Tuesday, August 30, 2022

You Gotta' Have FAITH!

 "Remember WHO You Are" (YouTube video) 


You may want to take a look at that video link above because this ONE video has given me the material for this and the remaining two episodes/articles in this new, 3-part "Mini-Series".

I also want to encourage you to go HERE to listen to the podcast that goes along with this same topic. Same topic, additional/different information than you get by only reading this blog post. 

As I start this new 3-part "Mini-Series" with thoughts that I gathered after watching the above mentioned video a few months ago, I want to share with you the first thought that caused me to pause the video and write it down...

We want faith to take place but we don't want to operate IN faith (WOW!)

Now, as you read over that sentence you may think, "Uh, Mike...what's the difference in the two?"

My answer: "BIG difference!" 

I'll start off by making a very simple comparison that may help us all to "get" this part. How many start off each new year with their "New Year's Resolution" with the #1 thing being, "I want to (or I'm going to) lose weight!" And, likely, they become very adamant about doing so with every passing year that they don't accomplish this "goal". TALKING ABOUT or PLANNING to do something is far different than actually DOING that thing, right?

So it is with the idea of WANTING faith in your life or SAYING that you WANT to "live in/by faith" as compared to actually living (operating) IN faith as stated above.

Here's my simple "explanation" (not really a definition) of FAITH:  Trusting or believing in something that you cannot see. 

What??? Are you CRAZY

Think about it...if you can see it or know that it is there then there is no faith required, right?

Here's another simple (and silly) example that may help. Let's say you are on one side of a ravine and your friend is on the OTHER side of that ravine and that the depth of that ravine is 1,000 feet. In other words, step off of your side of the ravine and you will die when you plummet 1,000 feet.  

You WANT to get to the other side to be with your friend but, there's that gap between you and your friend. You say, "I wish there was a way for me to get from here to where you are!!" to which your friend replies, "There is!" Excitedly you exclaim, "Just tell me how or what to do and I'll do it....hurry up and tell me!!!"

Your friend says, "I know you can't see it but there is an invisible bridge over the ravine that connects the two sides and all you have to do is walk across."

What would you do?

A LARGE part of what you would do depends on how much you actually TRUST your friend, right? And, even then, it would still be very difficult to step out onto something that you cannot see to walk across. EVERYTHING in your body and mind would be screaming "DON'T DO IT!" as a way to try to protect you from what would seem to be certain death.

Sure, you still might be scared even if you COULD see  that bridge but it would not take FAITH that it is there in order to be able to take that first step. 

Living IN faith or BY faith is a lot like that. First of all, it DEMANDS trust and it also has SUBSTANCE and EVIDENCE even thought you cannot really "see" the answer. 

Yep, I'm going to bring in some scripture from the Bible because God's Word is the foundation for my life. It is my anchor and it is what gives me a solid foundation on which to walk in and through this life. 

So, right off, there is TRUST involved and that TRUST is based on what you do or don't believe about God and His Son, Jesus.  It's your choice but, as I share these thoughts with you, understand that this TRUST that I'm talking about will determine if you do or don't live in or by faith. It's just like the trust you either do or don't have your friend in the example above.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV)

Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for. It's not just "wishful thinking" or a "false hope". This faith has substance and that substance is supported by your TRUST and your BELIEF. I'll tie all of this together in a minute but let's go to the next part first.

Faith actually has EVIDENCE of things not seen! It's not a "blind faith" but one that has substance and evidence! 

You cannot SEE the wind but you can see EVIDENCE of the wind, right? 

So, living IN or BY faith has substance based on your TRUST in the one that you follow or listen to, just like your friend in the above example. Honestly, if you don't believe in God or trust God then you will not and cannot have FAITH in God. It is impossible. As a matter of fact, just go a few verses further down to verse 6 and you will find this: "But without faith it is impossible to please Him..."

The evidence is there. The substance is there. You may have this evidence based on things that have happened in your own life. You may have evidence based on things that you have seen or have been told about things in the lives of others. 


