“Celebrated and Not Just Tolerated”

Are you a person who feels more Tolerated than Celebrated at times, depending on the people you are around? Are you willing to settle for being Tolerated and never Celebrated? I used to think that was my only option, but now I know better. For those who felt like it was a big task to deal with me or interact with me, I did them a favor: I removed myself!

No one should have to feel as if they are only being Tolerated. That’s why I am working to surround myself with people who will Celebrate me, and to whom I can reciprocate and do the same. I am building my community of people from whom I can draw encouragement and strength, who will stand with me in faith; people who have no problem showing their appreciation for me; people who want to Celebrate me.

We’ve all made our declarations that this is going to be our Best Year Ever! So, let’s build our team. Let’s get ourselves some cheerleaders, some coaches, and some accountability partners. We can’t do it alone (and besides, that’s no fun anyway). Let’s get some people on our team who will cheer us on to the finish line. We need people who won’t give up on us, and who won’t let us quit or give up on ourselves.

So, That Settles It. It’s time that you are Celebrated and Not Just Tolerated. This week I challenge you to check your circle and if you feel more Tolerated than Celebrated, I suggest you find a new circle; or better yet, build yourself a new circle. Work on Celebrating yourself, Celebrating others, and surrounding yourself with those who will Celebrate you. Surround yourself with those who are not afraid to challenge you in the areas that need work, but who choose to see the good in you, in spite of…

P.S. Yes, I used the word Celebrate a lot (it was intentional)! That’s because I really want you to get this! You deserve to be Celebrated and Not Just Tolerated.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace (1 Peter 4:8-10 ESV).

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“Fit for the Fight”

It’s a new year and many of us have made our New Year’s resolutions; or written out our goals; or made our vision boards, and we are ready. There’s only one problem: We see the big picture, but oftentimes we fail to adequately plan how we will attain it. If we are honest with ourselves, many of us are not Fit for the Fight. This is why many New Year’s resolutions don’t last past the first month. We have great intentions, but we are not intentional about realizing those dreams.

Let me also add that praying and asking God alone won’t do it. I know this may be shocking, but God laid it out for us in His Holy Word: “Faith without works is dead.” We have to work. God opens the doors, but it’s up to us to walk through them. He’s not going to open the doors until we are ready; which means we still have to do our part to prepare.

Think about athletes, exceptional business men and women, Award-winning actors. They don’t just dream of being the best in their field and then magically one day they wake up and “Poof” it’s done. That’s not how it works. If you ask any of these people, they will tell you about the countless hours they spend perfecting their craft. They will tell you how they start their days before most and don’t get to bed until late at night. They will tell you how imperative it is that they remain disciplined. They will tell you even when they fail, they don’t quit; they keep going. They keep believing in themselves and their Purpose, even when no one else does. They work very hard to ensure they remain Fit for the Fight.

Let’s be more practical this year. Instead of just writing out goals, making a pretty vision board, reciting New Year’s resolutions, or just praying (without doing the work); let’s also create a strategy detailing how we will obtain those goals. The reality is many of the things we want, especially those big things, we have to fight for them. They won’t come easy, it will take hard work, discipline, and commitment. It requires sacrificing time, energy, and money. We have to ask ourselves how much we are willing to sacrifice.

So, That Settles It. I applaud you for setting goals, making resolutions, having a vision, and praying and trusting God. Now I challenge you to plan strategically how you will make this your Best Year Ever! Are you Fit for the Fight?

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening, it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:11 NLT

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