the more we have negative thoughts, the more we have less energy.

So we need to learn to get these negative thoughts out of our lives. And as that little negative thought comes in in your mind, just get rid of it right away!

Again, every thought will have its effect. Consider that very well! So you have got to be very cautious what thoughts you allow in your mind.

The right way to have always positive thoughts is with replacement. As soon as you recognize that you are having a negative thought just replace that immediately with a positive one.

I highly recommend reading “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. Read that regularly and see in there the wonderful things he says.

We need to take a very cautious effort to make sure all of our thoughts are positive.

So, for the next 24 hours this is what we are going to do. All the time, even in your dreams, focus on good thoughts and have good positive dreams. And when negative things happen, just let them go!

So, step back, look at those things and try to develop the positive thoughts habit for the rest of your life. And you will be very pleased with the results you get as you make an effort to only have positive thoughts and when negative thoughts come in, to immediately replace them.

REACH UPWARD!

Greg

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The 2 Most Important Time Management Tips You’ll Ever Read

Are you ready to learn the two most important time management tips you will ever need to know?

  • Rule #1.  Always work on what matters most.

  • Rule#2.  Always refer back to rule # 1

“What?!  But I have to get so much done and I can’t do it all.  I want you to help me get it all done.”

The truth is…. you can’t get it all done.  None of us can.  No one can have unlimited priorities.  Even the most successful people, the ones who accomplish spectacular amounts,  only focus on the top 20% of their responsibilities that bring in 80% of the results they want.  Spending your precious life working on lower priority tasks is a tragic waste of life.

DON’T DO IT!

So what is to be done?

Stop doing things that don’t matter.  Yes, I’m dead serious!  Throw away your TV.  Stop wasting absurd amounts of time surfing the net.  Start telling people NO!  Don’t allow people to waste your time.  Meetings and meet ups need to be short and sweet.  Get in, get it done and get back to your priorities.  Cut out the crap.  No more idle chit-chat.  Take your use of time more seriously.  Guard it like a Pit-bull.  Don’t be rude or anal, but don’t allow yourself to be victimized either.

When you are at work, actually work.  You’ll get amazing amounts accomplished.  But only work on what you can do best, or that will make the biggest difference.

My most successful friends only work on the things that matter most for their business to succeed.  One friend is an excellent dog trainer, but he spends all his time marketing his business.  That’s why his business is successful.  If he spent all his time training dogs, his family would be broke.

Another friend is a great web designer and social media expert, but he rocks at bringing new clients through the (virtual) door.  Which one do you think matters the most?  Which one does he focus on?  He can hire amazing designers and coders for a fraction of what his time is worth while he is acquiring new clients.

And that is perhaps the most important time management tip: outsource almost everything that can be outsourced.  Focus on the things that only you can do!

No one can go take a shower for you, but someone could do your laundry.  You can’t hire some kid to do your pushups, but he could mow your lawn.  Let another person clean your house and cook your meals.  You can spend that time being an awesome parent-SOMETHING YOU DEFINITELY MUST NEVER OUTSOURCE!

Can’t afford it?  Think again.

Actually you can’t afford not to do it.  Your time is the most valuable asset you have.  You can’t save it, invest it or buy more of it.  Once it’s spent, it’s gone. Do whatever you need to do to be able to afford it.  Cut out the coffee habit; that will save some bills.  In fact, cut any of those kinds of habits.  That will free up a nice chunk of change.  Your time is worth it!

What is your time worth?  A lot more than the teenage neighbor girl will charge you to help keep your house neat while you focus on your top priorities.  Right now, the average hourly minimum wage in the US is around $7.  That’s pretty cheap if you can earn $25-100+ per hour working on your business.  And then there are the priceless hours spent with spouse or children, or in study, meditation and exercise.

Resolve that from today forward you will focus on the doing the things that matter most, and outsource or neglect the things that matter least.

I promise that this one mind shift will totally alter your life for the better.

