Posts Tagged ‘choices’

I know I’ve been on this whole track of encouragement, but there is a painful truth all creatives need to consider. In any given pursuit here will always be someone better than you. Sorry, but it’s a fact of life and that leaves us with a choice. There are essentially three things we can do when we see someone better than us. The first two are not helpful.

You can get discouraged. Given enough time, the end result of this will most likely be giving up, or beating yourself up, neither of which is what God wants for us.

You can also lash out. Acting as if some great injustice has occurred. Given enough time this will have you looking at this other person as a competitor or even an enemy. You’ll start to think things like, “Of course he’s better than me, he has this advantage…” or “She’s not so great…” or worse. This could make you feel like a victim or just plain bitter. Again, this is not beneficial.

But what if instead of these things, we chose to see the person as an inspiration, someone who makes us want to be better and grow in our skills. Rather than feeling competitive, we cheer them on, we’re glad when they get ahead and realize that they are being used in great ways. This is clearly a much better way to live.

At the end of the day, the only thing you are really responsible for is being the best you you can be, faithfully making the most of what you’ve been given. The choice is yours, but this is clearly the best one.

Turns out it was a pretty great day. I got a lot of reading and study done, finished my sermon, created a powerpoint, finished another session of my class. I didn’t give up until after 11:00 and went to bed with a serious sense of accomplishment. Maybe snow days aren’t so bad after all.

I think this is another huge thing to consider for all of us in our creative lives. There will always be something to inconvenience us or distract us or whatever and in the midst of the difficulties, we have a choice. We can get frustrated and whine about whatever is “afflicting” us at the moment or we can look at our situation and say “What can I do with what I have, right now?” Making the right choices in those days that look less than ideal can actually allow us to accomplish great things.

Everything we face in life involves a choice. Oh we may not get to choose what happens, but we can choose how we react to what happens.

Choose well!

Lot’s of people talk about mission statements, and when they do, the rest of the people’s eyes glaze over. Most people have no mission statement and that is a bad situation. As the old saying goes, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” If you don’t know your purpose, how can you possibly reach your goals? The first thing you need to do is know what you’re doing, and where you’re headed. Now just to be clear, this is not totally set in stone, some things will change as you gain more information, but you should have a plan and you should stay on task until that plan is fulfilled. The best way to reach a goal is to know what you want to do and faithfully doing it.

Secondly, and this is huge, you need to know why you want to do what you want to do. What is your “why?” Knowing your motivation is so hugely important. Once you know why you want to do what you want to do, you can begin to see the big picture and how to stay on mission. What is your mission and why is it your mission?

Once you have that nailed down there is a simple question that could accompany literally every choice you make. That question is, will this choice take me closer to accomplishing my goal or move me further from it. Honestly answering that simple question will keep you on the right track. Not only that, we can also use the question to test the results of our actions. An action that takes you off task is almost never fatal. You just need to redirect, turn around and go in the right direction. The question will also allow you to avoid continually stacking bad choices one on top of the other. The best time to ask the question was before you made the choice, the second best time to ask the question is now.

What is your mission? What are you trying to accomplish and why? Then when that is established, check your choices.

Will what you’re planning, help you get closer to where you want to be?

Last night I had the strangest dream. I dreamt I was in this old house, the dream was even black and white, which is strange because I usually DO dream in color. A well meaning old man was lecturing a young man about the life he was living. I’m not sure who the old man was, but the young man was Elvis. The old man was getting nowhere and for some reason I felt the need to speak.

I called him over, “Elvis Aaron Presley, come over here, I need to talk to you.” He came over. “Sit down,” I said and he did. He looked like the young Elvis from the movies. I said, “Elvis, one day they will call you the King of Rock and Roll. You will be wealthy beyond measure and millions of young people will want to be just like you. They will follow your example. They’ll dress like you. They’ll do what you do… (a slightly sneering smile spread across his young face…) And by 1977, you’ll be dead because of your choices. Your choices matter, and they’ll matter to millions of people. People will do what you do.”

As I finished speaking, I thought I got through to him. Then there was a knock at the door. When it opened, a large crowd of people who were up to no good came to get Elvis for a night of “wild living” as the Scripture says. Someone asked him why he would do this after what I just said. He said “I have until 1977.” Then I woke up.

Why do I share this? First because while most of us will never be called the king of anything, we are almost all leaders (especially as creatives), maybe to a small group of people, maybe to a large one, maybe just to one or two other people, but for almost all of us, there are people who will follow us. The choices we make matter, so we need to make good choices.

Secondly, one of the things people lament over is the unknown quantity of life. If we knew when things would happen, we could do things differently. I don’t think it matters. If we knew our “deadline,” I’m not sure it would change very much. Human nature seems to say, “live now, pay later…” It has since the garden. The truth is every one of our choices contributes to the quality of life we will live. Choices matter, so make good ones.

This dream shook me up a bit. It made me take a look at my own life, because while I’m not in a place of debauchery, there are some areas especially in the realm of health, where I could be making better choices. I also knew almost immediately that I had to share it. So my guess is it’s for someone besides me. Is it for you?

