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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Workout for the Soul

By Paul Louis Cole
July 8, 2012

For a positive workout physically, you have to work the core. That center of your body will hold everything else together in health and strength. In the same way, we need “centering” in our spiritual lives, a workout that develops a strong core.

Here’s a start to building a strong core, a good spiritual workout. This is a strategic plan that will build faith and defeat fear. It will instill new levels of daring into your heart. This is practical, and you can do it. So, start.

• Turn off: TV, radio, news, sports radio, and talk shows. Don’t dwell on negative media images and words. If it’s your job and you need to know, then control the times. When you’re not working or you’ve learned what you need to know, turn it off. Don’t just keep your mind open to the stress, restlessness and rebellion of the culture.

• Turn on: Messages of faith, peace and uplifting power. Start with the messages of your own pastor and leaders you know.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17, NKJV).

• Read Proverbs every morning. Read Psalms every evening.

This will give you wisdom for the day and get courage working in your heart and soul in the evening. It will help you rest, and refresh you as you sleep.

• Encourage others! Speak life into those around you.

Be connected to people around you. Go out of your way to say something positive. If that is unusual where you live, then others may laugh at you. But your own heart will believe the sound of your voice, and your spirit will soar.

• Pray — for yourself, for others you know, for those in authority, for your brothers and sisters around the world going through great trials.

Prayer produces intimacy with God, with those you pray with, and with those for whom you are praying. Prayer centers the heart.

• Declare faith over your life!

Words have creative power. Pray God’s Word over yourself.

Start with Psalm 37. Read it aloud, over you, over your family, your business. How? Just insert your name, the names of your family members, as you read it like a prayer to the Lord. He is faithful to perform His Word.

• Meditate on the Word of God. That means think about it on purpose and with deep intent. Find one verse of Scripture each morning to think about deeply. During the day, trigger your mind to think about the good things God has done in your life.

Write in a journal words of life, peace, questions, prayers and answers. Keep it nearby to encourage yourself when you need it.

• Attend small groups, and show up at church meetings.

• Listen to godly music in the car and at home. You set the atmosphere of your home just by the music you play. When you’re going through a tough time, put on earphones and listen to Scripture or to select songs of praise that soothe your soul and boost your spirit.

• Do the smart, wise things in your job, career, school, family and friendships.

Live life with margin, keeping a little change in your pocket. Be early for meetings. Help meet the needs of others.

• Decrease debt as fast as possible and never get into debt again. Streamline and simplify your life. Learn the level of your capacity.

• Tithe regularly. This is God’s system for financial health that works so well, even secular experts advise it. Get into God’s system of finance by getting out of the cultural norms of success, money, life and things.

Why don’t you tell yourself out loud right now, “I need to do this and I need to start today”?

“Time lost is time lost. It’s gone forever. Some people tell themselves that they will work twice as hard tomorrow to make up for what the did not do today. People should always do their best. If they work twice as hard tomorrow, then they should have also worked twice as hard today. That would have been their best.”

John Wooden
Legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach; 10-time NCAA national champion

From Daring: A Call to Courageous Manhood by Paul Louis Cole (Southlake, Texas: Resolute Books, 2010). Excerpted with permission.

PAUL LOUIS COLE is president of Christian Men’s Network Worldwide in Southlake, Texas, and pastor of Hope Christian City Church in Dallas.

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