For a LOT more awesome-sauce on this critical habit, check out my audio recording How To Totally Transform Your Life Before Breakfast.

REACH UPWARD!

Greg

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Every Moment You Are Trading Your Life for Something. What’s Your Exchange Rate?

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Excerpts from audio:

I LOVE THIS TOPIC! I call it “The Exchange Rate.”

What are you exchanging your life for?

Are all the things you are doing in life worth the time, money, energy, effort or emotion? Look carefully at each item and consider the exchange rate.

“The true cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life that is required to be exchanged for it.” Henry David Thoreau

Are you exchanging your precious life for stuff and things?

You and I are the sum total of our days, even our moments. The things that we do each day add up to become the sum of who we are.

“Moments are the molecules that make up life.” Neal Maxwell

Does your use of time reflect your true priorities?  We prove our priorities with our time.  If you are not giving it time and attention, then it is not a real priority, no matter how much you might say it is.

Make sure that everything in your life is giving you a great exchange rate-bringing you happiness and helping you achieve your highest priorities.

“There are more and more who have the means to live and less and less who have meaning to live for.” Victor Frankl

The Lord said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” I would add, there will your time be also.

Do not get to the end of your life and look back, filled with remorse, because you exchanged your time doing things of little significance!

Every day we are living the exchange rate. There is no way around it.

Make sure that everything in your life is giving the exchange rate you desire. Do not allow anything or anyone to give you a poor exchange for you life moments; they are far too valuable! Discipline yourself so that little things are not taking you away from big things.

Absolutely refuse to accept a poor exchange rate for your time!

Consumerism is plaguing our society. Resolve to spend your time pursuing your priorities instead of acquiring more stuff.

Exchange your time for exercise of mind and body,

-for high-quality family experiences,

-for spiritual growth,

-for service,

-for making a difference,

-for learning and mentoring,

-for quiet reflection and personal development.

You and I cannot save, invest, buy back, or create more time. It comes and then it goes. There are no do-overs. Once the moment is gone…it’s gone.

Eliminate those things in your life that are squandering your time and keeping you from living on purpose. Be determined to live a life that matters! Trade your time only at the best exchange rates.

 

Understanding The Bible. Incomparable Isaiah Part 12

Understanding the Bible

Isaiah 1:26-27

26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.

27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

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Have you ever seen a restored vehicle? One that was once old and maybe didn’t even run? And somebody put his money, effort, energy and love and made it gorgeous! Maybe you’ve seen that done with a home. And I personally, have done that with many homes. Buying an old home and restore it and then make as it was brand new.

Well, that’s what the lord intense to do with Jerusalem. If we looked at Isaiah 1 verse 26 he says:

 I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. 27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

Let’s turn now to Jeremiah. Jeremiah 33 verses 6 through 9 speaking of the restoration and the gathering of Judah and Israel.

6 Behold, I will bring it health and cure; I will pure them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. 7 I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and I will rebuild them as at the first.

There had been times when Jerusalem and Israel had such periods of wonderful righteousness. Those wonderful days are going to come back.

8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity whereby which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. 9. Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.’

That’s exciting to think about! This restoration where something has been so ill and returns to health, has been so torn down and then it is restored and made new.

Continuing, he is going to bring judges back in Isaiah 126. He will bring judges and counselors. Because once the head is sick, the whole heart will be too. So he is bringing them judges who will bring justice.

In 27 we read: Zion shall be redeemed with judgement and her converts with righteousness.

Judgements are making right of all the wrongs to bring justice back. All these wrongs are going to be made right. And again, this case is true convergence, real true deep convergence.

King Benjamin thought:

“There is no more disposition to do evil but to do good continually.”

There is no other way or means for true convergence of following Christ than by righteousness. We must simply change and become new creatures. Having our hearts and our minds completely changed, healed, cured, fixed and restored. And becoming new people who are filled with righteousness and only a pure desire to do the will of God joyfully.

