Uncommon

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Jesus was radically uncommon. Think about this:

  • He is the King of Kings, but came to earth as a helpless baby.
  • He taught in the synagogue at the age of 12.
  • He worked as a simple carpenter for much of his life despite Him being the Son of God.
  • His ministry was only three years long, yet it turned the world upside down.
  • When He came into Jerusalem, He came in riding on a donkey.
  • He performed countless miracles and impacted the lives of all He encountered.
  • He chose twelve disciples to carry His word to the world, and He knew Judas was the one who would betray Him.
  • He called the self-righteous people of his day a brood of vipers. He was not afraid of them.
  • He taught us how to live, how to pray, and how to forgive everyone…even our enemies!
  • He gave up his life on the cross for the sins of all mankind, and rose again in three days to defeat death.
  • When He went back to Heaven, He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us and encourage us.
  • He is coming back again, but this time He will be coming as the King of Kings.

Think about those facts and then realize that Jesus has called each of us to be uncommon! We are to be like Him! We are called to be world changers and earth shakers! We are called to be His disciples and to make disciples. All of God’s commandments are boiled down to this (I paraphrase): love God with all your heart and love other people like you love yourself.

Why is that so hard to do for so many people? Well, this is just my opinion but I think the love of money has blinded many people from really knowing God and understanding what He wants from us. We live in perilous times and I do believe that God is allowing people to choose how they live. I pray that each of us do our job of living for God first and foremost, and that we help others to turn to Him before it is too late. Nobody knows when Jesus will return, and none of us know when we will take our last breath. That is all in God’s hands.

I pray that we be an uncommon people. Help us Lord, to be the light in the darkness to draw the lost to You. May we glorify You in all we say and do. Amen.

Shalom!

Daniel Skognes

When You Take Offense

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

We live in a time where everyone seems to have a chip on their shoulder. What offends you? Politics? Religion? Traffic? Your family? Your spouse? Your job? I would be willing to bet that every one of us is prone to being offended. The problem is, when you take offense, you build a fence. Communication and relationships are sabotaged to the point that they are often destroyed beyond repair.

I don’t want to start singing here, but “Let It Go” comes to mind. When we hold on to offenses we are giving the devil a foothold in our heart. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. The problem is, we don’t know who the real enemy is behind the scenes. We think it is the guy in traffic that is acting like a total jerk, or the boss who demeans us in front of others. That is not the REAL problem. We have to realize where the attack is from and start taking back control of our reactions.

A few suggestions to surviving the chaos in a world gone mad:

  • Learn the art of letting go of anger. It is truly liberating when you realize that you actually have the power over your own emotions. You will live longer and have a lot less stress.
  • Don’t let other people steal your joy. Why would you let someone else push your buttons and control you? Take back that control over your responses.
  • Stay in your lane. We say this a lot at school, but it applies to all aspects of life. Mind your own business and don’t get caught up in the drama that surrounds you every day. Do you really want more drama in your life?
  • Seek to be at peace with everyone as much as possible. You don’t have to like them, but you can still be respectful. Everyone is not going to think as you think or behave as you behave. Don’t expect them to. That is absurd. Worry about the person in the mirror. That is the only person that you can really change.
  • Get in the habit of doing the right thing regardless of what other people do or say. You will have less to apologize for.
  • Think about the consequences of your words and your actions before you speak or act.
  • Forgiveness is a necessity for your own sanity. Don’t let bitterness take root and keep you from realizing the joy of life.
  • Changing how you speak, think, and act is not easy to do. Ask God to help you and put on the whole armor of God every day.

I know that some of you may be tempted to take this thought to the extreme, so let me add that I in no way suggest that you turn a blind eye to injustice or evil. That is foolish and dangerous as well. We do have to confront evil when it crosses our path. I simply suggest considering a different path to have different outcomes.

Shalom!

Daniel Skognes

Who’s In Your Boat?

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

I was listening today to a teaching that centered around Mark 4 where Jesus was in the boat with his disciples. He tells them, “Let’s go over to the other side.” The problem came when they were crossing over and a terrible storm arose. Keep in mind these were fishermen….and they were very afraid of drowning. What was Jesus doing? He was sleeping! Can you imagine what was going on in their minds? Finally they woke him up and asked, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown????”

Immediately Jesus arose and calmed the storm with a simple command, then he asked his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” We can’t judge the disciples too harshly because we might very well have been in a similar situation and crying out to the Lord ourselves.

The question becomes: where is your faith when you are in the storm? You have do ask yourself:

  • Is God good? That would be an absolute yes!
  • Does He care what happens to us? Without question He loves and cares for each of us!
  • Can He handle it? Of course He can. God can do anything He wants to do.

So where is our faith? Are we just trying to get through the storm in our own strength? That does not work. If Jesus is in your boat, do you really have to worry? Whatever God tells you to do, just do it. Don’t question it no matter how small or how big it may seem. An army may be lined up against you, but you and God are a majority! Don’t let the fear of failure, the fear of the future, or fear of your current circumstances hold you back.

True faith requires action. Just know that when God tells you to do something you can count on being tested. Don’t be surprised by it. Know that the testing of your faith reveals your true motives and your character. If you fold in the face of a storm, you have to ask yourself how much faith you really have.

By the way, everybody fails. Everybody makes mistakes…and everybody falls short of the glory of God. It is only thru Christ that we can become fully alive and live the lives that God destined for us. I was sharing with a group of men over breakfast that despite my eyesight problem, I have gained greater insight into myself and into other people. God has used my frailties to help me see things in a spiritual sense that I might have otherwise missed.

Whatever battle you face, don’t despair. If God called you to it, He will help you through it. You don’t have to understand, you just have to trust and obey.

Shalom!

Daniel Skognes

World Changers

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

2020

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

There are three types of sight: hindsight, eyesight, and insight. Each of them are important, but they give us different perspectives. Hindsight is past tense and gives us our history lessons. It helps us learn from both successes and failures. They say it is 20/20, but we don’t always see things as they were. We see them how we remember them, and many of us have poor memories. Hence, history tends to repeat itself till we learn the lesson.

Eyesight is present tense. It helps us see and evaluate what is currently going on around us. It helps us evaluate our lives and live fully in the moment. For those of us who have to wear corrective lenses to see properly, you can appreciate what it is like to see things clearly.

Insight is future tense. It gives us clarity, hope, and encouragement for the future. It helps us weather the storms and keep track of our true North. It is our compass, our light, and our hope.

It is debatable which one is the most important. Perhaps it depends on where you are in life. I think each has merit and can either help or hinder us. I used to think that seeing was believing, but I found out that a good magician can make you believe just about anything, so sometimes our eyesight is the enemy of our faith, and faith is what sustains and propels us forward to face and overcome our fears.

As we enter the new year, here is my word of encouragement: learn the lessons from the past, don’t miss the blessings of the present, and hold fast to your faith for the future. May God bless you and your family throughout the new year. I do believe it will be a year of great clarity for each of us.

Shalom!

Daniel Skognes

Showing Up

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Great Advice

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Things Money Can’t Buy

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Modern Warfare

Posted in Motivational, Spiritual

World War Won

Posted in Motivational, Spiritual