FACT VERSUS MEANING

DATA OR EMOTION

There are many things that impacts how you make our our everyday decisions. Today I want to focus the principle of “Fact versus Meaning” which when applied in your decision making process will bring your more clarity.

Think about it…  Suppose that your good friend does not respond to an important email that you sent. This experience would be a fact. As you ponder why he did not respond, emotions emerge, which become a distraction to the fact. This is where a meaning is formed; “perhaps he doesn’t really care about me?”

Then the meaning becomes your point of focus and has power to influence you more so than the fact, because it has emotion tied to it.

When you come right down to it, facts have little to no impact on life because they don’t carry the same power! Meaning becomes the driving force behind your next step. These interpretations or assumptions become our facts because meaning has emotion. This principle can take a while to sink in, but a fact has no emotion.

The fact that someone just cut you off the road means nothing. The fact that you are overweight means nothing. The fact that you just lost your job or a ton of money means nothing. I am not saying that these realities are not important, but if you pause long enough to see what meaning is derived from your emotional response, you will learn how to better process life’s challenges.

Facts are eternal in nature, they can’t be changed. How you view a fact can be changed based on how you handle your emotions.

Example:
FACT, your pet died! While this is really sad and you feel awful, the eternal nature of the fact does not change.
MEANING: In your emotion you start to believe, “my life will never be the same, I don’t think I can live without her”. This point of view becomes the lens through which you see the fact that your pet died. You can change your meaning, but you can’t change the fact.

Let’s look at some other examples. Suppose your employer, professor or pastor walks by you and He doesn’t even notice you exist. This incident would go in the fact box. The state of mind your are in will determine your meaning. Possibilities include thoughts such as, he doesn’t care about me, or he must really be busy, or I knew I was not that important. Once again, what will you process more intently, the fact or the meaning you placed on the experience?

People can assign entirely different meanings to the very same experience or fact. Two people will inevitably see things at least two different ways based on the varied realities of each person’s life.

Current example:
Fact: Donald J. Trump was elected president of the USA.
MEANINGS: Thank God, he is just the man we have been looking for and now we can see some positive change! or Oh no, he is such a _______, our nation is doomed!

You hear both meanings all the time on the news. The fact that he is president is no longer the focus and with both meanings there are problems. In the first, a person may not see his flaws which need addressed. In the second meaning the person can miss good things he is doing.

So, if you assign meaning to an experience, no matter the type, you have just decided in your own mind your perspective, a view-point you made up. The meaning is something you determined and when it becomes the point of focus, it becomes your made-up fact. That means the experience is no longer important because the meaning is your basis for your next decision or reaction.

Once you make any fact or experience mean something, whether positive or negative, you must create more events to support your meaning.

As work this principle out this week, I would love to hear back from you with testimonies of how you shifted fact to meaning and then back to fact again.

Have a great week,
Rob 

HOPE ENVISIONS THE FUTURE

Eager Anticipation

Have you ever heard that God is the source of hope! Yes, it is true, read Romans 15:13. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

Often, we get distracted by hope for things, rather than asking for the revelation of the source of hope. People and things will often let us down, but when you refocus on the Originator of Hope you will find His peace and joy which sustains you. From this relationship, you will overflow with hope and thereby be an encouragement to the people you interact with each day.

“I hope to get a new car” is not a bad thing, but hope will not get you a new car. Think about it, how many things have you hoped for during your life time that never came to pass? Hope deferred makes the heart-sick. (Proverbs 13:12)

Perhaps a perspective change is in order, because FAITH is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Hope is an open window to opportunity, but it is faith that makes things possible.

When your hope comes from God, then having faith for the provision for the the “thing you hope for” becomes possible.

So be filled with eager anticipation today as you receive this revelation of hope from God. Talk to Him about your experience with hope and let Him renew your vision!

Have a great week!
Rob

Rob Stoppard of Destiny Unlimited International and Paul Short of Face to Face Space invite you to a day of discovering the freedom of your true identity and purpose while growing in a meaningful relationship with God, and others.

We have found that many people desire a more interactive learning experience that mentors their growth process rather than sitting through a day of lectures. Our approach follows this pattern; you receive INFORMATION that becomes REVELATION that creates TRANSFORMATION – producing a powerful impact on your life!