From the book of Moses, we turn to a beautiful definition of Zion. Moses 7:18 we read:

And the Lord called his people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

We are going to go over those characteristics again. They were of one heart and one mind, like the father and son, they are one in everything. And they dwelt in righteousness where there is fairness and kindness. And beyond that there was consecration and no poor among them.

Let’s take a look quickly at Acts 2 verse 44, which is another Zion society. It reads:

And all that believed were together and had all things common.

Those who were converted, who dwelt in righteousness are brought together into that Zion and they had all things common. They had sufficient for their needs. A family of 10 get sufficient of 10, a family of 2 get sufficient of 2…etc.

Let’s turn to Jacob 2 verse 16:

O that he would rid you from this iniquity and abomination. And, O that ye would listen unto the word of his commands, and let not this pride of your hearts destroy your souls!

The pride in our heart will destroy our souls, and Zion have to be of one heart!

17 Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.  19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain richess, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.

Let’s look at proverbs 13 11 and then let’s go to Mathew 25 it’s going to fit perfectly.

Proverbs 13:11: Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished, but he that gathered by labor shall increase.

If our work is honest and our intent and motives are good, God will bless our efforts, if we seek richess for the intent to do good.

Now let’s move to Mathew 25 and learn to do good with our riches, our time, and our talents.

Mathew 25: 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Picture yourself there! Who get selected to go on the right side? To be welcomed into Zion? Here’s the answer, the determining factor is in the following verses.

34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35  For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat, I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink, I was a stranger, and ye took me in, naked, and ye clothed me, I was sick, and ye visited me, I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 36  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in or naked, and clothed thee?

That was just their way of living and that’s who they were.

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Here are some scriptures if you were interested.

  • 1st John 2 verses 9 and 10.
  • Saint John chapter 13 verses 31 through 35.
  • Mosiah 4 verses 14 through 19 and verse 26.
  • Jacob 2 verses 17 through 19.
  • Isaiah 58 verses 10 through 11.
  • 1st John 3 verses 16 through 19.
  • Mosiah 18 verses 7 through 10.

Let’s qualify ourselves to be on the right hand of the lord, let’s qualify ourselves to live in Zion by becoming Zion’s people first and by living with justice and by becoming truly converted to the lord and His Gospel. Let’s focus on helping, serving and loving. Let’s become true Christians and seeking to make a difference in the world. We can create a Zion society in our homes and in the way we live!

As we turn our hearts and our lives over to the Lord, he will help us, bless us, guide us and provide for us.

REACH UPWARD!

Greg

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Understanding the Bible. Incomparable Isaiah For Beginners Part 11

Understanding the Bible

Isaiah 1:25

“And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:”

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I want you to take a minute and at look your hands! What do you do with those hands? Often, the same hands can write words that are inspiring and powerful and write words that can destroy lives. With the same hand, you can build, help and serve or you can beat and fight. This is how much they are powerful!

I want you to think why God gave us hands and what he expects us to do with them?

Isaiah 1:25 the Lord says he is going to bring his hand upon Israel. This is what he says in the King James version:

“And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:”

Remember in 24:

Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:”

Delage says in his commentary:

“Jehovah will procure himself  relief from his enemies by letting out upon them the wrath which he had heather to been burden.”

The he burden here gives the sense of internal oppression. And the other version that Delage uses says:

“And I will bring my hand over thee and will smell out thy dross as with alcolay us and will clear away all thy led.”

Let’s turn to Zechariah 13: 7 through 9, it reads :

“Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me!” declares the LORD Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn my hand upon the little ones.” In the whole land,” declares the Lord  “two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. 9 This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”

This has reference to the second coming when the Lord is going to come and part will be burnt and destroyed and part will be rescued and that part that he is going to rescue is going to pass through the refiners fire.

Let’s turn and go to Malekayah 3 verses 2 and 3:

“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire. And like launderers’ soap.” 3 “He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the Lord An offering in righteousness.”