Well, just keep reading in Hebrews 11 and you will read of person after person after person that lived BY faith or IN faith and what happened in their lives. This chapter is often called "The Hall of Fame of Faith" because of these things.  

So, getting down to the nuts and bolts of all of this, TALK IS CHEAP. Whether you are talking about what you want/plan to do as part of your "New Year's Resolution" or stepping out and living IN or BY faith. 

The choice is yours but it WILL require TRUST in order to take ACTION

Join me next time as I continue on with some thoughts from this video. We will go from talking about FAITH to actually DOING SOMETHING TODAY (taking ACTION). 

Until next time, remember...

YOU'RE HERE FOR A REASON and, whatever you do, always be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"



Friday, August 26, 2022

Your "Circle" Matters

As always, be sure to go back and read the previous 2 articles that go along with this one. Why? Because they form a "mini-series" and today's blog article is the last of this 3-part series. You need to be caught up/up to date on the thoughts that have preceded this article to get the most out of the series.
I want to start this one off sharing something that I saw on another commercial. As part of the commercial script, the lady says something along the lines of:   "It's important to surround yourself with the right people."

Now, I already knew this but it was a good "memory jogger" that made me decide to do a blog article/podcast on that truth.

You've probably heard it said many times that we are most like the 5 people with which we spend the most time. When you think about that idea it might SCARE YOU or it may ENCOURAGE YOU. Which is it for you? Do you WANT to be like those people in your "circle"?  

By the way, this is often referred to as your "circle of influence". That's a great description because that's exactly what it is!

When it's stated that you are most "like" those people it means that you are influenced by those people in EVERY area of your life to the point that you "mimic" their thoughts and attitudes and, yes, even their ACTIONS in your own life. Give that some SERIOUS thought, friend!

You tend to adapt the same mindset and attitude with your...Finances, Physical Fitness, How you Present Yourself Physically (and every other way) and even your mindset and attitude with your relationships (spouse, friends, co-workers, etc.). 
This "circle" also shapes your thoughts on living a FULL life without regrets (the previous two articles).


 What influence do YOU have on YOUR "circle"? If you take a look at your circle and decide it's not what you need in your life, you can do one of two things: change your circle or, through your influence you can try to CHANGE the mindset and attitude of those in that circle. 

Maybe YOU are the CHANGE that your circle needs. Perhaps YOU are the one that, through your own mindset and focus, can help change the way your "circle" talks, acts and even thinks. Notice this list of things that Paul encourages the Christians in the city of Philippi to think about and focus on as a way to encourage each other (their "circle").

 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthymeditate on these things(Philippians 4:8)

In the last article I also referred to what the writer of the book (letter) of Hebrews encourage the group there to do as a way to help strengthen each other while going through a lot of struggles... "but exhort (we, today, would use the word "encourage") one another daily, while it is called “Today,” (Hebrews 3:13)

Here's another section where the same writer passes this advice on to the same group of people on how to continue with this daily encouragement..."And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and  good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting (encouraging) one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25) 

The phrase, "stir up" is often used in a negative way. Usually it's something that is bad (and often intentional) and may be used in phrases such as, "Wow, you sure stirred up a hornet's nest!" If you know anything about hornets then you KNOW that that is NOT a good thing! Yikes!

However, in this section of scripture from the Bible, that phrase is used in the opposite way. The advice given is to "stir up" GOOD things such as love, good works (good activity, activity that brings about good/positive results), not "skipping out" on spending time together as a way of encouraging each other.

Now listen, sometimes you have to just understand that your actions may not impact those in your current "circle" the way you need. Take a look at what is said in this graphic...

So, yeah, sometimes you will need to actually CHANGE the people with which you spend your time. Oh, believe me, I understand that this might be very difficult and, at times, may be even seemingly impossible, depending on who that person(s) may be.