YOUR NEXT STEP is different than typical conferences in that we share principles that you are given time to process and activate throughout the day. Our hope is that you come away with a heart-felt sense of inspiration and confidence to live out your destiny with God.

Topics include:

  • How to live life with purpose and confidence
  • Learn to make decisions from a solid platform
  • Learn to activate freedom daily
  • Discover that glory lives in you
  • Activate your dreams
  • Receive and implement divine wisdom and understanding
  • Believe that you are not alone
  • You are a key member of the Body of Christ

DATE AND TIME: Sat, Sept 16, 2017 – 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

PRICE: $67/person (by 8/31) $87/person (9-1)

LOCATION: The Mansion on Main 3000 Main Street Voorhees NJ

After our introductory meeting on July 13, Pastor Karen Lightfoot (Riverlution Church, Riverside, NJ) gave this testimony:

“Hi Rob… I wanted to write to say THANK YOU to you and Paul for offering your time, talents and gifts to us last night. We left feeling inspired and ready to tackle any obstacles that await us. Looking forward to seeing where God will take this.”

Please register before August 31 at the early bird price of $67 per person. The regular price of $87 per person, will take affect on September 1, 2017.

Price includes lunch served by the staff of the Mansion on Main.

YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS OUT ON THIS EXPERIENCE!

Rob Stoppard www.destinyui.com

Paul Short www.facetofacespace.com

Date: September 16, 2017
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Event: YOUR NEXT STEP
Topic: YOUR NEXT STEP
Sponsor: Rob Stoppard
Venue: The Mansion on Main
Location: 3000 Main Street
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

If Suddenly...

What would you do…

Throughout the last two decades I have noticed that not many people take time to just sit and wonder, imagine, dream, expect and anticipate how their lives could positively change in a moment.

I know, you tried, but hope-deferred, made your heart, sick or at the very least sad. Who wants to feel that again!

What if, your ship came in and suddenly you were able to live your dream without worry of provision, inability or fear of what people might think?

Would you be ready?

Have you laid out your heart felt desires and dreams for your  future in writing? If not today would be a great day to start!

So, your ship came in! What is the first thing you would do after the shock dissipated?

Sadly, many people who receive their SUDDENLY, end up blowing it somehow because of fear of failing, fear of loss, fear of success or fear of something.

You see, living in great expectation is not waiting for the ship, but rather waiting on God to reveal Himself to you as He really is, a loving and generous Father; someone you can talk to about your dreams.

So, Rob, you mean I can have whatever I want!

Of course not, but you can have whatever you need to live in the fullness of your destiny with God! Yes, exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ask or think.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

If you make it all about you, then you can see what you really need. God said that He will meet all your needs according to His riches in glory. He can’t meet needs that are not real, needs that you create from your flesh. However, once you lay down your perceived needs and wants, He can meet real needs that you will really want to experience and that is beneficial to society.

When you seek FIRST the Kingdom of God, then everything else can be added to you. That is the point! Seek first relationship with Holy Spirit because the Kingdom is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Look it up if you don’t believe me!

Suddenly! Yes, Suddenly happens when you reposition yourself in relationship with God, first through faith in Jesus and then through getting to know your helper, Holy Spirit.

Suddenly, you access your inheritance that Jesus promised you, as you continue your journey in faith!

Too good to be true?

Perhaps deception has stepped into your journey and blinded you to the path of salvation that not just saves you from destruction, but to personal relationship with the Creator of the planet on which you are blessed to live?

Chew on this for a week or so and come back with your testimonies or questions…

Rob

WHAT DOES FREEDOM MEAN TO YOU?

THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE

Happy 4th of July everyone! I know, I am a day early making my post this week, but FREEDOM is on my mind both positively and negatively. Throughout the morning I have been wondering how many people actually know the history of the USA? I am wondering who can see how lawlessness has  distorted the gift of freedom and created a free-for-all for some or our population?

The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. 

This freedom was not without sacrificial investment of many people’s time, treasure, talent and life that I doubt that not many of us can fully comprehend. It is my prayer that people all across this great nation will be awakened to the opportunity they have to embrace a life of freedom that blesses and honors the people they influence. It is my prayer that God will be honored again in every area of human life and responsibility!