Joel 2:11

And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

You tell me, who can abide it? Who can abide the day of his coming? Who will not be destroyed or burnt out? Those are the obediences and who listened to his voice and always obeyed.

Joel 2:12

“Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.”

He wants you and I to give him our hearts and our wills. To hand over our lives to him.

There is another great reference in D & C 35, 21

For they will hear my voice, and shall see me, and shall not be asleep, and shall abide the day of my coming; for they shall be purified, even as I am pure.

Can we stay awake and watch with him? Can we abide with him?

In section 38 verse 8 gives us more insight:

“But the day soon cometh that ye shall see me, and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day.”

That reminds me of Solomons 24: 3-4:

“who shall I send to the hell of the lord, who shall stand in his holy place.” 4 “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”

The Lord will require purity!

Returning now to Malachi 3 2:

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap”

We’ve got to ask ourselves, are we apart of the problem or a part of the solution?

Let’s look at Ephesians chapter 6 verses 11 through 17. This is such a fantastic set of verses here.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against* flesh and blood, but against   principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,against spiritual wickedness in high places. That is a powerful verse and I want you to take your time to think about it.  13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand with purity, with dignity, with integrity and with confidence of the lord. Having done those things that please him.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all,taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

I challenge you to study this and think deep about it.

Now let’s go to Doctrine and Covenants 87 verses 6 through 8.

6 And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;

There is again that chastening hand upon the weakened.

7 That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies. 8 Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.

The day of the lord is coming and we need to stand in holy places. We need to be not moved from holy places. So make your home and life a holy place.

Now let’s return to Malachi 3 verse 2: who shall be able to stand when he appeareth for he is like a refiners fire.

Jeremiah 9: 7 reads:

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?

Another reference for the refiners fire, we are going to go now to numbers 11:1 and it reads: And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

Another reference. We go to Moses chapter 7 verse 34. And this is another example of the lord’s anger and indignation coming out against the rebellious and the weakened. It reads:

 And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.

It’s an act of love, an act of mercy and it is the fire of his indignation.

And now the last reference I have to go with Malachi 3:2 sends us back to Isaiah 4 verses 3 and 4. We will not cover right now, we will do it later.

Continuing with verse 3 in Malachi. It reads:

And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”

So he is looking for his reflection in us until we become like him. You need to always ask yourself this: can others see Christ in me?

There is a good reference here for proverb 17 verse 3:

The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

We must have Christ and his Gospel in our heart. We also need to have a heart of charity, purity and love.

Continuing in Malachi 3:3

“And he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”

Let’s go back and look at Isaiah 1:25:

And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:”

It is about to get rid of the unwanted memories and emotions, to get all the impurities out of there.

I want to return to Jeremiah verses 5 through 9 and we are going to take a look at some of the impurities and the problems. It reads:

5 They will deceive everyone his neighbor, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves to commit iniquity.

6 Your habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, says the Lord.

7 Therefore thus says Yahweh of Hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how [else] should I do, because of the daughter of my people?

8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceit: one speaks peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in his heart he lays wait for him.

9 Shall I not visit them for these things? says Yahweh; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

That’s so good and I have experienced that over and over. You can see this everywhere, even in organization, churches, politics…etc it is all around us, where to your face they’ll see something nice and then behind your back they’ll say something terrible.

Just be true in your words, your heart and in your actions, always be sincere.

Will our works, our deeds and our hearts stand the test of the refiners fire? Always put this in your mind.

He says in D & C 1: 12 verses 25 and 26:

25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;

26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.

Let’s jump out to 28: But purify your hearts before me; and then go ye into all the world, and preach my gospel unto every creature who has not received it;

There is our ticket! Let’s be pure, let’s be clean and let’s purge our hearts. And you know what, we can choose to be humble until before we are compiled to be humble. We can choose to purify our own hearts and do that before the lord has to bring his fire against us.

Let’s choose to be pure! Let’s resolve right now that we will always be true!

Let’s allow the lord to clean!