But, keep this in mind. If YOU start living your life the way that the above Scriptures suggest then, guess what? YOUR mindset and attitude will improve in such away that you will begin to ATTRACT the "right  kind" of people that will also have the same approach. What will you have then? A "circle of friends" that will encourage you and spur you on just as you will be doing for them. 

So, just in case you haven't quite caught on to this truth, let me leave you with one more graphic using the thoughts found in 1 Corinthians 15:33..."Do not be deceived (don't fool yourself!), bad company corrupts good morals."

You may want to listen in on the podcast to catch some of my "Southern Expressions" that express this same thought. You might get a kick out of it! 

To sum this "mini-series" up: In order to live your life FULL and to die EMPTY (with NO regrets) then you must understand the importance of living TODAY to the best of your ability. One major way to do that is to surround yourself with people that will strengthen and encourage you each and every day. Carefully choose and develop your "circle" to be challenged to live in a way to get the MOST out of your life. 

Until next time, remember...

YOU'RE HERE FOR A REASON and, whatever you do, always be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"



Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The RICHEST Place in the World

If you haven't done so, be sure and go back to the last article that I posted entitled, "Live Full and Die Empty". It goes "hand in hand" with this article and the thoughts included in this article. 

After you have read it (maybe you need to "refresh" even if you have already read it), then look at this very somber - but TRUE - statement made below... 

""The richest place in the world is the graveyard.
You know why?
Because in the graveyard, you will find...
Inventions never invented
Books never written
Ideas never nurtured
- And dreams never lived."

"Remember Your Dream" by "Motivational Instinct" CLICK HERE to watch on youtube 

Like I said with the last article, I don't want to die with regrets. I don't want to die with things left undone that I had opportunity to GET done.

Now then, chances are, if I have goals and dreams that I am constantly and consistently working towards then there WILL be some things left "undone" but, my friend (and this is a very important point!) I will have left this earth MOVING TOWARDS something MORE in and for my life! That, in my opinion, would qualify as "dying EMPTY" with NO REGRETS!

For ALL of us...for you and for me...the ONLY way that we can accomplish this is by doing all we can TODAY

In the Bible, the writer of the book of Hebrews (or the letter that he wrote to the church there) needed to help the Christians there "stay together" and help each other remain strong in their faith. In Hebrews 3:13 he emphasizes this by saying, "but exhort (encourage) one another daily, while it is called “Today...”

Notice he said to do it DAILY but - don't put it off - do it while it is still called "TODAY".  

Listen friend, I'll say it again: The ONLY way that we can accomplish living our lives fully and leaving no regrets is by doing all we can TODAY!

One way that helps tremendously (the writer of Hebrews refers to it as well later on in chapter 10 in verses 24 and 25) is based on those that make up our "circle". 

We'll talk about that part of the picture in the next article.

Until then, remember...

YOU'RE HERE FOR A REASON and, whatever you do, always be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"



Monday, August 22, 2022

Live FULL and Die EMPTY


You've likely seen the above picture before. GOOD IDEA with POOR EXECUTION! Can you imagine how the person that got this tattoo felt once they realized the mistake that was made with a PERMANENT tattoo? 

Now listen, I could do a whole article on the thoughts of making sure you don't mix "poor execution" with a "good idea" but that's not what this particular article is about.

Don't take this too literal with the tattoo example above, o.k.? But, here's the thing about living live with NO REGRETS (what the tattoo was SUPPOSED to have spelled out)... sometimes YOU SCREW UP or someone else does something that screws things up for you!

 The following is not an exact quote but it's something that I see from time to time on a commercial trying to get people to take action and buy this particular product. Whether I like the product or not has nothing to do with the TRUTH that is found in this part of the ad:

Don't Regret What You Didn't Do
Take Action and Feel Great About Saying

Don't live your life in regret. That's something that most of us probably have said or believe yet, for whatever reason, most - if not all - of us do, indeed, have many regrets.