Where will your choices lead? or better yet, Who will your choices lead?

Today’s post is a tough one. It’s about choices. Is there any sin God cannot forgive? Beyond rejecting Jesus, I believe the answer to that questions is no. There is forgiveness and grace that comes with repentance at the foot of the cross, but that’s not what I am talking about here today. I am talking about the choices we make that change the course of our lives in a negative way and leave us disqualified from serving in certain capacities. In some cases even areas where we’ve done great good.

Moral failures, criminal choices and the like may be able to be forgiven by God but in some cases, they leave us unable to continue to serve, no matter how gifted we may be. Our choices are important and they can be catastrophic. The more good you’ve done, the wider the swath of the casualties. I know this post sounds incredibly pessimistic but it’s not, it’s a warning. Certain choices you don’t come back from, in this life, even with repentance.

Be careful. Be wise. Don’t be disqualified.

Okay first of all I’m packing and getting ready to do Pictures of Jesus at a youth event in Loysburg, PA this evening so there’s not a lot of time for a post today.

That being said, I saw this clip and it is awesome. I apologize that it is a beer commercial but the message of this piece is too good to pass up.

Choices are hugely important.

By the way, this commercial was banned because Guinness is not an official Olympic sponsor so they can’t show Olympic athletes in their commercials til the games are over. Pity… WHile I’m not an advocate of alcohol consumption at all, I think a lot of people could stand to hear this message.

What do you think?

This is a slight departure from our usual subject matter, but it is so important. In all of our lives there come times of decision. Some decisions are easy, one path is clearly better than the other and the choice is obvious. Some decisions are made harder by temptation. One way is clearly sinful and we know it’s not the right way but the temptation is pounding against our defenses. This is actually an easy decision too, because deep in our hearts we know the right way to go is the way that keeps us out of sin. The hard part is not discerning the right decision. the hard part is beating the temptation. The words of Paul are helpful here:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

There is a way out, the hard choice here is to take it.

Then there are the really hard decisions. There are two types. The first is the no-win situations. To complicate things slightly, there are also two types of no-win situations. The first is the choice between two wrong things. The truth here is the lesser of two evils is still evil. In these situations there is usually a third option and it is usually the right one, choosing none of the above and looking for a solution which contains no evil.

Then there are the hard things we face in life where neither choice feels good, but no evil is involved. These decisions are often complicated by their place at the hardest times or our lives. Do we take heroic measures to save someone who is clearly suffering or do we let them go? Do we step in to help someone who has made a bad choice or do we let them face the consequences? These decisions have difficult ramifications either way.

Oddly enough the answer to these decisions is similar to the best kind of hard decision, the decision between two good things. Neither way is a wrong way, at least in the sense that it is sinful. Both could be honoring to God. The only question is what is the best choice, the most God honoring choice, the best path for you to take? The difficulty here is that it could kind of go either way. In these situations, similar to the choice where neither choice is appealing, the real need is discernment. We need a power greater than our own. We need to seek the One who knows the path that is right and best. These decisions are among the hardest we face. The good news is we don’t have to face them alone. Pray, and have others pray for you and seek God’s wisdom… His discernment.

In times of decision, in times of uncertainty, one thing is for certain… God knows what to do. Ask Him then follow Him.


I’m not sure I posted this before or not but it was a fun experiment in Photoshop that asks a really serious question. How have you decided to face this day? Who do you want to be? It really is a decision we get to make every time we are faced with a situation. Every situation, every difficulty. every struggle and even every triumph are really nothing more than a choice.

Will it crush us or will we overcome? Will we crumble or will we stand? Will we fall to negativity or rise to positivity? Will we lose and keep going? Will we win with grace and humility? All these things are nothing more than choices.

What do you choose? How will you face today’s circumstances?

Today do what I did here. Create a reminder that how you face life is a choice.

Who do you want to be today?

It’s your choice.

The latest challenge was the word, ROBOT. It got me thinking about one of the charges I hear against God. Why would God allow sin to enter the world? It’s a deep question but part of the reason is because we’re not robots. We’re not pre-programed. God loves us and wants us to love Him, but love requires a choice. To have a choice, there has to be an alternative. There is an option, we can choose God or choose sin and because they are at opposite ends of the continuum to choose one is to choose against the other.

Moses set a choice to the Israelites, they could choose God or they could choose the gods of the people God drove out before them. He set before them blessings and curses and then he said choose live that you might live.

You have a choice, you’re not a ROBOT… Choose life… Choose Jesus.

I decided to give you a behind the scenes view on how a CREACHER cartoon is made. This one is called Cause and Effect. It’s inspiration comes from numerous stories I’ve heard recently in the media and other places. They were very diverse and yet they all had one thing in common. In every case blame was being thrown at someone else. parents, strangers, society, even God. That’s usually not the case. In some cases we are just getting splattered by the effects of living in a broken world, but in more cases than not, the story behind the story is one of cause and effect. Understanding cause and effect is crucial. We feed cause with our choices and effect comes back to bite us. We don’t dare interpret this for others, that’s called being judgmental, but it is vital that we interpret cause and effect for ourselves.