REACH UPWARD!

Greg

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Understanding The Bible: Incomparable Isaiah Part 10

Understanding the Bible

Isaiah 1:24

Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
the Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes
and avenge myself on my enemies.

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I want to start this class and share my experiences and my study. Isaiah 1:24, my initial reaction was like there’s not a whole thing out there, we will just cover it and then keep going. And that’s a huge mistake! Often, our expectations prevent us from learning a lot. And as I started to look deep, I discovered some serious treasures and thus I wanted to share them all with you. And that’s why we will spend the entire class just on verse 24.

So, let’s begin!

Isaiah 1:24  

Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:

There is judgment and vengeance coming.

This class is going to be a little hardcore, and you’ll see why. We need to understand very clearly God will not be mocked, He is kind, He is long suffering and He is merciful. But when His children cross the line, when they continue in their hardiness and their rebelliousness finally he drops the hammer so to speak.  Judgment will come to the rebellious and to the wicked. And in this class, we are going to see the harsh consequences that fall on those who do not listen.

So, let’s go back and look at these titles.

‘the Lord’  he is our Lord, our God and He is the God of everyone and everything. He is God over everything and He is the mighty one all powerful.

‘Omnipotent’ He knows all things and  He has the power to do all things.  

‘Ah’ it is described as pity mingled with wrath.

I wrote a bunch of scriptures about verse 24.

  • Ezekiel 5 verses 12-17.
  • Second Chronicles chapter 20.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 105 verses 14-15.
  • Exodes 23 verses 20-23.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 1: 13-16 and 97: 21-26.

So let’s go first to Ezekiel 5:12-17 and we read:

12 A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.  13 Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.

There is  a reference here in 13 to Ezekiel 24: 9-14. But let’s finish up here and then will go there.

14 Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.  15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.  16 When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread: 17 So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.

This is judgment that’s coming on Jerusalem and will later come on Babylon. He is promising as a consequence famine, sword, pestilence and a lot of suffering.

Let’s turn now to that reference in Ezekiel 24:9-14. And it reads:

9 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Woe to the bloody city! I also will make the pile of fire great. 10 Heap on the logs, kindle the fire, boil the meat well, mix in the spices, and let the bones be burned up. 11 Then set it empty upon the coals, that it may become hot, and its copper may burn,that its uncleanness may be melted in it, its corrosion consumed. 12 She has wearied herself with toil; its abundant corrosion does not go out of it. Into the fire with its corrosion! 13 On account of your unclean lewdness, because I would have cleansed you and you were not cleansed from your uncleanness, you shall not be cleansed anymore till I have satisfied my fury upon you. 14I am the Lord. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord God.”

Let’s look now at Exodus 23:20-23. It reads:

20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. 22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.

There is a fantastic lesson there. The Lord will find our battles if we are on his side. Otherwise, who are his enemies? Well, it is those who turn against God. So are we on the Lord side? That’s an important question that we need to frequently ask ourselves.

23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.

Let’s go now to second Chronicles chapter 20. Near the heading of chapter 20 I have three scripture references if you like to jot them down.

D&C 98:37 which reads:

And I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children’s, until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation.

Another verse is Joel chapter 3:2 and Zechariah 40:30 let’s take a quick look at both of those.

Joel 3:2 reads:

 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

Jehosaphat means Jehovah judges.

Zechariah 40:30 reads:

And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.

Let’s go back to second Chronicles now. I really love this chapter because it teaches us so many great principles about doing the right things at the right time for the right reason.

2 Chronicles 20 reads:

 1 Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi).” 3 Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.

Isn’t that fantastic?

And now what you and I do as a family when trials come along? Do we turn ourselves to seek the Lord and then turn our children to do the same? Or do we rely on ourselves and on other resources?

 

5Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court, 6and he said, “O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. 7 “Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?  8“They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying,  9‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.

What a great principle! When any challenge or problem comes against us, we need to turn to the Lord.