As I write this article, I'm 62 years old (closer to 63) and, as I look back over my life, I regret the opportunities that crossed my path that I didn't "jump on" for whatever reason. 

What are YOUR reasons?  

I really encourage you to go back and listen to the "People of Passion" podcasts that I've put out so far. You can read my last article for the links to each of these first three. EACH of these ladies talk about some sort of hesitation in making a move in their life based on their PASSION. Each discuss things that could have held them back and that COULD hold them back even now.

Is it FEAR? "What if I screw things up?" "What if my (friends, family, spouse, etc) think I'm crazy for doing this and what if they continually tell me I shouldn't do it?" 

Here's another one that is based on FEAR but in a way that most of us won't admit: "What if it DOES work well and I don't know what to do or how to do it? What if I screw it up then?"

What is it for you?

Again, I do believe that you must have "good execution" to some extent but, at the same time, you could also end up continually trying to make sure that you have that "good execution" covered in every possible way to the point that you never take action. It's called "paralysis by analysis". 

Very simple example that you can take and apply to your own situation. You may decide you want to try to bungee jumping and get so excited that you go and jump off of a cliff...without making proper preparations of actually HAVING A BUNGEE CORD attached to your body. Yeah, that won't work.

You could also decide that you like the idea of sky diving and, just like the example above, jump out of an airplane only to realize (too late!) that you should have made sure you actually had a parachute!

There is a delicate balance between "good execution" (preparation) and boldly taking a step out in the direction of your goals and dreams.


  "LIVE FULL AND DIE EMPTY" is a phrase that is often attributed to Les Brown but I've seen many others say it and even at least one other person write a book by the same title. It doesn't really matter WHO said it but, rather, what matters is whether or not you are able to step up and out and live the idea.

Hey listen, I've made a LOT of mistakes in my life and, to be honest, many of them have been financially costly. HOWEVER, I do my best to NOT allow regret to be a part of those moves. Why? Because I stepped out and took a chance.

Do I wish that these mistakes had turned out for the better? Of course I do! But they didn't and I survived. And, most of the time (if not ALL of the time), I learned some valuable lessons in the process. I'm not just saying that...it is a fact, friend. 

I'm going to be doing a couple of more articles/podcasts that tie into to this concept but, until then, I want to leave you with one other POWERFUL thought to keep in mind on all of this:

"You can face everything and RISE or you can fear everything and FALL."

Until next time, remember...

YOU'RE HERE FOR A REASON and, whatever you do, always be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"



Saturday, August 20, 2022

People of Passion Series (1 - 3)

I recently began a new podcast series entitled, "People of Passion" and, as of this article, I've had 3 special guests for this series.

In this article I will simply be directing you to the podcasts that I have put together for this series to this point and I do hope you will take the time to listen in. Unless you know these people personally, you likely have never heard of them and that's exactly what I wanted.

These are "real", every day people that have impressed me with what they are doing in their lives to make an impact in their world.

You can GO HERE to listen to the "Series Introduction". This will give you more information about the purpose of this series.


My first guest for this series is Kim Tatum. She discusses her desire to "do something more" once she came to the point of retirement. Do YOU often feel that you are being "called" to do more than just sit by the wayside? GO HERE for this interview.


 My second guest for this series was BJ White. What interesting things she shared with me during this interview! Be sure to listen in with a very entertaining story about her and the number 7. Be inspired by her decision to walk away from her career to follow her dream. Listen in by CLICKING HERE

My third guest for this special series was Jean Peterson. This interview was so much fun and also very inspiring. Listen in by CLICKING HERE and be inspired as well.

I do still have a couple of people lined up that are working with me around their schedule and I hope to have them available in the month of September. One is a single mom that is involved in foster care in a very "real" way and the other is a gentleman that has experienced MASSIVE success in the online business world. You won't want to miss either of these!

I plan to do some other podcasts before I get a chance to have these last two interviews so be sure to be watching out for those.

Until then remember...

YOU'RE HERE FOR A REASON and, whatever you do, always be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"