Of course there is another kind of freedom that is even more important, the one for which Jesus gave his life. His sacrifice for personal freedom from sin is greatly unnoticed by many and often distorted by religions that do not honor Him and what He has done.

True freedom is two-sided; freedom from something and freedom to something. Our ancestors in the 1700’s wanted freedom from tyranny to gain freedom to raise their families on a land with limited government involvement. Sadly we have drifted so far off track that many of our freedoms have been regulated by government agencies and many distorted through the free-for-all of lawlessness.

May this “Independence Day” be the beginning of a different kind of revolution, a revolution of the heart, where people will choose to love and honor God and in turn learn to love each other… that is true freedom!

Have a blessed and fun-filled Day! Rob 

 

TRADING YOUR TIME FOR MONEY?

Perhaps it is time for change!

What does the title of today’s post stir inside you? Perhaps going to work, doing your job, and bringing home a paycheck is all you know? Don’t get me wrong, being employed is not a bad thing and for many people that is their preferred way to establish cashflow to support their life style. But what if you have more potential and your “anti-potential beliefs” are holding yourself back?

What if you could invest your time in a faith-filled way that produces a hope-filled future where you potential to experience a return on the investment of your time, talents and treasures? What does that statement stir inside you? I am sure it sounds freeing for some and concerning for others?

  • Perhaps you are sitting on an invention that you have tucked away for a rainy day, “when the time is right”?
  • Perhaps there is the book that you never wrote or if you did, fear keeps the manuscript on the shelf?
  • Perhaps you have the idea that you could buy and flip houses or set up rental income?
  • Perhaps you have developed an expertise in a specific field from which you could develop intriguing resources that people might buy on the internet or through workshops and other speaking opportunities?

Maybe it is time for you to take another look at your gifts, talents, abilities, ideas, life experiences, hopes and dreams? Perhaps with some restructuring of your life and developing vision with action steps you could set a course to invest your time, rather than just trade it? 

Let’s think this over for a week and until then, please comment with your questions and or ideas of your potential that stirred in you as you read this post!

Have a great week, Rob

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Take Courage

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today I just want to encourage you to do something that will take you one step closer to fulfilling your destiny with God. 

You are not alone, because he promised to never leave you or forsake you. If you feel alone, that is because you are distracted from your true identity in Christ.

I know, sometimes the challenges seem to overshadow identity and relationship, but you are designed to overcome! So let’s take courage today and make that phone call, write that email, do the research, invest the money or whatever action step will push you forward!

Believe in yourself, believe in God and go for it! You have what it takes!  Have a great week!

 

IDENTIFY AS A CHRISTIAN

Christian by Name Only part two

Last week, I started a conversation about Christian life and taking an honest assessment about believing in your mind or believing in your heart the salvation through faith in Christ message. When you are “Christian by name only” or just “identify as a Christian, it is very difficult to consistently demonstrate a godly life.  I don’t know about you, but isn’t it hard sometimes to just be brutally honest with yourself about the fruit or evidence of your faith?

Paul of Tarsus expressed his frustration with his “Christian life” in the New Testament book of Romans in chapters 6-8. Let’s take a look at Chapter 7 from the New Living Translation. 

15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

What Paul is saying here is that you can believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and experience an authentic salvation experience, but then lose sight of living from your heart.

…So I want to love my neighbor who seemingly shows disregard for how people in the community are subject to his loud music with immoral lyrics, but I find myself wanting him to suffer somehow…

…So I want to take better care of my body, but those donuts and fried foods are just too hard to resist…

You can’t experience the overcoming nature of salvation by just going to church and identifying as a Christian. You can never consistently beat temptation by just using will power.

As you learn to know who you really are in Christ, you become more familiar with your new heart.

When you are Christian by name only, you may have an awareness of sin, based on law, but lack the freedom that salvation provides to grow in relationship with God so that sin loses its allurement. You see, true freedom does not put you under the laws of “I can’t or I shouldn’t”, but rather “I can make that choice, but I don’t need too” or “I don’t want to because my relationship with God is more important”.