In Helaman 3:27 we read:  

Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name.

D&C 101:7-8 we read:  

7 They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble. 8 In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.

Too many forget the Lord when things are going well!

In Helaman 12:3 we read:

And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.

God will have a humble people. We can either choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble.

2nd Chronicles 20:10-12 reads:  

And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; 11 Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. 12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

Let not our hearts to be troubled.  We’ve got to keep our eyes on Christ and keep focused on him all the time. Keep your eyes on Christ.

2 Chronicles 20:13 reads:

And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.

What a wonderful verse! That’s how we approach the Lord as a family!

14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation; 15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

Please mark that! He will fight our battles especially if they are his.

16 Tomorrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.

I want you to think about that for a minute. One of the times in our lives when we need to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. We often get so cut up and so worked up in our lives but we need to stand ye still and see the salvation of the Lord and he will step in and he will work miracles in our lives if we are but faithful.

When the winds of adversity are blowing our lives, let us stand still and let’s turn and seek the Lord.

18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord. 19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high. 20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

Man I hope you marked that please! We want to be established and have that foundation on the rock of Christ. Believe in his prophets, his teaching and his acts. And ye shall prosper.

21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. 22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. 24 And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. 25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.

The Lord fought their battle, every one of them died, none of them escaped and then Israel was able to walk in there and take all their abundance and riches.

Trust the Lord and lean not unto your understandings.

26 And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the Lord: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.

The fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel. And that will be the same in the last days. When there is war all over the earth, there will be fear of the Lord. Because they’ll trust in him and allow him to fight their battles.

30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.

Let’s go back now to Isaiah 1:24

Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:

D&C 97:21-26

21 Therefore, verily, thus saith the Lord, let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion—the pure in heart; therefore, let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall mourn.  22 For behold, and lo, vengeance cometh speedily upon the ungodly as the whirlwind; and who shall escape it?  23 The Lord’s scourge shall pass over by night and by day, and the report thereof shall vex all people; yea, it shall not be stayed until the Lord come; 24 For the indignation of the Lord is kindled against their abominations and all their wicked works. 25 Nevertheless, Zion shall escape if she observe to do all things whatsoever I have commanded her. 26 But if she observe not to do whatsoever I have commanded her, I will visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire.

Our actions will determine what side we are on.

Let’s now turn to DC 105:14-15  

14 For behold, I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfil—I will fight your battles. 15 Behold, the destroyer I have sent forth to destroy and lay waste mine enemies; and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute mine heritage, and to blaspheme my name upon the lands which I have consecrated for the gathering together of my saints.

And last let’s turn to DC 1:13-16

13 And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. 14 And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; 15 For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant; 16 They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.

We need to look at some scriptures that need to go with this verse.

John 6:60-66

60  Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 66  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

So many people try to turn to the world and to materialism but this is not the right way to do it. You need to turn to the Lord and to prayers.

We’ve got to seek after the Lord no matter what happens. We’ve got to always turn to the Lord.

You’ll have every blessing you want if you just observe and do the Lord’s commitments. But on the other hand, if you don’t you’ll get the consequences.

We’ll wrap up with a quote from SC Lewis:

‘It is the business of these great masters [viz., spirits of the Lowerarchy] to produce in every age a general misdirection of what may be called sexual “taste”. This they do by working through the small circle of popular artists, dressmakers, actresses and advertisers who determine the fashionable type. The aim is to guide each sex away from those members of the other with whom spiritually helpful, happy, and fertile marriages are most likely.’

That’s from Screwtape Letters page 91.

I want to testify how absolutely important it is that we follow and worship God and Him only. That we turn our lives over to him, we submit to his will, and we observe and His commitments. And I promise that the blessings will be abundant and wonderful.

REACH UPWARD!

Greg

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Make a Difference

DSC00149The World is Full of Problems. Become Part of the Solution!

I am confident that there are people all around you who are hurting, who are suffering.  For whatever reason, someone within your circle of influence may be lonely, depressed or discouraged.

You can do something about that!

Get on the team.  REBUILD A LIFE.  Join the effort.  Make a difference.

Tell your friends and family.  Campaign for a good cause in the world.

Join the humanitarian revolution.  It’s time to fight back.  Do your part to stop the deluge of filth, debauchery, oppression and ignorance.

Doing Something ‘Someday’ Will Be Too Late!

“Have I done any good in the world today?”

I believe that the most important principle in making a positive difference, is who you are and how you live.  Your greatest influence will come through your daily actions, the little things you do every day; your habits.

Many of you are wonderful; you do so much good.  Your influence is immeasurable.  I congratulate you and encourage you to continue upward.

But many people erroneously believe that making a difference happens only, or primarily, when we do “service projects”, or “humanitarian/mission trips.”

While these are fantastic and do make a positive difference, I believe that the kind and thoughtful daily interactions with individuals can have an even greater influence.  I love you stop and play with a child or chat with an old widow as I’m walking by, or stop by to visit and encourage families.

Sometime ago I stopped, sat down, and talked for a while with a beautiful, 85 year old widow, who was sitting in a wheelchair begging for her subsistence in Ambergris Caye, Belize.  I thoroughly enjoyed talking to her and hearing her story of raising 11 children in el campo near Guatemala, in a time when they traded eggs for tortillas.  She had lost 3 children, her husband had died 25 years ago, and she had recently had her big toe amputated.  She told how lonely she felt and her gratitude for our little visit was visible.

Victor Hugo taught that, “The greatest happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved.”

The Key to Really Making an Impact, is to Live Like This

It’s not a check-list.

It’s not a project.

It’s who you are; and you are always being yourself!  No pseudo-self, no pageantry.  Real, sincere goodness.

Les Miserables is one of my all time favorite books (and movies).  “A passage from the [book] illustrates how [we] can treat those individuals viewed as strangers. Jean Valjean had just been released as a prisoner. Exhausted by a long voyage and dying of hunger and thirst, he arrives in a small town seeking a place to find food and shelter for the night. When the news of his arrival spreads, one by one all the inhabitants close their doors to him. Not the hotel, not the inn, not even the prison would invite him in. He is rejected, driven away, banished. Finally, with no strength left, he collapses at the front door of the town’s bishop.

The good clergyman is entirely aware of Valjean’s background, but he invites the vagabond into his home with these compassionate words:”

“‘This is not my house; it is the house of Jesus Christ. This door does not demand of him who enters whether he has a name, but whether he has a grief. You suffer, you are hungry and thirsty; you are welcome. … What need have I to know your name?

Besides, before you told me [your name], you had one which I knew.’

[Valjean] opened his eyes in astonishment.

“‘Really? You knew what I was called?’

“‘Yes,’ replied the Bishop, ‘you are called my brother.’”7

He stays the night; awakes in the middle of the night and steals his silver.   The bishop really owned extremely few things, having given so much to the poor.  The silver was one of the few things he had kept because of its sentimental value.  The bishop’s response the next morning when he realizes it was stolen? “Now first, did this silver belong to us?  …for a long time I have wrongfully been withholding this silver.  It belonged to the poor.”

Valjean was caught by the police and brought back to the bishop’s in chains.  The good bishop reproved him for having left so soon and for not having taken the large and valuable candlesticks as well.  He told Valjean that with the silver he had bought his soul from evil and that he must now become a good man.

Jean Valjean became a new man.

The bishop was able to help him change because of who he (the bishop) had become.  He radiated so much light that he could pierce the darkest gloom.

Victor Hugo writes, “Anything less than the first (bishop) would have failed to soften the second (Valjean).”  Les Miserables 113

That is one of the most powerful ideas about influence that I have ever come across.

Resolve to become more.

Be bigger, better and brighter.

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

What do you think is the best way to make a lasting difference?  Please comment below.

REACH UPWARD!

Greg

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