When you get a minute go back to the last post and scroll down the page that begins with “Now let’s look at the revelatory nature of Romans 8:9-11 (GNT)” and read verses.

So let me conclude with a statement I shared last week: In taking an honest assessment of the results in my life that give evidence of “knowing God” through a heart-felt belief, I see changes in my life. But I also realize that in some areas I am “Christian by name only” because there is no fruit…

Invite Holy Spirit to teach you how to believe in your heart… completely…

Have a great week!

Rob

 

CHRISTIAN BY NAME ONLY

Heart versus Mind...

A few days ago I made a Facebook post that stunned me enough to reflect on the quality and nature of my so called “Christian Life”. So, as promised, I am following up with additional food for thought.

The FB Post on May 25th goes like this: “Tonight I realized that when you believe in your MIND and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you become a Christian by name only. This was stunning to me, because of my revelation of Romans 8:9-11…

To begin, let’s reflect upon Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.

Based on my FB post and the contrast of Roman’s 10 one could conclude that knowing about Jesus in your mind is different than knowing Him in your heart.

I know about a lot of things, but have not made some of these thoughts core to living my life. For example, I know about the value of eating healthy foods, but have not embraced the entire message with my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I am not out of control with my eating habits, but neither have I implemented all that I learned about.

If I actually believed in my heart all that I have learned about nutrition and health, there would be evidence of it in my life. There would be a demonstrated commitment to a heart-felt belief. Hence, I am “health-conscious” by name only.

In other words, my thoughts about health and nutrition cause me to be aware, but not committed from a heart-belief that is actually transformational in nature producing evidence of my belief through reaching a healthy weight.

Now let’s look at the revelatory nature of Romans 8:9-11 (GNT)
But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to—if, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

10 But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin.

11 If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.

You see, the “if, in fact” statement is really important when it comes to discerning the difference between “knowing about” and actually “knowing”.

If, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you, there is evidence by His fruit being seen in your everyday life, especially the difficult circumstances.

In taking an honest assessment of the results in my life that give evidence of “knowing God” through a heart-felt belief, I see changes in my life. But I also realize that in some areas I am “Christian by name only” because there is no fruit… It seems important not to share personal examples right now, because I need to process this post further myself.

In summary, I see two possibilities for “Christian by name only” that concern me…

  1. The individual that has actually experienced Romans 10:9-10 shows evidence there of, but also areas in their lives that show head knowledge only.
  2. Individuals that have inherited the label, Christian, because of growing up in a “Christian home” or by being born in a “Christian nation”.

Option #1 there is hope for positive growth that produces fruit for everyone to see.
Option#2 is a form of deception that gives an individual a false sense of security about their life…

Makes you think, doesn’t it…

Not sure, but I believe my next post will delve into this topic even further…

Let me know your thoughts and questions when you get a minute!

 

MIRRORS AND IMAGINATION

What do you see...

What do you see when you look in the mirror each new day? What do you see on the screen of your mind when you consider your value, your identity and sense of life purpose?

Reflection is a valuable action step to take in each new situation of your day. Why, because   your decisions are abased on “how you see and hear things”, not necessarily reality or facts.

For example, my day is all planned out, but the schedule is tight. I am driving to my first appointment and notice a traffic jam on the road ahead. My natural eyes can see stopped vehicles, but I don’t know why. Depending on what I believe about myself, life and traffic jams, I will create scenarios on the screen of my mind that will cause either a positive or negative experience.

What I “see” creates scenarios not necessarily facts. 

Another example looks like this… I determined to become a life coach, so I researched different schools and training institutes and even downloaded applications. Life responsibilities started to grab for my attention so I walk away from my research.

With so much going on, I looked at the possibility of becoming a life coach, but did not look at the reality of becoming one. Kind of reminds of a passage in James chapter one is from the Message Bible.

22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

25 But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatter-brain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action. 

Seeing and listening are one in the same. Both create scenarios… 

With these thoughts in mind, why not take some time through each day over the couple of weeks to learn more about what you see and hear so that you can be honest about the scenarios you are creating? Perhaps you can create some new and positive outcomes, by noticing what you are creating!

Have a great week!, Rob